Category Archives: thoughts

Gettin' Philosophical

Recently, Bell over at 4 Haelz had a rather heartfelt post about why she can’t get too excited over Wrath of the Lich King… one of her quotes is:

Perhaps some of it is the impermanence. I can’t get interested in anything that I know might be gone or changed or revamped or whatever in days or hours or minutes. Perhaps some of it is that it is possible my class (whichever class at that time I happen to be) could be much less important to the raids, and it’s a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche.

Now I guess what I want to say here is: I understand perfectly where you’re coming from.

It’s really hard for me to really seriously play poor Tawyn and Lunapike and “the gang” because it feels like I’m dancing on a cloud or something, and it’s ready to dissolve at my feet.

But that last line there really hit home for me, “It’s a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche.

Blizzard is taking my shot rotations away. Let me explain that. Shot rotations are one of my favorite aspects of the hunter class and one of the things that really, at the time, sort of set me apart from a lot of other hunters. It was always this intuitive thing for me. I got Tawyn to level 62, got Steady Shot, went out and killed a mob and after I’d killed that one mob I knew what a shot rotation was. It has always been instinctive and natural and a matter of pride that I knew what it meant to weave my shots in the correct order and timing, and that a few other hunters actually came up to me in game and asked me to explain the concept to them.

Blizz is taking it away, and while I fully understand their reasons for doing so, and it will certainly mean an increase in hunter DPS– I sometimes feel like I’m sitting here clutching my security blanket tightly, knowing that any day now Blizz is gonna come and take it away for good.

But you can’t have your blanket forever, or you’ll wind up strung out on bedspreads.

So I decided that change was necessary, it happens and we gotta evolve with it. I’ve accepted it. Some stuff I like will be going away, it’s true. I was on Beta the other day and spent about a half hour battering away at those training dummies, trying to figure out a way to salvage the shot rotation playstyle, but it’s not there anymore, it’s button spamming from here on out.

But you know what? There are a ton of fun new abilities to play with. I am madly in love with the new Disengage. It puts you back at range instantly. I love it with a passion and have this little “aww man” moment when I try to use it in Burning Crusade now and it doesn’t do anything. I love the new pet stuff. I am digging the way the new Kill Command almost works like a backup Intimidation.

But most importantly… I still love “huntering”.

Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand… I don’t care, I’m still free, Blizz can’t take my class from me.

I went out into the wilds of Northrend and it was just us. Tux and I. We’ve been together since he was level eight and I was level ten. Tux patiently taught me what it meant to be a hunter. Even when I didn’t feed him at first because I didn’t know I was supposed to. Even when I didn’t teach him Growl because I didn’t know about it. Even when I ran around Raptor-Striking stuff and letting him die. He has been there the whole time. And in the Beta the other day, for those fleeting fifteen minutes before the server crashed, it was just us running around experiencing the wonder of an all new world and all new stuff to learn. Just like the old days.

Huntering is alive and well.

It is still a really scary thought in many ways. For a while now, I have been a hunter teacher, and knowing that I have to become a student again is sort of a scary proposition. It will feel out of place. But then Boozsha said something interesting. He said, “Well when WoTLK these 70 blogger hunter masters will have to start leveling(most likely). It is going to be great to read these post about them leveling again.

Now euphoria from being mentioned in the same breath as BRK and Drotara aside, he has a really good point. We have a lot that we can teach to each other and learn from each other and it’s exciting.

And that is why I am embracing Wrath of the Lich King. Is it gonna be scary? In many aspects, yes. Is it going to change a lot of things I was really comfortable with? Yes. I do admit that in a lot of ways these last few weeks before the 3.0 patch are gonna have me feeling like The Kiwi*, spent simply pewpew’ing stuff in casual Heroic and Karazhan jaunts and reveling in my last flight of the 2.0 hunterdom I finally feel like I have mastered after working on it for so long. But unlike the Kiwi, I have more flying left to do.

