Just finished running a PUG with my sister healing. We knew we were in for a nailbiter when the tanks says “I am Def-capped, I know I only have 25k HP, just give me a chance.” Because, well, while that should be enough to run a heroic, I find that people who are running low on stamina are usually running low on everything else, too. Avoidance is nice in a tank. Besides which, the tank wasn’t at 25k HP. He was barely over 23k… with Blessing of Kings and Improved Fortitude on him. So, yeah, he’s rocking some crappy greens and some really low-level blues to get there, but his gear is ok (not good or great, but ok)… except that most of it isn’t gemmed and none of it is enchanted. Not even with Heavy (or regular) Borean Armor kits. I’ll never understand how people can treat their gear so shoddily. I may not always have the best-in-slot enchant on every piece. I may use superior gems instead of epics in some gear. I’m as frugal as the next guy and I’m a big believer in “good enough,” but seriously? Nothing? At 80 the only reason I ever have an unenchanted piece is because I just picked it up (while in the instance) and it’s an upgrade, even unenchanted.
Anyway, the run went pretty well. The tank was exceptionally squishy. I kept him shielded and my sister spammed Holy Light on him more or less nonstop, relying on my passive Vampiric Embrace to heal up the party on AoE damage and only switching to another target as needed or if a dps pulled aggro (he was having some threat issues). We never wiped, but we lost the tank twice (in fact, he was the only one to die). Both times the dps DK was quick to switch to Frost Presence and pick up the slack. My sister was getting really frustrated. But as a healer myself, I know how tanks are supposed to take damage, and a line racing towards red as fast as it can despite the healer throwing everything she has at it isn’t what it’s supposed to do. And the second time we lost him, I had dropped out of shadow to heal him, too, and he still went down. So I inspected him again, thinking that he might be another one of those tanks who like the 0/71/0 type of spec, and as we all know that’s not always the best idea. So, anyway, I inspect the guy and… the guy is in a ret spec. So I tell him, “Not to be rude, but do you realize that you’re in a ret spec?” Thinking he’ll say “oops, my bad” and switch. So here it comes, the “oops, forgot to switch…” and he never switches, just pulls the next group. And then the next. And then the final boss. All without ever switching to his prot spec. Now, I know that gear is important, and that for most tanks defense cap comes from gear. But tanking specs have talents that increase avoidance, mitigation, armor, health, and other nice bonuses that are useful for tanking. That’s why tanks spec into them and don’t tank in another one, like, say, (picking a spec almost at random) Retribution.
As far as fail PUGs go, this one was pretty mild, but it still just irks me off that my sister had an incredibly stressful run as a healer because once again, the tank couldn’t be arsed to know what the heck he’s doing before queuing up as a shield. After checking his armory to see if he even had a prot spec (he did, and I’ll admit I was surprised), I can’t say that his “prot spec” would have been too much better. No improved RF (for the damage reduction), skipped the bonus stamina talent, and went holy off-spec so skipped the 5% parry talent in the ret tree. Seriously, people, there is a time and a place for everything, and 80 heroics is not the time and place to be figuring out what you’re doing. They may not be “srs bzns” but they’re not the laughable breeze that overgeared progression raiders would have you believe, either. They’re easy when you outgear them, yes, but when you don’t overgear them the little things matter. Like having the right sort of gear, the right spec, and buffing up as best you can. Certainly, they don’t have any overly taxing game mechanics, but they do have big monsters that hit pretty hard, even on plate. Which is why you have a tank and a healer in the first place. It’s disheartening to see the number of people that have taken to “tanking” for the faster queues without giving any sort of thought to what tanking actually involves.