Skip to Content
3-28-2012 @ 11:02AM
McCurley, I applaud your bug/mantid jokes. For serious.Readers, I think part of the severity of this tank shortage comes from a lot of available tanks being kind of crap. Plus, sometimes there's a rookie out there who's really trying but just doesn't quite know what to do. This week, I made a (hopefully humorous) primer for getting yourself into the mindset of a tank. Share with someone you know who needs a hand, eh? http://tanknstein.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-play-like-tank.htmlQ4tQ *readers*: What’s the worst tank you’ve ever had? Share your stories, that we might learn from them!
3-28-2012 @ 11:42AM
Honestly, when I think of the "worst" tanks I've had, it hasn't been the ones who were new or bad at tanking, it was the ones who were okay or even good at tanking, but were total dicks personality-wise. My general policy for dungeons is "if we're not wiping on every other trash pull, then we're doing A-OK" - because frankly as a healer who stuck with healing at the beginning of cata, that was really all you could hope for in a 5 man heroic group. Tanks who kick lowish dps - and I don't mean low = 1k dps, this guy is clearly just auto attacking, I mean 10-11k dps people who are just trying to get the hang of their class or don't have very good gear - or blame people in an accusatory way for minor mistakes... THESE are the bad tanks. Tanks who aren't that great at tanking can usually be "fixed" with a few gentle suggestions (eg. "Hm... you're taking a lot of damage at the beginning of trash pulls, maybe use barkskin/other 1min tanking CD just after you pull?" or "Maybe try using Death and Decay to help with threat?"), but "bad tanks" - the dicks - are usually just better left alone.
Sooooo many stories.... so little time. As a healer, it is, of course, always my fault when we wipe. Here's some recent highlights:* Max level, it would be the guy that let my druid get her face eaten off during a boss fight, and then go out and pull the next mob without checking to see if I was even in the same room. And when the rest of the party pointed out that I wasn't back, he just said "Jeez, I'm not psychic."* Levelling my shaman through Outland dungeons, I got "WTF HEALER I GOT NO HEALS AT ALL!" I'd been healing fine right up to the point where I got mind controlled by time lost guys he'd decided not to attack, but the big green glowing tether apparently wasn't a big enough clue even after two wipes. He couldn't find his caps lock key the whole dungeon.* And the DKs that can't hold threat because they're in Unholy presence. It's one button to press, which isn't hard when everyone's trying to point it out to you.Right after I hit Northrend on my Shaman, I managed to keep a pull from going bad - the tank was on one side of a room, the mage pet was tanking another set of mobs, and I kept everyone up, including Mr. Splooshy. The tank said "Nice healing!" afterwards, and I honestly thought he was just being sarcastic until he repeated it again at the end.
3-28-2012 @ 11:48AM
I enjoyed the chart of different tanks
3-28-2012 @ 11:55AM
Near the end of Wrath, when everyone I knew was doing things like rolling alts, having cross-faction fun, etc. I queued up as dps on a paladin and got Violet Hold. Our tank managed to get locked out prior to the start. Unfortunately for him, he was a DK - and didn't help debunk the impression that everyone had about idiotic DK tanks.The WORST I've ever heard of - from a guildmate, was when he was leveling through the BC areas and got a DK tank who zoned in and immediately proceeded to yell "I HAS A BIG SWORD". And had resurrection sickness.
3-28-2012 @ 12:03PM
Mike - As a Melee DPS'er that has learned to Tank in my spare time - I really enjoyed your article. I don't think I'm a particularly good tank, but... at least I try! I try to get better, try to figure out what I'm doing wrong, and what I'm doing right. I'm curious about your second chart - one grouping is "Faceroll." Does that mean you classify overgeared tanks as not good? I'm curious, because I'm pretty sure a lot of my success as a tank has come through having a very good set of off-spec gear. Same can be said for my baby warrior tank, who's decked out in all BoAs. Anyway - solid article, and I agree with what you're putting forth.
