I have to make an open plea to all low level DK tanks. I am talking about those ones 58-63 mostly. You know the type I am talking about. The ones just out of the starting area.
They are usually played by someone that rolled a pure DPS class like a Hunter, Mage, Warlock, Rogue but they where just so hard to play and took forever in the LFD system to get a group. So as soon as they manage to struggle to get to 55 with one of those hard classes they decide to roll a super easy hero class.
Note: I am not saying those classes are hard, I am not saying DKs are easy. I am just pointing out their line of thought.
So here is a small list of things those low level DK tanks should know.
1) Just because you can query as a tank doesn't mean you are a tank.
2) Just because you are a hero class doesn't mean you are a tank.
3) You need be blood spec to be a tank.
4) You need to be blood presence to be a tank.
5) You can train Death and Decay at 60, make sure you get it.
6) Hero class does not mean you can solo at level content.
Now to expand a little on other things that really fit for all tanks, not just DKs, the difference is most others that level as tank have been doing it for a long time by the time they hit BC so they have a basic grasp of how a group runs and their role in it. DKs just don't get it because they just came out of the starting area and think they are gods.
1) Lets try not to grab 11 packs at once. You are at level, not over gearing content by huge amounts.
2) If a healer says mana I will explain that foreign language that only sounds like babble for you, it means if you do not stop and let them get mana you are going to die on the next pull of 11 packs you foolishly make.
3) Just because you ran up to the bad guys does not mean you have aggro on them, you need so something to them to generate some aggro and not just look at them.
4) Damage slows down spell casting. Even if it is a non elite that is chewing on the healer and the healer is in no danger of dying they are in danger of not being able to heal you because their spell casting is slowed down. Not to mention they now have to heal you and themselves.
5) Don't think, well it is just some stupid hunter that the pack is beating on. If they are beating on the stupid hunter that means the healer has more work to do. Which means less heals for you and more likelihood that they will run out of mana,
5a) If you and the healer decide to just let the stupid hunter die the next person that mob goes after might be the healer. The sooner you grab a stray off anyone the better it is for everyone.
6) Turn the packs around so their backs are facing everyone. There are reasons for this.
6a) If their backs are to everyone the melee have to run less to get behind them, this means they do more damage and the packs die faster.
6b) If the packs go running they usually run away from you, the person that has their interest. If you turn them around they will run into areas you already cleared instead of running into more mobs.
6c) If something decides to chew on the healers head you will be able to see it.
7) That death and decay thing I mentioned to train, well, use it. AoE tanking is good even if you are single target killing. You need to do something to those other packs to get some attention from them otherwise the person will the glowing hands starts to look mighty tasty to them.
8) If you are having issues or need a few seconds, tell the DPS that.
9) Other classes have taunts, if you are having issues ask one of them to get the attention of mobs going after the healer. A pally can taunt it back and when it gets close you can get aggro back off the pally.
10) You don't always need to run after run away mobs. Pay attention to their life. If they are close to dying and the mage was targeting it, it will most likely be dead in a second. You running after it will only make the other mobs lose interest in you.
11) Know how other classes work and what abilities they have. Going into a pack that you know fears, maybe the priest does not know or does not remember, ask them for fear ward. They will gladly give it to you.
12) You can do some other things besides just damage. Silence, stun, whatever. Don't always think someone else will do it.
There are hundreds of basic tanking rules, low level DKs know only 1. That one is the fact that they run in first. After that it seems like 99% of them have no clue.
Yesterday I did two randoms on my Paladin. One had an unholy speced, frost presence DK tank. Yeap, specced into unholy and refused to switch from frost presence because it is made for tanking, he knows that and we are all idiots. The fact 4 other people told the jerkwad that he refused to change. He is the one playing the DK, it means he knows better. The fact all 4 of us said we had 80 DKs apparently meant nothing.
Needless to say, I ended up tanking nearly everything in Ret. Used my holy power to self heal, that along with the healer healing me was more then ample to keep me up. The DK tank died a few times. Not sure if that had more to do with his not actually being a tank or the fact that the healer just stopped healing him. I did not pay that close of attention to him as I was trying to keep myself and everyone else alive. I do know that if I were the healer I would have stopped healing him too.
The second run we had super tank. You know the type that thinks anything less then an entire room is a bad pull? He would pull entire rooms and we would get them down. In time. Except he always stayed with the huge pack. I am the one that had to keep pulling mobs off the healer and everyone else and bringing them back to him. One good thing was at least when I bought the mobs back to him he actually took them back unlike the previous guy.
This guys problem was he thought the instance had a timer or something. When that one huge pack of mobs started to dwindle down to just 3 or 4 left he would leave them to us and go run to the next pack. Even with the healer yelling for mana he never stopped. The healer left, I would have too. As soon as the sound comes that a new person has been found he speeds off to the next pack. Doesn't even wait for the healer to zone in.
The healer zones in and heals and we down the pack, the healer types, I need to change spec, I am not in my healing spec. Does this matter to the tank? Nope. He takes off as the healer is switching from cat to tree, druid in case you missed that, so the healer now has 0 mana of course but he is off beating on more mobs. I did not go running after him. I sat down next to the healer as the healer sat to drink. I was of the same idea. Let him die, I'll revive him later. The mobs are so far away I do not need to worry about them coming for me.
They stayed alive long enough for the healer and me to get there but the entire instance was like that. Both tanks where DKs, both tanks where different, both tanks sucked in their own special way. That is not surprising, it is rare and I do mean rare, to find an even half way decent DK tank at that level.
The best DK tank I ran into at that level was a level 59. He said at the start of the instance that he does not have death and decay yet, he will be able to get it after a few trash pulls but to please be careful with aggro. We pulled a few packs, he hit 60 and said BRB, went and picked up his new talents and was back in almost no time. The instance went very smooth. That is the only, and I do mean only, great DK tank I have ever seen in those 58-63 span of stupid DK tanks.