You're a raid leader, it's two hours into the raid, you just reached a farm boss and your main tank just went linkdead. He calls his real life best friend, one of your rogues, and has him pass along the message that his power just went out. You have two choices: Call the raid, or let one of your offtanks that's never main tanked this boss before tank the boss. You have two hours left in your raid, you don't want to call it, you have your OT tank the boss.
And he asks the question "The MT usually stands... here, right?"
It looks about right. You never did look that close, you know he stood around that spot on your first attempts on wipe nights, but you know there was something funny that the MT adjusted in where he stood that first time you killed the boss and you're not sure if that meant anything or not.
The hunter misdirects, the OT starts his rotation, the boss does his gimmick and... half the raid dies just like it was the first night of wipes. You hold it together for another half a minute before you wipe. You chalk it up to bad luck. Another pull, another wipe. You can't figure it out, why is the raid dying? Over, and Over... Then, a glimmer of light, the MT gets his power back, but his internet is wonky and his latency makes him leery of MTing anything. He agrees to come back into the raid on the condition that he doesn't tank anything important until his connection stabilizes.
He can't believe you've been wiping on a farm boss. He whispers the OT and tells him to move and tank the boss three steps to his left, and when the gimmick happens, run into the middle of the boss' hitbox. All of a sudden the kill is a staple textbook kill. You have no clue what changed, then the MT tells you in /officer that the OT didn't know to move in at the start of the gimmick. You'd never even HEARD of moving at the start of the gimmick, neither had the OT. Lacking that one minor tidbit of knowledge cost you an hour on a boss you've had on farm for months.
The scenario is a common one. You've got a main tank, he's awesome, your guild is glad to have him, and you have other tanks but they're nowhere near his caliber. It makes obvious sense to have him main tank every boss, right? WRONG.
Team Building is an important part of any raid force. Team Building is one important element that can separate an average raid guild from a sunwell raid guild.
It's a simple concept. Share the tanking duties. You never know when a tank will be absent, or lose his internet, if he's the only person that's tanked Boss B, then it stands to reason that boss will give you trouble next time. Communication is key, when the tank that tanked the kill spots a problem that the other tank is having, they can teach them.
Your "Main Tank", or your Best Tank, needs to be actively helping the other tanks to improve. As a Raid Leader, you need to actively cycle tanks on bosses to bring the experience of all of your tanks up. On farm content, every one of your tanks should be completely interchangeable.
How do you achieve this?
1) Rotate tanks on farm content even when they aren't interchangeable.
You don't grow by watching. You grow by being challenged. There's only so much that reading and watching will teach you.2) Your Worst Tank needs to tank, too.
The Main Tank is Awesome, your others are good, but this guy is horrible. You've sent him to tankspot, you've made him read boss killers, he's watched dozens of videos of his class tanking xyz boss and he still hasn't got a clue. He's not going to get one without practice. The raid may balk, but the guy needs a chance, and all the help he can get. He may never get it, but without the chance he never will get it.3: Tank Communication
The Tanks need to communicate with each other - perhaps even set up their own private channel. Ultimately, these people all need to be friends. You may have the best tank in the world but if he can't communicate or work with the other tanks, you're better off without him. You're building a team, not a star.4: Support and rewards
Your tanks need support. Gone are the days of the obscene plate repair bill, but it's still bad. Some days, it never hurts to surprise them by hooking them up with consumables or enchants for new upgrades. You shouldn't make it a regular habit or a "right" of being a tank - It should be a reward for loyalty and effort. For that matter - the rest of your raid deserves the same every now and then. It doesn't take much, it could be as simple as handing him a stack of stam food before a raid, or as exorbitant as giving him a [item]nethercleft leg armor[/item] when he wins his new tier legs.This is by no means a comprehensive list. It's a starting point, a series of thoughts meant to help give you ideas for stretching your guild's capacity. It's one thing to say you have a "team of tanks" even though one tanks everything. It's another thing to have tanks who are, in every sense of the word, completely interchangeable regardless of class.
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
- Henry Ford