So Bubbles and I were talking today (since we are both the healery siginficant others of main tanks in raid groups), and the subject of various kinds of tanks came up. We discovered, through a lot of laughter, that there are a few distinct species of tanks in WoW – and I’m not talking about classes.
These Tankish species transcend class, and are therefore something like “Tank Archetypes.”
- Mr. Nice Tank - Average Jane, Mr. Nice Guy sort of tank. Probably relatively new either to your raid or to raiding in general. Good attitude, may not say much in vent.
- Cranky Tank - What happens to Mr. Nice Tank after two expansions of putting up with the same old bullshit every week from the same people. Probably either very vocal about it (in channels or in vent) … or very vocal about it to whoever happens to be within earshot, sparing the raid her ire.
- Timid Tank – This is the tank that’s still unsure about this whole tanking thing. He doesn’t really take much initiative, and she’s not really fond of taking risks. A timid tank will be slower, but not necessarily worse, than other tanks.
- Seasoned Pro Tank: Tanks. Likes tanking. Does it to relax. Doesn’t really understand why other people seem to find tanking so stressful – even after a four-hour wipefest or an accidental four-group pull. In real life, is probably an adrenaline junkie. Tried playing a DPS class once, but found it so boring he fell asleep at the keyboard.
- Drunk Tank - You’re not entirely sure why, but you start to notice that he’s slurring on vent. And that the nights where he’s not slurring, he doesn’t tank well. The Drunk Tank not only is used to imbibing large quantities of alcohol, but seems to actually do better having done so. Just don’t ask about his liver.
- Flail Tank – Possibly a newer tank, or possibly just had WAY too much caffeine today, the Flail Tank is constantly running around, mashing buttons wildly (and sometimes not even the right ones). Having a Flail Tank means there’s hardly a dull moment.
- Huge Ego Tank – Always tanking, always talking about how great they are at tanking, gets offended when you ask someone else to tank. Must be the main tank, refuses to offtank. Often doesn’t get along with other tanks at all, even when not directly competing with them. May cause loot drama.
- Know-it-all Tank – How dare you question her abilities and knowledge of this game! The Know-it-all Tank refuses to listen to any strategy that competes with how THEY think the boss should be fought (even if they’ve never actually done it before). Regardless of class, will tell other tanks how to play.
- Lost Tank – Couldn’t find his way around Trial of the Crusader. Don’t even /ask/ about Ahn’Kahet, Sunken Temple or Blackrock Depths. Needs a map to find his own shield. May cause slowdowns in instances after a wipe, may also cause hilarity.
- Reluctant Tank – This isn’t really a tank. It’s a DPS or Healer in a Tank Suit. Skills and bar-layout are probably both a little rusty, but the Reluctant Tank will probably at least give it her best shot. Unless, of course, you’ve been asking her to tank for the last three months straight, and she hates it and would rather be DPSing. (See: Cranky Tank)
- AFK Tank – Lights are on, nobody’s home. Possibly not at the keyboard, possibly just pretending not to be there. Subsets of the AFK Tank are the Disconnected Tank and the Alt-Tabbed Tank. Frequently a stress-relieving mechanism for the Cranky Tank. Particularly skilled AFK Tanks can continue to tank successfully while not paying attention.
- Not-A-Tank: This is either a plate DPS, a rogue (evasion tank go!), a druid, or very occasionally a hunter, immediately after the death of a raid tank. It generally involves changing shape/aura/stance/presence, followed shortly by a quick, messy death. Occasionally will result in a boss kill, if executed at that last, unbelievably long 1%.
- All-Star Tank – You’re not sure what this guy ate for breakfast, where he got his gear, or how he managed to get Chuck Norris to autograph his shield/sword/favorite bangly bear necklace, but this is the tank that can tank anything. Three extra packs, with casters, around a bad LOS on the stairs, with the other tank dead and most of the DPS taken out by a rampaging Yeti and he’ll tank the whole mob down. Also, the tank that manages to survive the odds, beating back Angry Boss RNG time and time again. Class is irrelevant, she can tank it. And she will.
Of course, through all of this, we came to realize that there’s one last kind of tank. The saddest kind, and the kind that we (as mostly-full-time healers) never want to see.
The Former Tank
All joking aside, though, tanking isn’t easy. Like healing, it requires a specific sort of situational awareness, a lot of mental attention, and occasionally a shot of something stiff to keep you willing to put up with the crap. I’ve run with just about every kind of tank, and while they might annoy me sometimes, I couldn’t be a healer without them.
PS. Now Accepting Ideas for Part2 (Differing Species of Healers) and Part3 (Differing Species of DPS)
PPS – To all those of you visiting from WoW Insider – Hi! Welcome to my blog!
Yes, this is humor. I run with excellent tanks, and this is entirely tongue in cheek. The posts about Healers and DPS will be in the same, lighthearted manner. I’m /not/ QQing about my tanks. Merely pointing out that there can be some funny ones out there!
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