Beru Sings the (Pandaland) Blues   9 comments

Everywhere you look, Pandaria is all the rage. People are preparing, excited to start their new adventures, counting down the days until Tuesday, September 25. And while I am usually one of those people, I’m having a hard time working up to the frenzy that usually surrounds a release. I know that the expansion is gorgeous – I marveled at the detail in the beta. I know that there are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to doing. I’ve got gear lists running out my ears, new raid bosses to explore and pokemon to play.

But when I think about next week, it’s with a little bit of regret and fair amount of sadness. And, I suppose if I’m being honest, a case of the jitters and nerves.

Let’s back up. I suppose this story needs to start at the beginning.

When MoP was released, I did what I do every expansion year: I requested a week off work, and got ready to hunker down. Brade had done the same thing. We’ve leveled every expansion together since TBC. And even though he drives me absolutely nuts leveling with him because he often forgets I’m there, doesn’t give me time to read all the quests, doesn’t account for my OH SHINY distractions and tends to be very particular about the pace at which he does things, it’s just something we’ve done together time after time. Once we’ve deprived ourselves of sunshine and sleep to reach max level, we start the gear grind together (which is significantly less rage inducing on my part!). This process is just as much a part of the expansion for me as having a gear wipe, relearning my class and spending several hours leveling fishing.

Well, at some point between then and now things have changed. The first major one was that Brade has decided to reroll a monk. I knew he wanted to do this, but I was immediately disappointed that it would mean that I wouldn’t be leveling with him. I wasn’t sure how I would handle this. We always paired up, and did our dungeons together, and spammed moonfire trying to tag that mob together. It was a change I wasn’t sure I was going to handle well – and I was immediately insecure about. Who would I run dungeons with? What if no one wanted to group with me? Was I going to have to PuG everything? I know this is a somewhat irrational train of thought, especially since I’d been asked if I wanted to be part of an instance group – which I politely declined, partly because I wanted to do the quests and partly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to be up all night grinding out dungeons or if my hands could handle the hours upon hours of abuse that the constant healing would take. But there it was, my insecurity, in all of its glory.

These insecurities (and, well, uh, my demanding/begging/pleading) led Brade to start a RAF account, and earn enough levels, that he’d be able to log in and immediately take his monk to level 80. This would significantly cut the gap between us – and as he’s a more efficient leveler, he’d catch up to me very quickly, or hit 90 shortly after I did. We’d then be back to our old groove farming for gear and working on getting raid ready. I had come to terms with this. Accepted it. I was even starting to work myself into the release frenzy that had, so far, been missing.

And then the other shoe dropped.

Brade came home one night a couple of weeks ago and shared some bad news. Because the project he is currently on at work has a very strict deadline, he was not going to be able to take the vacation time he’d previously requested for the release. And to add insult to injury, he also has to work overtime to make sure that it finishes in time – which could potentially mean that he won’t get home until after 10:00 every night the week of release and full weekends (he’s already had to do the past couple of Saturdays). Once my brain started to absorb what he was saying, I had a realization.

I was going to be completely alone in Pandaria.

There wasn’t going to be any “I’ll catch up quickly”. There won’t be any “I’ll be ready to do heroics” by the weekend. I will have to fend for myself. Instead of him keeping me on track, making sure I am not too distracted by OH SHINY and helping me tag that mob that everyone wants – I will be by myself. Once I reach level 90, there won’t be a tank in my pocket to grind heroics. There won’t be someone to laugh with me when hilarious things happen. There won’t be any “going to queue for heroics, any DPS interested” – rather it will be “anyone need a healer for heroics?” and I’m a little terrified of that question being followed by silence. It’s not that I won’t be able to do it on my own. I know that I will – I mean, I leveled on the beta by myself (LFD instances and all!). And I’m not incompetent. It’s just that I don’t want to do it alone. For all of my complaining and moaning every time we level together about how oblivious he is to the little tauren he’s dragging around and leaving behind him (and at least it is better with dual specs and I’m not trying to level as a healer!), I’m actually really sad that I’m not going to get that experience this time around. I honestly hadn’t realized how much of a security blanket Brade had become in this regard.

I’m sure once 12:01 hits, and I’m off trying to get ahead of the pack, I’ll feel a little better. But for whatever reason, it’s just not going to be the same. He’s going to be in bed while I’m telling myself “just one more quest, then you can go to bed”. He’s going to be getting up for work while I’m sound asleep, thankful that I can walk the dog in the morning so he can squeeze in ten more minutes of sleep. There is going to be no “whose turn is it to run out for food?” while the other dual boxes both of us. In fact, he’s told me I’m not allowed to buy groceries that week, so that I am forced to get up from the computer, stretch and give my hands a rest while I forage for food – since he won’t be there to make sure I’m taking care of myself.

