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Friday, May 20, 2011

Dungeon advice for 61yr old WoW player

Occasionally I get direct emails from readers asking me various things about World of Warcraft. If the question is simple, I answer it directly. For more delicate queries, I prefer to write a post because the answer is longer and the issue might be something that affects more people. Besides, extra help is usually offered from other readers commenting on the article.

A few days ago I received an interesting (but touching) email from a new reader of Wowalone, someone belonging to the older demographic. Here's his situation in a nutshell: he is 61 years old, plays WoW casually, is not in a guild but would like to run some dungeons with his level 70 Paladin. The problem is that he doesn't have a lot of time to do this because his wife is very ill and I assume he needs to take frequent breaks from WoW in order to attend to her. He says that WoW provides an outlet for his distress. I shall refer to my reader as My Friend, as I don't want to disclose his name.

His situation is something that I can identify with to an extent and I believe that, as a veteran solo WoW player, I can give him some useful advice.

My Friend, I perfectly understand how WoW can provide the much needed relief and escape from reality that we sometimes need when going through hard times. I am fortunate enough to not have an ailing wife or relative but during my long history of playing WoW I have lived during a time when real life really sucked due to several things conspiring at once to make it miserable. WoW was indeed my escape from all that. Whenever I played, I forgot about my worries. Unfortunately, I ended up escaping from reality a bit too often and for too long, which caused some additional problems in real life. Eventually I recovered from my addiction and that, in fact, is how Wowalone was born: I decided that I wouldn't be playing WoW again with other people. It would be just me, playing it whenever I felt like it, with no obligations and pressure.

You, My Friend, seem to be a lot like me: a solo player. That's not a bad thing and, in fact, you can accomplish a lot of things in this game even without playing with others. You don't need to be in an actual guild. I am my own 1-man guild and I like it that way.

I assume that you would really like to run a few dungeons, in a group. Luckily, this has been made really easy thanks to the Dungeon Finder Tool. Before you jump into that, there are a few things that you should do.

Do you really want to run dungeons?
As a solo player, this is one of the questions you should be asking yourself. It is entirely possible to complete the game (by reaching maximum level) with maximum enjoyment without setting foot inside a single dungeon. But dungeons are a very important part of the game and it is a shame to never experience one. Each has its own flavor and personality.

Do you want to run dungeons with a group?
If you have decided that you do want to run dungeons, there are two options from here. You could either solo lower level dungeons or run level-appropriate ones with a group.

Solo-ing a dungeon is entirely viable, provided you stick to those which are several levels below you. Depending on your skill and equipment, you should be able to solo dungeons starting 5 levels below you. At 10 levels below you shouldn't normally have any problems. For example, at level 70 your Paladin could easily vanquish any dungeon from Azeroth and could also take a shot at some of the beginning dungeons in Outland. Again, this is very dependent on skill and to a lesser extent on gear.

The advantage of this approach is that you can visit each dungeon at your leisure, whenever you have time. If you need to be away from your desk often, just retire your character to a safe area and come back later when you have time. If you can't finish a dungeon for some reason, no one will care. You can always attempt it another day. I highly recommend solo-ing lower level dungeons. There's a certain kind of pleasure to be had from clearing a lower level dungeon all on your own.

Running with a group is slightly more complicated. Thankfully, the Dungeon Finder Tool makes it a lot easier than before. A big advantage of using the tool is that you don't need to be in a guild, you don't need to have any friends and you don't even need to interact a lot with your group members, if you don't want to.

While anyone can jump into a group with the Dungeon Tool, it won't be easy the first couple of times. I remember that the first time the tool came out I was afraid to use it. You can read about my anxiety in this 2009 article. Once I  began running a few random dungeons, I loved the experience! I encourage you to read these two articles because they offer some insights into how a solo player can easily and safely join dungeon groups for lots of fun.

I can understand if you are anxious about joining a group with strangers. The best thing you can do is to click that "Join" button. The worst that can happen is for the group to kick you because you don't know what you're doing. But I doubt you are bad considering you've made it all the way to 70 and I have some more advice that should help you.

Being in a group doesn't automatically force you to become super social and make friends with everyone. In fact many people don't even say a word during these random runs. If you feel like talking that's also fine. My personal etiquette dictates that I will always say "Hi all" when joining a group and "Thanks for the group" at the end, even if no one else responds to my greeting. Sometimes people do feel like chatting and that's fine by me. I chat back. If not, I'm just as happy to run in silence.

