Friday, January 13, 2006

Sure, no pressure

Last night I went into Zul'Gurub with a group formed mostly by a guild I have raided with before. Their guild leader is one of my favourite role-players on Argent Dawn, and there was some question about letting me enter the guild. So, of course, one orc chick with a different flag and 19 of the same clan, who do you think they were watching?

I didn't screw up too badly. I almost got all killed right upon entering, by hitting a magma totem. Bad. I had not considered how crowded the entrance to that instance would be, and the totem ruined the mages' efforts at keeping the enemies sheeped. I was also too busy figuring things out to remember to transform it to a firetongue, or even frost resistance totem. Well, when I died it disappeared, so suicide was an option.

I managed to do a couple of close-up-to-fighting resurrections. Being a mail-clad healer has advantages, and the raid system allows one group to be in combat while another is not. Only time I have done in-combat resurrections, but it worked!

Ctra is a great MOD, but I need to work more on how to use it. At the moment the use I have for it is to find out who are the targets of main tank and main assist. I don't heal much and I don't lead, so I don't need to know who has a soulstone available and who doesn't.

Did some right things at the first boss-fight, and role-played a little while waiting for it. My friend wanted me to interact with the others, overcome my fear of spamming the different channels and become visible to the rest of the group. Since hunters in game are as proud of their pets as hunters in real life, that was not too hard. Then next boss fight, and I was feeling that I had started to learn how this worked. Kill small bats, then kill bigger bats. Spam with frostshock. Get out of the way when people yell "clear". Don't touch the jinxed vodoo piles. I also managed not to mistakenly claim any loot - not even the nice purple-lettered hauberk - or spam the different channels.

The group only got through two bosses. At the next bossfight - called "bat lady" - we got wiped. Not my fault this time, nobodies' fault, just bad luck. I reincarnated, and started resurrecting other characters. But have you tried to pick out a singular corpse on a battledfield? They say it's hard. I believe them. The rule is: res ressers first, but who are the shamans and priests? CTra can probably be modified to show class on the screen without opening another window, but on my screen they all just said DEAD. After a couple of mistakes, resurrecting a hunter I thought was a druid and then the druid I was looking for, rather than a priest or a shaman, I started to get the hang of it. I had to check in the normal raid window, then look around for the person I needed to res, then do the same again. Trying to target them through clicking their icon didn't work, as they were mostly at the opposite end of the battlefield from me. I kept getting "that target is too far away" - of course after a 4 second casting period.

This was second try at the boss, I was feeling like a complete idiot, and I started getting whispers saying: "People are forming opinions about you. Roleplay!" When I watch sports events, journalists push their microphones into the faces of athletes at all the worst moment, expecting them to be eloquent. I had just done a tricky task in a half-assed way, the situation was spammed with OOC comments and actions, and if I really was Agirra, the most realistic thing to do would be to pee in my pants or something similarly non-heroic. Anyway, gathering my rp-wits about me I wrote one emote, trying to sum things up in a satisfactory common-sense manner. Lo and behold, the whispers changed. Talk about back-channel pressure.

Too bad the others weren't there when I did the kind of stuff I really like - role-play with plenty of time to enjoy what goes on. The guild-leader and Agirra went off to a balcony above Orgrimmar after the battle, to drink and talk. Agirra went from philosophical to argumentative to happy to sappy and then to falling down drunk. I have to say: I'd never have hired a half-assed, drunken mercenary, but the guildleader player and I were giggling on our backchannel.

I realised that I don't need the pressure of perfect performance and reputation. I have got a lot to learn about how to play my character, need to gather a whole new set of equipment, and certainly need lots of experience in dieing in new ways before I become a good endgame player. But the fun part was getting drunk while totally bewildering one of the forsaken with Agirra's wild passionate orc nature.

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