Yet another fail "tank".

My brother and I queued for the heroic random together, today. I was on my paladin. He was on his hunter. I was healing. He was DPSing.

We get a group, zone into Halls of Stone and I see the tank is a paladin who immediately starts buffing kings. Okay, I buff wisdom and might, even though I have crap might. The tank gives us Sanctuary. I give us kings. It’s all good.

’till the second pull.

The tank takes a crapton of damage.

Like, a CRAPTON.

I’m actually having to use Holy Light.

In general, I’m okay with this. He “only” has 36k health, buffed. That’s fine. He’s using the badge shield. That’s fine. I figure that he’s undergeared and I didn’t feel like taking the deserter debuff. He was prot, at least, using Sanctuary, had Righteous Fury up. It appeared like he was putting in the effort.

My brother says to me, over vent, after a couple more pulls “MAN, this tank sucks! How can he suck so bad?”

“Well, he’s got to be a new tank. Look at his health.”

“He’s got a 5400 gear score.”

“What? Not possible.” I don’t have the GS mod enabled on my paladin (too much lag with it on) so I figured my brother was looking at the DK.

“I’m telling you, 5400 GS.”

“On the TANK? The paladin? The paladin who’s not me?”

“Yes. The tank. The paladin.”

“Not poss…i…ble. Hang on.”

I inspect him.

Sure enough, he’s got good gear. Great gear. But it’s ret gear and arena gear. He has precisely two pieces of gear on him with defense/parry/dodge/block and those are his weapons; the tanking axe out of H HoR and the badge tanking shield.

“Why are you wearing ret gear and arena gear?” I ask in party, as I spam the paladin with Holy Light against one of the big guys.

“Who me?” asks the DK.

“No. The tank.”

“Oh,” says the DK.

“its all i have rite now” says the paladin.

“Then you shouldn’t queue up as a tank,” I reply. Then my brother and I left the group in the middle of the pull.

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done it, but I have HAD it with idiots who don’t even make the slightest effort to be a decent tank. Had it! I am DONE with it. This guy, upon examining his armory, was specced thusly: 0/71/0. I wasn’t even aware that there WERE that many points you could spend in the prot paladin tree. His glyphs were crap. His spec is obviously crap (although he got all the good prot talents, he got nothing from ret to help with avoidance, like Parry, nor did he get Seal of Command to help with threat) and his gear was almost entirely DPS gear.

I shouldn’t have left. He was immune to critical strikes by virtue of resilience alone. And I had figured that would probably be the case. And I still left.

Why did I leave? I could have kept him up. Could have been a quick run.

I left because I don’t want to encourage people who don’t put any effort into their roles. I am exceedingly careful to NOT be a drag on any group I’m in, regardless of the role. Kurn was hit-capped before setting foot into a raid. Madrana upgraded her gear ASAP and was still holding on to some Tier 6/BT/Hyjal stuff until better stuff dropped. Lotana’s hit-capped. Katarah can heal just fine with her 4.8k GS and can even pull average DPS when she needs to as enhancement. Cayllan tanks and heals just fine, though it took a little practice and some extra gear at first (when I could NOT keep aggro from a geared, whirlwinding warrior or divine storming ret pally).

To top all that off, I use consumables to bump up my contribution to the group. Tanking on either Madrana or Cayllan? Yeah, I’ll be using Mighty Fortitude and Guru’s Elixirs, plus appropriate buff food (40 agi for the bear, 40 hit for the paladin whose hit rating is somewhat lacking). DPSing on Kurn? Agi/Guru and Mighty Thoughts Elixirs, plus agi food. DPSing on Lotana? Spellpower and Mighty Thoughts Elixirs, plus spellpower food. Healing on Cayllan? Spirit and spellpower elixirs, plus spellpower food. Healing on Madrana? At least a Guru’s Elixir or my Flask of the North, even for random dungeons.

Basically, I work at making sure I’m doing my best, regardless of the group into which I’m placed.

Other people just don’t do that.

And yet, I’m forced to play with them if I want to jump through the hoops Blizzard has so carefully designed for us. I run my daily on Madrana every day. I’ve missed THREE days, total, since the Dungeon Finder came out and we started getting Emblems of Frost for doing the first random dungeon of the day. That is a LOT of pugging.

I don’t expect people to do as much work on their toons as I do. I don’t expect others to be as considerate of the group as I usually tend to be. But I do expect others to make a half-decent effort. 0/71/0 is not a good tanking spec. Two pieces of gear with defense on it is not good tanking gear. That isn’t even putting in the effort to look up a halfway decent spec, you know?

What I expect of people is this:

– appropriate gear for the instance level. That means a tank who is crit immune via 535+ defense or Survival of the Fittest, NOT via 100% resilience.

