Why I Went Retribution

I get this question a lot.

I’m pretty sure I know what everyone expects me to say, especially following Meloree’s really moving post last week on the demise of tanking. It would be pretty easy to say that I stopped tanking because Blizzard has made it boring, and that’s generally the commentary I get. Tank friends tell me things like, “I’m jealous you’ve switched to DPS,” or “I totally understand why you switched to DPS.” But that’s not why I switched. At least, I don’t think it was. I think I just found the spec I’d always wanted to play.

History

I have always tanked. Always. I have been prot spec since I started playing my paladin, from leveling to 5 mans to raids. Going ret never even crossed my mind. In late Wrath, I eventually picked up some offspec gear for one tank fights, and I hated it. Ret back in Wrath went like this: you had five abilities, and you pushed whatever was off cooldown that did the most damage. That was it. There was no buff management. There were no procs. There was nothing else interesting about it. It was boring. Now, tank-wise, 96969 was boring too, but in comparison, tanking was 100 times as fun: I got to move mobs around and position and cooldown either on schedule or in response to damage, and stress about getting the job right, because my mistake would mean a raid wipe. I loved the difficulty and the responsibility of being a tank. It was so much more engaging than DPS ever looked. DPS had the easy job, and I enjoyed my hard job.

I was a prot paladin. That’s who I was! It was my identity!

In T11, I joined Something Wicked and became one of three tanks.

Obviously if there were three of us, I wouldn’t just be tanking all the time. When I joined, I told Moshne I had never been ret, but I would learn if I had to. He told me that he wasn’t going to require me to have a ret spec. However, it was probably in my best interest, because I would sure be a lot less likely to sit if I had one. So I sat down to build one and eventually began to discover Cataclysm ret for the first time.

I didn’t use it much, because I tanked almost everything in T11. A three-tank roster worked really well back then. On the rare occasion that I wasn’t tanking, as promised, I rarely got sat, so I did get some offspec time. Which was good, because new-style ret was very complicated! I had a lot to learn.

The hardest fight I saw as ret was Heroic Ascendant Council. I talk about this fight a lot as being the most difficult fight in T11 for us. We decided to kill it before we killed Cho’gall or Sinestra, and it was a real pain in the ass. That fight will live in my memory as the biggest learning experience for me. It was the first time I’d encountered the particular kind of frustrating difficulty unique to fights like AC, the type of frustration that makes you want to throw your headphones at the wall because the same old shit happens over and over. I had moments where I was fucking retarded. I had a moment or two of glory. But there were just so many wipes… there is not too much more to say about that fight; anyone who did it, hated it. I hated it even more since I was offspec.

I rarely sat at all; I was there the whole time. It had nothing to do with how good I was, because I was still pretty terrible, and ret was also pretty trash DPS in T11 anyways. But we run a pretty small roster, and we had a couple of weeks of tight attendance when we struggled to throw 25 bodies at raids. Well, that is why people have offspecs. I had to step it up! I still sucked by the end of it, but damn, I learned a lot from being ret on that boss.

I don’t remember being ret much otherwise in T11. T11 was a really great tier for tanks, and I was happy. I was still a tank, just one with an offspec.

T12 and Blizzcon: Things change for tanks.

T12’s seven fights were such a disappointment after how much fun T11 had been. Several are one-tank on normal, and one is still single-tank on heroic. We three tanks still shared out the jobs pretty evenly and tried to make things fair while also picking the right people for the right jobs, but it was rough. I quietly claimed for myself the two  tanking jobs I really wanted, which were Alysrazor and Baleroc. They and Beth are the only fights I end up tanking. Three is not a lot of fights. Not at all.

Blizzcon 2011 occurred in the middle of T12, and I got to talk to a lot of devs while I was there. After I was done berating them for Rhyolith (WORST FIGHT EVER), I had to ask them: what the hell are you doing with your tank design? I’m in a three tank guild, and Firelands sucks after T11. How many tanks are we expected to run? They gave me a pretty straight answer as blues go; it’s obviously not a huge secret. T12 is the intended design in terms of raid composition. The one to two tank fight design is here to stay.

