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Thread: Getting rid of the tank shortage by removing tanks

  1. #1
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    Getting rid of the tank shortage by removing tanks

    I had an idea for a way to deal with the problem of tank shortage and how tanking is done, particularly in dungeons. Its perhaps a bit wacky, but never the less I wanted to share. Its not something I've come up with entirely myself, but rather I've pieced it together from discussions I've heard ever since the tank revamp discussion began.

    I think tanks get a lot of flak in PuGs as they have a single point of failure role and often take most of the responsibility in directing battles in dungeons. I think that the way to resolve this should focus on spreading the responsibility more evenly over the group and I see a couple of ways to go about this.

    One way could be to do away with the 1 tank + 3 dps + 1 healer model for dungeons, perhaps going for a 2+2+1, or even 2+2+2, model instead. The other way would be to explicitly make it impossible for the tank to handle large groups by them self, by making some mob types untankable and mandatory to interrupt or CC. This can be taken even further, making mob types controllable by different class types. Stupid mobs could be susceptible to taunt/aggro mechanics and handled by the traditional tanks, smart mobs would have to be trapped/poisoned/rooted and casters would be spell dueled by other casters. This would effectively remove the dedicated tanking role, or make all classes "tanks", without necessarily giving them explicit tank specs.


    I think this could result in more varied encounter design, reduce the need for boring don't-stand-in-the-fire mechanics to keep DPS awake and hopefully make dungeon less hostile towards a particular player role.

    Comments?
    Last edited by Emerich; 09-01-2011 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Realised I'd lost a part of a sentence while editing

  2. #2
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    Mandatory CC - wonderful... So dungeons are completely impossible for some comps? (say 4 of the following DPS warrior, DK, mage and all the monsters are non huminoids/beasts)

    Additionally, this doesn't solve anything, it just shifts the burden around. Dungeons would need 'tanking' mechanics. Healers would probably be the next to be attacked. Healers without good tools to keep 2 or 3 people up at at once would shunned since 2 or 3 people will be 'tanking' and taking damage.

    Next, there's no training ground for raids - so where would raid tanks get a little practice in?

    ***

    No - unfortunately I don't think this solves anything. The reason tanks don't like to tank dungeons, I think, is largely a matter of control. I don't mind dungeons as much when running with guildies and talking in vent, but LFD with 4 strangers who each want to do something different? No thank you.

    Additionally, tanks aren't needed as much for raiding. The ratio of tanks in dungeons to 10m raids is roughly the same (raids have a few 1 tank, T11 had a couple 3 tank depending on difficulty/strat) but there are half as many raid spots for tanks in 25m as in dungeons (2/25 is 8% from 1/5 which is 20%).

    ******

    Dungeons are basically raid-lite and need to keep the same feel. 'Fixing' the problems with tanks in dungeons doesn't start with incentivising tanks or getting rid of tanks - it needs to be from people just learning not to bitch at each other at the very beginning and that if you're playing with 4 other people, you can't just do whatever you want, at least while the content is relevant.

    Trying to come up with a unique band aid still doesn't solve the underlying problem.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  3. #3
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    I must admit I was thinking about this mostly from the view of a PuG being assembled by the dungeon finder, which could make sure all bases were covered, but I will have to conceed that I don't know how to make all group compositions viable. I'm actually not sure I want that, but that's another discussion.

    As for dungeons being training grounds for raids, I don't think that works as intended even now. Tanking in raids for me is mostly about combat mechanics, while tanking in dungeons is largely about anticipating the other players and putting up with put downs.

  4. #4
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    Why not increase the hitpoints for every dps in your group on trash according to your group size? Of course with some more thoughts on bosses to not make some encounters impossible from a healing pov? 1 tank, 3 dps, 1 healer = 100%. 1 tank, 6 dps, 1 healer = 190% hitpoints. LFD could look at armor classes and caster/melee needs at some point so you don't have to conquer with 4 other plate wearer for the same pieces of loot. Running with up to 6 dps total should decrease the waiting time in half, shouldn't it?

    Removing tanks feel awkward to me, that would require redesigning the whole game from it's fundamentals.

  5. #5
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    Well in Vanilla we used to use hunter pets( turtle ), void walkers and a pally as a tanks for instances at times. Way way Less than optimal, and all were about as effective. hahahha I vote for real tanks!

  6. #6
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    Meh... there's basically two factors that lead to tank shortage, and to a lesser degree healer shortage.

    First, for ages the tank and healers took on a distinct burden of responsibility that DPS just didn't have most of the time. What little responsibility that DPS have accrued over the years is often very momentary, or so critical that it is usually relegated to one of "the reliable DPSers" in the group. The ability to mow down baddies without much effort and not having to deal with any significant responsibilities every time they group up appeals to a great number of players. Conversely, tanking and healing is simply a less appealing role for most folks because of the added responsibility that one has to cope with.

