Hello, my tanking compadres.

You know how we’re always talking about getting aggro, holding aggro, managing pulls and working with DPS and healers to get groups running smoothly?

We’re always talking about that kind of stuff around here.

As tanks, we worry about how to get aggro on big groups of mobs, how to hold them all successfully, and generally do our part to reduce the stress levels of the team.

Now, I don’t have any figures to support this, but I think most of you that I know through the website tank because we enjoy that intense feeling of being a valuable member of a team when you tank and do it well. You get some warm fuzzies from your friends.

Plus, we like pain. We eat it like candy.

I’m sure a lot of the tanks you see out there in the wild chose that role for faster queue times, but I bet they’re outnumbered by the people that started to tank because somebody had to do it, and they were willing to assume the responsibility and try.

If you’re visiting this blog, chances are decent you actually give a shit about being a good tank, regardless of why you started doing it.

We tank because we care.

It harshes our mellow when somebody is lying dead on the floor during the pull. It especially torques us off when, for whatever reason, the healer has something chewing their face.

Doesn’t it?

See, that is what I see in the comments on this and other blogs, but when I’m in actual pugs with other tanks and DPS, that’s not quite the case.

People who play as tanks are people too, and are just as liable to do the same screwed up stuff.

I decided to get a different point of view. I went sniffing for a conversation that was really representative of the attitudes I see in the real world.

I found what I was looking for at the MMO Champion forums.

There was a thread that started out innocently enough. The question posed was, how do you as the tank handle DPS players that pull for you, without being a dick or causing problems for the rest of the group?

That’s a pretty nice topic for a blog post, I was interested in seeing what came out of it. After all, there were NINETEEN pages of replies, there must be some good stuff in there, right?

The range of replies covered such insightful thoughts as;

Complain more.
Pull faster.
Do your job right.
Lol 5 mans is srs bsns.
I never have problems as a tank, so you must suck.
Teach them a lesson and let them die.
DPS have to wait for groups longer than tanks, so stfu and pull faster. (Basically, different versions of “it’s your fault if I pull for you”)
Your job is to protect the party, regardless of what the party does. So deal with it.

If you play a tank, I’d seriously recommend reading the thread. At the very least, it provides lots of examples of the kind of people that are really out there, and how they think.

Before you think that the purpose of this post is to scare new tanks off, let me get to the point.

If you tank in random groups a lot, regardless of how fast you move or how much chain pulling you do, there will come a time when a player pulls for you.

Why? Because they’re bored. Or they’re a dick.

Or maybe because no matter what you do, some people are never satisfied, because it’s not what they’re doing now that is important, it is how long this will take so they can do another one.

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do something else. Pursuit, by Stephen Dobyns.

It doesn’t matter. How do you handle it?

My opinion on this and any other behavior issues in groups these days, is to ask if it’s causing a problem.

If someone in your group is doing something or saying something that pisses you or someone else off, it doesn’t matter if you are the only one feeling the anger or frustration. When you’re playing a video game, the only frustration you should feel is what comes when you fail to beat a mob (or other player in PvP). You get enough crap in the real world, you don’t need to deal with it in the game too.

Your group is supposed to be a team working together, even if only for 10 minutes. If someone can’t rein in their assholish tendencies for 10 minutes so that the group runs smoothly, that’s not a sign that you suck, the healer sucks, or of suckitude in general. It just means you’ve got an immature ass in the group.

The question you need to ask yourself is; is it bothering you enough to drop group?

How you react is what makes the game.

Me, I don’t take the shit. I tell them to play it straight or find someone else. I’ve got plenty of characters, if people can’t act like a mature adult for 10 minutes, I don’t waste my time with them, I just move on to a different character until the debuff timer goes away. Life is too short to screw around.

I don’t even worry about the rest of the team, because I know when I drop group they’re at the head of queue for a replacement. The next solo tank to come along is going to fill their group, and more power to ‘em.

Maybe you’re not quite at that level yet. Maybe you prefer to follow the “you pull it, you tank it” rule. In that case, just make sure you take a second to talk with the healer in a whisper, find out how they feel about it. You’re not making things any easier on the group if you let the pulling DPS tank something, and the healer refuses to give up and let them die. If the pulling DPS can wipe aggro or misdirect it, then all you’re doing is giving everyone else a headache.

