My coming of age

EDIT: This post at Slash Two made me laugh today, and reminded me of  the helpful chap mentioned below.

Last night I had a number of “firsts” and other remarkable events.

Please wait …

Queuing for RFC (actually for a random, but it was always going to be RFC) last night took *ages*. Now that’s fair enough, but this made no sense. We already *had* a tank. We already *had* a healer. We even had a dps. But nothing, zip, nada. No-one in LFG was interested in us. None of the Singles were up for joining us — too high level, too low level, already busy elsewhere. So we sat and, being in SAN, wittered away in guildchat with all the other fine folks, and waited. And waited. I swear it must have taken close to an hour before we finally got in for a run, which then proceeded to be a total cakewalk (thanks largely to Hurtado, who was sufficiently indestructible that I spent as almost as much time whacking mobs as I did healing). And whilst one member of the group dropped after Taragaman, the rest of us hoovered up XP from the remaining trash and minibosses.


Fresh from RFC we requeued and were ported fairly quickly into Deadmines. I was a bit of a passenger on this run — I zoned in as DPS rather than healer and was most definitely bottom of the meters for damage. I’d like to think that I was still useful, as I switched to healing periodically when our priest healer went OOM or the overexuberance of the other DPS meant we had a chunky pile of adds to deal with. There *was* a little minor drama over loot, but no-one got too excited and we cleared all the way to the end, again gaining levels (Ano, as I clearly should have named her, is now level 18!).

All growed up

I finally ran my first raid, or at least the weekly raid quest portion of one, and received the achievement Besting the Black Dragonflight for beating Sartharion. “Only” a 10-man raid, sure, but still. They say you always remember your first. It certainly makes me keen to do more — albeit with a few structural changes…

While there were quite a few of my guildies there, the raid was led by a couple of clearly more experienced players (edit: who weren’t from our guild, I should make clear). Unfortunately no-one felt the need to respond when I admitted my noobishness at the start and asked for tacs/tips, so I just wandered about hitting whatever the tanks seemed to be hitting and not really having a clue — does that still count as “raiding”?

Thanks to a “this is too slow, hurry up” vibe bouncing through raid chat I didn’t have time to find tactics to read on my second screen — we had one member of the raid stranded somewhere because we couldn’t stop to summon him. This meant I didn’t have a clue what was going on when the drakes were creating portals and the like. I guess I probably should have been looking around more but there was also complaints about the group dps (from our somewhat irritating experienced leaders) so I was too focused on my rotation and didn’t realise what was going on. Yes, ok. I’m a bit thick. Plus I think I may have been the only melee so I was always alone apart from pets. But mostlyI’m a bit thick.

This continued to Sarth himself, where to another question about tactics I received the detailed response “look out for the flame walls”. Which I did. I saw them. I saw no way through them (der, clearly wasn’t watching that carefully then). So I carried on regardless. Yay me, I’m *that* dps :(. Healers, start your battlewagons.

In the end though, no-one (except the bosses) died, various people who weren’t me got loot, and everyone got a small stack of badges. So it was ok, really.


…that I couldn’t help but reply to our helpful leader when “Did you all just turn 80 today or something, lol” (or thereabouts) was broadcast in raidchat.

“Why? Is there a problem?” I asked. “Too slow and not enough dps” was the answer. *grrrr*

And so the final part of my growing up came to pass. As my guildies were standing round, wondering in /g why our peerless leader was such an aggressive jerk, I thought I’d find out. I whispered a question to our long-since dropped group hero, asking why he couldn’t have offered some advice or suggestions instead of just repeating “not good enough, do better”, reminding him that I had specifically mentioned that I was a first-time raider and was keen for any tips. His response:

“Sure, I’ve got a tip: Learn2Play”.

My first post

I suspect not the last, though.

If you’ve somehow made it here without reading anything about Single Abstract Noun, then hi Mum, how did you find this blog? Also, read this announcement from Tamarind and this one from Miss Medicina. All caught up? Goody.

So I rolled a belf paladin (Anorak) over on Argent Dawn, purloined a /ginv, and set about questing. And chatting. And more chatting, and a bit of questing, and more chatting, and more chatting, and more chatting. Leveling as a member of SAN-EU is going to be a bit of a challenge …

Look out, a horde!

