On Revelations

Ashwalker_-_av_-_defending_van

Vidyala has a great post up about her return to her mage that will probably leave you hungry for cookies. It will also leave you appreciating her zest and joy in playing her mage, Millya.

I’m really glad to see this post from her. Vid has struggled between the needs of her raid group, her own enjoyment of being a healing paladin and loathing being a DPS paladin, and her affinity for playing a mage.

I’ve received more than one whisper from people saying they’re happy to see my mage again, and that it feels “good” to have me be a mage. It does feel damn good.

Damn, it feels good to play a mage.

Vid and I had a quick twitter conversation when she published her post yesterday, because we’ve been facing similar struggles with character identity, utility, and desire. Who do we want to play? Who do we feel we need to play to satisfy the needs of our respective groups? Who do we really need to play to satisfy them, and ourselves? Two healers, or three? Is Afflock/Afflock ever a viable arena comp? What about HPal/Ret/Aff?

I’m going to quote Vid’s twitter response, because it’s good advice:

You have to play whatever makes you happy. The only time it becomes a problem to play many characters is if it’s a problem for YOU. Only you will know when that is. If deleting some helps, then do it and never look back!

This is basically the same advice I gave her when she was talking about her problems with playing her pally instead of her mage – minus the deleting characters part. I appreciate it when folks throw my own advice back at me. :)

It’s simple advice – play what makes you happy – and it’s good advice. But it threw me for a bit of a loop yesterday, because it made me look at my characters and wonder which of them actually do that.

THE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS OF THE PURE DPS PLAYER

I have a draft post on CBM with the above title, started just before the CTA satchel was released. The title reads like a #fakewarcrafthesis, but it’s an honest attempt to reconcile some of the problems the holy trinity design creates when you enjoy playing a damage dealer, but outside pressures provide motivation to take on roles you may not enjoy quite as much. It might be your immediate gaming circle (guild, team) needing a certain comp to do well, or it might be broad, gamewide pressure to take on healing and tanking roles (like the CTA satchels provide.)

Paladins and Druids are about twice as popular as Rogues and Warlocks. Some of this can be simply attributed to the class flavors: Paladins and Druids represent two forces for good (one civilized, one natural), while Rogues and Warlocks are pretty much bad guys. But some of it also has to do with class design: Druids can do every role in the game, and Paladins can do almost every role (sans ranged DPS.) They are the holy trinity in a single character.

Rogues and Warlocks, however, do one thing: deal damage, and lots of it. Or in theory it’s deal lots of damage, because it doesn’t really work out that way anymore. Hybrid DPS is on par with Pure DPS in a raid setting. Hybrid PvP DPS is excellent, too, plus they can fill the hugely powerful healer role. Pure DPS classes get three different ways to deal damage, some of which are more powerful in PvE than others, some of which are more powerful in PvP.

But they can never switch roles. There’s no opportunity to say, hey, I like this character, I identify with this character, I want to experience the game through this character, but from a different role. There’s no way to accomodate social needs – say, your guild is down a healer tonight – your arena team needs a healer – hey could you come tank this for us? – without going to a different character. That’s the nature of a pure DPS character. Of the three options you’re given, it’s just three variations on the same theme.

Before I go on and conclude that the pure/hybrid discrepancy is the root cause of all the problems Rogues and Warlocks face, I should point out that Hunters are usually the #3 most popular class, and Shaman are the #3 least popular. So being pure DPS isn’t the only thing going on here, but it’s still a factor to be considered.

The fact remains: hybrid classes offer more flexibility between roles, while pure DPS classes offer more flexibility within a single role. This isn’t set in stone – Priests have two healing trees, Warriors and DKs have two melee DPS trees – but in general, hybrid get to choose roles, while pures get to choose playstyles.

Which brings us back to the original topic of this post: playing what makes you happy.

Cynwise_-_summoning_circle_-_slaughtered_lamb

ACTIONS LOUDER THAN WORDS

I had a conversation with Psynister a long time ago about playing Mages. I may have been waffling about deleting my first Mage twink, to be honest. He said that I was a good, thoroughly competent Mage player, but it never seemed like quite the right class for me.

“It’s because you play Warlocks with style,” he said. “You’re a good Mage. You’re an awesome Warlock.”

It took me a while to absorb what he meant by that. What did he mean by style? Style is joie de vivre, style is letting the world know you’re having fun with what you’re doing. I had that on Cynwise. All the jokes my guild tells about raiding with me are true, and it’s because I had fun being a suicidal warlock. (Most nights, admittedly. There were frustrating nights in there too.) Watching me in combat on her was a glorious thing at my peak. I was a chaos engine. I was a machine of slow, unstoppable fury, of death and destruction and unpredictable fear.

