October 26, 2009 § 3 Comments
I haven’t been tanking much lately. Like at all. Well, I’ve been running the Headless Horseman every day to get that damn pet and helmet (just got it! yay!) to drop, but that doesn’t really count. No, the last run I actually remember going on was Heroic Trial of the Champion, sometime in the beginning of September (just after my trouble with Arthas). So it’s been a bit. Here’s what happened (hmmm, suddenly I feel a little like Monk):
I have always been very self conscious about tanking. Well, in PuGs anyway. I know I’m a good tank, probably better than most simply based on my awareness of the rest of the group (hmm, you seem to be out of mana…maybe I’ll stop for a sec). And when I run with guildies or friends I’m always confident and sure of myself. But many times when I get into a PuG I just freeze up a little and become much more susceptible to criticism. This is especially true when I get with groups where I know people have run Ulduar. Whether they say anything or not, I tend to project my own assumptions that since they have run Ulduar they are running with better tanks, more experienced tanks, [insert I’m not good enough statement] tanks. Most of the time people are pleasant about things and just want to get the run done. But if anything goes wrong, if they don’t immediately blame the healer, they blame the tank. Having played both, there is a distinct difference in the criticism. When I am healing and screw up, if the blame is placed on me typically all that is said is, “Nice heals” (said snarky), or “Next time, heal me”, or “Dude, why the #%!@ did you let me die?”, etc. And it usually ends there. But when I get criticized as a tank the comments are much more…thorough. “Dude pay attention.” “Keep them off me.” “I don’t think your gear is good enough for this.” “Are you even def capped?” “Do you even know the proper rotations?” “You don’t know these fights do you?” “What, did you just turn level 80?”
Well anyway, I was in a PuG for heroic ToC. I had run regular ToC over and over and over again. Not only that, I had run it almost every day since the patch came out. I say this as a preface to establish that I had run it before, on heroic, and had been successful many times. But on this particular day the run was not going well. We were having trouble with the champions. We had a warrior, rogue, shaman combo (which in my opinion is the hardest combo). The rest of the group greatly outgeared me, so I was having trouble holding threat against their high dps. We wiped once. I told them the issue, and said, “if you just slow down a little with the dps, we’ll get past this.” They scoffed a little. We went again. They didn’t slow down. We wiped. The first thing the healer said to me was, “You aren’t geared enough for this.” And not in whisper, in party chat. Apparently that left it open for the rest of the group to rail into me. It was crazy. It was as if they had decided to let out every nasty thing they had ever held back but had wanted to tell their tank. I won’t repeat what they said, as most of it isn’t appropriate for PG audiences. Or even PG-13 audiences. At first I let it go, cause I’ve had people rail against me in the past. But after each person got in a good shot and then they started in for another round, I started to defend myself. That seemed to just draw out their venom even worse.
And then they booted me.
It really shook me up. Normally I can shake these off after a few days. But with my string of unsuccessful events tanking during that time just made it impossible to get past. And combine that with the great success that I was having on my shaman–why should I bother to put up with tanking where everything is negative, unsuccessful, and unappreciated when I can go heal where I am valued, appreciated, and dare I say, needed?
I don’t know as if I’m really going anywhere with this. I guess I just felt like getting this off my chest. I’m not posting this to give some dramatic announcement that I’m retiring from tanking forever, or that I’m making my triumphant return to daily tanking. Mostly I just feel like venting.
And you know, I feel much better now. Thanks Internet, for listening.
“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”