The Tao of Tanking

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal name

The unnameable is eternally real
Naming is the origin
of all particular things

Free from desire, you realize the mystery
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestation

Yet Mystery and manifestation
arise from the same source
This source is called darkness

Darkness within Darkness
The gateway to all understand.

On Leadership

If you overesteem great men
people become powerless
If you over value possessions
people begin to steal

The Master leads
by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambitions
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know

Practice not doing,
and everything will fall into place.
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82 Blood Elf Paladin
I love it!

And as for the dps complaining that they get nitpicked, nursemaided, and all that - they do... usually...

Bottom line, this is a forum for tanking, mostly posted by tanks (on mains or not), or at the very least people that have a solid enough grasp/drive to go outside the game to learn something, or share some knowledge that may or may not be common to everyone.

The dps that are referred to are the ones that have never tanked, have no idea what is involved, don't even know what an interrupt is, let alone that they have one (sometimes more) and their only "measurement of how good they are is their dps."

I have booted many dps that topped the charts, and applauded the ones on the bottom. Plain and simple, the ones that are struggling are trying are the ones that I want in my group - the one that doesn't have the greatest gear, but waits till I have agro to open up, the one that will stop casting a spell to interrupt a heal, the mage that during a pyroblast decides that it's a better idea to blink out of the fire and steal the HoT off the boss than to finish casting and keep their personal dps up.

I have had many fully heirloomed dps leveling up that have no idea what it means to tank, and think that the only measure of their credibility is to do as much damage as they possibly can, which included on many occasions a fireball (or something similar) fly past me as I was running in to get the initial agro. This all to get those few more seconds of damage done, to say to themselves "I am awesome, recount says so!"

So no, I don't think a dps's job is a "necessary evil" though I do, however, believe that the smart ones that can do CC properly, and have situational awareness, that can interrupt a heal when all the tanks are on CD, that can move out of the fire, that can do all the damage they are capable of and not pull agro because they are focusing on a different mob than you, that will stop casting to decurse/poison/magic/disease, hell even offheal if they can to save the group from a wipe.

Every last one of those will cost them resources, and therefore drop their recount dps, but each and every one of them will help the group as a whole, and save the healer/tank headaches and stress of trying to keep you all alive.

To those dps, I salute you! For you are doing as much of a thankless job as your tank and healer are doing, getting ridicule from the top dps that are too good to do what you are doing!
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90 Night Elf Druid
I agree with much of what OP said so well. I think you downplay the responsibilities of the other two roles, which is unsurprising since you're a tank. A good tank does have the hardest job in a group, IMO, but it still "takes a village..."

I don't feel any need to defend my own role (healing), but people don't give good dps enough credit. When done properly, it isn't the mindless job everyone makes it out to be. (Well, OK, in Wrath it pretty much was, but not before and not now).

As a healer, I can't tell you how much I appreciate good dps. And by good, I don't mean big numbers. Big numbers are great, but smart playing > big numbers. Smart playing is:

- not standing in the fire, the cleave, the tail swipe
- not yanking aggro from the tank
- if your class can heal, throwing some off heals if a wipe is imminent
- if your class can heal, jumping in to heal if the healer dies
- if you have defensive abilities, using them when a wheel comes off
- interrupting and silencing
- peeling off or cc'ing a mob that gets on the healer
- oh and BTW, while you're doing all that, please do respectable damage!

I've played with dps like that. They're every bit as wonderful and as valuable to the group as a good tank. Bad dps are not, of course, but then neither are bad tanks or bad healers.
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85 Draenei Death Knight
12/22/2010 6:59 PMPosted by Whimsey
So yes indeed, when we finish off a trash pack, and I look at Recount, it frustrates me to see that the highest damage per second and the greatest total damage output came from the tank.

How about looking at the other markers on recount, as mention by your friend. That being damage taken, cc's broken, interrupts, ect. and gauge your performance on that? Trash is trash, to worry about trash is to only get yourself dirty.

12/22/2010 6:59 PMPosted by Whimsey
We are treated like a necessary evil rather than useful and important members of the team. Tanks talk about us and treat us like children they have to nursemaid, and we are constantly reminded these days that we are easily replaceable.

Hate to tell you this, but most DDs are little infants needing lead by the hand. If you are friended by a good tank based on your performance, you are an exception to the rule. I have quite a few good DDs on my list that I am simply waiting for them to turn 85 so I can run them. But the point remains, they are still a very small minority of the DD population.

Tanking isn't all ego, it's humility as well. Ego comes in when people that refuse to do the job try to tell you how to do it or want to do it for you... with the wrong spec/class. Helpful advice is always welcome, being a jackass never is. I tank to serve. I don't need the gear nor do I need the JP. I tank because I like to be helpful while doing something I am pretty good at. If you ruin it by being a jackass, expect a vote kick to be initialized with me leaving if it fails. Respect is a two way street, and I face more cars coming from your way then you face cars going mine.
Edited by Kalle on 12/22/2010 11:28 PM PST
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<3 Scei ... best tank in the game /nod

I'm sorry I complain to much about my recount scores.
I only do it because I want to be the best DPS I can be. I figure I already do the other things like cc and such without much issue so the next thing is to make sure my DPS is awesome as well.

