Starting Out – Why Do I Tank?
That’s always a very good question! Why do people do what they do or rather why do you play the class you play. So its interesting to know why do I play the class role I play in the way that I play it. So Galo, why do you main as a Tank and why do you still play one?
You know there really is not a short or quick answer to that, their are many perspective to that. In my opinion and just my opinion only I just believe what or how a person plays their class says allot about their innate character, their inner self. I like being the great protector!
I guess if you cast WoW aside I’ve always love the idea of being the humble solitary Knight or a Warrior in heavy armor willing to go to the ends of the earth on a quest. Always like the seeing or reading about a character with a finely gloss hardened shield and a fine blade of sharp cold steel going toe to toe with a foe. Other time its charging into battle leading his army or comrades. I like being a Leader.
I guess I’ve watched too many movies growing up and wishing I lived in some far away land or mystic realm and being that brave lone Knight. Brave enough to face fear itself and still charge bravely into battle facing the unknown. Its hard at times to say exactly what it is that drive some men. I’m a Knight that just won’t quit.
But I’ve always liked Epic movies of noble and valiant Knights going into epic battles or brave skilled Warriors on legendary tales of adventure. Too many Conan movies or Clash of the Titans movies and films like those I guess growing up.
Uhh What’s a Tank?
When I first started playing WoW, I had never really heard of WoW. What the hell was WoW? A friend had told me a little about the game and knew I like games like Final Fantasy for and games like that. So when I decided to play WoW after glancing over the classes I was looking for a melee defensive player that wielded cold steel and shield. Playing high damage casting classes just did not appeal to me much.
My very first character was a NE Warrior I played on the 10 day trial right as BC was launching that I leveled to lvl 18. I enjoyed hearing the sound of raw flesh pounding and slamming into a shield and being toe to toe on a mob and seeing the white of its eyes while I sliced and diced it to pieces. Its was fun. I had no idea what a Tank was in WoW. I was learning the game as I went along on the 10 day trial and found it fun.
Choosing My Class/Spec
So after a while during BC launch the trial period was expired. Later I finally did sign up for a paying WoW account. After glancing over the classes again it was a choice between playing a Paladin or a Warrior. I liked the ideals of the Paladin class description more. It fit my idea of being a Knight or a Holy Knight or Crusader and a class I innately identified with that had high survivability and was a great melee fighter that carried a shield and sword. He wore heavy armor and could survive devastating enemy attacks.
But really in the end what make me choose, was something in the class description about the Paladins being the ultimate in survivability and highly defensively melee fighter. The real key word there for me was defensive melee fighter. The other reason I considered the class was that it had support abilities in a group if needed with ability to heal or self heal.
Those things appealed to me more than being a Warrior as in mindset I was also a solo player. I wanted a class that could level completely alone, was hard to kill, had good survivability with group abilities if I needed to. I choose my Paladin for everything defensive and protective about the class character. Having the ability to self heal as a Paladin was a plus. What greatly appealed to me was the ability to solo with high survivability and or support my group as a heavy defensive character.
So Galo you rolled a Tank then. What the hell is a Tank? Back then, I had no idea what a Tank was. It did not say a Tank that in the Blizzard class description of the class that I can remember. What I rolled was a defensive character. Only later in late lvl teens did I find out what a tank was.
I didn’t care much for being an Alliance. Playing the Evil side sounded more fun. It sounded fun to be a Magic Energy addicted Blood Elf for a race addicted to Magic Energies. Since Horde Blood Elf’s were Paladins that was just the obvious choice.
Protection Paladin Who?
I’ve only ever leveled my character entirely as a Protection Paladin. That was just obvious to me. After all I rolled the class to play melee defensive. I’ve never ever spec Holy nor Ret ever. I play my class specialize in role. And though many gave advice in the early days what was the fastest spec to level right when BC was starting I stayed and leveled entirely Protection. Back then it was just about unheard of to be a Protection Paladin at very start of Burning Crusade few days after the new expansion. Everyone I saw was either Holy or Ret.
I barely knew anyone on my server that was spec as a Protection Paladin, AKA Tank spec. But hell I had no idea what a tank was or what a Tank did. I just knew I like being in the mob face and having the mob beat itself to death on my shield while I whacked at it and laughed and grin the whole way. Like said I played WoW solo and wasn’t till almost level 20 I knew what a Tank was or what one eventually did. And when I did I knew I was playing the right character to do so.
