Tank Abuse

My baby prot warrior dinged 80 last weekend and I’ve been doing a lot of random heroics since then. I’m finding tanking a completely different experience from healing or DPS. The tank is at the forefront and is the one who usually gets the blame or the credit for how well a run goes, whether it is warranted or not. I’ve run with all sorts of people with varying levels of skill, gear and social etiquette. I’ve gotten compliments on my tanking when runs go smoothly and I’ve gotten outright abuse when they don’t. Do my tanking skills fluctuate wildly from instance to instance? I doubt it. The quality of the rest of the group makes a huge difference. I have no delusions that I am the best tank ever – my gear isn’t very good and tanking hasn’t yet become instinctual like healing is, but I try my best and the dungeons I tank generally go quite well. Every once in a while though, I get a group where everything goes wrong. Who gets the blame? You guessed it, the tank!

The thing that gives me the most trouble is large trash packs with casters. The trash in Forge of Souls is the absolute worst. I run around and throw out taunt every time it’s off cooldown and try to gather all the mobs, but I still find it difficult. I accept that gathering the mobs is my responsibility but how the rest of the group acts can either help me or hinder me.

How to help the tank on tough pulls:

  • DPS the mob the tank is attacking
  • Use abilities like misdirect and tricks
  • If you get aggro, move towards the tank
  • If you are capable, silence or Death Grip a caster so that they move into the group
  • Crowd control a stray mob (hahaha – fear or sheep when you could be spamming AoE? I’m funny)
  • Heal the tank

How to be completely unhelpful:

  • Ass-pull the trash packs
  • Start AoE before the tank has even touched half the mobs
  • Every DPS attack a different target
  • When you get aggro, run away
  • Occupy yourself with telling other members of your group how much they suck rather than dps/heal

I had a particularly bad heroic Forge of Souls run yesterday. We wiped on a trash pack (where every member of the group subscribed to the unhelpful tactics listed above) and two people in the group just railed on me. You suck, your gear sucks, you can’t hold aggro, you’re retarded. The fact that people in an anonymous environment like LFD can be complete assholes shouldn’t surprise me but I’ve never been abused like that in a group before. I came away from the run (which obviously fell apart) torn between two thoughts: “Those people are assholes, fuck’em” and “Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t be doing the Icecrown heroics quite yet”. I queued for another heroic and got Pit of Saron. I was a little wary at the beginning, but it went very smoothly. At one point the healer asked me to stand in more bad things on the ground so he would have something to heal and at the end two people in the group complimented my tanking.

People are so quick to cast blame in randoms when things go wrong, often without really knowing who is at fault or examining their own performance. People make mistakes, things go awry. Instead of the generic exclamation of “u suck” in party chat when things go wrong, try giving a helpful suggestion. Or do what I do and yell obscenities at your computer. If things are really bad, just leave the group. Does verbally abusing some random person you’re probably never going to run into again accomplish anything? Is there an Asshat achievement I don’t know about?

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7 Responses to Tank Abuse

  1. Miss Medicina

    I am infamous for my ass-pulls.

    I CANT HELP IT THAT MY DWARVEN ASS IS SLIGHTLY OVERSIZED

  2. TyphoonAndrew

    I've found that when I get a group that is full of attitude, giving instructions to them is better than responding to the hate. eg. Mark a mob, and tell them to focus fire. If they continue to be difficult, then you are in position to say why its going bad; rather than just taking their spite-advice on the chin.

    DPS who pull aggro is a self correcting problem.

    Lastly – don't take it to heart; I'm positive that you're doing it fine (because you've had good runs otherwise). I've been affraid of HoR for a long time, even on well geared tanks because it is so intollerant of mistakes and silly behaviour. Yet I was able to tank well, and get through with zero wipes with a good group last night. It can happen, and this is a tank with gear average ilevel of 226-ish. We even got the "Retreating in Reverse" achievement.

    • I try to make use of raid marks on the more difficult instances or when the dps severely outgears me. There are a lot of players out there who are open to suggestions and instructions, but some are just jerks. If nothing else, it gives me something to blog about :P

      I tanked my first regular HoR run yesterday (not geared enough to queue for heroic). It went very well, but the group makeup was a little odd. I was with an extremely overgeared healer and fairly low dps, so that make things a lot easier for me. The Riflemen in the beginning were the thing I found most problematic.

  3. The problem is that those who complain simply go on the basis of gear. This tank will suck because he/she only has 40k health. They barely know their own class and have very little to go on when they get frustrated. For example, I was doing Pit of Saron as well and told everyone just to sit on the boss and let the souls pump him up. We ended up having to move him due to low dps. A DK chimes in "Good strat, you ebay your character?" My response was "well, if someone with four piece t10 gear would do more then 3k dps we wouldn't have to move. By the way, I did that dps in 213's in naxx." Generally speaking, people who are bad are the ones who complain.

    • For sure. I'm not saying I'm entirely without blame when something goes wrong, but I do find it's the people who really aren't contributing much to the group who complain the loudest.

      I've had comments on my tank's health. I queued for Ahune and the ICC geared priest who joined immediately said "26k health? Are you serious?" Everything went well though and the priest ended up running it with me 4 or 5 times. People need to realise that you don't need ICC gear in order to run a heroic successfully.

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