New Tank PuG Hell

So I’m working on my freshly 80 tank, and trying to run 5-mans, but right now there seem to never be more than 2 other guildies on. Maybe someone changed the rules of math on me when I wasn’t looking but as far as I know 3 < 5, and not everyone in the guild is 80, or wants to do what I’m doing.   Not saying that I need to have runs all in guild, I’m past that point in my gaming career, I can PuG and not feel bad about it, however being as my tank is a warrior, and theres OMG BADGES! to be had in heroics now, no one wants to have a learning tank, much less a warrior one. Now I could just not tell people I’m new as a tank. I could do that, but the 24k health thing kinda gives it away. I mean I’m otherwise alright, my def is up over 540 now, in fact over 550 atm I think, and you only really need 535 for heroics anyhow.  I still need the shotgun, and the trinket out of HoL, and I’ll be able to get the gun tonight, I finished gathering up mats last night, just gotta find an engineer. I should be able to swap out a few +Def gems for +Stam ones, and that will probably help. But here’s what I don’t get, people have absolutely no patience.

Last night I tried to run H-VH, we set off, and things went ok, had the danged water-elemental guy as first boss (I’ve now done that run 3 times between normal and heroic, got him twice), and we got him down losing the rogue at the very end, but we had almost a minute to spare, so we rezzed him, no biggie. Trash cleared easy enough, and then we got the viod-reaver dude. First shot, got him down to about 20%, but then we wiped, had the seal at 100% until that point. Second try basically same result, except I got void-shifted like 5 times, obviously not making things too easy. And then everyone just up and quit, yeah, they had the courtesy to say they were leaving, but they just quit. I don’t get that, I mean yes, I know it’s an easier run, but I was up-front about it being my first run on heroic when I got asked to come (by random whisper I might add, I wasn’t even in LFG at the time).  What the hell is so hard about taking more than 1 or 2 shots at a boss?  It’s not as if we were having issues with trash, or any of that.  Not that I want to wipe either, but for Heaven’s sake, it was H-VH, so you were getting rep if nothing else…

Slightly dis-heartened, I went off mining for a while, and stuck myself into LFG, looking for either reg ToC, or H-UK.  UK reg was a confidence builder for me, so I figure what the heck, plus there’s a chance at that sword that drops off the Prince, not great by any stretch, but better than the quest-reward mace I’m currently tanking with.  So I get a whisper from someone for H-UK, and the same conversation ensues, but they (and I) think I’ll be fine.  So we all get there, and off we go.  We had a couple trash-pulls go a little haywire, but I managed to get everything gathered up, and we made it dead, Prince (whatever) didn’t drop the sword, but it was ok, he died without any real issues, I was a little nervous about the skeletons, and picking em up, because as a warrior I don’t have a passive AoE like a Pally, or a DK tank does, but it worked, we didn’t lose anyone, the bad man died, and we got his loot.  Second boss got a little hairy as the caster 1/2 went down too fast, and has no agro table, but again, we made them dead, it ended alright.  Along the way an over-eager mage did manage to get himself killed 2 times on trash before I could get to what he agroed, but well, clothies are squishy!  The last boss went well too, though I know I didn’t time things quite right with the roar/smash things.  The healer got me through it, and once again, we killed the bad man, and took his loot.  I ended up getting the tank ring he drops, and the DPS plate pants for my off-set, so it really did work out well for me.

I know that in the early stages, and even later people expect alot from the tank.  I know warriors aren’t everyone’s favorite flavor of tank either.  I know this from running as a DPS though, warriors require that the DPS pay more attention, and think a little more, that’s all.  I also think warrior is a little harder to be a ‘competent’ tank at, and I’m not making any claims just yet that I’m even to that stage, I usually manage to keep the bad guys pissed at me, and that’s what I see as my primary job as the tank.  I went over my recount data after both runs last night, in VH I was managing to take a little over 50% of the total damage, not great, but about where I’d been on several normal runs.  In UK, I managed to get up over 70% of total damage taken.  Now I know that damage taken probably isn’t the perfect stat to look at, but I can’t really think of a better one to look at as a tank.  At least it gives me a perspective of how much time I spend with the bad guys pissed at me.  Sure, it counts when I stand in bad stuff too, but I try and watch that.  I’m tryin to learn here people, is it too freakin hard to give someone a chance to learn every now and then?


