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Friday, December 21, 2012

Not a Job

Let me guess, no DPS spec?


We all still seem to be here. I'll carry on, then.

Yesterday, I was in an LFR. One of the two tanks, a DK, managed to wipe us by gathering all the adds and then complained the Paladin was incapable of holding threat and them. When I pointed out to him it was his job to look after adds as much as it was the other tank, he went silent before pronouncing: 'This isn't a job, you know. Just saying.'

I hate to be that woman, but I think it is.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who sticks themselves up front in fights. Tanking, perhaps even more than healing, demands a certain type of commitment that, like it or not Mr DK, does make it like an actual job. Nowhere else is it more significant to be geared to a decent standard, and to come with an innate understanding of what happens in every fight. If you want to do it properly you can't just expect to turn up and hit stuff, though this doesn't seem to stop most tanks I encounter in LFR. In fact, the 'not a job' attitude is perhaps one of the main reasons I dislike the Raid Finder as much as I do. That however extends not simply to the guys at the front but to everyone who believes simply turning up and doing only what's needed is sufficient. You know who they are, and I'm not simply talking about the Hunter with autofire or the Healer who clicks the Heal button but decides to dps instead.

At some point, in many, many LFR's,  the people not doing the job end up outweighing those who do and chaos/ disaster are simply inevitable. How do you persuade people this is not the way it should be when we all KNOW this is just a game?

This is one of the reasons I think Blizzard work so hard to maintain the integrity of the Guild setup, despite fierce resistance from those who'd like to be able to raid all content cross server. Keeping a formal structure for people to learn and grow within is vitally important, and should be responsible for making tanks understand the significance of being capped in key stats and gemmed/enchanted to a decent standard. There are many people that feel Blizzard simply doesn't do enough to foster an environment that promotes the proper dissemination of information people need to learn their roles. That impetus is given squarely to the community to deal with, which is all very well, but again assumes that people will do their own legwork when it comes to comprehending what is needed and when it is appropriate. It is a delicate balancing act, and despite various assertions that the game is getting easier, it really isn't.

Now, more than perhaps at any time in the past, understanding what is expected of you needs to addressed far more than it is currently in game.

I've discussed various options to solve this 'problem' over the years, because it continues to be one when you come into an LFR with a wiseass tank (with mouth, attitude, lack of knowledge: delete were applicable) or heaven forbid two of them. But please don't think that my concern is being directed simply at the guys up front, because both healers and dps are just as capable of stuffing it up as well. The bigger deal with the tanks is simple: they are, in the end, the people who have to kill the bosses at the front, until such times as the content is trivialised by stat inflation and all you need is a half decent Hunter to do it. I think anyone who doesn't believe they should be 'doing a job' when it comes to tanking should stop and take a long, hard look at the game as it stands and grasp the one immovable truth: this isn't a one player game. Until such time as it goes to an App, or Blizzard remove raiding/5 mans altogether, you are NEVER going to be in a position where you won't come across someone else, even if it is at the Mailbox. As a result, you need to be able to deal with other people and that means, by definition, that some rudimentary social interplay will come into the mix.

Understand what your class is and what it does, and if you choose to press a button when you play understand the consequences of your actions. Tanking is a job, one I'm very grateful other people choose to do, far better than I would ever manage. If you sit in the Big Chair, you need to be prepared for the responsibility.

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

Agreed 100%. What this basically comes down to is team play and leadership. Somebody needs to have the (metaphoric) balls to stand at the front and lead, and in LFR the nature of tanking is that it's a tank who either has to do that or be enough of a team player to accept someone else doing that.

Any role requires being part of a team, and the team is always more productive than 5/10/25/whatever individuals.

Andy said...

One issue that I've encountered, as it happens on my paladin tank when paired with a DK tank, is that DKs are really good at generating threat, sometimes too much for their own good. If he's complaining that the other tank can't hold threat, often there's nothing the other tank can do about it, so the onus is on the DK to lower his threat output a little (maybe just don't use Rune Strike as much?). The problem is exacerbated when one tank out-gears another significantly, or has geared more for hit/exp rather than defensive stats (which is a perfectly valid thing to do).

I guess this is symptomatic of a general "it's someone else's fault" attitude - automatically assuming the problem is other people, and that you are playing perfectly well yourself and don't need to do anything different.

In a way I can't really blame them - tanking is hard, and to get good at it you first have to suck, which means facing a barrage of abuse from over-eager DPS and impatient/lazy healers. It's certainly a trial by fire, and people often come out of it resentful of others' shortcomings: once you've been through that hell and survived it tends to inflate your ego somewhat.