Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I love Tanking

DK Tank Blogger pwnwear did a great post on Why He Loves Tanking. That got me to thinking, why is it I love to tank?

Hero Complex

I love being where the action is, and being fully engaged with the Boss. I come from a long background of single player games. In those games it's always your character fighting the Boss: Kyle Katarn versus Jerec, Revan versus Malak, The Exile versus Darth Traya. Even in Baldur's Gate, it's your party versus Saverok, you are in control of each party member. It's always you (the player) against the boss. Only tanks in World of Warcraft have that experience. Healers are furthest from the action, with their sole focus on the tank and their allies. DPS engages the Boss, but only Tank trades blows with him.

My most recent experience of the joys of Tanking was on Heroic Northrend Beasts. Dreadscale submerged, and started heading towards the raid. The Ranged DPS and Healers scattered, but I was the guy running IN while everyone else was running out. That is, in a nutshell, what I love about tanking.


I've got to admit I've got a thing for Shields. They are the best looking pieces of armor in the game and tank shields are the best of the shields. It's the shield that just screams tank. For me this goes back to the Aldori Legacy Defender. I'm sure for others they can go back even further. You saw a guy with an ALD, or nowadays with a Boreal Guard, or an Aegis of the Coliseum, you know he's a tank. Have you seen the Ice Crown shields on MMO-Champion? Beautiful, just beautiful.

Impact on Group Success

As the tank I have a direct impact on the group’s success. Now I will be first to tell you that I need my team. I'm not some rock star here. I wouldn't last 5 seconds without my healers, and we'd never beat an enrage without our stellar DPS. The guys I play with are all excellent players, and I'm honored to be part of their team.

By being the tank, it matters that I know the strategies, and tactics of the boss. It matters that I fully enchant and gem my gear out to the 9s. I have the ability to carry a less geared team through a heroic 5 man.


Tanks are really unique. There aren't many people who wear the gear I wear, or even want it. We care about stats others don't want any part of. You might have to contend with maybe 1 or 2 other people on a Tanking neck, over half the raid will go after a spell power neck.

Not all a bed of roses

Basically, tanking rocks. But that's not to say there aren't issues with it. Having a direct impact on the groups success, can mean some really high stress nights. The entire raid depends on you doing the right thing at the right moment or the whole raid wipes. That kind of pressure can weigh on you after a while.

But probably my least favorite thing about tanking, and thankfully something I only encounter in VoA25 Pugs, is the whole politics of tanking. Basically who is tanking what. If you are a healer, you are going to get assigned a Tank or the raid, but you can stray outside your assignment a little and as long as you don't go OOM no one will care. DPS knows they are going to be DPSing. Tanks don't know if they are going to be tanking. Part of this is how few tanks you need (generally 1-2 regardless if it's a 10 or 25 man), and other part is that if you go outside your assignment you are going to cause issues, drama and maybe even a wipe. Because tanking is so cool, you have many more tank capable players in a raid than you need tanks. Somebody is going to get asked to spec DPS.

Thankfully, this isn’t an issue in our raids. Boston does a fantastic job of rotating tanks through, and he puts us in positions where we can thrive and makes sure everyone gets some quality time with the Boss.


Gravity said...

I agree with the shields. I miss my old maintankadin shield, but I do not miss mana. :) Shields look badass.

Good closing point on not knowing if you'll get to tank in a PUG or not. The other thread is tanks who want to be The Man and will taunt off you to get attention back (not just the boss' attention, but the raids, it's like a personality disorder).

While levelling my new DK, I've had a few opportunities to tank normal instances, and everytime it reminds me what I'm aiming for at L80: more tanking!

Glad you liked my post, thanks.

Rhii said...

I have tanked a total of one low level instance and it left me an angry, ranting, slobbering, twitching, nail biting, stressed out mess.

I'm glad you love it so much, and I'll agree, some of those tanking shields are pretty hot looking. But better you than me!

You're right, tanks are unique! Not everybody can do it, and it is a pretty cool role.

Smashie said...

Awesome post! Reading this made me want to log in, respec, and go tank a heroic.

Grimadin said...

Tanking is where its at for me. I am one of the many masses with many alts that can fill in every roll. I have been melee dps with a rogue, shaman and ret pally; ranged dps with a hunter and shaman and healed with my shaman(I'm seeing a trend here). But since I hit 80, my go to is always my pally tank. I am not sure if its me liking to be the center of attention, or just knowing that I hold alot of the cards in a fight. But I love tanking, and hope that I do a respectable job every time I enter an instance or raid.

On the pug thing, I think I have become a bit snobish when going into things as one of the tanks. I am spoiled with all of the really excellent people who I share tanking duty with on a regular basis, and am always concerned meeting a new tank for the first time, and on the first pull. Meteor fist always makes me cringe to see if the other tank understands the concept of stack. Once we get through that its always onto are the healers on the ball. My last concern is always dps, as I hate to say it, but DPS is a dime a dozen and replacing fail dps in a pug won't be the end of the world like replacing a good tank or healer.

But enough random thoughts... GO TANKING GO!