Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Low level DK tanks and the DPS meeting that kettle

If there was just one thing I wish I could change in WoW right now, it would be to ensure Death Knights couldn’t queue as tanks in LFG until at least level 70. That’s a somewhat flippant (okay, really flippant then) observation on my part as I’ve come to experience first hand what all the “lawls” have been about regarding newly minted Death Knights trying to tank. As the healer in level 50ish content (I hit 59 last night) I’m seeing a lot of DK’s now, and they all want to tank. The problem is that not a lot of them have any tanking experience as far as I can tell, and thus far I haven’t seen any that actually have a good grasp on the mechanics of their class. How could they, having only been playing the class for a few hours by this point? It’s been my observation that most people don’t actually research a class fully before they play it, so their knowledge tends to come from testing and experimenting on their own.

While I generally have no problem keeping a DK tank healed, the real issue is with the other players who don’t realize what I do – that they are creating the problems on the runs with these inexperienced DK tanks. The reason I wanted to dual-spec in the first place was because of the total lack of cat form AOE at the lower levels. I’d mentioned that if you were one to watch the meters you’d see the AOE classes far out and ahead of everyone else, which is a good indication that everyone that could AOE has been AOE’ing by this point for a good long time now. It’s ingrained into these players by this point and they aren’t going to stop, even though a real good player would observe a few things on these runs. If a DK tank isn’t using pestilence, or Death and Decay to grab area agro, it will probably mean you as an AOE’er will grab agro from several mobs as you AOE. Instead of having to heal just one or two people on a run, I’m now finding I’m having to heal 3 or 4 people more and more often. And when the DPS players throw out comments to the tank that he’s terrible they aren’t realizing they’re the ones that are actually doing something wrong. Yes the DK should be using Pestilence and Death and Decay, but it’s the DPS’s task to make sure they aren’t pulling agro. And that’s what they aren’t even attempting to do. As the healer it’s left to me to “save the day” regardless, or else I get the angry comments. And never mind that the group might run off to the next fight while I’m still sitting and drinking, or not. The total lack of any skill or any thought on runs is becoming more of an issue as we go, though it’s not really what I’d consider an emergency yet. At this point I’m actually wondering what the Outlands content will be like.

What I think I would generally like is some reintroduction of thought into runs. Blizzard has indicated they'll be creating the necessity for CC again, but I hope that means that while they're designing Cataclysm they take the time to introduce that at mid-level content as well as at the top level of content as well. I'd think the need for various mechanics like CC should be phased in around level 40ish, but not make it too drastic. Just enough to make groups understand they need to vary their approach to content and not just blindly AOE every group down regardless of the situation. I don't however, want to make runs longer to any great extent or make fights some complicated or complex that groups will grow despondent over tedious content. Regardless, either this needs to be done, or DK players need to have a tutorial added to their starter zone teaching them how to actually tank.