Everwrath left a comment on my blog from yesterday, basically saying it sounds like I'm enjoying the game again. This got me to thinking. He's right. I am enjoying the game now, and I wasn't before. I think before the game was more of a chore to pass the time, now it is fun.
There are a lot of things that contributed to my previous situation. I think the first was my chosen role of tanking. Tanking is a stressful, difficult, thankless job. Lower level instances don't drop tanking gear, but you are required to run them to learn them, because you can't tank content you aren't at least familiar with. Every group needs a tank, but it is the most difficult, tedious role to gear up for, and unlike DPS, there is no running with insufficient gear. Basically, tanking sucks. Blizz has tried to do things to make it less of a pain, made tanks do more DPS, easier to level, made lots of craftable tank gear, but in the end, tanking is the roughest role to fill in the game. However, this is not a post about past experiences.
If your only experience of the "endgame" was lousy, your overall opinion of that content would be that it sucks and is not fun. In the real world, jobs that are more difficult and stressful get rewarded (they make more money). In Wow, rewards are generally random or equal no matter the role. Mr 800 DPS in heroics gets the same amount of emblems as the tank or healer. I will honestly say that my experiences as a tank colored my experience of the game. Going back to TBC, gearing for tanking was ridiculous and then you had to know every fight and have control of every situation. I was burnt out. I needed something else.
I turned to alts. My love of many of the classes in Wow is well documented. I've also written many posts about how leveling and instancing are completely different. Finally, it all fell into place for me. I got my Shaman to 80, picked up Elemental/Restoration and started getting geared. I will admit, I had a much easier go of it than I would have. I pretty much skipped the rep grind (I wanted exalted with Wyrmrest Accord and Ebon Blade for their mail items) by running trial of the Champion. However, unlike the Paladin whose DPS spec I didn't care for and felt somewhat unnatural, the shaman DPS spec is FUN. I can blast multiple mobs with chain lightning, I can hit lava burst crits for 9k.
I wrote yesterday that before I knew it, I was geared. They say time flies when you're having fun, they're right. I've been running a ton of stuff on my shammy, both as DPS and as heals, and it is a ton of fun. For example, last night, I healed a timed CoS run, we did the run, I won the drake. The run itself was a TON of fun (even though the cat druid and retardadin kept attacking whatever and taking tons of damage), the drake was just icing (I dont even have 300 riding yet to ride it, working on the gold to buy that, damn dual specs). For the first time in the game, I feel like consistantly at the end game, I'm pulling my own weight.
Another interesting facet of playing the shammy, when I log into the game, and I think about who I want to play, shammy wins. I log into my pally to do my jewelcrafting daily (sooo many patterns left to buy), but I don't really have the urge to play one of my alts. Even my warlock who needs one level to get to 65 (so he can learn northrend enchanting) and my priest (who is dual specced discipline and shadow) don't hold the appeal they did while I was leveling. I want to log into my shammy and do dailies while I wait in LFG. Really, if I could do CoS, VH, and maybe UP/UK every day, I would be fine with that and have a ton of badges. I passed on the heroic daily yesterday, I think it was Old Kingdom, I am not a fan of that instance. In a perfect world, the daily will be something like VH, that I want to run anyways, and just gives me some free triumph badges.
I also decided that with the addition of some enchants and gems, my DPS set is more than adequate. I have never wanted to top charts, as long as my DPS is "adequate" I'm happy. However, I was talking with my buddy Ruhtra yesterday and he brough up the fact that being the most effective healer I can will make me more likely to participate in raid content. This had never really been a consideration for me before because I can't/won't raid tank on my pally and I consider him scrub DPS. I don't even care if he gets DPS drops, he's just there to fill space. Not so with my shammy. So I've been taking a deeper look into how to use my badges to help my healing. I definately need the totem first of all. After last night, I have almost enough emblems for it. I think after that, I will buy the shield. I may head down to Venture bay and check and see if we hold it one of these days because I have more than enough coins for an Elemental totem from there that will be an upgrade (I'm using the level 60 one that increase SP by 33 for lightning spells, blech).
I think tommorow if I'm feeling adventurous I will link my shammy. I would love to get feedback on what gear I should be looking for as far as upgrades.
2 years ago