DPS pulling aggro is a self correcting problem.
I’ll taunt the first time, maybe the second, but third and forth? No way. Turn your pet’s growl off and read the threat meter. It is there to save your life.
DPS pulling aggro is a self correcting problem.
I’ll taunt the first time, maybe the second, but third and forth? No way. Turn your pet’s growl off and read the threat meter. It is there to save your life.
Quick thought I had while tring to suss out invite mods, guild events, and all sorts of other tricky tasks – the in game calendar could be greatly improved by make the accept in calendar sign-ups also allow selection of role.
Meaning the selection of Tank, Heal, Range, or Melee; and having a sort on that field, just like the sort on guildmember rank, etc. Off-spec would be handy too, but not nearly as good as having the role that the character will bring to the raid.
Last week of irregular 5 mans and 3/12 impromptu ICC10 runs were enough to give me enough Frost emblems to purchase some tanking upgrades. It takes a while to acquire 120 badges of Frost, so I am rather looking forward to the difference that it might make to both tanking characters.
Death Knight Tank set upgrades for Mortigen – which somehow only inch my overall ranking forward slightly, but looking at the items a GS of around 5400 seems reasonable to me fro ICC10 man (yes I know gs is no measure of skill, yadda blah blah, but it does work if used properly).
Druid-Bear Tank set upgrades for Quendalon
– Ikfirs’s Sack of Wonder, by donation from the Guild (ya, thats a huge gift!)
With all the upgrades it is time to Step-Up, Get Hit, and darn Love it.
Then the team was ready to roll into ICC10 and kill the LK again, right as my partner sprang a last minute critical task (ie. RL > WoW… grumble). So offline I go while the guys go to get the Kingslayer title. Shit, damn, bloody-hell, snap, etc.
But I am happy that they did it, and some nice loot was handed out.
Then we went through RS and killed Halion. For me that was a first too, as getting into RS has been a lower priority that other fights, so overall darn happy.
Then over the past few nights we did some hard modes in Ulduar, which was a huge buzz. Most I had never attempted, and all of them still hold some challenge as they require attention to strategy and awareness, not gear.
What was interesting is that now that we over-gear the instance so much, the strategy is still totally dependent on having the correct instructions, but needs to be modified so that the team does not do too much damage at once. Kind of funny to be saying “stop dps” in a hard mode fight. We missed the Kologarn hard mode for this reason, but only by a smidge (damn it).
And Mimron-Firefighter kicked us around a lot, buy hey – its is darn worth it.
This week if the gods of MMO glory are kind to me, I’ll be a Kingslayer.
There is a certain ratio between grinding, raiding and madness – a tipping point if you like – where everything starts to become surreal. I’m in that place now, staring outward from the game wondering where the game ends and what effect it is having on me.
A quick toon update, with great news everyone… Mortigen finally got a Putricide kill, which completed the Plague-works achievement for him. As my best geared toon (especially in dps set), it was odd to have it done as an undergeared tank (5kgs). I have only respect and awe for the healers keeping me alive through all that, and for the way everyone finally got our roles right. We took a set of characters which were not perfectly geared or experienced, and still managed to kill him. While I think some folks might have been frustrated by that, I was darn pleased that it worked. Any of a few folks would have preferred different roles, but the team got it done.
At the very end the fight felt very epic, with us running out of health, mana, B-res, and floor space. In the final seconds I was inching backwards into a corner of free floor space, trying to survive long enough to ping my tank cooldowns again. Every second counted.
The fight is interesting, in that the degree of randomisation in the placement of goo pools and thrown goo, really makes or breaks the fight. I am still unsure why we use a strategy that has the tank walk the boss between two points, rather than in an ellipse, which seems more logical to me. Keeping two paths were the tank can run the boss feel better.
The Abom/Tank can assist by trying to keep some walking paths through the muck clear, but sometimes there is literally nothing than can be done, as I saw on many attempts. It is a great mechanic and somewhat frustrating to see a goo-ball fly out and strike somebody, especially when that is where you’re walking backward towards. With Aussie lag, I’m never sure if the boss is moving when being kited or not till a little later than I’d like, and often folks are calling for a move after I’ve started to go, but before the boss has any idea.
