When I first decided to try playing dungeons several months ago, I was instantly hooked. I love playing as part of a team together to succeed in a common goal. I started just as a DD as that is what I built for questing. About a month after I started doing dungeons, I decided to make some tanks and healers. I did this for a few reasons.
I wanted to understand the tank and healer roles in group PvE. I feel that understanding how to play these roles will make me a better player overall no matter what role I choose to play. Also, tanks and healers have shorter queue times when queuing for dungeons. Shorter queue times for tanks make farming for gear in dungeons faster.
I found that I really liked healing. It is that role that I now feel most comfortable doing. My confidence was also boosted when I was invited to join one of my guilds when a player thought I did a good job as a healer.
The DD role took longer for me improve. It took a while before I fully understood light attack weaving. I more recently found access to a 6M combat dummy, so was able to work on my skills as a DD. I'm no expert yet, but have seen a steady and significant improvement in the past month or so.
Tanking is the role that was the most challenging for me. I feel that the tank has the greatest responsibility in a group. When I first started, resource management was a huge challenge for me. I often ran out of stamina and had to often switch to my frost staff with tri-focus as a backup. I also had this fear of dying and would block way too often. I've been playing tanks for many months now and have been steadily improving during that time. Until last night I always had a lack of confidence in my play as a tank.
Last night, I was asked to tank for a few groups. One was for Darkshade Caverns II. I joined in and after the first couple of fights, I realised it was a veteran dungeon. I've only done a few as a tank up that that point. I was still apprehensive about it. Also, I've had challenging experiences with Darkshade Caverns II in the past. That final boss with the poison has always haunted me. The second last boss fight wasn't bad. I handed it well and was able to tank the three elite centurions while the DPS was able to burn down the groups of adds with AoE before finishing the centurions. What gave me confidence was being able to pick out the important elites to taunt and hold taunt. It wasn't hard, but I felt it went a lot smoother than I expected. Also, we managed to handle the final boss. It was more of a psychological victory for me to complete it. The group was pretty good and they felt I did a good job as a tank.
Another group asked me to tank the final boss in normal Moongrave Fane. The tank in this group left (or possibly was kicked as he had no taunt). They told me they wiped about 10 times against this final boss. Tanking this was not a huge challenge. However, during the battle, other players went down and at one point both DPS's went down. I was able to also taunt enough of the adds and stun the rest enough to give the healer time to rez the others. Being in a situation where half of your group goes down and dealing with that situation as a tank gave me a huge confidence boost. We were able to beat the boss on my first try even though things started to go south a couple of times.
After last night, I felt I had gotten past a psychological barrier I had as a tank. I feel I have that confidence I never had before. I used to be apprehensive about tanking vet dungeons, normal DLC dungeons and normal trials. Today, I say, "bring 'em on!" This is the personal milestone I felt I have reached as a tank.
My next goal is to tank normal Moonhunter Keep. This was my first ever DLC dungeon. My group at the time were all new to that dungeon and we somehow managed to complete it after a dozen or so wipes. I played a DD at the time. My next time against nMK was again as a DD. Only this time, we could not get past the second boss. I was so disappointed when we decided to give up. I'm waiting for another opportunity to take on nMK. I'll probably talk to one of my guilds as they do scheduled dungeon runs against some harder content.
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