Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

I went ahead and did it, folks. I took the plunge. I was writing this long entry trying to explain when I realized, why am I justifying myself to the internet at large?

For the next tier, I am going to be raiding as a holy paladin.

Oh hey. And yes, Vid rocks a Gnomeragan tabard. She is friends with gnomes. I'm working on her tabard collection, though. Achievement points are a sickness.

What precipitated this radical change? What’s the future of Manalicious?

First of all, when I moved from Pugging Pally to this new blog space I deliberately gave it an ambiguous name. Yes, it is like delicious conjured pastries and confection. But it could also apply for any class that uses mana. I knew that no matter what I might play, it would always be a mana user. So you might say I future-proofed the blog, which won’t be changing at all.

I know that many folks read here for mage content and/or have me in the mage section of their blogrolls. That’s fine, because I am still staunchly pro-mage. I never wrote that much about theorycraft here. I don’t anticipate this will have much impact on Manalicious at all.

As for why I did it, I have quite a few reasons. Our healing search was not going well. Our healing team has been extremely unstable in this expansion, experiencing nearly 100% turnover. I wanted it to be more stable. I’ve never raided primarily as a healer in progression content. I’m excited about it. I did run the majority of heroic BWD with a friend’s raid. I’m confident I can increase my skill as a healer, and work well with the other team members. I guess that’s a big part of it, too. As a DPS you may sometimes need to coordinate with the other DPS but for the most part you’re running solo. A self-sufficient spellflinger in the middle of the group, if you will. It comes with its own set of stressors. But the longer I play WoW, the more I realize that I greatly enjoy working with a team. The entire raid is a team, but the smaller microcosm of healers and tanks are also their own mini-team.

I still love being a mage. If I had to DPS, that would be my first choice. I just expect it’s going to be easier to find a great DPS than it has been to find a great healer that is also a personality fit. I’m excited about this change! The reactions I’ve gotten have ranged from dismay through to cautious enthusiasm. I wouldn’t do this if it was going to make me unhappy, truly. It’s just ironic that right after I was writing about how you should be playing your main, I realized that the fact I wasn’t playing mine might be trying to tell me something. I just wish that achievement points didn’t exist. I am going to have to try to stop caring about them, along with my pet collection. Millya’s not going away, she’s just pursuing other things for awhile. I joked that I could be happy playing any character so long as it’s a draenei. Sadly, this is probably true.

My friend Walks once remarked that druid heals are like a hug, and paladin heals are like a punch in the face. The gauntlets are on!

p.s. – We’re looking for a shadowpriest, moonkin, and we’d consider any exceptional DPS. Check us out!

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Comments on: "A Main By Any Other Name" (53)

  1. As a fellow reroller I know precisely what you mean. Sometimes, no matter how much you *want* to play your character, it’s just not working for you. I’m sick of my Priest. Utterly. I wish she didn’t have the shinies, but then that’s why I’m back to the Hunter, because she also has shinies. *shrug*

    It’s most important to do what makes you happy ingame :)

    • The hardest thing for me (and I don’t know if this is because of my RP background?) has been the feeling of guilt/sadness. Like as if Millya herself is going, “What do you MEAN you aren’t taking me to Firelands?” Which is utterly ridiculous, and yet there it is. As someone else in my guild observed, it’s not like I’m deleting her or can’t play her anymore for whatever else I want to do!

      I’m glad you’ve been able to find a happy compromise with your characters – one that has some shinies AND you feel like playiing. I need to break the chokehold achievement points have on me. Maybe it should be another blog post. ;)

      • Yeah, I know what you mean – I felt really guilty when I switched from hunter (my very first character) to pally tank as my main – and I even haven’t been at level cap then. I felt like I abandoned her.

        I still feel a pang of guilt about that once in a while, mainly a “seriously, you should take out your hunter for a tour”. She’s now an alchemist mule, that kinda helps.

        On that note: JOIN US! JOIN US PALLYS! We have golden, golden shinies!

      • Haha. It’s nice to hear that regardless of your mixed feelings for your hunter, you’re happy on the Light side!

