Warning: This is a very long post and basically about my playing experiences during T11, so it might not fit what people normally read here. It might offer a little insight into who I am and something about being a bad hunter, but not much else of value.
With the Cataclysm expansion all but over it is time for a walk down memory lane for what I consider to be a horrible expansion filled with bad and worse only to be touched with the rare good here and there.
It started fair enough. We had basically the same raid team together since ulduar and they were all still playing on launch day so starting up this expansion would not really be a problem. We were lucky being most guilds seemed to fall apart at the end of wrath the same way many guild do at the end of expansions.
I leveled underwater first thinking that it would be less crowded because many people would not want to deal with the underwater mechanic and I was right. While it was still jam packed with people it was absolutely nothing like hyjal was. That was a nightmare that first day from what I had heard.
The one thing I did not expect was that the area would be as horrible as it was. Mobs right in front of me were not in my line of sight. Mobs that seemed far away I could not shoot at because of minimum range even if it was impossible they could be considered in melee range. The game was not designed for 3D combat and if anything proved it that did. Later on I went through it on my druid and my charge was useless because nothing apparently could find a path. So it was not just a hunter thing.
I seemed to have either passed most there or did not give up on the area as easily as others but the ranks thinned there rather quickly. I would say roughly 20 quests into the zone I was nearly alone. Perhaps three of four other people here and there but people gave up on the area it seemed or I moved much faster. Whatever the reason, it made questing in this horrible zone much more bearable.
I leveled there up to 82 and went to deepholm. I only did a few starter quests there and needed to take a break. Questing underwater had actually made me ill. My eyes bothered me, my stomach hurt, I was actually ill. I went to bed and slept for 17 hours. Yeap, I am a person that usually sleeps 4 or 5 hours a night and that placed killed me. I don't think I have slept that long in one night since I was a baby.
Either way when I woke up I went back to work. Deepholm was a hard place to quest as a herbalist, a very hard place to quest as a herbalist that first day. The game was only out 20 hours at this point and no patches had been made and anyone that was there that first day would know exactly what I was talking about.
It was a herb wonderland. I was spending more time picking than I was questing. I could not move for 30 seconds without seeing another node and I could not pass one up. I ended up leveling almost to 84 there because I could not stop picking, I was addicted. I wanted them all. In the end I gathered so much heartblossom that one day I had enough to level 2 scribes, 3 alchemists and transmute at least 2000 rubies from uncommons along with make a butt load of gold. I only recently, like 2 months ago, finally used the last of what I originally gathered that day. It was insane.
Some time before I left deepholm someone hit realm first 85. I was 3 bar from 84 at that time. I went to uldum, opened it up and said I have to come back here. This place is awesome. Went to twilight highlands shortly after that, now at 84 of course, to get more experience per quest. Right after opening the portal back from the highlands we saw the first 85 hunter. If it were not for the 17 hour nap I took thanks to getting sea sick courtesy of blizzard I would have easily been realm first.
I hit 85 roughly 5 hours after realm first. Basically means if I had not slept for 17 hours I would have been realm first 12 hours before everyone else. Assuming I had kept the same pace of course.
I was never worried about realm first of course because that is not how I play. If I got it, I got it, if I didn't who cares. Realm first only matters until there is a second. Once there are two there is no longer any uniqueness to being first. Both are the same level so who was there first makes no difference.
I went around and did a few more quests to get some rep so I could get rep gear sooner to get into heroics. Of course I did all the deepholm dailies that first day and the second, need those shoulder enchants and that awesome ring ASAP I thought. I was exalted with them on the second day of release.
My first heroic once I was able to get into one I got kicked from. It was the only time in my life I had ever been kicked from a dungeon. Remember that this was still the first day the game had been release, it was out roughly 26 or so hours and then read the line that comes next.
I got kicked for not having ever done the fight before because the group had been doing it for months.
I got kicked because I was not on the beta. Do you believe that shit? They said this was old content and I should know it by now. I said the game just came out today. I told them I did not know the fights but read the guides, but did they explain it like most would anyway knowing I had never done it before, no, they would rather just wing it and than kick me if I did not know something. Like it would have hurt them to spend 20 seconds to type out what to do. It was BRC, I did the first fight no problem without them explaining it, seemed simple enough and I could have figured it out on my own, to break the chains and run away. No problem there what so ever.
Second fight, I did not know about the beam mechanics other than what I read so we wiped because they did not tell me to block one. They had 2 ranged and a healer, I thought they would be doing it being they did not say anything to me and in a way I was grateful that I did not have to deal with it my first time there.
