So... I can type again! Sotra'... and I just lost my virginity tonight... raid virginity! You dirty scoundrels, I know this is a WoW blog... but give me some credit peeps! Cheezus!
They say everyone one remembers there first time, right?
So I invite n00bs to gather round and the 1337's who only read this to humour me, to remove your tinfoil hats, and equip your rose tinted engineering goggles. Remember how you felt your first time?
By ways of explanation; Crag, my main, Dwarf Hunter, while still sworn by blood oath, to The Allegiance, is currently lending his gun and his faithful hound Stout, to service in The Earthen Pantheon, and is on the steepest learning curve of his vertically challenged life. In order to get this newbie 'ready for raiding' the Pantheon are giving kindly spending their time and advanced theory crafting to pump his DPS and teach where to be and when to be there. The Allegiance members are helping him stack stamina but developing his thick skin, heckles abound! … I jest, there is nothing but awesome characters and vibes on both sides, and it is with such support that I found myself taking on my first taste of the best WoW has to offer. I raided!
Black Wing Descent and Bastion of Twilight where to be the scenes, a crowed of, technically, random strangers talking in my ears, called out the directions., raid makers went up, targets where tagged... all in all it echoed back to my West End theatre days watching stage managers block out their actors and set up the scenes about to happen.
While we're using comparisons, I realise the big grin on my face now is the same one that was last seen and felt when I was back in Secondary (High) School, as part of the Football team* …yes, at the risk of turning in my geek card, I used to play team sports. It is that same experience that Blizzard has captured in raiding, and in 2 years of this game I have never realised it would be so much fun even when you're wiping. Uniting 10 team mates on a common goal, complex tactics needed to achieve collective goals, all the while your comrades cheer you on, suggest the next play, and share the banter. It is a communal feeling that my years of PUGing and console online gaming had made me believe would never exist in a video game, (news flash, not everyone online is a dick! I know...right?) and reminds me completely of the post match victory feeling in sports.
In fact Blizzard has essentially tapped back to our feral (for the dr00ds out there) instincts and pitted 10/25 men against the great beast... armed with finest Dwarven guns, rather than flint spears, a united pack of men surround a colossal beast and work together to bring it down, through a combination of greater intelligence and technology.
It's a great feeling, you've made friends, you've worked together, you've overcome a great challenge... and hilariously I can't help think as we all spread out and throw out some range DPS on Valiona, that we look a bit like a group of Neanderthalensis surrounding a mammoth, focused on keeping everyone clear of the feet and tusks and bringing the big bad down for all that it might do for the tribe. (but out spears are Epic 356 yo' )
Maybe I just play a hunter to much...
But I don't find it a surprise that the feeling of team achievement and camaraderie that we've all felt from a WoW raid, taps the same brain-spots as team sports, and just maybe, our old hunting instincts.
Here's to a lot more raids with the patient, friendly folks at Earthen Pantheon, and to the day all my friends, online and in person can join in the WoW players Cup Final that is raiding the latest expansion, 25 friends pulling together to down that mammoth... er... I mean fire breathing black aspect of death... obviously...
everyone has to start somewhere right? And no one forgets their first time, here's hoping Socials remember to invite along teh n00bs and that, of course, y'all...
*no, ours is football, we play it with a ball at our feet, yours is Hand Egg, you play it with an egg, in your hands. (and body armour)... simple really, there is no soccer, no one plays sports in their socks.