    Second, since there's a population disparity, tanks and healers are typically "finished" gearing up in a given "tier" of dungeons well before most DPS are. When a tank or healer is effectively "finished" with a tier, there's less incentive to go back to that tier with anything close to their earlier regularity. It leads to a scenario where average queue times will be relatively low for a short time after new content is released and slowly begins to increase as more and more tanks and healers reduce their farming efforts.

    The key to fixing queue times is to either offer incentives that keep people running dungeons long after they've finished with them, or to change the dungeon group model to appropriately reflect the population disparity. Blizzard has obviously been trying it's hand at the first option with the Call to Arms rewards, but I think it's fair to say that it hasn't really been all that successful. The rewards they've used simply haven't been significant enough to stir up much incentive across the board. And of course if Blizzard did end up going to the lengths that might appropriately generate incentive, you can probably imagine the outcry (warranted or not) from the folks who have no interest in ever tanking or healing.

    No, short of completely abolishing the "holy trinity" (as in what Guild Wars 2 is trying), the only sane approach is to re-evaluate the dungeon group sizes. Imagine, if you will, if the standard dungeon size was in fact a 10-man group that sported 1 tank, 2 healers, and 7 dps. I don't know that that's the specific disparity ratio that Blizzard should gun for, but it's something to think about. Obviously it would have implications for 10-man *raiding*... it wouldn't entirely make sense to make the difference between running dungeons and a raid is that you swap out 2 dps for an additional tank and healer. It's probably fair to say that if dungeon group sizes were to be adjusted that the 2 raid formats would have their group sizes reconsidered as well.

    That said, just because it's the "sane" approach, doesn't mean it's the most economically viable one for Blizzard. I mean we're talking about a very major shake-up that has implications on guild stability, encounter tuning, loot tables and distribution ratios, etc. It's certainly no simple task.

  7. #7
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    the only real "fix" to the tank "shortage" will be when pug dps and healers start treating there tanks better in pugs.not everyone likes being treated like garbage everytime they run a dungeon

    but whatever,i havent even ran heroics lately.i guess capping my vp everyweek thru dungeons i got burned out after a while

  8. #8
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    The root cause for queue times in the LFD lies with the community not group comp. If everyone wanted to tank then tanks would have a long queue and dps and healers get insta queues.


    There's also the fact that most people in LFD don't seem to understand their class/spec/role and it's more noticeable when a tank or healer is one of those people. Yes it is noticeable that a dps is clueless, but most fights you can carry a bad dps much more than you can carry a bad tank or healer.

    About the only way to fix this issue is to have more tutorials in game on your spec, class and role. This could possibly lead to more confusion without blizz basically saying this is how we designed the class and not playing like this means you will be playing below your potential. I personally doubt that blizz would come right out and tell people exactly how to play their class. Besides from my experience as tank I can tell a new tank exactly how to gear and gem, to a lesser extent how to pull and position, but there is lot of of things a tank does that comes with experience. The same goes with healing and even dps.

    I don't believe there is a problem with the current format that blizz can "fix" without a total revamp of the system.

    Though one could argue that to help new tanks and healers the lower level dungeon could be slightly harder than the current faceroll but this could backfire making new tanks and healers quit sooner.

  9. #9
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    Situations where tanks cannot AoE tank entire pulls and mandatory CC/interrupts are required already happened right at the begining of the expansion. If anything that deterred me to tank pug heroics. Those moments where you used your interrupt and watch the boss's cast bar fill up slowly as the melee dps are just to lazy to interrupt? Yeah not fun.

    Build in tutorials or watered-down raid mechanics in daily quests doesn't help improve tanks, creating a proper social environment in-game where people are happy to talk about tanking does.

  10. #10
    By the way - has anybody noticed that there is tank shortage in 5mans, but there are almost no vacancies for tanks in good raiding guilds? I guess it's just 2 sides of the same problem. Just look: 5man - 1 tank needed, 25man - 1,5 tank needed. So all good tanks are gathered by top guilds (usualy with no job for most of them), leaving lower guilds and content with no tanks.

    Where the fights with 5-6 tanks like the King before Gruul or Magtheridon have gone?

  11. #11
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    I don't think many guilds have a large surplus of tanks. Tank turnover just isn't as high as the other roles' turnover, however like Garrek said gearing up as a tank tend to be faster since you're not rolling against as many people for gear (or no one really in a 5 man). and once you're geared up theres very little incentive to go back and do old content regularily. I'm at the point where i've got all the Valor gear i want for my MS this tier, any valor points i get now are spent on my OS, however i'm also the majority of FL each weak so I'm practically capped anyway for VP before i even set foot in a 5 man. So after the only reasons i have for going back to 5 mans is to either help out a friend, the goody bag, or for the sheer joy of the expierience. The latter of which wore off about a week after the 5 mans hit, i'm currently running round on a flametalon so mounts are meh, I don't care about pets till they add either a lil' Vezax or a lil' faceless one, and fee pots/flasks dont' thrillrill me.

    I think it's problem is that you can get cap your VP very easily without even setting foot in a five man, and vice versa that you cap without setting in foot in anything but a 5 man.

