Tanking goes Hollywood

I just watched the Prince of Persia movie together with my wife. As a fan of the old DOS-based games and even the 3D sequels, I just had to see this one. And quite frankly, I’m not disappointed. Knowing Hollywood, it definitely could’ve been a LOT worse.

SPOILER ALERT!

If you still haven’t seen the movie but are planning to, and you don’t want any potential spoilers, please don’t read any further.

Now, I figure some of you might wonder what this has to do with the (extremely lame, I admit) title of this post. I won’t explain directly. I’d rather explain how I came up with it while watching the movie.

It (not the movie, but my train of thought) starts with a scene where Dastan is trying to convice his brother of the power of the dagger and the Sands of Time. Princess Tamina is watching them from behind a curtain on the outside of a window. Directly after Dastan convinced his brother Tus, the new king of Persia, the bad guy (Nazim) comes walking in the room to find out that Dastan has indeed returned. He also notices the dagger in Tus’ hands. Now we get to the actual part where I LOL’ed for a bit.

Tus is killed by Nazim, and the main Hassansin bad guy knocks Dastan to the ground and keeps him pinned down. His sword is near him on the ground, but he can’t reach it. He didn’t kill him yet, as ordered by Nazim. Boy, what a mistake that was. Picture this. Just when Nazim left the room and the Hassansin is about to kill Dastan, Princess Tamina comes screaming from her hiding place, with a dagger. Of course, this is plenty enough reason for the Hassansin (trained assasin, or did you expect otherwise?) to divert his attention from the knocked down Dastan (with his sword almost in reach, remember?) to Princess Tamina (with her dagger, remember?) and turn his back to Dastan.

One word: ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as tanks, somehow convincing a raid boss to turn his undivided attention to them while a number of others kill him slowly. Because, of course, those guys with shields, bucketloads of health and high armor make much more sense as kill-first targets than those cloth-wearing mages who inflict massive amounts of magic damage. Right?

That’s exactly what was going on in the movie. Dastan, dangerous and only temporarily knocked down and disarmed. Temporarily, as in, only as long as the bad guy keeps him down actively. Which he (the Hassansin) stops doing while Tamina charges at him. Can you follow? Bad choice.

Dastan doesn’t think twice, picks up his sword and backstabs the Hassansin while he’s distracted by Tamina.

Kudos to Tamina for good intention though, it didn’t seem like she was really thinking about it, or even considering the possibility that she might’ve been one-shot by the Hassansin if Dastan wasn’t quick enough.

To me, this seems like a typical scenario one might see during a raid boss encounter. The tanks try their best to keep the attention of the boss focused on them, no matter who is most dangerous. Somehow, raid bosses keep falling for it. They’re getting themselves killed while the tanks keep their attention. How stupid is that, right? I mean, just look at what happened to the Hassansin!

By the way, I didn’t intend this to be a rant about tanking mechanics. I’m completely fine with it, from a gaming mechanic perspective. I just think it’s not very realistic. Which it shouldn’t be anyway.

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