Friday, June 12, 2009

Character Spotlight: Artorin

Artorin was actually my first character ever created in WoW. His name came from an RP thing that my brother, sister, and wife did around Christmas before I started playing. The character that I had created for that was an older man that had magic abilities but rarely used them. So when creating my Druid I figured that he would follow in a similar fashion. Thus my druid was created with long white hair and an older appearing face.


When I first hit level 10 and discovered talent points, I put my initial points into balance because that was the only thing that seemed useful. Since you start out essentially as a caster reducing the cast time on wrath and stuff seemed like the smartest move. Then I hit level 20 and everything changed. Training cat form and looking down the talents I noticed that there was a talent that increased the run speed in cat form. That was it.

I immediately respeced into feral and leveled to 70 like that. Around the 50's Nikkyo who was my best friends boyfriend at the time joined up with me on his warrior to give me some pointers. His main was a feral druid and actually pointed out that my gear with int and spirit, regardless of being blue quality, was not as good as green armor with agility and stamina. With his advice I headed to outlands and began joining groups as bear tank.

When level 70 came I pretty much had it in mind that I wanted to raid and had spent lots of time on thottbot looking up armor upgrades through questing and what not. Also Polumaka (my friend) and I left our LOLZ guild to join Renevatio. Renevatio was a guild formed by burned out members from a PreBC raiding guild. They were talented, intelligent but burned out on raiding 5 nights a week chasing server firsts. I was about halfway through the attunement (I started at 68 thanks to being a druid w/ flight form) for Kara when I hit 70 and they were working on downing Curator. This was in July so around 5-6 months after BC was released.

At that time Kara was split up into 2 nights where we would clear as many of the early bosses the first and then work on the rest the second day. I started offtanking for them on the early nights till I slowly got geared up. Raiding for the first time was truly fascinating, every pull had to be carefully marked out and executed. CC was required and those trash mobs sure put a beating on you. I learned a lot from this crew of raiders and they instilled on me a lot of good habits that seem to be missing these days.

After we began clearing Kara regularly the leadership started to grow the ranks in hopes of running 25 mans. This is where things started to go down hill. With in short order we were running 2 10 man groups fairly regularly and eventually got enough to take on Gruul. Now there was an epic fight from my perspective. We spent 2 weeks on High King Maul... talk about a fight being dependent on the pull... and another 2 weeks after that to get Gruul. I still remember being the last of 3 tanks alive when the big ass guy finally fell over. Heart pounding, hands shaking, truly the last time I would feel those emotions on a boss kill.

Death of a Guild

A few weeks of farming gruul lead to attendance numbers dropping. Since we were getting ~20 members to show up, we decided to at least work on the trash in SSC and take some shots at lurker. Around this time I had serious questions about how much time I was spending on the game and decided it was best to cut back on raiding maybe entirely. Things had become stressful at home and telling my wife that I had to raid on certain nights so we couldn't do stuff... wasn't going over well.

Did I cause the downfall of the guild? I'll never fully know but after about a week or 2 of my announcement the Guild leader and his wife (really co leads) decided they were going to quit the game entirely and disband the guild. And so a few weeks later the guild bank and gold was distributed, the website and vent shut down, and Renevatio faded away into obscurity.

Before the Ren was completely shut down, one of the rogues nicknamed b2, told me he was starting a new guild and with the release of ZA would be focusing on 10 man. This is where things became problematic with my wife. I really wanted to help b2 and the new guild out and play as their main tank... but I had already told my wife that I was done with raiding.

Bad Choice...

I'm sorry to say that I made the wrong choice that day and chose to put the game and the guild over my wife. Tranquility was created and we began raiding again almost immediately. Zul'aman was a new raid with new challenges to experience and I enjoyed every second of it. We killed the bear boss our first night in and on our second try. The following week we got the eagle boss to around 20% and the week after he went down. The lynx boss.... ouch. He put an end to our good progress and the following week I chose to take a better geared warrior offtank over the lesser geared protection paladin. Turns out that decision would ultimately damn the guild.

