Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is Where Ratshag Talks Ta The Crab

Ghostcrawler's latest watercoolerized blog post is about tanking, and "active mitigations." Is a quote from the first paragraph:

"if tanks don’t need to hit their buttons to generate threat, they may realize they don’t need to hit most of their buttons at all, and just stand there waiting until the right time to Shield Wall. Going a GCD or two without using a combat ability is fine with us. Standing around much longer than that gets boring quickly."

Then he goes on fer about twelve paragraphs talkin' about various and sundries ideas fer how different systems of standin' there pushin' buttons can be more or less interestings than others.


If'n the tank is standin' there hittin' buttons, then it's a boring-arsed fight. If'n we wanted fer ta stand there and hit buttons, then we'd just go be mages, and make the big bucks and get invited ta the parties with movie stars and hot tubs and free cocaine. Bein' a tank means ya wanna get yer hands dirty, be light on yer feet, move the bugger here so he ain't there, be scannin' with yer eyes so's ya can react ta sumthin' new and revoltifying fast before it eats the priest. 'Stead of movie stars and cocaine we's lookin' wimmenz in shady bars with bottles of tequila. Except fer them bears, they prefers mimosas, but I digressifies. Point is, if is a choice between standin' there pushin' buttons and standin' there not pushin' buttons, then the fight sucks fer the tank. And no amounts of theorizin' over which buttons ta push is more interestings than them other buttons ta push is gonna change that.

So what is it what makes tanking interestings? A well-executed pull. Shifting the glubberfunker so that the melee buggers can keep doin' they's job without they's feet meltin'. Usin' terrain fer ta block spells when ya wants it to and not when ya don'ts. Grabbin' all them vicious knids and make them chase ya around the room so's they don't molest the squishies. When sumthin' goes wrong and the stuff hits the fan, poppin' yer cooldowns and shoutin' "Ya want some? Then come get some!" and savin' the day, even though ya know is gonna be as ugly and uncomfortables as gettin' romantically intimates with coupla Panzer IVs. If is a good encounter, then ain't harder or easier than bein' a finger-wigglin' mage. Is. Just. Fuhggin'. Different.

If ya can't see this, then ya gots no business talkin' ta me about how yer gonna make tankin' more interestingified. Even if ya is a bigshot celebrity named after a spirit beast in Vash'jir, yer still a clueless glubberthumper. In this case yer a clueless hupperwhumper with power though, and that shite don't smell pretty nohow. Have fun makin' tanking less popular than it already be.

Now, here be another thing what made me ears purple.
"I polled all of the class designers who raid Heroic content (which is all of them, I believe)"
He makes it sound like is a good thing. It ain't. Means the class designers is in the top 5% or 10% or whatevers of the player base, which is a yay on them, but it also means what they be experiencin' the game with other buggers what's also all in the top 5%. Not just in they's skill, but in they's attitude. I's always felt what Blizz don't understand what it be like fer ta play they's own game. Would they done have designed a Lookin' Fer Guild tool what gives ya the useless choice of "I play on weekends" vs "I play on weekdays" if'n they'd ever had ta work ta find a guild? Would they done have made it so easy fer ta kick buggers from a PuG if they had fer ta deal with gettin' sent ta the back of the queue because some heroiepic fuhgwad thinks his dps be too beautiful fer ta have ta mingle with yer 349 performance in a Z? I'm thinkin' Blizz could stands ta have a lot more of they's designers be buggers what know what it's like fer us in the bottom 95%.

Now, I's just a simple orc from Durotar. I's muddy and dirty and has trouble with big words sometimes and I ain't no bigshot like the crab. So mebbe I's wrong, and he knows what he be about and I's the one what be clueless about what be interestings fer a lot of us tanks. Mebbe most tanks like standin' there and pushin' buttons. Wouldn't be the first time I talked out of me arse. But still, I read his post and I cain't help but wonder, "what the hell game is he talkin' about?"


Anonymous said...


