Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gearing for the necessary roles. . .

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking around gearing a healer/DPS hybrid. Obviously the gear won't be completely the same due to the hit cap requirement on the caster DPS gear. Now, I've been trying to read all I can about healing and get some practice in instances, but as many have pointed out, the game at 80 is not the same as the game while leveling.

This brings about my question of the day: Why does Blizzard make it more difficult gearing for the "necessary" roles (tank and healer)?

Now both face challenges in gearing and they are similar but different. Tanks have to deal with the defense cap. Currently only druids are not required to collect gear with enough rating to make them un-crittable by bosses. A tank without the necessary defense rating just isnt a tank. The catch is that it is very difficult to amass enough defense gear to tank heroics without actually running heroics. Doesn't make much sense does it?

Healers have a similar but different problem. There is no standard spellpower rating, no hit cap, nothing that says "you must have X number". How does a healer know they're ready to heal heroics? I can't really figure out any way other than run heroics, and if you kept the group up, you obviously were ready.

One of my guildies Nymeros, has an alt who is a shammy and just hit 80 the other day. Apparently he has had a number of difficulties getting into PuGs as a healer. Now, I will be upfront in saying I respect "quality" DPS. However, most players in the game are not quality DPS. They want to be carried through content despite their performance and collect as many purples as possible. I think it sucks he got booted from groups looking for an easy ride from a geared healer.

My main is a tank, I'm not a great one, I'm ok. However, I understand holding aggro and how to gear a tank, and I crafted most of my tanking gear or got it as rep rewards. I'm not a great healer, I'm ok. For the three classes I heal with, I generally understand what to do at what time, and how to gear and talent them to keep people up. I'm learning, but with groups of approximately my skill level, I'd make it through level appropriate content. The problem is that most DPS don't want to go through level appropriate content. They want to do ToC heroic or Ulduar when they're geared for entry level heroics.

Unfortunately, there really isn't a cure for this. I PuG as little as possible. The reason for this is I just don't care for the majority of Wow players. As a consequence, my characters aren't that geared. I don't really care. I will never tank a raid, I have no interest in the stress, the responsibility or the requirement to know every fight. I am content with just running the occasional heroic with people I know, trust and like, and getting what drops my way.

End Rambling

On a leveling note, the rabbi (my shadow priest) is almost up to 63. I still can't quite afford dual spec for him (I have the gold, but it would just about bankupt me, so I'm gonna pass), but I figure it's not a big deal because I don't run instances in TBC. I definately want to get him dual spec and cold weather flying which will run me about 2k gold and bring my number of chars with that to 4 (Pally, Druid, Shammy, and Priest). My Shammy hit 74 yesterday, I am hoping to hit 75 sunday and keep a modest pace of 2 levels per week. I really can't do more than that because of general non-wow pursuits (gf, college football games with lil brother, etc), still Shammy should hit 80 before 3.3. It will be interesting to see what impact that has on instance groups.

Hope everyone has had a good week, GO BEARCATS!!! (I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati)


Rhii said...

I didn't find gearing as a healer difficult at all. In fact, I found it much easier than getting my former main (a mage) hit capped.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, who is main specced tank, had a little more work to get reasonably geared. He had to grind his blacksmithing up to a point where he could craft the gear for himself, because nobody would take him as a tank (rightly so, undergeared tanks breed wipes) and he refuses to run as ret because its not fun for him (also fair, if you don't like it you shouldn't be forced to play it). But with concentrated mining and a little cash outflow he was able to get geared, and now we're working through the heroics.

It does really suck that a lot of the time tanks especially MUST run as their non preferred spec in order to get gear for their preferred one. If you ask me, that's kinda broken.

Tamarind said...

I agree - it's really messed up. Healing and tanking tend to be thankless roles anyway, but to have to work really hard in order to be "allowed" to do them by the majority of PUGS is absolutely infuriating. As you say, people want to steamroll content and I hate that kind of laziness. At least now I'm over-geared I can kind of put my foot down. I remember I was with a PUG quite recently who were refusing to take the tank (who was in some purples, some blues, well-itemised gear, he was def-capped and he had about 22k hit points - which is FINE for a heroic) and, since I was healing, I insisted we did. The DPS kicked up such a fuss about it but it was a totally smooth run.

I wish people would remember you don't have to be in triumph gear to run a damn heroic. Sigh.