Friday, September 10, 2010

BA Shared Topic: Mementos

Wow...haven't done one of these in a long time...

This week FeralTree asks "What items or mementos have you kept (in your toon's pack or bank) and why? Whether it be keepsakes, quest rewards, special items, random drops, whatever! - why did you decide to hang on to it? What's its significance to you?"

I'm a packrat by nature. I hate letting go of things, even when I'm fully aware that they'll never be used or looked at again. This isn't just in regards to WoW. Everything in my life is that way. I have enough sense of self-preservation that I can muster up the will to go through stuff and get rid of it before it gets bad, but that's still usually well after the time that it should have been done.

In WoW this means that, about once a year, I'll finally manage to go through my bags and my bank with an indiscriminate eye and toss away everything that's absolutely useless.

The one thing that I'll never get rid of, though, is my T4 set. Those 5 pieces have a permanent spot in my bags.

TBC was released in February of 2007. I didn't get Saniel to level 70 until Christmas day that year. I was in a guild at the time, but on any given day, me and Norfin (I figure I can start using a name and stop referring to him as just "my partner") were the only two people online. There were others from time to time, maybe. I don't recall. Either way, it was unimportant.

A couple weeks later I decided it was time to start figuring out this raiding thing. I knew I needed to gear up in order to start raiding and I knew that heroics were the best way to do that. However, I didn't have a steady group to run with, and I'd had nothing but horrible experiences with PUGs in the past (both just trying to get into one and then the actual runs) so I wasn't keen on that route, either.

Instead I spent months grinding Honor in BGs until I was decked out in a full Epic PvP set.

Then I started applying to guilds.

At the time I didn't understand that PvP gear was mostly useless in PvE content. I had little or no concept of most group mechanics. I didn't understand about hit caps and the importance of being uncrittable, and how druids were supposed to gear.

I knew that, as a Feral, I was going to have to tank if I wanted to raid. Kitty DPS was still a joke. But I'd only ever really played as a cat to that point. I didn't know the first thing about tanking.

Note that, by this time, it was Spring of 2008.

Eventually I did find a guild of good people that ran raids on my schedule. They took me into some heroics to start replacing my gear with more appropriate stuff. They took me into Kara as an OT and helped me learn the ropes. I also scoured the net and started researching on my own what I needed to be looking for and doing.

Before too long Kara was old hat. I was basically part of a farm team.

We wanted to move on to try Gruul and Mag, but didn't have the numbers until we formed a guild alliance with my current guild, <The Dragons>.

Over the next few months we survived membership swells and droughts. We went from long nights in Gruul's Lair to quick, reliable kills, down to having to gear people up in Kara and back up again. The guild I was in faltered and the people that remained merged into The Dragons. At some point along the line, I became a raid leader.

There was drama and frustration a-plenty.

There were weeks and weeks and weeks of unsuccessful Magtheridon attempts. Sometimes it felt like we were getting close. Sometimes it felt like we couldn't be further away from victory.

A week (maybe two) before 3.0 dropped and nerfed the hell out of all the BC raids, we finally killed Mag. The last token I needed dropped and I managed to win it. I got full 5/5 T4. Tokens of my kills of the 5 milestone bosses of that tier of raiding. And my "Champion of the Naaru" title.

I keep that set because it represents the huge strides I made in a relatively short amount of time. Also because I still believe it's the best looking Druid set to date.
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