29 Nov

This weekend was pretty exciting.  After my half day of mandatory overtime at work, I headed home to a marathon of Mumble interviews with at least four potential guild applicants.  All of them made the cut and I was later discussing with Kurn how fortunate we are to be able to attract such quality apps.  I think we have only had two that were questionable.  We only had to let down one of them and the other removed himself from the running, after choosing another guild on our server to be a part of.  Hopefully, that is something we can continue to say is the case.  Especially when we really are pushing to fill some much needed spots in our raid.

I managed to get my DK’s mining skill to a point where she could start gathering in Outland, so I headed over to the Dark Portal and prepared to step inside.  I noticed the typical introduction quest to Outland, provided by the appropriate faction leader outside the portal had changed.  He sent me around the Blasted Lands to kill various things and that led me to a brief, but enjoyable quest chain in the southwestern corner of the zone that centered around a Worgen settlement and a corrupted druid.  I was hoping there would be more new quests like that to distract me before I head to Outland, but I couldn’t find many more.

My main goal for my DK is to be able to tank with her.  I spent Wrath tanking on a paladin alt and it was fun, but paladin tanks are everywhere.  It was fun.  It could still be fun, but I wanted to try something new.  I have always had a secret appreciation for the death knight class and I always feel a little disappointed when I see players really dumb them down.  There are certain classes out there, such as hunters, that are a lot more complex than people give them credit for.  They could do so many great things and people would rather resort to keeping them simple and not really trying to dig into those classes, to see what hidden potential could be there.  In my experience, there are two kinds of death knights.  Bear in mind, these are much funnier over Vent/Mumble, when I can actually do the vocal impressions to go with these.

DK #1.  “I am a death knight, free from the grasp of Arthas Menethil and I have dedicated myself to the finer points of death knight tanking, which I assure you will keep me plenty interested and intrigued throughout this great expansion that we as a player base are fortunate to be a part of and experience.”

DK #2.  “I beat stuffs!”

Do you see the distinction?  Sadly, there are far too many of DK #2 floating around and I would hate myself a little bit if I didn’t at least try to make the most out of the class and give it a go at really understanding everything in front of me.  Regardless of whether it’s an alt or not.  I don’t set out to be bad at anything

So, I managed to get to level 60 and I decided that I was ready to try my hand at tanking things other than helboars and ravagers in Hellfire Peninsula and I threw my hat into the ring for a random dungeon, specifically Hellfire Ramparts.  As it happens, the queue popped right away and I was in.  The group consisted of myself, a frost mage, a moonkin, a healing priest (not sure which spec) and a rogue.  I began pulling slowly, carefully, so as not to be bad and because I remember how difficult that place can be on a regular setting, when you are the actual level to be there. 

The next thing I know, the moonkin starts pulling packs without me.  I stood idly by and politely asked him to let me do that.  I pull a few more groups and I think things are improving.  The moonkin starts pulling again.  I gently remind him that I am the tank and I would like to do that.  The moonkin then proceeds to tell me that I’m slow and that I should L2tank.  After downing the first boss in Ramparts, the moonkin races immediately to the door and starts pulling the mobs outside of it.  At that point, I decided we were officially done.  Three strikes and you are out.  I thanked everyone for their time and dropped group.

When did it become bad form to be considerate of your party, especially knowing you are a new tank and wanting to do the right thing and be careful?  When did the zerg strategy become the norm?  How did we get here?

At this point, I have a few choices.  I can either:

a) Wait until my guildies level alts that are at my level (which many of them are doing) and only do runs with them, with a mix of questing and other exploring thrown in. 

b) Quest my way to 70 and not participate in instances (as a tank, anyway) and then start tanking.  Maybe having better gear or newer abilities may help out and maybe groups will remember how difficult certain level Wrath dungeons can be at the appropriate level.

c) Quest my way to 80 and then start tanking in Cataclysm.  Knowing that Cataclysm will really be a refresher course on party etiquette, being a cautious and courteous tank should be welcome and maybe groups will be more understanding and appreciative of such qualities.

For now, I’m having a lovely time mining, questing and saving up the gold needed to buy mats to level my jewelcrafting, which is turning out to be more painful than I thought.  Why didn’t I just keep it simple and level blacksmithing, like any other decent plate wearer?  Why did I have to go and try to be different? 