Well, I wasn’t sure what that meant for our tanking corps. Firelands was really depressing. I know a lot of people hated DS more, but I honestly disliked Firelands the most this expansion. It felt to me, especially some weeks when we were in the middle of progression and I ended up tanking just two (or even one) fight that week, that I wasn’t doing much tanking at all.

But increasingly I didn’t really have a problem with that… because I wasn’t sitting, so I was ret, and that meant more and more time to get to know this increasingly interesting spec. Ret got more and more fun as I started to understand it better and play around with what I understood.

The breaking point was H Rag. I was retribution, and once again, I was there the whole time. Unlike AC, Rag was a 400 pull boss, and also unlike AC, I was there on Rag because (I think) I had to be there. I was enough of an asset to the raid as ret that my presence was generally a good thing. That meant I was ret for the vast, vast majority of what I remember in Firelands…. and that was fine with me.

Why I love Retribution (the Cataclysm flavor) –

It’s a lot of fun. First of all you have two resource systems, and if you play ret like I do, you actually have to watch your mana so you do have to manage them both. Secondly, you have to maintain Inquisition. Holy Power can seem a little random, but once you’ve played ret enough you end up getting a feel for the heartbeat of the rotation– this is especially important when Judge generates it too, because the HP is a bit delayed. You get two wonderful procs with different results to spice up the rotation, and a gap closer attached to a core ability, and several fun cooldowns. All sorts of toys!

Ret on a target dummy is pretty interesting, but Ret in the real world so much more fun. I end up ignoring CLCret’s recommendations on a fairly regular basis. I use Consecration and Divine Plea at my own discretion. I try to time my Judgement for a movement boost, or time my movement with a Judgement boost, every time I have to go anywhere. Inquisition refreshes are something I think a lot about, too. What am I doing in the next half minute? When am I next using my cooldowns? Has anything procced right here? Do I want to hit one more button for one more holy power? Smart inquisition refreshes can make life either easier or much more annoying. Then there’s the obvious situations like building up resources for any burn moment. The list goes on. Ret is one of those specs that really rewards a lot of thinking about the entire course of the fight.

And I haven’t even talked about my favorite part: cooldowns. Back when I was really learning how to not suck at ret during H Rag, cooldown management was pretty much the most important part about being ret. That’s the whole point of being a ret – stack your cooldowns and BURN! We had five different cooldowns to time at five different times as well as a rotation change due to Heroism. I loved it. I loved it so much.

I also just generally found myself very much enjoying the role of a DPS. It’s a lot more difficult than it looks from the boss crotch, at least on heroic mode fights. Gone were the days when I was a tank and looked at the DPS core and thought, “heh, they have the easy job.” They don’t. I was more often thinking, “thank god I don’t have to do that.” Or, “I’m so glad I get to be DPS here.” DPS also die much, much more quickly than tanks when they make a mistake. I guess that happens when you don’t have a team of dedicated healers! And there is the constant pressure of the enrage timer. It was such a challenging role, and it was challenging in a unique way every GCD that I was a DPS. And unlike tanking, it remains interesting throughout farm.

I rather enjoyed it. I looked back at Firelands and it was clear to me that I’d enjoyed my time as a DPS a lot more than my time tanking. And so I began to think…

Should I maybe  ask about going mainspec DPS next tier?

But I’ve always been a tank. This was a weird thought. It took me a while to get around to it. First of all, I didn’t know if I was good enough to handle it.  I had justified a ton of mistakes to myself, and have throughout this blog post, as “It’s only my offspec” or when I did well, “That’s pretty good for my offspec.” Could I handle it without the cushion of offspec to give me a convenient excuse for messing up? So I first went to our mainspec ret Warden, someone you paladins have probably seen on Maintankadin– a friend whose judgement I trust completely. He was all in support once I asked his opinion, and so I was quite excited. I still had more to learn, but doesn’t everyone?

