I’m a very excited dwarf today, because of tanks.
The way I see it, there are basically three kinds of tanks that you may want to group with from time to time.
First there’s the Competent Tanks. They have okay gear, don’t do stupid stuff like pulling multiple groups or pulling at horrible times, and basically know their stuff. They know what buttons to hit to get aggro, and they trust the dps and healers to take care of the rest.
Competent Tanks are fine for non-heroic 5-mans, or as off tanks. But you really don’t want them doing much else.
But then you have the Good Tanks. Good Tanks know their class. They’re somehow magically aware of everything at once. If a mob goes after a healer or dps, BAM, there they are taking it back. The know the fights as well as their class, but they also know their guildmates. They mark targets, not based only on which need to be sheeped, but on who can be best relied upon to do the sheeping, or trapping, or whatevering. They’re aware of healer mana at all times. They know the pace the group can handle, and they keep things moving. They are prepared with consumables and they take the time to grind the best gear and enchants and gems to be ready for the raid.
I’m pleased to have many good tanks in my guild. In addition to having enough, they are generally kind and willing to help out when needed. From die-hard warriors of diminutive stature to aoe pally tanks who can hold aggro on every wave in Hyjal to totally insane druid tanks who push through instances at lightening speed and dps mana be damned, you gotta love having access to Good Tanks.
But every now and then, you find a truly Great Tank. Great tanks possess all of the qualities of the good tank, the knowledge, the gear, the effort, the weird multi-tasking awareness of the entire raid – and they combine that with some other difficult to define quality.
Specifically, they are assholes.
In my guild we have a Great Tank. For the sake of this discussion, let’s just call him Hrist. He’s got all that Good Tank stuff going on, but he’s also a raging asshole when needed. If a healer or dps pulls aggro, BAM, he’s there taking it back. But the second time that dps pulls aggro, he’s just gonna let them die a horrible messy death.
It’s like tough love, only instead of love it’s seething hatred. But here’s the thing: it’s a lot more effective. In fact, being an asshole MT is far more effective in every way than being a nice MT. Hrist was known back in the day for yelling at the raid a lot. When raid chat was filled with random chatter and joke, SNAP, he’d bitch them back into line. And I swear he had some kind of hack that let him redirect aggro to people that annoyed him too much.
Now obviously, anyone can be an asshole. But it’s different coming from your MT. I’m not sure exactly why, but if a healer bitches, it sounds whiney. If a dps bitches, well, that just sounds like a dpser. The raid or guild leaders have to bitch politely, ’cause it’s their jobs to be Atticus Finch. But when the MT yells at you, you damned well know you’ve actually screwed up.
And there’s probably a boss inexplicably heading your direction next fight.
I’m an excited dwarf today, because we’re getting a Great Tank back. Hrist dropped his tank main in BC and played a priest. And because no one likes to heal, he made a shadow priest so that he could instead concentrate on keeping hunter mana topped off, which we appreciated.
But he’s now said that he’s going back to his tank for Wrath. He’s already out there, bumming around with Thunderfury and gathering the gear he needs to tank, and making whatever unholy deals he makes with blizz to ensure that mobs kill anyone he’s pissed off.
And even from here, playing with my new pets, doing science, planning my Wrath progression, I can feel the hatred building.
So I’m a very excited dwarf.