What makes a good tank?

90 Blood Elf Monk
9755
Earlier today, I had the pleasure of tanking for two very different healers.

The first of the healers criticised me for pulling four groups at a time. Going as far as to call me a bad tank; because only inexperienced tanks pull the way I do.

The other healer praised me for my speed of tanking. Saying it was the most fun he's had healing in a while.

So what makes a good tank? Usually I pull about 80-90% of what I assume a healer can handle based on the first few groups of mobs, with a priority of threat > damage = survivability. For bosses, it's survivability > threat > damage.
Edited by Wind on 9/27/2012 12:49 PM PDT
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63 Night Elf Druid
10225
Adaptability.

Tailoring your gameplay to create synergy with your group is important. If your healer wants you to pull more and can keep up, do so. If they can't, then pull less.

Also, communicating. At the start of every pull, for now at least, I tell the healer to tell me if they need mana/want me to pull less etc etc.

Doing whatever makes it an easier/smoother on the group *within reason*, in my opinion, makes a good player.
Edited by Suumva on 9/27/2012 1:58 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
When you tank for me, you are my tank, I own you, and you WILL do it my way.
/sarcasm off

Just my 2c,
There is x amount of damage that needs dealt to get through any given dungeon. The goal is to deal that x amount of damage as quickly as you can.

If your DPS are going flat out on what you have already pulled you do not need to pull more, getting yourself hit more does not make the instance go faster. If your DPSs are standing around because you are not pulling the next mob until someone puts up a tombstone, you are going too slow. Basically, keep the DPS busy at max output while minimizing your damage taken.

It is a balancing act between you the healer and the DPS. You need to judge the weak link. It will always be one of the three.

1.Sometimes it is the DPS. If they are not killing stuff and you are doing all the work, pulling more won’t do anything to speed the instance up.

2.If the healer can’t keep up, pulling more gets you wiped or you have to wait for the healer to drink.

3.And sometimes it is the tank, don’t pull to the point where your health is yo-yoing hard even if it looks like the healer and DPS can keep up, you should know where the line of 1 good crit and I am dead is.

Right now you should be at the beginning of Burning Crusade, you will find yourself extremely OP on levels like Ramps. These levels can be done at a run. A lot of healers remember that you had to be extra careful and worry about fear wards and debuffs. This is not true anymore and they need to get over it. Just watch out for a healer fresh out of classic. If this is their first level in BC they will not have the gear to deal, and you really do need to slow down. That will change as soon as they win a few drops.
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91 Human Paladin
6985
The common thing you will likely see in all of the responses has to do with awareness.

I played the 1st few months as a DPS. I just follow and bang away.

As a tank, I have to be aware of everything. How the DPS and healers are doing. What's coming down the road at us? Where are the danger points? All of it.

Keep your eyes open, don't tunnel vision, try to have some knowledge of the dungeon and what toons are running with you.

And very thick skin. I mean really seriously thick skin because no matter how good your healer is or isn't or how experienced your DPS is or isn't, no matter what, if you wipe, it's the tank's fault.
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39 Worgen Warlock
0
1.Sometimes it is the DPS. If they are not killing stuff and you are doing all the work, pulling more won’t do anything to speed the instance up


This isn't necessarily accurate, taking into account AoE, cleaves and Vengeance, as well as mob mechanics (healing) and control. It's not linear.

The core is correct, but your delivery is somewhat off.
Edited by Rijdot on 9/27/2012 3:18 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Monk
8175
"hello everyone, i will be your tank this evening.

Please strap in, you may experience slight turbulence. For safety reasons, do not place your hands outside the instance.

For a safe & fast run, please let the tank pull"

then proceed to burn through the instance at full speed. only slow down for healer mana.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
0
What makes a good tank?

Lots and lots of liquor. Especially moonshine!
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90 Undead Death Knight
8900
Are you taking no damage from a pack?
Pull another pack.
Are you taking lots of damage from a pack?
Use cooldowns sometimes and pull one pack at a time.
Adapt to the healers whining or lack thereof.
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90 Pandaren Warrior
6105
I make a good tank.

Pick.

Me.
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
09/28/2012 01:10 AMPosted by Feanorion
As an aside, my great grandfather, my grandfather, and my dad all ran 'shine at some point. G-men don't hunt stills like they used to, but you can still make a living making/running moonshine up in the mountains.


I thought that is what made good rogues.

09/27/2012 03:18 PMPosted by Rijdot
This isn't necessarily accurate, taking into account AoE, cleaves and Vengeance, as well as mob mechanics (healing) and control. It's not linear.


