Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Control, Thats What It's All About.

What is the main difference between being the dps and being the tank?

I mean apart from the damage out put.

Yes, yes, and the damage taken.

Control. As the tank you get to, and are expected to, control each and every pull. Why do you think that in most parties the tank is given leader? It's so he/she can control the situation. How do you do this? It's simple, you get the big, nasty things to hit you instead of those squishy people behind you.

How do you get the big nasties to hit you instead of the squishies? Well unless you a pally It's all a numbers game, tank what you can and cc the rest (If your a pally it seems the more the merrier, but we shall ignore this anomaly for the moment). Problems appear when you try to tank more than you can handle and mobs get loose and squish healers.

Another aspect of control is threat priority, you mark the biggest threat to be cc'd or killed first. This is usually a healer, and it's safer to kill it first as cc can be broken, and they are normally squishy cloth wearers who go down fast.

What happens when things go wrong? Well then its seat of your pants tanking time, and again its a numbers thing. If mobs get loose it's your duty as the tank to pick them up, no buts no excuses. If you pick it up then the cc has a chance to incapacitate it again. If multiple mobs get loose then it's screw the cc and tank what you can, if they focus on you then the party has some chance. Thunder Clap and use shouts and Cleave with reckless abandon, if your a feral druid Swipe FTW.

Remember, if you get into this position that suddenly the first in the kill order suddenly becomes the least important to tank. Why is this you ask? It's because the kill order rules the lives of the dps, and if the one they are focused on gets loose they fight like a trapped rat and it's all the dps focused on the right target. So a mob on half health usually goes down before it can cause too much damage.

Ok so you see that tanking is all about control? Good.

The other night I however had none :(

Story Time.

I was doing heroic Magisters Terrace again, this time with a full guild group. Hurray, no PuG for Stunty!

Everything goes fine and we tear straight through the first two bosses. However after that I start to lose it, body pulling groups (getting us wiped at one point), focusing on the wrong mob, using the incorrect abilities for the situation, and generally doing just about everything I could to kill my guildies.

Bad Stunty -10 tanking brownie points per death for you.

Good guildies for putting up with Stunty +50 tanking brownie pointy for you. Hell you guys got so many brownie points that when one of the mages body pulled and wiped us I just felt relieved that it was not me. To make things worse the bosses even dropped 2 off-spec items for me, which I felt I truly did not deserve (not that I turned them down you understand, I felt guilty, not crazy).

Anyway we muddle through the last of it one shotting the bosses (seemed to have no problem with them), wiping on trash and collecting our badges.

After the run I sat down and analysed what I had done wrong, and why it was wrong. It all boiled down to lack of control and thus prompting this post, and in the last 40 hours or so since that run I have done 5 other heroics, trying to perfect my control as a tank.

The moral of this post is that next time you wipe in an instance, instead of QQing have a quick think and see if there was anything else you could have done to prevent it, since as the tank you should be in control of the situation at all times.

P.S. I will get round to the posts that I mentioned earlier ... but I just write as the mood takes me and thus the random ordering to my posts.

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