Friday, 23 April 2010

Meet the Alt...

This is the alt.

He's a Warrior.

His personal interests are: hitting things, getting hit by things and yelling a lot.

His zodiac sign is Scorpio.

Okay, so why the alt? Why another tank?

First of all, this is the first character that I ever rolled in WoW... I figured that since all Warriors have to do is hit things, they should be pretty simple to play, right? A few months of playing him and not having a clue as to what I was doing relegated him to a year in the Honor Hold tavern, in the meantime I rolled a Ret Paladin...

These days I've had a while to experience Death Knight tanking, almost geared up as much as I can do given my current raid progression, so I need something else to do; why not take some time to see how one of the other guys tanks stuff? I kind of know what I'm doing in 5-mans and raids, all I need to do is get my head around a different playstyle and grab some gear!

One thing that everyone will have noticed is that there is a desperate shortage of tanks in the game and I'm trying to figure out why. If you're a DPS and you sign up for a random dungeon in the Dungeon Finder, I hear that you can end up waiting 15-20 minutes for a group - I wouldn't know... if I had to wait 15-20 seconds for a group, I'd be thinking that my computer had crashed. In reality, I'm normally waiting 2-3 seconds for a group. This kind of tells me that there aren't many tanks running randoms these days and why would they? Any established tank just chain-ran random heroics as soon as Patch 3.3 launched, geared up and now only run the one random a day for their Emblems of Frost. These days, it seems like you're far more likely to run into a useless tank and/or a DPS that has decided to equip a shield and pretend to be a tank in order to jump the long queue times.

So, why don't more people roll tanks? It seems like the chance to queue jump and attain massive quantities of gear in such a short time would be incentive enough... apparently not. I think that one problem is that it's fine for running randoms and PuGs, but if you're in a guild, there's only enough space for a limited number of tanks to raid. This isn't a problem if your guild is insistent on rotating tanks in and out, but a lot of the time it's far easier to take your established tanks along because (hopefully!) they'll get the job done - in this type of guild you may never get into the raids, so why bother?

The other reason is that tanking is seen as being a hard thing to do. Not necessarily true - it just requires a different mindset and focus from DPSing. As the Great Tank Philosopher Hafrot once said:

"The difference between being a DPS and a tank is like the difference between being a parent and having a son or a daughter. If you have a son, you only have to worry about one dick in town. If you have a daughter, you have to worry about every dick in town."

Wise words, indeed...

The focus of being a DPS is a very individual thing, getting rotations right in order to maximise your damage output; as a tank you're keeping an eye out for what you're doing, what the monsters are doing, what the floor is trying to do to you as well as what everyone else is doing. If you're not particularly good at DPS, all that tends to happen is that number on Recount isn't as big as the other people's -  fail to tank properly, everyone dies and you get to hear about your lack of tanking skill in no uncertain terms!

So, just to see how long it takes to get a tank raid-worthy, I'm embarking on a little project...

A couple of weeks ago, the Warrior was level 70. Some heirlooms, some questing and the odd random normal dungeon sees him ding 80 a couple of days ago.

Some more dungeon running and a bit of help with a couple of craftable items sees him with a Gearscore of 4049 - that's 36 hours after hitting 80.

Yes, I installed Gearscore... I don't feel good about it, I don't know what the numbers mean and it's getting disabled whenever I don't need it. Unfortunately, it's going to be the easiest way to track my alt's gear accruing progress.

Let's see how long it takes to get a tank ICC10 ready, shall we?


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  2. Ahh, welcome to real tanking. The original and best, the shield-wielding monster of threat, the warrior.
    Hope all goes well with your gearing. My priest went from dinging to raiding ICC10/25 in a matter of 2 weeks (And I'm slow with these things) so it should pose no problem to you... that being said, it's harder to gear up a decent tank than a half decent healer/dps, and a half decent healer/dps is much more forgivable than a half-decent tank :p