Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holy is Where the (Gryphon)Heart Is

Yes, I know that's a terrible title, but too bad!  It's my blog and I'm going with it.  =P

Recently, Bell of 4 Haelz and Big Bear Butt of, well, Big Bear Butt posted their experiences of playing Retribution Paladins who have effectively been forced to go Holy or Protection in order to get groups (see: Bell's Locked Into Healing post & BBB's Tales from the LFG Tavern post).  While this post is only tangentially related to theirs', their posts in addition to a PuG experience a few nights ago did inspire me to write this one.

Now, Gryph has been a Holy Paladin for as long as I can remember.  Even before the 3 Paladin talent trees were first announced, I knew I wanted Gryph to be a more spiritually-, and less physically-, centric Paladin.  In my mind he's always been an individual defined more by his strength of will rather than his physical prowess, and when the Paladin talent trees were announced, Holy fit the bill quite perfectly.  For the first 4 or so years after WoW's launch, Gryph has been Holy, through and through (minus brief periods of time after the talent resets when he was unspecced).  In fact, I've never even spent so much as a copper to respec Gryph.

When dual specs came out, I finally took the plunge and grabbed him a tanking spec for pretty much the same reason that Bell and BBB probably picked up their second specs: easier group finding.  On Feathermoon Alliance, it turned out, it's significantly easier to find a group as a tank than a healer.  (Plus, I just like helping people, and being able to fill the two most desired roles in a group felt like it would be immensely helpful.)  Big mistake.  I don't think I've healed a PuG 5-man since.  =\  I'm pretty sure I've tanked more WotLK 5-mans than I've healed by now, both with PuGs and with all-friend groups.  Perhaps in Cataclysm I'll try Retribution as my second spec instead.

Anyway, as it turns out, I don't really think I enjoy tanking that much.  I say this because every time I'm tanking and someone does something silly (like not watch their own aggro), I go into a frothy-mouthed rage.  On the other hand, I'm much more calm when healing, and usually enjoy the same shenanigans that piss me off when I'm tanking.  Maybe Holy is just more fun because I have a lot more experience with it, or perhaps I'm just feeling inadequate as a tank because I'm not used to fitting emergency buttons into my tanking rotation (whereas emergency buttons feel much easier to integrate into my healing playstyle because they keep people alive—which is the primary purpose of healing).  One thing I do know, though: I'm never going to tank a 25-man raid in WotLK.  This is partly because I'm just not good enough of a tank, and partly because half the people in TRI have Protection Paladins (and the other half have some other tank).  =P


  1. Without realizing it, you've stumbled upon part of the reason you can't find tanks for 5 man groups (and thus you are filling in as a tank). It's the glass ceiling for tanks. There are a ton of 'jobs' in the 5 mans, but as soon as you want to 'move on up' to 10s or 25s you'll find the relatively few tank spots there are filled. So people who want to be tanks find their progression path blocked and abandon the role.

  2. Oddly enough, the reverse is true on my server. I can pop in LFG and find three tanks waiting for groups for the daily heroic. It doesn't happen all the time, but I have a much easier time finding a group as a healer than as a tank.

    Fortunately my paladin was rolled primarily to heal so that works out for me. It's only when I want a break from the healing and keeping the tanking muscles in shape that it gets annoying.