[Lan’s note: This is a guest post by C., oft mentioned here. He and some others will be adding some variety and thrill to your WoW Musings this month and next.]
I was once a Nightelf rogue. It shames me to think of my origins now, but I was young and naïve, and as soon as I learned the truth, I corrected any and all mistakes.
Loydthevi was a rogue who never should have been a rogue. Although I enjoyed PvP, Stealthing wasn’t my thing. Instead I would – very un-rogue-like – run up and try to burst enemies down. Sometimes it worked, usually not. In instances, I never Vanished (a required move), and I always used Adrenaline Rush to pull agro off healers and fellow DPS (damage-dealers), even if they were better able to survive than I was.
That rush-in, self-sacrificing mentality didn’t fit in with the rogue lifestyle (which is to say, abilities) at all. So my ways of interacting with the environment ended up… not really working out. I refused to use the stealthy parts of the rogue toolkit, and other things like healing or taunting to save others were just not something rogues were capable of. So I was relegated to Sinister Strike and Eviscerate. Eviscerate and Sinister Strike. Over and over again. After 60 levels, I got sick of it.
After a little digging and a fate encounter at Grom’Gol, I made Lloydvi, a retribution (ret) paladin. Paladins are built to heal, taunt, and rush in willy-nilly. Now I could do the things I wanted to do. PvP was more fun because ret was built the way I always wanted to play the game. None of Lloydvi’s key skills went unused. If I wanted to save a healer, I could pop righteous fury and pull the mobs off. If I wanted to heal, I could (instead of just hitting /dance in the hopes that my gyrating hips would make you forget the three deranged pigs that just got finished stabbing you with spears). Lloyd let me be who I wanted to be.
Then came Wrath, along with the massive changes to all classes that is to be expected from a new expansion.
Suddenly, the Lloyd I knew was gone. This Lloyd, while similar, interacted with the world differently and so to me, he was a different Lloyd. For instance, the old Lloyd killed Alliance by surviving with Hammer of Justice, Blessing of Freedom and heals until a timely and potent Seal of Command (TBC version). Then BAM! Crusader Strike and Judge, and finish them off with Hammer of Wrath. My old Lloyd was not an AoE (Area of Effect) beast, but that’s how I liked it. I enjoy single target fighting – none of that spreading things out all over the place for me.
But the new Lloyd is very much a whack-a-mole AoE kind of guy. No matter what the situation or number of enemies, now I just hit Divine Storm and my other abilities come off cooldown (that means I can use them right away, for you non-players). Lloyd’s helpful abilities are still there, sure, but now it seems like the paladin and therefore Lloyd is no longer built to use them. After a few months, I realized just because you look like Lloyd does not make you Lloyd, and so Watana, my feral druid was created.
To this day, I still consider Watana my main. I love druids, the lore, the design, they’re my thing. However, I recently took Lloyd out of retirement, got him to 85, and started gearing him up. And I’ve realized all over again that he’s not my TBC Lloyd – that old Lloyd that I loved. They share the same achievements, yes, but at the core, the way they interact with the world – and with other players – is different. My Lloyd was never spec’d for healing. My Lloyd never had 40% of his damage in ranged abilities. My Lloyd never associated himself with anyone named Joe (the name I’ve given to my Guardian of the Ancient kings). But although he’s not my Lloyd, there are some things he can do, and I guess I can find it in my heart to forgive him long enough to play him. So, I enjoy him now, and that’s good enough.