Shared Topic: Starting Over

Last night I got the Skyshattered Achievement!

I hadn’t been planning on taking part in this week’s Shared Topic. Not because it’s a bad topic (it’s a great topic and tons of bloggers participated!), but because my energy level is still pretty bad. I’m always amazed and proud that I manage to make it to the bathroom on time and all my blogging attempts come out like wdedxgnfsdknhjfraswdj.

But the Skyshattered Achievement really inspired me.

I know a flying race seems to have nothing to do with a topic called “Starting Over”, but bear with me. This is, as usual, a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic. It was suggested by Pieces from Blasting Away and you can find links to the (many!) other takes in the thread at Blog Azeroth, appropriately named Shared Topic: Starting Over.

I kinda live in the moment. I rarely get excited about things until they actually happen (Cataclysm? What is this Cataclysm?) I also don’t hang onto regrets. Whenever I fill out one of those teenagery Livejournal/Facebook surveys, I have to give a boring answer to the “what’s your biggest regret” question because, quite honestly, when something is over and done with, I forget all about it. (This also makes me really bland at the truth part of truth or dare because I never remember my juicy, embarrassing mistakes.)

So my original answer to this topic would have something boring like “If I could start all over at WoW, I would do it all exactly the same!”

Then, last night, I was flying around Outlands and thought to give that race over by the Netherspite a try. I’d only ever managed to get past the first race, and I’m sure many of you have seen this video of me as I did my many attempts (yes, I’m totally an animated blob IRL, didn’t you know that?).

This time, almost two years later, I gave it another shot. I kept my eye on the NPC I was following, I used the mouse to navigate and the space bar to move up. I ended up one-shotting every single race. Sure it helps that at level 80, I wasn’t accidentally pulling all the other stuff flying around, but still, I was shocked at how much better I’ve become at controlling my character.

It made me think of how different my playstyle is now compared to when I first discovered WoW. In my head, I went over the misconceptions I had when I started the game.

“I’m always going to pug instances”

“I don’t want to make friends in-game”

“I don’t want to raid”

“Raiding is super serious and scary and takes up all your time.”

You know, I really hesitated before joining my old (very casual and understanding) guild because I was nervous about having to play seriously. Ironically, one of the reasons I moved on two years later was because I wanted to play more seriously.

So, if I were to start over, I’d still play a paladin. A human one. I might level with a better spec…(random talent allocation isn’t ideal!) yet I’d probably still be respeccing all the time to explore my character more.

But knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t be so intimidated by other players and by end game content. I missed out on pre-BC raiding and that makes me sad. If I were to go back in time and do all over again, I would definitely focus on leveling faster, I wouldn’t sweat buckets before joining my first raiding guild and I would experience at least Molten Core, with 39 others, the way it was intended.

Once upon a time, I thought I couldn’t do the Sky Shatter race, just like I once thought I couldn’t level at a proper pace, that I couldn’t find a guild I enjoyed and that I didn’t have what it took to raid. But last night I discovered I could do the race just fine. And it reminded of everything I missed out on in game because I foolishly thought I couldn’t do it.

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3 Comments on “Shared Topic: Starting Over”

  1. Will Says:

    It’s amazing to me as well when I think about how drastically my playstyle has changed since I started playing.

    I was a solo player almost to the point of being antisocial when I first started. Very, very rarely would I group with anyone for anything, and I didn’t do my first “real” Instance until level 64, which was right after I joined my first Guild. Something that I almost didn’t even do, but now I think it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in-game.

    When I first started, I never expected to do anything like a Dungeon, let alone a Raid. But when I did start doing those, I found myself enjoying it very very much. Being one of the top DPSers in my old Guild, and unquestionably the best chain-trapper (when that was relevant) made me feel very good. It’s always nice to know that you’re contributing to the group, rather than just being there. And even though I don’t Raid these days, doing five-mans hasn’t lost its luster. And doing them on my Death Knight now gives me a whole new perspective that I really like.

    If I were to start over, and know what I know now when I did it, I don’t know if I’d really change a whole lot. I’d still be Alliance, probably. I might make my Hunter a Dwarf rather than a Night Elf. (I didn’t know the stigma attached to Hunters in general and Night Elf Hunters in particular when I started playing.) I might start grouping, or maybe even join a Guild, sooner.

    It would be nice if I could change things that I never hads any control of. I was without a computer all of last summer, and so I wasn’t there when my old Guild fell apart. I’ve heard anecdotes and stories about it since, but I would really, really like to know EXACTLY what happened.

    And you know, now that I think of it, I owe a lot of the things I’m happiest with in-game to chance. I didn’t pick my server; the game assigned it to me. I could have just as easily chosen Horde instead of Alliance; I had no real reason to pick one over the other. And I just HAPPENED to be in Zangarmarsh the same time as my old GM when I met him and joined that Guild. I just HAPPENED to strike up conversations in Guild Chat with people that I now consider very dear friends.

    So even if I COULD start over, I don’t think I would.

  2. Rhidach Says:

    Crusader Aura also helps a bit. I just got Skyshattered myself for the first time a few months ago (still working on getting exalted with them) and it was not a walk in the park. I wouldn’t sell your achievement short, it’s still somewhat difficult at 80.

  3. Antigen Says:

    “Yes, I’m totally an animated blob IRL, didn’t you know that?”

    What? Damnit, I thought you were my type… you know, human.


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