After my brief introduction to tanking (see part one), I took some positive actions to improve my understanding and learn how to perform as a tank. Here is a summary of a very intense learning curve over the past two days.
Switching gear around really helped, got frustrated in pugs, dinged 67, successfully tanked 2 instances (enough to get a few positive comments from group-mates), and realised that 70 is still miles away, but worth fighting to get to.
Read more in detail below.
A – Gear: Switched over a lot of gear to +Int, +Spell Damage, and some mana regen.
This changes the stats I had very significantly, my health dropped from mid 8400s down to almost 7000, and my manna went up from 3300 to about 4790. Spell damage went from +0 to about +200. I also removed a lot of defense and a bit of dodge, to add some mana regen along with the +Int. It works much better now, and it seems that multi-mob tanking is about the +dam gear applied to many targets (Consecrate) and lasting through the fight, where straight single boss fights are more about forceful direct pain (Holy Defense and Captain America Shield). You could do both, but that would sink my mana into the floor.
The great thing about this change is that I still have more +spell damage gear to add if I want it, and a stack of defense gear if I need that. I can switch and change depending on the boss, the pug, or the level of the guys we run around with. Perhaps I have still to much +Def and +Stam gear, but we’ll see.
B – Training: put myself in the LFG channel for beginning instances.
I hate LFG channel, and often find myself bitching hard whenever I do a pug. Maybe its Eonar is full of beginners, or folks who don’t really play Warcraft; perhaps they have an account so they can irritate each other? Who knows.
“I’m going to play while doing homework.” – Huntard
The two pug runs that I did as part of some practice reinforced this impression. The first pug was with a Warlock and Hunter who played badly, did not listen to advice from the tank, and looted everything in sight. The rest of the team went very quiet and I got the impression that we were pleased to be finished, and will never group with them again. Hopefully they take so long to level that I never need to worry about them. I pity the high level healer who had to watch the mess they made, and I did my best to keep aggro from the Warlock – who had yet to install a threat meter and took aggro on almost every bit of side trash. I was also happy to spend the mana to Resurrect her, quietly thinking of the repair bill made me smile.
The second group was better, but the Hunter still would not listen to me when I said kill Skull – even though he was doing the target marking. If you’re a Hunter and you think a Paladin will thank you for off-tanking the trash mobs; think again! I also noticed that he was pretty impatient with waiting for mana, which is about the dumbest thing I’ve seen. I know that Paladins are slower than Warriors due to our need to drink, but you don’t pull when most of the group is not even with you.
So for a large proportion of the end of the instance I was entering combat on half mana and then not getting the hits I needed to get mana back (QQ I know). Good thing we had a high level Warlock who knew what she was doing. Well, maybe right up until the last boss, when she went back to Shattrath to talk to her Guild Master.
Regardless of the AFK Warlock out Hunter pulled and we started the fight. I was really surprised that we did it without a full team. Doing that boss as a 4-man should be hard, and we had 3x60s and me at 66. I really doubt that it was a good idea, but it worked out OK – perhaps the Hunter had a good measure of our capacity, or even that he was right to be frustrated by the slow-ish pace.
C – Enchants: I need to get some.
Mats are together for a Thorium Shield Spike (which sounds nasty), and now looking for the mats for some good enchants that will not cost the earth, but still add some tank-grind-power. Defense, Agility, Dodge, Stamina, Mana regen, and Intelligence affects are all options.
D – Ding 67, yay.
After a bit of time I also dinged 67, which moved my stats to Health: 8009 and Mana: 4898 – which is where I wanted to be health wise, but with an ok pool of mana and +heal +spell damage of 200. My defense is not there yet, but for pre-70 instances the 370 defense should be ok, but a block of only 6% unbuffed is pretty poor.
This means that the mobs that were tough at 65 are now far easier, and its far better for me to be questing where its easy to survive and quickly complete quests, rather than doing quests that are equal to or higher than my level. This might seem a bad policy (especially to the Hunters, Rogues and Warlocks), but it really works. I’m still getting about 1k xp from each kill, and the quest hand-ins still net 10-12k xp. I see no reason to quest slowly at my level, when I can quest quickly at level-2, and get far more xp/hour.
In Nagrand there are a stack of “kill 30 of these” quests and these are easy at 67, but would have been very slow at 64-65. I’ll also hopefully get to 70 without going into much of the later areas, which means more gold rather than xp when I do. That flying mount is looking like a reality. The xp needed for 68 is about 769,000, and doing 3x 30 kill quests should net about 110,000 – that’s about 7th a level in 3 quests!
A guild mate said to me “hurry up and level that pally”. I am going pretty fast, as fast as my work, girlfriend, and sleep will allow. I can’t smell 70 as yet, but its only a matter of time.
E – Trinket Rotation and Use.
Lastly anyone know if a good macro for trinket use and switching? I have a good trinket that adds +spell damage which I’d always like to apply when questing, but don’t want to use all the time for bosses or instances.