So we've had a few developments lately. My DK offtank, who has tanked with me since shortly after we first killed LK, decided to take an extended break from raiding, due to RL issues.
As a set group, this left us in a very tricky situation. I have dps to spare, but when it comes to tanks and healers, if I lose one it becomes a game of sub musical chairs (player A goes tank from healing, player B goes from healer from dps, and we bring in a dps sub, for example). That kind of setup doesn't work long-term, sadly, and I needed a permanent tank.
Enter Aboutrika, a ret pally that last raided with us a few months ago. He was on an extended break due to a course he was doing that made him unavailable for 2 out of 3 raiding nights every week. As I'm trying to figure out what to do about our tanking situation, he reappears, announcing that his course is done, and he's ready to raid again.
I was left with 2 problems, since I now also had a dedicated raider that I needed to fit into a team that already has 4 melee. Then I realised, the two problems can cancel each other out. He had a tanking offspec that he used to beat DPS queues for LFG, and partially at gunpoint, it was requested that he tank raids for us.
The problem with our guys is they can be a little elitist and judgemental at times. The last time I brought in new raiders, and they took far longer than expected to catch up, I almost had a mutiny on my hands. I planned for a week or 2 of slower progression while he got used to prot spec, and learned fights. Out first raid night ended up being a bit of a disaster due to a number of DPS subs, although I joked at least the new tank wasn't the cause of our problems. We managed to come out of the raid night with 2 bosses down, which I saw as a victory, all things considered.
So we went into the second raid night with a full A-team, and I was still cautiously optimistic, thinking if we got 5 this week, that would be great. In contrast, by the end of last night, we'd had an hour of rag attempts, having stomped all over the first 6 bosses. Aside from Rika doing less DPS than my old DK tank, which resulted in a DPS shift on alysrazor hatchlings, the run was extremely smooth, with most bosses being 2 or 3 shot.
The best part is that our extremely critical raiders were quiet the whole week. Usually a new raider joins and I get whisper spammed with complaints about spec, glyphs, gems, enchants, dps breakdown, cooldown usage, pretty much anything you can think of. Not a peep - not one single whisper.
I don't know if my DK tank is going to return, and if he does, we might setup some kind of rotation - having sub options is never a bad thing imo.
So here's to our new tank, who has exceeded expectations, and in his first week is performing on par with those that have been doing this for years ;)
Now, about surviving that first rag transition...