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An interesting discussion came up today in the middle of our ICC raid today.

A friend of mine (who seems to me to be a bit of a challenge-junkie) who plays both DPS characters and tanking characters, but no healers at endgame, asked about the “challenge” of healing.

We healers tried to explain it, but I don’t know that we were really successful.

The way I see it, not only are healers dealing with challenges of mana-management (although from what I understand, WotLK has trivialized that somewhat at most levels of gear) and fight mechanics, they also have the additional “challenge” of the human element. In my experience, healers are expected to make up for the mistakes of the other raid members. In a great group, this additional challenge is minimal. In a bad group? It could make up the majority of the difficulty of any given encounter.

I personally found healing the most difficult when I first hit 80 (and because of gear, mana management was a valid concern) and now that we’re hitting heroic-modes like Deathbringer Saurfang and Blood Queen. Sometimes, there’d be a significant increase in challenge when learning a new encounter, but after it’s down a time or two, it gets easier, not only because I have a better idea what is going on, but because everyone else in the raid does too, and therefore, we see less avoidable damage.

But I do think that’s kind of the opposite of where most DPS feel their biggest challenges lie. They are always trying to push out just a little more, and they never really reach that plateau of complacency that I’ve found sometimes when healing. If everyone’s all topped off, all I’m going to do by trying to push my HPS is irritate my other healers.

So, HEALERS FOR LYFE – I know you read this. Leave some comments about what you perceive to be the unique challenges of healing. Where do you find them most in the progression curve?

All I know is that every time I hesitated for even a second, or I misused a single global cooldown, I wiped the raid on heroic DBS. For me, that pushes it past the level of an “enjoyable” challenge, and into the realm of rage-inducing-ly frustrating.

First there was the announcement that Real ID will NOT be required on the forums.

Then, I logged in today to find myself guildless with no explanation.

Then:

The result?

So it can’t be all bad, right? Right.

More to come later when I come down off my Kingslayer-high.

Today, I finally admitted to my irrational resentment about my paladin aloud.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my raid group. The people are the best, the raids are smooth and fun, and the vent conversation is enjoyable. Everyone likes each other (or fakes it fantabulously). But yet another day of toon-shuffling due to real life getting in the way has shown me yet again that I’m never going to be able to bring Krikket to this very successful, very enjoyable raid.

It makes me hate my holydin – not because she’s not fun, not because I hate healing, but because she’s so much more valuable to a group than the only character I want to be playing.

As of today, my lulzy alt is now more progressed in ICC than my main.

I kind of expected this since I lost Krikket’s 10 man group, but … gah. I’m still sort of angsty about it. We have enough people in this run with healing main specs & offspecs that I probably could swap Krikket in once we get more comfortable and are regularly clearing the place, but still.

I am currently the lucky owner of one Battered Hilt. I know I should be super-excited about this, but I’m just flummoxed over what to actually do with the thing.

Krikket current is using Abracadver as her weapon.  As much as I whine about the injustice of being a staff-shaman, it really is a decent weapon for an elemental shaman. It makes staying hitcapped simple. If I were to dump it so I could use the Battered Hilt quest reward weapon, I would need to go back to my Ulduar shield (since I don’t see myself getting either a Bastion of Purity or a Bulwark of Smouldering Steel anytime soon), and I would likely have to either downgrade some armor pieces, or regem pretty much everything I own for hit. Which makes it – at this point – not so much an upgrade.

Norrah, on the other hand? Well, she could use her Quel’Delar now. It would be quite the sexy upgrade for her, actually. It is a pretty excellent holy paladin weapon, and the best I’m likely to get my hands on for a very long time. Someday she might get a Lich King weapon, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon either.

But I feel guilty as hell using something this shiny on an alt, you know? I know it’s irrational, but there it is. I feel like Norrah isn’t important enough to deserve this weapon, despite the fact that, at this moment in time and for the forseeable future, it’s far far better for her than for my main.

Help convince me it’s ok to let her have it.

I understand that the queue time for tanks for randoms is much much shorter than the queue times for DPS.

