HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Getting Out of the Habit was Easier than Getting Back In

How time as flown by since I last (a) logged into World of Warcraft and (b) logged onto Hots and Dots. Strangely enough the opposite to what I expected has occured: World of Warcraft feels much unchanged and the WoW blogging community seems like a strange new land.

I must confess that even though I haven’t been logging much, if any, game time, I almost always skim through my feed read and will read the WoW posts that catch my attention. So many of Lathere and my blogging contemporaries (er… cronies?) have gone silent. Instead it’s a new crop of writers who are catching my attention.

And the one thing that’s most definitely become clear in my mind is that bloggers are writing about the same topics and quandries and general grey areas that have existed in World of Warcraft play since day 1. It’s still relevant. And each new voice brings a new perspective and new circumstances to the same dilemmas.

I wish that I was writing this post in order to announce CASSANDRI RETURNS TO RAIDING. But it would be a lie. I’m not even really writing this to say that I’m coming back to be a casual player. I’m still sitting on the fence.

I almost titled this post as “I’m at Peace”. I have a new understanding of all those government anti-smoking ads that encourage smokers to think about “life as a non-smoker”. You could stick a picture of me up there with “life as an ex-WoW raider” and I would say that the message holds true.

I think of myself as someone who used to play World of Warcraft.

I don’t miss the game at all. I don’t think about what I could be doing if I could just carve out a couple hours of uninterrupted game time. I don’t wish I had the titles that the new crop of dedicated raiders have. I don’t wish I had the gear, or the mounts or any one of those things.

I do really miss the friends that I used to speak to most nights of the week. I really miss what Lathere and I have achieved here: our blog – a place for us to ponder (or rant) our experiences in game.

The problem seems straight forward: in order to be part of the blogging world I need to write about game experiences. Thus, I need to play the game. Play with friends. Play with strangers.

But I can’t quite find a reason to log in. To log in and do… what?

I’m at a loss.

The truth is, I feel that I accomplished everything that I really wanted to during Wrath of the Lich King. I began the Burning Crusade with the regret that I didn’t pick the stupid box up a year earlier and had completely missed the chance to raid at level 60. I began Wrath of the Lich King with the determination to not just be a raider, but to be a serious progression raider who played with the best of the best and saw real achievement.

I did all that. I could do that again if I wanted to.

And I stuck it out when they announced Cataclysm’s release date. I became somewhat envious of players who had taken 6 month breaks mid-expansion only to return and catch me – surpass me – on the gear ladder. I intended to begin Cataclysm with a holiday. And to catch up as Tier 11 was winding down and Tier 12 was beginning.

The floods in January didn’t ruin that for me, but they did force me to quit for a short time and quit quite suddenly.

I blogged in January that we’d lost only the lowest floor – our study – and that we had been spared the worst. I’m still grateful that we can live comfortably, albeit cramped, in our home. But I also misguidedly thought that our insurance policy would finally pay out. I’m not in any financial position to rebuild with my own funds or even to take out a personal loan so I waited and waited and waited for an assessor then waited again for a decision from RACQ. Eventually they called me only to wriggle out of any obligation entirely citing that “rising river flooding” wasn’t part of the package. I have a nasty suspicion that rising river flooding coverage isn’t part of any RACQ package giving them free reign to decline all claims.

Please, I ask that you learn from my mistake: do not trust or pay RACQ to protect your assets.

So, unless I miraculously stumble across a spare ten thousand dollars I will be without a gaming den for many, many months.

That alone isn’t enough to stop me from picking up where I left off and becoming a raider again. But it’s yet another change. Another thing that separates me from the person I was this time last year so eager to conquer Icecrown Citadel twice over, heroics here I come. I’ve also celebrated a birthday, my 29th, and am attempting a pretty major career change. I’ve even cut my hair short.

I’m trying to complete some major achievements in my real life. And that doesn’t leave me with much mental energy to chase after achievements in my virtual life.

I’m not saying that one achievement is more important than another. In the long run who is to say what affects us the most deeply or for the longest time? I might be willing to debate that when I’m old and grey. But I do believe that when we lack the sense of achievement in our personal lives it’s only logical that we try and satisfy that drive with a virtual achievement in World of Warcraft.

You could say I ought to go “casual” but I’ve never really played World of Warcraft in any way than chasing achievements. And back before there was an official achievement system I had my own personal goals: kill this boss, understand the acronyms in that battleground, learn that tailoring recipe etc.

If I play Cataclysm at all, it will still be for the people – the friends and teamwork – and for the raiding.

