Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Then and Now

A couple of weeks ago Vidlaya over at Manalicious put forth a really neat topic: your character then and now. This topic just oozes nostalgia, and I'm a sucker for the past. Long time readers probably know that already though.

When I first started playing World of Warcraft, I was pretty much Queen of the Noobs, if there ever was such a thing. I was one of those who put talent points in all three trees, insisting that points were well spent when put into the shorter cooldown duration for Reincarnate (I died so often you see, it was handy to have so long as I had remembered to restock my Ankh collection). I preferred to wear a shield instead of properly dual wielding, again in the mindset that it would help me live longer. Stats didn't matter to me, the only thing of value that determined if I equipped something was if it had more armor than my current item. CC wasn't an acronym in my vocabulary, clearing out mobs wasn't something I did well prior to going after a quest objective, and more than once I ran out of a cave with my eyes squeezed shut and a pack of bad guys on my tail, the whole while my brain screaming "NONONO DON'T LET ME DIEEEEE!!!!" as I continued to aggro more and more angry dudes with blunt weapons.

I had a lot of broken gear pieces while I was leveling up. Anything I looked at wrong seemed to kill me. Spirit healers were my bffs. Later on I'd become the good luck charm in my guild; the running joke was "If Saz dies, we got this kill in the bag." Generally, it was true. If I died within the first minute or two of an encounter, the group would get the boss down.

At some point during my rather lengthy leveling career, I learned to take screen shots. It became an obsession. Being the screen shot hoarder that I now am, I have hundreds upon thousands of images of young Saz from the days of the Burning Crusade. I have shots from my early raiding days up through the present. I am, however, incredibly lazy. Instead of digging through those thousands of images to find the perfect ones, I'm just going to post my handy dandy screen shot based video. It essentially shows Saz's growing up period (minus the little fiasco with a guild called Heaven's Blades...I think I was in there with my group for less than a week personally), from her days of wearing a shield as enhancement while leveling up because it would "make me die less" to popping achievements like candy on both Saz and Kelebek in the later months of Wrath. It's a video of my world from almost the time I rolled my shaman on Aggramar to the point where I was forced to quit for many long, agonizing months.

You can really see the changes in computers and my UI through this video.

Where that video stops is where I stopped with raiding and World of Warcraft in general for many months, at least actively. I still jumped online when I could, which was rare since I didn't have an internet connection in my house for the first eight months or so that I lived here, but my play time was pretty sparse. It wasn't until one of my friends graciously sent me her old MacBook (yes, the MacBook that I qq about from time to time when my current machine decides to shit out on me) and another lovely fellow decided to buy me Cataclysm in hopes that I'd be the third shaman on his podcast (sadly that podcast didn't live very long...it had such potential!). Thus began my exploration of the shattered world.

Since rejoining Azeroth, I've had a few changes of guilds. I went from my beloved Battle of Serenity, which died while I was away, to a place called Easy Company. Alright, this switch came before I actually came back with Cataclysm, but it's where I was when I did finally come back. Unfortunately this guild too was pretty much dead when I returned, which was sad since I did actually enjoy the, well, company. I then migrated over to a guild called Too Soon Executus, mainly because I had a few friends that moved over there. Too Soon was were I re-cut my raiding teeth. TSE took me in, let me slay Firelands bosses with them, and they were great in their own right. However, I never felt like I clicked with them, nor did we quite do the progression that I craved. It took me a while to decide it, but I finally moved over to my current guild, Evil Deeds Inc. Mmmm, tasty heroic modes.

Today I'm very much a different sort of player/raider/shaman/whatever. The old Saz died to EVERYTHING under the sun of Azeroth, while the current version usually only dies when learning or forgets some vital piece of information randomly. Stat confusion/dismissal and random button mashing gave way to stat obsession and proper rotation. Content to merely step into a raid with real life friends has changed over to raiding semi-competitively with people whose faces I've never seen in person. Even in real life I am a light year's difference away from who I was that day that I rolled a little black skinned draenei shaman, that day when I was wondering "What the hell am I doing rolling an Alliance toon?!"

