Call To Arms Thoughts…
While I was sitting awake last night trying to find the missing drivers for my rebuild of my Aurora I stumbled over to my Twitter feed and saw Boubouille’s post about the Call To Arms addition to Patch 4.1. Drivers immediately fell by the wayside and I started digging into the news.
In summary, a “Call To Arms” will be issued to the most underrepresented roles in the Heroic LFD tool. The goal is to convince more tanks and healers to throw themselves into the queue and run randoms for a chance at money, flasks, cross-faction pets, and some of the rarest mounts in game; the Swift White Hawkstrider from Kael’thas in MagT, Deathcharger’s Reins from Strat, and the Reins of the Raven Lord from Anzu in Sethekk.
As someone who has yet to have any of the mounts drop, I was thrilled about this opportunity. Then I kept reading and rereading, catching on heroic and solo queue in the write up from Blizzard.
One of the reasons I tank is to get my friends through content. I swapped Raz back to Horde as a tank because I knew the Wrath content from a tanking perspective and I figured it would be an asset to get us through the content quickly. Plus, I’m online a lot, either on Raz or another alt, so I’m normally available at the drop of a hat should someone need help with something.
When I run randoms as a tank, I always try to drag a guildie with me. It’s comforting to me to have a second set of eyes on what’s going on, and to be yelled at that I’m not letting the DPS get mana =P I’m still not 100% comfortable with the later Cata content to throw myself in there on my own, and since I haven’t set foot into a heroic yet (still working on getting some better gear and whatnot), that makes me petrified to think that in order to have a chance at a mount or something, I’d need to go at it alone.
In Wrath I was holy on Val–it allowed me to get familiar with the pulls, see what my limits were, and watch my tank (who was my GM and RL) push me to max. The fact that I was given the visibility into the content (I started with Heroics as I leveled with my husband to 80 without instancing) at the Heroic level didn’t really faze me (the content was easy, let’s not lie). My GM was a decent guy and even respecc’d holy to let me try tanking one weekend and gave me pointers as we plowed our way through content. Knowing that I could hold threat with our guild’s best DPS in the party definitely helped me swim instead of sink as a tank.
I haven’t had that opportunity to learn the instances in Cata. My only level 85 DPS is my hunter, who leveled purely via cooking/fishing/JC dailies and Archeology. At level 85, she’s wearing 2 pieces of Cata gear, and she’s unable to even queue for a random because the LFD tool wants to send her to the 85 content, but the iLvl restrictions say “nope!” I think her iLvl is 279.
My Death Knight is also in the wings. Azrael is 83, quickly approaching 84, and will probably be my next character to 85. He’s given me a chance to see the fights from a melee perspective, and my priest Gabriel (also 83) has given me the ability to see healing/DPS. I figure those guys will be how I learn the later instances.
The fact that Blizzard has to bribe tanks (they even say as such in their post) to get us into the queue means that they admit that there is a problem. I’m not sure that bags of loot are the way to correct it. The good tanks will still probably stay away (though some may be tempted) because they tank for friends, for guildies, for ANYONE who isn’t in a PuG. I’m sure there will be a rush of bad tanks and healers trying to get a chance at the goodie bags. And I’m sure that the DPS would rather throw themselves off a cliff than have a healer who doesn’t know how to heal, or a tank who doesn’t use his CD’s when the going gets rough, or whatever it may be.
It sounded like a great idea, and I really do pity the DPS who waits in a queue for 30+ minutes. And now, I’m probably going to feel worse for them getting unqualified tanks/healers working the system, but I think Blizzard needs to analyze why it is that people don’t like to tank or heal.
Is it because people don’t want to shoulder the responsibility? Quite possibly, the queue situation in WoW captures the general American populous who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions or hold themselves responsible for their success or downfall. A tank usually wears that mantle. They carry the success of the group on their shoulders, and they are the first one to be blamed if something goes wrong. Whether it be “the tank didn’t taunt/silence my mob,” whatever the excuse may be, the tank is going to get the blame 9 times out of 10 in a PuG.
A great example of people not accepting their screwups: Take a raid and throw in a wipe. A tank/RL/someone is going to ask “okay, what went wrong?” A tank can’t answer that question because their visibility is limited to boss crotch, a healer’s probably been staring at bars and not their surroundings, and the DPS stays silent. In BC, my husband would immediately pull up Recount to see what killed someone. Or after the raid, I’d load the parse and the officers and I would review what went wrong. But most, if not all, of the time, no one would fess up that they messed up. The warlocks never wanted to admit that they got over-excited with their DoTs on Hydross and messed up with the transition and no one ever wanted to admit that they were standing too close to the healer and caused a multi-frost tomb. The majority of people will stay quiet when they know they’ve done something wrong, and a minority will try to deflect the blame to someone else.
Unfortunately, the minority feels like the majority in WoW. And as long as the majority don’t want to take ownership of their actions, I won’t be tanking in randoms.
Blizzard needs to find a way to give people who want to tank and heal the ability to master their roles without the insulting and generally derogatory collection of people who play WoW. I tank because I’m good at it, because I like doing it. I don’t like tanking for people who go out of their way to make my life difficult, who don’t do what I politely request of them, and just generally treat me like dirt. I was fostered by some very good tanks to help grow and develop myself–I was lucky, and still am. Most players are not, and most players haven’t developed a thick enough skin to be thrown to the sharks that inhabit LFD.
Tanks have guilds that take care of them. Healers have guilds that take care of them. Both of these roles are fairly easy to do, but hard to play at the top of your game. DPS is fairly mindless, but like a tank and healer, hard to play exceptionally well. Most exceptional players are going to be in guilds who do things together. Which is probably why you get the dredges of society in LFD.
I now have my chance to foster a tank in my guild…I’m going to help him understand the content, the adds, and the pulls so that hopefully he can be as successful as I was as I learned to tank. I won’t throw him to the wolves in LFD, and I’ll be there with my Prot spec and gear should it be necessary for me to take over. I’m hoping that by nurturing a tank, I’ll be able to release someone who feels ready for the LFD tool when he hits max level, understands gear choices and stats, and I’ll get to see the content to make myself comfortable. Maybe my end result will be two tanks in the queue, but I think I’ll probably sit this one out.