Last night I noticed Pike's most recent post, about how she has branched out into raid healing.
Possibly feeling inspired by it, (although I've been planning on taking up tanking, as I've already written) today after tanking another 5 man Uldaman run, I logged on with a level 28 blood elf Paladin in Hillsbrad who I haven't played with in probably close to a year now, specced Holy, and asked if anyone wanted a healer while questing.
What followed was a fairly enjoyable (if at times a little slow) 2-2.5 hours where I acted as buffer/healer for a feral Druid, during probably three or so quests.
After having done this, it made me realise why I gave the game up for nearly a year, as well as the reason why I never really got into raiding.
I need to purge my ego. Egotism was what really stopped me raiding. A certain amount of individualism is vital, yes; but in my own case, I've allowed that to go too far, for far too long. It's as much the reason why I've been socially isolated offline, as it is the reason why things never really took off for me within World of Warcraft.
I also realise that this is the true reason why there has always been a tank and healer shortage in this game, as well.
Tanking and healing (moreso healing) are largely selfless roles. Healing can be reasonably stimulating if you're having to move quickly, and so is a challenge in that sense, but for the most part, it's a scenario where you're doing something that enables someone else to have fun.
Most people prefer a scenario where they can be in the spotlight; where they can do something which, in an immediate and visible way, their ego is going to be gratified. There are, if we're honest, two overt measures of a person's fundamental worth in this game, in most people's eyes; either their gear, or their place on the DPS meter.
I wanted that myself, and I went further, in refusing, even as a Hunter, to be even temporarily flexible in the name of what might have been more genuinely supportive of other people.
I need to start learning, if I can, to put the welfare of a team first, and my own desires second. Other people will respond to this and urge caution, no doubt, and I appreciate that.
The truth is, however, that I've gone about as far as I can at this point, following the, "me first!" route. I've hit a brick wall.
I can keep doing nothing but solitary farming, and clinging to (for me) a dying spec, and never experience anything other than loneliness, boredom to the point where I normally simply log out of the game within half an hour, and a lack of fulfillment due to not moving on to new forms of activity; things which I haven't tried before.
Or, I can realise and acknowledge, that it's now time for something to change. I can become a tank, and experience the subsequent additional maturity which the level of responsibility involved with that will bring.
I don't have any illusions; it's not going to be easy. Even doing Uldaman earlier today was hard; we wiped a number of times at first. I had to zoom right out, in order to have a full 360 degree view, and I had to start pulling carefully, and paying serious attention. Once I did that though, we did not wipe again.
The task I set for myself, first with Ultima Online, and secondly with this game, was to use them as venues where I could learn to relate to other human beings in an effective and beneficial way. So far, my success on that score has only been very partial. I have this blog, and I'm proud of that, yes; but the reason why I haven't ended up doing much raiding in the past, if I'm truly honest, is because I always put my own desires ahead of those of anyone else.
If I'm going to continue to grow, and if I'm going to learn to truly reach out to other human beings, I'm going to need to learn to do something different on that score.