If one person has to die during your first time healing the Oculus, make sure it is YOU :) (NOTE: please make sure your party-members are safely flying on their drakes before trying this…)

I feel a little bit like Blizzard is throwing new instances at me like Emeril throws spices into a pot of spicy Cajun cooking……..BAM!!

I am not sure if this is strategically planned or not, but in three dailies, I have done THREE COMPLETELY NEW instances. It is almost enough to make a noobish sort of holy pally crumble, frankly. First The Culling of Stratholme, then Halls of Lightning, and last, dun dun dunnnnnnnnn……….The Oculus.

I’d heard about it so many times in trade or other discussions.  No one, and I mean NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON EVER (that I have heard) has said that they really enjoy this instance.  Usually, they said, “Ooooooh, I hate that place.” You also hear the stories about people who drop group instantly upon discovering that The Oculus is their random, leaving others in the lurch.

So, of course, after I was whooshed to my daily, and realized that it was, in fact, “the place that will not be named,” the fear and dread began creeping over me, and I raced to type some sort of friendly greeting/explanation/plea to the rest of the party members, hoping that they would have mercy on me for my performance.

Blizzard, or the gods of gaming, answered my plea with a spike in latency that left the tank pulling the first trash mob, and me unable to type anything OR heal, and a disconnect after a few seconds of frantic, hand-wringing helplessness. As I logged back in faster than I’ve ever logged back in before, I had two simultaneous thoughts. One being that I desperately wanted to get back with the same group, so that I could redeem myself. The second being that, well, possibly, it could be the better thing to not have to see the same group again, given that, if they’d wiped on the first pull, they might be angry enough to throw me to the first boss unaided, and sit back and enjoy buffing snacks while listening to my screams for mercy…..heehee.

It turned out that there was no wipe, phew, and the group just wanted to know if I would be able to go on, or would they need to get another healer.  My latency looked okay, so I said I would give it a try, and we went on.

I understand now, why most people probably do not like this instance. The time and distance spent between mobs/bosses is much longer than average, due to the travel requirements, and I think this messes with people who like to really keep the adrenalin up and the pace going.  For the most part, people I run into want a quick progression, with enough time for recovery, but not much more than that.

Personally, I loved it.

I was totally confused about my whereabouts, of course (kind of like a kid at a birthday party who had been spun around blindfolded to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey), but I loved that there is something new, other than running, standing, healing and then running again. So, thanks Blizzard. Also, I realize that the three dimensional movement/mounted movement is far more a part of raid content, so I appreciate the opportunity to get a taste of it now, before I do any raiding.

Overall, this instance was really not that difficult to heal.  I think our tank was pretty well geared, so he wasn’t taking much damage, nor were the dps, so it was easy from my standpoint.

The only tricky part after the latency came when I, mounted up to leave the fight where the boss casts the ice block kind of spell, suddenly dropped from the sky onto the platform, dead, a victim of somehow having gotten exposed to the ice block.  Not sure how this really happened, but I suppose I will be able to figure it out in subsequent runs.

Okay, for most players who were raised in the Vanilla, BC and maybe even early Wrath phase, this would be no big deal.  Simply run right back, right?  However, given the fact that I have leveled from 70-79 (yes, I am actually 4 bars away from 80, believe it or not), almost exclusively through LFG dungeon running, I have absolutely NO idea how to get in and out of most Northrend dungeons through the typical front-door entryway. My poor groupmates needed to wait while I struggled to find the “ramp” they were referring to, that would take me to the proper portal for The Oculus, and eventually, one of them had to come and guide me to it, so that I could get to them. Thankfully they were, yet again, patient.  Given the comments about idiots that I see out there in the forums and blogosphere, I realize that I could have (maybe should have?) been completely brutalized in party chat.  Thank you party members whose names I cannot remember and as such, unfortunately, cannot credit specifically with your extreme kindness and generosity, for not brutalizing me.

I am happy to say though, that not a single other person died, or came anywhere near dying during the instance.  In most cases, I hope that I can avoid death, so that I can begin rezzing people quickly so that we may resume, but in this case, I am glad that if someone had to die (even due to stupidity), it was me.

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