But something happened. Something happened to take that fun away, and I’ll be damned if I know what it was. But I know my warlock-joy (surely, there’s a word in German for this) went away.

How do I know?

Because if my only reason for not playing Cynwise was leaving the endgame, I would have rolled another warlock. I would have rolled several warlocks. I would have gone warlock-crazy.

But I didn’t. I rolled everything *but* a warlock.

  • I rolled three warlocks at the start of Cataclysm with the intent of leveling them with each different spec. None of them survived past level 10, and they were all gone before the elephant incident.
  • I rolled several warlocks named Cynwise to visit friends on other servers. They’re all bank alts. One of them quested through the Forsaken zones, and that’s her sole purpose: see those zones. I have no desire to level her past them. (I haven’t even gotten to Silverpine with her yet.)
  • I rolled a new Warrior and got her to 70. I got my Priest from 30 to 70. I got my Druid from 54 to 70. I got my DK to 84. I’ve made a lot of twinks: survival hunter, holy pally, arcane mage, sub rogue. I made some PvP leveling toons: a pally, resto shammy, frost mage, feral druid.
  • I learned to tank.
  • I learned to heal.
  • I went from having 1 twink to having 7. Seven. None of those are warlocks.

If I loved the class more than the toon, why did Cynwise not spark a rash of other warlocks when I put her aside? In theory, I should have been able to level them with ease, after all.

I thought that many nights. Why am I not leveling a bunch of warlocks? Why am I plugging away on a warrior, of all things? Why am I reclaiming a druid? Why am I trying to figure out a rogue?

Something happened between me and the warlock class which made me go, I don’t want to do this anymore, endgame or no.

I’d hit the existential crisis of the pure DPS player: what do you do when you don’t like the three playstyles you’ve been given? You can’t just try out a different role, after all. You get to do the same thing, only there are three different ways to do it. You can go Fire, Arcane, or Frost, but you’re still standing in the back pew pewing the boss. You can go Aff, Demo, or Destro, but you’ll never heal the battleground, you’ll never not be the one applying pressure but not KBs, you’ll never not be the Fearbot.

If you want a different role, you have to reroll. That’s what you do.

Vid realized what her guildmates and friends already knew – she loves playing a Mage.

I’m slowly realizing something, too, based on my own behavior over the past few months: I love playing Cynwise, but not playing a Warlock. 

I don’t know what to say about that.

I love playing a certain character – an ambitious girl from Northshire who made some bad choices – but not enough to get over my endgame burnout.

My own behavior shows that, no matter what I say, I do not find the warlock class compelling enough to keep on playing it.

Maybe the class was changed in Cataclysm too much. Maybe the 12% nerf really did matter. Maybe the Fel Armor and Soul Siphon changes hit me harder than I admitted to myself. Even now, I have a mental list of all the changes, and I’m like… they’re weren’t that bad, were they? Losing Drain Mana sucked, but you adapted. Right?

Well, if I really adapted, if I really didn’t let it bother me, why am I not playing one now?

I played the class for two years with style and grace, but when I got knocked off my only endgame character, I didn’t try to recreate the fun I was having – I ran straight to every other class but that one.

It’s possible that the reason I’m not playing another warlock is my well-known dislike of doing the same thing again – why I don’t like grinding out PvE content, why I enjoy PvP so much, why I struggle with things like replay value – and I can’t discount that. I really can’t.

But would that be enough to keep me away?

I have to believe that I play what I want to play. If I’m not playing my main, it’s perfectly okay, but god damnit, I have to be honest with myself – I’m not looking at my login screen and going: CYNWISE I CHOOSE YOU.

I still don’t really know what to say about that.

Ashwalker_-_stratholme_portcullis

ROLE VERSUS PLAYSTYLE

I am currently playing almost exclusively healing and tanking classes. I rolled a pally a little while ago, and was like… I’m going to take her Ret! She’s got the BoA 2H Axe AND Sword, I’m totally going to DPS it up!

Who am I kidding? I’ll get to level 20 and go, dur, I need to run some dungeons, let’s go Prot, and that will be the end of it. Or I’ll go Holy, and heal all the things in PvP. I might even do both!

I’m discovering that I don’t really want the flexibility of a hybrid. My druid taught me that. My priest taught me that. My warrior taught me that. I tried to dual spec on them and it was a disaster. Dual specialization gives me a chance to do a different role, which is good for the long term – but in the short term, it presents too many options for me to try to learn.

