Monday, May 24, 2010

Class Balance and Switching Mains

My guild runs 10-mans, mostly. Lately we started a 25-man run 1x/week for extra kicks, although I don't know if my back can take an extra night of raiding. Anyway, we have 2 ten man groups, in mine we roll with 2-3 healers (a couple of us rotate between our hybrid specs so one may dps while the other heals and vice versa). 85% of the time when we roll into a 3 healer fight it's 2 shamans and one of the following: Holy Priest, Paladin, and most recently Druid.

I have a priest sitting in the wings, unable to do anything because there is no need for another shadow priest in our guild, we recently have recruited more ranged DPS and picked up 3 new shadow priests, bringing the total to 6. Plus my SP isn't my "main", according to everyone else (I despise the use of main and alts, but most understand the distinction so I'll use it to appease). But the more I heal on my shaman, standing next to our other shaman, I get the feeling that I should very much like to change my alt into a main, and finish a project I've been working on for a while and run her as Discipline full time. No priest in my guild has a Disc offspec, I'm the only one.

Problem: As is the case with many Discipline Priests, their worth is highly undervalued and abilities grossly misunderstood, and in my guild the sentiments are no different. So how does one go about changing mains when their guild is in the process of fighting their way to defeat the Lich King? I can't go into ICC unless I pug it and my back can't take two extra nights of raiding, neither can my family. I run fights and think all the time (wow, my shaman can't do this or that but my Disc Priest could and then some), but I can't do anything about it.

Another problem is that I love to DPS as Shadow. It's as fun as my Enhancement spec. But I know I could forget that and heal as Disc. So how would you go about making the change? Do I just do stuff on the side when I can and gear up, and once I get my gear and experience to a certain point tell my gleader that I'm changing mains? Is this acceptable behavior in a guild, to change mains mid progression? I don't know, that's why I'm putting it out there, to judge the social norms of the player base.

I've seen the videos and listen to and read the testimonials of how useful a good Discipline Priest can be in ICC. For the sake of healing class balance would it be a good thing? For the sake of my guild unity would it be a bad thing?

By the way, I will not promise to never use poetry again to make a point. Well, it wasn't exactly poetry, and my Shakespeare style writing isn't perfect, but I shall resort to it again when the whim comes upon me.

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