Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Bad" Tanks are not always bad

Everyone has been in a group with a "bad tank". This is usually a guy who cant hold aggro. I challenge that this "bad" tank may not be the problem. It may be traced to "bad" DPS.

Since patch 3.0, WoW has been an AOE fest. AOE here there and everywhere. This is due to the fact that tank multi target tanking has become much easier (for Warrior especially).

This doesnt mean that every single pull should be an AOE pull. Not all tanks are created equal, but that doesnt make them "bad". I rarely have trouble keeping aggro on multiple mobs, but there are overzealous DPS that make is extremly difficult sometimes. The Ret Pally who judges on a mob after is was gun pulled. Heres your sign. The Warlock/Mage who uses SoC/Rain of Fire/Blizzard on a gun pull. Heres you sign.

Once a tank gets aggro, it is much harder to rip it off. If you pull it before he can get any kind of rotation down, it is much more difficult to get back (especially if it is multiple mobs). Holy Priest who purposely pulls with SwP or body pull on accident when the Warrior has not rage. Heres your sign.

If you run into a group where the tank is having these kinds of problems, take a step back and look at the big picture. DPS gear is scaling up up and away these days. Just remember, there is nothing wrong with focus firing a target down. That is how it was done since the beginning of WoW. If the tank is having trouble with big group pulls, try single targeting the target of the tank. If you are still pulling aggro, this may well be a "bad" tank.

On the same subject, a "bad" tank can be classified in many ways. Is this tank uncrittable? If the answer is no, he knows better and should not be tanking until he is (the obvious exception was when being 80 was new and they were still working towards gear). Is the tank sporting gear that is not gemmed? The he/she is "bad". Is the tank not paying attention to their surroundings and face pulling multiple mobs and causing wipes multiple times. The tank is probably "bad". A "bad" tanks is easy to spot. Some tanks just need a little help, which isnt bad.....its called team work.


Knife said...

I think you actually touched on the heart of the problem: DPS gear is scaling up up and away.

How much gear in the game is TANK gear at epic level? What...3 shields, 3-4 plate pieces per slot, 2 weapons at max? Ok- of that gear, what pieces of gear actually do a considerable buff to the amount of threat you put out? Yes, purple weapon A does slightly more dps than purple weapon B, but is an extra 50Tps really going to be what makes/breaks you being a good/bad tank? No.

Then you have dps. DPS classes (or specs) outweigh tank specs 2.5:1. Obviously there's going to be more gear for dps, but actually look at it. Take a Mut-Rogue for example.

Just hit 80 rogue has 3 purples, can barely hit the target, and does, at max, 1600dps (give or take). If a tank can't cause more aggro then that rogue can produce, yes, he's a bad tank. But more further...

Our rogue goes through heroics and into Nax. He has 6 purples, better weapons and now does 2500dps. Easy to tank for if it's just him and he plays smart.

Next our rogue becomes uber. He has the best gear in the game. He now does 4-5000dps.

From 1600 to 4800dps (for the sake of argument). That's a 300% increase solely because of gear. Does your "just 80" tank gear to "endgame" tank gear truly give you +300% threat? Fat chance.

The DPS problem you're talking about comes from stupid people being stupid. The gear problem I'm talking about causes the tanks in the game to have an absurd learning curve. 1 day you're fine tanking heroics, the next day you're an epic failure at aggro control in nax25 because dps got a few lucky drops.

HolyGhost said...

My favorite saying in groups where everyone wants to jump the gun on dps'ing.

"It's easier to keep aggro on me, than pull aggro off of you."

If people are pulling aggro from me it's usually because they are focus firing on "X" when everyone is supposed to be on "Skull" first.

Paladin's & Dk's like to do that with that mentality, "I'm wearing plate.. I can tank too"

Between Thunderclap, Shockwave, and Cleave(glyph or non) and Devaste glyph that sunder's 2 targets it's pretty damn hard to pull multiple mob aggro off a warrior. They have to really try.

Heck I even still bounce to the next target and move a little when there is a lot of mobs to make sure I get that extra sunder/ cleave hitting that next mob.. just in case.

I HATE chasing a mob all the way back to the mage at the back of the group and have to slap it with taunt or ... mocking blow? (what is that for even anymore)

Group assist's on the kill order and usually every Heroic is EZ-Mode.

Darraxus said...

Exactly. As a fresh level 80 in brand new 80 gear, I had a Rogue friend who did around 1600 or so DPS. He now does mid 2k and he hasnt even picked up a ton of upgrades. I dont have a problem holding aggro off of him, but it goes to show you what scaling does for DPS.

miss elf said...

Great post. The same can be said for healers - people die, they instantly say "Oh, healer sucks".

Well, actually, it could be the fact you're pulling aggro, standing in the AOE, standing in for whirlwind...... The list goes on, you get the idea.

Hopefully some people read this and take away a valuable lesson from it :).

thedoctor said...

"Well, actually, it could be the fact you're pulling aggro, standing in the AOE, standing in for whirlwind...... The list goes on, you get the idea."

I hate that - huge pet peeve of mine

"Hopefully some people read this and take away a valuable lesson from it :)."

I agree, good post

Anonymous said...

I think there are some bad tanks out there.. not alot just a few but what i think makes a bad tank is a other players in the group such as rush dps that only want to kill and like to show there high dps off and at the group wipe would blame the tank i played with many people as a warrior tank and one class that like to show there class off are hunters that like to pull boss off me i taunt the taunt back.... uh if i don't take damage i don't get rage i can't build aggro