Just Plain Bossy

Split personalities and hybrid warcrafting

The Tank/Healer team and 2 way streets

This is not an invitation to tell me I’m doing it wrong. You might be a better paladin tank than me, and I’m totally cool with that. I’m a pretty happy tank given decent people in my party/raid, and that’s all I want, to do my job and be happy.

I own a lot of healers, and a lot of tanks. I learned to play World of Warcraft with my bear tank, and then spent a lot of time learning to heal with the shaman, discipline priest, druid and finally paladin. But on my Battlegroup there is a severe tank shortage (actually I believe this shortage might be in the game itself, overall) so my daily random (heroic or otherwise) is often spent tanking on the four characters of mine that can actively tank in-game. So, I know what tanking is, and I know what healing is. And I really enjoy the dynamic that grows between tanks and healers. I know the Wrath dungeons backwards and forwards. Gearing 4 raiding toons will do that, and I’ve levelled 3 others besides. I like taking a random pug and leading them on a merry chase through the dungeon without stressing a healer (sometimes it’s me, the healer, wanting no stress!) It’s a mark of pride to me to have no incidents and no issues. I can usually tank and spare a few cheerful words in party chat, too!

This was the situation that found me zoning into heroic Violet Hold on my protection paladin with my partner in crime’s demon warlock, and a party that included a Discipline priest healer. Now, I love discipline priests, I love healing as discipline (I have never touched holy and don’t intend to). But in certain situations, a discipline priest can make a protection paladin’s life hell. I learned that the hard way with my partner in crime’s paladin tank. And it’s not the player’s fault, it’s the mechanics of the game that make protection paladins and discipline priests abilities and mechanics just not mesh well in some situations, which leads to stress for me!

If you’re a disc priest healing a paladin tank and they have no mana, don’t bubble them. Because you’re supposed to be observant and know how your spells work, and I’m letting you know how paladins work. They will love you if you do this.

So what are these mechanics that don’t always play nice together? For protection paladins “Spiritual Attunement provides the paladin with a percentage of mana, based on ability level, each time they receive healing.” –wowwiki and for priests “priests deeply specced in the discipline tree, their strength lies in preventing damage.” –wowwiki

Those two sentences hopefully point out the problem here. Preventing damage means no health bars to fill, no healing received. Get it? Discipline priests have the goal of keeping everyone alive by preventing a majority of the damage, and the tankadiin has the responsibility of using his mana to hold aggro on all the mobs in the instance. Typical healer/tank combo. But mitigating the majority of the damage is cross purposes to what the tank needs to keep his mana bar full, to hold aggro on more mobs. In raiding environments this isn’t an issue because things simply hit so hard there. In a majority of instances, the paladin tank can just pull a few more mobs to dodge/block more or take enough damage to eat through the shield and really do some damage so that a heal that pushes health up also increases mana stores. But in situations where the tank has no control over more mobs (Brann encounter, Halls of Stone; Violet Hold timed mob spawns) or simply when the mobs die too fast (overgeared dps, weak mobs) that the tank gets absolutely zero chance to dodge/block or take damage.

I found myself in the perfect storm situation of both of these problems. I had no control over the mob pulls, and they died so fast I barely had a chance to dodge/block. My mana regeneration comes from a few places.

1. Blessing of Sanctuary (Places a Blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage taken from all sources by 3% for 30 minutes and increasing stamina by 10%. In addition, when the target blocks, parries, or dodges a melee attack the target will gain 2% of maximum displayed mana);

2. Judgement of Wisdom (giving each attack a chance to restore 2% of the attacker’s base mana);

3. Divine Plea (You gain 25% of your total mana over 15 sec) 1min cooldown

4. Glyph Seal of Command (You gain 8% of your base mana each time you use a Judgement with Seal of Command active) My judgements have a cooldown less than 9seconds, thanks to 2/2 Improved Judgements.

