February 17, 2010 – 2:29 pm
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!
February 16, 2010 – 11:06 am
There’s a rather annoying phenomenon quite common to see around the internet. I see it with regards to paladins a lot, but it happens elsewhere too. In fact, that’s what’s inspired this post.
Someone has written a rather well nice little “rant” about frustrations when healing small groups as a holy paladin. I have some of these same frustrations, and have expressed them before. When I clicked to leave a comment on that post, however, I found myself blinking at my monitor in confusion and annoyance.
The first comment?
Spec ret? That’s the best you can do? Why not tell me to reroll a priest?
If I wanted to be a DPSer… I would spec ret. Obviously, since I am not specced ret, either I or the group of people that I raid/instance/group with would prefer that I take the healing role.
I’m also a damn good healer – it’s something I try really hard to be good at, and I spend quite a lot of time working on being good at it. As a consequence, I’m not that great as DPS. Sure, I can pull numbers that won’t get me booted out of a 5 man, but that’s because I have gear, not because I have any real skill or am used to standing in melee to do much of anything other than smack a mob for Judgment of Wisdom mana regen. I’m also the heal lead in a 25 man raid. Suddenly deciding that I was no longer a holy paladin would be a /bad idea/. It doesn’t help me if my friends would like me to heal instances, since we have a very large, very talented group of DPSers.
(As an aside, I’m very thankful for a few friends who have been using healing offspecs for some of our 5 mans, so I’m not relegated to frustrated healing in 5 man groups every day so that I can keep up with the badge requirements for raiding. Hooray for random heroics being part of the raid progression.)
The next best answer is (paraphrasing) “You heal tanks great, STFU.”
… um. Obviously I care. Since I’m not talking about healing tanks in a raid. In fact, I’m not talking about raids at all. I’m talking about 5 man groups. Being the best 25 man tank healers? Does shit for me if I struggle with healing a 5 man. It does me no good when my tier 10, epic’d out paladin has more trouble healing a 5 man than my noobshat, two piece Tier 9, BOE epics priest.
Other answers include things like “But my class has it harder in raids. At least you have <ability>.”
Know what? I like my abilities in raids too. That doesn’t mean I never get frustrated with other things. Your classes’ lack of paladin abilities in raids doesn’t make it easier for me to heal a 5 man group.
I get it. Paladins are the redheaded step children of WoW. They’re universally disliked, and have been since beta. Sometimes, they’re even unbalanced! (OH NO SOMEONE ALERT THE F*ING PRESS) Sometimes paladins deserve the nerfs they get. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they get knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerfs. Rarely do I think a knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerf that bypasses the tooltips is warranted for ANY class.
And yes, I know that’s happened to warlocks too. Newsflash, I’m not talking about warlocks. I don’t even really CARE about warlocks unless they happen to be named Arrens, Yva, or Juntu. Just because some other class has gotten a knee jerk nerf doesn’t make all knee jerk nerfs right. And just because I’m not pleased when that happens to paladins doesn’t mean I think it’s OK when it happens to other classes. Same thing goes for balance issues.
My problem or displeasure does not invalidate, push aside, or in any way take away from the fact that there are other problems with the game that you might be encountering.
COME ON PEOPLE THIS IS NOT THAT HARD.
What I am talking about is this:
Being good at one thing (tank healing) doesn’t negate the fact that holy paladins sometimes have trouble with other things.
Wanting to be really good at one spec sometimes means that people run into headaches because of their class mechanics.
Comments that boil down to “STFU and spec ret”, “STFU and reroll”, “STFU and heal tanks” don’t actually answer any of that.
They make you look like a jerk, because they say very clearly “I don’t care what problem you’re having, and I don’t care if it’s balanced or unbalanced. I don’t care about your argument, what reasons you might have, or why you might think differently than I do. I want you to shut up and get out of the way because I don’t like your class and don’t care what you think.”
And really, I’m OK with you not liking my class and not caring. You’re some dude on the internet with a wasp up your butt (FYI: adding “lol” to it doesn’t magically make you a funny-funny person either).
But if you don’t like it and don’t care, why bother commenting at all? Is this just an ego thing? Do people really feel better about themselves because they can shove aside or otherwise verbally marginalize the problems that someone else is having? Someone saying “Lol spec ret” actively stomps on whatever the person (s) who made the original post is trying to say. Shooting off a three word “ha ha loser” comment doesn’t actually contribute anything or encourage discussion. It says “give up now, nobody cares.”
