Ok, when we last left off I was talking about playing the role of caster dps. Some people think I'm completely off my rocker for saying that to be a better tank, you need to do everything BUT tank. I have found that the best way to become a better tank is the ability to empathize with the other members of your group. If you understand what they are having to deal with, it will always help you to be able to make a pull better, get a boss down faster and make the run go smoother.
On that note, Melee is next!
No, some tanks out there have done this. Some have a melee spec and they go to town killing stuff. HOWEVER.....they usually do it in their tanking gear and have no fear of pull off the tank. This does nothing to make you a better player. All this does is give you a bigger epeen and make you the group pain in the @ss.
So, as stated in the last couple of blogs, start up a new toon, I recommend a warrior as this class is perfect for this. With a warrior, you can't step back and cast a heal on yourself to pull your butt out of the proverbial fire (or real fire if you were standing in it, lol). You will have to rely on paying attention and your healer to keep you alive. Level to 10 and then jump on BGs. This will give you the perfect place to learn to watch what is going on. If you can develop eyes in the back of your head, you will have learned a skill that will make you a good dps and a great tank, extreme situational awareness. This is a skill that you will find a great number of people are lacking. Even dps should know what is going on at all times with stuff in the room.
Once you hit 15, jump in to dungeons with both feet and learn new fun features such as "The tank keeps him moving when he doesn't need to....I CAN'T HIT HIM!!!!" or my favorite "Why does the tank keep turning him? I keep getting him by the mob since the tank faces him to me! AHHHH!!!" Watch closely at what your tank is doing and remember or even write down the things he/she does that drive you nuts. Don't yell at them in chat, it won't do any good. Just make a note of it and remember it.
So, now that you have played the roll of healer, caster and melee dps, you have a firm grasp on what the other members of your group go through on a daily basis. You know what they have to deal with trying to keep you alive and how the strive to keep themselves alive. Remember, you are the tank. It if your job to not just grab mobs and make fast pulls to show off your epeen. It is your job to keep the group alive. It is the healers job to keep you alive so that you can do your job. This means do not be afraid to CC something or to make a LoS pull or to kill that extra group of trash so that it does not get accidentally pulled. It's your job to keep them alive by setting up the run. You are the first one in there and it is your job to set up pulls so that no one gets killed (there are some exceptions such as people standing in fire. Cause you just can't fix stupid, lol.). You will find that once you try this technique of playing all the different rolls until about lvl20 or 30, you will have much better understanding of the real group dynamic and you will become a much better tank for it.
I hope this has helped out. I have done this and I can say that it gave me a lot of insight and makes my runs much smoother and with less repair bills. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below and I will respond quickly. If you enjoy this blog,. please become a follower and spread the word about Neo's Challenging Roar!