I spent this weekend engaged in what I am secretly thinking of as grinding guild rep. After all, I’m a firm believer in the notion that you can only get out of things what you put in (why does that sound like an innuendo when it comes out of my mouth?). So I sewed bags, helped out with quests, was relatively talkative although in the fluffiest way imaginable (shudder) over Guildchat and (dis)organised a SFK run. I was kind of hoping some of the people actually levelling would embrace SFK (assuming you could get your eager arms around it) but, as it was, it was me, M’Pocket Tank, and the twinked-up alts of 2 officers – which makes me suspect it might have been an Indulge This Crazy Person Who Wants To Spanner About Doing Old World Content I suppose We’d Better Because He’s A Guildie run.
Yep, yep, I might have just got a pity fuck from my Guild. Sweet but I am all about reciprocal experience.
It was competent and not entirely soul-less; at least the druid-healer was giggly, and, my God, it was about a hundred and eighty times better than your average PUG. The weakest link was probably, err, me. I was tanking and I’m not a natural tank by any means. I think I have an Arnold Rimmer perspective on WoW – my role involves being in the nice white tent on the hill, sipping pungent seal whey (eeeew) and watching the battle. Tanking is a bit too much like getting your hands dirty. Nothing too awful happened on my watch – the healer got munched by a wolf from behind, while I was concentrating ferociously on what was happening in front of me (rookie mistake!). But, to be fair, she didn’t come running towards me, shrieking “Get it off, get it off” which is the sort of dignified conduct that behoves a healer under attack, even if it’s only attack by midgies.
One of my first proper tanking experiences, her first time healing. We both need to familiarise ourselves with our roles I think. I need to maintain battlefield awareness at all times, she needs to take on like a hysterical hypochondriac more.
That worg, it’s looking at me funny! Heeeeeelp meeeee!
I stubbed my toe, I’m going to die!
Like I do when I’m healing.
Also, the first words out of the other guy’s mouth were (well, okay, I exaggerate, I think he might have said ‘hello’ initially) “this has been nerfed to hell anyway.” To give him his due, he was a perfectly decent player and not in the least bit obnoxious, except for the unlucky triggering of my personal bête noir straight out of the pen. We all know SFK has been nerfed. We all know WoW isn’t what it used to be (but was it ever what it used to be, eh eh?) but, by all the Gods and little fishies, I am so sick of people sneering about nerfed content just when you’re about to embark on it. I’m sorry to keep banging on about this and it’s possible I’m just over-sensitive to it these days but it really does drive me batshit.
I’m starting to think that maybe it’s just something people blurt out instinctively the way English people ask about the weather. There you are, standing by the summoning stone, the silence is getting a little awkward so somebody says “this is totally nerfed man” and then you’ve got something to talk about for the rest of the instance.
Was it PG Wodehouse or Oscar Wilde who said that’s why men propose to women? Because they’ve run out of conversation I mean, not because they’re standing around a summoning stone waiting to run SFK. I don’t think Oscar Wilde played much WoW. Although you never can tell. He’d probably be a Tauren. Bosie, of course, is a blood elf. Talk about the love that dare not speak its name. Mooooo.
The thing about whinging about nerfed content in the Old World is that, well, firstly it’s entirely pointless because, these days, the Old World is completely static anyway. Blizzard doesn’t care about it any more. It’s only looking to the future. It might as well be called the Zombie World. Or the World that Time Forgot. But this means that it’s infinitely flexible. Finding it too easy? Why don’t you take off those heirloom shoulders, eh? Leave the epic in the bank. Still barely worth your time? 4-man it then. 3 man it. Run it a couple of levels earlier. Have your pet tank it, have the whole group run it naked, do it while your character is so hammered he can’t see straight, do it while you’re so hammered you can’t see straight, tie one hand behind your back. Do whatever it takes to make it interesting again. Because the content is still worth doing.
Just … don’t … whinge … about … it.
I don’t mind people lamenting. I, too, miss the days when cc was a necessity not a hobby. But the thing about lamenting is that it’s something you share. You sit round the metaphorical campfire and sing sad songs about the death of instances. It brings you closer together. Talking about nerfs, on the other hand, is a way of emphasising distance and, of course, superiority. It’s WoWcockery, plain and simple. You turn up, you meet a new group of players and the first thing you do is whap out the WoWcock and slam it down on the table. After that, how can a less experienced player turn round and say, perhaps, they haven’t done this instance? How can you admit you wiped and gave up last time you tried it? How can you say Arugal always mullers you. He usually mullers me. Even though I know exactly what he does, and exactly what to do about it, there’s still that wonderful (I’m using wonderful in its alternative sense of fucking terrifying) moment when you’re screaming “I’M WORGLED RUN AWAAAAAAAY!” over party chat, and watching in helpless horror as you start wailing on the fragile DPS standing next to you while Arugal points and laughs, and the healer on the other side of the room has eight different kinds of apoplexy. Even though he’s a pitiful shadow his former self yadda yadda blah blah, I still consider Arugal one of the most interesting and challenging fights of the low level game. Killing him always feels like a job well done.
Ultimately, there’s only one way to respond to the whapping of the WoWcock. You have to get your own out: “yeah, totally, mate, I soloed this place with my 1st level rogue, armed only with a small knife for cutting fruit. I remember when WoW used to be challenging. Pffft.” And then two of you butt your WoWcocks together, like mighty shoveltusks locking antlers in the forests of Grizzly Hills. Because that’s fun. And never makes you look like a pair of pillocks. Sigh.
As if all this wasn’t bad enough, your instance run is now completely dominated by WoWcock (ouch). Instead of actually enjoying himself – which I always thought a major aspect of playing a game (the clue, I reckon, is in ‘play’) – the Wowcock Whapper has to focus all his energy on keeping it up. He can’t actually say anything, in case there’s a shadow of a possibility he might be wrong. And he can’t do much in case there’s a shadow of a possibility he’ll not be awesome. I wouldn’t care so much about the presentation of the WoWcock – if anything, it tends to remind me of a puppy off the lead for the first time, haring off into the long grass to return in huge puppy triumph with a stick it found or an abandoned crisp packet or a zombie foot or something – except it then just lies around, taking up space. It doesn’t do anything. You never get a WoWcock and then a blisteringly insightful analysis of the best possible strategy for taking Arugal with this particular group of players. You don’t get a WoWcock and a discussion of the current levelling spec for druids. You don’t get a WoWcock and good conversation.
You just get stuck with this player who expects to cruise tediously through the game on his own WoWcock, like a German tourist astride one of those inflatable banana rafts.gets