  2. Achievement points ARE a sickness. Over a year since I shelved my mage to raid on the druid, and I still do achievement things on the mage. I just had to accept that she’d likely be getting the raiding achieves when the content was no longer relevant. Oh well.

    • That’s pretty much where I am at, too. I didn’t do the ICC achievements with my mage in any case, because I switched to my druid before then. It’s just one of those things you need to shrug off. I wish I could be a very one-character focused person that never considered playing another, but I guess that’s just not me. (Apparently not you, either!)

  3. Being a healer is AWESOME. Welcome back to the fold.

  4. I still love being a mage. If I had to DPS, that would be my first choice.

    Ahem.

    Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret!!!!

    Excuse me while Neve comes after me with a baseball bat….

    • Yes, YES! I must teach more bloggers how to Ret. First Rhidach, then you, Vid, and then… the WORLD!!!

      • I saw the post where you taught him to Ret and I thought about it when I declared my intention and a fellow officer asked if I was comfortable playing ret. ULP. I don’t think it’ll happen very often. When it does, you’re liable to facepalm at my actions.

    • I’ll do my best to try to love it. If I can’t love it, I will do my best to at least not fail too hard at it. But ultimately, another melee DPS seldom benefits us. :(

  5. It’s just ironic that right after I was writing about how you should be playing your main, I realized that the fact I wasn’t playing mine might be trying to tell me something.

    This is a very good point. If anything, I think this reinforces your point rather than contradicting it; it’s true that you should play on your main. But it’s also true that the character you play all the time should be your main. We need not lose our love for one character to play another; just as our lives outside the game go through seasons of change, I think our avatars reflect that. :)

    • As always, I can count on you to understand, Lara. I do think I might write some more about character, class and identity. It’s interesting to me how we can get so wrapped up in one virtual avatar. It becomes as if it IS us, and to play anything else feels like rejecting not a video game character but a fundamental rejection of ourselves. The thing is, I think each character I have is some reflection of an aspect of myself. So I can never be playing a character that isn’t “me,” so long as they’re all mine!

  6. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO another mage laid low by the allure of ‘healing’ – god damn tree hugging hippies. Killing things is where the real action is. Everyone knows you win WoW by topping DPS charts lol.

    • Haha Runz. It doesn’t mean I can’t ever play Millya! Heck, your schedule keeps you from raiding, but you still ARE a mage, right? I’m raiding as a paladin, but I can still BE a mage. :D

  7. I’m still calling you Millya. Even if I’m the ONLY person on the internet that does.

    I find that shinies are actually better when split up, but I totally do not care about nerd points (I have less than half the achievement points of some people in my raid group). I appreciate my priest’s redbear, netherdrake and Hand of Adal title a lot more than I would if they were on my Dragonslayer warrior.

    • Hey, that’s fine by me, I’m happy with either. People called me Vid while I was playing Millya, why not call me Millya while I’m playing Vid? ;p

      You make a good point about having a few unique/interesting things per character. I never looked at it like that before! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to escape the allure of ‘nerd points’ though.

  8. I wish my schedule worked with your raid times because I so wanted to apply on my shaman. :( But I can sympathize with you on switching mains; I’d love to switch to a healer better suited to 10s, but I just can’t see leaving my shaman behind after all I’ve accomplished for her. Guess I’ll have to be the best damn resto shaman EVER.

    Good luck to you and your guild in Firelands! :D

    • Aw, I wish it had worked out, too. You should play the class you enjoy! There’s usually a way to make it work. Good luck to you as well! I hope you can find a great guild (if you haven’t already!)

  9. I much prefer to tank the boss than the floor. I look forward to your assistance in that! :-D

    Also… Thanks for linking to Arazu’s blog… Found a new one to add to my reader! Gives me giggles. I like giggles.