Second time they were nice enough to tell me that I needed to stand in the beam and even told me which one. That was so nice of the, so I did. But they also said, move out at 100. I had read to move out at 80 but apparently they knew what they were doing so I listened to them and I turned when I hit 100 and it was a wipe.
Third time I said, you said move out at 100 but I turned, the guide I read says 80 so I will move at 80 instead to be safe. That statement, which made sense to me, seemed out of line to them. And then I was kicked but not before I was told I was a bad player for not knowing old content. These are the people that people talk about when they use the term elitist jerks. They believe everyone should have done a fight at least 100 times, before it comes out.
Heck, if they told me I needed to block one the first time we would not have wiped. If they said 80 and not 100, like the guide suggested and is the correct way, the second time we would have not wiped. If they were more communicative we would not have wiped. Instead, I was just a baddie because I was not on beta and have not already done something 100 times.
This is why I never kick people that have not done a fight before. Just because cataclysm has been out forever does not mean someone has done it 100 times. I would be just as bad as the people that kicked me for saying I never did the fight on day one if I automatically assumed that everyone has done every fight 100 times. They could be a brand new player on their first 85. As long as they say they have never done it I will explain it and help them learn. I'll even wipe a few times with them while they learn if I see they are actually learning. That is what people should act like in an MMO, in my opinion at least.
Back to the story. Three days later I was exalted with every faction except the TB one but I was working on that doing the dailies every day. Didn't help that alliance had not owned it once since the game came out or I might have been exalted with them as well in three days for all I know.
A week later alliance wins one, it must be the seventh sign or something and I see groups forming. I am already in all 346 gear and have every 359 reputation piece I can find so I am more than amply geared for it. I whisper someone looking for DPS and get a response to link the achievement for it. Okay, this is the first time I have been on that we owned it and I never even knew we had won it any other time, so basically having an achievement for it is impossible. I whispered back, this is the first time I have been on when we owned it, I don't have the achievement. He responded, no invite baddie, no achievement means you can't do it.
Second time in one week I was called bad for not having done something that it was impossible for me to have done before. I have never in my life experienced this before. People were rude beyond belief. I had played this game for years and never experienced the amount of rudeness I did within one week of cataclysms release in all that time combined.
I checked the guy assembling and noticed he was a hunter. I bet he would have invited me if I were not a hunter and competing with him for gear. He could have said he was full on hunters, he could have said it was a class run, he could have just said full, he could have said a million different things but he made a choice to go the insult route so I did something I had never done in game before. I found someone I generally did not like and I was going to take any chance I had to show him up.
Over the course of T11 I found myself in a pug with him twice. Both times he out geared me by a fair margin, both times I destroyed him. On the first boss in BoT, the one with the damage buff, I beat him by 18K. Yes, by 18K in T11 gear when he had some T11 heroic. But that is nothing really. My crowning achievement in sticking it to him was one day a few days after he turned me down for the BH group.
I was inside TB doing my dailies and he was looking for a group for problim. He was looking from the point I walked in. I was there a good 20 minutes and he was still looking when I saw problim walking near me. Besides having the quest and needing to kill him anyway I saw the hunter and another person, assuming they were together looking for a third, following him around. I dropped what I was doing and proceeded to beat the ever living crap out of problim solo. This was before they changed it to anyone that hit him got credit.
After beating him I turned to the priest next to him and said in say, he said I am a bad hunter. I then mounted up and went on my way, he did not say a word. I continued questing and if you remember TB that first week you will remember it was pretty damn brutal to do those quests with lesser gear and super fast respawn rates many classes needed to be in groups to do it. I was a hunter so I come with a tag on my back that reads, no group required.
Another 20 minutes passed and he was still looking for a group for problim. I was done with my quest now and was just farming some whiptail when I saw him passing by again, hunter following of course. I walked up and laid the smackdown on problim again, no problem and no pun intended. I bowed to him, mounted up and went back to farting around in the area. A couple of minutes later, while he was still looking, I decided I would follow him around for a little bit while he followed problim because I was bored and it seemed like it would be fun.
Every time he found problim I would kill him. The priest came back after I killed him again for the fifth or sixth time and said in say to the other hunter, you are still looking for a group. He didn't respond but I said, apparently only bad hunters can solo him. The priest said to him, you better start being bad, because you look like an idiot looking for a group when a bad hunter can solo him without even taking a hit and laughed and left.
