Falling out of love with TankSpot?

When it comes to tanking and generally doing content, I read up on a lot of things. I love Veneretio’s blog and I’ve started to quite enjoy Tank Like a Girl for it’s quirky charm. I spend a bit of time on the WoW-Europe forums and often find little nuggets of wisdom there, while also enjoying the more civilized conversation that predominates the WoWHead forums. But at the end of the day, I don’t think anything has been able to beat the videos and forums of Project Marmot, under the charismatic stewardship of Ciderhelm. Yep, I’m talking about TankSpot.

As a reference, I first came across it back in 3.0 when we were having our first few tentative cracks at Malygos. We’d read the guides on both WoWHead and the wiki, but hadn’t really come across anything that was making the encounter clear. Then I slapped the fight into Google and my first introduction to Ciderhelm and the TankSpot videos popped up.

It’s clean. It’s cold. Now, that’s some high-quality H2O.

Since then, both me and my guild have treated the TankSpot videos as required viewing for practically every encounter we’ve done since. I will invariably watch said video a few times, learn the important parts of the encounter that need borne in mind, then look at filtering the information in as practical a way as possible for our specific raid group. My raid officer, Hiratha, typically does exactly the same to make sure nothing gets missed and there are always a couple more contributors while we’re fighting our way through a raid. In short, without the TankSpot contribution, we’d have taken a lot longer to get through the content that we have gotten through and we shall ever, as a guild, be indebted to them for the time they’ve taken.

That said, I can’t shake the feeling that the product itself isn’t quite as good as it once was. What made it so useful during our T7 raids was the charm with which it was delivered (still love Ciderhelm’s admission that his use of words might not be right while tanking Malygos) as well as the filtering of important information and suggestions on how to deal with some of the major mechanics of the encounter. In some of the later Ulduar videos, much of the charm and filtering was dispensed with in favour of information overload and the suggestions were also sidelined depending on the narrative of the video. I can understand why this happened: people complaining about the lack of detail when something wipes their raid. But Ttocs only did one video I watched, Splug puts me to sleep, Aliena only ever mentions the what and when and the class guide videos have all left a little something to be desired. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I perk up when a video loads and it’s Ciderhelm or Lore doing the narrative.

Don’t get me wrong; TankSpot is a fantastic resource, utterly unique to the WoW community and every single person on the team should be heartily thanked and congratulated for the sheer effort and selflessness that has gone into the project since its inception. It’s still, quite frankly, the best there is. It’s just that the “warts and all” that made me love Project Marmot so much during its infancy has hit the cutting room floor in favour of a more “professional” approach.

Personally, I think that’s a terrible shame.

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One Response to “Falling out of love with TankSpot?”

  1. Dreador Says:

    Personally I can't get a good enough grip on the video unless it's from a tank perspective. I lose focus terribly if it's Lore as ret or Aliena healing. A lot of it is in the narrative too. When Cider is presenting the video, I get a feel for it from the right perspective and even though it's a video for the whole raid, you feel like you get a better understanding of what you as the tank needs to do.

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