  10. Healing’s a blast, though I’ve mostly just been hugging people with my druid hots rather than punching them with my holy shocks (sounds like the start of a WoW rap). I did all of ICC on my healer, and if you thrive on stress, you’ll love it. I’ve done all three big roles, and healing is where the stress is at. In tanking, if the boss is on you (or adds, or whatever), then you’re basically stress free. If you’re dps you only really stress about doing your share (be it chart topping, interrupting, or whatever). When you heal, though, there’s no external competition nor any moments of relaxation; it’s stress from start to finish. You’ll probably love it.

    Two other things. People have me listed as a mage blog, too, which baffles me. I would never complain or correct as any link love is good link love, but it does confuse me. Other than my title, there’s very little mage anything on my blog. Even the banner’s a druid.

    On the topic of achievements: not only are they a sickness, it’s communicable. A buddy of mine used to tease me incessantly about rep grinding, mount collecting, pet collecting, and the like. Now, he’s over 9000. What a hilarious hypocrite, but I am too, since I tease him, now.

    Now go punch a tank in the face with your Words of GLORY!

    • I guess they just go from the title? “Sheep The Diamond”! Must be a mage blog. :D

      I thrive on stress to an extent. Although, to hear Voss tell it, tanking stresses him out plenty – but then there are fights where he says the fights are boring, so who knows? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about it, but I’m optimistic!

  11. Congratulations! I hope to live vicariously through your paladin healing adventures as I just don’t have the time to maintain all 4 healing classes. I look forward to all the ups and downs that will come with paladin raiding :)

    • Thanks! Yeah, I used to try to heal with all four too but the time/knowledge investment is a bit heavy. These days I only have my paladin and druid at 85. :D

  12. YESSSSSS! I KNEW you’d come over to the better side!

    • Ophelie’s true feelings are revealed, haha… The BETTER side. You infected me while you were here, didn’t you? Oh man. I caught the pally disease and the symptoms are sparkles. ;D

  13. I think you hit the nail on the head with the comment that if you’re not playing your main, maybe that’s a hint.

    I’ll admit that I’m not playing my Warlock outside of raids other than to do my JC daily quest at the moment. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have anything I “have” to do on her atm – or because I prefer another character. Maybe once 4.2 hits with new dailies she’ll see more action outside of raids.

    At the moment I play my Paladin mainly outside of raids. It’s fun to heal or tank when you’re used to dpsing. It’s a refreshing change. I sometimes think a hybrid would have been a better choice for a main because you can fill more than one role. But at the same time I love my Warlock.

    I get the point about shinies and achivement points. If I was to switch mains I’d lose all the mounts, pets and everything the Warlock has – which would be sad.

    I’m glad you’ve found a character you really enjoy playing – and that’s really all that matters. There’s no point playing a game if you’re not having fun ;)

    • Yep, that’s pretty much it! I have some thoughts about what keeps us playing the same characters, actually, if I can pin them down enough I might just write about it! I’m endlessly interested in hearing about others’ experiences with main changes (or temptations towards main changes).

  14. Druid heals are the fun heals, the prancing showy lead-soprano-in-the-choir getting all the attention. Paladin heals are the workhorse, the backup singer adding depth. I’m a druid healer – even when I play my paladin I’m basically just a druid in disguise. But I couldn’t do awesome raid heals without my paladin healer teammate. The fact that I die about twenty seconds before our bosskill on like every progression kill tells you something.

    Whoever gets you for a paladin healy buddy is going to be very very lucky!

    • Thanks, Analogue! This was an interesting analogy. It made me think back to my band days (mostly jazz). I DID play the tenor saxophone which tends to fill a similar role. Altos get all the solos and the limelight, but the music would lack an essential component without the tenors. At least, that’s what I think. ;)

  15. I know what you mean about not just finding healers, but healers that ‘fit’ in your team. We’ve had the same issue. Having a raid team that clicks and can have fun together is important to long term success.

    I have been playing a holy pally since vanilla, so while I can’t speak to the changing mains, I support anyone interested in embracing the holy pally life. Best of luck and enjoy the change of view (green bars are pretty). ;)

    • Thanks very much. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had similar issues filling out your team. That rare combination of ability and personality is invaluable indeed. I hope you can find the right folks!