I’ll see you in Northrend.

* If you can get through that movie without tearing up, you are a stronger hunter than I. /reaches for box of Kleenex

Give a hunter a fish…

…and he can feed his cat once. Teach him to fish, and he can feed his cat for a lifetime!

…okay, so that’s not really how the saying goes, but I’m sure you’ve all heard it and know what it means.

I am here to talk about why I blog about hunters, and why I make “hunter kindergarten” posts, and things like that.

I try my best to write readable and easily-understandable Hunter How-To Posts because I think that there is a very big category of hunters out there that fall between the category of “good hunter” and “huntard.” These are the people that are spec’d something cookie-cutter like 41/20/0, have gear that is at least mostly correct (no spell hit gems or shammy gear *shudder* … but maybe going too overboard with one stat or something), and yet do not know why they are doing these things.

I have been in heroics with hunters who show up with a solid spec and a solid set of gear and then they start tossing random Aimed Shots into their non-existent rotation and Serpent Sting stuff they should be trapping. I’ve seen hunters that use the Auto/Steady macro and have no idea WHY it does so much DPS, they just know that it DOES, so they spam it, maybe with a bow that is several speeds too slow.

Now do I have anything against these hunters? Of course not, I was there once too, and I’m sure I’m still there in some aspects. That is why I write what I write, and that is why I advocate hunters learning to weave their shots manually before switching to the macro (if they choose to do so)… because it’s all about the foundation.

I’ll never forget how surprised I was one day when this story happened: I popped into game and four of my guildies were in a Heroic. I asked who the fifth member was, and they said a PuG’d hunter. I asked how the hunter was doing (I tend to ask that… I’m curious), but instead of the typical answers, which are always either “He sucks” or more often “He’s okay, but…[something]”, they told me “She’s actually really good.”

I got into Ventrilo and popped into their channel just to listen in, and chat a little. I had just got my Choco-Bow and mentioned how fluid it made my shot rotations, and the PuG’d hunter said “Hey, what shot rotation do you use, if you don’t mind me asking?”

… /blinkblink

Another hunter was actually asking me about shot rotations. And we actually had an intelligent hunter conversation about them.

MADNESS, I tell you!

That’s never happened to me before outside of blogs. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me in game and ask me for shot rotation advice, which I have always very happily given those who ask… but actually having a little discussion about it was new.

Since then, that incident has stuck in my mind, and it reminds me about why I write. Because incidents like that should not be as rare as they are. I shouldn’t have to be surprised when my guildies say they PuG’d not just an okay hunter, but a very good one. I shouldn’t have to be taken aback when somebody wants to discuss shot rotations with me.

I’m part of the “WoW Noobs” community over at Livejournal, where I can give advice to newer players (Heck, if you look back far enough, you can find a level 20 me asking what the meeting stone outside Deadmines is for), and I’ve noticed that new players are attracted to the hunter class like a magnet. This means that we, as hunters, have a big responsibility. Learn why you are spec’d what you are spec’d. Why you’ve picked one talent over another. Learn why your shot rotation is your shot rotation. Then, pass it on.

“But Pike, if everyone is a good hunter, won’t that put you out of a job?” Maybe, but teaching-for-make-benefit-glorious-class-of-hunters is more important. Besides, I seem to have lucked out and I currently hold a monopoly on the hunter class in my guild. It’s true, almost all of the other 70 hunters in my guild either /gquit, permanently started playing non-hunter alts, or disappeared entirely. It’s really kind of odd and I’m not sure whether that’s says good or bad things about me, but… hey. >.>

For the… well, nobody says Alliance, do they?

One of the things that has always intrigued me about the World of Warcraft faction division, is that most of the people who play Horde are very, very firmly and patriotically “For the Horde!” Whereas a lot of Alliance are rather less enthusiastic about it– they like Alliance, yes, but they don’t go around posting “FOR THE ALLIANCE” as every other comment in a WoW YouTube movie or proudly proclaiming it on their website, whereas a lot of Hordies, well, do. (Note: I know this isn’t everybody… just the majority, in my experience.)

