I will freely and without reservation confess to anyone standing within earshot of me loudly and at length one extremely pertinent fact:
I hate PvP.
I really hate it. And I’m terrified of it. I mean, really really terrified.
There are people who want to KILL you in PvP. Repeatedly. At length. Using sporebats, probably. And ROGUES! OMG, I just hate rogues. And mages. Especially mages. Mages SUCK. And all of these mages with ice and the rogues with their stunlocks and their stupid legendaries that turn them into Batwoman (I’m looking at you, Krista) and then you’ve got horrible people who want to kill JAKE, my precious kitty, and that REALLY ticks me off and to top it all off, I’m not even Beastmaster anymore, so I can’t go all BIGANDRED on their asses. And then they kill me. Over and over and over and over and over again.
I am also really, really bad at PvP. Anyone can kill me. Small children with sticks. Resto shamans. Half-dressed level 40s. Gnomes. Anybody. I don’t have the right instincts. I see an red player, and I freeze. I don’t automatically know the right buttons to push. I don’t even have Scatter Shot on my bars. I don’t automatically think “Disengage”, although I’ve gotten a lot better about pushing that button since I started raiding regularly. I don’t automatically go to my trap buttons. I don’t think about whether or not there’s a healer. If there is a healer, I don’t always recognize the fact that they are a healer right away, so I’ll still be beating up on some paladin who has a health pool roughly the size of our national debt while the squishy priest behind him keeps that bar just as green as the most verdant parts of Ireland. And then I die.
And die, and die, and die, and die.
I have, according to my Armory page, exactly 19 honorable kills. Honestly, I have no idea how it’s even that high. I would have guessed about four. Certainly they are not people that I would have taken by surprise, because I have never, ever intentionally attacked anyone, ever. There have been occasions when I’ve accidentally shot someone who was standing in the way of the thing I REALLY wanted to shoot, and I always feel absolutely terrible when that happens. I’ve done that several times during my Loremastering, and I feel terribly guilty about all of them.
I don’t like dying. It feels like I’ve made a mistake, and I hate making mistakes. I’m a raider – if I die, then all things being equal, I have done something wrong. I have stood in bad, or failed to stand in good, or got in the way of a cleave or a flame breath or a hammer or SOMETHING, or I clicked something I shouldn’t have clicked or didn’t click something I should have. I have made a mistake.
I hate making mistakes. Haet haet haet haet haet it.
That’s one of the reasons I like raiding as much as I do, honestly. Because raiding has a Right Answer. If you do x in y way and watch out for a, b, c and pick up all the adds and single-target the damn tentacles, you win. Raiding has, for lack of a better term, a structure to it. Yes, there are often several different strats for any given raid boss, but all of it comes down to one very vital idea:
Know what to do and then do it correctly.
PvP, from my admittedly limited (read: nonexistent) experience, is nothing like that.
PvP is dynamic. There is no Right Answer in PvP. There is no one way to win. There is no guarantee that even if you do absolutely everything right, you won’t die. Instead of a boss with billions of hp doing very specific things, there are smart, talented, experience players who will not do what you expect them to do, who will fight back in sometimes dirty ways, who will gang up on you, who will gank and camp and enjoy it thoroughly. And then they will begin to verbally abuse you until you flee the scene, weeping into your latte and full of despair and doubt about the inherent goodness of people.
And I know there are lots and lots of people who absolutely love it. I’m friends with some of them. I’m guilded with some of them. I admire their tenacity and ingenuity and flexibility and I don’t want any part of it whatsoever.
Next week, I am going to have to take part.
Intellectually, I can understand why Blizzard chose to put this achievement in the game. This is quite possibly the only time that they would ever be able to coax hardcore NON-PvPers into battlegrounds, and they did it by offering up an admirable, elusive and grindy achievement and a dragon as a reward. They think, “Hey, if we can just get people to try it, maybe they’ll like it!” I get it. You want people to try PvP. Fine. If that’s what you want, then you picked a good way to make it happen.
Emotionally, though… I absolutely despise the fact that the achievement is there. I think it’s horribly unfair. After all, A Long Strange Trip does not require any raiding. 5man bosses, yes. But you don’t have to do anything special to them, you just have to kill them, and they are all ridiculously easy. And while I assume that there are some uber-casuals out there who have never seen a dungeon group and protest the fact that they can’t get the holiday achievements without killing Omen and the Horseman and so forth, generally speaking five-mans are not outside the realm of experience for the majority of the WoW population. Unlike PvP. There is a significant portion of the population that avoids it, doesn’t know how to do it, and doesn’t want to. Like me.
If Blizzard’s idea behind SoHK was to force non-PvPers to try PvP, I think it would only be fair that they include an achievement for the meta that forces non-raiders to try raiding. Or include an epic crafting requirement. Or fishing. Or whatever else is outside the average player’s experience.
(If Blizzard had some other idea behind SoHK, I would love to know what it was so that I could effectively rage about it.)
So next week when Children’s Week starts, I will be joining the hordes of unwashed masses who will be descending on battlegrounds to do things that they have never done before in ways that they aren’t really supposed to be done. I am clinging desperately to the amazing Cynwise’s assurance that I CAN do it. Also, his equally-amazing and very reassuring post about how to do it.
I am girding my loins.
I will be thick-skinned. I will be intrepid. I will be resolute. I will be patient.
I will be a good guest. I will not abandon the BG as soon as I’ve failed (again) at achieving my personal objective. I will be friendly. I will say specifically that I am a complete PvP noob and here for the achievements. I will not bow in the face of what will most likely be unrelenting verbal abuse. I will be understanding of the fact that the people who love PvP hate this achievement as much as those of us who hate PvP. We are united in our mutual hatred of the SoHK, so I will be gracious as a loser and a stranger (not even just a stranger, an inept stranger) on their playground.
I am determined to get this dragon in one year. I started in January with the Elders, I will finish in December with Metzen, and I will not let SoHK beat me.