Lately I've been playing my mage a lot - mostly PvP but I've also been doing a few daily quests and on Thursday I even got in a PuG Karazhan with her (which, incidentally, isn't _quite_ as easy as it is with my druid or my paladin... Amazing how quickly "1800+ healing unbuffed" gets you an invite to pretty much anything...). And I really love playing mages. I really do. Before burning crusade, the first character I rolled that I actually liked was my Alliance mage: Gifteye. Gifteye was this badass, bald black human with enough wrinkles around his eyes to make him look wise but just enough of a scowl to make you think he was pissed off at something... OK... Everything.
I took Gifteye everywhere. While my friends were languishing in the 20's, Gifteye was up around 45. At 54 he ran into a paladin in the Western Plaguelands who was grinding Argent Dawn rep. The paladin would pull 9-12 mobs and start to consecrate while I would flamestrike and blizzard them down. That led to a sunken temple run where I recognized the rogue as someone who had a talent for returning the flag in WSG. That became 4 hours in Blackrock Depths. They asked me to join their guild, so I did. I mostly PvP'd with them which worked out well because I was trying to get to rank 10 for the phat blue PvP gear... I know, right?
They decided to form their own guild and we tried Zul'Gurub once and after one night of spectacular wipes, the guild fell apart. The guild leader negotiated a merger with an the number three PvE guild (and probably number one PvP. They had about four rank 14 toons that I can think of... Possibly more) on the Alliance side. I got to rank 10 and suddenly found myself doing attunement quests that I'd never knew existed. Suddenly, I'm in Onyxia's Lair and one of two mages who didn't have the tier two helm when two of them dropped. We raided Blackwing Lair. We used to have drunken Molten Core night where we'd get 32-36 people and we'd still clear the place. We got all the way to C'Thun in AQ40. We even downed a few bosses in Naxx.
And I loved it. All I had to do was keep everyone buffed, launch fireballs at things, maybe decurse a little and sometimes keep something sheeped. I did this for about eight months. And I did things on my own to improve my character. I got to exalted with Cenarion Circle by running Silithyst dust in Silithus. Revered with AD to get the "cheaper" attunement for Naxx. It was all great fun. One of the things I always prided myself on was always having stacks upon stacks upon stacks of conjured food and water before every raid. Middle of a trash fight and you realize you don't have any water? Just open a trade with Gifteye. Pow! 40 water right there... And there was more where that came from. I had 200 on me at any time during the raids. If I ran low, I'd just make some more while they were handing out loot. I was happy to do it. Until...
... Burning Crusade that is... My Alliance guild broke up and I power levelled my highest level horde toon to 70 so I could play with people I actually knew. I liked the anonimity of the 40 man raid and if I was going to be relegated to the more intimate 5 man instances, I was going to do it with people I knew. Gifteye was semi-abandoned (I still log in every now and then... Maybe look at all the gear he had from BWL and the like). And I levelled two characters to catch up with my friends on the Alliance side. I got Kaylee to 35 so she could disenchant some of the greens and blues I was getting from Outland. Then I needed to get her to 50 to start doing some of the Outland enchants. From there, it was a quick trip to 70. I never really get to do instances with her because I either had to heal or tank whatever we were doing, but when I do, I love it. Except...
... For the food and water situation (sorry about that... Had to move my laundry to the dryer...). Back in the day, it took a long time to conjure enough food and water for 40 people and most people respected that (with notable exceptions of course... Like the guy who felt it was my obligation to provide random Tom, Dickhead and Huntard with food and water to make his levelling easier... Had the nerve to put in an order for 60 water and 40 food... Man did he get an eyeful. I'm sure he tried to respond but I had ignored him long before I finished ranting at him) and if they were in a battleground and wanted a stack of water or food, they'd ask politely. But with Burning Crusade, their was this new spell: Ritual of Refreshment. For the scant price of two arcane powders, I could conjure 40 stacks of 20 manna biscuits - and those restore health AND mana. Oh joy. It certainly saves a lot of conjuring time. But...
