It comes as no surprise that I've been busy these past seven days.
I finished all of the work surrounding graduations and moving on Sunday, and instead of logging onto Classic I promptly zonked out for about 13 hours. Waking up on early Monday, I said "oh crap" and resolved to start work immediately on leveling Briganaa.
So if you're looking for a report on how things were when the Dark Portal opened, you're in the wrong place. I've not set foot in Outland on any toon, but instead had a steady diet of leveling a Shaman. When the Dark Portal opened, I was in Hillsbrad, grinding gnolls and naga.
However, I was not unaware of things, because Guild Chat was all about the Dark Portal and what lay beyond. And about five minutes after the portal opened, I saw people in the /who in guild in Hellfire Ramparts. And then Blood Furnace.
And other instances.
I also saw the numerous requests for groups, and tons of "grats!" on leveling.
And I was still in an empty world, slogging away.
a 90s kick. And if you think Cake was
appropriate, you can guess what's coming later.
I will not lie. The FOMO --the Fear of Missing Out-- is very real.
And for those of us left behind, leveling Shamans, it remains real.
It is hard to watch, so I decided to ignore the Guild Chat tab as much as I could from Monday onward.
Every "Ding!", every gear drop post, every "Look at all the levels!", every "Isn't it great we're all leveling together!", all it served was to remind me that I was not there, where I wanted to be.
I even dropped Mage Chat, because it became too much.
All of it is unintentional, but it is also completely tone deaf.
And I am not the only one left behind who thinks that way.
I've chatted with a few of the others left behind, and they all have agreed that it is hard to watch, that the FOMO is real for them. And the occasional "gratz" thrown our way does absolutely nothing to ease the raw deal that we're under.
The guild does have Shamans in Outland, by the way.
Those who had a free couple of weeks were able to grind (or instance boost) their way to being Outland ready, and they're out with the rest, having fun.
But those of us who had real life, such as graduations, vacations, and whatnot, didn't have that luxury.
That past week has taught me a few things about empathy.
First, that I'm glad that I was not greedy.
If I were a bit greedier about wanting to play Card, someone else would be in my place. And I sure as hell would not want that at all. It's bad enough to be here, but if I knew I sentenced someone else to doing this.... I would have a hard time dealing with the guilt.
Second, that you learn who your friends are.
I've had a few people reach out to me, checking in to see if I'm doing okay, and I'm grateful for that.* Those interactions mean a helluva lot more to me than every occasional "gratz" I got after a level. And I won't lie, in those 'Dark Night of the Soul' moments, they kept me going.
I can't possibly begin to count how many times I've thought about quitting this past week; quitting the grind, quitting the lead position, quitting the guild, and either faction changing or quitting the game entirely. But at each critical juncture, there has been one person who reached out at exactly the right time to check in on me with more than just a "hey, gratz" but a "Hey, are you doing okay? You've been quiet and I wanted to check on you."
For those people, you kept me sane and kept me going. And for that I'm eternally grateful. And words can't express that enough.
Third, that if you feel like you've been left to your fate, reach out to the rest in the same situation and form your own bonds. Shared experience forges friendships and camaraderies like no other, and I've reached out to the rest of the leveling Shamans to keep everybody's spirits up, to keep people going. And the others have responded in kind. All of this has made me resolve that I am not going to leave anybody behind when I get to 60.
I suppose I ought to get this out now: I am NOT going to Outland at L58.
Back in 2009 I did that and bought the t-shirt. It did not end well; as even as a (then Holy) Paladin I was far too squishy for those first quests. And Hellfire Ramparts? Don't make me laugh. The only thing that saved me from double digit deaths was that the tank --the person who got me into WoW in the first place-- was already roughly 67-68 at the time (I think) and could easily handle all sorts of aggro. I'll be heading to Outland in meh --at best-- green gear with the occasional blue thrown in, and I'll need al the BC Clown Gear drops I can get.
And it goes without saying that if people start asking me to join Ramparts runs at L57, saying they'll port me over, no thanks. I'm doing this the right way, and that means L60 onward.
Furthermore, I'm not going to go the "spam instances until Honored and then go questing" route. I am going to do things my way in Outland, and that means questing until I need to go to an instance. Then I'll do the instance. I'll have gotten to L60 doing things my way, and I'm not going to change that.
Which reminds me, I ought to train riding. With the Ghost Wolf form, I haven't needed to train riding at all. Sure, it's only a 40% mount, but it's just enough to keep me from spending the gold on riding. And believe me, I need all the gold I can get.
Brig sits at L48 as of this writing, and I've been shooting for 3 levels per day. (I've done 2 so far, so I'm going to login and get that last level soon.) So by the time the week is out, I ought to be at L60.
Catch ya on the flip side.
*I have insisted, however, that I not get any instance boosts. I need to learn to play my class, and that does absolutely nothing for me. Yesterday I was in a true at-level Razorfen Downs group, and a Zul'Farrak group that consisted of all at-level except for the tank, who was a friend of mine who isn't taking this toon to Outland until I reach it. So we were close enough in level that it wasn't a boost so much as an actual instance run with a really good tank; we were able to get a chance to use our abilities and work our way through them as much as we could.