Yeah, I’m struggling a bit with that. I’ve played Alliance since I started (ok, so that wasn’t that long ago, but still) and I’m terrified of PVP so my first trip into Orgrimmar was very strange. Even when just randomly questing, looking up to see a random tauren or troll gives me a jolt. I know that, eventually, I’ll get used to it but still. *shudder*

Pour allez a la banque, s’il vous plait?

A frank admission: I’ve no sense of direction, in game or out, so at the moment I spend absurd amounts of time wandering around Silvermoon City and the like, trying to find <whatever>. I swear the guards are /sigh-ing when they see me approach

Anorak: “Excuse me, could you possibly direct me to the auction house”
guard [sighing]: “Again sir? This is the third time you’ve asked me today. Are you sure you can’t remember?”
Anorak: “Sorry… er, yes. Sorry. I forgot. Sorry.”
guard: “Fair enough sir. As you’ll see from my badge, which reads ‘Auction House Guard’, you are in fact standing in the doorway of the auction house, asking for directions to the auction house. Again. So, the auction house is … right here, sir.”
[Anorak has disconnected]

Who did that?

Probably the biggest obstacle to leveling in SAN is the guild itself. Or rather, the guild chat channel. I was killed multiple times last night by the gnolls I was hunting because I was busily scrolling back up the chat history to find the starting point of some particularly entertaining conversation thread. I’m thinking I may have to customise my interface so I can make the chatbox stretch the full height of the screen. It’s a shame WoW doesn’t suppose multiple monitors — it would be wonderful to have the chat channel up on a secondary screen. Hmm, must see if there’s an add-on for that.

It’s been great fun so far, and I even managed an RFC run for the very first time. I didn’t think to screenshot it but Issy did. I’m not in it, but I’m going to repost it here (hope that’s ok!). The run broke apart moments after this, when some of us had to log off, leaving poor Tamarind with a smidgen of XP required to equip his new sword, but it was great fun.

I might not be in this screenshot but *yay* anyway
I might not be in this screenshot but *yay* anyway

Lots more to follow, I suspect. Bring it on.


>> This is a copy’n’paste job from the “How did you get started in WoW?” thread on the Single Abstract Noun forums as it would make sense to include it on my own site somewhere. Phew, link-fest.

Oh lordy.

Towards the end of July last year (2009) I was at a barbecue at a friend’s house, making food and chatting with with the friend’s sister’s boyfriend. Sis and her boyfriend had just arrived from Australia for a visit and we were having a fairly typical we’ve-just-met conversation: jobs, interests, etc. He was an eLearning specialist at a university in Melbourne and was very interested in using virtual worlds for education, so we ended up talking about Second Life, Habbo Hotel, the failed Google project “Lively” and finally, WoW.

I’d never played, but as a committed gamer I’d read plenty enough about WoW and decided that it wasn’t for me. Although I’m omnivorous in my gaming, I particularly love a good plot, dialogue and a bunch of other things not notably well done in MMOs. I’d tried two or three hours of Everquest (yawn) and Eve Online (pretty, but double yawn) and found them severely lacking. Plus, why would I pay a monthly fee to play a game?

A week later I was poking around in HMV on Oxford Street looking for something new to entertain me that evening and found the Battle Chest on a shelf marked “Sale: £10″ and decided to try it, so that the next time I had a conversation with someone about virtual worlds I could tell them why WoW was a waste of time from first-hand experience.

It took *hours* to install and patch — I foolishly allowed vanilla WoW to patch itself before installing BC, so ended up repatching all over again. I decided enough was enough and went to bed without playing. The following day, a new patch was released (3.2) and so when I arrived home and went to sign in, there was another interminable wait while it downloaded and installed. Not a great start.

Long before the end of my trial period I already knew that a) I was wrong, and b) I’d be subscribing. From the achievements list I know I did my first instance a couple of nights later (Deadmines, inevitably) but only a further five before hitting 80.

I’ve no idea how much time I’ve put in now as I’m too scared to type /played. I’ve an 80 ret Paladin in t9 who can do very little else until I find some way of raiding (my guild keeps teetering on the brink, then running off to do something crazy like creating a copy of itself on the other faction), a late 60s gnome mage I’m levelling almost entirely through LFG, and a serverful of low level bank and storage characters. My Google reader account is jammed full of feeds from your blogs, and I even have an in-development wowblog of my own.

And now I have a fresh healy belf paladin called Anorak on AD.

TL;DR: I’m newish and a converted skeptic. Also, babblemouth, I haz it.