Maybe you don’t really care how people act in groups. After all, one boff they’re off, and you never have to see them again, so why waste your time by dropping group now? Just check with the healer, see if they care healing one real tank and one fail tank in the same run, and if you’re both overgeared anyway, go for it.

And there is one other things to keep in mind. Maybe you are being more cautious than you have to be.

There is a lot to be said for pulling at a rate you are comfortable with, but who says you play WoW to be comfortable?

It’s good to push yourself, to see what you’re capable of. The wild card in your group is always going to be the healer, so why not whisper and ask them if they feel good with the idea of you pushing your pulls and seeing how fast you can go? If the healer says they’re just learning, then take it easy. If they say “Lol I raid Rag Hard Modes, go for it”, then wtf… go for it! Have fun, pull to your hearts content, go nuts. If you die from having too much on you and the healer couldn’t keep up, then I guess next time people won’t complain as much if you mark for CC.

Just remember, you don’t have to take shit from anyone, but you don’t have to draw a line in the sand everytime someone acts the tool. No need to get confrontational, if someone pulls for you, it’s up to you to decide how to respond.

A simplistic “pull faster” or “I never have a problem” just shows the person doesn’t know what they’re talking about, because every random group is going to have different gear and skill levels. All it takes is to get a brand new healer with minimal mana who keeps stopping to drink, and it’s not going to take long before you’re pulling a group when the healer is sitting out of range and out of mana.

What are you going to do, yell at the healer for being new? That might work once looking for raid comes out, but that is what five mans and gear levels are for. Part of being a good team player is actually trying to work within the capabilities of the team.

I will advise you as the tank to always check with your healer as soon as the group forms. Just a quick “Hey, I’m well geared and know the fights (or aren’t and don’t as appropriate), you mind if I push the pace” will tell you where you’re at and how to proceed from there.

If you like to go with “You pull it, you tank it”, then make sure the healer is on board with that plan. Some healers will just heal them too, and if you’re winning anyway, well, why not? I’ve been playing a Paladin alt as a tank up through the levels, and sometimes the DPS pulls other groups while I’m still on one, and hey… if they live because of their heirlooms, well, so what? Go for it.

Whatever, it all comes down to remembering you don’t have to take shit from anyone… but if you honestly don’t care what they do and it doesn’t bother you, and you and your healer can handle it, then why not just roll with it?

The one point I saw that is true is that it’s not your job to teach someone else the right way to play. They know not to pull for you, if they pulled that shit on a boss fight in a raid they’d be booted and they know it. But they have no respect for you or the content they’re doing, because ZA/ZG is ‘srs bsns’.

No, don’t take action with the intent of educating them.

I prefer to think of them dying while you watch as being more along the lines of letting nature take her course.

I just wish there was an effective /popcorn emote in the game, where a little red and white striped bag appeared and you tossed a few kernals while watching and giggling.

38 Responses to “Pull Together or Pull Apart”
  1. bigbearbutt says:

    Don’t ask me what happened, but when this originally went live comments were blocked. Weird. Well, fixed.

  2. Digit says:

    Yep, no idea BBB, especially since the post almost seemed to be promoting discussion.

    Speaking of, I admit I’m the tank that usually takes the ‘let them die’ approach, though I like to do warnings. First warning ‘you pull it, and I’m not going to taunt it wherever it goes.’ second warning (generally if they’ve dropped threat and I’ve had to pick it up) ‘do it again and these nice people will decide whether they have you or a tank’ third time, vote kick, if it passes, stay, finish dungeon, if it fails, leave dungeon and do something else.

    The warnings actually came about primarily from the vote kick system not letting you kick for 5 minutes upon entering >.< Blizzard, why did you do this? and why did you punish for repeat kicks. Glargarble

    Anyway, this is why I’m preferring guild runs. I also think there’s been a pretty bad rush of bad tanks for that silly call to arms reward bag that gives some of the rare mounts and things you were talking about in your last post for a much easier time.

    Admittedly, I’ll follow this same exact procedure as a healer or dps, tank pulls darnit, even if the tank is speaking up, I’m assuming he’s annoyed.

  3. Cameron says:

    Your attitude pretty much seems to mirror my own. To be fair, I almost never have issues/blame/complaint happen to my tanking + gathering alt. Literally the only time I can think of is a guild that kicked me because the healer – who thought he was AWESOME because he’d healed post-nerf Nef – thought I took “too much damage” on Akil’zon. Who doesn’t even really do tank damage.

