Perspective (the Tranquil Master)

Mushan the Tranquil Master

Mushan the Tranquil Master

Last week, I had the opportunity to fill in for my girlfriend’s guild’s weekly Sha of Fear kill.

Squido, our raid leader and main tank, has been filling in with them over the past few weeks on his hunter, due to some personnel issues. And when they had another opening for that particular kill, he asked me if I wanted to “beat up on Sha” for a bit.

I thought he meant Sha of Anger. I flew up to Kun-Lai Summit and looked around for a minute before he corrected me about which Sha we would be “beating up on.”


Eventually, I got to the right place, and we fought the Sha of Fear. And we wiped.

I hadn’t asked any questions. I was feeling weird that night, and for some reasons I didn’t feel comfortable raising my hand and saying, “anything different about this fight from LFR?”

A big reason for my discomfort is that I like to research fights like this before I participate in them, particularly when I’m playing with strangers or “with the big boys.” And I had never really researched Sha of Fear, because – for reals – the chances our guild team sees that fight on normal before 5.2 drops are only slightly better than those of an elephant attempting to fit through the eye of a needle, as they say. I’ve been resigned to that assumption for a while now.

Anyway, after a clarification on how we would try to focus down adds, we attempted it again. It was intense – I remember it as sort of a whirlwind for me. I remember being yelled at by my girlfriend during an Ominous Cackle phase because I wasn’t collecting Sha Globes. Hell, I had never even noticed them before. Never heard of them, never saw them, never read about them. So I started picking those up, which was good. And I spewed out my shots to the best of my ability, and did my part focusing down adds, and avoided what damage I could avoid, and…

The Sha of Fear died.

I am now “the Tranquil Master.”

I was happy to have gotten the opportunity to see the fight, happy to hold my own with their other DPSers, happy that they seemed to appreciate that I helped them out. Always happy to run with Squido, obviously. And I was extra happy that, on the bonus roll, I won the helm token. Awesomeness.

But it took me a week to enable the title, “the Tranquil Master.”

They were going to work on Heart of Fear next, and didn’t need me for that, so I was done. In, kill Sha, out. It was a good time and was great experience for me. But something felt hollow about “the Tranquil Master.”

Most people wearing that title have killed everything, or almost everything. The achievement says, to paraphrase, “kill all the Shas.” Which I’ve technically done. But most people with that title have cleared Heart of Fear and Terrace up to, and including, the Sha of Fear.

I’ve killed Imperial Vizier Zor’lok. Twice. Barely. And that’s it. I didn’t really earn the opportunity to even fight the Sha of Fear, technically. It felt like a carry – and not because I didn’t contribute, as I said, but because I didn’t do the work to get there like they had.

So I decided not to wear the title. And for the past week I’ve dropped “Destroyer’s End,” too, because everyone and their cats have that title now, and I went with “Elder,” because I got that all by myself, and I like that title, and it’s not a title that brags that I killed something that everyone else has also killed.

– – –

Today, I changed my mind, as a result of time passing, conversations with Squido about the state of our raid team, and the experiences of our most recent raid activities.

Last weekend, we brought a mage that we’ve run with in the past, who is an alt of Daggan, the tank from my girlfriend’s guild, who tanked for us a couple of weeks ago. He recently hit 90, so his ilvl is very low, but he performed as well as any of us could have expected, given his gear situation.

(This guy essentially replaces our monk, who has disappeared, which nobody cares about because he is unreliable and was generally a complete pain in the ass to play with and to listen to in vent. So it’s a change for the much, much better.)

We killed the first four bosses in Mogu’shan and worked on Elegon (8 wipes) on Saturday night.

On Sunday, we attempted Elegon nine times, killing him on the final attempt. Then we wiped a couple times on Emperor and called it once again.

By the end of the night, I was mentally and physically exhausted, and wired. And frustrated.

Here is the damage meter, from WoL, for our Elegon kill:

Elegon 10, Jan. 13, 2013

*As a side note, we used a strategy where melee killed the Celestial Protectors and ranged stayed on the boss during Phase 1. Our two warriors play their hearts out, and they did great. We’re actually going to try it the opposite way this week, in order to keep the melee on the boss longer, the theory being that increasing their uptime on the boss will shorten the fight for us.

Without saying much about it, I will say that I left body and blood on the floor on these attempts; not because I want to be leet, but because I want to kill the boss. I want. to kill. the boss. And our damage should have been better. It should not have taken us 9:18 to kill Elegon, based on the collective gear level of all but one of our DPSers.

The DPS situation on our raid team is one I’ve shared previously, and has plagued us throughout this tier. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m looking forward to when Daggan gets his mage geared, so that we have four consistently competitive DPS. It gives me a smidgen of hope, now that he’s around.

But anyway, I’ve said in previous posts that this disparity in damage distribution has caused me to feel a burden to do more. I feel pressure, mostly from myself, to take it to the next level so that we can get to the next boss, so to speak. Not that I carry our raid team – we’re a team, after all, and DPS isn’t the only part of the game – but there are elements like enrage times that require a certain level of overall damage in a certain amount of time, along with things like adds that need to be killed quickly, and so on. And so what am I going to do – not try to do more damage to make that happen if it seems like we might not have the overall firepower? That’s anti- what progressing seems to be about, at least from my perspective.

– – –

So, to come back to “the Tranquil Master” and my feelings on earning it… I decided (pardon me), “Fuck it, I’m wearing it, proudly.” Because I want to be there. And I know that if I played regularly with the folks who asked me to help them kill it last week, I would be a successful part of that team. Instead of considering it a “carry,” I’m now considering it an achievement, as well as a validation that I’m doing what I need to do to perform at the level I want to play.

– – –

Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


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