Return of the Horde Hunter

I forgot how quickly things can escalate in Classic when it comes to finding adventure.

One of the most fun things about Classic era for me right now is the renewed sense of exploration it provides. Sure, I've played all this before, but I've been playing BC for the past year and a bit, so it takes some mental effort to rewind certain gameplay changes (such as being unable to drop traps in combat again as a hunter), plus all my characters require a certain degree of re-acquainting. What did they have in their bank and bags at the time of cloning? What quests were they on when I last played them? And so on and so forth.

On Wednesday I logged onto one of my Horde characters for the first time, and within five minutes I'd received a whisper inviting me to a guild. I used to be more coy when it comes to accepting guild invites for a while, when I wanted every guild to be a forever home and therefore wanted to vet it carefully before joining, but more recently I've become a bit more relaxed about that, so that me accepting or declining such random invites comes more down to my mood.

In this case I felt sufficiently upbeat, and promptly found myself invited to "Warriors of Sunlight", one of what appears to be only two active Horde guilds on the EU PvE cluster. (Seriously, I'm running the census addon right now and it hasn't spotted any other Horde guilds so far aside from this one and Trinity.) I read and participated in guild chat for a bit and also joined their Discord, and quite liked what I saw there too. I quickly found myself thinking that maybe I could do some casual raids with these guys some time.

This is where the point about escalation mentioned at the beginning becomes relevant, because I also saw that they had an AQ40 sign-up for Thursday evening which seemed to be quite short on numbers. I didn't have any plans for Thursday night, so listening in on that seemed like a good way of checking what their raiding atmosphere was like. In fact, if they were sufficiently short, maybe I could even join them...?

This is where it really pays off that I've been through all of this before. When I first ascended to raider rank among the Forks, I was perpetually terrified of doing something wrong and being a burden on the rest of the raid. However, now that I've been there, I know what the fights are like, and I remember all too well the nights when leadership was asking every person online whether they didn't want to come fill out the raid, because having a warm body of any sort along was pretty much always preferable to undermanning things. So I felt little shame in offering to join on my tauren hunter, even though she was only in greens and blues and had never done anything harder than UBRS.

Mind you, a little shame is still not the same as no shame. For example I was a bit embarrassed when I remembered that my tauren was Beast Master spec instead of Marksman like every good Classic raider should be, and that her gear only had 1% hit rating on it, though I managed to dig up a helmet from her bank that added at least another two.

Never mind consumables, I didn't even have appropriate amounts of pet food for a raid on me, so I quickly stuffed my bags with fruit before it was world buff time, just to realise inside AQ that my wind serpent didn't like fruit, or any of the other food in my bags except a few bits of cheese I had left. So much for remembering which pet likes which food... I was already contemplating the embarrassing possibility of being a pet-less BM hunter when I remembered that wind serpents do eat bread, so I had a friendly mage conjure some rolls for me and the day was saved.

Ultimately I need not have worried too much. While I did feel a bit awkward about my poor performance, I wasn't even the one doing the least damage, and in general the mix of people and their attitudes reminded me a lot of the Classic Fork raids, with some people preparing themselves as much as possible in order to top the damage meters while others would go AFK in town, miss even the free world buffs and then need a summon.

Leadership performed a similar level of hand-holding to what I used to see in the Forks in Classic, reminding people of some key mechanics before every fight (not that this prevented one guy from killing himself in the green goo left behind by the Silithid Royalty, because of course there's always one) and handing out free nature protection potions where it was helpful. Again I was fondly reminded of the Forks, and felt like I was being a good raider just by following all the instructions.

There was one moment where people got cross with the hunters in general because apparently this guild has issues with hunter pets on Twin Emps, but ultimately it wasn't a big deal. Overall the atmosphere was nice, the banter full of dad jokes, and there was occasional friendly teabagging. It also cracked me up/I thought it was cute how the raid leader always asked for reses with the phrase "let's res our fallen heroes". It was a fun night that definitely left me itching for more, even if we didn't fully clear (just due to general slowness, and people wanting to go to bed after a certain point).

So now I'm actually kind of motivated to work on my tauren hunter - and there's a lot of work to do for sure. The only raid she's attuned to is MC, as mentioned she's missing a lot of hit rating, and she doesn't even have an epic mount. Making money looks like it's going to be harder than on Alliance side, as the number of auctions on the AH is a lot lower and I've not succeeded at selling anything other than a vial of Winterfall Firewater so far. For an extra bit of irony I actually found a BoE world epic in EPL, but who was I going to sell it to in this economy? I just mailed it to a lowbie hunter in guild who's still levelling up.

Either way, I've been reminding myself that while it's nice to be excited by the idea of catching up in order to become more involved with the guild, there's no rush as Classic era isn't going anywhere - which is a nice change from the way I've felt about Classic raiding for the past one and a half years.

1 comment:

  1. When I first ascended to raider rank among the Forks, I was perpetually terrified of doing something wrong and being a burden on the rest of the raid.

    This is SO totally me. Considering I'm still like that even on gear drops ("nah, I'd rather it go to someone else who will need it more" is one of my things), yeah, I get you there.

    But I'm so freaking happy that you had fun raiding! That's something that --outside of the purely social Friday Karazhan runs-- had been missing for me through most of TBC Classic. (And to be honest, the last 2 months of Vanilla Classic's Naxx push.)

    So, I'm waiting to hear more from your adventures!