I did not know the priest but that was the greatest put down I think I have ever heard. After that, I left him alone. Although for the next few weeks whenever I would be doing TB dailies and saw him looking for a group I would make sure to solo problim right in front of him and bow and take off. Did the same with tank every time I saw him looking for a group for tank.
It did put a smile on my face showing him that you do not call someone bad for not having an achievement that you do. If you want to call someone bad, call them bad because they are, not because they do not have an achievement. It all came down to he did not want to roll against another hunter. He should have just said so, I can respect that.
Not sure what made him do it or even if it was me constantly showing him up, but he either changed his name or server transferred or maybe even quit or changed mains because he is no where to be found any more. Next time you call someone bad, make sure you are better than them first. Lets face it, taking down non caster elite mobs is in a hunters wheelhouse, always has been and always will be. Hunters are soloing machines for stuff like that, it is part of the reason they are the best leveling class. Perhaps he was the bad hunter. I mean, he did not even try to solo problim even after seeing me have not problems with it.
When the rest of the guild caught up to 85 and started getting geared we decided it was time to start raiding, but before we could even step into our first raid of the new expansion the entire raid team dismantled.
One tank decided he wanted to PvP only this expansion because he did not like how warriors were playing. He eventually quit outright. Another tank didn't want to tank any more, he wanted to DPS and after doing some dungeons as DPS he did not like how underpowered his class felt so he quit, along with his wife who served as a decent back up healer when we needed her. They eventually quit outright and moved to rift when it came out. Our resident switch hitter, a enhancement/restoration shaman that served as a swing healer decided to go full on PvP being he did not like how either felt in PvE but enjoyed resto healing in PvP. He too eventually quit and moved to rift when it came out never to be seen again.
We had a healer that had been healing for two expansion that wanted to go back to DPS. We had another healer quit for real life issues, hey, it happens. Two of our mainstay DPS, great ones, both became part time players and I don't even know where they are now as neither has logged on for the better part of a year. All of this was without stepping into one single raid. It was not the T11 raiding that killed us like it did a great deal of raiding guild, it was the leveling process as easy as it was and as lame as it sounds. People did not like the leveling, they did not like the new skill trees, they did not like the gearing up process, they did not like the dungeons, they did not like the zones, they did not like the story, there did not like many thing about the game and they did not even make it into a raid before they moved on.
So we were left with our number three tank becoming our number one tank. And I had never really seen him tank. We also had absolutely zero healers. So as any good raid leader I went on my way about filling out the team. We still had three solid DPS in me, a druid and a death knight, so we could worry less about the damage dealers but without tanks and healers we would not be raiding, that is for sure.
Our guild was originally from another server alliance side. I was horde side over there and I had some horde friends there of course and our guild on that side was in dire straits as well so I decided to recruit from there being they had no intention of even trying to raid. I tried to talk a female friend of mine and her boyfriend into coming over. She was a tank and he was a damage dealer so that would fill two roles. Did not work well, but I kept mentioning it.
I ended up looking inward, at the non raiders that wanted to start raiding. I was mentioning we were in need of tanks and someone spoke up saying they had a tank. Heck, I did not even know he had a tank. He was just another hunter in the guild as I saw it but when I mentioned we were having tank issues he said he would do it on his tank. As it works out, it was a blessing for both of us, he has been our main tank all expansion and that is his preferred main. His tank just looked like an alt because when he joined us we were full on tanks so he never even mentioned it. Sometimes things just work out on their own oddly enough.
So we had our two tanks now, already four months into the expansion and we have still not stepped into a raid because we still had no healers. I started to work on gearing up my priest having given up on finding healers and told the druid to make a healing off set. When I got a message from my friend from the other server telling me that she and her boyfriend had broken up and she was looking to get away and wanted to server and faction transfer to us. I broke the news we no longer had a tank spot but were in real need of healers. She said she had a 60 something shaman and she could level it and try to heal but she had never healed before.
So there we had it, our three healers but at what cost? We had to lose our top two damage dealers to do it in me and the druid. There had to be a way around this.
In that time, with a half assed group we decided to try our first raid of T11. Throne, being it was short. We downed the first boss, or three bosses if you wish, in just a few attempts. We had to use a very under geared tank, the one that switched to PvP only that I begged to fill in just to get something going, but we did it. The next week after 2 hours of attempts we downed the last boss meaning we finally get into T11 raiding and it took us a total of four hours to finish it. Not really all that impressive when you think that it was only two fights, but it felt great to finally get rolling after four months of doing nothing.