  16. Vid,

    This post, and the post before it about mains/alts, hits me at a particularly odd time with my characters. When you tweeted to Kurn that you were joining the ranks of those with a different main than a raiding toon, it really made me think about my relationship with my warlock, and if I was indeed moving in that direction.

    I have a warrior. I have several warriors, actually, but I have a warrior I’m leveling with the intent of getting to 85. We always need good tanks. Warriors are OP in PvP right now, and am I tired of getting my butt whooped by them. And they’re a lot of fun to level.

    I wasn’t exactly neglecting my warlock, but I wasn’t playing her a lot outside of Arenas, either. I got my Warrior to 64 in relatively short order (for me, I’m a slow leveler.)

    But then I started asking questions, like… do I really want to be a raid tank? Raiding is hard for me to schedule. It’s hard on my relationship with my spouse. It’s hard on my self-esteem – I handle death in PvE much, much worse than in PvP. Do I really need to switch to a FotM class for PvP? I might enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but that pretty much means I’m giving up on the warlocking for a while. Arenas require you to become a 1-trick pony for a while.

    And what will the internet think?

    That last point is funny, and not one I think I’ve admitted to other people, but I have a feeling that it’s actually something a lot of bloggers worry about. Main changes are hard enough without having a public persona wrapped up in it. I envy the freedom of people who aren’t identified with a character. Talking about this in public is a little awkward – kinda like a rock song lamenting how hard the life of a rock star can be – but believe me when I say, I get it.

    Also believe me when I say: you did the right thing. You don’t have to justify your choices to the internet.

    I made my own choice. Last week I flipped over to Cynwise’s Destro spec and suddenly, I was having fun blowing things up again. I don’t know about mages, but I do know that warlock specs are different enough that even though they’re all DPS, they play different, they feel different. Changing specs can change your whole outlook.

    I haven’t touched my warrior for a week.

    Another thing happened: I went back into ICC on a retro raid last night, but this time on my DK. I suck on my DK now. I don’t want to play him. Like, I don’t care that he could be an OP tank and OP PvPer, playing him made me actively unhappy. So I switched to Cynwise and went back to pnwing ICC, which was nice. I like killing things dead! But at the end of the night, I also realized – I don’t like raiding anymore, even casually. It doesn’t fit in with RL, it’s not fulfilling. I might do it occasionally for achievements and to help others, but…

    I was never a serious raider, but it’s still hard to let it go. And it’s hard to let go of alts – I had a lot of hopes for all of mine.

    But I really like playing a warlock.

    • Cyn, I know exactly what you mean. “I thought you were a Hunter blogger?” is amusing, but at the same time it makes me a little sad inside. Lately I’d been working on the Hunter a lot and bringing him to raids once I felt he was up to par, and I was delighted that I was able to maintain the same DPS numbers as I do on my DK. Hunter time again! Well, except, no. Because we have someone else who would like to go back to raiding on their hunter, and an enhancement shaman, so with me that would be 3 people after the exact same limited gear…so I’ll probably stick with the DK still. /lament

    • Cyn, it’s really interesting to read your thought process and hear about your own experiences with this. You’ve hit the nail on the head precisely. A friend of mine actually remarked (when I told him I was switching mains), “That’s a big step for someone with a mage blog.”

      And it is. I went through this when I moved from Pugging Pally, too. I wasn’t actually playing a paladin apart from the five-mans. Naturally, people tended to assume I was a paladin. There was a part of me that liked that. The paladin blogging community was so welcoming and warm. The mage blogging community seemed much more scattered. I’ve since found some great mages that read here, but it doesn’t feel exactly the same, as I suppose no two communities can. I love playing a mage. I also love my paladin. It’s just tough, and it’s tough to figure out these kinds of things, which basically really do boil down to what WILL the internet think? It’s easy to say we shouldn’t care, but it’s hard not to.

