In the Burning Crusade, Lath, and other healers I’m sure, would occasionally confess that they preferred healing one tank over another. In Wrath of the Lich King, when I join a group, I like to be healing Protection Warriors over pretty much every other type of tank. Why? Let me explain.
Every unfamiliar tank/group you run with is a risk. And the truth is, in a 5 man dungeon, a good tank makes the biggest difference between a successful, fun filled hour and a horrible, keyboard-bashing series of spirit runs. I’ve played with Prot Warriors, Feral Druids, Prot Paladins and Death Knight tanks. And I like to PuG them in that order.
Protection Warriors are just the safest bet because 99% do a great job. Protection Paladins and Feral Druids can be hit or miss and Death Knights, well, don’t even get me started! I actually get a bit anxious the minute I realise a Death Knight is tanking.
There’s a lot of Warriors in Azeroth
This post was inspired by an argument on the forums about class population and how it relates to buffs/nerfs. The original poster:
[Protection Warriors] have been around and been capable of tanking effectively for longer than any other class… A warrior of four years won’t be as willing to reroll because another class is more effective at tanking and guilds won’t can their long time tank… most of the time.
Warriors as a class fascinate me because I think, more than any other class, it attracts both the brand new player and the very experienced player – and nothing in between.
Take a look at the level 1 Warrior on the character creation screen with fresh eyes for a moment. Lots of armor, lots of health, a guy who can take a beating. He’s blunt, straightforward, simple. He won’t do complex, fancy combinations. This is the type of character that makes sense to the guy who just picked this game off the shelf.
One poster on the thread explains his reasoning for rolling a Warrior:
I rolled a warrior because I like the idea of being the master of melee combat. I love the idea of being the big heavy brawler in the center of the battle, bloody and raging.
One forum poster summed up the class options as:
A sneaky guy, a strong guy, a magic guy, or a bear?
But once you’re in game, it’s a different story. You are a tank, you are a leader. You are expected to take on these roles.
How many people do you know who chose a Warrior as their first class? I can think of 5 people. 3 of them still play World of Warcraft and none play their Warriors anymore.
In the Burning Crusade, “the great tank shortage of 07/08″, many freshly minted level 70 Warriors were forced to tank because that’s what Warriors did best. And often the results were not pretty.
Over the last few years I have watched several of my friends re-roll a Warrior because they wanted to tank, and they chose the original tanking class to do it. These were very experienced players who knew not only what the community expected, but already knew how to play. Two of them turned their Protection Warrior into their main character with Wrath. /wave Cacophany & Expatriate
The leading guild on my server chooses a Warrior as their main tank but they are raiding with the same Warrior tank that they’ve always raided with. You’re looking at 4+ years experience there. Something tells me they’re pretty good at what they do by now.
Most Protection Warriors out there have not been tanking for 4 years. But it takes dedication to say “I’m going to tank, and level a character to 80 for that purpose”. It’s that kind of dedication that makes for a great tank.
Class populations and representation mean very little to me. I hope Blizzard don’t put too heavy an emphasis on “statistics” like these when considering the abilities of a class versus their counterparts.
You could argue that because Priests are in pretty much every 3v3 Arena team, Shadow Priests can PvP just fine. Seems silly when I put it like that, huh?
But if Blizzard want more people to roll Druid and Paladin tanks, to spread out the tanking population across all four classes, they’ll need to convince the new wave of players who wish to tank. If you have a high level Warrior then chances are high that you are already attached to that character.
It’s also somewhat of a problem that you can choose to start a Death Knight and tank at max level a hell of a lot faster than as a Druid or Paladin.
Tanking on Multiple Characters
In conversation a talented Prot Warrior on Caelestreaz, who had been playing for less than a year, once told me that he had leveled several of the melee classes to 80 but was still learning how to play them. I asked him if he enjoyed tanking on each character and he said he had tried it but liked the Warrior the most and “hated tanking on the DK”.
On the flip side my brother can’t not tank and leveled a Warrior and Death Knight to compare them to his first love, his Protection Paladin. Yet he’s never been interested in Druids or Feral Druids. I don’t think he’s ever aspired to be a bear. Ever.