I have written here and there on my love of healing. I have let you know time and again my loath for DPS. But, what I have written little about in the past is my other love in World of Warcraft, tanking. I have now rolled all four tank classes and have come to some conclusions: Love to tank on my paladin and death knight, don’t enjoy tanking on either my druid nor my warrior. Let the flaming begin.
A bit of history on why I, a mild, mannered healer, decided to run a tank.
With the Random Queue set up, it can take forever for DPS to get in a dungeon, at minimum, 20 minutes; a healer usually has about about a five minute wait, and a tank, about five seconds. It made it clear that there has been, and continues to be, a shortage of tanks. Moreover, the guild I was in at the time was in desperate need of a tank. There were enough healers and more than enough DPS to go around but tanks, it seemed, were in short supply. It left me wondering why people don’t enjoy the role of tanking, when it is so much fun. Anyway, when I figured I would make a tank, I paid attention to the tanks I had the easiest time healing for – first on the list was the paladin.
A tank, as many of you know is nothing but a punching bag, it is his or her job to hold aggro and take the punches like a champ. As the hits come from up close and far away, the tank also has to do his or her best to keep monsters and other bad guys off the DPS and the healer. If aggro is lost, often the group wipes on the fight. If a player realizes he is doing a not so good job in holding aggro (and, more often than not, it is the tank’s fault), he should leave the group and practice his rotation and tune his spec. Which is why I don’t tank on my druid or warrior: for some reason, I just can’t keep the aggro under control.
Never once have I had an issue holding aggro with Fronkonsteen, well, I did once he hit 80 and the DPS were pulling aggro with relative ease from me. I did some reading and figured my hit rating was a bit too low, once I got it up to muster, aggro was hard to take from him. I selected the paladin first because when I healed for them, I noticed that I rarely had issues with DPS pulling aggro. Of course, there were times when some DPS would make a stupid move and pull a mob, but even then, the paladin I saw and learned, could so easily get that aggro back. The paladin offers much in threat generation. With consecration and other AoE attacks, holding a mob together is quite easy. Of course, every paladin has forgotten to hit Righteous Fury at least once, but that lesson is soon learned by all – for, as long as Righteous Fury is on, it is very difficult to pull aggro from a paladin.
But, the paladin is not the end-all of the tank classes. As a healer, I had no problems with either druids or warriors. So my next tank was the druid.
Don’t get me wrong, I did as much reading as I could, asking friends and the like, and they all said tanking on the druid is a piece of cake. Come on, all you need to do is swipe frantically and you’re fine – unless you’re me. I don’t know why, I specced Schwanstüker, got her geared, did my pulling and generated as much threat as I could, but I just couldn’t hold aggro. My buddies just laughed at me. So, the druid is now a healing build, which I simply love to do. Although, she is still resting somewhere in Northrend waiting for me to get her up there.
It was the same with the warrior. I love healing for a good warrior, talk about holding aggro and generating threat. Unless you’re me, of course. All the tabbing between monsters and bad guys just left me in a daze. Right when I thought I had it all, boom, there goes the healer screaming bloody murder and I am scrambling with my mouse to find the monster attacking my healer, only to click too late and then watch the ensuing wipe. It is usually at this time that I apologize to the group and then leave so that they can get a tank who knows better than this old fart. I heir-loomed the snot out of this character, hoping gear might help. Nope. I ran with my guild master who plays a mean warrior tank, listened to her and did what she told me. Did it work? Nope. So, Eyegöre is now resting at 70, somewhere in Northrend, as well.
Before I talk about Sedagive, my death knight, I have to say that prior to Cataclysm I absolutely hated healing for them. They just couldn’t hold aggro and died too quickly. With the release of Cataclysm, among the changes, Blizzard added new talent trees and different manners of speccing characters. While all of the classes received a retuning, the death knight was given a serious bonus with the blood spec, which is the tank build. I suddenly found myself loving healing for a death knight, and figured I should go ahead and create one myself. So, Sedagive came to life.
Whatever retuning Blizzard gave to the death knight, it worked. Once again, I have a new tank. In the dungeons I have run, generating threat and holding aggro is almost just as easy as it is with the paladin. Like the warrior, there needs to be some tabbing here and there against the mob, but a simple drop of “Death and Destruction” and the mob sticks to me. With the errant bad guy, it is easy to pull him back into the mob with “Death Grip.”
So, here is what it seems like, Blizzard did well in creating these classes, each with its own style of play. The paladin is designed for us old farts, I think, as holding aggro is rather easy. The warrior and druid both are wonderful tanks to play if one likes to feel the adrenalin of the fight. Both of these classes require the player at the keyboard to be very active and paying close attention to the battle at hand. The death knight is the balance. It is not as easy to hold aggro as the paladin, but it does offer the player the opportunity to be more closely involved in the fight.
What about those of you who run tanks, which class do you prefer? As for you healers, which class makes your life much easier? Either way, what is your opinion on tanks and classes?
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