Most of the troubled souls who write in to Drama Mamas already know the steps they should take to free themselves from their predicaments. They simply want to hear their conscience speak aloud, to come face to face with the writing on the wall. Things are no different this week for lovelorn correspondent A Troubled Tank. Although his plea for help is more eloquent than most, his sticky situation (and subsequent avoidance of the issues he lays out with clarity and precision) is all too familiar.
Dearest and Revered Mamas of the Drama, This warrior finds himself in the prickliest of predicaments. On the server Earth, my main is a pretty normal dude; what is relevant is that he is in a relationship. My alt in Azeroth is getting him into trouble, however.
Viewed as objectively as possible, my main relationship is a good one. However, it leaves me feeling unsatisfied. The problems of the relationship, which do not bear additional mentioning, are primarily external to the relationship. That is, if whoever runs the Earth server would nerf various things, it would be rather good. However, context and circumstance delegate it to a troublesome bore.
Enter my alt's crush on a guildie. She is beautiful, charming, funny, intelligent and never bugs, scolds or annoys me. O would that she would reside in my zone, or one neighbouring mine! Yet alas, she resides on a foreign coast. She who is of relationship ilevel 277 is beyond my reach. Nonetheless, I daresay she adores me. Though as a warrior my Intellect is low, even I can tell she is my perfect match.
What's worse, my guildie crush is unaware that I am seeing someone. Our friendship started innocently enough, but soon it was clear that we fit like a tank and a healer. My Earth server girlfriend and I are like two DPS, laboring in a 30-minute queue. My alt's heart's desire completes my set bonus.
I have not the Eagle Eyes to know what the Light would have me do. On the one hand, my Earth relationship is not a total train wreck and may be worth salvaging; furthermore, it would take many moons (even astride my epic mount) to even reach the place where my Azerothian flower sets her hearthstone. All the same, my Earth counterpart does not make me feel like a credit to the raid, whereas my Azerotherian dearest, in her sublime grace, drains my rage bar even when it is at its fullest.
I am between a kobold and a hard place. I don't want to give up on IRL girl because it is only external circumstances which stand between us, but I would gladly roll a 1 on every Need roll until the end of time to be with my Azerothian partner. Furthering the difficulty is the fact that I know my Azerothian lady is ignorant of my Earth relationship, and I fear -- a fear so strong it may be broken by neither Berserker Rage nor trinket -- that she will, contra my pure intentions, feel misled if I inform her that I am already soulbound. What's worse, enmity between us might cause drama amongst the guild. Light forbid it! I know not what course to take.
I prithee, O Ladies most knowledgeable of Drama, weigh in with your sage advice. Consult whatever unsavory oracle you must, so that I may know the way and the path. Yours sincerely, A Troubled Tank
Do not mock your own meager Intellect, Sir Tank, for you have obviously made several accurate assessments of these encounters. A few observations are in order, however, regarding the strategies you've chosen to apply.
"My main relationship is a good one. However, it leaves me feeling unsatisfied." Surely a warrior of your stature has some measure of control over his encounters. You pulled, yet you remain on auto-attack? You allow environmental effects to control your reactions and those of your target? This is sheer neglect to the matter at hand. Position your pull, and engage your skills and abilities. This is not a trash mob, and your reliance on auto-attack is simply inexcusable.
"Context and circumstance delegate (my current relationship) to a troublesome bore." No instance is as exciting on the 300th run. It is your enthusiasm for sharing the adventure with your groupmate, along with engaging in the encounter by using more than auto-attack, that will keep you logging in. The alternative is logging out -- admittedly, a potentially difficult move. Nonetheless, the choice stands clearly before you.
"She is beautiful, charming, funny, intelligent and never bugs, scolds or annoys me." Even Lady Vashj appears beautiful before the first casts of Entangle and Shock Blast. It's all about proximity, Sir Tank. The perspective will change considerably once you're actually tanking the target of your affections (and you'll be at a disadvantage, since you're already taking considerable damage over time from heedlessly standing in the fire).
"What's worse, my guildie crush is unaware that I am seeing someone." An appalling lack of crowd control.