Then I went to the other tanks. I was aware that if I switched to mainspec DPS, they would be most heavily affected because I’d be removing any opportunity for them to sit back and be offspec. Our warrior, Omegal, assured me he was fine with always tanking, and I believed him. I was more concerned about our DK Shiramune.  Apparently before he became Something Wicked’s unkillable beast of a DK main tank, he had a previous life in Wrath as an ass kickingly parsing DPS. Since I often heard about what a great DPS he had been, and since I knew he quietly parse chased as tank spec, I certainly wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking any opportunities away. I probably asked him on about 100 different occasions, just to make sure he was telling me the truth instead of being nice. He pretty much reassured me that he really enjoys tanking and has no desire to do anything else. I eventually believed him. DK tanks appear to have the most fun after all.

Reassured that my fellow tank chat bretheren would not be unhappy if I took all the DPS opportunities for myself, I next went to my raid leader. Moshne is rarely shy with his opinion. Considering he is the person who has to put the raid together each evening, I was certain he’d tell me if the option was on the table at all, and if so, whether it would be more effective (or very stupid) to run either 3 tanks or 2 rets next tier.

Unfortunately for my peace of mind, he refused to make a call. I had a lot of conversations with him and in a pretty impressive feat of topic avoidance, he managed to never tell me what he would prefer I did once. He did talk to me at great length about what I personally wanted, which was very useful coming from a friend, a raid leader, and another hybrid with two raiding specs. But he refused to give me anything resembling a leader-like opinion on what I should do next tier. I straight out asked him what would be better for the raid and guild, several times, and he just countered it with, “Well, what do you want to do?”

Very unhelpful. What I wanted to do was not make the decision.

So I was left alone. I put it off for as long as I could. Change is scary for me. But in the end, I had to make the decision and I chose to go ret for real. No one had given me a reason not to, and I could handle it. I might as well be true to what I thought I wanted to do.

I switched for Dragon Soul.

I was immediately nervous in my first raid as a mainspec DPS, but that faded away in about five minutes. Being ret felt exactly the same as Firelands, minus the switching specs all the time and someone bitching about auras or buffs being missing, plus faster gear.

Then the most lovely thing happened. RNG smiled upon me and lo, it was good. I managed to pick up 4pc tier paladin gear, Gurth, and the trinket in the very first week or two of raids. Wow. And let me tell you, Ret got some buffs… it got some pretty damn amazing buffs. With all that gear so very early, and everyone else still sitting in Firelands gear,  well, I wasn’t holding back the raid’s DPS at all and that was a very nice feeling. Everyone else soon scaled up there as they got their hands on some gear too, but those first few weeks were a lot of fun and I definitely gained a lot of confidence.  And with ret parsing quite well in those early days as well as being pretty optimal for several fights, it has suddenly become a lot more reasonable to keep two on the roster. One day fairly recently while we were working on Spine, someone told me that our roster was naturally stacked because we ran two rets – because, who does that? I laughed for a while…

A couple weeks in, Moshne says in vent, “I’m glad you went ret. That’s what I wanted you to do all along.” and went on to give exactly the reasons I’d asked him about before, like, how dumb it would have been to divide tank gear up among 3 people, and how much more effective it was to have 2 tanks, etc.

I was pretty mad. “I WANTED YOU TO TELL ME THAT THE WHOLE TIME!! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!”

“Of course I didn’t tell you… If I told you what I wanted you to do, you would have just done that.” He was very proud of himself for carefully not revealing to me what he actually wanted me to do. Or he was just trolling me… sometimes I just can’t tell.

But I loved it. It was so the right decision. I actually had no desire to tank anymore at all, once I switched – I have gotten over it since then, and I’m back to being a useful hybrid, but for a month or two I was so very, very happy to be mainspec DPS that I didn’t even want to look at my tank set. I am pretty glad that everyone else was patient with me, especially our other ret paladin who (gasp) had to use his tank set once or twice and helped me be selfish and not-tank.

