Friday, April 30, 2010

A Cataclysmic Announcement

I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks, trying to find the right time to post it. I didn’t want to post it on a Monday, but I could never find the right time to do it. I want to go ahead and get this out there now. It seems like major announcements about Cataclysm are coming at a faster and faster pace. I don’t want anyone to think some announcement by Blizzard has prompted this decision so I’m going to go ahead and put this out there.
Come Cataclysm, I am a Tank, no more.
This is not some rash decision on my part. I've been debating this for several months. I'm usually a person who hems and haws over decisions, thinking and over thinking them. I'm very susceptible to paralysis by analysis. Yet, this decision hasn't been like that. Once I started thinking about it, I've only gotten more sure its the right the thing to do.
The natural question is why? Let me state my reasons.
This doesn't have anything to do with the state of Paladin Tanks right now. Paladins are great tanks. We are probably in the best state we've ever been in since launch with the possible exception of the legendary Seal of Fury days.
One change in my life has been my new job. They are much more strict on what we can do on Lunch and Breaktime on the computers. That used to be the time I could blog, surf Maintankadin, Tankspot and the other WoW sites and learn how to be better. I’m blogging in the evenings now as I find time, but I’m finding it much harder to keep up on the latest theorycraft. I’m hoping that I can get away with a little less out of game research time in a DPS or Healing role.
But what is really driving me to put down the shield is that I'm just tired. For my new readers, let me give you a little background on my Tanking career.
I started out in the 2.0 patch. This was the amazing patch that gave Paladins Avenger's Shield and a Defensive Stance Lite (in a damage reduction on Righteous Fury). We were making our first tentative steps towards becoming real Raid Tanks.
I learned the ropes in the waning days of Vanilia WoW in Upper Black Rock Spire and Zul'Gurub. I spent hours and hours grinding rep in Alterac Valley to be able to buy The Immovable Force, my first Tank shield. I stepped through the Dark Portal ready to go. I tanked through all of Burning Crusade's early 5 man content and helped lead my guild on our first successful foray into Karazhan. As a community, we fought through the misconceptions and hostility of being a Paladin tank. It was once said, with only slight exaggeration, that our very existence pissed people off. I did everything I could in my guilds to prove to people that Paladins were capable tanks. I tanked Boss after Boss that “everybody knew” I wasn't supposed to be able to tank. I did my best to show how Paladins were good choices for a Tank.
I wouldn't skimp on an enchant, gem, or even the slightest upgrade. Gold was no object. I had to be the best tank I could be. My guildies deserved no less. I may have had my limitations, but I was going to make dang sure that I was doing everything under my control to be the best tank I could be.
Then I got my big break and moved on to one of the top guilds on Altar of Storms as their Hyjal trash tank. But I wouldn't stand for that. I fought and struggled to get more and more responsibility. The night I main tanked our 4/5 clear of Hyjal was a very special night for me. Finally, just as 3.0 hit, I Flame Tanked our first Illidan kill.
I was tired of being a permanent off tank, and I was determined to not go through another expansion as 'just an offtank'. I toyed around the idea of starting my own guild, but I had no less than two guilds ready to hand me their main tank duties. I eventually chose Heroes, and then my group broke off on its own. In time, I would come to feel like I had found an in-game home in Devolve, and it wasn't long before I had taken the main tank duties in my new guild.
We owned Naxxrammus, destroyed VoA and the Black Dragonflight. We hungrily awaited Ulduar and dove in with all our might. Before long, Yogg Saron fell to our might. We cleaned up at the Crusaders Coliseum and stormed the very halls of Ice Crown Citadel. Arthas was vanquished by our might.
It was a great ride.
But somewhere along the way the constant pressure of the tanking role started to get to me. I feel like Tanks have more pressure on them than any other raid role because they’re always pivotal to the action. A tank has more ways to screw up than just about any other role. Push the wrong button at the wrong time, or failing to push the right button at the right time and it’s wipesville for your raid. More is expected of tanks than any other raider. It may not be fair; it is what it is. By the time we were done with Crusaders Coliseum, I was already thinking about putting down the shield. But one thing remained, Arthas, I had to confront Arthas, and I confront him I would. He was a boss I wanted to tank even before I installed WoW. From the moment he put Frostmourne through King Tereanas, I wanted a peice of him, to tank him, and finally at the end of Wrath, I got it.
The passion, the fire a Raiding Tank must possess had gone out. I no longer had that burning desire to be the best I could be all the time. The struggle for acceptance is over. Paladins were widely accepted as fantastic progression tanks. We had won. The naysayers, the doom and gloomers were all wrong. Paladins stood toe to toe with every other tank class in the game. There were even accusations we were overpowered as Tanks. As a spec, we had come a very long way indeed.
I've been a tank for 2 full expansions. I'm ready for something new. I informed my guild of my intentions months ago on our forums.
I’m still tanking, and I will be, right through the end of Wrath. The Ruby Sanctum yet awaits. But after that I’m done.

I plan to continue the blog. I truly enjoy writing. I never set out to have a 1000 hits a day or be a ‘voice’ in the Paladin community, whatever that means. I saw some others doing it and it looked like fun, so I gave it a try. But I'm smart enough to know that as I move away from Paladin tanking, it will mean some people won't be as interested in the blog anymore. That's understandable. There are some great Tankadin blogs on the blogsphere right now. I'll do a post on the better ones soon.
The blog will continue to chronicle Honorshammer’s journey through the end of Wrath. I’ll also be exploring my ideas for a new main in Cataclysm. I’ve never had a main other than Honors, and I’ve never alted to the extent I have in Wrath. I really don’t know what I’ll do at this point, but I’ll be sure to chronicle my thoughts here if you’d like to see them.


