Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
 
Asymmetric challenge

Imagine the least complicated World of Warcraft boss mob possible, a simple tank'n'spank affair: The tank just needs to stand still in front of it and spam taunts between other attacks, the healer just needs to heal the tank, and the three dps stand completely still and use their best spell rotation without switching targets.

Now let's add half a dozen typical boss abilities to that fight: The tank now has to keep moving to not stand in the colored spots on the floor, the healer now has to deal with spike damage on the tank and the AoE damage on the dps, and the three dps stand completely still and use their best spell rotation without switching targets.

That is obviously a caricature, but not all that far from the truth. Most boss abilities are much more likely to increase the challenge for the tank (who is also the guy expected to have all boss abilities in memory) and the healer. DPS, especially ranged, aren't even affected by all boss abilities, and might at worst have to sometimes move out of the fire.

I am wondering if those people who expressed that they like the increased challenge of Cataclysm are playing tanks. I suspect not. To me it seems that the increased challenge isn't evenly distributed, but that there is an asymetric challenge with most of the burden falling on the tank. Which, due the theory of effort vs. fun I wrote about yesterday, leads to the tank shortage. Increased dungeon challenge means not so much more hassle for the dps, but a huge amount of increased effort for the tank, and some for the healer. Not only is the increased reward for tanks totally justified, if anything, as Big Bear Butt remarks, it isn't high enough yet.

The best method I could think of to solve the tank shortage quickly is to massively increase the availability of tanking gear. Besides the blue craftably PvP gear, there should be blue craftable tanking gear, so tanks can get a complete set of decent gear right when they hit level 85. Because who wants to group with a tank still in the process of collecting a half-decent set of armor? If the challenge is asymmetric, the loot distribution has to be as well.
Comments:
Wouldn't that more likely cause shortages of tanks? Why would a tank do anything if they already have the gear.

But you do have a point, tanks and healers need to continue doing their primary role even when you add extra abilities. There's not normally a need for DPS to continue DPSing while they run out of the fire.
 
Actually I suspect Blizzard does the opposite.

Darkmoon tanking trinket for everybody but a druid? Junk.

Valor point trinket for non druid tanks? Junk.

You can retort with rng but as a 25 man guild. TWO tanking trinkets ever, in comparison the haste/spirit cloak is considered a highly desired and uncommon drop but we have still had 7 of them.

If you want a decent tanking trinket you either need good luck or an absurd amount of heroics and hope the pug dps don't grab it.
 
There's a big problem with your post.

"I am wondering if those people who expressed that they like the increased challenge of Cataclysm are playing tanks. I suspect not."

1) The majority of people who like the increased challenge are more likely to be the raider group, to whom heroics are cakewalk by now.

2) Of those raiders who are tanks, they have guild groups who were running and steamrolling heroics by day 2 of Cataclysm.

I liked the challenge of heroics when I was running through them on day 2 of Cataclysm release. I'm a tank.

In fact, going along with your thought process, if there were anybody to appreciate the challenge of a heroic, it would be the tank, since, in your mind, he's supposed to be the one figuring everything out, and he would be the main person to enjoy the challenge of figuring stuff out. How would a DPS appreciate such a challenge if he's got nothing to do but follow the leader?

But that was never the case in my group. Hell, my group members were a bunch of people that I met naught but randomly the day before, with nothing really said but a suspicious "hey you want a guild?" while I was rushing to 85. We butted our heads together and rocked the heroics in our pseudo "heroic ready" gear. Turns out they were hardcore raiders in previous expansions, and they knew well enough that the responsibility for a group to succeed is shared among all the group members, not just the tank or a healer.


As for blue craftable tanking gear: normals and rep gear say hello. But of course, everyone's too busy jumping into heroics to care about the fact that they're way undergeared, sidestepping the ilvl requirement that was put there for a reason.
 
I agree with Pzychotix, the majority of people who like the increased challenge of Cata are the raiders. The increased challenge separates them from the casuals and gives them plenty of things to do. There is also the satisfaction of completing something that not many people have been able to do.

Unfortunately, the majority of the playerbase + bloggers are the casuals who thus naturally have a bigger voice.

I say this as a "successful" raider, with 2/13 HM. Cataclysm has been exceptional for me, but I do understand and can see the frustration raiding will be for the casuals.

In my mind, something of a compromise is ideal - e.g. ICC. Some easy first bosses (e.g. lower spire) but ramping up in difficulty. The issue in Cata is that the early bosses are too difficult - but the difficulty between the bosses is not that much though (with the exception of the end bosses).
 
Wouldn't that more likely cause shortages of tanks? Why would a tank do anything if they already have the gear.

Also this. As soon as my gear surpassed anything I could get from heroics, I dumped it ASAP. You need a reason to keep them coming back. Having blue gear faster would've just made me get out of heroics faster. Not to say that this bribe is the price I'd need to do so, but it is along those lines.
 
For me playing a tank is way easier then playing a (proper and non drooling) DD. It's always the same, just stand there, hold aggro (which pretty much is a given) use your CDs/taunt at fixed times. In rare cases, avoid some shit. In most encounter, DDs have to move a lot more, avoid the same shit, nuke adds, interrupt, CC or do some other encounter specific gimmicks while maximising DPS.
Granted, it's probably easier to carry an incompetent DD who doesn't know jack then a tank of the same kind, but that's a problem with wrongly tuned/overequiped heroics. Go to hardmodes, and every slacking DD is a wipe. Nevertheless it's not that hard to run heroics without any tank at all if you have those DD who know what they do. Did that just yesterday with 4 caster DD and random healer in HoO/TotT who haven't even said a word after realising what we are doing.

Healing is another story. I find it way harder to be a really good healer then a really good tank or dd, but then I don't really have that much experience with it.
 
Tobold, this is the dumbest idea ever. If the tanks could easily gear up, why would they EVER go to a 5-men? They hit 85, gear up, go raid.
 
The tank just needs to stand still in front of it and spam taunts between other attacks

What game did you play the last few years? This never ever made sense considering how taunts work. With an easy boss it might be without any consequences, of course.
 
On Tobold and Betty's post:

Here's a proposal.

Bliz can make a tiered series of phased content/solo dungeon. Technically, it'd like what they have done with Hyjal Ragnaros event. The content will cater and adjust depending on your role. You can decide before the event starts by talking to the NPC and telling him what "challenges" you wish to take. Completing the challenge will give you a corresponding reward, say ilvl 333 or 346 and a "Ready for Heroics" meta-achievement and corresponding badge. You could make the reward item really cool and symbolic, a ranged weapon for hunter, shield for shield tanks, and staff for casters...etc. You could also make it "scale" based on the rest of your ilvls (up to 346 or less than 359). That way you can keep hold of this mini-legendary weapon for the duration before you enter raids.

These "challenges" solo-dungeons / phased quests, will not contain the challenges all at once. They can be scattered over a series of content with increasing difficulty and complexity. Then they can all culminate into a full blown "dungeon" with assisting NPCS that'd take 30-60 minutes to complete. Once you have completed them, you will get the meta-achieve "Ready for heroics" thus giving you entrance into heroics.

In these challenges, there will be NPCs assisting you to take on encounters / event / mobs / bosses not unlike what one may face in normal dungeon. Their roles will adjust according to your chosen role. If you choose a tank, there will be a healer and a dps. If you are dps, a healer and tank, and so forth.

As for the class specific challenges, for example, if you are a tank, your job is to first of all survive by avoiding damage, using cooldowns, and self heals. Then you must build up and establish threat, the NPCs will continue to dps (Bliz devs can adjust the aggressiveness so the challenge is appropriate for someone new), then later on they have to gather the adds before they kill the NPC healers.


