You Have to Earn Respect

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.

But tanks?

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.

30 thoughts on “You Have to Earn Respect

  1. I think there’s a difference between queueing for the first time on the first day the LFR is out and queueing for the first time when it’s relatively old content. For the first 48 hours you get a pass on not being exactly clear on the mechanics, so long as you’ve read the dungeon journal.

    Heck, last week Durumu and Animus were totally different from LFR on the PTR, and from regular/heroic mode. We had one ilvl 528 hero who kept trying to insist that we do Animus the ‘right’ way until we proved to him that the golems were activating at random, it didn’t matter where you placed the little golems pile.

    I used to queue first as ret, but it’s proved simpler to queue as tank the first time and force someone to explain the fight to me until I understand it. I put the people who complain on my ignore list. And I usually get a couple of whispers from other people thanking me for making the raid wait until I get a clear explanation.


    • I would almost swear that I was in that raid with you but I would imagine that most of them went that way at that time. 🙂


  2. I’ve done LFR a handful of times now, the last run was…the Klaxxi raid? We had one good tank, one who got butt hurt to start the run (for who knows what reason) and the other tank just…took over. Even when mechanics should have killed him (other tank should have been taunting or whatever), he just kept persisting. The healers were heaping praise on him/her too, so they were definitely going above and beyond the ordinary. Needless to say, we booted the other tank and finished the raid in relatively short order.


  3. Sorry forgot too mention to the young ones there was a time when all channels turned off around 11 o’clock no TV rest of night:)


  4. And love Benny Hill part. I’m old I used to stay up till 11 o’clock and watch on pbs just before all TV just shut mom never caught me:)


  5. I’m full tank I love tanking. My bear sets down next to healer every time low on mana. All bears and I assume warriors know sitting is a rage burn . I bow too and thank my heals every run.I have been asked why I watch the simply cause it’s my mana but I watch I prepare. Looks difrent when I pull 25 my healing teaches me no more. I’m watching different bars. But with 25 in group when I stop to scan room for spot I saw on video someone all ways runs ahead. And I charge in blind. Some of us try but with no guild help it just quick boot


  6. Andrew

    I think nationalist is the wrong word, insular is how I would describe your comment if I was to be charitable. I play in the EU realms on a realm whose main language is English but we regularly get mixed with other Eu realms that are not and we seem to rub along nicely.

    With such a mix in the Eu realms it always makes me surprised that a language barrier is such a problem to Americans. Do you only speak the one language? That seems odd from a country that has such a large Latin minority.

    Time to broaden your horizons I think.



    • Pretty much, yes. In the U.S., I’ve found there’s an expectation that folks will know English. I guess you could say that’s insular; on the other hand, our nation has a much larger population than yours, a much larger player base than yours, and until maybe two years ago, no expectation that we would be thrown into random groups in this game where some players would not understand English at all. While we have had players who regularly speak other languages – Alliance side of my realm happens to be predominantly populated by Québécois, and I play and interact with them regularly – in these cases there is enough experience through proximity that we usually can manage communication.

      You are probably in a position where you are accustomed to making these sorts of interactions work, out of necessity owing to your cultural and geographical proximity. You cannot be insular. Consider though how separated Brazil is from the US. An analogous experience for you is not suddenly having to play with Spaniards; it would be having to play with Kenyans or zimbabwans as well, and ones who know no English at all. Now, in that set of circumstances, how would you go about explaining when to taunt during Tsulong and what to do when you need to clear stacks?

      Again, I’m not saying that how I feel is right in an idealistic sense, but it is a frustration I feel. Is it fair? Maybe not by your standards. You have to deal with this sort of thing all the time in the EU, but your cultures are accustomed to these interactions, and you’ve had this understanding since the game launched, right? It has not been the experience here, and it does have a real impact on the gameplay experience. I’m sure the Brazilians aren’t happy with us either, though this was done to dramatically shorten their queues.


    • I think that this is the first time I have ever heard “wanna play WoW? You need to learn a different language”. LOL


      • I think my intent is more: “want to tank for a group of 25 people most of whom don’t speak your language, and you don’t know the fights? Better make the effort to either learn the fights or learn how to communicate well enough to coordinate it.”

