Monday, September 15, 2014

Raid Leading - "Hit Your Button"

I remember my very first raiding experience with absolute clarity: I remember being absolutely terrified.  Here I am.  Little Mage, first raid, first time really seeing what is involved in a raid, in a group of people I don't know too terribly well beyond first introductions. (I needed to have someone explain to me what a Cauldron was and why I should click it.)

And across from me, flapping in the breeze and starting me down with a maliciousness that made me tremble: Ultraxion.

Yup.  I was pretty terrified. All I could think was "Gee, this is a really nice guild, I really hope they don't hate me.  I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing but I hope it's good enough."  And then the raid leader went through the bit about Hour of Twilight - and then I thought I was dead. "Click your button."

Now wait.  First time in a raid.  What the hell did "your button" mean?

I had no idea what an extra action button was, and after piping up nervously and shyly, I asked what they meant.  My raid leader explained there would be an extra button that would appear (what the fuck was this black magic?) and I'd have to click it.

So I basically spent the entire encounter with Ultraxion with my mouse hovering over where the button was supposed to appear. My DPS was abysmal, my raid awareness was nonexistent, and yet it was my first taste of raiding.

And. I. Loved. It.

And haven't stopped since.


So.  Who am I?

Fair question.

There are a couple different answers to that question.  One answer is:  A twenty-six year old female with a BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Background in Tennis.  Professional Fire Dancer.  Another answer is a guild master and raid leader in World of Warcraft. Or an activist in LGBT and other social-equality fronts. Or a graphics designer, a computer programmer, an artist and a novelist. All answers have their own interesting connotations but they inevitably combine into a singular creature.

I am the somewhat elusive, otherwise mysterious, and altogether occasionally confusing "gamer girl."  Welcome to my world.

I've played many games over the course of my life, video games have always been an interest, but as of late, I've settled into WoW as my game of choice.  I only have so much time for the online world, and I've found all of that time rolling into that particular game.  I'm okay with that.

I became a Guild Master sort of by chance.  When I joined my guild, I was an innocent, brand new, doe-eyed little Arcane Mage, still making my way through the questing zones, too shy to ask for help (not even sure I understood the concept of powerleveling at that time anyway).  Eventually I level capped out in Cataclysm.  (Yes, I'm a Cata-Baby.  Dragon Soul specifically, so quite the new generation, admittedly.)  Little bit of gear later and I found myself on the guild's raid team, filling in from time to time.  Filling in led to raiding regularly and right around the transition from the Cataclysm expansion to Mists of Pandaria, I found myself in an odd position; the current raid leader (and guild master) was offering me the position of raid lead

It took a good bit of convincing - and a long while of transitioning - before I moved from raider, to master looter, to setting down the strategy before the pull to completely leading the raid.  The real breath of fresh air came when Mists dropped: for the first time in my experience no one knew more about the encounter than I did.  We were all learning together.

One expansion later, here I am: leading the two raid teams we have (one pushing heroic progression and one pushing normal progression) and managing the guild itself.

All in all it's been a strange, albeit short road that will hopefully continue on, but it's definitely taught me a lot in its short history.  I'm not yet entirely sure what this blog will entail but it's been bugging me for months now to be started, so hopefully I'll have something interesting - or at least humorous - to share with the rest of the world.