Friday, June 3, 2011

Second Spec - The little goat that could (maybe)

For some reason it never really occurred to me that people wouldn't want me to tank. Grinding up through levels, being spoiled with nonexistent wait times with dungeon finder, I always heard that tanks were in high demand. Hell, people were offering to buy them for Heroic runs in Trade Chat. Why wouldn't I immediately find my niche when my gear score ooched up high enough and Lemni immediately chrysalized into the baddest motherfuckin Tank in all of Azeroth.

But it was getting pulled into a guild Heroic and being asked to go dps that really set things ablaze for me. Retribution may have been the offspec of choice, but I never found a comfort level with it. Lemni doesn't have a second set of gear for it. I don't have experience with it. I warned the guild - in Chat and in Vent 'you can have Prot or really crappy Ret'. They opted for the crappy Ret. And crappy was what they got. I just couldn't do the damage. My dps gear is nonexistent. My score was so utterly low it was probably laughable. We flopped around in Baradin Hold and got obliterated when we couldn't get the boss down before he Berzerked and smashed us all.

They asked me to respec over to Prot and we did fine as the other tank and I taunted back and forth in between running around and avoiding bad. It was totally fine. I was at least a little glad I did alright tanking my first miniraid. While 'friends' proceeded to crush my fragile ego by saying 'It's really not a hard fight to tank'.

Thanks assholes.

It put me off to the toon. The group. The idea of playing a paladin at all. I felt like I had no hooves to stand on. I've got the gear score for heroics, but not the gear or experience. And now I just want to start over. But I can't. What I should do is start doing regular level dungeons and just slowly amassing some kind of gear and experience. But I don't really feel like it. I don't even know where to start. Occasionally I log in to Lemni and do some dailies. Ones where I don't have to push buttons (thanks Ramkahen).

The whole experience has left me neglecting this blog and even my Twitter. I rolled a tiny psycho Gnome rogue on a different server just for some mindless low level dps and getting in the dungeon experience I was too chicken to try with Lemniscate. I need an ego boost. I need some guidance. Some direction. Where do I go for gear when I'm 85 and my poor space goat is having a mid life crisis, forsaking her nice normal flying mount for an impractical protodrake. Some time on Wowhead is in my future.

The fact that I logged in a few weeks ago and saw that the guild was putting together a new ten man team really rankled me. It isn't personal. I know that. But now that I'm going Ret I'm solidly refusing to waste any more time and money on Prot gear. For now at least. I'm at the point where the gulf is so wide that I can't just get by with one set of gear, no matter what I've been told in the past.

Maybe I'm just moping. But I hit one of those 'I'm not enjoying this' plateaus, so I went off to find something that I did enjoy. Will I ever play Lemni again? Sure. Will I ever tank again? Maybe, probably. I'm too attached to her to turn her into a bank alt.

The goat will rise again.


  1. Awww, I'm sorry lady. It's unfortunate that these plateaus occur and it's not fair to you to feel a disconnect with your toon and being taken out of your comfort zone.

    I've encountered similar situations to this at one time or another on an array of my toons and when I feel discouraged and shaky on my main, I like to take a road trip of self discovery on my toon to get a better handle on her, fine tune what I want to accomplish PvP wise (or raiding wise in your instance) with her and above all else, have fun with her. It's defeating when a player can't enjoy themselves in a game with their toon so I like to take a mini vacation to just do things I want to do and remind myself of why I love playing Alicara.

    I sincerely hope you return back to your pally and you can find the excitement that drove you to push to enjoy playing her again. :)

    Ali (or Sin_Aliaga) on Twitter ^_^

  2. Awww thank you so much. I suppose it's been a positive thing over all - an exploration into a different realm, a different play style and different methods has found me in a guild I love doing things I'm really enjoying. Something I never would have done if this hadn't gone down. Still I feel a little obligated to go back to my 'roots' as it were. At some point at least.

    Mostly I think it'll be a matter of figuring out exactly what it is I want to do. Which will probably be as simple as deciding 'To Tank or Not To Tank'.

    Thank you so much for reading!

    Much love.

  3. Speaking as someone who has switched mains/roles many times, I get where you are coming from. It's tough when what you want to do is not what your group wants or needs you to do.