I understand that gearing up a new character means running a lot of heroics, and the less time you spend in queue the more you get to spend actually running those heroics.

I understand that you might not want to roll need against a tank for tanking gear, so you prefer to be the tank while looking for upgrades.*

But for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE do not queue as a tank for a random heroic unless you have a set of gear, in your bags, that will give you at least 535 defense. More is ok. Less is not.

No love,

The healer (with tanking offspec) waiting out a 30 minute deserter debuff since the tank in her H-ToC had 25k health and 512 defense.

*Honestly? I think it’s the queue times. I don’t think people who are all “lolwut do you mean defense-cap?” would think twice about rolling on tanking upgrades against the actual tank in a 5 man.

Oh Norrah. You’ve come a long way, baby.

(Let’s not talk about my prot gear though, ok?)

Please note the dates:

Level 80 - 041410Call of the Crusade (10) - 041710

THIS SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.

Honestly? The holydin is way more fun than I anticipated – we’ve been heroic farming like nobody’s business, and assuming I can replace my last few truly fail pieces of gear, I may actually be ready to heal ICC-10 by a week from Thursday. I’m guessing my tankadin gear is going to lack tragically far behind (although, I won’t lie, I haven’t been shy about hoovering crap that no one else wants) because I’m just so meh about it.

It’s sad. For tanking, I miss my warrior. For healing, I miss my priest. Both are languishing on servers I never play on. And I go & spend $25 on a Sparkle Pony rather than a server transfer.

So – I’ve been leveling Norrah to be a tank since her first talent point, but a couple of levels ago, I realized that paladin tanking was missing the thing I really loved about tanking on my warrior – lots and lots of frantic button mashing.

I’m sure some people find the tanking rotation of 6-9-6-9-6 soothing. I found it to be yawn-inducing when things were going well, and immensely frustrating when things were going less-well. So I (mostly) stopped leveling her. I just couldn’t see the point if I wasn’t having any fun with it. I’ve been questing here and there because it seems a shame to just stop when she’s so close to being useful, but I haven’t set foot in an instance in weeks.

Until last night, when one of the tanks in guild offered to run a bunch of our not-quite-80 toons through a couple of normal dungeons.

I am not a fan of runthroughs in general, but when you have a DPS toon, you can whack at the mobs a little and feel like you’re doing something other than just picking up loot and free XP. When you’re a tank-in-training? You don’t want to use ANY of your abilities. So I did what I’ve been avoiding for about 37 levels. I finally dual-specced.

Now, I’ve picked up some random holy gear quest rewards, so I had a few pieces collecting dust in the bank. Since everyone was waiting on me, I winged it spec-wise, tossed on the few pieces I had, and lol-healed through normal UK and VH. The tank didn’t so much need healing, but the DPS did on occasion – at least once, there was enough damage going around that I OOM-ed myself flailing at my heal spells.

It wasn’t awful. I mean, it wasn’t disc priest healing, which so far, tops out the healing fun-scale for me, but I think I can do it. I keep hearing that paladin healing is fun in heroics, but gets a lot duller in raids.  I can believe it – I absolutely loved healing on Krikket until people wanted me to stand around and spam chain heal for three to four hours at a stretch.

I’m still disappointed in a way because what I really wanted to cap out next was a tanking character. I miss tanking, and I’m still far too cheap to transfer my warrior (who would need so much gear grind to be where she should be and also? I hate warrior DPS).  I’m still going to collect up some tanking gear, because I would like to try it again at some point, and we tend to need tanks for offnight stuff far more often than we need healers. At the same time, I’m relieved that Norrah’s dual-spec connundrum is resolved – yet another melee DPS spec I can avoid sucking at for awhile longer.

Who I Am:

CURRENTLY PLAYING

Kimorah
Holy/Shadow Priest

Alliance Raiding Main

ACTIVE ALTS

Krikket - Level 88
Elemental Shaman [A]

Kayci - Level 85
Holy Paladin [A]

Koralyne - Level 85
Unholy/Blood Deathknight [A]

All Classes to 90 Progress
August 2017
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