As somebody who really, truly, honestly enjoys playing both factions equally and is actually fond of *gasp* all of the races (even gnomes… actually I have a secret here: I adore gnomes. If gnomes could be hunters I’d never play another race), I’ve always found it interesting that there is that distinct difference there, and that Horde players get so much more excited about simply being Horde than most Alliance players ever do about being Alliance.

Now, I’ve heard all the out-of-character and out-of-lore reasons. I’ve heard people say that they simply like the aesthetics of one over the other, whether it be the look of the races or the look of the places. (Somebody once gave me “Elwynn Forest is a lot prettier than Durotar” as their main reason.)

And yes, I’ve heard the ever popular “People are more mature/friendly on [insert faction here].” Honestly my views on that last one is that it really comes down to what server you are on, what server type you are playing on, and the people that you encounter, as I have had both very positive and very negative social experiences on both sides of the faction fence. When I worked at a video game store for a few months this past summer, one of my coworkers told me “Alliance has the immature little kids, and Horde has the immature adults, it’s just a matter of which ones you’d rather put up with.” Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I agree with him (I tend to assume the positive about people anyway), but I am saying that he sort of has a point in that you are going to find immaturity and negativity anywhere in the game– just as you are going to find some very amazing and friendly people anywhere in the game.

So as you can see, my views have long been very neutral and unbiased regarding this issue. So it sort of took me by surprise when I realized over the past few days playing a lot of Horde alts, that Horde does indeed seem to have a homier, cozier feel to it. And I think I may have pinned it down (for me anyway):

I think it’s the NPCs and how they react to you, and the things that they say. The Horde NPCs have a very “fatherly” sort of quality to them. Taurens will tell you “be careful” when they put you on a windrider, and they sound so genuine when they say it. Same with the orcs when they tell you to “be safe”. Even trolls, when they say “You relax, mon”… yeah, it sounds so funny, but it also really is strangely relaxing. The Horde sounds like they are concerned for you.

The Alliance NPCs are more distant. Friendly, yes, but in a very formal way, especially with the humans and night elves. Dwarves are up-front and happy and tell you to “Keep your feet on the ground!” but it seems more… like a “best buddy” type of thing instead of a warmer familial thing. Really I think the closest the Alliance comes is with the Draenei, which is fitting since an unusually high amount of die-hard Horde players that I’ve come across admit that they quite like the Draenei. I think that maybe it’s because the Draenei has that same caring “aura” that you get with the Horde.

When it comes down to it, it just seems to me that the Horde is really about being “a family” and as this is sort of subconsciously represented throughout the game, it rubs off on the players and the players become a family as well, and this leads to a healthy amount of hometown pride. Alliance isn’t so much a family, it’s much more independent. I’m not saying that’s bad… I’m just saying, the Alliance’s faction allegiance is not going to manifest itself quite the same way the Horde’s does.

I think I am always going to be a Stormwind girl at heart; it’s where I was raised on the game, it’s where I’ve met my best in-game friends, and I simply love the aesthetics of the Alliance locations. And I know it’s seeped into my blood, whether I like it or not, because the other day when I saw some guy at work wearing a big Horde emblem on his coat, the very first thought that came into my mind was not “Oh cool, a fellow WoW player”, but “Oh crap, it’s the enemy!”

But I’ll be darned if it doesn’t feel good sometimes to log into my hordies and come “home” to the family in Thunder Bluff.*

* I have never really liked Orgrimmar for some reason. When I play Horde, I hang out in Thunder Bluff.

Why I'm Still Here

So firstly I just want to say that I am probably more amused than I should be at the fact that Google Reader is recommending me to myself:

Anyways, on to the meat of this post.

