Sunday, March 23, 2008

More Paladin Adventures

So I hit 20 on my Paladin earlier yesterday, and finally got Consecration. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I got it; when I've seen Paladins using it while playing this Hunter it looks awesome, and I immediately headed into the Dead Scar to try it out. Unfortunately the undead there died before I could really get much of a feel for it, but I was able to use it in the Wailing Caverns later today, and get more practice with it.

If there's one thing I'm finding great about the Paladin more than anything else, it's the fact that as a tank, it's socially acceptable for me to lead groups. As I'm sure some of you have noticed, (*grin*) humility is not one of my virtues, and I have a tendency to gravitate towards leading in 5 mans.

As a Hunter, that is not allowed. A Warrior or Paladin in the group I'm with as a Hunter will want to take that role, and as a DPS class, (and as a Hunter in particular) I'm basically expected to get to the back of the group, DPS, and otherwise shut up and do as I'm told. ;-) It is good for me to experience that, though, because it keeps my ego from becoming completely out of control, and also allows me greater empathy with other people in the game.

One other thing about being a Paladin though that is good for keeping my ego in check, is that there are times when I'll be invited to a group, and contrary to my usual expectation to tank, I will be asked to heal.

I don't like healing exclusively very much at all; while I have the HealBot addon, enjoy the hybrid classes more than single role classes as a matter of course, (I actually view the Hunter as a hybrid) and will unconsciously throw out the odd heal in a fight anywayz, I find being a main healer to be an extremely boring exercise. I therefore think it's actually a good thing if at times I'm more or less compelled to swallow my own feelings about what I'd rather be doing, and focus more primarily on the wellbeing of the group rather than purely doing what I might find fun. Martyrdom is very much part of both the Priest and Paladin archetypes, and in-game I think engaging in it at times is just as beneficial for the person doing so, as it is for those they serve.

I feel that socially speaking, selfishness is the single biggest problem within World of Warcraft these days. The DPS meter encourages members of a group to actually compete with each other, rather than focusing on co-operation in order to get the group as a whole through the instance. There is also a disturbing tendency to view more purely defensive classes and specs (such as either the Paladin, or a Survival Hunter) as being inherently worth less than others, simply because they are not focused primarily on raw DPS.

I'm finding that the single greatest benefit of playing with alts, even aside from giving me varied and positive experiences, is it allows me greater understanding of the unique and specific challenges, minor quirks, and inconveniences faced by players of other classes as well. Walking a mile in another class's shoes can help me work more effectively with members of said class, when I'm back playing my Hunter.

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