Being a New Tank

Tanking is a tough job. It is a high-stress, high-responsibility position that demands a great deal of maturity and focus, regardless of whether you’re pugging 5 man dungeons or 25 man raids. Your group depends on you to begin, position, and keep control of every pull from the stupidest trash to the hardest boss. Your mistakes are the easiest to see and arguably the hardest to recover from. This is true of healing too, but tanking has the added complication of leadership – even if you’re not leading the group or raid, your pulling sets the pace for the entire encounter and you have the most control over precisely what is going on around you. Good tanks are good leaders even when they don’t have to say a thing.

Anyways, tanking is hard. It’s not the kind of thing you want to jump into right when you first hit 80 and decide you want to see the inside of some dungeons – so I look back and wonder what the hell kind of crazy I was smoking when I decided to do precisely that! With no experience whatsoever! My first 80! What was I thinking?!

I know what I was thinking: “My pally is 80! Whoo hoo! Prot is fun, Ret is boring, and I’m too poor to dual spec. So I’ll stay prot! That makes me a tank? Hmm? Well it sounds cool, I’ll give it a shot!”

Geez. I had no idea what I was getting into. I’m not someone who is satisfied with being bad or new at something. And I quickly realized that tanking was HARD, and not only was it hard, but it was stressful. I hate screwing up. And I did. Lots.

You might laugh now to think about someone being scared of going to Naxx 10 or H Nexus. But I was! I was terrified! I didn’t want to be “that noob”. Noob DPS can be carried… but a noob tank can ruin someone’s heroic daily. My best friend, a mage, was perfectly happy to pug heroics the moment he hit 80. I was not – I was terrified of screwing things up for some poor PUG who got stuck with the new tank. I was very cautious about learning, I ran heroics with healers I knew and friends on vent, I did obsessive amounts of research, and I picked apart my every mistake. My friends sometimes despaired of me when I criticized myself, and still do.

But the more I learned about tanking, the more I fell in love with it. I’m one of those people that has the most fun in precisely that high-stress high-responsibility position, and the harder something is, the more I enjoy it. I’m pretty crazy like that. I think most of the tanks I know are like that, too.

I guess my obsessive determination paid off. I gained a reputation – way faster than I ever expected – as a pretty reliable tank and a fast learner. I joined a totally awesome guild filled with nice mature people, and now I offtank 25 man content during the week and 10 man content on weekends.

So that’s my story. I’m a pretty new tank – I’m still learning a lot of the content I’m expected to know. I don’t have experience with pre-WOTLK content. I haven’t been raiding for very long. Hell, I skipped a lot of Naxx and went straight to Ulduar and TOC. But I’m confident in my ability to learn fast and figure things out reliably, and that keeps me competitive with tanks who’ve been around a ton longer than I have.

So that’s my story. New tank :) It’s a terrifying thought… new tank… but that’s what I am, and I’m pretty good at it!


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About The Author

Tankadin Errant is a blog written by Anafielle, a paladin tank on Drenden - US Alliance side. (Armory)

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August 2009
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