Thursday, May 3, 2007

Gripe about being a tank

As I mentioned earlier, I play a Paladin (PLD) in Final Fantasy XI (FFXI). PLDs are the quintessential tanks of WoW. Great Mitigtation, and the ability to generally create a large amount of hate.

But one thing that's different about FFXI than games like WoW is that the pace is much slower. Your two standard aggro generation abilities (Provoke and a spell known as Flash) both had long cooldowns compared to WoW (30 seconds for Provoke and 35-50 seconds for Flash depending on what status effects you have). In addition to this, PLDs can heal themselves for good amount of aggro between mob swings (heals are just shorter than the average attack speed of mobs), but if the spells don't actually heal you, they generate no hate. The three other abilities that have high aggro generation are all on 5 minute timers.

I say all of this, because it means that if a PLD loses hate and is at full health it's suddenly a lot harder to regain aggro. Well, the set I'm in for leveling has a Warrior (WAR) who, despite having a level 75 PLD and knowing how it goes, insists on going for maximum damage and showing no restraint.

It's really annoying, but I've been mostly fine with this, but last night was the final straw. We are fighting mobs, and our camp occasionally has a mob spawn amongst us. This is fine because I can run away and drag the mob out of linking range. The catch was that the WAR was apparently just at the edge of the aggro line, and used a Weapon Skill (high damage but long "cooldown" of a sort type ability) and ripped aggro from me. I provoked, and was mostly full health so healing wouldn't have done anything. Flash and my various other abilities are on cooldown, so I move away. This should have been a hint. But it wasn't, so I told him to move. But he continued to stand there, because he assumed I would pull it off him. I couldn't, and we got lucky and the mob died before the next one aggroed, but only moments later. So basically we had no downtime between fights, because he wasn't keeping track of the cooldown of my abilities (not that he should have), he couldn't control his aggro (he could have), and he didn't listen to me (he should have).

So I've come to two very angry conclusions for you DPSers (doesn't apply to healers):

First, listen to the tanks. Period. Don't think. Don't assume. If he or she tells you to move, MOVE! Tells you to stop attacking, QUIT ATTACKING! They aren't saying this because they like to hear the sound of their own voice, or the sound their keyboard makes.

Second, it is a tanks job to control aggro. It is not their job to fix your screwups. Basically, control your threat! If going all out rips the hate off the tank, then it seems kinda stupid to go all out, doesn't it? If you don't know how to control your threat, figure out how, or ask for tips from others. There are always ways. There's something you can do, and you should figure out what that way is.

Anyway, as of next week going to make him understand.

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