Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tank Shortage?

In comments to the last post, people are saying that the real problem is that there is a tank shortage. I think the tank shortage could be attributed to raiding requiring extra healers as well.

It seems to be a lot harder to find a tank now than it was for the first few months after TBC. The tanking classes are warriors, druids, and paladins. Maybe raiding requiring more healers is pushing would-be paladin/druid tanks to switch to healing specs, thus reducing the total number of tanks out there.

I'm a case in point. I was Protection for all my TBC levelling and a month or two later. Now I'm Holy. +1 healer for raiding, -1 tank for 5-mans. And I think that this may be a fairly common experience for paladins. How common do you think it would be for people to go the opposite route, from healing to tanking?


  1. Just from my little view on a yound and low pop EU server: switched from Prot to Holy (Shockadin) at 67 for the end stretch. After I dinged 70 two weeks ago, I got at least two or three tells a night asking to tank for them, whereas groups as a healer were impossible to get.

    Back to prot I went. However, I also got some /w invites to raiding guilds as a healer (which I declined).

  2. On my server, a pally who wants to tank can't get a spot in any of the big guilds because they automatically expect / require him to respec to heal. Not commenting of whether that's good or bad, but it's just the way it is. So he's in our small guild waiting / helping as we get gear and experience for eventual Kara raiding. (And he doesn't have the money, or gear, to respec back-and-forth.)

    As long as a pally is forced into a healing role in raiding, there will be that many less hybrid-tanks.

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  4. Realized my last comment made no sense.

    On my server I've noticed a shortage of good tanks. I get alot more tells asking for tanking than I do healing. As far as raiding I'm not sure because I just got keyed for Kara over the weekend. I do have hope for raiding because the guy who puts on the Kara raids that I'm going to OT for is in a big raiding guild who's GM is a Tankadin and he's the MT for SSC/TK.

    Hopefully that shortgage will stay long enough for me to build up a good reputation for tanking though.

  5. I've certainly noticed the shortage. I'm lucky to get a 5 man run now on my holy paladin, and 3/4 of the time when my group can find a tank they are horrible and cause the group to fail. I guess I should just spend my time running AV instead of sitting around trying to find groups for instances.

  6. It's hard for me to say, but it seems like when I do a 5-man...if I'm going to tank, we can't find a healer. If I'm going to heal, we can't find a tank. It goes both ways I think.

    Something handy about being a paladin is that you can tank non-heroic 5-mans just fine as long as you have Improved Righteous Fury and some halfway decent tank gear.

  7. I re-specced into Protection upon returning to the game from a six-month hiatus and have been invited to more groups as a protection paladin than I ever was in the old world as a holy paladin.

    I plan on staying protection until I've grinded (ground?) enough money to get the mount(s), enchants, etc. that I want before moving back into the raiding field. I would honestly prefer to remain protection and tank/off-tank in a raid setting, but given the current situation of paladins in the game, that ain't gonna happen.

    I agree, though. I've tanked quite a few 5-mans for guild groups grinding out faction, but I've healed only a relatively small amount of those same instances because there are always more healers than tanks.

    As always, I appreciate your insight and observations on things that are apparent in the game world but usually go unnoticed.

  8. I don't see how paladins/druids switching specs would impact the 5-man tanking pool that seriously. Once you have the tank gear, you can tank most of that content. (Heroics may be another story, but vanilla should be quite doable)

    If you're talking about PuGing groups... perhaps the low tank supply has to do with PuG fatality rates and typical repair costs for the tank.

  9. I guess the problem is that most people don't want to tank for PUGs, and proper raiding guilds already have dedicated tanks.

    I'm getting constant invites to tank for PUGs on my paladin, even though he's specced holy and I don't even like being the main tank. (Off-tanking is fine, leaves me free to aid squishies by getting mobs of them, or joining the healing squad.)

    And I suppose the repair costs the poster above me mentioned are involved too. ;)

  10. I find this so interesting to read, because I've been in the same situations.

    I originally leveled 10-60 as prot, then went holy as it was the only spec back in the MC/BWL/AQ/Nax days. By the time TBC came around I had been holy for so long that I simply remained that way through 70. Then the most interesting thing happened. My guild started running 5-mans and realized that a prot pally wouldn't be such a bad thing. So I was asked to respec for the 5-mans, and had a great time tanking through most of Kara.