If he ends up working so much that he can hardly play I may well end up leveling him as I gather for Beru’s professions or while I’m leveling an alt, so that he can be raid ready in time for our first official raid. While not the first option for either of us – a reality that may come to fruition out of necessity. And it’s just really hard to get excited about that.

So here I am, with the Pandaland Blues, less than a week from release.

I want to be excited. I really do. I’ve put in a lot of work to get ready. I’m just having a really hard time feeling anything but an overwhelming sadness and a twinge of uncertainty as I think about the coming week.

Posted September 19, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Deep Thoughts, MoP

9 responses to “Beru Sings the (Pandaland) Blues

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  1. Have you considered changing your plans? Maybe not taking the extra vacation and just taking the first month of Pandaria slowly. I mean, it’s only a month, and 2 of the raids won’t be released right away, I don’t think there’s the immediate rush to get to 90.

    I don’t know the particulars of your work, but it seems a shame to burn a week of vacation time if your partner won’t be with you and you’re not really excited about what you’re going to be doing during that week.

    From a personal perspective, the best time I had during an expansion launch was Wrath. I wasn’t in a guild then, and took like 2 solid months to level up and gear up slowly before applying to a raiding guild. You’re going to be raiding for two years, taking the time to slow down and savour the levelling content might be more fun in the long run.

    • While just taking the scenic route sounds lovely it, unfortunately, does not fit in with our raid schedule.

      I did consider not taking the time from work, but the truth is I’ve been looking forward the vacation (which I sorely need) for sometime, so I opted to go ahead and take it. I also don’t know that there is a better time in the year that I will be able to use the time – and unfortunately I don’t get to carry my time over, so it’s use it or lose it.

      Maybe the next expansion I won’t have the obligations that I have now, and will be able to take all the time I want getting through the content ;)

  2. Loads and loads of sympathy. I wouldn’t want to level without my best friend either. We don’t actually quest together usually (he’s way faster than me), but we whisper or talk in vent and giggle together.

    Can you IM him at work? And would that make him feel bad?

  3. Aw, Beru.

    I understand your struggle.

    But you have a great guildmates around and I am sure they will hang around. Sure, they aren’t your significant other (should I say husband, at this point?), but you’ll have a blast leveling up your character(s) with them. They are good persons (for the most part!) Have fun and spend some quality time with Brade, whenever you can.

    Much love to both of you,

    Rholm

    P.S.

    Regards to Judis. Also, I may or may not come back to WoW. Not like Llane or Mono has needs for another sneaky Forsaken roleplaying rogue! Just don’t kick me out yet =P

  4. Sorry to hear that Beru.
    I love leveling with my partner too but with him being on the other side of the world, it makes things very limiting. We’ll have no choice but to take our time but i can certainly understand where you’re coming from. >.>

  5. This makes me sad. Leveling through a new expansion with my husband is one of the best parts of the game! I’d be so disappointed. As it is we’re going to have conflict because he’s out of work and I’m working from home…. on my wow computer… right next to his wow computer. I can see the angst from here…

    Hope you guys find some way to enjoy the shiny first days of the expansion anyway.

  6. I really don’t like the opening couple of weeks of an expansion. There is enormous pressure to rush, rush , rush to the level cap and get geared up as soon as possible. I hate rushing! But if you don’t, you end up falling behind everyone else.

    When Cata came out I was still doing normal dungeons when most of my guild were doing heroics, and of course none of them wanted to do normals any more, so I had to pug them. I was so stressed that I was in tears on more than one occasion. No doubt the same thing will happen this time, and coupled with a new spec that I have hardly played (no real raiding in last 3 months) I am quite worried about it all once again.

  7. Beru, I can’t remember if you’re Ally or Horde; but I have an Ally tank you can keep in your pocket at least some :). I’m only taking one day off work; but I love bringing my own healer to dungeons!

  8. I totally understand what you are going through Beru.
    As you know, my partner is also a feral bear (and I’m a resto druid). For the last 2 expansions we didn’t really level together (I’m so slow everyone including my boyfriend has me blacklisted) but we always did the dungeon team. He quit WoW at the start of Cata and I’ve been lost without him. I took on our 25 man guild myself, inclusive of raid-leading. As per our previous e-mails, this was such a bad time for me, and I can totally understand the lonlieness and anxiety you are experiencing. But you know what? Such a negative thing turned into a positive. I love that I have just as much fun now with my guild. Just me. Often looked over because “oh they’ll probably go together” it made me get more involved in doing stuff with other people – and I love it.
    You’ve spoken before about sometimes feeling detached to from your guild (I get this too, sometimes the GM is the ‘enemy’ like the principal of a school, you just don’t seem to be part of the cliques) but I found this bridged the gap.
    Basically what I’m trying to say is, I totally understand how scary and awful it is, but make the best of it – you could end up having so much fun and strengthening bonds with existing members and new faces in guild. This is such a good time to be BERU, not Beru the raid leader/Gm/boss lady.
    Hope it goes well xxx

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