Perhaps I need to draw myself into the lore of the Cataclysm raiding scene. I don’t know much about Blackwing Descent and Bastion of Twilight. I mean, I’m sure in the recesses of my brain I know a bit about the major baddies who are trying to take over the world. But nothing really springs to mind while I write this.

Perhaps I should draw my copy of Day of the Dragon off my virtual bookshelf. Or pick up a copy of The Shattering: A prelude to Cataclysm. I need a method to reconnect to the game. And I most assured do not feel very connected to my guild or fellow Alliance players on my server. You might think I’m mad to reconnect to a game by reading a book. Maybe I am and my plan won’t work at all.

I do finally understand why players re-roll new characters of the exact same class and spec as their main. I could see myself rejoining World of Warcraft as a level 1 Priest and a level 10 (that’s when you get to specialise, right?) Shadow Priest. I would be relearning the world in baby steps from the ground up. And still inside the very comfortable, if slightly unfamiliar, trappings of a Shadow Priest.

Both ideas sound silly. And if I’d suggested them to Cassandri on the 7th of April 2010 I know she would tell me to stop wasting my time! Then again, this would be the same Cassandri that spent approximately 156 nights in Icecrown Citadel without complaint.

I never said I was perfect :)

20 Responses to “Getting Out of the Habit was Easier than Getting Back In”

  1. CynwiseNo Gravatar says

    It’s good to hear from you, Cass!

    I had sewer line break under my apartment – twice – which flooded me out. It was then that I discovered how little insurance protects against floods of *any* kind. I’m so sorry that it hit you this way. :-(

    People change. Interests change. That’s a good thing! We need to change, and grow.

    And maybe we need to reroll periodically, just to keep things new.
    Cynwise’s last post: The Lost Puppy and the Girl Everyone Hates- Choosing the Right Demon for your Warlock in 406

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Yikes. Sewage flooding… can anything be worse? You’re right, I’m not going to rush back into WoW – when I’m interested I’ll be back. I’m still reading tons of WoW blogs so I must still be somewhat interested :)

  2. I hear you! I tried to get back into Cata but just couldn’t manage the changes and the time requirements. :( I loved raiding in Lich and miss it but feel oh so overwhelmed to think of what it takes to get back to raiding in a new expansion. :( I do think about playing because I enjoy just exploring the world in and of its self but I can’t justify the time nor the $15 a month. :( Plus, I’m about to birth a son soon and just know that game time would not happen with a new born in the house. :) Good luck to you! I’ll stick to reading as my pleasure now. Putting a book aside is so much easier than dropping from a raid.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      A part of me wonders if perhaps raiding was so accessible in Wrath of the Lich King that a good portion of players, myself included, also achieved all their goals during the last expansion and are less driven this time around. That said, I’m a bit out of touch with the new wave of raiders so I could be completely off!

  3. ScrewlewseNo Gravatar says

    I hope you do end up coming back mid-expansion. I think you will enjoy Cataclysm alot! And definately blog about it , if you end up back in the mix of things. :)

  4. ScrewlewseNo Gravatar says

    Yeah.. understood Jess. I have three of them and they aren’t quite at the age when I can WoW with them. It’s really hard to carve in time to play except the time when I should be sleeping. :)

    Oh and about the multiple alts being the same race/class… I think I could end up with 4 undead warlocks at 85 if I had my way. I’ve rolled every class / race cept worgen or rogue. I still love my original class and I rolled it at the request of a RL friend. :)

  5. DharmabhumNo Gravatar says

    “I’m trying to complete some major achievements in my real life. And that doesn’t leave me with much mental energy to chase after achievements in my virtual life.

    But I do believe that when we lack the sense of achievement in our personal lives it’s only logical that we try and satisfy that drive with a virtual achievement in World of Warcraft.”

    This is what brought me out of my RSS feed to thank you for posting this. I’m in the middle of attempting some similar changes, location only thankfully as I’ve got support from work to relocate, but it weighs on me. I enjoy playing even though I don’t raid regularly and only have a few friends left who game, but sometimes I think that its working against what I try to do IRL, with a move and changing some of my behavior, etc.

    So while I don’t have answers either, I do share the sentiment and I thank you for sharing some perspective.

    And best wishes that you can get your lower floor fixed up in good time, gaming den or not. Sucks that your insurance pulls out a technicality and won’t just be decent about it, but it seems like that happens more and more these days :-/

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Whatever you’re trying to achieve in your RL… I hope you get there! I find it strange that I’ve not actually accomplished this magical career change just yet – and I’m not really achieving anything right now *and* I have heaps of spare time: you’d think I was mad keen to succeed in WoW! Perhaps it’s more that we can only really comfortably handle one mental challenge or one life change at a time.

