Sunday, October 24, 2010

So about this tank business.

So here we are, at the brink of Cataclysm, and the question I hear more often than ANY others these days, is "What will you be plaing in Cataclysm? What should I be playing in Cataclysm?""

For some, it's easy. My friend Ayms over at 4th Wall, she'll be playing her priest. Hands down, no contest. My guildmate Gegnar, a.k.a. "the Mage" - well, take a guess. Chummie the death knight with Engineering and Jewelcrating on her profession tabs decided to level an alt - she needed a miner to feed her professions.

Then there are the others. Like Mits. Last I heard, it was resto druid, but who knows? Holy paladins are dynamic, beast mastery is a viable hunter spec, after all, and ZOMG NERGASM Dark Simulacrum. It's not easy. My dear friend Rihn is torn between PvP disc, resto druid, protection warrior or one of his two level 80 warlocks. I heard this rumour that boomkin PvE is somewhat amusing as well.

And oh, how I understand their internal quarrel. Up until recently, I was debating whether or not this blog shouldn't for the resurrection have to become a warrior blog. My old alliance warrior, my heart and soul through TBC, Naxxramas, Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, looked increasingly interesting through both beta and PTR, the abilites presented and the new talents bringing back a lot of the feel of what I so dearly loved about TBC. So I finished up my loremaster, tossed my 45 euros at Blizzard and made her a (rather lovely) Forsaken.

So the patch hit, and I started to play around, fixing my specs, getting some decent and easy-to-grab high level gear, and entering the odd heroic - only to realize that it wasn't really all that. The new abilities, by all means, they work. Spreading Rend with Thunder Claps, multistunning Charge, self-healing enough to make blood death knights weep in envy - it's all very nice and like I said, by all means - it works. Quite well, even.

It just wasn't all that fun. To clarify - it did not live up to my expectations. The odd raidboss tanked for weekly just added more weight to the problem - after playing a retribution paladin at a higher than average skill level for almost a year, it simply didn't have that dynamic feel to it. Shield Slam procs, Revenge procs, Victory Rush procs, applying four debuffs, all while establing a threat threshold - it's not hard, by all means, but it grew dreary very fast. It felt kinda like this:

So I quickly enough went back to retribution, only to find... that yes, we are still competitive, DPS-wise (I'd argue we're even better single-target DPS now, played right, due to the addition of Zealotry and Hammers during wings), and we're still bound to a fairly complex (not really) priority system that still demands attention to procs, stacking debuffs and even a good ol' Twisting-style proc bug to maximize our output. Rejoice, for we are... boring as hell, to be honest.

And the culprit is this guy: Sanctity of Battle (rank 1). Playing retribution at the moment is about one thing and one thing only - minimizing the time between you Crusader Strikes, till the point that your rotation becomes Crusader Strike - thing - Crusader Strike - thing - Crusader Strike - DINGDINGDING B000000M!!! - repeat. Essentialy, you want enough haste to get your Crusader Strike on a 3 second cooldown or else... well... there are those 0.3-0.5 seconds between the previous "thing" and next Crusader Strike going off cooldown which are generally not very entertaining. Borderline dreary, I'd go as far as saying. Waiting for Crusader Strike is boring, but inserting another ability is not only a DPS-loss, but messes up your rotation royally as well, as said ability is more than likely to be your next "thing" - as soon as you've waited out your 0.3 seconds for (say it with me) - Crusader Strike.

And they removed the magic dispel from Cleanse as well! Are no things holy anymore?

Certainly not my spec. I chose the best of two world - tank and paladin - and went protection for Cataclysm. It feels kinda like this:

I can live with that, I guess.

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