Retrospective posts seem to be the order of the week around the WoWBlogosphere, and this is no different. I have so many great memories from both classic WoW and BC that when I sat down and went through my screenshot collection I was just overwhelmed. But as I sit here looking back, I also have my eye to the future and what the expansion holds for me. I thought perhaps you might like to get a glimpse into the evolution of Seri. (And yes, these are all screenies of my actual characters!)
It all began with a Forsaken Priest. I came to WoW from EQ, where my favorite chars were a Cleric and a Ranger. I thought healing was the best thing ever, so when I got together with my spouse (though we hadn’t married yet back then!) and some buddies to play WoW, I rolled a Priest on Blackhand. Sadly, this char only made it to level 25 or so because my interest in playing was somewhat greater than Mr. Seri’s. Also, our leveling buddies swiftly out-leveled us because we were only playing a few nights a week.
It’s probably a bad sign that such is a rather alien concept to me now.
Once I was playing WoW more often (and had fully made the switch from EQ) I rolled a warrior on Whisperwind, where a bunch of folks from my EQ guild had settled. Why a warrior? I’d tried warriors in EQ but found it frustrating to do much of anything without a healer around. Warriors in WoW are much different, and I initially liked mine a lot. Although I have always had a horrible case of alt-itis, I leveled this char all the way to 40-something before my next big distraction came around: Roleplaying.
I started a new character on Scarlet Crusade shortly after it first opened, because as a long-time Roleplayer I wanted to see what Roleplaying in WoW was like. I don’t remember why I picked Mage for my first char on SC, but… it stuck. I started out playing there one night a week, but over the course of a few months I was hooked and eventually made the swap full time. I loved the flavor that Roleplaying added to the game, and I met a lot of new people that made my journeys through Azeroth so much more engaging. I began to write stories about my characters and build backgrounds for them. What fun! My Mage was my first 60, and the first char I ever raided with. Of course, this was back when raiding Stratholme and Scholomance was all the rage. Yes, that’s right… we used to take 10 people in there at the same time and thought it was challenging.
I also made my first foray into larger scale raiding with my Mage. I joined a community raid group (with Jov and some other folks from our guild) and took my first steps into Zul’gurub; I still remember how nerve-wracking that first trip was. Little did I know what a big role raiding would play in my future, once I got used to it! My Mage made it as far as MC before I just lost interest in her. Part of it was having someone who had become a good friend to me quit the game, and part of it was an inferiority complex regarding another good friend who is hands down the best Mage I have ever had the fortune to play with. Have you ever met someone who just got their class on a level so high that you felt completely and utterly outclassed? Yeah, that was me. I’m sad to say that even when I picked up my Mage again in TBC I just couldn’t make a connection with her. She never made it past 66.
Leaving the Mage behind wasn’t terribly hard, because I was completely and utterly enamored with my Druid. I had leveled her quietly after my Mage hit 60, just for something to do and because Druids seemed neat. Little did I know! I don’t remember having as much fun leveling any char as I did leveling this one, and it was mostly solo at that. Somewhere in the 50’s I developed a crazy fondness for Balance. This was before Moonkin form, even. I was Balance before Balance was cool. When I started raiding with my Druid, it was pretty much game over for my Mage. She quickly turned into my main and was for a long time… probably the longest of any of my mains to date. With her I saw MC, BWL, AQ, Naxx… all primarily as a healer because that’s what our raid group needed. It was my Druid that taught me to love healing again, after so much time spent doing other things.
It wasn’t until BC launched that I went back to my Boomchicken ways, and I remember being just blown away at the difference in how the spec played with the new talents. Over the course of my Druid career I did it all… caster dps, melee dps, tanking, healing… I loved being a hybrid, someone who could fill any role even if tanking was not my favorite thing to do. (By this time I had transferred my old Warrior over to Scarlet Crusade and finished leveling her.. if I needed a tank, I tended to prefer to use her!)
And then a funny thing happened. Ok, well, it wasn’t particularly funny but as my interest in raiding became more dominant and my interest in Roleplaying dropped to pretty much nil I decided to join a raid guild. Well, to be fair, I was already a member of said raid guild, but it was a Horde guild and I was just a part-time raider. I decided to take the plunge, make the switch and be a full time Horde raider.
I had created and leveled Seri back when BC launched, leveling her alongside a friend who had basically made a swap to full time Horde. (I mentioned the alt-itis, right?) It was a part time gig for me, much like my Mage dabbling back when I was test driving Roleplaying. The result was similar too. My enjoyment of my Priest came to rival my enjoyment of my Druid, to the point where I was able to set my Druid aside and fully embrace la vida Priest(a).
The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, here I stand at another crossroads. The dawn of a new expansion is a time when raiders think about shifting roles and doing something different. Although I still love healing (and my Priest), I feel like the time has come to do something different for a while. And so, on this day when we all (or most of us, presumably) take our first steps into Northrend, I’m going to be taking my first steps with my Rogue instead of my Priest.
Why? I like to stab things. But, more than that, after playing a healer for so long playing a Rogue feels rather liberating. The only buffs I have to worry about are self-buffs. I don’t have to rez anyone (jumper cables not withstanding). No one complains that I didn’t heal them fast enough to keep them alive. In general, my having an off night shouldn’t mean the raid wipes on farm content all night. It sounds like Nirvana to me.
But fear not, gentle reader, we’re not going to be turning World of Snarkcraft into the Holy Priest and Rogue hour. I still have a lot of love for my little Priest, and I’ll continue to share my Priest/Healing knowledge and perspective with you every Thursday. I hope that you all have as much fun leveling to 80 as I intend to. Just remember, as you venture out into the world of launch day queues, crashes and highly competitive questing, the best way to tag a mob when there is a lot of competition is SW:D.