What exactly does an Off tank do?

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As my DK nears the level cap (first time I'll be at level cap :D) I've began browsing the guild recruitment forums to see whats going on.

And I see a lot of recruiting for plate classes, but most recruiters are looking for a tank os, or off tank for their core teams. My question is what exactly does an off tank do? Whats the difference between an MT and an OT? Thanks!
On some fights, two tanks have to trade off on tanking the boss because of a stacking debuff. Too much of the debuff can kill you depending on the encounter, so the tanks have to alternate in order to not die. The main tank pulls first, and the off-tank will take the boss second. Generally the two tanks can work out amongst themselves who is going to tank what if there are adds or extra mechanics.
09/30/2012 06:10 PMPosted by Icedragon
On some fights, two tanks have to trade off on tanking the boss because of a stacking debuff. Too much of the debuff can kill you depending on the encounter, so the tanks have to alternate in order to not die. The main tank pulls first, and the off-tank will take the boss second. Generally the two tanks can work out amongst themselves who is going to tank what if there are adds or extra mechanics.
Additionally, early on when every bit of DPS helps until you raid is geared up, the off-tank will generally be asked to DPS on trash and/or 1-boss fights. So they generally are expected to have some idea how to DPS as well as a spec and geared for DPS the best they can (obviously they won't have two full sets this early in the expansion).

As far as loot rules, it will vary group to group but the OT generally gets to pick one role to roll for gear on (sometimes guild tells you what your role is). Other times, you get preference based on the spec for that fight.

Generally, I would say that if the MT passes on tank gear and OT needs it, it is generally given to the OT before a non-Tank but that isn't always the case in PUGs
Not sure about the newer fights, but there are also some older bosses that have adds, or a lesser boss or two, that need to be distracted while the group works on the main boss.
Yes the OT usually can have a varied job as opposed to the main tank. Depending on fight mechanics you might have to fulfill different roles. Most guilds usually have a MT already so it's fairly common for new tanks to start as an offtank. It's great because the MT can mentor you into becoming an MT and you will both tackle tanking different encounters together.
10/01/2012 06:31 AMPosted by Monmonn
Yes the OT usually can have a varied job as opposed to the main tank. Depending on fight mechanics you might have to fulfill different roles. Most guilds usually have a MT already so it's fairly common for new tanks to start as an offtank. It's great because the MT can mentor you into becoming an MT and you will both tackle tanking different encounters together.
yep and on some fights, the MT will be sort of be the OT. many decide that MT = first tank, but sometimes the MT will be on add duty or whatever, because of the mechanics.

Typically the OT gets the "easier" job. For example, cho'gall. it is easier to tank cho'gal rather than try to get the big add to the back while interrupting every cast.

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