Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why I'm still afraid to tank

I need this book.  I suck.
My tanking encounters in LFR have so far been all abysmal.  As in, ME tanking, not the tanks I've had in LFR.  Paranoid Navi brain and I had a talk about it the other day.

Paranoid Brain: You know, this will be the third LFR where you haven't completed it as a tank.
Navi: Well, it's only two that I didn't complete because the raid fell apart.  One of them I completed.
Paranoid Brain: Yes, but only because you switched specs to heals and asked someone else to tank.  You didn't finish it AS a tank.
Navi:  It doesn't matter.  It was for the good of the raid anyway.  We got our valour points.
Paranoid Brain: You know what people are going to say don't you.  Do you want to know?
Navi: Couldn't be anything I've already said to myself.  So you don't need to tell me.
Paranoid Brain:  Well, I might tell you anyway.
Navi:  I thought you might.  Then why do you bother asking me if I want to know because you're going to tell me anyway?
Paranoid Brain: Because I'm trying to give you the illusion of choice.  When really, I'm just going to do what I want.  So... everyone is going to say that druid tank, gear looks alright but plays like crap.  You can't hold agro, you don't know when to taunt... you're lucky nobody votes to kick you from LFR.
Navi: I've learned my lesson. I tell the others that I haven't done it before.
Paranoid Brain: Oh, and you think that will instill confidence in the other raid members? More likely, they will say "This is a fail LFR," and leave.
Navi: Look on the bright side.  Those dickheads are the ones I wouldn't want in my raid anyway.
Paranoid Brain: I'm glad you can see the bright side.
Navi: You obviously don't know me very well even though you're in my head. I always look on the bright side.

It's that damn queue role.  People are queuing as healers, who are actually caster DPS.  I mean, the only ones really guilty of it are the druids and priests (so far all the shamans I've seen who are queued as healers actually ARE healers).  The other day, I entered one with 6 druids, all bar one were listed as healers (one was the tank).  But, 2 of them were boomkin.  Which made healing it really difficult for me, and not to mention DPS was low anyway (maybe people are queueing as heals in heal spec and then DPSing in it? I don't know!).  And though I am by no means an awesome make or break the raid healer, I feel like I do much better in an LFR when I'm healing it and not tanking it.  I feel a little bit of control.

This isn't me but you get the idea...
So what happened the other day?  I queued as tank for the second half of Heart of Fear because I wanted some practice at being in the construct for Ambershaper.  I told the other druid tank that I was new to tanking, and he told me what to do.  That was ok.  But healing us was hard.  I'm already not a very well geared tank - as in I am wearing some weird stuff - a mixture of high level gear and some 440 blues (because I pick up all the raid leftovers, and I don't spend any of my points on buying gear) and my gems are a bit funny - they're all agi instead of stam ones - and I am probably a little harder to heal.  Anyway, I taunted it off the other tank when he was transformed, and then when I was transformed... nobody DPS'd me out.  I ate one pool to stop from dying but then still nobody was getting me out.  Then the big monstrosity came and I was freaking out, so I decided it would be faster to die and be rezzed than to wait for these idiots to rez me.  And do you know who battle rezzed me?  The other tank.  While tanking both the big monstrosity and the boss.  Of course, we wiped not long after that.

A string of abuse about fail tanks and fail raid came out from people before they left raid, and I was feeling horrible.  But, when I think about it now, how else was I supposed to get out of the construct?  But, that was my last fail raid queue as tank.

But after that terrible LFR I thought I'd tank a dungeon, and if I wasn't embarrassed before, I was embarrassed now.  I was doing Mogu'shan palace and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I seem to get stunned all the time by mobs.  Am I supposed to be moving around to avoid something?  The paladin and the mage were whinging about my tanking and telling me to Lrn2tank and I just ignored them and kept going.  They commented on my gear saying it looks like I've got decent gear but I tank like I'm in greens.  Ugh.  I was going to say something but I decided against it, and just apologised to the healer for my poor tanking, and that I was mainspec healing and I was just trying to gear up my offspec.  The monk sympathised - she was doing the same as well (not in this dungeon obviously) and so I kept my chin up and battled on trying to hit things before the paladin and mage did so at least I would have SOME agro.  Reminder to self, I must look up some time how to avoid those stuns.  The poor DK died a few times, but the monk healer was kind (they were from the same guild).  Anyway, by the end it was better and I felt a little less stupid.

I think though, to save the pain and embarrassment, I should only do dungeons with my friends.  I have to admit, I admire all these people who can play solo because I am not sure I could survive doing LFR and LFD with all these strangers - however, it's only about 20% are downright nasty - 20%.  The other 50% are indifferent.  But you know what would be most embarrassing?  Doing a  LFR/LFD and someone there knows me/recognises me and they think I'm playing like a totally idiot.  Though, if I try hard and know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, then that won't happen.  But that comes with practice and to practice I need to do LFR/LFD more... I see a vicious cycle here.