I don't trust a DPS that doesn't care about the meters, the only thing worse is one that only cares about the meters.
Edited by Marylen on 12/23/2010 3:07 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
I luv you Sceilence <3
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
This... entire thread... is what makes me keep tanking despite several randoms with idiot DPSers and idiot healers. Because it's completely true! If you tank is griping at you, it's because you screwed the hell up. Tanks aren't generally mean people, they're the second-most stressed out people in the instances (second only to healers).

DPSers, don't be jerks to your tanks. Know why? Because the tank and healer will conspire to stop saving you. And you will die. Then you'll get mad. Then we have a reason to boot you. Then you can QQ until you are finally allowed back into DF. Then lather, rinse, repeat into infinity until maybe, JUST MAYBE, you learn.

(Addendum: After you die, the tank and healer - and any others who are able - may also conspire not to rez you and force you to consider your actions carefully as you walk back to the entrance of the instance - some of which are a long ways away.)

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a rant post. And I'm ranting. I think everyone should read this post, because it pertains to everyone - not just tanks. Excellent job. I couldn't have said it better myself.
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85 Gnome Warrior
Loved it
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stick these posts on every dps forum plz.
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85 Undead Warlock
This may be one of the best reads for me on the forums. Kudos to you friend. As a dps I hated that I would get bumped for another Lock due SOLELY on DPS/Gear Score. Only to find that Lock would constantly pull agro off the boss, had no control of their pets at all and only cared about their DPS output. Useless......but few listened.
Really great post!
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47 Worgen Warrior
Rawr! Hot!
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85 Tauren Druid
Well written and well thought out post. You have managed to put in words something every player needs to read.
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100 Human Paladin
i love you for writing this.

This should be read to everyone.

So rare is there such an in depth intellectual discussion on tanking and whats its like. This should be put in a epic tome and be read by everyone before the start of an instance. Almost like a prayer.

The DPS can be replaced
Great healers will never be thanked so we thank them now.
And we must listen to the tanks plans as he will guide us swiftly through out this instance.

think you should add something liek this in your post cause it would be a little thing that we can easily take away from this great article.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
The OP was a good read on what it's like for tanks but I feel they oversimplified the impact a good dps or healer can have on a group's success. There are just as many bad tanks out there (percentage-wise) as there are bad DPS. We just generally don't run into bad tanks because you only get one tank in 5-man.

Several of the things listed for tank responsibilities can be done by anyone in the group (marking CC targets, making sure everyone is ready, dealing with "oh, @%!#" moments) -- these are leadership responsibilities. The tank doesn't necessarily have to be the leader but it generally expected for them to handle that role. There would be many more tanks if leadership wasn't automatically conferred on them.

The ironic part, for me at least, is that it's easier to lead a group as the tank than it is as a DPS or heals. I've lead 10 and 25-man raids in all 3 roles and tanking is the only role I can do both roles without one of the two suffering performance-wise.

If you take away the leadership roles from the tank's list and add in "appropriate use of cooldowns" to the healer and dps roles (they have them and should be using the same as a tank uses theirs), the amount of stuff each role has to handle is not so different.

Realize that a good DPS or healer is just as important to the success of the group as a good tank is. Being the leader, not the tank, is something to be proud of.
Edited by Tainn on 12/23/2010 10:09 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
This Article = win, coming from a tank, I think everyone should read this, ever. Bookmarking this page so I can copy and paste it to everyone in my guild :D
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61 Goblin Rogue
I've been in good and bad groups. I often don't top the DPS meters, even though I'm well geared for my level. Why? I sap everything. I'm often 2 pulls ahead sapping and pickpocketing, marking casters for CC, physical damage dealers for tanking, and making sure the run goes smoothly. When I do DPS, I use my unique abilities as a rogue to stunlock extra adds, so the tank doesn't take as much damage and doesn't tax the healer as much. (most healers have methods they can use to add DPS [mana free wrath or archangel smite]). I may end up last out of the 3 DPS, but my runs go smooth with little to no downtime, and I've carried even bad tanks or healers through. By the way, 99% of all mobs don't have an enrage timer, does it really matter if you take 5 seconds to kill them the right way, or rush in and do it the wrong way and die?

I consider myself a success as a DPS if I've taken the least amount of damage, saved the healer from any agro, and controlled the fights. When the fights run like clockwork, its because the DPS are the engine that drives the machine. The healers are the gas, and the Tank does the steering.
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85 Tauren Paladin
Well said.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
Really a very nice post. I reposted on my blog. EVERYONE should have to read this before going to a heroic.
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85 Gnome Warrior
Love this post. I had a situation in a guild where we were putting together a progression team in WOTLK. Problem was, as a tank, I was very aware of the players who protect the healer and have strong raid awareness. I wanted to stack the group with the folks who knew how to use their different abilities to make the run work and had solid enough dps to get the job done. But the "recount meter" folks pushed hard for the highest dps numbers and had the "facts" from it to push their agenda. They got a little bent out of shape when their "high recount" group did not necessarily progress. And yes, these are the same people (common in my experience) who, when the healer was dinking around dps'g and the tank died first, immediately started rearranging what the tank was supposed to do or pull as if that was the problem.

I guess my point is 1) dps shouldn't take this post too the OP stated, highly skilled DPS are a dream to have in a group and incredibly valuable...and it's probably the tank who is likeliest to recognize how awesome you are. And 2) I wish I had seen this post when I was trying to talk sense into some of my guildies a few months ago.
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90 Night Elf Druid
12/22/2010 12:42 PMPosted by Lexusrose
This should be required reading prior to queueing for a random dungeon. For everyone.


Also +1 awesome
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