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?