Random dungeons runs usually last around 30 minutes. Before joining a group you should make sure that you have at least that time. Bear in mind that queuing up for a dungeon can take up to half an hour (but usually about 10-15) minutes for DPS specs. A trick I use while queuing is that I turn the speakers up and then busy myself around the home. When the join window pops up, I can hear the loud chime and run back to my computer to join the group.

If you join a group and something comes up which forces you to leave before the end, just apologize to the others and leave the group. People usually understand when someone needs to leave unexpectedly. If you are DPS, they won't mind a lot because a replacement is only seconds away. If you want to be particularly nice you could even tell them from the beginning that you might have to leave unexpectedly on account of your wife being ill. I don't think anyone will begrudge you that.

Now that (hopefully) I've convinced you to use the Dungeon Finder Tool to get into random groups, I will give you a few tips on how to prepare before joining your first group.

Choice of spec and role?
If you don't have dungeon experience, I urge you to spec as DPS, which in the case of your Paladin means Retribution. Do not make the mistake of joining as a healer or tank, before becoming an expert at running as DPS. Healers and tanks hold a huge responsibility and there's little room for error. For beginners, it is much more forgiving to run as DPS.

If you haven't specced your Paladin as Retribution yet, here's a quick spec I whipped up. It's just a suggestion but it could be helpful if you are undecided.

Rotation and damage
When questing on your own, damage and skill rotation are not particularly important. Usually it's enough to mash your main skills and the monsters will go down. In a dungeon, however, it is highly indicated that you are familiar with a proper form of skill "rotation". If you are not familiar with the concept, in a nutshell it means a sequence of skills used to maximum effect. This article is not meant to be a tutorial on how to play a Retribution Paladin so I would recommend that you head on to Elitist Jerks in the Paladin section and read everything you can about Retribution.

I am not familiar with your level of skill. Nonetheless, I still recommend this "elitist" site. Why? Because these people have exhaustively studied all classes and specs and they have nice primers on things like rotation, gear and so on. As a solo player who had never stepped in a group in a very long time, this site helped me a lot to learn how to deal damage, and later how to heal and tank.

Damage is also fairly important in a group setting. It is important in the sense that if you are really terrible, people might kick you from the group. If that happens, don't feel too bad. Even I, a veteran WoW player, get kicked from time to time, mostly because those who do the kicking are neurotic but I can always get into another group later. If people are complaining about your damage, explain that you are new at dungeons and are doing your best. Most will understand. Groups are usually good enough that a single under-performing player won't hold the group back.

If you know how to install and configure an addon I would also recommend a DPS addon such as Skada. This will give you an idea of how much damage you are dealing compared to the rest of the group.

Practice your rotation
Before going into a dungeon it is important that you practice your skill rotation to perfection. Find a training dummy inside a capital city and attack it using your skills. Or, you can practice directly on monsters. Try to use skills the moment they are off cooldown.

Dungeon tips
Now that you've decided to join your first dungeons, here are some general tips to get you going.