Can a Tank turn side-on and angle-strafe move him, rather than backward walking? Seems that if he is still in the forward 180 degrees it should be ok.
There will be blood.
Looks like the writing is on the wall for Death Knights who are not using a Blood spec to tank. Blood will be the Tank tree in Cataclysm expansion.
In Cataclysm, death knights will have a dedicated tanking tree, much like the other three tank classes. That tree will be Blood.
This is something that I did not think they’d do, but is easy to understand why. The differences between the tank classes were enough that giving them a semblance of parity was hard; and having DKs witk 3 talent trees just makes that harder still.
In Cataclysm, Blood will be the death knight version of a Protection tree. It will have passive talent tree bonuses that reflect tanking. It will have tools, such as a Demo Shout equivalent, necessary for tanking. Several of the more fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved into Blood. We will be able to revise (or even remove) clunky mechanics like Rune Strike and focus on letting DKs generate threat with their normal Blood tanking rotation.
Which is why I can accept that something had to be done – but sheesh, it is a big call. Huge call, I expect to see some Death Knights who step away from the class due to this. Could be worth getting as much value from your non-blood tanking now. 🙂
So DKs will probably have a tank, pve, and pvp tree. I can see Unholy being the PvE and Frost as the PvP talent trees.
This is a tad too much of a change from the cool almost-any-tree which they have now; but then it would not be the first time a class has been totally re-worked during an expansion.
Does make me think that with Frost talents having dual wield, will we also see dual-wield as only viable in one spec, or will it be retained as a concept for both Tank and DPS, or even pvp and pve?
We’re just not sure yet on DW Blood tanking or 2H Frost dps. Certainly our main focus will be to make sure 2H Blood tanking and DW Frost dps work, but we’re not likely to crack down on alternate uses of those specs. We’re not sure that a Blood DW style could work without talents that allow for strikes with both weapons, but we’ll see. It should be a fun beta. 🙂
Like most posts this raises more questions for me than answers; and I can’t wait to see more. Can I get a beta key maybe? probably not, but one can wish.
Now that Diamon (my Paladin) is 80 and patch 3.3.3 is live it is time to update the Protection Paladin talent build. Once again I’ve read through forums, and the base build is pretty steady, but there are a ton of variations for a Tank build.
Here is a Tank build I’m planning to use for Diamon. Like most builds it uses the Retribution talent tree for additional powers and that makes threat building easier.
Now no build is good without some explanation, so here goes:
Much of what is good in Tankadins is available for easy reading at MainTankadin.failsafedesign.com.
This post is an update to my previous post for a level 70 spec from October 2008.
As a rambling short-attention-span reader, sometimes great articles pop out of nowhere. One such from mid Feb is a good article by Tanking notes, on the value of Crit Immunity. Go read if you’re interested in a discussion on getting Critical Hits while Tanking.
However if you’re newer to Tanking, and theory-crafting is a bit aberrant then perhaps a simpler approach is better. As such I asked my self…
How should tanks actually execute a Heroic run?
Here is a series of pointers, which make sense to me, and following afterward a rambling stream of thoughts for how a heroic run should be done. Written for new tanks, by somebody who remembers what it was like to be new.
How do you evaluate a Tank’s performance in raids? How do you know what abilities are generating threat for you by fight, or if you should prioritise one type of hit/strike more than another? I know I could read and take the words of the forums as gospel, but that is operating on hearsay rather than proof. And when tanking I think knowing something is working is better than assuming it is working.
A stats tracker for Threat Per Second (tps) is damn mandatory for tanking, and a god send for me.
Post raid analysis is where I do most of my planning for upgrades and shifts in style. I know I’m arriving late in the process in terms of Tank review resources, and this might be common knowledge amongst the Masters and Slayers*, but hey a little education can go a long way. When I last tried my hand at Tanking in tBC I had the time and tolerance of guild-folks to work out what was a good approach was, which powers were mandatory, and what tanking style to use. Back in the day I was a Paladin tank, so many of the AoE abilities were so strong that real threat generation was only a big limitation when the dps were well geared and unloaded straight away, or the fights changed dynamics quickly mid-fight.