I wonder about why I switched sometimes.

In some ways I got really lucky. I was lucky that neither of my other fellow tanks really had a burning desire to DPS. I was lucky that they also didn’t want me to be tank to take some of the stress off (I live in fear of one of them missing a raid). I was lucky that nothing in DS really required a paladin tank, or sucked with a DK or a warrior. I was lucky that, thank god, ret got the buffs it needed to be a competitive spec, competitive enough to run two. I was lucky to be in a raid with a ret paladin who carefully taught me how to be a good ret for a year, because I absolutely needed the company and the help. I’m pretty happy all those things ended up being true so I could play the spec I wanted to play.

It was definitely the right call, no question about that. But sometimes I wonder– was it because Ret was the spec I’d always meant to play? Or have the changes to tanking had more of an impact than I think they have? It’s no coincidence that I was half-and-half in Firelands and got to compare DPS and tank.

I’m not sure. I am only sure of one thing: I’m a ret paladin now, and I love it!

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19 Responses to Why I Went Retribution

  1. Sunnier says:

    The changing tank requirements in T12 was one of the big reasons why I moved from 25s to 10s. My guild was pretty insistant on keeping 3 main tanks, but coming in for just 3 bosses a week sucked hardcore. So instead I found a guild that only needed a main tank roster of 2 people. I guess SW decided two tanks was ok, but not a lot of 25 mans were doing that halfway through Firelands. I also just really hate cat dps so being required to offspec all the time wasn’t my cup of tea, though happily for you, dps was just as interesting.

    I always wondered why you went full on retribution. I figured you were forced into it by mean co-tanks or a mean raid leader. D:

    • anafielle says:

      Well, SW definitely didn’t decide it in Firelands at all. I tanked. I still tank those three fights in Firelands every week when we go back. It definitely was… not fun. There were a few weeks when I only tanked one fight due to some oddness of our progression even though I ended up with three in the end… that was weird. I wonder if we would have changed up the tanking roster if I hadn’t said anything? I don’t know.

      If I had hated ret DPS, I would have been rock bottom miserable. I am lucky I like it. I totally understand moving to a guild with a 2 tank roster.

  2. Pliers says:

    My path from prot to ret was very different, but with similar results. At the start, I was overwhelmed by tracking my resources, procs, and simply staying alive. However, as I got more comfortable with the spec, I really started to appreciate how small decisions could make large differences in performance. You can outline the rotation for how it’ll go 90% of the time, but once you’ve mastered the spec, you’re constantly doing something different, and it feels great. Being Ret was more fun than I had had in years as a dps, and I’ve played nearly every class and spec.

    • anafielle says:

      Hello fellow former prot turned ret! There are a lot of us.

      Yeah that was exactly what I realized as well. At first I was overwhelmed, because it’s one of those specs where shit tends to light up all across your screen at once. Or you end up with a dry spell and no idea what to do. That’s why CLCret is nice– to start with– until you get a good understanding of why it recommends what it does. Also the staying alive part is pretty big … it’s a little different as a DPS.

  3. Kerriodos says:

    “One day fairly recently while we were working on Spine, someone told me that our roster was naturally stacked because we ran two rets – because, who does that? I laughed for a while…”

    I stand by it. That fight was perfectly designed for ret; I like to think my outlining to our GM exactly what they could do on the fight is a big part of the reason we now have 2 rets on the roster, after having none since Cho’gall.

  4. anafielle says:

    Yeah… one of the things I like about ret is that we are situational, very good for some situations & crap for others. Spine falls into the “very very good” category. Two rets were pretty good for rag p3 burst too since we pushed 1 meteor.