We downed it another time right after that and the druid and myself were actually able to DPS on it because we had our ex healer turned shadow priest on one platform, a new recruit that I ran into that I used to help with his guild back in wrath that had his guild fall apart and the faction/server transfered person up to level 85 and ready to roll.
We finally felt like we were getting somewhere, we were at least clearing something and getting gear even if it was the easiest of the three but we never got very far in T11. We started late and never really go the ball rolling. When summer rolled around we went into scramble mode of filling in spots with whoever was around as raiders went on vacation or had family obligations.
A fully PvP geared shaman healer one day, a druid that wanted to learn how to heal and had some gear for it but had never done it before, the shadow priest with shadow gear attempting to fill in as a healer, what ever damage dealers were around and even a few that I wish I did not take along like people doing 8K or less, but it was better to raid than to do nothing.
With the mix and match of people and no real steady group it was impossible for us to make any substantial progress. We, as a guild, downed the two in thone, all but nef in BWD and the first and last boss of BoT. Some times we did not get guild credit because of not having at least 8 guild members in a group, but finishing the first raid tier of cataclysm, the one that made everyone quit, and actually building a team during it, felt like quite an accomplishment. We went back after firelands was out and got the last three we were missing for guild credit later.
It was during firelands that our raid team really started to build itself into a steady group again, one that would stay together through T12 and most of T13 only to start faltering from people suffering from DS burnout and summer vacation time when the summer came, added with the end of expansion blues, but that is to be expected. We were running three 10 mans at one point. Two with steady every day groups.
All in all, I would say T11 was the best part of the expansion, while progression wise we did horrible that tier it was fun. While reading on the forums about how hard things where and how raiding like this would ruin the game we went into them with a mish mosh of anyone we could find while we tried to build a group and made some progress here and there. None of the fights, except nef, seemed really challenging even when we had lesser skilled people in the groups and all of them seemed fun, something I can't say the same about for T12 and surely not T13. I loved T11. I think it was great. Wish I had raided it more and not had to wait for months before I even started.
We might have not been a powerful guild when it came to raiding, but we can say we did something most casual guilds did not do during T11, we grew, and we grew well. We found new diamonds in the rough, we made some progress with many less then optimal people filling a role when need be.
If there was anything I did not like about T11 it was the fact that I barely played my main. I was tanking and healing through most of T11. It was bad when I had two tanks and two healers that all had more kills than my main hunter did. Not by one or two more kills either in many cases, some had 5 times as many.
T11 was probably the most stressful raiding experience I have ever had in my gaming experience but it had nothing to do with the fights themselves, it had to do with trying to make due with what we had to get going. It took forever for us to start rolling, something that followed us into firelands, but the foundation it built helped us develop as a team in firelands so we were ready for dragon soul on day one. Just like raiders are supposed to be. Ready to raid on day one.
With that foundation that was built in T11 we have out first raid of mists scheduled for the first day it is released. Now hopefully everyone will make it to 90 and not quit like many did before 85. If we can raid that second week of mists when the first raid comes out we will be off to a great start, much better than the one we had in cataclysm and it will all be thanks to those people we recruited while building up during T11.
With all that said and done, when the expansion began we had a full raid team but by the time we were ready to raid as a team all that was left was one hunter, one druid and one death knight. How we moved from that to back into the swing of things is what made T11 fun. Everything else in the game lacked in comparison.
There was nothing to do in the world once I was done with all my reps and getting all the pets and mounts from TB. There was only raiding and as you just heard, raiding in T11 was not always what most people would call exciting because we never knew what we were going to have or even if we would have anyone for it.
So while many might say it was the raiding and dungeons that started to kill cataclysm, and I agree it did play a huge part, from my experience I would have to say it was not the dungeons and raids that hurt them first. The people that left us with no raiders did not leave because of the dungeons or raids, they left because there was nothing to do in the game and they did not like the changes. Some even left without ever seeing a dungeon or raid. The mistakes of cataclysm went way beyond starting to off to hard for the average player as the losses we suffered prove.
Maybe blizzard should take note of those observations and they might be able to read something into them. The dungeons and raids actually helped build our guild. It was everything else that killed it. Or perhaps that should be the lack of everything else that killed it.
T11 ended with me being excited about raiding again but totally bored to death of everything else in the game because there was nothing else in the game.
Coming soon... the history of my cataclysm - The Zul & T12 Phase