My brother and I queued for the heroic random together, today. I was on my paladin. He was on his hunter. I was healing. He was DPSing.

We get a group, zone into Halls of Stone and I see the tank is a paladin who immediately starts buffing kings. Okay, I buff wisdom and might, even though I have crap might. The tank gives us Sanctuary. I give us kings. It’s all good.

’till the second pull.

The tank takes a crapton of damage.

Like, a CRAPTON.

I’m actually having to use Holy Light.

In general, I’m okay with this. He “only” has 36k health, buffed. That’s fine. He’s using the badge shield. That’s fine. I figure that he’s undergeared and I didn’t feel like taking the deserter debuff. He was prot, at least, using Sanctuary, had Righteous Fury up. It appeared like he was putting in the effort.

My brother says to me, over vent, after a couple more pulls “MAN, this tank sucks! How can he suck so bad?”

“Well, he’s got to be a new tank. Look at his health.”

“He’s got a 5400 gear score.”

“What? Not possible.” I don’t have the GS mod enabled on my paladin (too much lag with it on) so I figured my brother was looking at the DK.

“I’m telling you, 5400 GS.”

“On the TANK? The paladin? The paladin who’s not me?”

“Yes. The tank. The paladin.”

“Not poss…i…ble. Hang on.”

I inspect him.

Sure enough, he’s got good gear. Great gear. But it’s ret gear and arena gear. He has precisely two pieces of gear on him with defense/parry/dodge/block and those are his weapons; the tanking axe out of H HoR and the badge tanking shield.

“Why are you wearing ret gear and arena gear?” I ask in party, as I spam the paladin with Holy Light against one of the big guys.

“Who me?” asks the DK.

“No. The tank.”

“Oh,” says the DK.

“its all i have rite now” says the paladin.

“Then you shouldn’t queue up as a tank,” I reply. Then my brother and I left the group in the middle of the pull.

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done it, but I have HAD it with idiots who don’t even make the slightest effort to be a decent tank. Had it! I am DONE with it. This guy, upon examining his armory, was specced thusly: 0/71/0. I wasn’t even aware that there WERE that many points you could spend in the prot paladin tree. His glyphs were crap. His spec is obviously crap (although he got all the good prot talents, he got nothing from ret to help with avoidance, like Parry, nor did he get Seal of Command to help with threat) and his gear was almost entirely DPS gear.

I shouldn’t have left. He was immune to critical strikes by virtue of resilience alone. And I had figured that would probably be the case. And I still left.

Why did I leave? I could have kept him up. Could have been a quick run.

I left because I don’t want to encourage people who don’t put any effort into their roles. I am exceedingly careful to NOT be a drag on any group I’m in, regardless of the role. Kurn was hit-capped before setting foot into a raid. Madrana upgraded her gear ASAP and was still holding on to some Tier 6/BT/Hyjal stuff until better stuff dropped. Lotana’s hit-capped. Katarah can heal just fine with her 4.8k GS and can even pull average DPS when she needs to as enhancement. Cayllan tanks and heals just fine, though it took a little practice and some extra gear at first (when I could NOT keep aggro from a geared, whirlwinding warrior or divine storming ret pally).

To top all that off, I use consumables to bump up my contribution to the group. Tanking on either Madrana or Cayllan? Yeah, I’ll be using Mighty Fortitude and Guru’s Elixirs, plus appropriate buff food (40 agi for the bear, 40 hit for the paladin whose hit rating is somewhat lacking). DPSing on Kurn? Agi/Guru and Mighty Thoughts Elixirs, plus agi food. DPSing on Lotana? Spellpower and Mighty Thoughts Elixirs, plus spellpower food. Healing on Cayllan? Spirit and spellpower elixirs, plus spellpower food. Healing on Madrana? At least a Guru’s Elixir or my Flask of the North, even for random dungeons.

Basically, I work at making sure I’m doing my best, regardless of the group into which I’m placed.

Other people just don’t do that.

And yet, I’m forced to play with them if I want to jump through the hoops Blizzard has so carefully designed for us. I run my daily on Madrana every day. I’ve missed THREE days, total, since the Dungeon Finder came out and we started getting Emblems of Frost for doing the first random dungeon of the day. That is a LOT of pugging.

I don’t expect people to do as much work on their toons as I do. I don’t expect others to be as considerate of the group as I usually tend to be. But I do expect others to make a half-decent effort. 0/71/0 is not a good tanking spec. Two pieces of gear with defense on it is not good tanking gear. That isn’t even putting in the effort to look up a halfway decent spec, you know?

What I expect of people is this:

- appropriate gear for the instance level. That means a tank who is crit immune via 535+ defense or Survival of the Fittest, NOT via 100% resilience.

- appropriate spec(s) for the role(s) they have selected. That means one that, even if slightly unorthodox, helps you do your job to the best of your ability. And it means that you tank in your tank spec, heal in your heal spec and DPS in your DPS spec. Tanking in a DPS spec, healing in a DPS spec and DPSing in a tank or healing spec will make me want to throttle you.

Even on my priest, who is now 50, I have not signed up as “damage” for any dungeon thus far because I am not shadow! I do not have a dual spec on that toon and am 41 points into disc. Thus, I do not queue as shadow!

Similarly, neither of my druid’s specs are damage specs, thus I never queue up as DPS.

Hell, same for Madrana, she NEVER queues as DPS because she doesn’t have the appropriate spec OR gear.

Is it really too difficult to ask people to put in the base amount of effort? Am I really expecting too much from people who play this game? I’m not asking for tanks with 60k health to heal through my random dungeons every day. I’m asking for a tank who knows the basics of tanking.

It makes me want to get on the druid and tank the living crap out of a bunch of heroics tonight just so that people don’t lose hope in the myth of “good tanks”.