That Shinny Guy
The first Protection Paladin I ever saw was a lvl 70 who had already hit the lvl cap standing around in Org looking all shinny. So I looked at his armor and admired all the defensive stats on his armor and wondered how he got all that gear. I though to my self WoW this guy must be real tough to kill by mobs and such or in a dungeon. He probably raided and sure he did. But I had no notion of what a raid was.
What’s a Instance
The first time I heard of RFC I was already lvl 20, what’s RFC? The first time I heard of Shadowfang Keep I had no idea what it was or why I needed to go there. I was a noob I guess. I was just enjoying questing and playing solo. Yet another reason I had no idea what a Tank was either. I was just playing and learning the game as I went along. First time in Shadowfang Keep we had 2 tanks as well.
Hey, Get some Skill!
It wasn’t until I met that first shinny Paladin with defensive stats on his armor did I ask him how to be a good Protection Paladin did he take the time to give me some advice for my spec and told me to get good fast 1H and good Shield. Learn to Instance, be good in groups and and learn to AoE in a few levels. Umm, “Hey Sir, whats A.O.E?” He gave a brief idea of control fighting lots of NPC’s or mobs all at once. I was still confused what he meant. So he told me to “google” it. And I did.
You know the fact that I followed that advice and did a google search is the one reason your reading this blog. Because If I never did I probably wouldn’t have found the very few WoW blogs their was back then. So only a handful of Paladin Blogs back then if that. So I searched everywhere on how to AoE tank. Reading blogs along the way found our more about my class and learned how to be better at my class. In time I started my own blog to capture My Life and Times.
I’M Not that Slow.
So I leveled what many called slow but it didn’t seem that way to me. I took the time leveling and became damn good at AoEing everything. It was fun. Watching everything die was fun. I was enjoying my Spec, and my class. I enjoyed hearing mobs slam into my shield.
I enjoyed outlasting mobs in a fight running into camps. I found being hard to kill on physical mobs, all fun. I made a game out of killing mobs and seeing who would out last who with elites or many groups for fun. I did a few instances leveling but not many. But I practiced at it tanking on being a skilled in my spec and roll.
King of the Grind
Much did I grinded learning how to do my seal rotations or handling groups of mobs. I found that fun. I once slaughtered raptor grinding almost 2 levels in Un’Goro on raptors all in the name of just having fun. All that was my training. I wasn’t worrying about speeding my way to lvl 70 to get to some unknown appointment.
I was just having fun playing my Protection Paladin and beating the heck out of anything that crossed my path. It was always fun killing stuff in masses while other people passes by to stop and watch thinking your in need of help. That was before AoEing was really popular. I enjoyed being like a porcupine fish, will kill you for messing with it due to its defensive mechanism.
Building that Resume of Experience
Along the way approaching lvl 70 it was time to re-gear for instancing and beyond and build up more group experience. So I ran PuG Instances until the ends of the earth for everything. I was good at it. I enjoy being the guy up front talking trash to the mob or the boss. I enjoyed the idea of protecting my comrades with my shield while they kill the mob. I enjoy being that line in the sand between the mob and my group.
Tanking for me is FUN. In more ways I enjoy it for being tactical in role playing tactics and strategy with the mob or bosses. I like figuring out which mob I’m going to take out first, how or why to make it easier on my group. I find that all fun vs just doing damage to it as a dps.
Tanking for me is All Tactical game play. I could care less about high yellow or while numbers because for me its not about seeing high numbers. Its about beating on the mob and making it hurt. Its about breaking the knee caps and putting a hurt on the mob. For me that’s the fun. But overall I enjoy protecting my group or my comrades.
Its like being the great protector protecting my group of friends. Its why I can enjoy playing my class. Its why I can do it day in day out while trying to progress and not get bored of it. Its why I can sometime fail, get up, reanalyze things and try again another tactic. There is something about being all alone up front. All alone with the mob fighting with sharp cold steel and hardened shield in hand seeing just who will fall first.
The thrill for me is seeing the other guy, mob, NPC fall over first while your left standing with a smirk on your face knowing I went the distance and I broke your knee caps. Going toe to toe at arms distance and in the end your left standing as that line between the mob and your comrades. Playing defensive offense I guess is why I love to tank in no simple words. Maybe I should say its a big reason why I’m a Dedicated Tank.