Saturday, September 28, 2019

Field Report #25 - Who Needs Tanks and Priests?

No Tank
Interestingly enough I find there seems to be as much lack of healers as there is tanks when I am trying to group up in WoW Classic. This might be a bit skewed by the fact that I often play a tank and thus I spend more time looking for a healer than a tank. But as I've mentioned before, my experience of grouping for dungeons has so far been a positive one. This didn't change when I tried to get a group for Shadowfang Keep on my level 23 warlock the other night.

We did in fact find a healer but could not find a tank. I was worried the group would dissolve, but instead the healer asked the high-leveled rogue (27) if he'd be interested in tanking, saying that he himself was up to the task of healing him in that case. At first I was at least mildly concerned at the prospect of having a rogue tank, but when I remembered I could use my voidwalker as a back-up tank I thought it could, if nothing else, turn out to be an interesting experiment. The last time I tried to tank an instance without an actual tank was something like Botanica in Burning Crusade (we used a voidwalker back then too, as Demonology warlocks were pretty broken for a while).

SFK always makes me think of Tom Jones. It's a long story...

I pride myself in being pretty flexible with group setups and especially with group progress, as long as whatever is happening isn't due to anyone trying to ruin things. We decided to go along with our plan and recruited another dps for the final slot instead. It turned out to be another warlock, so equipped with one high-level character (the rest of us were around level 23-24) and soul stones/healthstones/pets worth of two warlocks we took on Shadowfang Keep.

And really had no issue getting through it. While the voidwalker isn't the best tank (especially not at keeping threat), the healer and the fact that we managed to generally spread out damage pretty evenly across the group, made sure we got through it fairly smoothly. We did one silly overpull where us two locks and the priest died, but because of soul stones we were quickly back on our feet without much slowdown.

Everyone was having a blast, we were joking around and I ended up on friends list and in their guild (it turned out the other four in the group were already guildies, I hadn't even noticed until the end!). Everyone was doing what they could to move forward, no one called anyone out for the few mistakes that were made. We genuinely congratulated each other when someone else got a gear drop and there even was a blue BoE drop that no one tried to ninja.

It tries its best though.

To me it was the essence of what makes WoW Classic so damn good. It was one of those times when you regain faith in humanity and remember that the vast majority of online players out there are not toxic a-holes, but nice people who are just looking to have a good time. While I know asshats reside in WoW Classic as well, it's just the way some people are and they'll turn up in any population, I've always found WoW in general has been fairly void of the worst kind. Maybe I've just been lucky, but the way some communities in other games have been described to me I just don't see that happening in WoW.

No Priest
For the 8 years during which I played a lot of WoW I mained a healing priest for almost all of that and I never stopped loving it. I started playing it about 9 months after I first started playing (early 2006) and enjoyed it through thick and thin. I also played a lot of alts, of which tanks and especially warrior tanks became another favorite of mine. Rogues were probably the class I enjoyed and played the least (actually, feral dps druid I probably played less, but I tanked a lot as a druid). Now that I've started playing WoW Classic I am currently enjoying my warlock the most but I'm interested in playing most of the other classes too.

Weirdly enough, I really have no desire to play a priest though, whether healing or dpsing (not that shadow priest is viable for much else than questing in Classic). I played other priest healers than my main before and enjoyed it just as much, but this time around… it just feels wrong. I'm not sure if it's fatigue, the fact that priest healer is the class I know by far the best even from Vanilla WoW or simply the fact that it just wouldn't be the same somehow.

It's a bit of a dilemma because I actually would really like to heal. But the thought of priest healing doesn't appeal to me. I never enjoyed druid healing much for whatever reason. That leaves paladin and shaman. Shaman is the one I've enjoyed the most out of those two, but the thought of a) levelling a resto shaman and b) some of the totems quests that you have to do are really putting me off.

Not even the totem likes the totem class quest.

I am nurturing this idea that I'll level only through instances, saving me having to quest as resto, only doing the bare minimum of quests (like abovementioned totem quests) but I am worried that I'll quickly be bored with doing the same instances over and over. We'll see what I end up doing, I am in no rush either way.

I also realize that if this is the biggest dilemma in my life right now I can consider myself quite lucky.

Meanwhile I am actually trying to not fall into the same trap as last time I played WoW, namely ignoring every other game out there. I really do want to play other games simultaneously, because if there is one thing that gives me existential angst it's the size of my backlog that I need to get through.

I am currently playing Resident Evil 2 remake Claire A (after completing Leon A) with the bf and also Jade Empire.

Jade Empire is one of those games I find quite meh but it's got flow enough to keep me playing at least. There are so many things about this game that are frustratingly close to being almost good that half the time I think I want to complete it just so I have a legitimate reason to write up a review of it, complaining about all these things. It's my intention to make that happen because I definitely have a lot to say about it. WoW Classic is not helping because it's difficult to motivate myself to play a barely engrossing game when the other option is one I thoroughly enjoy. Why do it then you might ask? Well because I want to check it off my list, simply! And write that review, like I said.

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  1. Is it possible that the difference between priest healing in Classic and Retail might be the problem? I do find I am having some difficulties with Disco myself and they're related to how different the spec is in Classic from Retail.

    I underwent a similar bit of confusion when they redid Disco and took away our Frisbee ... took me a whole expansion to unlearn my old habits.

    And let's face it, Disco really had a lot about it that sucked in Vanilla. I'm feeling a bit spoiled by Retail Disco now, and that may be part of my particular problem with healing in Classic.

    Back in the day I played a bit of hybrid healer. I imagine I'll land somewhere around that space again.

    1. Your comment warrants a response worthy of its own post, but for now;
      Yes, I think you are hitting the nail on the head. As someone who mained a priest partly in Vanilla, I can say with certainty that discipline was just not a thing back then (and shadow only for pvp or questing). Looking at the talent tree now I just don't even see what Blizzard was going for with Discipline as it's not really distinguished from holy, just shittier. While they seemed to have been pretty good at making dps specs different enough from each other, they were a bit at a loss on what to do with two healing trees. Discipline in Classic is -maybe- for buffing in a 40 man raid, but you'd only really need one in that case. And is that Spirit buff and the occasional Power Infusion really worth the spot of a dedicated, better, healer? Usually not.

      It wasn't until mid-way BC that I tried out Disc myself and Blizzard had completely revamped it. I loved it and it became my favorite class and spec to play until I quit. While I hadn't thought about it myself I think the lack of a useful discipline spec could definitely be a reason I am not keen on priest healing at the moment. While I always enjoyed holy healing, discipline was my jam for sure.