Friday, April 11, 2008

My Characters: Let Me Show You Them, Part 1 (Greenhammer pre-TBC)

I suppose it's only fair that, as a gaming blogger, I say a bit about my characters so you'll know where I'm coming from. This may take a while.

I wasn't in the closed beta for WoW, but during the various open stress tests and open beta I was able to level every class in the game to about level 10-12 or so. My favorite at the end of that time was the Paladin. At such low levels, anyone who can equip a 2-handed weapon can look forward to decent amounts of damage, and Pallies have arguably the most survivability of ANY class, especially in that level range. And so, Greenhammer, human Pally of Hyjal server won the footrace to become my first main.

In many ways, life was good. WoW was new and I was experiencing it for the first time. I became a blacksmith/miner, perhaps not fully appreciating the cost/benefit of that decision. Like most fledgling Alliance Pallies in those early days, I took the appearance of a giant hammer - a quest reward called Verigan's Fist, as a sign that I should work with two handed weapons as a retribution spec (with 10 points in Holy for the nigh uninterruptible heals). Problem is, I found it boring. Back in those early days, Retribution DPS consisted of pushing three buttons, waiting 30 seconds for your seal to run out, and repeating (unless you needed to stop and heal). At level 40, fresh off my free mount (100 G was a really large barrier in those early days, it's funny that now it's less than an hour's income at 70, and as a result a new character can easily obtain the needed cash by selling stuff people want for their alts, but back then that free mount was a HUGE deal), I respecced Holy to become a Shockadin.

Holy spec was definitely more interactive than Ret felt, but right around that level range the amount of HP mobs has rises significantly, and the Pally's already low DPS doesn't quite keep pace. Moreover, there was almost no spell damage gear in the game at the time, so the base damage of Seal of Righteousness what what you got. I lasted about 10 levels. I hit level 50 in March of 2005, bored out of my mind. At this point, I realized that I was going to need Arcanite Transmutes to continue leveling blacksmithing (which I still had not recognized as folly). This prompted a fateful decision.

As an aside, I met up with some folks on the forums at World of War . Net and we formed a guild called the "Part Time Addicts" when the game launched. The guildmaster played a Shaman, but his wife played a Pally. The Guild Master quickly developed the impression that Pallies were overpowered because - from watching his wife play - they were so hard to kill. I'm guessing he either didn't notice or didn't care that they took so long to kill stuff that it was quicker to play another class that died occasionally; perhaps the regular combat was too boring to watch someone else do it. Well, this guy was nothing if not opinionated, and unfortunately we had another Paladin in the guild who was ALSO opinionated. The two fought over whether Paladins were too powerful, somehow the guildmaster's wife got mentioned (/facepalm), and somehow my very first online gaming guild ever literally broke up over a "nerf Pallies" argument.

The folks who were left debated reforming the guild (dubbed the "Hylanders", after the Hyjal server), but ultimately decided to join a guild called Typhon's Eye. I wasn't sure about this - TE was large and seemed to be planning to go on to endgame group content that didn't interest me. But I didn't have anywhere else to be, so I followed them. Well, a week later, TE merged with another, similar sized guild called Phoenix Syndicate for the purpose of getting large enough to raid. Though I'm not sure if I ever officially passed whatever membership requirements TE would otherwise have put me through, this merger effectively grandfathered me into what became the largest raiding guild on our server.

But that is another story.

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