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Your Attention Please!

September 11, 2013

Dear Reader,

I plan today to talk a little bit about being a tank again, and I’ll get to that shortly, but before that, I’d like to bring something to your attention and ask for your help.  I haven’t talked much about Havok and Hijinks here, so I wanted to take a moment to bring it to your attention.  It’s another Kickstarter from Epic Slant Press, where our good blog friend Ferrel resides.  I’ve supported his work in the past both here and financially, and I’ve always ended up feeling great about the products he’s produced, so I’d like to offer that opportunity up to you, dear reader, for your examination.

Havok and Hijinks is different from my previous endorsements, though, in two ways.  First, it’s not a book; it’s a card game.  I wasn’t sure at first whether I really wanted to start funding games, but my absolute faith in Ferrel and his team (or the team of which he’s a part, I’m not really sure) overcame that concern early on.  Secondly, the project is already funded.  I’m no longer coming to you in hopes of making something happen; now, I’m coming hoping that you’ll take a look and decide you want to be a part of it.

I can’t speak about it any better than Epic Slant can, so go check out their Kickstarter page and help them overcome the 2 week slump, a trend in which funding goes dramatically down until the last 48 hours.  Or, do the opposite, and don’t do anything until the last 48 hours, making them even better.  It’s up to you!

On the topic of WoW, I’m writing this Tuesday afternoon before I can get home, so I can’t discuss much about 5.4 yet.  You’ll hear more – I’m sure from everyone – about that between now and Friday.  Instead, I want to muse on my cowardice – or, to be fair, perhaps practicality – in choosing my roles.

As long as I’ve been here, corresponding with you, I’ve been a tank or healer.  I was Paladi in vanilla, BC, and the first half of Wrath tanking Kara, TK, and Naxx.  I was Stubborn in Wrath, healing ToC and ICC.  I came back to healing and tanking in Cata, doing a little of both in Throne of Four Winds and Dragon Soul.

During that time, I leveled a lot of alts, almost always in dps specs, but as much as I liked some of them (my rogue was by far my favorite leveling character, followed closely by my hunter), I just couldn’t get into the end-game dps world.  I was repeatedly frustrated by my dps as a fire mage and shadow priest, and I always slunk back into my comfortable roles, roles where there may be more blame, but there was less scrutiny.

For those reasons, I made a firm decision at the start of Mists to be a dps character.  I went with elemental shammy simply because I was already in a place I felt comfortable enough in an “active” guild.  I learned the mechanics, buffs, rotations, cooldowns.  I practiced as much was reasonably expected.

And I did all right.  I never topped the meters, but I was often doing well for my gear level.

But when the problem of tank shortage presented itself in my new guild, I can’t ignore the fact that I was somewhat relieved to have a reason to grab my tank back.  Even though the dps in the guild have all be very supportive and friendly, answering my sometimes-noobish gear questions instead of just shunting me to a website to do it for them, there was still that level of competition that made me uncomfortable.  From a healer or tanks’s standpoint, the dps competition is great; the faster they kill the boss to compete for first place, the better on us.  Sure, dps tunnel vision can be a problem to healers, but you can always let them die a time or two to teach them that floor dps always equals zero.

Being a part of that crowd, though, made me feel very scrutinized.  Judged.  Generally friendly teases were made that didn’t even involve me that still made me a bit defensive of my dps.  “But I’m always the last person alive,” I’d counter to myself, which I genuinely am pretty proud of – my survivability – but I had to be critical and wonder “Is that simply a justification for not doing better?”

And so I have to be equally critical now.  Am I really being practical by leveling a character that’s in a needed role for a possible one-night-a-week raiding situation?  Or am I creating a situation where I’ll be asked to return full-time to tanking so others who may not want to tank don’t have to?

I’ve thought a lot about it, and honestly, I’m simply not sure.  I don’t know whether or not this is a subconscious move to return to familiar grounds or a conscious practical one.  If it is subconscious, of course I can’t know about it, right?  I suppose only time will tell.

This doesn’t mean I’m done on Iambic.  For now, Iambic is still my main, but Paladi (Stubbourn) will be getting geared as quickly as possible and likely going at least once a week when the tank shortages occur.  Once I’m actually raiding on both, I’m curious to see which I truly prefer and by how much, which I’ll have to report to you later.

Until then, enjoy 5.4!


Stubborn (and retreating to familiar territory)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2013 8:10 am

    On gearing – go to the Timeless Island, the place is a loot pinata. In about two hours, a good bit of which was trying to arcade my way to some chests or otherwise looking around, my DK found 496 Tank legs (out of a chest, I think), two 496 helms, a 496 chest, 496 shoulders, 496 gloves, 496 cloak, 496 trinket, two 496 rings, and several cloth, leather, and mail items. Other than the set of legs these are all the template items they introduced in the Barrens that will morph to an item for the spec you are in when you use them. Find or buy the special item for the zone and the iLvl goes to 535. It looks like a weapon, purchased for the island currency, will be about 6-8 hours of grinding, probably less for a 1H weapon.