First we had Someone and now just today Laser Chicken, two great WoW bloggers who have decided it’s time to quit playing the game and move on with their lives . While it’s sad to see them go, I’m also glad that they’re doing what makes them happiest, and on top of that… it’s really just the nature of our hobby. As I’ve said in a few different comments now… I’m going to quit playing someday too. It’s not so much a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”. All the games I have ever been really obsessed with, I have eventually stopped playing (or slowed down enough that it can be considered “over”; with WoW you get more finality than with other games because you actually have to cancel your account and then you can’t play again until you re-subscribe.)

Lemme tell you a little story. Before I played WoW I played Neopets. A browser-based cross between virtual pets and an MMO. Now despite this game’s reputation as being just another kiddie site, let me assure you this is a very deep site with legions of adult fans. It has an economy the intricacies of which I’m sure are more in-depth than WoW’s. It has an astonishing amount of stuff to do and an astonishing number of goals to accomplish, goals which can often take months– or more– to reach.

I played this game every day throughout the day (being a browser-based game, you could multitask and play it and do other things at the same time, which was nice) for probably about a year and a half or two years or so. What really got me hooked was the money-making aspect. There are a few different ways to earn Neopoints and I earned mine through restocking; refreshing a shop page every few minutes, buying up all the items and then reselling them for more in my shop. I got good at this. I could tell you what the best deals were to resell. I could tell you what the rare ones were that you could nab. The economy was changing constantly and I had to deal with that and I loved the challenge.

This was all really fun at first. I had one goal I was working towards: I wanted the rarest most expensive Neopet in the game. It would cost about 2.5million Neopoints.

It took me a year.

One year of restocking. One year of playing games. One year of scrounging up every last Neopoint I could get my hands on. And then I did it: I got him. The rare dragon-like Draik. It was an immense accomplishment for me. And yes I know it sounds super-dorky. But I was really proud of myself.

I kept playing for about a year after that, because after I’d accomplished my main goal I’d sort of gotten greedy and there were dozens of other goals that I wanted. I wanted to collect all the avatars I could. I wanted to collect all the special sidebars that I could. I wanted to get as many trophies as I could on my user lookup. I wanted more Neopoints so I could buy the second most-expensive Neopet, and so I could paint all my Neopets rare fancy colors.

And as time went on… it quit being a game.

It became a job.

I would log on in the morning and do my dailies and maybe half-heartedly play throughout the day to get my allocated 10,000NP (my minimum amount of money I’d allow myself to make in one day) and then I would just be glad when I was all finished for the day. I was no longer having fun. I was merely playing for two reasons: a.) to maintain my status as a successful Neopets player, and b.) because I’d made some friends who I would chat with on the chat boards.

Finally this past May I started playing WoW. I continued to sort of play Neopets after that… less and less… recently my Premium Neopets subscription expired (you can play the game for free, but Premium nets you a bunch of benefits). I chose not to re-subscribe and I haven’t played since.

I look back on it and at first glance I see a couple years spent playing an online game, making online currency, so I could make some pixels on a screen look nicer than they do by default.

…but ya know what? I still feel some of those accomplishments I made in an online game were legitimate accomplishments. I set a goal. I worked for that goal. I achieved that goal. Yes the goal was merely fantasy, pixels that aren’t tangible. But the process of working hard and achieving something is very real. That feeling of accomplishment has stuck with me. I don’t regret the time I spent playing Neopets. I learned more about supply and demand than I ever did in school, I made new friends, and I learned that if you can put your mind to something you can accomplish even the most far-off-sounding goal.

When I started WoW I determined that I was not going to let it become a job. I was going to take it one day at a time, enjoy exploring the world and playing it how I want to play it, and then when I got tired I would quit. And that’s how I’ve played it. I’ve met lots of amazing new people and made new friends. I’ve found something that I can take pride in (playing my hunter). I’ve learned a lot about teamwork and group work… more than ever before I feel like I know what it means to work as a team, simply because of what I’ve learned from when I do an instance. And this will sound strange but because of WoW I feel like I have a new way to connect to my siblings (all of whom were WoW players long before I was) and my boyfriend and I also have a multitude of new things to talk about. If I do start to feel overwhelmed, I take a break. Usually the feeling passes pretty quickly.