If your role is dps, you have to first of all dps at a certain levels. This may mean you have to beat the boss before an enraged timer (for heroic I’d set the required dps at 7-8k for entry?) or finish off the adds fast enough. Also, if you take too much avoidable "raid" damage, then you will fail the event.

Healer as you can imagine, would have to heal the tanks/dps, avoid damage...etc.

At higher level of the challenges, the players will also have to learn to cc, (say a mob that is not cc within 10 seconds of pull will enrage and fail the challenge), interrupt a spell cast. The tanks will have to learn to ae tank, dps to ae damage, and healers to ae heals. Healers and certain dps will have to learn to defensive and offensive dispel. They will have to learn to pay attention to mobs' buff/debuff bars.

Now these challenges are not only skill based but also gear based. This can serve as a gear check for people to go back to normal dungeons or do more quests to get better geared. This is definitely more fine-tuned and fitting than the current crude requirement of "ilvl 329 and in".

These challenges should not be more than a couple hours for players of average skill level/experience. Experienced players should be able to handle them with ease. If Bliz is willing, they can also allow experienced players acquire a "badge of seasoned veteran" or some sort that's bind on account. Make the requirement stringent, like 2,000 gold, 4,000JP, Cata Dungeon Hero (or more severely Glory of Cata Hero) and maybe 700 VPs (a week of daily dungeon). Players with these badges wont' have to go through the challenges to enter heroics on their alts because they should be experienced players already.


To be cont’d
 
Part 2 Cont'd

Another feature that Bliz can implement is a sort of "dungeon report". Bliz can analyze the dps / throughput & efficiency and recommend that players get better gear or use a more powerful / efficiency spells. For example, if the players die, Bliz may point out that they took too much damage from "fire on ground". Or if they didn't beat enrage timer because they got tossed by the tornado too many times. The information is already all there. Bliz just needs to provide the "human" and "guiding" element to help the players realize where the problems may lie.

Furthermore, these challenges work synergistically with guilds and other social support groups who wish to train or help out new players. You can allow 1-4 other players to "zone in" to these challenges as spectator (not unlike dying in arena). This will allow more experience players to help coach the young’uns' on where they are failing and where they are doing well. Consider these challenges as taking drivers' ed road lessons on a training ground or non-congested area and our current training/learning via normal/heroic dungeon as learning to drive with a van full of other random passengers (the notorious backseat drivers) during rush hour in city/highway traffic. Less pressure / impatience from others would lead to a better learning environment. (Come to think of it, Bliz can even provide "Heroic Challenges" that scale the content/difficulty up for players to earn a badge of "ready for raiding". This can help guilds easily weed out the good and ready from the rest. Perhaps, going even further, "Epic Challenges" for achievement/vanity items / guild rewards that would require raiding level skills / awareness and, say, 353+ gear.).

Now I have given a solution before I even posed the problem. This was done deliberately for effect. I believe most wow players aren't as bad as the polarists like to make them out to be. Part of Blizzard's problem this expansion is that they have made Normals and Heroics harder with many game mechanics borrowed from previous raid dungeons. This has become the end game for many "casual" average players but the problem is that there is little to none "training" experience from the 1-85 game content going to these harder content.

Think of it the other way and consider my personal experience. I consider myself highly skilled and experienced (hardcore raiding back in the days and 2100+ in 2v2 arena) but it was in fact Cata Heroics that really help prepare me for Cata Raiding as a newbie tank. I definitely see the same for many other players who made the step up from heroics to raiding for first time. This is great, but I certainly can't say the same for the step-up from 1-85 content to Cata Heroics (even Normals to a lesser degree).

To be cont'd (part 3)
 
Part 3 Cont'd

Let's recap. The inspiration for these solo dungeons / phased quests came from the hunter / priest epic quests back in Vanilla (of which I both completed and enjoyed). The hunter quest in particular tested the skills of the hunter in many areas. Kiting, AE damages, dps, traps, melee, dots...etc. In a similar vein but in a more polished and comprehensive manner, I believe Bliz have all the technology, know-how, and experience to implement these training challenges for all classes.

When players enter heroics, they'd have most if not all of their requisite skills to succeed / handle the challenges. All the game mechanics won't feel so foreign and daunting. And this particularly, will be true for tanks. There will be a lot less "green" tanks who know nothing about threat, defensive cooldowns, taunts...etc. As a result, I believe, there will be less of the abuse of would-be tanks, simply because they have been ill-equipped (skills or gear) to handle the content, from their other random dungeon brethren.

The skill and knoweldge level of the overall player base who are in heroics should also raise as a result of these challenges. When DPS know how to CC/interrupt, not die in a fire, healers know how to dispel, the group's likelihood to fail and reliance on tank for guidance and knowledge will both decrease substantially.

Ultimately, this goes back to your post, Tobold. The tank's challenge is assymetric and in almost all circumstances increases exponentially when the average skill / gear level of the group decrease. This is the same whether for an experienced tank in full 359 or a newbie in 329. When everyone does their job better, the tank will be less stressed and pressured to lead, and thus a more enjoyable experience. When tanking becomes enjoyable, why wouldn't there be more people who are interested in becoming tanks, especially when queues will likely remain instant for the foreseeable future?

Sincerely,
Artaeus of Barthilas
 
Tanking can be as easy as devs want to make it. DKs used to practically use the same rotation for tanking as dps, just a different aura.

Anyhow, raid tanking isn't particularly hard. It's tanking heroics which has always been more of an issue (until overgearing takes over).
 
I think this is the first time in weeks or months that I totally disagree with you. On several points, actually. ;)

1) I don't think that it's mostly DPS that like the additional challenge. As pointed out by several, it's more of a heroic raider / normal raider / 5man player split. I personally love the new difficulty, but I agree that maybe the beginning of the curve could've been a bit less steep to make it more interesting to more people.

2) I don't think it's really tanks mostly that took the additional difficulty. Again, at least in heroic raids, DPS has to pull their weight just like everybody. Most encounters have immense avoidable damage, and are tuned tightly enough that several dead DPS means running into an enrage timer. This holds true, to a lesser degree, for normal raids and 5mans too. These days, DPS has to be a lot more careful about where they stand and what they do.

3) About tanking gear raining from the skies, that's a double-edged sword. Again, as other people already said, if you make the gear to ubiquitously available, and on par with drops, there's little incentive to go do randoms again (because I think this is what you want to achieve, more tanks for 5mans). If you make it too bad, it will not make a lot of difference. I guess it could work if you get slightly worse versions of drops available right away. Then again, with some mechanics, no gear in the world will save you if you fail them. (Until about 4.2, when this all will change and everything can be ignored.)
 
I think it's another case of the world of raiding and 5-mans being totally different.

In 5-mans you are correct in that the tanks are rare, they take the responsibility and (with a few exceptions like Ozruk) they are also hit hardest by boss mechanics. This is not true for raids.

In raids there is a lack of opportunities for tanks. When you actually do need to replace one they aren't easy to find, but that is because in general it's impossible to find a spot in a raiding guild if you want to tank, so very few people get to gear up a tank. Tanks also have a lower skill cap than DPS in heroics raids. Finally, a tank rotation is easier to perform than a perfect DPS rotation (partly because there is so much slack built into the huge threat leads tanks have) which means that it's harder to perform as a DPS player when the boss abilities come into play.

