Your Attention Please!
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)