I have only tanked an instance that I knew nothing about and did not get any advice one, Drak Theron Keep. Because of it, it is still my favorite instance. I discovered little things and ways of doing it along the way, and it is now something that I can do with most groups in about 20 minutes even on Heroic.
Most raids I have either watched a video online, read a guide or gone with an experienced tank and played OT. While it makes progression easier that way, it also feels like I am cheating myself a little.
As a video game player I have rarely needed a walkthrough. I have been playing Prince of Persia on the Xbox and I am amazed at how easy games have become. There are safety nets everywhere and help along the way. Wow Add ons like questhelper and DBM do the same thing. Maybe I should get burned by the fire more often so I learn where not to stand… maybe the poison should kill me quicker so I don’t stand on it in the first place.
I am amazed at the number of people that still get hit by the wall of lava in OS, and it makes me think that maybe calling the walls out in raid warning might be a bad thing rather than a good thing. The dance in Naxx is probably the best example of this mechanic, because different computers will paint that room at different intervals and there is a definite lag. If you are following someone blindly and don’t know where to stand or stop, you will get hit by a poison shower.
The more I play this game, the more I see how it mirrors real life in many ways. Managing a guild is a lot like managing a department at work. Teaching people to do things has the same parallels. Some people can learn from theory, some can learn from watching a video, most will only learn by doing.
We have people at all stages of the raiding curve at the moment and doing very well in Naxx and Ulduar but still not there with the full clears and still stumble in some bosses. Some of it is tiredness, some of these raids take long time, but most of it is knowing the content that is new to most. These is where the dancing beings.
Here is where tanking gets tricky and where I made my first mistake as a tank. If you have a DPS spec you will see content a lot sooner than as a tank or a healer.
Even though everyone says that DPS are a dime a dozen, this is not true. Sure, there are DPS out there that can do some serious damage, but DPS that can listen and help out in fights are hard to find. If a DPS warrior can cut a mob off while it is running towards a healer and take a hit and survive, you just saved a wipe. Also you get to see the fights live and see how the other tanks are doing it.
If you are lucky, the tanks on the fights you are seeing for the first time are already geared and you might end up with a new piece out of the whole experience.
You have to walk before you run, specially as a tank. Brute forcing everything by overgearing everyone and heading to the greatest and latest content will leave you scratching your head when you start paying tons on repairs on fights that seem simple. Have patience, let everyone around you learn at their pace and you will have stronger and stronger groups.
Our guild has done this and we have a very good 10 man group, bring in only a handful of friends to our 25s. It takes patience and time, but it has made progression a lot more fun. Its all about the journey, not the destination right?