Take the Group Role

If you like to group in these big social MMORPG games, then choose the hard but essen­tial role, what­ev­er that role may be.

In World of War­craft, my pri­ma­ry char­ac­ter is a heal­ing priest. My close run­ner-up is a pro­tec­tion war­rior. Say what you want about inabil­i­ty to solo, but every sin­gle time I log on, I’m asked to group. Every sin­gle time.

My dps friends tell me how hard it is to get a group, or how many groups get four play­ers but nev­er get that last per­son because they need either a tank or a heal­er and nev­er end up find­ing one. I can imag­ine how they feel, but I do not under­stand these peo­ple. Once you have seen that groups always stall on tanks and heal­ers, then why not just solve the prob­lem? That’s how I start­ed tank­ing, and I grew to enjoy it near­ly as much as heal­ing, and cer­tain­ly more than dps’ing. Instanc­ing is one of the most fun parts of the game, and when you’re a need­ed role, you have the abil­i­ty to write your own tick­et for group­ing and raid­ing forever­more. But more than that, I enjoy the fact that I make groups any time I want.

Let me try an anal­o­gy. If you’re of legal age of con­sent and enjoy hav­ing sex, then when you go to an engi­neer­ing col­lege (typ­i­cal­ly around 6:1 male-to-female ratio), would you rather be a guy or a girl?

This anal­o­gy did­n’t real­ly pan out like I hoped. Let me try again.

Pic­ture a loose­ly-orga­nized foot­ball league where there are fif­teen teams and only five quar­ter­backs. How do you think those five quar­ter­backs are treat­ed when they show up at the field? That’s right, they get to have hot engi­neer sex as often as they want and they get to be choosy about what jer­sey they wear.

Just like tanks and heal­ers do. This is your guild and your server.

The down­side is that you solo at 30–80% the speed of a pure dps class. This isn’t as bad as you’ve heard, unless you’re absolute­ly in love with grind­ing. Even on my lit­tle pro­tec­tion war­rior who’s dual-wield­ing, I can go fast enough if not fast. Just be sure that in all those instances you’re run­ning that you grab unwant­ed dps gear that’s appro­pri­ate for your char­ac­ter. And hon­est­ly, if you’re not a com­plete social mis­fit, you’ll prob­a­bly have game friends who will group with you for dailies or oth­er solo con­tent because you group with them. If you do love grind­ing (or you are a social mis­fit), then just have a dps alt. Who does­n’t have a hunter in their pock­et nowadays?

I’m not say­ing that dps isn’t fun. It is, and it’s very relax­ing as well. I have a hunter who I bat­tle­ground with, and it’s a great time. But if group­ing is what you like best, then why would you want to com­pete with the mil­lions of oth­er hunter­s/rogues/war­lock­s/­mages/hy­brid-dps spec peo­ple for the large num­ber of dam­age spots in a raid/instance, when you can just walk into the big-leagues by being a role where demand is far greater than sup­ply? My guild is per­pet­u­al­ly short on tanks, we’ll take any­one with 9k base life and the abil­i­ty to fog a mir­ror. I’m exag­ger­at­ing, but dip into the Guild Recruit­ment chan­nel and you’ll see this mes­sage in the first ten minutes:

X of Y is raid­ing Z con­tent and is look­ing for a offtank/maintank/healer to join and “raid casually”/“raid five nights a week”/“oh god please join us, I don’t care if you’re an alt of anoth­er toon in anoth­er guild, just give some back­up to drop cross-eyed-Joey the holy pal­ly alt who still looks for his Mend Pet button”.

Heck, even my dps wife loves that I’m a tank/healer com­bo, because our group is already half-made when­ev­er we want to run togeth­er. Her pri­ma­ry alt is a druid heal­er. And while she’s still warm­ing up to heal­ing, she loves the ease at which she can find a group.

So make your next alt project a tank or a heal­er, and get to the hot engi­neer sex.

More Words!