Tanking: Where Did You Begin?

85 Tauren Druid
I leveled my druid to 70 in TBC in Balance spec...yes, I was a glutton for punishment. Couldn't get a group and couldn't get in raids as a Moonkin so went resto for awhile to get into my guild's raids. Eventually got tired of the tank shortage holding up raids and dungeon runs so I became one and never looked back. I was so proud of my full set of T4.

Real life derailed my hardcore raiding plans a couple years ago but hoping to get another shot in MoP.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
<--Wrath baby (though I guess that's not so bad now with Cata almost over, I'll be two expacs old soon)

Originally tried the game in the BC era back in May 2007, tried a rogue, hated leveling, didn't help I picked one of the squishiest classes to start. Quit the game after a month.

Fast forward to December 2009. Just got back from Iraq in October and spent the last two months playing Dragon Age: Origins and spending the majority of the time controlling the tank. End up at my father in laws goofing around on my wife's computer at 3 am cause I couldn't sleep yet because of crazy internal time clock issues. See free trial to level 20 and think "sweet, this will occupy me for the weekend".

Remembering something about Paladins being able to heal as well as wear heavy armor I rolled one and started leveling to 15. Then I discovered dungeon finder, hey this is WAY more fun than leveling, and proceeded to level through dungeons to 80, with no heirlooms, or guild xp boosts. Needless to say, took a long time, but I got there.

Once I hit 80 I started bottomfeeding in any raid run I could find, this was around the time of ICC release, farmed my T9 set and started pugging ICC. Eventually reached 11/12 hm's and a heroic 25 man halion kill with a top 5 server guild and have never looked back.

Now I have 4 85's with three of them tanks (Paladin, Druid, Death Knight) that all raid.
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90 Human Death Knight
In ICC I was in a very casual raid guild, like 3 hours per week casual. If I didn't tank we didn't raid. THat's it. Before that I was a rogue main in BC and early Wrath. Quit the game. Came back wanting to play kitty because it was the most rewarding DPS spec to play at the time in my opinion. I originally only created this toon as a JC alt. But my guild's other tank was a bear, so this became my main.
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85 Orc Warrior
Started with an Alliance Rogue (lvl 7) in BC however quickly changed to a Horde Warlock and got frustrated around (lvl 30), then switched to a Mage that I leveled up to level 70 and started raiding Kara with.

After I watching how great Warrior tanks were in BC I decided to level one during the ZA raid time frame. I started off as Arms but leveled with a 1h & shield. I was planning on going Prot once I hit Outlands however I got talked into switching at 55 and attempted to tank Sunken Temple while having virtually no clue how to tank. Needless to say it went from bad to horrible quickly.

Got into a guild and attempted to tank BRD with a 70 Holy Pally while I was level 55 with him complaining about my lack of aggro skills. Was still new to tanking at this point.

After which I read up on Warrior tanking and took off running thru 5man BC dungeons & heroics.

When Wrath came out I took over as the main guild tank for the guild I was in. I have since switched between 2 additional guilds. Currently co-main tank for my current guild and I have not looked back since that point.
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100 Human Warrior
Tanking history, go!

TBC: Undead Rogue on Rivendare. Rogue got to kill bosses in Hyjal and BT before the nerfs, and then eventually saw Illidan die. The whole time I was playing one I remembered seeing a video about a so-called "Rogue Tank" who tanked Gruul and Mother Sharaz, and I was interested...so much so that I started looking into how I could build the set and tank as well. After a little research, I deemed it a fool's errand and decided to just wait for Wrath of the Lich King to come out to maybe try something new...death knights look interesting.

Wrath: Was still playing my rogue as a main until about mid-to-late Ulduar. On the side I was levelling a Troll Death Knight. My guild was experiencing burnout and people jumping ship to more progressed guilds so they could get Hardmode kills, so we downgraded to 10man; both of our tanks were from the Phillipines and because of the time difference were prone to oversleeping and missing raids, thus ending up in those raids being called. Eventually one left in a fit of drama and I decided to let them know about my DK. Since this was post-DK nerfing, they of course asked me why I didn't roll a Paladin XD.

