Why the change of heart, you might ask? Well, it wasn't actually that I fell in love with paladin tanking (though I have to admit its fun, if a bit too easy at times). Nor was it that I decided I dislike healing (though I would still kinda prefer to have a resto druid over a holy paladin, I just didn't feel like levelling a second druid). The change of plans stems entirely from guild events. Prophecy once had four raid-ready paladins (maybe not four at once, but at least three). One, a high ranking member of the guild, got burned out on the game and left. Might be back someday, but I kind of doubt it at this point. Another, a personal friend of mine, had her computer blow up on her a couple months back, and she probably wont be able to afford another until Wrath comes out. A third we hired as a raiding paladin, but ultimately had to demote them because they couldn't come to raids often enough, and a couple weeks ago they quit entirely. And number four, who for a while now had been our primary prot paladin, had to leave because our raid times and his availability just didn't match up, and raiding with us was causing a huge strain on his life.
No big deal, right? We still have prot warriors and feral druids, and both of those classes can tank just fine. . . well, not exactly. You see, while Tier 4 content can legitimately be tanked fully by any of the three tanking classes, higher end content doesn't share that distinction (or would that be a lack of distinction? Meh.) The most commonly cited examples are Illidan and Reliquary of Souls, both of which put bears at a severe disadvantage due to our lacking shield block and spell reflect to deal with those bosses' special abilities. Kael'thas often makes that list too (Any bear who has been oneshotted by Magisters' Terrace's version of Kael on heroic knows about his deadly pyroblasts. . . he does it three times in a row in the "real" fight IIRC.)
But in addition to bear-unfriendly fights, there are a number of fights that practically REQUIRE a prot paladin to tank. Morogrim Tidewalker and High Astromancer Solarian. On top of that, Mount Hyjal is pretty much build around the assumption that every raid has at least one prot paladin in it, and while not required, Zul'Aman is also much, much easier with a paladin tank. So whats a guild to do when they're in this content (Yes, we're peeking into Mt. Hyjal these days, and have downed Rage Winterchill a couple of times now), but suddenly have no prot paladins to tank these fights?
Well, actually, the first thing we did was to have our guildmistress' Enhancement Shaman boyfriend switch mains from the shaman to his paladin, and then had the entire guild come together to gear the hell out of him. It's truly amazing what a group of people can do in short order when they set their mind to it, one week into the switch we had him tanking Hyjal waves. He's really doing a great job. . . but I have this thing about not hinging a guild's success on a single person. I, and a few others, really wanted to see us have at least two capable prot paladins, the second being more of a backup plan should the one we have not be able to come for whatever reason.
And what can I say, I'm a sucker for a challenge. While I'm not going to get geared up NEARLY as quickly as the other paladin was, I fully plan to make Jasminne that backup paladin. In fact, I have two distinct advantages over our current paladin tank: I have a lot of raid tanking experience under my belt already, and I have no need to gear Jasminne up to be a raid MAIN tank, as I already have a character fully able to fill that role. Crushing blows? Don't care. Paladin T4? Hell yeah, I'll tank in that!
. . . Oh God, what have I gotten myself into . . .