As this years adventure comes to a close I have found it most difficult to focus my mind long enough to reflect on the various thoughts I've being thinking of encompassing a year to put them here. I find myself reflecting on just how this all began, how I got to here, my accomplishments and where visions of future adventures may take me from here. It has been and adventurous year in 2007 for Galo and I would also like to thank my various readers, lurkers and fellow bloggers for contributing to my adventures and success as well as making Galo much better Knight than I ever envisioned. You all know who you are. With that I close the year on 250 blog posts.
From Secondlife to WoW
This year started with me still playing Secondlife somewhat as a resident builder and landscaper and owner of a private Sim. I has visions of creating my own mythical realm there for fun and adventure. Yet after 3 years of Secondlife it was much different virtual game than I remembered with a much larger world and social enviroment. A world filled with constant over the top social drama and much delayed project completion and headaches. My friends were my only source of sanity and the only reason on days I choose to log in or play the game. They have being darely missed. However grew tired of all things fun, social and vision wise as well as with all the drama. I lost my own inspiration for the game I grew to love because of its resident created environment. In a loss for inspiration and the game I decided to instead of selling my Sim to just give it away basically to long time friend (Pae) and take a leave from Secondlife for an unknown amount of time to regain my inspiration and creativity. It was then I decided to try our this game a Secondlife friend (Willow) had been playing and kept telling me to try out called World of Warcraft. So I did reluctantly and that's how my journey started here.
I started WoW on a trial account just after TBC came out playing a NE Warrior to lvl 18 and then deleted it due to alliance mentality. Decided I did like the WoW as a game bought the game disks and a TBC Strategy Guide. Joined the Horde on 02/22/07 and rolled a BE since a new race and wanting to play a Melee/Defensive character. I started a Paladin with a noble name called Galoheart. I have played this one character for and entire 11 months straight all the way to the level cap and playing entirely one spec (Protection) of the entire class of which I enjoy playing. After all I choose my Paladin to play Melee/Defensive and accomplished just that.
Starting out I never thought I could ever get to lvl 70 which seemed like a mountain to climb to forever. So I set a goal to get to lvl 20 specing Defensive or Protection at level 10. I did and I just kept setting a goal to get to every 10 level which seemed more manageable as bite size goals. Eventually I did reach lvl 70 as Protection Paladin same spec from lvl 10 just having bite size goals. I've played my Paladin entire life in one spec tree which I attribute to all my solo and tanking skills to having leveled and played my class as the one thing I wanted to play Defensive which in the end meant Tanking. Having goals will get you very far indeed.
A Helping Hand
Best advice I ever got in early 20's was from asking a lvl 70 Paladin (Corvis) a few questions on playing my class. I always remembered his name. Best advice I ever got was to "Get a fast 1H Weapon and a solid Shield" from that lvl 70 Paladin and learn to AoE. Whats AoE I asked? He told me to go and google it. So I did and funny thing thats how I discovored WoW has a Forum board, lol. But that was how I found something called WoW blogs. I found a reference to AoE at WoW blog by a guy that was blogging about his adventures in WoW at Petersblog which was the first WoW blog I ever read and read and learned from a long time leveling. During that time I found a blog called Paladin Sucks which at the time many Paladins read back then and I did as well just learning stuff Paladin of course. From that Paladin Sucks blog I found BRK as a link and found it humerous and wacky fun to read and blogs like Blessing of Kings and Kinless. A few others which are no longer around. But many of those helped me much in the beginning and in understanding playing WoW even though they weren't always my specific class. They gave me ideas of how to play WoW better. I never got to thank that Paladin called Covis, but I made it to 70 and his advice had a impact and a difference to getting there as well as blogging.
My First Instances
My first instance was RFC to try and do a quest in my mid teens. Had no idea what a dungeon was in WoW. I never could find a group or even know how to get one. So a lone warlock (mageattack) said he could and would help. I was abandoned by the warlock at the first group pack of mobs before the tunnel split direction and died also. So I went back in RFC and try slowly all by myself on a saturday morning to run RFC all by myself up to the first boss. Thats as far as I ever made it, which took over 5 hours in a dark dungeon alone. That first dungeon was the making of Ardent Defender in spirit. Next was SFK my first group instance. The group leader at the time sucked and it wasn't me. I barely knew what a tank was back then also. So we never completed SFK the run until 5 levels later. On my next SFK run I met my first friend in WoW Sendrale a Holy Paladin. She always encourged me after that leveling. She went on to be in a progressive guild to complete the Black Temple way before I got to 70. At 60 Sendrale and a few helped me a Solo Paladin to me to get my Epic Charger mount. Many thanks to her back on Rexxar server. My first instances taught me how not to suck as a player and how not to abandon players and how not to be a bad group leader. As a result other than SM Armory never ran a single dungeon until level 60 getting to Outland. I just stuck to leveling and playing solo.
