I’m going through a phase of Battleground discontent. Playing Discipline is fun. But I’m certainly not a one-man-killing-machine. More and more often I watch my map, stuck “defending” a node on my own. Of course, I can’t really defend it on my own, I can only hope to scare off attackers who assume that my back is being guarded by a stealthed Rogue.
And I watch as a single Alliance mounts up and takes to the road picking off unsuspecting passerbys. You know the type. I’ve started to think of them as Lone Rangers. They can operate independently. They rarely stay with the group.
They can lead an attack. As a healer, I can only follow.
Who is mostly likely to be the Lone Ranger in your battleground? Forever riding off into the sunset with just his trusty horse as his companion?
- Druids (well, the ones that switch between all the forms and can deal a lot of damage… so not the Tree Form ones)
- Death Knights
- and these days even Warlocks
Notice that these are the classes that can deal quite a lot of damage while regenerating their own health or healing? These players don’t need other players to run around behind them healing them or helping them kill their target. Sure it will speed things up. But one on one, playing aggressively, they will usually come out on top.
As a healer, it doesn’t matter if I can spot the weak points in the enemy’s defense. Sure, I can point them out in battleground chat, and I always usually do, but I can’t run off and attack.
And when I get so frustrated that I do just run off on my own, it always goes badly. I can draw out combat with one other player for a good long time (assuming they are light on the stuns) but I won’t be able to kill them. That is, I won’t be able to kill them before help arrives. By then the element of surprise is well and truly gone and you’ve just highlighted to your enemy the weak point in their defense.
As a healer, I’m of best use to the group when I’m actually, well, healing. Not defending a node on my own. So often I’m lumped up with 90% of my team while we all attack one point. Even though I can see that we’re going to lose our other 2 nodes while we capture one. I can wish that 3 or 4 of our offense would break away and head back to defend our nodes. But I can’t make that happen. If I get truly frustrated, I’ll break away… and then remember I’m not a Lone Ranger.
I think this problem was hammered home in a Eye of the Storm match. I was stuck at Fel Rever Ruins with a Death Knight that I was pretty sure was AFK. They had parked their butt at the node closest to the graveyard. But I was still grateful. Just having another person next to me might deter the enemy from attacking. However as time went on, and we were losing, I could see that the Mage Tower, under Horde control, was apparently undefended. And most of the participants were squabbling over at the Blood Elf Tower.
So I suggested several times that we should try to capture MT over chat, both /battleground and, unsuccessfully, via /say to the Death Knight next to me.
Minutes go past. And I figure, fuck it. That AFK Death Knight can defend on their own. And I mount up and rush over that bridge. And who do I find single handedly trying to take on a Druid?
Another Priest. Another Discipline Priest at that.
[Battleground][Cassandri]Help MT need dpw
That’s meant to read “dps” but it’s bloody hard to type properly when you’re under attack.
The Druid wears us down and our cavalry never arrives. Within minutes I’m back to try my luck again. And so is the other Priest. Screw healing. I’m Smiting and Penancing my ass off. I think we actually did kill the Druid. Didn’t cap the tower though. But that Priest and I were buddies for the rest of the match.
Is that smart? To have two of your healing Priests trying to DPS their opponents side by side, far away from the rest of the group, keeping all the golden glowing goodness to ourselves? I don’t think so either.
I’m left pondering my place, as a healer, in Battlegrounds. I don’t feel that it is my job to defend a node. Certainly not on my own. But I can’t initiate an attack and expect to win. The best battlegrounds that I’ve played have been where I’ve, through chance, hooked up with a partner that can dish out the hurt.
As time goes on, and I become even more discontent with Battlegrounds, I’m becoming more active in my quest to find a partner. Sometimes I’ll just flat out ask in Battleground chat at the start of the match for a partner. This seems crazy, I usually join the queue to join a battleground because it’s one of the few activities at level 80 that doesn’t require you to organise a party beforehand.
Mr Lone Ranger… can I join you? Ride your coat-tails?