    I was pretty wtf.

    I told them I’d cleared both the instances multiple times, my gear was obviously sufficient for it, I was using my cooldowns both intelligently and frequently, and if the healer couldn’t handle tank healing on akil’zon he just sucked – but if they wanted to kick me they could. And they did. Shrug! Some bads be crazy.

    Other than that, if whatever some failbot is failing at isn’t actively causing someone else to have to cover for them or risk a wipe, I’m pretty indifferent.

  4. Kel says:

    I have to admit, that kind of attitude was what made me quit tanking. And healing, for that matter. Pretty much all my ‘hybrid’ characters are primarily dps, with tank/heal off-specs that I only (rarely) use to help friends. I have more fun dps’ing anyways, and that’s the point of playing the game, right? To have fun? :)

    …I would also like to mention that I am a good, well-behaved dps’er.

  5. Minos says:

    “Let them die” doesn’t work half as often as I wish it did. I do make sure to “enhance” their repair bills though.

  6. Ngita says:

    If they are just mouthing off and the run itself is fine i am more likely to just put them on ignore. I dont have to group with them again and I dont have to listen to them for the remainder of the run.

    My booting them or dropping group both have consequences for me and the my personal vote kick timer. I have been known to let people die to encourage them to leave.

  7. Mhorgrim says:

    Personally I try to warn them a couple rounds, explaining especially for my low lv warrior tank the abilities I have on hand. That being said, If they don’t listen after the second warning, you spank you tank is my attitide. when Im dealing with 3-4 trash and making sure my healer doesnt get smacked I dont have time to deal with less than acceptable behavior. I do more on the DPS in toons so am often trying to support my tank in a group and I don’t pull unless requested. It’s simple mechanics. I also do a quick gear inspection prior to an instance. I base my strat of of that and ask them to hold off till I get a solid aggro line going. Most times recently I have had little troubles, though occasionally I get the idiot that says they are bored or they can handle it. I set macros for party chat to let them know when I LOS pull or go in full bore. It’s a toss up. Lately I have seen an influx of new players on our server, like brand new. No BOA gear, nothing. Maybe transfers, maybe new to the game so if I got a sec I give them the lowdown on what I’m doing. About 85% of the time they listen. When they don’t well they learn the hard way and often leave group after wiping. Just my two coppers.

    Oh yeah, I havent posted much since I was deployed out to Afghanistan so thats why I have been silent. Im back and The Rusty Blade is back in action for posting. Good to see you all again! Drop by when you get the chance and say hi!

    ~Mhorgrim and alts

  8. Freele says:

    I hate people that pull for me in dungeons, for me at least I go in with a personal friend (she heals I tank) and we both just let the asshats die and keep pulling. It’s amazing how fast people quit pulling when they don’t get a rez.

  9. Shorah says:

    I’ve been leveling a warrior through LFD and have run into quite a few MUST PULL NOW people. I’ve let some die, typically without the healer dying as well.

    I really wish that Blizzard would get rid of the kick protection. If someone is getting kicked so much that they are PROTECTED from being kicked… well, maybe they should be banned from LFD altogether. Since I’m in the mid 60s atm and warriors are stupid OP at this point, I’m always top dps, single or multi target, so typically regaining aggro isn’t an issue. It’s still a dick move when a hunter decides he’s awesome and pulls (I mean… we’re chain pulling anyhow, why cheetah and run ahead?)

    Haven’t had the issue so much in Zul’roics, but then I pretty much chain pull those as well and anyone running ahead would have to be bent on toon suicide.

  10. Tesh says:

    I’ve only main tanked once, leading a four-man group in the Scarlet Monastery after the Warrior tank disconnected. We were already being cautious because we were a man down, so they let me pull without a fuss. It really is amazing how well a group goes when you just bother to communicate in a polite, honest fashion.

    …I’ve gotta say, though, if I were to start tanking five-mans regularly, I’d let jerks die, and if they don’t get it, I’d leave. I like taking point for players who play well in a team, but I feel no social compulsion to save annoying players from their own Darwin moments.

  11. Tsudrats says:

    You reminded me of a mage in Hellfire who was happy pulling enough it left me and my dk tank wondering if he was going for a full clear of the place. I asked him in party chat to go a little easy for as while he was in full heirlooms I wasn’t and then got ready to drop as much red muck around his feet as he could. At the end of the run he whispered that I’d done well, most tanks let him die when he does that … fair left me scratching my head. May I never see his hairy gnomish butt again.

