World of Warcraft Tanky McTankertons

Last week Crabby McCraberton wrote a WoW Dev Blog on hotfixed changes to threat in World of Warcraft. Basically, they are removing (or working towards removing) threat as a variable in gameplay. They feel there are enough variables for tanks to worry about. This came on the heels of tank-bribery, CC changes and other mechanic adjustments to make tanking less stressful, and hopefully create an influx of tanks.

I always believed the whole idea of threat and tanking to be silly beyond reason, but understand there weren’t many other creative ideas in play to replace it. This of course sparked an article, and mostly-wow-type-level-of-discussion on on whether it was time to “kill” tanking.

I think it is, and have thought so for some time. Whether or not that is actually possible in WoW itself – or if the devs would actually be innovative and do that – is doubtful

My personal experience in MMO’s has mostly been as the healer. I had a natural affinity for it and the challenges that went along the responsibility of making up for players mistakes. On my 17th (or was that 18th?) return to WoW, and my solo nature of advancing my character after the advent of the dungeon finder tool, I decided to give tanking a shot. The insta queues for tanking and subsequent rewards for doing so actually work out wonderfully for a solo-MMO player – assuming that you have the requisite patience, modicum of “skill” required, and thick skin to enter the LFD. My playstyle (30 minutes here and there) meant I could log in, instantly get a group, accomplish something, and logoff. As a DPS toon, my first 30 minutes was spent waiting in the queue.

I came to really enjoy tanking. It fit my style and playtime, and I became pretty good at it. Problem for me was that I didn’t *love* the class I was playing (Paladin) so I levelled up my Druid and tried him tanking. Same result. Loved tanking, not the class. OK, will try levelling my warrior – sigh. Just don’t love the class! So while I spent a few months improving queue times for my DPS/healing friends, I couldn’t settle in on a class liked to tank with.

My favorite class in WoW, heck, even one of ‘all time’, is the Shaman. If I could ‘tank’ with my Shaman I would probably still be playing today. The class style and totems just really works for me.

That puts me firmly in the belief that if you give a player the option to play what class they want to play, and the way they want to play it, those holes may be finally plugged. Just sayin’.

I haven’t been following it closely,but my understanding is that GW2 won’t require the trinity and as such, may be worth picking up – if indeed there is a class choice that resonates with me.



3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. “That puts me firmly in the belief that if you give a player the option to play what class they want to play, and the way they want to play it, those holes may be finally plugged”

    A hundred times this. Let players fill gaps in groups however they want and you’ll see a lot better cooperation and a better game. “Bring the player, not the class” writ large, effectively.

    In other words, if we’re stuck with the trinity (something I keep fighting), let anyone of any class shift to a tanking spec or a healing spec or a damage spec at any time. Keep player tools fluid and see how well they settle into what they want to do, not what they have to do.

    Oh, and I’d love to try tanking with an Enhancement Shaman. I hear it’s still possible in lower levels… I might have to try that on my test account.

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