“But Pike, it’s not real. It’s just a game.” Yes. But without launching into a whole ‘nother essay about why video games have helped me become a better person, I’ll just say that I read somewhere that it’s not that playing video games or enjoying other hobbies is a bad thing. It’s the time that you pour into something that you could be evenly distributing with other things. I play WoW a lot. I read/write about WoW a lot. Yes. But I also have a job that I enjoy, family and a boyfriend that I hang out with, and even the occasional forays into the outside “social world” (I have never been a social person, so honestly, it’s not like WoW has gobbled up my “social time” because I rarely had any “social time” to begin with. =P) However, I will say I’m glad I waited to play WoW until after I graduated university. (Quite glad!)

Anyways, the key is in variety and if you can maintain that variety and that balance then you’re doing good.

Will I quit playing WoW someday the same way I quit playing Neopets? Yep. I’m going to try my hardest not to let it burn me out the way Neopets did though. And I can tell you that all the benefits I’ve reaped from WoW and other video games are benefits that are going to stay with me. The game world is not real, but the people you meet are and the things you learn and the feelings you have are. So try your best to make your experience a positive one. It’s a game– have fun. =D

Gettin' Stuff Done

I had a pretty productive day today in WoW.

For starters, my little hordie Lunapike hit level 38 and I decided to wander off to Westfall in the heart of Alliance territory and give solo’ing Deadmines a shot:

Ooooh, shiny stuff for my mount fund!

Aaaand, there ya have it, solo’d at level 38. A new record for me, because Tawyn solo’d it at level 41 (being primarily Marks-spec’d at the time.) Other then a few bad mistakes I made on Mr. Smite, and a VanCleef fight that was nearly too close for comfort (let’s just say my health was down to about 5%), the run went quite smootly and I got a lot of stuff out of it that I was able to put in the Auction House. (Hehe, and did you notice the mini-Tux in a few of the screenshots? I love it.)

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Lunapike lately; I’ve been playing her a little more often and I’ve been inspired with new character ideas for her, roleplaying-wise. I think I want to write a short story about her. There is a special meaning behind her name afterall, I bet you didn’t know that. Well two special meanings behind her name; one of them is in-character and one is out-of-character. I’ll have to talk about those in a future post!

The second thing I did today was net about 2500 honor in PvP on Tawyn, thanks to randomly winding up actually in the middle of a few Alliance EotS premades (and yes, a few good old-fashioned hard-earned games as well) and EotS being the PvP daily. I now have 100 AB marks and 100 WSG marks, which is the most you can carry, so I’m gonna stick to EotS and AV for now– sort of sad because AB and WSG are my favorites, but eh. Some of my guildies almost talked me into blowing nearly all my honor points and 30 WSG marks on some good pants… almost… in the end I opted not to because I didn’t want to spend that much honor, now that I’m finally on the downhill side of the grind for my crossbow. If I decide to be superhardcore I might even have it next weekend, but I’m certainly not going to be holding my breath!

The third thing was a guild clear of Mechanar. We did pretty well, I think, considering that only one of us had ever run it before. Sure we had some wipes, but we also seemed to manage to pull off some crazy miracles on what otherwise might have been even more wipes. Having us all on Ventrilo has been a big help also. There’s little I find more intense in this game, than something going wrong on a pull and somebody tossing out some crazy idea over voice chat, and then having it actually work. I even got to do some emergency trapwork a few of these times, and I think I did a pretty good job of it, too.

So now I’ve got the first half of the Arcatraz key, and if things go as planned I will be getting the second half tomorrow. I haven’t gotten any “phat dungeon lewts” in a while so hopefully those are in the cards, but on the other hand, I’m really just doing these instances for the fun of it and for the whole experience of doing one. The loot is just secondary.

