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The Queue: Tanks and raid leading


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Today's Queue is coming out at 11 o'clock in the AM, specifically for one of our readers.

Bam. Delivered.

Fraug asked:

What role does your raid leader play?

I've been an infrequent raider over the years, but I've never played a raid where the leader wasn't one of the tanks. Seriously. Never a healer, never a dps, always a tank. I understand that there's some psychology at work there, but it still strikes me as odd. Do non-tank raid leaders exist?

Yes, non-tank raid leaders do exist. The one that I had for a few years recently was mainly a DPS (and a good one at that, he knew the rogue class quite well); although he did switch into being a tank when necessary. I've always preferred if the raid leader is a DPS actually, it gives them more time to focus on raid as a whole rather than the micro-engagements necessary in tanking modern fights.

Now that said there's a reason that a lot of raid leaders are tanks. In general you'll find that a raid tank is the type of person who isn't afraid to take a group of 24 other people and say "Come this way. Stay behind me and you'll be safe." That's a quality not only of a good and capable tank, but also of a leader in general (especially when they follow through on it). Those types of individuals seem to be uniquely drawn to the tank motif and are subsequently sucked into the idea of raid leading.

Now, is this a good thing or bad thing?

In my opinion it's a bad thing. With the more complicated fights Blizzard has made it more difficult to tank and raid lead at the same time, meaning that you're logically going to get one of three things: 1) an awesome player who can handle the new complications just fine while tanking and raid leading; 2) a tank who doesn't do as well with raid leading (or quits raid leading all together); or 3) a raid leader who doesn't do as well at tanking (or quits tanking all together). This might seem academic to think of things in these terms, but it serves to illustrate an important point in overall design: there's always a tradeoff to every decision. Even what are seen as (mostly) universally good decisions like increasing the complexity of raids, there still is a down side.

What can change here to solve, or remove from consideration, the duality of tanking and raid leading, is to make the fights a bit easier for tanks. Yes, this would have a host of other issues, but it would leave the window open for tanks to do what they do best: lead us into battle.

Mixxie asked:

Not sure if this has been asked before, but: what's with all the overturned caravans in Northern Barrens that don't actually exist? Is it a phasing thing? Or do you have to be close to the caravan?

As others in the comments noted it appears to be a phasing thing. Of course no one is really sure, but we all think that because we've seen a lot of messed up stuff happen in the Barrens lately. I love the new content there, but I get the feeling it was released with lingering issues. Which itself is rather unlike Blizzard's "release it when it's ready" concept.

Then again, these issues might just be related to having things on a live server. It'd be yar if things were fixed though.

Rona asked:

Why were we left alone in Pandaria for our first two months? I'll concede that the portals in Paw'don and Stormwind are probably just a convenience for the players, but why were Sky Admiral Rogers and her ship recalled to Stormwind? What were they doing that was more important than taking Anduin home or bringing more soldiers and supplies?

My understanding is that they were called off to bring the rest of the Alliance to Pandaria. This is what happened in 5.1 -- the factions arrived in full force. You (the player) were not abandoned as much as strategically placed as a forward scouting unit.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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