Of all the roles in World of Warcraft, tanks tend to get the most respect just for showing up.
Players who go for DPS are there doing what everyone does everyday. Since everyone does it, there isn’t much inherent respect for someone as a DPS player. Nobody is sitting in LFR thinking, “Woah, a Beastmaster Hunter, that must be one heck of a skilled player!”
No. Nobody says that.
Healers are a mixed bag when it comes to respect. Those that have never played a healer often seem to think they just stand there playing whack-a-mole on a grid of health bars, afk half the time watching Benny Hill.
In fact, healing is mostly noticed in the absence. You don’t know how the healers are doing or that they’re even there until people start dying. I’ve noticed in LFR that many people don’t care WHY someone died. Apparently mechanics are out the window, and it doesn’t matter if you were standing in purple or not, if you died, it was the healers fault because LOL LFR.
Of course, those of us who have played as tanks know exactly what kind of hell we put healers through, and God bless you, you poor, sad, abused souls.
Tanks get respect just for showing up.
The tank is the boss, the leader, the supreme poobah that is going to lead us out of the desert and into the promised land of 90 Valor and great big heaping… bags of gold.
Now more than at any other time, 25 random strangers appear in a room, and all eyes turn to the tanks to lead the way and go go go.
The tank is expected to automatically (and instantly!) take charge and lead the raid, right up front in the spotlight, all eyes upon you. Better not screw this up.
It is the tank that starts marking, controls where bosses move, and has the full responsibility for positioning everything properly.
The difference between a run that goes smoothly and a run that has you screaming hatred at the monitor is generally how experienced the tank is with the fight, and whether they know how to position everything/taunt/tank swap properly.
So, full respect for tanks, right? They choose to take upon their shoulders that responsibility, and I for one am very grateful to them.
Most of them.
Sadly, not all tanks in LFR are up to the task.
Maybe it’s precisely because I respect those who step up and tank and fully appreciate what is involved in tanking well done that when I see someone queued as a tank with a piss-poor attitude, it sends me into paroxysms of rage.
Look, the only thing a tank truly has to have is the right attitude.
You don’t have to have maxed out epic gear or prior experience as a tank on the boss fights. In fact, you don’t even HAVE to have been in the LFR as a DPS or healer first to get some experience with the base fight, although I strongly recommend it at least once.
What you have to have is a desire to perform your role well, and enough give-a-shit to prepare a teeny bit ahead of time.
Let me tell you something. If you can’t be bothered to do the bare minimum necessary to have a clue what to do before you step in the raid, then pick something else to do in the game. You aren’t cut out to be a tank. Don’t let people think they can count on you, you’re not ready for it.
At the point where you don’t care, that exact point where you really just can’t be bothered, but you’re going to queue as a tank for fights that you have never seen before and have no idea whatsoever is about to happen, it is at that point RIGHT THERE that you have lost my respect, and I hope you get the reaming that you are due. Even for LOL LFR.
It doesn’t have to be that way. I could macro it, I see it so much, “Don’t know the fights? Never been here before? Next time why not try Fatboss strat videos on YouTube! Guaranteed to keep you from looking like a noob or double your money back.”
How to be better prepared to tank LFR, by the numbers;
1) Watch a strategy video.
This is an easy step to take. There are a lot of videos out there, easy to find, and many of them are funny to watch with great commentary. The Fatboss series of videos is good for this, and can be found on Youtube. No cost, easy to find, great sense of humor. A quick watch and you will understand what the basics of the fights are, without ever having stepped foot in the place.
Watching a video while someone else spoon feeds the fight mechanics to you is so easy that not doing it is inexcusable.
Maybe you want to be surprised by the mechanics, you want to experience it fresh and new.
Great. Go do it with friends on normal.
LFR with 24 complete strangers, queued as the tank with everyone relying on you to have a clue is not the time to be a dumbass. You want a fresh spoiler-free look at the content, do it on your own time with friends who love you and will put up with you because friendship transcends the stresses of time and stupid people.
2) Read the Dungeon Journal.
