20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge: Day 13 – People I Admire
I have been looking at this blog topic for several days, brainstorming on it before I even had Day 12 published, and I have been nervous to write this. Not because I lack admirable people in my life, I have many people that I admire in real life, in game and in the blog-sphere, but because I am somewhat embarrassed to write about it.
Day 13 – People I Admire
This person who I admire, despite how uncomfortable it is to admit, is my ex.
From here forward, I will refer to him as Lazheward or Laz, since that was his Paladin’s name. Yes, that is where my Paladin’s name came from (for RP/story purposes in Effy’s storyline).
Let me start by saying that I hold no animosity towards Laz. Our split was more a product of distance and work/life-related stress than anything between us. For more than two years Laz and I gamed together and spent most of our waking hours in some form of conversation (be it phone, text, email, IM’er or vent). Some talk was about the games we played and some about work, worries, family, friends, dogs or whatever we had going on.
I followed him through several games: Warhammer Online, Guild Wars, EVE Online, Star Trek Online and then to WoW.
Though I had played other games previously, WoW is more indepth and more interactive. When I played DAoC, it was involved, but even that paled to the vast world, lore, quests, items, community, stuff to do, etc. of WoW.
While leveling our Paladin/Shaman pair, I was already comfortable as a healer in questing and dungeons. PvP was a mild concern, but Laz dragged me along for some on occasion, with the assurance that healing in PvP would later be helpful to me when raiding.
That was the big difference between WoW and my previous gaming experience. I had never been a raider.
I had participated in a few raids in DAoC, but TG is nothing compared to ICC or BoT or DS. DAoC did not have a system of threat anywhere near WoW’s. Tanking was not the same. Tanks were more pools of health to stand in the way of mobs, their only ability that would compare to a WoW tank being Guard. Guard allowed a tank to block for another player, usually the healer. So they would effectively be blocking for two.
In fact, the main thing that held a party together and kept them alive was CC.
I played a Pacification Healer – I was a CC healer. I had single and AoE mez’s and single and AoE stuns. It was the da bomb. Basically, all the tank could do was face pull, get their attention, round them up together and then stand there and keep hitting stuff while I stunned the whole group (with diminishing returns) and the DPS nuked everything dead. The trick was making sure everything was dead before the stuns diminished to nothing. Otherwise, I scrambled to heal everyone at that point.
So anyway… that was the extent of my raiding experience. Laz and I both agreed that raiding was something we were interested in when we reached level 80. So he started preparing me.
PvP was a big part, and though it was uncomfortable for me, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about how to heal while moving, or at least to heal, move, heal, move. All I learned in PvP turned out to be very good skills for a Resto Shaman, which was less mobile than a Druid or Paladin and to some extents a Priest. Being pre-Cata, Shaman had no Spiritwalker’s Grace, no Healing Rain, no Spirit Link Totem. Other than Riptide and Earth Shield, I was stationary when I was healing.
Once we hit 80, Laz and I spent our meager game money getting ourselves geared for heroic dungeons and eventually raiding. We were in a guild at that time, on Trollbane, and so we had crafters at our disposal, but we insisted on being self-sufficient and getting together the mats and such.
We began raiding and it became customary for Laz and I to converse following the close of raid to discuss how we felt we had performed, what we may have noticed with our partner’s performance and what raiding techniques our group was using that seemed to work or not work. We researched fights together – usually separately watching them and then coming together to discuss what we saw and our first impressions. We discussed specs and abilities and gear and researched such things both together and separate. Basically, we were each other’s personal cheerleader – pushing the other to improve.
Once Laz and Effy were well on their way with raiding, Laz and I leveled another tank/healer combo. This time me tanking on my DK and him healing on his Shaman. There was a large amount of knowledge share there also. Laz was unfamiliar with DK’s, but very familiar with tanking, both on his Pally and on his Warrior back in BC. I was very familiar with healing on a Shaman. So I assisted him in learning to heal (one thing he had never done in WoW) and he assisted me in learning to tank (which I had never done, period).
All in all, as far as WoW goes, I admire Laz for for pushing me past my comfort zones. Raiding, PvP, tanking and entering Cataclysm as one amongst millions who had to relearn a lot of things.
So despite how uncomfortable it is to admit that I still admire my ex, there is not a single person who has taught me as much about WoW than him.
And I figure that deserves some admiration.