Guest Post: Tanks on Healers – A WoS SpecialOctober 28, 2008
Jov is being lazy this week, and instead of providing a post herself, is pulling from the husband archives to provide you, dear readers, with a view from the other side of the healing story.
Since Jov is on vacation this week I, Tarsus, her loving and devoted husband have offered to fill in here with an exciting guest post. To give you some background, Jov and I have been playing WoW together for over three years now (since March 2005 to be precise, when it became clear after a week of playing that just one account would not be sufficient for the two of us), and for most of that I have played as her Tank. This is because I love warriors as much as she loves priests. I love tanking, she loves healing, and together we’re the toughest part of a PuG to assemble.
This also means that I can offer some perspective from the other side to you, dear healers. We tanks have more feelings than just the searing flames of rage, and though our bodies are made of Steel, Bear Blubber, and Flasks of Fortification, or feelings are not, and occasionally you stomp on them. Or, you know, do a little jig on their burning embers.
Jov and I have a very good understanding on these things, being that after the raid is over and the video card is cooling we still live and love with each other. For you healers who are not married to your tanks, however, I have some “learning” for you.
1) A good tank will never complain about healing. You got that? NEVER. Even if they go without healing and must pop shield wall in order to live long enough to pop a pot because you are doing something wrong they will never tell you how to tell you how much it hurts. They do this because despite the repair bills and corpse runs they know where their bread is buttered. Regardless of this the ancient adage remains true: with few minor and specific exceptions if the tank dies it is the healer’s fault. We’ll just never call you on it, remember that.
2) We hate it when you heal the DPS. We don’t hate them because they can generate more threat than us. We don’t hate them because they’re too busy watching recount to realize they’re about to die. We hate them because when they get healed, chances are a healer is about to die. The only thing that kills healers faster than a tank dying is when you heal the doomed aggro-pulling DPS. The enhancement shaman may be wearing mail, but when it comes down to it they might as well be wearing paper. We try so hard to make sure you live, but sometimes taunt just isn’t enough.
3) Threat does not grow on trees, but healing does. We tanks can stack as much hit and expertise as possible, but chances are we’re still going to miss some of those crucial first hits. This applies double to fights which have aggro drops and transitions in them. Try to keep your heals small and controllable. Big Heals and HoTs right after the tank gets aggro are going to get you killed. We don’t want you to go splat, even if you do things sometimes that make us die a little inside.
4) Unless you are being hit by something, don’t stand near us. In case you missed the memo, being in melee range of a mob increases your threat significantly. Just remember that this also works in reverse though, so for the love of God run towards the tank if you pull aggro. We like to joke about how often the mage blinks away when Mr. Mob comes looking for his blood but every tank knows that healers are every bit as guilty of just standing there and get eaten. We know this sounds like a hot cold thing, it’s not really, we just want you to live.
5) The good tank is a grumpy tank, so please stop complaining about it. It isn’t that we’re failing at having fun. It isn’t that we don’t like epics, or getting hit repeatedly in the face (or shield). We do like these things – that’s why we’re here after all. But when you’re job is to be the meat-shield (and most tanks can’t do much besides that) it’s hard not to take it personally when people die. This goes double for healers. Really. If a rogue dies and the tank still has aggro, does anyone care? No. But if the healer dies, it doesn’t matter what the aggro status is because everyone’s life just got a lot harder. We tanks are sensitive. We recognize this. We see a special relationship between us and the healers. And then you go and die on us, so we are sad. So if we seem a little rough around the edges it’s not because we’re not having fun, it’s because we care.
And so therefore…
6) We are tired of the healer Mafia. We know that we’ve had a cozy relationship in the past and sometimes we’ve made somewhat crass statements that were a bit too “friendly”, but we here down at the Tanker’s Union work hard to bring home the purples and we could really use a break from the threats. Our numbers are dwindling all the time, and what with the shiny foreign undead competition on the horizon, there is just not a lot of love left for the common working tank. Sure, people don’t talks smack about the tank like they do the effete elite DPS classes who can make their millions and afford many fancy epic mounts, but we thought you were our friends. You never hear tanks say they’ll stop saving the healers. A grue eats a kitten every time you think about killing your tank. So if you can’t care enough about your tank, at least think of the kittens.