3-28-2012 @ 12:13PM
@slim1256 -Sometimes people faceroll because they outgear the content, or the content is too easy, or their spec is overpowered at the moment. The faceroll that I think makes bad tanks is the kind where people just hit buttons like a madman hoping things happen, lol. If you *don't* have one of those advantages that trivialize content, making your forehead a paperweight on your keyboard isn't going to work out so well. That's what I meant. Glad you enjoyed the article. :)
3-28-2012 @ 12:25PM
As a healer (have max level of all 4 healers) the most horrific stories are the attempts to heal tanks who do not understand their class/spec, ie; wrong or inconsistent gemming, reforging, and enchanting. Examples of this include: stam stacking tanks of any kind, tanks reforging, gemming and enchanting for hit and expertise at the expense of survivability, and tanks who are reluctant (or more likely just don't use) defensive cool downs.I have seen recently a resurgence of stam stacking tanks in recent weeks....The result of baby 85s gear checking combat table capped pallidans and warriors and heroic progression DKs and Druids, and then having no real idea why the stam is being gemmed for. When mentoring guildie tanks and healers, I always stress 2 things.1) Know your class/spec and how it is supposed to tank/heal.2) Tanks and healers do not have the luxury of not gemming and enchanting their gear! You may get away with if your healer or tank is uber geared and your dps are geared and smart, but if either the tank, healer, or both are not properly gemming, enchanting and reforging the dungeon becomes hard for everyone.
3-28-2012 @ 12:33PM
Just speaking in general terms, the worst tanks I have to heal are:1. The ones that act like dicks.2. The ones geared 100% PVP. It's like shoveling my mana into a black hole.
3-28-2012 @ 1:35PM
Recent healing experiences of a bad tank:I am leveling a priest with 4 pieces of heirloom. I have chosen Atonement Disco. My style is to Holy Fire and Smite spam unless someone is less than 75% health or I foresee something happening. I'm in queue and get Scholomance. The tank is a pally. He is indeed good at what he does. Between judgments and other self heals, he has healed himself about 1/3 of the amount that I've healed at all, this includes one non-ideal pull that had a fear into another group. Again, I don't believe in over-healing ever since my main shaman got max level in Cata and that's just not possible.After the aforementioned not-so-good pull, the conversation begins:Him: WTF HEALER?Me: ??Him: WHY AREN'T YOU HEALING?Me: ?? Everyone's in good health?Him: Are you Discipline?Me: yeah =DHim: Are you an IDIOT?Me (seeing this turn bad and being a smartass): yeah =DSomeone else: Maybe he's new at it, but we are doing good.Him: I'VE DONE ONE THIRD OF YOUR HEALINGMe: I don't heal if you don't need it. Nobody has needed it.Him: And what's with the DPS? I'M DOING 100 MORE DPS THAN THE DPSAt this point, he cools off on his self-healing, and I pick up some of the slack (so he could dps even more to yell about it, I presume. As if 3 levels isn't a a good enough explanation of why he outdoes the dps). The funny part is that he went immediately to the side balcony for the boss fight. I stand outside because the rest of the group unknowingly pulled more of the room. I keep them up with no problems (rogue tank ftw?) and the tank starts the fight. Naturally this leaves everybody else outside and "Target not in line of sight." Needless to say, he dies rather quickly without my "bad" heals or the "bad" dps. Part of me is happy that he dropped group. The other part of me realizes it's still our fault that he had to fight a boss alone and died.
3-28-2012 @ 1:57PM
Recently, my friend and I queued for a random HoT heroic, and got End Time. I was on my shaman healer, and my friend was on her rogue. We get up to the first boss, and the tank informs us that he's never been there before. I did a quick inspect and shuddered at the blues and pvp gear. We did fine for the first boss, it was surprising actually. We get to the second boss, Ruby Sanctum. And here's where it got interesting.We started the fight just fine, got to the first ghoul phase and a dps bites it cause they didn't move out in time. Then the tank fails to move out of the purple stuff, and dies. Slyvannas starts whomping on my rogue friend, and she vanishes and runs as far away as she can. She feels a wipe coming. I told her on mumble to come back, and she just laughed at me and said hell no. Just about that time Slyvannas roped everyone who was still alive back to her feet, my friend included, aaaaaaaaand I laughed as hard as I could. So I went for broke, hit my earth and fire elementals and heroism, we got out of ghoul phase again and my earth elemental effectively tanked the remainder of the fight. Successfully.I rezzed the tank, and he was clearly dumbfounded at what he had just witnessed. And I smiled, and laughed again at my friend on mumble.It will be my proudest wow moment for quite a while.
