After writing my latest post I realized that I hadn’t really given tanking a chance since well before the launch of WotLK. So I decided to dust off my level 56 Tauren Warrior. The first thing I would do was to level him as fast I could up to 60 to then buy dual speccs. A few levels, a few Outland greenies and a respecc later I was good to go. Since my guild mostly consists of lvl80′s I would have to PUG about every instance I did. Now, a few days later, I’m level 65 with some decent instance blues and a lot more tanking experience under my belt. And surprisingly, I’m finding tanking to be quite fun, challenging and hectic, but fun. What this really is about though, is not my warrior, but PUG’s and how to best handle them. During these levels mentioned above and when leveling other alts I’ve picked up on a few things that I thought I would share with you lot!
The Foundation – The tank and healer is the backbone of any 5-man. A DPS doing 25% of the damage he should be won’t cause a wipe. A tank doing 25% of the threat or a healer doing 25% of the healing he should be however, will. This is why I always make sure that I know that whoever will fill one of these rolls knows what they are doing. The only exception is if you have really good DPS which can burn down mobs faster than the healer or tank can screw it up.
Friends list – Use it! Whenever playing a tank I always try to fill up my friends list with healers around my level, same thing only with tanks if I play a healer, both if I play as DPS. You can also advertise a bit. After finishing an instance tell your group to add you in case they happen to be in need of a Healer/Tank/DPS.
Never assume anything – When playing with guildies you most likely have set loot rules, roles and you know who knows what. In a PUG however you will want to ask these questions beforehand. I don’t know how many PUG’s I’ve been in that have fallen apart because of loot drama, coming to the instance and finding out you have no tank, bickering over who will do what, people not knowing boss tactics etc. etc. Follow this rule and you will save your self a lot of time and frustration.
Team up! – Once in a while, when Azeroth and Outlands and all the moons are aligned. You, as a healer or tank, will find a person playing the opposing role, at your level, at your leveling speed and who plays at the same hours. Hold on to this person and make the most of the situation. On my warrior I was so lucky to find a resto/enhancement shamalama like this. Over the last 5 levels we’ve done atleast 20 instance runs, probably more. And every time I enter the big swirly portal I know we will finish the run. It’s just beautiful…
Expect the worst – This might sound a bit clichè, but the quality of your group will generally not be as good as when running with guildies and friends. All in all, a finished instance is a good PUG-run.
Step up – The biggest problem I encounter in PUG’s is there is really no one in charge, which in turn means that a lot of the time certain things won’t be done. When you come to the point where the group is going nowhere because of something like arguing about how to do a boss or how to distribute loot, don’t be afraid to take control, but do so in a calm, respective and diplomatic manner.
Don’t be an arse -This is probably the easiest one. I know how frustrating PUG’s can be at times, but letting your nerd-rage overflow and having a go at someone will not get you anywhere.
That’s what I could think of off the top of my head. Feel free to add experiences and tips!