I'll go in with my best intentions but this is my first tank, and the first time I've ever tanked endgame content. I really don't want to disappoint everyone or even worse, be hated or shouted at.
How can I prepare myself for this change? Or am I making this too big a deal?
While being prepared is always good, I fear you might be worrying a little bit too much due to a past (bad) experience you had.
I think it’s great that you are concerned about your own performance, that you understand that every individual’s performance will have an effect on the experience of whole group, especially when we’re talking about a tank.
Wanting to learn and improve is always good, but only as long as you don’t turn it into “I have to learn because otherwise others will be mad at me”. Don’t worry about that, just have fun, I’d rather have you think “I want to learn because I want to get better at my role and have even more fun!”.
LFR is tuned at a very low difficulty level, where almost no coordination is required. It’s still a raid though, and some players tend to forget that wiping is part of raiding, not just part of heroic raiding.
So the next time someone upsets you in LFR and tries to take all the fun from your own personal raiding experience, just ignore it, unless of course, that person is giving you helpful tips or positive constructive criticism, which you can either accept or disregard, either way, I just want to reinforce that you should ignore rude players and report them for their bad behaviour.
Don’t be afraid of queuing for LFR, chances are, if your average ilvl is good enough for it, you will probably be just fine. But if you believe you still need more practice, that’s fine too, as long as that decision doesn’t come from the fear of trying.
So, try it, and if after you have tried it a few more times, you still believe that you need more practice or better gear, that’s perfectly normal, that’s why we have dailies, 5man dungeons, the dungeon journal, battlegrounds, arenas, and… training dummies ;)
LFR has one big issue that can lead to this, and it’s important that we talk about it.
Fortunately, (and unfortunately) highly skilled and geared players also occasionally like to join it. These players can either have a great and positive effect or a very nasty one on any particular run. If they choose to be helpful, it’s great, they can explain to others how to do a certain boss, and sum up the important parts of a strategy, plus, they will have a great individual performance which helps the raid to succeed.
Now, if they choose to be negative and complain about wiping and constantly whine about the lack of skill of others, then they’re just in the wrong place, and if enough players feel that a certain player is destroying all the fun for them, there’s a “vote kick option” that is very useful for this sort of situation.
What I am saying is, while I understand that sometimes “heroic and normal” raiders will join the LFR for loot upgrades, they also need to keep in mind that LFR is the main raiding experience for players that can’t or won’t join normal and heroic modes. This is their place, their raid, and I’d hate to see anyone being afraid of queuing up for LFR because any such player.
My advice to anyone in this game is to be helpful and positive, don’t ruin the experience of others, there’s a sort of chain reaction to this in such a social environment, one that is often very subtle and hard to measure, but it’s there and it’s constantly changing, it’s there because behind every character there’s a person, and while this is a virtual world, the emotions that are shown are all very real and they can transcend the virtual world, so the next time someone is thinking of being rude to another player in-game, think about if you would say the same thing to a stranger you have just met before you actually type it.
TL;DR – Don’t let the behaviour of other players stop you from trying out parts of the content that you are entitled to experience. But if you believe that you still need more practice or better gear before you jump into LFR, that’s also great and it’s very honourable of you to think about how your gameplay will affect other players, there’re many ways you can improve your skills and gear in WoW, including dailies, 5man dungeons, the dungeon journal, battlegrounds, arenas, and the always cute… training dummies