  12. Eryius says:

    Although I tend to heal mostly in stead of tanking, I think a lot of your post would also apply to healers actually. Since as a healer you also have the choice to let people die if they pull (aggro) unnecessarily and I wholeheartedly agree with you :)
    Try to not be bothered and heal throug it if you can, often it’s the high level well geared players who do this, so they dont die that easily anyhow.

    On a positive note though. I’ve been levelling my holy priest from 70-76 now with instances only and I must say that pug behaviour has been very good so far. Once in a while you get this tank that after 1 horrible pull says “g2g play CS 1.6″, but in general it’s been a pleasant experience.
    And indeed, many tanks actually ask if it’s ok for me (as healer) if they pull big and fast. I usually tell them I have no troubles as long as they check my mana and my range (which they then surely will do) :)

    Let’s hope things are improving in pugs. Or is life simply a bit better in the non-endgame range?

  13. fiad says:

    hey bb only comment once in a blue moon when i wanna chim in with my 2 pence but this is a topic that i perticualarly like, i am of the school you pull it you tank it but at the start of every run before i know what the group will be like i always whisper the healer and say no matter how the group is i will keep you up as i can solo this trash with a healer i very well geared so its no skin of my teeth and if they dps pull they can have it i will only look at it when they start to chew on the healer, letting the healer pick if they let the player learn from pulling or not but each to there own with this topic ofc every tank is different on this one tis been intresting to read some of the different methods people have on it

  14. Caliea says:

    This is a topic that really interests me.

    I’m leveling my first healer right now – finally have my shammy up to level 80 , and the entire time I’ve leveled her, I’ve done LFD with my husband as a tank. It makes it pretty easy to coordinate what we’re doing, but at the same time, I have a hard time correcting any PuG members when I feel like they’re pulling aggro too much. Since I’m still new at healing, I still take it *very* personally when anyone in the group dies. I have yet to let anyone die on purpose, although we did have one spectacularly offensive DK in our group whos health hovered at around 10% most of the time because they were on the very bottom of my To Do list :)

    I like reading discussions on this topic because I think that our tank/heal combo is too nice most of the time. My husband takes it personally when he doesn’t have aggro on everything , and I take it personally when someone dies. So we’re not good at letting people die to ‘teach them a lesson’. Adding that to the fact that I still don’t feel like I always know every single encounter, and I’m never 100% certain that someone takes damage because they’re a bad player or a mechanic is just randomly targeting people, and it’s hard for me to justify.

    I guess my question is… how do you figure out if it’s really someone being bad, or it’s just someone learning? I’d hate to punish someone if they’re just trying to figure out a class or how to play. I always have in the back of my head “What if this is their first toon? What if they truly are that lost?” I try to chat in /p and warn people if I feel like they’re consistently pulling aggro by targeting the wrong things, but where do you draw the line and walk away?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Are you sure you’re not Cassie using a psuedonym?

      Just kidding.

      You make a great point, how do you know?

      What I’ve found is that if you ask them nicely to stop pulling for the tank, or if you let them know gently that what they are doing is causing you stress or adding difficulty to the run, the new players and those unfamiliar with what is going on will respond to you. The asshats will either ignore you completely, or start blaming their behavior on you or the tank. That definitely helps.

      • Eryius says:

        As you say, people that are learning will often respond kindly to some nice questions or advice. Also, you can also read something from how they do it I think. Ninja-pulling can look clumsy, or it can look “well-done”. If a hunter pulls, then disengages to just behind the group is probably messing about. A hunter that pulls and simply gets ganked by the mobs, probably doesnt realize whats going on.

        I’ve seen mages start casting pyroblast and stop just in time. Doing that a few times until the tank came within range and then bam! Those ppl are likely knowing what they’re doing.

        Finding out if people are missing fight mechanics can be tricky, for sure. That requires practice I think.

  15. Manxome says:

    Shocked, I was, that the comments were closed.

    I find when I’m tanking with DPS that are painfully rude that I do a few things. I try to talk to the healer and see where they land. If the healer and I are in the mood for lessons, its fun to kick back and watch. I will frequently go ahead and let the DPS “handle” the pull if the healer is healing them — in this scenario I will stand by the healer and keep the mobs off should they come this way. Once I went though half the dungeon doing this and, when confronted, I said, “you’re doing fine. I’m just here to protect the healer.” – I figure turn-about attitude is fair play.

