I’ve run out of f***s to give
I had an epiphany this past weekend, a burst of enlightenment precipitated by ignorance and stupidity. I was tanking H-VP. A mostly clean run, nothing too special. We get to Asaad. I say “inc”, run in, engage boss, standard procedure. Boss casts Static Cling. Three of us, including me, get caught (TIP! Don’t jump too early.) He then puts down the triangle of safety. I thought Static Cling would fade before he stopped casting, but I missed it by two seconds. I die, as do the other two to get Static Cling, group wipes.
As we’re running back, the warlock slams the healer for not cleansing him. He hammers away at the healer, berating the priest for not having a magic cleanse, for not using Mass Dispel, for being a poor healer overall. I defend the priest: it’s our responsibility to watch ourselves, don’t rely on the healer to dispel. I failed. I would have been grateful for a cleanse, but I failed, I accept responsibility for my actions (or lack thereof.) The warlock, though, would have none of it. He continues his harangue, ignoring the fact that he failed.
And that’s when I saw the light.
I realized that all the effort I put into tanking was enabling dps to be stupid, lazy, ignorant. I was making runs as smooth as possible, but in doing so, people were getting complacent. My pally has decent gear, so I feel comfortable handling 5-mob packs. I have two interrupts and I like stymieing mobs. I like getting hit in the face, so I taunt mobs back when they get interested in others. And I know my healers are working hard trying to keep me alive. I’ve got hots on me, AoE heals (yay for flower circles!), cooldowns; I know they’re trying to keep me alive. We’re doing our part to ensure the survival and successful completion of the instance.
But the dps isn’t. In the past week, I’ve dealt with dps’ers who…
- refuse to cc (as in, I mark and ask for cc, they say, “We don’t need it” and don’t move until I pull the group.)
- get upset someone else didn’t cover for their mistakes (see above)
- blatantly attack the wrong target
- stand in bad
- do not use any utility (interrupts, stuns, MD’s, dispels, debuffs, etc)
- do not know what to do when things go badly (run to the tank, for example)
- do not know the fights, do not ask what to do, and wipe us because of it
- did not want/know how to stand in Corla’s beams thus forcing me, the tank, to do so
- do not using pull their weight (4-5K in Cata is embarrassing)
[Notice that I listed low dps last. The other gripes are more important than me bitching about sub-par dps. I don’t mind low dps if that person is using their utility. Oddly enough, those who sacrifice dps for utility usually top the meters, too. Funny how that works.]
That’s an impressive list of fail, so impressive that it has broken my back. Others have nearly had their soul broken because of fail dps. I’ve been carrying groups on my alt for too long. My main? Sure, I’ll carry groups, I don’t mind. It’s my main. But Lirrat the tankadin is my alt. I’m not a great tank—above average at best—yet everyone relies on me to carry them through the instance. I’ve become fed up with fail dps not doing their jobs, the basic requirements of dps. I don’t expect much: all I ask is that dps’ers stay alive, don’t wipe the group, and kill bosses (in that order) [again, dps is last in priority]. I do a lot on my hunter: I mark and trap (and Wyvern, if I’m feeling extra helpful) without waiting for the tank (if the tank wants to break cc, that’s his decision, I’m giving him the option), Misdirect, Tranq, kite, ping pong bosses (such as Throngus when he uses Dual Blades), use/sacrifice my pet, all while embarrassing others on the meters. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m good and I do what I can to ensure the successful outcome of groups. I would be ecstatic if I tanked for a dps’er as good as me. Heck, I’d be thrilled if I tanked for a dps’er who did one of those things. But rare are the dps’ers who do any of these. I see the occasional MD, an interrupt here and there, that’s it.
The larger question is, why does this happen? Why do tanks and healers coddle dps’ers through instances? With insta-queues for tanks and healers, if we boot dps, we wait maybe a minute for another. DPS should be thanking us for being in the queue. Simple answer is, we have to. We suffer direct consequences when we fail. We don’t have backups. If I miss an interrupt, I take damage and/or die, the group wipes. Cause and effect. If a healer doesn’t pop a cooldown on me, I die, the group wipes. Cause and effect. The group wipes because the tank and/or healer failed, the tank and/or healer gets kicked. Cause and effect. Tanks and healers learn responsibility and accountability very quickly.
But dps don’t learn responsibility or accountability because they have backups to cover their ass and do not suffer directly if they fail. If I’m grouped with a rogue, both of us can interrupt, but I will interrupt because I need to interrupt. He doesn’t need to. He should, but why would he? If he doesn’t interrupt, he doesn’t take damage and/or die. He might die if we wipe, but that’s an indirect consequence. Plus he knows that I have an interrupt, so he can use that GCD for dps instead of utility.
There are backups for everything. Just think like a lazy dps!
- Crowd control = Tank can pick up everything and use a cooldown, healer can spam heals.
- Interrupts = All tanks have interrupts that can’t miss now.
- Aggro management = It’s the tank’s job to hold the mobs. If one gets away, he’s got a taunt.
- Dispels = Tank and healer can pop cooldowns.
- Badness = Healer can pop a cooldown on me.
- Kiting = There’s always another class that’s better than me (A frost DK said that a hunter was best for kiting adds on the last boss of BRC. I threw up a little in my plate helmet.)
So how do we correct this? I used to think that players would learn this on their own. “If I move out of bad, I don’t die. Amazing!” But, no, that hasn’t happened. So I’ve decided to become the tough-love teacher, the asshole who lets people die so that they understand their (in)actions have consequences. I’ll tell people why I let them die. So long as their death doesn’t result in a wipe, I will watch dps die. Pull aggro? I hope you know what to do with the boss. Stand in bad? I might have BoP’d you before, but now I need it. For stuff. And things. CC? If I want cc, I will mark and ask for it and not move until I get it. And don’t think about MD’ing mobs instead of trapping; that’s the kind of stuff and things I need BoP for.
If this gets me kicked from groups, so be it. I’m a tank, I’ll find another group instantly. I’m okay with being an asshole if someone—just one person—improves their play because of my assholicness.
Think this is just talk? Think again.
I watched a mage die. (Two days after the warlock incident.)
My new macro:
/p Hi! I’m Lirrat, the tank. If you don’t know a fight, please say so before I pull. I will happily explain it to you. Please cc when I ask, don’t pull aggro, and use utility as needed. I tolerate low dps, but I don’t tolerate laziness or stupidity.