Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's in a main?

(yes, I am very proud of that title)

Yesterday I was in a PuG with my warlock of many pretty curves. The tank was a complete piece of scrub-wheed. He was inappropriately geared, specced and used the wrong abilities. He also happended to have chosen to play a Death Knight. 
CLEARLY he was *not* a death Knight tank. He was a moron who was leveling an alt.

For some reason a lot of idiots have gotten the idea that Death Knights are an overpowered class (hello there wolfshead), and they have also figured out that the fastest way to get into dungeons is queuing as a tank. They know that you tank in frost, but they think that this is all you need to know. They have a misguided idea that every. single. pull. in. every. single. instance. is. an. aoe. pull. everything. then. let. healers. and. aoe-dps. handle. the- rest.
And when they fail at this, they yell at the tree-druid. (there are a lot of trees in my pugs for some reason). 

So my class, gets a bad reputation, because YOUR class has people who rolled a Death Knight alt. 
Thank you for this. 

Between his failing and swearing, and the healer leaving, I had a look at recount, and saw that he was not using his tanking abilities to the fullest. In fact there was one ability that he was not using. I was going to tell him, but then I realised that I do not remember what this ability is called. In my world its the "[shift] R". You know, the tanking ability...
So I didn't say anything to him, and just left as the group fell apart. 

What is a main?
This got me thinking. I've played a Death Knight for two years now, almost. Since beta started, so that is around 2 years. And I cannot remember half of my abilities, names. 
There are my two diseases, Icy touch and that green one, number 4. And I have a blood boil, that one at least makes sense in the name-ability-look-and-effect, scale.
But half of my Death Knights abilities are stuff i click on, not stuff I know the names of. I know what buttons to press to get the effects, I know what they do when I click em. I know what the various talents do what affect them. But I cannot for all the money in the world, tell you what half of them are *named*. 

On my old main (the priest) it is an entirely different playing field. Apart from some talented shadow-abilites, I know what everything is called. I know my renews from my penance, my shadow word: death from my shadow word: pain (and they are almost named the same!!!). I know my priests abilities, and I know how to use them, but unlike my Death Knight, I know what they are called too.
Does this make my Death Knight a lesser main? A sort of second runner up, main?

It is the same problems I have in other MMOs, I never remember what the spells and abilities are called. At least not when I am not playing them.
I played Warhammer for a fair amount of time, and I doubt I could tell you one single ability from that game. 

The first love
I think part of this is stems from the fact that no character I've ever played, has ever felt so much like an extension of me in any world, than my priest. It was on him I discovered raids, pvp, mounts, my guild. Everything I love about WoW, I discovered with him. I've said earlier that I make-believe that my DK *is* my priest who had been resurrected as a Death Knight. That is how attached I feel to him. And I think I will carry the spirit of Dreamweaver over to any other game I would play later (how a dwarf would work in SW:TOR, I've yet to figure out, but i'm sure that bioware would introduce dwarfs in that game, just for me).

Because of this strong attachment, any other character feels like... not him. Don't get me wrong, Redux is much more fun to play. Much much more. So it is not the class in itself, it is my love of this cluster of pixels that makes my main. 
Something I do not expect someone like Tobold to ever understand. Because rationale thoughts are not the answer. 
Just like real love, you invest a part of yourself into something (or someone) and get so much more in return. 
Like any hobby, you invest your time and your love and your thoughts into it, and (hopefully) you get it back tenfold. That is why people love their hobbies, some love their jobs, some love their cats (although, we all know, that you cannot really love cats). It is in a very basic way, the same reason why we love other people. And it is really hard to love someone else. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is
Your first love sticks with you, and my first love is a dwarf with greying hair, who wears a dress and stands in the back and heal people. I love my tanking Death knight much much more, but he is not my first love. He is not my first MMO-toon. 
And I guess in that sense, he will always remain a secondary main, even if I do not really play my first main anymore. 

That is, what is in a main, to me. 


  1. You lucky bastard! The DK *tanks* who have stumbled into groups with me have had to be TOLD to get into frost presence. Yes. I yell.

    I do get the love thing. I am obviously a complete hussy because I love different things about each of my characters.. no one of them can fully satisfy me.. but they all mean something. As for a first love.. hmm I guess that was my first character - a nelf hunter who I hate to play but couldn't bear to delete because of her history.

  2. I love that: I hate to play but couldn't bear to delete because of her history

    - That was precisely what I was trying to communicate :D

    And remember, they aren't DK tanks, they are YOUR class, screwing up on their alts :D

  3. I never fell in love with my first character. Eventually I repaired her, but she's forever stuck in Westfall at a far distant server at level... hm... I think it's 12, if I don't remember it wrong.

    But yeah, I'm heavily invested too in my main. so heavily that I don't think I'll ever switch to something else. My alts all are living a hard life in the shadow of her, mostly used as slaves and helpers to help out my main in different aspects. It's really sad. Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for them.

  4. Woo - love the title. How long did you spend thinking that up ;)

    My first character was a cow druid I still, on some level, think of as "me" - Taurens always make me get the warm fuzzies inside, like they are my people are something.

    But the priest class - sissy robe and all - seems to have my imagination by the bollocks.

    So I guess my emotional main is my cow, and my intellectual main is my priest (even though he's a dorf now, not a belf).

    Although, like you, I couldn't bear the "loss" of a character in whom I had ivested - Tam lives on, in sissy platemail. Oh yes!

  5. @lar: Don't get me wrong, before I found DW (or he found me!!!) there where a lot of experimentations; my very very first toon was a dwarf warrior, then came my black human paladin then serveral others I've forgotten before i clicked with mah priesty.

    @tam: That is a story in itself. I woke up at 3 am in the morning with a "eurika!!!" that woke mrs dwism up. And despite me spending a long time explaining why a title for a blog post could ever excuse waking her up - she did not share my enthusiasm.

    I somehow managed to get a tauren to max level, but they always seem so.. slow.
    I think a tauren priest would rock almost as much as a dwarf lock. In fact, those two should be a faction on their own.

  6. I always thought it was a matter of visual vs. verbal persons. I know the names of my druid's spells, but they will always be "the pink one", "the green hot with initial heal", "the fast heal", "the macroed heal", "pretty leaves!" and "the greenish thing that consumes a hot". I didn't know the names of the abilities of my former main either, though I think I was a bit better at it on her... for pretty much the same reasons as you I suppose - namely back then everything was new so I actually read the tooltips carefully :D

    (But I still say it's a visual thinking thing first and foremost.)

    (Oh, and I'm impressed that you can remember priest spells out of all the classes. I have no idea what half my [lvl 65] priest's spells are called, except they're all [something] heal.)

  7. While I don't disagree with the main point of your post, I wonder if not being able to remember the names of your DK's abilities isn't simply the fault of bad naming? I'm no expert on Death Knights, but just going by a quick look at Wowhead it seems that half their abilities are called "Death [something]" and the other half "[Something] strike", which really doesn't help with telling them apart. I have the same problem on my protection paladin, where everything is pretty much either divine or righteous.

  8. Well thank you VERY VERY much Shintar... Do you see me going onto your blog and ruin your followup posts?
    Think about that!

    I can also reveal that I took a screen shot of both my toons /played time last night, and lets just say that vanilla+TBC is a looooong time compared to wrath, so that will probably also factor in ;)

    But yes, you are right, need a heal in a flash? Flash heal. Need that shield on someone? shield!
    Whereas I could't tell you what the difference between a blood strike and a heart strike was... unless you showed me their logos