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The Burden of Unwarranted Responsibility

August 21, 2013

Dear Reader,

So yes, I haven’t talked at all about the upcoming 5.4 changes, mostly because I’ve been trying to get my character back up to par and playable in the current patch.  I finally took a moment yesterday to peek at what’s changing with shammies in 5.4 and

/froth at mouth

Not really.  I mean it stinks that they’re nerfing both of my damage cool downs (indirectly nerfing ascendance by nerfing lava burst), but it is what it is.  My dps isn’t anything to write home about, so now it’ll be 10% less to write home about, and less writing sounds like less work, so that’s good for everyone, right?

Seriously, though, I’m a bit disappointed only because I was finally at least feeling comfortable with my output, and now it’s going to be lower.  I usually do well enough, I guess, but I don’t want to feel like I’m under scrutiny nor like I’d be better off healing or tanking, which brings me to the actual point of this correspondence.

I benched myself again on Monday, with some disagreement from the officers, who were heartily encouraging me to at least roll to see if I got to go.  Here’s the thing, though, and I told them the same: I’m not going to take a spot from someone who’s been busting hump to get bosses down for months.  I’m an upstart, honestly, showing up at the end of a patch cycle under-geared and ignorant to boss mechanics.  I’m in no position to take a spot from someone who’s ground through the early bosses to make them “on farm” for upstarts like me.  Only a new patch and new content can change that, only me getting in on the ground floor of a raid and doing the grinding myself.  That time will come, I know, so I’m perfectly at peace with the bench.

But.  There’s always a but.  But the same problem is showing up each Monday: there’s not enough tanks.  WELLLLLLlllllllll… those of who who’ve been around know that I’ve always been a tank at heart, that I often played tank-accessible classes, and that my main for a majority of the game – everything except ICC and now – has been a paladin tank, Paladi.  So it’s only natural that I’d start to think… things.

Dark things, honestly.  Things about switching mains to a more useful role.  There’s a lot of baggage with that, though, because juggling multiple characters has often lead to me burning out.  So when we boil down past the classes, what I’m really debating is do I want to put myself in a position that might lead to burn out?

Obviously the answer is no, but, then again… what if it doesn’t?  What if I just shelve Iambic and move solely to playing Paladi.  I’d miss the rest of this patch getting up to speed, but I could jump in next patch ready to go, providing a useful service.

But I see all those long hours of doing the same dailies again which, even at double speed thanks to the commendations, is still no small feat.  Re-gearing, recapping valor week after week… I just don’t know.

I feel the burden of unwarranted responsibility, even though intellectually I know I shouldn’t.  I’m new to the guild.  I’m in no position to feel like I need to give back, yet.  I’m in no position to feel like the guild needs my help.  But it’s still there.

There’s extra factors.  I was under the impression our guild would be flex raiding – something that was specifically mentioned to me by multiple people during the interview process, but one of the raid leaders on Monday said that the guild would not be doing flex.  I’m not sure whether that was just someone talking nonsense or whether there was something to it, but if we’re not doing flex the “being benched is a temporary problem” thought is in error.  I came back to raid, specifically, and not getting to raid 1/3rd of the time that I think I’m going to is really not acceptable long-term.

So, I’ve got to decide, hard and firm and finally, whether to stick with dps and potentially see the bench 1/3rd of the time, which if we don’t flex might be enough to drive me off, or to endanger my relationship with WoW by potentially spreading myself too thin by switching my mains.

More thought is needed.


Stubborn (and pondering, hard)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. acbarberi permalink
    August 21, 2013 1:25 pm

    Taking too much responsibility has led to burnout for me a few times. Once I even quit playing WoW for 8 months.

    • August 21, 2013 1:44 pm

      Yeah, that’s my worry. I’m not sure the longest I ever fully and completely stopped, but I’d guess it was about the same amount of time. I missed Ulduar and ToC in LK, The middle raid (I can’t even remember its name) in Cata, and Hof and ToES in MoP, so it’s been pretty consistent that I drop out of the middle of expansions but come back for the end. I’ll have to think more about that.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. August 21, 2013 4:22 pm

    As much as I love alts and that feeling of filling the gap for guild needs, focusing too much on too many characters always leads to me burning out. I generally focus on my Warlock, but after 3-4 weeks of getting absolutely nothing in LFR, I started also running it on my Moonkin, Rogue, Shadowpriest, etc., just to try and see a little bit of reward. It’s also hard to play catch-up when the character you could use to benefit the most from is so far behind gear-wise. I loathe dailies and the idea of doing that grind all over again is anything but appealing. Still, maybe you’ll get lucky in LFR (especially now that you can always go as DPS or heals and elect to receive Prot gear from bosses) and just aim for grinding out one or two factions at a time?

    If you’re already feeling like DPS isn’t what you want to do, it just makes sense to go back to your Paladin. I always try new things and end up on my Warlock. The grind to get back in the swing of things is always easier when you *want* to play that character.

  3. Feature permalink
    August 21, 2013 4:26 pm

    It’s important that you clear up the flex-raiding question before you decide. If your guild DO end up flex-raiding and you switch to tank you may find that you get benched BECAUSE you’re a tank.

    Flex will still only require 2 (maybe 3 as a stretch) tanks, and probably not quite as many healers as you would have in a normal raid for the same number of people.

    Our raid is looking forward to flex, not because we need a less difficult raid – but because we have 12 people showing up 95% of the time, resulting in 2 dps being benched most nights. We would much rather just have fun with everyone there, and then run 10man normals on the nights that only 10 show up.

