In the crazy world of PuGs we’re used to new stereotypes appearing.

We’ve had the Go Guy: half the party is dead, but if the tank doesn’t pull the next pack he will. Even if he’s the healer. GET BACK HERE AND REZ!

The slow tank. “OK, is everyone ready?” Well, we are standing right with you sometimes in front, but still far back from the next group, so what do you think? “I’ll just do a ready check?”

The knock-back guy. It’s funny but he always seems to be a nerd raging, twelve year old, or is it just me?
[Tank] “Hey, please don’t do the knockback thing man.”
[Shaman] “stfu”
[Shaman] “nab tank”
[Tank] Look please don’t do it you knock the mobs out of melee range, usually in arc and I just gathered them up to tank them all together. My silencing ability is cooldown now, so I cannot collect in the two caster mobs again…”

[Shaman] “The caster is attacking me n00b!

[Shaman] “TANK!”

[Shaman] “u lost aggro. l2p n00b!”

One of the worst is the DPS who got sick of having to wait fifteen minutes for a group and bought a green shield and one hander on the AH. The “Didn’t want to wait in queue as DPS” tank. “I have a shield, how difficult can tanking be?” You are about to find out…and so is your party, god help them, the ‘green shield tank’ is leading your group.

Which reminds me of the other melee DPS tank guy. The one who always has aggro. I’m guessing the truth is they are very bad at tanking and this is their revenge.
[Tank] Can you come out of Frost pres pls.

[Tank] Pls stop taunting.

[Tank] Do you want to tank?
[Death Knight] I can. I’d do a better job that you you keep losing aggro.
[Tank] Stop Death Gripping mobs and I wouldn’t!

[Tank] Why did you queue as DPS?!

There is a new stereotype, the guy who has turned up at the end of the expansion. Love him or loathe him, we’ll have to tolerate this ass until Cataclysm comes out. The chain-pulling tank, the ‘speed tank’. When he’s your guildy and all of you are wearing ICC gear (you’re on a Triumph farming mission, I don’t know? To buy epic gems, heirloom gear…whatever, or just doing a quickie to get two Frost Emblems) he’s a godsend. In a PuG he could be your worst nightmare.

No ready check, no quick look around at the group. Only 4 people have ported in but the chain-puller has already collected the first three packs and is tanking them half way through the instance, caster DPS has been unable to damage because the mobs aren’t in range, melee is wishing they had longer two handers (say twenty five feet long). The tank dies then all 15 mobs carve through the DPS. Wipe.
[Tank] “WTF!”
The tank quits…the healer ports in and dies instantly.

[Healer] “Er..what happened guys.”
“The tank pulled three groups before you arrived.”

I’ve just levelled my Death Knight I have two lvl 80 tanks already so I collected no tank gear for the DK deliberately. I often find myself in frost presence half the run. Regardless of the DPS, maybe we’re all newly dinged on our play alts and cranking out 1 – 1.5K in our bad greens and poor blues, the tank leaves me tanking the last couple of mobs as he rushes on to the next pack…or maybe the boss.
[Healer] “Damn you’re a squishy tank mate.”
[Tank] “LOL Wot?”
[Healer] “No, not you…the DK.”

I’ve worked out what the problem with these speed tanks is: they’re either bored or arrogant, or more likely, both.

They’re bored of all the content. Their approach to heroics is: I need to get through this chore as quickly as possible, like a day at work. OK, when I burn through a random DTK with guild mates we don’t chain pull (all the time), but we do rock through in a good, and often very careless, pace. However, we still enjoy our game, we often bring alts and try to remember the rotations and laugh at each others alt-noobisherness.

“Dude, fear ward *someone* here. ;D”
“Fear ward? Oh yeah, I’m a priest! LOL on it.”

[Tank] “Mate I need *some* healz. :D”
[Druid] “What? Who’s healing this one? I r chicken LMAO”
[Tank] “Get in tree form! The hunter, ‘lock and DK can’t do it! C’uh can’t get the staff. ;D”
[Hunter] “I’ve got bandages.”

The problems become manifest in two situations. The speed tank simply ignores the whole party, deliberately or…I think it may just be deliberately.

[Tank] “speed run”
“Actually can we do the other two bosses, I can get upgrades and I really need the Emblems?”
“Me too.”
“I can get gear too.”
[Tank] “speed run dont like it leave”

You simply can’t do anything about tank arrogance. I can wait up to half an hour for a PuG and no tank ever waits more than three seconds…there’s a reason for that.

In the other situation you have an averagely geared tank or well gear tank who cannot play. Or worse the “Didn’t want to wait in queue as DPS” Tank. Now proto/failed/n00b tanks see ‘awesome tanks’ chain pulling through heroics in their T10 Sanctification Token upgraded gear and think that is how a good tank plays.

Once upon a time good tanking involved picking up one group, or a second, if god forbid they were pulled or we got a patrol, maintaining aggro on all (or most) of them, turning them away from the party and soaking up damage until the DPS could burn them all down. If you became practised at doing this and managing to pop a skull up on the mob you were focusing on, so the DPS to focus damage without pulling aggro, you were immense. Party survival, or at the very least progress, with at least some of the mobs dead before the wipe, was guaranteed.

Demonstrating your tank prowess now requires you to chain-pull through the instance, which also seems to involve showing a total disregard for the other party members. So now they all do it. Can’t chain pull – can’t tank. Now if there’s a wipe people leave the group and if it’s not the tank he will start flaming the n00b healer. The healer who said:

“I just dinged 80 so please take it easy.”
[Tank] “np i don’t need healz”

God help you if your healing set is coming together but you need more tier items and other drops to round out your set and mana regen is still a big issue.

“mb after the next group.”

This usually falls on deaf ears so you end up screaming “MANA FFS MANA!” to which the tank finally replies: “i dont use mana noob!”

Of all the PuG players you meet the speed tank is the one I’m starting to dislike the most. Whether good or abysmal they simply suck the joy out of doing heroics. Low level instances are even worse. People will regularly get so bored that when they stop for mana, the tank chain-pulls on, they lose the group, so they go for a coffee while tank and healer get their experience and Sack of Unhelpful Goods for them.

In normal high level instance dungeons you can still see the ancient art of tanking done well. The parties are quick and efficient and everyone feels they have a role and plays it well. Groups are friendly, any mistakes are followed by apologies and reassurances that it doesn’t matter and that ‘we’ve all done it’. Smilies, emotes and laughter are common.

With the speed tank don’t be surprised if all you get is a stony silence, recrimination, flaming and occasionally a Death Knight sighing a lot.

[A lot of the existing stereotypes are derived from an hilarious video at YouTube, by Eric (Wowcrendor), check his work out.]

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