Thursday, June 15, 2023

What's in a Name?

Earlier this week I did the implausible, I renamed my druid of 15 years and passed the name onto my demon hunter.  Why?  My enjoyment of the druid class had waned, but not my attachment to the name.  It also helped that the name happened to fit.  It will definitley be a little disorienting at first, having a name everyone associated with orange now being purple, but the roles (tank/melee DPS) associate with the name remain unchanged.  It still looks a little weird to me on the character selection screen, but good weird.  It was the last link in the chain of events that brought my druid from main to alt behind evoker, to second alt behind evoker and demon hunter.

This wasn't the first time I've renamed a character, traded names, or even renamed a main, but the one previous time I renamed a main it was just a second druid with engineering instead of leatherworking because I didn't want to lose my profession progress in leatherworking, but also really wanted to have access to engineering gizmos on the character I played the most.  I also tried out a male character for a while changing my name to a masculine suffix (which in English was interpreted as plural), so I mostly just confused people and ended up flipping back the next expansion.

I've always gone for the hybrid class in RPGs; jack of all trades, master of none.  Druids totally fit the bill when I started, all within a single specialization I could be a bear/tank or a cat/DPS.  Sure I wasn't the best of either, but for a 10-man guild raid groups I was holding my own.  Without even a gear swap I could flip back and forth rather fluidly between roles, and my gear mainly determined if I was prioritizing damage or being crit immune.  Dual specializations in Cataclysm allowed me to add healing into the mix and that was even better, but it also meant that druids weren't much more of a hybrid class than any other class that could perform multiple roles.  There is still catweaving which can be done situationally, and the odd hero bear, but from a tanking perspective where I spend most my group play time there is mostly just bear form.

MoP was probably the beginning of the end when guardian and feral specializations were formally split apart, but it didn't really feel like it at the time.  It was like being licked to death by kittens, no one change all of a sudden made me want to stop playing my druid, but the last change I didn't like before I decided to raid on my demon hunter for season 2 instead of my druid was berserk no longer eliminating the cooldown on thrash/mangle.  I don't think any of the changes were necessarily bad, but it was different than what I had grown comfortable with and over time I was playing a slightly different class than when I'd started all those years ago.  Meanwhile there were brand new classes being added which hadn't factored into my original class choice: death knights, monks, demon hunters, and now evokers.  Three of those 4 new classes I already have at level 70, and I actually leveled up my evoker first in Dragonflight, then my druid, and then my demon hunter.  I actually have a spreadsheet to numerically rank different aspects of different classes to try and prove to myself which classes I enjoy playing the most.  It's pretty subjective since I can change the number to whatever I want, but so is the choice of which class to play.  Just before Dragonflight, after having played evoker on the beta, I had evoker and druid tied for first with demon hunter close behind and that's the order I went with for leveling.  With some reevaluation at the end of season 1 evoker had taken the lead followed by demon hunter and then druid.

There is one more potential step to go I guess, now that I'm playing more on my demon hunter I miss my loot-a-rang and other engineering goodies.  But once again I've got leatherworking and skinning leveled up and don't want to throw those away.  Plus, I love skinning on my demon hunter.  Perhaps with the next expansion there will be another boost included so I can level another demon hunter, or maybe undelete the horde demon hunter I had before faction lines disappeared for alts which already has some engineering progress, but also happens to be on a different realm.  Which would all lead to another name change/swap...