Monday, September 20, 2010

7 Rules for Pleasing a LFD Tank

While running Maraudon (again) on my pally/shaman duelboxing combo, I ran into the first instance in LFD of someone telling me to go faster and make big pulls.  When I asked him if he was the tank, he decided to be a smartass and start pulling ahead of me.  So, I told him knock himself out.  He was a pally healer and so I thought I would just sit back, eat up 3 times the XP as everybody else, and eventually watch him kill himself, which he did.  With both of my characters being the only other rezzers in the group, I essentially told  him that I was not going to rez him and he would be better dropping group.  Eventually, the entire group decided to vote kick him and we get another healer.

However, this experience made me think back to my main and all the LFD groups that I have tanked with him.  Yes, we all run into the people who wants us to go faster or pull bigger because they want to get through an instance faster.  And I understand the mentality of getting through an instance quickly.  However, speed and efficiency are not the same thing.  Don't believe me.  Remember trying to go quickly through the section up to Loken after the lightning boss when you first started heroic Halls of Lightning.   Those pulls were about efficiency, not speed.  To this day, I see undergeared people wipe constantly in Halls of Lightning because they choose speed over efficiency.

So, whether you are a DPS or a healer, how do you keep your LFD tank happy?  Let me give you the ways to keep a LFD tank happy.

1) Tank Decides the Speed of the Instance - I personally don't care if you want me to pull the whole room in front of the first boss in Drak'theron Keep.  I'm the tank and I'm doing what is good for me and the group.  If  you don't like the speed I'm going, too bad.  You can either drop group and wait for the next queue or you can live with it.  Besides, Wrath instances are nothing like older 5 mans and none of them take long anyway.

2) Healers Must Speak Up - I'm focusing on nothing but the next pull.  If you are the healer and you need mana to heal, you better speak up.  Nothing is worse for me as a tank than pulling and 5 seconds after I pull, I see the healer say in party chat "Mana".  If we wipe because of it, that usually will lead me to starting a vote kick against the healer.

3) Healers Priority:  Tank -> Themselves -> DPS - As the tank, I will protect you, but you better heal me as first priority.  Unless you yourself are at low health, you should heal me first because in any 5 man instance, we can kill the boss as just the tank and healer.  It may take a while, but we can do it.  After that, if DPS is being stupid, you can heal them.

4) DPS Should Not Be Stupid - This is more than the obvious things like don't pull, etc.  This means drop aggro if you grab it.  This means that if you don't have a way to, run to the tank, not away so that I can get aggro back.  Don't stand in stupid stuff like slime puddles, etc.

5) DPS Should Out DPS Tank - Now, I know, tanks cheat a little bit on trash with this because we all have really powerful AoE attacks.  But the tank should not be the number one on DPS on bosses.  Now, yes, I understand some people in LFD are not geared and are trying to gear up.  That is fine and I'm happy to carry those people.  But if you are equal with me on gear, you better out DPS me.

6) Think About the Tanks Needs - More than heals and buffs, but think specifically for each type of tank.  On my druid tank, I just need to get rage.  I can shape shift until I get 10 rage or just enrage and start pulling.  As a paladin, I need mana, at least while leveling.  As a DK, I may need to let my runes regenerate.  Also, if the tank is just starting and you overgear the tank, you may want to wait because you will likely pull aggro.

7) Know the Fights - If there is a fight that will incapacitate the tank for a bit, you better know what to do.  The instance that I'm thinking of is Zul'Farrak.  There are mobs in there that polymorph the tank into a frog.  During that time, don't be insane.  Just wait and survive until the tank comes back and gets aggro.  Also, if you have a way to cleanse the status effect, clear it so that I can continue tanking.  The more you know about the fights, the easier for the tank.


Moonra said...

I'm surprised to see it was a healer that told you to go faster, it's usually a dps that gets on my nerves (I'm getting a dislike for spoiled dps lately)

wait till 4.0 launches and see how many dps nuke themselfs to death instead of to the top of the dps chart... I believe that people are so spoiled when it comes to control and aggro management that very few people even know or remember how a 'controlled' run looks like.

I have a damn nice job to teach people how to act... I'm the healer :) Tanks should do their best and the dps should give them the chance to do so... if not then well... you'll probably die

nice post! It should be in the WoW manual xD

Redhawks said...


Thanks. I was surprised that it was a healer causing the issue as well. DPS are usually the cause 9 out of 10 times.

I have not had a chance to tank a LFD on the PTR yet, but I have heard aggro is tough. Most players are not going to know what to do with themselves. Heaven help them when they have to CC in 5 mans in Cataclysm like they did in BC.

puggingpally said...

Agreed on all points except possibly a little bit the one about healer's mana.

As someone who has done a fair bit of LFD healing - I am trying to work with the tank. I drank olympic swimming pools' worth of water on my way to 80 because I try to drink smart. I'd run up and start drinking as the tank is pulling - usually the few seconds while the mobs and tank are moving into position, and the first few seconds when the tank hasn't taken damage was enough to keep me topped off. But especially in lower level instances (as a holy paladin, ergh) it was all I could do to sprint behind the tank and keep everyone alive, and all of my heals had a loooong cast time. Granted these were usually tanks who wouldn't stop even if I DID ask, but my favourite tanks were the ones who sometimes glanced at my mana bar and paused if they saw me drinking, without me having to beg them. Healers should definitely speak up to let their tank know these things - but a small effort on the tank's part to be at least generally aware of whether the healer is struggling with mana or completely overgears the instance goes a long way. Nowadays with 40K+ mana I don't need to drink and can move as quickly as a tank needs to, but once upon a time I appreciated it!

Redhawks said...


On my druid and DK, I do try to keep a little bit of an eye on it. Right now, since I'm dualboxing a pally/shaman, they need mana constantly. I'm drinking about every 6 pulls right now so that I can hold aggro or DPS. I haven't had much of issue with it on the pally since I'm taking drinking breaks myself.

That is the other thing that I could easily do a whole post on and that is asshole tanks who think they never do anything wrong and immediately blame the healer/DPS for wipes.