But!  I will keep trying tanking.  I have respecced and regemmed a bit which has made my dps a bit horrible (bad for dailies) but hopefully a bit better at rage generation (good for LFD/LFR) so.. small steps.  Rome wasn't built in one day.  Maybe one day, I can be good enough to tank alt runs MSV or something.


40 comments:

  1. /big hug. It's not easy to get into tanking. But about being a construct. It freaked me the first time but you want you health to disapear so you break out. Once you're out you'll be at full health. Don't eat the puddles anymore :-) And remember to interrupt the blast. Just keep at it and you'll get better at it.

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    1. Oh I didnt explain myself properly! You must think I'm so stupid lol
      I ran out of will while interrupting so I ate a puddle so I wouldnt die. But I realised after eating it that nobody was actually trying to get me out and I wasnt sure if lfr was different and I could jump out anytime. So I burned my will to get out (ie die) because I was never going to get out. Oh how embarrassing lol

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    2. Never stupid! That must have been a terrible group then. The few times I dragged my dk into lfr as a tank I've been lucky with groups but it's not something I look forward to doing.

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    3. Oh that reminds me! I finally did razorgore solo! Thank you! I think I had your video looping and post open whilst trying it... only took me 5 goes lol

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  2. When I first started playing I was too scared to queue for a dungeon on my own. I'd only go with guildies but now I'm a little more confident and will go alone. Having said that I am yet to pluck up the courage to attempt to heal or tank anything so I think you're doing super-duper-good!

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    1. Healing I'm ok but tanking still fills me with dread. I wonder what I would have done if I didn't have a guild. Probably never do lfd or lfr!

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  3. The first and only time I tanked as a tank was on my level 16 warrior.

    I haven't tanked since.

    So I give you mad props for keeping at it!

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    1. But warlox r tanx...
      So my friends tell me :)

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    2. LOL! That is why I specifically said "tanked as a tank"

      I've tanked as a warlock, ret pally and rogue before :D

      I'd rather tank as those classes instead of an actual tank :(

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    3. Ah yes! Well then that I can believe you darned agro pulling fel flaming chaos bolter :)

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  4. Honestly, you are brave just trying tanking. I have never, and will never tank for LFR. I have never tanked a raid. My baby death knight is very much a frost dps now. I think I've become very set in my roles as either a healer or melee dps.

    Don't be discouraged that tanking isn't going the way you wanted it to... be happy that you at least had the courage to try because there are lots of us who don't.

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    1. It's like I want to do it but at the same time I'm scared. I get petrified each time I try and that makes me more paranoid. Does that make sense? I want to try it, I want to be good at it but its just so... scary!!!

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    2. I know what you're getting at - I'm in the process of leveling my death knight and I started off tanking Mists randoms and the more I did it the less comfortable I got. The thing with tanking, is that like anything it takes practice to get good at it. Randoms with strangers are notoriously unfriendly to inexperienced players.

      I think that all you need is a supportive group - possibly with one or two players who have some experience tanking and you'll be fine. Run some dungeons with friends and once you're comfortable with them maybe you'll feel more comfortable running with strangers?

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    3. What a shame you're alliance, we could have gone together.

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  5. I wanted to tank with my Druid in the worst way back in BC and could never get in a group that would take me. I now think I was lucky, lol! You are much braver than me!

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    1. Braver, maybe. More stupid? DEFINITELY!!

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  6. There are two irritating stuns that I can think of in that dungeon. One comes from the stone quillen in the first few pulls, and I'm not sure how to stop it, or if that's even possible - I just chain-stun the dog as best I can and have the DPS focus-fire it.

    The second is called Shank and the saurok skulkers use it. They can spam cast that one, but it has a cast time and a short range: if you keep moving slowly backward, they won't hit you. There is one skulker amongst the adds that accompany the boss, so watch out for that!

    More importantly... I'm sorry to hear you ran into such whiny gits. Few people seem to recognise how daunting the role of tank can be all on its own, nevermind with dissenters tearing into you the whole way 'round. It seems like a good idea to run with friends if that's what you're more comfortable with. One less thing to worry about while you're getting more used to timing taunts and such.

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    1. Running with friends makes it easier yet I feel like I am taking the easy way out. I know I should be out there practicing but just the fear of it makes me stuff up. I wish we could run together Nyx. Damn this eu/us divide :)

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    2. It's a shame, because I'd be an excellent back-seat tank. ;p

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  7. People expect way too much from LFR. Even when things are going smoothly there is always someone who is complaining about something!

