Sunday, June 22, 2008


As the WoW community starts gearing up for Wrath of the Lich King, I find myself remembering the early days of the Burning Crusade. Here are some of my musings about the transition from Vanilla WoW to TBC.

I've been raiding on Tamlyn for over two years now. I started out as the quintessential healer. Zul'Gurub. Molten Core. Black Wing Lair. Ahn'Qiraj. I've healed them all. My guild was working on the Instructor in Naxxramas and some boss I have blocked from my mind in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj when the Burning Crusade hit. We were a casual, family friendly raiding guild. We weren't on the cutting edge of progression, but we had steadily made our way through some end-game content. And, for most of that, I was the healer who's main job was keeping our tank alive. I'll leave the relationship between a tank and his healer for another post, but I had rubbed the paint off my "Heal D Button" by the time we entered the Outland.

The first few days of the expansion left a lot to be desired for me. I couldn't take time off work to play like some had done; I had to scrounge time to level around dispensing justice. And of course I held fast to my belief that the Shadow Tree was of the devil and should be avoided at all costs. I had leveled to 60 as a healer, I could manage 10 more measly levels.

I'll leave my frustrations with smiting things, replacing my old world raid epics with quest reward blues, and being left behind by almost everyone I knew to your imagination. Sprinkle in a bit of lag in Hellfire Peninsula (Tamlyn still has quests left undone there) and you can imagine my grumpiness over the first few days of the expansion. However, I still remember the fun of being one of the very first of my friends to enter a new instance and figuring out the place without outside help. We wiped some, but when we finished, we had done so using our own skills, not the knowledge of others.

I never imagined that 18 months later my holier than thou priest would be wearing Tier 6 DPS gear. The transition from Disc/Holy to Shadow happened soon after we started raiding Karazhan. To make our learning curve easier, we never ventured in without four healers. Usually a couple of priests for shackles and a couple of paladins for blessings. I quickly figured out that four healers in a ten man instance was way too many. I was bored. Really bored. Boss fights weren't that bad, but trash in Karazhan drove me batty. I was asking for people to be stupid and hurt themselves. Anything to give me a challenge.

About that time our Raid Leader (and main tank) started thinking about using a Shadow Priest to see what all the fuss was about. We had had a few pre-expansion, but no one had given it a serious try for raiding purposes. I volunteered. Partly out of boredom. Partly because none of our other priests were interested at the time. And partly because I didn't trust anyone else to do it "right."

I won't say I fell in love with it immediately. I won't say I rocked at it right off the bat. But I did enjoy it, and even though there was a period where I would flip back and forth, I have been a Shadow Priest ever since.

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