It was June 2006. I wanted my computer to function properly but my computer disagreed. I tried everything, troubleshooting from my computer at work, calling tech support, opening up the box and staring at the insides, shouting racial slurs, quietly weeping in a corner… you know, the usual. I wasn’t going to get the old girl up and running without a major overhaul so I figured I might as well just buy a new computer. I found one that I thought would suit my needs and started to haggle. I got a price I liked and the salesman said I could pick up two pieces of software for free to seal the deal. I grabbed Civilization 3 because I had played the original way back when and I grabbed WoW since I had heard good things and I played Warcraft 2 back in the day and had a lot of fun with it. I installed WoW first and to this day Civ III remains unopened.
I tried to find a picture to represent tanking
It was my first foray into an MMO and I didn’t know anything about anything. The description of warrior sounded good and I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult play if I just had to hit stuff with a sword. I remember getting in a group for SM and one of the other guys asked if I was protection and I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. I put talent points in stuff like improved demoralizing shout (used to be in the arms tree) and improved thunderclap which seemed like protection talents to me so I told him I was a mix. I had no idea that there were multiple talent trees. I remember getting the quest for berserker stance and reading the quest text and thinking it sounded like pvp. I didn’t like pvp so I didn’t do the quest till level 45 or so. I was the noobiest noob ever to noob. But I slowly picked up knowledge and I made some friends in a casual raiding guild that I eventually joined. It took until about halfway through Molten Core for me to really start figuring out how to tank.
Aerie Peak was launched just before Naxx was opened. That meant that nobody on our server got to do end-game in Vanilla WoW. The most progressed guild killed one boss in Naxx. My guild was working on Firemaw when TBC launched and we were one of the top 5 progression guilds on the server. When TBC launched, the gear reset helped our server catch up on progression. Naxx guilds were able to go straight to Karazhan with their tier3 and our server had to farm level 70 dungeons and heroics before going so we weren’t totally caught up, but we were a lot closer. I was in a guild that was a little slower than some other moving through Karazhan but we got the server second kill on Maulgar and a server first on Gruul the week after he got nerfed – almost had him pre-nerf which was quite an accomplishment =/.
Then progression on the server stalled in late April and there was some upheaval and I was a part of forming a brand new guild with the intention of becoming THE raiding guild on Aerie Peak. And it worked too, with the exception of HKM, Gruul and Mag (already killed before we formed) and Lady Vashj (long story…), we got a server first kill on everything and we finished tier6 about 2 weeks ago. We are by no means an elite guild, there are probably 400-500 guilds worldwide that killed Illidan before us, but we do pretty well. MT duty is split between me and the best damn feral druid I have ever seen and we have another tanking warrior on our roster who is one of the few people I trust to tank when I am not there.
I have tanked everything from Lucifron to Illidan (Naxx at level 70 is crazy fun) and I have played with just about every spec you can imagine (17/5/39 + block value + critical strike = super happy fun times tanking). I went from knowing nothing at all about playing a warrior to reading every last bit of info I could find. In the end I am quite pleased I picked a warrior to play. I can’t imagine trying to raid as anything but a tank.
P.S. If you feel the need to check my armory, the character name is Rochelle on Aerie Peak (US).
P.P.S. Despite the name and the female character model, I do, in fact, have a penis (at time of posting).