Thursday, May 6, 2010

This tank and healer relationship

It's been a while since I've talked about tank-healer relationships. Let's look at the specific relationship I have with my tank. Despite what some guildies may have wondered at one time, Jess and I did not know each other prior to the game. Our tank-healer relationship, and the now subsequent real life friendship, has been built from the game.

This tank healer relationship started within The Left Claw over 3 years ago when we had about 7 people who ran 5 mans together all the time. I think the first time I healed Jess was back in Scarlet Monastery when we were level 30 something. From then until some of the later 5 mans in BC, I don't think that I ever even healed another tank. When we did start running with other tanks or healers, it was funny because we felt that we were somehow cheating on each other.

But the other day I was pondering about the fact that not every tank or healer I know in game has this sort of tank-healer relationship. So I wonder what it is that brings or cements a random tank and healer together into this sort of relationship? Is it just luck that brings together a tank and a healer who just somehow happen to click?

I know that part of our relationship today has to do with what I went through about 9 months after I started playing this game. Without going into tons of detail, I'll just say that I was an absolute emotional wreck for about 3 months. If I think back to that time now, I don't even recognize myself. Things got better, but I was still pretty bad for the next 9 months.

During this entire year, Jess, I kid you not, ended up being my personal therapist. I honestly believe that I would have gone off the deep end and really needed professional help if I didn't have that outlet. The drama that unfolded over that year was to the extent that it could have been written for a made for TV movie.

Throughout that time, Jess knew pretty much every excruciatingly painful detail of what was going on, way more stuff than my RL family and friends knew. Why? Well, there was stuff that was so dramatic, so shocking, so depressing, that it was easier for me to confide in someone who "didn't really know me". To this day, Jess knows more of what happened and what I thought/felt/struggled with at the time than anyone else.

When I think back to that time, I can't even believe that Jess put up with all of it for that long and that I didn't drive Jess off the deep end. When I mentioned to Jess the other day about how this emotionally wrecked year of mine probably set some sort of foundation for our relationship today, Jess agreed, but did wonder what it was that made me feel comfortable enough to confide all that stuff in the first place. Hmmm. Good question.

It still often surprises me when Jess says something or sends me an email that shows me how incredibly well Jess really knows me. Sometimes in a way even better than I know myself. Seriously, how can this be? Between two people who have yet to even meet each other in real life? When I say that I continue to play this game for the people and the relationships, this is a big reason why.

I'm thinking that this sort of relationship could happen with any two people in this game, whether that is two healers, two dps, or whatever combination of two roles within the game. But I wonder if there anything about playing the role of a tank and healer that somehow adds to building a real life friendship? Do we trust each other more because of the roles we play in game? Hmmm.

Whether it was just plain luck or fate that brought this healer and tank together, I'm grateful for this relationship that has translated over into a real life friendship. I know that one day I'll stop playing this game, but I know that our friendship will continue. And I have to think to myself, isn't it just plain crazy that this game did all of this?


  1. Lessee. Kinnavieve the tank gets paired up with Shianti the restotree in Naxx. Year and a half later, well, you know what happened. Is plain crazy? Maybe, but that don't make it not a good thing.

  2. Hee, my husband and I didnt meet in WoW, we met on America OnLine back in it's heyday... Along with a whole passel of friends that we still keep in touch with to this day. We jokingly referred to our wedding as WeddingCon when most of the online circle of friends showed up for it... they made up most of the wedding party, too! Online can work, through whatever medium... :)

  3. As you said "it was easier for me to confide in someone who 'didn't really know me'". There is both restriction and opportunity in anonymity. We may feel shy because they are strangers or we may feel that we have less to lose by opening up.

  4. I don't have a tank-healer relationship, but when with a healer, I am extremely protective. I remember not long ago I was outside Steamvaults on a PvP server and a few people dared to attack my healer. I went berserk and began dishing out a lot of pain to them. Do not fuck with my healer. EVER. I don't care if it's 2v4 (which it was), I will not let them hurt my healer.

  5. @Ratshag: Only a tree could tame ya! :) Grats again.

    @Kayeri: Aw, sweet story!

    @Klep: Totally. I think anonymity can help in getting to know someone better because in a way, you can open up more. Especially for someone like me who is much more reserved with my thoughts and feelings in real life.

  6. When I met "my tank" we were actually both melee DPS. She was a new recruit, so I was a little protective and I felt a kinship since she was a girl and a fellow victim of boss AoE with me.

    One year later, we both changed mains, so she's the tank and I'm the healer, with our respective boyfriends being in charge of making mobs die. We don't have such a close relationship as you and Jess, but I always felt sad when the raid organizers put us in different 10-mans... Now that we have our own guild, I just hope the inevitable drama doesn't ruin the friendship.

    In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the ride. She knows my in-game habits better than my boyfriend :D She applied to a another guild a while ago and she said she's going to miss me... that is, going to miss always having to check if I'm still around or I got lost somewhere, going to miss the way her bf stealthes ahead to make me follow him and facepull... <3

  7. Awww. ;)

    "...I can't even believe that Jess put up with all of it for that long..."

    Of course you can. I'm your tank, and I knew it would be very worthwhile.

  8. SO wait your lesbians now?

    Just kidding, yea when I tanked, healers and I formed quite the bond. One of them still stalks me. As a mage though I am blissfully free of that relationship. I am free to sew my wild oats. LOL!

  9. Gender makes no difference, they are both HUGE lesbians with each other...and K definitely wears the flannel in THAT family!

    On a side note, however, I don't think an in-game relationship gets any more archetypal than healer & only has to look at the queue times for DPS versus a tank or healer. A tank with a good healer, or vice versa, gets to experience the game much differently than 2 dps.

    That being said, I think you are putting way too much stock into the roles and not nearly enough stock in how amazingly incredible you two are as people, independent of the game or your classes in the game. Your personalities just click...even if Jess is just the ladymantanklipsticklesbian.