Monday, December 29, 2008

What defines a 'main'?

For the few people with too much spare time that have been following my blog, you've probably noticed that I've focused a lot on shaman stuff recently. Hopefully not exclusively.

Some time ago, I had three healers at lvl 70, priest, druid and shaman. I have several times been tempted to speed-level my paladin to 70 as well, but have resisted so far.

When I first started playing WoW, it was in May about 3.5 years ago. A friend "recruited" me. This was my first serious MMORPG. I'd tried both Ultima Online and Anarchy Online, but neither game really caught my interest. I had no clue what a tank or a healer meant. My friend was a night elf druid on Silvermoon (EU), and I also had a few other RL friends playing on the same server/side. (By the way, I have to give him credit for persisting his balance druid when Hurricane was still the 31-point talent.)

I made a gnome mage. But hey, no pigtails, no pink hair. White hair, which I've always been a sucker for (though I'm not awfully fan of drows, if you're wondering). I got to about level 14 before abondoning her. Then I made a dwarf priest. You know, the reason I chose a priest is that I wanted to Resurrect all those bodies lying around. This was at a time where a body would lie there forever if a player logged out while dead, which I found out when I got to level 10. After ressing about 20-30 times without a single success, I learned that it was pretty much pointless. Now I always use the /who function before trying to res someone.

My priest was abondoned at lvl 12, when I realized how bloody immature most alliance players are. In addition, Silvermoon was a "normal" server, which meant people talked crap all the time. I rerolled a tauren druid on Earthen Ring (EU) (RP-server, RP-PVP servers didn't exist yet), and made it to lvl 30. On the way there, I'd participated in starting a possibly legendary RP guild, learned a lot about instancing, and blown out a lot of temper on fellow players. I regret the last part. That's why I deleted the druid in favor of a troll priest. Which I deleted and started a new troll priest because I didn't like the look on the first one.

This new troll priest made it to lvl 60 eventually, but it took a loooooong time. In fact, I logged out outside inns/cities to not get rested XP, so I could have fun with the trip to 60. I was also a casual player, so I had a lot less playtime than the rest of the guys in my guild. Sadly, most of the guys dropped out, one after another. I know a few guys from my guild who still play, but none of the hardcore RPers. I believe RP was dying 1.5 year after WoW launch. Well, except for the total Drama Queen RPers and ERPers, both of which I tend to stay far away from.

I also earned my first raiding experience, raiding Zul'Gurub. Through some strange coincidence, that was also my first experience with problems regarding raidleaders. In retrospect, I made a lot of mistakes, and insisted on stuff I didn't reallly know too much about. But then again, my raidleader was far from perfect. In particular, I was annoyed that we spent so much time on Mandokir each evening, instead of moving on to the mandatory bosses. But no, we needed to gear up. But why would we gear up on a boss that's considered by many harder than the last boss? Bah.

At some point, I started an alt an another server, a newly fired up RP-PVP server. Ayeba, my current tauren druid. Around lvl 50ish, I paid for a transfer to Earthen Ring. I got to 60 just before Burning Crusade hit the shelves.

Interesting fact: I queued to buy the game as the store opened (not the midnight opening, just a regular store opening at 9.00), but waited almost a month installing the expansion? That's how busy real life can be, sometimes.

The first thing I did in BC was rolling a blood elf paladin. Like many other priests, I was tired of being squishy, and looked forward to the EZ mode healing paladins were in vanilla WoW. I was incredibly interested at first. Heck, I even skilled up cooking and fishing as I levelled. My interest lasted until to somewhere around the 30ies, then I was totally fed up with being a pally. Boring! Soloing as a pally is completely void of any button-pressing. It was slightly fun to level as protection and taking on packs of mobs, but it was still held no entertainment value.

So, back to my druid and priest, whom I took some time to level. At some point I rolled Kirba, orc shaman. It was just a result of a bit of shaman envy, but I didn't spend too much time on her.

My druid hit 70 first, but not too far ahead of my priest. I had severe trouble deciding which to stick to, and ended up doing a lot og PVP gearing on both. In the end, though, I lost interest in both, and levelled my shaman instead.

