Might be a pessimistic/negative view, but imo, bad players will probably stay bad tanks forever; average players can become good tanks; good players can virtually play any class in a matter of 1week of being 60. You can't really change it, just hope the bad players are spread in multiple classes and not stacked in the warrior class.
I actually really agree with this statement. Good players adapt. They learn from mistakes far more then they do from success. They understand when you die to things like dark glare on Cthun it means "move the fuck out of the way next time so it doesnt happen. Good players can adapt to almost any class within a week of 60 because they see what they did wrong and why they are failing
Bad players are bad because they dont understand the concept of adapting. Every guild has those hand full of players that everyone cringes at when they join the raid on something like cthun or even loot pinata encounters such as grobbulus because they simply dont understand stuff like moving and adapting to your surroundings or doing stuff on the fly.
The average players are the majority of progressive guilds player base. They can understand adapting and why not do stuff differently because it either gets you killed or wipes the raid but you have to spell it out for them before they really catch on. Average players tend to have to hold hands with the good players to be good at their class. All in all average players become good players when they have the naturally better players telling them scripts or how to deal with a situation and they just memorize what to do
We had massive problems of the same sort of thing with our guild awhile ago. Basically if I didn't turn up, the raid would struggly horribly, even on farm content. A few things I've noticed from my point of view at least.
The raid trusts their MT. Personally, I try and get friendly with all the classes (this helps as I raid lead as well). Even having a diverse number of friends in the guild from different classes means that the raid will trust you more. Obviously this trust must be earnt, but if raid morale goes down the drain when they don't see the usual brick wall between them and the big bad, then they'll sure as hell be hesitant to play the same way they always do. The first thing I try and push to all tanks is work out how, in any situation, you can maximise your threat as fast as possible. If people are afraid of hitting or healing due to aggro problems the new tank will a) lose confidence, due to people whinging about lack of tanking ability, or b) do a lacklustre job, which sometimes ends in a wipe.
Henaki's idea is great. When you're in a raid, give one of your OTs a boss to fight and act as the backup net. You know how to control your own threat (hopefully :P) and can stay just behind your OT to "catch" the boss if something goes wrong.
Some people can't adapt. They may be the best dps warriors or the nicest people, but under stressful boss circumstances, they simply are unable to adapt to that situation that draws the line between wipe and success. They're either not fast enough to react on a Shield Wall, Gift of Life, potion, etc, or aren't prepared to stretch outside their own personal safety zone. The easiest way to aleviate some of this is with strong, adaptive healers. The amount of times that I've seen tanks go down one by one on trash packs in Naxx and BWL and nobody pick up the mob is sort of annoying. Our good tanks will run across, taunt a second, third, or fourth mob onto themselves to save the raid. Thankfully our healers are on the ball enough (most of the time :P) to notice these tanks and start chaining heals to keep them up.
That said, some people won't look at that situation as dangerous, and happily tank their mob in the corner while a loose abomination rips a hole in your raid, then complain about dying when their healers get eaten by said loose mob.
The key things have been mentioned above, time and time again, practice, patience and adaptability, but main tanking requires a large degree of trust between warrior and raid to be successful also. Obviously putting in the research of an instance and actively seeking help to improve will help, but some people won't, and simply won't improve as a warrior ever.
Finally, if you're teaching someone how to tank a certain mob, unless the raid is about to collapse in a steaming heap of emo, don't make them give up after a few attempts if they are getting slowly better. Even training priests on Razuvious took us awhile, just in case our usual 2 MCers were AWOL for a raid, but positive reinforcement, and actually giving them a fair go, without people abusing them in some sort of channel makes a difference.
I loved using the BWL drakes for training new tanks and building confidence. One of the more useful things is they're big and ugly - and tauntable. As MT you tell your new tank that you'll be right there in tank gear ready to taunt and take over if he dies. This generally removes a lot of the pressure of "omg if I screw up the raid wipes", and lets the guy focus on tanking, positioning etc.
Ebonroc in particular allows you to get a fairly undergeared tank into the thick of things - and there's little risk if he dies. Flamegor and Firemaw are good confidence boosters for the up-and-coming MT.
After that, you can move them on to harder hitting and roles with more risk - make him tank Chromaggus - an excellent confidence builder and trainer mob - and one that you can pace threat with in case of disaster.
There are many aspects to being a competent raider - MT is no exception. When you put a new guy in front of a big ugly mob, don't leave him out there to hang. Make sure he knows you're all with him. Discuss positioning, tanking strategy, special techniques (like using FR pots to clear Firemaw's debuff). Hand him fort pots, FR pots, stamina food, flask, etc. I found I really only had to do this once or twice with the talented warriors before they were turning down pots and food and stuff because they'd brough their own.
Anyway, I really believe that nobody should be essential to the raid. As soon as you've learned something critical and essential, it's worth the time of the raid to train someone else to do it. It builds confidence in the group, and in the individual players - and the occasional extra wipe during training is worth the stronger raid group.
I have to say, one of the most rewarding aspects of the game is taking a new green warrior, and working with him to build his skill confidence and experience - and then suddenly waking up to realize that you've helped produce a really great raider and main-tank.
