A Day in the Life of a PuG Tank (Beruthiel)

This is a guest post from Beruthiel of Falling Leaves and Wings. She blogs about healing, raiding, and being a resto druid.

*Yawn* *Stretch*

Little Nadine stretches out after a bit of inactivity, loosening up her muscles. As she feels them respond she starts checking her armor, making sure that each piece is in place and in good condition. She gives her sword a few warm up swings, enjoying the swooshing sound as it whizzes by her ear.

She feels ready for action.

“Hmmmm”, she wonders, “Do I want to quest or try my hand at an instance.”  She stands there for a bit, scratching her head with the hilt of her sword, pondering her options. “You know, I get good experience in instances, and they are good practice for me, perhaps I will start tonight’s adventures there.”

She switches her gear around, digs out her shield, and opens the Looking for Dungeon finder to help pair her up with other friendly members of the community that are also looking for a bit of practice.  She debates for a minute about queuing in as DPS – but decides to tank, because she knows that there aren’t a lot of people out there willing to do the job.

She whistles as she carefully places the check box in the “tank” option, and selects the “joins dungeon” button.  In seconds the Looking for Dungeon Tool has paired her up with a group, and she accepts her invite.

And waits….

And waits….

And waits….


Nadine mumbles a few choice words about how people at this level have no excuse to be AFK for dungeon queues, they should be continuing their questing until the queue pops.  She takes a few deep breaths, finds her zen, and calmly accepts her dungeon invite…again.

As she zones into the instance, she observes her groupmates.  Ok – token DK, elemental shaman, moonkin…and feral druid?  Oh wait, the druid seems to be changing specs…but not gear.  Oh wait, there it goes, the druid is gear swapping…piece by piece.  Nadine grinds her teeth and politely lets the druid know about how great the equipment manager in the interface is, and how it helps with gear swaps.

“Oh, yea,” says the druid, “I’m just too lazy to set it up.”

So you’d rather take 5 minutes to swap all of your gear around and make us all wait?  Nadine quietly thinks to herself, but politely waits as he gets his gear organized.

“Huh, I can’t seem to find my off hand.  Oh well, let’s go.”

Wha?!  So not only can you not be bothered to make your life easier…you want to heal me without an offhand because you can’t find it in your bags?!?! I went through all of the trouble to make sure that I have a full tanking set just to make your life easier, and you can’t be bothered to make sure that you have your gear?! Ok.  No biggie.  Nadine again takes a deep breath and finds her zenagain.

“Ok – is everyone ready?” She asks.


Hrmph, I guess silence means yes?

Nadine starts to pull.

The very first pack has 3 mobs in it, and she has control over all….KABAM!

Wha – where did they go?!  Why aren’t they in range anymore?!


Knockbacks.  Great, and the caster that she was able to pull in with Avenger’s shield is out in the middle of nowhere happily shooting at her, and she has no way to silence it again and pull it back in. No problem, she thinks as she goes out to round them up again.

“Please do not knock back, it makes it very hard to keep control of the mobs,” Nadine politely asks as the last mob in the pack dies.

She scopes out the next pull, and see that it, too, has a caster.  However she cannot just charge up to this because there are other enemies in the way.  So she asks the group to stay put, and goes to pull, deftly sneaking behind the wall to force her enemies to come into her.  Everything is going well – all of the mobs are heading to her.  And then she sees it.

CHAIN LIGHTNING! It rips through the air, crackling as it passes by her.


Not one of the three enemies had made it to her yet – but the pretty lightshow that the shaman just showed them sure had their attention.  Alright, you can do this.  Go and save his sorry butt before they melt his face.

“Please wait until all enemies have reached me before starting damage,” Nadine politely asks.

Ok – let’s move on, she thinks.  She again scopes out the room in front of her that has many mobs, and carefully selects her target. Having done so, she moves out and pulls, bringing her foes to her team.  Things seem to be going smoothly, when she notices that all of the sudden EVERYTHING IN THE ROOM IS RUSHING THEM.

Oh god.  Why?  How?

Even as she is asking herself the question she see the stars falling from the sky as the moonkin bounces about.  Ok Nadine, you can do this, it’s just like training!  She gives a groan, unleashes a hand of protection on the moonkin and rushes out to meet the coming onslaught. As her enemies pummel into her, she starts to feel weak and pulls from all of her inner strengths to survive.  Finally the last of her foes have fallen, and much to her amazement all of her allies survived.

“Tank.  Do you think that you could maybe pull without getting the entire room.  I’m not superman here, y’know,” The resto druid states.

Nadine grinds her teeth and bites her tongue before something sharp unleashes from it. She takes a deep breath, and struggles to find her zen again.

“Please do not starfall in rooms where there are lots of mobs,” Nadine politely asks.