  • Don't announce you're a beginner, unless people start complaining. Sometimes (but rarely) you might get kicked if you so.
  • Always attack monsters from the rear, never from the front. Attacking from the front as melee DPS is poor form.
  • Watch your threat level. I recommend an addon such as Omen. To make sure you don't generate too much threat, wait a second or two before attacking your target.
  • Always attack the tank's target, unless otherwise told. You can use the F key to "assist" the tank, which means you will be attacking the same monster the tank is.
  • Stick close to the group but never run ahead of the tank. The tank should always lead and pull, unless he says otherwise.
  • If you are the only one who dies, it's probably your fault. The healer's priorities are, in this order: himself, the tank, and the rest of the group.
  • Don't stress yourself too much over dying. It happens to the best of players.
  • Don't be afraid to Need gear which drops, if it is an upgrade from what you have. Here are some dungeon loot rules and ethics that I use.
  • Don't be upset if you get kicked from the group for whatever reason. Sometimes it happens, through no fault of your own.
  • If you have to leave the group to attend to your wife, don't be ashamed to do so. If you can spare a few seconds it would be nice though to let them know why you are leaving.
  • Remember that even if you don't complete the dungeon you can still get experience, loot, perhaps even some good gear which drops from the first bosses and also skill in playing your character.
  • WoW players span a very wide demographic. There's a high chance that you will group with 12-year olds or people your age. Age is not always a factor but sometimes people will act like jerks. If that happens, try to diffuse the situation if possible and move on.
  • You asked me about repairing items inside dungeons. Well, that's a tricky one. My advice is that you should always have your gear at 100% before entering a dungeon. Unless you die over and over and over, your gear shouldn't get destroyed from a single run. Even then, it is not gone forever, it simply becomes unusable until you repair it. There are certain Engineering gadgets which you can use to repair gear inside dungeons but that's too expensive to recommend. A trick that you could do is to make sure you join the dungeon from a city or area which has a repair NPC nearby. If your gear gets damaged, click the green "eye" icon next to your minimap and choose "Leave dungeon". This will port you outside the dungeon. Repair your gear and then choose "Teleport to dungeon" from the same icon. You will be teleported back inside the dungeon. Beware though: you will be placed at the entrance so you will have to run back to the group.
  • It's just a game! No matter what difficulties you might encounter, remember to have fun.
Other tips
I can't imagine what your real situation is but here are a couple of extra suggestions. If possible, try setting aside 30-40 minutes when your wife is asleep. Or, try playing close to her if that is not distressing to her. You can always turn the volume way down or use headphones.


Wrap-up
I hope I have covered as many bases as possible. It is not easy to get for the first time into a dungeon with a group, especially when your play time is not set in stone. Thankfully, WoW has evolved to the point where dungeon running is now possible for almost everyone, even under the most stringent real-life constraints. You just need to adjust your mindset a bit and try to wrap dungeon runs around the spare time in your life.

Dungeon running gets easier the more you do it. Eventually it will become second nature. The beauty of the Dungeon Tool is that all this becomes possible without having to step into a guild.

If anyone would like to add some advice or correct my own, they are welcome to do so in the comments.

42 comments:

sahm2 said...

To the man who wrote in:

Perhaps you might consider finding a guild who would understand. For example, my guild is made up of mostly people with young children, so it's not uncommon for guild chat to be full of "brb, diaper change!" or "oops gotta go, the baby's awake." If you find a guild full of casual players who also have uncertain play time, they are of course going to be quite understanding of your situation (even though the reasons may be different).

The benefit to running dungeons with the people in a casual guild instead of doing random groups is that you are not going to get kicked from the dungeon (and essentially have wasted your time) because of your real life constraints, especially if it is a smaller guild where everybody knows of your situation.

If you are strongly against being in a guild, then I second the advice given about running lower-level dungeons by yourself. You won't get top-of-the-line gear from it since they are older dungeons, but there are cool story lines and it's content that you might not otherwise get to experience.

Darth Solo said...

@sahm2 that's very good advice and I neglected to mention that possibility.

There are all kinds of guilds out there. There are guilds for Hello Kity fans, there are guilds for adults only and so forth.

Then there are the "casual" guilds which are supposed to be laid-back and will understand, as you said, that real life may not allow you to participate a lot in guild activities.

Redbeard said...

Yes, I'd also say that some guilds are better for casuals and/or mature players than others.

My Horde-side guild is more like that, where we have players in their 40s and 50s as well as the "younger" players in their 20s and 30s. Alliance-side has the same range as well, although they're more raid-centric.

You gave a lot of good advice, Darth, and going as Ret means that you can solo content that you wouldn't on a corresponding level as, say, a Mage or Priest.

Darth Solo said...

Thank you Red! Well, I would say that anyone who hasn't run many dungeons would be better off as DPS... until the healing and tanking madness starts.

Dan Prosser said...

Looks like you switched to solo play for the same reason I did. It's easier for me to cap my playtime when no one expects anything of me. I was too focused on my WoW friends instead of reality. It's all too easy to get lost in this, know what I mean?

Darth Solo said...

Yes indeed. I don't have too many friends in real life anyway but on the other hand I neglected almost everything else and that's not good.

Anonymous said...

Great Advice Darth!

I suffer from extreme anxiety when I attempt to run dungeons and therefore have become mostly a solo player as well. I don't believe my enjoyment has suffered. I love the leveling process and enjoy creating new toons.

