If you’ve never played World of Warcraft (WoW), I apologize as you probably won’t understand a bit of this post. I’ll add some links if you care to learn the terms.
Guild officer: Do you have a dps set?
Me: Well…technically yes if you consider just having separate pieces a dps set. It kinda sucks, though.
Guild officer: *inspects* Go ahead and equip your dps stuff so I can see.
Me: It’s already on.
Guild officer: Oh.
Me: *flies back to Shattrath*
I can’t really complain. In this new guild, I’m no one special. The main tank rotation is already established, and it’s a pretty long line with me at the bottom. Of course the bad part is, if I’m not a main tank, I’m dead weight. I’m not just a warrior, I’m a tank, because that’s how Blizzard designed the tanking protection warrior. Everything I’ve invested has been towards that narrow function, which unfortunately has the least number of spots in any given raid. It’s extremely frustrating, and sure, I’m mad that I couldn’t go last night. What kind of dps am I supposed to have? Do the other warriors seriously have so much time to run raids that they not only get all the epic tank gear but also get dps versions of the same thing? Probably not, but they don’t really need to since they’re actually being used for tanking. Although, even with all dps epic gear, dps and prot warrior just don’t belong in the same sentence. I know there’s a lot of info out there about “dps as a prot warrior”, and yes, you can do some damage with devastate/whirlwind spam, but unless you just have an extra 200 badges to spend on dps gear —instead of tanking gear— or you’ve farmed an instance for so long that there is somehow no one else left to roll on the dps gear but you, it’s a load of crap. There’s really no room for more than 1 or 2 warrior tanks in a raid of 25. You could have 5-10 of any other single class and still be totally fine. No room for a druid tank? No problem! (**shifts to kitty form**) No need for a prot paladin on this boss? No problem! (**helps heal**) Prot warriors that aren’t tanking are nothing but a liability.
I guess I could rant all day about it. it’s a common problem. In Ancient Guard, I just happened to be on the other side and my position was never threatened. There’s nothing worse than not being wanted and just sitting around.
It was hard for me to leave AG. People liked me, and I never had to question my worth as the main tank. I could lead raids and have a great time doing it. That wasn’t always true, of course. When I first joined about a year ago, I was just an arms dps warrior preparing to switch to protection once I got some high-level gear. Alzina was the best prot warrior in the guild and was the GM, and there was also a druid tank and a couple paladin tanks. Then, like now, I felt pretty inadequate and unneeded. I researched a lot of the pre-raid tanking gear. I did some 5-mans and slowly developed real tanking skill. I got to play the off-tank in Kara for awhile. I also got to know some of the guild members better. Then the big event – Alzina and Aimmy quit the guild right before a scheduled Kara run, which then collapsed (the first of several Kara runs to break down due to drama right before they were about to start). It was pretty heartbreaking at first, but before I realized it, I was standing in the next Kara run a few weeks later as the new main tank.
We rebounded in a big way, and the first kills started flowing in. Curator, Illhoof, Shade…then finally Prince..and then that one night of the Nightbane one-shot. Unfortunately, I think we peaked that night. The next couple months were stagnant or worse. We had issues with one group doing the first half one night and the next group just skipping to chess to reap the rewards the second night. The change to Thursdays/Sundays helped a bit, but we always seemed to run out of time after Prince. We stopped progressing and Kara dissolved into a place for alts and noobs that couldn’t get past Moroes. Not long ago we started Gruul and renewed interest in ZA. There were a few moments of glory, but they were grossly outweighed by stupid mistakes and things like people deciding to divide their loot and playing time across 2-4 different characters. On top of all this was the constant problem of time zones. Raids never began before 9:30pm, and people were almost always late or didn’t show. I can’t believe I really put up with that schedule for so long. I guess I just thought I had a lot going for me in the guild that I figured I couldn’t get anywhere else without being a hardcore player.
I suppose what I’m getting at is that it sucks starting all over and having to earn respect and position all over again, but that’s what it takes to play at a higher level. At least I finally got the earlier raid times I’ve always wanted. The established tanks are intimidating, but when I really think about it, they don’t know anything that I don’t already know about tanking…just have better gear. I’ve already gotten to see a lot of content in a single night that I never thought I’d see. It certainly is nice having someone else give all the directions, although it can get very boring not being able to lead at all. Since I’m not a main tank, my tasks are pretty tedious. It’s a nice change of pace for now, but I can already tell I’m going to get tired pretty quickly of stuff like tanking a single mob and then spending the rest of the fight clicking a cube every 60 seconds and then typing /dance while I wait for the cooldown. I’ll hang around for a month or so and see how it goes. Once the other tanks get their gear from the progression kills, they’ll probably start stepping out, which should give me a chance. I’ll give it a shot.
And hey, if worse comes to worst and I still can’t compete with them after a month, I’ll just go somewhere else. Not like I’ve never left a guild before.
Some more silver lining? I had an abnormally good night in battlegrounds last night, amazingly winning one of each!!! I’ve given up on doing any damage in PvP. Now I just go full tanking gear in defensive stance and just annoy people to death, spamming thunderclap to defend flags and being one heck of an impossible-to-kill flag carrier in warsong gultch. I’ll have that alliance trinket for the Mt. Hyjal Winterchill fight in no time.