I'm not very accustomed to fail. You know those kids you went to school with, the ones that always got good grades, that were the stars of the basketball and other teams, the ones that all the girls thought were cute? It's a bit of a stereotype, I know, but I think we all know or knew someone like that. If there's one thing I am it's honest. Not modest, unless I'm in the mood, and today I'm not. I was one of those kids, and I was proud of it.
The thing about being the kid who succeeds at everything, is sooner or later you begin to think that you can't fail. Until you do. As this isn't exactly the time and place to list all of my life failures, rather a silly little World of Warcraft blog, I think I'll limit my comments to this silly game instead of confronting the more frightening reality of how totally unsuccessful I have been at meeting many personal life goals.
DPS to Heals to Failure
I would tend to guess that many newbies start their wow careers as some sort of DPS. Some may have started as a Holy Pali thinking that that would provide them the best chance at being awesome at swinging a big mace. But let's not pick on those silly little Paladins today, they have a hard enough time as is. I thought the point of the game was to hit with a stick. Then I experimented, learning took the place of ignorance, and in time I realized that I could do various things.
My road to becoming a healer has been treated on this blog, so for time's sake I won't rehash the past. Let's just say I found myself in ICC with my Resto Shaman chain healing my way to victory. That is until I had to give it up for a while.
So Cataclysm comes and I start reading how healing is hard, how it sucks, how people are giving it up because it's unreasonably difficult. I read how the devs think "healing is in a good place right now, where we want it" (not actual quote, just paraphrasing multiple quotes). I switched my shaman back to Enhance for Cata, not because of the supposed healing difficulties but rather because I wanted to have fun in a more seflish way this time around.
But my Priest, oh, my Priest kept a healing spec. And this past week I healed something for the very first time. And I failed.
And when I say failed, I mean I really was aweful. Even my own guildies didn't want to be patient after two wipes, they just thought I sucked. It hurt, mainly because these particular guild mates weren't a part of the guild in ICC, they didn't seem me almost single heal Festergut. They had no idea how good I was, (or how good I thought I was). Now in their eyes I suck, I'm a terrible healer that probably doesn't deserve a spot in the guild. As for me? What do I think?
Well I failed, and no I don't think I'm unworthy. But chances of me logging into my Priest again any time soon is around 3%. I don't take failure well. I didn't fail much as a child, or a teen, or in college where every professor wanted me to follow in their footsteps and choose THEIR discipline of study. I didn't fail when I programmed amazing financial models that improved the productivity and efficiency of my accounting department by measurements unknown to human kind. Ok, hyperbole, more like by about 500% increased efficiency. And a system that saw a 60% error rate to less than 1%.
I won't blame my back pain for any goals not attained, some things are just out of our controls. Even being unemployed doesn't make me feel like a failure. But for some reason, I felt like a failure this week when I couldn't even keep a tank alive for more than 20 seconds.
Odd, really, how something so silly, a game, can make you feel such things. I guess my specs will be Shadow PvE and Shadow PvP from now on. Screw healing!
Don't look at me like that! Don't you dare call me a quitter! I think I fight quite hard every day in RL to make up for EVERYTHING I may choose to STOP doing in a game. One thing was obvious to me about healing, I had no idea what I did wrong. What I didn't understand was why I couldn't keep a tank alive when I was healing every second. Health was dropping too quickly and I just couldn't keep up. Perhaps the tank was doing something wrong? I won't know, really, because he'll never admit to it. I kept my shield up on him, along with the Grace buff, Penance on cooldown, even Pain Suppression to reduce damage taken - not to mention Inspiration (another damage reducer). It's not as if I didn't now HOW to heal as a Discipline Priest, but it's obvious to me that there was something that I clearly didn't understand. And that bothers me.
I've read enough about healing to know what I needed to do, and I thought I was doing it. I've done it before on my Priest, A LOT in fact, just not in the Cataclysm era. And that's my undoing. But that's in the past now, I guess, and that failure will stick with me for a while, which is something I'm not looking forward to. I suppose I could try it again, a chance to redeem myself. But what if I fail again? Can my pride take it if I try again and fail again? What more trauma will that unleash on me?
We've seen the number of tanks and healers recently, and there's a lot of reasons for that, all of which we won't discuss today. There are even solution, which we definately won't discuss. I wonder how many stopped because they failed and, like me, are just too afraid to keep failing. Maybe it's irrational, but try being rational with the irrational - it's not an easy thing, ya know.
Where I Sum Things But Come to No Conclusion
All this talk about failure, though, is just too heavy for a Monday. But since I don't really care and this is what I felt inspired to write about today there you have it. I've been mulling the idea for a really long post on Success, I think I'll write that, it's all cheery and happy stuff.
Some fail and get back up and succeed. Some fail and get back up and fail. Some fail, which failure frightens them into trying again. I won't say if one is worse than another, all could happen to you or me at any time and any place in life, so I won't judge (although I'm sure somebody will be more than happy to). As for my healing failure, it won't mean I won't heal again on any toon, just that one...for now...maybe. I can't see the future.