    I tanked Dragon Soul LFR a couple of times on my pally, I made sure I took a friend to tank with me. I only went alone once but I was really scared and people were mean because I was waiting for healers mana (how dare I). I felt much more comfortable (excited even) when tanking 10 mans with friends!

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    1. But the complainers are always the worst geared ones, don't you think! It's the same in BGs too!

      I'm so used to seeing your priest and hunter and shaman that knowing you tanked on your Pally seems odd to me!

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    2. It was odd to everyone! After years of not wanting to tank or even level a pally, I finally tried it in Cata and loved it.

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  8. Kick back Navi and tank away. Your friends know what your really like so ignore those other crab's from LFR. I tank on my Dk and most probably like you find it hard to change from DPS mode (or in your case HEALING mode) to tanking. I find marking one mob with a skull helps with making sure DPS are on the same page.
    Other than that I don't give too hoots if they hate the way I tank. The worse thing that can happen is you get kicked from a group.
    I have found tanking videos on you tube which have been fantastic and I seen Drood ones there. Check it out and head up tiger :)

    Sabre

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    1. I almost cringed when you wrote "Your friends know what you're really like" because I can be super crap and I still need my hand held in instances! But you know I try my best even if it's not that crash hot!

      I can't watch those tanking videos. Is it just me or do you get dizzy?

      But thanks for the kind words Sabre :) You're awesome!

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  9. I braved tanking for the first time in forever the other day .. but only in a normal instance with guildees. We did okay, I think - no-one died or said I did anything stupid, anyway. I'm not sure I'd EVER be brave enough to tank for strangers though. I did it a couple of years ago, back when my druid was an OS tank, simply in the Chemical Bros holiday boss with a pug group, and that was enough to put me off. I remember one guy having a rage about what a noob tank I was, I should be keeping aggro on all of the mobs, I was an idiot and a fail ... which really depressed me at the time. It was only later, when discussing it with guildees, that I discovered you CAN'T keep threat on all three. Made me feel a bit better about myself, not so good about puggers.

    Saying that, a guild member who had never tanked before made the brave decision to jump into LFR - a few of us went with him, and we gave him advice in guild chat - the best advice we gave him, however, was simply to state right at the start that he was new to tanking and any advice and help would be welcome.

    That was one of the best, friendliest and most fun LFR's we've ever done. One of the puggers took him under their wing and explained all the tactics to him, everyone was very encouraging, etc.

    The only exception was the main tank, who turned out to be a "go-go" tank ... he said something along the lines of .. "I do it my way, you lot keep up or get lost" ... he was a big mouth, constantly with the smart remarks ... he died on Elegon and we wiped so, as the rest of us ran in, he lay dead in the middle of the platform and said "I'll brb, gotta get pizza, this is too much fun to stop watching".

    The entire group went mental and I believe we had more than one vote to kick running for him ... it was hilarious. His body was still there by the time we'd got another (friendlier) tank and started the fight again ... didn't wipe again.

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    1. That sounded like a lovely LFR! I wish I had cool LFRs like that :) I'm glad you did the tank thing, coz you'll know exactly what I mean!

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  10. Great that you are trying out tanking! Even though I'm a healbot at heart I do love to tank every now and then. It can be a lot of fun and I think it's something one should try atleast once.

    However, you have picked a tricky time to start tanking. I'd say that tanking in MoP is more complex than tanking in some of the previous expansion. You have the same basics, but added to that you have more responcibility for protecting your own health than before(i.e. by using coold downs such as Savage Defense, Survival Instincts, Barkskin and so on). So there's more things to keep in mind.

    I think you're on to something with practising in LFD, there should be a bigger margin of error for learning new things there. And as with most other things, practise makes perfect. I bet it took you a while to get to be the confident healer you are today, right? :)

    Oh, and my favorite tip to give anyone trying something new: Don't forget to have fun with it! ^^

    /hug & lots of "good luck"-wishes. :)

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    1. You're right, Lorelei. It did take a while to get confident in healing, but that was so long ago I've forgotten now! I've been a healbot for so long it's grown into my bones.

      Your words of encouragement are so heartwarming, I'm glad you dropped by to leave that lovely comment /hug

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  11. Tanking random heroics is much nicer if you take a guildie or two along, and most people are very happy to have a tank queue shortcut. I often force my guildies who have fresh 90 tanks to take me along on my alts so I can pass along dungeon-specific tips.

    On the stuns in Mogushan - they're annoying, yes. I usually try to make sure I have solid aggro at the start of the pull and then if some random pug pulls threat away from me while I'm stunned and whines about it, I'll yell at them for not interrupting or for not targeting my target.

