Healer to Tank Transition

“If the tanks succeed, then victory follows.”
Heinz Guderian

Healer to Tank Transition

I’m still thinking about it. A lot.

Having healed since WotLK, I’m pretty good. My fingers know what to do without thought. Habit places me to avoid damage or even to soak damage. Changing talents per circumstance is obvious. And, finally, at this stage of the game, I can anticipate ahead what will happen.

I’m pouring AP into my tanking weapon to get the 3/3/3 on the Crucible. Having heroic gear, I know that I’ll be sturdy even if I don’t know what is going on. I have the tanking pantheon trinket and I think I might have a stat stick. I’ll set aside Legendary stuff for later once and if I commit.

Tanking is a leadership role. I can hear my insecure voices in my head but I have to counter that with the awareness that I’ve been promoted to supervisory roles in every job in real life. One concern as a leader is that I don’t want to be a dick. Perception can be everything!

One odd thought is that in tanking there is no competition. At least that I can see. No one is bragging on numbers. I looked at our raid logs and the two tanks had wildly different dps numbers.

I do have to be prepared to be kicked. As a healer, I’ve only been kicked twice; once when the tank was not in tank spec and everyone blamed me and once when I complained about a player’s dps numbers in a dungeon and had not realized that it was a guild group. As a tank, I can get kicked on a whim.

Getting kicked hurts my soul. Again, drawing on real life, I have put my designs out there for hundreds upon hundreds of shows; I know that the work stands for itself and if you don’t like a design does not mean that you don’t like me. If I get kicked for performance or even a whim, I personally do not suck as a gamer or as a human being.

Playing pvp pet battles, I can honestly see myself advance. I know how to anticipate or what to look for at the start. I have almost zero tanking experience, it could take months to get to the point where my fingers go where they are needed and to react to something with style and panache.

Another thought is that the trade off with me tanking is my voice. To focus on being a tank, I can’t be that chatty guy I usually am. In this I wonder if I’d be benefiting the raid team in the big picture. My ego says that they need my abundant personality!

I’ve learned that my guild can be totally dismissive of my concerns. I don’t know if that is good or bad. I said that I was worried about the number of buttons to push and they blew it off as no big deal. But it is to me a big deal. Setting up a new spec and placing the buttons where they are the best in front of muscle memory is crucial in my eyes. With good preparation, I am less likely to fail but nonetheless I know I have to get into the water and swim even if it looks like splashing to start.

So, I’m working on it without having done much. My intention is to try to tank a LFR next week or the week after. I know the fights and I’d be beefy. I don’t want to do dungeons because I am lost in the Court of Stars and Kara and the Arcway and the Seat of the Triumvirate has me baffled.

So: that is where I’m at. I am worrying over it and reading up on it. I miss the tanking blogs of the past and have been reduced to guides with no personal reflections on the experience.

It could be a lot of fun.


5 thoughts on “Healer to Tank Transition

  1. My biggest trouble with tanking is moving the boss. You know, when you need to constantly drive it somewhere.
    Antorus is not like that, almost every boss is stationary. It maybe an easy raid to start with 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I healed with my holy priest for many, many expansions. In Legion my guild needed another tank so I finished leveling my DK and geared her up asap. I actually had a lot of the same concerns as you. The good news is, being a healer trains you on situational awareness and predicting what needs to be done. Plus as a tank, you’ll know how to support your healers. I’ve had a blast tanking! Give it a shot!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Amazing post! I can’t say much about transitioning from Healer to Tank, but I do have a Brewmaster Monk (DPS to Tank then) and I still can’t stop being nervous if I do a dungeon with her. It’s exactly like you wrote, a Tank is a leader. Knowing the way is usually a task left to the Tank and that wrecks my nerves! Most dungeons are cool but every so often there are a couple that, orientation wise, are a mess!

    Don’t worry about your guild dismissing your concerns. Questions like that usually have pretty much the same answer (or at least I think they do): take your time, adapt if necessary and take control of your actions. This was a huge help when I was setting up my tank. I made sure I knew all the powers and when to use them, I didn’t change the buttons much, since I knew exactly where they were, but did a couple of changes. Every player has their own style and the place where they want their powers to be. Don’t think too much about it!

    I hope it’s not presumptuous of me to say this, but since I have all three specs now, including a healer even if low-level (hello fellow Healer! Now I can say this, eheh), I will share with you an advice that Lord gave me when I started tanking: healers got your back, but don’t forget to mitigate the damage! That’s a very important part of being a Tank, otherwise not even the best Healer will be able to keep up with you! (that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point).

    Sorry about the wall of text, but I wanted to share my opinion with you. Have fun tanking! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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