    Sometimes I play games with the DPSer who is a problem. I had one while leveling an alt tank who went to bear form to DPS — complete with growl. The game I played is “despite your growl, try to keep them on you” and stayed away from my taunt and just out aggro’d each growl as fast as I could.

    Other times, I can actually enjoy a bit of stupid DPS pulls…its nice to practice movement, distance mob collection, keeping the healer alive, blowing cool-downs, etc. Its sort of a “disaster management 101″ course, some of which may be helpful in a raid or more controlled situation. Admittedly, I have very little patience for this while tanking, but when I heal, I look forward to this because the practice seems more easily applied to meaningful runs.

    I will also happily and enthusiastically just drop group. I’ve definitely gotten to the point with my tanking that I don’t feel obliged to suffer for a group.

  16. Dubhe says:

    I only have a small Fury warrior and a Blood DK for tanks that I play around with. I never really felt comfortable tanking in PUGs in this game.

    My main is a DPS kitty with a Resto offspec. I am still sort of new to the resto and still getting used to the healing/mana usage but tend to do relatively well. I will always keep the main tank alive first and if for some reason they fall they will get my battle rez. So far this has not happened in 5 mans, but it has in a couple of raids.

    Anyway, as melee DPS I try to let the tank get aggro before going into a full attack. Even then I will generally still have to hit cower to drive down aggro and if the tank is undergeared it can make it difficult to throw aggro back unless I just stop. Any suggestion in this scenario?

    As tanks is there any recommendation to melee/ranged dps to help you out more and help to make encounters more successful?

    But if I do decide to tank with a group of unknown people (i.e. not friends or guildies), especially after reading that thread and someone pulls on purpose without saying anything just because things aren’t “fast enough”, I would let them tank it themselves. Those attitudes are exactly why there are few tanks and healers available.

  17. Gilgalen says:

    I find my tolerance for asshattery varies depending on how the work week is going. :)

    This is really a tough one. We all have different things that make us tick. I don’t care for someone else pulling for me unless I’ve asked them. Some prefer the extra challenge of saving stupid. I don’t think the issue is so much proper procedure as it is just generally giving each other some consideration. And since tanks and healers are the ones that bear the brunt of stupid, a little deference isn’t much to ask for.

    Pretty much I don’t PuG alone ever anymore. I always regret it when I do. Because normally it would go like this. I would politely ask the DPS to not pull for me. The usual response is that this is easy mode, learn to play. I just tell ‘em, sorry I guess I am not good enough for this group and drop.

    You can’t fight deliberate rudeness over the internet. Sadly, this is what will kill WoW in the end. Eventually some company will come along and actually police the community and the support players will flee in droves. Then WoW really will become Diablo-MMO with just the battle.net kiddies. :D

    So, nowadays when I do run it’s with at least one guildie, usually my wife. When you have an automatic two votes, vote-kick becomes a real option. I give everyone a chance, but I will not tolerate deliberate rudeness, no matter how good the player is. The pixels just aren’t worth the grief. So, they get better behaved, they get booted, or I leave. I just don’t make a fuss about it.

    I would rather play with someone that wants to be a team player and sucks than someone that is awesome at video games (WoW is not my job). So, I will stick with the fury warrior in agility gear dual-wielding daggers pulling less dps than the healer (really, this happened) who just wants to have fun. Not everyone gets better, but when that random person you met in a PuG two weeks ago was pulling 3K dps and with a some helpful advice is now pulling 15K dps. That’s worth a lot of wipes.

  18. Herr Drache says:

    Of course, putting my $.02 in doesn’t really help much, because the people who need to read it don’t read your blog ;)
    Still, though, having read parts of that thread on MMO… disturbing. THAT’s why I don’t like to pug – it’s people with those attitudes. And those attitude, I’d say, are the largest factor in the “tank shortage”.
    I’m not a fast pulling tank, well, mainly because I do actually loot the sparklies! I also don’t have all the dungeons memorized – I do like to find the dang caster/ranged mob first, which also takes a second or three.
    On top of that – I put my gear together for raiding, not for 5-mans, which means that hit and expertise are quite low, so I might miss a shield-slam on the pull.

