Driving faster than the legal limit, I turn into my apartment complex and bang up my car by going over speed bumps far too quick. I exit my car in an awkward manner as I literally get my bag, sprint to my apartment, and grab whatever I can eat without making myself sick before turning on my PC.
The moment Discord came up, an angry stream of messages came and reminded me that I was late for raid night. As some of you might know, I recently decided to swap to tanking in World of Warcraft when I had been a healer since I was 14 years old. I apologized as best as I could as WoW loaded up painfully slow.
The interrogation began.
“Did you research the fights?”
“Explain to me the fights”
“Is your gear enchanted and gemmed properly?”
“Why are you late?”
“Why is WoW not on your SSD?”
My anxiety was through the roof as I answered as best I could while reviewing my set up and pulling up the dungeon journal to read and re-read the bosses. I had dedicated a majority of my lunches and breaks watching HazelNuttyGames’ videos for the latest and hardest bosses to date: Crucible of Storms Restless Cabal and Uu’nat heroic mode. The fact that my first raid as an off tank was going to be a heroic boss made my butt hole clench harder than it ever had in my 28 years of life.
To my surprise, the fights were not as bad as I thought they’d be. Granted, I stood in stuff, I didn’t have the best up time for some of my abilities, and I had to be reminded of certain phases mid fight. Still, for my first raid I thought I tanked well enough.
The true enemy was my internet connection and my headset. During the raid, at a crucial moment where I was required to protect the group, everything fell silent and the game stopped responding. Only WoW players know the sheer horror of non-violence during a raid fight because it means you have lost connection. As fast as I could, I tried to inform everyone I disconnected and shut down the game before trying to bring it back up again.
It was at this time that my internet connection was re-established however the audio from my headset began cutting out. I would be in the middle of an encounter and hear “Okay, Tilonius (my character name), you need to-” and then silence. I quickly figured out that by shifting my head in certain angles, it would ‘fix’ the issue. So all night I was swiveling my head in order to hear the group.
Being the martyr I am, I refused to tell anyone about my issues as I decided it was better to swap to my cell phone and wireless headset instead. However the issue there was that I had to push to talk on my cell phone and therefore could not speak at all.
After mopping the floor with Crucible of Storms, we jumped into Battle of Dazar’alor. Knowing that we would, I made an effort to learn the first few bosses to prepare myself. Little did I know, the group saved a raid lockout which allowed us to do the final few bosses of the heroic raid. All of which I knew nothing about since I didn’t think we’d get to them in a fresh run.
I panic opened my dungeon journal as the raid leaders gave me instructions as best they could. Before we knew it, we pulled the boss and I did the exact wrong things. I cringed as the chat exploded in outrage at my mistake that led to the death of many.
This continued more and more as the night went on. My knowledge of the fights lessened while the scolding and my anxiety grew while I tanked. However, the feeling of being in the thick of it, overcoming mistakes, and beating the bosses was all worth it. I got compliments from raiders thanking me for showing up and helping out. Even the raid leaders took a moment to give me a good word or two in between areas to improve upon!
Despite the stress and various technical issues, it only made me even more excited to come back for more next week!
[Editor/raid leader/main tank’s note: We weren’t that mean to him. I put him up on my big strong orc woman shoulders and carried him to victory. It was fine. He didn’t let me die to Grong.]