As she starts looking for her next pull, she observes that her healer is completely out of mana, and respectfully waits for him to med up.  Well, that was her intent anyhow….


Again, Nadine grinds her teeth and rushes in, taunting the foes from her Death Knight in an attempt to save him.  It’s a challenge, because, of course, he accompanied that death grip with a Death and Decay, so Nadine struggles to gain their attention. Finally she succeeds, and they successfully defeat their foes.

“Do you think that you might be bothered to wait to pull if I don’t have mana? I don’t know how you expect me to heal you on empty,” the Resto Druid states.

Nadine is fuming.  Hot.  Mad. She takes a deep breath, and gives up on zen.

“Please do not pull for me, if I haven’t pulled yet there is a reason for it.  I promise that Iwill keep us moving through the instance quickly,” Nadine politely states.

Taking yet another deep breath, Nadine moves forward. Pull after pull.


Nadine starts to wonder if the entire party has placed her on ignore.  She was sure that she was polite in her requests, she’s not often rude. And yet, nobody seems to have respected her requests. Mercifully, they are finally facing the last foe in the zone.  Nadine pulls, thinking “at last – what more can possibly go wrong?  We are almost done.” She should have known better.


Taunt, Taunt, Taunt, Taunt, Taunt.


Her group successfully finishes the instance, it was a challenge to keep on top of everything, but that was what she was here for, right?  To learn, to become better.  To face the challenges that were presented to her and to come out on top. She feels confident that she succeeded in that.

“Hey tank, you really suck, L2Threat.” The final parting shot from one of the members of the group as they leave the party.

Nadine’s jaw hits the floor.  I what? She throws her hands up in disgust.

As she sits outside in Grizzly Hills analyzing her performance, trying to find where she made mistakes, where she screwed up, feeling like she failed, she realizes something.  No, no she didn’t fail.  She kicked ass.  Her group survived, she successfully navigated everything that both her adversaries and her allies alike threw at her.  No, the problem was most definitely not with something she did wrong. She was a good tank.

Having come to that realization, she looks at the clock and thinks “I suppose I have time for another.”  Only this time when the LFD opens up and asks her what role she’d like,she thinks about it, reflecting on the abuse she suffered in the last group, and selects “Damage.”  Nadine starts whistling as she opens up her quest log and gets down to business while she waits for her group to form.


9 responses to “A Day in the Life of a PuG Tank (Beruthiel)

  1. This was really nice written. Good job!

    I definitely recognised myself in a lot of it. Tanking HCs can be such a bother when people don’t care to play correctly, and of course they still blame you for some unknown reason. It’s going to be interesting to see how the same people fare in Cataclysm when the HCs are a lot more difficult. Any one of those behaviours would cause a wipe.

  2. Anyone who’s ever tanked for a pug will recognise themselves in this. It’s funny and kind of sad at the same time. :/

  3. You don’t even need to have tanked before to see this. Pulling aggro before the tank has a lock on things is the WoW version of “Clues for the Clueless”.

    And yes, I’ve done it before.

    Once. (Which was all it took.)

    Thanks for the post, which caused me to chuckle after my first post-4.01 pug in Drak.

    (I’m not counting the bizarre occurrences where you give the tank time to get a lock, throw down a regular Judgement as your initial attack, and pull aggro. There’s not much you can do there.)

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Day in the Life of a PuG Tank (Beruthiel) | Pugging Pally -- Topsy.com

  5. Indeed, this is exactly why it was often so difficult to find a tank in the middle days of Wrath, after the early cohort of raid-guilded tanks had passed by and quit tanking for pugs, but before the big alt levelling push.

    Well done, Beru!

  6. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun to write 🙂

    I hope you are having a lovely time, Vid!

  7. Oh, man, that was adorable! And far too true, often. For my part, however, I have a threat indicator on grid, letting me know who has aggro… so when someone other than the tank pulls, especially while I’m drinking, I can rip THEM a new one, and not the tank.

    As long as my tank can steal back threat and isn’t a douchenozzle, I am more than happy to heal them.

  8. Very cute narration!!

    I started tanking on my 36 paladin (after being inspired by you) and so far I have encountered a warrior that just would not SIT DOWN like a good little dps and wait for me to pull..no..he decided it was going too slowly….

    SO I let the healer chew him out and he left. Oh well we finished the instance =)

  9. Very welll done. The sad part it happens way to often. While its going on, you ask….does no one else see whats going on? I call this “training day” when you get a run like this. It makes you use your in game tools and in general makes you a quicker tank. It also makes you hate pugs and not want to run in the LFG system. Worst thou, it shortens the temper and very little things make you want to scream.
    Its amazing that people act like this, that there is that big of a lack of understanding in a 20 minute process.
    Again, great story….and in my eyes you did a perfect job. Thanks for writing this.

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