You Are Not Your Tanking Pants

February 18, 2009

TGAPGeorge – Warrior Tank

I read a post by Namthe on his blog, The View From Down Here about Tanking gear and perception. Perception being that although we have new spells and abilities, access to new gear, and are joined by Death Knights, Druids, and Paladins as effective Tanks, Tanking itself has not changed.

You know what? He’s got a point.

Back in the day — which was a Tuesday. Fun fact — and before my time, “Tank” was synonymous with Warrior. There weren’t any other options. Over time, we’ve been giving things to help us tank more effectively — yes, even other classes to help out — but the fact remains our job, our mission is the same as always. Or, as Namthe puts it:

What has changed is our tools. We now have bigger and more varied tools at our disposal. The tools doth not make the player – a good tank is a good tank regardless of what abilities he has to hand. Tanking is all about spatial awareness, positioning and quick reactions (when it’s necessary to save someone). That hasn’t changed.

He’s absolutely right. And here’s the proof: by November 18th, 2008, the guild TwentyFiifthNovember had cleared all of WOTLK content. All of it in three days. That’s every heroic, full Naxx 25, and Malygos.

And a lot of their gear was still level 70.

How did they do it? Skill. No excuses, no needing the “proper” gear, no whining about being nerfed. Just plain, unadulterated skill.

So what does that mean for us Tanks? It means we need to practice. We need to read and study. We need to know our class, abilities, and job through and through.

Focus on:

  • How to keep aggro
  • What’s happening to you and your raid at all times
  • Situational Awareness (Different from above)
  • Communication and coordination
  • Keeping the healers alive
  • Keeping everyone alive

It doesn’t matter how much DPS you put up — other than for aggro. It doesn’t matter if a Mage keeps riding your threat. It doesn’t even matter if you yourself die at the end. The only thing that matters is you get your job done and get it done well.

For you have done your job and accomplished your mission ONLY when the boss is on the ground, Dead.

Here is another quote from Namthe, adapted from Chuck Palahniuk:

* You are not the buttons you press to keep aggro.
* You are not your class.
* You are not the gear you wear, nor the buffs you give out.
* You are not a beautiful and unique, heavily armored snowflake, and your toon is the same collection of fleeting pixels as everybody else’s.

If you know Fight Club, then you’ll understand.

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Omen and the Lunar Festival

January 30, 2009

TGAPGeorge – Warrior Tank

So it was late Thursday night and my Warlock friend Jerexyrd and I were wondering what to do. We were already maxed out on professions and secondary professions — at least as much as we could do that night. We’d already done our dailies. We couldn’t find a healer.

Then we got the idea to do some of the easy Lunar Festival achievements like Frenzied Firecracker and The Rocket’s Red Glare. These motivated us to port to Moonglade for Lunar Festival Finery.

Then we realized that we were eligable and in the right place to get Elune’s Blessing. Kill Omen, a two-headed devil dog? No problem! We had a basic idea of what to do, but when our five fireworks produced nothing, I got onto WowHead to see what we needed to do while Jerexyrd went back for more cluster bombs. As we discovered, it was really good that we didn’t have enough fireworks to summon Omen.

omen-shotWhile reading the comments for the achievement, I discovered that Omen wasn’t just some 80 elite pushover. No, he was a “skull-level” elite boss that would have munched on us but good. We had to get some help.

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