My first instance run featured me creeping alone though Black Fathoms Deep as a prowling cat trying to figure out what this instance stuff was all about anyway. I was truly intimidated as I knew nothing about tank or healer or DPS. I didn't even know what one did in an instance. I actually went through there twice because the first time I missed the instance entirely. There's a substantial set of underground rooms before you get to the instance entrance. When I first saw that big swirly fog thing I thought it was a bug and I ran away because I was afraid the game would delete my character. 'Tis true. It was only after asking in General chat that I realized I had made a mistake and need to prowl all the way back again. I must have spent an entire evening playing around and the only knowledge I took away from the whole thing was that the monsters were much more difficult to kill than they were outside the instance. It wasn't something you could solo. I know because I tried to solo it every five levels between 20 and 40. Eventually it got through my thick skull that I needed to group.
My first dungeon run with a group was in Zul'Farrak. This is when I learned that despite being a Moonkin my actual job as a Druid was to heal. I remember being quite puzzled as to why all the monsters kept attacking one player. I thought at first that the goal of the other players was get the monsters away the person they were attacking (/facepalm) and even though I had been asked to heal I went into Moonkin form and started throwing damage spells because I thought this would help draw the monsters away from the person they were attacking and they could attack me instead because I was a Moonkin with all this armor. I did remember that I was supposed to heal and I got really frustrated because every time I threw a heal spell it would pop me out of Moonkin form. I spent the first part of that instance switching back and forth between DPS and healing and no one ever said a word to me. It was only after we wiped on one of the bosses (I don't remember the exact one) that someone suggested maybe I should try just healing because I wasn't as "uber" as I thought. Not really understanding leet speak I didn't understand the insult at all but I did what they asked. It certainly made it easier. But I would like to say to the person now I was not trying to be uber I was just confused.
Some people don't believe me but I healed 5 man instances all the way through Heroic UK as a Boomkin. At some point in time I realized that there was such as thing as trees but I never got the point as I was doing just fine without being in that spec. Even though I play a tree now the form itself remains strange to me and one of the things I cheered was when the Ghostcrawler himself said awhile back that he didn't like the fact that healers spent all their time as trees. Not even knowing what a tree was or looked liked that first instance cemented in my mind that druid healers were elfish looking.
The first time I entered an instance was entirely by accident. As a matter of fact it wasn’t until much later that I realized what I had been doing. I think I’ve told the story before in one of those posts where you make confessions about noob mistakes you’ve done over the years. But I’ll share it again, since it WAS the first time I put my foot into an instance.
I must have been around level 10 and I was still full of enthusiasm after my first encounter with Ironforge. It was impressive. It was breathtaking. I congratulated myself at finding such an awesome game and I felt excited thinking about what a huge world I had to explore, how many adventures I could look forward to in this unknown universe.
Now I was back to questing in Don Morogh, probably on my way to kill some trolls or troggs, but still in an adventurous mood. As I strolled down the road, looking out for the angry, hungry wildlife, always ready to attack me, I noticed something that looked like an entrance tunnel, guarded by two peculiar looking gnomes. I recalled from the manual (which I only had given a quick glance) that the gnomes had a capital of their own, just like the dwarfs. Gnomeregan. Looking at the map, it seemed to be located somewhere around here, close to Ironforge. Could this be the place? This needed some further exploration!
I remember how I found it a bit odd that the guards seemed so hostile to me, not at all like the nice chaps at Ironforge. Lucky for me there were a couple of high levelled players who were hanging around in the neighbourhood. They came to my rescue and killed them off. So I happily entered the tunnel, or rather ran through it to get rid of another guard, thinking to myself that it would be quite annoying if I had to go through this every time I wanted to say hello to my fellow gnomes in the city.
I jumped into the elevator, awed at the quick ride down, went out…. And that was probably the fastest kill of Larísa ever, if you look into the book of records kept by the NPCs. Before I knew it I was dead. Realizing that I would never get out of that elevator and tunnel without an endless amount of corpse runs I decided to play it safe and resurrected at a spirit healer.
And that was the end of my Gnomeregan adventure. I acknowledged my defeat. The exploration of our capital would have to wait to later.
Admittedly I never even made it behind the instant curtain, but I still think it counts as my first run.
But what about real instance runs, in a group? What does Larísa remember from her very first instance party?
I’m afraid that I don’t remember it, to be honest. I recall some early runs in Deadmines, Gnomeregan and Scarlet Monastery in my first smallish, casual guild. I remember that we had some crazy group composition. Four hunters and me – a mage. No tank apart from the pets, no healer. We wiped. We laughed. We never finished anything, killed a boss or two at the most, and that didn’t bother me too much. It was as far as you can come from the blast-through-the instances-and-pick-up-as-many-epics-as-you-can-carry mindset of today.
I was young (as a player, although not in real life), I was a noob in every sense you could think of. And I was completely happy being where I was. Void of epics and achievements I had never heard of at that point.
I was tickled pink.