So I am going to take a different approach to this week’s Throwback Thursday post (which is late again). This comes on the cusp of experiencing a struggle I’ve only heard other folks repine. I used to tank; from 2005 through Mists of Pandaria I was the Paladin tank for our raid team. Then the server population began to dwindle; finding raiders to fill spots became a struggle; long story short we switched servers and joined new raid teams. I was no longer needed as a tank so I had to become a DPS. It’s the first time I am working on progression as a member of the DPS squad. This week’s TBT is my lamentations of a former tank – gone DPS.
DPS Like Me: The Struggle Is Real!
A couple of expansions ago I remember the raid leaders constantly emphasizing the point that damage dealers need to improve their damage. I always silently thought to myself that there must be something these folks are missing because it can’t be that difficult to figure out how to do that. I will pause for you to silently curse and berate me. After my paladin, playing a shadow priest was my second favorite class so that is the class I chose to play as [ranged] DPS.
We are roughly three months into the current raid content and 5/7 in Heroic Emerald Nightmare. My gear iLevel is 860 and, while a shadow priest is supposed to be at the top of the charts, I’m barely making the middle of the pack. I am experiencing everything they were fussing about; the struggle is real! I have read the forums, tweaked my gear and my rotation but I am still struggling to break that 200k mark. Granted there are a couple of stats that I could increase but there is only so much you can do until the right piece of gear comes along.
I guess its true what they say. Sometimes you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand their trials and tribulations.
IMO, Tanking is Easier
I will never take my DPS team members for granted again. As a tank, remembering to taunt was paramount. If you messed up your rotation, it was rarely a big deal (unless it caused you to dramatically lose threat). The rotation for a DPS has very little room for error. The adage for DPS to “Always Be Casting” (also known as the ABCs of DPS) has a lot of credence. It not only requires you to constantly cast something but deviating from your rotation can have cascading effects on your damage output. The training dummies are good for building the muscle memory for your rotation. However, they are not a reliable method of measuring your damage because you never have to move, which isn’t an authentic raid scenario.
So, to that end, while I really enjoy playing my shadow priest, I do enjoy tanking more. I’m less frustrated, less often, with my performance as a tank after a night of raiding. Some nights I dread looking at the logs; I don’t want to see how far down the damage charts I am when I know I need to be near the top. I’m not sure what else to do but keep improving my stats, keep practicing that rotation and reading priest forums (like icy-veins.com or howtopriest.com).
Tips and recommendations are welcome.