Thursday, February 3, 2011

Things that annoy me when tanking

This was initially going to be a top 5. Top 5 annoying things when tanking. But I realized I couldn't make a top 5 list, because most things that annoy me when I tank are at number 1. Either I am easily annoyed when tanking (which I have noticed depends alot on which class I use when tanking and on my general mood for the day, of course) or tanking is just an annoying thing to do. I think it's rather that when tanking alot of things can go wrong, or rather, not as planned, not perfect. And if all those things annoy you, you will have one hell of a list! So here you have a couple of the things on my "things that annoy me when I tank"-list

Caster mobs that mock me
It's not just caster mobs overall that annoy me, but the ones that when silenced don't move from their original position. There are two big reasons for me to silence a mob (or interrupt), the first being to avoid the damage from the skill and the other to position the caster. I don't want him to stand over there, I want him to be where I am. So imagine my frustration when I silence a mob, like with say Avenger's Shield or Heroic Throw, and the mob just stands there. Until my silence runs out and he can cast again. What have I accomplished? Nothing. It's like he says "Oh I'll just wait over here until I can cast again, I'm not stupid enough to run into that fray of death", the fray being my loving embrace of Revenges, Shield Slams, Blood Strikes, Hammer of the Righteousness...ess. I've taken my time to stop doing threat on the targets I'm currently tanking, target the dude over there only to interrupt him so that he will move over to my place and join the fun. So when the mob doesn't do that, I am annoyed.

Fat Assed Bosses
One of the trickier things to do when tanking is positioning a boss. Not because moving around and doing skills at the same time is that tricky, but because it's damn hard to predict how the boss will respond to your movements. Some bosses seriously move like wounded refrigerators. Steelbender comes to mind, which you have to move in and out of fire. Sometimes he just seems to get his ass stuck in that beam and suddenly you've got 5 stacks instead of the intended 1. Just freakin move already will ya? Actually I feel like some tanks, or maybe it is races?, have more trouble with this than others. Running around Ozruk seems alot trickier on my tauren warrior than on my rather small orc female death knight and blood elf paladin.

Parry, parry, miss... dodge?!
I realize this is something I could do something about, but most people would agree when I say that hit and expertise aren't high on a tanks stat priority list right now. Sometimes I really feel like just reforging everything to hit and expertise and that is when I run in and Shield Slam, miss... Revenge, double dodge... Devastate, parry. Same thing as a druid or dk, although I usually open with Death & Decay as Death Knight and that solves most of my initial threat issues. Paladins have an easier time because basically all their skills are aoe skills, so even if you miss one mob you hit another. Imagine how awesome my threat is after that start, not only will I don't have any aggro, when someone else snatches aggro I won't have any rage to get the damn mob back. Taunt... slowly building rage, oh lost aggro again, taunt. Well you can see the cycle of annoyance there.

Dpsers who randomly assign themselves to cc

I love dpsers who assign themselves and mark up their own target, as long as their marking make sense. If the mage makes a moon and goes on to sheep it, I am happy. If they manage to coordinate several cc this way between themselves I am totally euphoric. You might wonder why I prefer to leave this in another persons hands? It's not because I dislike marking or think it is troublesome, but because only if a ccer marks his own targets can I be sure that he actually will cc that mark. I don't know how many times I have marked a target, explained carefully what I want them to do with it, and nothing happens. What I don't like however, and maybe even less than not ccing at all, is when I mark targets, explain what people should do, and they cc something else. Or even worse, they start switching marks mid combat. Hey, this guy was skull makred for a freakin reason! Even if I didn't mark the most dangerous mob, switching marks and nuking something else mid combat is potentially more dangerous, trust me.

People who have to use their procs
YES I AM LOOKING AT YOU FIRE MAGE. What's with these people? You kill a pack of mobs and they run off like they had fire in their ass and use some instant cast on the pack with 7 mobs in it. Grats, hope you have a fun time collecting those mobs. And when I tell them to kindly not do that or I will let them die, they tell me "but I have to use my procs". Eh, no. You don't actually. Fortunately there aren't that many classes that have procs they feel like they just have to use or... what? The earth will explode? Mostly mages it seems. Trigger happy doesn't even begin to explain it. Hunters are that way too, only they see all their autoshots as procs. It's like they're standing there, watching the mob and they just... can't... wait. They have to shoot it. I don't get it.

So this is a starters on my list of things that annoy me when I tank. Got anything to add?