Now that my Death Knight is tanking more, I am almost at a loss for which abilities and what style to use. Charge like a Warrior or Bear? LOS + Consecrate like a Pally?
DK feels similar to a Paladin, except that the AoE grab abilities are using the same resources as the strikes, which means having a sixth sense on what runes are up when really helps. I love the fact that Death Knights can rush in, have a great AoE tool in DnD, and can grab mobs from many yards away to get them back in control. So to justify my tanking, I went looking for a TPS tool. And by golly I found something good:
http://rehfeld.us/wow/tps/ by Bagelbite
What makes this tool really damn swanky is that it parses data from WWS and creates a simple html report. You can see what abilities are doing what percentage, and what overall TPS you’re achieving.
A basic bitch I had with WWS is that it does not show generated threat, but then its free so you can only complain a short while before its tired and pointless (kind of like develop it myelf or shut-up). With the combination of this tool along with Wow Web Stats the threat analysis is pretty solid.
The Tankspot folks and resources rock, especially Bagelbite who created it. Here is a sample pic:
Now onward to tanking some runs, to reduce the noob quotient. If WWS would pay / gift Bagelbite and add his report into the tabs of WWS, that would be just peachy.
What else do folks use for TPS and Tank performance? What else is out there?
* off-topic: In an effort to change what M&S means from what Gevlon had popularised.
Over a quiet sandwich and cake today for lunch I pondered why Death Knights have three talent trees that each can tank and dps. In isolation I love the concept; it give a variety of choice and flavour to the the class. The choice of Blood, Unholy, Frost makes the Death Knights feel different.
Our choice of Presence already has such a great influence on what we can do – and I really appreciate that I can switch from an Off-tank to a Dps role at different stages in the same fight by switching my Presence. And if it all goes badly for the main tank, a DK can switch back to Frost Presence and be in Meat-Wall mode almost immediately.
But when compared to other classes it seems odd when I think of it. No other class can do this at the moment (although Druids get close by cat-bear). Now I realise that for some true hybrid classes the talent trees are how they specifically split roles, so a true comparison against Druids, Pallys, etc, is not really affective. But many classes have a Healing talent tree which is not suited to dps when selected.
Is the three tree all role potential perhaps part of the undefined “heroic” feel? Maybe, I’ve not really followed the bait-and-switch discussions on what is a hero class for a long time.
I am not calling for a nurf. Far from it, I’m wary of anything where downward adjustment can occur. But I think this is something that might make Death Knights stronger. A more concentrated and solidified talent structure.
Update: As we’re well beyond patch 3.1, this spec advice needs to be reviewed and updated. I recommend jumping on EJ and browsing through their posts on the build you like. IMHO Currently Unholy 2H seems the solid top damage, slightly above Blood 2H.
The jury is still out on the absolute winners, and almost every spec option (1h vs 2h, blood vs frost vs unholy) is viable.
Here comes patch 3.1, and everyone is checking the web for patch notes and spec updates. For me this means choosing two specs for my Death Knight. I will be considering my DPS role to be my primary role, but now will be looking for Tanking opportunities too.
Death Knight specs are all stolen 100% from Skeleton Jack (note: SkelJ has basically stopped posting).
DPS: 50/0/21 which chooses Unholy Blight (UB) over Dancing Rune Weapon (DRW).
Tank: 12/51/8 which is a pretty standard Frost Tank spec.
Re-visiting content from a while back; the Tank cartoon was missing our new favourite friend. The Death Knight.
We ran Kara last night, and when I say ran I really mean we crushed Karazhan and ate its young. The group make up had me as the only Tank, and a Shammy was OT’ing for the 2 times it was needed. We had 2 players who had never been in Kara, and a few who were inexperienced and it was still easy.
Everything in there is weaker, and the bosses are now like very hard trash mobs. There is no excuse except mana for not chain pulling, and if the group is already over geared you should be chain pulling in sets of 2-3.
43 seconds to drop Maiden, Attumen was a bit over a minute, and I don’t even recall how fast the others were by comparison. It was nuts. Prince’s new name is Princess, because that prancing Erodar is a softie now.
Badge farming and Alt gearing has a new home in Deadwind Pass.
Rather than the worst ever, or even the worst I’ve seen; this is my personal list of screw-ups that I try to never do again.