    That being said, I think you can't underestimate the importance here of what you are passionate about. Do you want to be a mediocre retribution paladin? Not everyone is cut out for DPS or actually enjoys it, and that's okay. You named your blog after tanking. You tanked your way through LFD. You hit 85 fully expecting to tank. Now, I don't know about your guild, or your tanking or whether you've even tanked for them or if they were just making assumptions. But I'm going to urge you not to listen to them.

    Read all the paladin tanking blogs you can find! Dive into LFD if your guildies won't come on five mans with you tanking. And if your guildies won't even let you TRY, I'm sorry to say it, but maybe you need to find new guildies. It's a poor group of "friends" who discourage someone from doing what they are clearly passionate about. Are you the world's best paladin tank? Probably not right now, but you have to start somewhere! Why should you have to pretend to be something you're not? Sure, tanking is a tough role to step right into at endgame, but it's not impossible to learn, and the only way to learn is by doing. Don't set aside the class and character you love just because of a few naysayers. Consider this your first tanking challenge! Pick yourself up, take it on the shield and go tick off some monsters! You can do this.

  4. I wouldn't even worry about having a Ret spec if you genuinely have no interest in playing it! Just because Paladins CAN be DPS doesn't mean you have to have it as an offspec. Hell, you could just be Prot, or Prot/Prot. :) It's much more important to focus on what you really love.

    Of course, if you actually don't mind playing Ret, then of course it's useful to have a working, geared Ret spec. But that's different.

    As for rounding out your gear (Prot, and Ret if you are interested) I would focus on getting the various Cataclysm reputations to Exalted so you can get all those inexpensive but great Epic rep items. You could do this tanking your way through Regs/Heroics and honing your Prot skills! Or, if you have decided to give Ret a try, practice your Ret stuff on daily quests like the Tol Barad or Twilight Highlands one, and then when you have a basic sec of Ret gear, try your hand at some regular dungeons until you get the hang of things. :D

  5. Manalicious - I've been hesitant to come down on the guild too much, since I was invited in by a friend that has been a long-term member. But after being in a guild that seems to be doing things -right- with helping members with runs and gear, that my honeymoon period is over.

    Thanks for the pep talk - I just needed a moping vent fest ;)

  6. Rades - Thank you! I think the rep grinding has been what I've been slugging my way along on. I went Ret in Vashj'ir for speed, but missed my survivability. I think that was the start of my bipolar problems. I don't think I'll give up on Ret entirely, but it may be a matter of rethinking my stance within my guild. Is it going to be worth tanking solo and running dps on weekly guild runs, grumbling my resentment the whole time?

    Either way, thank you for reading, and for pointing me in the right direction!

  7. As someone who went Ret to avoid tanking the Zul'Agains, I know what it's like to not have faith in your abilities. I ended up with a new guild Paladin who went on and on about how he was the best thing since sliced bread. When other people who had run with him said that he was a really strong tank, it made me doubt myself. Even when I did BH with him (without Omen OR Recount), I was doubting my abilities. I ended up running as Ret (he wanted to either tank or heal) for some heroics. And what did I notice? While he chain-pulled like a champ, he was sloppy to the point where we wiped on stupid stuff. When I ran as Prot and he healed, he was still unobservant and we died because he forgot he was healing.

    As time went on, I noticed that his "friends" only wanted to run with me. The healer who said he was a good tank would only run with me for groups. The DPS who said he was good quit being available when he was on and wanting to do runs.

    Never doubt your abilities :) You know how good you are--don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Take a friend with you on instance runs--pug the other slots! Ask how the runs are progressing as you go through the content--it's always nice when a healer says "you are so easy to heal!" or the DPS compliments you on keeping aggro off them. Those compliments by random players can really help boost your esteem.

    Some people are born confident tanks--some people have to work at it. Every day I doubt my abilities, but it's the people I play with who shower me with compliments and beg for me to tank for them that make it great. If you're not really keen on your guild, see if you can find a new home.

    My first toe in the water of tanking was supported by an old GM in Wrath--I was his healer--but HE went Holy for me to play with Prot. The best DPS in the guild tested my threat. I was stressed to the max, and it was a flawless run. If I hadn't been given that support and that opportunity, I probably wouldn't be the tank I am today.

    Become a sponge for tanking information--run normals until you are comfortable again. But don't EVER let other people force you into a role that you don't want to play or make you doubt your abilities.

    Have faith in yourself and good luck slamming that shield into mob faces!