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You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry


When writing this Breakfast Topic I noticed in the comments a certain disconnect between how I approach running heroics and how other people seem to. So I thought I'd try and encapsulate the differences and try and help explain why sometimes tanks seem a little touchy or off in runs. It's not just the blows to the head, guys.

For starters, I don't run heroics because I want anything. Aside from a few DPS drops (trinkets, mostly) that I want as alternatives to trying to take them from a main spec DPS raider, there's literally nothing in these instances I actually want. I don't even really want the Emblems of Triumph. I blow those on gems because I can't think of anything else to do with them. No, I generally run random heroics for one of two reasons.

Reason 1: someone asks me to tank so they can get into some heroics faster. This is usually a guildmate. Sometimes it's multiple guildmates. Frankly, I prefer it when it's four other guildmates and we can queue for randoms as a group, because then I know everyone and can more reliably expect what they're going to do on pulls, I know who is a reliable Vigilance target, etc etc. But this doesn't always happen, and to be fair, quite a few players we've picked up through the random system have been really nice people and good players.

Reason 2: I decided to sign up as DPS because I was bored but wanted to decompress. I get into the instance, and the tank is wearing mismatched epics selected more for their ability to get him into harder dungeons than their actual tanking viability. Sighing, not wanting to eat the 15 minute debuff, I grudgingly volunteer to tank said heroic after the tank dies three times trying to pull the trash packs in VH and I end up wearing a shield and using a two hander to tank anyway. If I'm going to do this, I want to have my good set of tools. I wouldn't try and fix a sink with a chainsaw.

Either way, I'm not tanking the heroics I run out of any sense of need. Either I've been asked to do it and felt like being nice and helping some friends past the long queues, or I waited through that queue myself as DPS only to end up tanking because someone else took a shortcut but couldn't do the job. Combine that with the consequences of others dropping dungeons they don't want to do (like what seems to happen on my battlegroup with Halls of Stone every single day) and you end up with me looking at Krystallus while two DPS'ers I don't know very well are dead... again... and I and the healer have to take the guy down. For the third time that day. Is it any wonder I might want to skip the guy? I understand why, to a DPS who has to wait 20 minutes between runs, this seems insane and I do sympathize. It's annoying that there aren't as many tanks or healers and the queue times are longer for DPS. Remember, that's why I often agree to tank for friends, so they don't have to wait so long.

But it seems like there could be some effort extended back to us tanks. Not just on the subject of skipping bosses, like I said, I can understand why you'd be resistant. You can't take an hour and run four heroics back to back pretty much any time you want, you want maximum emblems for effort. So, then, since that's the case... would it kill you not to run ahead of the tank and pull mobs with your face while I'm still looting?

This is the behavior I find most baffling and upsetting in a heroic, especially one where I'm already chain pulling packs of mobs pretty much non stop. There's no reason for it. We're clearing Drak'Tharon as fast as it possibly can be cleared. I pulled pretty much the entire hallway to the first boss in 2 minutes. I only stop to loot occasionally. So why? Why do you do this to me? You can clearly see me back here, bent over an undead troll to see if he has anything good on him. It takes four seconds at most and then I'll charge into that next pack, I'm just waiting for Thunder Clap to come down off cooldown anyway. Surely that four seconds won't kill you. Well, it often turns out that yes, that four seconds will kill you, since you run off face first into a pack and die like a chicken, then I have to charge in and save the healer who foolishly tried to keep you alive.

I try not to be that tank. You know the tank I mean. The one whose head barely fits into Ahn'Katet. Barking orders, making snotty comments. Honestly, aside from "Hi" and "Hey everyone" and the occasional quip, I don't talk much at all. I'll mark an initial kill target, sometimes I'll ask if folks are ready if mana seems low on the healer, and otherwise try and get through the instance with minimal fuss and maybe some laughs. As DPS, I've had tanks so bad (and so bellicose) that they made the entire run a festival of autoattacking and praying. But sometimes you guys test me with things like dropping full AoE on a pack just as I charge in (I haven't even hit Thunder Clap or Cleave yet, I'm still in transit to the mobs there's no way I could possibly have aggro yet) or even better, using full AoE on a single pull for no discernable reason, and it makes me sad. Well, sad, and slightly insane. Insane enough to deliberately taunt pull the abomination after Skadi and just let you AoE it into your face, then stand around waiting for you to die to taunt it back.

I'm sure we both regret that incident. Okay, I don't. I laughed. My wife laughed. My other guildmate laughed. Even the random healer we'd picked up with you laughed. Pretty much everyone laughed. The abomination even laughed, as I recall.

Let's all try and be respectful of each other, I say. You can do things to make my life easier, like use aggro dumps or redirects, wait until you see the ground explode under my feet before throwing down AoE (feel free to adapt this for the paladin, DK or druid tanks you get) and stay behind me, and in return, I'll try my best to keep all the bosses you want to kill (even the ones I don't want to do) off of you and all the other mobs safely hitting me in the face where they belong. I think we can agree that we want me to be the one getting hit in the face here.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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