        Again, I’m probably being unfair, and my experiences are anecdotal, not data. When we choose to participate in group content, though, the gameplay experience goes beyond what we want as individuals from the experience; we also have a responsibility to our fellow players. If you are going to take on a role with as much responsibility as a tank and cannot communicate with most of the raid, you had better know the content.


  7. Our raid’s main tank refuses to tank LFR because he doesn’t want to put up with the attitudes people can get. My boyfriend has just started tanking and is giving LFR a shot, and I think I get more offended by people than he does. I’ll stick to my healer, I don’t want the responsibility of tanking for what, 7/9 is usually a bunch of idiots.
    I’m not being fair there, I suppose. Maybe max it’s 5 loud idiots, 3 people who don’t speak English chipping in, and no one else says anything.


  8. I tank all sorts of stuff. Heroics, scenarios, warbringers (yet Ive been healing them much more than tanking), random stuff, normal raids but I have not been tanking LFR this expansion. I tanked LFR in cata all the time on 3 different tanks (for me DPS is hard, healing is not so hard, tanking is easy) and for some reason I cant bring myself to tank LFR… but I dont know the fights so well even though Ive been doing it for a while. Oh well, I better learn so I can get in a tad faster. For me its concern over debuff counts and which tank should tank which. I havent read up or know enough to do it so I dont.

    Time to learn with Fatboss vids… well Ill try and watch them, sometimes these vids are too much for me and my mind explodes from boredom since I aint playing… time to tank!


  9. I absolutely agree with everything you said, except for the part where you suggest that good tanks should run as dps before they go as tanks. I think that any half decent tank with even mild situational awareness and a basic grasp of mechanics can and should go as tank first. Being dps in LFR is just painful, especially since to do that with any sort of responsibility you need to have a decent set of dps gear. In my opinion its easier to go as tank and just do all the tanky stuff. Honestly the mechanics are usually pretty different for tank vs dps so I don’t feel like you’re going to get anything out of a run as dps except experiencing your very own DBM warnings.

    But perhaps I’m biased: in my usual raid I’m Raid Leader as well as Main Tank, so only being tank in LFR seems like an easy job. (I NEVER queue as lead for LFR.)


    • I won’t try to change your mind.

      I do know that I’m tired of people queuing for a role of leadership without knowing a damn thing about what to do, and without having made any effort on their own part to prepare in advance.

      You did specify ‘good tanks’, and maybe you’re assuming that I know you mean tanks that have studied videos, or read strats so they know where to pull bosses to, when to tank swap/taunt, how many stacks of what, or how to react when searchlights and mazes happen.

      I agree, if a tank has studied properly beforehand, even just as simple a step as watching a strat video and reading ability breakdowns on Wowhead, they should be fine, IF they’re a good tank, and never need to queue as anything else. And once that first run is done, it’s a whole different ballgame, because they’ve experienced it directly and just need to apply what they’ve learned.


  10. The worst, in my opinion, is when you get a tank who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing, and doesn’t speak English either, so that you cannot even explain the strategy to him, or at least he seems impenetrable to suggestions. And because of this, your raid is in danger of wiping on every attempt of Tsu Long or Lei Shi.

    I know I am in danger of sounding extremely nationalist, but whenever I see that we have a tank from Goldrinn, I seriously consider just taking the deserter debuff. I *know* that there are good players from that realm, but I’ve had so many bad experiences at this point that it’s difficult not to be prejudiced, and I find myself wishing that Blizzard did not decide to put the Latin American realms in with other North American realms for random group content. If we cannot communicate with them, the game experience breaks down, and explanations required for tanking encounters go beyond simple gestures. I’m probably being unfair though. But what are we to do? Should I learn Portugese?


    • Goldrinn, Tol-Barad. Had two hunters from Tol Barad in a LFD once. Neither spoke english. Both had pet’s with growl on. By the end of that run, I hated the entire universe.


  11. HOF the first couple of trash pull have 2 or 3 Shield Protector mobs in them. They like to stun the tanks for a couple of seconds and once a tank get stunned, no amount of active mitigation is worth a shit and the tanks goes down real quick.

    As tank, i mark those protector mob so they can be zerg down quick but you know LFR dpser are all about padding their dps, so they blindly try to aoe down the whole bunch of mobs, the tanks get stunned, smashed into paste and the finger pointing starts……

    Experienced tanks will never blame healers cause they know dpsers are at fault here.


