Well I've been silent for almost three weeks now, but I've got good excuses! Between house construction stuff, work, and vacation in the Carolinas, it's been a busy time outside the world of Azeroth. And since she's so darn cute, here's picture proof of Day 1 at the ocean.
But fret not, fearless reader! I'm back and ready to mix in a few more blog entries into my crazy life. I did get some time in over vacation within Azeroth and have plenty of little things to catch you up on in the coming weeks. Additionally, I'm planning a sequence of articles about what makes a good guild, with some pictures of the house construction process involved in that as a metaphor. So there are things burning on the horizon for Healer Trek despite the next 2-3 months of craziness (end of the billable year at work in October, moving in September, college football season starting and my articles beginning this month for Southern College Sports).
So the first character to be updated is my Horde-side main, Biancae. I was stabbing in the dark as to which other healer class I would like the most after falling in love with Priest, and I figured that Paladin makes a great main on Horde-side since she'll be able to fulfill all three roles of tanking, DPS, and healing at times...while also being very different from the priest in that mail and plate armor comes into play instead of needle and thread. Plus, I like the RP-side of healing with the power of the Holy Light, and I believe Priest and Paladin are fairly similar in RP. Well the good news is, I can feel that this decision was well-made now because I have desire to play Biancae even when she has little or no rested time, over my desire to play Arielae (druid) and Clarissae (shaman) on full rested time. Not to say I'm disenfranchised with any of the three classes, but I just have more desire right now on Biancae. So, she's moved a bit past the other two in progression. Biancae has reached the legal limit at 21, so watch out world!
As you can see, Biancae is enjoying the sword and board style of leveling at this point, and she has cleared through the entirety of the Ghostlands except for a couple group quests and a couple more quests in Deathholme. The Blood Elf starting zones are perhaps even better designed than the Draenei starting zones, so kudos to Blizzard for a good job in that aspect of The Burning Crusade expansion. Biancae has clearly picked up some mail gear and it doesn't look so bad at this point. I know her gear will look more clown-like as we move towards Outland in the future. She's also eagerly anticipating patch 3.2 now, as the ability to buy a mount at her level will speed things up considerably.
I think that I'm beyond the level to quest in the Barrens, which is probably a good thing from what I hear. So after she finds a group to tear up Lurzan and the Deathholme gang, Biancae will likely move into Thousand Needles or somewhere similar. Although I'm leveling ret instead of prot or holy, the gameplay is very nice for paladin, especially at 20. Exorcism, Judgments, and lots of self-buffs make her a force to be reckoned with. One thing's for sure, I'll now have lots of people to ask for advice on where to level...
That's right, Biancae is now an official member of the behemoth, Alea Iacta Est, or as it is better known, AIE. This would have happened a lot sooner, but I wanted to see where my starter guild went called "Death to Opposers" (and good luck to all of you guys as you continue leveling) and the AIE Officers took a complete vacation from guild duties for the month of July. They are definitely entitled to a month off every year because AIE has over 4600 members! Needless to say, guild chat is like faction chat witht his many people, and AIE is by far, the largest guild on Earthen Ring. They have about 30 different raiding groups you can sign up to be a part of, and I'd have to think you never have problems finding guildmates interested in what you are doing at the time.
AIE's huge size comes from the fact that a couple of the guild leaders are the producers of The Instance WOW Podcast every week, something they have done for 3 years or so. A lot of people have come to play on Earthen Ring just with these guys, and the guild just blew up from there. AIE is more of a social following than a "guild," but we all take pride in upholding the image of the AIE name above our character, which is just like a smaller guild. AIE is likely the only successfully run mega-guild on this scale, and so my experiences within this guild will be another aspect I will enjoy to see in Azeroth.
Although there is a lot of chatter in guild chat, it's not as bad as one might suspect. In fact, the guild chat produced by The Illuminati some nights would rival what I've seen in the amount of discussion in AIE guild chat. So in other words, it is not overwhelming. The welcome spam you get when you join the guild is incredible though, and there's been a lot of people joining with me thanks to the one month break before this weekend.
I already see the level of relationship and care in this guild. Last night I logged in for a few minutes on Biancae to do a quest or two before swapping to Ekat for a heroic daily run. Well I stepped in while an honest-to-goodness memorial service was being held in guildchat for a well-known guild member who tragically lost their life IRL a couple weeks ago. The sharing of thoughts and emotions so openly in guildchat was certainly something that doesn't happen everyday, but it illustrated just how much these people care about their own. These are not always just digital avatars, these are people. It absolutely floored me and made me very happy to be a newly-minted member of this guild.
So while it's not much, I've only been a member for 2 days! I'm on a probation-type period for 2-12 weeks and then hopefully I'll become a full member of the guild. Which means I will be logging a fair amount of time over there until promotion just to ensure I don't lose the opportunity to be in this grand guild. It's fun to go with the flow, and right now that's with both of my mains Ekat and Biancae.
Also, subnote - congratulations to The Illuminati for downing 13 bosses in Naxx-25 in 3.5 hours last night. I got on them previously for being slow, but they have gotten much better. So hail to the light!