I’ve recently been ploughing through heroic instances with my latest level 80 alt, an alliance death knight. Although I do plan to tank with this character, wild horses would not get me to tank a random heroic without being geared first. Care to guess how many groups whined or complained at my largely green and blue geared dps self? If you guessed none at all, you’d be right.
Care to guess how many complaints I saw directed at tanks any time I zoned into a group where the tank was wearing mostly blues (although appropriate gear for tanking heroics)? If you guessed that someone mentioned it or whined every single time, you’d also be correct. And that’s before even seeing whether the guy can play. Even well geared tanks were far more likely to be the subject of complaints than any other member of the random group.
So what you can learn from this is that, players who prefer their runs to be drama free should never tank. In fact, to maximise the odds of not being yelled at, they should always queue as dps if they can.
And the reason that tanks are getting scarcer in LFG is that a lot of people would rather wait 30 mins in a queue than risk being bitched out by strangers. It is that simple. Not only that, but after having one bitchy group, many tanks will not queue immediately again. Instead they’ll either log off, switch to an alt, or queue as dps in order to chill out and recover. If someone bitches at a dps, chances are they will just requeue and hope that the next group will ignore them.
The tanks who are impervious to insults are either very motivated by the rewards (e.g. if I really really want the badges, I’d say ‘screw ‘em’ and keep queuing), have psyched themselves up to give as good as they get, or are naturally impervious. This is also why tanks get a reputation for being punchy – it’s a natural consequence of psyching yourself up for a fight before you even go into the instance.
So in order to get more people to queue as tanks, tanking needs to be the role with the lowest risk of being whined at, not the highest. We should all:
- Complain much more at anyone who queues on a pure dps class. It’s only fair to equalise who gets to be subject to complaints.
- Complain more at anyone who complains at the tank, even if they were justified but especially if they weren’t.
- Go easy on dps hybrids. Remember, they might be in recovery from tank/healer bitching.