I’ve never been good at being just a tank or just a DPS warrior. I always get itchy.
I think this is because I came up during original raiding, when you needed a variable amount of tanks for every fight, and you could easily have four or five tanks on trash but only two (or even just one) for some boss fights. So I got used to two things.
- Tanking arms or fury spec. EVERYONE tanked arms or fury back then. Most raids had one or two dedicated prot warriors as MT’s, and every other tank capable class had a tank set for weird fights that demanded more tanks. My raid once used seven tanks for Garr, for instance. Even our MT was arms. It just wasn’t necessary to go full protection – you took the threat generation talents in a 31/5/15 build and you hit Mortal Strike and you were a tank. We all used shields and tank gear, of course. But very few warriors tanked as protection, because there was no such thing as dual spec and the vast majority of warriors were arms. (And yes, even then, it was for PvP purposes. It’s always for PvP purposes.)
- Constantly switching between DPS and tanking. I’m not kidding, either. Blackwing Lair was a raid with all sorts of different roles for warriors. You kited (running around spamming TC and shouting and hitting mobs) on Razorgore, every warrior tanked Vael, then there was the long run through the suppression room and multiple tanks on Broodlord, then the three drakes… mechanics constantly shifted up how many tanks you wanted/needed.
As a result, although I’ve long since adapted to the modern scheme of things with two dedicated tanks, my atavistic impulse is to always be ready to do whatever job I’m not currently doing. I always feel like I need to keep up on these things, and even though I get rusty when I do one for a long period of time (I was a DPS warrior from the middle of Tier 14 until last month, so well over a year) I’m still always conversant – good enough to take over if needed. This is one of the things I love about warriors – we’re not ludicrous (I dislike three role hybridization and think it’s too powerful for a class to have) but we have options.
Right now I’m Prot/Fury, considering going Arms again for my offspec to do some PvP on it. I’d have to relearn how arms works in PvP, but that doesn’t bother me – it would even give me something new to do during the contentless summer I foresee.
I’m still working on a big rage generation post, so expect that soon.