I figure it’s time to dust off the blog, stop pussy-footing around, and start remembering why I liked to write about WoW (and why I want to do it again).

Things have changed the past almost-year: I actually have a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory & Composition. I work part-time as a substitute in the county, and I also will be working with percussion ensembles starting in hopefully a few months or less.

Lowered Expectations, more or less, does not exist. Our members went to other guilds, quit, or did something else that we really didn’t keep track off.

However, I still kept playing WoW— just on the beta, for the past 4 months. I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of testing in the lower-level zones as many different flavors of race, class, and spec. It’s been a blast, and I would love to say what I did has an impact on making the leveling experience more fun.

I would say that my favorite experiences have been going through Redridge Mountain, pretending to be a pirate in Stranglethorn Vale, and working against the Blackrock forces in the Burning Steppes. I think the flow of each zone is smooth as butter in comparison to what we’re used to right now, even in 4.0.3.

But my favorite FAVORITE experience has been playing with my friend Brian and finding out ways to essentially 2-man instances. We have done the *new* Deadmines, the (now including 100% more Hogger) Stockades, the slightly changed Shadowfang Keep, the sort of lame Ragefire Chasm, and the “undead” Strathholme as either 2 Hunters (myself as Beast Mastery, friend as Survival) or 2 Paladin (me as Protection, friend as Retribution).

If anything, I’m discovering that my fun may be easier to find when we keep it simple and small. This is why if I do raid, I will stick to a 10-man guild with people I know securely, versus trying to keep 24 (and myself) from hating ourselves for the entire period of raids.

I don’t know if I want to stay in the healing role, or branch out into tanking or DPSing. I think that WoW is still a game where, if you’re just smart, you can succeed. But you can’t be slow and smart; you have to be quick enough to think through mistakes and sort of maintain a high level of playing. As a musician (performer and educator), I think that I have to do that during my job and my future career opportunities.

But that’s that for now. I will be trying to keep this thing updated as much as possible for the upcoming months. Cataclysm releases in less than 3 weeks now, 4.0.3a is supposed to be dropped prior to that, and I think things will be fine.