You are correct. It is not linear. There is a lot more to it and I oversimplified the idea.
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90 Dwarf Hunter
7765
A good tank never overwhelms his healer. Take that statement as fas as it will go and nothing more needs to be said.
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100 Troll Shaman
15690
Holding aggro on every enemy that gets pulled, whether you or someone else pulled it is irrelevent. Pulling the maximum amount that the healer can/should be able to heal.
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90 Human Warrior
3050
DPS are usually too retarded to comprehend chain pulling.
Countless times I slap a group a couple times and immediately run off to pick up the near by group, , and I have to stop and turn around cuz the DPS are completely unaware that I'm doin this, and are going balls to the wall on the first group.

The usual way to do it is go get the near by next group when the current one is almost dead.
Awareness has taken a back seat to mindless staring at recount and keyboard mashing.
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100 Troll Shaman
15690
Gervasio, if you are chain pullling then the enemies should still be staying on top of you, if they aren't then they are casters which need to be killed regardless.

I personally can't see any scenario where following what you said is a bad or good thing on the dps'ers part.
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90 Troll Druid
7385
Correct execution of the rotation: Important to upkeep debuffs, maximise rage/HP/Rune regen and therefore maximise mitigation.

Encounter awareness: Interrupts spells, picks up adds, doesn't stand in fire. Standard stuff every player needs regardless of role (except for that picking up adds part).

Monitors incoming damage and uses cooldowns accordingly: From Death Strike to 3 minute cooldowns like Icebound Fortitude, a good tank will use cooldowns appropriately to mitigate damage you otherwise couldn't handle. He treads a fine line between being stingy and wasteful. In my opinion, this is the area of skill where the skill cap is highest and what seperates the men from the boys.
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86 Blood Elf Paladin
9845
09/27/2012 02:54 PMPosted by Mattrose
And very thick skin. I mean really seriously thick skin because no matter how good your healer is or isn't or how experienced your DPS is or isn't, no matter what, if you wipe, it's the tank's fault.


I definately do not agree with you. As a healer, I have definately had wipes be my fault either because of failure to do mechanics or to let the tank know I am talking to a lady please dont pull.

I have also seen plenty of wipes caused by dps failing to cc, dispell or silent creatures, or even pull extra packs.
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90 Human Monk
6630
Once I get into the swing of it and know what I'm doing, I consider myself a pretty proficient tank. There are better, and there are a heck of a lot worse. Not sure if I'll enlist in it this expansion yet - but per my Wrath days I developed a sense of what I liked and tried to be.

Just knowing what you're doing contributes a lot. The tank sets the pace and a screwy tank that doesn't know up from down can be infectious.

Not being a drama queen. I don't care who is messing up. If it's me, I'll try hard to fix it, learn, or do better. I don't like being the screw up, but it happens. The blame game is dumb.

Know the difference between keeping people moving and pushing them to do better, and just rushing through to get your quick daily run done. Not many things are more rewarding for me than going through a run with no incidents in a good time, and everyone left happy.
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90 Orc Warrior
10110
A cool head: Don't get mad at people, it doesn't solve problems. Don't panic when overwhelmed, just keep tanking.

A thick skin:
People are going to say hurtful things to you. Don't let it get under your skin.

Adaptability: The ability to change gears very quickly, and adapt to new situations. Did the healer just DC? Did the hunter just pull a new pack? Get on it.

Knowledge: Study the dungeons, the fights, the abilities. Learn your class, then learn the healers' classes, then learn the DPS classes. The more you know, the better you can plan.

A positive outlook: Grinding dungeons for ungrateful people can wear down even the most chipper tank. Being able to greet each new group with a friendly "Hi guys!" will get you far. Don't take out your frustrations from the last group on the next group; it's not their fault, they don't deserve your acid.
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94 Blood Elf Paladin
18250
Are you taking no damage from a pack?
Pull another pack.
Are you taking lots of damage from a pack?
Use cooldowns sometimes and pull one pack at a time.
Adapt to the healers whining or lack thereof.


This! Pretty much spot on. Always pull an extra mob.

What makes a good tank?

Lots and lots of liquor. Especially moonshine!


As an aside, my great grandfather, my grandfather, and my dad all ran 'shine at some point. G-men don't hunt stills like they used to, but you can still make a living making/running moonshine up in the mountains.


Why does this not surprise me? ;-) BRB moving to W. Va to learn to make moonshine.
Edited by Plethora on 9/28/2012 11:50 AM PDT
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