Having the others tank while you're there is definitely a very very good idea, for one additional reason: You're there to bail them out in the end. The idea here is that after, say, the second wipe while they're practicing, you step in and finish it off nicely. This accomplishes a couple of things: First, they'll be in a position to reflect on how what they did was different from what you did, and it'll make more of an impression when they've just wiped than when they're being DPS. Second, it keeps the rest of the raid from getting despondent about the lack of progress.
Throwing them in the deep end is better done once they're a bit more experienced.
I'll also note that it's a good idea to give out different roles at different times: Being the MT and main assist is far different from off-tanking the mob that will get killed second. I was very insecure for a while (and unpracticed) in my skills at getting snap aggro, because I was always OTing. I could build huge aggro, but because my mob was always the second target and never the first, I never had the need to get that fast initial aggro. And when I practiced doing it, I wasn't sure how well I was doing, because there were no rogues there ready to get their faces shredded when I messed up. MTing boss fights is also slightly different, as each boss has gimmicks, and people tend to ramp up a little bit because they know they're settling in for a long haul.
So: *Do* have other people take on MT responsibilities when you're there to back them up in time to keep the raid from lynching them. *Do* make sure that they understand that you're taking over so that the raid will make progress, and that you're looking forward to seeing how they do on thta boss next week. *Do* suggest that they pay attention to what you do when you take over from them (and if you've noticed specific problems they have, point out what to look for). *Don't* throw them in the deep end alone until they're reasonably confident and competent. And finally, *Do* assign different roles to different people, as trash MT, trash OT, boss MT, and boss OT jobs can vary a lot in what skills they require.
i am raidleader and maintank from a raid group containing 8 or 9 small guilds that come together for raid nights for like 1,5 years now.
We killed C'thun last week and have Razuvious and Anub down.
what you need to understand is that you cannot do all the work on your own.
other people must do the work too, to get used to it.
days like a bad AQ20 raid are perfect, all the other guys will learn from that.
if you get the chance let the other warriors tank specific encounters so they can get a feeling for threat, aggro and stuff.
give the raid leader to other persons so that they really get to know how to swith groups for encounters, do all the shouting...
at the end its all about practice.
every raid has its "special" persons: carebears, hardcore-overnuker, wipe-kids, whatever and the practice will make things go better and better.
I've always wondered (coming from a very long term EQ background) why guilds in WoW didn't rotate MTs more often and on non-trivial content. Heck, in EQ tanking was vastly easier for the most part and yet getting any and all of your tanks face-time was always a smart thing to do. I guess a lot of it comes down to the way so many of WoW Warriors don't see themselves as tanks at all and like the role about as much as a sPriest likes healing.
Still, I think it is extremely important to have a number of warriors that actually like tanking around and to get them to not only talk about tanking with each other but to have the lesser-geared tanks actually tank important encounters. You'll not only save burning out your 'usual' main tank but you'll have a happier raidforce in general I think. I personally would hate to be the secondary tank all the damn time ;)
This is what I believe to be a common problem among warriors in guilds. A few months ago our MT went on holiday for 3 weeks, we had ample cover but she had been the MT for so long almost exclusively that the DPS and healing classes had no confidence that could get through content without her.
Since that rut in the guilds history I've made sure theres plenty of tank rotation happening and that there is no such thing as a 'dps warrior'. Even our highest performing Fury warriors tank regularly. We've used 4 different MTs for nef, 5 different tanks for emps and most warriors know how to tank most encounters now.
I changed from DPS to second MT when we needed one in my first guild, and I can tell you I had my heart somewhere around my knees when I first had to tank Emps. I was lucky I was sufficiently geared for the job at that time because I was witness to many, many tank splats when we first started doing the Emps fight earlier that year and I'm sure many potential tanks can be spooked by that :)
Nowadays I find it somewhat addictive to tank big bosses, and it annoys me to no end to see people fool around doing that important job. I've had to physically log onto the MT's account and tank Heigan just so we could do the fight. I tried it on my own char first, but as a Fury spec I just couldn't maintain aggro on him with our ranged damage. Just the little things, knowing where to go blindly on each splash, that you'd have to move to the third splashzone but slowly walk back towards the platform when the dance was about to begin, all that. The good news was tho, that after I showed him what to do (and rubbed it in his face, that usually works too ;)), he picked it up pretty quickly.
But yea, let all of team warrior tank a boss on occassion. Start with farmcontent bosses because even if your wars are drooling spastic retards, having seen a bossfight a thousand times before does help, after that you can move to the big stuff. Pay for the 50g respec costs from the guildbank and just announce you're gonna need a new tank for Boss X in Zone Y tonight. It might be a little spooky at first, but it beats "Sorry guys no raid today, the MT isn't here" any day of the week.