No, it’s not the flexibility of a hybrid that’s drawing me to them; it’s the non-DPS role. Tanking. Healing. I don’t want to DPS on a hybrid, I want to be a tank or a healer.

  • When am I happiest on my warriors? Tanking Drek or being the FC in WSG.
  • When am I happiest on my druid? Healing the heck out of a battleground.
  • When am I happiest on my priest? Healing the heck out of an instance.

Why do I enjoy those roles so much?

Because I feel like I’m playing a critical part – the critical part – in the success or failure of an activity. 

Healing a BG is a visceral rush. Standing there and supporting my team, being a beast of a healer and keeping everyone alive? It’s awesome. Does the DPS have to be smart? Sure. But they don’t have to be stellar – they’ve got me covering their back. Don’t be derpy and we’re probably going to win.

Tanking (and healing tanks) is another rush. It’s not that everyone doesn’t have a job to do, but if the tank fails, it’s all over. If I make it difficult on the healer as the tank, then I’ve done my job incorrectly. There’s a pride to being the one to tank Drek, to tank the nightmare pulls of H-MgT well, to be the one where if you don’t do your job right, you wipe.

(I’m a Leo. Maybe warlocks aren’t good fits for Leos, I dunno.)

I remember when there was a meme going around about a year or so ago, how tanks should get special privileges because they were so damn important, and both healers and DPS responded with outrage. Everyone’s important in a 5-man, came the cry. And they’re right – if you have a really skilled, geared DPS, they can make the run really easy for an undergeared tank. Not a bad tank – DPS can’t save you from them – but an undergeared yet competent tank, certainly.

And there’s the rub. If you have a derp DPS but a good tank/healer combo, you’re going to be fine for most content. (Not trolloics, perhaps, though that could be changing now. Not raids. Myabe raids? I dunno, to be honest.)

If you have a derp tank? You’re screwed.

It’s funny: PvP never entered that discussion. I wanted to weigh in at the time, but it didn’t seem appropriate, because the dynamics are different. Very different.

Standard RBG comp is 4 healers, 1 FC/melee DPS offspec, 5 DPS (at least 1 frost mage, sub rogue, defensive peeler – hunter/frost mage – another melee, and then an open slot). Healers are usually 1 of each type, except for TP/WSG, where if you can get 4 priests for LG you can do some real damage.

You need a rogue. You need a frost mage, maybe 2. You … well, you can bring a warlock, but they’re not essential.

You might need a tank to be the FC, but it depends on the battleground.

You need healers. You need 2-4 healers, period. 4 healers, especially healers with offensive capabilities, are really your best bet.

You need a higher amount of healers in an RBG than in any other aspect of the game. In a patch when raids are ditching healers and tanks to squeeze more DPS in, PvP still requires healing and dispels. It still requires a FC.

Random battlegrounds are a little different, certainly less rigid, but the same idea applies. The closer your random pug comp gets to the 4 heals / 1 FC / 5 DPS standard, the more likely you are to win. It’s not a magic formula – a good 10 DPS team could beat them, remember Gnomey’s post on it? – but I’ll be damned if it’s not a good rule of thumb.

So when I queue up as heals, I feel like I’m giving my team a better chance to win than when I queue up as DPS. When I queue up as a tank for AV, I feel like I’m giving them a better chance to win.

Would I play my warlock if she could heal instead of do three flavors of DPS? Maybe.

But then she wouldn’t be a warlock anymore.

I hate this line of thinking.

I feel like this whole discussion becomes circular very quickly, like my thoughts have gotten trapped trying to solve an unsolveable question. Which role is more important is the wrong question, especially if you want to play what you like. What role do I want to play is probaby the right one, but it is informed by feelings of utility, which then leads to which role is more generically useful and then you go right back to which role is more important?

You need all the roles filled in a BG. You need all of them filled with good players.

Good players – who enjoy what they’re doing.

I think a desire to be useful can be detrimental to having fun.

Cynedra_-_terrifying_imps_with_rainbows

THE JOY OF PLAY

You have to play whatever makes you happy.

That was my advice to Vidyala, and her advice right back to me, and it’s now my advice to you, and to myself. It’s simple advice, but hard to know how to enact.

Vid returned to her Mage because she loves the character, she loves the class, and she loves the role she plays in the activity she does. Her move to a healer was prompted both by enjoying the class and character (come on, just read Pugging Pally, it’s obvious that she loves Vid too) but also out of a desire to be useful to her raid. She picked the best option to be useful to her guild and raid, and that worked out. But once the utility ended, she was left going… I don’t really want to be raiding on Vid, I want to be raiding as a mage, and not just any mage, but to raid on Millya.

