Heroics are HARD!!

Actually, I don’t think so.  I find it curious that the topic has received so much attention that Ghostcrawler made a ( rather excellent ) blog post about it.  http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2053469#blog

I wholeheartedly agree with a number of points of his.  Specifically this, paraphrased: Just because LFD will let you into a Heroic, does not mean that you SHOULD be in a heroic.  Personally, I waited quite a bit to start tanking Heroics.  Let me back up a bit.

It’s 3 months before Wrath.  Launch Date has not been announced, but it’s definitely in the offing.  I have leveled my first toon to 70!!  A dwarf hunter.  May he R.I.P.  Ok, I didn’t delete him, but I never play him.  I’ve ran some PvP, and got dragged into one Kara run.  I suffer from the unfortunate delusion that anything purple is good.  So I wore two PvP items.  Noone bothered to inform me that those didn’t really work for PVE.  Or that my quest greens probably don’t need to see the inside of Kara.  I have no idea what an enchant is.  I’m excited that there are gem slots on some of my gear.  I’m not sure what to put in them.  This all sounding familiar to anyone?  I was the ULTIMATE huntard.  Noone invites me to a group.  ( Ok, I was in a few groups, and I’m sure it was even more painful for them than it was for me but I was oblivious to that ).  Noone gives me any advice.  I don’t even know what questions to ask.  I have this cool gun and this cool Warp Stalker ( why?  dunno. ) and I’m shootin stuff, man!!

Then, the magic moment happens.  I see a Prot Paladin cast Avenger’s Shield. *Zing zerg bong*  “WOAH!  WTH WAS THAT I WANT ONE!!!!”  He’s an epic explosion of yellow fireworks and plate-clad righteous kickassness.  This combines with the fact that all I hear anyone asking about is where a good Tank / Healer is.  Noone’s asking where a kickass hunter with PvP gear is.  ( In my own head at the time I’m sure I was “kickass” ).  Plus, you get to be in front.  You get to decide direction, set pace, SAVE PEOPLE.  My white knight complex immediately kicks into overdrive, the hunter is now officially on the shelf, and it’s back to the Character Creation screen.  And I’ve never looked back.

Fast forward a bit.  I hit 69 on Llamalite the day of Wrath Launch.  Exactly on schedule.  ( It took me a lot longer to level back then ).   I’ve tanked everything I could, solo as Prot, gotten the basics, started to research the class.  I’ve asked lots of questions, and I’ve gotten more comfortable in the tank boots.  I’ve definitely fallen in love with the class changes going into Wrath, and I laugh about BC Paladins who miss their SP.  I’ve discovered the Maintankadin Field Manual.  There are numbers.  It’s exciting.

So, I head to Borean Tundra, start questing, and pick up some awesome Green gear.  And a few blues.  I walk into my first Wrath dungeon as a proud Pally tank and… /faceplant.  “Defense?  What?  Cap?  I thought I didn’t need that yet!!!”  Nerd rage ensues.  Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  Gear is feverishly hunted down.  Bosses are SLAIN.

Fast forward a bit.  Heroics?  /faceplant.  Ahhh, dammit.  No nerd rage.  Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  Gear is feverishly hunted down.  Bosses are SLAIN.

Fast forward a bit.  Naxxramas!!!  /faceplant.  “Here we go round again, mum.” Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  … Ok, you get it?

Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit.  By the time I got to Naxx, I had pretty much figured out how to gear appropriately BEFORE I walked in the door.  So, let’s fast forward allll the way through Wrath and enter this last December for some Christmas cheer.  A few guildies have attempted a few Heroic bosses.  I can still hear their screams of agony echoing in vent.  They asked when I was starting.  “Not yet.  Need gear.”  Days passed.  “Llama you tankin this?”  “Not yet, need gear.”  “But… you’re 331 iLvL and..”  “Yep.”   Days passed.  Rep was ground.  Slots were filled.  Enchants went on.  Then one day, I met my self-appointed gear minimums, and I walked into a Heroic.

Did we wipe?  Yep.  Of course we did, we didn’t know the damn fights and the healer was just barely geared for it.  Did anyone complain?  Rage quit?  Alt-Tab to the forums to insult Ghostcrawlers diploma, references, and next-of-kin?  Nope.  We read up, we ran back from GY, we buffed up, and we hit it again.  And after sufficiently figuring out which was was up with each set of mechanics, we looted and moved on to the next.  What helped considerably was that the the Tank was appropriately geared for it.  Not overgearing it, but not barely squeaking by the minimum requirements to just get in the door either.

I guess my point is that QQ’ing, nerd-raging more than a little bit, and especially giving up may be a perfectly valid way to deal with the fact that this is new content and it’s for the moment difficult.  It isn’t MY way of dealing with it.  It is A way of dealing with it.  But you’ve got to step back a moment and figure that SOMEONE is getting through it.  People have the achievements.  People are geared through Heroics and are raiding.  So it’s not the game that’s broken.  Perhaps it’s you?  So you wiped.  It happens.  Welcome to new content.

I think maybe there’s a couple of things going on.

Perhaps some people never had the experience before having started in Wrath.  By the time they saw a Heroic, everyone was kitted out in 226 gear and they got carried through without ever having to wipe.

Perhaps some people don’t choose to remember BC Heroics because they blocked out the trauma.  They’ve gotten so used to auto-piloting and phoning in every encounter that having to work a bit for your rewards just seems anathema to why they bought the game.

Perhaps in an age of Netflix and instant everything on your iDevice through the ethers people have gotten to the point where any delay or hardship is a perfectly valid reason to get mad at EVERYTHING.  People used to have to walk miles to have a conversation with someone else.  Now if there’s any network lag on your text message, you curse the heavens.  As one comedian put it, “It has to go… TO SPACE!!!  You can’t wait a bit for it to get back… FROM SPACE!!!???”

I’m not really sure.  But like mama said, “This too shall pass”.  The rage quitters will rage quit.  The noobs will run in small fiery circles.  And the people who have some patience and know how to figure things out will exercise their patience, read up, dig in and figure things out.

Tank well.

- Llama

    • Squelchy
    • February 3rd, 2011

    What a great post. I look forward to what comes next (even if I am in love with warrior tanking and just don’t get Paladins. THEY’RE SO JUDGY).

  1. Also, despite what may have been said in your thread on the forums, this is such a far cry from the incoherent mess you find on the forums. Don’t let it get you down.

    My response to most of the people on the official forums is, to quote the great thinker and poet Jay-Z, “F(*& you, you illiterate son of a b*(&9″.

    (Feel free to approve or not approve this comment as you see fit.)

  2. Hi Llama. I, along with every other blogger it seems, posted a little rant about ths today as well.

    I saw your post on the forums and followed it here. It’s so nice to see new bloggers popping up. This was a good post and I encourage you stick with it. You may also want to go introduce yourself at Blog Azeroth. It is a great community and a wonderful resource as you get started. I leaned on the shared topics a bit when I started blogging.

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