The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:12pm on Monday, 23rd September, 2013:
I usually play MMOs as a healer, because that way people like me and if I don't like them I can passive-aggressively kill them. This means I spend most of my time watching tanks being pounded.
I've seen hundreds of tanks in my time, and as a result have noticed some similarities in behaviour among them, standard across MMOs. Here are some of my observations, for the benefit of those who may be thinking of becoming a healer or those who already are and wish to vent their fury on tanks by stereotyping them. These are just off the top of my head: feel free to suggest more...
- Tanks who position themselves in set-piece boss battles like no other tank ever, yet insist that "everyone does it this way".
- Tanks who have so much health that you just know they have no damage mitigation whatsoever and they're as likely to survive as a house of cards being hit by a bowling ball.
- Tanks who are alts of people who normally DPS, who know the fights backwards as DPS but are utterly clueless as tanks.
- Tanks who are under-geared and over-apologetic. Yes, I know you're wearing armour made of tissue-paper, you don't have to keep saying you're sorry every time I have to scrape you up off the floor.
- Tanks so single-minded that they are oblivious to the presence of the rest of the group. Was someone explaining the fight in chat? Too bad.
- Tanks who are last to be ready for every fight, then start it without warning and complain that no-one else was ready.
- Tanks with less health than me. These are usually among the testiest when they get smashed to pieces, as clearly it's the healer's fault they can be one-shotted.
- Tanks who wear pumpkins or other comedy headware. We can tell you're 13 by your vocabulary, you don't have to wear the uniform too.
- Tanks who say they're going in then don't. They will, of course, complain heartily if anyone took them at their word and stepped into aggro range, because"pulling is the tank's job".
- Tanks who tell the healer how to heal. This is like being rescued following a road traffic accident and telling the paramedics that you want blue bandages. No, that that way up, the other way up. Oh, and put them on using a paint roller.
- Tanks who never say anything, ever, for any reason.
- Tanks who complain that everything is bugged. "It's that bug where the boss resets aggro". No, it's that moment where the boss always resets aggro and you were all out of taunts.
- Tanks who stand in the fire then complain that you can't heal them through it. "I thought you were better geared!". Yes, and I thought you were better-brained. Don't stand in the fire!
- Tanks who are brittle and unforgiving. The slightest mistake by anyone (tank excepted) and they're screeching about how they hate PUGs and why don't people learn the fights. They threaten bitterly to quit the group if people don't shape up. Everyone is immensely relieved when they make good on this promise.
- Tanks who use weapons meant for DPS, which they justify on the basis of some obscure feature they claim helps tanking, but you know the real reason is because they don't have any other weapons...
- Tanks who are certain of falsehoods. No amount of argument will persuade them that there is a simple way to beat this boss that doesn't involve the healer's having to stand in the fire.
- Tanks who are easily confused. If the fight goes how it went in the Youtube video they watched, they're fine. Any slight devaition, though, and they spam every one of their abilities not on cooldown. If they survive, they'll usually compliment your healing, which is sweet of them, given how much they just made you panic.
Not all tanks are vainglorious psychopaths, though. Here are some of the more positive types you see:
- Tanks who never give up. The DPS is clearly incompetent and there's no way we'll defeat the boss before the server is taken down for maintenance next week, but the tank just gets up without complaint, goes straight back in and gets beaten to a pulp time and time again. You have to admire their perseverence. Maybe one of the DPSs is a relative or something.
- Tanks who are an order of magnitude better than everyone else. Did the rest of the group get killed by that earthquake? No problem! The tank will just solo the boss.
- Helpful tanks. Ones who actually teach people useful stuff without mocking them for not having revised a fight as if it were an exam.
- Good, adaptive tanks. Ones who go where they're supposed to go, are hit by what they're supposed to be hit by, interrupt what killer moves they're supposed to interrupt, who self-heal when they spot the DPSs are standing in fire and the healer has to fix them. These are a joy to heal.
Fortunately all tanks think they're one of the last three listed above, so no-one is going to take any of this personally. Probably just as well, they're good at taunting.
Hmm, I really should think about categorising these; there's probably a PhD in it.
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