I decided to do a round of random heroics in Beta yesterday with an 85 premade paladin in full raid gear. I have to say, we were still not able to just steam through them, but they're a lot easier. We were able to forgo some of the mechanics that would otherwise be deadly in pre-raid gear, such as Rom'ogg Bonecrusher's "The Skullcracker." I have a feeling that by the time we get to Tier 12, it will be LK steamroll all over again. I think that this is fine, though, as the point of heroics was to provide a "bridge" between tiers. It's kind of like Trial of the Crusader being a bridge between Ulduar and Icecrown. Hopefully, Blizzard will implement a system of only giving the highest level tier points through raids, so that we don't have to suffer through farming daily heroics on sleep mode again.
Over the past few days, I've been looking at forums and posts like this one. To be honest, it is tiring to see all the whining in the paladin community about our current situation. I have a news flash: The patch has only been out for three days! CALM DOWN! People are saying that they feel useless because the damage meters show them bringing up the rear... Seriously? Yes, it is true we are less than spectacular when it comes to meter padding, but I believe it is for two reasons: 1) None of the meters are measuring our absorbs yet (not even World of Logs). 2) We're no longer overhealing as much as we used to because we can't spam one fast heal 'till kingdom come. If you read further in the post, we keep hearing from the "seasoned paladins who have done ICC hardmodes" that we are wiping because of bad paladin healing. Riiiight... It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that we are running without functioning addons and with connection/server issues, or the fact that most people are still learning their classes. No, no... it's the fact that paladins aren't keeping people alive. Let me be the first to, and excuse my language, call bullshit on this. We managed to clear the whole ICC this week with some heroics without any hitch. We decided not to do many hardmodes because we were trying to get to LK fast so that we could work on Neck Deep in Vile. While it was a little disappointing to find myself at the bottom of heals, our healing team is cohesive, and our healing lead actually knows what he's doing. So we managed to get around the beacon nerf by actually having more than one healer heal the tanks. Surprised? Yeah, God forbid we had to have a shaman or a priest heal the tanks, why that would be the end of the world. Wanna know something else? On Heroic BQ, I actually managed to come in third on healing, as well as on Sindragosa. But why should any of this matter? ICECROWN IS DONE AND OVER WITH. Any achievements gotten now are actually comparable to TBC post 3.0. Yeah, you could do Sunwell, but who cares. No offense, but that's like a normal person winning the special olympics. I am only raiding at this point to learn how to use my new abilities. I no longer care for getting Light of Dawn (the title) or the 25 man Drake (though I probably will because my guildmates still want them). So please... be patient until Cataclysm, and have some faith in Blizzard. Like I said on the forums, when top world guilds start benching holy paladins, then we need to start worrying.
So, I got up at the crack of afternoon on Sunday to find that my dear iMac had bitten the dust. Apparently, my hardrive is dead (according to the answers returned by Googling: "freeze at startup" and "omfg, I need WoW"). Luckily, I had an *older* PC that I wasn't using, so I spent about 10 hours re-installing, re-patching, and pulling my hair out from frustration. Now, this isn't an article about how PCs compare to Macs, or even just a filler due to me scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. No, no, this article is about a lesson I learned by running a Heroic random right after I finished patching. Now, I'm sure we've all been in instances with those people who have a high gearscore, but just blatantly turn out to suck. I know I always think to myself "Who carried you/How much did you pay for that toon?" They would sometimes say, "Sorry guys, my comp/internet is bad atm.", and I would think "Lies!" Now, my 5.7k dps spec is nothing spectacular. However, under normal circumstances, I am quite certain that I would have been able to pull more than 2k dps in Pit of Saron. When I saw recount, I knew there had to be someone thinking "What's with this moron?" It certainly knocked me down a peg or two. So, I've made a new resolution: From now on I will give people the benefit of a doubt. Don't get me wrong though, that doesn't mean that I will carry them even if they have a bad connection/computer. My group would have been fully justified to boot me had the dps not been sufficient. However, I will not automatically assume they are a bad player, or as Gevlon would say, an "M&S". I guess what I'm saying is that people should get a second chance to prove themselves, particularily when it comes to players from the same server. I know I have been quick to /ignore or kick players in raids that were not performing, and not send them invites next week. This experience, however, has humbled me. So let us say a quiet prayer for my faithful old Mac, and try to think twice the next time we judge that lovable retribution paladin still hitting Divine Storm long after the mobs are dead.
You may have heard it on the grapevine that Beta heroics were pretty hard. Let me confirm this: Yes, oh God, yes they are. However, they aren't impossible. It's actually fun to have to be on my toes for once. Shadowfang Keep was a wipefest, until we figured out what to CC. I even made a premade paladin, because my leveling gear just wasn't cutting it. I think I still need to run a few more Normal instances to gear up Quell. I have to admit, though, that all of this is a bit worry-some. The heroics that I have been running were all with guildies, and we had vent. Which brings up the question: If they are this hard with a premade group, what kind of hell are they going to be with a random queue group? I almost don't want to think about it. It reminds me a whole lot of TBC, when a lot of pug groups fell apart after the first few pulls in some of the more difficult heroics (Magister's Terrace, anyone?). Combine that with the fact that we now have a random dungeon CD if our group does fall apart, and we're back to taking an hour+ to finish an instance. Not a very hopeful prospect. Let's hope for some kind of change to either the queue system or the instances themselves, because our more "casual" gamers are going to have a very hard time come Cataclysm.