Dear Drama Mamas: On my last trip to the Trial of the Champion, I (a Paladin tank/healer) picked up a random warrior DD. At some point before the first pull, the Rogue asked who the tank was. The healer answered that I was the tank. At this point I looked at my fellow party-mates and noticed that the Warrior was wearing a shield. I asked him if he could change his spec, and he didn't reply. We waited a moment, and since he still didn't reply, I pulled the first boss. He started to use taunts on the boss (who was marked to be killed last), instead of keeping with the marked target. It took a while to get the three champions down, but I've had worse.
Before the next pull, the healer asked who the tank was, thinking it was just a misunderstanding. She offered to respec to shadow, so that I could heal and so that the Warrior could tank. The Warrior insisted, however, that there was no misunderstanding -- he was a shield-wearing, protection-skilled damage dealer.
Without further ado, we continued the instance and finished it successfully. The protection DD, unsurprisingly, did significantly less damage than I did. How can I solve a situation like this, without making a fool of myself or of him? Thanks in advance, A Confused Paladin
Drama Mama Lisa: Honestly, unless the Warrior seemed open to conversation (which it doesn't sound as if he was), your best bet is to manage the situation in a way that allowed your group to succeed -- which you did, most admirably. We really don't know why this Warrior was choosing to DPS with this particular setup. Maybe he didn't know better -- but maybe he did. Maybe he was simply weary of tanking and he wasn't dual-specced. The point is, you did manage to salvage a workable group without "making a fool of myself or him." That's the win right there.
If you do find an opening for conversation, though, you could work in some of these good points from WoW.com's resident He-Man Tank Matthew Rossi:
"See, I disagree with you because of the line that the shield-wearing Warrior was TAUNTING," he explained when I asked him about your question (with a caps-lock warning thrown in for good measure). "You DO NOT TAUNT if you do not want to be the tank. NOT EVER. The only time you as a Warrior in a five-man hit the taunt button is if the tank is dead or there is a mob about to rip off the healer's face. If the tank is alive, all you do is bring that mob back to him and do as little damage as possible so that he can get it back. You do not taunt, ever, if you are there to DPS outside of these two situations. You certainly do not pick a mob that is to be killed last and taunt it and effectively tank it, forcing the healer to heal two tanks and lowering the overall DPS on the focus target."
"If you want to run heroics as a prot spec DPS, there are at least three issues to consider:
- Most protection Warriors will have Improved Defensive Stance. This means that their damage output is significantly boosted while tanking in D stance. This also means that when not tanking, they will lose the benefit of this talent because it requires attacks to be focused on them. (This is probably why that prot Warrior taunted that mob, which he still shouldn't do.)
- If you're there to DPS with a prot spec, WEAR DPS GEAR.
- Don't DPS in defensive stance. It has a threat increase and a DPS decrease baked right in. You're the one who said you didn't want to tank; don't make the guy who IS tanking suffer for your choice.
Thanks, Concerned Pally, for being savvy and cool under pressure enough to roll with the punches and make this against-the-grain group a success -- and thanks, Matt, for lending insights that may head off an uncomfortable situation in the future.
Drama Mama Robin: Awesome advice as usual from Mr. Rossi. In my opinion, The Taunter needed to be kicked from the group. He had already made a fool of himself and, honestly, good DPS is readily available. Obviously, as Lisa said, you already did a great job by salvaging the situation with class and skill. In the future, save yourself some grief by just replacing The Taunter quickly and enjoying the rest of your PuG without stress.
Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.