Later on, about early T9, the guild implodes and everybody leaves. My Death Knight, having nothing to do, faction changes to Alliance and I somehow stumble into a casual raiding guild that needed a tank with a friend of mine on Mal'Ganis. I stay there for awhile, we do nothing special but we kill bosses; eventually guild loses interest and my DK stops raiding. A bunch of tank forum regulars decide to roll toons on the same realm, and I roll an undead warrior; I get her to 80 and find myself joining every conceivable raid I possibly can with her gear, grinding the Dungeon Finder for Triumph Emblems and she does 25's and 10's. Ex-guildies tell me of a guild they all joined and I join on the rogue and the warrior; Rogue does 25's with hardmodes in ICC, Warrior tanks 10's with the occasional near-Lich King clear on the C-Team.

Cata: Guild dies shortly after Cata launches due to GM being hacked and the guild bank being ransacked. Everybody parts ways. Nothing really left for me on Rivendare, I first go to Venture Co with a friend, then eventually leave and go to Archimonde and change to a Human. Archimonde has a few familiar faces from my old DK's casual guild; decent human beings but terrible at raiding, except for a few people...and a few more people who were just asses. Asses cause drama, everybody gets mad.

Eventually I can't handle it anymore, leave around beginning of Firelands and move to Proudmoore. Haven't been on a Full-Pop server since Mal'Ganis, and even then Mal'Ganis Alliance-side is a graveyard. Run a couple of GDKP 25-man groups in Firelands, have a good time, look for a guild. Join guild I'm currently in as a tank; kill Ragnaros and do Domo and Shannox heroic, but not much after that. Dragon Soul comes out; kill Madness pre-nerf and then only get two bosses in the subsequent months. Get bored, get resentful. Want to leave. Guild just officially stopped raiding for the expac as of this week.

Thinking about starting up my own in Mists.

God, even glossing over a lot of stuff that still took forever to type.
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90 Human Paladin
I already had 2 level 85 healers, but decided to add a holy pally. I waited until I had the JP saved up for some tank heirlooms (since it seemed silly to get heirlooms that were only usable for one spec), and enough guild rep to buy the cloak/helm.

I had a group where 3 people had parachute issues in Gnomer (the healer landed on a group of mobs without deploying it, and two other people drifted and came running in at low health with groups of mobs hot on their heels). I was able to taunt them all and get them sorted, tossed out WoG, LoH, and Bubble. I was hooked - it felt really good to have so many tools to cope when everything went crazy. ;) Plus, the healer turned out to be from my server, we friended each other, and did lots of dungeons together while we leveled.

I've been having a blast tanking, and it's a nice change of pace from healing. I expect to mostly heal for DS, but will keep on tanking dungeons for friends/guildies, old raids, and possibly tank if we are short one or if it works better to 2-heal and the tank has a better DPS set than the other healer does.
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90 Undead Death Knight
My first max level toon was my lock. Then I rolled a pally to heal raids when we were short healers and had excess locks. After a few months healing on the pally, I figured I'd flesh out his tank spec.

This DK was still level ~60 and I figured it would be better to subject Outlands groups to my newbishness than people in Wrath heroics. The first couple of dungeons were pretty awful, but I got decent at it pretty fast. As I leveled this toon up, I grabbed some tanking gear on my pally and jumped into Wrath heroics and then raids.

I'll repeat that those first few dungeons were nerve racking and sometimes a trainwreck. It got easier, though.
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85 Goblin Shaman
First time i tanked was RFC in vanilla, probably a year after release. I tried tanking, but failed miserably, i didnt understand why heroic strike didnt give me threat, as it said it had a threat modifier... until my friend pointed out sunder had a bigger threat modifier, and thats where it all begun. I fell in love with tanking, especially with how hardcore it was back then to have aggro on everything without any form of aoe tanking.

I tanked all of vanilla -> BC as fury however, but starting karazhan, i eventually switched to protspec, and ive tanked from karazhan until firelands, then i switched to this char.. only to switch back to tanking in pandaria!
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85 Night Elf Druid
hmm THis druid some time during wrath i was leveling as a healer i got bored however wanted an offspec so i went tank for some reason. i enjoyed it alot was in BRD.
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85 Tauren Paladin
Started playing 2 years ago. Played about over class and every race. Tanked as ever class now. I got into tanking because it was fast and fun. Getting to 85 is pretty chill as a tank. Once your 85 it gets hard to get gear. Once I hit 85 I got pvp gear until my item level was high enough to do heroics. Once in them I got good enough gear to start doing HoTs (Hour of twilight). Once in full pve tank gear I started doing Dragon Soul and got some raid finder gear. Just keep grinding that justice and valor and your set. Good luck to all tanks!
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90 Worgen Warrior
Started a huntard, got to 55 and made my DK. Levelled him to 80 and tried tanking a dungeon during WoTLK. Didn't take long to figure Dk tanks were totally fail at that time.
8- 85 chars later 5 of which were healers (2 priests) get bored and roll this warrior. I know I got a ways to go but hope to bring him to the point where I can tank anything. Makes the game interesting and new.
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100 Night Elf Hunter
First time I ever tanked anything as a player, was on this toon in early 2009. We were doing a pug Naxx run, and needed a tank for one of the bosses in the back of the room. I used my gorilla for the pull, fight went smoothly with no issues.
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81 Gnome Death Knight
I started playing in late Vanilla, hitting 60 on my shaman when BC launched. Being a total masochist I spec'd resto and leveled to 70 that way.

