Guest Post: World of Snarkcraft – Husband Edition episode II

December 30, 2008

A/N:  Jov’s spent the past week-ish without net access, and has houseguests this week as well.  So, due to her complete inability to pre-plan posts, she’s relying again on Mr Jov to provide content for today.

So last time when Jov was taking a break, I wrote you all from the other side of the fence about all those things healers do that drive tanks crazy.  But, thankfully, all is not doom and gloom when it comes to Tank – Priest relationships.  Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to witness (and be the beneficiary of) some good themes that keep the fire burning so to speak.  With that in mind, may I offer you Simple Things A Healer Can Do to Keep The Tank Happy.

  1. Please don’t die. This sounds so cheesy, but as I alluded to in episode 1, we tanks have a huge complex when it comes to healer death.  So, more so than for selfish reasons, please do exercise caution.  We would much rather die first – at least that way we did our jobs – than be standing there with a dead healer on our hands.  Remember always that you are special, and with great specialness comes great responsibility – to choose life.
  2. Show the love. I have stressed that tanks are sensitive.  We understand.  We are the “strong silent type.”  We’re the friend you would come to if you woke up in the morning and found yourself in a raid with 23 other people staring an angry ancient power from the dawn of time.   “We get eaten so you don’t have to” would be written in Latin on the Tanker’s Union sign if we had a sign and enough brain cells left over from our beatings to conjugate an irregular verb in the future perfect tense.  Because really,  a little /hug or /flirt can brighten the spirits, but when it comes from a healer it means so much more.  DPS just doesn’t have the same touch as a healer. The warlock may have a pretty face, but we know that it is just skin deep.  Do I have to mention the self-destructive tendencies?  Seriously, Life Tap?  So not cool.
  3. Remember the Tank off the job too. Whether it is going to a heroic or dressing down on an alt, remember that your tank isn’t just there for raiding.  Nothing shows genuine appreciation more for a tank than getting an invite somewhere from one of their healers.   It can be hard to trust a PuG group as a tank because the cost of failure is so high (and unlike the DPS, we can’t grind out money like it is going out of style), and going somewhere with a healer you trust makes a real difference.  How much of a difference?  Having the healer you know along with you as a tank is like the difference in a fight between having a broken bottle and an AK-47. This is even true if the tank is not on the tanking character at the time.
  4. Try tanking yourself. This is not an invitation to pull agro, but give tanking a try by either respeccing for a little while or trying it out with a test realm pre-gen.  Most tanks (myself included) consider our job to be the hardest in the raid group and we get a big boost out of knowing our fellow raiders have at least tried to walk a day in our heavy plate boots.  Who knows, you might even like it.  But, at least you will appreciate more the challenges of tanking – particularly when it comes to working with your healers. If you haven’t done it, I guarantee you’ll look at your tank differently next time you’re in a raid together.  Perhaps better yet – they will look at you differently too.


  1. *makes a note to /hug her favorite tanks tonight*

  2. @Avonar – I am sure that they will appreciate it! Spread the love!

  3. Good stuff…only I think I’ll appreciate you tanks without trying it out myself. I leave that to you!

    Honestly…I hate Melee. I just cannot stick with it. I feel wrong going toe to toe with anything and I’m thinking the tank running away from the mob would generally be considered bad! So yes I’ll just stick with healing 🙂

  4. @Ayslin – You could always try it on a Death Knight, they have a lot of ranged tanking capacity. Plus, ghoul-buddy is comedy gold.

    Still, something to give you a sense of what goes on in a tank’s brain can be helpful in understanding what happens in those “oh shit” situations. There tend to be specific abilities that only come out to be used when your life is flashing before your eyes, and the impact of those might impact your healing strategy.

    For Example, Guardian Spirit and Shield Wall are both great life-savers, but probably not best to use them at the same time. Or the new Shield Block that will result in both incoming damage mitigation and a big spike in threat. I know I’ll learn to listen for that echoing pound sound if I am ever on the DPS side of things to know when I can really open up.

