Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So, you want to be a tank huh?

According to the first two sentences of WoWwiki's definition of the game term "tank:"

A tank is a character whose primary role is to absorb damage and prevent others from being attacked. Tanks are "meatshields", so to speak, putting themselves between the mobs and the more vulnerable party members.

These two sentences are what most people believe is all that a tank has to do. Just stand there and get hit. Sounds very simple and from the eyes of the dps or healer it looks easy. But I must warn you, tanking in the World of Warcraft is serious business. You will be the one that dictates how well the instance or raid will go. It is your job to know where to pull and position the mobs, how to kite the boss and keep attention not just on your button rotation, but also who is creeping up on threat, aware of any pats, or a dps/healer that needs a mob taunted off them asap. Sounds like alot to keep aware of, but trust me, its not too bad. You will have nights where your not on the top of your game or you may start feeling a little of what I call "tank burnout." But it all comes with the territory, just like the insane repair bills.

So you may be thinking to yourself "geez maybe I should just roll a dps, seems alot easier." I must admit, tanking isn't for everyone. Anyone can be a good tank or an average tank, but to set yourself apart from the rest, to be known as a great tank, it takes work. My best advice is to start practicing tanking techniques as early as possible. We as Paladins are are the master the AOE or area of effect. Short definition is a spell that attacks any mob that may step into a predetermined area. In other words we are very good at gathering alot of mobs sometimes even higher level than you are and kill them (very slowly) without dying yourself. You can start this early on and try it whenever you see the right opportunity. This accomplishes two things, first it lets you test your boundaries by seeing how far you can push yourself and second you learn real fast what works to keep you alive. During this time practicing your pulling and taking on multiple mobs at once, its also a good idea to learn how to position yourself so all mobs are attacking you from the front. When taking on a pack of mobs and you see one or two may be behind you, a simple strafe while stepping back will position them in front of you again. Having the mobs attack your front is ideal because you will be able to block with your shield and parry with your weapon, you do neither if your getting hit from behind.

So get out there and practice! Don't wait until your first instance to learn what to do. Take some time while leveling and work on your techniques, which you can use when you do your first instance.

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