23/03/2014

Twitchy Sentinel Syndrome

I realised the other day that I'm up to four tanking alts - only one of them is actually max level, but still... you'd think that I was really fond of tanking or something. I do find it a reasonably fun role to play, if nothing else because I prefer playing support roles over just doing dps, but it doesn't really come naturally to me in the same way as healing because it requires you to take point and be willing to take the lead in groups, neither of which I'm very good at. It doesn't help that impatient group members can make your job a real pain by running ahead and pulling for you, and if you prefer a slightly slower pace of play the way I do, then that's even more likely to happen.

Pet tank and I were musing about this the other day and how it always seems to be the Sentinels/Marauders who insist on jumping in first.


Exhibit A: in the centre of this screenshot we've got myself, tanking Hammer Station on my baby Juggernaut and about to charge into the next pull... except that one of the two Marauders in the group has already leapt in, and the other one is in the process of somersaulting over my head. I suppose it's something about the way the class is designed - Force Leap is fun, I won't deny that, and the way the class maintains buffs, they tend to last just long enough to encourage charging from one pull to the next to keep those buffs rolling.

Most other classes on the other hand have at least some reason to not go in before the tank. Range dps tends to simply lag a little behind due to the nature of their job, and stealth classes that want to start the pull from stealth have to spend some time manoeuvring into position, which doesn't lend itself to quick ninja pulls in quite the same way. Dps Vanguards and Guardians, while theoretically in a good position to start the pull (well-armoured melee, tempting ranged attacks, Force Leap) are probably less likely to do so because they have to prove extra hard that they are dedicated to playing dps - not tanks! - seeing how their classes have tanking specs too and they've probably been exposed to at least a little bit of peer pressure to take up tanking at some point.

Then again, maybe I'm trying to over-rationalise this and there's just something about double lightsabers that attracts hyper players with extremely short attention spans. If I had a credit for every Sentinel I've seen who bounces up and down like a loony even between trash pulls or during boss fights, I'd have a nice little sum.

6 comments:

  1. Since we never pug anything I haven't had to experience this much, though I did see it when I was in the larger guild around launch.

    The force jump ninja-pull isn't the only move that can cause problems. For instance Consular/Sorceror aoe-pushback can play havoc on a poor tank's ability to keep threat. It also messes up my lovely Bounty Hunter aoe attacks but that's another story...

    I've seen this enough in other games (not just WoW), but I rarely play tanking classes myself because of it. I really hate being rushed, which sadly is almost endemic in MMORPG communities. The stress of tanking just makes that feeling stronger, it's bad enough having to try and heal the gogogoers!

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    1. For instance Consular/Sorceror aoe-pushback can play havoc on a poor tank's ability to keep threat.

      Ah yes, that one's very annoying at low levels, but personally I'm more forgiving of this particular habit because at those early levels the pushback is the consular's only ability that does AoE damage and some people just can't help themselves. At least this is a problem that fixes itself as you go up in levels and people get better AoE abilities without a knockback.

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  2. If I had a credit for every Sentinel I've seen who bounces up and down like a loony even between trash pulls or during boss fights, I'd have a nice little sum.

    My boyfriend does this! Like *all the time*. Not only on his sentinel, but on all the characters he has. Especially on the fleet or during raids. It annoys the crap out of me! If you know a cure, you will let me know, right? :P

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  3. Well, to be fair, the Watchmen/Annihilation spec has you using Force Leap as part of your dps rotation. It's pretty easy to get into the habit of targeting a mob and hitting that first to start your attack. Bad habits from leveling and all at, as well.

    Or you could just be old, like me, and accidentally leap in more often than you like to admit. ^_^

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  4. Tanking is a strange beast. I tend to roll healers, and I spend a large chunk of my time in this game pugging away in FP's. When you heal a "less than ideal group," you can derive some extreme satisfaction from the experience... DPS pulling like chimps on crack? no problem, add some more HOTs, tighten up on your energy/mana management, and you're golden. you walk away the healing stud who kept your run alive, healing through others' mistakes. its what you do. but the tank never seems to get that satisfaction. sure, you can guard the crazy person and taunt extra hard, but it never feels like the "getting back to square one and managing the team you have" felling, like it does with healing, its just too much chaos in the scrum.

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    1. This has me thinking, too. As a healer for most of my MMO life, i've learned to live and die by the UI. Healers spend most of their days watching raid frames or what have you. DPS watches for big numbers popping out in special colors or or special fonts or whatever, but what do tanks get? there's no real simplified UI in ANY MMO i have ever played to really give any sort of metric for how to manage their roll. "well i need x stacks of y for this fight," and that's about it. No sounds, no flashing lights, just "oh poop. my healer is dead." As a healer, anyone dead is all your fault (recent experience: maelstrom prison. at coronel daksh and you get the call out to" @*&*&^G heal!" as your group is oblivious to mechanics of the big red LASER IS GOING TO KILL YOU IF YOU DO NOT MOVE.... ugh... FMhealerL). Tanks have no metric to see how they are tanking. Raid frames for visible enemies? a "tank bar" to show aggro? where is this tool kit?

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