First Time Tanking Blues

This is basically going to be a slightly edited repost and update of something I wrote last night and posted on a WoW LJ community, but I did mention on Twitter that I would share it here, so here it goes.

I found this page during a google search for info on the nexus instance and this gave me some idea of what to expect when I got in there.

Because my guildmates were busy or gone at the time (it was midnight server time, and there were only three of us), I wasn’t able to ask any of them to help me out with training, so I just decided to jump in. Thing is, when I did a dungeon finder queue as a tank, I was basically Ready-Checking five seconds after I signed up. That was amazing, and slightly worrying at the same time.

Some notes: Nexus Run, I’m level 73 Tauren DK (Blood Spec) with around 16-17k health at that point depending on what buffs and cooldowns I used.

I told the newly formed group that I was new to tanking, and one of them mentioned that such did not inspire confidence in the run. That was foreshadowing, sadly.

First mob: I lag severely and everything stutters and stops, and I disconnect. Thank goodness there was a warrior there who helped them out while I disconnected.

First wing was generally okay for trash, tanking wise. Thing is, I didn’t know that they were all GOGOGO kinda people, and I was stopping after fights so the healers (priest was Dungeon Guide, plus a moonkin druid I believe) could regain mana for healing purposes. It wasn’t till we neared Telestra that I found out that they were kinda getting antsy, so the warrior in the group started initiating some of the other trash fights.

We defeated Telestra, and I finished one of the quests (finding Berinand’s Research notes – completed quest reward above), but I’m guessing that I was too slow, so the healer/Dungeon Guide said he had to go and left the party.

Problem: I didn’t see the message till after I had engaged an enemy (connection flared up again) and basically wiped the party, with two others (the druid and the warrior) dropping the party in what I would assume to be disgust.

Releasing my spirit, I ended up back in the Transitus Shield, where people started joining in again in the dungeon run, but I was so disappointed in myself that I left the party since just about everyone else except one guy remained in the original party.

Strange thing though, right after the Telestra fight, he said my tanking wasn’t bad… but I was taking too long between fights that buffs would be wasted, which is why they were moving so quickly. Sadly, his name was difficult to spell and remember, so I never got to apologize to him for leaving, though I don’t know if I can even add friends from another server to talk to them. 🙁

Anyway, that’s my story. I’m trying to improve, but for a first time tanking experience, I felt absolutely awful, not only about the wipe, but also about the miscommunication that I wasn’t able to remedy. I’m hoping I can do better next time, but that experience really stressed me out on an emotional level and I’m still trying to figure out how else I can improve my tanking but also my conduct for partying in the future since I just dropped party without saying a word to the one guy who was actually relatively supportive of me during the whole fiasco.

Thanks to the folks on the community on Livejournal that I posted on, I got a lot of tips and a ton of emotional support for my endeavors with tanking. I want to do my role well, and I won’t give up!

That said, if you have any Death Knight tanking tips, feel free to let me know in the comments.

9 thoughts on “First Time Tanking Blues

  1. Tanking is indeed a harsh world to live in and you need a thick skin for sure, my old pala had dual spec ret/prot until I just got sick of the endless torrent of abuse each run… Im disappointed I didnt stick it out but I figured my gaming happyness was more important than my bruised ego lol

    Im strictly a dps guy now, however from my past experiences I’m now a much more forgiving and understanding player to the extent I’ll speak up for tanks and healers if people are giving them stick.

    Anyway grit your teeth, chin up and stick in there, a good few drops and a bit of experience and you will be trucking. One thing to remember is they need you a hell of a lot more that you need them 😉

  2. From a game design perspective, if the buffs are wearing off and that’s causing mana shortages… I’d say there’s something a bit off with the design.

    Maybe that’s just me, though. My first foray into tanking was when the Warrior tank disconnected in Scarlet Monastery’s Cathedral. I was playing in Cat form DPS on my Druid, but I offered to try Bear tanking the place and four-manning it. We did, but I took it at my pace and made careful pulls. We only wiped once when I decided to try the boss without clearing both wings of the hall and all the random guys came to help the boss. We tried again and cleared it without much trouble. I was slow, but careful. I apologized for the speed, but the others didn’t complain, and the Shaman told me that it was good to be careful. As a mostly unprepared Bear tank, I think that’s as good as I can expect the experience to turn out.

    Sometimes other people are great, sometimes they stink. I might have gotten lucky there.

    • The buffs I think the guy was mentioning were the ability activators inherent to the class, such as rage or whatnot. From the looks of things, the healer was okay with mana, but I didn’t know that.

      I also mistook the moonkin druid for the healer at one point, only to have it pointed out on the Livejournal community that Moonkins are DPS. 🙂

      • *chuckle*

        Yeah, tanks are sort of expected to know everything and be aware of everything at all times. It’s a lot to shoulder.

        Good luck on it in the future. 😉

  3. Keep it up! Tanking I find is generally very stressful. I was lucky that my druid was eased into the tanking world by my guild, so I was surrounded by friends who tolerated my mistakes during the learning experience. This was when Burning Crusade came out, so I’ve been in this role for a few years. Even so, come Cataclysm, I’m thinking of hanging up my tanking cloak. Being the main tank in raids is starting to wear on me, because the fewer tanks around these days means you’re always kinda forced to be in that role, even if I want to go as a healer or cat. I think it’s time to try something else.

  4. I tried tanking, created a Tauren Druid, decked her out with all the tanking BoA’s, and headed in! Yeah, It was so fricken stressful that I gave up at lvl 24. And in those 10 short levels I grew to hate that bear butt. I was an ok tank, and could keep mobs, but I couldn’t handle the stress of thinking that I wasn’t handling the mobs. Pus tanks are expected to know where to go, and I am terribibble with directions. I went heals and never looked back. I now still get the instant Q’s (well almost), and am proud to say just healed my way to the KS title 🙂 I also learned why tanks can be such grouches. lol. But keep up the good work, and remember that most of the time you aren’t 1/2 as bad as you think you are 😛

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