Thursday, June 9, 2011

You Will Show the Proper Respect!

Many of you will have echoes in your head of a particular speech cadence when you read this title.  You'll see a dark platform in Black Temple, and a boss dressed in armor with bits of brilliant blue.

And if you're like me, you still have a residual knot in the pit of your stomach . . .

Teron Gorefiend had already been killed by Tempest when I transferred to Gorgonnash, but the encounter could by no means be considered farm content by that point.  The raid leaders posted up information about the fight, including a link to an online flash simulator to teach people how to deal with being a ghost.

Remember that?  At regular intervals throughout the fight, the boss would mark one player with the Shadow of Death.  The marked player had to move to the opposite end of the platform and wait for . . . inevitable death.  Yep.  You were going to die and become a ghost.  And when you did, four Shadowy Constructs spawned around you.  And only you (or another ghost who was very efficient and had already killed his own constructs) could kill them.

Talk about pressure.

Here I was, a brand-new Restoration Druid dressed mostly in battleground gear with a few pieces I'd picked up off-spec while being a fail tank, who had never, ever stepped foot in Black Temple (ok, except for the time my friend made me solemnly promise I wasn't going to steal their lockout and took me on a tour up through the Mother Sharaz room, just so I could see the place) with great fear in my heart that I was going to totally let down the raid and be forever condemned in the WoW universe, trying to catch up on boss strats.

It wasn't a good situation.

I had worked on the simulator, as required by the raid leader.  (/wave to my old raid leader, who knows I put him on ignore as soon as he stepped down, but who is cool now.)  But those annoying constructs kept eluding my efforts to kill them on the simulator, no matter how many times I tried and beat my head against my keyboard.

I was desperate.  The only thing left to do was pray that Teron Gorefiend wouldn't pick me.

I know that God loves us and answers prayers.  But He doesn't necessarily answer all of them in the affirmative.  If I'd prayed for the ability to master the encounter, He might have acquiesced, but I'm not sure how much he puts His hand into influencing random number generators.

At any rate, when we were finally facing Teron Gorefiend and the time came for the first person to be marked with the Shadow of Death, Teron Gorefiend chose me.

The first time most people in the raid heard my voice over Vent, I was crying out in desperation and agony, "Noooo!"

I failed miserably.

We wiped.  I had to come to grips with the fact that, yes, I had let the raid down.  But somehow, I didn't find myself forever condemned in the WoW universe.  (Except in the eyes of the raid leader's mod, which whispered exactly how much of a failure you were when you died . . .)  We picked ourselves up, and we faced the boss again.

I don't remember how many attempts it took to kill him that night, but it took a few.  I discovered I wasn't the only one who had difficulty with constructs.  And I discovered that by and large, people were reasonably kind and forgiving, as long as the player was really trying their best.

Over time, I did finally master the simulator, succeeding with consistency.  I was never comfortable with the idea of being the first one marked with the Shadow of Death, but if I was the third or fourth, and had the reasonable hope of one of the more skilled players being around to help out as a ghost if I ran into trouble, I could face the situation with a larger measure of calm.

But somehow, even though I now remember that encounter with a certain amount of colorful nostalgia, I'm glad I don't have to face Teron Gorefiend again as a level 70.

1 comment:

  1. Heh. Good times that was. The simulator wasn't all that good either, btw. It takes a bit getting used to your hotkeys replaced on your regular UI, and the 3D movement, and how the ghosts move.

    I beat it with an assist from an old hand on my first try, but damn that was nerve-wracking.

    Also - positive thinking and google images and believing in yourself and earning yourself some confidence when trying out new things. You know, life type stuff.

    Learn a new sport. Learn crazy skills like being able to walk up to strangers and talk to them about stuff - all that mental agility to switch from one mode to another. Useful, it is, young padawan.