Of course we (the Horde) got these new things called paladins. I had to try one out. My first time tanking? I sucked! Badly! Eventually I got ok.

Starting in Wrath I began to tank some 5 mans with my pally once my shaman was nice and settled. Pretty soon I was getting geared and got invited to tank the alt Naxx runs. Occasionally I'd sub in for our main Naxx 25s when a tank couldn't make it.

After we had been doing Ulduar for a while the first night unofficially became "bring your alt night." So for the first half I'd tank the second I'd heal.

Our first ToC clear (first ToC I think) came with me tanking filling in for a missing tank, yet he was still officially my alt.

Early into ICC my pally semi-officially became my main since we were permanently short a tank at that point. Then we went back into Ulduar and killed Yogg plus Alganon.

Starting Cata though healers were jumping ship so ... back to my shaman.

Nowdays I'm a holy / prot pally Alliance side mostly healing raids and tanking 5 mans.
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90 Tauren Druid
My first character was a holy priest, leveled holy from 1-60 back before bwl came out. As a healer I was always in groups and always watched what I liked and didn't like that tanks did. Then I made a warrior and the rest is history, been tanking for about 80% of my wow time since then. I eventually rerolled to horde on another server and was MT for the 2nd most progressed guild on the server for all of bc.
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95 Orc Death Knight
I started tanking on my dk during cata. During BC i never maxed out and only dps'ed. During wrath I only got one guy maxed out, and a paly mid 70's who I tanked on. The main reason I started tanking was becaues I felt like being able to use an OS for a different role would be more beneficial to any raid group I joined and conveniantly my gulid was needing a blood tank for firelands, so I went with that.

I now tank on my paly as well as MS even though his ret gear now is better by about 4 ilvls. I am about to start up on my warrior to get a prot set for his OS. I also play a mage and shaman.

I must say, I think blood tanking is probably one of the funnest raid roles imo at least.
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85 Dwarf Paladin
On my first character selection screen, i saw tank, remembered the siege engines that I had seen in the opening cutscene, and wanted to be driving around in a siege engine all the time. It was probably 25 levels later that I realized tank was a role, not a vehicle. i made the unfortunately mistake of doing quests in prot spec, and I'm sure my original spec was just some grab bag of talents from prot, ret, and holy. i don't even want to see what I used to wear as gear

So needless to say, leveling was a slow and painful process for everyone else. I was having fun, and it was amazing how fickle people were that ran in and out of dungeons. But then again, with the massiveness of places like the old vanilla dungeons, it's easy for a new tank to get overwhelmed, and I was still enjoying the pretty colors:-)

I would say that I didn't really learn how to actually tank until after leveling my healer. Then I got to watch other tanks operate and what was expected, and also what the benchmark was. I got to level 80 with both toons about a month before cata hit, so I didn't have any raid experience tanking pre-cata.

I would say that BoT and BWD tanking in March/Apr last year was the most fun I've had in the role. Tanking was very difficult, and active tanking CDs for dmg abilities was important, in addition to interrupting, positiioning, and btw you have to make the callouts for others. FL was way less interesting, and other than spine in DS, there's really not much to do.
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100 Blood Elf Paladin
Started with a shadow priest back in Vanilla which was a little rocky as people usually didn't know what to make of a non-healing priest. I eventually switched to healing and did some raiding, but at no point did I ever actually know what I was doing and my pathetic healing was solid proof.

