Friday, August 3, 2012


The other night, just hanging out, Luperci got called off the bench to tank. (Stomach clutch!) I have all kinds of excuses, but excuses they are indeed: I am just not prepared to tank. I leveled her solely as a protection paladin from the get-go, only recently sneaking into LFRs as a healer (she has the gear -- relax, ragers) and to see what that is like. I just couldn't seem to get the hang of retribution, all spinny-crazy-zealotry and blasting out demons stuff.

I have almost zero experience raiding with Lupe. Let's just say, that during one fight, the RL said, very nicely, and in no way critical, he didn't have time to teach me to deal with this finicky boss or fight mechanics, but he wished he did. And, a few weeks ago, my GM mentioned how much he would like to help train a tank, and I wish he did have time. Luperci (caution: going into third-person detached from self mode) could be a good tank, heck, maybe even a great one. But as time goes by, I see this character, along with my hunter, sliding further and further down the bench. I was also thinking that learning how to play in Azeorth is just as much of a journey as why. But then there is the 'what.' not a good tank.

But the question is: Can I be, and do I want to be?

In truth, it was Navi's post that sparked my thoughts back again to tanking.

There are some players who seem to know everything about every character and every build and every spell, and are free to share their "insights" with you at every move. I remember the story I told of my role as the Christmas Fairy when I knew everyone else's lines. I was six or seven, after all, and a complete expert. But I don't want the advice from players who have been in the stands, I need true experts. Not generic elementary school teachers: I need a niche professor.

I don't play Lupe that much--but I want to. I think. I do. Really. But it is the Gladstone's 10,000 hours again. You all probably don't remember what it was like to learn how to drive a car, or tie your shoes even, or become potty trained--I mean, how far back can I go, to what is effortless to you now? I know what I am supposed to do to keep aggro, or heal myself, or gather monsters and mobs. But those bubbles aren't totally second nature to me, and for a protection paladin that's kind of like saying you're a fisherman but aren't sure which end of the pole the bait goes on. It is an integral part of the class.

So--what to do?

Just had a conversation today about my status in WoW, or lack thereof. I told this young leet it wasn't about being the "world's best" but I still had a right to enjoy playing. Just because I'm not getting a gold medal doesn't mean I can't swim or ride a bike. Some people see the world in very contrasting shades, but I'm still sliding along with greys (no, not fifty).

Lupe is at the point where I have plateaued on my ability to increase knowledge without further help. So, gentlemen: Your assistance please. When you have time.

Thought this was another great post by MMO:


  1. I remember your tanking! It was your boldness and bravery that made me want to try and be as awesome as you!

    1. Thank you my sweet Navi - sometimes "Lupe" is indeed very brave and confident- "she" will keep your words in her heart

  2. This sounds much like my relation with my prot warrior (and my prot pally as well). I leveled her as prot. I feel like I could tank with her. And yet...I can't seem to do it. At first I thought my issue with tanking was that I didn't want my guildies to have to deal with my fail, so I rolled up an Alliance side tank (the warrior) so I could learn to tank and feel anonymous. That didn't really work either. I've just kind of given up at this point. I have some kind of mental block against tanking and I don't see a way to get around it. Which is a shame, because night elf chicks look awesome swinging around a shield.

  3. Faye, Indeed - I have a girl crush on NE warrior females, I must confess. Truly poetry in motion. I have mentioned before I wish there was a "training camp for tanks." A place, a simulated battle, where you could go in and have things explained in real time, kind of like driving school! Hey! A hunter just pulled your mob! What do you do? Look out! A warlock just feared your aggro! Get it back, quick!

  4. Matty, long ago, on BBB's blog, I once replied to you (Fangtastic) saying that I'd be happy to co-tank with you but all my toons are horde. None of that has changed and the offer still stands. :)

    That said, the closest thing to a low pressure training camp for tanks would be to go to Tol Barad Peninsula's Cape of Lost Hope with a friend who can heal and just hang out. Those mobs have a large aggro radius and spawn fast.

    You can learn the basics of taunting, situational awareness and your prot toolkit there. When you get better, just go in there as prot alone and try to use your cooldowns, word of glory etc to keep yourself alive. Of it seems the mobs aren't hitting you hard enough, take off a piece of gear or two.

    A good tank knows what is going on around them and knows when to use cooldowns and positioning. It comes with time, but the most important thing is getting the rhythm down and learning how and when to use your tools.

    1. I completely agree, and be careful -- you may get a Draenei-turned-Blood Elf knocking on your door! Those sincere offers are truly received with so much gratitude. I have been through countless dungeons time and again, but need to raise this tank on actual raid experience. But as far as the training sessions you suggested, I am going to try that out. It's not for lack of playing, it's the actual practice of Tanking, Advanced Study that I need. I wish there were raid simulators in game, I guess, because when you're with a group of nine other people and they are ahead of you (already potty trained) their leet patience runs dry fast. Azeroth is the only place I have experienced where people want perfection out of the box, when they themselves have never achieved that, because it's not possible, and quite frankly, damn boring. But, maybe I can talk my GM into some of the raids like BWD, etc., for some on-the-job training sessions. Still have some cool mog gear in there, so who knows?

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    3. Matty, if you're already tanking 5 mans, I'd say its time to hit LFR with a second tank from your guild or blogroll.

      LFR's mechanics are tuned to be much more forgiving than the T11 raids. Standing in the wrong place will still cause wipes on Magmaw. Not picking up adds on Maloriak will still cause them to fixate on healers and not positioning properly with Nef will cause wipes. Compare that to LFR where mistakes may still well cause wipes but aren't guaranteed to.

      LFR is GREAT for learning your role - whether its dps, healing or tanking. Yes, as a tank the focus of 24 other people will sometimes be on you... but you know what, as with anything else, there is a learning curve. Once you're over that hump and get some muscle memory, it very quickly becomes easier. Go with another tank who knows the fights - the odds of you causing a wipe will be low at best and even if you screw up in a MAJOR way, you'll get a boot and you can queue again. Slightly bruised pride is no excuse to keep yourself from trying something if you really want to do it! :)

      Speaking as someone who only DPSed for the first two years in WOW (hunter/mage), I find tanking them most relaxing role, healing a second and dps a third. You know why? Because in my experience epeen competitions and pressure are much higher for DPS than for healers and tanks.

      I've tanked endgame on my druid and warrior, and up to 85 on my pally and 70s on my DK. I should do some tanking posts, I've gotten some ideas from the discussion here.

      I haven't really been in DS for a few months now but if you turn into a belf, I'll dust off my shield or pop bear form for you. :)

    4. Okay - consider me inspired. I can do it, I think I can, think I can! And hey - have you seen Lupe? I mean, just look at her! Your last line cracked me up! I'll imagine popping bears if I get kicked--too damn funny. All wonderful and thoughtful advice, and yes, please, if you do some posts on this, i think you would have more than just one timid but tenacious tank needing and appreciating the information - please let me know if you do this!

  5. "Just had a conversation today about my status in WoW, or lack thereof. I told this young leet it wasn't about being the "world's best" but I still had a right to enjoy playing. Just because I'm not getting a gold medal doesn't mean I can't swim or ride a bike."

    Absolutely! I don't understand the elitist attitude that some people have about the game, and I say that as a semi-serious raider who's finally managed to down heroic Deathwing. If you are playing the game and having fun than that's what matters.

    Also, I'm a terrible tank and trying to tank makes me feel terribly anxious. Every so often I flirt with tanking, but I always go back to healing or DPS. Maybe I could become a good tank if I worked hard at it... but I'm not sure it's worth the effort and anguish.


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