Working Mom of Three, History Buff, Writer, World of Warcraft Addict. . .My Comments on My Crazy Life.

Posts tagged ‘tank’

The Altoholics Lament

There’s just not enough time.
There is so many things that I want to accomplish, both in real life and in game. I want to travel. I want to do historical research and finish my two articles I started. I want to finish all the books that I have started writing. I want to clean my house from top to bottom. I want to finish my college education. Okay, that takes money along with time, and I have neither.
I have unfinished projects like that in the game too, but they’re called “alts.” Last night I blew the dust off of my Paladin, Rezina. I had been looking at her achievements on the Armory and discovered to my dismay that my oldest character was only one zone away from the “World Explorer” achievement. So, she and I went swimming in Vashj’ir. I even did the first few quests in the zone so that I could get the seahorse mount and make the time go a little quicker. Playing her was like having a conversation with an old friend. It was comfortable and fun, but I didn’t quite understand her as well as I used to.
After I got the achievement, I took her back home to Orgrimmar and thought about taking her to a dungeon. She’s dual-specced for tanking and healing. Her best gear is her healing set, but I feel more comfortable tanking with her. As I thought more about it, I realized that playing her would mean hours of studying to learn the rotations, and running dungeons over and over for valor points to get both gear sets to where they need to be. In other words, it would take time, which is too valuable a commodity to invest.
I have this goal in the back of my mind, you see. I’d like to have ten toons, all maxed leveled, maxed professions, and geared well. So, if I wanted to, say, take out druid and heal, or take out Rezzie for tanking, or take out my hunter Kheylar and just shoot bad guys, well, I could do it.
Many people do that. Most of them are either college kids, housewives, or retired older folks. Or, they have been playing World of Warcraft since it came out in 2006. They understand the class mechanics and rotations of all ten toons. They invest the time because that’s something that they have.
I have many “baby alts” that are sitting at low levels. I started them because I wanted to try that specific class/race combination. I have enjoyed playing them and hope that someday I can get back to them. My favorite is Toshina, my goblin priest. She’s level 31, and nothing but a ball of green sass and energy. I adore their movement animations. They walk with a bounce in their steps and their ears wiggle. They hop around, looking as if casting is such hard work for their little bodies. But, they get the job done. After all, “Time is money, friend! I got mouths to feed!” (I love it when they say that!)
So little time, so many things I’d like to do with my time. Too many alts to master and play. Common sense tells me that I need to pick two or three toons and focus mainly on them. I’ve learned the hard way that I am not good playing my druid and may never be. Paladins have such complicated mechanics, I don’t know if I will ever master playing Rezina again, and I am afraid to try. So, I will continue to dabble with my babies until I find that one that I am good at and is fun for me. After all, WoW is a game to entertain me in my leisure time—not an all encompassing activity. I have one of those already, and that’s being a mommy.

Tank Anxiety

I leveled my main as a retribution paladin until about level 65, when I picked up two new toys running randoms—a shield with high defense and block stats, and a one-handed sword with good stats that glowed purple and matched the shield. Yes, I became a tank because I wanted to accessorize. I’m a girl, that’s how I roll.
I dual-spec’ed protection, invested in tank gear, and said to myself, “How hard is it?” I already had leveled my Death Knight through every heroic instance repeatedly—so I was confident that I knew the layout and the fights. My husband and I queued for a random with me as a tank, and wound up in Hellfire Ramparts. And then, it all went bad. I kept getting confused about who to pull first and which direction to go, and the group promptly lost confidence in me. They started playing the “Kill Them All Quick” game—in which they use their hardest hitting AoE spells to take the mobs out quickly and try to survive through it. Never mind that this tactic usually makes holding hate really difficult! We wiped, the healer left, the Warlock and the Hunter told me I was the worst tank ever, and I literally cried.
I’ve ran quite a few instances since then—some successful, some not. Now that I am a new level 80, I am on that perpetual quest to get lots of badges and upgrade my gear—but I’m still suffering from tanking anxiety .
There seems to be a definite tank shortage on our server. I will wind up running randoms with people wearing far superior gear and who have much more experience. To them, heroics are boring. They rush through and have no patience for this Paladin who wants to pause before pulls to size up the mobs, look for coming patrols, and check the healer’s mana-level. They will pull without asking and then expect me to pick up the entire mob perfectly. Sometimes, I’m quick with a Consecration or an Avenger Shield and it works out. Sometimes, I’m not able to pick up everything in the mob, and a runaway takes out the healer. Worst tank ever! You fail!
Tanking is not all about gear-score or defense rating—it’s about being a leader. Learning this role has become a true test of my leadership abilities. Tanks need to be ready to step up and take charge of the group by assigning duties and keeping everyone working together as a team; but also be willing to listen to the suggestions of those who might know a different strategy. Sometimes, people are not as kind or cooperative as I would like. As a tank, I need to learn how to harden myself against the criticisms from others or else learn to live with the nervous tic that I am convinced is developing. That has been the biggest obstacle to overcoming my “Tanking Anxiety.”

My Pally, Rezina, in her first ICC raid