Rare gem on the Official forums - On tanking - required read

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Re: Rare gem on the Official forums - On tanking - required

Postby Brekkie » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:23 pm

I think you guys are confusing compensating for other people's mistakes with actual increased performance in your primary role.

While I can see how tanks would tend to associate those two concepts, they are NOT the same thing.

In a discussion of how high the cap is on "perfect play" for a role, you need to assume that all players are equally competent. I could just as easily make the same same case you are for DPS being more difficult by using anecdotes of when I used to essentially solo 5-man heroics in wrath as a ret paladin by compensating for 4 mediocre players by using stuns, self-heals, kiting, taunts and other threat manipulation, and ridiculous AOE burst DPS, while the other players ran around aimlessly doing whatever. Did this mean that playing DPS perfectly in a heroic had some crazy skill-cap? No, it meant that I was doing all kinds of crazy unrelated shit compensating for the terrible players I was with.

The mere fact that you are bringing up all these other things you are doing that "contribute to the raid in some way" PROVES that the primary role of playing a tank plateaus. Look at what you are doing. You're searching for other stuff to do because you are already meeting the requirements of your role.

Trust me. In high tier guilds where every single player pulls their weight, you don't see tanks trying to "save people by sniping word of glory" or whatever. You see them capping out on their ability to contribute, and then focusing on being what they are, a low-damage DPS.
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Re: Rare gem on the Official forums - On tanking - required

Postby inthedrops » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:53 pm

Brekkie wrote:The mere fact that you are bringing up all these other things you are doing that "contribute to the raid in some way" PROVES that the primary role of playing a tank plateaus.


I am trying really hard to understand where you're coming from, and I think for me is how you used the word "primary". I consider all my tools, decisions, etc. part of something all tanks should be trying to do well. I don't see them as secondary responsibilities. I also don't see them as "black and white", "good or bad", "wrong or right". I see them as varying degrees of bad to good.

Is it hard to generate threat? No.
Is it hard to position a boss? No.
Is it hard to stay alive? Not usually.

I guess those are the primary responsibilities. But I wouldn't be happy with a tank if that's all they can manage to do. To me it would be equivalent to an average DPS'er.

Oh, and I never said tanking is more difficult. In fact, I'm pretty sure earlier in this post I said that it's equally difficult to do both with extremely high standards.
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Re: Rare gem on the Official forums - On tanking - required

Postby theckhd » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:51 am

Brekkie wrote:
There's really very little point in making statements like this, because there's no way to validate them. It's entirely subjective.

There's a certain threshold for being "very good" at either role - you obviously need a certain level of situational awareness, reactions, and an understanding of the core concepts of your class's mechanics for both. And more of any of those things is always better. But the returns on that extra amount of skill will be different for each role.


I disagree.

The reason being that, with tanking, there is an attainable plateau where you are doing the "Best job of tanking that is possible". The point where there are no more mobs left to tank, damage is being mitigated using the limited amount of control you as a player have, no DPS has threat issues, and DR cooldowns are being all used in the appropriate places.
Beyond that, there is literally nothing more you can do as a player to "Tank Better".


I don't think you do disagree, at the very least because the point you're disagreeing with is one that I never made.

You're arguing that tanking "caps" at a certain point, after which the only route to improve is through weak personal DPS. I don't think I ever suggested this isn't the case - if anything, that's in agreement with my point that you need a certain level of competency, after which you see significantly diminished returns on some of your "real-life" stats. That baseline of competency is decidedly not "Brekkie-level" play quality - its the level of regular Joes clearing normal modes.

Presumably the baseline tank is still below the cap you're speaking of, and getting to that cap rewards situational awareness and cooldown usage more than it does other traits (carefully optimizing DPS rotation, for example). Similarly, the "good enough" DPS gets better returns on optimizing rotation and movement, but not so much on situational awareness - moving out of the fire faster isn't critical if you're already moving fast enough to not take damage.

To put a real-life spin on it, consider a physical analogy. Different sports (roles) reward different skills. A cyclist might have very good lower-body strength, because they train for that. As such they might find running much easier than dead lifting, arm wrestling, tennis, or baseball. On the other hand, a baseball player might find cycling or football more difficult, because it's not the same type of physical activity they're accustomed to.

I have two other issues with your argument as well:

  1. Assuming you're correct that perfect DPS is unattainable, that should apply to both DPS and tanks. While it may not be a tank's primary role, that's still a path for improvement. I think it's a bit disingenuous to say that there's nothing you can do to "tank better" when we can contribute a significant amount of DPS thanks to Vengeance. You may not be able to see significant survivability increases, so in that sense you might "cap" your primary role. But no excellent player will stop optimizing at "good enough" if there's still something useful they can contribute. What difference does it make whether it's a DPS player or a tank eking out that extra 1k DPS by optimizing their rotation?

    By the way, I think it would be equally disingenuous to extend that argument to "Well, a tank has to do all this other stuff and do DPS, so tanking is obviously harder." It's again trying to place a value on something that's inherently subjective.

  2. You're assuming that tanks are the only people who "cap" in their primary role. Maybe true in the sense of a hard cap (assuming you ignore tank DPS as a significant portion of that role), but certainly not true overall. DPS does see several significant "soft caps." For example, a player with terrible reactions or high latency might be limited to a 2-second effective GCD. Increasing reactions to cut that down to 1-1.5 will give significant benefits. But the GCD acts as a soft cap on reactions, because hitting the next button 500ms before the GCD is up is functionally identical to hitting it 600ms before. There may still be gains (getting to the boss sooner, reacting to off-GCD-based procs more quickly or frequently), but there's a significant amount of diminishing returns on those gains. 100% ideal DPS may not be attainable, but a lot of the variations you're talking about fall into the 95%-100% category (i.e. <1% increases due to small optimizations).
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Re: Rare gem on the Official forums - On tanking - required

Postby Paxen » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:07 am

You can't compare the roles between raids and 5-mans. I love tanking 5-mans, but find tanking raids to be pretty boring. DPS in 5-mans are interchangable and, at the end of the day, not all that important, while raids live and die by their (top) dps. Raids can still carry a slacker or two in a dps spot, but it's the other dps'ers that carry them, not the tanks or the healers. Except for people who refuse to move out of the fire, but you have to be a pretty stellar and overgeared healer to really get very far by trying to keep those alive...
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