The new "PTSD"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Alternately Titled: Tank Talk part 1

No, Svenn has not succumbed to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from too much tanking. Rather, while discussing some tanking tips with Bluechicken, he inadvertently coined a new acronym- Pally Tank Simplicity Disorder.

The issue being discussed was the trouble warrior tanks have holding aggro with group pulls and the lack of restraint/ willingness to use Crowd Control (CC) by the DPS. FIST (at least the late Raid Group) runs with two Pally tanks; Pally tanks are built for AoE pulls and as such generate a good amount of AoE damage/aggro relatively quickly; Pallies are good verses undead; Naxx is full of undead. Thus our raid group has become accustomed to pouring on the AoE damage with no little to no regard for CC or threat, and there hasn't been a reason for either. Simply put, us Pally tanks made things too "simple".

Enter the Warrior tank. They too can generate good threat on mobs, even larger groups of mobs, but they need some time to do so (stack sunders, thunderclap, cleave, etc.). When DPS classes accustomed to Pally tanks make the transition to Warrior tanks, they tend to continue in their massive AoE damage ways. This inevitably results in aggro being pulled and making the run more painful.

That being said, why is this an issue if both current raid tanks are Pallys? Well, there are several reasons.

1. When FIST 1st started raiding Naxx, our Tanks and Healers had far out geared most of their DPS counterparts. (There are many reasons for this as well, but foremost among them are: trepidation- it is clear that under-geared tanks and healers are harder to overcome than 1 or 2 slack DPSers and as such, ours worked hard to ensure they were as geared as possible before even setting foot in the door, heroics- by and large tanks and healers are in demand and as such have an easier time of getting in the runs they need for gear).

Now that, I hesitate to say this, Naxx is on "farm" that gap is closing quick. Higher DPS outputs equal less lead for the tanks in aggro generation. No longer will Svenn be able to throw a shield, hit the consecrate "I win" button, and expect all the mobs to remain glued to him.

2. Raid Absences and tank burnout are inevitable, especially with summer vacation season upon us. With no available "AoE" tanks waiting in the wings, tanks with different abilities will have to step in to fill the void. These tanks require restraint to some extent on what the DPS can and cannot do.

3. As FIST moves further into Ulduar, DPS restraint will not be a viable option. With "trash" mobs hitting harder and bosses on tight enrage timers, the raid will need every bit of damage it can muster. While this seems like a reversal on the whole position thus far, it isn't and tomorrow Svenn will go further into how this apparent contradiction can work out.

For now however, Svenn will attempt to see things from a warrior's point of view while tanking Heroics, and in some small ways try working some CC into runs (where time isn't crunched of course).

Note: this is in no-ways meant as a bash on DPS. Rather this is an attempt to reconcile the differences in tanking styles presented by two different classes, and figure out a better way to do buisness.


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