A Counter-Intuitive Idea For Tanks in LFR
Posted by Blessing of Kings [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 October 2013, 12:19 am
One of the major problems with LFR is the lack of tanks. Queue times for non-tanks can be very long. Losing a tank can cause your group to wait for a long time to get another tank, which often leads to a cascade of other people leaving.

First, let's acknowledge all the things which have been done in an effort to attract more tanks to the game. Threat has been nullified as a meaningful mechanic. Multiple new tank specs have been introduced. Extra rewards have been given out to tanks. The number of required tanks per raid has been reduced. And yet, all of these have not really solved the problem. At best we can say that maybe the problem would have been a lot worse without these actions.

So here's my idea for improving tanking in LFR:

Increase the number of tanks in LFR from 2 to 4.

This seems counter-intuitive. How can increasing the number of required tanks improve our experience?

Here's my theory. Whenever you ask about why people don't tank, they talk about the pressure, about the visibility of the role. There is a lot of truth to this. When you look at LFR, tanks are the only role where there is no "slack", no room for error. Raids are designed around 2 tanks, and usually both tanks have to perform at a high level to be successful.

If you look at healers in LFR, you can usually get by if four of the six are decent. For DPS, 10-12 decent dps are usually enough. Both these roles have slack, room for players who are less skilled. In contrast, the tanking role has no room for slack. On most LFR fights, both tanks have duties that they need perform successfully.

If we moved to four tanks, but left fights designed around two, there would be slack in the tanking role. Maybe instead of having a tank swap and having the current off-tank pick up adds, you could have two tanks dedicated to the tank swap, and two tanks on adds full-time. If one tank dies, the others can compensate. Instead of two tanks having to be perfect on a tank swap, you could have three tanks swapping. This would mean that it's okay if a tank misses a taunt.

For an inexperienced tank, it's far better to be the fourth on the roster, and maybe have one dedicated duty, rather than have to pull the full weight of a co-equal tank.

This plan wouldn't work in normal raiding, because the group controls the number of tanks, and always reduces the tanks to the minimum in order to add more DPS. But in LFR, the game controls the number of tanks. The game can throw in four tanks each time. As well, this ratio is closer to the ratio required for 5-man dungeons.

An LFR with 4 tanks, 6 healers, and 14 dps would have a larger margin for error in each role. One weaker tank will not doom the raid, any more than a weaker healer or a weaker DPS will. This will make it easier for people to start tanking and may lead to more tanks overall. Spreading out the load among more tanks should reduce the pressure on each individual tank.

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