Fitting in – am I ready?

lilThe standard guideline for entry level raiding is that if you can heal a heroic, you can heal a Naxx 10-man. According to Too Many Annas, it comes with the provisor that the tank has defense capped (540) and that you select “DPSers of assorted types (at least one melee and at least one caster) that combined have at least 10 braincells and a modicum of situational awareness.”

Violet Hold was my heroic of the day yesterday. I have attempted VH on heroic three or four times, but when you join a group and the mobs from the first portal are still very much alive by the time the second portal opens, you know you’re screwed. I’ve gotten as far as the last boss only the first time I ran it almost 6 weeks ago whilst still mostly in level 187 blues. It was a very nice improvement last night to run it again mostly in level 200 epics. In fact, it was a breeze. The tank was defense capped and excellent at picking up all mobs. The DPSers were neither wonderful nor awful and other than an initial fumble on Xevozz, easily fixed by typing one line in party chat to get the strategy across, it went well. I even got the Lockdown achievement. Naxx shouldn’t be something I need to worry about.

Matticus provides rough ready figures: 1550 spellpower (bonus healing) and 700 mana regen. I have 1658 bonus healing and 822 mana regen, so 10-man naxx should not be a problem, in fact, 25-man Naxx shouldn’t be a problem.

At the moment I’m spending a fair chunk of time playing warcraft and it shows. I am starting to struggle a little with boredom, farming for hours is mind-numbing and although I still enjoy a little bit of fishing, I have started to make money with alchemy rather than herbalism. I have started to pick up a few bad habits that I am not sure I want to keep. I installed recount. I have left a group after a couple of wipes because I didn’t think the DPS would be up to the task. I have left a group after a couple of wipes because I didn’t think the tank was skilled enough. Every time I heal a heroic run that goes smoothly, I become less inclined to stick around inside the runs that don’t. Wiping is demoralizing and spending three hours in a heroic is probably as far away from fun as I can imagine myself being.

I don’t want to be one of those players that think they’re better than others. Me, who died in Gundrak hc whilst everybody’s health was at 100% and so was my mana, but I forgot to heal myself. Me, who completely panicked a couple of days ago when I had not configured bartender correctly and so my action bar disappeared when I turned into skeleton form for the last boss fight in Drak’Tharon Keep. I panicked so much that I stood in the poison cloud and died very quickly, causing a wipe. It’s difficult to find other players with similar skill and play styles. I know that most of the time, I will be pugging with a wide range of players with different gear and skill sets. Some will be more experienced and better geared players whilst others will be less experienced and worse geared and I want that to be okay. I don’t want to get caught up in the game of judging other players. I don’t want to spend my time either criticizing or being criticised for not being good enough or geared enough. However, I also don’t want to spend my time wiping again and again and only having a huge repair bill to show for an evening of entertainment. Finding the balance is turning out to be a complicated endeavour.

I think I have found a good spot to fill for the time being. Five heroics are left on my to-do list. Naxx 10-man healing is going as well as can be expected and hopefully 25-mans are not too far off in the future. I just wish I was happier. I realize that what you get out of the game is pretty much what you put in and if my in-game time is not spent the way I want to spend it, it’s up to me to fix that. As I participate more I find that playing well with others that play well are actually much easier than at first imagined. Pugs can be fun, but I still want more from Warcraft. I want to be challenged more. The VH heroic run last night was fun, but it was a little disappointing that I could carry on multiple conversations and deal with three or four interruptions of whispers asking ‘wanna come….?’ whilst doing it. I miss the challenge. At the same time, I am still anxious over the novelty of  content I haven’t seen and worry about times when joints go wrong and I screw up the easy content completely. But the boredom wins out over the squirming. My personal ready check? When I can heal an instance whilst either chatting on vent or listening to music on my iPod, I’ve gotten a little too comfortable.