Us dpsers have been getting a bit of grief lately, particularly from smug tank types who, just because they can walk straight into instances and that we’re dependent on them to a certain extent, seem to think that they can treat us like dog shit. Because, here’s the thing; good tanks don’t walk into a group and start reading everyone the riot act about how they need to behave to make this tank happy or he will leave, yada, yada, yada. Good tanks walk into an instance and start tanking well.

So, to be fair to those good tanks, (and I love you good tanks, I really do), I wanted to set out a few little points that DPS can use to make those good tanks lives easier. The bad tanks can go kiss my butt while I put them on follow.

1. Don’t be Lazy – Yep, that’s right. Don’t be lazy. Is running PuGs a snooze-fest for you? Well, then go and do something else because I don’t want to carry your lazy butt, (but I may do anyway, see point 3). Get in there and do good DPS, goddamit. Your role is to do DPS, not to waltz through the dungeon whistling a merry tune. (I am assuming here that you are actually able to do good DPS.)

2. Understand your Tank – All tanks are not created equal. They like to do the same thing but often in different ways. You need to quickly work out what your tanks style is and adjust yourself to that. It is not the tanks job to adjust himself to you. Is he a sprint and pull tank, gathering up mobs and herding them together? Does he take his time? How long does he need to get good threat? Do your big crits give him problems? Is he able to handle a good deal of AoE? Does he mark the mobs for kill order? Does he give the mana users time to drink? Whatever his style, you will have to adjust accordingly, so do it.

3. Recognise your Priorities – No, I don’t mean spell rotation. I mean, why are you in there? Why are you running this PuG? Is it for badges? Reputation? Experience? Gear? Whatever it is for, quickly size up if this group will get you what you want. Back in Burning Crusade, I used to run a lot of battlegrounds. I was doing it for the honor points to get some gear. If our side won the battleground I would get a lot more honor points. So players logging on and then going AFK were a liability for me. If a player on a PuG now goes AFK, work out if it will hinder your chances at getting what you want. If the rest of the group is great and you’re going to steamroll through the content anyway, carry the prick and then ignore him at the end of the run. If your goal is gear but players are needing on everything, drop the group. It isn’t going to give you what you want. If you need to finish some quests in the instance but the group won’t give you the time to do it, maybe it’s worth finding another group also. Recognise your priorities and act on them.

4. Is your Healer up to the task? – A great tank coupled with a sucky healer means that you may have to spend some time looking after yourself. And you may have to spend more time than usual saving the healers butt. You may keep the healer alive through every fight but the recount chart doesn’t reflect your efforts. Do it anyway, the best thing the fail-healer can do at the end is put you on ignore. The worst combination is a poor healer who is a rez nazi. The kind who cause the group to wipe but expect every player to run all the way back, even if the instance is a long and meandering nightmare such as Mauradon. In this case, let them die just before each boss goes down. Deeply satisfying.

5. Be nice. Say hello to everyone when you zone into the instance. Put out a table without being asked, throw some buffs on immediately, ask people which buffs they prefer, set your soul stones to the healer, ask if everyone has done the run before, admit when you haven’t or that it’s been a really long time and you might need some brush-ups. And at the end thank everyone, (and then immediately stick the utter fail-cases on ignore).

Oh, and if you get any grief, particularly after the party has used up its vote-kicks, put on a pirate hat. It really seems to annoy people.