Friday, June 4, 2010

I really hope I wasn't like this

So as I've mentioned before, I've been spending a lot of my in-game, non-raiding time leveling my Priest. I did pimp him out in a full set of Heirloom gear and I've been going at the task of leveling by questing in between random dungeon pops.

It's been a long, long, long time since I've done dungeons while leveling that weren't run with guildies. I'm talking vanilla instances. In vanilla WoW. Sure, I PuG Heroics now. But that's know...I'm running around in ICC gear. There's not a lot of challenge to most of them at the moment.

As my partner could probably tell you, I spend most of these runs not-quite shouting at my screen at just about every tank I run with. You can tell they're being played by people with mains that are used to running around Heroics in ICC gear. And while we manage to survive (most of the time), I feel bad for the people who are going to be running behind these tanks when stuff really matters.

I've learned a few things that I'm sure just about every Healer (or any frequent pugger, for that matter) probably will laugh at me for not knowing before.

For instance, I zoned into a Mana Tombs run. There was me, 2 other dps, a healer, and a ghost tank. Literally. He was corpse running. The other 4 of us were at the entrance of the dungeon and I could see that there were no dead mobs, so I figured maybe his queue popped while he was dead (never thinking that it would probably still drop him in the instance alive). So I made a casual remark about how zoning in to see a ghost tank didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence. Then I quickly added a safety wink so I wouldn't come off as a jerk 3 seconds after zoning in.

Then the tank pipes up, already on the defensive, explaining to me that he's dead because the healer wasn't healing him. As someone whose main is a tank and primary alt is a healer, this sounded strange to me. Healers heal tanks. It's what they do. If it were Ragefire Chasm or Stockades, that might be one thing. But we were in Mana Tombs.

So the tank zones in, we buff up and the pull begins. Immediately I understood what the tank was saying. "The healer isn't healing me," is sucktankish for "I'm pulling 3 times as many mobs as I should because I honestly believe I'm that awesome and I don't understand why my health is dropping faster than British Petroleum's stock." (Since I generally am the one tanking, I'm still not very fluent in sucktankish.)

If it's been a while since you've run Mana Tombs, I'll give you a little refresher on the first couple pulls. There's two groups of two mobs relatively close to each other and two single-mob patrols that will pass through the narrow gap between them. Through most of Mana Tombs, each mob that's pulled will spawn another (relatively weak) spirit mob a few seconds after being aggroed, effectively doubling the size of every pack. There's also random neutral mobs that wander around. They won't attack unless they're attacked first, but several of them will wander around the area the first few pulls occupy.

So the tank, in all his furry glory (he was a bear, which made me doubly sad), was Charging in to pull, one of the packs of two. He's be close enough that this would aggro the other pack of two. And before we could burn them down, the pats would make their way through the space, bringing our grand total of mobs to 12. Very fast wipe.

I whispered the tank and calmly suggested that he may want to try pulling with Fearie Fire and dragging the mobs back to us instead of blindly charging in. I was ready to be assaulted with a much more winded version of "What would a shadow priest know about tanking?" but he said nothing. And did exactly as I suggested.

...Until those first four pulls were over. Then he went right back to pulling everything with Charge for the rest of the instance. I sighed heavily, but we didn't wipe again so I let it go.

On that note, I've seen tank after tank face pulling instead of range pulling. All tanks have tools to pull from range, but they all insist on running right up to that waiting group. Now that I'm in Northrend, this isn't such a big deal. Packs are much further apart in Wrath content. In BC dungeons, I was pulling my hair out.

I've watched tanks with the patience of a jackrabbit on crack chain pulling in instances with healers that would go OOM faster than a mage. Let me tell you how well that went...

I've watched tanks tank mobs with frontal cone attacks and not face said mobs away from the rest of the group.

I've watched tanks pull with taunt.

It's all Most of the time I keep myself content by yelling at my screen while doing the best DPS I can. Only if we're wiping do I actually say something. Which is probably bad of me. When I see bad tanking, I should be more proactive in giving out tips. If they're not taken to least I tried.

Still, Cata is going to thin the ranks again, I think. Not that this will necessarily be a bad thing...


  1. I'll just say its actually quite intimidating tanking for you or Eat. Neither of you say a word tho I keep hoping you'll chime to fix me :)

  2. LOL. I feel better knowing I am not the only person guilty of yelling at a screen knowing the only person that can hear me is my spouse. Agree it seems a lot of low level tanks are forgetting that they are doing level appropriate content as they pull half the instance at level 50.

    I had a tank literally pull everything up to the 1st boss in Zul'Farrak. By some miracle we last long enough to get the majority of the mobs down but succumb to overwhelming numbers after all the caster are OOM. The tank rage quits but not before telling us how noobish we all are and that we suck more than any group has ever sucked in the history of WoW.

    We stayed together and asked each other did that really just happen. Five minutes later we get a SANE tank and proceed to breeze through with no problem and do 5 more dungeons after that.

    I have played multiple classes/rolls but never played a tank though I have wanted too. Now may be the time for me to learn as it seems the bar is pretty low right now and good tanks are worth their weight in gold. The primary reason I don't though is the other side of the coin...impatient dps...but that is another story.

  3. My general bar is "are people frequently dieing?" If that's not happening, the tank is doing well enough. Hell...even I can't seem to save Kryzzie half the time...

  4. I think I've ended up with a mage in about 95% of the dungeon groups I gotten into while on my Priest. Half of those seem to open up with Blizzard the moment the tank grabs any aggro. Most of the rest might wait long enough to breathe.

    Shadow has such a long startup time that pulling aggro is almost never a problem for me, and I still generally give the tank a good 3-count to get going.