    Some day, I’ll have the guts and tank a pug – just to get a few satchels for pets etc. Or I’ll have a few drinks, won’t care, and then tank a random ;)

  19. Stubborn says:

    This is an excellent topic about acceptable game behavior. I’ve been leveling two tanks solely via LFD (until I hit cata on my Dk and chickened out), and I feel like I’ve seen it all, including DPS who would pull and be able to survive by healing themselves, then cuss me out for not doing my job.

    I do like your point about talking to healers; as a DK, it was pretty easy (this is probably true for all tanks now) to just pull like made, blow CDs, death strike, and keep moving. However, I ALWAYS asked the healer first if that was okay. I never had one say no, though I did have one say yes, then not heal me and drop group.

    I survived anyway.

    Keeping lines of communication open is vital for any kind of teamwork, and 5 mans, srs bsns or not, are no exception. I generally ignore it the first time a dps pulls for me, then ask the DPS not to pull for me after the second time, then try to vote kick the third time (it virtually never happens since my CD is crap), then try a “let them die” approach. It may not be kindhearted, but if Blizz wants us to “police the community” and the only tool they gave us is a half broken kick option, then so be it. I’d like there to be more WoW police brutality.

  20. E says:

    I’ve been leveling up a little protection warrior (complete with heirlooms) and have gotten to the point that I’ve macro’d a greeting. It tells them I’ll be their tank for the run, to please let me get aggro before they engage, and that I promise for a quick run. For whatever reason, I seem to have less rage issues on the lil warrior than I do on my 85 Bear.

    I also have an addon installed called “BadPet” that whispers hunters (or warlocks, and even the occasional shaman) if their pet is taunting. Most hunters (and it has sadly been almost exclusively hunters in my encounters) will fix that immediately – I’ve run into a few who pull the “dungeons iz srsbsns” crap – in which case I either set them up for a vote to kick (after calling out their misbehavior in the group) or I drop myself. I’ve got plenty of alts I can play rather than dealing with douchebaggery in dungeons!

    • Fangtastic says:

      Great post BBB, I especially like your thoughts on how to respond when pugs want you to go faster. I’ve actually benefited a lot in my tanking from pugging – if the healer can go up, it is exhilarating to chain pull and to push the limits on your survival cooldowns and timing. It is one of the few challenges currently available at the 5 man level to a tank once you’re in some Firelands gear. I repeat though, this has to be something the healer is okay with, I am not suggesting making a healer miserable, but just pushing the limits of what the group is capable of.

      E, growl from pets is no longer a taunt. It does generate a chunk of aggro but as long as you’re actively beating up the mob (as a warrior, if you have rend ticking away on them for example) the pet will nip at your heals for threat but usually not overtake you.

      For me where it gets annoying is if I am trying to LOS or round up a pack of mobs and the pet zooms in and pick one up. THAT infuriates me. :)

  21. DC says:

    Dungeon Finder behavior has basically made me quit tanking. I am not bad at tanking by any means, and have three 85’s that can do it, but the stress of running pugs *IF* something goes wrong is no longer worth it to me. There is no room for error and heaven forbid you make a mistake (no matter what role you are). I am even starting to see problems when I run as DPS. I recently got kicked from a group after a boss wipe because I had PvP shoulders and belt on my mage. I was second on the meter, and the last one standing on the fight, but somehow, the PvP gear was the problem. I am not exactly sure how I would replace the PvP gear without running the very dungeons that are designed to upgrade said gear, but oh well.

    Here are the stages of my tanking “career”.

    1. New to the task…learning all I can, reading up on strats, gear – nervous I would make mistakes
    2. Getting better – running normal Cata dungeons pretty easily – gear is improving, having fun
    3. Heroics…and here comes the problem children – VP farmers who lack patience, manners, and tact – fun starts to diminish
    4. Dread – I don’t want to even queue because of what happened on the last run…sue me for not jumping over that last static cling
    5. Soldier on – hey, that run was good, decent group with no jerks, I will queue again
    6. Group refuses to CC, and the Adepts run wild – wipe and group kick
    7. Unload tank gear into bank, and get in line with all of the other problem children who wonder why there are no tanks

    This progression took months, but that is basically it. I don’t understand why people care if they wipe once, twice, three times…who cares? I never thought I’d be at the point where something that is supposed to act as leisure time is actually a greater stress than my career half the time. My problem is that I don’t really enjoy arguing with DPS in party chat, or get in petty squabbles about things that really should not matter. I guess it just takes a thicker skin than I currently have in order to put up with it.

