The recent change to tanks being the most in demand role for the LFR from its original tanks having longer queue time than damage dealers has really made the LFR hell lately.
I queued up as a healer the other day and waited in queue for an hour and twenty minutes before I said "fuck it" and just quit. Logged off the game, did not even switch to another character because I had no desire to play any more.
The thing is that I was left feeling like I wasted an hour and twenty minutes of my life. I could have done the island dailies on three characters in that time. I could have done the 80 valor heroics on four or five characters in that time. I could have done the first scenario on every single 90 I have in that time. I could have leveled one of my alts. I could have went on my horde hunter to play the auction house some because he needs a little cash flow. I could have quested on my healer instead of sitting there in healing spec while waiting doing absolutely nothing. Okay, that last one is my own fault, but I blame blizzard for all the others.
See, the thing is that after wasting that time in queue I felt like I was screwed over by the game. I lost all that time playing in an attempt to play. I even put in a ticket about my previous two hour wait on a DPS and believe it or not have a GM respond quickly, while I was in this 1 hour healer queue. I spent a good 15 minutes with them complaining about the LFR issues and all they could say was, I agree with you, go post it in suggestions and maybe something can be changed.
I have no desire to post something in suggestions. I have no desire to post anything on the official forums. Who would ever post anything on them? They are horrible and I told the GM as such. I said, perhaps if your moderators did their job and banned all the trolls so when people posted stuff it gets discussed instead of being derailed off topic near instantly. But until this game starts to give a shit about their customers, I have no desire to waste my time making suggestions that will not be read or end up locked and closed because it went off topic thanks to trolls the game does nothing to control.
Needless to say it was an interesting conversation. The GM was polite and as such while I did complain I was polite in doing so. When all was said and done I thanked them for their time and letting me vent a little bit. They said, any time, my ideas were good and I really should consider posting them. They assured me it will be read. But as polite as the GM was, how understanding they were with me being upset, a much as they agreed with nearly everything I said, I can not and will not believe them when they say my post would be read. Sorry, once bitten twice shy. I hate talking to a wall. Posting a suggestion on the blizzard forums is effectively talking to a wall.
But part of what we discussed was the tank issue in the LFR. I mentioned that making them so one tank can do them might help with a few of the issues. I also mentioned that making them a little less damage intensive on that one tank could help as well. They should be designed so a tank at 480, the minimum for the ToT ones, can easily solo tank them even if they are not a master of using their cooldowns.
My theory behind this was four fold.
Fold one. You can do the LFR with only 10 decent damage dealers. I am not even talking good, just decent. You can do the LFR with only 4 decent healers. I am not even talking good, just decent. But you can not do the LFR without two good tanks. Yes, good tanks. If a tank that was only decent walked in they would be street pizza in a matter of seconds leaving one tank left to tank it. And even if the healers were able to keep that one tank up it would drain the healers so the rest of the raid might take the short end of the stick by dying because a tank that was only decent was demanding all the healers time.
Fold two. 480 healers can go in there and have a bit of a challenge. If all 6 healers are at 480 and none of them are at exceptional skill levels the LFR can be extremely challenging. But it would be doable. Same goes for DPS. If all the damage dealers were at 480 and none of them were exactly what you would consider good, as long as they knew how to stand away from avoidable damage, which in and of itself is asking a lot, you could get it down. It would be pushing it, but it could get done.
But a tank in 480 gear with limited skills will get destroyed. If both tanks are in 480 gear and both tanks are lower on the skill ladder, it is wipe city. Even if the tanks do have some skills, when placed with all 480 healers those healers would not be able to keep them up. When placed with all 480 damage dealers, the fights would go on longer than their cooldowns could last. So while 480 healers and damage dealers can do it, 480 tanks really can't if they do not have better people backing them up unless they were exceptional tanks and lets face it, seeing exceptional in the LFR is rare.
Fold 3. Back to the you can do it with 10 DPS and 4 healers. You can't do it with 1 tank. People in other roles can slack off but people in the tank role, there is no room for error. You both need to be good and there is no where to hide. All fights should be capable of being one tanked for this very reason. If you have two good tanks, awesome. If you don't, at least with one you can still get it done. One tank fights in LFR are not a suggestion. They are a requirement. There is a difference.
Durumu is the perfect example of this fold. If many of the damage dealers fail at the maze you can still down it. Even if a few of the healers die you can do it but it is a bit harder. If both tanks die it is a wipe if they are not picked up ASAP. It can not be done without them and even if one survives if that one is not a paladin that knows how to solo tank it, it is a wipe. How come everyone else gets a free pass but the tanks don't?
Fold 4. Knowing the fights. You can go in as a damage dealer and wing it. Kill the thing the tank is tanking, avoid stuff that hurts, and follow any friendly, or no so friendly, instructions that someone will yell out like kill the adds first. As a healer your job is the same it is on 99.9% of the fights you will run into. Heal people. Dispel what you can. Avoid the avoidable. But tanks, they need to know what they are doing. If they don't the fights can be hard or downright impossible. Don't know when to taunt, wipe. Don't know how to position a mob, wipe. Don't know when to use your cooldowns, wipe. So many chances in the fight for a tank to make a mistake that can wipe the raid if they do not know what they are doing. Once again putting the weight of the world on their shoulders. The least they could do it let these be one tanked with the second serving as a back up.