Of course, if you get a subpar player in a raid you hope like hell he's a DPS. But if you manage to carry him through, it will be the other DPS players that carry him, not the tanks. (And maybe the healers to keep him alive if he sucks at avoiding damage.)
 
"To me it seems that the increased challenge isn't evenly distributed, but that there is an asymetric challenge with most of the burden falling on the tank."

Can't agree with you on this one, Tobold. Cataclysm raiding made a huge step in the direction of increasing the pressure on DPS by making so many fights where interrupts are so critical. Plus a raft of target-switching fights (kill the appropriate adds at the appropriate time, target switching on Omnitron, Twilight Council, etc.). Plus damage control fights (kill Council of Winds close to the same time, damage Twilight Council to 25% simultaneously, don't push Nef over a crackle until you're ready).

No, for my money, Cataclysm tier 1 raiding has had a more symmetric challenge than any tier previously. Equal, at worst.
 
You are obviously wrong. The majority of boss mechanics in WoW pose additional difficulty for DPS and healers.

Let's check on boss-by-boss basis.

Stonecore (the OMG scary heroic)
The Worm: tank stands still and tanks boss, healer stand still and heals, DPS must switch and kill shards very quick. On burrow phase, all party members do the same thing.
The Dragon: healer must maintain line of sight on tank at all times. Othewise, tank, DPS and healer do the same thing.
Ozruk: OK, here you got me. Tank gets the brutal side of encounter.
Azil: DPS must interrupt force grip or tank will be taking up to 80k damage per second. Also, tank must round up adds OR healer could lead them into void zone.

Blackrock caverns
The Skullcrasher: tank must round up elementals, DPS must break the chains.
Corla: All members must handle the rays in the best way they can.
Karsh: Well, it's another check of tank skill, other group members could really stand still and do their thing.
Beauty: DPS members must be on top of crowd control. Healer also gets the ugly amount of random unpredictable damage to heal and people costantly get kicked out of healing range by the dog charge.
Mr. Elemental: DPS member who kites the shades is the only "victim" of this boss. Tank, healer and other 2 people do tank and spank.

Shadowfang Keep
Mr. Asphyxer: DPS must interrupt (and intelligently), healer... the poor guy. Tank: no challenge unless he wants to interrupt.
Baron: the fight is a joke for everyone.
Springvale: well, this is a brutal fight for a tank for sure ( get boss out of void zone, do not turn boss to face the group AND round up adds). However, without decent DPS boss will always wipe the group.
Mr. Alchemist: equally hard for everyone but the healer gets to clear up mistakes of others.
Lord Godfrey: after patch, DPS must interrupt cursed bullets (or decurse them) and get out of barrage if boss turns to them.

These were 3 hardest heroic dungeons in the game. You can see that responsibility is distibuted more or less evenly across encounters.

In raids, things get more ugly for DPS members, but of course healers are numer one on beating list as always. You do not want to know what heroic Chimaeron looks like for a healer...
 
As many others have already pointed out, that tanking is hard is a myth. It always has been. Tanking has almost always been the easiest job. Just as healing was mostly quite easy. Which made sense, since you want to increase the number of tanks and healers.

The problem is not that tanking or healing are difficult; the problem is that they carry with them responsiblity and in case of the tank you are required to take the initiative. This is inherent in the entire holy-trinity model. That's also why Blizzard is struggeling so hard to change it.

Even when tanking was just about hitting *anything* with any button, like for a leveling deff-warrior or a prot-Paladin in late TBC, there weren't enough tanks.

Should ypou don't believe this, Tobold, there have been several posts by Ghostcrawler last year in which he explained that they have reached a limit and cannot make tanking even easier without making it completely boring.

They even increased difficulty with Cataclysm a bit, fearing that 100% spamming thunderclap during leveling would de-motivate new deff-warriors.
 
"Imagine the least complicated World of Warcraft boss mob possible, a simple tank'n'spank affair: The tank just needs to stand still in front of it and spam taunts between other attacks, the healer just needs to heal the tank, and the three dps stand completely still and use their best spell rotation without switching targets".

My perfect boss fight. If all boss fights were like that I'd have been raiding for years. Why this bores people I will never understand. It's simple and elegant and ceaselessly entertaining. It's having to play Simon Says with a script that makes me want to give up and read a book instead.
 
normals and rep gear say hello

In a pickup group where the tank is wearing the exactly same iLevel gear as the dps, the dps will declare the tank to be undergeared and vote kick him.

Wouldn't that more likely cause shortages of tanks? Why would a tank do anything if they already have the gear.

You just need to also increase the quality of tank gear from running heroics. Higher tank gear in, higher tank gear out, in the end you have exactly the same length of stay.

Actually I suspect Blizzard does the opposite.

I think so too, but it is more a gut feeling than hard data.

Cataclysm raiding made a huge step in the direction of increasing the pressure on DPS by making so many fights where interrupts are so critical.

I bet you play a dps. Tanks have interrupts too. And in my experience the chance that a tank actually uses his interrupt is about 10 times higher than that a dps uses one.
 
Tanking has almost always been the easiest job.

Yet another idiot who never tanked a Cataclysm heroic. It's always the dps players who claim that tanking is easy.
 
Cool down, Tobold. No need for insults.

I tanked Cataclysm heroics on my Feral Druid for 2 months. I also healed and I dpsed. I did every heroic at least 15 times.

Tanking itself is easy. What's hard is to deal with the group, because you are exspected to lead.
 
Tanking itself is only easy in an utopian fantasy where none of the other players ever makes a mistake. It is not just the expectation to lead, but mostly the expectation that you will be able to hold aggro when the dps target the wrong mob. Thus a tank is constantly running to repair the errors of others, while they mostly stand still and just do their spell rotation.

Gevlon claims that bribing tanks won't work because tanking is as hard as quantum physics or surgery, and you can't create new quantum physicians or surgeons by bribery. Nils claims tanking is easy. At least one of the two is wrong. I'd say both, because the reality is somewhere in the middle: Tanking is hard, but not so hard that a sufficiently motivated player couldn't learn it.
 
Ok, let me clarify.

Tanking in a cataclysm heroic with a stupid group is very hard. As is doing dps, because the mobs attack you instead of the tank.

Tanking, dps and healing is hard in a stupid group, but the tank will feel like it is his responsibility to hold aggro and as such he will feel like tanking being hard. The dps will agree. As might the healer. But what's really hard is beating a heroic with a stupid group.

The fact that the tank feels like it were his responsibility to hold aggro on a zillion mobs while the dps do not focus fire, is the problem!

In a well played group tanking is easy. You charge, spam ae stuff, concentrate of the mob with the symbol.

However, if you are exspected to lead, there are additional difficulties, like to know which symbols to put on which mob. Which has to be CCed in what way. To set the pace, etc.

But as Blizzard themselves indicate with their LFG, everybody can lead; not just the tank. There are, however, good reasons to have the tank lead. Therefore being a tank is hard in LFD, while tanking isn't.


Looking at boss fights or even raid boss fights, tanking is usually the easiest thing there is. I did it for most of my WoW-life and also in Cataclysm. Since TBC, healing was the second-easiest thing and dps was the hardest. Since Cataclysm, healing in raids is very hard, dps is quite hard and tanking while not easy, still the easiest.

Unless you are in a raid group that wants you to lead the raid, because you are the main tank. In that case, tanking is still easy, but being the tank is hard, because leading is hard.

But more important is that most people don't like to lead - anything. They claim that they would want to be the boss, but really they don't.
The reason why management iRL earns so much is not that manageers are so much smarter. A big reason is that most humans just don't want to lead. It is stressful.

