I was tanking the Gates of Retribution on my Death Knight the other night. Only particular reason I was tanking on my Death Knight, was the need to obtain a decent weapon, and I find myself too lazy to even try getting 20000 coins from Timeless Isle for Yak-Herder's Longstaff. To be frank, that polearm is not really worth it. As the Death Knight is already geared enough to enter Siege of Orgrimmar, any weapon from the Siege would be major upgrade over the current weapon in comparison to that polearm, that is only slightly better.Suffice to say, that I already killed Nazgrim. I gritted my teeth in order to get to the third wing that is to open next week. Because of my luck being summoned on the last boss in previous attempt to clear this wing,
We started in the harbour, where we lost half an hour just waiting for the second tank to appear, after the first one left as soon as he came in. We cleared the thrash and then patiently waited. Of course, it cannot go without a few trolls now and then pulling the boss. For the lulz, they said... Sure, for the lulz.
I fail to see the humour in such fun of individuals when I am the one paying for my repair bills. Yet I understand that some people have urges. Urges they cannot suppress, or will not hold back. All is fine with that. Well, it is not fine. It is just that, if I want things done, I need those lulzers too. Beggars cannot be choosers. And when you enter LFR, you are a beggar. No matter your role. You are all the same, and all are needed, tanks, healers, and damage dealers as well. Even though the loss of a damage dealer commonly hurts the least.
Until the end of the wing, I tanked along somewhat short of ten different tanks. On average, each co-tank stayed long enough to either kill one boss, or clear the trash. Some left after successful clears, and probably had all they needed, others left after a couple of wipes. Because we just could not find the same wavelength, that one line where tanking and swaps become much more like an intricate dance, than a dull and tedious attempt to finish the calvary.
Alas, that is not what I wish to discuss today. What I wish to discuss is the addition of the third tank to the LFR. We had unbelievable blockade at the Dark Shamans. We tanks failed to swap bosses at time, creating confusion while failing to do our job properly. The damage dealers were, rather than taking care of spawning slimes, focused only on the boss. Melee, that continually found themselves in the middle of slimes, reacted instinctively and started dealing havoc all around, killing themself in the process.
I will not claim that we were successful only because of my brilliant idea, as we had at least four attempts before we were able to kill those two Dark Shamans. The buff of failure certainly helped, as it did getting more familiar with the whole encounter. Yet one thing made the whole encounter much easier, and great deal less stressful. I introduced the idea of the third tank.
Figuring, that the real problem with the encounter for tanks lies in swapping two bosses, as the swap was always awkward, too late or confused. Either one tank taunted the other boss, and the other tank forgot to swap and taunted that same boss back. Thus stacks on first tank just piled up.
I asked if any of the damage dealers present had a tanking spec, and was willing to give it a try. There was one good soul. I explained the plan to my, now two, co-tanks. One of them was to take care of the Kardris. He would tank that one Dark Shaman the whole encounter. No awkward swaps, no weird searching and positioning. Straightforward tank and spank. The other tank, was to take care of Haromm with me. Here tactics stayed the same. We would taunt off of each other, when we reached five stacks of Froststorm strike debuff.
I can only say we were successful. Damage dealers did their job, taking the slimes out first. Healers did not struggle as there were no special, out of the ordinary damage spikes. And we three tanks did our job as it was to be done. Without complaint. And all this, after we just tried rotation for three tanks. In first attempt.
Now, I understand that it is not rational having three tanks in LFR. That way you practically cut the list of tanks available for LFR. Every third LFR group would lose the tank. The queues that can be close to unbearable for a damage dealers, would become near impossible. Yet I will say this. If you are in LFR, and are in truth tank, and only apply as damage dealer, we all know who you are, no need to hide it, own up to it, help out your fellow tanks. Many encounters become much more manageable with the third tank.
You will never learn the encounter until you try and tank it. No matter how many strategies you read and tutorials you watched. And this process is much easier if there is one more tank than the usual two. With three tanks, only a part of otherwise whole responsibility falls on each tank. Thus each tank has much easier burden to bear.