September 13, 2010

Tanking mentality on a DPS = bad

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:59 am by Aduial of WrA

Finally not that long ago, I got my little warrior up to 60 (Ith’s new love for his priest and wanting desperately to level him has gone a long way), and everything was grand, until after a few Ramps runs where I started noticing some now all-too-familiar signs. Essentially I was starting to slack (a lot) and just feeling a lot of apathy toward doing my best on her, down to actually AFKing during several boss fights after a few seconds (Do not try that at home). So this time I’ve done the smart thing, and instead of just going along with playing her because Ith wanted to play Veive until I couldn’t stand being on her, let alone playing her (like I did with my other warrior who is sorely neglected because of it), I’ve decided to shelve her for a bit and play some of my other toons.

I did a few runs on Mani with Ith’s 73 warrior and after wiping us a couple times (forgot to put up an aura/seal before we started, my bar for both was glitching out so I opened my spellbook and tried mid-pull, which lagged me for some reason, compounding on the fact I completely forgot I had an instant cast) we did pretty okay. Can’t remember exactly why we stopped (probably had sick kitten aggro, she’s been very clingy this week), but that was the last I played her before picking up Ruvi again, my mage.

I know I mentioned a while back Ith had rolled a druid to level as a tank, though I’m not sure I mentioned he respecced to kitty (with plans to tank again at 40). Well, seems he didn’t like that much, either, and so he never wanted to play his druid, but I really have been loving playing mage. About as much as he’s been loving his priest, actually. So we discussed me powerleveling Ruvi up to Veive’s level and letting Ruvi take Cele’s spot. Well… that worked, for about 6 levels. Then it occurred to me, what if he respecced his druid to resto? He’d always loved it before, and chaining dungeons is faster than questing (at least for me, but I fail at questing). He agreed, we discussed whether to just buy resto gear for him or have him kitty and steal caster gear, and eventually I just threw gold at him, then on we went (after I froze my experience so that he could catch up).

After a couple runs we ended up with a warlock, who was decent enough, who kept automatically trying to queue as a group again, and we obliged. Then after a couple more we joined in with a fresh DPS and fresh tank… who I neglected to notice were from the same realm and guild, but I noticed the DPS was a mage. /Inspect. Frost mage, oh-ho, DPS challenge! Sadly I was beaten more often than not (or possibly not sadly, considering the usual DPS meters), which did surprise me considering he was also 3 levels below me, though it turned out he had good enough gear to be on par with mine. Still, I’m used to being that one DPS, who’s not only at the top of the meters but usually a long way ahead of the next person, as well as usually having at least one person below the tank when they shouldn’t be.

Here, I just drew an example (not completely to scale, but best I could manage without seeing a meter in front of me).

I really, really should have known better than to write with a marker. Sorry everyone!

The first is what our meters usually look like (and I’ve actually had the group composition repeatedly before with similar results), and the second is with this group, with the other mage and I flip-flopping depending on the fights (I had much better single-target, he had much better AOE), and the warlock and paladin tank flipping a few times as well. And so sorry for the handwriting (which is horrible to begin with), I really should have known better than to try to go over pencil with marker in such a small space and either left the pencil, or dug out one of my outlining pens.

I actually had a lot of fun the first two to three instances we did together where I was trying to see how much DPS I could get, especially trying to tweak my rotations on the fly to get the most out of them (can’t wait until I can hit a DPS dummy, I really can’t)… but then, the jokes about mage aggro started. Of course. And it’s not like we didn’t have aggro, at least on occasion, I think that happens with most tanks early on no matter how good they are (and this one was pretty good, despite being, per her words, “a newblet”) if the mage is worth their salt, though I’ll admit for the most part I stopped caring when I got aggro a long time ago and just keep on nuking these days… But apparently the mage pretty frequently stole aggro from his tank much like Ith does stupid stunts with me when he’s healing my warrior. Then Ith notices “that it’s never one mage or the other. It’s either neither, or both.”

So at this point, we’d been going for several runs, and got so sick of Scarlet Monastery’s graveyard we were specificing for the Library, and of course we’d all been chatting and having a good time, one of those “Why can’t you all be on my realm so I can keep you forever” groups (though the paladin and mage ended up transferring their mains over before the night was said and done, actually, which is awesome). And so, with Ith’s words in mind, when we started the next one (he’d said it about one pull before Doan the last one), I, for some reason I still do not fully comprehend… proceeded to run ahead right after buffs and start to tank. On my mage. Apparently Ith stopped healing me at some point while the paladin just stood back at first then started tanking, and I stopped. For about a room, where more comments started. And so, I pull the next hall, just like I’ve done on every tank before, though I let the pally take aggro back.. for about two seconds. Whereupon she was stunned after we’d all started AOEing, and Ith’s druid as well, so the rest of us got aggro. So I start bursting things down, targeting the things hitting the other squishies first to make sure they don’t die (surprisingly I never worry about dieing myself), and then the healer drops. Oh boy. Tank’s down, too, died during the first stuns (thus how we got aggro). So I pop Lifeblood at about 50% and keep tanking what I can, bursting things down… The other mage drops with about two mobs up, and then… The mobs are down.

Of course I’m apologizing and feeling horrible about the deaths, and naturally it was the last intentional tanking I did that night, while the other DPS are saying it was fun, let’s do it again, and the tank’s laughing and commenting on how awesome it was to watch us fight… I guess that’s a bonus of an amazing group. You can do really stupid things and still have fun, even if said stupid things almost cause a wipe.

I don’t think I’ll be tanking on Ruvi again any time soon, though, no matter how awesome the group. The last thing I want to do is give Ith a reason to learn how to skin red headed Blood Elf fire mages.

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