Friday, April 16, 2010

On tanking, responsibility, and maturity

On Tanks:
Tanks are a funny breed of player.  You have to be the one to charge in head first and thrust yourself between the bad guys and the rest of your group.  You have to be on top of your game and pay attention to not only what the current group of mobs are doing, but to what COULD happen.  It requires a pretty well developed sence of awareness to anticipate what will happen before it does, and propperly react.  You can see that type of behavior pretty readily when doing dungeons.  A veteran player will recognize "Ok, in the current set of mobs I'm fighting, the dragon has a knockback ability.  The hunter's pet is on the dragon, and the dragon's back is facing towards another group of mobs.  I need to reposition the dragon to avoid the possibilty of getting another group joining the fight"  versus the oh shit, we got another pack... what do I do now blank stare some of the newer tanks get.

Tanking gets repetative.  "hit me, hey you, your mamma's ugly, get back over here, leave the guy in the sissy robe alone."  And tanks don't get to see all the fancy large numbers the DPS players get.  In fact, you want to be focused on SMALL numbers.  I want to see that boss hit me like he's wielding a wet noodle.

To sum it up, tanking is a RESPONSIBILITY.

On responsibility:
Tanks have a large responsiblity to shoulder most times.  When is the most opportune time to blow your cooldowns to avoid the spike damage and stay alive?  How long exactly can you stand in the fire before you become toast at the same time the boss is hitting you?  How well can you coordiate properly executing your regular rotation of spells / abilities while watching for particular fight mechanics and helping to position the boss propperly for your raid?

It gets to be a bit much, and if you don't enjoy that role, the answer is simple.  You won't last.

On maturity:
Say you've decided tanking is not your thing anymore, however the guild currenly relies on you to fulfill that role?  What do you do?
  1. Not show up entirely even though you've been online all day, only to log off after you find out you cannot bring your grass is greener over here shiny new character, then log back in after the rest if your raid group cannot do anything for the night?  But hey, at least you didn't have to tank.
  2. Post up on the guild forums, realizing you have a responsibility to the group of players you choose to game with and let them know your predicament.  Tell them you're willing to continue fulfilling that role until a suitable replacement can be found and express gratitude to the guild for all of the now wasted loot you received.
The co-tank I've had the mis-fortune of running with for the last month or so chose to go route number 1.  I don't mind so much that he doesn't want to tank anymore, we've already established it's not for everybody.  It's the fact that he was selfish enough to screw the rest of the group over.

And me, being the hard head I am, called him out on it in guild chat last night.  Followed by a slew of emo behavior and threating to not tank again, ever.  Zoh noes....   anything but that!

This culture of instant gratification and self-entitlement needs to die...  In fact, I'll tank that fight for you.


  1. Great post, man. Everybody has a role to play, and you can't really afford to take an instance off or there will be major issues. There's a big difference between somebody who makes a mistake and someone who is just not all there, and if you've been in the game enough you can figure out the differences.

    You must have been stewing on this one for a while in some form, because you typically get this verbose only when something really gets under your skin.

    Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

  2. You weren't the only one pretty angry about this whole situation. Same goes for healers. Some healers want to switch to DPS with either their current character or an alt. Sometimes I want to play my pally, but its not going to happen. I chose to play a healer, I geared up to be a healer. I enjoy healing.

    If said person wants to switch to his alt, thats fine, but like you said, until we can find a suitable replacement, he's just going to have to deal with tanking for a bit longer. Whether we find a new recruit or gear up another person that enjoys tanking.

    Raiding isn't about 1 person. Its about your guild and raiders. You can't really raid without them.

    Another option would be to pug on the alt for awhile and raid with your main... but I guess thats just too logical.