And that’s a pretty crappy thing to say to someone who has taken the time to put together a statement about their frustration.
Expressing commiseration is one thing. Someone saying “Oh yeah, such and such really sucks. I have that problem too when I’m doing <whatever> with my healer (of whatever class) as well. You’d think they’d get this sorted already” or “Yeah, gearing up a new paladin to raid is a pain in the butt because some of the instances are so unfriendly” or “Yeah, my class really struggles with <this thing> and it’s incredibly annoying for me too” or anything of that nature? That’s fine. It contributes to discussion, widening it to include other classes and other people’s experiences. Heck, even giving advice (as much as sometimes that’s annoying too) can be useful. Just about any comment that’s more than 10 words is going to be better. It says that you’ve actually given half a brain cell’s worth of thought to what someone has posted and have related what they’ve said to your experience. This is good! This is how the internet should work.
But I could really, REALLY do without being told to respec, reroll, or just quit the game when I suggest that maybe, perhaps, something isn’t working as well as it should, simply by virtue of my playing a paladin.
I realize, by posting a rant about this, that I have also become some dude on the internet with a wasp up my butt. Spare me the irony and don’t bother disturbing the electrons.
February 15, 2010 – 2:44 pm
To anyone that uses the WoWScribe Addon.
Older versions of WoWScribe do not support the new Party Leader channel. As such, if you wish to do any logged RP in a party, you need to do two things.
#1 – You must update it (the most recent release I can find is on Curse from December – DO NOT USE the version on WoWInterface, as it’s outdated, even though it has a more recent update date)
#2 – You must type
/wowscribe add Partyleader
(just like that, with the capital P) for wowscribe to log both the leader of your party and all of its members.
Do not be a noob like me and not realize this until AFTER you’ve had a huge RP evening with another person in a group, go to get the log because it was epic and you want to save it, and discover that you only have half of the conversation because one of you was the party leader. And now you don’t have the epic chatlog.
In a similar vein, the function for logging whispers is actually
/wowscribe add Whispers
and NOT /wscribe add whisper. Apparently the Blizzard interface for that chat function is plural. (Another mistake learned from experience. Oops.)
February 15, 2010 – 10:19 am
This post is a continuation of an ongoing story between Aely and Arrens called Dark Summonings. You should read Dark Summonings, Into the Nether, and Into the Nether part 2, Hillsbrad, and Into the Nether part 3 (many of which are hosted over at Arrens’ blog) before you read this!
As the summoning’s visual disruptions faded, Arrens found himself standing in the middle of his study in Stormwind, a huge summoning circle burned into the carpet. Peering back at him, two faces: Yva Darrows, wearing an expression of clinical curiosity mixed with smug, feline satisfaction and … Aely? She cracked half a trembling smile at him, her hands white-knuckled from gripping the back of a chair.
He felt the blood drain from his face. I’m having visions. This is another vision. What is Yva doing here? How can Aely be… Arrens’ knees sagged, and he found himself supported by very familiar arms.
“‘S a’right, Love, ‘s a’right. I’ve got ye.”
Arrens looked over his shoulder and into her eyes. Her red braid swung around her shoulder.
He smiled softly and lapsed out of consciousness.
Aely let Light flow through her hands, running them carefully over the unconscious warlock.
“He’ll be all right, I suppose.” Yva sat slumped on the couch, half wrapped in one of the blankets from Aely’s makeshift bed.
“Yeh. He’s go’ a handful ay burns – one’s bad – all ‘is ribs oan one side are brused, an’… mayhap a cracked cheekbone. ‘m nervy t’ heal him too much, I dinna wan’ t’ cause some kind ay backlash.” She let some Light flow into him, slowly at first, and some of the color came back into his skin.
Satisfied that he was not about to keel over dead, she stood up and began quickly packing up her things.
“Should you travel? He’s all . . . broken.” Yva flitted her fingers in Arrens’ direction, a frown pinching at the corners of her mouth. “I didn’t summon him out so he can go and die on you NOW. I’d be rather put out.”
Aely stopped stuffing blankets in a bag long enough to shoot Yva a look, incredulity plastered all over her face.
Yva just stared back. “All right, all right. You’d be put out too.”