5. Seal of Wisdom (Fills the Paladin with divine wisdom for 30 min, giving each melee attack a chance to restore 4% of the paladin’s maximum mana)

I was facing a lot of crowd pulls (just my luck) of 4 mobs, and despite all these tools I was barely hanging onto mana. I didn’t have time to stop and drink because the mobs keep spawning and they were spawning far away from each other. I had to run instead of drink to the next pull. I didn’t want to switch to Seal of Wisdom because Seal of Command became my threat when I stopped consencrating, and was glyphed to give me mana anyways.

So I asked my priest to try to avoid Power Word: Shield on me. It was my last hope to try and retain some mana. They tried, but they were totally confused why I would ask such a thing. And I was too busy really to try to explain that I NEEDED to take damage to get my mana up, that my other abilities just weren’t cutting it. I felt really bad about that, because knowledge is power and I feel they’d just be a more informed healer and possibly could make their next paladin tank’s life less hell in situations where their tank’s mana isn’t cutting it.

And that’s what this comes down to. Tanking and healing is a partnership. Healers want their tanks to respect their mana pools at all levels of the game, while leveling, while pushing through stockades, while in a heroic dungeon, while raiding. And tanks want healers to respect their pull strategies. And, in some cases, tanks have mana pools that need respecting too!

Lovely Ambrosine over at forthebubbles.wordpress.com got to this topic before me (I am a pathetic excuse for a blogger) and there’s a bunch of commentary there. Every comment from someone who both has a disc priest and a paladin tank, or is part of a duo of very close players of those two classes, and weren’t end-game min-maxers that barely do random pug heroics, were helpful and understanding of this situation. I love her blog and tweets quite a bit. But you won’t ever catch me taking gear off my tank, reducing my hit/expertise/crit immunity.

I think I was not violating some silly sacred cow that seemed to erupt on twitter in response to me asking the healer to try to avoid voluntarily bubbling me. Previously tame tweeters acted like I was laying down the law on the poor priest on how to do their job, when all I did was ask them to not bubble ME because it was interfering with MY job. 99% of all the hullabaloo that followed had no bearing on the specific situations where a paladin tank is really at the mercy of the game because the dps are awesome and kill things too fast or the mobs are limited and the priest is too good and mitigates all of the minimal damage the mobs deal. And a majority of the tweeters, not knowing that my twitter question was posed neutrally, but that I was the tank in question, assumed the tank (hi, me) didn’t know how to play, didn’t know what they were doing, didn’t understand discipline priests, etc.

Dear disc priests. I know how you heal. I love how you heal. You should learn how I tank and get mana. Then go do it in heroic violet hold with uber dps. Maybe you’ll consider your words a bit more carefully before lynching someone you feel is beneath you because they were struggling with mana.

I did love that naked-outfit idea in the comments at For The Bubbles though…

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Filed under: drama, healing, heals, paladins, pride, pug, QQ, rant, tank, tanking, , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Suflet says:

    I also play on occasion, a protection paladin. Having currently about 27% dodge, 19% parry, I have pugged and grouped with tons of Discipline priests and even with my second half, whose main is a discipline priest, I have ran into this problem a lot. To give you some perspective my paladin is okay geared, couple ICC10 pieces, rest triumph gear, etc. When I tank, I mostly have DPS that are close to, if not fully ICC 25 man gear, who can do close to 8-9k in heroics. During fights, I go all out to try to keep and hold aggro, since most of the DPS just care about numbers and would pull off you if you’re not trying to keep aggro. Now, I normally use seal of Vengeance or Seal of Command for mana issues, but it just seems not enough, if I run with a discipline priest who bubbles you every time it’s off cooldown. Even if divine plea is up, it may take you bit more than 15 seconds to get to your next set of mobs, VH or anywhere, so by the time you might actually be able to hit the mob, it would have fallen off. I fully understand discipline priests, where their main thing is to mitigate and prevent damage. I want you to do your job but I also want to be able to do mine as well. I understand you might be using more mana if you do not bubble me (More healing, since I would be taking more damage) but also if I cannot get aggro due to no mana, then they will be healing the DPS and losing mana that way too. Mostly it comes down to the players and the fights, some fights you will be mana starved, and others you’ll be fine with bubble, if you see that your tank is mana starved, or if they politely ask you not to bubble them (God forbid you’ll do a little bit of extra healing) please respect the tank and not bubble

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