Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Paladin's Thoughts On All Things Holy: A Lone Paladin

Alright, so in the previous post I bragged about our guild and how far they have come in their raiding game. They are not alone in how far they have come. I have really grown a lot in many different aspects of this game and how I view certain things in it (some of these I will be discussing in other posts for different topics), but this post is going to be a little different from the normal posts that I place in this slot. Typically I will talk about things which I feel are of importance for us Paladins who are holding it down in the Light.

So you said typcially, then what is this post about? This post is about pushing the limits of what most people perceive a Paladin to do when they heal. I have always tried to push the limits of my abilities whether it was PVP or PVE. In PVP I am most happy when I have seven Alliance characters hitting me with everything they have and I can take it and more. When I die, it is just an opportunity to improve on my abilities. I had always believe that I would reach the pinnacle of healing as a Paladin when I was able to compete with Druids in PVP and PVE. I was able to reach half of that goal in PVP when my arena team fought to a stand still verses a team that was being healed by a Druid. I was completely excited by this and why should I not be? The only class who ever makes me feel like I have no skills in arena is a Druid and I am not complaining but that is where I set my mark to compete and by healing to a stand still is a tremendous step in that goal, especially considering the fact that I am only using my PVP gear but my build is strictly PVE with no talents set for any sort of stun, poison, or fear reduction.

However, I have always wondered where is the limit for healing in PVE? I do not know if I can ever top a Druid in healing in a raid setting since the nature they heal by is casting numerous HoTs all over. I accepted this and see how the different healing classes fit into the overall picture and have no problem with finishing second to a great Druid. We are completely different in nature where they heal entire raids and I typically heal the tanks. I run all heroics without ever stopping for mana. I am always trying to push my tanks to run faster and faster. Some tanks cannot believe the rate of regeneration that I have obtained and I often have to coax them into running faster, which is fine. I prefer a tank to be mindful of the mana of their healers as I realize not every healer will regenerate in this manner. I have always favored SP, Crit, and MP5 above all else. I never bought into the whole get a high haste rating and cast Holy Light non-stop and apparantly Blizzard agreed with basing our HoT off of our Flash of Light. Add to that the bonus of my trinket providing a HoT and I am at a unique advantage. So why all this talk of stats and healing? We all know I prefer to not number crunch, so what are you doing?

Stay with me and we will get to the point. My goal has been able to sustain long and handle anything that a group can throw at me. I have forced groups to run faster than they feel comfortable in H CoS so that they can get a chance to earn their Bronze Drake. Paladins are not known for being mobile healers and I consider that a great challenge. I feel disappointed in myself if I cannot carry a group to that boss, and I am not talking groups that are epic either. I am talking pushing fresh 80s to get it. It really serves two purposes the first being to help me work on my skills and try to find my limits and the second by not allowing people time to think they start learning to react which is what they need to do. To me healing is second nature. I know where my buttons are and I am able to anticipate where the damage is going. I suspect that other healers who have been healing since they wore diapers so to say in WoW are the same way. I know from running with certain players that they do not have to think about what happens, they have honed their skills to just act when situations happen.

Okay so that is all fine, but where are we going with this? The other night in Ulduar we had one of these moments happen. In a split second we lost our second healer (Priest) and I was left alone on the battlefield trying to keep two tanks and the raid up against Razorscale. I did not think about what happened, I simply acted. I did not worry about our DPS, I trusted Edyion to handle any orders that needed to be provided. I did not worry about our tanks as both Metalman and Nymeros are solid tanks who know their abilities. I simply acted. Razorscale had only landed once when we lost our second healer. We did not have any other healers so it was me, standing alone in the fire dropping heals on everyone. I heard a raid member call out they were down and I gritted my teeth a little feeling the pressure of the entire raid on my shoulders. The DPS was doing their part. The tanks were doing their part. I felt compelled to push myself. I could have easily had just called for a wipe and why not? It was an untested raid, but I have a hard time admitting defeat. I refuse to give up. I used every trick that I had, I used my enhanced auras ability to increase all of the Paladin auras. I used my protection abilities to decrease damage. When fire landed around me I used my bubble to avoid moving. I used my beacon on the main tank, sacred shield to the off tank, and massive Holy Lights to the clustered melee DPS. I spammed Flash of Light on my ranged DPS pushing the limit of what I could do. When the smoke cleared, the majority of the raid was standing and I still had mana to spare to revive my fallen raid members.

The point of this post is not so much directed to one class but rather to all classes. Look for the ways to push your limits. Don't look at wipes as a disappointment, but embrace it and think about it. I never leave a raid, instance, arena, or battleground without thinking what could I have done to improved my chances of survival/victory. If you want to know the secret to being a truly elite player it is in how you handle those moments. I feel that too many people get focused on leveling to 80 instead of learning their class and all the aspects of your class. I have spent unbelievable amounts of gold on respecs, socketing gems, getting enchants, and item enhancements to just turn around and change it. Squeaze every bit of stats out of items. be prepared to spend a lot of gold on wasted items and gems. Learn to push your abilities. Learn to go beyond where you feel comfortable. Do not let anyone box you into one specific role. If you had told me two months ago that I would single heal Razorscale I would have laughed at you, yet when I was placed in that situation I didn't even stop to think about it. I simply acted upon those same instincts I had been honing in instance runs and battlegrounds. It doesn't matter if it is seven Alliance or one very large pissed off mechanical drake beating on you. The trick is learning what abilities prolong your life. It is in learning where the line is between crit, SP, MP5, and haste. It is finding that one class that you love above all the others and playing it no matter what anyone says about it. It is about believing in yourself and shuting out all of those who may want to say it can't be done.

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