I’ve played MMOs long enough to experience all sorts of skills and personalities among raiders: the people who sacrifice all their off-time to farm for mats so that no one in the raid is without consumables; the people who are constantly trying to eek out more damage to top the meters; the people who know everything about every class and have enough alts to form their own 10mans; the people you’re convinced eBayed their toons because, at level cap, they’re unable to locate any starter zones; the people who can’t step out of the fire, no matter if it shoots from the floor, the ceiling, or out the boss’s ass; the people who /rage quit when things don’t go their way. I’ve met all sorts.
And no matter the guild I’m in — casual or progression — I always try to take part in larger discussions about my class and about its mechanics. If I’m not the best, I track down the person who I think is and ask them a million questions about gear, casting rotation, spec, and so on. There’s often a misconception that people in hardcore raiding guilds are secretive and snooty and unwilling to share their knowledge with others; I don’t find this to be the case. Most people who play at that level have a real joy for the game and love to “talk shop” about it.
As such, I’ve met some fine people playing MMOs, and of course, I’ve met some real assholes. But never before have I been guilded with a person who has been so callous — to the point of maliciousness — about my position in the raid. Friendly competition among DPS? Sure. Heated discussion among healers about who’s best for a task? Yup. Fucking someone else over to the detriment of the raid? Never.
When I was asked to spec Holy several weeks ago, I was pretty disappointed as I feel like I’d researched the mechanics of the Disc Priest, mastered the playstyle of a Disc Priest, and geared myself as a Disc Priest. The guild didn’t have a Disc Priest, and so I made a post on the guild forums, arguing why I thought one would be good to have along. A Shadow Priest in the guild responded, challenging my argument that you don’t want to bring more than one to a raid and announced that he was planning to take Discipline as his off-spec. I tried to explain why, if more healers are needed and a Disc Priest is in the raid, bringing another Disc Priest is foolish. But no one reads the Priest forums, I’d wager, so the discussion went largely ignored. And at every opportunity since 3.1, this priest has respecced to Disc, to the detriment of the raid, I’d argue, and certainly to the detriment of my main spec. When he does so, I feel compelled to switch to my offspec, because if a Disc Priest is 60% healing and 40% mitigation and the mitigation doesn’t stack, why bring along half-a-healer? If the raid needs more heals, bring a Holy Priest, arguably the premiere raid heal class at the moment.
Now, I know there are folks who say that it’s just dandy to have 2 Disc Priests. That’s certainly what this Shadow Priest tries to argue: he’s never seen a problem. But for a guild that min-maxes, it’s ridiculous that this is happening. (We require our three DKs, for example, to each take a different talent tree so that they each bring unique buffs to the raid.) Just because the Shadow Priest hasn’t noticed a problem, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
Here’s my problem:
I’m running back from a wipe, and I suddenly see my raid frames fill with PW:S icons. He’s switched specs and suddenly my primary healing assignment is shielded. I’ve lost 4% healing crit on my target now. And Renewed Hope, the raid-wide buff from casting PW:S, is up, again negating my contribution. This Shadow Priest isn’t in the healer channel, and he’s just casting shields as he deems fit. Shields for everyone… except I was already doing that. But now, most people have a Weakened Soul debuff, and I have no way of getting a Borrowed Time proc. (POM + PW:S + Penance on tank + hasted POH on melee/tank group = my primary rotation. Can’t do it now. Gee thanks.) I can’t “spot heal” as the new mechanics to Grace mean every time I heal someone other than my assignment (the MT), that buff is lost. Lately, I’ve found that POM is a very high proportion of my overall healing — in no small part because the amount of AOE damage means that it’s bouncing for all charges among the melee — but as they’re all shielded, the heal isn’t proccing. POM typically scatters Divine Aeges throughout the raid, but now the frisbee just sits on the target til it expires. I am useless.
I offer to respec Holy. And as I play my priest seriously, this isn’t just push-a-button-omg-now-I-can-haz-Circle of Healing. I have to load a different profile for Clique so that right-click is COH and not Penance. I have to redo my TMW setup so that I’m notified when the cooldown for COH is up and when I have Surge of Light procs and Serendipity stacks. I have different flasks and different food for Holy. Now I need a new healing assignment as someone else has to cover the main tank.
That no one else sees this is a problem is incredibly fucking frustrating.
I’m hoping Patch 3.2 gives Disc Priests the ability to buff the mobs so they’re immune to shadow damage. And when he balks, I can say, “I don’t see that it’s a problem. Can’t you just use Smite?”