If you visit this blog regularly, you might have noticed a mysterious mirialan lady wielding a double-bladed lightsaber appearing in the top banners (I have no idea if anyone actually looks at those, but let's presume you do). Seemingly, there are barely any Ravanels around anymore. And that after 2014 was the 'year of Ravanel'. What's going on?
Tanking is for guardians
Gaïende used to be a happy level 20ish shadow DPS. Okay, maybe she was pretty miserable. I soon found out I suck at shadow DPS in PvP, so I ended up rarely playing her. I had a guardian tank in the same PvP bracket that I enjoyed playing much more.
If I ever was going to tank, I told myself, it would be on my guardian Ravalyn. The guardian class just screams tank to me, and it was so much fun tanking in PvP on her. I was planning to level her up with the 12x XP buff back in the day, but then I heard about Riposte removed to be off the global cooldown and gave up on that. Riposte being off the global cooldown made the class fast-paced and fun to play for me.
Show mercy. I swear, I'm not one of those shadow tanks!
So now I still had a lot of time left to level something else with the 12x XP buff instead. I choose to level up Gaïende for... important reasons. Okay, fine, I'll admit it: it was for fashion reasons. You see, Gaïende was my synthweaver and I liked the thought of reverse engineering PvP and raid gear to get some pretty recipes. I swiftly made it all the way to level 55.
Hey, you look like a tank. Come tank our flashpoint
Then, with the Shadow of Revan expansion, my friends leveled up non-tanking classes first, so when we wanted to try out the new flashpoints we didn't have a tank. But I had a shadow leveled up. So you can understand who all the eyes were looking at. I was up for trying to tank a flashpoint, but I thought it might be a good idea to go for a tactical flashpoint first. You know, because I had never tanked a flashpoint before.
"Sure I can try and tank a FP. But you guys do know I don't have any tanking gear, right?"
"It'll be alright."
Somebody queued us up and we got a pop. Manaan hardmode.
"Uhhh, guys? This is a hardmode flashpoint."
"But my gear is crap!"
"Don't worry, I'll just heal through it. I'm sure we'll be fine."
We were not really fine. We soon found out that hardmode is actually hard and wiped quite some times. I was super proud when we killed the bonus boss, which had fun mechanics but was a bit buggy at times. I couldn't make it past the next boss, though. With my paper armor, the adds killed me within seconds and there was nothing the healer could do. But we did earn some comms.
I don't have to tank all these... right, guys?
"Yay, I have enough for a proper offhand now!"
"Why are you wearing a green level 16 unmoddable offhand?!"
"I told you my gear was crap. I didn't have a shield generator so I bought this one on the GTN for a few bucks."
Still, tanking that hardmode flashpoint gave me a boost of confidence. We hadn't been dying because I couldn't hold aggro on the mobs, or because I hadn't been moving the right way. Sometimes being thrown into the unknown lifts up your player skill, just because you have no choice: if you mess up you'll die. Having paper armor meant I had been using my defensive wtf-skills on cooldown. It had been challenging to do both that and try and keep up my rotation while at the same time holding aggro on everything around me. And to me, challenging = fun.
The next weeks I tanked as many hardmode flashpoints as I could, until I could tank and survive them all, including the bonus bosses.
Two walkers and I'm in my bathrobe. This ain't gonna be pretty...
The next level: tanking a raidNow we came at the point in which we got enough level 60's in our guild to start raiding, but nobody wanted to tank. And who happened to have a level 60 tank...
Even though I now felt comfortable tanking flashpoints, tanking operations felt like I had to start all over again. As a DPS player or healer you function in relative anonymity, but if you make a mistake as tank, everyone will notice. It was super scary, but also exciting. And even though I gave out disclaimers ("Rav is tanking; you will all die"), apparently I didn't mess up well enough to inspire someone else to step up and start tanking.
So now you know the story behind Gaïende the mystery shadow. Sorry it's a bit long: apparently it was a long road to me ending up tanking. Do I love tanking as much as I do healing and DPSing? No. However, it's great fun to try out something new, and it's also nice to be able to help out our raid group in the process. Maybe I'll even post some guides on "tanking for dummies", because
then I can cheat during raids by looking up how it's done that surely is super useful to everyone.
Have you ever ended up playing something you never thought you would?