As you may have guessed from my recent posts, I’m leveling an assassin.  Our guild needs tanks, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  I put on my big girl pants – well, inquisitor, so skirt – and leveled the crap out of things.  Even though it is probably slower, I leveled in tanking spec because that was my goal for endgame with this toon.  It is rather fun to know that I’m probably not going to die, no matter how many I accidentally pull.  It may take me all day, but with all my mitigation and a healer at my back (first Treek and then Talos), I’m a bit hard to kill.

I’m level 53 now.  I am about to hit endgame and I still have no clue what I’m doing.

It’s not so much that I don’t know my rotation.  I know my rotation, how to taunt, my cooldowns, my stealth cc, how to position, blah blah.  It’s the leading that is causing me panic.  I don’t know the flashpoints particularly well and the tank is the one in front.  I’m used to being the DPS where I follow the tank and hit whatever the tank has aggro on, and try not to get my face bitten off.

Now I have to learn all these instances.  Holy shit.

Thankfully, I have tutors.  Three of my former snarkers tank, two of whom have max-level assassin/shadows, and are willing to walk me through it.  I like to imagine a devil on one shoulder and… another devil on the other shoulder.  And then a third devil on top of my head looking for fleas. Good times.

I queued for a random with two of the aforementioned tanks playing their lvl 55 alts: a healer and a juggernaut smashmonkey.  It doesn’t help, by the way, that my health is lower than theirs by a good bit… or that Mr. Smashmonkey is an overgeared aggro magnet.

We got an instance that I fuzzily remembered.  Something about rakghouls.  I had done this before, but it’s annoying as shit because the trash does all sorts of special things, like exploding or choking you or knocking you back, blah blah.  When something will explode at 20%, and you have an overgeared smashmonkey taking its health down in one big stomp, it’s a little hard to get out of the way of the inevitable boom.

Then we got to the cannon part.  The cannon!  I had forgotten about the cannon.  There are waves of disgusting trash that come at you nonstop for a few minutes.  I’ve been on the DPS end of this before but not on the tanking end. Now my job was to find where the little fuckers were coming from, gather them in front of the cannon, and let smashmonkey-in-cannon kill them in the face.  But not actually let the waves of disgusting rakghouls bite on the healer or the cannon.  Easier said than done.

I was glad when THAT was over.  I needed a beer or three.  The rest was pretty much cake, except I didn’t know where the eff I was going and they had to tell me “no, you go THIS way.”

Apparently, though, raid tanking is a bit easier than flashpoints.  I’m willing to try it if we are ever in a serious shortage situation, but I hope it never comes to that.  I am far better as a punkass dps following behind someone else who actually has a sense of direction.


Learning To Tank (Har Har) — 8 Comments

  1. Raid tanking isn’t any easier, it’s just that the bosses take longer, so you get to revel in “ooh, DPS isn’t dropping AOEs before I’ve even got in range to establish agro” for more time before, well, going right back to it. Also, tank swaps. I’m doing a great job convincing you to grind out those last 2 levels, aren’t I? (Says the devil that wasn’t online for that particular Kaon run.)

  2. Did you write that raid tanking was easier because of what I said that evening in Kaon? Because if it’s the case, I guess I didn’t explain myself properly. 🙂 Some boss fights are definitively easy / boring, but that’s not the case of all fights. Trasher SM is one I said was boring to MT. It’s definitively an easy & boring to MT, but many fights are not like that, and for Trasher it’s only true of SM, the HM version of the fight is much more dynamic to tank.

    The same can be said of many fights as dps too, some are easy & boring, others are fun and / or hard. Especially as mele dps, many fights you just do your rotation on the boss the whole time with the occasional variant of get out of bad. But sometimes you have to put yourself in front of the boss at the right time and wait for him to punt you to go meet some snipers that you’ll need kill. 🙂

  3. Same here, plus the sentinel lifestyle is difficult to put aside for me. On the other hand I quite enjoyed low level pvp with my vanguard tank! annoying the opponent and making their life difficult, was quite fun!

  4. Just wait till you get to the part where you have to turn the boss because the dps won’t move while popping cooldowns cause the healers are running in background, flailing theirs arms doing god knows what. Or that other fun part where you pray a heals lands as you get to watch your health bar sink ever lower with all your cooldowns blown.

    Did I mention that fight when you have to run sideways in a circle, not too fast but not too slow, while popping interrupts on the boss? Also if you mess up once… everyone dies!

    Tanking is fun times!!!


      • Love it. I have to say, I think I’m done with tanking. And raid leading. Too much work that can be screwed up too easy. That’s not very comforting. If you want to have fun tanking, stick to EV and KP. They are pretty fun instances imo and the mechanics are easier than later ones. Anyways, still loving your column and fwiw, you must be pretty good because with my assassin tank (level 24 with Treek) I do still have to worry about dying. Not to say it isn’t a ton of fun though. And more satisfying than my shadow (28) because lightning. And Dark Ward. Can you believe some people don’t like the DW animation? Commies.