Tank and Hunter…Love and Hate
The relationship between the tank and hunter is ever more important in Cataclysm. We have to be on the same page working as a team much like police SWAT. The tank, not whoever is the dungeon guide is, in my opinion should be marking the targets. The tank and hunter should have a clear understanding of how the pull will happen and the timing that needs to take place. The both of them should develop a rhythm together.
First and foremost everyone needs to understand that speed runs are outdated. If you don’t have 30 – 40 minutes to spend in a dungeon then don’t bother. The average DPS wait on my home server is 30 – 45 minutes. I want to enjoy myself for sure once I get in, but I also will not tolerate people belittling others are acting towards me in such a manner. I can go work on a profession instead.
Here are two examples of what can happen in a group setting. One will be when the tank and hunter work as a unit, the other when things go to Hades because they do not.
I’m finally geared enough to do heroics. So I decided to use LFD to get into one. It was never a real issue in Wrath, but this ain’t Wrath. I wait 35 minutes to finally get my dungeon summons. The wait was not a big deal. I was finishing up the Twilight Highlands zone and looking for the rare lion to tame.
The group formed and I look at the composition to see what kind of CC and potential damage output we can do. Just a quick visual assessment. The first thing I notice is that I’m the only one with any viable CC ability. That’s cool, I know it’ll be my job. I actually like doing it. I get a chance to use some really cool hunter abilities.
The first bit of trouble I notice is that the tank is not doing the marking of the targets. The tank was a warrior and the frost death knight was doing the marking as well as being at the head of the group and calling the shots. The death knight says circle is for my frost trap. I quickly ask who is tanking. No answer. I understand that some people sign up for multiple roles and I wanted to make sure that I did not MD the wrong person. Was the death knight going to switch from Frost to Blood and the warrior go from Protection to Fury or Arms? No answer. Well there was an answer. The warrior charged into the group without any CC, and completely failed at creating any kind of aggro for threat management.
The group wiped except for me. I popped FD just in time not to pay a visit to the graveyard. The frost trap I did get off was broken by DPS damage. Upon the other four members getting back into the dungeon the healer immediately drops the group. I should have done the same, but I didn’t. Healers have an almost instant queue for LFD. Then the death knight laid into me calling me names and asking why I didn’t use CC. I dropped group and I know they got the floor wiped up pretty good. The wrong person was in charge and had not a clue about hunter class mechanics as a trapping goes. The tank did not look for the MD buff and was non-communicative.
In my book, if you’re not the tank in a PUG, you’re not the shot caller. Sit down, shut up and wait. I need the tank, the tank needs me, and the group needs us. Here is a dirty Cataclysm secret. Tank only pulling only works in certain situations. Pulling three or more elites as a tank will equal a graveyard trip most of the time for the entire group.
I love running dungeons with the guild. Why? Familiarity, patience, communication, and understanding. I was working with one of the guild tanks and we did pulls that were smooth as glass. The tank told which target was mine to CC. I put MD on the tank and the tank asked me to make sure I put my Hunter’s Mark on the skull target (I was using my dog whom has the ability lock jaw). Then I went camouflage and set my trap. As soon as the trap armed the mob was frozen in a block of ice. The group rushes, MD goes off, the tank lets the Avenging Shield fly. I still have not fired a single shot and my pet is with me. The tank needs a few seconds to build up threat. Three seconds go by and pet is in action along with me letting arrows fly to the targets in marked order. As each target goes down I put my mark on the next one.
Did it take longer to do the pulls? Yes it did. Was it always perfect? No. Did we have fun? Yes. Did we all live with minimum repair bills, get good loot and be polite. A resounding yes. Guess who benefited most from the pulling we did? The healer. No OOM, and no pulling the hair out do to stupid stuff happening.
Let us talk about the hunter ice trap. I’m finding that some tanks don’t know that we no longer have Freezing Arrow as an ability. It was removed and replaced with Trap Launcher. Freezing Arrow was instant in its nature. Ice Trap is not instant. All hunter traps have a two second arming time. That means that once we deliver the trap it still takes another two seconds for it to arm and then fulfill its purpose. Ice trap, because it is not a damaging trap by design does not produce much aggro. Therefore the slightest twitch by any DPS person before the tank fully engages will snap up aggro and shoot that person up the threat meter like a rocket. MD actually works best when hunters are using damage abilities in conjunction with it.
I want to love all tanks, but if you are a non-communicative, group commander lacking type I will most likely have some seething hate for you. We’re a unit, therefore we need to really work in harmony at times more so than the rest of the group. How we set the battlefield often will help to determine the outcome.
Hunters, help your tanks, and tanks help your hunters. Now back to your regularly run dungeons. Enjoy.
CC = Crowd Control
MD = Misdirection
OOM = Out Of Mana
LFD = Looking For Dungeon Tool
PUG = Pick Up Group