      I’m glad that you’ve been able to make a decision that makes you happy, although there will always be some pangs of regret or wondering. I think that’s natural, and it’s okay. If raiding was something you needed to let go of because it wasn’t actually making you happy, then so be it! Thanks so much for your comment. <3

      • Sorry it was such a wordy comment. I lose track in comment fields far too easily.

        I’m glad that you and Rades are setting a good example for the rest of us: don’t get trapped by your blog. I know I could still write CBM if I didn’t do PvP anymore, and I could do it if I didn’t play Cynwise anymore, but probably not if I both didn’t play a warlock AND didn’t PvP.

        But if that’s what made me happy, then I should absolutely do it.

      • Not at all, I enjoyed the comment! I think the struggle to maintain a blog + set in-game identity is something many bloggers can identify with. Another example is Rhii – she blogged at I Sheep Things long after her mage wasn’t her raiding character but still chases achievements with it! Kurnmogh at Kurn’s Corner is a hunter “main” who plays as a holy paladin. And of course, Rades switched to a DK without ever making much fanfare about it but I know it’s something he’s struggled with too.

        I guess the best way to explain it is that Millya IS me. Even when I RPed she was probably my least original character – because a hot-tempered, bookish draenei that likes to bake things isn’t much of a stretch for me. Her clothes-horse nature and more ladylike ways is invented. But other characters are like me, too. Vid is more outrageous and less practical, not at all concerned with superficiality and always looking for the next exciting invention. She’s staunchly loyal to her friends and allies and swears a blue streak. She’s pretty much the opposite of ladylike. The truth is, each of those characters has parts of me in them. I imagine Millya will always BE me most truly, but I have actually found that when I’m playing other characters it can encourage me to embrace another aspect of my personality or cultivate it. Perhaps your warriors and your PvP and your warlocking are all just different parts of you! Whichever you choose to pursue at any time doesn’t change your essence, merely your focus.

        I really need to just write a blog post about this, haha.

  17. Good luck on your pally. :) Personally I love pally healing, though my moonkin continues to be my main. We’ve also had a lot of turmoil in our healer ranks over the course of T11 and I totally sympathize with your decision.

    • Thanks Hana. I wish I’d really clicked with moonkin as I know you have – a resto offspec would be just the thing! Sadly, the DPS of the hybrids never felt right (for me personally!). My failed moonkin experiment spelled this out for me. :(

      This tier has been rough, for many guilds, if not all. I’ve never seen so much turnover at any other point in the game (granted, I haven’t been playing since launch, but still). It seems widespread.

  18. [...] at Manalicious has two interesting posts up about alts, mains, and which one you raid with. I think a lot of us with dedicated mains can identify with this struggle – I know I sure [...]

  19. “Our healing team has been extremely unstable in this expansion, experiencing nearly 100% turnover.”

    This jumped out at me. I can’t help but wonder if this is because of the (perceived) increased demands and “new” dynamics for healers.

    While I haven’t healed any Cata raid content, the feel of healing in Cata 5-mans is hugely different than compared to sub-80 runs. From what I’ve read, this seems consistent with the feel of raiding (managing mana, triage vs keeping them pinned at 100% HP).

    Play what makes you happy and don’t get hung up on the whole “main” thing. Play what makes you happy at any given moment and success will follow.

    Keep up the good work here and and good luck on your future endeavors on whoever you take on the journey with you.

    • Thanks Jarr, and likewise!

      I’m not sure to what extent our turnover has been caused by healing philosophy changes. I do remember hearing that damage would come in reliable (smaller) amounts and there would be no “one-shotting” type things. That simply hasn’t been true.

      Frustration at the beginning of the expansion with lack of gear seemed fairly prevalent, but mostly alleviated (or at least I didn’t hear about it as much) as gearing up continued and the raid got smarter about not taking unnecessary damage. It’s an interesting line of thought to follow!