      It’s not as simple as trading a (boring job + WoW) for a (challenging job – WoW).

  6. WindsoarNo Gravatar says

    I’m sorry to hear about your den! Insurance doesn’t seem to cover anything when you actually NEED it.

    It’s odd falling out of the habit of playing a game. MMO’s are so different than more linear single/multi-player games that it’s actually hard to tell yourself that, no, I really don’t have anything new to do today than I was doing five days ago; however, once you break the patterns, it’s also hard to get psyched to get back IN, to take up the goals that lead to more goals, and to start the cycle again.

    As far as starting a new character (even the same one!) it’s an amazingly odd experience actually. Things that you pined for your first time around are now readily available earlier, while things that were common have been moved to far away levels!
    Windsoar’s last post: Negotiating Space- Guilds &amp Blogs

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Insurance is great in theory but it’s really a scam. I never thought that was a life lesson that I would learn (I’m also learning that a good lawyer is the only thing that gives you that “piece of mind” that every insurance ad peddles).

      I definitely feel that WoW has two play patterns: log in daily or log in weekly. I don’t fit either!

  7. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    Good to hear from you again, Cass!

    I am very sorry about your insurance trouble; that sort of crap makes me dislike them even more than I usually do.

    I can understand your ambivalence toward the game; due to family stuff, I’ve cut back my WoW-ing a bit, so I haven’t really had much of a chance to run instances at all. About all I have time for are BGs, which are –ironically enough– much quicker than your average instance pug.

    What I can say is that I log in to chit chat with people when I can: in the guilds I’m in, and over on Moonrunner with a few of the WoW bloggers that have alts there. Even then, I’m not typically on at the same time as a lot of folks are (Eastern North American early AM or lunchtime), so I just make do when I can.

    If you login to WoW and get some pleasure in talking to your friends, then the game is worth it. Slow and easy wins the race, and maybe you’ll find that by taking a lowbie alt on, you really do get to reconnect with the game.
    Redbeard’s last post: Blitzkrieg

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      If you’re like me you make fun of every single life insurance and funeral insurance ad that come on TV. Or perhaps American TV isn’t as infected with insurance advertising as Australian TV.

      I think I see about 10 insurance ads a day. Don’t you know that you’re an irresponsible father if you don’t get it? (rolls eyes)

  8. AppleNo Gravatar says

    People change, and if you don’t come back, I will miss you but I will wish you all the best. :)

    I levelled Lisan to 85, and… haven’t managed to really feel like I can play her. So amongst my many other alts that I’m fiddling with, I rolled a little baby paladin, who has specced holy. I feel like re-learning the spec entirely from the bottom up is the best way for me to feel at home in my +int plate again. :)
    Apple’s last post: The Wondrous Universe of Appleness

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Re-rolling is definitely tempting. It sounds like so much of the leveling process has changed now!

  9. AngelyaNo Gravatar says

    Those insurance bastards :( I can’t believe how many people I know who’ve just got nothing back.. it sucks so much when everyone assumed they’d get something back for it! I hope it doesn’t take you too long to get things sorted out.. you’re living back in your place now, I’m guessing?

    On the WoW front I’ve gone through a similar thing myself what with my guild going casual and many people going to play Rift. With my sproutling arriving I was pretty much fed up and burned out, but I did start a baby druid on another server and am really enjoying leveling up through the revamped zones when I get a chance to play these days.

    In any case, you’re allowed to have a break – I’m sure your guild will understand if and when you decide to get back into things!
    Angelya’s last post: The Plaguelands

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I did think about playing Rift … for about 5 minutes! Actually all of the reasons why I’m not driven to spend time in WoW apply to any new game: I don’t have ambition. I would pick up a new MMO if I wanted to make new friends. But honestly it’s my existing friendships in WoW that I miss.

      I am living at home at the moment. Every time that I see that new RACQ ad where the man speaks in his sleep and his wife says to camera “I used to complain about it but he does so much good now that I just can’t” I swear at my TV. So many people have been abandoned by their insurance companies. So many.

  10. StarchasersNo Gravatar says

    Unrelated to the dilemma of what to do on WoW, but to your problems with RACQ reminded me of this site: Legal Aid Queensland may be able to help you with the problem claim with RACQ – at the very least they can provide you with advice on what any other options that you may not have considered are. Good luck!

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