17 Responses to “L2tank”

  1. Numinal November 29, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I’ll have 60’s soon if you’re interested, although it’ll probably be too late for your Outlands tanking with the rate you’re going. My RaF partner has promises me two 60’s after school lets out for the semester. Pocket healer looking for tank!

    • Oestrus November 29, 2010 at 11:44 am #

      I’m not really in a hurry to level. If I know that I’ll have an eventual buddy, I can totally hold off.

      I’m happy to see you stopped by, but what does RaF mean?


      • Numinal November 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

        Recruit-a-Friend. It’s the Blizzard option to refer a friend to the game, both accounts get triple xp from EVERYTHING as long as the characters are within range of eachother up to level 60. You can also summon a character on either account to your current location, and the recruited account can grant a level for every 2 they have to a character on the recruiter’s account of equal or lower level. So, recruit someone, level 2 characters to 60 with triple xp and get a third free. This is how I’m getting my shaman and paladin to 60 during Cataclysm. Effects of the RaF relationship persist for 90 days.

        Also: http://www.wowpedia.org/RaF

        • Oestrus November 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

          Isn’t that how everyone got their rockets? See, I can’t think of any friends of mine who either don’t play and/or are interested or who don’t play, period.

      • Numinal November 29, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

        See, I was lucky in that I had a friend who played Flash MMORPG’s and single-player RPG’s to recruit. The other option, albeit pricey, is to dualbox yourself and own both RaF accounts. I tried it for a bit, but it just was painful for me.

  2. Natalie November 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Do what I did — let them tank until they kill themselves, then they will let you take over again. What the druid did is considered rude. He has to wait 15-20 minutes for a queue already, why rush through the instance? He can leave a good impression and perhaps everyone will want to stay and requeue.

    I had a hunter that was doing the same thing when I was honing my tanking skills. It was quite annoying! Eventually, I just let it fall off my shoulders — it’s not our fault they want to rush through things.

    Mining/JC is a PITA for sure. My baby pally tank (also a healer ofc) has that pairing and it is painfully slow to level.

    I would recommend questing and continue to do 5 mans. Eventually you will find a pace you are comfortable with that will keep the other 4 people in your party from making sneaky pulls.

    • Oestrus November 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Hey Natalie, thanks for stopping by and posting something!

      Initially, I did do that. I hung back and watched them solo things. It didn’t help my self-esteem any knowing that from the looks of things, they didn’t need me. They were able to half ass tank and control the mobs that were coming and I felt a smidge on the irrelevant side.

      There has been a bit of a kerfuffle in the blogosphere about the value people have of themselves and how they feel that they should and should not be treated and I find that most people are taking a really extreme, almost diva attitude towards things like this. It would have been really easy to lose my shit and go off on these people, make a huge scene and stomp off back to Shattrath. But I don’t feel that accomplishes anything and I get set back in that process, too. I was polite and asked them three times to please stop. Even when I left, I was polite. I didn’t flip them the bird, I didn’t pull something and bail. I feel I did the right thing. I don’t condone fighting fire with fire, as it were.

      I don’t think it would always be that way. I certainly see myself learning more and getting better. That was literally my first run or two. I was just trying to do the right thing. I guess I was just spoiled on my paladin, where I ran almost nothing with PuGs until Heroics and by then, it wasn’t too hard to do as a prot paladin.

  3. faice December 1, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    I tried the same when i rolled a DK and was so put off i quested him through to 80 and waited till i assembled a full set of tank gears, including some tier stuff, before i even tried to tank again.

    in hindsight i wish i’d not let it bother me, you can be chain-pulling like a champ while spamming a /p KILL FASTER LOL macro and still get that one dps (or heals!) that wants to pull.

    one recent run had a mage consistently pulling packs, the theme of that run became “catch the mob before it tramples the squishy mage”. about halfway through he pulled while eveything was on cooldown and i couldn’t taunt enough of them off him before he fell. as he was being rez’d i explained that to him but he didn’t care, he was having too much fun to change strategy : )

    • Oestrus December 1, 2010 at 9:12 am #

      I admit, I can be a bit of a control freak, so I’m trying to find the right balance of being the tank in control and being the tank that has enough faith in my healers and other party members to not control and not go off and rage when I don’t have it anymore or people let me down.