    I laughed at you because it was kinda true. We have a roster that is well suited to make things dead. It is not a coincidence that we use 4 mages either. Or that we for a long time ran a very, very ranged-heavy comp. So your outrage was hilarious. “Your raid is ALREADY stacked!” Why yes, yes it is…

  5. Masith says:

    As a raid leader I approve of Moshne approach. I always want my good players to play the spec/role they prefer, assuming it fits into our raid composition of course. I feel it makes them play better and reduces burnout. In fact I find it really irritating when they refuse to tell me what they prefer and try to get me to make the decision ;P.

    Regarding the challenge of dps, I am a fairly new reader here so I am not aware of your raid history before Something Wicked but I would guess it was at a more casual level. I think at a casual level dps definately is a low responsibility role as fights will die with dps performing at 60% of potential. When you start to play at a more hardcore level dps becomes as challenging and important as healers and tanks because they need to perform at close to 100% potential to kill the boss. While I am sure ret is more interesting in Cata I wonder if you would of found it as boring in wrath if you had been needing to pull it off perfectly to get an early kill on LK heroic.

    • anafielle says:

      Lol you are right on both counts. It’s better that he left the decision to me and I bet I annoyed him too, asking him to tell me what to do. And in terms of my raid history you hit the nail on the head; I was pretty casual before I joined SW. There is a lot more responsibility on the dps as you move up in hardcore-ness and everyone starts to really be expected to hit the 95%+ of potential. I also didn’t really have a good idea of what DPS had to do from my seat in the boss crotch for so long.

      I am pretty sure you are right, ret in Wrath might have been a lot more interesting if I had been expected to do all the shit that I make sure to do right now.

  6. Dross says:

    I can’t say I totally agree with your T11 thoughts as I was competitive on most fights there if not top (depending on the rng that ret was back then) though thats in my raiding but not hard-core guild and we have replaced some very mediocre players since.

    With the tier bonuses of 12 & 13 the rotation has become allot more natural and much less bursty than it used to be (also with less on use trinkets)..
    When cata first came out with the ret changes it was a nightmare as the rng was huge and the rotation was horribly sloppy and unnatural.. I think they have it in a good place at the moment, although I still feel as though our damage fluctuates a lil more than most other classes depending on our rng though that is purely a feeling and may be down to me having not gotten to raid in a while and indeed letting my sub slide for the last few weeks.

    (have missed ship and spine hc kills cos of it but haven’t been raiding as regularly now since mid FL due to new job, country and a line-up that means we rotate with a war and rogue (not the rouge now though cos of his legendaries))

    I initially went ret / prot in Wrath and I can definitely say it was because tanking was losing it’s edge. In cata I basically dropped tanking except as a last resort back-up as it’s lost 90% of what used to make it interesting for me.

    As for difficulty of dps vs tanking.. for me they have certainly switched places, starting in ICC and then nail in the coffin was T12..
    Healing is probably the most difficult role in my mind, possibly cos it’s the role I suck at most. :D
    (and some fights having some serious heal-checks)

    • anafielle says:

      Well my opinion might be skewed based on how very well ret did in T13 in comparison, especially at the start of the tier. I might be remembering things wrong. Our only ret before me is a super amazing player and he always did fine, but he worked his ass off for it. We are a lot more competitive now. But like I said, my opinion might be skewed, I only had offspec experience in T11 (and I was so nooby) and then offspec exp in T12.

      I actually liked early cata ret, although I agree that adding judge to holy power made it feel smoother. I like that they are making that a permanent feature in the ret rotation although I hope they fix the delayed HP bug, haha. I have to disagree about the RNG nature though– I LOVE that our damage fluctuates, because that is the nice thing about ret– we can be bursty on a small scale or on a large scale. If it was smoother, ret would be more boring. I know that I am in the minority though and that most people don’t like it.

      I would never want to heal! Healing is scary hard. Those guys have a tough job. I have 100000 levels of respect for healers.

      • Dross says:

        I don’t really mind being bursty, although it makes it a bit of a pain (though a nice challenge) to try and line up your burst so that it’s most effective..

        I was talking more about the randomness of procs.. I remember certain fights in T11 where I’d be well clear of the pack (and sometimes had some scary high numbers in opening even for current gear standards(extra on use trinks etc)) but even if I nail my rotation and cooldowns I could by the end of the fight be near the bottom of the dps..

