I’d like to apologize to all the good OTs I’ve ever had.  I was perhaps narrow-minded or ignorant or maybe even a combination of both, but I realize now that I took you all for granted while I had you.  I’m sorry.  Very honestly.  Recent experiences have highlighted for me in painful detail the importance of your role, and I come to you now in supplication: it’s cold and lonely in the DPS pit, and I’m afraid.

I never felt fear before.  Please don’t leave me here by myself.  I need you.

A good OT is like cross between a security blanket and springboard — I recognize that the comparison is less than stellar, so let me extrapolate. 

As DPS, I rely on the OT to smooth things over when the situation gets rough.  For instance, I expect the OT to pick up adds; no matter how carefully I place the AoE, or how quickly I break auto-attack when a new mob enters the fray, there will always come a time when (In)Evitable Doom comes for me.  Provided it wasn’t borne entirely of my own willful douchebaggery, I expect the OT to pick it up before it turns into a repair bill. 

The “it’ll die before it gets to me” argument that I see all the time is irrelevant.  Yes, it some cases it might — but in most raid cases it won’t.  And then what?  It’s unfair to assume a healer will dedicate any time to me personally to make sure I don’t bite it, and it’s disrespectful to the tanks to make their job harder by continuing to stack my threat.  Best to let people do what they’re in the raid to do, and wait for the OT to snatch up the stray. 

But…what happens if the OT sucks?  I stand there is what happens.  I stand there and wonder whether or not I should stop/start DPSing, watching my health pool plummet, all the while spinning the camera and having a small heart attack because the OT is right over there and apparently I’m invisible.  It’s maddening.  I tried bringing the mob by the hand over to the OT the other day…and still nothing.

So I guess what I’m saying is that a good OT has a slick reaction time.  There’s nothing quite so frustrating as sitting at the top of the death charts along with the MT because the OT wasn’t quick enough on the taunt button when the MT dropped.  This goes hand in hand with another concept that I feel is prime for every good OT: threat gen.  If the OT produces enough/maintains adequate threat, the whole question of being quick on taunts is far less of an issue.  Sadly, this is easier said than done… 

I cannot begin to explain how important it is that the OT keep their threat level just below the MT’s.  Or, at the very least, extremely close in the rankings.  It’s harder to do when there’s a group, I know, but an effort has to be made.  The DPS — because they are what they are — will AoE.  It’s gonna happen.  People will be off-target, not following the kill order, poaching targets, etc.  If there’s too much of a disparity, the whole thing turns into a gong show.

When there’s only one target, though, there is just no excuse.  Especially on bosses. 

Too many times, of late, the MT died and and the OT was nowhere in sight on Omen.  I’m talking below the healers, here.  Coupled with a poor reaction time (as abovementioned), this means the DPS gets instantly decapitated — and sometimes with additional fallout.

I am telling you right now that I know the face of my fears.  I have looked upon it time and time again because my OT was AWOL.  I see it now:

Koralon the Flamewatcher running across the room, beelining for me without a care for my scattered compatriots, the OT trailing uselessly along behind him, trying to get his attention…  But alas.  Too little, too late. 

10g repair bill.  Right there.

Terrifying.

A good OT would have been there for me — for the raid — when the tank died.  But not all OTs are good; don’t be fooled by tier gear and anything else that glows.  That translates into time, not necessarily experience or talent.

Doubt is poisonous.  When you know you have a weak OT, you limit yourself out of fear or awkwardness or politeness.  Assuming you’re one of those folks who care about group dynamic and who want to respect the tank’s threat/the healer’s rate of mana consumption (or maybe you just don’t want to pay any more repair bills, who knows), you’ll modify your behavior. 

This is why I said earlier that good OTs are like springboards.  With the right OT, you can do more, you can push more, you have more leeway — you’re not scared because you have trust.  Even better if you actually respect your OT, ’cause then you have a partnership on your hands — one of the very best you can possibly have in a raid, and one that’s worth nurturing.  It’s nice to know someone’s got your back. 

I’ve always been one of the ‘custodians’ in our guild raids.  You know, one of those people that’s on the adds or breaking snares or gathering items or flipping switches or breaking off into a separate group to do something — all that sort of stuff.  In many cases, those tasks require me to work closely with the OT.  In the past, this type of arrangement was never an issue; I was blessed with a few excellent OTs and taking care of all those odd jobs with them was an absolute pleasure.  Nowadays, with the reconfigured raid, I realize just how much skill and attention is needed by the team in order to pull that stuff off…

On a wider scale, I like to know that the OT is there for the raid if not just for me.  When the MT dies, it shouldn’t be game over.  Healers shouldn’t be OOMing trying to compensate for poor gear or dramatically low HP, and the DPS shouldn’t be reducing their output to one ability click every 5 seconds in order to not overtake threat.  The OT should be the raid’s second chance at success — a symbol of hope.

But anyway, I digress.

To all the good OTs out there that graced my raids, once again: I apologize.  And I leave you with this:

For all those mobs you clump for me
For every proc of D and D
For all the taunts that save my life
For all the adds you help me fight
For every strat you help see through
For all the trust I have in you
I’ll be forever thankful baby
You’re the one who keeps me up
Never lets me fall
You’re the one that takes me through
Through it all

You grabbed the boss when the MT died
You failed to rez but at least you tried
You were my shield when I had low HP
You made the best use of RD
You held the whelps when I spammed SoC
You got on Vent when you DCed
I’m raiding where I am
Because you’re OT

I’m raiding where I am
Because you’re OT

Thanks, Celine Dion.  That about covers it.