“If I thought he’d die oan th’ trip, I’d no’ be makin’ it. ‘m pretty sure he’ll do alright – likely t’ sleep th’ whole way. Figure I’ll take him to th’ farm in Hillsbrad. With th’ riots an’ all th’ mess wi’ Sevens, I dinna trust th’ city, an’ I dinna want th’ University disturbin’ him f’r a few days. Folk willna look f’r either ay us there. It’s a short trip by ship. I’ve got th’ barn set up t’ live in, an’ it’s warm an’ dry. An’ quiet.” She folded up another quilt and stacked it next to her bags.
“Ah. Well, I suppose you have it under control. Though how you plan to get him from the harbor in Southshore up to that farm, I’ll never know. If you’d like I could head up there with Jak and summon you both wi . . . “ Yva stopped herself, eyes skimming over Arrens’ form. “Nevermind. Summoning might be a bit of a sore subject for the nonce.”
Aely snickered involuntarily, stuffing a couple of shirts and a warm cloak into another pack. “Yeh… prob’ly no’ a wise idea. ‘sides – that very well might do ‘im in. My charger c’n carry two easily enough, an’ I’ve ridden farther wi’ folk in worse shape before. He’s no’ bleedin’, an’ no fever yet. Jus’ hope th’ weather holds.” She looked down at the small pile of belongings, and then at Arrens, lying prone on the floor.
“Yva … I…” Rather without warning she scooped the smaller woman up into a hug. “Thank ye. I dinna ken how t’ repay ye this, but I will.”
“Mmmf. You’re bloody well crushing me, woman!” Yva pulled back to smile up at her, awkwardly patting her shoulder. “You don’t owe me a damned thing. Caltrains might, though. Whatever I come up with won’t be too awful, I promise.” Her grin was enormous.
Aely booked a passage on a ship bound for Southshore without much trouble. The weather had been strangely clear for February, and with the Love Fool festival around, even the ship captains were in unusually good spirits. The Sister Evelyn wasn’t a particularly large vessel, but she was equipped to carry passengers, and made the run between Stormwind and Southshore frequently. Captain Robert Sealy happily welcomed a paladin on board, particularly since Aely promised to take a look at any injuries or illnesses sustained by the crew on their short voyage.
Josef, Captain Sealy’s son and cabin boy, helped her carry Arrens down to their leased room.
Nestled just below deck, two tiny portholes offered both light and fresh air in what would otherwise have been a dark cave of a room. Aely made up a bed on the floor, shoving a few of the thin bunk-mattresses together and covering them in the quilts she’d brought. With Josef’s help she settled Arrens down gently; he barely stirred, but his skin was warm and he didn’t seem feverish or pale.
“Thank ye, lad. I’ll need yir help likely t’ get him abovedeck when we arrive. An’ I’ll pay ye fir yir time, dinna ye fash. If ye wouldna mind, take a look in fir my charger, Maera?”
“As you will, ma’am.” Josef nodded and shut the door as he left.
Aely opened up both of the little round windows, letting the breeze and the late afternoon sunshine stream in. After a few moments she pulled one of her bags open, found a strip of woven bandages, and started to tend to the burns on Arrens’ hands and arm, humming softly to herself and speaking to him.
“Ligh’ but I hope ye dinna get seasick, Love, air this’ll be a long night.”
He mumbled softly, wincing a little as she cleaned the deep burn on his arm.
“I ken. This’s bad enough it’s like t’ hurt worse ‘fore its better too. I canna do anythin’ f’r th’ pain either, no’ with ye still asleep.” She packed the wound with a clear salve to help with healing and wrapped it with clean bandages. “That’ll need changin’ too. ‘Specially once ye start t’ get blood workin’ proper there again.” She fretted over him for awhile, still attempting to cast healing spells and being met with only mediocre success. Arrens seemed discomfited by them as well, murmuring and shrinking away in his sleep.
“I’m sorry, love. Jus’ tryin’ t’ help ye heal. Dinna ye spike a fever oan me, yeh? No’ allowed. Need t’ get ye sommat quiet, so ye c’n rest. An’ wake up. ‘specially th’ wakin’ up part.” He didn’t move. “Love? Can ye e’en hear me, where’er ye are? Hear me an’ wake up?”
Left alone in the quiet of the room, with only his pained breathing and the sound of the water on the side of the ship to fill the void of her thoughts, Aely’s resolve finally crumbled, and she wept.