And she switched back.

I respect the hell out of her for having the courage to do that. For choosing to play what makes her happy over useful.

That’s how you have fun. That’s how you keep playing. That’s how you avoid burnout, how you play with joy.

Play with style.

I’m trying to find that joy again. Sometimes I find it for a little bit, but nothing defining, nothing that makes me go, yeah, let’s do THIS.

I might be able to find the hexerfreude again, if I could get over my aversion to the endgame. But there are two variables there – class (warlock) and activity (endgame PvP). Leveling another character up to try to address the endgame issues seems more logical, but daunting. Leveling a warlock might work, but … I don’t want to. I know I don’t.

I’ve mentioned trying some healing PvP in Arena next season; I don’t know if that’s what I really want or not, but it might be worth a try. I might unlock and level up my Druid… or my Warrior… or my DK… Or maybe the lowbie PvP alts – mage, shammy, pally?

The priest is probably staying where she is. I’m pretty sure about that.

I don’t know. I hate not knowing, but I don’t know what to do next.

I’d like this story to end like Vid’s – wayward warlock rediscovers his love of the class, returns in force with vigor and pwnage, film at 11. I think Warlocks need champions, need people to publically stand up and say, this class is awesome, because it is.

But it’s a hard class to play, and I’ve lost the spark. I probably lost the spark before I’d quit the endgame and just didn’t notice it, but I’m only now coming to terms with it. I’m only now sitting here going… I really just don’t want to do that anymore.

Maybe I’ll find it again with Cynwise, but trying to find it there right now feels … wrong. It’s the easy answer, the one that says, this is who you were, this is who you should always be. But the easy answer doesn’t feel right anymore.

Realizing that I need to reinvent myself is the first step.

We’ll have to see what comes next.

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29 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

29 responses to “On Revelations

  1. Chase Christian

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. My guild had a meeting back in Wrath, where it came time to decide what type of guild we wanted to be. If we decided to be hardcore, then I would be telling people which class/spec to play and tailoring the raid constantly for every encounter. If we wanted to be casual, they had their choice of class/spec and could change it between tiers, regardless of how awful their class/spec was performing.In the end, we decided that happiness was more important than progression, and everyone gets to play what they like. We raid with two Death Knight tanks, because they’re the only tanks that actually enjoy tanking. We had a survival hunter and a fire mage throughout Firelands because that’s what makes them happy. We get as far as our comp can take us, and we’ve accepted that progress as “good enough” because it’s not worth making the game “unfun”, that’s how people quit. We’re in this for the long haul, with 8/10 of our 10-man raid playing together for over 3 years now.

  2. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @chase: I’m fortunate that I’ve been in a guild that prioritizes happiness over progression, even if it can be sometimes frustrating. It certainly was frustrating during T11, but it’s gotten better of late. My guildies are happier making progress, but they also get to play what they like. There’s still a need for heals and tanks, but that seems to be always be the case. There’s also a need for people to be great DPS, too! I vastly prefer this style of play. I rather be in it for the long haul.Thanks for the comment!

  3. Malarea

    My comment turned into a lamentation, so I blogged my response instead of leaving it here. Hope that’s okay.http://meltedfaces.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/568/

  4. Redbeard

    Your existential crisis with Cyn is pretty much how I feel about Ret. Well, almost, because I still play Ret, but the great appeal to me was not that it was DPS, but because Ret was the Everyman of the Pally Specs. You could heal in a pinch, you could tank if the tank bit it; you could DPS, but it was kind of pedestrian. Now, Ret has been redesigned into being a “proper” DPS spec with a pseudo-rotation and limited utility. You can’t heal in a pinch anymore; oh sure, you’ve got most of the heals there, but there’s so little mana to work with that it’s not worth bothering. Tanking is the same way, except that you don’t have quite the same damage mitigation.Ironically enough, I was thinking yesterday about how I miss going through instances. I haven’t set foot in one for well over four months, and I’d pretty much resigned myself to not being able to run instances due to the time factor. But still, the rush of that mental countdown while you wait for the tank to get a good hard lock on the mob is something that I don’t get out of a BG, which is more a Battle Royale.I’m sure you’ll figure it out. After all, an existential crisis with WoW is not quite as bad as a mid-life crisis.

  5. Redbeard

    And would you believe that I had to dump an old Star Trek quote to get that to post? Apparently quoting Spock in Star Trek 2 will get you flagged as spam by Posterous.