My guild has what is probably the best warrior corps on the server, hardcoreness aside. I know other Hyjalians read these boards but I don't care, if you don't know it, we do ;)
This has been I think more of a luck thing than anything else...I have tried to work with a couple of poor tanks in my time and it just hasn't been worth the effort, you either have it or you don't. Communication is key, obviously, as is community...but really from my perspective I simply hold them to very high standards, I take full responsibility when I fuck up and I hold them accountable when they fuck up. I do not accept poor play from the tanks, period, and we had such a strong and steady corps of warriors coming from the time we were still leveling that the pride in that is pretty steep. The tanking heirarchy is what it is, you don't get moved up artificially, when a warrior is gone and you're in their spot, or one goes down, that's your time to show what you've got. Our attendance rates allow for a good amount of rotation through tanks in most farm content, but that's really what opportunity the ambitious tanks have.
The bottom line is though, some have it and some don't. You can teach many things, but you cannot teach attentiveness, intelligence, reflexes, situational awareness, aggressiveness, or adaptivity. That is where we've been lucky, we have managed to gain some really knock-out wars in our time, if you don't have talent at warrior you won't have much. This is not to say that you can't make players better -- you can, I've seen it, but tanking is just really goddamned difficult to "make" happen.
The majority of the encounters still demands more from the 1/1 MT than from 1/20 DDs or 1/15 Healers. Thus you want your best players to tank. It might be that simple.
Give everyone a shot and if all fail you need to recruit a new tank.
Binding a few keys seems like a must, since, as a warrior a few skills dont activate global cooldown so you can activate shield block, heroic strike and something with global cooldown at the same time, which you might want in a few occasions ;)
And make sure they have pots available when lag or whatever denies them heals. I like having livegiving gem and last stand bound to my mouse.
I often hear below average tanks say "Why did nobody heal me? I was waiting for a heal for X seconds and nothing happened", whilst a good tank should, under normal circumstances, only die when all his survival options are on cooldown.
Edit: one more thing came to my mind: The really bad tanks don't even notice when they loose aggro. Thus all tanks should have visible and instructional target's target shown or similar, so they actually notice when they loose aggro and what other class/person got aggro after them. This should stop the occasional target stealing among tanks as well.
The problem is that a lot of people do not care about threat, number crunching etc. and the real challenge is finding those that do care enough to at least read the stuff and trying to understand it for what concerns their role.
This is true for tanks as well for dpsers and healers, none excluded.
I can't play any game without attempting at learning all classes, because every bit of info I can scrap could be useful to me in the future. I play only in the evenings, can read sometimes boards in the afternoon (for not too long), so it's not I spend my entire life on WoW or whatever is the game of choice at the moment, but I learn fast. Most people don't, they don't like being pointed as those who fucked up and they don't like being told what to do. Those players are useless and beyond salvation, if your situation is that, give up and boot them.
The day I'll get a guild full of people that play the game the way I do, I'll be one among the seven happiest player in the world, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon... sadly.
Regardless of which class you may play, becoming successful and then maintaining it are all a matter of passion. The players must desire it, if they don't have sufficient desire or interest in doing so, they will not meet the required expectations for the level of content that equates to current "end-game". Finding a group of 40 passionate players is next to impossible, 40 people with that much passion and desire for the game would be left wanting more as you can't have 40 leaders. I'd suggest trying to find a balance, talk to your guild members. You've been on Aegwynn for a long time now, and i'm sure your very familiar with most of them. You just have to deal with what you have, if what you have is incapable of working then make adjustments. As a guild or raid leader your job is never done and you will always come up short somewhere. Use your best judgement to find whats best for your guild and make it happen.
On a side note, coming from a healer standpoint. Numbers are numbers, hp, dodge, parry, block values are all limitations however playstyle plays a large role is responding / reacting to a certain situation. I find that after playing with the same "MT" for god knows how long (2 years?) that I know how to manage him, and now when he'll manage things on his own. Making use of his abilities to coincide with what I can do. Add in that same familiarity with other healers (usual group 1 paladin) ect certain aspects of an encounter become trivial in a sense. Throwing another person / persons into these roles for the first time can cause them to be nervous or unsure of themselves and their capabilities, only resolution to that is to throw them into a situation , offer them any advice / pointers you may have and watch them go. (As someone posted before 20 man content is prime for this, however no 20 man content offers the difficulty levels even near to 40 man content). Luckily for you, your still pretty early in the progression curve, and have alot of time to mold your raid group to be efficient for the later encounters. Start sooner rather than later, and as usual :P hit me up anytime you have questions, you still have the vent info.
Since I mostly see comments regarding to tanking and that's been covered well, I'd also like to address leading, as Zellias seems to do that as well. It's something that also requires practice and some approaches, but one of the least obvious traps someone taking over the leading can fall into is not giving some hints to people on what to do throughout an encounter. Usually leading is taken over by good players, for whom knowing what to do is obvious, and they than simply assume it's obvious for everyone else involved as well, but you'll usually find that most average players do need those reminders to do well.
If we take Noth the Plaguebringer for example, it's a very noticable difference when someone is giving small reminders on what to do than if someone isn't doing so. Just repeating small things like "Mages/Warlocks focus on corners." "Teleport, focus on MT 6/7's targets" and "Okay, we don't want him to teleport a third time, focus on Noth." may seems really obvious, but repeating them for some of the people in your raid can mean the difference between things going well and things going bad ;)