  5. What the. Tanks have a union? I think its time for Priests to have a union!

  6. I really enjoyed your first post, and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Luckily, I live with my tank and can /hug him just about whenever I want, but there are a few tanks in my life who will be getting a /hug tonight.

    I have flirted with your #4 off and on for quite some time now. I don’t have an 80 yet, but I have a pally in her 50s waiting to see Outland. But I have to say, I worry about my tanking ability – just like Ayslin, my first instinct is not to be right in front of something hitting it, I want to run away and cast a heal. (Who knew it would be so ingrained?)

  7. @matt: did you get the memo we got a union! We get 60% dental and some of the best medical money can buy…abolish disease hello!

    @mr. jov: /hug /flirt, erm heh.

  8. I disagree that tanking is the hardest job. Healers must pay 100% attention 100% of the time because people can die in seconds if they don’t get healed. I will say that healers and tanks are way way harder than DPS however.

  9. @ Ayslin — Having tanked on my druid for TBC, I agree with you, I’d MUCH rather stand in the back. (Of course, enh is my preferred shammy leveling spec. It’s fun getting the dunka-dunka of two maces impacting on Ogre heads.

    @ Matt — We HAVE a union. Didn’t you get the memo?

    @ Anea — Nothing wrong with diving in and just trying it out 😉 At the very least, it’s a pally; if you decide you don’t like it, go holy >.>

    @ Vigil — Back off! He’s mine! 😉

    @ Takka — Having done both, I’d say they’re different-difficult. Healers need to stay on top of things 100% to prevent wipes, yes, but so do tanks. But instead of playing whack-a-mole with healthbars of the group, they’re usually doing it with adds. DPS, however, autoshot-afk-making-sammich.

  10. @Matt – You must be on a “Right to Work” server.

    @Anea – Glad you’re at least flirting with it. Paladin is the tanking class I know least, but all the Protadins I know love it.

    @Vigil – What the woman said. I’m a kept tank.

    @Takka – Most people have said they think tanking has gotten easier with the expansion. I’ll pony up and offer that tanking hasn’t really gotten easier, they just shifted it away from the threat game to the movement/timing game. It’s certainly more exciting, that is for sure.

  11. @Tarsus: Actually DKs aren’t great ranged tanks. We have 2 20 yd blasts every 10 seconds, and maybe a death coil if we have runic power. We’re much better at getting ranged stuff that isn’t immune to Death Grip to us, though 🙂

    As far as difficulty goes, Vanilla it was definitely tanks, BC probably a toss up. Wrath, tanking is much nicer than it was before, although still not easy; the main thing I’ve noticed is that DPS has gotten tougher. The difference between a decent output and suck-and-fail is a lot bigger than it was before; even in blues I see people putting out half as much damage as others, and I’ve had way, way more groups fail for lack of DPS than I ever had before. There’s still less pressure (especially if you’re a wussy ranged), but the amount of effort required to perform acceptably is definitely higher than it was previously. I’ve also seen more instances carried by DPS’rs than I’ve ever seen before, which is fun.

    To me the hardest job in the raid is and remains “raid leader,” aka “babysitter” 🙂

  12. As for the “try tanking yourself” advice… that’s so true. I have only one lvl 80 char, a holy priest, and I never played anything else. I think I started to truly comprehend the difficulty and responsibility of tanking when I MCed Raz’s students in Naxx on the lvl 60 version. Not like that’s half as conplex as “real” tanking, of course. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for people who choose the tanking path rather than the (nowadays) easier path of DPS.

  13. Uh… “complex”*.

  14. Loved the nice summary of the psyche of a tank 😀

    Will have to agree here that blizzard have upped the ante so to speak, on the skills required to play your character (be it healer, dps, tank), and down-tuned the gear part, as most of the lvl 80 blue items have almost the same stats as the first few epics.

    And that you cannot anymore say that a good group is only the one that has good tank/healer in it. You finally need at least some decent people to dps, who don’t afk/autoshot their wayeverywhere 🙂

    Also yes, tanking has become quite a bit more fun, especially so since they let us warriors do some more decent aoe tanking as well 🙂

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