Friday, January 22, 2010

Great Tanking Shortage: A Solution

The basic problem with tanking isn't that its hard to do, but that it is hard to learn. Not only go you get to fall flat on your face but you get to do it with an audience participation too--including them falling flat on their faces too.

Learning to tank in front of 4 people is hard. Doing it in front of 24 other people takes real determination. I had that kind of moment on the Iron Council. I knew I had to be looking out for blue-stuff and drag the boss out of it, but there were a series of 3 quick wipes that were 100% my fault. The first one was "Oh that is what it looks like!" the second was "Oh! That is how fast I have to react!" and the third was "Oh! That is how far I have to move him!" Even on a ten man you are burning man hours for each trick the tank has to learn by wiping.

The easiest thing Blizzard, or any MMO maker, can do is give tanks an agro generating NPC healer, in a solo instance and mandatory quest. Making it scalable and repeatable would be very good too.

Learning to keep one NPC healer alive is a wonderful, low pressure way to learn to tank--how to get agro, how to collect ranged mobs, maybe even LOS pulling and the like. But the biggest, biggest must is that you do it with an NPC. I bet you it is that simple.

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