Ah. New LFG Tool. Your praises have been sung by many. I have, myself seen the beauty of it’s well designed features. The obvious rewards, both potential and actualized. I could go on…
But I am a tank.
See, it has been brought to my attention that there are certain discrepancies in demographics, which, shall we say, make the LFG tool less than useful for certain other group roles. Like, say, everyone else.
You may recall, way back when Wrath of the Lich King was being first introduced, that there was a general goal stated. Something to the effect of, “Tanking Should be Fun.” This generous offering was generally well received because, frankly, there was a pretty rough shortage of tanks through most of Burning Crusade. You would think that, since we’ve been up in Northrend for a while, we would see the fruits of these labors.
Enter, the LFG tool. The numbers we see from the tool are far more excellent that previous numbers. Previous numbers might at best tell us only if a given body is specced and geared for tanking. The LFG tool tells us something much more difficult to quantify, namely what a body wants to do, given a choice from all the options they have available.
I think the wait time, or lack of one more specifically, for tanks in the tool tells us something – and that something is that the vast majority of people don’t want to tank.
I, personally, think that the reasons for this are obvious, but feel free to set me right if you disagree:
- Playing a tank is more expensive in terms of gold than other roles. For me, this is about repair costs. I also get battle rezzed a lot, which while stroking to the ego is deadly to the pocketbook. This doesn’t get better over time, it only gets worse the more you tank.
- The learning curve on tanking is steeper. Mastering the basics of most classes is pretty easy, but being a good tank, let alone an excellent tank, is downright rough. There also is no “good enough” level for tanking, probably because no one really has a good sense of what is needed from the tank in terms of skill.
- There are less “slots” open for tanks doing the end-game. Two tanks per 10-man raid. Three tanks per 25-man raid. Simple math here folks. Axiom isn’t even looking for tanks and we must get an application for a Prot-Pally a week.
- Encounter Design makes you feel “fragile”. How many times can you get one shot before you begin to think your status as the all invulnerable and impossible to kill Juggernaut is all a lie? By my count, it’s about Two. Or, rather, maybe one if it’s not even a boss. Gormok was bad enough. But these fuckers? Next thing you know I’m going to get walloped by a trash mob for 80k.
- No one wants to failknight tank or look at the big bear butt. I can totally sympathize with bear tanks. I wouldn’t want my view to be obscured by my giant ass all the time either. But most of all, I think that the greatest contributor to this trend is the failure of Death Knights to be the tanks they were supposed to be. To be fair, that’s because they got the nerf bat in a serious way, but really: I saw one for the first time since 3.2 Thursday, and that was only because our normal Prot Paladin was on vacation. I’m thinking there must be this bar in Acherus where all these guys sit around, drinking fermented ghoul blood and reminiscing about Ulduar when they were “the the kings of the mountain.”
In any case, what is the lesson that can be taken from this business? If you need a group at 3 am on a weeknight, and you need it in less than 10 seconds… play a tank. At last it pays to be a masochist.
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