I just had a lesson in tolerance, with a positive outcome. So on the back of my posts about bad players, pugs, anger, and frustrating experiences here is something where bad turned into good.
Last night I decided to do something chilled and do an easy run, my plan was to grab the non-heroic daily and do some daily quests on my Warlock. You know, turn the brain off for the eve.
The daily was Arcatraz, which is a long trashy Instance that I dislike. Arc is odd in that:
– Some of the trash is tougher than the bosses. eg. big elemental guys who drop meteors can really crunch a group even when you stack up.
– The first boss you see is considered damn hard due to the shadow damage output, the seed of corruption, and a general lack of shadow resist gear. As a Warlock this is OK as I can buff myself with some resist, and if you have a paladin’s aura thats even better. He’s also often left to last in case the rest of the run is a wash too, which means that you miss out on his drops. Frankly I think this boss is not difficult at all on normal, the group just needs to concentrate.
– Layout is curvy and twisted, without adding flavour. Its a very beautiful place without question though, anywhere that has laser doors can’t be a total waste of pixels.
– You need to kill everything in the place. That makes it easy to follow as you don’t need to remember to skip trash, but that also adds time.
– The last boss is a few mobs in sequence, which means you’re always at risk of dropping a character early, and therefore the boss is harder.
But that does not mean its impossible, and if you have guys who are geared and paying attention Arc can be a good run. I was thinking that a Pally Tank and a healer who can cross-heal well would be the go. Continue reading
An interesting Tank post on the Official WoW forums, posted by Ghostcrawler. This mirrors in a very timely manner a post by Sheepbreaker that asked about the role of Tanks in terms of which is the best choice.
Blurb from the official post, skip past if you want my humble opinion. The quick version is that I’m excited by the potential, wary of the way change has been managed before, and taking everything with a grain of salt.
Till a month after launch nothing is really known. Continue reading
While you’re leveling you’re always hunting for the best gear, and IMHO good Tank gear is not as common as other stuff. As you get to 70 that gear continues to improve well past the pre-70 items.
But I’ve noticed that as a Paladin Tank you need to swap gear out if you’re doing a lower level instance (downranking gear rather than spells). This is so that you’re not as tough as you are normally.
You’ll actually take damage, so you can get healed; and continue to load threat where you need to.
Q. How rare are pre-70 Paladin tanks, and what can we expect? Continue reading
As a tanking Paladin there are some subtle parts of playing that it took me a long time to commit to memory, or practice with regularity. Many of the tips & tricks below carry across for any character or class, but in particular I have found a significant difference when using a Protection Paladin who is still gearing up, as opposed to a character who is already using high quality gear.
I’m going to assume that you know about stacking blessings, and you’ve read all about what buffs to use in Opportunistic Rotation – if not let me know and I’ll post on it.
A. Check the damage type from mobs regularly.
Most creatures will be hurting you with physical damage, so the choice of aura/buff is easy. However there are some creatures where the damage type is not obvious, or you may forget to switch Aura type to gain more resistance to a particular type of mob. Especially true of casters who might do shadow damage (like the Skettis casters).
For example the Mana Worms in the Bashir Landing do Nature damage when you hit them, and their physical attacks are really weak. So instead of worrying about which aura or buff, I buy a few Nature Resist potions and absorb the damage. This means the recovery between fights is much quicker.
This is normal behavior in an Instance so you learn what the best strategies are, but it applies equally to solo play.
B. Check the AH for cheap pots, food, scrolls, and buffs.
As prot spec the mana bar when soloing is never full enough, and a few extra mana pots are always handy. Browsing the AH for cheap potions is always a good idea, and the don’t have to be Super Mana or Health to be handy. Also keep an eye out for cheap food, and other consumables, as often folks sell these items without an appreciation of how valuable or handy they really are. That extra Amour potion, or health regeneration can make a difference. Lower level water seems especially cheap (or find a mage and press the button on their forehead). A few silver spent on buffs can cut significant time off your combat recovery.
Extra buffs will make a difference when doing an instance where your gear is close to the limit of what you can survive. Doing a harder instances means you will need stamina food, weapon and shield buffs, and a potion or two. Get them and encourage those you play with to do the same.