  6. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @Malarea: Linking to longer ones is just fine! Thanks for the comment, I left one at your place too! :)@redbeard: I’m 37 and hitting my midlife crisis. :DThere’s an underlying theme here that’s worth investigating, of what happens when a class/spec changes under you and you just don’t like it as much anymore. What recourse do we have as players, really? Not an easy question to answer, but like you said – it’s not like the ramifications are that severe.I liked your vulcan quote in the first version of your comment, btw. :) Thanks!

  7. Poneria

    I don’t know if I can be warlock champion, but the class IS awesome and fun to play. :)That said, not even I will level another warlock because I keep thinking of all the wonderful things I can do at max level on my main and only warlock.

  8. Redbeard

    You’re still young, Cyn. I’m Larisa’s age, so I think it funny when I hear people in their 30s and younger talk like they’re older than me. ;-)

  9. Vidyala

    Whew, okay. Most of my comment became an entry (as you well know). The part that I didn’t address is what you said about (possibly) falling out of love with being a warlock. In this regard, I think we are pretty similar because the characters are not just characters to us, they are also people. When I want to go back to being a mage, it’s not “I’d like to be ‘a mage,'” it’s – I’d like to be MILLYA, a bookish, hot-tempered draenei who learned to sew in Shattrath because they needed something to wear that was more than rags, a woman who has lost things, suffered, and ultimately prevailed. I don’t write about the RP side of my characters on my blog, really, but it exists for me as I think it does for you. There’s a story behind how she met Voss, there’s a story behind how and why she left Draenor for Azeroth and how she learned to adapt. She’s real to me. I think Cynwise is like that for you, and that makes it doubly hard that you haven’t necessarily been enjoying being a warlock. I wish I had better advice. I don’t know if it’s possible to completely replace a character you have so much invested in. Through art commissions, you have multiple representations of Cyn herself (that’s why I put so many images in my post, not as a way of saying “look at all the images!” but as a kind of punctuation to my devotion to this character for years. It’s hard to walk away from that. I actually wonder, have you RPed in game or is it something you could potentially be interested in? Perhaps that is a way you could continue to enjoy playing Cyn while enjoying the mechanics of another character. Have you fallen out of love with being a warlock, or have you fallen out of love with being a damage dealer, or is it that you simply don’t feel “of use” enough? When I read “The Cider House Rules,” (I don’t know if you have, I think they made a movie but I didn’t see the movie) I remember being struck by how the main character, Homer (an orphan) is described as being driven to be “of use.” They say it’s an orphan thing, I don’t know, but it’s definitely something I share. It also harkens back, for me, to something you mentioned in another post about how you love CBF because of the feedback you got thanking you for how helpful you were! I think those of us who blog naturally enjoy helping others, otherwise why would we write what we do? Sometimes it’s for us alone, but not often. I guess what I am most trying to say is, no matter what you do with your characters, don’t lose sight of the fact that you ARE already an asset and aid to the community, you’ve helped countless people and will help many more. You are an incredibly considerate, intelligent and thoughtful part of the community whom we’d all sorely miss if you were gone. Whatever you choose to focus your in-game time on, so long as you’re trying to chase down what you love, I think you can’t go too far wrong.

  10. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @pon: Arise, my champion!You might be right that this could be “the main effect” – I already have a perfectly good warlock, she’s awesome, why do I need another? Then I think about folks like Jay (@formerlychaotic) who love the class SO MUCH that they just rolled it over and over again. But still, yeah, maybe I just don’t need another warlock. I have a really good one. (Well, she used to be good.)@redbeard: I stand chastised as a youngling! I’m falling into the trap of thinking everyone on the internet is 25. Today’s my wedding anniversary, though, and it’s kinda sobering to think about how long I’ve known my wife (19 years, married 9).

  11. MMOMeltingPot

    FASCINATING post, Cynwise. You’ve seriously outdone yourself here – this touches on so many of the threads that have been running through the community’s discussions recently. In addition, I’ve never really seen such an eloquent description or discussion of the intangible nature of a class – the way that a warlock can turn from being one thing to being another, and as such from a class you like to a class you can’t play. On a wider scale, the same thing can happen with entire games, of course – as we’re seeing with WoW’s changes over the past few years. I’m featuring this post in the 10pm slot on the Melting Pot today – I must admit I’ve kinda raved about it a bit… (It’ll be live in about 4 hours)

  12. Rhasi

    I love my Rogue, but yes.. I have the issues with the fact that she can only DPS.. which is fine, but the odd time I get asked to tank, which means I need to switch to my Druid.. again, I can no problem with that but when it comes down to it, I see no point to raid with my Rogue, and therefore gear up my rogue for the off chance my druid will be needed. Might as well DPS on her, gear her up and then when she is needed to tank, she has the gear to do it. I’m actually finding that my warrior is kind of giving me the same feeling my Rogue use to (a plate wearing Rogue I guess you can say) and she can tank too. She’s not the exact same but helps me enjoy the game a bit more.. still wished my Rogue could tank though ;) She is my fav toon, mostly because I have played her for so long and it hurts a bit feeling like she has taken a back seat to my dps/tank toons.