      That game that you described would drive me nuts! I would be back to biting my fingernails faster than you can say “Rune Strike” – lol

  4. Eberron of Ravenholdt December 1, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Hey, I’ve played a tank (even if only for leveling on my pally) on all the classes that offer it and I’ve learned one true fact.

    Premadonna as it is, you don’t have to suffer fools.

    Vote kick them.

    It’s not some abstract, last-minute, “I can’t believe you forced me to do this!” just simply offer the party a choice: Finish the instance 5-10 minutes later or stand around at the boss for 15-20 minutes waiting for a tank to show up. There’s nothing wrong with offering them the choice and then, should they reject it, politely leaving.

    Do remember that unless the party members are all guildies or friends they’ll pick you over some random moonkin any day.

    You need to tank in order to allow your instincts, precision and coordination to grow so avoiding tanking will only delay the inevitable: You’ll stop, or you’ll grow.

    Probably the two biggest pieces of advice I don’t think people find in the numerous tanking guides is these:

    1) Be confident. Exude confidence. Foolishness, no, yet be strong and fearless.

    2) Avoid playing with people who will cuddle you. In much the same way that playing BGs makes you a better end-game PVE player having to deal with people who take you outside your comfort zone will ultimately expand it for you. Rudeness is unnecessary, but people who are impatient (that is healer has mana/folks are there/etc) can serve as excellent learning tools.

    Remember that we’re in a world where leveling content and our current level 80 content is easily destroyable. People are used to approaching instances as whirling dervish monsters who eat up mobs and crap out experience/gold/loot on the other side.

    Don’t let them see you sweat. Before you know it, they’ll fall in line and you won’t be sweating.

    Take heed tho, Blood Death Knights are excellent leveling machines but they’re lacking some really key abilities. They don’t get their Maul/Heroic Strike until level 67. That can hurt on single target threat as it’s tremendous.

    Now queue up, grab the nearest mob by the throat, tear its’ neck in to a gushing wound and suck down those hit points cuz it’s time to tank on your death knight killing machine! \m/

    • Oestrus December 1, 2010 at 9:27 am #

      I definitely like your attitude and your comment was mighty motivational! Thank you very much for laying that out there for me, like that!

      The problem I have with the voting system is that it’s so touchy, mostly an interface issue. You can’t kick them if you’re in combat and if they’re chain pulling, that isn’t an option. I believe there is also a lag time after you leave combat (a certain number of seconds) that you can’t vote someone out, either. It seems like you have to initiate it in this small window of opportunity and I always seem to miss my window.

      I’m not making excuses – I feel the vote/kick option is great. I can just never seem to get it to actually work, otherwise I would probably do it more.

      I definitely agree with you about honing the instincts and being in the right mindset for tanking. The problem is that I can sometimes be too headstrong and too in control and I don’t want to be extreme with my confidence or my assertiveness, because I have done that before. It’s a character flaw that I have made a lot of strides on, but I can scare people with how firm I can be sometimes. I want to enjoy the tanking experience without coming across as too hard or too intimidating.

      After the Ramparts incident, I didn’t immediately think it was all their fault. I did look at myself and say “Could I have been pulling more?” “Should I have been using a different rotation?” I didn’t automatically place it on them. I didn’t immediately blame myself, either – but I did spread it around a bit. I think it’s far too easy to blame the other person and not look at yourself.

      I’m hoping that Cataclysm does sort of bring the mentality of careful pulling, coordination and communication and that that mentality trickles down into the lower level instances again.

      Now if you will excuse me, I have mobs to climb up on and chew throats out of. I am a Gnome DK, this is entirely possible.


