Strangely enough, being squishy is fun!

I got my seventh character to eighty the other day, a draenei mage. After briefly testing the waters in a couple of normal mode runs I decided that my 2-2.5k average dps in a mix of greens and levelling blues should be enough to not draw anyone's ire in heroics, even more so as the average skill level seemed to be pretty low across the board in that battlegroup (that is to say, I saw people in full tier nine doing about as much damage as me and nobody complained).
So I jumped into a couple of heroic runs... and hilarity ensued! Why, you ask? Well, mages can be all kinds of awesome if the person behind the character knows what they are doing, like that guy who made all the "funny mage tricks" videos, or Euripides. However, if the player is not that good at being a mage (like me), the class really lives up to its reputation of being a glass cannon.

The scene: Halls of Lightning. Having struggled with healing the Loken fight often enough, I knew that I didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of surviving the lightning nova with my piddly 14k fully buffed health, but I didn't quite trust myself to run out properly anymore either, so I thought I'd be clever - put on mage armour for some nature resistance, ice block through the first nova, throw up a mana shield before the second, and again for the third (yes, our overall dps was so low that we got *gasp* three novas) but I died on the third one anyway. Boo.

The scene: Utgarde Keep. We start the second fight, I run close to avoid getting charged (but not close enough as it turns out), have just enough time to shoot about three arcane blasts at Dalronn the Controller when Skarvald charges me for 11k damage and then instantly melees me for another 7k. Mage go splat! I whinged about that one a bit because I'm still not sure what happened. The charge is one thing, but I don't know why he started to melee me afterwards when I hadn't even touched him.

The scene: Gundrak. I knew that it was a run in progress when I accepted the popup, but what I didn't expect was to land right in front of Gal'darah, with the tank being the only person still alive. "Uh, not the best moment to join in," I commented and the rest of the party chuckled in agreement. I tried to go invisible but got slashed by his whirlwind before I could get out of range, so it broke and I died with everyone else.

On our next attempt I blew all my cooldowns right at the start and did great dps... then I got impaled. I didn't get any heals from our visibly struggling healer (who said that it was her first heroic) but figured that I should be able to survive the dot anyway... except that the moment I got thrown off, the boss decided to add a 30k damage crushing blow to my face. Yay for getting aggro while incapacitated! They still managed to kill him without me though.

Now, all this might sound more bitter than amused, but I actually had a ton of fun, (though I'm not even sure why). I guess I like the whole glass cannon concept and that it works both ways. I can't help giggling out of sheer surprise when something unexpectedly one-shots me. Not to mention that being so extremely squishy actually forces you to pay attention and play sensibly again because you simply can't survive being sloppy (pulling aggro, standing in the AoE). Or maybe it's just that seeing my mage dead on the floor cracks me up every time, seeing how female draenei have this rather silly death pose which makes them look like they just tripped and fell flat on their faces.

D'oh, fell over my own hooves again!

I was almost disappointed when I made it through my last instance for the night, heroic Old Kingdom, without even dying once. Though I have yet to figure out the best way to deal with the evil clones on the last boss as a mage - when I used my mirror images I could kill them easily, but without them I just spent the whole time flailing about and being unable to kill anything, only staying alive due to repeatedly spellstealing the tree's lifeblooms.


  1. Such a great post- you're too kind to share your trials and tribulations with the rest of us so we can all think, "Phew! I'm not alone!!" :)

  2. You do know you can run out of Loken's lightning nova, don't you...??

    Or have you always done such crappy pugs that no one has ever run out of it before? It only has like a 10yd radius...

  3. @Disciplinary: I can't tell whether you're making fun of me or not. :D

    @Anonymous: Quote from the post, "I didn't quite trust myself to run out properly". I know you can run out but I've never seen it done properly by a group, never. In hindsight I guess it should be easy as a mage since you have blink.

  4. Ah the freshly dinged 80s... got my 11th two weeks ago and I'm running mainly normals to get some decent gear (mainly trinkets), because in no way I'm going to start doing random heroics with 25k hp (without fortitude and flask buffs) and 525 def. You step in like that and people just drops the group.
    Anyway it's nice to see the comments of people when you step in places like OK or VH and see they hit the jackpot by having a lev80 tank who also knows the places and can tank the dungeons blinfolded and with one arm tied to the back. Yesterday I even got some fun runs. The first pug consisted of 4 paladins (yes, 4!) and a mage (who was wearing some T10 and seems was helping one of the pallies to gear up). I feared the mage would be pulling aggro off me at every cast, but the chap really knew how to play and I never lost contrl of the aggro (and he was doing 4k dps without much effort).
    Anyway, if you don't want to kiss the floor so many times just limit your heroic runs to the easy ones: UK, Nexus, AN, DTK, VH. In OK sometimes is better to run away from clones than fighting them if you're low on hps. Just let the others come at your rescue and frost nova/blink away.

  5. *grin* I love it - sounds like my first few instances on my (newly leveled) mage. I learnt a few things since then - mainly that blink does all sorts of wonderous things (you can blink out of the stun on Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle *squee*) and that sometimes going into melee is just a good idea.

    Like to avoid charge. It goes against all ranged dps learnt for 80 levels or so, but charge has a minimum range. Blink right after your tank and stand under the tag-team of bosses in Utgarde Keep. And the Vrykul in HoL. And the stone golems in HoS. And on the rhino phase in Gundrak.

  6. @Koch: Blink is seriously OP! You can blink out of web wraps in AN before they are fully formed, out of the Maiden of Grief's mass stun in HoS (iirc), out of the Black Knight's strangly grip in TotC... it's amazing and exhilarating to discover new situations to use it in every day. The only downside is that my opinion of all the mages who never seem to use it is seriously going down at the same time. :P

  7. On the last Boss fight in Old Kingdom, just kill the healer first. Then AOE the rest. Your team will probably come to your rescue before you kill the last one.

  8. @CasualGamer: Well, that's what I intended to do, but in my freshly-dinged-80 gear I had trouble outdpsing the resto druid's healing with lifeblooms and nourishes.

  9. Ha ha, I can relate! I just dinged 80 yesterday on my holy priest, and was way too nervous to jump into heroics in my shiny new gear. Instead I gave it a go in shadow spec with my holy gear (no hit!) and managed to get by without anyone shouting at me, and doing surprisingly ok in the meters when I could get my rotation going. Heroics seem a whole other level of chaos after levelling through the normal mode dungeons: more goo on the floor, charges, knockbacks, stuns, extra boss abilities, woah! And just wait till I try and heal my first one, he he :)