Got the lights? Mmm, maybe a few more. Okay, enough? Okay. Lights! Camera! Uh, can we refocus a little here. What? The camera’s not quite right yet. Oh. Okay. Tell me when you are ready.
That’s pretty much how I feel taking on the role of a tank with my Alliance Paladin. I’m kind of a perfectionist and if I’m in charge of an instance run, and tanking it I would be, I want that run to be flawless. I feel I need to know every instance, inside out, and every fight from every perspective.
Now I’ve tanked with him in the past. I’ve geared up properly and tanked Utgarde Keep and the group even remarked “Yay, not a fail tank this time.”
And that was before I’d acquired 4 pieces of T9.
I’m getting good gear by running PUGs via LFD as Retribution. I’ve got 4 pieces of the tier 9, so both set bonuses, I’ve got 540+ Defense, I even picked up the tanking sword from Heroic Pit of Saron last night. But my health is a little low still, 31k, and I’m not sure how to correct that. I can tweak some of the gems a bit, and then go from there.
Well, a few more days/weeks running PUGs as Ret and I’ll get the tokens needed for the proper trinkets, cloak, etc.. But then it might not still be 40k, and doesn’t every PUG demand their Tank have 40k or else he’s a failtank? And who wants to be *that* failtank?
My Horde Paladin is level 69 now. I tanked some of the early TBC instances, and did well. But I didn’t want to get into Shadow Labs and worry about instructing an “AOE RULEZ” PUG on how to CC the classroom in SLabs. I’m not sure how patient folks will be with me being careful. So I stopped tanking in TBC at that point and just leveled up some.
So now at level 69 I could start tanking instances in WotLK.
“Wait,” you’re asking. Don’t I already have a Heroics+ equipped Paladin tank? Yeah, I’ve got the gear. Just not the experience using it. So my Horde Paladin is my training bike where I learn the ropes. Once he’s running Heroics then I have an instance runner of each faction.
And at 69 I *could* start running instances like Utgarde Keep. Except I’m not. I have a full set of the crafted cobalt level 70 tanking gear, plus shield, in the bank. Just a bit more xp and I can wear it. I just feel wrong coming to a WotLK instance in TBC gear. So I level up a bit more to 70 so I can wear that gear. Except I won’t out-level the instance, there might be deaths, and that’s on me.
There was this movie where this one character practiced his entire life with a bow. It took place in Japan (maybe The Last Samurai) and this bowman simply practiced. His entire life. And never shot the bow. Simply trained to shoot it perfectly. Something like loosing the arrow would be like losing his soul. Finally, after a lifetime of practicing it, he did finally have an absolute need to shoot it and he did so and it flew true. (Maybe it was Karate Kid.) I guess I feel like that now with my Paladins facing the tanking role. At some point it’s going to be good enough, and off to the races we go. (15 second wait times for tanks will mean it’ll be non-stop action.)
I’d like to say “Perfection be damned, it’s just a game.” But in a world of “end-game content” perfection is an expectation. And the weeks spent learning a single boss in Molten Core has segued into todays kids needing absolute victory/perfection their first visit into the latest most bleeding edge content, or you failed. Heroics is certainly not that. But who brings “second best, good enough” to a match?