Yes, changes come. Some are good, some not so good, some are necessary regardless of their good/bad status for the moment. As it stands right now, I'm pretty happy with where my shaman is at for the moment. She's been the link to a certain kind of happiness for me for a very long time now; she was a thread to a blissfully unaware sort of enjoyment way back when, and she's the thread to a somewhat more competitive and aggressive type of enjoyment now. Inadvertently Saz and the world we know as Azeroth has challenged me and helped me in more ways than I can count. I hope for that trend to continue on for many, many years to come.

March 4, 2008

March 20, 2012

Fun Random Facts
- I have technically gone through six computers over the years; an IBM that gave my screen shots a square look, a 14" MacBook that I melted the motherboard in, a second 14" MacBook, a hand built machine that I kind of "stole" for a little while, back to the IBM, a third 14" MacBook given to me by a darling friend, and my current custom laptop.

- My UI has gone from ridiculous huge, to cluttered, to standard, to almost fancy, in that order.

- I have been in officially six guilds with my shaman, seven guilds in total if you count the guild that my druid is now in. Most took me several months to switch between because I hate making rash decisions.

- It took me roughly eight months to level Saz from 1-70. The journey from 70-80 took me about three weeks. 80-85 only took me three to five days, if memory serves. 

- I went from being an officer, to a recruit, to an officer/raid leader, to a guild master/raid leader, to "friend", to casual raider, to a full time raider who also founded Twitterland Raiding.

- I have always been main spec enhancement with Saz. That said, early on in Wrath while I was trying to lead my guild through a Malygos 25 kill, I readily swapped between restoration and elemental to help balance the group composition. More often than not I ended up raiding as restoration just so that I could actually raid.

- For the vast majority of my raiding career I have been what I call a "lag raider." Most of my raiding experience has been in the frame rates of less than 6. Did you know that you only need 2-3 fps to be able to move out of fire and still pull semi-okay numbers? I rocked that 2-3 fps like a BOSS.

- Due to my "lag raider" tendencies, I tend to strafe, back peddle, and often *gasp* keyboard turn. Why? Well, when you move at 2 fps and you try to mouse turn, things get pretty unreliable. You want to go left by a few degrees? HA, since you moved with your mouse, you just launched yourself 45 degrees to the right and ate the boss' cleave to the face. Strafing and making minor adjustments was always safer and more effective when things weren't predictable. I did however master lag flipping for Sindragosa.

- Saz isn't what I considered my first "main" from back in the day. I have a blood elf warlock named Lusi on Sen'jin that I had been working on when I was asked to come play Alliance on Aggramar. She had made it up to level 25 and until that switch, she was my pride and joy.

- My first character ever rolled was a rogue. I was terrible with her. All I ever wanted to do was run around and pick pocket mobs. I usually ended up in front of them somehow though, staring at their crotches. They never liked that, and generally I was swiftly dealt with. More than once I had been beaten over my undead head with a wooden plank that had a nail through it.

- My first shaman was a troll named Zarifruh, who was just shy of hitting 20 when I stopped leveling her. I tried playing her again a few months back; her gear was so atrocious that I could barely kill the grey level mobs around the Cross Roads.

- Saz was the first character that I rolled on Aggramar and has been my main since the day I rolled her. There had been times when I considered switching to my druid, Kelebek, as a main. I knew that deep down that I could never abandon Saz in any way, shape, or form though.

- While I've tried different hairstyles on Saz, none have stuck like her original look. The only thing that has changed about my shaman over the years visually has been her gear and hair color. Over the years I've experimented some with white hair, pigtails, and the dread lock look, but I always find myself reverting back to the old side part. The darker hair color that she rocks today became a favorite of mine the day that the barber shops became available.

1 comment:

  1. Love the old shot of your toon in 2008. I did a before and after shot on my human at the Lighthouse in Westfall pre and post Rank 10 PVP garb. The before shot is just more intimate both in yours and mine.