Monday, March 4, 2013

3 Years or "The Most Stressful Tier Ever"

Three. Years.

 There's not much I want to say or can say about writing this blog for three years. Sometimes I feel as if I should wring something out of all these thousands of words about a video-game that I've thrown onto the wall here. But - writing is its own reward, and I take more joy in writing than in anything else, even if the words are as banal as the ones that I've poured onto these pages. Over the years, this blog has gone through a number of phases.

When I started writing, it was like a journal - just stream of consciousness channeled into the ether with no consideration for who might or might nor read. Slowly, I became aware of a small audience - I've never been a popular blogger, not that I set out to be one, but still, once I knew people were reading, I wrote many tank-specific articles and raid-strategy guides back in Tier 11 and 12, even a bit into 13 but I've avoided that completely this time around. My writing has become more and more personal again.

Partly it is because the last half-year in Warcraft has been a very stressful one, and it has kept me very busy with actually gaming.  Tier 14 was long, and thick with content, and it will go down as one of the best, and one of the absolute worst, tier I've experienced in this game.

There is so much to love - from engaging mechanics and design of the actual fights, to the gorgeous architecture of the Vaults and Heart of Fear, the actual Tier was just a win in every way. The staggered release of the dungeons, and the slight difference in gear-levels all made it very worthwhile and I've had the time of my life when I've actually been raiding. Further, I've also played with some of the best players I've ever known in the game; progressed on Heroic bosses in both 25 and 10 player mode, nearly snatched the #1 ranking on WoL on a few fights, and pushed harder to complete the tier pre-nerf than I ever have before. After last night, I will be 13 Heroic bosses down, going into Tier 15. While Heroic Sha and Heroic Empress kills would have been nice, I'm certainly not bothered in the least with where I am.

I've also gotten to raid with some exceptional people - good players, yes, but also just really great people to hang out with over Mumble late into the night. Many of those voices have gone silent now, especially since I left Infinite Turtle Theory, Occasional Excellence and Tidal, but I remember them fondly and hope that I'll get to play with some of them again.

And I'm grateful to whatever string of luck landed me in my current guild - it's just chock full of awesome people, and I'm super glad that life after Tidal was worth living. I seriously didn't think I'd find a guild that matched the level of play and progression we had, with the maturity and understanding that I need as a parent with a job. Turns out playing with other married, working parents is the solution.

And, despite all the good I listed up there, here is a brief history, in graphical format, of why this was also the worst and most frustrating tier for me:
Now keep in mind, I helped found Infinite Turtle Theory in January, 2010. That's over 2.5 years of continuous raiding in the same guild with a majority of the same people. After being promoted to Raider rank in Methodical , if I don't have to look for a guild before I delete my account on some far-flung future date, it'll be too soon.

But three years. I've wondered if I have anything useful to say or if I'm just doomed to repeat myself over and over like some kind of Greek myth, unable to learn a lesson or forced to endure the same punishment for some sin I committed. My hands certainly aren't clean in the game - I've been guilty of hurting many people, intentionally or not, and I regret those events, and now I tread as carefully as I can, to try and avoid even disturbing the grass.

So is there anything left to say? I don't know. But I'll try.

At least one new trend has emerged - I manage to slip into Emo self-reflection faster than you can cue up a sad song on Spotify. And so, here I go, continuing to be Emo about all things Warcraft, dithering over my choices and looking backwards with a yearning for people and feelings that no longer exist in the game, yet hungry for what lies over the horizon, in the new Tier.


I feel like my blog name should probably have been, "Raiding While Emo." Too late, now. Too late by far.


  1. It's fun to see how you are considering T14 like one of the best.

    Exactly today, I was reading a post on the forums on how this tier was too hard for normal modes blah blah blah... as for our group, we're still stuck on normal Amber Shaper... yeah, do you remember? you did it soo long ago haha!

    Some nights, especially in the past 2 weeks, I was raging inside...some people will never be able to bypass some basic mechanics and that's frustrating. I was thinking about that post you did on how you had to make a choice between staying with long time friends or going for progression. I'm also thinking about making that choice sometimes... but I don't think I have the dedication you have sir.

    We now see what happened in your case, you sound satisfied and I'm happy for you. In some way, you are our eyes to see content we won't be able to reach.

    Keep the good work!! Again, sorry for my english, french here ; P

    Happy T15!


    1. Thanks for writing, Zul, I really like hearing from you!

      I appreciate how difficult this tier was - I really do. It wasn't easy by any measure, and I think there was some mismanagement of the sequence in which the bosses were released. I guarentee you, your group could down Empress, Protectors, Tsu-Long and Lei-Shi with less effort than Amber Shaper.

      Amber Shaper is probably the worst fight on this tier, and I don't know if I wrote about it, but it absolutely is. Unpredictable vehicle mechanics being so crucial for success is just a big failure on the fight's part.

      It just doesn't make sense to place that boss there. To kill it on Heroic took me about 110 wipes. That wasn't fun, that was painful head-banging on a wall.

      Anyway - with regards to choosing between progression and friendship, it's difficult. I feel lost in game a lot and my friends aren't on as much anymore, and I wonder if that's because I stopped pushing them to raid as much... I miss them.

      And thanks, happy T15 to you too. Hopefully the new gear helps your guild push past the obstacles. :)

    2. Hey, would you mind if I'm adding you to my realID list?

      Sometimes I have questions regarding gear choice/strats and I know you are understanding these things more than I am.

      Prot pallies and warriors are kind of working around the same stats right!? (shield wielders too).

      Peace! Ohh we got Jin'rokh yesterday ;P

    3. Not at all - my RealID is saifula#1404.

      Grats on Jin'rokh! Good luck on Horidon - he can be a harsh gear check.

  2. Hey, enjoyed reading your blog to catch up on how you've been. Just want to say that I don't have any hard feelings and I'm glad to see you've found a new home. I always really liked you back in the OE days. I hope T15 is good to you and I'd like to keep in touch. If you would like, add my battle tag Ute#1308.

    Best of luck,


    1. Hey Ute, nice to hear from you - I'll hit you up in game, or just send me an invite - saifula#1404 :)

  3. Well..look where you ended up! I am also on Area-52 (currently raiding 25 mans again with Methodic). I also miss the good times of OE days. (However, I do NOT miss the dead QD server!). I'll look for you online!

    --Jax (your GS granting priest from OE). :)

    1. Hi Jax! I didn't know you were on Area-52 - and in a guild that sounds almost like my guild name! :)

      I had to change my name a bit - it's Inaina now, but you can hit me up on battle-net as well: saifula#1404