"My Earth server girlfriend and I are like two DPS, laboring in a 30-minute queue." Two DPS? 30 minutes? The world is your cherry. Why do you remain sitting glumly in Dalaran, stuffing your face with Aimee's tasty treats while dreaming of imaginary dungeons? Many Achievements await you, if only you'll take flight.
"I don't want to give up on IRL girl because it is only external circumstances which stand between us." That, plus the extra encounter you pulled, eh? Still, you have a point about the environmental hazards. Pop your trinkets, make a Last Stand and get to work clearing the trash.
"Furthering the difficulty is the fact that I know my Azerothian lady is ignorant of my Earth relationship, and I fear ... that she will, contra my pure intentions, feel misled if I inform her that I am already soulbound." Indeed, the damage is done. You have pulled two encounters at once. There's no resetting this. Time to man up, Shield Wall and soak whatever damage you've got coming to you.
"What's worse, enmity between us might cause drama amongst the guild." Quite true. Guilds generally dislike tanks who overpull and then stand listlessly adrift. The longer you allow these mobs to run free with no crowd control, the worse this situation will become.
Troubled Tank, I'll be frank: You've been caught auto-attacking while streaming pr0n during the boss fight. It's time to engage with what's actually in front of you right now. You're going to have to turn off the virtual entertainment -- definitely your long-distance flirtation, and probably your gaming for a time, as well -- and focus on what you've already pulled. That encounter will stand or fall on its own merit, but you cannot avoid engaging. Good luck prioritizing it all, but I suspect you'll be just fine. I think you already know what to do.
Drama Mama Robin: Mama Robin enters her library and walks toward her cabinet of scrolls and artifacts. She is disturbed by the images in her mind, conjured up by reading Troubled Tank's missive. She chooses two scrolls of Empathy and her Magic Mirror and then sits in her comfy chair.
Robin focuses her mind on the location of Troubled Tank's Earth lover and summons forth a view of the lady while casting Empathy. Now in tune with the feelings of the lover, the Drama Mama searches for the ones regarding the Tank. As suspected, the Earth lover wishes she could live in a magical world with no physical constraints and where wealth is easily achieved. No chores to do except dailies, no schedule to keep except raids and no messes to clean up except perhaps the ones in her inventory. In a world without worries, a relationship with her Tank would be heavenly. But instead, the inconveniences, annoyances and obstacles of the physical world require mundane realities. The Earth lover wishers her warrior would focus on helping to tank these external problems, so that she does not have to nag him and they could live something close to a fantasy existence. She suspects but is not certain that she is no longer the one upon whom her warrior spends his dreams and longings.
Enough. Robin clears the Magic Mirror with an impatient wave, then wipes a tear from her eye. She changes her focus to the Azerothian lover and re-casts Empathy. First thing she sees is that, unlike her avatar, her Earth persona is not physically perfect. She also has some idiosyncracies and annoying habits, as does any other Earth human. This is not surprising, but these are realities that never make it to Azeroth. Robin searches this lover's feelings and also finds no surprises. She is in love with an idealized version of the Tank and is unaware of the annoyances his Earth lover must deal with on a daily basis. She also trusts that she is his only love in Azeroth or Earth and has no idea of the warrior's lies.
Mama Robin clears the mirror and begins to formulate her suggestion. Regardless of what she says and what the warrior does, there will be suffering. Robin speaks:
Warrior, you must choose a lover. Your physical difficulties in reaching your Azerothian lady should not factor in your decision, as it is not fair to the one with whom you currently share your responsibilities and troubles. If you decide that your feelings for the Azerothian Lady are real, then you should leave your Earth lady, taking care to make sure all properties and lingering issues are distributed fairly -- assuming a greater burden onto yourself, as you are the one who has gone astray. If you decide that the Azerothian Lady is delightful, but that you wish to bring the fantasy back to your Earth romance; then you must take Drama Mama Lisa's advice and exit Azeroth until you have rebuilt your foundation with your current love. You are a strong, creative warrior and I am sure that you will do well along whichever path you choose. Though the journey will be arduous, the rewards will eventually be great and your honor will be regained.
Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.