Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Curse of Off-Tanking.

This isn't a complaint or a rant, or at least I hope it isn't, it's intended to be an observation on the most challenging part of being an off-tank. I struck on it while reviewing a few videos of boss fights I had recorded, that the biggest challenge to any off-tank is ...


Thats right boredom, while there are many exceptions to this, you spend most of any given boss fight debuffing the MT's target and providing relatively inconsequential dps. This is easy, this is so frikken easy you can do it in your sleep.

There in lies the problem. Again there are many exceptions to this, but usually and off-tank has a relatively vital role to play in the encounter. This means that they have to stay focused while spending most of the fight on easy mode. Yeah, you still have to do all the other things the dps and healers do, like jump into the water, run away from the raid if your going to explode, even the good old Don't Stand In The Fire. But you do all this without the added pressure of a complicated damage rotation or having to keep the raid on it's feet.

Whats that you say?

You want some of that easy street to free epics action?

Well here's the catch. Remember what I said about the relatively vital role? Well chances are that if your not on the ball when you need to be it usually causes a wipe. For the most part the are very definite transitions in the fight for you to watch out for, which let you know thats it's time for you to actually do some work. That makes this part of your job easier, but if your half asleep your not going to be bringing your a-game and thats just not kosher.

Also as an off-tank you a floating "Oh sh##" tool for the raid leader. Did the pally tank dealing with the adds just die? Well then you get your butt back there and slap up an AoE taunt and give them time to gt a battle rez and a couple of heals on him. Loose adds giving the healers hassle? Well you pick them up and drag them to where they're supposed to be. All this means that if your half asleep from spending 60% of the fight doing absolutely nothing your not going to be much of an asset to the raid.

So how do we keep ourselves awake and focused?

One trick I like to use is to play music while tanking. Now not just any music will do. Your going to need something a bit up beat preferably with a greater than average bpm (beats per minute) which will help keep your brain active. Also the music should have little or no lyrics as these will distract you from what is happening in the encounter.

Another one is to keep yourself aware of where everyone else is and what they are doing. Not only does this keep your brain active but if one of those "oh crap" moments happens and you get given an order over vent it's no good if you spend the next 30 seconds trying to figure out where this problem is happening. Your the only one that can do this job.

No, don't go looking at the Main Tank for help, he's got some serious boss issues to deal with.

Spinning around in circles looking for where your supposed to go is bad, thats a 50 Tanking Brownie Point Minus, bad tank, bad. No cookies for you.

Anyway I just thought I'd ramble on on this topic for a while and bring to light theis problem for you non-tanks and share my solutions to it with you tanks out there.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.

1 comment:

Kartheis Canis Lupus said...

Didn't think it was that hard =/

I'm sure being alolowed to do a bit of dps instead, even if it is very little, can be good for a tank now and again. =)

As for music....
the first attempt of Lurker i made the mistake of quickly putting on 'Slipknot - Pulse of the Maggots' before the fight....i couldn't hear Vent over the screaming and guitar.

Trance music,dance or even hardstyle seem to work ;)

Second attempt i was listening to
'Gladiator feat. Izzy - Now we are free'

Now there's a different view on raiding. =)