Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Woes of a Hybrid

Maybe not woes so much as indecisiveness.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've gone ahead and removed my Tanking spec to slide into a healing spec and geared myself up reasonably quickly. We have lacked a solid third healer for some time, and this way I can fulfill the raid needs and learn a new spec at the same time. But it has led to other difficulties.

Last night was a good example of this as we finally killed Heroic Zon'ozz while I was healing and it felt damn good to be helping the raid overcome this fight that has held us back for some time.


The boss had close to 5 million health left when enrage hit, but we just kept pushing, as people were dying one by one, and my ineffectual heals did little to help the massive output of damage, I just bubbled, judged, and began to exorcism spam, hoping the dots would do the trick, and they did. There were only 2 or 3 of us left alive but the beast was dead and I released a breath I didn't realize I was holding.


But then, I stared at the heroic bracers that dropped, and wondering, do I bid and loose my spot on the Suicide Kings list? Do I wait for some Retribution gear to drop? Should I be passing all tank gear so the two dedicated tanks can get some gear?


I didn't know what to do. Being the only paladin meant the plate would go to me anyway, but it wasn't fair to everyone else in the raid for me to just gear up without sacrificing my spot - so which is it? What's my main spec?


So began my journey of self-discovery.

At this point, the only fights among the first 6 bosses that we 3-heal are going to be Zon'ozz and Warlord. Last night, we got Heroic Haggara down to ~40% with 2 healers and I think we'll kill her tonight with 2-healers once we clean up Lightning phase and we already 2-heal Morchok, Yor'sahj and Ultraxion.

Spine and Madness will need 3 heals, but that's some time away for us. In the mean time, I'm Retribution for 4 out of 6 heroic bosses that we're working on or killing right now, and I *think* that should be my main spec. If you count the two Deathwing fights, I'll be healing for half the bosses in the raid. Fine. So it doesn't matter, really, which spec I gear up first, I'll need the gear on both. I just need to pick one.



Except.

While my DPS is respectable, it isn't close to what one of the two tanks does as Frost. Her DPS is frequently up there with the Legendary wielding Shadow Priest and Rogue, and it feels more productive for her to be DPSing than me. And I enjoy tanking so much and she enjoys DPS (we refer to DPSing as "being a rock-star" in my raid for some reason) so much, we would both be happier doing the other job.


But.

There are many fights where a Blood Tank is just vastly superior to shield tanks. Yor'sahj, Zon'ozz and Hagara all benefit greatly from Blood Shields and Anti-magic Shells, making the fight much, much easier to heal. So much so that I feel like while I *could* tank those fights with glyphs and trinkets, it would just be easier to have her tank it and keep our progression on a faster pace.

So it seems like my decision is more or less made for me here, I *have* to go DPS for the 4 fights we 2 heal and I'll switch to heals for the other 2 fights. Which means, Retribution is my main-spec and Holy is my off-spec, and I'm sure I'll be geared up for the 2 Deathwing fights by the time we get there just based on off-spec bids.


Which leaves my Protection spec - the best geared of all my specs, the spec I've played non-stop for two expansions - in the dust.


It's an odd feeling but a good one to know that I can do this - that I can switch roles, and help the guild as necessary, be a hybrid class for real instead of just pretending to be a solo-spec class and tanking all the time. We started this expansion with 2 Paladin tanks. We're ending it with a Death Knight and a Warrior. Both of whom are extremely capable and are not holding us back in progression - in fact, it's my lack of experience as a healer that's holding us back right now, if anything. And I love a challenge.



It all feels odd. But good.

1 comment:

  1. It's okay. We'll let you take a break from tanking until Pandaria. You'll get your fifteen minutes of fame. Like, um, Rebecca Black. You have fun, fun, fun, fun being a rockstar. Meanwhile I will be flaunting my Arthas-given powers and making all the pretty paladins cry! MWAHA! MWAHAHAHA!

    ...maybe I've been playing a DK too long...

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