  5. cowasaurus December 1, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    You need to have a really thick skin to tank in a LFD group. I am speaking from experience as I lvled my tauren warrior 1-80 entirely through LFD. My general responses depending on my mood were –
    a)Please Let me pull I am learning to tank
    b)Dont ever pull for me! that’s rude
    c)You yank it you tank it!! ( this accompanied by a whisper to healer that its up to him to heal the dps as im not taunting the mobs from him/her for the length of dungeon)
    Response a) usually changes their behavior if they are any bit mature.
    Response b) was met with lesser success and responses like L2p or its variants.
    Response c) 90% percent of time healer would let dps die and if the dps complain the healer would just bluntly say let the tank tank.
    And what you are facing is just a tip of iceberg of issues that tanks face.. things like a thunderstorm loving shaman , ass-pulling dps , hunter jumping down and pulling instance with the pet on follow… well there is more to come 😛

    Tanking is most thankless and challenging role in the game but its the most rewarding too.

    • Oestrus December 1, 2010 at 9:29 am #

      I didn’t even think to include the “I’m learning to tank” part. I know from personal experience when I see a person in the service industry with a trainee tag or someone shadowing another person, you do tend to be more lenient with them. I should definitely try that, too!

      I would like to think I have some experience with possibly thankless or challenging roles. I’ve been a healer since Vanilla.


  6. Nefernet December 1, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    I levelled a DK tank too recently(turned 80 2 weeks ago). And like some said already : if you want a tank, tank now, don’t wait until you are 80 or 85, as a beginner tank wanting to tank heroic dungeon with the rest of the geared, experienced players expecting a smooth run. Tanking is hard and needs some training.

    Hit LFD, tank queue is instant and tanking with a death knight is fun. At first, I didn’t know how to react with idiots or rude people. Some did it just because they were being egoist and wanted a quick run for easy points, and blamed everyone if they died, others were just having fun and if you explain it’s not fun for you when they do that, they will be more careful.

    If they just “lol l2p”, vote kick them, most people in the group will follow you because he’s annoying the healer and the tank and having angry tank and healer is never good. You don’t have to endure this kind of attitude. You can also leave : your queue is instant.

    One thing I realised is that I accepted from guildies many things I hated from pugs : pulling early, bumps… And along my levelling, I became more tolerant with dps pulling. I realised that I was just not trusting the healer to hold me with to much mobs, or that the dps could pop a defensive cd. I learned to make the difference between an idiot “gogogo” and some skilled player having fun.

    I would kick or drop the group with the first one, but the second one can make great fun, quick run, and great learning time.

    My best example is not from levelling, but from my last heroic HoL. The healer, a paladin, pulled the first trash, then the second, then another mob around.
    My first reaction was “wtf” !?!!” just before asking him to stop or I would leave, I noticed Valanyr’s bubbles, and he had the title Grand Crusader (first insanity on Anub on his server, there are not a lot of players with that title…).

    Ok, what was that overgeared player doing in this LFD group, I don’t know, but I thought : “that guys is like my guildies, if I’m not quick enough, I’ll never be in control as he will pull everything, I’ll get mad. Let’s play !” From that moment, I saw him like one of my guildies when they run mad in dungeons for fun. He wanted some sport ? Let’s get him some.

    I took back the control of the pulls, taking big groups, taking the bosses with adds despite not so good gear, and gave him some healing to do. If he pulled before me, I would just grab the next group instead of trying to peel of the mobs. The run was the quickiest I’d ever done, no one died, I had fun trying to hold aggro on so many mobs, I became a better tank.

    It was still rude from him to pull, but I understood he just wanted some sport. I think I was sweating at the end of the run…

  7. AliPally December 6, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I think one of the big problems recently has been that people are bored. No-one really wants to wait while the tank pulls a group and establishes aggro, they just want to kill things quickly, and pulling mobs as dps adds a bit of excitement to boring content. As a healer, I sometimes pull mobs myself to make things more interesting.

    All I can say is, don’t bother to argue about it; let them do it, and if they die, they die. As for someone saying L2tank, duh! what do they think you are doing as a DK tank around level 60? That is precisely what you are up to!

    On a side note, I don’t like healing small tanks. A tank should be visible at all times, not hidden by mobs and corpses. Gnome tanks – no thanks!

    • Oestrus December 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

      Do you feel the same about Dwarven tanks, too? How do you think you will feel about Goblins? 🙂

  8. Runehorn March 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Generally I just say “You pull it, you tank it”. If they’re doing fine on their own–which has happened–I shrug and dps.

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