I’ve been trying to resolve my level 60 boredom for awhile lately. I’ve spent some time collecting Dreadmist gear and running the more accessible high-level instances like Scholomance, Stratholme, Dire Maul, and Blackrock Spire. Even these, unfortunately, have become very tiresome, especially considering the high failure rate. Sometimes I’m genuinely surprised how anyone, after playing their character for months to reach level 60, can be so inept in their party role.
Of course, like anyone who’s played the game for any length of time, I’ve heard of the legendary instances like Molten Core, Zul’Gurub, Blackwing Lair, and Ahn’Qiraj. These are, of course, impossible for a hobbyist player to attempt, as they require dedicated 40-man raid groups to manage. Having never been in more than a 10-man group, I considered this a daunting prospect. Still, as the only potential way to continue playing my warlock Secronus with any level of satisfaction, I knew it was my next step.
Following this reasoning, I decided to petition membership in Luna, one of Shadow Council’s most well-respected raid guilds. It came as little surprise that there was an exhaustive application process. After all, teamwork and trust are vital to succeeding in the largest dungeons, and many players are incompetent, dishonest, or both. Thankfully, I consider myself neither, and after a few days the Luna recruiters seemed to agree, at least provisionally.
Last night was a night of firsts for me. It was my first time in a 40-man raid, my first time in an end-game instance (in this case Molten Core), and my first test to get into Luna. Like a college entrance exam or a job interview, I was put to the test under real raid conditions to see how I would perform.
Up until this point, I had considered myself something of an expert at World of Warcraft, especially when it came to playing a warlock. Nothing could have prepared me for this, however. I was suddenly managing multiple channels of communication, changing tactics by the minute against unfamiliar mobs, banishing adds on a second’s notice, and otherwise trying to keep up with what could only be described as a blistering pace in one of the game’s most intense dungeons. After playing for months to master my character, I suddenly realized how little I knew about this level of play. As much as I loathed the term, I was a “noob” again, a knee-shaking, newborn fawn surrounded by 63 elite elementals and pits of lava.
I wouldn’t say that I performed badly, especially considering how new I was to the whole ordeal. Even 10-man instances can be difficult the first time around. Still, I wish I had performed better. If I hadn’t been with such a capable group of people who had enough leeway to accommodate my inexperience, Molten Core would have chewed me up and spit me out.
At any rate, I take it as a learning experience that I hope to repeat. I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, least of all when it comes to games. I’m thankful for the opportunity that the Luna folks gave me, and I hope I get another chance to prove my worth to them. With some hard work and a bit of luck, who knows what end-game instances I’ll be invited to next.