04 March 2011

It came from the PUG

WoW Insider has an article about learning to tank.  Many players can't find a tank (see dungeon finder queue times).  I do not remember the last time I had problems finding one (Healers - yes; but not tanks).

Not that I have this issue, but I would assume that a rational DPS toon would prefer more average tanks with 1/2 the random queue time, than only best tanks with double random queue times.  Personally, I would prefer a learning tank completing an instance over not being able to find an expert tank.  The difference between an OK tank and a great tank might be 20 minutes in run time; but 90 minutes difference in queue times.

For group play, I manage to run 2-3 heroics a week, 1 raid a week.  This means I am more experienced than Joe Average player, but not up there with the 4 times a week raiders.  I generally run with a tank that does a few more heroics than me, but not many.

Earlier this week we did H Deadmines.  I had tanked the first half of it earlier (before servers shutdown), but that was the only other time in there.  Our tank had DPS'd the same earlier instance, and it was his only time here as well, and informed the party that it was his first time tanking here.  We wiped exactly once, when I (as healer) got thrown off the platform with the Harvesting boss (dont remember the name).

We had a chart topping gogo DPS with us.  By chart topping, I mean : Highest:
  • damage done, 
  • DPS, 
  • damage taken, 
  • healing taken, 
  • time in the fire.

I require the following from a tank, roughly in order:
  • Keep the agro of the healer (and I dont mean when the healer casts during the inital pull before the tank can hit the mobs).
  • Get out of the fire.
  • Use defensive abilities to stay alive
  • Give DPS room to kill boss before enrage timers
  • As an added bonus, give the DPS extra 'threat' protection
I require the following from a healer:
  • Keep the tank(s) alive
  • Keep DPS alive through unavoidable party (raid) damage
  • Keep yourself alive
  • As an added bonus, give the group extra healing
I require the following from a DPS:
  • Don't stress the healer, including, but not limited to:
    • Don't steal agro from the tank
    • Don't stand in bad stuff
  • Crowd control / interupt as appropriate (does not apply for face rolling instances.  A wipe means it is not a face rolling instance for this group).
  • As an added bonus, kill the boss.
If everone performs the above duties,  the instance is completed.  If you complete the instance, your party - especially healers and tanks are 'good enough' (though a single great DPS toon can cover for poor toons).

During the last fight, I went /oom (used mana pot, prayer of hope, and tank's innervate).  All of this healing went to the party, and almost none went to the tank.  Our tank's healthbar stubbornly refused to go below 90% for most of the fight, when the rest of the party hovered around 30%.  Some of this was agro, but the majority was because of general 'bad' stuff.

If you cause your healer stress, you need to improve.  If you are a chart topper as above, you are bad DPS.
This lovely DPS advised our tank to re-roll.  The tank that kept us up and had buckets of survival.


When I first started tanking, I failed miserably on agro and add control.  My solution was to continue reading, re-speccing, re-gearing, re-gemming and tanking untill I became good enough.  Our tank on the evening is already better than 'good enough'.

We can ask any player to improve, and if we know how, provide usefull suggestions. But the next time you wait for a dungeon finder queue, watch what toon you are waiting for.

2 comments:

  1. In our guild tanks are always on for raids but not always around for heroics. I started a contest that awards gold for them tanking their first heroic and then puts them in a draw for an epic tanking piece. It was a way I thought to introduce more tanks to our guild even if it is just to do a heroic.

    So far there haave been a few new tanks and a couple more on the way. I do think a side benefit of learning to tank is just being a more aware player.

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  2. My main is a prot paladin and I don't think I'm the greatest thing on this Earth, but I consider myself knowledgable about how to tank, how to run instances, etc. I tanked/downed HM LK and HM Halion on level, I think I know enough to get by.

    I had leveled a DK near the end of Wrath and decided to be a tank to use the shiny new RDF to find fast groups. I knew how to tank, but I will admit I wasn't fully versed in how to tank on my DK specifically. I held aggro, I made use of my CDs, and all that jazz in good groups. But at the same time I was often put into the queue with ICC HM geared DPS who didn't understand the first thing about watching their own threat and scaling it back for a much-lesser geared tank.

    I was berated constantly for being a "horrible tank" because my brand new 80 couldn't hold threat off Mr. I Open Up With 4 30k Crits.

    I now have an 85 druid and it would be the only class I have not tanked endgame raids on. I would very much like to gear up and learn to tank with it, but I'm staying a little tree because I'm not willing to take the verbal assault that uppity DPS put into their tanks without due cause.

    I really wish people knew more what tanking was about. It would be nice if every player were somehow required to play every class in endgame, but of course that can't happen. :(

    ReplyDelete

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