One thing I have found that helps with grouping is to take a brand new, low-level alt and practice in the low-level dungeons. These groups seem to be less of a hassle and the instances are much shorter. Everyone is at a low level and many people are trying new roles or characters.

After doing several of these on various characters I can definitely say I am less anxious... although I still prefer the solo game.

Keep it up... it does get easier :-)

Darth Solo said...

@Anon thanks! Yeah, I should have mentioned that, thanks for pointing it out. Practicing with low level characters will do wonders to boost your confidence and get rid of that anxiety.

Even after running hundreds of dungeons with the Dungeon Finder Tool I still get a little butterfly in my stomach before clicking that "join" button.

Gyldenfeax said...

I haven't done any Cata dungeons since barely managing to heal Stonecore as a Paladin. I'm tolerant of other people's mistakes but that isn't always reciprocated and like many that go solo I'm pretty sensitive to criticism. Not really much of problem for me as I prefer PVP and can get gear that way.

What I do like is tanking dungeons with my 19 Pally twink. It's carefree and fun. And if you get criticized when doing nothing wrong (not much can go wrong at that level with an OP twink) it demonstrates how unreasonable some people can be and teaches you to take some comments with a pinch of salt.

Echo said...

Hey Darth,

did you try Terraria, a sort of 2d Minecraft? ;)

Darth Solo said...

No man, but isn't Minecraft 2D? Oh wait...

Echo said...

To be honest in 2011 I still have to see a "fresh-unique-original" videogame... almost everything is a copy of something else.

But no, it's not a 2D minecraft. Imho it's better ;)

Darth Solo said...

I checked out the demo. Looks like fun. Problem is I haven't even touched Minecraft in a few weeks. I just don't have time for games these days. Need to clear some things off my plate first. But as you said, I haven't seen a decent game in ages. I'm just a little bit interested to see how the new Star Wars MMO will pan out but I'm not very optimistic.

Echo said...

Demo? Waht demo... there is no demo yet ;)

Yes I feel your pain. Terraria is nice because is fast, easy and yet full of creative things. I tend to happily pay few bucks to indie developers.

Star Wars MMO? I know it sounds bad but... I think it would be a blast if it was developed by Blizzard. Maybe it will attract some people just for the fun of swinging a lightsaber, yes... but ... meh.

Strellar said...

Darth, I just wanted to say thank you for your obvious empathy and your advice to this player. I'm in a similar situation--started playing WoW a little over three years ago while my disabled daughter was in the hospital. I always took night shift, so WoW helped me stay awake. I chose a druid, although it was one of the most challenging classes, because I could stealth when I had to jump up and tend to my daughter on short or no notice and thus have a chance of still being alive when I returned--and because I couldn't be dependable in a group, I almost always soloed, and so the self-healing ability was important. I still prefer soloing because I have enough obligations in real life--don't want new ones virtually. Now at 85, I'm just now starting to run random dungeons again--ran a bunch at 80 before Cata to gear up. Very good advice, and here's hoping your letter writer is able to use it to increase his enjoyment, which will only benefit his wife. I'm only 6 years younger than him. Blessings to you both.

Darth Solo said...

@Echo I meant the video trailer. You know where I think the SW MMO will fail? It won't have engaging ship combat and exploration.

@Strellar thank you. His story was touching and although I could have just replied to his email I chose to make it into an article in case others in similar situations would find it useful. I guess almost any activity you enjoy doing can provide an escape from your worries.

Redbeard said...

I would have bet money that any WoW killer would have been developed by Bioware, the developers of the SW MMO, but I'm now starting to hear some not-so-good things about the MMO.

Darth Solo said...

You know what? I keep hearing about Bioware for years, I've even played some of their games, but somehow they have never managed to impress me the way WoW or Diablo did. I guess their games are just not my type.

That's why I'm very skeptic about the new SW MMO.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog! Glad to see there are other people out there who enjoy playing wow their own way!

Darth Solo said...

Thanks Anon!

Anonymous said...

I use dungon finder a lot but have a question about when I die. I've never played a healer so I don't understand. Some get upset if I release after death before they rez me and some don't. What is the proper move, to release or not release if you die in a dungon group or I guess any group.

Darth Solo said...

That's a very good question. I've played a healer a lot so I can say that I have some experience on what to do in these cases.

