When I read Zal’s post over at Blessing of Fish in which he talks a little about questing with a partner (in his case, Elsen), and about the idea of “two-person instances”, something in my head went *yeah*. To most of the points in fact: the “wouldn’t it be nice to have content tuned for pairs”, and the “but hunters/paladins/<insert class here> would be soloing it for loot and bragging rights within the first week” too. I immediately set about writing a “quick” post but got a couple of sentences in before running out of steam. A conversation I had last night reminded me of the draft, stranded in WordPress doldrums, so I thought I’d see about finishing it.
I’ve seen a few levelling/playing partnerships “in the flesh” as it were, and read about many more. The pocket tanks, the pocket healers, they’re all there. It’s always seemed like a good thing to me. A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few hours with a guildie two-manning some Outland instances, and it was great fun — still a bit of a challenge, even with both of us at 80. For me, it was a chance to use a few of the Mysterious Buttons that lurk at the edges of my buttonbars, unused, a chance to run some older content I’d yet to see without *totally* steamrollering it and above all, a chance to chatter away on Vent with a like-minded soul. Circumstances have prevented a repeat performance as yet, but with a bit of luck there’ll be more older instance adventuring in the future.
I’m also having a blast playing a baby bear to Bryn’s petite priest. I recently installed WoW on an old laptop which (provided I turn the graphics down a bit) runs the game well enough, in the old world at least. This has meant Bryn and I are finally able to play together in the same room, which we did for the first time last weekend. I loved it, and I think Bryn did too. She’s almost comfortable with mouse’n'keys navigation of the gameworld now, and surprised me a couple of times while we were playing. An example: we were questing in Auberdine and I was trying to practice proper tanking behaviour — turning mobs away from the group (i.e. Bryn). Unfortunately, I’ve still a little work to do on my tanking spacial awareness, as we discovered when I plonked my furry backside in the path of a couple of patrolling mobs whilst positioning our existing target. Panic!
…or not. Shield, Renew, pew-pew-pew, and the three mobs were comfortably dead, Bryn already targeting the next likely-looking victim. From this point, the biggest problem we had (other having to kill a bazillion different creatures all mysteriously missing important parts of their anatomy which we just happened to need) was with Bryn aggromonkeying! Well ok, the Wailing Highborne and Writhing Highborne have an irritating hit debuff which meant I kept losing aggro to Bryn’s Mind Blast. But we managed just fine, no bears or nelves were harmed and we trundled back to town for a nap with a health collection of experience and random crap.
I’ve never really levelled with a partner in this way before, but I think I’ll struggle to level another character without some kind of company — spending time in instances and raids has made me more-or-less dependent on the company of others to have the most fun in-game.
Hey. Maybe there’s something to this “Massively Multiplayer” thing after all!