Friday, October 30, 2009

No excuses

"I am entitled to overcome" - Creed, Overcome

A couple of interesting things happened this week. First, featured one of the members of AbleGamers, Quadilious, in their 15 Minutes of Fame segment. Something about seeing the title "Quadriplegic player attacks progression raiding" hit me. One of the reasons, of course, was my feeling that a disability should not define a person. Yes, my disability is a big part of who I am, but if I ever caught one of my guildies referring to me as "the handicapped chick" or anything similar, the ensuing conversation would not be pleasant. Another reason is that Quad is so good, despite having to use adaptive hardware, that it puts me to shame.

The feeling that I'm hiding behind excuses and that there should be a way for me to be able to do endgame hard modes is a hard one to shake. At the same time, most of the guys I play with are in the computer field, and have been playing MMORPG's since EverQuest. If there was an easy way for me to work around my challenges, we would have found it. The sad reality is that Blizzard has used reaction time and coordination to differentiate the elite players from the nonelite. That leaves someone like me, who is extremely intelligent but has poor reaction time and coordination, out in the cold. When my former GM said, "If we were a hardcore guild, we wouldn't have here dying," there was truth to it. That doesn't change the fact that I want titles, and I would love to have a red proto-drake and a rusted proto-drake. I don't see it happening though, and I don't want to make the guys feel like they have to pull me through content that is too difficult for me. I also don't want to put them in a position of telling me content is too difficult for me. There are a few of them that I can gently coax it out of without them feeling like jerks for saying it, and the discussions I have with them are valuable.

Last night, I got home, and the horde guild was running a ToC 25 pug. After a little bit, I got a tell, "want to come in, we're on twins and I hate to save you this late." I don't really like pugging with just anybody, I faction transferred to play with my friends, and so I agreed. It was extremely interesting - I saw over 4k dps on twins, which I was NEVER able to get on my warlock. Got to Anub, wiped once, and then got set to go again. During one of the burrow phases, I got targeted by the spikes. Now the trick to handling the spikes is to run them away from the raid, and put a patch of ice between you and the spikes, which both traps Anub for a second or two, and causes him to select another target. As I was running to the far side of a rather large ice patch, trying not to get the slowing debuff from actually getting ON the ice, I heard one of the guys say, "Look at you, running him all around so he will target fewer people." I was just concentrating on not running him into the raid and getting him in the ice, I didn't think about the fact that kiting him for a while really helps the raid. It's always nice when your performance is noticed because it's good, especially with a group of people who have watched you struggle.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WoW as a social outlet

A lot has been made of people who use video games as a way of avoiding social contact. Very few people talk about the fact that for some people, WoW is a way of maintaining human contact.

(Saying here what I can't say in game or in vent) I'm in a very dark place right now. My depression has always had a seasonal component, although last year I was spared, probably due to the fact that I was working and also had a lot of people around me online due to the new expansion. Whatever the reason, it was nice. This year, however, it's back with a vengeance and for reasons I didn't anticipate when I changed factions on the druid. I've learned that I have limited time left with my dad, and I'm starting to grieve already. Usually this would be a time when I would try to withdraw from everyone, but I can't let myself. I hang out, just to see how my friends are doing, and when I'm too quiet, reminders that I'm allowed to talk make me smile.

There have honestly been times when I've wondered why I'm still playing WoW, since I can't do hard modes. I still have fun doing normal modes, and working on achievements, but the most important reason is the friends I've made. I can hang out and be myself, and that is what I love.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You Can't DPS When You're Dead!

That old chestnut was brought home to me last night as I ran a ToC 25 pug with some of the guildies on the druid. When I first came in to CRC, especially as we were working on Archimonde, what I heard over and over was, "We don't care what dps you do, just don't die."
In Naxx, it became, "Don't worry about your dps, just don't die and don't kill anyone."
Over the past 15 months, I've gotten pretty good at learning to keep myself alive.
Last night, after a boss attempt, I peeked at the damage meter. I'm an addict, I'll admit it, but I always know where I am, because somebody's always watching. What I found in looking at Recount was that there were people below me in overall damage that had higher dps than me, for the simple reason that I keep myself alive. I don't rely on the healers to notice that I have low health if I can healthstone, pot, or lifebloom, and I don't go all out before the tank has threat.
Not every fight is a dps race. Sometimes a moderate, yet constant pace is enough to win. Think about that before you require 4k dps on your next pug.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reinventing Myself

I get mentally restless easily, I'm not quite sure why. It may be because my brain is often so far ahead intellectually of what it can tell my body to do. Regardless of why it happens, I tend to find the need to change things up every few years.

The decision to retire the warlock from raiding was sort of made for me, but if I had been party to the discussion of the future of the guild, I probably would have made the same decision. I don't want to have to get a new guild used to me, I don't want to have to explain myself, and I am fully aware of how unique the first two GMs and the pre-Ulduar officers of CRC are. Of course, there's also the factor of my ever-changing work schedule and kids' activities getting in the way of raiding.

I'm finding myself playing the druid more and more, for several reasons. One is that there is more to do on her that I actually can do than there is on the lock. Another is that it is more enjoyable to hang out with a group of old friends, even if I'm not raiding with them, than hang around a dying guild waiting for an invitation that will never come, and even if it did, I'm not sure I would accept.

Tuesday night, I had logged on my druid, and had gotten in a group to do the heroic, so was on vent at raid time. The raid was one dps short, looking to Onyxia, ToC regular, and then move on to ToC heroic. I was debating whether or not to whisper the raid leader and offer my services when one of the guys said, "Let's get Carol in here and get this done." I love the way it's assumed I will come, which is definitely the main advantage of being with friends.

Anyway, we got through Ony, VoA, and most of ToC before another dps came on, and I stepped out, feeling very much wanted and appreciated. I'm also enjoying playing the boomkin, and it seems to work pretty well. Also, between raiding and heroic dailies, I had enough emblems of triumph to upgrade my gloves from tier 7 to tier 9! I'm still struggling with the hit cap, though. Don't quite know how to overcome that one, but I'm not noticing any misses, so I'm not going to worry too much.