As the last expansion was releasing, and content seemed to have dwindled, I wrote a post about enjoying the moment. I never really understand the end-of-expansion doldrums that seemed to take so many players by storm, the feeling that there was nothing out there to do. Yet Wednesday night, as Madness fell (yay team!) I wondered what was to become of my relationship with WoW.
I must say I was so proud of our team this week. It seems that the expansion has been plagued with ups and downs, roster changes and emergencies. Keeping a small, tight-knit roster makes for a wonderful team, but it also leads to raid cancellations and slower than expected progress, especially over the last couple of months, as we’ve been hesitant to recruit new players knowing that our raiding focus will be changing.
The last couple of weeks, in particular, have been particularly challenging for me personally, as our raiding has been cut down to once a week moreso by necessity than choice. Our stated intention was to raid 9 hours a week until the new expansion, or at least until everyone has gotten everything, achievements, mounts, and legendaries, that the raiding of Cataclysm has to offer. However, it’s not been the case, and until this week, we still had a progression kill to make.
Monday and Wednesday were particularly challenging for me. Monday we had 2 main-specced healers, but our initial strategy called for 2 tanks and 3 healers. About halfway through the night, we made a switch, and began to 1-tank and 2-heal the encounter. While it ultimately proved to be a winning strategy for us, it was quite the interesting night as every pull saw a different tweak. This is really the first time I’ve had to go through that kind of rapid adjustment with this group: we usually trust to our strategy for most of a night of attempts, and it made me wonder how the dynamic of our strategies would change as our raid nights were permanently cut back to a once a week format.
Wednesday had its own challenges. It’s the first night I had ever seen Heroic Deathwing as a DPS. In many ways, I enjoyed myself immensely. It’s nice to swap into a different role, and still get the job done. However, it’s also extremely mind-boggling to know that your team is so close to a kill, and you’re hovering in the back hoping your cool-downs are going to line up like youthinkthey should on your first night of attempts.
With the fall of Deathwing, I am down to needing a single raid achievement: I Can’t Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am. I received all my mounts except Deathwing’s normal drop, and am primed and ready for the next tier of raiding. Be that as it may, we do have some folks who are missing a random achievement/kill here and there, and we will be spending some time clearing some old content this tier to get everyone up to speed as well as some more DW clears so that everyone has their own mount. I was also thrilled to discover that the team will be doing one more run of Firelands so I can complete my legendary staff.
After that, we’ve talked about offering some kind of mount run for dedicated and awesome players (without charge) for their very own Ragnaros mounts. We chose Rag because the Firelands run is fast, and let’s face it, the Pureblood Firehawk is one of the prettiest mounts in the game.
I thought about spending some time, getting more involved in the Twitterland Raiding community in order to expand my raiding options a bit, but for right now, I don’t honestly know what my raid ID availability is going to be, and I am not really looking to make a new commitment until my current one is fully discharged.
I’ve been filling my time a bit with some non-WoW gaming options, replaying some old console games that I just plain enjoy or never quite finished, puttering around in the beta, and keeping a beady eye on the horizon for other game prospects that might fill the void.
I’ve also talked over the upcoming drop in raiding days with my little cadre of friends. It’s likely that I’ll keep Terri in Production Company for their weekly raiding stint. As it stands right now, our 2 main-spec healers are hitting the road, and while there’s a good possibility that at least one player will be switching to heals for the upcoming expansion, I think healers will be needed. If not, I’ll put on my feathers a bit more permanently or apply for a tanking spot.
While nothing in my life is ever in stone until it happens, I think I want to be a tank again, and the tanking I love is the shaker and mover: the add-tank. While it takes know-how to swing a giant dragon ass in just the right way, add tanking has always been my favorite in a raid setting. But even better, is the 5-man achievement runs. Right now, we’ve got a 4-man team, and actually tanking 5-mans when they’re new has always been fun because there’s a bit of everything to do. Whether I’ll be a DK or Brewmaster is still a bit up in the air for me, but I’m hoping that small team play will help cover the void for me when it comes to raiding.
Although it’s tempting for me to go gung-ho and rev back into achievement / leveling mode, I am actually trying to avoid doing that. I want to step into the new expansion ready to level, ready to run dungeons, ready to tackle the new shinies. So while I’m not 100% where I want to be, I’m trying to take WoW in moderation, to get used to a slower raid week, and adapt to the upcoming change in how I play the game.