– appropriate spec(s) for the role(s) they have selected. That means one that, even if slightly unorthodox, helps you do your job to the best of your ability. And it means that you tank in your tank spec, heal in your heal spec and DPS in your DPS spec. Tanking in a DPS spec, healing in a DPS spec and DPSing in a tank or healing spec will make me want to throttle you.

Even on my priest, who is now 50, I have not signed up as “damage” for any dungeon thus far because I am not shadow! I do not have a dual spec on that toon and am 41 points into disc. Thus, I do not queue as shadow!

Similarly, neither of my druid’s specs are damage specs, thus I never queue up as DPS.

Hell, same for Madrana, she NEVER queues as DPS because she doesn’t have the appropriate spec OR gear.

Is it really too difficult to ask people to put in the base amount of effort? Am I really expecting too much from people who play this game? I’m not asking for tanks with 60k health to heal through my random dungeons every day. I’m asking for a tank who knows the basics of tanking.

It makes me want to get on the druid and tank the living crap out of a bunch of heroics tonight just so that people don’t lose hope in the myth of “good tanks”.

8 Replies to “Yet another fail "tank".”

  1. While I generally agree (perhaps less vehemently, as I haven’t healed a run since Ulduar was srs biznis) I have to recall that H-VH where my DK tanked.

    I was in my DPS gear, except where I had managed to snag a couple of the ToC tank pieces. I pulled a few PvP pieces (and even resilience gems…) together and hit the crit immune cap. It was sloppy, but we made it through. Even got some tank pants out of the deal. But here’s the thing: I was with a group of friends. They knew (or should have) that I wasn’t a tank. I was just a plate-wearer who couldn’t be crit. I could join up in shitty gear, and they’d be fine with it.

    Why does that matter? How many times have you thought to yourself (or said out loud, either way) “if you want a piece of gear, queue up for that role?” Yes, yes, I know, “run a few regulars, hit the cap, then start heroics, you’ll get T9 in no time.” I agree, that’s what I’m doing on Ghera (hell, did my Argent Tournament dailies and got a Teldrassil Protector) before I start queuing for random heroics. But is that the general attitude of DPS?

    I know that when I’m on Ileia, I am ready to GO. Bring it on. Priests, toss a quick, cheap Renew on me, I’ll Life Tap IF I have to (ideally, Dark Pact, I’m not a complete jerk) and we can DO IT. I’ll drain-tank if I have to. And that’s a clothie. How many DKs, warriors, and paladins are going to be even MORE impatient, because they can actually take a hit or two before having to corpse run?

    Granted, they have DPS gear, they can run as DPS to get the emblems they need to get gear if they don’t want to work their way back up from 200 pieces. But with Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets still going for ~1k, and Wapach’s Spaulders of Solidarity being a pretty steep investment for their age, it can be expensive to get a “weak” set when they can just run instances they’ve had on farm for months (or years, in the case of Nexus, UK, or VH). They’re “easy,” pretty much any healer who hasn’t just hit 80 can keep them up, and they’re at least queuing for the role they want gear for. Right?

    I wonder if we’re sending the right message, but somewhere between getting from us to them, is it missing some major points? Do we need to start saying “don’t roll on tank gear until you get to the def cap through defense, not resilience, and then requeue and rerun it as a tank?” Because I don’t really want to have to macro that.

    Sorry, end of my “devil’s advocate” post.

    On to my “amusing anecdote of the day” post!

    I recently started leveling my huntard. Of course, last time I was on him, he was BM. I’ve always been a beast-mastery sort at heart. Even if I couldn’t beat him on the charts, I would always antagonize our TBC surv hunter for being specced “improved traps.” As such, he had a gorilladin. Her name is Magna. I decided I’d respec surv (just to see what all the fuss is about, despite being level 35) and queue up for a random. Scarlet Monastery, armory if I recall, and all went well. I was killing things, kited guys here and there when there was an add, feign-death-kited a group of mobs when the tank and healer died (and managed 3 kills in the process, pretty fantastic). All in all, I was feeling pretty damn good. I did that for a few more runs, and ended up in SM: Cath. Tank ran up, face pulled a mob, and died. I figured the healer wasn’t on the ball, but nope. The tank was actually naked. He dropped group, a DPS followed. The other paladin popped on a shield, pulled the next group. On we went up to the first door. We requeued, naturally, but found nobody for about 5 minutes. The mage /waved, left. So we took initiative!

    I started pulling mobs (one at a time, when able) and had Magna tank. Mend Pet up, paladin judged light, we were good to go. Took about 15 minutes, but we 2-manned it up to the big door just fine. I would pull melee mobs, Magna took the casters, I would kite the bitch up and down the instance. The paladin would grab runners, stun on heals. It was, all in all, glorious. The entire run went without a word. We just went in, looked at each other, and kicked some ass.