Kirk what ain't gotta nickname

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, that I'm not enthused by pressing buttons.

I started tanking as a pally during BC, back when pallies pushed four buttons every ten seconds:

Holy Shield

I liked it, because it gave me time to think and to watch the game.

The pally redesign added many more buttons to press, but I felt the class is more hectic, and not really any more fun.

Anonymous said...

That is as epic as always! You're right on target.


Kayeri said...


Well spoken, Ratshag, we can only hope the crab reads this... :)

Twice said...

Amen Brudder.

I'm all for a change to a more "active" form of Tanking, but it isn't going to be an easy move.

And your analysis of the "raids Heroic content...which is all of them" comment is right on the damn money.

Anonymous said...

Good post, and really good point about the LFG tool. Tanking won't be what it used to be.

The Bitter Fig said...

Advocatings of the Devilish One here:

While the joys of tanking indeed come from more subtle things than the basic rotation, there ought to be something meaningful you can gain by following a good rotation rather than just mashing at buttons on the keyboard.

For a dps, if you just mash wildly instead of watching carefully, lining up key abilities, etc, your damage goes down. For a healer, if you're just mashing and not watching for procs, using lower-cost heals in lower-need situations, etc, folks will die from lack of heals or lack of mana. For a tank? The Crab's right that there ought to be some sort of reward for not using a flock of drinking birds to punch your keys for you, but there isn't much of one right now.

Does this mean that they ought to ignore all the things about tanking which are Epic, the timely movements, crazy pulls, cunning pickups, and utility cooldowns? Of course not. There needs to be more of that coolness. However, there needs to be something good you can get out of executing properly rather than simply slamming down all the buttons at once.

Ratshag said...

@Kirk What Needs A Nickname

Always good ta hear from ya, bro!


I does miss the elegance of 9-6-9-6-9

@Zwingli, Kayeri, Twice, Spinks

Thankee, everyones

@Bitter Fig

I prolly wouldn't have twisted me knickers if the crab hadn't opened with a vision of tanks "just standing there." Was a pretty clear statement what he pictures tanking as bein' mostly about standing face-ta-groin with the bad dude, hittin' him with yer axe and sunderin' his 'nads. I agrees, doin that with just random key mashing would get dull as shite pretty fast. But if'n ya starts puttin' in too many interestings stuff ta do whiles yer there, then pretty soon ya gets to a point where the tank needs fer ta do these "interesting" keyboard combos. And then he cain't be spendin' too much time managing the flow of the battle, and so encounters gots ta be kept simple so's the tank don't die, and ya ends up with yer tank anchored in one spot. And that would suck, no matter how many spiffy keyboard moves we get out of it.

Anonymous said...

right on spot as you are so often!
it seems we are reaching a point were switching to defensive stance well have auto-aggro implemented and this just sucks. The art of tanking for me was doing all the fancy positioning, charging around, taunting, dancing, singing, whatever needed to be done stuff while maintaining enough threat to avoid the squishies in the back being eaten alive by some big badass ugly ogre no-one else has the guts to meet face to crutch but me.
Taking threat out of the equation because it seems a majority of them squishies forgot how to manage their aggro and use their utility stuff while they learned their "perfect" target-dummie rotation for max damage. Where are the days when anyone had to and was willing to do more then some stupid spreadsheet told them to?
Kromek (dwarfen warrior tank, getting hit on the head since 2007)

Klepsacovic said...

I'd call your "good sir" and applaud you, but I doubt that's the sort of speech you stand for.

But well said, good point, and right on! My job as a tank isn't all this "not dying" nonsense. That is the healer's job! My job is to keep everyone else from dying. That means moving the thing the DPS wants to hit so they follow and stand where they are supposed to stand. Crowd control is ME, controlling the crowd of DPS.

Belghast said...

I think you summed up the core problem with WoW right now. Blizzard designers and developers do not play the game the same way that 90% of their player base does. As a result they are completely disconnected from what the core actually wants.

Great post Rat