The paladin's friend and GF happened to be 2 of our healers. So because I chose the warrior due to commanding shout and better gear over the paladin they quit the raid. Within a few days they all /gquit and progression stopped dead in its tracks. Without enough members to field a 10 man I should have just stopped raiding all together like I had said. But I couldn't...

Raiding was enough of a bug that I chose to, instead, join the guild that Nikkyo had went to after Ren broke up. Thus I joined the ranks of Serendipity, this time as a healer. Healing on my druid was new and exciting. I was also very good at it. Despite my lower gear I consistently began being in the top 2 healers for the 25 man runs. After a good solid month of raiding with them all hell broke loose.

Back but not the same.

On New Years Eve my wife told me she was moving out. I had put the game above my family and everything finally came crashing down. I hadn't noticed the depression she was in and while I noticed her turning to a friend I didn't see how far things were going. So I decided that it was time to quit WoW. Before logging off for the last time (or so I thought) I attended one last raid with the guild. We were going into Tempest Keep and making more attempts on Alar. That night we not only downed Alar for the first time as a guild but also took down Solorian and Void Reaver for guild firsts.

Still 10 months away from the next expansion this would turn out to be my crowning achievement in Burning Crusade with 4 bosses down in SSC and 3/4 in TK. My wife and I went through couples counseling and a few weeks after she moved out, came home. Things were still rocky between us but at least I didn't have any distractions. With a new outlook we overcame a lot of the problems we had and things began looking up. In fact she found out how annoyingly touchy feely I am when I don't have a habit to distract me :P

So around April or so with her permission I reactivated my account. I was still in the same guild and the people were still there but things were different. I was a raider before and getting into groups for heroics and what not was easy. Not anymore. I felt like an outsider and things were wearing on me. Since I wasn't raiding and just pugging everything I got to the point where I was just ready to quit the game. That's when Redd one of the warlock officers announced that she was going to start running Night Owl Kara runs.

Even though I had farmed Kara to death before and didn't need any gear I saw this as my opportunity. I was careful with the time I played and since these runs occurred late at night (starting at 12:30 am) I could raid and not ignore my family at the same time. Thus with my wife's permission I started raiding one night a week clearing kara and started making new friends in the guild. That was until the end of BC...

3.0 and the death of Night Owls

Night Owl runs were totally laid back and fun for everyone involved. This presented a problem though with the other officers. Eventually Redd stepped down as an officer to get away from all the drama but continued to lead raids. Things only worsened when we started to run ZA instead of Kara. The regularly scheduled raids had been having trouble getting enough sign ups while the Night Owl runs were typically overbooked. The officers viewed us as a threat to the guild and Redd, under lots of pressure, left Serendipity to help form a new guild.

In the wake of her leaving 80% of the Night Owl crew followed. I didn't. I had hoped that this all was because of the impending release of WotLK and that things would balance out at 80 with new content. Taking stock of Artorin I had full sets for balance, resto, feral dps, tanking, pvp resto, and pvp balance. All of it was epic and the pvp gear was mostly vengeful/brutal. With the expansion coming and vowing to make everything obsolete I decided that I didn't want Artorin to be my main character in WotLK.

At this point I had 4 level 70's; Artorin, Llina, Arravis, and Lanora. I remembered having the most fun leveling my hunter so in the last few weeks of BC I spent time getting Arravis her epic flyer and getting everything in order for WotLK.

Post WotLK Release

After the expansion Artorin was simply used for skinning and lw but I did this all carefully as to not to level past 70. I ran a bunch of alterac valleys till I was blue in the face but it wasn't until this week that I finally decided I was ready to work on him. So after getting 4 80's and a 78 my first ever character finally hit 71 and I have a feeling he will be getting a lot more attention.

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