Monday, November 8, 2010

No Longer Fluent

The bad news is I'm not going to 'win' NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words this month just isn't going to happen and now that I'm in the throes of it, I'm not really sure why I thought it would. Check that, I know why I thought it would. I was under the delusion that 50,000 words would be easy. I had the story pretty much written out in my head, and I figured it wouldn't be too hard to just bang it out. But along the way I found that I grossly overestimated the amount of words I've done in a writing session. Just for fun, why don't you guess how many words are in this blog post and I'll put the answer at the bottom.
The good news is that I'm not going to let the fact that I'm not going to 'win' NaNoWriMo stop me. I'm going to keep writing and we will just see how far I get. I have a littany of excuses, and explanations for why I'm not going to win, but I'm not even going to mention those. I'm tired of being an excuse and explanation guy. The choices I make this month will determine if 50k is going to happen or not.
I decided to log into WoW while taking a break from writing. I was just knocking out a couple of dailies when I saw a message from a guild mate asking for help with the Outland Heoric achievement. This was the same guild mate who had traveled all the way from Desolace to Dalaran to help me with the Hallow's End achievement. I jumped at the opportunity to help out. I fancy myself a pretty helpful guy, but I really like to help people who themselves go out of their way to help people.
I asked her which heroics she needed and she listed them off. It was at that point I remembered you used to need to be keyed for Outland Heroics. That requirement hasn't been removed, only lowered from Revered to Honored. I opened up Abir's reputation pane. All the reps required for the Heroics she needed were in the Neutral or Friendly. This wasn't going to fly. Of course, I had Honors. He ran all these Heroics back at level 70. He would have the achievement for running them all if achievements had existed back then. I offered to run Honors and my guild mate accepted, even offering to help Abir grind the rep necessary afterwards.
I had already rebuilt Honors Protection spec and Ret spec. He was respecd and Glyphed and ready to roll. We decided to start with Shadow Labs.
This was the first time, aside from a couple of dailies that I had used Honors since 4.0.1. We cleared the first couple of rooms with no problem and moved into the room with the large patrolling demons and the casters channeling. I pulled the first group, and got feared into a second group. Suddenly, we had a ton of mobs on us. As the situation grew hairy, I started going into emergency buttons. Divine Protection was a shadow of its former self, and I had forgotten to key bind Ardent Defender because I never needed to hit it before. I kept misclicking Shield of Righteousness with only one Holy Power. Consecrates cool down was longer than a speech from a pompous politicians trying to filibuster. We got feared into a third group and that was lights out.
We rezzed, pulled a bit more carefully, and finished the instance, but I was frustrated. Before 4.0.1, playing my Paladin was fun. I was proficient with all his moves, and I played by instinct and muscle memory. Now it was like I was a brand new player. All those hours learning to play my Paladin beyond his specified limitations were blown away. I logged off that night happy that I had switched mains to my Warrior. Sure, its annoying to not have reps like the ones needed for Outlands, or to not have the impressive trophies like Honors collection of Raid shields going all the way back to the Impenetrable Shield of Darkness. But the toon that got those reps and those shields doesn't exist anymore. I've been given something called a Paladin in its place but one that is mechanically different. It was like I walked out my house to go to work and my Saturn was still there. Only when I got into the car, I found the brake and the gas pedal had been reversed and the wind shield wipers now turned on the lights, and the lights honked the horn, but only after you hit them three times.
I'm sure someone brand new to the calls will find the new Paladin fun and well designed. Its not that I missed for the old mechanics of the Paladin class. What I missed most acutely was my feeling of profiency and fluency in playing the class.
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827 words. How close were you?
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