Tooth & Arrows: Dungeoning In Your Sleep

Friday, January 27, 2012

I’ve heard many WoW gamers say things along the lines of, “That dungeon? I could run that in my sleep.” But, while I’ve dozed off many times while playing WoW (the problem with it being the end of my day thing to do – I doze while mining in Uldum quite a lot), I’ve never actually PLAYED the game in my sleep. Continuing to fly in a straight line and ending up in Tanaris when I was trying to mine the Uldum border is a completely different thing than actively playing the game while I sleep.

I’d also like to point out that I do not play any healers – I tank (Death Knight, Bear, Warrior, and Pally), and I DPS (Hunter, Cat, Rogue, ect.), but while I’ve played classes that can heal (Pally and druid, respectfully), I’ve never been interested in actually taking on the role myself. It’s a little too much responsibility for a game I play to relax. However, my brain seems to have other ideas because this morning I healed through Deadmines on a druid healer that doesn’t exist. How is this possible? Well, we go back to my original issue – I was playing the game in my sleep. That is – I dreamed the whole thing.

I apparently know the regular Deadmines instance well enough to run it in a dream, and I know the healing spells a druid gets well enough to cast them and even have one of my gaming epiphanies while doing so. In the dream, Kata was tanking on a Worgen Warrior that looked like a combination of my warrior, Betamus, and my rogue, Jerichò. Nyx and Lona were with us, as a DPS Mage and Warlock, respectively. Looking back on the dream I realize that I don’t know which was which – both were Human and had similar builds and looks to the characters, but in the dream I knew that one was Nyx and one was Lona. There wasn’t a fifth party member with us. I don’t remember now if we’d had a random 3rd DPS and decided to dump them at some point during the instance, or if we’d come in with the intent to 4-man the dungeon. Either way, it was just the four of us, and I was healing.

Somewhere along the dungeon I had the epiphany that I needed to “heal proactively” to use what I said to them over our headsets (we were using a Google Hangout as we do when we dungeon together sometimes so even those of us in the same room have no problem hearing each other). At the start of the instance, I’d only been casting a heal after seeing the tank take damage, and casting a Heal Over Time (HoT) on him before he ran in to pull. I’d been healing reactively, for the most part. As we reached the next to last boss, I suddenly realized that I needed to be proactive. I know the boss. I know the fights. I can anticipate when the tank is going to take a lot of damage and start casting the heal before he actually takes it. The result was that Kata spent much less of that fight close to dying than he had any of the previous fights. And when it was over and we’d also taken down the last boss, he said to me, “I’m not sure what you changed in those last two fights, but keep doing that. I barely had to Victory Rush at all.”

I was happy, as I always am when Kata gives me a compliment on my gaming, and decided that the epiphany was worth the annoyance it’d taken me to get there. I thanked him, then as I was moving to drop party and log out of the call, I woke up.

I’ve had dreams like this before, but usually I’m at least playing a character or class spec that I’m familiar with. This is the first time I’ve ever dreamed a healer, and it made me wonder if perhaps my subconscious is hinting that the next character I make should be a healer. Perhaps it’s time to try out that role. Though, before I even think of that, I want to get the rest of my characters to L85. Seeing the L72 and L73 sitting there beneath my L85 Hunter is becoming annoying.

The next time I’m dozing while gaming, however, I’ll look back on this and remember a time when I not only played in my sleep, I played WELL.