Monday, 19 April 2010

What role to fill in farm content?

Number one daughter woke me at 6am this morning, and being awake I had a couple of choices. I could make an early start on my day's heavy workload, or tank a quick dungeon in the hope of upgrading one of my shockingly poor tanking trinklets.

So I find myself in Azjol-Nerub. Boss one goes down like clockwork. As we get set for Hadronox I notice that the feral druid's dps is fairly low, especially given his Gearscore (4.8k). I wonder if he's phoning it in, or perhaps if the mage (2.3k Gearscore) has somehow managed to AoE his way to the top of the meter. Switch Vigilance to the mage, proceed to down Hadronox, only minorly irritated by the paladin healer pulling the add groups before I'm ready. Essence of Gossamer drops, which more than makes up any worries I have.

Then, on Anub'arak the adds get a bit out of control on the third burrow phase, I fail to tank an elite which eats the healer, we wipe.

Proceed to PUG wipe post-mortem. Do not pass Go, do not collect Emblems of Frost.

First thing first, I apologise for letting the healer die. The tone of the rest of the debate was actually fairly pleasant for a PUG - one of the dps blames the healer, the druid blames the dps (and me by implication) for letting the little adds get out of control, and not killing the elites fast enough (and mentions in passing that he's in PvP gear, hence the low damage for his Gearscore). I'm guessing we were too tired, and too close the end, for any real rancour. Either way no one quit, and we killed the boss fine on the second attempt.

I came away from this wondering, not for the first time recently, if I should give up on tanking altogether. In a more reflective mode, I'm wondering what role do I want to be in on farm content.

I've tried dps. While it has had it's fun moments for me, more often it's routine at best, and I find myself slipping into bad habits with one eye on the Recount numbers. And when a tank or healer drops, or isn't very good, I find myself wishing that I was in one of those key roles.

I enjoy healing, especially in non-farm raids. But on farm content it's very dull and it becomes tempting to be distinctly lax.

I enjoy tanking, when I'm not feeling pressured for speed or by trigger-happy dps. On the plus side, although it does become somewhat routine there's always the need to pay attention - whether because the dps outgear you hence you're struggling for threat, or through bad play or bad luck. Hence it's never as dull as the other roles can be.

My problem with tanking will always be the amount of preparation involved - both being geared and knowing the fights - especially given my relatively limited gaming time. And I'll never enjoy farm content - I'd far rather be switching to a new alt where smaller investments of time can make much greater difference in capability. But if I can keep this in perspective I'll probably keep tanking.

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