I have to say, WoW has taught me more about teamwork than any school “group projects” or even any real-life, money-making job. The only other thing I have ever felt so much teamwork in, was Orchestra back when I used to play the cello in school. There were times when you were playing music when you just really “got it” and realized that you were all working together, playing parts that all sounded strange alone, to make a beautiful song. Instances in WoW (and battlegrounds too) are really the same way.

I sort of had a realization today in Mech. Basically I checked the damage meters about halfway through, because I wanted to make sure I was doing okay, and because I won’t lie, it’s always thrilled me to be on top. But today when I looked at the meters, the first thing I thought wasn’t “Oh yay I’m on top /flex”. Nope. It was “Wow… look at how well we’re all doing.” The meters looked exactly like they should. Nobody was doing a bad job. Three awesome DPS/CC doing their job and an awesome tank doing his job and an awesome healer doing his job, and together we were clearing this difficult instance. It was really a neat moment for me to feel that same synergy that I haven’t felt since my Orchestra days.

And yet again I realize that a video game has taught me a life lesson. Now if only we can get more people in the general public to realize that games can be good for you! =P

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Endgame

Faeldray and Nina have both written very interesting articles lately about why they love the leveling process and are in no rush at all to get to 70.

My main response is both a very emphatic “Good for you guys!” and “I agree!” I have long been a proponent of “the game is here for fun” attitude; I’ve encountered way too many people who have made it a job or some sort of contest for weird bragging rights over who has leveled the “hardest class” with the “hardest spec” on the most “hardcore server”. There are people in my guild who enjoy running old-world dungeons like Scholomance for the experience (and not as in the “point” kind) and the fun of it. We’ve been accused before of being “noobs” for not exclusively running Outlands stuff instead. We shrug it off because we’re having fun. I’ve had people tell me that having an “easy-mode hunter” on a non-PvP server invalidates my skill in a the game or my hard work in getting to 70. I shrug it off because I love hunters and because honestly, if you think the type of server I play on in a video game determines my status as a person, then I’m not the one with issues. =P But the point remains that you will always encounter people like that who poke fun at your experience.

My mantra, which has been my mantra basically since I started playing, is this: Don’t let other people ruin your enjoyment of the game. I often find I have to repeat this to myself when I’m encountering others who are like this, or people who are being stalkery or overly-dramatic, or whatever. You choose to have fun when you play WoW. Don’t let others choose it for you.

Anyways, now that I’ve got that out of the way. As somebody who also really enjoys exploring the game world (it’s been posted on my blog sidebar since day one!) and who loved, and still loves, the whole solo’ing, quest’ing, and tons-of-alts thing, I have been inspired to write about why I’m rather enjoying the level 70 endgame. Because for the longest time, I didn’t think I would. I remember thinking “Oh man. I don’t want to get to 70. There’s nothing really to do at 70 except instances and PvP.” As I got closer to 70, I started learning more and more things that you could do, but I was still a little leery about it. However, now that I’m here, I’m quite loving it. Is it a different sort of game? Yes. But that’s why I enjoy it so much.

A few things I really like about being level 70:

1.) New Goals: One of the things I like about questing and leveling is being able to feel that thrill of getting closer and closer to your level and then, ding! The bright golden flash and you’ve met your goal. I love that build-up of progression and reward. For a long time I was afraid that I would really miss that once I hit 70. But the truth is, it’s still there. It’s just in a different form. You have trade skills to work up. You have reputation to build up so you can get fun new things. If you like PvP, you have honor to work for so you can also get fun new things. If you like exploring, there are neat areas in Outlands that you can only get to via flying mount. You have awesome new quest lines that only open up once you hit 70. Heck, I’ve still got hundreds of quests left to do– good old fashioned solo’able quests– I was certain there wouldn’t be anymore of those once I hit 70 but I was quite wrong.

