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3-07-2012 @ 2:36AM
I started in wrath on a shadow priest, my guild had played through BC and in WotLK still marked pulls in some dungeons depending on the situation. We raided casually, with our 10man downing LK only a few months before Cata dropped and our casual 25's clearing up to Putricide weekly. Once Cata came, some old faces returned for a short while but the heroic dungeons were too much for a lot of us. The time investment and required skill level meant hours of wipes for little or no reward. The healers were the first to go. Raiding never really got off the ground either, after a month of wiping on post-nerf Halfus and Magmaw interest died. DPS was too low, the interrupts and reaction time required was too punishing and no-one knew the fights enough to lead with confidence. Pretty soon the 3 of us keen to raid abandoned the idea, we just couldn't get anyone to turn up.My experience at the tart of the xpac was a bit different to my guilds however. I actually geared up fast at the start of Cata, and switched from Shadow to Holy to heal for the first time. Not really by choice, the guilds healers were the first to quit so I stepped up (I had been toying with the idea for some time before the xpac anyways). I chained dungeons and for the first month of the xpac I had the best dungeon groups I've ever experienced ingame. The people I was grouped with were mostly guild groups, but they were people like me, taking the challenge head on. Targets were marked, pulls were careful and entire runs were often without wipes. Although HPriest were a bit broken at the time, they didn't mind me drinking after every single pull.Then the rest of the playerbase caught up and suddenly my Heal spam just couldn't carry them though. The hunter that refused (or didn't know) to trap, the mage that didn't refresh polymorph and the tank that tried to AOE pull, I had them all in spades. I saw more than my fair share of abuse too but if I wasn't kicked I would finish the dungeon. My guild still couldn't clear dungeons at that time so i had little choice. It wasn't until the Zandoms came along that I could relax a little and start to have fun healing. I still couldn't carry a bad group, but I didn't have to pop Shadowfeind and Hymn of Hope every boss fight. The fun however was short-lived, with no raids all I could do was grind VP for gear (in the vain hope a raid group would form) and the ZA/ZG rotation nearly saw me quit the game. I managed to pug a few clears of BWD/BoT/TotFW and did well, but could never raid with the groups I found on their regular schedule. I kept ahead of things on the PTR, when the 4.3 content was released I dragged my guildies though it all one by one as if to say "Look see! Its easy again!". A couple have returned, but our guild has definitely changed a lot since WotLK and i can't see any raiding in our future (LFR doesn't count). Overall, I enjoyed this xpac. I liked that Blizz not only promised us a challenge but delivered it also. To me this is what a game should be, a test of skill, concentration, endurance, balance etc. A really good game tests all those things and more, all at once. Even if I didn't clear the hardmode content at the appropriate gearlevel, I'm happy that I my own game this xpac.
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