Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nice Pick-Up!

I have been absolutely bored with WoW since I know the patch is close. I can’t justify leveling anything in Northrend anymore because I want them to do it with not only flying mounts, but faster flying mounts, so I have been playing both the druid and the paladin so much that I’m sure at the login screen they are both thinking, “oh shit, he’s gonna pick me isn’t he.”

Things have gotten so bad that I have done the unthinkable and started to level fishing. A profession I berate people for and tell them if they are that bored they need to turn off the damn game and do something productive. In my defense, we have one car, and the better half has been taking it to work in the evenings, so I am actually stranded at home. My something better to do has included, but is not limited to, watching entire collections of The West Wing, Friends, seasons 1-5 of Will and Grace (that’s all we have at the moment), and The Big Bang Theory, doing the laundry and actually folding all the socks. I am even simultaneously reading one book on Bill Clinton, someone I love, and another on Roger Clemens, someone I despise. Talk about being confused during congressional hearings. Cigars and intravenous needles were going where?

Last night I decided to try and level fishing on my shaman. He has no suga’ mama paladin to finance his every desire because he is on the old server I called home. I just joined LFG for Violet Hold and then sat in Dalaran fishing up trash. After getting an invite, I joined the group and a level 80 tank volunteered. Now, I am in no way bashing this tank because he had respectable gear. He had my favorite shied, a T7 piece, and even some 213 epics. He was still wearing the ring from reg Gun’Drak, but it was a regular VH run so I wasn’t scared. I was tanking that place with 15K health; a level 80 could handle it with 25K easy. Lesson number 1 from this experience is that gear and achievements don’t always tell the whole story.

He had some issues getting to portals, and picking up the split portal that opens up right in front of Zuramat, the voidwalker. It wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle, and again, he wasn’t a bad tank, but you could tell he wasn’t a polished tank either.

On one of the split portals, he went running up the Erekem platform and lost 2 of dragons as they trailed down the other side. I chain lighting’ed them and then drug them over to the consecration. Our healer was a real healer, and definitely knew what she were doing but because of the beating I was taking the priest was being focused with an arcane stream and losing health. Inside all of that mess, I decided to drop a healing wave on the priest to buy the time for the healer to save my stupid ass since I knew I was in range of a chain heal.

After the portal closed, the healer said, “nice pick up Nio.” I thought she were getting onto me for being dumb and grabbing the mobs, so I apologized and said I was trying to get them to the tank. She then said, “no, on the heal.”

I realized right then, I’m not a DPS, no matter what I think. Most of my early WoW days were spent as a lock, and I loved topping damage meters, but somewhere in TBC I leveled the both the paladin to tank and the druid to heal and I lost my original focus.

Now, even as DPS, I am constantly looking at health bars, watching threat for another player who might want a little extra oomph applied to the tank with an MD, and generally more aware of my surroundings. Some of you might think this makes me a good DPS, but it is just the opposite. I’m no longer good at it. I can’t stop playing babysitter in groups or raids long enough to fully meet my damage potential.

I have heard, even made, some of the arguments for hybrid taxes and have always understood them, but hybrid taxing is only important in a subpar group. If the group of players you are running with are all competent and capable, there is little for a hybrid to contribute outside of their intended role. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you will, or even should. Lesson number 2 from this experience is hybrids may be valuable for what they can do, but they never shine when everyone is on their A game.

Taxing a class for what it might do is as bad as Tom Cruise arresting people in Minority Report for crimes they might commit. Don’t forget that for every story a good hybrid has about saving the day, they probably have countless memories when they didn’t react fast enough to pull off the save. Hybrids are the closers of WoW. When a closer walks up to the mound and gets a save, he gets patted on the ass, but when he blows it, he gets hammered with people reminding him that he has only one job and he managed to fuck it up.

Next time you run with a hybrid that manages to save the day, be sure and throw out a /hug or /kneel and let them know you appreciate what they do. It will make their day, I promise.


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