  13. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @vid: Thanks for the response (and the post!) I have RPed Cynwise in game, both on Durotan and Feathermoon, but I did more public RPing through my fiction pieces. Even when I’m not RPing explicitly, you’re right, there’s a story going through my head about what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. I get jarred by some of the Cataclysm quests that just assume you react in a certain way, especially when they’re so at odds with my suspicious mercenary. I find that I really tough for me to decide if it’s DPSing or Warlocking that I’m burned out on right now. It’s interesting reading through your responses, because the roles are more varied in PvP. Is it that I am tired of being a Controller/Pressurer and not Burst/Kill damage? Possibly. I had a DK come join our Arena team in half my gear and do twice my damage, despite my constant application of dots – I did my job and kept the healer busy spamming Dispels, but it was humbling to get my ass kicked on the damage done with such regularity. I did my job, but … It didn’t make me feel very useful, to be honest. I was like, well, shit, let me level up my DK too! Let me level up my Warrior and bladestorm the crap out of the meters! Class envy isn’t pretty.I don’t know if I can answer the Warlock vs DPS question until I get some more experience leveling my mage under my belt. (She’s almost done with her second AGM trinket, then she’s ready to rock.) When I try to DPS on my current crop of alts, I’m hampered by how unfamiliar their DPS specs are to me. I may try leveling a Fury Gnome Warrior just so I can get a handle on how it plays vs. Prot. Same thing with Ret, though I’ve never leveled a pally past 26 before.Being useful is a very big thing in my life. Very big. I really appreciate your comments about my role in the community – it’s been a very strange week with that, and to have it all happen at the same time I’m realizing how disconnected I’ve become with my main – well, I really appreciate it. Right back atcha. :)

  14. dakotarick

    Congratulations on the anniversary. 28/20 on my side.I had played my Warlock almost exclusively form 2005 till the end of Wrath. I can’t explain what happened but I am just not feeling the Warlock class anymore. I sometimes wonder if something changed with Cata to make me less interested

  15. Redbeard

    @Cyn–Happy Anniversary! Yeah, it’s kind of weird when you reach the point where you’ve known your wife for more than half of your life (and I met mine in college).

  16. Stormy

    Have you perhaps become attached to the idea of Cynwise as a person/character, though you may not (currently) be enthralled with her class abilities? I’ve had the same experience with my toons. Although I don’t RP and don’t think of my characters in RP terms at all, they do each have a sort of personality attached to them. While I’m sick to death of boomkinning right now, I do miss my druid and his ancestral homeland of Thunder Bluff. I don’t play in a guild with you or anything, but it’s hard for me to (at arm’s length, admittedly) think of you as anyone but Cynwise the Warlock. I hear of your adventures on Cynderblock and your new shaman and it just feels…weird. …okay, maybe that’s it. You may not be attached to Cynwise, but I sure as hell am. I’m attached to the sassy raven-haired heartbreaker from Northshire, I’ll admit it.

  17. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @dakotarick @redbeard Thanks! Yes, crossing that point where you’ve known your wife longer than half your life is just … it’s sobering. I met mine in college too, and she’s the best part of me.@hugh: Thanks! The write up was very nice, and I’m glad you found the post interesting – as you noted, it’s a little different than the usual fare any of us put out. It’s not every day that someone comes out and says stuff like this. :)@rhasi: I wondered about that, since I’m seeing your warrior online more and more. Let me just put one thing out there for 4.3: BATMAN WINGS. :)In all seriousness, I hope you get to focus on your Rogue a lot more in the future.@stormy: Oh, I’m still attached to Cynwise. Not only is she my identity on the internet, but she’s also a character I’m fond of in her own right; I have done some RP in game, but I also have several long stories about her, as well as trying to experience the game through her eyes. There have been quests where I’ve just sat there and said… there is no way Cynwise would do this, so I either don’t do it, or I have to retcon it.I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s attached to this character, though. :)

