Raynael is officially retired. Thank you to everyone on this forum for maintaining this bastion of sanity in a world very hostile to the thinking man's PLD. Devoting my time in-game to PLD was a rewarding and fun experience, but it was also tough, since I always felt, and continue to feel, that the PLD idling in full AF2 with a Sattva Ring always got more respect out of the gate. Yeah, we could prove ourselves, and I think I did in my time... but I also spent way too much time in this game dealing with the illogical hostility marked by the "PLD should idle in VIT gear and never blink" crowd (I've always been one to try to talk it out instead of /blisting, which... yeah :/). It's a strange experience, and can be alienating.
On the other hand, this forum is a great example of people fighting the good fight. It doesn't always take a parse, and in fact, it usually doesn't (taking a Deadly Hold while wearing no armor, but with a shadow up, as opposed to taking one /WAR with full "tanking" (heavy quotes) gear, should be enough to convince anyone, although it's not, bizarrely). In the end, I was inspired to strike out my own path, and basically did it all on PLD. My parting message to up and coming PLDs is that almost anything can be done on this job. If need be, make your own parties, make your own statics, make your own linkshell if you have to, because at the end of the day, it's all a lot more fun when you don't have to compromise your playstyle to match the conformist norm in the areas in which it's senseless. Who knows how the game will change, but there will always be the naysayers who substitute narrow-minded haranguing for thoughtful criticisms. Do what you find fun to be sure, but be willing to deviate from the norm and see what your options are.
PLD is a great job, and I just hope that in updating it, SE goes with what makes sense as opposed to outmoded ideas of thinking about tanking. Best of luck to all of you in whatever you do, and keep up the good work :)
Raynael - PLD of Sylph - Retired, June 2010