Main Tank

A couple years back I wrote a blog post about Heroic Raids in WoW. I penned this shortly after my friend established his relationship with his now wife and he came about with a realization that each of us search through our lives as the main Tank of a dungeon and our objective is to find a healer who can support us and a group of DPS (friends) who can help us overcome things.

That blog post came back up recently as I was talking to my girlfriend about an often-misunderstood bible passage that many people take to mean women should be ultimately submissive to their mates and how silly that concept is to me.

Basically, what you get is a series of men who believe themselves to be alphas of the household and women who believe they must obey everything their partner asks (and in the worst case, commands) of them. This simply isn’t true, and I’m gonna talk to you about it the best way I know how.

Through gaming.

If we are to pick up where we left off in this analogy that I am a Tank, and I am searching for a Healer then that means I have two primary jobs. As the Tank of a dungeon you lead your party through the packs of enemies and past each boss, ultimately towards the final boss and the end goal of the dungeon itself. Each of these things can be seen as individual patches of difficulty in life. The whole dungeon is the end stretch and if we find a party who is capable and willing, the path through that dungeon is so much simpler than it first seems. This is only true, of course, if your Tank knows what he is doing.

The primary job of a Tank as I mentioned, is to lead your party through the dungeon and see to it that none of the enemies focus on the party. Instead they should all focus on you, you are the locus of their rage. This demands that you pay attention to what you are doing. In-game the way certain enemies face can switch the tide of a battle. Even if only for a moment, a few short mistakes can pile up and make your job and success chance drop dramatically. Of course, in game you have limitless tries to complete the dungeon. The patrols will travel the same way, the bosses will fight the same way and you are offered endless chances to accomplish the task of conquering it all.

In real life, however, it is a bit different. First of all, we don’t have unlimited chances to conquer every task. We need to be present of mind to climb or dodge the hills that come our way. Should we pull the mob or skirt around it and save our energy for the ultimately greater fight in the future. As the Tank, it is my job to control the tide of every struggle I find myself in. This can be aided by the group, but the sole duty of keeping them out of danger depends on me.

In the real world, I’ve met many women who seem to believe that their job is to obey the man and they argue this concept. I don’t blame them, that’s silly. It’s silly when the man you’re obeying doesn’t have your best interest in mind, they are not equipped to be leading you through the trials you will face. At the end of the day, every tank’s job is to make sure his healer and himself make it out. Sometimes you won’t make it through without a scratch, and that’s okay. You should expect those battles and those wounds. They teach us greatly.

A part of life I see this in frequently is the monetary aspect of a relationship. I’ve heard many different thoughts and ideas regarding how to handle money and the worst one by far is when one party demands free reign of the funds.

“I will get whatever I want, I make all of this money.”

My reckless spending could sink the financial stability of my relationship, and the two of us are only dating. Consider how much worse it would be if we shared a bank account? It’s been said a few times that money is the number one cause of fighting between couples and this is for good reason. We love money. Quite simply, we don’t venture into dungeons just for the sake of seeing what is out there. People are obsessed with the end goal, that big pile of gold hiding beyond the final boss room. Still, consider our mindset when it comes to money and spending. Are we saving what we can to provide for our loved ones? This thought can ever expand beyond relationships and into friendships. If your friends need your help, would you be able to assist them? Of course, it’s much less pertinent as those friends do not share money or nearly as much time with you as your partner does, but regardless, they are your DPS team. Consider their needs alongside your own.

This brings me to an important aspect of Tanking. The Healer is always the number one priority. In the midst of a difficult pull, you can stand to lose a DPS or two as you damage the raid boss, but losing your healer means that your group is possibly doomed. Without a healer your whole group is taking more damage than they can handle, not to mention being afflicted by various curses and hexes which make your day to day actions that much harder.

This is a unique charge of the Healers, because not only are they concerned with keeping their Tank in a suitable position, safe and alive. They are also worried about the morale and the health of the rest of the party. I’ve been a healer in WoW before and it’s a role which I’ve enjoyed greatly, but in real life? I don’t know how well I could handle the pressure. I make an honest effort to keep my DPS safe and sound as often as possible, and that is work in and of itself. As we’ve grown through the years we’ve come to split off if only slightly as we’ve found our own Healers. These women who were carved out to assist us and keep us safe and warm when we brave the darkness of each new dungeon.

Tanks however, have one other duty which is perhaps more important than keeping the Healer alive. It is controlling the scenario. Each moment that a mob is not focused on the tank, the Healer and DPS party are in danger. That mob can splinter off and complicate what would otherwise be a standard run of the mill mob pull. So it is our job to act in accordance with that thought.

Our job is to manage, and to stabilize. The duty of Healers is to keep the group alive, primarily the Tank. Without the Tank, things fall to chaos. Without the Healer, things fall to ruin.

Which is why it is so funny to me when I hear this bullshit about submission that people seem to spew out like a third testament.

It does in fact say that the wife should be submissive, but in the same analogy that is spoken about, it also says that the men’s duty is to lay down his life for his bride. Everything he does should be to the end of keeping her safe. Every action he makes should echo with the reminder that he is doing it with her best interest in mind. If the big bad “man of the house” leads you directly into emotional or spiritual distress/struggle based on something he chooses to do willingly and without discussion, he is not fulfilling his job as the Tank.

Relationships, in no measure, are a one-sided action. It takes work from both parties. You cannot lead your wife astray out of your own selfishness. If the choices we make as men lead our wives into chaos, we are not living up to the expectations set out for ourselves, and we are certainly not living up to the expectations set out for us as Tanks.

Consider this today, are you Tanking appropriately? Are you controlling each scenario to the best of your ability? Can you do a better job? Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of telling your Healer it is just one more pull.

One more pull could make or break your party if you don’t know what you’re doing. Study + learn from the Tanks who’ve come before you.

I know I have, and I still have a long way to go.

But I’m putting on my armor.

I hope you enjoyed this little look into my views on WoW, the idea of one party in a marriage being more important than the other, and what it means to truly work for a relationship.

If you enjoyed this, be sure to peep the schedule + see when I’ve got newness coming out. (Hint: It’s every week.)

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