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Turn that damned Light off!

April 15, 2010

(Incoming Wall of Text! Put on your helmets and hold on to your popcorn!)

According to Warcraft Census, 16% of my Realm’s level-80 Alliance-side population is composed of Paladins.

According to Armory Data Mining and some napkin math, I’m expected to see 60% of those Paladins as Retribution, and 40% as Holy, since I haven’t been doing anything at but tanking lately.

I’m personally fine with those numbers most of the time. I mean, if people want to play as an one-man-army that’s very quick to level and can solo ridiculous amount of content, no one can blame them. But sometimes, a few situations arise that make me hope Blizzard will tone Pallies down in Cataclysm, enough that their population falls back in line with the other nine classes.

One such situation is the dreaded Warrior Tank, Holy Paladin, Retribution Paladin-x3 group. The first time it happened to me, a couple months ago, I was unaware of the sheer potential to death and destruction such a group has. I simply Vigilanced the one who did the most damage after the first trash pull and moved on. Aggro was a bitch to hold with all those Divine Storms spinning around, but it was only Utgarde Keep and we made it through. Two of the Retribution Pallies were relatively undergeared, so it wasn’t as bad. It has happened to me five times since, with varying levels of name-calling and hair-pulling involved resulting in an overall Neutral experience.

Today I got the Big Bertha of Bad Pick-Up Groups for a Warrior Tank: same three Ret, one Holy Composition. The differential? It was Pit of Saron, which means I was only thrown in there because the DPS were all geared to the teeth and there were no ICC-geared tanks in the queue. I clenched my teeth and decided to take the challenge up. By the first trash pull, I knew it was going to be bad. Skeletons going all over the place. Luckily, they are non-elite and easy for the Divine Storm Storm to mow down. I looked at my Paladin entourage more closely: all male humans with Vegeta hair. Ow.

The Healer, geared as he was, admitted being drowsy (lack of coffee, he said), so I was constantly hovering at the 50% health mark and almost got killed when one of the Ymirjar Skycallers’ Glacial Strike kept ticking after the mob was dead. The first Ret bit the dust in Garfrost due chasing the boss around and not hiding behind the boulder to let the debuff wear off when the boss runs away to get a new weapon. The Holy Paladin apparently didn’t even bother healing him once he got out of range, and I really don’t blame him.

The second Ret bought a ticket to Rez Land while we were fighting Ick. You know the little mines he summons all over the place, and that you can avoid by running around? Well, the guy simply stood perfectly still and kept DPSing the boss. Three seconds later, he was tanking the floor and we were four-manning the boss (and the first Ret almost died to a Poison Nova).

A quick Rez and some complaining (not from me, I was silent as a tomb up until now) later, we are up to the big pulls leading to the cave. I made a point of marking both Ymirjar Flamebearers (AKA, the only annoying mobs in those pulls) and asking them to wait three seconds before running in. What effectively happens? A second after I Charge, before I can even position everybody for a Shockwave, they rush in. One of the Rets goes for the Skull, the other two go straight for the other Flamebearer. Aggro shenanigans ensue, the healer (now running on caffeine, I guess) somehow manages to keep everybody alive.

Second pull, same thing: I mark the targets. Only this time Ret #3 runs in before I charge. Five out of six mobs aggro on him, and I go straight for the Skull, which was ironically not aggroed, before trying to gather everything else. Futile task, of course, as by now they are two Divine Storms ahead of me. So I let the Rets bumble around trying to figure out where their Hammer of Justice button is. Two of them die to Hellfire (how did they do that…?), and the Holy Paladin gets on them for aggroing and not interrupting. I say nothing and move on.

Next two pulls included the Wrathbone Coldwraiths and their fun Freezing Circles. All three Rets spend an inordinate amount of time stuck in place out of range of everything, and they somehow manage to aggro everything on the second pull before I could lay down Thunderclap, but mercifully no one dies, due to a combination of a good healer and clever use of Spell Reflection, Heroic Throw and tactical Charging/Intercepting. The Holy Paladin gets on the Rets again for not using Hand of Freedom. And that when things truly went south.

I don’t want to propagate the “Retarded Retadin” stereotype we see being thrown around, but those guys really weren’t helping dispel this idea. The Holy Paladin reveals his main spec is Retribution and that his EPEEN— sorry, GearScore is 5700. I cringe again. I use GS to check who would be a good player to put Vigilance on and to check the Healer’s gear to see how fast I should be pulling, but I never comment on it. Why?

Because people start acting like idiots whenever GearScore is mentioned. The Rets took the abuse up to this point in relatively good stride, making snide remarks but otherwise not really answering to the Holy Paladin’s insults. But as soon as someone came around calling them noobs and saying their EPEEN– sorry, GearScore is bigger than theirs? Oh, it was like someone had opened the Rabid Constipated Monkey Enclosure at the zoo right after someone had given them laxative.