    Then we realized, neither of us had the key. :(

  2. God, agreed. I mean what if you’d been less geared/competant as a healer? People like that are essentially exploiting the hard work / dedication of others. Grrr.

  3. X – long, long story short, here’s how I expect people to gear:

    – Queue up as your main spec.
    – Examine the group you’re in. If you’re the only plate wearer, snag all the plate loot you need for tanking (or DPSing) and say “needing for offspec”, since literally no one else can wear it.
    – If you’re not the only person of your armor class, watch what the others do. If you wear leather and are a tank, but are being healed by a tree, watch what the tree does. If the tree passes, greeds or hits disenchant, hit need and say “needing for offspec”.

    It takes 15 seconds or so to watch what option everyone takes. Roll last. Don’t be a dick. That’s my philosophy. I have gotten some great gear for both of my druid’s specs this way, stuff that would otherwise have been vendored or disenchanted.

    The problem seems to be that the DPS who are masquerading as “tanks” have probably been yelled at for hitting need on tank gear when they’re not tanks. This is because their tanks have generally wanted said gear. If people were more considerate, overall, I don’t think we’d have this issue.

    I think you also make a great point about tanking on your DK. We knew you were going to be squishy. It was our choice to run with you. We knew what we were getting into.

    Sad panda on not having the key!!!

    See, I enjoy doing stupid shit. I love it. It’s awesome. But the difference is that I don’t inflict my stupid shit on other people. And I don’t want others to inflict their stupid shit on me.

    Tam – that’s a huge part of why I get pissy. I HOPE that idiot paladin (why is it always paladins?!) got a new-to-80 healer who couldn’t keep him up. :P

    Yeah, I’m occasionally spiteful. :P

  4. I always try to make sure my alts are geared accordingly to their spec. I also look up specs frequently to try to keep them in check for when I feel like doing some dpsing on another toon or tanking or healing. I don’t understand how people can just throw some whatever gear on, give themselves a lame spec and think that’s okay. In my opinion, I think that’s so stupid. It’s called reading up on your class, spec, etc. I am so sick of seeing people who just don’t give a crap. Even people who are new to the game should at least try to learn about their class/spec. Rawr.

  5. I have been a reader of your blog for about a month and would like to chime in on your response to the pally tank. I believe you were a bit too harsh. Although he did defend himself by saying that the gear he had on was all that he had, you left him no opportunity to defend himself against your follow-up comment, that he should not have queue’d up as a tank. In the eyes of a guy who’s probably ret and thought that tanking would help him get several more badges faster, i believed he did do more than what many others have done. I did cover the most important goal, to be crit immune, so why knock him when he could have just been learning to tank? Maybe he would have been a great tank. Maybe you could have helped in suggesting that he put some talents into the ret tree for threat and maybe then he could have been a better tank. But I find that, althought it may due to much frustration from many fail tanks, this guy did some homework and has put up some semblence of effort in gearing. I do not think he deserved the the “comment+dropgroup” response.

  6. Anon, I agree. I was too harsh. I shouldn’t have left and I felt remorseful afterwards because he WAS crit immune. That’s usually my line. If you’re not, I’m gone. If you are, I’ll usually work through it. But the 0/71/0 spec was really the kicker. It shows absolutely no research done, no initiative to be better. Google this:

    pally tank spec

    You get WoWWiki,, all on the first page of results. Estimated time to find a halfway decent tank spec, about two minutes.

    I really don’t think he did any homework at all. I think that IF he thought to himself “hey I can’t be crit ’cause I have resilience”, that it was based on a conversation with someone who was equally lacking in knowledge or it was leftover from BC when druids had to use resilience to help make THEM crit immune.

    But you’re right in that I shouldn’t have dropped group. The guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong gear and I let him have it. I shouldn’t have. And I do want to continue to encourage tanks — case in point, I healed Ramparts on my priest last night and the 60 pally tank had no idea what to do. I had to tell him to put on Righteous Fury, put on a seal that wasn’t seal of wisdom and buff himself with sanc instead of kings. So I did.

    I think it’s guilt from how I dealt with this guy. ;)

  7. Dont post this reply. =]
    Thanks for the reply. i know that there are many young tanks out there, especially with the LFD tool, it encourages a few to actually run as a tank and try it out. Some folks get it all wrong (the ret pally tanking in ret gear/spec, or the DK switching to Frost Presence only) but others are more prepared and just need to keep practicing. Anyway, keep up the good posts Kurn. I enjoy your posts greatly.

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