The reason people don't tank in LFD is that leading 4 strangers you'll never see again is stressful and no fun at all. It isn't even fun in any RL situation! Also, leading is generally relatively challenging. But tanking itself is easy - has been since TBC.
 
In many ways, as more of the difficulty in heroics shifts to healers/ dps, the tanks job as a leader gets harder.

When tanks really did do most of the work, it was fairly trivial to lead a group once you had learned an instance. "Just follow me and don't pull anything before I do."

Now you may have to actually explain key roles to people who aren't interested and aren't listening and will whine like crazy at the inevitable wipe.
 
As someone who has played and raided as a warrior,druid and paladin tank since TBC i would have to say that tanking isen't hard in it self.

Tanking is only hard if the dps players are bad. If the dps uses cc, interrupts and focus targets tankingm thanks to vengance is stupidly simple, the amount of threat produced thanks to vengance results in me often spending the later half of many fights tabbing out, changing background music or taking quick peaks at blog comments.

When it comes to raids a large part of the responsibility has definitly been pushed over to the DPS which i beleave is one of the reasons the raiding is seen as harder. In Wotlk raids a good tank and healer team could often compensate for bad dps alot more then they can today. Many ToC pugs fell apart on twins due to dps players not swiching target/buff for the shields. And ICC pugs often failed after 5 bosses since due to dps not kiting slimes right. The first 5 bosses requiered mostly tanks and healers to do things right and 1-2 of 5 dps to do things right but as soon as everyone had to do things right pugs failed.

In Cataclysm most raid fights require everyone to do things right, in many fights standing in the wrong place, hitting the wrong target or failing a interrupt is a death or whipe and no amount of gear on your healers or tanks will prevent it.

Sure tanks have interrupts to but many fights require more interrupts then a tank can take care of or interrupting of targets with no tank close at the moment.

The best tank in the world cant prevent a whipe on Nefarian if the interrupters on one of the pillars fails. No healer in the world can save a group if the gong clicker on Atramedes isn't doing his/her job.
DPS not keeping track of the health on Maloriak pushing last phase before the second green phase? WHIPE.
Slow offenseive dispells on Maloriak? WHIPE
Dpsing Chimeron into phase 2 right after a massacer? WHIPE
Failing chains or standing in the wrong place on Magmaw? WHIPE
Interrupts and slows on Cho'gal if not handeled properly? probably whipe.

No matter how good me, my tank partner and our healers preform moste of the these situations are garanteed whipes which are only linked to the preformance of the dps. Of course we also have plenty of fights with enrage timers. Not so much of a problem now but during progress one dps under preforming was a whipe.


Tanking as a warrior in TBC was alot harder then tanking now, prior to the 3.0 patch keeping aggro even on one target ment constantly spamming buttons and missing a Shield slam could lead to threat loss. After 3.0 threat is only important the first 5-10 seconds of a fight. After that losing threat to equaly geared DPS is a skill.


However tanking pugs can be a nightmare, it's a lot easier then in TBC but alot harder then Wotlk.
Unless you overgear the content most heroics require atleast 1 CC and 1 person beyond the tank that knows how to interrupt.

In TBC we used CC in most heroics even when we had full epic gear. In Wotlk we used 1 CC for the first 2 days of running heroics, in Cataclysm we used CC for the first month or so and we still do but only for a few specific mobs/packs.
 
Nice post but I think it misses the big issue about Tanking no one is talking about.

TRASH

Trash mobs in Cata are stupid hard in some instances.

As a tank in more than one MMO I can say that my least favorite part of tanking is the 4-5 mob pulls in complex caster/melee mixes that are all over in Cata.

Totally unfun... you see caster mob banging on a healer or a poor mage and you know if you charge or taunt him you may pull another group.

So you "HOPE" that dps/heals can deal with the "many whelps" and get through it.... FOR WHAT? no loot really... just passing this trash for the next set, totally demotivating.

As a tank or healer I have always felt a kinship with dps because I played them so much. I WANT to get the mob off healers/casters, I want the poor clothie dps to not get one shoted. BUT, in cata you didn't have the luxury of helping out because by doing so you could easily cause a wipe by losing a dodge chance on an add at your back.

Overall just poor design of encounters with little room for error. Blizz made it hard on DPS to be helpful too:
AOE stuff gone
Threat mechanics different
on and on

Oh and they nerfed healing...
SO - when you add this up it equals TOO HARD and TOO MUCH TROUBLE
 
All I can say is CALLED IT!!!

From Big Bear Butt
"What I do know is that Blizzard may think I’m a whore, but I ain’t gonna bl...‘em for what they’re offering. Up the ante first and then we’ll talk."


THIS is what the "Bribe" will cause. Once you break the bubble of offering incentives the incentives become a "moveable feast" that does not satisfy very long.

The Tank Union will go on strike again until the rewards become so stupendous that Wow Tanking = Loot Pinata.

THIS is all a symptom folks. BOTTOM LINE... that everyone is not saying... TANKING IN CATA OVERALL IS NOT repeat _NOT_ FUN. It needs to be reworked because all that B Team design work in Cata just didn't yield a fun gameplay result. What's more their pitiful attempts to fix the problem are childish at best incompetent at worst.


Now why do you keep beating your heads on that Activision brick wall?
 
You do realize that the tank-heal-dps trinity will always be broken, don't you?
 
A full crafted set of blue 325 gear for a tank would be great. Means they would need a few upgrades form normal lvl 85 dungeons but does allow them to tank reasonably well from day one of hitting 85. Blizzard failed epically in this regard.

Not to mention how the screwed up pvp gear as well. @Gevlon stop and think about all the different types of players and actually come up with something that would work for more than just one type of player.

Skills, Abilities, Content and Gear that give more options to players is good design.
 
Angry Gamer:

I think perhaps you are going a bit overboard, no? I like tanking in Cataclysm. It isn't hard and it isn't stressful and I have done plenty of queuing up for LFD by myself. I wish I could queue up as dps and get a quick queue sometimes of course because I like doing dungeons as different roles - it keeps things fresh. That said I think I work a lot harder as dps than as a tank because I am so focused on interruption, CC, dodging crap and target swapping. As a tank I just stand there and mash my rotation mostly - I am a lot slower about dodging fire/poison/etc. when in tank mode since I know heals are incoming and I have lots of powerful buttons to hit if I need them.

*You* may not enjoy tanking in Cataclysm and *you* may not enjoy doing 5 man content that has a modicum of challenge. That doesn't mean everybody else doesn't enjoy it, there are plenty who do. The new model is different than wrath and has different upsides and downsides but insisting that everything is fundamentally broken and that everyone hates it is fundamentally wrong and ignorant to boot.

There are plenty of people like me who enjoy both roles and have no issues with 90%+ of heroic groups completing the dungeon with minimal problems. Maybe if dungeons are so awful for you it isn't the fault of the dungeon or the class design but rather something closer to home.
 
@Angrygamer "The Tank Union will go on strike again until the rewards become so stupendous that Wow Tanking = Loot Pinata."

In theory, the rewards should increase until they are sufficient to incentivise 20% of players to play/reroll tank/healer. At which point equilibrium will be achieved and CTA stops.
 
The tank now has to keep moving to not stand in the colored spots on the floor, the healer now has to deal with spike damage on the tank and the AoE damage on the dps, and the three dps stand completely still and use their best spell rotation without switching targets. That is obviously a caricature, but not all that far from the truth.