  20. I too started as a mage and went to a holy pally – healing seemed like more of a challenge, and plus I was tired of being dead on the floor a lot (mid-BC). The good news is that holy pally is pretty much an arcane mage, just with heals instead of giant mana-balls of death – I find it really easy to switch between the two because they use similar patterns and strategies in raids, especially when it comes to dpsing/healing on the move. Welcome to the club! :)

    • Thanks! I’m really more of a fire mage, myself, but I can follow the comparison. ;) I never expected to like my paladin so much, it was definitely a surprise to me as I found myself playing her more and more since she hit max level about a year ago. Hopefully you still get to moonlight as a mage sometimes though!

  21. When my account got banned I found myself in this crossroad. What should be my new main? I did have druid at 80 who I had left on a separate account just in case. I wanted to persue raiding on off nights. Who would have thought it would be my main or like I think of them now one of the many hats I put on to help friends out.

    This expansion has definitely made those who lacked the skill in heals leave the class entirely. The community isn’t very patient with mediocricy and it usually comes down to lots of frustration, if other classes don’t understand that you are indeed trying your best.

    One thing I can thank of the banned though is that I could have multiple mains. I play a resto druid for a late night raiding guild, I play a resto shammy for another raiding guild, I recently leveled another druid to be feralcat and bear. And also made another shammy which I hope to play elemental/resto with.

    So you might say they are alts but I consider them each my main in some aspect for the ammount of dedication I invest and care for them.

    So Vid your mage is having a vacation and your pally will be traveling ahead for now. As long as you are having fun, I’d say anything can be your main. Remember that what makes your characters be alive and special is you!

  22. OMG!

    Is Vos even talking to you anymore? O_o

    While shopping for a guild a couple of years ago and a guild wanted me to be Prot/Holy, so I did. Two raids later, they asked me never, ever to heal again. But they kept me on as a tank. So it was all worth the humiliation.

    Asking for Innervate as a Holy Paladin during Ulduar was… humiliating to say the least.

    • Haha poor Saif. It’s okay, the other day I volunteered to tank the last boss in ZG because our tank dropped group. I told my group, you know, I’m not super or anything but (I had done it before in-guild) I can probably tank this guy. So we start the fight, okay, everything is going well with the bubbles and etc. and I go to get the first big berserker dude.

      Well. My Captain America move was on CD because I’d stupidly used it beforehand, so I had to run down to get the guy. Don’t ask me how, but I fell. off. the. stairs. The berserker had aggroed so he ran up and started smacking people and my party is going “WTF is this I don’t even–” Oh my gosh. I can laugh now, but at the time I was so mortified, hahah. We all have our niche!

      Anyway, Voss came to terms with the fact that my favourite healer is a paladin awhile back. Not easily, but he did. Paladins and blood elves are his big thing…yet I noticed yesterday that almost ALL the tanks he was chatting with on Twitter had… blood elf avatars. I think the universe conspires against him.

      • Hehe, healing on Gor isn’t bad, I like throwing Lifeblooms around. But apparently I didn’t know how to heal on a paladin. I’m kind of in the mood to level a 2nd Paladin just to be holy! I don’t even know why, maybe to prove to myself that I can play all 3 specs as a Paladin! I wish I could triple spec.

        I like to imagine Vos twitching every time he sees wings sprouting from your back. ;-)

        Joachim was a Belf briefly. I have screenies! :D

  23. As a fellow healer, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck to you and your guild! :)

  24. I actually just did the exact switch, only 1 tier earlier. I’d raided as a mage (the majority of the time as fire too!) from MC through to a bit before cataclysm. However due to the difficulty with finding consistent raid healers I thought I’d give my holy pally a try and I actually think I’m having more fun healing in T11 than ever before.

    I did tiny smatterings of healing in TBC and WotLK (on alt runs of farm raids) and it was mostly one or two button spam, but in Cataclysm I feel like Holy Pally healing is fun and dynamic, and balancing holy power and mana and trying to maximize judging/facesmashing for mana is a blast. I definitely enjoy the challenge of trying to co-ordinate with the other healers for cooldown usage and such – it really makes me wish there was more cross-class DPS combo stuff.

    Also, as someone who started reading your blog around December because it was a mage blog, and was slowly finding less and less time to justify for non-pally blogs… Yay for changes that keep things relevant!

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