Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Endgame once again!

When you get your second child, can you really love that one as much as you loved your first one? Will there still be love enough for the first one? That is a question that many children who are about to get a sister or brother anxiously will ask. And perhaps their parents too will worry a bit, secretly, not admitting it even to themselves.

The answer is of course is yes! There’s always room for more love. The strange thing about love is that there isn’t any limited supply of it. It doesn’t follow the natural law. You won’t run out of it; you won’t have to split it in half once child number 2 is born. It will double by itself.

Reaching 80 once again
But real life is one thing and game is another. As I’ve been closing in, approaching level 80 on my second character, my rogue Arisal, I’ve been wondering what it will feel like to ding 80. Will I feel the same satisfaction? Will I feel the same lust to go on and finally start the “real game”, gearing her up, grinding for reputations and challenging her in instances and maybe even a 10 man raid? Could I possibly feel the same affection for her as I feel for Larísa? Won’t it just be a “meh”? After all, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. She’s got black hair instead of pink pigtails, but so what? Couldn’t I just expect a feeling of déjà-vu?

Now I know better. Reaching max level on your second character can be just as exciting as it is to do it the first time. Yesterday Arisal dinged 80 and I was completely blown off by the happiness I experienced. I know this will sound a bit weird; probably it’s a sign of my rather unhealthy relationship to my characters, but I actually felt quite proud of the little creature.

Arisal hasn’t had an easy ride since she was born in February 2008. Larísa has always had my first priority – now and in the future; that’s the life of a raider. You pick one main and you work that character to perfection. Otherwise you won’t be competitive and useful in raids. During some periods Arisal has been completely abandoned, deserted at some godforsaken inn where she’s had nothing to do but to collect rested xp. And when she’s finally been let out in open air again, her master has forgotten just about everything of the way of a rogue. To be honest her way of killing stuff has been “interesting” rather than efficient. I’ve never ever considered giving her proper enchants and gems. And the level of her lockpicking skill is something I’d rather not talk about, it’s too embarrassing.

But she did it, eventually, in spite of the bad odds. I guess I can thank Easter and the pre-patch apathy for it. When we had to cancel the raid I didn’t have much else to do but to level Arisal. And then there was another day off from work due to the season holiday and before I knew it the achievement message flashed over the screen.

I had reached Endgame once again, and to my surprise I felt instantly that I couldn’t wait to dive into it.

Five man instances
It’s been quite a while since the 5-man instances were really interesting to me. I’ve always said that I don’t care much about loot and gear; measuring the size of my e-peen isn’t typical of me. But to be honest, the possibility that you’ll get at least SOMETHING of value out of the instance – more than a shard, adds another dimension to the go. When you don’t even want the badges and you’ve done every achievement there is for the 5-mans (well, except one in Occulus, but I really hope to get that one soon :)), when you as well as the rest of the party is completely overgeared for the instance, making any kind of strategy thinking a waste of effort – well… then it isn’t as fun anymore. Nice company is a great thing, but at least I need a little bit more to motivate myself, to make a real effort, focus and have a fun time in an instance.

Now, with a brand spanking new rogue, begging me to gear her up, I find myself in a completely new situation. And the instances don’t only offer upgrades again; they offer a challenge too! Playing melee dps is completely different to playing ranged, believe me. Suddenly those poison clouds, void zones and nasty stuff that comes in all colours, which the bosses love to wrap themselves in, become a real threat to me. I have to figure out how to avoid them and STILL be able to make decent damage, even though you can’t really stab and hit someone with a mace keeping a healthy distance. The positioning is far from easy, and I wonder if I’ll ever get used to the idea of constant movement in order to hit from behind.

I know I will suck. I know that when I pug, some players will probably mutter “L2P”. But so what? I can live with it. WoW has come alive to me, not only in the raids, but also during the off nights.

I’ve got a ton of work to do on Arisal. It’s endgame once again and I love it! Arisal may be my second child, but she’s definitely just as much loved as Larísa ever was.

And Larísa has no reason to worry either. A patch will come, hopefully loaded with challenges to keep a veteran mage happy and occupied.


krizzlybear said...

With an 80 resto druid under my belt, I can vouch for many that having twice the 80's can bring twice the satisfaction. In particular, having two classes of different roles can provide immense flexibility when looking to join or make a group, whether it be for 5's, 10's, or 25's.

You have an interesting situation, since your Rogue alt is also a DPS class, albeit a melee-centric DPS class compared to your mage's ranged abilities. It won't provide the same flexibility as having a healer/DPS tandem, but at least you have more options compared to having a Hunter or Warlock instead.

Kromus said...

Well, i cant till my priest alt is 80, cos in TBC when i had Kromus and Arkanite as level 70's- it was like having spilt personailtys.

The instance Karazhan i once found so tidious came alive again when i was healing, and so i agree with you, there is always room for more love, and its like starting again in a way.

Klepsacovic said...

Warning: Contains dangerous levels of subjectivity.

I think the trick to alts is to play casually. Don't jump into rep grinds and gearing and all that. Just play it for pure fun, run instances, read quest text, gradually build up gear. Try to do instances as if you know nothing, it can be a ton of fun to see them from a totally different perspective and makes them new again.

Why not play alts hardcore? It tends to be a letdown. I get an alt up, look at all the grinds and go "$#&@ that." Alts feel so weak compared to my main. Trying to gear up two characters for raiding, unless your guild is eager to start dragging your alts through heroics and Naxx, it's not a fun process.

Maybe I'm just bad at alts. My main tends to dominate and alts exist mostly for professions or bag space, despite my intention to seriously play them. Only once has an alt really become something, that was my paladin who replaced my shaman, who then faded into obsolescence and is now not even close to 80.

