Hello again, everyone! As promised and in keeping with the introductory theme that I think I will maintain this entire week, I’ll cover how/why I chose my Shaman, including faction, race, and name. Holy run-on! This is a bit lengthy so to those who stay with me to the end, thanks!
In-Game Exposures to Shaman
I mentioned in my welcome post that my best friend IRL had played an Elemental Shaman since Vanilla launch. I also stated that I was simply blown away by how cool his t10 armor looked when I first saw his toon. Although it was definitely intriguing to watch him help me blow away lvl 10 quest mobs with a random Earth or Fire Shock, it would take exposure to the Shaman class and lore over time to make me finally say “I want a Shaman.” So I started one up and leveled it very casually. I was still pretty focused on my Paladin since it was my only 80 and I was pugging raids, doing silly achievements every now and then, playing Wintergrasp, etc. So, when I say I leveled my Shaman casually, I mean a level or 2 every couple weeks!
Somewhere in the ealry 50’s on my paladin, I was questing in Un’goro Crater when I noticed the little message from gatherer that said I had just received a gather of thorium in Un’goro Crater from a guild mate I’ll call Cleo. It was pretty late at night/early in the morning so I figured I would say hello and chat with a guildie to help pass the time. We talked for a bit and I found that I really enjoyed speaking with her. It came up that she had recently dinged 80 on her Resto Shaman alt (it really became her main since she wasn’t playing her hunter much) and she was just generally having a good time casually meandering around Azeroth. She became my best buddy in game. I absolutely loved playing with her. We did Jenkins together, cleared old instances, did some achievements, etc. She healed PuGs for me as I did low level Northrend dungeons. I was just overall impressed with playing with a genuinely good person who happened to be playing on a Resto Shaman. She was a female Troll Shaman and I really liked the Totem graphics. :p
The other in game character who really made me take a second look at the Shaman class was obviously my RL friend. He is a male Troll and I insist that they have the best casting graphics in the game (with the exception of that little pirouette thing they do with Unleash Elements–wtf is up with that?). One day before a raid, he was running me through some of the BC dungeons (I was level 63 at the time). We came up on some Naga in one of the instances. I think there were 3 or 4 of them next to each other. He’d run me through instances before, but it was usually me catching up to him and looting corpses along the way. I never really saw him actually kill anything. Well, this time I was there and witnessed this blue and gloriously crooked line coming from his hands and just beating the shit out of those Naga. Chain Lightning. At that time, I thought that was Lightning Bolt and wanted to roll a Shaman just so I could kill things with lightning! I sure was let down later when Lightning Bolt turned out to actually be a little blue fuzzy ball and that Chain Lightning was on an effing CD. QQ
Letting the New 80 Excitement Wear Off
Once I got to 80 on my Paladin, Cleo’s boyfriend would join us for heroics (yay a tank!) as I geared up in ilvl 200 gear. Although he was a warrior, he helped me get a better understanding of how Strength worked for melee classes. He was a Core Raider in the guild so he couldn’t help us too often but when he could, it was nice. Outside of that, she got me into several PuG raids. I distinctly remember my first 2 raids. I had been 80 for all of about 2 hours. Cleo got me into a PuG VoA with her. As we’re standing in the entrance on those steep stairs, I get a tell from the RL: “nice gear. WTF are you doing in my raid?” Awww what a let down. I was SO excited to be in a RAID!!! And then let down by someone recognizing my shitty gear. I apologized and told him I came with the Resto Shaman and that I had only been 80 for a couple hours (yay greens and blues!!!). The next raid was only a few hours later. I had some purples by then because of chain heroics with my friend. This was an Ony 25. Cleo had explained to this RL that I was brand spanking new to 80 and this time, I was welcomed by a very compitent RL who sent me a few tells about what to do in this fight while he also organized the raid. It was THIS raid that I got my first raid loot, Ony’s Head. (I wore that damn neck all the way until I got the Heroic neck from BQL).
Cleo was a great healer. I miss Cleo. She and her man had to quit to take care of a new addition to their family!
With a Pally and DK at 80, I decided I wanted to slow down from gameplay a bit and read some of the Warcraft books. I liked some of the stories from the quests so it made me especially curious as to the roots of some of these stories. I read many of the lore books but my favorite is Rise of the Horde. It really shows how Orcs clung to Shamanism, even if demons used their strong beliefs to trick them into becoming Warlocks. The book spoke of the Shamans’ use of the elements to both fight and to heal in battle. That really got me into the class. But it was Lord of the Clans that solidified my decision on Shamanism. Reading about Thrall’s journeys and how he learned the art of Shamanism in such a short time…how he so respectfully requested the aid of the elements. To me, a LONG time fantasy fiction reader, this truly captured something special.
Once I finished those books, I logged onto my then level 32 Shaman. He was a male Troll. I had decided that even though the books held Orcs to a higher Shamanistic profile, the game spoke differently. Orcs, even in the starting area, came across as warriors and hunters. It was the TROLLS that truly seemed like Shaman to me. They spoke more specifically about the elements and the spiritual side of things. What did I name him? Nothing magical. “Nastiest.” Those closest to me have referred to me as “Nasty” or “Big Nasty” ever since a conversation some friends and I were having back in ’96. Just fun times, sitting in a circle at work. If I even hear the word “Nasty,” I turn my head as if to respond.
Because I feel like this post is already too long to keep anyone’s attention, I’m going to end here. Next up: Going Resto and how I got there!