Wednesday 2 September 2009


The first time I went into the Deadmines instance, my first instance, it was awesome. My group and I were really challenged by the enemies we met there, and we felt we were heroes when we completed it and got out the other end with Edwin van Cleef's head. That was a real achievement. I was just 19. Level 19.

Some days later, I was duelling in Goldshire, when a level 50 player asked me and my protagonist to accompany her. She brought us to Westfall, to Moonbrook, and I realised we were going to go into the Deadmines. Just the three of us. At first, we had a hard time, since the mobs targetted me and my protagonist. We hadn't yet learned what a tank was, and so we didn't know to let the tank take the aggro first before we started attacking. Moreover, being lower level than our leader, our aggro radius was greater, and so as we travelled alongside our level 50 leader, mobs started attacking us. This made things tricky for the level 50. Eventually she suggested we hang back and let her get stuck into the mobs and really get their attention before we started attacking. This made for faster progress, but left me and my protagonist with little to do; by the time the level 50 hit the mobs twice, they were dead. We sort of became passengers. There was nothing heroic about it. Luckily, I'd already got my achievement.

The first time I went into the Stockades, when I was 24, it was in the company of a level 24 hunter who had invited a level 80 death knight along. It was a complete waste of time. The death knight went through the stockade like a hot knife through butter, and the hunter and I were reduced from fighters to cleaners. All we did was sweep up after the death knight. I take no pride in the Stockades "achievement". A failchievement, really! I can never get it properly now. I've never been back.

"Looking for boost in Stockades" is a common cry on the trade channel. Some low-level character is asking for a high-level character to accompany him to the Stockades and essentially get the achievement for him. There are several reasons why one might want to do this, but let me assure you, you never want to be boosted in a dungeon if you've not yet completed the dungeon for yourself. If you get a high-level character to do it for you (obviously with you in their company), you'll never be able to feel the pride of achieving something for yourself. Moreover, you've paid Blizzard for this content. Why would you additionally pay some level 80 character so that you can skip it and pretend you've done it? For that's what boosting means, even if the lower level character fires off a few spells, or swings his sword a bit as well.

There are legitimate reasons why you might want to be boosted:

  • you've already met the challenge and done the dungeon with a level-appropriate group and completed the achievement, and now you just want to "farm" it for some particular piece of loot that you didn't get the first time round.
  • you've completed the content in other alternative lives, and now you're just speed-levelling past content you already know well, in order to reach the end-game.
  • you are a coward and are not fit to be honored by the heroes of Stormwind, but you want to hide your cowardice by appearing to have achieved a brave act.
  • you are lazy and cannot be bothered doing your part for the alliance, but you want to hide your laziness by appearing to have achieved something for the alliance
  • you are a show-off who wants people to admire you, but you're actually too lazy or too cowardly to actually achieve something admirable.
If you're a newbie like me, who loves killing the horde, I doubt you belong in any of these categories. Don't accept boosts. You'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Why would somebody offer boosts? Perhaps because a friend or guildmate has asked you to, and you want to help them (actually, I don't believe you are helping them if they are newbies like me). Perhaps because you're a show-off who would like a low-level character to think how great you are (possibly because you can't show off with your peers because you aren't their equal). Anyway, friends or guildmates won't be asking you for a boost over trade chat, so I assume if you're asking for or offering boosts in trade chat, that you belong to one of the "slacker" categories. As a matter of fact, I keep a note of people I see offering or soliciting boosts. I want to avoid grouping with either of them.

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