Random PUGing as a test of tank skill?

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If… – Rudyard Kipling

I had a very interesting conversation with my guild leader last night.  We were talking about a lot of things and I mentioned to him my frustration with using the LFD tool when attempting to working on my tanking.  We talked about several things and he was talking with me about who would be good to help with that, when he stopped and told me to use the LFD tool.

I was a little boggled at first, but I continued to listen.  In that insane environment, when there are so many folks only care about badges and topping the meters I am supposed to try and get and hold aggro.  “Because if you can do that there, you will be more than ready to handle anything that goes wrong in a progression raid.”  The conversation went on to other things and that point kind of faded into the background. 

But this morning, that point popped back into my head.  Could I be a good tank in that environment?  Could I thrive in the chaos?  You know, that’s might be something I want to work on.    I don’t think it would quite work in a DPS or healer capacity due to the over gearing even on many of the heroics, but this could be an amazing tank training, if you have the patience and the hard-headedness to stick with it.

If you can hold mobs when all about you
Are pulling aggro and blaming it on you
If you can keep the mage alive when others doubt you
And the healer and the kitty and the rogue too

Yours is the boss and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Tank, my son!

Blatantly ripped off by me.


8 Responses to “Random PUGing as a test of tank skill?”

  1. Dracomage Says:

    Mr Feral…

    I have been having similar issues with my Bear-tank. My main tank (Paladin) is much better geared, as well as I played her from level 60 as Prot spec. I know her Paladin tanking abilities.

    Now the Druid I respecced to Feral-bear from Feral-kitty, a couple of weeks prior to 3.3’s release.

    And I am still learning my way around Bear tanking techniques. (My Resto set is much better.. 😦 ) Due to over-eager (and ilvl 232+ geared DPS, I shelved tanking on the druid until I get all 4 T9 pieces. She is currently running random heroics as heals, while I collect her emblems to buy the tank gear.

    Once she has all 4 pieces, I’ll go back to tanking, and then use the emblems for her Resto set.

    But I agree with your guild leaders advice. If you can tank in the chaos called random PUG heroics, raid tanking is a breeze (because people listen and follow directions).



  2. Chawa Says:

    /cheers to R.K’s quote and your brilliant rip off!


  3. Darsonsind Says:

    To Feral:
    there are couple situations (as a bear tank) you could not hold aggo.

    Example one: Hunter
    If a hunter placed a explosive trap on mob group and casted volley, (assuming the both hunter and druid gears are at the same equivalent ilv), the hunter will draw aggo.

    Example two: Warrior
    If a warrior WW on a mobs, 99% (in my case) the warrior will pull aggo.

    Example three: Mage/Lock
    Well known groups of high threat generated like to make mobs touching them without hesitation.

    Example four: Noobs
    Well known groups of ignorants (some called D-bags, etc)

    if you saw those people in the party, pay EXTRA attention. Otherwise, i will suggest you adapting “you aggo you tank” for their lesson for not letting your tank to do the job tank should do

    Darsonsind of Elune


    • feralinstincts Says:

      But that’s the point of the exercise, trying to do a good job in these extreme scenarios. Is it going to be pristine beautiful tanking? Hell no! But if you can consistantly keep aggro most of the time in rough scenarios, keeping it in the epic fights should be cake in comparison. It’s about training situational awareness and truly learning all of the tools at your disposal.


  4. Random Poster Says:

    If you want a true test of how well you are holding aggro on multiple mobs head to HoR. If you can hold it there you are fine for every other instance out there. I say this not only because of the waves of mobs but since hardly anyone in a PuG seems to actually attack the target the tank is hitting as a primary, or use CC (things that make that dungeon muchmuch easier) you will be running all over th place keeping mobs on you. There is not a single other instance, raid or 5 man where you have to worry about so many diverse types of mobs. You get your ranged, your healer, your melee and your tank mobs on every pull.


  5. Random Poster Says:

    I also meant to post that while I am not nervous with my bear tanking even though I am mainly a cat (I used to tank in TBC and did some OT up to Ulduar). I am just as nervous as you are about taking my fresh new DK tanking in to instances to tank even though he is in 226ish gear. Like you its because I don’t want to try and learn in a situation where everyone else is expecting super fast runs, the way I have avoided doing that so far is one, learning to tank in the non heroics as it gives you more room for error. Even though you are likely to outgear these instances you can get basics down such as your threat rotation and use of your cooldowns. And second I tend to subject my fellow guild members/friends who are more willing to be patient with me to my learning runs 😀


  6. Bear Pelt Says:

    I’ve have long been fearful of tanking for PUGs except in a very select few instances I know very well. But even then, people think that because of my gear’s high ilvl (hurhurr GearScore) that I am a ‘leet’ tank. Fact is that most of my bear gear is my kitty gear (that’s my MS) and I have met a few puggers who get impatient with the speed I go at and decided to be verbally abusive about it. I will tank for my guild in 10man raids because we know what our roles are, but PUGs are really stressful to a nervous bear.

    So I had enough and stopped tanking 5mans for a period of time.

    Recently though, my RL decided to force it upon me again to run his alts through the random heroics. As apprehensive as I was about having to group with strangers with my not-so-leet-tanking, having at least 1 guildie in the group softens the blow a little and can be seen as a weening process. Heck, I even just successfully tanked Heroic Halls of Stone 2 nights ago!

    (Granted I never tanked Halls of Stone ever since a bad wipe when I was starting to pick up tanking with guildies some months back)


  7. Alan Says:

    Works well for healers, also. My wife swore by it; one of her proudest moments leveling up was a ST PUG in which 2 players went one way and pulled a pack of mobs, 2 went another way and did the same, and she kept both up. I’ve also had some of my most intense and creative healing moments in the random heroics. Where whether even the overgeared can sometimes pull way more than they ought to.


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