The random ramblings of a casual tankadin

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Once upon a time

Some of us decided to take on the world with a sword and a board. Sure, the sword could be a club or an axe, but we went out there with something to hit our adversaries in one hand, and something to, well, avoid getting hit with, in the other.

We're casuals. We didn't always know how the game worked, but we knew that something encased in steel, a one-hander and a shield was what we wanted to play. And we wanted a little bit of magic.

So paladin it was.

I don't know how old you are, or how much you have played, but if you're anything like me you rolled that paladin because the knight in shining armour was the archetype you wanted to impersonate.

I'm not talking role-playing here. Most of us doesn't really care about the role-playing, but still that idea of a warrior with a mission appeals to us. And the warrior class simply feels too mercenary, too self contained. It might have been a close call, but in the end the idea of Conan the Barbarian simply didn't fit.

So paladin it was.

In the beginning we were handed a maul. Something a blacksmith might use on a fair to show his strength, and it simply didn't feel right. We grabbed that one-hander, a shield and started exploring. It was slow work, often frustrating, but in the end the reward for a long fight was to stand victorious.

Around us other paladins walked by looking like Conan if he had the money to buy proper armour, and a few, the holy hermits still clad in armour, chose the path of healing. Retribution or holy. Vigilante or warrior priest. Still, protection was the defender of the weak.

So paladin it was.

There was this thing called dungeon. Fighting in a group. And we found out that we fought less well than others, and the ability to heal ourselves wasn't an ability the others wanted to see us use. 'Tank it you idiot!' And some found being yelled at wasn't what they wanted from the game, but some of us looked further, and we learned that tanking was indeed being defenders of the weak. And we learned.

So paladin it was.

We became stronger. Harder to defeat. Less of a knight, and our armour shone dimmer, but we tanked. For a long time we had to sneak like thieves in the night and steal the belongings of our holy brethren to protect and defend, but eventually we learned to use the armour and weapon so much sought by the warriors who chose a path similar to our own.
And there were those who ran into combat like that economically independent Conan with an oversized two-hander trying to protect and defend. A new addition to our family. Three out of four, because there were always those who shapeshifted into animal form and clawed themselves into a position where the weak would be protected.

Still, it wasn't the same, and we kept to our ways of a determined walking into the midst where help was most needed. Neither a berserker charge nor a dark magic ripping the ground out of under our foes to force them to come to us. Just that unstoppable fast walk, because we weren't in a hurry.

We are paladin tanks. We walk, and we never forget that day when we first decided:

So paladin it is.

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