Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leading or not

It seems that 3.3 patch has incited the blogosphere to a new rage again, with most of the posts being very enthusiastic about two things in the patch: LFD and Icecrown.

Naturally, as those were the main things the patch introduced.

I'm going to delve on the LFD tool a bit more. Tarsus of Tanking for Dummies wrote about the tanking in LFD and listed things why majority of the people do not want to tank in LFD tool. He based this on the fact that tanks get grouped in seconds, while even healers have to wait for a while, at least. The list was as follows:

  1. Playing a tank is more expensive in terms of gold than other roles.
  2. The learning curve on tanking is steeper.
  3. There are less “slots” open for tanks doing the end-game.
  4. Encounter Design makes you feel “fragile”.
  5. No one wants to failknight tank or look at the big bear butt. 
And I have to agree on almost all of them. On the last one I'm not as sure, but then again, being a tank mainly I don't have the luxury to evaluate other tanking classes except our own guildies and by far the big butted gear IS the tank I will refer to in my performance. Granted, our experience both in game and in tanking differs quite a lot... 

But then again RJK from The Savage Coast wrote a nice recap on his experience as a tank in LFG and as it happens, his 3rd point strikes a chord in me: I am a careful tank, too. Or at least I try to make sure things work and everyone is prepared. Of course, there are deviations from the rule, like the wipe I caused in PoS by charging without checking the healer's mana... but most of the time I am way too careful, to the point of frustration especially in LFD PUGs. However, I'd rather be safe than sorry and I have to refer to one phrase that has stuck into my mind from a blog post sometime ago. I don't remember what blog it was, but it had this rule on fast:
Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. Slow is fast.
So if I prepare and move one step at a time, I will end my job faster than hurrying and fumbling from the beginning. And boy is this hard to understand in some PUG's.

Due to my (in)experience as a tank -overall- I don't trust my judgement in heroics I've run once or twice with vastly over geared guildies. This tends to lead into problems in PUGs in which the leadership is bestowed on my shoulders: I don't want to lead if I'm not confident on what I'm doing. This leads to the post Larísa from The Pink Pigtail Inn wrote about taking leadership in a PUG. Especially this I find both familiar and very comforting (to know I'm not the only one thinking like this):
I rarely try to take the leadership when I’m doing group activities in WoW. It isn’t because I’m afraid of leading other people; I think it’s rather because of my lack of deep knowledge in other classes and game mechanics. I’ve always thought I would make a poor instructor to tanks and healers what to do, whom to heal or which mob to charge, taunt, whatever, so I’ve happily left those decisions to others, more experienced players.
Instead of asking the question Larísa is asking about how to take leadership, I would like to ask how to politely decline from leading? I've stated directly in the PUG's that I'm in this dungeon for the first, second or even third time just to make the rest of the team to understand that I really don't know the instance so well. But how about the new ones? Is it reasonable to have a group in which healer and/or dps have ran through the dungeon and the tank hasn't, and the leadership is put on the inexperienced tank?

And why does it always have to be the tank leading? Wasn't the marking capability given to all in the party?

But for me the best part of the LFD system has been the fact that I get to work with different kinds of groups: some work, some not. The wiping is a monster to me, which I try to avoid the best I can, so I'm learning new things from my class and my play style. I learn from one challenging run more than several too easy ones.

The badges are an additional bonus as long as I can do my job. Not as a leader, but as a warrior.