Picking up tanking

Once upon a time, back in the time that Illidan reigned supreme, there was a druid who was sick of being a kitty cat and decided to toughen it up and transform into a bear. Though he was nervous and didn’t know what to expect or what to do, he gave it a shot anyway. Through trial and error he crawled his way through the Slave Pens and climbed the steps of Medivh’s tower. Eventually he went into Serpentshrine Caverns and faced off against the mighty Morogrim Tidewalker. He grew comfortable in his skills and decided he needed a new challenge. And thus a paladin was born. This shield carrying defender of the Light progressed even further, with his largest achievement to slay the Lich King himself! After doing that impossible deed and seeing all that was wrong with Azeroth, he lost his faith in the light and only rage remained.

The warrior was the only thing alive in him and he decided that he would protect all life, without the help of the Light. And he pressed on, even with the world shattered, and swore that he would get vengeance on the creation that caused this.

After this introduction story about my life as tank, I want to talk about tanking and how to start doing it, why people would even want to tank, and what tanking can do for you.

The easiest part of this is how to start tanking. The simplest advice I can give you here is: slap together a tank-spec and just try it. Now, I’m not saying you should just go in without any information, but what I’m trying to tell you is that you learn best through trial and error. Just go and slap on some tanking gear, if you don’t have any get some crafted, and hit a random normal.

Now about the why you’d want to tank. The reason that springs to mind first is faster queues. If you just want to have faster queues, than I’m not even sure why you bother reading blogs like these. Reasons for why you’d want to tank could be:

  • A change of pace from DPSing/healing
  • More responsibility
  • RP reasons: you want to protect the innocent
  • You like getting hit on

And now, the tricky part about what tanking can do for you and your gameplay. What I personally noted was that I got a lot more situational awareness. Even though I really had trouble with tunnel-vision in the beginning, after some practicing, I started to notice a lot of extra things happening around me. As DPS I never paid attention to the patrol moving around, whereas as tank I HAD to notice them and did so. Another thing I found out was that I took charge more often. I grew more confident in my gameplay and as I found out what I could and could not do, I began to size up situations and began to be proactive instead of reactive. My decision making got faster due to the many ninjapulls I had happen where I had to pick up mobs. Thinking ahead became the name of the game for me, predicting what would happen next was a sort of game.

To sum it up, starting to tank was like a mountain to be climbed: it really seems hard from the bottom. But once you start climbing, it doesn’t seem all that bad and you keep getting higher and higher. Once again, my advice: just do it.