Ever since I rolled my first character, I have been constantly trolled by stairs without rails, elevators that insist on going up or down at the exact wrong time, visual illusions that make me think there’s a floor where none exists, ledges that pop right beneath my feet, and the continued existence of the numlock key. The latter is troublesome because I will sometimes hit said key without realizing it, which subsequently causes me to freak the hell out about how I can’t stop my character from running forward what’s going on, and CRAP, there’s a cliff, SOMEBODY HELP MEEEE!
In fact, I’ve only beaten the gravity god once in all this time – there was that day when Mech lagged out of reality and started trippin’ in the Valley of Four Winds …
So it figures that the Siege of Orgrimmar would feature towers. Orcish towers, of course, much like the ones in use for the zeppelins. Clearly, orcs do not give a flip about architectural improvements or lawsuits over broken necks, because they didn’t add any rails to the stairs in these towers, either. SIGH.
The guild started methodically smashing through the raid already, so I was not present when they cleared everything up to Galakras. A couple of the regulars had to call off on this fateful, towerful* night, however, so I was summoned to heal. It’s funny – once upon a time, I would have considered my healing spec’s 510 gearscore to be amazingly hot sheeyit! But after listening to the raid discuss gearscores (520s was a definite must), I felt kinda like I was running into this battle wearing a pretty dress and not much else, just like Aethas Sunreaver. (Spoiler: HOLY CRAP, AETHAS SUNREAVER HAS A FACE.)
At first, I was on the “tower team.” This meant that whenever the raid leader said, “my team, let’s go,” I’d run like hell up the hill to the tower (hopefully AFTER somebody else). We’d then smack some orcs around and run up the stairs in order to take on the dude at the very top of the tower. Defeating him would let us wrest control of this tactically important feature for ourselves! That was the idea, at least.
In reality, where was the tower team’s healer? Ummmmm, well …
A.) Your healer fell down the rail-less stairs and had to run up a second time.
B.) Your healer got knocked the hell off the tower and plummeted to her doom. (What, you didn’t hear her screaming on Vent? The healer had the mic on mute, you say? Oh. Good.)
C.) That one time your healer got bounced off the tower but DIDN’T die on impact, she tempted fate by expressing her surprise. So she got shot up and THEN died.
D.) Your healer was really concerned about NOT getting knocked off the tower. Therefore, she was trying really hard to see the “don’t stand here” stuff on the ground that wasn’t there yet, so YOU died. Sorry.
E.) Obviously, gravity slows the casting of healing spells by a factor of four. That’s your healer’s story and she’s sticking to it.
F.) All of the above.
Correct answer: F.
So then they put me on the “ground team.” Basically, the ground team stays on the ground, which I bet you didn’t expect! They take on every opponent that comes down the path while preventing the Important NPCs from getting themselves killed, because if one of them goes down, everybody else spontaneously gives up and goes home.
Since gravity is SUCH a downer, you’d think that being on the ground team would be a great improvement for me. It was, sorta, since I no longer had to explain my inability to ascend a spiral staircase at a run. But it kinda sorta wasn’t, because then I had to explain my inability to stop standing in sheeyit. (“But it’s everywhere” isn’t considered an acceptable excuse.) Poison clouds got me sometimes, but my #1 biggest, most overwhelming issue was fire arrows.
I swear, it was like I was being constantly bombarded with the things. You’ll always take some damage from them, but you can avoid the rest of the damage by moving a bit. Seems like the obvious solution is to never stop moving! So, um, why’s the healer dead?
A.) I DON’T KNOW BUT IT HURT
B.) Spiritwalker’s Grace was on cooldown, so when they shot me in the face practically constantly and I had to keep moving, I couldn’t get any freaking heals cast on myself or on anybody else, and I got overwhelmed by the initial damage. Again.
C.) I tried to run away from some fire arrows, but then I ran into some poison instead. Again.
D.) Actually, I didn’t see what killed me that time either, but I’m pretty sure some fire arrows had something to do with it.
E.) All of the above.
Correct answer: E.
I felt bad for the other ground team healer, who was pretty much carrying the whole thing despite saying that he couldn’t solo heal it. I don’t know if it’s a lack of practice or what, but it’s like I just can’t make the right decision at the right time – hold still and finish casting this heal at the cost of eating some fire arrows? Avoid eating more fire arrows at the cost of not finishing the cast? Either way, this is going to hurt. Enough consecutive bad decisions and down you go. I WANT to live, it’s just that I don’t know HOOOOW.
Honestly, I don’t mind being backup. It means that I don’t always have to be there, which is good, since the guild raids on Pacific time. (I like shinies, but I also like sleep.) Being backup does have its challenges, though, because I will always have a lower gearscore and less experience. The lower gear means I have less oomph to my heals relative to the damage we’re taking, and the lesser amount of experience means that I move a fraction slower than would be ideal. These things aren’t always fatal, but in current raid content, that sliver of time can mean a lot – especially when it’s a lot of little unconscious hesitations that end up adding into a ton of damage.
* This is a totally legit way of describing things. Got a lot of towers? This place is towerful. Are the towers very important to the whole encounter? Those towers are towerful.