Tobold's Blog
Monday, April 11, 2011

Couldn't have said it better.
He's right.

Here's a fool-proof solution, since tanks are like dungeon GMs anyway: a free half hour of game time for each hour spent tanking in PUGs.
Regarding interrupt mechanisms: One day, I was amazed to find out that an interrupt actually worked. Up to that point, I was trained by the game that almost no ability besides damage worked the way it was supposed to work - on bosses. Every interrupt, magical or physical slow, counterspell, trap, I've tried and and learned that it will not work on bosses. So you can imagine my surprise when I met, for the first time, a boss that hadn't been properly trained in boss school in the arts of not giving a damn about interrupts.

This is a problem of training. Usually, I read first what the skill/item actually says. Example (Insignia): "Removes all movement impairing effects ...". Ever get dazed by a hit from behind? It is movement impairing. And it is an effect. However, it does not seem to count towards the effects an insignia can remove. Or been to Underbog? Swamplord Musel'eks Traps don't seem to be somethign that causes "loss of character control" because "Every man for himself" does not seem to help. The animation and the little swirly go round and round, but alas, no help against his traps.

It's a world of imperfect information. And of Warcraft.
so, serious question for you Tobold, if you don't mind hazarding an answer - but some background first.

i'm not a WoW player, i'm a LOTRO player. i've got one of every class at level cap, but if you give me the choice i'll tank. i'm also, generally, the fellowship (6 person) or raid (12 person) leader, because i'm a loudmouth and bossy - but this is true regardless of which class i'm playing. also, i know, when i'm on DPS or CC chars, that if i call 'instance 2/6, need healer, tank and 2 randoms' that will take longer than if i'm on healer *or* tank and i call for '2/6 have tank, need healer and randoms' or the obverse (always 2/6, cos i play with my wife, who prefers *not* to tank or heal - DPS, support or CC are all fine for her though). however, regardless of what i call, there is NEVER an expectation that the tank will know what to do - in fact, if i'm pugging on a non-tank class, i expect i'll need to explain the instance to the tank, just as, when i'm pugging on my tank, i expect to explain to the non-tanks how the instance works.

so my question...

why is it that, *in WoW*, there is an expectation that tanks must lead/ know the instance?

it's not like that in LOTRO, so what it specific about WoW that it happens there? (and i'm asking here, not, say, on Gevlon's site, because i don't believe 'M&S' explanations).

possible answers i came up with, without having detailed knowledge of WoW: LOTRO uses 6 person for non-raid instances, WoW uses 5 - and the 6th spot might make many more group combinations viable? LOTRO has 2xCC and 1xSupport class, in addition to the Holy Trinity - and accomodating the extra roles into dungeon design might make instances more varied? in this vein, is it that the instances in WoW are easier or simpler - less trash, less trash with abilities that off-tanks/cc need to worry about? does WoW even use the concept of off-tanking and off-healing? (which is related to my first two points as well.) that's about the extend of my possible answers though. i'm genuinely curious, because i've been reading the outbreak of rage about the Call to Arms idea, and while i'd be in favour of scaled rewards for any sort of queueing system for any game, it seems strange to me that *tanks* are expected to be the bearers of knowledge *in WoW*. and really, it *cant* be an M&S thing - because assuming such people exist, they'd have to be normally distributed across games, so their effect can be ignored *except when* specific features of one game bring their problematic existence to the fore. so even if it *is* an M&S thing, the question is *still* what makes it a problem *in WoW* when it's not a problem in a game like LOTRO that is generally regarded as a WoW-clone?

so again, if you could hazard an explanation: what are the specific features *of WoW* that result in the tank being the bearer of all knowledge and responsibility?
I played WOW for a long time thinking that I wanted to play a healer... and then burnt out healing heroics, much less raiding.

Then I started a tanking character thinking it would be cool to tank... until I realized what lies ahead for tanks.

Now I am back to my shadow priest and enjoying life as DPS!

The burden on tanks and healers to lead every dungeon run is too great and I've only got so much time to play. It needs to be fun for me or I move on to something else. Baby sitting a bunch of jerks just will not cut it anymore. No matter what carrots are being offered.

Great article because I think it's quite poignant, not only within WoW, but within our society as a whole right now. People are putting too much expectation and responsibility on our leaders and in turn are taking less responsibility for things themselves. This creates a situation where leaders almost have to be god-like and perfect to avoid the high expectations placed upon them. So in turn they compensate by striving to control more and more, until they become almost dictator-like.

There is a better way. For it to work though, it requires everyone sharing the responsibilities. When this occurs, leaders can relax and spend more time coaching and mentoring, rather than being controlling. Again though, it requires everyone doing their part. For example, dps and healers should know the capabilities of a tank just as much as a tank needs to know about their capabilities.

All said and done though, I still believe the primary problem was WotLK in that it set a behaviour precedent in that you didn't really need to know much at all to run a dungeon because there were various ways to overcompensate for that lack of knowledge. In Cataclysm you can no longer do that. Everyone, not just the tank, needs to be knowledgeable and know how to act upon it.
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