Friday, June 29, 2007 the beginning...

A good hunt(ard)er friend of mine, BRK, has been publishing a very interesting weblog for, oh, the last 6 or 7 months. Lunacy, schizophrenia, raving rants, theorycrafting, trolling, and flaming...all elements that, agree with the subject matter or not, create a readable and extremely entertaining bit of online fodder.

BRK and I met almost a year ago when three of my real life friends (and work colleagues), convinced me to stop wasting my evenings owning noobs in Halo 2 and start pawn1ng n00bZ in the lands of Azeroth. I'd played my fair share of fantasy RPG's before (read: Neverwinter Nights, Diablo 2, etc.), but never an MMO. I was in for a surprise.

What type of character should I choose (I had no idea you don't "choose" a "character", you "roll" a "toon")? Let's see...hmm...what is there to choose from. Are there wizards? Mages, warlocks. Hmm, paladins? Yeah, but they are a sonova to level. Warriors? Yep. Monks? Whats? Ninjas? Lollercoaster, try a rogue. So a night elf rogue I cho- er, rolled.

Hello level 2, goodbye social life. I found myself rushing home from work to make the deadmines run, because I REALLY wanted another piece of Defias Leather. I was wasting hours at work perusing thottbot for item upgrades and quest hints and tips. Mods? What are those? OMG will you marry me? 20 days, 32 hours, and 15 minutes of game play later, I hit level 60 (ok I completely made that up because everyone knows it takes alot longer than that to max your first charac- er, toon).

I was hooked, I was addicted, there was nothing I wanted to do more than play my stealthy, sneaky, quest-objective-stealing, backstabbing rogue. Until, that is, I saw a Hanzo Sword up on the auction house. Combat sword spec, here we come! Oh the wonders of spamming sinister strike until Scrolling Combat Text jumped onto my screen screaming, "5 points, FINISH HIM!" Uldaman (/vomit), Mauradon (/slitwrist), Dire Maul (the new DM), BRD, and LBRS all experienced my button mashing style: 2222222 3, 22222222 3, 222222...priest died? /vanish (something I do to this day). It wasnt until UBRS that I really started learning how to use my rogue to be more than a dps machine, but that is for a different post and time.

Back to BRK and the history of madness that has been our gaming relationship. He was already level 60 when I joined the guild, spending countless hours in Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley, and Warsong Gulch; grinding his way through honor to get the epic gear he swore he'd never see from raiding. In fact, he was the hunter class officer, a favorite whipping boy of the ruthless, redheaded GM. Hobbesburger anyone?

Eventually we were two pieces of a great UBRS group, turning it to farm status when the rest of the server was transitioning from Zul'Gurub and Molten Core to AQ40 and Blackwing Lair. Sure we were a bit late, but we were all really good friends and we had a blast (except for when the hunter class second was busy wiping the raid).

As go the cycle of guilds, the one I was born into was eventually no more, and my real life friends and I moved to a different server. Not more than a few weeks ago (and shortly before that reunited with the aformentioned redheaded devil of a priest), I was reunited with the now famous BRK. We 6 (priest, priest, druid, warrior, rogue, hunter) form one of the most dysfunctional, elite groups youll ever meet. No instance, raid, heroic, or offensive guildname can stand in our way!

Suffice to say, reading BRK's blog for so long has got me thinking. Hunters need help. This much is not debatable, and BRK provides some of the best hunter advice on the internet. But what about rogues? I consider myself an expert, having played all of the different combinations of all the available trees and specs. But really, how hard can it be to sneak around unseen, executing saps, stuns and high end dps? up: why using a pvp spec for end game raiding is better than you think.