Another interesting fact: Ayeba (my druid) had alchemy 130, I never bothered to skill up further. But since she had herbalism, I got stack upon stack of herbs. I was too lazy to sell them at the auction house, so I just stored them at an alt. Guess who suddenly got a use for them when 3.0 arrived with Inscription. I skilled up to 360 in about a week, with almost no grinding involved.

Me and my wife also spent some time on our alts just after 3.0 arrived, while everyone else went crazy, including my pally. I haven't spoken too much on the rest of my alts, but I got a warrior at 37 (from the time I wanted to be end-game tank), a mage at 23 (which I haven't levelled since vanilla) and probably a dozen characters between 10 and 20. All of them are priests, shamans, paladins and warriors. This is another tendency: I want to be useful. A tank is useful. A healer is useful. A dps is techically useful, but there are often a dime a dozen on LFG.

Observation: Just before BC arrived, I hit 60 on my second healer. Just after LK arrived, I hit 70 on my third healer. If we follow that, just around the next expansion, my pally will hit 80. At the moment, I doubt it, but I shan't deny that it might happen.

Now, for what was originally the main point: Since I hit 60 as my druid, I've had a lot of times when I've announced in the guild that "This is my new main". Many of those have been after both hit 70. I don't want to do the mistake once more. What is a main, anyway? I'd say it's your main investment. While it's nice to gear up alts and stuff, the main is whose going to end up with the most playtime after switching.

All three characters have now set foot in Northrend. My priest as discipline (51/10/00), my druid as feral (0/51/10), and my shaman as resto (0/11/51) so far.

Experiences? My priest has great dps and good healing, but lives and dies by her mana. Drinking is inevitable. She's not good at handling multiple mobs. And hard mobs? Forget it. Part of the mana trouble could be solved by speccing Spirit Tap, though.

My druid also do great dps as kitty and got great survivability as bear. Squishy as heck as a kitty, though, more than my priest (well, d'oh, my priest shields all the time to get mana returns from Rapture and avoid loosing casting time). And healing as feral? Forget it. 3xLifebloom ticks for 98 each second. If I need to heal out of combat as a druid, I bandage.

My shaman, on the other hand, has nowhere near great dps, but no downtime. And since I hit 71 and got Shamanistic Focus, I can throw out shocks at every cooldown without risking going oom all the time. Easy mobs? Lightning Shield, collect a few and Chain Lightning (with the 2-set bonus from the Tidefury set) between shocks and melee. Hard mob? Earth Shield and we're set. Elementals for even tougher guys. Low on mana? Single mobs and Water Shield.

With that said, I've been intending to respec for some time. But I know that 3.0.8 will bring a free respec for shamans (it always does when they reduce the talent point cost of a talent for a class), which might or might not be worth waiting for. Further, what to respec to? Elemental? Enhancement PVE? Enhancement PVP? ... and so I wait a bit until I set my mind.

Now, for the question of main... it was after I spent time to skill up my cooking to 375 that I realized I may have already made the choice. My priest has both cooking and fishing skilled up, but not my druid. Taking the time investment to skill up my shammy might mean something. My priest still has more achievement points, if that counts for something. But Kirba has overtaken Ayeba in achivements.

I also intend to make a Death Knight sometime, but I'm too much in love with healing in PVP to ever make that my main.

I intend to keep levelling my shaman until otherwise decided. But is Kirba my new main? I don't know. Possibly.

1 comment:

  1. "...looked forward to the EZ mode healing paladins were in vanilla WoW."

    Sorry. I have dim memories of those bleak times, when leveling and soloing as holy was hell (uphill in the snow barefoot both ways hell as compared to the only slightly frigid uphill both ways with socks on hell it is now). I remember being turned down as a healer in groups for priests and _druids_. And I remember pushing the same 2 buttons over and over and over and over in MC, BWL, AQ, and Naxx. Strangely enough, fewer buttons =/= easier. The grass is always greener though, eh?

    Cheers to those of us crazy enough to have more than one healer. I should respec my druid tree just to add to the effect, but she's so CUTE as a kitty...