I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about my role in our guild, and the game in general. At times I have been a little moody, maybe a little whiny, sometimes even slightly negative. Yesterday night, was the pendulum swinging back in the other direction. Reports of the demise of Leshif, paladin tank, may have been slightly premature.
I learned a few valuable lessons, but before I get to that, the achievement. I tanked Heroic Nexus. The full run, all bosses! Of course, the tanking helm and cape dropped, neither were upgrades for me. I had the exact same gear as our failed H UK run, and same healer (I did change my spec from a 10/51/10 to 0/54/17, more threat oriented). Speaking of heals, big shout outs to Eus, my paladin partner in crime for keeping me up the whole run. Anyways, the difference between the two runs was our DPS. Our UK run was a rogue (who was good), a ret paladin (I think our GM in his off-spec), and a hunter (who managed 700 DPS on the run). On our Nexus run we had a warlock (raid level), Shaman (also raid level), and a ret paladin (yes, also raid level, see the trend?). I only had to use my emergency button ONCE, on the final boss, and I'm not even convinced it was necessary as Eusy was doing a great job keeping me up. I did have a few issues holding aggro, but I held it pretty well and was able to taunt the mobs back to me without any group wipes.
I learned two valuable lessons as a result of this. Heroics are a group activity. It is not just the healer, tank, and any 3 DPS you can throw together. With an amazingly overgeared group, maybe you can carry 3 sub-standard DPS. I hate referring to other players that way, but it is what it is. That leads me to my next lesson. DPS is not "easy" and you don't just ding 80 and have the ability to move directly into heroics. It took me almost a month after dinging 80 to be "ready" to tank heroics. Maybe there is a little more gear out there for DPS, but there are more DPS characters too. DPS, like any other role, requires effort, research, and a lot of trial and error to get things right.
I meant what I said about focusing on ret. I need a LOT more work before I'm ready to off-tank a raid, but I will do whatever our guild needs. I also need a lot of work on my ret set making it more suited to raiding ret. I'm not hit capped yet, I will be fixing that with some gems. I need a lil less stamina and more strength (yay attack power). It's a work in progress, but I'm actually looking forward to tuesday night. Not because I'll get some emblems or gear (which I prolly will and might respectively. . .I want the sword from naxx-10. . .badly), but because I've set a goal, 1500 DPS, not unreachable as I was between 1000 and 1200 before. Between now and then, I'm making myself a trinket (the emerald boar, yay c/d and attack power), the spiked titansteel helm (besides looking awesome, it should last for a while and shows I'm serious about my ret set), and getting some leg armor and enchants. Before any of this, I'm around 1800 AP, I am looking to get hit capped and raise that number to around 2200-2300.
Self-improvement is a really tricky subject. First of all, its hard to be realistic with yourself, most people will either be too harsh, or overstate their abilities (I've been guilty of both). Secondly, improvement, by definition, requires that you admit that you are weak in some area. Be as frank with yourself as you can, put the work in, and you'll be better for it in the long run, not just in gaming, but at everything in life.
Sunday Brunch: Positivity
5 weeks ago