Most boss abilities are much more likely to increase the challenge for the tank (who is also the guy expected to have all boss abilities in memory) and the healer. DPS, especially ranged, aren't even affected by all boss abilities, and might at worst have to sometimes move out of the fire.


Are we talking about raids or 5-mans here?

Yes, in 5-man heroics tank and healer need to be on top of their game, while DPSers can afford to spam their rotation and occasionally move out of the bad stuff.

However, in raid encounters, DPS might also need to stand in power zones, spread buffs to other DPSers, prevent debuffs from spreading to other raid members, attack multiple targets at once, burn down adds within seconds of their spawn, AoE add waves, quickly interrupt spellcasts, perform offensive dispels, do emergency mid-combat CC (including on mindcontrolled raid members), throttle damage output to ensure that multiple targets die at the same time or a phase transition occurs within a 5-second time window, activate clickable objects, maintain a specific distance from each other, run in and out of LoS, all while trying to beat the hard bersek timers and 'soft' DPS checks (for example, 'kill all slimes before they blow up the raid'). Meanwhile, the tank can just stand there (or slowly walk backwards), doing their standard rotation and popping taunts/cooldowns at predetermined times.

The difference in the levels of challenge lies not in the number of boss abilities. If anything, logic dictates that most boss abilities are LESS likely to increase the challenge for the main tank, since the number of bad things that can happen to a tank is inherently limited. Since the tank is targetted by the boss and positioned in front of his face, you can't silence a tank, or polymorph him, or mindcontrol him, or require him to run into a phase portal, or ask him to quickly turn away from the boss, or ask him to switch between single-target and AoE rotations on the fly, or make him run towards the rest of the raid (or very far away from the raid), or knock him 50 feet in the air, and so forth. In the modern era, tank challenges in raids are limited to "pop cooldowns when the start calls for it", "kite boss/add to a specific spot by backpedalling" and "don't screw up the taunt rotation".

No, the real cause for 5-man/raids challenge gap is threat management. Barring a couple of exceptions, a raid tank has to maintain aggro on fewer targets at a time (and there's a 2nd/3rd tank to help out), while Vengeance makes it almost impossible for a DPSer or healer to pull aggro. Therefore, unlike their 5-man counterparts, raid tanks don't have to choose between threat generation and survival - and focusing solely on survival is easy.
 
healing was the second-easiest thing and dps was the hardest

Now you are sprouting complete nonsense. What exactly is hard about dps, unless you feel a strong need to be on top of the damage meter?

None of the heroic bosses of Cataclysm or any previous expansion has an enrage timer. That means that if a tank can hold aggro and the priest can heal him, the performance of the dps doesn't matter at all. Whether they do 2k dps or 10k dps only changes the length of the combat, not it's outcome. I've played a lot of heroics with dps builds and there was no challenge at all, I just had an /assist macro and a spell rotation to do. Over, and over, and over, and over. And if I hadn't had Recount running, it wouldn't have mattered how I performed at all.

Still today when I want to relax, I play a dps in a dungeon. When I want to be challenged, I play a tank or healer.
 
Looking at boss fights or even raid boss fights, tanking is usually the easiest thing there is. I did it for most of my WoW-life and also in Cataclysm. Since TBC, healing was the second-easiest thing and dps was the hardest. Since Cataclysm, healing in raids is very hard, dps is quite hard and tanking while not easy, still the easiest.

Was what I wrote.

You quote out of context, Tobold. This paragraph was rather obviously about raiding.
 
What I would really like to know is, is there really anything that can be done at all to fix all these problems with the trinity without ditching it completely?

Personally I really doubt it.
 
This paragraph was rather obviously about raiding

A) If you write Looking at boss fights or even raid boss fights, the paragraph is obviously not only about raiding.

B) While raiding is harder for dps than heroics, it still is much easier for them than for the other two roles. Everybody has to move out of the fire, but dps have the luxury to be able to concentrate on getting out of the fire, because it doesn't matter if they don't fulfil their core role for two seconds. A tank or healer has to move out of the fire *while* still tanking or healing, otherwise its a wipe.

DPS isn't hard because there isn't even a fail criterion. The game doesn't provide any fail or success criteria for DPS, and people need to install an addon to actually see whether a DPS was good or facerolling.
 
You're right. It was not about raids, but about bosses and raids. Still no reason for an assist-macro, mmh?

---

Consequence of failure does not equal difficulty. As we all know from the death penalthy discussions.
If a tank forgets to press keys the raid wipes. But it's not very hard to not forget about it, is it?

Anyway. I need to stop this discussion. It keeps other commenters from commenting, or so I heard ;)

Although .. one last thing. What's actually your experience with main-tanking, Tobold?
 
The problem is not that you keep others from commenting, the problem is that you never actually engage in a discussion. I pose you a direct question What exactly is hard about dps? and you answer only with counter-questions and claim I misquoted your remark.

You just make a claim like "dps is harder than tanking and healing", but never give any argument why that should be so. If dps is hard, then there must be *something* that makes it hard. What is it? Or do we all have just to believe your divine wisdom?
 
And you don't answer my questions. What makes tanking actually hard? You're still arguing along the consequences. Now we really look like a an old couple *sigh*.

Now, to answer your question (do you really intend to answer all those I asked?):

DDs need to interupt <1s stuff, move a lot more than tanks, have a complex priority system with a lot of important twitch reactions, that they should not screw up unless then want to perform badly.
Most encounters require dps to do everything. Tanks just move around and press a survival CD. But all that has already been written by other commenters. Ephemeron was the latest. Do I really need to repeat what other write ?

One more question you probably won't answer is this:
How often does your raid wipe due to tank failure and how often does he wipe due to dps failure? I know I've made a lot more mistakes when playing dps than when playing tank.
 
How often does your raid wipe due to tank failure and how often does he wipe due to dps failure?

If it isn't the tank's failure, then why is it always the tank (or the healer) who gets blamed? Look at the hundreds of comments on this blog all talking about how tanking isn't fun because it has a so much higher responsability. Responsability means there are visible success / failure criteria, to which the other players will hold you to account.

Yes, dps can make failures that will wipe a raid. And nobody will know about it! I can play my frost mage with a single button, a simple /assist + frostbolt macro through a whole random pickup dungeon, and there will be NOBODY making a single remark about my lack of performance. But make one wrong step with a tank or healer, and you get the three dps all shouting in unison.

Your list of what makes DPS hard in your eyes is ALL optional. A dps does not need to do a single one of these things, and can still get through a complete random pickup dungeon.

Furthermore tanks have interrupts too (maybe not the one you played, but others), tanks move more than ranged dps, tanks (maybe not the one you played) have complex priority systems, and so on. If a dps twists his fingers on his spell rotation, he ends up doing a fraction less in damage. If a tank or healer does, the raid wipes.

DPS is far easier than tanking or healing in over 95% of boss fights, including raid boss fights.
 
I have posted on this and some of my own thoughts in my own blog, so will try to say something different here...


Raids vs. Heroics...
--Raids have vent and people invested in the group success and one strategy (see below) far more than heroics...
--Heroics have DPS bent on the strategy of speed and efficiency (how do you feel after a 45 minute que)sabotaging every effort, plan and stragegy of the tank to execute and lead a kill, for the DPS in an effort to link DPS meters w/ their name at the top.

Raids have much longer fights that allow time to tell you who is going to be top DPS.. Heroics... not so much...

