I was thinking the other day about being a Paladin in the World of Warcraft. This was back before you could have a Horde Pally and you had to quest for a horse, not buy one. I rolled a Human Pally with long red hair (in a ponytail) & a beard. I’d never played the Warcraft games before, and Padraig, my Pally, was my first ever Toon.
At first, I played with some friends. But, me being me, I got way into the game really fast, and ended up playing more than them (I now know you should toll an alt toon for such times and play them). So much so, that I lapped them in leveling. I tried not to level too fast, but the game was too much fun, too addictive, and I just couldn’t keep from exploring and questing.
As with any character / class in WoW, you had Talents and Talent Points. Spend your points to increase abilities, gain new spells, etc. and so on. You also had three trees or paths you could follow by putting your points in the right spots. These were Holy, Protection, and Retribution.
Part of the fun of playing the game was exploring these trees, finding combinations that enhanced your character and made them more powerful. That lasted 55 levels, give or take.
At that point, the only way to continue getting new gear (better armor, weapons, rings and such), was to hit the massive dungeons like Molten Core and Blackrock Mountain. Those dungeons required 40 players working together and, for most, a change in how you played your character because you has specific tasks to accomplish without improvisation or embellishment.
I remember being yelled at because I didn’t have ‘the right’ spec for my Pally. It was odd, seeing as how I’d played the character so very long with ‘the wrong’ spec, and done pretty well for myself. People liked having me in their groups, relied on me in a pinch (I once held my own against a swarm of baddies who had attacked (& killed) the Priest I was grouped with for questing and the player said they were on the edge of their seat because they couldn’t believe I was fighting and staying alive (I never died in that battle) – the comment, “YOU’RE FREAKING BATMAN” or some such was shouted at me). But for raiding, I wasn’t ‘right’, and unless I changed my character and bought different gear, I wouldn’t be asked along on raids anymore, essentially ending my ability to continue forward with my Paladin.
Is there a moral to this story? Something about who you think you are versus who people think you’re supposed to be?
I don’t know.
As for my Paladin, well, first The Burning Crusade & then Wrath of the Lich King came out, two expansions that raised the level cap (twice), added more areas where I could quest, grow my character, get better stuff, and have fun.
And isn’t that was it’s all about?