After my preposterously prolix post just past, I propose a respite from my persistent warlock posting, perhaps instead I'll pen some prot-poganda. To that end, I'd like to introduce you, my readers, to a friend of mine. This is McJiggins. Or, perhaps more properly, Samuel McJiggins III. He is my gnome prot warrior, and one of the very first characters that I ever rolled.
Allow me to begin more properly, at the start of it all with McJiggins the First;
When I began playing World of Warcraft, I went through a frustrating phase that all new players must go through. You see, just about every friend I'd ever had came out of the woodwork, after ages of ignoring me in favor of their polygonal peers. And of course, each and every one of them insisted that I make a character on their server so that I could play with them. Not a single one of them was on the same server as any others, either. I'm still convinced they did that to annoy me.
And so, at the behest of one of my oldest and dearest friends, I rolled a hordie on the Burning Legion PVP server. I really fell in love with this character rather quickly. I enjoyed the mechanics of the class, and the little RP that I began making up in my head. I don't remember what any of that was, though, because just as I was starting to get to level four or five or so, my friend informed me that his priest, Melmagil, was a NIGHT ELF.
This, understandably, made me a bit sad. I was forced to delete my now forgotten hordie, and roll something that wouldn't be obligated to stab my friend in his priestly face. I scrolled through my options, not finding any of them terribly compelling at that moment. But when I got to gnome, and the default class of 'warrior' was selected, I got an idea!
Someday, I imagined, I would get whatever character I rolled here to level seventy! And, furthermore, my friend Melmagil was a healer in a raiding guild--so whatever character I rolled would likely be joining them in their raids--at least this is what I imagined in those tender days of my WoW-youth. And in these imaginings, a plot began forming in my mind. A plot for revenge against those who had forced me to delete my beloved hordie! I would roll a gnome, a silly little creature with a mocking grin and green comb over. That character would be a protection warrior, and it would be oh-so-emasculating for them to cower behind my diminutive form whilst I bravely stepped forward and tanked the creatures that would one shot their squishy asses.
Not exactly a master stroke of vengeful brilliance, but it made me giggle, so I went with it.
At least, I went with it until about level 10, when I got my own account and had to delete him.
I quickly started McJiggins Jr, but by then I had been playing long enough to realize that I would never get that character to max level, and the poor guy is still sitting over on Burning Legion, at a level no larger than his placement in the order of McJigginses.
I don't recall exactly how it happened, but at some point I decided that I loved McJiggins far too much to leave him on a server that I would never play on. Not only did I have fond memories of those ten-or-so levels that I put into the original, but the RP I had constructed for him made me giggle even more than the vengeful plan that had led to his creation. You see, McJiggins is alleged to be a Psychopathic Murderer, but nobody was ever able to press charges against him due to all the evidence being lost when Gnomeregan was irradiated--so McJiggins went free, but was shunned by gnomish society.
Anyway, the end result is that at some point, I re-rolled him a third and final time on my home server, Silver Hand. I really didn't play him very often at all; occasionally popping on to RP or quest with him, but it took several months to get him up even as high as level 11. By this time, you see, I was busy doing Shadow Labs and Mechenar on my Warlock, and couldn't be bothered with lowbies.
Some months after that, however, I got BORED with the instances available to me. All but a few heroics were a breeze, Kara was on a week-long cooldown, and my favorite aspect of the game--instancing--was quickly losing its luster in my eyes. That's when McJiggins stopped being an alt, and became a project that continues to hold a great deal of interest for me.
'Hey,' I thought, 'what about the instances that I got run through? Like Deadmines! And what about the instances I only cleared after I became overleveled? Such as Blackrock Depths! And hell, I've still never seen the inside of Maradon! Surely those instances have as much to offer to a character in the appropriate level range as heroics have to offer me at level seventy!'
Driven by this mode of thinking, I quickly turned to my forgotten prot warrior. McJiggins was low enough level that he would still have to do a few quests before he was ready to take on even the lowest-level instances in the game--meaning that as he leveled up, I would have a chance to do all of them at the proper level! What's more, it would give me an opportunity to learn a completely different aspect of the game from DPSing, and perhaps allow me to someday heal the crippling tank-shortage my guild was feeling at the time.
In preparation for this venture, I mentally drafted the rules of McJiggins:
1) From Deadmines onward, quest only when necessary to attune or key for an instance. Some necessary quests--such as the quest to become unfriendly with the timbermaw--are also valid exceptions to this rule.
2) Run every instance in the game in the order that their queue becomes available in LFG.
3) Don't run any instance twice if there is an instance you haven't done available to you.
4) An instance isn't done until you've killed all the bosses--exceptions may be made if summoning a boss requires you to break rule 3.
5) An instance isn't done unless you tanked it.
6) RFC, raids, and Heroics are excepted--though if possible they are desirable.
7) Never accept a player into your group who is outside the upward bound of the instances level range.
8) Seek out advice from any credible source available to you.
9) Be awesome.
Rule 9 goes into pretty much every list of directives I've ever written for myself.
I've stuck to these rules well thusfar, which is a point both of pride and of frustration to me. Three Deadmines runs which ended due to various reasons while we were in the middle of clearing the boat left me so discouraged that I abandoned the project until only a month or so ago. The buffs given to warriors in 3.0 (yeah, I'm kind of a carebear I guess ;_;) have made it much easier for me to force my groups to maintain a rapid pace--which in turn has reduced the number of people who drop group significantly.
Unfortunately it has been remarkably slow going despite that. Even as a tank, it tends to take quite a long time to find groups until I've got a healer. And my rules mean that any healer I meet is either played very rarely, or will be a great deal higher level than I am in a very short time. (For those of you who read my girlfriend's blog, Tamaryn, was originally rolled so she could heal for McJiggins. Something I still occasionally guilt trip her for, cuz I'm a horrible guy.) Despite that, however, I've managed to clear Deadmines, Shadowfang Keep, Wailing Caverns, and Stockades so far. And let me tell you--it's fucking fun.
I'll leave the story of McJiggins here for now. Now that I've said who he is, and what he does. In the future, I think I'll post tales of some of the misadventures of McJiggins, the minuscule marauder. The tale of the DPSing healer should be good for a giggle or two...