    There are a lot of “elites” on the island but I can’t imagine any tank, hunter, or other solo-friendly character having any problems with them.

    • September 11, 2013 9:43 am

      Yeah, that’s what I did. I didn’t get a full set of stuff, but I certainly vastly improved where I had started. I felt like the chests had a diminishing returns on them, though, as the more I got, the less I seemed to get out of them. Perhaps I was just very lucky at first, but at first every mossy chest had a purple and hundreds of coins, but by the end, when I’d found all I felt I was going to find, they often only had about 20 coins and nothing else.

      In my post, I was mostly talking about not remembering how I’d geared Iambic. I looked back and I guess I did gear through dailies, but I have little to no memory of it, which says a lot about its impact on the player. What a waste to spend so long doing something that you enjoy so little as to forget right about it.

      I did get one of the special items and turned a helm token into a 535. Other than that, I still need a cape, another ring and trinket, and a belt. Not a bad haul for day 1, and I can already queue into the ToT LFRs now, though I haven’t the slightest idea how to tank them yet. Ah well, sounds like the healers’ problem (;

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. September 11, 2013 10:52 am

    “More blame, (…) less scrutiny” sounds like a pretty apt summary of how tanking and healing can be appealing to a certain kind of person, myself included. /ponders

    • September 11, 2013 1:20 pm

      I’m glad you liked it. It certainly appeals to me, because if I truly am to blame, I can handle it and improve, and if I’m not, then the hell with that stuff; I’m not going to buy into it. The scrutiny, though, well, I’m getting older and slower and worse at my rotations. I don’t want to be nagged at that I only had a 87% uptime on my fire totem, and I don’t want to have the next college kid who doesn’t know a damn thing tease me about having higher dps.
      I’m much more about getting the job done competently than striving for 100% potential output. 100% potential output kills people.

      Good to see you, and thanks for the comment!

  3. Beshara permalink
    September 11, 2013 11:28 am

    I can definitely understand. After 3 expansions of healing, I found that I am needed more as dps in my new guild. My raid group has a very good shadow priest that I get to compare myself to. I feel like I have to work harder to not be considered “carried”. It doesn’t help that people have their new meta gems and legendary cloaks that I have not yet earned, and I try to keep that in mind. Also that I am in mostly LFR gear while others have been in normal gear. It’s a hard mental adjustment to make.

    Luckily, we did very well in our flex raid last night, with only a few issues on Sha of Pride, and I got a couple pieces of gear. I was last on the dps, but I was close to the people in front of me. I’m hoping that with these gear upgrades, and some time spent on the Isle this weekend, I can get up to at least middle ground dps for the group. I’d feel more comfortable healing (and I keep offering it just in case), but I have to say a part of me enjoys the challenge.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting the familiar, especially when not enough people like to tank/heal. I wouldn’t consider wanting to tank a sign you are running away from dps.

    • September 11, 2013 1:23 pm

      I’m so jealous you got into SoO already. My guild started an unofficial run literally a minute or two before I logged on, and as I result I didn’t get to go. That’s not to blame anyone or whine about “being left out,” but it was still a bummer.

      I know what you mean about the “carried” thing; when I was in weaksauce gear, I knew I was being a burden, but I also had in my ego-bag that I had been ASKED to go, not that I was choosing to leech. Still, after a few nights, some people were complaining about having to carry others – they weren’t referring to me; this was after one of our quasi-disastrous 25 man raids – but still, I didn’t like it.

      I’m sure you’ll get up there with better gear. I have sub-LFR gear in some slots, so I know it stinks, but it’s only a matter of time once you’re back in the game before the upgrades come.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. September 11, 2013 6:56 pm

    I don’t know what your new guild is like, but I know that whenever anyone steps in to tank when we have a shortage, we are truly grateful! We don’t even care if their dps is the pits because they should do SOME DPS but that’s what the DPS are for – to kill stuff! But, as long as your DPS isn’t below the healers.. then I think you’ll probably be ok and nobody is going to be overly critical of you.

  5. kaleedity permalink*
    September 12, 2013 10:10 am

    I think it’s better to quit than to try to fulfill a role that isn’t meshing with you. All kinds of Bad Things start happening otherwise. It’s best when you can still kind of do both. I won’t forget /raid chuckling at me tanking with a twohander back in the MC days (read: baron geddon doesn’t care much for shields or armor).

    I could fulfill minor tanking or healing roles across the classes I’ve played, but if I was considered primarily a healer or tank I probably wouldn’t have done as much as I did. I do actually remember rage quitting an actual 40 man raid I was technically in charge of because the healers consistently wouldn’t keep me up on mc’s lava packs. If the same thing happened to me while I was doing dps, I’d probably be laughing too hard to quit.

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