I made the decision last week to spend my game time on Mondays working on alts, at least until the new patch hits and maybe even then. It’s been fun. I’ve worked on a lowbie warlock I had and my healy monk primarily. I also started a Panda rogue and I have to say, I LOVE the animations of a panda rogue!
Anyway, I experienced something today on the healy monk that I’ve talked about before, and the blogging community at large has discussed off and on – the plight of being a new tank in a dungeon.
My healy monk has done very few quests and has leveled mostly by dungeoning. I’ve been trying to make sure I do each dungeon at least once… including the end game BC normals. I’ve finished most of them and am sitting at 71 now but I’ve still got a couple to hit [the queues DO pop for these... especially in the evenings].
Anyway, I got into Botannica and we’re moving along at a pretty good clip through the trash. The pulls aren’t huge and aren’t as big as I could heal through but I’m not going to complain about an easy run as a healer. It even looks like he’s analyzing the pulls and doesn’t appear familiar with the instance – most people I see in there on a lowbie now aren’t familiar. I ran most of them umpteen times in BC so I remember them pretty well.
About halfway through the run one of the dps starts complaining that he’s hideously bored. I mean the whole run might have been 10 minutes long… eh maybe 12… so we’re only 5 or 6 minutes in. The second the next boss dies, the dps takes off for a corner and pulls a pack of mobs [and frankly a pack of little seedlings any dps should solo fine] so the tanks runs on past and I follow the tank.
Mouthy dps: “Dumb tank!”
Me: “I’m not sure how a dps pulling a pack equates to a dumb tank. I donna think that word means what you think it means.” Yes… you can blame the Princess Bride quotathon my Sisters in law had yesterday afternoon.
Mouthy dps: “He didn’t even try to grab aggro!”
Me: “I wouldn’t either if you were facepulling packs for me.”
Mouthy dps: “But this tank is soooooooooooooooooooo slow.”
Me: “What if he’s new?”
Mouthy dps: “Well if he’s new he needs to practice tanking before he gets into a dungeon at all. Personally I think you should run battlegrounds before you do any dungeons – for practice.”
Me: “Tanking lowbie dungeons is better practice for tanking than bgs.”
Other dps: “Yeah you should be practicing in dungeons while leveling ideally.”
Me: “I hate pvp. I guess you’ll just have to deal with a healer who also didn’t practice in bgs.”
The dps backed off at that point and then apologized. The fact was, the tank was holding aggro just fine on any pack he pulled, his dps as a tank was where we expected and he was quiet and trying to do his job.
I know some people would argue that the tank should have looked up the fights, but the reality is that mechanics in these five mans mean nothing… the boss dies in less than a minute as things stand right now. I didn’t have anyone go below about 90% health except the dps who ran off by himself. And he only hit 50%.
I will say that I’ve noticed a trend as I level these alts… the dps queue gets progressively longer… whether that’s from tanks not queueing or more queueing as dps instead or just dumb luck I don’t know.
But if you don’t want a tank starting in lowbie dungeons, max level dungeons or LFR and you don’t want them questing because they can pull the whole zone and cause others to wait and tanking in PVP… well there’s not much to tank there and it doesn’t really prepare you for dungeons or raids and there’s no tank gear unless you’re a monk or druid.
Where EXACTLY should new tanks learn?