  1. Oh my gosh! You ask us if we've got anything to add?! You really want your blog spammed? :) So, I don't tank very often but I can sure pinpoint a few things that annoy me when I do. First of all I am a different type of player when I tank. I turn from friendly happy priest into raging furious tank immedietly when I hold a shield in my hands. Tanking makes me so angry (that's why I don't do it very often). And the anger is probably the result of one of the things mentioned below:

    Dpsers who just have to aggro the mobs first, even if it's just stepping close enough to them to pull them. They don't realize what difference it makes for the threat control if I aggro them first or if they do.

    Healers (!) who release their imba mega top healing ability riiight after I've aggroed the mobs but riiight before I've smacked them in the face.

    The very obvious "I'll pick my own target and will beat the crap out of him-mentality" - dpsers who can't coordinate the killing of one mob at a time (even if there's a skull).

    Lack of threat monitoring is another issue I find problematic. I'd like the name plates to show % of threat on the mobs around me (not having to target them manually). Maybe there is such an addon? Or maybe it would be too good for blizz to allow?

    Trash is more challenging than bosses. For healers and dpsers trash is mostly a boring nuisance that you can facebook your way through. However, for tanks it's a gut-wrenching terror that will give you nightmares for many days to come. Bosses though - they are often facebook moments for tanks.

    And last but definitely not least - myself. To be honest I am really not a good tank. I lack the experience of tanking since I've only done it on my "spare time" and never in any challenging situations (even though trash packs in ordinary dungeons can be challenging). I envy the tanks in my guild who can run straight into a trash pack and have them stick to them for what seems like forever... they are my heroes and I will never be as good as them!

  2. Oh tanking.. my good old enemy.. I mean friend.. I mean.. whatever!

    I don't tank much since I switched back to my Warlock for my main, but I am in the process of leveling my DK as a tank (which has difficulties on its own since I'm not very used to playing it) - so a lot of my tanking pet peeves resurface.

    I definitely get more bossy when I tank. I'm bossy other times too, but worse so when I'm tanking.

    I agree with all of the things you've listed for sure.

    I also hate it when:

    - someone pulls who is not me, it may not even have to be a proc, just that they decided that the extra second I wanted to mark things for CC was a second too long. I hate it even more as a DK because while D&D is AoE threat it's not a snap threat like an AoE taunt.

    - Knockbacks! Oh god I hate them! I put down my D&D and some god damn shaman knocks all of the mobs out of it! Or druid. I had the same issue with the Warrior in Wrath, I'd charge in and before I even had the gcd ready to do thunderclap some friggin dps had knocked every mob out of range.. *growls just thinking about it*

    - the plate dpser who thinks he can tank because he wears plate. I mean, why attack my target when you can attack the one I have the least threat on, right?

  3. I can explain the hunter auto-shot problem which you have witnessed...

    As a hunter you are basically a melee dpser but with _everyone_ in range at all times (unless you move in too close), what happens when one mob dies while you are casting something or pressing buttons is that the game automatically selects the next closest target for you and your auto shots goes off just like it would on the previous target.

    A veteran hunter knows about this and tries to prevent it by moving his/her character just as a mob dies (to prevent auto shooting). This won't be possible in 4.0.6 since we'll be auto shooting even while moving, so expect this to happen a lot more in the future.

    Alternatively you could stop dpsing during the last 10% of a mob's health, but that's not something a lot of people are willing to do. :)


  4. My hunter is lvl 57 now and I failed so hard at the start playing it. Mostly because I select targets with my right mouse button instead of left, and have been doing so for 5 years. Basically it's automation, playing my hunter after I've played any of my other chars is a right disaster.
    Every instance goes like 'DOH #@%#@% autoshot!'

  5. @Anon1
    I agree with you on all points, especially the "I turn from friendly happy priest into raging furious tank immedietly when I hold a shield in my hands. ". That's me! Wonder why that is? Yet another thing to explore. And "Healers (!) who release their imba mega top healing ability riiight after I've aggroed the mobs but riiight before I've smacked them in the face. ". I hate myself when I do that as a healer (because I know how annoying it is for the tank) and it is one of the things I always try to avoid when healing ^^

    You, me and the commenter above seem to have the same issue, we get nerdragey easier when tanking. It's funny because for me at least it's really a big difference. When people fail at stuff when I heal I go "meh". When people fail and I tank I go "blarghblarghargh!" (think Hulk).

    Yeah one of my friends mains a hunter and he has done some funny things with that autoshoot issue. Like ninjapulling Magmaw *cough*. So I know it's about 50/50 accident/purpose when it comes to hunters ;)

    Yepp that was one of the first things I had to change when I started playing a hunter. Actually it was an even bigger problem when I played rogue because if you right click them you'll autoattack before you can do your stealth-thing :/