Heroic mentality in raids is this... ..(story time) About 1month or less into the Cata expansion when 14K dps was good in a pug raid and ilvl 340 was still looked for in trade, the DK says after our 4th Halfus attempt and subsequent wipe, "How you like that 14.6K DPS?" not just once but he asked again after the 5th wipe, and both times we told him "We dont care if you do 3K DPS.. INTERUPT!!! thats your job"... "like my leet dps :-)" /kick

Tanking is all mentality... what follows is stolen from some random forum signature...

"DPS is SCIENCE... HEALING is ART... TANKING is STRATEGY" I have found that to hold true over and over and over and over...

To really argue the point you can not group the WOW population into one group or another.. Raiders could be sub grouped to those who were on raid kills <1mo into xpac, and < 2mo and <3 etc.. or when they hit various ilvl benchmarks... too many types or raieders with different levels of experience, commitment, time to invest etc... then you have the tanks that dont really even ever raid... they have BOE random drops, JP and VP bought stuff. and every here and there a raid, because a friend needed them and they went and were the only plate tank so go the UG for what was on their part a cary and to the rest of the raid a farm boss...
 
I think you underestimate the toxicity of the WoW online environment. My experience is even the majority of tank posters like the harder cata. Maybe 10% at most of the tanks in game that I talked to shared that opinion. So developers with poor marketing skills, indifferent to being customer driven, can find online all the justification they need to make the game they want to play not the game the customers want to purchase.

---

I think the most effective is a dual gear approach. Increase the tank gear drops so getting to 333+ is nearly instantaneous. Reduce by a factor of ten the epeen/raid tanking gear that drops. Say it now takes 60 runs instead of 6 before that tank piece drops.

Again, Blizzard's design of cata was to reduce the amount of tanks. I.e. harder heroics, more tank effort for threat, more tank effort, things like pally consecrate, argent defender ... It should have been obvious to Blizzard that there would be fewer tanks in Cataclysm; they should have started the bribes in December. They could of course make at least one of the tank specs easier to tank with, but naturally losing a few hundred million in corporate income is preferable than disappointing some l33t bloggers and commenters.

Unless you can launch an expac WoW by Christmas, just transfer as many developers to Titan and tell that team to hurry. And in the interim, I think tank bribes is about all Blizzard has left.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
And I would like to reiterate:

The tank only ever really has to be the leader if it's a LFD group. In guild groups, I would hope that your friends are good enough to you that they're not trying to offload all the research and attentiveness on the tank.

In raids, hell, the tank is the worst person to be the leader since he is unable to focus on the mechanics of the fight other than positioning of the boss and threat control. DPSers and Healers serve as a better raid leader because they can focus their attention on the raid members as a whole and how to coordinate them better.

Tanks were not the "chosen" leaders for dungeon groups by Blizzard, and pointing to that as a fact is a fallacy.
 
Determining the difficulty in play from one class role versus another is completely subjective on the part of that individual and their own utility scales. Various externalities may play a role in why the task preference to play a tank is lower on a large scale basis than that of roles that focus on dealing damage. This could be difficulty levels between classes or even the ability that each and every class can level on their own without the dependencies of another class, or based around the game design where DPS roles outnumber tank roles at the higher end game, or that the data suggests the tank is put in a defacto leadership type of position when grouped in dungeons with other players.

Of course, subsidizing rewards for individuals to play tanks will help increase the overall number of players undertaking such a role. Blizzard could grant “free” subscriptions to anyone that runs a certain amount of instances on a tank based class. I am kidding of course, but I would bet money that would be one the quickest and fastest ways to create a persistent surplus of available tanks until the rewards were no longer valued as highly as fulfilling the role. Blizzard could come up with all sorts of in-game/item reward assurance contracts to persuade players to fulfill tanking roles and ultimately these would only serve as band-aid solutions to an eventual larger subset shift to DPS roles due to the underlying task preferences from playing a particular role.

Maybe heroics should not require the need of a dedicated tank role at all. The mentality that X mob needs to focus on X class to sustain efficiency in damage mitigation is a primitive combat role. Instead of the simple dealing damage, sustaining damage, or preventing damage roles the entire combat model needs to evolve or be thrown out for a more strategic variant of combat. Blizzard’s implementation to fulfill those roles via class design is/was fantastic and certainly an improvement from older MMOs but the foundation of the model itself is over twenty years old. Rift was smart to take a different approach in allowing diversity of role fufillments within one class but the model is the same.
 
"I am wondering if those people who expressed that they like the increased challenge of Cataclysm are playing tanks. I suspect not."

I'm a tank and, for the most part, I actually enjoyed the rebalancing of WoW and greater challenges in Cataclysm because WotLK was completely brainless with regards to running heroics. I do not like, however, the longer dungeon run times in Cataclysm.

"To me it seems that the increased challenge isn't evenly distributed, but that there is an asymetric challenge with most of the burden falling on the tank."

Absolutely agree. The "responsibility" pyramid has tanks at the top, healers below them, and dps at the bottom. In Cataclysm, the top portion of this pyramid became dramatically bigger for tanks and healers.

"The best method I could think of to solve the tank shortage quickly is to massively increase the availability of tanking gear."

From a tanks perspective, this changes nothing for me. Hell my gear level is 352 equipped and I still won't PUG heroic runs but will run them with guildies instead because of the negative culture of people within PUGs. Put another way, if the culture within PUGs was great, I'd be running with 333 gear or less because as a veteran tank I know I could handle it. Again for me, it has nothing to do with my gear or capabilities, it's got everything to do with culture and behaviour. I'm playing the game for enjoyment, not too be treated like a piece of shit. Therefore, if people continually cultivate a shitty environment (i.e. treat people like crap, uncaring, unempathetic, etc), they will in turn get a shitty experience (i.e. long queue times, etc). That's why I kind of laugh when people say WoW isn't a social game. If you're interacting with people in any form, it's social, even if it's within a virtual game. So you better deal with it and the responsibility that goes with it.
 
I think a lot of the HC raiders missed the point of the crafted blue tanking gear solution. The point is to get NEW TANKS into the mix quickly. Those new tanks are likely to be more casual players who will still likely take months to gear out of heroics, and may never raid, anyway. I would certainly try tanking with my DK again if I could pick up a cheap set of pre-made gear that would make reg instances fairly easy, and heroics doable.

So, good option IMO, especially a bit later into the expansion as we are now.

Tanking seems harder/more stressful than DPS because you have to know what you're going to do and what is likely to happen BEFORE the encounter begins.

DPS can, for the most part, REACT to what is happening. So my brain can relax until the tank initiates combat. And I'm primarily focused on myself.

In my limited experience tanking a few dozen heroics in Wrath, my blood pressure and heart rate were higher before I queued, during the run, and after. And clearly I had to concentrate more intensely. I'd have to get up and walk around after a run.

To me, that says it's harder.

Part of the reason, as Nils stated so indelicately about "stupid groups", is that the tank is working AGAINST less experienced DPS. DPSing in general is pretty straightforward, doing it well such that you are minimizing the tanks need to frantically stay ahead of you is more difficult.

And if your tank is less geared or "more stupid", you slow down and CC more.
 
I think a lot of the HC raiders missed the point of the crafted blue tanking gear solution. The point is to get NEW TANKS into the mix quickly. Those new tanks are likely to be more casual players who will still likely take months to gear out of heroics, and may never raid, anyway. I would certainly try tanking with my DK again if I could pick up a cheap set of pre-made gear that would make reg instances fairly easy, and heroics doable.

But you're assuming that you need this crafted blue tanking gear to start tanking. You don't. You can start tanking right away, from the moment you hit 85. You have normals (which people are SUPPOSED to do first) which are a safe environment to learn boss mechanics and aren't too difficult. And you have heroics which are completely doable in the quest greens you have from the very start.

