On Being A Tank

This was posted as a comment to another post, but I felt it was so well written that it deserved a post of its own.  So here I present a post from guest blogger,Varangian.

Hello all first timer on these forums but an interesting read so far. I’d like to share some of my encounters as a tank.

As with most WoW players I began my existance as a DPS warrior to level as fast as possible. I’ve been playing WoW since 2007 so not as long as many who have already commented but still respectable I hope.

During that time I could not even begin to understand what being a prot warrior was like at all. Not because I didn’t care but because I had not yet become one. Even as a warrior who DPS’d I was not granted any special knowledge of the flip side of the coin as a prot warrior.

After about a year at 80 as a DPS our group needed a main tank so that we could begin to progress further into 10 mans and we were short of them.

Long story short it was a very bumpy road for our group and myself when I dressed and respec’d to fit the part. I was constantly losing aggro and people were repeatedly dying (myself included).

However our group is a very forgiving one and even toned things down a little while I got my sea legs learning to tank.

Over this time I beat myself up more then anyone else I encountered, both in our group, and the pugs that are famous for destroying a tank or healers learning curves.

I studied the best tanks on my server through the wow armory for talent tree builds and wow heroes for gear scoring and gemming. Each of these provided a slightly different window into what was needed by any tank trying to seriously get better and do so by not being handicapped by the simplist of mechanics.

Over time (about a month) my tanking improved but I was no where near some of the other tanks I encountered in pugs and through mutual friends who allowed me some insight into what it took to become a confident tank.

I discovered over time that there is a system that produces the best tank using the 3 C’s.

1.) Confidence

2.) Consistancy

3.) Consideration

These three C’s should be followed by all players who expect the best out of any tank they encounter, be it in a guild or in a pug. If everyone follows them a tank can learn quicker and be more effective for the group as a whole.

I was told by a friend of a friend who is one of the top tanks on my server (Ravencrest) after sharing with him that I was at a loss in understanding how I couldn’t hold aggro all the time and thus never allowing a trash mob or boss get away and run amok in the backfield.

He chucked and told me what he had learned by another tank who helped him out in his beginning stages.

He said all things being equal,

1.) If the tank dies its heals fault (Not always but 99.9% of the time.)

2.) If the heals dies its the tanks fault (Not always but 99.9% of the time.)

3.) If anyone else dies its their own damn fault. (Not always but 99.9% of the time.)

To all the up and coming tanks out there, I would only say stick to the 3 C’s. Don’t argue about who was at fault in a wipe situation just refocus and do your best at whatever stage of tanking you find yourself. Learning from mistakes made by yourself or others prepares you for the success of the future.

Be confident even when things might not look as if confidence is warranted on your part.

Be consistant in learning the skills that are necessary to improve as a tank and stay as committed as time allows to that goal. Read, read, read everything you can find that another tank has written about the subject of tanking as a prot warrrior. Listen to those who know what your going through and have been there themselves. Arguing back at a DPS’r or healer in a group or pug who have no clue what you do for a living in this game is simply spinning your wheels and going no where fast. It only hinders your goals and distracts you from performing at your best.

Be considerate to those who are clueless, struggling to understand, or trying to help.

Don’t allow the 3 B’s to invade your gaming even when others you encounter refuse to hold themselves to such high standards. Remember always you are the first in, the one who takes the most damage for everyone else, and the last out of every encounter. By necessity you are the leader, learn to be above the fray of fixing blame and seek to fix the problems encountered instead. That usually starts by saying something like “We’ll get it” at a wipe moment instead of partaking in the blame session going on around you.

Oh I almost forgot listing the 3 B’s. These are the things that no tank should ever sink to in any situation.

1.) Bashing (Going after or ridiculing anyone never changes what happened and can only make the next attempt tougher.)

2.) Barking (Don’t order people around, it only turns them off to what your trying to explain or share on a situation.)

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