3-28-2012 @ 2:12PM
The reason their is a tank shortage is because people are assholes in low level dungeons. As a DK tank, I'm trying to get a feel for how much I can pull (no heirlooms, new server), and how my rotation should go. Should I put my diseases up on the initial mob, spread them, death and decay, hear strike, etc Or do I forsake the diseases and go straight to death and decay, heart strike/blood boil, etc I don't know, because you can't find a beginners tank guide anywhere, and because you go into a dungeon and you get full heirloom dps jerks who are just gogogogo. Mages just letting the arcane blasts fly while the unholy dk sets his ghoul and D&D on another pack of mobs across the room. Now I'm trying to get aggro on both these packs to pull them back in, while they scream "wtf get aggro" when they didn't let me pull.Tl;Dr Assholes don't let tanks learn how to tank in lower levels, discouraging them from learning and making it to endgame
3-28-2012 @ 2:26PM
Sorta OT, I had to once tell a guy who loved tanking that he just wasn't a good enough tank to tank progression 25man raids (this was back in ICC). A lot of us worked with him tirelessly, he was kind of an ass but not too much, overall he was a pretty nice guy, but he would just do raid-wiping mistakes at crucial points of the encounter, over and over. When it was an encounter that was ezmode, like Marrowgar normal with 30% buff, he was fine. But he would taunt a boss too quickly (or not quickly enough) for taunt switches, he couldn't kite successfully when needed, he would not be reliable for interrupts, and was too slow picking up adds, and had difficulty with generating threat back when threat mattered.Seriously one of the most awful things I ever had to do was to tell him he couldn't tank for our raid anymore. The really sad thing was he absolutely loved tanking. I seriously felt like the guy who is responsible for firing people at a big company.I think to bring this back on topic, not everyone is cut out for tanking. You can carry a mediocre dps, and even a mediocre healer can be muddled through on a 5-man with a good tank and good solid dps. But a mediocre or bad tank, you just cannot overcome that, and I really don't think there are enough really good players to be good enough at tanking, to ever alleviate the tanking shortage.The only way to alleviate the tanking shortage is to make it so that you don't need a tank, which is what blizzard is doing with their scenarios.
3-29-2012 @ 3:04PM
I have healed so many instances leveling and seen so many different tanks but two or stand out...1) Near the End of Wrath I got a Normal ToC and the Paladin Tank was wearing all greens, and using an ungemmed http://www.wowhead.com/item=28065. We got through it mainly because the DPS stepped up.2) A Normal UK where the tank was wearing a mix of blues and greens - but it was all Vanilla gear. Not sure how he leveled through Outland.3) Zone into Zul'Drak and the group is doing the trash before the second boss. At first, I can't figure out why the tank is taking so much damage - he was a Fury Warrior tanking without a shield. Now I have seen this works in places like Razorfen Kraul but not in Northrend.
3-28-2012 @ 4:51PM
[Thinking Box] Perhaps the "problem" that the Tank-Healer-DPS (THD) model is just worn out. How much real discovery or problem solving is now in the game? My favorite part of Cataclysm was the revamp of many of the zones. Dungeons? Raids? /yawn. [whack-a-mole][heal-a-mole][dps-dps-dps][repeat as necessary]. /yawn
3-28-2012 @ 5:57PM
My worst tank? It was in Deadmines, while playing Alliance (for some reason, all my bad experiences in dungeons are from Alliance runs n_nU). All of us was pulling aggro from the human warrior tank like he wasnt there. Even from the one he was attacking. When asked about his spec, he answered: "wut's that? o.o" Some of the players called him a noob and even someone left, but we tried to explain to him a little quick thing about protection warriors and specs (and aggro). After a somewhat decent explanation, he kept pulling stuff. He said "it sounds complicated, ill check it out later" We tried to convince him to at least use the points, but he didnt want to, because he wanted to kill the bosses in the dungeon. We left after 2 unnecessary wipes. Another human warrior, tanking Scarlet Monastery with a spirit staff. An a human holy paladin trying to tank Dire Maul :(
3-28-2012 @ 5:46PM
My bad tank moments are when you get people who do mostly PvP, but once in a while will run a dungeon (always with a friend or 2). And they're not always decked in PvP gear, sometimes a chunk of it. No, you know they mostly PvP because they KEEP MOVING. Back and forth, strafing here and there.What makes it worse is when you're on a melee DPS toon, especially a rogue or my feral druid, so not only do you have to keep moving with the mob, it's near impossible to stay BEHIND as well!And, of course, you can't kick them because they have friends/guildies with them. But, I'm just venting.Sorry.
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.