    Those guys are cutting their own throats, though. They just lost two people from the pool of possible tanks when you and the healer put them on ignore (you did put them on ignore, right?)

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    1. Thank you for that! I guess that makes me feel better about those damned stuns but I'm not sure I'd be confident enough to yell at them for not interrupting... perhaps I'll do a gentle reminder at the start of the dungeon what I need them to be patient about.

      And no, we didn't put them on ignore. My ignore list would be full if I ignored random nitwits all the time. I'm quite good at turning a blind eye to abusive chat, and not responding, but it doesn't mean it doesn't wound you a little inside.

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  12. Not sure what ilvl 440s you need to replace, but Scenarios can be a great way to get upgrade gear...and it's really hard to be a fail group in those. The pieces of gear you can sometimes get in the bag/satchel at the end are a mix of ilvl 450s and 463s. You can even get a 476 epic if you're lucky. (mostly all the toons I've taken into Scenarios has gotten an epic)

    I have three toons that I can tank with and I've found that going into regular dungeons can be a good place to practice. It gives you the opportunity to play around with your "oh shi&t" buttons without the fear of wiping the group (most times). And the sub 90 level players are often grateful for having a max level toon tanking for them and their attitudes are usually less snotty.

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    1. Hey Thel! It was a cloak - but I have since upgraded it which was exciting for me from an unwanted raid drop.

      I have done some regular dungeons and feel happier in those, but the heroics and LFR are my next hurdle that I would like to feel confident and comfortable in. I have that feeling when I walk into any dungeon or raid as a healer, and wish I could have the same feeling when I walk into it as a tank. But you're right, just more practice.. and I should stop whining about it and bear up!

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  13. Whenever I have to practice tanking on a class I'm unfamiliar with, I go into a level appropriate dungeon by myself and pull trash. I think the water elementals in Heroic Jade Temple are the easiest place to start. Just try to stay alive as long as possible against those mobs. At first, you might have to zone out to prevent death, but with practice you'll learn how to manage your rage and keep yourself alive using Savage Defense and Frenzied Regen. You can also practice soloing old raids. Learning with pugs can be the worst and I'm terrified of it, so I prefer to learn by myself whenever possible.

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    1. Sunnier that is great advice! Thank you heaps for coming by, I feel so honoured that the great bear now brewmaster has come to give me some cool tips! I can't wait to try that out. I wonder if you mean Cata old raids or WotLK ones...

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  14. That is one of the more annoying instances to tank because of the stuns.

    It may seem counter intuitive but I find the best way to get DPS to behave in LFD is beat them to the punch. I will almost always run off before a group of mobs is dead and let the mobs just follow me, and then charge the next group and open with Thrash and Swipe. This way the dps are still focused on killing the last pack and by charging you are getting a few seconds lead without anyone else hitting them. I find that having a key bound to mark a target with skull also helps when you are learning to tank because it helps keep the dps more focused usually.

    As for LFR just read a guide that is for tanks about when to taunt or use cooldowns. There are a lot of mechanics that aren't really known to anyone but the tanks in this round of raids as tank swaps due to some debuff seems to be their current mechanic of choice to get multiple tanks into a fight. Once you are comfortable with generic tanking, I find that knowing when to taunt use cooldowns on specific fights is the main thing you need to know to be successful in LFR.

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    1. Thanks Cain for the advice! I will read up more (though I just read dungeon journal and asked our guild druid tank for advice - he was blase about it but I think you tend to be like that when you know what to do already, and can figure out how to compensate) and hope I don't look totally numbskulled.

      I think though for now I will venture into LFR with 2 friends to keep me company. One of whom can battle rez and heal LOL

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  15. I'll finish up my tank set and come and tank LFR with you Navi! We can be L-platers together!

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  16. I only wanted to leave a note that I totally sympathize with you. I was a main spec protection warrior for six years. Main tank of my guild, all tank all the time. I lost my tanking mojo sometime around Cata. I decided to quit my US account and leave my proud orc protection warrior Kadomi behind in favor of playing in my own timezone. I am now a frost death knight, with a blood offspec. I am trying to get her geared in blood spec properly, but it's hard. At this point it would require doing LFR as a tank and I just can't seem to make myself do it. I have tanked countless raids as warrior, and yet I stress out over the fact 24 strangers might be yelling at me.

    I have tanked MSV on offspec-nights with my guild and know I can do it, but LFR makes my stomach churn. You're pretty brave! The only thing I am brave enough for is tanking heroics, because I know them pretty well.

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    1. Kadomi, Thank you for visiting and sharing your experience. Gosh I thought it would get easier but it seems like it doesn't! I'm a little nervous now!

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