I'm sorry I've been off this blog for a little over a month but I've been lured back into a former relationship with World of Warcraft. Be aware that this isn't a post about how WoW ruins lives everyday or there aren't any beneficial effects from playing WoW, but a reflection of a few interesting things that I discovered about WoW and myself.
I first jumped into the game as a Human Paladin before I discovered there was life away from a computer screen during college. I was in awe with the class because it embodied everything that was "good" because it's role was to unleash retribution onto the corrupted while protecting the weak. But in reality the class was awful. My Paladin was essentially an invincible pile of dung because he had high survivability but wasn't able to deal damage or tank. However, there was one niche that paladins were able to fill in the early days - healing. Paladins had huge mana reserves with strong single-target healing, which in combination with their multiple-support spells, were excellent in dungeons and raids. Not surprisingly, this type of play style harmonized well with my D&D cleric affinity that Alex and Zach can attest to. Some people love playing characters that make faces explode and I love saving the lives of other characters. There's an amazing rush of adrenaline I get when I save someone whose close to the brink of death. My hands were synchronized to viewing everyone's life/status bars - ready to instantly dispel and heal. Hell, I ditched classes in college to play this game and I loved every minute, or atleast I used to.
Some of the biggest problems when you play a healer is that you simply are type-casted to being support. Before WoW allowed characters to have dual-specializations for talents, players were forced to spend massive amount of gold to respec between healing to whatever they wanted but I was stubborn (and Paladin DPS still wasn't developed well after 2 years). Doing solo-quests took excruciating amounts of time while it took my DPS friends a few minutes to complete. In addition, I made the horrible mistake of agreeing to play on a Player versus Player server, which meant I was constantly killed by Horde. Plus it sucks babysitting whiners - I was tired of being yelled at for the lack of heals people received during a boss encounter. I was done and left the game on bitter terms.
Fast forward a few years later and Cataclysm suddenly appears. I treated WoW like my cocaine. There was just no rational reason why I would jump back into a game that caused so much annoyance and was a virtual time sink. In fact, I threatened my boyfriend that I would break up with him the moment WoW re-entered our lives. But I was quick to change my tone after a quick rejection from medical school; I was ready to re-enter the world that had been changed permanently by Deathwing.
Before I came back, I decided that I had to make a change in theme with all the amazing changes Blizzard has made to the world. I decided to retire my paladin because he no longer represented what I wanted to be. Instead, I started anew and became a Worgen Warlock in order to and melt faces all day. Playing casual on a non-PVE server has liberated me from dealing with all the qualms in the past and I am enjoying every minute of it. Unfortunately I'm still far away from hitting the higher level content of Northrend and Cataclysm, but I'm sure as glad about one thing - I have no one's ass to worry about except for myself.