Could this all be the reason we see so few tanks? I think so. In part at least. I know I will not tank them without another tank with me. If I do not have someone to work taunts out with I do not bother or even consider entering the queue.
No matter what goes wrong it is the tanks fault. Tank dies three times in one fight. Tanks fault. Okay, it sure as hell could be, but it isn't always. The problem is that the other players can not tell the difference between a tank dying because he is a bad player or a tank dying because the other tank is a bad player or the tank dying because the healing core is bad. Most people see a dead tank and it is the tanks fault. Sometimes it will be called the healers fault and rarely, as in I have never seen it except for when I had to point it out, it is the other tanks fault.
Last boss in HoF when the tank got controlled. Bad tank everyone screamed. I said, he did fine, but if the other tank does not taunt he gets controlled. At least when I tank on my druid, a night elf, I have a trick that I use for situations like that. Its called shadowmeld. Yes, it works actually. Sometimes. But if the other tank is not second on threat the melee start to die a horrible death. Sorry. It is me getting controlled and a sure wipe or me doing this and hoping the other tank gets a clue and we have a chance to still win. Either way, I will do anything in my power to force the other tank to do their job. Most people do not have that luxury.
Now lets change the tone of this gripe post from on tanking end of the spectrum where I sympathize with them to one where I bitch at them.
And this is another issue. People are always yelling at the tanks. Who wants to play under those conditions? I sure don't. And while I am about to bitch right here be assured I have never once said any of these in raid, the tanks have enough asshats to deal with, why add my two cents to their already full plate. But I will complain to my guild mates on vent. And boy oh boy can I complain when it comes to bad tanks.
I never noticed it as much until I started to melee more when it comes to the damage dealer aspect of dealing with tanks. As range I oft times never even notice if the tank is tanking a mob in a bad place or facing a bad direction because it does not effect me as much as it would a melee, if at all.
As a healer I always knew some of the bad tank issues. Have you ever wasted nearly your entire mana bar trying to keep a tank up on the pull? I have. Have you ever needed to always heal every bit of a big move that is easily noticeable and they could have hit a cooldown for it? I have. Have you ever had to heal a tank that just stood in the bad because he thinks he is the tank and he doesn't need to move? I have. Healers can pick out a bad tank in one pull most of the times. But their issues are not the same issues melee have, poor poor melee. At the mercy of the tank.
It seems like the break down is something like this. 10% of random tanks are good or great. 60% are decent as in there are some issues but most you can deal with. And that last 30% make you want to reach through the monitor and strangle them to death. Don't tell me you never felt that way. I know you have. Admit it.
As a melee a lot recently I have been experiencing that more and more. The biggest issue in the LFR with the bad tank issue is Lei Shi in terrace. Tanks spin her around like a top. What are we playing? Spin the bottle. I don't want her to kiss me, she hurts when she kisses. Then you get the healers yelling at the melee for taking avoidable damage. I have yet to die from it, but I have taken a fair deal of damage from it that I shouldn't have and none of it was my fault. It seems like they do not realize that it is not only them that takes that damage when she splashes. Anyone in front does. So they just spin her around like crazy. Stop it.
Or how about the tanks that like to kite Primordius as if he catches them he will kill them so they move at 100 MPH making it nearly impossible to keep up. It is not the moving that makes it hard to keep up. If you can not DPS while moving it is a "learn to keybind and move with your mouse" issue. But it is the fact that they do not move in a circle, they move all over the freaking place. If they moved in a set motion it is nice and easy to keep up with them but when they are all over the place like a drunk driver I just want to go to the middle of the room and sit down. Why even try when half the time I am out of range because I can never tell where the hell they are going to zig or zag next. With a good tank that moves in a set pattern and motion I consider Primordius basically a patchwork fight when you are transformed and because of that I love it as melee, I can really work my rotation. When they are bad tanks however it goes to the other end of the spectrum pretty damn fast.
Or how about those lovely bosses like Stone Guard or Lei Shen that love to drop their puddles in melee all the time and the tanks decide it is not worth moving them. Maybe, just maybe, they will move it so they can stand in a safe place which I am sure the healers are thankful for but what about us melee that need the mobs back? Sure we can attack from the front if there is no cleave effect from the boss. But it is not ideal. And we are trained by the nature of our role to attack from behind. Are all tanks clueless in the game today? Even the seemingly great tanks I have seen in the LFR otherwise all seem to love to park the bosses ass in the bad. Every. Single. Time. Do they get a manual that reads "how to fuck with melee" or something because my tanks apparently missed that book.
Tanking is like real estate. It is all about location, location, location. How come every single tank that runs in the LFR has no clue how to position a mob?
So sometimes when people yell at these tanks they deserve it. Many times however, they do not. I just DPS from the side, or front if the boss mechanics will allow, but it does bother me too. I just do not yell at the tanks in raid. I might whisper them nicely, but never call them out in public.
Maybe that is because me, unlike most that play the game, understands that for everyone else the LFR can be fun but for a tank it is always work. I think that is a huge key to why they are not entering the LFR as tanks. They want to play too, not work.
Maybe blizzard needs to look at that a little bit when they try to address the issue with the long queue times. Make the LFR more tank friendly and maybe more tanks will tank. Making it a little more idiot proof can't hurt either. Making all fights designed to be one tanked would be a start.
I bitched, I complained, I moaned, I feel better now.
So patch day is here, do you think we will see more tanks because of the off spec rolling or fewer? It could go either way.