  12. #12
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    It is possible to get rid of tanking in 5man normal modes by increase the number of mobs but making them low hp enough not to kill a non-tank. For example in "vindictus" you can run dungeons with no tank or healer. Players rely only on potions, high dps and battle rezzes (each class has one) to get through trash and boss fights. It's incredibly fun because players realize they have to avoid damage, put out high dps, use potions and rezzes wisely but this style of play won't work for anything difficult.

    The way vindictus does it for harder content is allow you to bring more players, which won't work with wow. They could implement the system for normal dungeons but tank would be needed for heroics and raids.

  13. #13
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    Dps attitude is the number one reason for the tank shortage in 5 mans. In my guild 10 man raid group, all but three players have a tanking alt (I have three tanks) and virtually all of us avoid tanking 5 man randoms anymore because, unless we bring one or two guildies, we're just unwilling to put up with the crap. We have to really, really want VP's to be subject to lfg pugs. And I know on my server that that is the attitude in a lot guilds.

    On the other hand, I heal randoms all the time, I find the sheer pug dps stupidity to be challenging at times. It can be good practice for raiding, and makes healing in raids easier.

  14. #14
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    I don't know, the last time I queue'd for a LFD as the tank, I was greeted by /cheer's and /hug's. I guess they had been waiting a while since Call to Arms: Tank was active.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kemanorel View Post
    I don't know, the last time I queue'd for a LFD as the tank, I was greeted by /cheer's and /hug's. I guess they had been waiting a while since Call to Arms: Tank was active.
    funny,because i know alot of the times ive queued up and gotten some call to arms tank,it was usually some scrub in crap gear who couldnt hold aggro worth anything.oh and he also had lower hp then me,being a dps.which a tank is suppose to have more hp then the dps

    but this was before the buff to tank threat and stuff.oh and i always love the tanks to when you pull aggro,and you walk around with 10 mobs on you and the tank doesnt even relize it and just keeps hitting away at the mobs hes tanking

    eather way,as far as tanking goes though i gotta admit.ive tanked before the increase to tank threat and stuff and i actually find it more enjoyable now then it was before they buffed tank threat and stuff.lately ive just been questing because apparently i dont have the item level to run anything at lvl 80
    Last edited by PimpJuice4; 09-09-2011 at 11:47 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PimpJuice4 View Post

    but this was before the buff to tank threat and stuff.oh and i always love the tanks to when you pull aggro,and you walk around with 10 mobs on you and the tank doesnt even relize it and just keeps hitting away at the mobs hes tanking
    It's not not noticing, it's not caring. There is still aggro in the game, if you hit what the tank is not hitting you'll still pull - only threat was buffed. I'm at the point where if the dps does hit the target before me or is in such a rush and decides to pull, I just let them tank it til they die then pick it up before it goes to the healer.

    I also will not heal dps who pull anymore - just isn't worth the mana. They're free to kick me, the cue time is short and maybe I won't get a special group this time.

  17. #17
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    oh and i always love the tanks to when you pull aggro,and you walk around with 10 mobs on you and the tank doesnt even relize it and just keeps hitting away at the mobs hes tanking
    Hit what the tank is hitting, it will increase your chances of not pulling aggro. Also, the second thing I was taught when I started doing instances (after "wait for three sunders" ) was "if you pull aggro, run TO the tank so he can get it back". Of course if you have multiple mobs on you, that's your bad for trying to AoE the pack instead of burning them down one at a time.

    OT: Raiding tanks simply have very little incentive to do heroics. To be honest, I haven't had too many issues the few times I've pugged something, it's just that it's not a good use of my time. There's only two of us (tanks) splitting all the raid drops and if I don't have my valor cap for the week, then my dps and healing guildies definitely don't have the cap and I can do a guild run with my friends.

    Suggestion #1 - something I haven't seen suggested yet (although I haven't really looked) would be to add some extra health to all the mobs in heroics and then make them 6 man runs with one extra dps slot. Keeps the same Tank/Heal/DPS dynamic but increases the available dps slots by 33(?)%

    Suggestion #2 - really up the reward for tanks who use the LFD tool or change the reward mechanic from "small chance for something cool" to "doing X number of LFD uses guarantees something cool"
    How does a PC gamer change a light bulb? He doesn't. He goes on the forums and QQs about it being dark.

  18. #18
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    I tank dungeons all the time in LFG.. what tanking shortage LOL.. really tho this has always been a issue.. since way back in UBRS days. LFD takes less time then it did back then outside of a guild. Just like being in a active guild takes less time.

    There is no fix.. most people play dps classes because they take less leadership... So basically if you want less ques roll a tanking class

  19. #19
    To be honest DPS can't be blamed for their behavior in 5 men till they start raiding. They got used to it while leveling. When boomkin in heirloom soloes bosses and pulls everything just to be the first in recount and has no punishment for that (nope, he doesnt die even without any help of healer or tank) - what can you expect of him later?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    I also will not heal dps who pull anymore - just isn't worth the mana. They're free to kick me, the cue time is short and maybe I won't get a special group this time.
    I would do the same as you, but i value my time over my mana, so I still end up saving their asses.

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