There is a resource built into the game that gives you detailed data on every boss in the new raids, every mechanic, every situation. Consider it a Gamefaqs for WoW raiding, a cheat sheet for chasing valors. Many Bothans should have died to get this information to you, and it’s all there, the weaknesses of the enemy, presenting you with all the info you need to shove your missile right up the enemy exhaust port.
The resource I speak of is the Dungeon Journal, and you can find it on your button bar. It’s okay, go look for it, spend some time reading through it. It’s pretty cool. And it’s free! They just GIVE this shit away! It’s like they want you to win, or something. Knowledge is powa, grasshopper.
It’s not perfect, I know. What the Dungeon Journal will not do is tell you what the ‘commonly accepted’ tactic is for handling a boss fight. It tells you what the bosses will do to you, not what you should do about it. But if you watched a video, they probably talked about the ‘commonly accepted’ tactics already, so you’re good, right?
And the Dungeon Finder will give you LFR specific information!
3) Do an LFR as something other than the tank FIRST, at least once.
I know you want tank gear. And I know that, until patch 5.3 rolls around, the only way you can queue as one spec and have a chance to get the gear of another spec is to change specs on the fly after the boss is dead but before you use your Bonus Roll for that boss.
Don’t lose hope, that DOES work! I’ve seen it happen.
If you have never done an LFR before, please run it as something other than the tank the first time. Give yourself that one chance to see the basics and integrate them before you add on the specialized tasks of the tank. You have no idea how critical the proper positioning of the bosses can be for these runs. Tanks make or break groups by how they position mobs, and both tanks are necessary for most of them. You can’t just queue for tank expecting to be the unnecessary offtank, and coast off of someone else doing the real tanking work.
If you really have to run it as the tank even for your first time, then I refer you once again to strategy videos and the Dungeon Journal. There are still ways you can prepare without announcing in full-on ignorance, “This is my first time in this raid ever, what do I do? Is there a taunt?”
4) Immediately whisper your co-tank when you step foot into LFR to coordinate with them.
When all else fails, talk to your other tank and work with them on who will do what. Maybe they will be experienced and will guide you on what they want you to do to back them up, maybe they will be in the same position as you, and you can agree to work together, boldly advancing into certain death.
It’s sad, is what it is.
I wish I could be sure that the people who need to see this ever would. The runs I’ve been on that make this post necessary leave a bitter taste behind.
I truly never expected to see a day when a 25 person raid would get someone who proudly proclaims, at the start of EVERY fight, “I’ve never seen this raid before ever, what do I do?” And it’s not a joke, or irony, or any of that! Dead serious, ignorant and queued as a tank anyway because why should they care? The queue was shorter and they’ll get better chances at tank gear. Truly has no idea, is in all greens and blues, but is there as the tank so yay.
First half of Heart of Fear, and on the fifth wipe of Horridon we are still trying to get through to the tank, “Stop, please stop standing in the purple circle. Please. Please, stop. Stop standing in the purple circle. Dear lord please stop doing it. Please. I just want my 90 Valor and to go curl up in a corner and cry, please stop.”
You don’t have to show up dripping epics to be a good tank. You don’t have to have run it a billion times. You don’t even have to have done it before, everyone runs everything for the first time sometime.
What you gotta do is, you have to care just a tiny bit that you are assuming a role that carries with it some responsibility. Just a little bit.
You have to give a shit.
When I think back over the years to some of the really nice people I’ve known who wanted to tank, who really wanted to try it but were afraid to because they weren’t confident in themselves or in their skill, who were nervous of failing under the pressure of all those eyes, judging them in case they weren’t great…
When I think of all the people I know who cared so much, who tried so damn hard to be perfect tanks, the stress of tanking for strangers could make them cry if things didn’t go well…
I want to take some of these new asshats and put their nuts in a vise. Just, give them a first class case of the nutcrusher.
Serious, no shit, I wish I could put an account on the ignore list and vote to kick them off the internet.
Ignorant louts. You give tanks a bad name.