And like I said earlier, the same effect is achieved anyways by nerfing heroics, which they already did.

I want to ask again, even though I know I won't get an answer like in past threads: how much do you think this problem is overexacerbated by people jumping into heroics before they've even done it on normal and haven't learned a single thing about their role of choice or the dungeon they're entering?
 
I know I've been writing a lot in this thread and I should probably stop soon to give some other people more room to talk, but Artaru brings up a solution that really strikes at the heart of the problem that people have been talking about.

The problem is about the lower 50% of the people. The people who just don't know how to play or do their roles correctly. Not to say that these people are a problem as a bane to the WoW society as a whole, but as a thorn in the side of LFD. Simply put, it's the responsibility of the bad players to step up their game and not try to offload their duties onto someone else.

I really like Artaru's solution, because it's actually educating the bad players and fixing what's wrong with LFD (and what was turning off tanks from doing randoms). It's a better solution than Blizzard's current one, which only addresses the symptoms, not the cause. The only downside to it is that it's going to take a lot of developer resources to do it. However, the problem is pervasive and really nothing short of good player education is going to stop it.

I would say that in lieu of solo epic quests, requiring everyone to run through dungeons on normal first would be another good idea (thus providing a safe environment for people to learn their roles), but it's simply not feasible and too late to change to that now for obvious reasons.
 
Bang on the money Tobold!

As a tank I do enjoy the challenge the new dungeons offer - however as I noted in a post yesterday, the responsibility in dungeons is not evenly distributed.

I proposed a simular solution on the WoW forums of making tanking gear more "affordable":

1. Reduce the Justice Point/Valour Point to 75%-80% of present value
2. Make i346/i359 tanking gear available at Revered rather than exalted - reduce the dungeon rep grind for tanks!
3. Make crafted tanking gear less "expensive" by reducing the number of Chaos Orbs and Truegold materials.

People think once tanks get the gear they will disappear into the raiding scene: true many will. But some wont.

People should stop thinking of the tanking community as homogenous and raid content focussed.

WoW needs more "casual" tanks like myself and others I know. The affordability of reduced tanking gear and the promise of shorter queues and greater rewards would most likely led to more people taking up the tanking role.

So the idea is to give incentive to a broader player base to tank. Gear is what drives people, so easier to get gear will drive more people.

Stop thinking of it in terms of individual tank and player behaviour, and start thinking in terms of the 12m plus player base. Blizzard is trying to motivate millions of players.

There will always be churn in the player base, but the crucial thing is that tanks that "retire" are not being replaced.

Finally, all I can say to the WoW community is <3 the tanks you've got now, because the way existing tanks are treated now is keeping others away. We tell other players just how hard and stressful tanking is. We tell other players just how awful PuG groups can be. We tell others how hard it is to memorise 40+ fights and the associated trash pulls in each dungeon.

So...

Stop abusing tanks in dungeons.

Stop calling us fail tank if we make one mistake - we're human, not automated aggro collectors that execute perfectly scripted fights.

Stop telling us to "Go, go, go!"

STOP calling us "morons and slackers" if we are just learning the ropes or trying to master gemming, chants, reforging etc.

Stop thinking of tanks den mothers that carry the group - you have just as much responsibility to learn the fight, CC, mark targets and say "Hi"

And for the love of the old gods, treat us with respect.

You derive an enormous benefit from the tanking community.

People want more tanks?

Would you like to see shorter queues?

Then respect the tanks that are braving the LFD now.

Without us - and the healers - you'd be waiting two, three if not more hours for a LFD dungeon to pop.

So you have an incentive to be decent players, and treat us with respect.

And finally...

Gevlon your shtick is amusing, but you've degraded the WoW community by making it OK to abuse others. I'm tired of running in PuG and guild runs where people call others "moron" and "fail"... stop sanctioning abusive behaviour. It is scaring off those who would like to tank, but FEAR the abuse. As a mature 40 year old make with a job and family, quite frankly this Nerd inspired "smack talk" comes across as juvenile, puerile and affected. If you want the WoW community to further degenerate into a bunch of asocial teens spouting "Yo momma" abuse, keep going. Please. Sure, your free to say and do as you please, but actions have consequences.

A great deal you have to say makes sense, is incisive and correct. But stop being the Glenn Beck of the WoW community.

Step up to serious "journalism".
 
Expectations
We all have different expectations of what our play time in WOW should equate too. Until Blizz or the players come to terms with the VAST disparity in what players want out of their play time and how to get it were going to have this debate eternally.
I think the reality is that we need a better tool for matchmaking play styles. Forcing advanced players to group with less advanced players creates this entire debate.
If 5 players group up with equal expectations of what they're going to achieve in their LFD random then their wouldn't be any of this bullshit.
 
As a healer who have experienced all Cata normal content (2/13 HM), this is my perspective on raiding difficulty - I disagree that tanking or healing is more difficult. DPS has a very important role as well - frequently having to perform some critical task (e.g. interrupt) while maintaining high DPS.

However, Tobold's post is about LFD tanks. Here, I can agree that tanks are given high responsibility but no power. This is because threat generation has been nerfed.

As an experienced and geared healer, I can pretty much carry any group through heroic. However, for tanks, it's harder for them to do so.
 
Re: Tanking is the easiest job.

What a goddamn joke. DPS is the easiest job in the game because whatever "responsibility" DPS gets assigned in a heroic dungeon (or raid) is split between at least three people. As a MT, I can say that tanking is easy. But DPS is even easier, and I'm not expected to explain boss fights, mark mobs, or pay attention to anything the boss does ("inc spike dmg, better pop a cooldown") OR what the party does ("healer is OOM, better start kiting," "doesn't look like DPS are killing the adds fast enough, so I'll move the boss farther away") other than big obvious fire that *everyone* has to move out of.

The issue to me vis-a-vis "increased DPS responsibility" is that all this does to me as a tank is increase my chance of wiping through no fault of my own. Maloriak is a great raid example, but Blizzard sprinkled these sort of interrupt-or-die encounters even throughout heroics. DPS getting more responsibility adds nothing to the game to me, and in fact reduces my enjoyment of playing it because I am wiping more to easy encounters. I take Maloriak's adds for my guild because that is the role with the most responsibility, but it is godawful boring, especially when DPS routinely screw up 2-3 times every attempt by interrupting Release Abberations. If I screw up by not popping tank cooldowns (or using cooldowns too early, etc) in that window between the Green phase and tank-kiting 9 adds, I die, raid wipes. If I let an add get to Maloriak and give him a damage buff during a big damage phase, raid wipes. If I tab over and taunt Maloriak instead of the add and the OTHER tank doesn't immediately taunt back, raid probably wipes. If the Ret paladin doesn't pop Avenging Wrath halfway through the fight when it comes off cooldown? No wipe. Mage never casts Mirror Images ever? No wipe. Any DPS cooldown when it's efficient? Probably no wipe, as other players can cover your slop.

Meanwhile, the responsibility of ONE DPS does not appreciately increase. If groups were 1 tank, 1 DPS, 1 healer, yes, increasing DPS responsibility could be something to explore. But there are three DPS in every heroic dungeon, the "individual" responsibility is shared between them unless "claimed" beforehand. If I don't interrupt Baron Ashbury as a DPS, there are two other people that should have been able to do it. Including, incidentally, the tank (since 4.06, and especially after 4.1).

But, seriously, drop the total fantasy that is "tanking is easier than DPS!" As hard as you can take DPS in the interests of boosting your Recount number, you can take tanking that much more seriously as well. You don't have to, of course, just like you don't have to take DPS seriously (and 99% of LFD DPS don't) either.
 