... Now that people know about it... They want one every time I enter a battleground. And... Since it's so easy, they expect it. Doesn't matter if I'm just doing one WSG for the daily or I'm farming AV for honor and this is my 10th one of the day. Each and every time I enter a battleground, someone types "table plz" or if they're exceptionally sharp "mage table pls" (like there's a rogue table... Grrr..). It wouldn't matter if I'd dropped one in the last 5 battlegrounds, there'd be that one newcomer who didn't have his free (to him) food who would expect it. Doesn't matter if it's 11:30 at night or 4 in the afternoon. There's some one who wants their free (to them) food so they don't have to incur the expense of eating or drinking in a battleground. I should bear that for them. I can count on three fingers the number of times that I've dropped a "mage table" in a battleground. The first was when someone from my server handed me two arcane powder (See... THAT guy got it... Why can't everyone else?) and the other two were on nights when the guild was doing battlegrounds. The rest of the time, I pretend I didn't see their request, hope that someone isn't as stubborn as I am or just flat out lie and say I don't have the spell yet (harder to sell now that I have so much season 3/4 arena gear) (sorry again. Laundry came out of the dryers... I had to fold and go home. I hate the laundrymat). Hell, yesterday, someone asked "table kay?" (ugh... So many things wrong with that) and I said "No thanks. I'm good.".
It's less bad now that you're limited to 4 stacks per person. You could (and this is all theoretical because I don't drop them) drop one and one person could grab 300 or more units and then leave for their guild raid (Of course, in my experience, the rogues and warriors won't _use_ the manna bisquits during raids because one of the healers will top them off before the next fight... You know... When they're done drinking and before they drink again).
It's not that I can't afford the reagents. It's only 20 silver for each one (16 if I go to a vendor where I'm exalted) and Kaylee has over 4300 gold. Hell... I'm usually doing the daily quest and that gets me 12 gold. But it is also getting everyone else 12 gold. It would MORE than cover their food and water costs for a night in the battlegrounds. But no. That's too hard. That requires spending their own money and wasting their time going to a vendor. Instead, I'm expected to keep stacks and stacks of reagents on me and to go back to a vendor when I run low.
And I would do it. I really would... If people would only ask politely. But no. It's "wheres the mage table" or "TABLE" or "TABLE PLZ". And if I don't make one right away it gets worse. People get positively abusive... Like that will sway me. I won't go into details but I've been called all kinds of names and accused of not being a team player. It's not like I'm not contributing. I'm busy buffing everyone with arcane intellect - even the rogues and warriors as debuff fodder. And when they their biscuits, what do they do? Play smart? No. Warriors R 4 fite so if they end up with the flag, they run straight into the enemy zerg. They fight in the middle of EotS while the Blood Elf Tower is being capped by three Alliance. They tap the farm and run for the stables before it caps. And no one plays defense in AV even though that's a proven winning strategy. If I thought you were going to play the game correctly I'd consider making the effort.
I'm on this subject in the first place because I ended up in an AV with a guild member who whispered me pretty much demanding a "table". I didn't drop a table but I did conjure him some food and water. We had a brief discussion about why I wouldn't. He said he drops a soul well in every battleground. That's nice for you. People almost never ask for them and the "reagent" can be farmed in large quantities IN the battleground. I briefly ran down my rules for conjuring a table for him. I've had some time to think about them (I hate the laundrymat) and codify them. Here they are (and they would apply to other mages):
1) Don't say "plz". I know it's accepted shorthand but it wasn't accepted by me. I type in full sentences. I punctuate. I use apostophes. If you expect me to go out of my way for you, you can type out the word "please"... Particularly in the two minutes before the battleground starts. You've got time.
2) Don't say "pls". See #1.
3) It's a "Ritual of Refreshment" not a "table", "mage table" or "TABEL".
4) Use complete sentences.
5) Use a question mark. I know it's part of a complete sentence but no one uses them.
6) Be polite. It's my choice to conjure a table not an obligation just because I rolled a mage.
Special rule in case you actually run into Kayleefrye on the Cyclone battlegroup) If you're a Firefly fan, just message me with: <-- (insert name of what us Firefly fans call ourselves here). Use (insert name of what us Firefly fans call ourselves here)s have to stick together.