Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tanks! You're Welcome

No it's not a typo.. it's a play on words, you'll get it later :p

My current main character in World of Warcraft is a Death Knight Tank by the name of Raevn (Terenas EU). I had played every raid role except a tank previous to this character (previous mains included a Combat Rogue and a Holy Priest) and created her with the intention to tank. Things went well and I felt as if I picked up fast on tanking (being that I had tanked before in Ever Quest it wasn't totally new to me). I had a lot of fun raiding in a guild alliance of three guilds. However, that alliance eventually fell apart due to drama in one of the guilds and that left me with not much of anything left to do on my tank so I started leveling up an alt, a caster dps (something I hadn't played before), Landriana (Terenas EU).

I played this character a lot and basically focused on her until she was 80.. I did so many PuGs (as DPS was much easier than tanking) and once I reached full Tier 9 had nothing else to do on her being that I play casually and am not in a REAL guild (my guild is just for friends and my alts). That left me with only one thing to do: go back to farming heroics for Emblems of Triumph to get my DK in full tier 9.

But there was one problem.. I was rusty. I hadn't played my tank in so long I lost all confidence in myself as a tank, and being that my tanking meant PuGing I was even more weary.

I had seen as a DPS how pushy everyone was with the tank "Pull!" "Go! Go! Go!" and instantly leaving the group if one tiny mistake was made. DPS no longer respected aggro and expected that they should be able to go full out straight from the pull with the tank having no issue at all.

I actually really like this post on the EU realms Guide: Don't Spank the Tank because I can sympathize A LOT with this guide.

I decided the best way for me to build confidence was to just tank, except even though I didn't need much from them, I would tank the new Ice Crown 5 mans in normal mode. My belief was that most the people in normals were probably there for the first time and would be a bit more forgiving, patient and lenient. I queued for Forge of Souls and got my group.

I must have actually been really lucky that day because I ended up getting an entire group of people totally new to the instance (a double edged sword to be honest, but I was feeling nice that day) the only people who knew it were me (the DK tank) and my husband (on his hunter).

While it sucked that I had to explain everything and mark the mobs that needed to die first it at least meant I wasn't going to have some asshole to keep yelling "go!" at me. I got to take my time when I felt like, wait for death and decay to come back up and I felt relaxed.

The instance over all went pretty well except for the Devourer of Souls, sadly despite repeatedly saying "DO NOT DPS DURING MIRRORED SOUL" one of the dpses went right on and killed our healer (who also happened to be standing in the purple crap). Luckily enough my husband and I were so out geared for the instance it didn't make that big of a difference.

When it was over the others wanted to continue (of course, they had a well geared tank and the quests), I was still feeling nice and in need of the tanking warm up so I went ahead.

Another instance of going at my own pace, explaining bosses (and in some cases) mobs (the 4-packs before the tunnel in PoS). It went well.

We decided to press on to Halls of Reflection, and explained fights. As usual someone asked if we would fight the Lick King. Personally, I liked how when I first came I had no idea how the story would pan out. It was like a rush running from the Lich King at the end and then thinking I had to tank him. Therefore I make it a point to NEVER ruin how that instance ends for anyone. I just winked and said "You'll see.."

The waves went rather well considering that is usually pretty hard for people when they first come, but the line of sight trick kind of eats half that fun. It was late for me so we employed it as generally people prefer things easier.

Before we could run up the hall to the Lich King though one of our group members had to leave, and that is when I was pretty much floored:


It felt really nice to actually have someone appreciate the extra effort that goes into teaching tactics to players and thank you for tanking. Generally people are pretty abusive to their tanks and this was a welcome change. It made my transition back to playing my tank a more enjoyable experience. ♥

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