  4. Talarian permalink
    August 21, 2013 6:36 pm

    Note the most recent patch notes on MMO Champion show the Lava Burst nerf reversed.

    Also, unless Lava Burst is 100% of your DPS, a 10% nerf to Lava Burst does not translate into 10% less DPS. Even if it makes up as much as 20% of your total DPS, that’s still only a 2% nerf overall to the class, which in the grand scheme of things you’d likely get a bigger DPS increase by practicing your rotation than you would if they buffed Lava Burst by 10% instead.

    • Mos permalink
      August 22, 2013 12:02 am

      Additionally, Lava Burst was buffed significantly earlier on the PTR where they nerfed it’s base damage but massively improved it’s coefficient- last I saw (pre-current nerfs/non-nerfs) it was ~25k base increase per burst with my gear over live (so 50k counting the auto-crit.) What will really hurt us is the trinket changes, but those are going to hurt everyone.

      Also, ele shammies benefit immensely from the legendary meta gem. If you’re comparing yourself to people without that your damage is going to feel lackluster. Don’t feel bad like I did.

      As for responsibility, I think I’ve come full circle since I first started playing WoW. I believe firmly that there’s no sense playing anything but precisely what you want to play. There are lots of guilds out there- my server alone has over 100 guilds that have killed normal Lei Shen- and there’s going to be a good match or half-decent match somewhere. Once you’re established in a guild it makes sense to bend a little to help your friends out, but in that case you’re vital enough the guild should be working with you as well.

      Keep in mind if you do switch there’s no reason to dread dailies; that gear is obsolete now. You’re going to be doing the same things to gear up (Timeless Isle stuff, running LFRs, getting valor, etc) on any character you play when 5.4 hits, the only difference you’ll save a little bit of effort down the road. So… play what you want. 🙂

      Here’s another way to think about things: you’re determined to be a raider, you’re intelligent, and (from what I can tell reading your blog) you seem to have your shit together. You’ll eventually be a core raider wherever you end up unless your priorities change. There’s no need to be making accommodations just yet.

    • August 23, 2013 1:57 pm

      I’ve actually become pretty proficient in my rotation, which is more a priority list than hard rotation thanks to LB procs. In last night’s raid, I only noticed one time where I consciously chose the wrong spell, so for the most part I’m hitting my old-man hard cap. Since I sometimes get somewhat close to the other well-geared shammy’s dps (close, mind you, not matching), I feel like I’m pretty much on par, and since the last 20 ilevels I improved upped my standard dps by about 20-30k, I feel like the next 20 will follow that formula, which would put me pretty high up there. We’ll see in time.
      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Samus permalink
    August 22, 2013 3:04 am

    Blizzard has always done their balancing based on top end raiding and top ELO Arena PvP. This creates a situation where many classes, particularly item dependent classes, are underpowered compared to other classes if you don’t have BiS gear. So basically, you’re getting screwed because the best 100 shamans in the world are currently outdamaging the 100 best warlocks in the world, or something like that.

    Back when I played this worked in my favor playing a hunter, because that class was less gear dependent. Meaning, I always found myself doing 30-50% more damage than similarly undergeared other classes.

    I haven’t played since early Cata, so I couldn’t tell you what the best “less than perfect gear” classes and specs are right now.

  6. Cain permalink
    August 22, 2013 1:08 pm

    Dailies are mostly useless now, and even more so in the next patch. So even if you decide to switch mains doesn’t mean you’d need to do that grind again. As Feature said, the number of tanks per fight is never going to really change anymore. It’s not like in vanilla when one fight is 1 tank and the next is 8. If your guild has 2 tanks most nights, the chances of you getting sat could go from 1/3 to 2/3. Tank you are more likely to feel guilty missing a night as well, which for me leads to burnout faster. I think if you wanted to play your paladin on the side do that, and if occassionally you raid with it instead of your shaman then fine. Don’t burn yourself out trying to keep both toons equal though. But that is coming from someone who has lots of alts and doesn’t mind keeping them all somewhat geared. Even an undergeared alt can be better than a cancelled raid.

    I understand your point of thinking you didn’t earn the spot through the grind so you should sit, but at the same time the guild may want to see what you’ve got now while it’s on fights that are on farm so that they know whether to take you on the new stuff. Also they can’t get you geared to be able to participate fully in the next patch if you are never in the raid. I would just say that you are fine with sitting, but leave it up to them to decide. At this point in a patch I would assume that most people only have certain bosses they don’t want to be sat for, so maybe making it on a boss by boss basis would be better.

    • August 23, 2013 2:00 pm

      To be clearer, there’s often a 3rd tank, but not a 4th, so I’m not sure I would be sitting more; I suspect based on that balance that the guild would have a 2nd 10 man group as it often does on Weds and Thurs.

      I completely agree with your second paragraph, which is one reason I feel like my stepping out may be perceived as something other than what I mean it to be. The thing is, they won’t make the decision for me; first, they make sure each buff is represented in the group, then it goes to a roll-off, because that’s how they adjudicate it fairly by their rules. If I go on a roll and end up preventing progression, well, that’s just foolish, and if they really wanted me to go, shammies have a ton of raid-useful buffs, so they could just pick me. That’s why I step out; if they wanted to monitor me, they’d put me in the group. They just want to be fair (which I’m totally fine with).
      Thanks for the comment!

    • Cain permalink
      August 27, 2013 9:30 am

      Maybe try setting up the swapping for bosses yourself with the other people rolling?

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