I’m going to quote liberally from Tam’s post here. I think Tam said it all better than I can to begin with, but I’m going to chime in anyway. Because I have nothing else good to post. :P
I’m not putting on my Dumbing It Down For the Casuals hat, or getting elitist about the virtues of things being hard, but overgearing everything – as one currently does what with heirlooms and the ability shift associated with tacking 20 more levels onto the end of a game – does make you incredibly complacent. …The sad thing is, I suspect I could get quite a long way without really knowing all that much about tanking.
The other day I remember thinking a tank was rather squishy, inspected him at the end of the run and realised he was nowhere near def-cap and wearing just about the worst itemized set of ungemmed blues and purples I had ever seen. I know skill is not about gear but wearing the right gear, even if it’s not the best gear, is some kind of indicator.
…Heirlooms compensate a bit at this level but I have no idea from what dank hole of ineptitude the average pre-80 Northrend tank has crawled. And it’s all such banal failure as well – stupid things like massively over-pulling, not controlling the mobs at all, getting knocked back into other mobs, pulling when I’m on a mana break. I resent these wipes because they’re completely unnecessary.
The difference is, I suppose, that nobody is geared enough to compensate, so we’re expected to play like we know what the hell we’re doing. And I can’t work out if it’s laziness, a genuine failure to adapt from running heroics at 80 in ICC gear, or the fact that nobody has really had to learn how to do their bloody job because they could previously rely on rolling over stuff with heirlooms and AoE!lol.
That’s it, in a nutshell. That is why I am not healing pugs on my druid right now. I step into a pug and am effectively slapped in the face with failure more often than not, from tanks who have LOLed through Outlands. That in an of itself is not a terrible thing–every one of us gets a rude awakening now and again and have to tighten up your skills (see: me, tanking heroics on my warrior). I love helping people. If you’re clueless but nice, I’ll do everything I can to make your life easier. But so many of these fresh into Northrend tanks are outwardly hostile for reasons that escape me.
This game is an MMO. That means there’s OTHER PEOPLE playing with you. That means that maybe, maybe, you should extend some small amount of effort in playing with the OTHER PEOPLE so that you don’t make the entire experience SUCK. Why the fuck should you need a GUIDE to tell you that you should not pull while your healer is drinking? Or that if you die when you pull two groups, you should only pull one? Common sense, anybody? Consideration? Situational awareness? Bueller?
How about not doing a job you don’t have adequete gear for? I leveled as a tank, on multiple toons. One of them even treated it as her secondary spec (see: druid). There is tanking gear out there. There are greens of the Champion. There is, in other words, no real excuse for being a paladin and tanking with SP leather. AND pulling while I’m drinking. AND standing in the bosses Casting of Supreme Ouch. I’ve tanked UK when undergeared, it was no fucking joke when Wrath came out and is probably no fucking joke even now.
Go suck it up in the DPS queue until you have the gear, okay? Skill comes with practice, but it’s much easier to learn when you’re not at high risk of dying. Tanking is gear dependent. Please stop trying to escape this fact at the cost of others. Or in the very least…say something in the start and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be surprised.