I haven't looked back. I've had a lot of ups and downs on my journey to level 80. I haven't always stayed true to my original goal, and ended up skipping more than my fair share of groups at level 70 – can you believe that I didn't actually visit one Heroic
dungeon in Burning Crusade?
I've been in groups where the run was smooth as silk, and the chat had be holding my sides from laughing too hard.
On the flip-side, I've had groups which made me want to claw my eyeballs from their sockets, and break my fingers so I couldn't play ever again. Seriously, Barrens General
had nothing on some of these people.
I've discovered that a lot of the things that make me a good healer in WoW
also make me a good tank. Situational and tactical awareness, an eye for detail, the ability and willingness to communicate and the ability to make decisions quickly are necessary for success in both roles. Don't get me wrong – I'm not the best tank out there, I'm far from perfect, but I'm bloody good at it, and you could do an awful lot worse.
Tanking is a role that puts a fair amount of responsibility on the player's shoulders. Whether you like it or not, whether you even realise it or not, a lot of the wipes that happen in an instance will be your fault. Yes, that Warlock/Mage/Shaman shouldn't be pulling aggro, but you should be watching Omen and warning them about it. Mobs running around one-shotting your healer? You should be picking them up before bad things happen.
You might not agree, you might say that aggro is each player's own responsibility – that they should be checking their own Omen, and making sure they're behind you in aggro. That's fair enough, I just calls 'em the way I sees 'em.
I never expected to enjoy tanking as much as I do. I've found a role that I never thought would have suited me, but by the same token, might not have enjoyed as much if I'd gone into it earlier in the game. Maybe I was wrong about the other classes I considered, and I'd have ended up feeling as much at home being a Mage or Shaman.
Most of us play games for some small amount of escapism, to get away from our real lives and forget our stresses for a little while if we can. But are we drawn to certain classes because they reflect something within ourselves? Do I enjoy tanking and healing because of some personality quirk? Does that mean I enjoy smoothing over people's concerns and keeping them happy in real life? My family would beg to differ. Are Mages running a heavy Fire spec all secret Pyromaniacs? Are those of us with a Druid secret hippies? The analogy doesn't really hold much weight, I'll admit – but there may be something in it.
Feel free to comment below, share similar stories of you finding your niche, or even stories of you not finding it. Let me know if agree or disagree with my theories – I'll try not to delete the ones that disagree. No promises though.