I once read that blogging is a form of conversation between the blogger and their readers. If that’s the case, I’ve been lagging on my end in a major way. For months, all you’ve gotten from me is a distracted, “Uh huh, uh huh. Yeah, I gotta go.” And “What patch again?” Real life intruded it’s ugly tentacled head as I’d known from the beginning it was going to with moving and house-selling and new-job-for-pally and oh-crap-no-new-job-for-me-yet and vacations and general exhaustion. In the midst of all this when I’ve logged on to Warcraft at all it’s been to raid or to poke around with secret alts so that I can’t possibly be roped into conversation/instances/dailies with people I know. As a result I’ve actually attempted to PvP which has been interesting and even entertaining occasionally (newsflash Alliance: Horde doesn’t actually have it all together like we always thought – and they complain about the Alliance being favored, too!) I’ve read all the usual blogs and a few new ones (Hello, Miss Medicina! Wonderful work you’re doing!), but I’ve been the silent stalker, rarely putting a toe forward to actually comment. In the world of patch 3.3 discussions and Icecrown speculations, I’ve felt like the kid who started watching Lost in Season 3 – completely adrift and confused. And I’ll admit that I wasn’t helping myself out by doing my usual research into what was actually going on. (Yes, I do research, even if that research doesn’t make it onto the page. Doubters.)
So there we have it. That was me, logging on last night post-patch to join up with my Fantastic Foursome and a guildmate to have a go at the newly added 5-man content. We brought our Damn-We’re-So-Hot mains that have been to 25-man ToC and Ulduar and back (not to mention downed Freya this weekend with all 3 of her treefriends still up and being annoyingly helpful to her.) We set the level to Heroic and even managed to zone-in – a significant improvement on Patch Day instance attempts. I cranked up a bunch of ’70s rock and buffed my party, and we went forward.
And. It. Was. Awesome.
We rocketed through The Forge of Souls, wiping once on the incredibly irritating-voiced Devourer due to my clever use of getting-stupidly-caught-by-massing-souls-and-getting-killed to avoid healing the encounter. (And how crazy is the graveyard location? Half of our group got lost trying to find their way back to the instance in ghost form.) We shot through the Pit of Saron where we learned that Jaina may be willing to save our little group, but she’s mostly cool with letting a lot of other people die so she can get her hands on her former lover to save him, destroy him, or just tell him how well she’s been doing so she “wins” the breakup.
And then we reached the Halls of Reflection. None of us had read up on anything or had any idea what to expect. We were skipping merrily along and then Jaina did a runner on us, doors closed, and formerly happy spirits went berserk all over the room. Plus they were casters. My pally was close to hyperventilation trying to round them all up as our helpful DPS kept hitting everything. My tree limbs were working overtime trying to keep everyone alive and unpoisoned and uncursed and dear-god-what-the-hell-is-happening-there-are-more-of-them?! We made it through the first boss encounter and then wiped as the next onslaught of angry spirit waves hit. We came back in, rebuffed, got healed up, and wiped again. And then some more. We finally got wise, my pally figured out what to pull in where, I stopped giggling at my Corehound pup‘s antics, our DPS waited a breath before attacking, and boom, it was on to the next. We raced with Jaina to the exit, had a stupid we’re-so-tired-we’re-just-mashing-buttons wipe, came back, finished the thing with health and mana to spare, and were saved at the final hour from Arthas’ “Oh yeah, Jaina? Well, I’m fine without you, too. In fact, I’m dating again! Her name is…Icy…Icy, um, Ghoul-leg!” wrath by a fun little deus ex machina.
And in the middle of it all, something amazing happened. I remembered why I loved WoW. I found the challenge and the laughter and the fun again. Because the truth is, while I have a great time raiding, my true love for my everyday play is challenging 5-mans. With Tazha. Just a little group, pitted against the world, dodging icicles and toxic splats and angry undead in order to save the day, or at least give a big collective raspberry to the bad guy.
I’m sorry I let the conversation lag. I can’t promise it won’t ever happen again…the holidays are coming, and they bring family and friends and less time for talking and playing. But know that I’ve been there, listening with half a ear the whole time, giggling at your jokes, worrying about your sorrows, thinking of responses I haven’t had a chance to say. Thanks for staying on the line. 😉