My guild blew up and I quit WoW for a bit, coming back at the start of BC on a new server with some RL friends. They were all horde and Paladins were brand new to horde. I figured no one else on horde could possibly be very good with a paladin yet, so I had a little built-in protection in case I was totally incompetent. I knew I didn't want to heal, but I'd read that Paladins were now able to tank, so I figured I'd give it a shot and mostly leveled as prot. It was painful, but leveling as ret was awful as well and my survivability was at least better.

I tanked the occasional 5-man, which was fun, but my step forward in terms of knowing what I was doing and getting real confidence in myself was when heroic tokens were first introduced. There was a big push to do a lot of heroics then to get tokens, and I happened to be in Netherstorm when a guy from the top horde guild (I still remember him. Demonox) on my server was looking for a tank for heroic mech.

The rest of the group was a PuG, but the one guy was a warrior who was in BT and high-end PvP gear while I didn't even have full Kara gear yet. He was a friggin beast, doing vastly more damage than anyone I'd ever played with before. Holding aggro against him was almost impossible, but I did everything I could. The run went smoothly though he did die once which I felt bad about. He was a nice guy and said he usually died more on pug heroics and that I did a better job than he expected holding aggro.

I had an odd schedule for a while then, but the next day at the same time he was on, looking for a tank for heroic mech again. So I tanked it for him again and it was clear he had been *holding back* the previous day, as he pulled aggro left and right, dying 3-4 times and it would have been worse had the healer not been amazing. Later that day I read everything I could find on tanking and especially threat, I seriously thought about my keybindings and re-did them as efficiently as I could and even installed a few addons that I thought might help.

The next day, Demonox was on again at the same time, looking for a tank, and he had a bunch of his guildies with him. I tanked for the group and I was on fire. Was on top of everything, pulled fast, positioned everything, and generated the best threat of my life. Wasn't so much that I was able to hold threat against people wearing gear 2+ tiers better than me, more that I was able to time it ("Ok, skull is at 30% health and the mage who's 30 yards away is tops on threat and gaining fast. I can swap to X now and while I'll lose threat on skull soon, it'll be dead before it reaches the mage. That'll buy me 5-6 seconds to start building threat on X...") by pulling quickly and swapping targets efficiently. I also figured out tricks like letting a mob run toward a dps, taunt it just before it got there, then slow it with a shield hit just as it started back towards the dps. Would buy me like 10-15 seconds during which the mob wouldn't really be doing anything but running back and forth.

I spent about 2 weeks total running heroics with them, usually heroic mech, before my schedule changed. Those two weeks, trying everything I could to hold threat against those folks, built my psychological foundation as a tank.
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90 Night Elf Warrior
If you want to get loose with the definition of tanking, you could go back to the Ultima Online days. I ran with a group back then in which I was the only melee/plate wearer, and when we used to farm the minoc spawning grounds by shooting mobs from a boat, I'd be the one standing on the plank looting the kills and generally be the one taking the hits when we went anywhere.

But that wasn't a trinity game so that probably doesn't count. The first real tank I had was back in CoH in the I2/I3/I4 days when tanks were obscenely overpowered and the game was broken as all hell. I rolled a tank just to see what the class was like but by the mid teens when you could have 10 or so mobs beating on you and die rather slowly I was totally hooked on it. By the time the epic nerfs came along I was one of those tanks that herded 200 mobs and jumped into a dumpster so that they would all stack nicely in my un-target capped AoEs that froze my computer for about 30 seconds when I used them on that many mobs. Good times.

As far as WoW is concerned, I got started tanking here in Vanilla when I leveled a prot pally, just because they were the underdog and I wanted to see how they'd perform. Mostly no one ever let me tank, but leveling was a breeze. I quit before BC came along and rolled this warrior after resubscribing in January, but I tanked a bit in LotRO and AoC so I had a decent idea of what to do from the get go.
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90 Human Death Knight
I started at the beginning of wrath with this character as my first tank. I wanted to tank because there always seems to be a shortage. I will admit, it was tough at first. There were tons of DKs out there, and they all thought they were invincible. Back in the day, all DK specs were viable tanks. I went frost for it's faceroll style: DnD, howling blast, instant aggro on whole rooms.
Good tanking is a valuable service to any guild or pug. Not many people want to do it. I like the DK tank utilities for groups: bloodworms, glyphed rune tap,-can heal the group .
It takes time and dedication, as with any class to play well. Things are difficult before they become easy. It was worth sticking with it for LFD rewards and instant ques. It is also a huge responsibility, you die and the raid wipes. That is enough to scare people away from that kind of responsibility.
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