I Tank With My – OW!

Lessons learned this weekend:

  1. Do not trust your auto-attack to pick up Nightbane. Perhaps a /cast Moonfire – /cast Dire Bear Form macro would be more reliable.
  2. Never stop building aggro… EVER. Do NOT turn your autopilot on to lean over and get a bite of dinner, do not look away at what the cat is doing. When you look back the healer will be dead, and soon so will you.
  3. Do not play too much with your group’s CC abilities. If you are having the two hunters freeze-trapping the ads don’t suddenly decide the rogue and warlock need some love too. People get into rhythms, rhythms=smooth run. Happy fun CC russian roulette=confused group, lots of wipes, and a very painful, long run.
  4. Do not pull by the seat of your pants. It’s better to wait for the pat to be sure you KNOW when it’s at it’s maximum range as opposed to pulling when you THINK it’s at it’s maximum range and, if not pulling more than intended and wiping the group, then certainly giving everyone a minor heart attack.
  5. Call out what you’re going to break. Sap is one a one-time deal. Mobs can be re-frozen and re-seduced, but not if the succubus is dead.
  6. ‘Oh Sh!t Buttons’ are good. Use them. Love them. Have their babies.

I think that about covers it. Now it’s story time.

On Friday I stepped into Kara and was promptly told I would be Main-Tanking. My reactions were ‘Yay!’, ‘Wow, really?’, ‘Oh, you sure?’, ‘I um… don’t have an earthwarden…’, ‘Hey am I doing this right?’, ‘Oh crap the healer died.’

The most important thing I learned? Main tanking is vastly… let me repeat… VASTLY different than Off-Tanking. When Off-Tanking I was given a mark and told to tank it. This job wasn’t all that different from DPSing. I was given a kill order and sent in. But with Main Tanking… oooooh, with that? You’re expected to actually LEAD! Oh holy crap.

As a person I tend to be more of a follower, it’s comfortable and if I’m given a role I feel confident I can complete it, simple. I’ve been a leader before, but I don’t feel comfortable in that position unless I’m knowledgeable enough about the situation to be able to think fast and plan for contingencies.

Now, <Unemployed> has taken me into Kara quite a few times now. I’m familiar with the trash, even more familiar with the bosses. I’ve got a pretty good handle on how things are supposed to work and what’s supposed to be going on. All I lacked was the experience. Last Friday my guild decided it was time for me to get that experience.

Things were a little rocky on the start. I don’t think the first two pulls were wipes, but they weren’t paragons of efficiency either. Healers died. Thankfully I had a very good tank to back me up. He’s tanked for upwards of three years and so had a great deal of good advice for me. It all felt a little overwhelming.

Here’s the blow-by-blow:

  • After a couple of jerky starts we took Attumen no problem
  • Learning curve stepped in and ballroom pulls had a couple more ‘Oh Crap’ moments before I got the swing of things.
  • We got to Moroes and cleared his room. I pulled the last skeleton frighteningly close to the mobs on the wall, but once again the gods of surgical pulls were with me and disaster was averted.
  • We took down Moroes with little problems. He dropped his Lucky Pocket Watch, and now it’s my Lucky Pocket Watch. /glee
  • From Moroes we headed off to Maiden. Maiden was no problem, but it does beg the question, what is the Maiden of Virtue doing at the end of a hallway filled with all manner of Ladies of Ill Repute?
  • Somewhere in there we did the opera event. The Big Bad Wolf came out to terrorize our Little Red Riding Hood. I had some trouble, being in the thick of things, noticing that I was no longer a giant bear and was now a tiny gnomish female and I didn’t run fast enough. Despite my fumbling we killed the beast and reaped the rewards.
  • I know that next we went and took out Nightbane. I think he took three tries. I had the most trouble with him, namely picking him back up before he barreled back into the caster. The other tank was a huge help with this, and I like to think that by the time he was lying in ashes I’d learned a few things and improved.
  • Finally, as it was getting late by this point, we decided to head to Curator and then call it a night. I got to play fetch and pull the trash, that was fun. Tanking Curator is actually a bit easier than dpsing Curator. All I had to do was make sure he didn’t go anywhere and stayed facing me, and not the raid. I didn’t have to worry about running around after sparks like my tail was on fire. Needless to say he was tackled with little problem and then we called it a night.

I was dissapointed that in four hours we only got to Curator when normally Kara is cleared in four hours. I’m hoping it wasn’t all my fault, but from the heroics I was in later that weekend I’ve realised I’m a bit of a slow tank. Despite this, I’ve been assured that mostly what I lack is experience and, probably, the confidence to be a true group leader. No matter, I’m sure this will all come in time.

In the meantime, like I mentioned above, I now have my very own Lucky Pocket Watch and, after Sunday’s Heroic and Normal Dailies I found myself exalted with the Cenarion Expedition. I’m sure you know what this means… that’s right, these Tiger toes are now clutched lovingly around the haft of my very own Earthwarden!

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  • Comments (4)
  1. I was learning in Kara too on Friday. Even though I’ve been in Kara many many times, it was my first time going in as a healer – so I didn’t mind the slower pulls and the fact that we only got halfway through. I think most people were understanding – Kara is great for badges, but we all understand that it’s much more important to get experience in your class and role and learn lessons than to get more gear!

    Sunday was… interesting 🙂 I’m really glad we helped you get your Earthwarden though! Grats!! I died a few more times than I would have liked, but it wasn’t always your fault – Traps, Seduction and Sap are not the most reliable CC forms. Especially traps. It’s hard for a tank to keep an eye on them all.

    *Ferguson goes back to licking the floor*

  2. Grats on Earthwarden and the pocketwatch! You’ll be using them for a long time. And earthwarden helps so much, it’s not funny.

    Also grats on your first Kara MT job. It’s thrilling and stressful and weird. Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Nightbane even gives us trouble sometimes, and we’re in T6. The transitions can really kill people if they’re unprepared, as can the skeletons. Don’t worry about it too much, and you will get faster. Having to think about the pulls yourself vs. having someone else point them out is a big difference.

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 18th, 2008

    Kal – it really is different from choosing pulls yourself versus someone else doing it. I mean, I knew it would be, but I don’t think I really had any idea how different they’d be! Thanks so much 🙂

  3. Thats a great run for gear, you lucky thing. I’m still looking for that watch. I find marking to be slowish, but really prefer to take more time in planning the pull, rather than risk a wipe or a slow recovery. Even one death is a pain in terms of doing a smooth fast run.

    We had a Warrior tank last night in Kara who pulled so fast that most folks had little or no mana. Pretty dumb. As the pally off-tank, I hated it.

    He learnt the hard way, when he had to tank all the trash at once, and then was smashed.

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