A good list of items to watch for is any mid level to late level scrolls and cheap potions. Also check the AH at different times during the week, as popular raid nights will create shortages, and other nights you’ll see a few bargains.
C. Use a buff time manager.
As you run more and more instances, you’ll find the demand for Blessings to be many and varied. There will be times when you will be using 30 minute buffs on some classes, and also 10 minute buffs on others. A good tool for managing this is PallyPower, as it lets you set what buffs each paladin in the group will use. This might seem overkill initially, but it becomes a no brainer to see how long each buff has remaining, who is missing a buff, and re-buffing is a simple one click on each class icon. My old guild was so happy with PallyPower that it is a raid requirement for all Paladins.
An example of this is when you are Tanking with another pally in group. Your tanking buff is useless to them, so hit them with Salv (or what ever is useful), and use the 10 minute tank buff on yourself. The monitor will warn you when its time to re-buff them, which means you only need worry about yourself. They can in turn use the tool to buff you with Light or Wisdom, and 10 minute buff themselves.
Also consider a strategy when in a group with more than one Paladin. If you have buffs that they don’t (Bo Kings) then get them to apply buffs in accordance with what is useful all round. eg. One Paladin does Salv all round (not you), then you do Wis/Might/Kings depending on the target class. If you have three Paladins, get Salv and Kings all round, and Wis/Light/Might on class specifics.
Also check out a mod called Aurora (Ace2 compatible) which gives you a warning when you enter combat with Crusader aura on. The big red warning will help train you to switch before pulling, and catch it for you whe you’re being forgetful.
D. Learn about your friends
Spend the time to learn about what other classes and professions can bring to the run. Taunt, Sap, Shackle, Sheep, Fear (pally and warlock), Stun, Slow, Mind Control, Seduce, Kite, Trap, etc, should all be part of what you regularly consider, but it takes extra effort to really understand what the limitations of these control methods are. Some instances are almost impossible without the right type of crowd control.
For example: if your Priest doing the Mind Control gets hurt, it all goes sour. So tank well away from them, or get them to stand way off to the side. Ask what spec your Rogue and Hunters are to see if they will have the improved versions of Sap and Trap. Might be handy to know that you have a few extra seconds longer than normal on that CC, or that the Hunter is happy to chain trap.
Also learn what professions can help. The Drums of Fear from Leatherworking can help in a pinch, and you can use Freeze bombs and other explosives from Engineering to help slow and pull mobs to where you need them. There may even be times when a well placed Net created by a Tailor may help (like when the Warlock tailor drawns aggro and you taunt is on cooldown).
After tweaking, grinding gear, and spending a fortune on mats and enchantments, my Paladin is now Uncrushable. This opens opportunities to main tank Karzhan and may other places, and means that as long as I watch my upgrades carefully; I should only be improving HP and Damage from now onward.
I did have to watch Diamon’s stat and item configuration, and also sacrifice some HP for the Uncrushable status. That’s the beauty of gear sets, for the trash I have more HP and more SpDam, but for bosses they can swipe as hard as they like and I just stand happily.
I still will need to manage Mana/Hp return vs. Threat generated, and I’m really looking forward to seeing exactly how hard these nasty bosses can be.
Might have to make a macro for Prince – “You think thats air you’re breathing? Interesting”.
As a follow-up to his post, my response, and now BRK has put together a great explanation of how to combine a Hunter and a Paladin Tank with crowd control. My hats off folks; he used diagrams.
As an aside I went looking for Cockroach images and it seems that there is an Australian cockroach that makes all the others seem a tad piss-weak. The image here is of the Australian Rhinoceros Cockroach, which looks to be one mean son-of-a-bitch. As an Australian Pally Tank I will now adopt this proudly.
Back to BRK’s wisdom:
The bizarre thing is this: Tankadins who prefer to ignore CC and tankadins who don’t understand CC perform pulls in exactly the same manner. Isn’t that freaky?
Go read it. Its darn good.
Pally terms used so far: Cockroach, Tankadummy, Pallywhacker. LOL. Don’t forget Threatmachine (sung to James Brown’s Sex Machine), Rhino, Armadillo; and something I got called on a PuG a few days ago: Threat-Whore (not untrue).