    Then we hit SSC/TK, and I'm required to go back holy, because I "can't tank" the mobs that hit harder as well as a warrior or feral druid. So, to keep a raid spot, I of course respec and regear.

    The funny thing is, my guild is now having a spot of trouble with heroics, as the warrior tanks are having problem mantaining aggro on the multi-mob pulls. Height of irony.

  11. Dont underestimate Arena.

    A ms spcced warrior is not a great tank if he isnt geared for it.

    But between Arena and Bg's he will get a trickle of very good epic gear every few weeks without going near a 5 man at all espcially a pug 5 man.

    Currently I am flipping my druid between 5 man tank and alt kara healer every week:(

  12. doeg
    "As long as a pally is forced into a healing role in raiding, there will be that many less hybrid-tanks".

    I don't think its any one particular answer that nails why there is a "Tank Shortage" but i will agree with "doeg" above on that.

    Maybe mine is just my observation playing WoW as a Paladin. But in my observation some paladins are Hybrids, some are Dedicated to healing and some are dedicated to Tanking Specialty and Rets.

    At lvl 70 it seems to me some Paladins want to raid and in order to get to raid they are forced to spec to heal in order to raid. A compromise. Seems to be the easy route vs not raiding at all.

    As a result over time those now Healing Paladins become good dedicated Healers vs the Tanking kind OR learning how to become Good tanks. They are trapped in been healers or else or to make their guild happy.

    Thus as long as your forced into healing by suggestion of others then that's one less Free thinking person to decide to become something else. Healer or Tank.

    In the end my take is that Paladins make their own choices to dedicate their hybrid nature to healing or tanking and the choice you make is the one you live with. Thus a possible Tank Shortage.

    That might be only part of the overall answer and the answer may have many faces.

  13. After getting a couple of Kara tanking drops, I've built up an uncritable set for tanking 5-mans (even though I'm speced holy). I haven't done it a whole lot yet, but it seems to work ok. I can hold aggro like nobodies business (holy shock is like having a second taunt) and our healer didn't seem to be having any real trouble keeping me up.

    Still need some practice though, it's been a long time since I tanked regularly. (Actually haven't really done it since my first char, a warrior.)

    What I want to know is why are all the priests holy again? I want my mana battery...

  14. Oooo I want to know what tanking drops can get Holy to uncrittable.

    Without Holy Shield I don't see where you're going to make up that 30%.

  15. Uncrittable is fairly easy, even for non-Prot paladins. It only requires 490 Defense.

    Uncrushable is the hard one. However, only level 73 mobs and raid bosses can crush, so it's only something that you need to worry about for raid tanking.

  16. The need of healers is not the only cause for the shortage of tanks.

    I believe Blizzard bad design of no-warrior tanking classes, druids and palas, is another big reason.

    In may case, a proct pala, I tank all karazhan up to nightbane... what a nightmare tanking with fear (lucky allies) 1-2 man death per try/kill plus a chaotic experience for all raid moving to fear range just in case.. Druids have the same problem....

    Then comes Gruul, ups a stupid book in the place of a gun, we lost 50 stamina for that...

    Well, how can we be MT´s …. Maybe of tanks… or healers of course…

    Finally, check the pala tanking gear. There is none beside the tier until you pass Mageridon. That could mean the blizzard never intender palas as tanks, just compare the pala healer drops versus the pala tanks drops up to SC.

  17. Personally I think one of several reasons is tank burnout. Both guilds I've belonged to since TBC were constantly in need of a tank. Pretty much if you CAN tank they NEED you to tank. I left the first guild because every time I came on, I got asked to tank something for them. I like some variety in my play. I went ret for a month just to get a break. It's not that I dislike tanking, I love it. It just gets old when you want to play this game to have fun and it just becomes another real-life drag of people hanging on your help. Being able to jump into an arena a night or two a week and not feel gimped by your spec would really help break the monotony and make me happier about tanking, but Blizzard still clings to the outdated notion that free (or cheaper) respecs would be game-breaking somehow. Wow is 2 games... PvE and PvP. I want 2 specs. EQII is already planning on it... what is Blizzard doing?