  22. Capnskillet says:

    My sequence of actions as a tank are usually as follows:
    1. Say in party, “Let me pull please.” Some players respond well to this and will not do it again. In fact, sometimes it is an accident.
    2. However, if the player is intentionally being an a-hole, and says something insulting back like, “Pull moar” or “L2tank,” or if they are silent and keep going forward I will actually leave dungeon and immediately vote to kick. That lets the entire group know that I will not continue with said player.
    3. If the vote to kick fails (which it seems to do more than half the time), I tell the group I am not tanking any more and that they can either kick me or move forward while I leech xp. If they kick me, I reque and get an instant group.

    This may seem harsh, but I have zero tolerance for people intentionally being idiots. I am a high school teacher, and I have to deal with idiocy my classroom and I do not play video games to have to put up with idiocy there.

  23. Matojo says:

    How I deal tends to depend upon my mood that day.

    I’m clinically depressed. If I’m having a good day, I take advantage of that and do my best to maintain that good mood even in the face of LFG asshats. If I’m having a really down day, it’s better to get snarly at the random asshole in LFG than my friends (I’ll never see the asshole again, and as understanding as my friends are, I don’t want to hurt them).

    If someone pulls for me, my response will be one of the following:

    1. “Hey dude, don’t pull for me. Thanks.” – Sometimes they stop pulling sometimes they don’t. If they don’t, I’ll move to a different method.
    2. Let THEM tank. Hey, they wanna tank it, they can tank it. If they die, then I’ll grab the mob(s) and go back to doing what I’m doing.
    3. Plod along and pull off them anyway, if I’m in a good mood. If they pull too much, THEN they can die.

    When I’m running with one of my friends, we’re usually on skype together aaand that helps us coordinate.

  24. Xew says:

    “I’ve been playing a Paladin alt as a tank up through the levels, and sometimes the DPS pulls other groups while I’m still on one, and hey… if they live because of their heirlooms, well, so what? Go for it.”

    +1

    I’m leveling a Disc priest currently, queing as DPS (I could heal, but I play primarily healers and wanted to check out how good/fail Disc as DPS is – amazing, btw) Yesterday I got into BFD with a paired tank/healer bf/gf – fairly common these days. Just before the murloc boss, they drop – no explanation, just poof. Leaving me, a hunter and a mage behind. Well, we requeue, but the hunter gets bored and calls his pig tank pet. We jump on the murloc – me impromptu healing (bubbling pig and HoTing whoever has aggro) and penancing when needed between blasting. We 3 man the boss with no issues, get a new tank and healer and continue on.

    The hunter is over excited and tended to pull a lot – tank never complained, healer never complained (although a couple times I bubbled the hunter when he got over his head) but yeah – heirlooms and general knowledge of what the fuck we’re doing really helps.

    The game itself has gotten to the point where if you’re not in an 85 heroic (and the non-troll heroics are becoming this way too) you don’t need the traditional 1:1:3 make-up. Sure, you have to have people queue for the positions, but they don’t have to PLAY that position, for the most part. A tank is nice, but an arms or fury warrior along with a ret paladin do just as well – splitting a group and mowing down targets faster than a dps/tank combo. Heck, I ran RFC (first dungeon on my priest) with a druid tank who did the whole thing as a cat. No issues at all.

    I doubt Blizzard will move away specifically from the Tank/Heal/DPS trifecta, but they are making it easier to not be so traditional, for which I applaud them. Now if only the community will recognize the changing face of the game and stop making such rude comments in Trade.

  25. Suxxy says:

    I have 2 feral/feral druids, a prot warr & a newish 85 prot pally.
    My biggest red flag is “gogogo” from dps. My standard response is “gogogo fornicate yourself” (toned down here for the G rating) using as many go’s as they did.
    For the dps pullers, I don’t have it macro’d, but my standard response is “I believe everyone has the right to tank, it is not my place to inhibit you” (I borrowed that from somewhere on the web).
    I learned to tank at 70 with my Warr & Bear with a guildie elemental shammy who could out agro all the guild tanks, if & when he chose to. It made guild runs/raids *interesting*, but did make us better tanks. So I know how to keep agro most of the time (pre-agro-buff); as others have said, it really comes down to my mood on the day.
    I do not rush, I like to make sure we’re playing as a team (special note on the run from 2nd last boss in ZG when you ice the 2 ads before the last boss… there’s always someone who ices up & runs ahead. They either pull before everyone else gets there, or complain about peeps being too slow.) But a nice steady pace stills sees ZA bear runs with minutes to spare, rather than breakneck speed causing wipes and not making the timer.
    When a rog pulled the pack of snakes outside the cat boss in ZG for me with TotT on my druid, *when I was not in bear form*, I did enough to stay alive, but made sure they got agro back.
    It’s a game, and if their game is to push things, my game can sometimes be to push things back to them :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Ah hah! I had to wade through 94 spam comments, but I found yours and rescued it!