Gravity said...

You're not sure who will be the new main? Interesting (and fun). At least you have lots of time to play with other classes to cement your thinking.

gameldar said...

I wish you all the best with the change Honors. I tried and failed at the same change with my return to WoW after my last break.

I ended up changing mains - but the lure of tanking (certainly prompted by offspec drops) has drawn me back to it. The one major difference in your favour is that I don't have the same number of hours and experience in tanking you do.

I can agree that the time required in preparation for tanking is greater - there is a greater need to know what is going on as you dictate so much of the movement!

So again I wish you all the best with the change - and good luck!

Anonymous said...

It's burnout. And every tankadin has the right to hang up his or her shield. You've done it longer than most and better than most and were an inspiration to me.

Now you still will be, in other ways.

And as for an alt - after my palatank, my next favourite alt was my dual-spec enhance/resto shaman.

But play what you think you'll enjoy - and have fun, and best wishes!

Tim said...

I think you will be surprised. I think most people will still come to read about whatever it is you end up doing.

You're going to switch characters and not just specs? That's the reason I started a Paladin, was to be able to fill any of the roles as needed or as my urge took me. I've healed and I've tanked, and I'll be finishing out the expansion DPSing it up.

Drazmor said...

Unless you're dead set on not using Honors very much after wrath, you could always ret faceroll sometimes. I do it quite a lot on my pally to relieve the boredom and get a few emblems while I do dailies.

Rhabella said...

I don’t think it’s just raiding. I think tanks get burned out at multiple levels because of the demand for tanks, and the demand for good tanks.

At the raiding level, everyone wants good tanks, and so when they find one, as you pointed out, then put a strangle hold on them and don’t let them go. At the heroic level, it really is exhausting to run the daily random for your frost badges, gem purchases, whatever, and not even be able to mount up.

Because of that demand even at the heroic level, I stopped tanking on the DK. I found the game much more enjoyable when I had a chance to fly around and gather, or do a couple dailies. Sure, tanks like to see that instant queue pop up, but after so long, it’s more a curse than a blessing especially if you just wanted some time to even sell your vendor trash.


I agree with Drazmor

Bacon said...

Instead of class, I would suggest that maybe you look at roles. You've covered almost every tanking class in detail over the past few years (with the exception of Death Knights and we know why). You could look at rolling a healing class. Maybe a priest. But then you're changing one pressure cooking role for another.

Rhidach said...

I hope you'll find a role that will be more enjoyable Honors. Nothing wrong with wanting a change of pace!

I know for myself that, even if you stop tanking, I'll still come here to read your blog.

Ryan said...

I've been thinking about changing my main from my little tankadin, but I've put too much into her, achvs, time, etc. I would hate to just drop her, so I might instead just change roles, maybe go Ret/Holy.

I have all 3 gear sets now and was Prot/Ret for the longest while and decide to try Prot/Holy recently, mainly to help heal Valrithia.

Hana said...

I knew a paladin like you, who tanked and MTed as much as he could in TBC, because he wanted to prove that a paladin could do it. He tanked Nightbane despite not having Fear Ward or being able to stance dance. He MTed every boss in ZA for us, and almost every one we did in SSC (we never got past that).

When WotLK came around he didn't think there was anything to prove anymore so he hung up his shield and went ret.

Good luck with whatever you choose, Honors. I'll still be reading, since it's more your voice than the role you play that keeps me coming back. I'm only a tankadin on my alt's off-spec after all!

Mark said...

Tank or not tank, I'll still read your Blog. Take a break and enjoy the game from another point of view :-)

Anonymous said...

It's a bit short sighted to think that you will be satisfied as just another DPS, or just another healer.

You wanted to be the best tank you could be in every given situation. Why wouldn't that same internal drive push you to want to top the meter in DPS or be that healer that is the one making the difference encounter after encounter?

I cannot speak to healing much.

But as far as DPS goes, 2nd place is only good enough if I'm doing something more important than being number 1 on the meter.

Go take a look at the rogue boards over at the Elitist jerks site. Tell me you couldn't get lost in that thoery crafting as much as tank crafting?

best of luck

duckilama said...

Man, I can't believe it... I came to the same decision at the same time I decided I'd be coming back before Cataclysm.
I loved Karazahn and Naxx and Ulduar, but my raidgroup disintegrated and I was just tired of the role and all that goes with it.
I loved being good at it, but I'm going to DPS when I resub.

And I'd keep reading your blog. You have a good voice.

Orthien said...

Good luck with whatever you do after this Honors will be sad to no longer read about your adventures tanking you were my first Tankadin Blog I read.
Ill continue to read everything you do, keep up the great posting no matter what its about.

Capn Skillet said...

The tanking community will suffer a great loss. I have been reading your blog since the beginning of Wrath, and I will continue to read whatever direction you take your new blog. Thanks for all the advice and inspiriation for being a paladin and a fellow Christian.

Good luck and God speed.

Brigwyn said...

Oh man.. Honor's Code is one of the awesomest blogs. The WoW Community will miss you greatly.

Take care my friend and enjoy the life w/o WoW.

Anonymous said...

I reckon if you didn't scare people off with your religious posts, you wont scare them off with your dps posts.

Good luck to you and whatever you choose to do! I know I'll still be reading. :)

Honors Code said...


I'm not leaving Wow. I just won't be a Paladin Tank in Cata.

Markco said...

Have you seen the new holy power mechanic? Maybe you would enjoy healing in bgs as holy.