The lead up to Christmas is a crazy, frantic and busy time of year. Just as the teenagers get released from school for the holidays and suddenly have heaps of free time, the 9-to-5ers squeeze in party after party at night time and try and fit shopping and family commitments in during the day.
Routine? What’s that?
At the time when my guild officers announced that we were taking a break from scheduled raiding over the holidays I was relieved. During the last week of scheduled raids (mid December) I think I only was able to make one of the four raiding nights that week. There was no way I was going to skip parties but I felt a bit guilty at how quickly I abandoned my raid commitments at a time when it’s particularly difficult to fill 25 raid spots.
I’ve got family staying with me for a few weeks so I tend to log in and play when I feel like it. And I usually feel like playing when the house isn’t too hot, when everyone is watching TV, when I need a break from planning menus or worrying about how much milk is in the fridge and when nobody is asking me to make tea or coffee… and the distractions and conditions in which it’s okay to play go on and on. So yeah, at odd times of day for shorter periods of time. Definitely nothing like my regular play time!
When I do log in I like to do the random Heroic on a couple of my characters, play the Auction House and gather herbs. I also decided to buy all the Furious Gladiator gear for Cassandri (I thought it was a new clothes design, not just Deadly Gladiator’s Armor recolored in khaki and red – ugh). And it’s just not cutting it for me.
By Christmas night, not 2 weeks into my raiding break, I was climbing the walls. I found myself hanging out in Dalaran, considering joining any raid that needed just 1 more… Ulduar, ToC, Naxx, you name it. I listed my name for every single raid, 10 or 25, Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King in the new Raid Finder (which nobody appeared to be using except me). I just wanted to raid.
I did manage to join a Vault of Archavon 25 man PuG that night. I don’t actually need any gear from there so at best I figured that it might be a 0 wipe exercise. At worst a 20-30g repair bill. Raiding something, a 25 man at that, was better than nothing.
Two days later and I’ve managed to PuG Trial of the Crusader 10 and 25 man and I’ve won the final item on my ToC wish list. I’ve also done Obsidian Sanctum on 10 and 25 man. And Icecrown Citadel on 25 man. There are now tentative plans to do a guild run of ICC10 tomorrow evening for those not saved and it’s great to know that I can look forward to that… assuming that no social plans crop up in the meantime that take precedence.
If you took raiding out of the game, and I could only play like I have been the last couple weeks, running Heroics and working the professions and Aucion House, I don’t think I would keep playing at all. Suspend my subscription, please.
The good news is that I have experienced two absolutely fabulous cross-server heroics in the last week. The first one just had an absolutely amazing tank, like amazing! He was considerate in all the ways that counted (via actions) even though he said little. He was also just a very good tank and the one time that I pulled threat with Fade on cooldown he had taunted back the mob just as it raised its axe in the air to hit me. He also didn’t do silly or pushy things like run out of healer range or pull when I had no mana. I can’t quite remember the Paladin’s name… but I hope that if I somehow group up with that particular Paladin from Deth’ramar again I’ll remember.
The second absolutely fabulous cross-server heroic experience was for Heroic Halls of Stone and I queued with 2 friends. The Mage that joined immediately announced in party chat that he was just getting started in Heroics and apologised if his DPS wasn’t what it could be. Everyone was very nice during the run and when we finished the last boss the Mage asked “how did I do?” and when a damage meter was posted he made a comment about doing more “reading” and seemed a bit dissapointed that he hadn’t pulled higher numbers on the DPS charts. Unfortunately neither I or my friends in the group could offer any real advice on Mage-crafting but it was just so great to hear this attitude from a player anyway. Chances are there is always something you can learn, research, test or improve in your game play no matter how much you play or how experienced/inexperienced you are.
Is your guild taking a break from raiding? What are you doing to fill the time these holidays?