The Tank o’ Terror

Spinks is right – tanking is scary. Well, it’s scary in a PuG. So much so that I can count the number of tanking PuGs I’ve done on one…finger.

I love tanking with my guild, they know me, I them, and there’s none of the “gogogogogo” everyone is writing about. But whilst I’ve tanked most of the Northrend 5-mans, and one wing of Naxx, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen many of them due to our Guild reboot. So whilst the idea of jumping into LFD is fun, and I’m geared enough for all but the newest Heroics, I doubt the other players would appreciate a tank using LFD as a tool to remind himself of how it all works.

Posts like Veneretio’s on how to tank fast only reinforce the hesitation. One of the commentators on that post asks exactly the right question: “Has the new LFG tool made it harder for new tanks?”

The answer must be yes – it’s too intimidating when what you want to do is take it slowly, markup, spend the time to learn how to tank better.

The random LFD basically excludes or at the least discourages new tanks. Maybe what it needs is another flag – “learner“. I would check that box in an instant in order to know that the rest of the group was willing to not speed run, and willing to learn. The expectation is to crash and burn through as quickly as possible, but not everyone is a supertank, yet.

Even if you research the encounters, learn the bosses, run them on normal mode or with guildies, there’s still no scope for saying you want to take it easy before you’re in the instance. Some means of flagging that to other players when you’re signing up might make all the difference, and encourage the less geared or new players to get in on the LFD action.

I also thought I’d post a great report from a guildie on his encounter with a true tank o’ terror  in HUK. When I first read it I was amazed, thinking it was a one-off, but it sounds like this is now how people expect PuG Heroics to run. Which is kind of depressing for a new tank, or for those that think speed isn’t everything.

He started the run saying “Hi Guys – Has everyone done this before?” and everyone answered yes. “ If everyone’s ready lets go :-)”

And so off we started… he ran up the stairs and picked up everything in the corridor… I thought he had made a mistake but in moments they were all dead. Then the pace picked up. He pulled everyone in the next room… Few seconds and we got them down too…

Then he pulled the entire Dragon room in one pass around the room – Both sides! I mean he ran back and forth in a zig-zag pattern across the room all the way along it. When he first did it I thought OMG we are all going to die. Next thing I know there is a massive pile of dragon bodies and riders around him. It was incredible to watch. And kind of sad because we were all noobs compared to this guy.

He just kept running forward. He was like a magnet. Once in a while he would stop and we would try to help kill all the trailing mobs (and I do mean multiple mobs) but then he would just start running forward again. It kind of felt like he was picking magnetic lint off himself. There was not even time to loot the bodies. The other three players and I just had to keep up. Each boss got smashed and any hapless mobs with them. The poor resto-druid and I were just running in his slip-stream. Half-way through the healer whispered me saying “I have not had to heal the tank yet :-)” .

He ran into the prince’s room and pulled everything including the Prince and the skeletons and ran out the other door without us.  The only reason we did not get the Ice Block achievement was because the healer got trapped in passing and the rest of us stopped to help him. If we had probably waited a few seconds the boss would have been dead and we would have had it but no one thought about it. I think we were starting to realise this  guy was REALLY good. Then  I noticed the title (which I had to look up) Conqueror of Naxxramas  – Participated in the realm first defeat of Kel’Thuzad in Naxxramas in 25-player mode. 11-24-2008 – Realm First!

The final Boss was dead so fast that the rest of us just had time to realize we had already entered the second phase by the time we had run onto the platform. Thankfully there is a brief speech before the second phase. I didn’t even bother moving away from the smash because there was no time for the boss to do one. Then he said “Thanks for the run guys” and then was gone… The whole run had taken about 10 minutes

So weird… A seriously amazing player…”

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