Zupa said...


I think you are 100% on the money. I have been playing alts recently (which I never used to do) and I am finding it refreshing, but would never bother with things like rep or min maxing on an alt, that kind of thing I reserve for my raiding mage :)

Geoffrey said...

I love my second child only 93% as much as I loved my first.

Larísa said...

@Krizzlybear: I must admit that I really wouldn't mind to have a healer. So that's why I've got a level 10 druid as well now...
Just wait a few years... :)
I rolled a rogue as my first alt after advice from a bunch of guildies. And it was great advice actually. She's got so many FUN tricks. You're not as depending on getting groups to entertain yourself; you can always go doing roguish things - stealthing, pick-pocketing, trying to solo elites with all your wonderful emergency abilites... So yes, she gives great variation to my mage.

@Kromus: I saw you wrote a post about it. Arkanite is calling for you! Listen!

@Klepsacovic & Zupa: I definitly won't feel any stress about gearing her up, but still I think I wan't to have a little bit of a plan, some goals to strive for and get happy when I reach them. As a matter of fact I DO have a gear road map, provided by Zakesh, and that will give me a direction in my game. But I see your point. And trust me, I will play this character in a different, more easy-going mode than I play Larísa.

@Geoffrey: Interesting.

Rubymelon said...

I laughed when I read:

"the possibility that you’ll get at least SOMETHING of value out of the instance – more than a shard, adds another dimension to the go"

I know that feeling well:)

Scotty said...

I have 3 80's, Mage, Prot warrior, Resto druid, levelled in that order and I agree with other comments, Its great that I have dps/tank/healer to use for 5 mans. flexibility is brilliant

My mage is my main, and my first love, but I guess I do play both alts a bit seriously, I certainly gear/enchant/learn to play them well enough to do any heroic and/or 10 man raid (the warrior is ready for this, the druid is still a work in progress)

The slight annoyance for me at the moment is I recently servers on my mage and both alts are currently on my old server, which means I dont have the flexibility Iused to, and already its frustrating to be needing for a tank/healer to do a guild run and not be able to volunteer to do it !!!

I'm actually a firm believer that being able to play all 3 "roles" to a reasonable standard helps me to play my main better.....

Moondancer said...

Congrats to you on making end-game with your rogue.

A few months ago, I would have made it with my Orc Survival hunter. I already have a BE Holy Priest at 80. My Orc is at at 77 and I think she'll be there for a while because I need a break from my Horde toons. I originally started as Alliance so I rerolled Alliance toons.

I currently have a gnome Affliction Warlock at 47, A Draenei Holy priest at 22, and a NE Druid at level 12. I wanted to have DPS, Heals, and tank this way I can fit into almost any instance/raid if a position needs to be filled.

Dorgol said...

My Warlock hit 80 about two weeks ago. This was my main character pre-TBC and I felt bad when my Paladin finally leveled past him with the release of WotLK.

That said, now that I'm at 80 again, I'm reminded WHY I changed to a Paladin main. I do PUGs mostly, and it just isn't fun spending 30 minutes looking for a group. Especially when I end up in a group of overgeared DPS and make no noticeable contribution to the run. They literally could have 4-man'd the place without a problem.

So, even though he's been 80 for nearly two weeks, he has only completed 2 heroics and has 8 Emblems. In the same time my Paladin continues to pug Heroics and raids whenever the time is available.

I can only imagine how frustrating things will get if I ever bring my Druid to 80... having TWO characters than can tank or heal will make my DPS alts feel very neglected.

Larísa said...

@Rubymelon: I think it matters less if you've got something else to focus on such as getting an achievement. But when there is NOTHING in it it becomes a bit dull. Unless you may help someone else out of course, then you have a higher purpose.

@Scotty: I'm a bit envious. I really wish I could tank and heal and I think it would help me a lot in my mage role. Well, at some point maybe...? I seriously hope that you'll become a permenent member of the crew and therefore take the final step and bring over your alts.

@Moondancer: wow. I don't think I could bare the thought of levelling so many alts at the same time. But then I'm not an altoholic. I think I'll focus on one at the time. It will probably take some time before I start to put full levelling attention to my druid.

@Dorgol: well, I'm luckily guilded, so I don't pug so much. But I can feel a little envious about the so much sought after healers... I wouldn't mind having one at some point.

Anonymous said...

I can so sympathize with the excitement you're experiencing. My wife and I just hit 80 last night on our alts before a scheduled raid. We were so excited, so much so that I was actually disappointed to find out that Ulduar would be released the next day.

Everyone that wanted to run five man dungeons and Naxx10 with us will now feel the anxiety to do Ulduar 10 on our off nights, which of course means we're back to our mains. =(

Rubymelon said...

Yea I totally agree. But I liked that line a lot because I've been a lock since I first started wow, and the way you put it was just so amusing:P

Scotty said...

"I seriously hope that you'll become a permenent member of the crew and therefore take the final step and bring over your alts."

My current thinking is that if I pass my trial and become a permanent member, I will bring the druid across, and have him dual specced tank/healer, leaving the warrior on my old server

That way, I have an option of all 3roles on Stormrage where I'll be spending most of my game time, and still have one character with a tank/dps spec on my old server so I can keep in touch with my friends and do the occasional run with them :)

It will ofc mean I need to learn to play a feral tank, something which I have next to zero experience with, but learning a new thing might be fun :)

Larísa said...

@Ashellia: I feel a bit of the same actually. Bad timing to ding 80 with an alt. And with Nobelgarden incoming as well...

@Scotty: Looking forward to see your druid in not too distant future I hope :)

Dwism said...

started to rant on this, and it turned into a fully fledged post.

Always an inspiration Larísa. Ta