  12. Yea, it can be really bad at times. I’ve seen tanks severely undergeared(440ilvl is the lowest I or guildies have seen thus far), tanks without a clue, and all that. But I think my least favorite brand of tank is the tank without any situational awareness. The guy pulling before checking healer mana, the guy pulling the boss and locking out half the raid, and yes, the guy standing under Garalon. Yes, tank, even in LFR, even with a 30 second cooldown, Crush can and will wipe the raid.


  13. I did HoF on my main, with a couple of guildies – First half, with all those bug trash pulls. One tank wouldn’t last more than 10 seconds before going down, the other lasted a bit longer. Everyone was screaming at us heals for being terribad.

    I pulled up the Recount for heals, showing me on top with 42K HPS and the next 3 guys with upper 30K. I said “These heals are worthy of ToT, it’s not us.” Then they decided to look at the tanks gear.

    Dude that was cap’t caveman was wearing all PvP gear. ALL. No tanking stats on that gear, just decent enough iLevel to get into the raid. The other tank was fairly ok – mix of blues and purples, except his elemental shaman pants. Yeah. Tanking in Int mail. WTF.

    Needless to say, they both got kicked.

    It’s not just about being prepared with knowing the fights, it’s about being prepared with the proper gear. No amount of heals can keep tanks up when they can’t Dodge/Parry/Block out of a paper bag.

    I don’t know why tanks get an automatic first pass on being bad – it’s always the healers fault first… /sigh.


    • That trash is pretty ridiculously bad though. I’ve seen perfectly geared tanks still go down pretty fast on that, even with healers trying staying reasonably on top of it.


      • What happens is one tank becomes an aggro whore and pulls them ALL. Goes splat. The second tank (sans vengeance and healers having used their CDs already) implodes shortly thereafter. Some of that trash is not meant to be one tanked.


  14. Standing in fire
    And you’re to blame
    You give tanks a bad name

    Hanging in a void zone, that’s when you fell
    You promised me epics, then put me through Hell
    I need that valor, you’ve got that hold on me
    LFR with you is prison, and I can’t break free

    Oh, you missed that stun, yeah
    No, you didn’t bother to run
    Now no one can save you
    The damage is done

    Standing in fire
    And you’re to blame
    You give tanks a bad name (bad name)
    I heal and heal while you act insane
    You give tanks a bad name (bad name)
    You give tanks, a bad name

    “LOL healer fail” is on your lips
    Unused cooldowns at your fingertips
    A healer’s nightmare, you jump and flail
    The very first pull was a perfect fail

    Oh, you missed that stun, yeah
    No, you didn’t bother to run
    Now no one can save you
    The damage is done

    Standing in fire
    And you’re to blame
    You give tanks a bad name (bad name)
    I try to heal, but you have no brain
    You give tanks a bad name (bad name)
    You give tanks, a bad name


  15. As usual, I agree with you. I’ve been tanking since an old guild of mine needed a 2nd tank for Karazhan. I’ve leveled as prot. Dualspec came out and I had two prot specs. Pandaria came out, and… and…
    And I got a DPS spec just for LFR so that my “main” gets Valor points for tanking pieces. I’m looking at the people in LFR, and the strats in the LFR raids, and I’m going “you gotta be sh*ing me!” Multi-phase fights, different pools of “good” and “bad”, all kinds of things-to-do-with-extra-action-buttons…
    I became convinced that the only thing that can wipe an LFR raid is a tank who makes a mistake. I range DPSed LFRs on my mage. I healed LFRs on my priest. Easily, without even really knowing what happens. Tank screws up on some stupid mechanic that you forgot about? You’re dead, and then you get kicked. Especially now where it’s “omg you should know every aspect by now, it’s been out since forever”. And especially now where the older content is typically run by players’ not-so-well-geared alts (who forget that they’re not pulling 70k dps and should pay attention to the fire)

    Throne LFR is about the first 5.x raid that I’m thinking about tanking in LFR with a bunch of strangers.

    No, I don’t expect anyone to respect me because of my role. But I do expect a little courtesy if not forgiveness from people who don’t have to prepare and can totally wing it, and know that they cannot endanger LFR.

    But yes. Tanks who don’t prepare at all… the “arrotanks”… /shudder


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