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And on the 18th day… she tanked

December 18, 2009

Yes, you read right, dear readers!  I finally got up the nerve to join the Random Dungeon Finder as a tank.  I was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t thrown an invite in 10 seconds, but it was still pretty quick!

It ended up that I got a group that had already started Utgarde Keep – they were only three pulls in and this is what I see:

[RetPally]: You better be a real tank Cel, or we’re kicking you – I’m just telling you now
[RetPally]: And you better be Frost
[HealSham]: Fo’ real
[Me]: Oh shit

Since, y’know… this was my first instance as a tank ever, I’m sure I didn’t fall into the “real tank” category.  However, I didn’t tell them this and apparently being specced Frost was enough for them.  It turned out that they were the pushy group that was all, “Go go go NOW NOW NOW” and we had that boomkin that was always inching towards everything and “accidentally” pulling.  Because they wanted to blast through so quickly, Utgarde Keep was really a blur to me that time – my hands were shaking, I was mashing buttons blindly and when Lus came in from work, I wouldn’t even look at him.  I (practically) snapped at him, “I can’t talk to you right now.  I’m trying not to be horrible.”  In my defense, it was the first boss fight and my first boss fight ever as a Real Tank™.

In fact, it went well enough that after the last boss I was invited to join their guild – to be leveled up and geared up so I was on par with everyone else.  I was extremely flattered by this and it boosted my confidence a lot and I took it as a sign that I hadn’t fallen into the dreaded Fail Knight category.  They pushed the guild thing more… I demurred, thinking that by saying, “I’m probably not as experienced a tank as you’re looking for” wasn’t a lie of omission but I finally got the point across – a whole instance later.

I was invited after UK to go run the Nexus – although I did make it clear that I hadn’t run it in a LONG time and hadn’t ever tanked it.  “You’ll be fine!” they assured me.  That instance went pretty smoothly too (despite the damn boomkin with a death wish) but my biggest screw up was porting out of the instance after Ormorok the Tree-Shaper thinking we were done.  It had been so long and I was still so wired that I had completely forgotten Keristrasza!  (Yes, I did feel the shame.)  However, no other blunders were made, tanking or otherwise.

The First Foray into Tanking: Good!  I’m not paralyzed with fear like I was before I actually queued, but I’m still a little shaky in my tanking boots.  However, now that the first steps have been taken, I know I’ll get better with practice.  I had the usual post-First fears that I voiced to Naithin and he gave me this advice:

Mashing buttons and making it look convincing is what tanking is all about!  Class changes merely how hard you need to mash and what it looks like on screen!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 1:53 AM

    ‘Grats on tanking your first instance! I was terrified the first time I tanked on Larissyn (and the second time … and the third time … and the thirteenth time …) but I LOVE it. It’s a whole new experience. :D

  2. December 19, 2009 1:53 AM

    Nice work. I’ve tanked about 40 instances by now, but i’m still nervous as can be every time. Well except maybe normal ToC which i’ve done about 30 times.I’m still to scared to do the daily random heroic as tank, just in case i get something scarey like AN or something. :-)GL with your tanking Anea.Gobble gobble.

  3. CunningB permalink
    December 19, 2009 9:37 AM

    *cheer* congrats!And there will always be some one like the boomkin in most pug groups ;) its the one thing most non-tanks don’t understand about tanking, your not only fighting the mobs your fighting some people in your own group too ^^

  4. Anea permalink
    December 19, 2009 6:53 PM

    @Sari @BobTurkey @CunningB – thanks for the grats! Still riding on the high from last night’s successes – hopefully that bubble won’t be popped for a bit ;)

  5. December 21, 2009 2:52 PM

    :DYeah, even now with my DK, I’m wary of throwing my hat into the tanking slot. I’ve done it a while now, but each group is different, and if there are any competent DPS, then I know I’m going to be fighting the aggro war. The good news is, we as DK’s have so many tools to use to snap aggro… it’s kind of ridiculous.Anyway, GRATS! :D

  6. Jack permalink
    December 21, 2009 3:09 PM

    Congrats!! Awesome, awesome. I’ve tanked as a frost DK, as a prot warrior and as a bear and I’ve gotta’ say the DK was my favorite. Death Grip is sooooo useful. I really missed it going back to my other tanks. And I’m always itching to use Howling Blast. Maybe I’m just odd, but there’s this "edge of the seat" anticipation to hit it when I dps, but I have wait for the tank to get a headstart on AoE threat . . . then BAM, woo hoo! Frosty death everywhere!! As the tank, though? I just let it fly whenever I want. I love it.[RetPally]: You better be a real tank Cel, or we’re kicking you – I’m just telling you now[RetPally]: And you better be Frost[HealSham]: Fo’ real[Me]: Assholes.You must be so much more tolerant than I am. I’m not even sure I’d stick around to tank for them. I certainly wouldn’t even consider joining their guild and probably would have told ’em off when they invited me. Or maybe I’m just baring my own brand of intolerance, but geez. Welcome to the group, huh?

  7. Adlib permalink
    December 21, 2009 4:52 PM

    That sounds a lot like my first healing job in regular ToC as a tree druid. My main is a mage so I’m totally in the dps mindset from both that and leveling other toons as dps. Fortunately, my husband (a DK tank too!) was the tank, and I think one melee died once. We almost all died at the end because I just wasn’t prepared for all the explosions! LOL I’m just amazed at the difference between the roles of dps, healing, and tanking. Completely different worlds. I still don’t know if I want to continue to heal. I think healing takes a special talent, for sure. Grats on your successful tanking adventure!

  8. December 21, 2009 7:21 PM

    Congrats Anea, that’s a huge milestone!I agree with Jack above. I probably wouldn’t have stuck around if I was confronted with the attitude of those puggers. Not to mention the ignorance that only frost can tank. Still, many more happy tanking adventures to you.

  9. December 22, 2009 10:14 AM

    Congrats! I understand your nervousness: I jumped into the random dungeon to tank BRD (at least as far as the first boss — the goals in the random dungeon at low levels are hard to discern) with my baby paladin, and did OK, I think. A lot more nerve-wracking than DPS, that’s for sure.

  10. December 22, 2009 11:15 AM

    Welcome to the fabulous world of tanking! Once you get past the jerks, the know-it-alls, the ‘accidental’ pullers, the mages who think they are tanks, the yelling, the criticizing, the soul-sucking annoyance of the fury warrior who taunts to piss you off…once you get past all that it’s a really fun and exciting world. So congratulations on your first forays into tanking, and here’s to many more!

  11. Anea permalink
    December 22, 2009 8:17 PM

    @Tahas @Jack @Adlib @Rhidach @Ringo Flinthammer @Thistlefizz: thank you all! :)

  12. December 30, 2009 12:00 PM

    I’ve been melee dps since i started to play WoW, on my shaman and then on my dk.Never liked to use 2-handed weapons and only started to tank heroics with my dk on the new patch(3.3) where blizz made DW tanking viable.On my firsts trys I was really nervous, mainly cause people really don’t understand what’s behind dw tanking.Oh well, i’m doing really fine right now, when i trust the healer i can even do some chain pulls and i learned how to use my cooldowns. :](sorry for my english, this is not my native language).Good luck on tanking.

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