Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How Many Are There?

The Rambling, Many More Words Than Are Needed, Question.

Lately I have been running a lot of heroics with people from another guild similar to mine, and with a bunch of people in my friends list who call on me when they need a tank. In fact I have done more out of guild heroics lately than those I've done with my guild. I recently asked the guild master of, lets call it our sister guild for want of a better term and ease of reference, why they invited me on so many heroic runs. The answer was that their guild tanks were hardly ever on and they found it very hard to get a good tank. That begged the next question "How many bad tanks are there out there?" . I hardly consider myself a good tank, a competent tank yes, but a good or great tank? No.

I have been described by some, strange and confused people as a great tank and let me tell you that ego rush is high and heavy. Right up until I screw up again that is, (Usually the two things happen in the same run) which brings me crashing back down to earth again with a satisfying karmal thump.

Anyway back to the point of this post I was just wondering how many bad tanks people have encountered and if the overall quality of is bad with the tanks who can tank being the exception rather than the rule. Rather like the hunter who can chain trap being the exception rather than the rule.

The Anecdote.

This part of the post harks back to that fun filled, mistake riddled time as a dps warrior, which I refer to as PvP week. It was 2 am (game time) and I was running Heroic Slave Pens, which holds the uncontested spot as the easiest heroic in the game. I was filling a dps spot and all the other spots were filled by guildies, bar the tank. Like I said it was 2 am and all our tanks were offline, so we had to bite the bullet and pug one. On a side note its amazing how three little letters can fill me with so much dread, the mere mention of a P.U.G. sends a shiver down my spine.

Anyway back to the story. We had two cc so when we were doing three man pulls nothing seemed amiss. Although when you only have one target you can sit a monkey at you PC, having bound a Shield Slam/Devastate/Revenge macro to every key, let it bash it's little simian heart out, and you have a seemingly decent tank. It was when we moved to the more complex pulls that things started to go wrong. On every occasion that he had to tank two mobs (also why the hell do we call them mobs? I mean a mob is a plural adjective which we are using to describe a single creature. Not at all relevant but it's been bugging me since I started playing the game.) the secondary target would go tearing after our healer who, unless I went to save him, got smushed. In addition he wasn't aware of what was happening with the cc'd mobs, so when something went wrong in the "back field" we had to deal with it as best we could. In the end we called it quits after the second boss (and countless wipes and near wipes).

In all fairness to the person in question he did try, like going after some of the mobs that headed for our healer, but did so without using intervene or intercept, which meant we basically had to stop dps on the primary target or pull aggro. He never tried blaming anyone else for the wipes, and owned up to not doing a very good job. Also he didn't know the instance very well which accounted for some of his mistakes. All of these things gave him a bushel of tanking brownie points from me, and I will be more than willing to group with him again when he's had a bit more experience.

Just thought I'd share one of my bad tank moments as a guide to what I consider a bad tank to be. Not a bad player (which he was not, I consider a bad player to be a personality thing more than anything else), but someone who is just not filling their role in the group properly.

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