Why is there a shortage of tanks?
As anyone who has read or watched The Rising of the Shield Hero or BOFURI can attest, tankers can be the strongest character in a party. Without them to stop the rampage of enemies, healers won’t be able to heal nor can the DPS focus on dealing damage. In a way, they’re the lynchpin of the party, and parties won’t be able to function properly without one. There’s a shortage of tanks in WoW TBCC (and really, in other MMOs too), and no amount of WoW TBC gold or any other currency can fix it.
So why do players hate playing tanks?
DPS Classes are More Attractive
For some players, it’s hard to sit still. They’d rather be the one dishing it out than taking it for the team. It’s fun to see your name on top of DPS rankings and see how much damage you’ve dealt. This kind of friendly competition is a big draw for players.
DPS classes can afford to be a little more selfish as well. They don’t have to mind other players too much, except for the coordination of attacks. Healers have to mind who has priority of healing, while tanks have to mind threat or aggro. Well, okay, one big problem of some DPS players is poor threat management. That’s why coordination is important.
The Pressures of Responsibility
Everyone in the party relies on the tank to keep them alive. That means the tank is responsible for the whole team. Most players don’t like that. Tanks have to be selfless, giving up a position in rankings and being more of a team player.
Being relied on also means the others will be less forgiving of any mistake they might make. Being people, they’re not immune to making a mistake. Tanks making a mistake can lead to the whole party getting wiped out. It’s a worst-case scenario, of course, since with good teammates most mistakes can be fixed.
Still, it can’t be denied that it is a big responsibility. Most would want to play a game to have fun and get away from responsibility. Playing as a tank would just be adding to the stress instead of relieving it. That’s not something they want in their WoW TBC Classic account.
Some Other Factors
Tanking can be a complicated role. It takes experience and dedication to play the role well. Some well-meaning players may try to pick up the role because of the shortage, but without the proper experience, they won’t be able to perform well. That discourages some players from continuing to practice since their meager efforts couldn’t satisfy nitpicky players they had the misfortune to play with. It doesn’t help that these players are also the noisiest of the bunch and will keep complaining of the shortage.
Another reason why tankers are an unpopular class is the difficulty in leveling them up. Going solo for a tank is, well, slow. They may not be able to die, but it takes a long time before they can defeat enemies. They’re a role that performs best with others, after all. That’s not a problem with a group of friends. However, PUGs are a mixed bag, and unfortunately, you might meet more rude or mean players than not.
Then there’s also a problem in how tanks are expected to lead in dungeons. Some tanks just want to tank, not lead a group of people. They already have a lot on their plate, and adding leading makes them want to stop tanking. Sure, some tanks can lead well, but others don’t have the mind or attitude for it.
Is There a Solution to the Tank Shortage?
Since it’s a problem in player attitudes, that’s a hard question to answer. There’s a shortage because only a handful of players want to do it. Even then, those who do want to tank end up partying with jerkish and generally bad groups, whether by behavior or words.
The devs can try adding more tanks (and they did, with DKs, Monks, and Demon Hunters), but there’s still a shortage in Retail. Dual Specialization didn’t help either, as players just doubled up on their former spec. Nobody wants to play a tank, and that’s the main problem.
It’s not about giving more WoW TBC Classic items as rewards to them. It bears repeating, it’s a problem in player attitude. Why play a tank when all they get are hurtful words when running in a group? More than that, it’s difficult to do quests or level up alone with them. Plus, there’s all the pressure of responsibility and leadership being thrust into them.
The real solutions are being friendly to tanks, both veterans and beginners in tanking, or make one yourself. When did the norm become ‘insult and berate a struggling player’? In other games when someone sees another in trouble they’d offer help. Some players add to this problem by insulting, blaming, and being angry at tanks. It’s hard to play when you’re constantly being bombarded with that kind of interaction.
That goes doubly so for beginners. While they may be bad currently, that doesn’t mean they’re going to still be bad in the future. Criticizing their playing will cause them to become discouraged and quit being a tank. If you want a solution to the shortage, don’t discourage the tanks and make them quit being one! Why not give them tips and tricks to get better, instead of constantly picking faults? By doing the latter, you contribute to the very problem you’re complaining about.
Also, while adding more tank classes, dual spec, dungeon finders, and cross-realm groups did not solve the problem, it certainly eased finding a tank for groups. When before it takes more than an hour to queue, now it takes about an hour, maybe less. There’s still a wait, but not as long as before. TBC Classic does not have those functions (yet) so the most players can do right now is to be friendly.
That, and continuing to level, quest, farm WoW TBC gold, and generally enjoy World of Warcraft: the Burning Crusade Classic. Have fun!
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