Archive for the Tanking Category

You must have 5k+ GS to read this post!!!

Posted in Raid Leading, Tanking with tags , , , , on January 5, 2010 by Wiredude

We’ve all seen it.  LFM (insert here) must have #### GS… Is anyone besides me sort of tired of it?

It’s pretty amazing how fast a mod can all but take over the game when you really think about it.  I first started hearing about GearScore a few months ago, but at least on my server I didn’t really start noticing it in the [Trade] and [LFG] channels until the last month or 2.  Now, almost anytime you see anyone looking for more for a raid, you seen a Gearscore req posted along with it.  I’m even starting to see it in guild recruitment posts.  Honestly, I’m sort of tired of it, but at the same time I totally understand.

Just remember you have to have at least a 5K GearScore to keep reading this 😛 !

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The Random Dungeon Tool and You (tankishly)

Posted in General, Tanking with tags , , , on December 28, 2009 by Wiredude

Perhaps the most talked about new feature of patch 3.3 (aside from of course Icecrown Citadel) has to be the new Random Dungeon tool. And with good reason. I think it’s impact will be much, much larger than was expected, and it may have some repercussions that will change the face of the game forever.

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Patch 3.3: Initial impressions

Posted in General, Tanking with tags , , on December 10, 2009 by Wiredude

So last night was my first real foray into the game after 3.3 went live. Enough of my mods were borked on Tuesday that I didn’t do anything other than one “random dungeon” run (ended up being ToC) with a bunch of guildies. I intended to go as my off-spec (Arms) but for some reason my menu-bar descided to go away, and I couldn’t swap specs, so I just put my DPS gear on, swapped stances, and tried to inflict as much pain as I could. We made it through, though my contribution was relatively minimal. I did end up getting the Edge of Ruin though, so now I need to contemplate going fury, as I have Marrowstrike as well. Might be amusing…

So anyway, my thoughts on what I’ve experienced of the 3.3 fun so far? I’ll break it down a bit by category.

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Help out your healers!

Posted in Tanking with tags , , on November 19, 2009 by Wiredude

Yes, you heard me right. I’m advocating doing things to make your healer’s life simpler. Why? Well I like to think it’s because I’m just a nice person, and I try to be helpful, but in true tankish fashion it’s also a little bit selfish and ego-feeding too. After all, we all want the healers to have an easier time healing us than the other tanks, it must mean we’re better! Right? (note sarcasm)

Seriously though, I don’t envy healers their job at all, and while I don’t know how to play one (I don’t have a toon past lvl 32 that’s healing capable), I know it’s got to be tough, and the easier I can make things on anyone in the group I’m playing with, the better it is for all of us. So in an effort to improve my tanking and learn how to do things better, I’ve taken to trying to talk with the healers I run with (particularly healers I PuG with) and ask them how healing me compares with healing other tanks. Usually I don’t get any massive input, but every little bit can help. Continue reading

Why Tank?

Posted in Tanking with tags , on November 17, 2009 by Wiredude

Why tank?

Good question.

Who willingly wants to jump into harms way, and intentionally stay there? Who wants to pay all those repair bills? Who wants to get blamed for everything that isn’t blamed on the healer? Who wants to feel bad every time that someone gets eaten by a stray add? Tanks, that’s who. No matter which flavor, be it Bears, Death Knights, Pallys, or Warriors, there’s something different about the person behind a tank. But there are always people who want to do things that seem crazy to most of the rest of the world, so what we really need to know is WHY people choose to be a tank, because anyone who plays the game understands that tanks do things that frankly don’t make a ton of sense when viewed from a distance. Continue reading

Playing Second Fiddle (and enjoying it)

Posted in Tanking with tags , , , on November 13, 2009 by Wiredude

Tanking for me is enjoyable. Yes, it’s somewhat more stressful than DPSing, but not in some ways. Yes, I need to be generally more aware of everything, but as the tank in a 5-man run, I get to set the pace, pull when I’m ready (usually), and I also get the satisfaction of occasionally getting to save someone’s bacon. I also get a great deal of satisfaction of executing a pull just how I intended, and making use of the tools I have at my disposal as a warrior.  With ranged DPS it seems all I do is make sure I’m not standing in bad stuff, and make sure I’m not pulling threat.

At times it’s painful too, my first trip through Old Kingdom as a tank was “rocky” to say the least. We died several times, although honestly, I think only once to a boss. I just kept hitting trash pulls wrong, or taking the wrong path, it wasn’t pretty. But I know my next trip through will be alot better, because I can apply what I learned. I also learned something else. The ‘pvp’ phases against the final boss it that fight are stupidly easy for a prot warrior, at least if it’s a primarily melee group. One word, Shockwave. It’s that simple, Shockwave everyone, then straffe (because you can still move at run speed, but not give a rear face to be stunned) away and keep running until Shockwave is off cooldown, rinse, repeat.

Anyhow, I’ve gotten myself geared up (badge-collecting & ToC(5) FTW) to a point where I’m actually ready to start going into some of the more advanced content with my little angry tuna-can. I made my first trip into Ulduar (25) with him the other night, and got to come along as my main-spec no less. Now granted, my guild leader (and the usual raid-leader) is a prot-pally, so I’m not getting to be the “main tank” but that’s ok. He’s good at what he does, and I’ve still got alot to learn, but I’m up to around 40k health in 25-man buffs, so it’s much more the experience that I need to be more ready, not gear.

I’ll also say this, there are some encounters where you just have to do it to understand. Razorscale is one of those. Perhaps my take on things is different, as I’ve never really done melee DPS, but that fight, while not really complex, is a bit more than you expect the first time you’re right in the middle of it. Actually, the add phases are easy, run over to the mole machines, wait for the guys to appear, and Thunderclap, cleave while dragging over to the pile with the other tanks, Shockwave… But when Razor’s grounded permanently, that first time you’re under all the spell effects in a 25-man, and trying to watch to make sure you get to the right place, stay out of her breath (if you’re not actually tanking atm) but are ready to pick her up without having her turn all crazy and fry half the raid… All can say is “Wow, it’s something you just have to do to understand.”

But anyway, I’ve been spending alot of raid time as “off-tank”.  Some people think that’s like a second-string job, but really, it’s not.  It needs to be done just as bad as the boss needs to be tanked, but in some ways moreso.  Alot of times the adds are just smaller, and as a DPSer, it’s often easy to just not notice the add nipping at your ankles.  Also, as the off-tank, you’re more or less the bodyguard of the healers, and we all know how important the healers are.  And lest we forget, we also have to be ready to grab up the boss it something happens to the main tank.

Off-tanking can also allow you some time to observe how your main-tank is positioning a boss, etc.  You can learn alot, and don’t be afraid to ask the main tank questions.  They more than likely spent some time off-tanking themselves, and may well know a few tricks that could make your life alot easier.  I’ve learned something else too in the short time I’ve been tanking.  There’s sort of a strange fraternity among tanks.  Where as a DPS I know at times it’s seemed that it’s more of a competitive thing between players (always friendly in my experiences, but I’m sure not always), with tanks it seems to be more of a cooperative, mutual assistance thing.  So ask questions, and learn not only WHAT other tanks do in certain situations, but WHY, then you can apply it to your own tanking.

But mostly, just be happy playing second fiddle, and learn all you can.  Someday something is going to happen, and you’re going to need to be first fiddle, and if you paid attention, you’ll be ready.