  18. Cassandri

    It sounds a little bit as though you’re not challenged by your Warlock anymore. Or perhaps you’re feeling disempowered by the changes to your class and are shopping around for someone else to get attached to in the same what you’re attached to Cynwise?I understand the “playing with style” observant exactly. When I’m really in the moment and I feel powerful spreading DoTs around and trinkets proccing and giant crit numbers appear I’m like a little girl running around in circles cackling madly. Sometimes that comes through over Vent a bit *cough*

  19. stiubhart

    Maybe it’s just a 37 year old Leo thing. I’m there with you. Though recently my inability to play warcraft at all is due to new twins, even before that I had tired of the endless endgame gear grind. Even with an accepting group of friends to play with, I’ve just not been interested in playing my only 85, my balance druid. I really enjoyed the playstyle in Wrath, but the new bar management game combined with the dance party boss battles in PVE just don’t interest me. I tried healing in PVP, but I don’t have a healing mentality. I had tried feral before and it didn’t work out, so I’m left with the boomkin. I thought about a new class, but I’m a terrible leveller (I started in Wrath, and it took almost a year to level to 80), so getting another character to 85 is just not realistically going to happen. Ah well. Maybe the best thing to do is drop out until the next expansion and see what happens.

  20. gameldar

    Class and player and identity… and community? Certainly a full blog post in that… lets see what the train ride home brings…I’m sitting in a weird space right now where the class I prefer to play is my druid – my preferred role is tanking, but playstyle comes into it such that I don’t really like tanking on my pally any more. However I have a lot invested in my paladin in terms of mounts and pets and achievements – it is who I’ve done all the work with – and it is also who I’m mostly identified with in the guild (and who I made my GM character) – I made a comment in guild chat yesterday if it wasn’t for the achievements/mounts/pets I probably wouldn’t play my paladin – which got some surprised responses from guildies, it’s certainly not their association.Conceptually I like the idea of a paladin, but I started writing some fan fiction based around our guild’s raids and rather than my paladin I slotted my druid into the role (despite it actually being my paladin in the actual kill). I somehow identify more with my druid than I do my paladin – despite having played my paladin as my main for the better part of 4 years. I’ve often said that if I’d started with a druid main, I might not have switched. Maybe I’m just a wanna-be hippie with fiery red temper rather than a stereo typical macho good guy. But I’ve always first associated myself with the ranger type character (my first ever mmo (mud) character was a half-elf ranger) and druid in many respects fits that – although my first main was a hunter for that exact reason.When it comes down to what you enjoy playing outside of the character identity – I naturally gravitate towards tanking now. Back in the beginning of Cata one of our guildies started healing on her paladin – where she had largely been tanking. She felt is was such a relief to switch to healing because she felt less stressed (interestingly she has been tanking in FL again with her new guild). I couldn’t understand it – I’m the complete opposite – tanking is my relaxing role, and healing stresses me out (in PvE… PvP healing is fine). Successfully healing is an accomplishment for me (as I found 2 healing BH 10 man last night for the first time), but it doesn’t relax me and I find the enjoyment is the achieving success, rather than the partaking in the role.The DPS role I enjoy – but I never feel as effective in that role – as I wrote on Vid’s response post a moment ago – I see the value in being a good dps and so I don’t feel the guilt I used to in queuing up for that role any more, but I don’t feel like I am contributing as much as I would if I was a tank (or healer) – because I don’t excel at that role – I’m good in the utility side of things, but I don’t bring enough of the pain! I said something similar in terms of PvP on one of your recent posts about why I enjoy healing in PvP.. but I am sucker for punishment and so (guided by BH loot RNG throwing me my third piece of Ruthless Gladiator gear) I’m going to give Feral PvP a go this AV weekend…

  21. Rhasi

    Oh Cyn, trust me.. when the new dungeons come out, my rogue will be coming out of “retirement”. I’m really not a fan of tanking 5mans. I enjoy raid tanking, and don’t mind helping in that field, but if I don’t have to tank a 5man, I wont. Wings aside, just getting those daggers would make me a happy girl on my rogue.I also would like to think that once my Druid gets her gear score up a bit higher, i will be going back to my rogue when I’m not needed to tank.

  22. Manglehaft

    Locks for pvp are in a strange place right now.  Only one dominent pvp spec, affliction, and I would argue it’s not a pure dps spec.  Every other control spec in the game (frost mage, sub rogue) has the option to bring burst when needed.  There are obvious restrictions so they can’t bring it at will, but it’s always an option.  Aff has no burst, zero.  It’s also unique that it has just one real escape mechanic and relies on healing to be a survivabilty jugernaught.  So it’s a support class that requires support.  If you have a solid 3s team and enjoy control+dots, you’ll do great, but I couldn’t handle not being able to solo kill players in world pvp.  World pvp is my true love, everything that I do in organized pvp is basically towards that one goal.  Once I realized that, it made trying to chose bw my options (6 85s and the Mage at 83) much easier. 