      You know, I go through my spam every day for no other reason than to look for your comments. I wish I knew why the f*(^ your comments keep getting classed as spam. Pisses me off.

      • Suxtobu says:

        /hug

        ‘Preciate it B3 :)

        (wonder if it’s the name? checking difference v1.0)

        • bigbearbutt says:

          Dug this one out of spam too. :(

          It’s gotta be something from one of my blog website plugins.

          • bigbearbutt says:

            I use both Akismet and Bad Behavior to handle spam, but at default settings. I don’t know how to configure them, so I’m sure one of those is doing it, but I don’t know how to get you in a protected status.

          • RobBy says:

            1 last name change test.

            If it’s not the name, could be my years of bad behaviour are catching up on me ;)

  26. Kemonojin says:

    This is much the reason I don’t pug solo anymore. I’m trying to have fun and cleaning up mess after mess made by someone else is not fun. Sometimes people ass-aggro, backing the wrong way to avoid an AOE or something. It happens. I’ve done it myself. No worries, we can recover from mistakes.
    If someone is deliberately pulling for me, I’ll ask them nicely to stop once, not so nicely the second time, then (if they’re not a rogue or hunter that can give me the threat, so I can’t do anything about it) ask the healer to not heal them and sit down and watch them die. Then I pick them up and we finish them off. I go sit on the clown’s face in bear form, explain how it’s much easier for me to hold aggro than it is to take it away and ask nicely one more time.

    If any of the replies are of the form ‘pull faster’ or ‘l2p’, I would do a ‘him or me’ kick.

    I don’t have the stress tolerance anymore. Scrambling to cover for some cellardweller asshat just isn’t worth the rewards.

    As a DPS, I keep my tank instincts. I NEVER pull unless asked, and will keep an eye on the healer in case something sneaks up. Although I wish it was a little easier to use, I love trap launcher. (Wish each of the traps was its own arrow.)

  27. Talexei says:

    Hello all,

    Speaking as a Healer (Resto Shaman) I am happiest when the Tank takes a second to ask about speed pulls or what to do when others decide to pull. I am more than happy to let death teach it’s lesson. Guess I have been lucky because it is very rare for me to have to heal idiots, but it does hppen and sometimes you just can’t heal stupid.

    Have to admit that the horror stories are also why Tanking is the one job I straight up refuse to try on my DK (the only toon I have that is capable of the role).

  28. Rumôr says:

    Love your articles BBB, even if most aren’t about Bears anymore :)
    Just finished my Blood DK to 85, making it 4 tanks and I seem to be the opposite of many of the people posting, in that I enjoy PUGS.
    4 new potential friends, and lately I’ve have very good groups (there are always exceptions though). I can honestly say I’ve had many more good to great groups than poor ones.
    Keep up the great articles.

  29. JK says:

    I have paladin tanks, and bear tanks. On both, I try and save the pull. If it wipes us, I’ll try a time or two more. If we still wipe because someone is pulling for me, I’ll leave after /p explaining why. I do let people tank what they pull, but I *ALWAYS* save the healer, and if they heal the puller, I’m kinda obligated.

    Before I leave though, I /addignore the asshat that pulled. I figure if enough of us do it (and I’m doing my part) they’ll never get a group with a tank. It’s my little F*U* to the asshat dps.

    On my healers, I heal everyone. I’ve never had a tank coordinate with me (lately, it used to happen years ago) recently. Most PuGs now-adays are silent from beginning to end. In fact, I’m of the opinion that if I never said /p HEYA at the beginning, we’d never say anything to anyone. On the healers, I also /addignore the asshats, that way I never get them when I’m tanking either, and hopefully eventually they’re blocked from groups.

    I know it probably doesn’t work, but it’s my little social protest.

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