We're approaching a time of year where it's fashionable to make an annual list of personal goals known as "New Years Resolutions". I have never, and I am honest about this, NEVER made a "New Years Resolution" in my lifetime, at least not in the popular sort of way. I am a man of goals, for sure, but not trendy ones that are fated to die out and fade into the blackness that is my horrible memory. No, I make goals in life on a fairly regular basis and try to achieve them. Then I move on to another and treat it the same.
I made some goals for the new xpac, Cataclysm, as well. And lucky for me it was released in early December, not the New Year; this way nobody will be able to confuse them for those useless resolutions. I had a few basic goals in mind, here are some I'd like to talk about:
1) I would play the classes and specs that I wanted, and for no reason, guild or othewise, would I play a class/spec that was not of my primary choosing. Yes, I know, for some serious raiding guilds out there this goal is somewhat selfish, but I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm a selfish being. I enjoy having fun in the manner that pleases me, not others. Those that don't like that can find other like-minded people to associate with and can, fortunately, avoid me like the plague that Silvanas wants to spread among the Gilneas citizens.
2) I would not rush a toon to 85 out of any pressure from any guild, or from social pressures of being "undergeared" - basically I wanted to level at whatever pace made me happy. Again, selfish but my choice, that was my goal.
3) I wanted to heal, but with my Priest and not my Shaman. It goes back to playing the class/spec I want, and the good thing about this goal is that I can still be of use to my guild as a melee DPS, range DPS or healer, and I'll play the specs I want...a win-win situation if you ask me.
4) I had a goal to read more of the quests, get more involved in the stories and try to understand and remember more of the lore. An easy goal for one patient enough to read. Yes, a goal to test my patience, just what a selfish bloke needs.
So, how have I done so far? Let me see.
I started this expansion with four level 80's, a Shaman, Priest, Warlock (Gronthe), and a DK. I wanted to level my Shaman as Enhance, my first love, and to date I have done so. Even better, I have yet to succumb to pressure to "gear up for my resto spec". One way I have done that is to change my offspec from Resto to Elemental. I realize that Elemental and Resto can now share much of their gear, so a shift in talents would be the only necessary change if I choose to capitulate. But I won't, and Elemental is my official offspec. All my other 80's I'm leveling however I want. I'll go some in Unholy, then switch to Frost. I'll start in Demo then change between quests to Affliction. Whatever I feel like doing...I do. I'm staying strong and it's wonderful.
As far as pace, or speed of leveling goes, I admit that I leveled my Shaman to 85 already. Why? Because I was having so much fun questing that I couldn't stop, the results of such enjoyment is a level 85 toon. Hooray! But I did it at my own pace, which I call "fun pace". It was a pace of questing that allowed continuous fun according to my special definition of fun. Not as Spongebob or Plankton defines it, but as I do.
F - Is for friends who do things together!
U - Is for You and Me!
N - Is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!
Yes, thanks again, Mr Spongebob, for interjecting your definition. Now I don't remember what I was talking about. Ah yes, pace of leveling. With all my other toons, now 81 each, I've quested when I could at a pace that was comfortable. Now seeing some of the same quests for a second time I am taking further advantage of my time and enjoying the quests for what they are instead of a means to an end, namely a means to 85. Some of the quests in the new zones are funny, others sad, some boring, some exciting. But I think I've stayed strong with my second goal and paced myself how I like.
As for #3, I haven't gone into a dungeon with my Priest and tried to heal yet, so I can't say whether I'm living up to that goal or not, but there's plenty of time to level and play with these toons, and moving too fast never was a strength of mine.
As far as reading the quests and learning more lore, I admit that I haven't done as well as I wanted to. All the cut-away movies/scenes automatically help me stay in stories sometimes, but all too often I find myself accepting the quest and only reading the quest text when I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do on the fly. I've embarassed myself in front of my kids a couple times because of it, and sorrowfully appear as a hypocrite as I encourage my boys to read the quest text. But I cannot give up on myself, not yet at least. I'm still focused on my goal, and plan to keep trying.
Look, for me the stories aren't the best things ever written, I far perfer actual novelists and classic writers such as Hugo and Tolstoy, but the quests unveil stories that can entertain a casual and open mind. Never enough to win a literature award, and never intended to most likely, but the WoW quests can help teach you why you, the hero, are doing what you're doing sometimes. I will try to do better, is my goal to myself, and you all stand now as my witnessses.
Are you living up to goals that you made for the XPac? Are you falling short? Have you fell into traps that you didn't want to live through again due to social pressures? I don't mean to pry, I'm just a selfish, curious bloke.