Working together on content
A problem shared is a problem solved, they say. (Or it might be a problem halved. Can’t remember. Anyway.) Solo content is always nice to experience. There are some pretty epic quest chains that sprawl across Northrend, like the tale of Bridenbrad the plagued knight, and stealing Arthas’s heart alongside Tirion Fordring, riding the king of the Storm Giants through Zul’drak crushing undead in your wake, and being drawn to unchain a captured Forgotten One in the bowels of a cave. I like quests, they’re good fun.
However, some things in PvE need more than one person. As a rule, I generally steamroller through these things too, but occasionally Blizz will sidestep my Paladin-awesomeness and implement enemy moves, hitpoints or damage that means one person just wont do. I’ve recently gone back to Retribution (über fire-power instead of my Protection spec’s über survivability) and geared it pretty well. 2pt10 is godly for soloing stuff (chance of reseting the CD of Divine Storm back to 0 on melee swing, basically means if you’re lucky you get to spam your most powerful move, which not only does killer AoE damage it also heals you for its damage done.) Nevertheless, even with that bonus and mostly ICC10 gear and above, I still grind to a halt and get flattened by some things.
In steps awesome friends.
One constant companion for helping me storm my way through content has been Elsen. Ages back, we did the more difficult Icecrown quests as a Dynamic duo, and then slowly battered through some Outland heroics. Months later (2 tiers later, in fact) we’ve teamed up again to start finally finishing off our (mostly mine!) nearly finished Outland reputation bars. It’s a lot faster this time around, and I’m tough enough to survive most things with her heals, unless I do something stupid like pull a pack of Satyrs in the Botanica with a 125% damage buff on all of them, or she does something stupid like try and get dressed on a boss fight with constant waves of adds that zerg me to oblivion! Neither of us are perfect. But we do stuff, whilst chatting on vent, and it’s fun. The working together is the key. I wouldn’t mind seeing content that’s itemized and aimed at two players. Not like raids and similar, but maybe some easier instances designed to be two manned. Of course, they haven’t been done, because the tougher soloers (Prot Pallies, Blood DKs, etc) would be soloing them from day one and reaping the rewards, and then a tier later EVERYONE would be soloing them, and so on. But it’s a nice idea.
I might have stated before my favourite type of raiding is 10 man. If I haven’t, there it is. I like 25 man raids as DPS, but as a healer I generally find it’s either hectic chaos or unprofitable boredom. Whether it’s the guild we joint raid with, or just the fact I’m so close to my own guild, I feel much more comfortable and happy in a 10 man environment. I know all of the people in our 10 man rotation, and am anywhere between good to close friends with at least half of them. Teamwork like that, on a greater scale, is an awesome feeling, especially when you break through a wall that’s been holding you back. Maybe that’s why I’m not fond of our 25s, the concept of teamwork seems to escape some people there. Ah well. On our 10s, we’ve been having a bash at the big frozen cheese himself, Mr Lich King, and we’re slowly getting used to the phases. Gotten as far as phase 3, as of a few nights back. It’s damn difficult, but I don’t think I’d be happy if it was face-roll.
Many people have told me they loved the epic feeling of running along with 40 people in places like Molten core, and I can see the appeal. You get up to numbers like that, and you feel like you’re part of an attacking army. Co-ordination must have been difficult, but rewarding. I can only guess, never having experienced that content properly. I hope they can throw a few challenges like that to us in the future. Given how co-ordinated the new healing sounds (to give you an idea, my biggest heal can heal for about half of a ICC geared tank’s health (25-30k). In cataclysm, they’re giving me a heal that will hit twice as hard as that, scale better with intellect and spellpower with my 85 gear, and it will still take 5 casts of that bad boy to get an 85 geared tank up to full health) I think the way encounters in Cataclysm work might be either a blast from the past or like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Just have to wait and see!