4 Responses to “New Tank PuG Hell”

  1. Learning to tank is an art form. I’ve seen warrior tanks that just absolutely knocked my socks off. I think the problem is that most fights and 5 mans assume you’re going to be using AOE’s to kill stuff. At least that’s the assumption people are making. So they count to 1 and then unload holy hell on the group. Unforunately Warriors are the most hard pressed to get their AOE going.

    I know they can AOE tank. I’ve seen it, but it take a lot more finesse. Keep at it and you’ll do just fine. For druids, I used to have a nightmare of a time, but eventually they made my swipe 360 and suddenly I almost don’t have to think when gathering up AOE mobs.

    Tankings about learning.. and failing a lot. You can get really good at it if you learn to think quick and outside the box.

  2. A couple of suggestions:

    1. Assign one DPS to keep the last mob to be killed under CC. Not only it is likely one DPS will be happy for the extra responsibility, you will learn about moving the mobs away from the CCed mob while keeping aggro and an eye on the CCed mob. Expect some really bad mistakes at the beginning but you will learn about distance, position, angles, and (later) camera angles.

    I sometimes (protection warrior) tank heroics in groups of 3 and I use CC whenever I can in such cases.

    2. Practice using heroic throw on a caster and, while the throw is on its way, charge a different target. This is an important skill for pulls which include two or more casters not close to each other. You will typically throw on a caster and charge a second caster. The idea is to get the mobs to bunch up very quickly. I expect you will learn to turn you charcater quickly as you learn to keep all mobs within your field of vision.

    Please note you can begin to learn this skill outdoors.

    3. Learn when enough is enough. Mobs which are permanently tied to you until their demises can be ignored (if you stay within melee range) and you can focus on the other mobs.

    It may be an idea to put Omen where you can see it at all times and try to estimate how much aggro you need before you can safely ignore them and then do so. You will likely make some mistakes – taunt is your friend – but after a while, you will develop a good feel when enough is enough.

    Keeping a eye on Omen will also give you a good feel how many seconds you can ignore a mob if DPS continue to generate aggro at the same rate.

    This is by no means an easy skill to acquire but it will click at some point and you will find time is your side,

    Good luck!

  3. Last night brought slightly more success. I successfully tanked CoT: Strath for the first time, on heroic no less, and we beat the timer! (I actually won the drake too!) Now I know it wasn’t too pretty at times, but it worked.
    I also managed to get a group together for the H-daily (AN) and did that as well. The add phases on the final boss got a little rough, but we made it through alive, with no wipes, so I’ll mark it down as a success, even if there’s some improvement that needs to be made (and there is).
    @Hugmenot — I’m gonna try and work on using CC as I can, however, seems most times, no one wants to be bothered unfortunately. I did however try using the split throw/charge technique, and I can say that I like the utility of that. I’m also starting to get an idea of the ‘how much is enough’ that you mentioned, and am starting to get alot more comfortable changing targets through the fight, dropping devastate, or shield slam, etc on different mobs to keep threat up. It also kind of feels like the whole process is starting to slow down. Initially, coming from being a ranged DPSer, there’s just sooo much going on in your screen when tanking that it’s almost overwhelming, but I’m starting to be able to see what I need to and sort of ignore the rest. I’m also starting to have a better feel of when to pop cool-downs, though I should probably move Taunt or Last Stand, as they’re right beside each other, and I keep tapping Last Stand when I’m trying to taunt…

  4. If you ever need anybody to tax your threat meter you know where to find me. 🙂

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