A Word: On Tanking

Lok’tar friends.

I’ve been tanking for most of the Wrath expansion in one form or another. I started out as a Protection Paladin tanking Sarth and Naxx back before Ulduar. I was in a mix of blues and epics, which were sufficient to do raids at the time, provided the blues were from heroics not Borean Tundra quest rewards.

Of course nowadays with the Dungeon Finder, T9 gear on vendors and the general ease of gearing up to that level, no one is acceptable anymore until they have i245 gear or better. Sorry, that was a side rant, short but sweet, right?

Anyways, after my warrior hit 80, I created a prot spec for him with his dual-spec and spent a week that I had off from work gearing him up. It was a lot of heroics, but it was worth it. Since then, he’s managed to tank at the ICC level, VoA level, and he even got his ‘of the Nightfall’ title for doing Sarth 3D a few months back. I have successfully tanked every Dungeon and Heroic in the expansion; I’ve cleared ToC-10 and done parts of Ulduar. Now, I’m not saying I’m uber or imba or anything, as I didn’t do all of the progression raiding when it was hard or relevant, but I’ve seen a lot of these fights and haven’t had any problems with them from a tanking mechanics perspective.

All of that being said, I like to think that I know what I’m doing, and I think I’ve gotten fairly good at warrior tanking. Now, a warrior tank is a bit of work to do, especially when AoE tanking is involved, but it’s not impossible and I think I can safely say I’ve gotten good at it. Despite what Jong may think, I don’t think it’s a snoozefest, although he’s right that the priority of abilities becomes second nature.

However, even I run characters as dps through dungeons, dealing with other people tanking. A while back, while I was running as my mage through Nexus, I had quite the experience. What follows is based on actual events…

So we get into the instance and the tank up and left after getting everyone’s buffs. Thanks, arse. Have fun failing at life, it seems like you have a head start. So we re-q and we all know we’re in for a wait since tanks while levelling are even more rare than tanks at endgame. We did, however, have a DK with us, so we had him throw up Frost presence and go to town. The resto shaman did a great jorb keeping him up and my leet level 76 frost skillz were brought to bear, despite no druids being present. Just after we killed the mob, another DK joined the group, and said hello. Wow, off to a decent start. We have a warm body for a tank and he said hello when he joined the group, demonstrating some form of manners, which can be rare.

While we were waiting for the tank to get caught up, we ran up to the next tunnel, where the mage hunter and two demon dogs pat and we sat and waited.

Now, when I sit and wait I tend to try to do stuff to keep busy, like telling /silly or dancing with non-combat pets. Murkimus is a usual suspect for dancing, and since he has the single greatest sound effect in the game, he’s one of my favourite pets. So anyways, at this particular moment, I had swivelled my camera angle and was looking at my toon and what he looked like with the cloth heirloom gear on. (He’s a BElf, it comes with the racials). While I was standing there, admiring BElf virility in a dress, the pat found me and tried to get my mojo. Of course, magepanic means frost nova and blink, turn and burn, which is exactly what I did. Now the rogue in the group, he didn’t fare so well. See, for those of you that don’t know what happens to a mob when it gets rooted, by say the Blizzard spell or the Frost Nova spell, read on. Because mobs know that while they’re rooted they absolutely can’t reach the Badass beauty that they find irresistible, they turn to whoever is within range. It’s kinda the ‘Love the one you’re with’ mentality. So of course, after I rooted them, they ate the rogue for breakfast and burped him out before brunch.

I continued to AoE them down, looking fantastic with my hands in the air the whole time, and eventually our Forsaken DK caught up just as the other DK jumped into the mix. So from there it was business as usual. After the pull I gave the ole — hey my bad, I was busy trying to see my own reflections in the eyes of others, I didn’t realize they were the eyes of the bad guys — apology. Thinking that was the end of it, I planned to never speak of it again. Of course, that’s when it all started going sour. The DK tank assumed that because the rogue got chewed on and died, he must’ve been the one who aggro’d the pat. So he starts shouting at him, which didn’t get too out of hand, but was enough to give me that suspicion that this wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. Then we got into the room with the icecapades, and sure enough, the Berserker mobs did their whole knockback thing, something about needing their personal space to swing their big… ahem… Nevermind. Anyways, the rogue brought back some friends who decided to say hello. After the pull, the tank again began to berate the rogue, as we tried to explain the reason the rogue was standing behind the mobs and what ‘mechanics’ are. Of course, the tank started the whole ‘no u’ thing with all of us, and then he even had the cohones to try and kick the rogue, as if his arguing with us and saying ‘u shut ure fase’ to us had won us over to his incredibly horrible spelling and grammar.

After his vote to kick failed, he decided he was going to leave the group, so we continued with our Troll dps DK in frost presence, and it was actually easier for us to four-man it. So we cleared along and even fought all the way up to the second boss without a tank, having absolutely no issues. Then our group got filled out with a tank. So he gets in the group and says ‘hello’… I took one look at his name and one look at my recount and saw that it was the exact same tank that had left group. So, of course, the other four of us all lawl at him, but what the hell, we’re obviously not going to get rid of him and the chances of actually getting another tank are astronomically small. So we go on, and while it was once again harder to get through stuff with the crappy tank, we managed and made it all the way to Keristrasza.

We did the boss fight and a blue caster ring dropped, Band of Glitttering Permafrost, I believe. Now, this ring has on it for stats the following: 25 stamina, 33 intellect, 26 spell power and 10 mana per 5 seconds. Obviously, this is a caster ring. Not only that, but it’s a healer ring. So we all roll greed on it and the healer rolls need, an upgrade I’m sure, but who cares, it’s for the healer. And then the tank says ‘Can I have that’. Now, I’ve been typing since I was a kid and while I’m no courtroom transcript writer, I can type fast. I instantly say, ‘you’re an idiot, it’s a caster ring’. Of course he replies with ‘no, I need it for the stamina’. Of course, at this point, loot has been distributed. I saw three lawls, followed by three people leaving party. The tank is still trying to justify why he deserves this ring with Int, SP and Mp5 on it and I just told him no, and left.

I’m not usually one to be rude to other people, but this was one of the worst players I had ever seen, in more ways than one. If the person had just been new to tanking and learning the game or the playstyle, I’d have been more than happy to offer advice or support and give them the benefit of the doubt. But it wasn’t about that. He was not only bad, but he had a bad attitude, horrible spelling and grammar and was an all around douche. That was what sent my GAFF plummeting.

You know, cliché’s are clichés for a reason, and its people like this that make them so true. So I end today with a advice of sorts. It is better to allow people to think you an idiot than to open your mouth and prove them right.

Stay Hordecore,

— Fikkle

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