A Different Light

My mage is my main.

I seem to have to clarify that a lot these days, what with all the time I’m spending on my priest and poking at my DK.

But my new guild really likes what I can do with the Light so Arioch is most likely going to be relegated to Alt runs.

(A guildmate from SR has also migrated to DH and has continued the long-running joke about which character really is my main.)

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to think Selwyn is my main. His GS just hit 6168. Arioch is still rocking Bejeweled Wizards Bracers. Selwyn has 25-man Kingslayer. Arioch has 10-man Kingslayer. Selwyn has far more heroic experience.

But in my heart, Arioch will always be my main.

It was while playing him that I learned how to WoW. Learned what all that gibberish in trade chat meant about LFM Kara, need CC and LF priest for RMP.

I learned the limitations of a bad tank and my world exploded when I learned what a good tank could do and what that meant I could get away with.

So in my heart, Arioch is my main.

In my head is a completely different story.

As a DPS class, I’ve often paid at least a passing glance at the tank’s health. If the tank dies, I’m often the next in line so it pays to be concerned from time to time when that green bar dips low.

But as a DPS class, being vaguely concerned is about all I can do. Depending on the situation I might be able to kite something around to give the tank and healer time, but without clear communication that’s more likely to just piss the tank off. As a clothy, I can’t just pop into a defensive stance or frost presence and blow cooldowns to the same effect.

So I’ve always been moderately aware of my tank’s situation.

And then I rolled a healer.

Now, even on my DPS toons, I am ACUTELY aware of the tank’s situation and get twitchy about it.

I was playing my mage on Monday night and Tir was tanking on his warrior.

The healing team was not what I would call impressive, but it was an alt run.

I’m watching the health of the tanks drop. I’m listening to Tir’s computer make the angry, “I’m about to die” noise. I’m gritting my teeth and swearing a blue streak at the disc priest that isn’t casting fucking bubbles.

(Seriously? Disc priest that doesn’t bubble? /boggle)


I found myself reaching for the keybinds to bubble, Penance, FoL, something, anything.

(In a 10-man the day earlier I bandaged VDW, I just had to do *something* to contribute.)

When we were regrouping after a wipe I could only stare helplessly at half-filled bars. I would give out my measly 2 buffs and feel like something was missing, shouldn’t I be pushing more buff buttons?

My performance was a little rusty, it wasn’t really until Putricide that I had warmed up and was putting out numbers that I wanted.

At least the alt run seems to perpetually be low on ranged DPS so Arioch will be relatively assured a place there, just means that Kaayn will be left to fend for himself in 10 mans. Come Cata and the shared lockout between 10s and 25s, I’m hoping the guild will still be able to field enough raids so I don’t have to pug.

I find myself missing the synergy with my tanks. Tanks and healers get to know each other and trust each other. “Go ahead, pull the whole room, I’ve got you covered.”

No one cares about the DPS. The DPS (should) care about the tank, feeling them out (maybe up?) to determine how far they can push the envelope. But the DPS can’t say they’ve got the tank covered. Matter of fact, DPS encouraging a tank to pull the whole room are generally just gogogogogogo asshats that don’t have a tank, a healer, or any consideration for undergeared or newer players in the group.

As a healer with a good tank, I feel unstoppable. As a DPS with a good tank, I still feel constrained.

Regardless of who is the main, I’ve seen the world through the light of a healer and I can’t go back.

If I learn to tank, I’m just going to be more confused. /sigh


5 comments on “A Different Light

  1. Nymesis says:

    Actually I am in the same boat. I started playing a couple years ago, right before BC came out and my main was my ‘lock. Then I rolled a rogue, mage and pally, but it was always a DPS’r. Now I have switched servers, started up a priest and began working from scratch. It’s a completely different mindset now. I am really enjoying it, even though I am stuck healing the same dungeons again and again. But at least I am learning my role. Developing a Disc priest is a blast and I’m afraid I might not be able to go back to being the dps’r I once was.


  2. Kaethir says:

    As a tank, you are actually more aware of what *most* of the DPS are doing than you are as a DPS…

    Playing my healing spec made me a better tank. Playing a tank made me a better DPS. Playing a DPS has made me learn how easy it is to be a bad DPS, and how much effort it really takes to be a really good DPS.


  3. Jong says:

    Ariorc the arms warrior is 16. I tried to save Sen’jin bu they said I was too young to enlist.

    What a stoic, astutue thoughts on taking on and appreciating the perspective of “other” roles.


  4. Imoh says:

    I’m glad you wrote this post.

    I’ve been thinking hard on which toon I classify as my main lately. Recently I benched my mage (till Cata at this stage) to focus on my DK tank with a new guild. I’ve been struggling to explain why I consider a toon I log on to 2 nights a week tops my main.


    I’m not sure that tanking really effects your view on DPSing, at least I don’t think so.

    What I’ve found is the opposite, my time DPSing has made me a better tank than if I think I would be if I’d always tanked, finding ways to maximise DPS potential by positioning is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the role for me and I don’t think I would have that appreciation if I hadn’t DPSed at the highest level for 4 years.


  5. Some Orc says:

    Oh how i’d kill for a good tank.


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