First of all, if the healer dies first, someone has screwed up. The healer's first priority is him/herself, then the tank, and only if these two priorities are taken care of do the DPS get some attention. So usually if the healer dies it's either his fault because he didn't heal himself when he should have, or someone else in the group didn't protect the healer (whether the tank let the healer get aggro or the DPS didn't pull aggro off the healer).

If you die first and the group doesn't wipe, it all depends whether the remaining members can rez you. A paladin can certainly rez you. So can a druid or a shaman or any other healing class. You might have a warlock's soulstone on you, in which case you can rez yourself. Someone might have engineering jump cables.

As a healer you need to know which classes are capable of rezzing other players. Also bear in mind that druids can combat-rez so even if you die during a fight, don't release until you are certain it's a complete wipe. The druid might still be able to bring you back into the battle.

If there's still someone standing but they don't have any class abilities for rezzing, there might still be a chance that they have engineering cables or such that they can use.

If you are still in doubt, as a last resort, just ask the group if it is ok to release.

My personal rule is that if there's a total wipe, release is just about the only option (provided there is no soulstone on someone who can rez).

Now, there's this little annoying situation where players expect the healer to release, run back to the instance and rez everyone else. It's called laziness :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice for a solo player with complications. I am another. Back in Vanilla got to raids and then came to a screeching halt as I acquired a severely disabled child who slept about 30 minutes at a time. Suddenly I could not commit to anything requiring more than 15 minutes, on a good day.

But things work out. He can't talk but he loved flying to Ghostlands, and once I got enough alts to where he could fly them there from any where we were okay. When he got tired of flying I got to play and my guild sort of understood my AFK messages."If I am not answering it is because my son is flying"

But then there were the new things, like unanticipated focal seizures. How do you explain to your PUG that your son has just fallen off his chair and he is jerking round and vomiting and I need to get him in recovery position so he doesn't aspirate, and sorry but taking out the Boss is not my priority right now? I usually just walk away from the computer and the next morning remember to turn it off.

I have only been kicked once from a PUG, and that was because that night I was in a bitchy mood and deserved it. I have chose not to play for months so as to be on call for my son - 24/7/365. So I and he have not been on for months.

Hoping to get back. Hoping to do dungeons again starting from scratch. I'm not 61 in years, but there are a lot of us like me out there soloing because that is our only option for many reasons. Thanks for treating us with respect.

Min

Darth Solo said...

@Anon I'm really sorry to hear that about your son :(

If you really want to run dungeons with a group (it's a shame not to experience this at least a few times) then what you really need is a casual guild or a guild for busy adults or something similar. There are guilds like that and they are very understanding.

I find that usually people are understanding when something really bad in real life takes you away from the game. The problem with PUGs is that people are always in a hurry to rush through the dungeon and get it over with. Sometimes they just don't have patience for people who go AFK. That's why I think you should try running with a casual guild who likes to take things at a slower rate.

Anonymous said...

I was in a similar situation with a tiny daughter who need a liver transplant. WoW was my escapism, took me away from all the pressures one faces whilst waiting for a transplant... I joined a casual guild who were fantastic and very understanding. Did a couple of 25 man raids and ran a couple of dungeons with them, but decided I liked to just potter around the world with various alts. I havent touched the game for over 6 months, I still occasionally get an urge to play; like tonite - which is why I'm catching up on blogs etc to see where the game is at atm - but I doubt I will play again in the near future.

Darth Solo said...

Oh boy, these stories make me so sad. I hope your girl is okay now.

Have you considered/tried other games?

Anonymous said...

I am 57 and not very au fait with how to play these games. I tend to get lost in dungeons, miss keys I want to hit, don't understand all the high-tec stuff people use like macros etc or the obsession with statistics. I enjoy exploring the world in WoW and telling myself stories as I travel. I have tried a few dungeons with random groups to try and get better equipment. However, the experience has always been stressful and often unpleasant. I don't think I will bother any more. When no content remains for me to play on my own, I will leave WoW and start somewhere else.

Darth Solo said...

Well I can certainly understand your position. If you don't mind my asking, how many random dungeons have you run? I've had lots of terrible experiences but most often my runs have been good.

I'm not saying you should keep running randoms. Just give them a try once in a while.

The most important thing though is to have fun. WoW is gigantic. As a solo player you can spend countless hours exploring the world.

My suggestion to you is to run low level dungeons on your own. It's a lot of fun and it can even be challenging for dungeons approaching your own level.

