On my long journey as a Warrior tank, it has been a large yo-yo type ride. Things change. Nerf and Buffs. Mechanics changes. It has definately been a long strange trip.
Vanilla WoW: This is where I got my start tanking. I gravitated to WoW from EQ2. While leveling, I was a complete noobcake. Points thrown here and there in arms and fury. I didnt know shit basically. At around level 45, I stopped playing for around 6 months. I decided to start playing again after talking to a co-worker who played and told me all about raiding etc.
So, I continued on as a noob. I grinded mobs in WPL from level 54-60. That was not exactly fun. I dinged level 60 in about 16 days /played. I can hit 80 in way less than that now.
My friends told me I should go prot and tank. I put all of my talent points into prot and away I went. I was terrible. I was accused of buying my toon from ebay. I did get better.
Tanking in Vanilla WoW sucked. There really wasnt such a thing as AOE aggro for a Warrior tank. We sundered stuff....alot. Generally you asked dps to wait 3 sunders before opening up. There were also mobs marked and kill orders. They didnt go AOE crazy unless they felt like dying. You couldnt thunderclap in Defensive stance. We didnt have devastate or fancy doodads like that. Yet, we were to go to tank in Vanilla. This mostly had to do with just how terrible the tanking trees for Paladins and Druids were. If you played those classes, you healed or you didnt come.
Warrior tanking kind of sucked, but we were on top of the world. Enter.....
The Burning Crusade: In the Burning Crusade, we were still considered to go to tank, but parity was coming fast. Druids had huge health pools to take monster hits and Paladin tanks were to go to class for AOE tanking. Warrior tanks were still the best rounded tank, but our AOE was still pitiful. Still no thunderclap in defensive stance. Still no multi target abilities. Our TPS was very high, but out DPS was pitifully low.
It wasn't until the end of the expansion that we got some of our best abilities. Warbringer and Shockwave come to mind. Being able to Thunderclap in Defensive stance was huge and made a world of difference. Our DPS went up as strength became a priority on gear. Going into Wrath, we were looking pretty good.....but everyone else was looking better.
Wrath: The fall and rise of the Warrior tank. Warrior tanks have been viable all through wrath....but they have not always been the most desired tank. Paladins, Druids, and DKs all put out more DPS. Paladins and Druids had more health. We were at the bottom of the barrel for much of the expansion.
No we are looking up finally. We got more health. Now we can at least be competetive with the other classes for DPS. We are no longer the golden gods of tanking....but we still get to sit at the table with the other classes. That is all I really wanted. Tanking should be about which class you enjoy playing, and shouldnt have to come down to a choice of do I want to have fun, or be more viable.
Here is to parity lasting in the next expansion. Long live the Warrior tank.