I played WoW entirely Solo. Leveled entirely Solo. Solo'd every quest and elite quest I could or waited and went back a level or 2 ahead and did. I failed many time but I found ways to succeed eventually alone. Soloing taught me how to play my class under less than ideal circumstances and face many challenges in how to do quests while leveling. It taught me how to play well and be self reliant. It taught me how to fail but keep trying again and again to accomplishing a task. Many of those things helped me to become a good player. I was never part of a guild or joined one, had no need really. I played WoW in the dark void of WoW alone and solo. You can play and level in this game entirely solo all the way to the endgame. I did it!
Starting Ardent Defender
After some point I decided to start a blog after having reading Petersblog for a while. At lvl 47 I started Ardent Defender in tribute to all things Defensive because that talent saved me many a times soloing. My first entry was First Tales. Looking back it still reminded me of why I blog. I do it as a way to chronicle my time in WoW and just to add my own perspective on things leveling as I see it and getting to various goals. I'm not a writer but I just try my best at blogging and with Ardent Defender. I've managed to start this blog, to keep going despite the hard times leveling and just kept going. I've survived the many months where many have started blogs only to quit because of their frustration blogging or with playing their class or life issues. I just kept going. I never started this blog to Theorycraft or to be all knowing on all things Paladin or do I ever wish to be as such. There are many great WoW bloggers/Paladin of those sort linked on this blog or at Maintankadin Forums. I like to steer my thoughts on the perspective on things as I'm much better at such things.
So I've reached that goal i set out many months ago getting to the level cap 70 Solo and Guildless as well. I did it that way and never complained about it and was just fine with it. I ran all the level 70 dungeons guildless and geared Galo in all the best Pre-Kara gear. I've build my own resume and earned the rep as a good and fine Protection Paladin Tank. Galo made many a friends along the way in earning his repuation and did it all Solo and Guildless. I couldn't be more proud of my Paladin. I'm not a DPS machine, that can pump out awesome critts and big numbers. Big numbers or numbers flying around is not my thing. Galo is a humble defender and protector of his peers, thats the game I play but I can solo just as well. I serve to shield my comrads so they can deal damage in comfort and safety while I dish out all the hate on my foes and bosses. Thats why I play my paladin defensively. I have never healed a instance and never wish ever to. I heal at my hearts content when I see the need to save someone life questing and thats just fine with Galo. I wear my plate to take the heavy blows. So I've accomplish my goal this year to get to 70 and all solid gear for the next phase of things ahead. I've done everything I set out to do this year in WoW and have no regrets. Blogging as a result has become a daily part of life a result of things some days better than others.
Well Matticus first did this since he posted his Best of 2007 a few days ago. I hate to have to follow a class act post like he did but did meant to post mine in my year post as well. So here goes.
Goals Accomplished in 2007
1. 100% maxed in all Profession. Alchemy/Herbalism/Fishing.
2. 100% maxed Weapon Expertise in every usable weapon usable.
3. Reached lvl 0-70 as a Paladin entirely spec as a Protection Paladin.
4. Completely geared for Pre-Kara Tanking from 5 man Instances.
5. Completely Uncrittable & Uncrushable geared Pre-Kara @ 12.4 HP
6. 2 Epic Flying Mount earned.
7. +5200g in the money warchest.
8. Completely Exalted with 4 Outland Factions and 7 Faction Revered.
9. Master Keyed to Kara.
10. Still Blogging - I survived!
Most Important list used as a P.Paladin
Kaziel Pre-Karazhan Tanking Gear List. Result Was: Uncrushable Pre-Kara...
Best 2007 Perspective of Ardent Defender at 70 - To me that is!
1. There Is No Tanking Shortage!
2. Does Your WoW Reputation Matter?
3. Dungeon Chaperoning
4. 12 Lessons I learned in WoW and Other MMO's
Ardent Defender Blog Statistics
1. 9 Months
2. 252 posts.
3. 41400 Site Views.
4. 102 Feed Subscribers - I had no idea.
5. 244 Visits per day average.
6. Total comments: ? (Edit Later)
7. Never once had a Ad link/display on blog.
8. Time to write/complete this year end blog entry 5 hrs.
Goals in 2008
1. Raid Karazhan for fun.
2. Try hand at PvP BG's
3. Beat up Heroic Bosses for Badges.
4. Get an Alt to 70 before WotLK.
5. Roll a Dark Elf in Warhammer.
6. Start my own Guild for WotLK run.
7. Roll a Death Knight and level to 80.
8. Level Galo to lvl 80.
9. Play WotLK and find Arthas (Galo)
10. Return to Secondlife as part-time Resident Builder.
11. Survive another year as Ardent Defender.
12. More & greater perspective from the frontlines of WoW/WotLK.
It has being a good year. Next year will bring many new challenges and perspective on things ahead in WoW and other things of interest. Looking forward to visions of things ahead with many of you in the new year and best wished to all of you in the year ahead.
*What will I be doing to roll in New Years 2008: Working on the Job helping make vaccines while your having fun.
"For the HORDE" Long Live the Horde!