Krys said...

I played for a few months and then was away for about a year after my partner died. I had got my main character to 37 and ran a few dungeons with her as a healer priest.

Now I'm back. I deleted off all my characters and changed server to have a fresh start. I nowhave three alts at 22-26 who have run dungeons as DPS (hunter, warlock, shadow priest).

I suppose in all I've maybe run dungeons 20-odd times and had maybe 3 good experiences. Both then and now I've had people swear at me and kick me when I won an item they wanted (which was an upgrade for me).

Each time I died as DPS, I was left to try and find my way back in, usually died on the way and then was kicked.

It's been impossible to do any quests inside, because everyone just storms through really fast so no time to collect things.

Frankly, it got to the point that I started feeling physically sick. Then I realised it was stupid to force myself into this. It is a game, which should be enjoyed, after all.

I think I will take your advice and concentrate on levelling up until I can do dungeons alone. At least I'll get something sellable from time to time and can do dungeon quests then!

Darth Solo said...

Hi Kris. People are mean sometimes, there's nothing we can do about it. People in random groups tend to be even meaner (sometimes) because everyone is a stranger so they don't care if they hurt another's feelings.

Thankfully, running dungeons with a group is an option and if that doesn't work out for you, there are countless ways in which to enjoy yourself on your own.

Anonymous said...

Hello there :-)

I am SO glad that I found this website. I thought I was one of a very small minority of people who felt this way while in WOW. It's been so difficult for me as far as deciding what to do and where to go when needing good gear, or wanting to feel self importance while playing the game. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves, myself included. I guess when we play these games we want to feel that we are accomplishing something other than just exploring the territory, even if it's while playing alone. I LOVE soloing. I just don't have the time to invest into being dependable. I certainly don't want to enter into something that I can't complete, and have other people angry with me...when I simply would have chosen to do it on my own anyway. This is why I have endlessly asked in forums (hoping the execs of Blizzard would see) for WOW at least consider a few solo dungeons.

I thought if I could get the title "Explorer" it would make me feel better about myself, but it did not. I was approached a few months ago by another player who was typing LOL continuously. Of course being a mature grown up, I ignored it, UNTIL he asked me why my gear was so low. And here I thought I had pretty decent gear considering the fact that I had to buy it and save a lot of gold to do so. But as it seems, it's of course not the best, doesn't have lots of slots and great details, and it's pretty low comparing it to most everyone else who made it to level 80 and since I had never once ran a dungeon with other players...

Here's another thing I've noticed: Other players look up our stats in the armory to see what our accomplishments are. They can see whether or not we've done PVP or Dungeons. When I look up my own stats in the armory I have to laugh, although I honestly sit and frown. It's sad to look at.

Blizzard needs to take everyone into consideration. There are a ton of us (I can see that now) who need solo dungeons what will allow us to obtain decent gear and stats. These games are supposed to be fun, but it's not fun when people can clearly see that we aren't accomplishing more than a tourist would do.

Darth you are a compassionate person. I am so glad I found this page. I found it simply with a search tool. I have been searching for others who are having this same problem for a couple of years now. I am so glad I found this area :-) Thank you for posting this blog.

Darth Solo said...

Thank you for your kind words Anonymous.

It is true that you will miss out on a lot of the good parts (dungeons and raids) in WoW if you can't play in a group. It is also true that today it has become easier than ever to join a group (via the Dungeon Finder). However I'm also aware that not everybody has time to run a dungeon.

My suggestion to you is that if you ever find a half hour or an hour to kill, try running a random dungeon.

If not, you can always go back and solo older dungeons. You won't get the best equipment (or even any usable equipment) but at least you will experience that dungeon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your suggestions. I am trying to find the time to at least try one. It would be a shame to experience this huge game and never even see what it would be like to run one dungeon.

Have a wonderful weekend :-) And thanks so much for this blog.

Anonymous said...

As a healer (lvl 20 night elf priestess), I was intimidated by people calling the healer an idiot at first. It made me not want to bother with dungeons, even if there is good loot. Then, I joined a couple of mature parties that were patient and actually fun. I found out the immature ones are in too much of a hurry to wait for the healer to mana up, so they were blaming me wrongly for their mistakes and impatience. Now, I will go back into dungeons and, of course, I am not an idiot.

