In the post “LF Tank and Healer for Thrall’s back yard” I talked about each of the three roles in the game, but decided not to go in depth because it would all end up in a massive wall of text no one would bother to read. Instead, I’ve decided to write a series of three or four posts (depending on if I bother to separate ranged and melee DPS) on each of the roles, taking a closer look at the classes, their roles and the people playing them. First up, is the tank!
The warrior, the original tank. Back in vanilla WoW it was the only class that could tank, at least at end game. Sure a paladin, shaman or druid could handle a low level 5-man instance, but none ever came close to the warrior. In TBC Blizzard finally got around to making all speccs viable, at least for the hybrid classes. Suddenly we had three classes that could tank instead of one, still the warrior felt like the tank. Before you go “Hey, I’m a prot paladin, I can tank as good as if not better than a warrior!”, that’s not what I’m talking about. Both of the other are still hybrids, and feel that way, as they should. It’s like comparing a balance druid to a mage. They are both casters, but the balance druid is only scratching the surface of what a mage or any other non-hybrid caster can do. It just feels a bit half arsed tanking with a druid compared to a warrior, but I guess it’s supposed to.
As I’ve mentioned before, I find tanking to be the most unappreciated, intense, challenging and at times frustrating role in the game. What sort of person would willingly roll a tank? One common trait amongst the most experienced tanks are that they are all perfectionists, and I think I’m turning into one of them my self. A wipe because I didn’t hold aggro isn’t a mistake, it’s a catastrophe. Having to taunt is a mistake. I hate having to taunt, it makes me feel dirty and it feels like cheating. When going into an instance my goal is always to not losea aggro once during the entire run. I know this is an unrealistic goal, but shouldn’t one always aim for perfection? Sheeesh, listen to my self, no wonder I findtanking tiring!
However, I do believe it takes a special kind of person with certain kind of personality to play a tank as their main character. In addition to being perfectionists, most tanks I’ve ran into are also self sacrificing, helpful, confident, good leaders/tacticians and devoted. It’s not a job you do half-arsed, it’s all or nothing. And that’s largely why I have developed a taste for it, in small doses.
The Death Knight is the only tanking able class I haven’t played and I know I should get around to making one, if just for the sake of the questing through the starting area. One of the main reasons I haven’t played one yet is that they seem to have become the new “huntards”, the class all other classes love to laugh at. As far as I have experienced they are a incredibly easy class to play (not saying play well) that starts out at level 55 with some sweet looking gear. As with the hunter they are very solo friendly class with pets, self healing and a very nice DPS output. Mix all of this together and you get a bunch of people who think they don’t have to learn how to play the class properly to do well. I’ve experienced this my self more times than I care to think of. A few weeks after dinging 80 I started completely refusing to bring in a DK as a tank to Heroics at all, unless they were a friend or a guildy. The chance of them not having a clue what they were doing was simply too great. I know this is making me sound elitist, but after having our have tank go “What def cap means??????” in the middle of a time CoS when I asked him if he was defense capped since I was having to spam heal to keep him alive, I simply gave up.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken, Blizzard. Trying to make tanking into a cool, dual wielding, bad ass, faceroll thingamajiggy was not a step in the right direction in my opinion. No matter how many shiny stickers you put on something it’s still the same underneath, and tanking steal requires certain person with certain skills and a certain mindset. Dual-speccs I do believe was a step in the right direction. No longer does tanks (or healers) have to sacrifice their ability to do solo content for being able to tank instances and raids. With the chance of sound like a broken record, all respect to those who play a tank full time, we wouldn’t get anywhere without you!