Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome to the World of Casual Raiding

Welcome to my very first Blog post.

It’s only fair that I introduce myself and why I’m here. I’ve been a long time reader of many different blogs, but of course some of my favorites include such names as PartTimeDruid, Bigbearbutt and World of Matticus. Really if I had to put my finger on it, Parttimedruid really inspired me to start writing. I’m very similar to his situation in many ways… plus the fact that he’s on my server and in my guild alliance doesn’t hurt either.

So lets get on to introductions and how I meandered my way here. I’m Star… everyone calls me Star in Wow… for one very good reason… try shouting out “Allahanastar” in TS a few dozen times…. It very quickly gets shortened. Since I have a tendency to use “Star” in most of my character’s names, Star became my name. I don’t mind it. I could have been called dozens of worse names. So Star it is.

What I am today is many things. I’m a father of three beautiful kids. I have a wife, a house, a job in the computer field. What I am in Wow is the Raid Organizer for our guild called the ISCA Alliance. I’m currently one of our top tanks and a fervent Altoholic. I also serve as a guild officer and a liaison to our Guild Alliance on Whisperwind called SLACK. Above all… I’m a raid leader. Generally that’s how my brain is wired and it’s what I spend a lot of time planning and coordinating.

All these things are great and nice, but how in the hell did I get here??? About 3 years ago, I spent a lot of time on Monday’s gaming with some friends. We did the traditional geek fun things. Traditional pen and paper RPGs were the soup du jour. All of my friends at the time played WOW. I can’t even describe how obnoxious it gets when you don’t play a game or have any interest in something to listen to them babble on for hours on end about it. So we laid down ground rules… only for the first 30 minutes and once we start, we drop the topic.

I had a 3 year old boy and a 6 month old daughter at the time. So I didn’t feel I had time to play anything that complicated and for gods sake, “Who would want to pay monthly to play anything??” Little did I know…. So after months of discussion, my daughter was old enough to be sleeping through the night and had gotten over her colic stage (colic sucks… look it up if you don’t believe me). I finally broke down and told my friend to give me a free trial so they would shut up and leave me alone.

Did you ever hear the phrase, “The first hits free?” Well this is pretty true. At first I signed up and figured I’ll just play it for a month or two. “I’ll get bored and won’t want to do it after that,” I told myself. Quickly immersed in the game, I found out how much fun it was. I could tell a million stories about it, but that’s why we're here and it wouldn’t do any good to tell you all at once would it???

So I puttered around here and there. I swapped servers a few times and finally came back to roost on my first server ever. Whisperwind is my home. My friends still play there to this day. I got my first character to 60 about 2-3 months before the expansion Burning Crusade came out. I tested out 40 man raiding and found as many hybrids of the day, IT SUCKED!!! When you’re thrust into a 40 man raid, told here, go heal this tank and you realize you have 0 mana, 0 healing gear and zero desire to heal with this character your life becomes a living hell very quickly. 4-5 hours of chain pulls in MC where you don’t know what the hell your doing is not a fun Friday night. I tested out MC, ZG and AQ40 once each. All three experiences played out about the same.

After Burning Crusade came out, I worked very heavily on my feral druid. Itemization was actually there for feral druids. Tanking was a very real possibility. DPS was king. I found I ENJOYED tanking as a druid. So I worked hard, got to 70 and found our guild wasn’t large enough to really run KZ on our own. Long story short, we teamed up with the ISCA Alliance and formed a pact to work our way through KZ. I took on the role of one of the raid leaders. As time progressed I adopted more and more of the responsibility. I burned out a few times. A very weird guild merger later, we were one with ISCA Alliance and we find ourselves pretty much where we are today. We are a very casual group of people with most of us having family commitments and a real life (when we log out.)

As we progress down this dark and slippery road called a blog, I’ll share my insights as a raid leader, what it takes to balance a family with WOW and (Don’t tell… I got a beta key too… so I’ll try to share that as well from time to time..) I’ll probably share some of my rampant altoholism as well… its something we struggle with heavily in my guild some days… Happy reading folks!!!