What a Difference a Run Makes

I mentioned earlier that I’m working on a prot warrior. I’ve finally made it to Northrend, and I’m starting to try tanking some instances on my own, and the learning curve bites really hard. I’ve been leveling as prot since about 50, and perhaps it’s proof of my demented head, but I actually have been running around soloing in defensive stance. I know my single-target rotation in my sleep, and I’ve been trying to practice a multi-target one as well. Let me warn any of you out there aspiring to become a tank, tankin’ for real if just different.

Now, I can’t say I NEVER tanked before, I did a couple instances in the Outlands, and I did actually run UK when I was like lvl 69 I think, but when I did that I had a lvl 80 feral druid, and a lvl 80 rogue with me, and well, I had no hope of actually holding threat if they didn’t hold back, but then, they didn’t really need to either, they could take the damage.

So, I’ve done my homework, I read up on the bosses in UK, and the Nexus, I even made a cheat-sheet so I could look at it quick, I’m ready to go. I start looking in LookingForGroup, ask in guild chat and fairly soon I have a group together for Nexus. (I have the quests for that, might as well run it right?) So, off we set, and things just got a little crazy, poor placement, a couple mistakes, and we’ve gone down a couple times before we even make it to Grand Magus Telestra. And you don’t have to be a tank to know that that fight just isn’t fun to tank. That damn gravity well thing, and then the split, not fun, especially not when you’re trying to learn. But hey, I’ve never been one to try things any easier than I have to. So we try it a couple times, and finally my guildies say “Look, let us go get our raid healer/dps toons, we’ll get it done quicker that way.” So we do, and things go alot smoother the rest of the way out. I managed to kill myself on Ormorok’s spikes, because I didn’t get him positioned fast enough, and hit the wrong button while in the air. I actually managed well on Keristrasza, or at least I thought so. But overall I felt like I didn’t do well at all. I was feeling kinda down, even though my guildies were telling me, that I did alright, probably just need a little practice. And I got the quests, which gave me 2 new pieces for my tank set.

So I log, do a couple things in real life, and come back on. I’m determined to learn to tank well sooner or later, so I hop back in LFG again, for either Nexus, or UK, heck I’m 71, don’t really think I’m up for much more in NR just yet. I get a tell, “Hey, wanna tank OK?” My response, “I’ll give it a shot, but I’m only 71, it might get ugly.” I also said I hadn’t read up on it from a tank perspective. Well, apparently there were no other tanks lookin’ for work, so I got the gig. And to make it even better, this isn’t a random Pug, the other 4 are all from the same guild! No pressure or nuthin’, they won’t be talkin’ behind my back if I screw up. But on the bright side, I did warn them.

Off we set, and we do pretty good, we got up to Hadranox, and then it didn’t go so well. I had trouble seeing the Guardians to pick them up, and we all just had problems staying alive. After 2 or 3 attempts someone suggests, ‘Well, maybe let’s try UK.’ (I thought we were getting better with each attempt at Hadranox, but still) Fine with me! So we all get over to UK, and by this point I’ve got about an hour ’till I have I have a raid to attend on my hunter. So I tell them, just to be up front. I know I hate little worse than someone who suddenly has to dump in the middle of a run, especially when it’s the healer, or the tank. But we have an hour, and it’s UK, so we decide to give it a go.

What a difference a run can make. I felt more or less comfortable, I was able to keep pretty much everything under control, we had no deaths, I took like almost 80% of the total damage (I look at that when I’m tanking), and my DPS output was up to boot! I even managed to strafe our of Ingvar’s ‘Smash’ effects. And we made it through in like 45 minutes. There were even a couple pieces of loot that dropped for the others on the run. Everyone wins!

So now I’m a full-blown tank right? No, not really, but I’m a better tank than I was, and my point is this. Don’t get too up, or down on yourself when you’re learning something new. Some runs are harder than others for some things, just because of how they are laid our, the specific mobs, whatever. Work at learning from your mistakes, and try to implement appropriate changes. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process too. Remember that reading everything, and understanding what you read are not the same as actually doing it. Reality (virtual or otherwise) has a funny way of throwing you curves.

Now, to quote a good friend, off with you “Kill the bad man, take his loot!!!”


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