So many goals to set!! I love it. To be honest sometimes I’m overwhelmed with all I want to do with Tawyn but then I remember I’ve got plenty of time. I want to relax and enjoy the “Endgame ride” the same way I enjoyed the “leveling ride”.

2.) Class Variety: And an Even Better Enjoyment of Alts: Bear with me on this one because it sounds kind of weird. Basically, here’s the deal. I don’t know how it is with other classes, but with hunters, the mechanics of how the class is played in PvE change dramatically once you hit level 62 and get Steady Shot. As the levels continue to go by and you get Kill Command and Aspect of the Viper and (to a lesser degree) Misdirection and Snake Trap, the mechanics continue to change until eventually you are playing your hunter entirely different. I’m not exaggerating when I say that if you took level-60-Tawyn and lined her up besides level-70-Tawyn and asked them each to kill a mob… after the initial Hunter’s Mark/Pet Attack, these two hunters would be played entirely differently. Different shots. Different shot rotation. Different timing. And possibly a different method of holding aggro on the pet. Furthermore, if you were to inspect the gear of these two hunters, you would even see some differences in what each one is “focusing” on, in terms of stats.

“What does this have to do with anything, Pike?” I hear you asking. Well, here’s the thing. Pre-level-62 hunters and Post-level-62 hunters are so differently played that it’s almost, but not quite, like playing another class. I’m sure most of you know by now that I can really only play hunters. I would like to be able to mess around with other classes, but they just don’t feel homey and cozy enough to be a good fit and I end up coming “home” to my hunters. But with the differences between an old-world-hunter and an Outlands-hunter, I can experiment with two different types of playstyles, almost two different classes… both of which still possess that wonderful familiarity of hunterness.

My alts are even more ridiculously fun to play now than they ever were. Why? Because I love being able to jump between two playstyles of hunter like that. I love being able to hop from Tawyn to Lunapike and I love the fact that they are played differently. It’s interesting and fun. And what I’ve learned (or re-discovered) on one lends itself beautifully to the other. Once Lunapike hits 62 I’ll start focusing on another hunter (alongside my original two of course), because I always want to have one that is in those lower-levels, so I can always have that “bounce” going on.

3.) The people: I’ve never really been too much of a “people person”. Oh I love my friends, but I was always one of those shy-loner types who really hated doing, say, group projects in school. I think this is a big reason why for a long time I shied away from doing group quests and instances in WoW. (The other reason was that people in PuGs tended to yell at me when I was a newbie, and that made a really big negative impression on me.)

But I can’t say enough good things about the people I have met in this game. I have made some great new friends through my guild and through “sister guilds”. We all do instances together not just for “phat lewts”, but because we enjoy doing it as a social activity. It’s fun to all work together for some common goal, knowing that we will be immediately forgiven if we make a mistake or are still learning.

Our guild recently decided we want to give raiding a shot. Why? Because we know how well we work together in five-mans and how much fun we have. We just want to try bumping it up a bit in intensity level. If we fail, that’s okay. We’re trying in a safe environment– that is, with good friends– and in the end we all just want to have a good time… that’s the whole point of the game.

So… there you have it. The confessions of a girl who initially figured she would have absolutely nothing to do at endgame and has been proven wrong. Now, I’m not say

ing that any of you will have the same experience as me. Nor am I saying it’s bad if you end up not liking leveling, or not liking endgame (I’ve met people who have tried both and strongly favor one or the other.) The main reason I wanted to post this, was to give newer-WoW-players who are maybe somewhat like me, a look at what types of neat things they can expect at endgame when all they ever hear about are the hardcore arena-people or 25-man-raiders. Level 70 is not just for those people, and don’t let anybody tell you that is. You play the game the way you want to play it. The way it is most fun for you. If going into instances and doing the highest DPS gives you your kicks, then do it. If sitting in the warm sun at Ratchet and going fishing is your thing, that is a just as valid a way to spend your $15 a month. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. =D