        Other fights where I know I’ve screwed up numerous times I’m in the lead.. Too much RNG for me.. Though I suppose that came from tanking, where you want solid, certain numbers as much as possible

  7. Leodar says:

    You speak the truth. Retribution is a very fun spec to raid with, and it brings an essential 10m buff (one my guild still does not have /headdesk).

    I would agree with your assessment of T12. I enjoyed Blizzard’s attempt as a different raid environment (they never get credit for this part), but the boss encounters were generally unenjoyable. It really does require at least one of your tanks to have an excellent DPS or healing set because of the number of single tank fights.

    However, this is the same problem with T13. On normal mode my guild single tanks: Morchok (sometimes), Zon’ozz, Yor’shaj, Hagara, Spine (occasionally), and Madness. That’s, umm, a lot.

    Isn’t is interesting that Death Knights have had the exact opposite growth curve? Blood DKs were a bit underpowered in T11 because we couldn’t reach he mastery numbers we can now, and the block mechanic and mastery for paladins and warriors worked really well, and was instantly useful. I struggled a lot tanking T11 as blood. In T12 there was a noticeable shift in gear as more mastery became available, and in T13 it seems common knowledge that DK tanks are pretty overpowered. And while DK DPS continues to be good, it hasn’t really improved since T11. We are a solid class in 2 specs, but not the best. Paladin tanking has declined from the start, while paladin DPS has taken a huge step forward, especially with T13 2 piece bonus. That bonus is just……beautiful.

    • anafielle says:

      I am glad you agree. :D I have a ton of fun with this spec. I enjoy it a lot! Also 3% is nice. I’m pretty unnecessary these days but right when I joined SW, mages were still all fire and our other ret was gone for a few weeks… so either I was ret or my buddy Esoth went BM. There is a nice feeling about providing a needed raid buff.

      Yes, T12 and T13 have the same problem. You are 100% right. I didn’t mention it in the post but T12, T13, and future raids I believe will require one to two tanks. The “one” part is the part that REALLY bothers me. I would have been ok with it if the devs had said “all fights require 2 tanks” because if every single fight requires 2, that’s more of a reason to run 3. But that is not the case, multiple people told me straight-out that sometimes a one-tank fight is more interesting design. I don’t know if I agree, but it’s those solo tank encounters that really kill the idea of a 3 tank roster (imo). Blegh.

      • Leodar says:

        The buff might be unnecessary, because we cleared normal DS without it, but we are starting HM (tonight actually) and I’m concerned we are going to hit some enrage timers. A previous raider just came back after taking a break during T11 and T12, and is a good player who knows Ret, so I’m hopeful about bringing him aboard again.

        I’m curious about the idea that single tank fights are easier in designing a more interesting encounter. Did they feel DPS didn’t have enough to do? I can see that to some extent. The most a DPS has to do for the typical fight is switch targets. I imagine though that it has to be extremely challenging to: (1) Create fresh encounters and mechanics, (2) Make the fight interesting for each of the 3 roles, (3) make it hard enough (easy enough?) that a raid team can kill it. I do NOT want that job.

        Honestly, I think T11 was a good example of how to do it right. Not every fight in the tier had interesting mechanics for every role, but each fight had it own niche. Some were more challenging for healers, some for DPS, some for tanks. I think that’s a good design philosophy in general.

