Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping Control

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am truly a healer at heart. It is my preferred role, always. Over the years reading and talking to other players I've gotten the feeling that most  people who heal do it because it has faster queue times for randoms or their guild needed another healer for the raid, not because they love healing. As a consequence of this conclusion I have never stopped trying to figure out why I love to heal. Well, I think I have come to a conclusion.

I'm a control freak.

As a healer, I always feel as though I am in control. If I don't heal you, you will die. I don't typically abuse this power, but it is the truth.

Having now tried all roles in dungeon settings, I can firmly say that the reason I have had issues with playing as DPS is mostly due to lack of control (especially when playing pure DPS classes). As DPS, in most cases, you are at the whim of your tank and healer to control the flow of a dungeon. The appeal of the DPS role is numbers. Instant gratification via large shiny numbers. I love those big numbers too, but not at the sacrifice of control. It feels like taking a huge leap of faith to put your safety in the hands of a tank and healer in a random dungeon. I know, I know. It's just a game. The worst that can happen is a wipe, but nobody likes wiping.

Now that my main is a tank I can see things much more clearly. The thing that I am enjoying most about tanking, and the thing that keeps me on the edge of my seat, biting my lip in anxiety, is that the tank role is a constant battle to keep control (keep aggro). I feel like a child walking several misbehaving dogs on leashes and they all want to go different directions. Perhaps this feeling will even out in time as I grow more experienced, but I kind of doubt it. When I am healing I know I am in control. When I am tanking I am always on the verge of losing it. I know that at any time that hunter pet might growl, or the mage might randomly decide to frost nova mobs before they reach me, or (God forbid) the healer has gone afk without letting me know. All of which has happened.

In ways, playing in the role of a tank has presented the ultimate challenge to me. Maybe someday I will attain that perfect state of zen where I no longer care about keeping control.


  1. But control as a tank is sooo challenging! It's a lot of fun to see just how far you can go to keep the pace even, keep others from getting slammed and keep your healer alive. My main for PVE is a tank with of course this namesake and I enjoy it alot.

  2. So far it has been challenge enough for me just going at a slow pace, then again I am still learning all of the fights in regular Cata dungeons. Heroics seem a little daunting at this point.