A couple minutes of “yo momma” remarks later, I told them all to shut it and not attack anything in the cave until we were at the platform with the mini-boss in the middle. I was, of course, soundly ignored while they still argued over whose mom they had banged just the night before. So I just ran ahead keeping whatever Shockwave and Thunderclap kept on me and let the Rets have their fun. By the time we reach Tyrannus (and it was a pretty quick gauntlet!), only a sliver of my sizable patience remains. So, what happens next?

Tyrannus bugs up, but no one notices: all three Paladins are still typing insults to each other and dropping F-bombs all over the place. I tell them to shut up, get ignored again, and spend the next three minutes waiting for the boss to reset while my IQ progressively drops from reading Party chat. Then my patience comes to an end and I drop group. No amount of Frost Emblems is worth having to put up with those guys.

Seriously, what’s up with the Paladins in the Dungeon Finder? I know there are plenty of reasonable, well-educated Paladins out there, but I somehow keep getting the crème de la crap of the Paladin pool, and they’re always big-mouthed idiots with egos the size of their massively inflated GearScores. What’s wrong with those guys?!

It really feels like a lot of the nitwits are clustered around the Paladin class, for some reason. It’s making the class replace Hunters and DKs as the butt of “retarded” jokes. I wonder what would happen if they were spread more evenly across all classes?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 10:49

    There’s a certain type of player that goes for whatever class is perceived to be OP or easy to play.

    I think that type of hunter died out in late BC when people starting expecting all hunters to be able to chain trap.

    With Wrath, those players rolled DKs. After a few DK nerfs a lot seem to have gone Ret.

    To some extent, the issue is that many people in PuGs don’t are chasing high Recount numbers and don’t want to wait for the tank to do anything.

    However, Ret pallies and Fury warriors are standing in melee range and have AOE(ish) abilities as part of their standard rotation.

    Add in some good gear and they become strongly inclined to pull aggro.

    • April 16, 2010 08:30

      I have no issue with Retribution Paladins and Fury Warriors pulling off me. I’d much rather they didn’t, something that would happen if they just waited two extra seconds after I run in, but I take what I can get.
      My issue is with the idiots who will actively do idiotic things in the name of a “quick run”, topping Recount, or simply for the “lulz”. It generally ends up making the dungeon take longer to finish, and stresses both the healer and the tank. Even worse, if the tank/healer is new to the game, having -tards making things more difficult to them can dissuade them from tanking or healer altogether, making the shortage of anything but DPS even worse.

  2. Lazaros of Llane permalink
    April 15, 2010 20:59

    I fully agree with Brokentree. Ret is the new black. It’s not bad for leveling now, and is easy to attain at least presentable number at 80 in sub-par gear.

    Recount and GS are the dual gods of our game now, and so many idiots live by those two numbers. Sadly, I’ve been known to push the envelope at times when playing DPS in order to keep my totals up. (I only pull when it’s one of my friends tanking and I know they can handle it. They usually let me handle it right up to my last 10% of life.)

    It would be interesting to see how Blizzard tries to balance numbers for the four tanks. We’re very Paladin heavy presently, as you stated. Personally, I enjoy being a rare Bear, and I’m fond of healing Warriors. (something about the good Warriors I’ve seen just screams business. If only I could figure out how to tank on one.)

    • April 16, 2010 08:44

      We have a lot of Pally tanks lately simply because Paladins are simple to grasp in all specs. Sure, it is hard to do group healing with Holy, but I’ve yet to see a true Holytard around. You know, one that is undoubtedly a -tard, but that doesn’t try to browbeat an underperforming DPS about how their Ret set is over 5k GearScore and 9k DPS.

      The other tanks have a considerably more involved playstyle with their own shortcomings. Even Bear Druids, who are often described as “swipespamftw”, have a single-target rotation that’s considerably complex and involves watching their target’s debuffs, their rage bar, and their cooldowns. If Blizzard makes Paladins tanking more than just “press four buttons in the right order then go play Peggle”, you can be sure a lot of people would simply stop tanking and the numbers would be more balanced again. Just one debuff they’d have to watch and reapply every now and then, or a Proc that they want to use to keep threat. I bet you that as soon as we have something breaking the Prot Paladin’s rotation, we’re going to watch massive Tropical QQ-storm sweep through the forums, then a steady decline in Protadin numbers.

      • Lazaros of Llane permalink
        April 16, 2010 13:16

        Been bear tanking for a while now, and I never realized that I watch debuffs like that. I even throw up LAcerate on multiple “big” mobs (the skellies in FoS) to keep my DPS up, since threat normally isn’t an issue. You present valid arguments, as ever.

        As well, you nailed what was bugging me about Prot Pally tanking, it’s too rotational. (One of the things I think Wrath fixed was priorities. They make things dynamic and fun.)

        The only bad Holy Paladins I’ve seen so far have all been phoning it in: ie watching TV, or just generally not paying attention. Except the guy last night that wanted to rely solely on Holy Light (unhasted, with a bad ping or slow reaction time), causing a 48k health bear tank to hit 20% rather often.

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