  23. Tesh

    I’ve argued before for every class to have a tanking, a DPS and a healing spec. Maybe that means a fourth tree, maybe it means rejiggering things. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be welcome to most people, but I’d sure love it. Of course, I’d also allow players to respec on the fly, for free, and to respec their *class* as well, so I’m an aberration.One other thought… Allods Online has a warlock/necromancer class… that can heal. It’s some sort of weird “blood magic” or something, but they actually have been the strongest healers sometimes. I’m firmly of the belief that you can make any trinity role work with any class if you really want to. You just have to be creative….whether it’s a *good* idea to let every class be that flexible (social pressures of feeling useful and similar valid concerns), well, that’s debatable. I think it’s better for the long term health of a game and a community, but I tend to get shouted down on that count.

  24. Malarea

    Whoa…maybe Leo = warlock is an actual "thing." I'm further evidence of it.

  25. skinnemuva

    I was in the same position a while ago. I was really into endgame pvp in BC and my main at the time was a druid. I had become more casual with the game when wrath came out and didn’t even get the expansion when it launched. I really wanted to try a DK though and eventually got it to level one. I got him to 80 but felt obligated to bring my druid up to 80 as well. When I got Cata a few months ago I again felt compelled to level my druid to 85. I did and I haven’t touched her since. I really just don’t like playing with druids at all. Instead I spend all of my time with either pvp leveling alts or my 70 twink (pally). I have my 70 pally dual specced as holy and prot and have complete sets for both. She started out focusing on holy, but with all of the extra honor she got a full set for prot and now that is really all she plays. Hopefully I run into you sometime in either BGs or dungeons. Keep a look out for Èowyn and I will keep looking for Cynli and Ashwalker. .

  26. Poneria

    @Malarea …Aquarius & still chugging along.

  27. Shintar

    Such a thoughtful post… but I’m afraid I have nothing much to add other than that hexerfreude made me laugh out loud, and that I loved that quest in Felwood with the rainbows.

  28. Kadomi

    I can relate to this post very well. First, the warlock angle. My vanilla main was a warlock, her name was Tratsch. I duo’d her with my spouse, also a warlock, called Quatsch (Quatsch und Tratsch is German for ‘bullshit and gossip’, kinda a phrase). She was demo, I was aff, and we loved playing. I rolled Kadomi on the side and leveled her as fury warrior, and that was that. In TBC, my guild was short on tanks, and I suddenly passionately fell in love with that playstyle, so Tratsch went the way of the dodo. I still considered her my main, but she wasn’t. To this day people in my guild call me T, because my SO was Q. I tried to revive my love of her multiple times, but she’s destined to be 72 forever. I got frustrated with affliction in 5-mans, I tried demo for leveling, and that I liked even less. It wasn’t her fault, it was mine.Since TBC Kadomi has been my main. How I loved her. TBC I will always consider my glory days. When I learned how to tank and when I learned how to raid lead. Karazhan, Zul’Aman, me and my SO, always at the helm. Then came WotLK with its LFD tool and the change of playing pace. Everything, faster, faster, always faster, GOGOGO, and I hated it. I stopped reveling in the joy of tanking, I didn’t PUG anymore (I extensively pugged before LFD). I only lived for raids.This was accelerated in Cataclysm. Tank those new instances for strangers? Never, no way, Jose. At the same time I leveled my resto shaman and had no problem healing strangers. That’s fine. Still pressure and responsibility but not that kind of pressure, where people expect you to lead and get them from start to finish in the least possible amount of time. I still loved raid tanking, and that was that.As my timezone suddenly made it impossible to raid anymore, I had to make a tough decision, and I made it this week. Bye bye Kadomi. You’ll always be number one in my heart, but I can’t do this anymore. To be a tank who doesn’t tank.I am now a holy paladin on EU-Forscherliga, because I raided there in TBC, and got her from the low 70s to 79 in 5 days, exclusively healing random instances. I groan at the tanks all the time, because I perceive inferior play from them. Especially warriors. It makes me sad that most prot warriors seem to have issues. I am sure I will feel the urge to go back to tanking, but not right now. Not when healing is so relaxing to me. Tanking is no longer fun and relaxing.Btw, Hexerfreude is totally awesome. I am looking for my personal Kriegerfreude again.

  29. gameldar

    As you’ve stated before posterous doesn’t do tracebacks! So here is my manual version:http://gameldar.posterous.com/character-player-identity-and-community