Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trust, tanking, and some other T word

Trust between a healer and a tank is critical. Since playing DV in The Group, I've gotten a new appreciation for this relationship of trust. I absolutely trust Zyyro (Myk), my healer. I never look at my health bar because I know that I don't have to worry about it; Zyyro has it under control.

I've also gotten a nice look at what I believe is the mentality of most good tanks, which is described as "Let me at 'em, just keep me healed!" I have a real appreciation for Leeroy Jenkins; he's still a numbskull, but I understand his actions better. I'm more antsy to get going after a fight and keep the action going. My work as a priest really helps out here as I'm keenly aware that Zyyro's mana level directly affects my survivability.

I think that this issue of trust is why many PuGs fail; if the tank is always watching his health bar, he's not able to focus fully on the task at hand. Another issue arises when the healer has a different healing strategy than the tank is comfortable with. As a healer, I like to keep the tank in the TOP 50% of their health; yes, I keep a Renew on the tank at all times and have significant overhealing. But, on the other hand, my tank usually doesn't die!

I am at the point to where, as DV, I don't want to be healed by anyone but Zyyro or Turion (who respecced Retro, but still keeps an eye on my health when we're duoing). The one exception that I'm willing to make is to train another healer...that wants to learn and is in my guild or on my friends list. This means just saying NO to PuGs. Will...not....do.

Last night's Ulda run was hampered a bit by BP's no show. He's on the road in Africa, so we didn't know if he'd be able to make it anyways. So, the four of us decided to clear out the southern room for a quest and then we went into the instance to provide Syenna (Kat) with an opportunity to practice tanking.

Now, I will admit right off the bat, that I am a control freak. This is a biiiiiiig asset when I tank. I take charge, mark mobs, lead the group, and get all those ugly mobs hating me. And only me. So giving up some of the control (the all those ugly mobs hating me part) was ...... difficult. But, training must take place in order for others to learn what I've learned and to gain the skills necessary to be a good tank.

So, the first bit of advice I give to Kat is that I'm VERY selfish when it comes to tanking. I NEED TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION!!! In my opinion, this NEEDS to be the tank's attitude, unless otherwise arranged. Every mob in the instance has only one hate target, ME! If one of them thinks that they might not like the healer, it's my job to ensure that mob that they don't like me, more. I think that for the DPSer who is learning to tank, this is the hardest concept and practice to work out.

As a DPSer, other than CC, you should be focus firing on THE target and never hitting another target until THE target is dead. Then you move on to the next THE target, and so on. As a tank, depending on your playstyle, you are keeping an eye on all the targets. Whether tab targeting, clicking between mobs, or positioning mobs to see inattentive scumbags (going after someone other than ME), the tank must control all of the mobs and tap those inattentive ones on the shoulder to remind them of who they hate.

Once the new tank gets this concept, then we can start talking about what spells/moves can be used to focus the mobs on the meat shield. So, I had Kat start taunting off of Turion (a pally wearing plate) to help her get the practice down. I also let Zyyro get beat on a bit to help Kat get in the practice of chasing down those inattentive mobs going after HER lifesource (and husband...lol).

All and all, it was a good practice session. I know I didn't learn in a day, and I don't expect anyone else to. That said, I look forward to Thu when Kat and Turion are going to share the tanking duties, and Daxie gets to join the group on DPS.

'Nuff said.


Jabari said...

Turion (who respecced Retro...

Did you make sure he took Bellbottoms (3/3) and Hair Band Rock (5/5) when he made that spec?


Serious part:
Even if you trust your healers, you still need to have your health bar somewhere visible (even peripherally), as silences and stuns do occasionally happen, and you need to be prepared to use pots/last stand/shield wall.

Ryster Anch said...

He went with the 3/3 White Afro and the 1/1 Lime Green Challenger. After I wrote Retro, I saw my error and then wondered who would comment on it..lol.

As far as the other comment, I hadn't thought of that. Luckily, we are learning to communicate via the voice chat system, so hopefully we'll call out those things over voice. I've tried to start doing that when I get behind on healing so the tank doesn't get antsy. A little "Heal coming" or "Heal incoming" eases some of the tank's worry, especially if you haven't worked together a lot.


Jabari said...

Yup. My first char was a Warrior, but I really learned a bunch about tanking the first time that I took my priest into a 5-man to heal.

Calling out the stuns/silences is great BTW - so helpful for the tank. :)