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Drama Mamas: Time to stop tanking?


Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Our email address is having technical difficulties. If you would like to send us a letter to be answered in our column, please email to for now. On to this week's letter.
Your recent article on Time Management has me considering if I need to change roles in the game.

I'm the main tank for my small 10 man guild. We raid two nights a week. We are currently working on Horridon one night, and going back to HoF/ToES the 2nd night to help some members get better gear. If I don't play, 9 other people don't get to have fun. I also feel a certain responsibility to my guild to have the best gear I can get which means putting in a ton of time into WoW on our non-Raid nights.

The thing is I love playing WoW. I love my guild. I love tanking. It's a blast and a great way to shake off the stresses of my day.

"ask yourself: Which will I be happier to have 10 years from now, a video game mount or the fruits of taking care of my other commitments?"

I'd rather have the fruit of my other commitments. No question about it.

Do you think I need to go to my raid leader and tell him I need to step down as our main tank, and go down to just being available one night for raiding?

I'd have to gear up a DPS toon (the LAST thing my raid needs is another undergeared melee DPS), but then I would only have one night that I absolutely HAVE to be logged on at a specific time (regardless if my commitments are taken care of). The other nights, I can play WoW AFTER I get my other commitments taken care of.

Time Poor Tankadin
Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: I think that even if you had all the time in the world to play, it would still be a good idea for the guild to gear and train another MT. That way the other 9 people don't have to not raid when you can't raid due to whatever reason. I don't, however, think that you should step down as MT. You love to tank, so tank on the night you raid. Once the other tank is up to speed, it should be no problem to just take turns.

I feel very strongly that you should not take the time gearing up a DPS. You want to tank, so tank. I also think that your group should have no problem with your stepping down for one night as long as you help with the transition period. You may not be able to step down for a couple of weeks, but your time off will come soon enough to get you back on track with your non-WoW commitments.

Kudos to you for recognizing your limitations and wanting to be responsible about them! I find that's the hardest part. So many of us try to do the impossible in order to keep doing everything we love. But you're absolutely right; your sacrifice now will make you happier in the long run.

Repeating for emphasis: please don't take a role on the one night you raid that you don't love. If you are going to make the time commitment, it should be doing what you enjoy. I fear that being a DPS will be a chore for you, and when the game becomes a chore, you lose the benefits of leisure activity.

Good luck and tell us how things go.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: Is dropping to one night the balance that's right for you? Time-Poor, we can't help you make that call. You're going to have to weigh the time you want to spend elsewhere against the rewards you get from playing that second night. Having made similar decisions, I will say that the pain of pulling out of a group can be excruciating, but if it's the right thing to do, it's worth making the jump.

The danger here isn't misjudging your needs; it's misjudging your guild's needs. It's the danger of your own assumptions and expectations. Dropping to one night a week (with or without playing DPS the second night) might work for you, but it might not work at all for your guild. It's not only about tank vs. DPS roles. Where are they supposed to get the 10th player from when you're not there, and what's that player supposed to do on the nights you do want to play? How is the guild supposed to deal with an extra DPSer who logs in late? Even if another guildmate steps up to tank on off nights, he or she might not like being relegated to the second string. It's quite likely that as time passes and they settle into the role, they'll want the same chance to flex and lead that you enjoy.

You can see, then, that how the guild chooses to handle the change is a guild decision, not yours alone. Take your concerns to the guild leader. Let him know that you're fully committed to continue raiding but that your schedule is closing in on you. Let the guild decide how they'd like to handle replacing you or filling your spot.

It's imperative that you realize that downshifting your time commitment to the group means downshifting your importance to the group. You may get sat, you may find yourself waiting for a slot some nights that you want to play, and you'll definitely not be "The Man." That stings, brother, and don't think that it won't. But I don't want to see you sitting in a corner after all is said and done feeling like an outsider in your own guild. Things will change. Expect it.

That said, if you handle this right and let the guild take an active part in reshaping itself as you downshift, the new balance is perfectly capable of working out for everyone. It'll be weird at first, but you're doing this for all the right reasons. Best of luck, and let us know how the new balance goes.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

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