Warcraft: Hardmode

I joined what could best be described as a semi-hardcore raiding guild this past week.

My first encounter with hardmode was a really black and scary feeling that you can't do whatever it is you are setting out to do. Almost a paralysis. This gripped me immediately/ and completely. I had been in the guild no less than an hour when the first invite to a heroic raid had been given. I was farming, and the spawn points weren't in the right places - and I felt strange and awkward on a new server. And it was a raid that I'd never done before. So now, the first time I would ever see it would be heroic mode. I wanted desperately to do the raid, but at the same time - I knew that if I jumped in, I'd kill everyone. I declined. But the feeling of fear - that conflict between wanting to go, and knowing that I should not - made a big impression on me.

I guess it reminds me most of that key transition point we all make, as raiders - when we're newly levelled. Normally a player will be in nominal gear, with few enchantments. The regular instances he or she has run - change radically. And you have to convince yourself that you want to do them. You find yourself scheduling things that get in the way, put them off. Finally, you make it.

But how? I decided the best thing to do would be to prepare. My goal in warcraft had been to login, only to raid. But I decided that I needed to make an exception. The next heroic raid invite that came, I took. And at first, I was honestly amazed that the raid leader would even allow me in. I was very upfront about the issues regarding my character. A heroic world of warcraft raid requires immense damage per second output, sometimes as high as 40,000 damage per second. I think I was pulling. What. 11k? But on this encounter, we cleared and downed the boss - a clean kill, and we won bonus EPGP (earned points/guild points)! And that made all the difference for me. I knew from that point on, I could do this.

I managed to stay in the group, and we moved on to the next encounter - which was was one that the guild had been trying to accomplish for almost two weeks. Heroic Maloriak.

This was an encounter, that I had asked questions of - regarding strategy in the forums - they had been getting pole-axed in the last attempts. For two weeks the guild had been trying to down this boss. That night, the guild and raid leader decided a new strategy was in order. And I was going to be there on the first pull! I managed to do what I was supposed to, but we ended up in a wipe. Those that followed I developed a problem called 'lag', which kept me from moving. I ended up taking massive damage + was moved back out of team two and onto team seven. There was nothing I could do about it. And like a green player, I was on the bench. Which was sort of ok with me.

The first thing I did , was take off to a lake somewhere and went fishing - and while I did so, I checked my framerate. 18 frames per second at rest. That was the reason why I was lagging. I was allowed to stay in the raid and listen to the encounter.

The strategy - after literally hours of attempt - ended successfully and the guild achieved success. Listening, I felt as if the guild unlocked alot of response to mechanics that are going to be in other fights, and it's going to be a fun experience in progression. I also learned alot more about raiding.

Hardmode is a new experience for me, but I'm quickly learning to face fear and work through it. It requires a bit more dedication on my part - not so much in time, as in focus - I need to solve my problem. Not anyone elses. Coordination and mechanics are useful, but only in these sorts of modes do you discover what you need to tune in yourself. And you're responsible for that.

Which, in this case, for me, means a new computer. (and a new graphics card, like an Nvidia 400 series).