Darth Solo said...

Well, as a healer you certainly have something to say about how the group runs. I just tell them bluntly (if I find that I don't have enough mana) that they will die if they don't let me recover my mana.

What healing spec are you using? I never had mana problems once I switched from holy to discipline. I was like the Energizer bunny, go go go.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply. Discipline, so that is good. I am to blame for trying to keep up with the impatient ones, but I won't any more, and it is their choice if they want to move without me or the group. Potions are so rare that I have to drink melon juice to mana up. I have been doing good the last few outings. What works for me is bubbling the tank and lots of heals, and bubbling myself when danger is too close. Everyone else gets a lower priority.

Darth Solo said...

I found that I could pretty much keep the tank up with just the bubble, with an occasional heal if things went bad. Preemptively I would also use Renew on the tank which would keep on healing him as he got damaged. Discipline gets even more fun as you level up.

With Holy I simply couldn't cope anymore from about level 70. I ran out of mana after every fight. But that was a long time ago, before Cata, and I'm sure Holy is easier to play these days.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to get too far off the topic of advice for a 61 y.o., because it is good advice. Tonight, I was in dungeons with my human fury warrior. I got a nice one-handed weapon, but had been using a two-handed sword. A boss dropped a shield that is 50 armor more than mine. I have been passing on most loot, so I chose need, so I can try using the one-handed and shield. I didn't look closely at the shield other than to see it had high armor. Well, it also had high intellect. I got the item and someone started calling me idiot for choosing need, and then another agreed. There must be some kind of unwritten rule that fury warriors can't use shields, or that they can't use shields with high intellect, even though the software is programmed to allow it, because they kicked me over it. I went to another dungeon and someone called a balance druid an idiot for tanking, and wanted to kick the druid off. The party was doing fine. I voted no. The name-caller put it to a vote again, and again I voted no, then I left the party. I think most people try to help out the party, so when they start calling people idiots over very petty reasons, that is not my idea of a fun game. The name-calling is very immature. I am not too far behind the 61 y.o., so the advice I want to add to your advice is that if there is someone in a party who likes to call others idiots, even if they are not calling you the names, do what I do and just leave.

Darth Solo said...

Sure, if they start calling you names and/or are rude, just leave.

Re. the equipment issue, just tell the group that the item is an upgrade for you and explain why.

Anonymous said...

Earlier this week, after 3 years of fanatical WOW absorption, I regretfully closed my account. At 62 my skill level is not that of a 20 year old, but it was adequate to do some casual ICC raiding prior to Cata.

Bitten by the raiding bug, compelled to win the approval of guild mates, questing didn't have the attraction it did during my first year of play. Getting geared to raid in cata was my #1 focus. That meant building up valor pts and that meant doing lots and lots of dungeons.

The response of other players to the Zul dungeons is what led me to conclude that for me WOW was no longer delivering enough fun for the buck. It got so almost every Zul run included a player who felt compelled to critique and ridicule another party member over their performance or gear. Too often I bit my tongue rather than risk being kicked, then felt guilty for not speaking up to defend the abused party member.

One night I realized the stress-to-fun ratio had become lopsided and that the nastiness I was seeing in Zul would be magnified in cata raiding. Competition and challenge is fun; conflict, insults and sarcasm are not. Until witnessing it, and sometimes being the butt of it, I'd have been quick to advise others to ignore the jerks, but in my observation they're coming to dominate the game and I don't need to spend $15/mo to be tip toe around trying to avoid bullies.

I know Blizzard can't pay attention to the game experience of old farts like me but the victims of the nastiness that typifies random WOW cata dungeons today are all ages. It's sad to see a once fun game become home to verbal thuggery.

Darth Solo said...

@Anonymous I just wish my parents were more like you as regards to gaming. While older, you're not an old fart by any means, especially if you can get involved in a game like WoW.

There comes a time though when you feel like moving on. You did what you had to and so did I. But don't worry, if you are the gamer I think you are, there are lots of amazing games coming out in 2011-2012 to keep you hooked for days on end.

done said...

I just wanted to say thanks for this blog and thank you to all people that have contributed to it! I stopped playing WoW for about 8 months just because of not having enough time to follow others that had more time to play than me, which means better gear, better rating than me ans so on. Today, when I get back home from my office I will unfreeze my account again :)
Thanks all!