  8. Edgarrin says:

    I did exactly the same thing! Although I used to be Ret in Vanilla but back then in raids you were just a cleanse monkey. I switched in BC when I saw Avenger’s Shield in action, ever since then I was a Tank and I loved it. In Cata though I’ve been bored, incredibly bored with tanking in dungeons and Raids. Tanking in Firelands was ok but it wasn’t until I got to LFR that I just couldn’t take it anymore. LFR is this weird combination of having nothing to do and having 24 people yelling and screaming at you constantly while doing it. I considered the chat window another boss in LFR. I leveled a Fury Warrior and began dungeoning and LFR with him and found that I didn’t want to stab my eyes out, but I was distressed about the idea of leaving my main that I have used since Vanilla. and Then one day it dawned on me that I enjoy the fury warrior because he ISN’T tanking. So I immediately re-entered Dungeons to build a DPS set and then started running LFR as DPS and it was wonderful! And the rotation, it’s so much more intricate and involved if you want to maximize your dps, i love it. My guild isn’t overly pleased with my move but they adjusted pretty quick, especially once they saw the numbers I was posting. I still can tank of course, it’s my second spec and I of course have all the gear with me at all times, but the ilvl between sets it quickly becoming unequal. The real quest though will be once MoP comes out. If tanking in MoP is anything like Cata I will be staying Ret for the foreseeable future.

    • anafielle says:

      Avenger’s Shield is basically one of the #1 coolest abilities ever. that was also one of the things that made me immediately fall in love with prot so long ago! So awesome! Although when AS misses, the animation is so sad… the shield flies off into midair……

      Chat window being a boss… heh, that is true. And I am glad another has seen the value of ret. It is really a well designed spec. Blizz fucks stuff up all the time but I really feel like they hit the nail on the head with how ret “works” now. They are tweaking it in interesting ways for MOP but I hope they don’t alter how it fundamentally works because it’s fun.

      Yet another tank falls to the DPS dark side. Sometimes I think that all the rets I know are former prot! Hehe. Welcome…

  9. Zey says:

    The bit about Moshne made me think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvdMLE6Tmvc

  10. Itkovian says:

    Hello there,
    I’m a long time follower of your blog, however I never posted here before. I’m not a progression raider, more of a casual who wants to do his best in the short time I have to raid (in a 10man environment), sometimes even doing hc modes. So here it goes.
    I started my paladin in early WotLK and since my friend conviced me to try out prot while I was still leveling I immidiately fell in love with it. There was something trully compeling being a protector of the entire team / raid.
    Both ret and holy were my off specs as I couldn’t decide what was my favourite role back then, so I was switching them from time to time. In the end playing as holy paladin felt too boring (plus I couldn’t solo a thing), so I gave up on it and went all out ret, which was nice, but also somewhat easy, tanking was far more engaging even in ICC.
    Then the Cata came and T11 was my favourite during whole expansion. I liked to tank fights there, I liked to be that creazy dps when you were never sure if its just you who sucks or the game is playing with you. Holy power was the best gift Blizzard could have given us. All was good till the infamous T12 and then the huge buff/nerf to threat generation. Before it I was fully prepared to play the threat game with our guild best dps, I was doing my best at maintaining highest possible threat, while still doing my job as a tank and it was fun, it was compelling when that suicide lock jumped into a pack of adds, popped inferno and still survived it cause tank hold them long enough to get the job done. Suddenly blues took that away from me and didn’t give anything else in return, only some silly promises for the distant future. And MoP is around the corner, DS is the worst dull thing ever in my entire tanking experience (to the point that I’m avoiding tanking and switching to ret whenever it is possible, even though I’m theoretically still “main tank”). Most fights are done by solo tank, and those that I tank are quite boring anyway. Plus in most cases druids and DKs are better choice for tanks than silly paladins and warriors.
    Right now I’m only 3/8hc, but I’m not even willing to tank further and find out if its not so boring on the LAST TWO fights of the expansion – which are dull and badly designed anyway and nothing can change that – you just don’t make so repetitive encouter and call that a good design.

    So I pretty much gave up tanking, even though I’m still doing it from time to time, but I simply don’t like it in its current form and if I don’t see significant changes in MoP, both in class and encounter design, I will simply stay Ret and maybe try to tank on a warrior or druid… or monk. Simply because right now Ret is the best experience that a paladin can have. Prot is so damn dull and easy, while holy is just op in some places.

    All in all,
    Blizz, give back my TONK :(

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