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Drama Mamas: The broken leveling pact


Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

My husband and I make concept duos. Sometimes we make duos that our friends and guildies follow; an early Horde PvP project turned into an effective reforming of our guild, which wound through the battlegrounds and eventually morphed back into PvE raiding. Sometimes we change courses (a lot). A recent level 50-ish Horde shammy/pally combo turned into an Alliance reroll so we could revisit all the Alliance quests again pre-Cataclysm, which in turn became a reroll when I decided the new mage wasn't as fun as the old pally ... And that's been fun, but we've been feeling pangs about abandoning our rogue gank squad, which stalled out somewhere in Borean Tundra when the shaman/pally bug came calling.

Through all this, no matter how much we end up questing through the same old places, we've learned that it pays to stick together. We tradeskill separately, and we're cool about class-specific quests, but we try to stay neck in neck on quest progression. The whole point, after all, is to do all this crazy stuff (our current pre-Cataclysm Loremaster/Explorer quest-gasm) as a team. That's what makes it fun.

But we didn't always know that. We used to get impatient if one of us didn't feel like logging in that night. We used to oh-so-innocently run up "only three levels" ahead of one another. We used to get so swept away with the thrill of the XP hunt that we forgot that the point was to accomplish it together.

Dear Drama Mamas, Someone I thought was a good friend agreed to leveling a druid with me in preparation for the oncoming expansion. The plan was to get to 80 as quickly as possible, then realm transfer to a PvP server and do what we could in terms of PvP success. Then once Cataclysm was released and the feature became available, we would race change to Worgen, then work our way up the ladder again, our feral/resto combo hopefully unmatched.

The problem is that after this near month both of our druids are only level 26. Why? Because day after day, except about once a week and the first 10 levels, we would do no leveling. I would log on my druid to ask him if we were leveling and all I would usually get is "IDK." Rarely did I get a yes, in which case we would spend about an hour or two leveling, earning two levels maximum for that session. After which he would get tired and go back to his main, a priest, to do some BGs, arenas or whatever.

Today I basically asked him if he really cared about leveling his druid with me. I even told him I wouldn't mind leveling solo, I would rather do that then level only once every four days and for a little while. I know he has the time to level because I see him standing around in Dalaran for long periods of time and he plays much more than I do.

Receiving no definitive response from him I gave him until the end of the day to decide, and if I had no reply from him, I would assume a no and carry on solo. I regret to be so harsh on my long time and once very good friend but I felt it had to be done, especially considering what happened the last time we tried to level. I wanted to level a shaman and he wanted to play something else than his DK, so he decided on the priest that is now his main. After 62 levels of pure fun and speed (faster than I would have by myself), everything changed. My laptop's hard drive broke and my old computer was just too laggy to play on. After telling him the situation I hoped that he would have waited for my new hard drive and we would continue on to 80 just as merrily as before. However, the day the new hard drive came in the mail and I began reinstalling WoW, I saw that he had already reached level 70. The next day I confronted him on it and his reasons were that he plays a lot more than I did (which was not at all considering I couldn't do anything with all of the lag on my old computer) and he thought I would understand already having three max level characters and him only have his death knight.

What should I do, Drama Mamas? Should I continue to give him the benefit of the doubt for the sake of our friendship or should I just take my losses and move on without him? -- Raging Altoholic

Drama Mama Lisa: Wait -- wut? I thought the whole reason you created this character was to level up along with your buddy and do things together. So, ah, what's the point of grinding up this druid all by yourself?

No matter -- let's cut this friend of yours some slack. Sometimes what sounds like a great character concept doesn't turn out to be so fun in practice. Maybe your friend still loves the idea of the character combo but can't stomach the grind of releveling. It happens; my husband and I can't seem to push a new combo higher than 70 lately. The only thing you can do here is figure out ways to break up the monotony. Run BGs every so often. Spend an entire night nabbing a couple of levels inside instances with the dungeon finder. Agree on one or two nights per week that you'll work on your duo, and back off from there. Try a different faction or realm type. ... Whatever makes leveling enjoyable again.

Unfortunately for this situation with your friend, the "raging" aspect of your "raging altaholism" has overtaken the whole point of leveling as a team. Even if things are stalled out (either temporarily or permanently), there's no reason to kill off the duo and piss off your friend in the bargain. He may or may not regain enthusiasm. Either way, you've got plenty of other characters to dally with. So go ahead and get your game on -- just do it with another character.

Drama Mama Robin: Duuuuuude. Chill out. Go with the flow. If you're really a raging altaholic, then the solution is simple: roll another druid! Quit with the ultimatums and deadlines. Play the duo druid when he wants to play it and play your solo druid when he doesn't. Yes, your solo druid will catch up and out-level your duo druid, but so what? Big deal.

If he gets upset that your solo druid is leveling quickly and that you are happily playing without him, then he needs to be more understanding. It's not like he waited for you with his priest. If he wants to catch up, great! If he wants to create another duo to play with you, great! If he gets snitty about the whole thing, well, that's icky. But have him come up with a solution -- the reasons behind his reticence to play with you may come out. Of course, that may be a bad thing. Hmmm, is there something outside of Azeroth that he may be upset about?

It may not be about the duo at all. Hours in Dalaran not doing anything? Perhaps he's got a little somethin' somethin' on the side. I mean, this is pure speculation and I may be totally wrong about this, but it sounds like some heavy chatting is going on and not with you. Perhaps he has found himself a groovy kind of love?

Your stress over this is sucking your fun and his. So relax, man. Schedule duo dates with your friend -- a couple hours a week -- and don't bother him about it otherwise. If he wants to play more often, let him volunteer when and how often. Don't push. Don't nag. Let it be.

Drama Mama Robin is out. Peace!

Drama-buster of the week

Sometimes, there's nothing like advice from a real, live player who's been there and done that. If you're looking for advice, use the /who command. You're most likely to find people with time to chat if you /whisper players who are traveling or in cities. Ask if they have a moment to answer a question about their class (or whatever the issue is) for you. The main thing to remember: don't send a random /whisper to someone who's in the middle of something requiring focus. Don't /whisper anyone who's in an instance (distracting someone at the wrong moment in an instance could literally cause a party or raid wipe). Don't /whisper someone doing an escort quest. Players who are farming for materials may be bored silly and interested in chatting, but they may have had a terribad day and want to chill out with some mindless, solitary grinding; either way, be polite. Most people love to help when approached politely!

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.

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