Massively Casual Tanking

Tales of a casual Death Knight in World of Warcraft

Death Knight: Ta(n)king it to the extreme

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*This post is aimed at people new to tanking (5man), those who are thinking about giving it a try, and those that need to PUG most of their dungeon-dwelling.*

If you are new to tanking, or you are thinking of giving it a try, rest assured, there is nothing ‘difficult’ about it. There are however a couple of skills required that will make your job easier:

1- Thou shalt have situational awareness

As a tank you will find yourself constantly in the heat of battle. Mobs with huge axes will surround you, magic spells will fly around your head like there is no tomorrow. Do NOT panic, this is normal. After all, you are supposed to crave the intense crushing of body parts.

It helps to be aware of the flow of battle. How many mobs are there involved, what type of mobs, are they isolated, are there any other mobs nearby? Where is your healer standing?  How’s his mana supply? Is the group doing enough damage? Do I have enough aggro on the mobs? Is my health getting low? Is the healer having problems keeping me up? Should I use a cool down? Am I standing in an area-attack form one of the mobs? Where should I relocated the pack?

This is a fraction of things you will be thinking about each time you pull a bunch of mobs, or are fighting a boss. You need to be aware of all the things around you.

2- Thou shalt not mash buttons

This is the hardest rule for me personally. I’m coming from a DPS spec to a tank spec. It is so tempting to start mashing buttons when there are 4-5 mobs whaling on you.


Remember rule nr. 1.
Feel the flow of the battle. Keep up your threat, locate the mobs for easy DPS, and keep up your awareness. As a tank this is what you should be doing at all times. Making sure every little thing during a battle is either under control or under supervision. If something happens and you didn’t see it coming, your job just got a lot harder.

3- Thou shalt know thy limitations

A very important rule.
In PUG life, there usually is only one person you can really count on, unless off course you bring a friend. That person is yourself. You know your gear, you know your skills. It’s important to know what you can do, and even more important to know what you cannot.

If you feel comfortable using CC often, then by all means, do so.
DPS crying? Who cares … 40 minute queue is that way –>

4- Thou shalt not babysit everyone in your party

If you’re not really sure what I mean by this, then rest assured, you will find out when you start doing PUG dungeons.

Point is, for some reason, the universe decided it is the tanks job to be a walking encyclopedia when it comes to dungeons. You are expected to know each and every corner, you are expected to know all there is about the different mobs and bosses inside.

Add to that human nature, and you will often find yourself surrounded with a party of ignorant slackers, who are constantly looking at you to make sure the instance goes as fast as humanly possible. God forbid something goes wrong, it will be your fault.

5- Thou shalt craft thick skin over time

This is the result of item number 4.
Is the run not going fast enough? Gogogogogo…
Is the run going to fast? Need CC elitist bastard!!!##!!!

At a certain point, you will stop caring. You just don’t care anymore.
This is perfectly normal. And it’s a blessing. Learn to love that thick skin.


Written by Beetle

March 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm

One Response

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  1. I still have a few layers to get, but I’m sure it won’t be long! Especially in the baby-sitting department. I wonder about the mindset of Dps that do 4-5k dps and then complain that the dungeon is taking too long…lol!


    April 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

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