"how much do you think this problem is overexacerbated by people jumping into heroics before they've even done it on normal and haven't learned a single thing about their role of choice or the dungeon they're entering?"

Pzychotix: While this may have been an issue when Cataclysm first came out, I don't think it is so much an issue now.

"Simply put, it's the responsibility of the bad players to step up their game and not try to offload their duties onto someone else."

This is the primary problem along with bad attitude / behaviour. Let me clarify this further. The problem has very little to do with a person being "bad" in terms of their ability / skill in the playing the game. It's more to do with them being bad in terms of them purposely choosing to be irresponsible and not help out. In effect, you have highly capable players who are just lazy and expect the tank to "deal with it all" for them (i.e. no CCing, no helping with disrupting, etc).

"People should stop thinking of the tanking community as homogenous and raid content focussed."

Oz Mike: This has nothing to do with being raid focused. It comes down to a horrible social environment like you mentioned further in your comment (i.e. "stop abusing tanks"). As someone noted elsewhere, even if you've run a dungeon a hundred times as a tank, people still treat you like you're a newb with extremely derogatory remarks. Therefore, I don't care how easy a new tank can get his gear, most will probably leave sooner or later, rather than deal with that crap on a continual basis. Again, yes I raid, but I used to enjoy running heroics as well because I loved helping others out. So as soon as people's attitudes change for the better then I'm back with bells on. Based upon what I'm hearing though, it doesn't seem to be getting better but worse which is again why I stick with just helping out my guildies because at least they are grateful and courteous.

Azuriel: Awesome comment regarding "tanking is easy". You're dead on.
 
The problem is about the lower 50% of the people.

Hey, seems you actually agree with me. Only that I'm saying the problem is with the lower 60% (3 out of 5) people. :)
 
@ Azuriel - agree 100%

It is the culture of WoW, and by extension the LFD driving tanks out of the LFD.

I've not been on my main tank all week because of the thought of having to put up with abuse. Instead I'm levelling a rogue via PvP.

Geuss which experience is more fun?
 
One more thing...

I've levelled a rogue as dps (38) and tauren pally as a tank (61)recently via the LFD.

Even in the earliest dungeons, it is the tank that does the work. Explains the fights, marks the kills and controls the pace. I've noted in on my pally and witnessed it on my rogue.

So right from the start, we are training people to expect that from tanks.

DPS don't have responsibility in the lower dungeons. Thus, why shoudl they expect themselves to have any in the Heroic Cata ones?

Indeed, as a levelling rogue I've constantly asked if the tank wants CC (Sap, Blind, Distract)...

Generally they have full BoA and can blitz through an instance without a scratch. It's like Wrath runs.. fast, AoE fests that are "gogogo".

So they don't need CC or heals. A pally tank can pretty much solo a level appropriate dungeon!

Indeed, healers are often so how bored they drop group. I've seen this many times.

The 15-80 tanking experience is trivially easy . Really, there is not much challenge to a BoA equipped tank of any class.

So even those "baby" tanks that grow up from level 1 and hit 80+ aren't truly prepared.
 
@Azuriel

[i]The issue to me vis-a-vis "increased DPS responsibility" is that all this does to me as a tank is increase my chance of wiping through no fault of my own.
...
If I screw up by not popping tank cooldowns (or using cooldowns too early, etc) in that window between the Green phase and tank-kiting 9 adds, I die, raid wipes. If I let an add get to Maloriak and give him a damage buff during a big damage phase, raid wipes. If I tab over and taunt Maloriak instead of the add and the OTHER tank doesn't immediately taunt back, raid probably wipes.[/i]

So, basically, when a tank has a task that can wipe the raid if he performs it poorly, it's a sign of responsibility (which, according to Tobold, must be rewarded with extra loot). If DPSers have a task that can wipe the raid if they perform it poorly, it's a trivial nuisance that causes tanks to die through no fault of their own?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but the way it's worded, it sounds a tad too hypocritical to be taken seriously.

[i]f the Ret paladin doesn't pop Avenging Wrath halfway through the fight when it comes off cooldown?[/i]

...then the raid gets sludged to death by Vile Swills that weren't killed quickly enough.

And if we're sticking to normal mode discussion, then I'll see your Maloriak example and raise you Valiona/Theralion. Out of 8 abilities that require movement in that encounter, the tank can completely disregard 5, and negate the 6th by taking a small step to the side. Meanwhile, a ranged DPSer has to pay attention to all 8. That's 300% asymmetry right there.

[i]Mage never casts Mirror Images ever? No wipe.[/i]

"Mage never Spellsteals Remedy" is a slightly different scenario, though.
 
It's true... I only logged my 80 into Cataclysm a month or two after the dust had settled, and when I went to look at the blacksmithing recipes I was completely disgusted.

Nothing in there worth spit for a tank. Or rather... Nothing that was significantly better than quest drops or my existing ICC raid gear that didn't involve learning epic drop recipes and all that other exceptionally tedious, tired grinding that I thought we were well-past by now.

"Hey look! Some very mediocre tank gear!"
"Cool, if I can get that stuff, I might just be ready for heroics! how do I get it?"
"...Heroics."
"Fuuuuu..."
 
One issue no one seems to have touched on yet is that two of WOW's tanking clsses are FAR, FAR easier to play than the other two. DK's and Pally's are significantly easier to tank with(particularly when it comes to AOE Aggro situations) than Warriors and Druids. If anyone out there is thinking about rolling a tank in order to cash in on the 4.1 bribe system, do yourself a favor and play one of those two classes.
 
What is the most astounding in all this debate is actually not the topic. Though arguing about who carries who in what is supposed to be a community oriented game environment is to me detrimental by itself. It is the intensity of the debate. Even Tobold got into some heated exchanges which is highly unusual for him. Why are people so angry and hostile over this?
 
"One issue no one seems to have touched on...DK's and Pally's are significantly easier to tank with...than Warriors and Druids."

Terathis: Because that's probably not the main issue here. You could have a veteran warrior tank who knows his role and abilities extremely well and he's still going to get shit on when he makes a minor mistake. Same goes for a veteran paladin tank. You're statement about one being easier than the other is true though because I have both a warrior and paladin tank with the paladin being infinitely easier to tank with.

"Why are people so angry and hostile over this?"

Andrei: Not sure but we're living in strange times. I'm noticing a lot of people being more agitated and aggressive on the streets even. So maybe it's only natural that people have one safe haven that they can fall back on to escape from the real world and yet when not even that is safe from social issues, they go off the deep end.
 
As a founding member of the wall o' text club... I like what I see. :)
 
One of the problems with extra rewards for tanks or healers is that they gear up faster anyway. This tends to remove them from the LFD pool quicker.

Not saying vanilla was better in every way but every dungeon at 60 had things that were necessary for crafting or that could be sold for a good price on the AH. So everyone went to Strat for orbs or Scholo for flask things or LBRS for the hide of the beast or FR gear.

I suspect if they'd put more effort in balancing the economic value of drops and crafting professions they could increase people using LFD tool.
 
What is the most astounding in all this debate is actually not the topic. Though arguing about who carries who in what is supposed to be a community oriented game environment is to me detrimental by itself. It is the intensity of the debate. Even Tobold got into some heated exchanges which is highly unusual for him. Why are people so angry and hostile over this?


This is the end game of what they started with the armoury. Blizzard unintentionally fed the US vs Them with that design decision and its been a flaming forest fire ever since.
 
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