The Sister Evelyn made port in Southshore Harbor around noon without event. Aely splinted a sailors’ broken fingers, healed a few minor cuts and scrapes, and gave the ship’s doctor a large bundle of herbs to make into tea for hangovers, but she had no major work other than one heavily sleeping warlock. Josef had quickly become a friend of sorts, showing her around the ship and introducing her to the crew. He poked his head in through the door, black curls sproinging out around the hat he’d crammed on his head.
“You’ll be needing help getting to town, ma’am?”
Aely smiled. “Yeh. I’ll need ye t’ bring up Maera, an’ – if ye wouldna mind – th’ two bags here tha’ I canna carry oan my back.”
“Yes’m, do you want her saddled too?”
“Please, and make sure th’ saddle sits forward enough. I’ve need t’ sit behind it, ’cause I dinna wan’ t’ dump my friend off in th’ ditch. I’ll meet ye oan th’ docks in a handful ay minutes?”
Josef nodded, picking up the two bags and trotting off down the corridor. Packing up the rest of the room took only a few minutes – Aely packed all but one of the quilts, wrapping Arrens in it instead. As they stepped out into the brisk wind on the docks, he stirred slightly, murmuring, but did not wake. Josef was there with Maera, and between the two of them they settled Arrens in for the ride.
Josef peered at the sky. “You’ve luck, ma’am. The weather’s holding. Pops says it’s like to snow tonight though. Sure you can make it?”
Aely nodded. “It’s no’ far, e’en at a walk. An’ we’ll be warm enough.” She passed him down a small handful of coins. “Thank ye fir all th’ help, lad. Tell th’ Captain I send my regards.” She turned and headed towards the road that would take them out of town. Turning at the end of the dock, she waved to Josef. He waved back, “Light go with you!”
Arrens woke with his face buried in the coarse mane of a horse. He had neither the strength nor the energy to lift his head, but he could feel it moving at a brisk walk. Settled firmly in the saddle, someone rode behind him, strong hands gently ensuring he didn’t fall off, guiding them to smooth paths and avoiding any jarring terrain. His eyes strained to open. Below the horse’s hooves dry fields passed by, with occasional patches of snow that glinted bright white and golden in the late afternoon sun. Someone behind him sang softly, and he instantly recognized Aely’s voice.
Fly we on o’er hill and dale
Spruces guard our fairytale
Hemlock branches bless and sway
Ebb and flow while ravens play
He breathed a shallow sigh of relief and lost consciousness once more.
Darkness settled in as Maera walked them through the empty fields and past what was left of Jol’s old home. The last hour’s worth of flurries finally found purchase on the cold ground, and Aely silently prayed her thanks that they had a solid shelter with a stove. The wind had died down, and the falling snow deadened the sound of Maera’s hooves. Everything was utterly still; the whole world seemed to slumber.
Snow is falling on Douglas Mountain
Putting all the bears to sleep
She smiled to herself; the childhood song seemed to fit the situation, even if Arrens was likely too far asleep to hear.
Jolly’s barn – her barn – looked just as she’d left it, windows shuttered tightly, a thick layer of snow blanketing the roof. Inside, the air was less cold and very still as she lit two lamps and fired up the heavy stove. Arrens slept, though fitfully, and Aely left him wrapped in his cloak and her quilt while she made sure Maera was settled, warm, and well fed.
Returning to Arrens, she found him stirring in his sleep, perspiration forming on his brow even in the chilled barn. Words escaped his lips, words Aely had never heard before. They didn’t sound to her like the demonic he occasionally spoke, yet the dialect had a similarity to that fel-damned language that was unsettling. Her hand on his forehead confirmed the raging fever she’d feared was coming. She quickly set water on the stove to boil, then sat herself down next to him, dampening his lips with a moist cloth and murmuring softly. “Dinna fash, love. Ye’ve taken a rough trip, but it’s a’right.” As soon as she had spoken, he appeared to settle down, though the perspiration and the occasional bouts of restlessness remained.
She checked, then rechecked the bandages on his hands and arm, again channeling small amounts of Light into the wounds with some success. The water boiled, and she made tea. Still he didn’t wake. Eventually she too fell asleep, curled next to him for the first time in weeks, hoping that, come morning, he’d have fought off the fever and the restless dream that still held him, at least mentally, in the Nether.