Thursday, April 7, 2011

OMG, Put Your Tank on Passive

Once in a while in a PUG something happens that is both unexpectedly ridiculous and terrifyingly horrible at the same time. You can't help but to share and chuckle after the fact, but the initial reaction is always something along the lines of, did that really just happen? Did that warlock pet really just follow Millhouse Manastorm? Yes, yes that little Imp did.

What? You thought that was it? Silly goose! Pets running off and getting into mischief is hardly unexpected, quite the opposite. It might of met the other three criterion though. The place was Stonecore, the time was... who cares. I zoned into to meet the rest of my dungeon finder group comprised of an 85 death knight (it was regular so an 82 instance), a hunter that had queued with them, some crazy rogue and of course, a warlock.

The warlock didn't do much more than a cameo though, tank pulls, no cc marked so I did my best to keep the earthshaper from AOEing us as the healer. Preventing damage it healing too, sort of. Millhouse Manastorm was skulled as is customary to get him out of the way quick. Millhouse runs off spouting something about dropping the soap (as if that applies to a gnome) and the warlock's imp is in hot pursuit first grabbing the pair of flayers on the wall and then the next pull in it's entirety.

I like to toon my own horn (see what I did there), but we might have stood a chance had the tank grabbed everything as it came in. They were obviously new to the tanking gig and using a regular dungeon to practice. Well I didn't come to that conclusion right then, but it became apparent as the instance progressed. So after a few seconds of heal tanking the tank went down and we wiped. On the way back the warlock apologized and said he would understand if we kicked him, ironically he then left the group as no one initiated a kick.

So we got another something in his place; I believe it was a priest, but that particular detail isn't really important. We regroup, kill the rest of the first pull and move on to the next group where Millhouse is patiently waiting for us. Same strategy, same result, very different reason. Apparently the new tank put two and two together and got 3; as soon as Millhouse ran off the tank was right on his heels frantically trying to keep him from reaching the next group again. Ridiculous, check, Unexpected, check, terrifying, well maybe not, but it was pretty horrible.

After a quick clarification from the dungeon guide (me), and no I wasn't mean; I just pointed out that Millhouse does run off and can't be stopped and assured the tank that he would not pull the next group on his own. Playing as both melee DPS and a tank enlightens me to what a melee DPS might be missing when they go to tank and a lot of it is timing. DPS often take for granted those tank pauses that keep things moving smoothly, case in point the two pats that pass by the group of three flayers right before the 2nd boss.

An experienced tank can take them in pretty much any order and make it look trivial. A new tank will try and replicate what they have observed which in the case of a melee DPS is kill order and not the timing. Melee DPS are notoriously bad at looking around for pats and it usually falls to the tank to move for them. Sadly the same usually applies for standing in stuff. Enough picking on melee it was the ranged that got the first extra pat, poor timing got the second and the Chinese fire-drill that followed got who knows what else. The run back all I could think about was how horrible the room after the next boss would be.

It was a piece of cake actually. On top of that I actually learned something myself in that next room I had dreaded moments earlier. That one sentry that pats perpendicularly in the middle of the room can be death gripped right over the group in the middle without pulling anything. Pretty cool looking to boot. Any I picked on melee standing in stuff before, but this tank did pretty well on Ozruk. Minimal standing in stuff opposed to most tanks on regular that eat every single boss ability. I suppose Ozruk is a special case considering that anyone that has melee DPSed on heroic would know that standing in stuff equals certain death.

Rest of the instance went pretty smoothly aside from some add control issues, but again that is something tanks get better at over time. Certainly an amusing time healing, I barely got any time to DPS. I definitely look forward to healing more on my shaman, druid healing just hasn't clicked for me since the cataclysm. Although I've always preferred the feel of shaman healing to druid healing.

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