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7-11-2008 @ 12:19PM
My biggest annoyance with tanks lately has been the dumb jock ‘materialistic’ mentality that your gear is your skill level. Really a tank needs to be doing a lot more than just acting as a meat shield, and getting uncrittable is /just/ the beginning. Hell, getting one tanking set is not even the beginning – you should work on a 5-6% hit-capped, uncrittable, expertise-rich threat set for trash for snap aggro, no misses on taunt, rage gen on weak caster-type mobs (hell for druids even resilience is good for tanking caster type mobs), then a set for maximum avoidance, a set for maximum mitigation and survivability. You should have a DPS set on hand so you’re not useless when it’s a straight 1-on-1 tank and spank. Put all of these sets into Outiffter or Item Rack so you can switch without digging through your bags or with a second’s notice. You should have a heavy compliment of consumables, stam food, appropriate flasks/elixirs, resist pots, free action pots (to make you immune to stuns, knockdowns, etc), nightmare seeds or anything else that can help out.The tank sets the pace. He makes the executive decisions on kill order and it shouldn’t be any other way. He needs to be aware of every trash mob, boss and its abilities (stuns, cleaves, etc), ready to respond and knowing when to position a mob away from the party, whether you should ask for an OT to build threat for when you’re stunned, etc. He needs to be ready to taunt an uncontrolled mob and hold it, because for whatever reason the CC didn’t work, was afk or if you need any reason at all – you don’t want your healers to die… do something about it. The tank can’t be a keyboard turner and a clicker, he’s got to swing his viewport around and mash two mouse buttons for movement, pounding the living hell out of his heavily macro’d key bindings with rage burn macros (Heroic Strike is your friend), intercept/assist/taunt/shield bash mashkey, stance dancing, etc. He should be able to get 3k threat in the first second.One of my biggest annoyances is when we’re fighting a trash pack and killing one mob – the main tank has threat and the DPS are burning it down, both of the tanks are wailing on it, but the off-tank is trying to build and pull threat for some stupid reason. That off-tank needs to be whacking on the mob just to generate enough rage so it can grab the next kill target, breaking CC as soon as the 1st is 5 or 6 seconds from being dead so the DPS can just roll right over without threat issues. The main-tank will follow up with #3 and so on, leap-frogging every mob. Dead time for the DPSers is wasted time, wasted procs, and two tanks on a mob is absolutely pointless unless there’s a hateful strikes, split cleaves, stuns, knockbacks, etc. This is what makes a good off-tank – and accept it if you’re an off-tank instead of the main tank… don’t go against the grain of the raid leader’s plan, a good off-tank is smart and helpful, ready to taunt a couple mobs off the MT if he’s getting hit by too many, ready to listen on vent, taunt and hold the next kill target, even if you haven’t been on it thus far, realize that you and him are swapping back and forth between MT and OT for the duration of the pull.Tanks should be aware of stability in positioning – get your mob positioned fast and keep still - because the melee are running around like coked-up chipmunks trying to figure out where the hell the rear end of the boss is (and not doing very much DPS) or worse, swinging at his front side causing parry-thrashes that can kill you in an instant, getting cleaved or generally just leaving their backs exposed to him to be one-shot with no chance to dodge.Tanks should not be shy to blow their cooldowns in a pinch. The very dumbest thing you can do is ask over ventrillo (or worse, typing it out in chat – you’re supposed to be doing more important things with your hands) whether you should use your cooldowns… most times you’re dead by the time the question hits my ears. You really just need to stay alive, because a wipe on trash is dumb and unless you’re MTing the next boss, who hits like supernova, your cooldowns are just for that.Tunnel vision is the worst thing for a tank, staring at the mob’s chest the whole fight is pointless. Swing your camera 180 degrees, zoom all the way out (and use /console SET cameraMaxFactor "4"), Look around, see what’s going on, expect the worst. Holding aggro on a mob is easy, use the other 95% of your brain for seeking out other opportunities to prevent deaths or expedite the fight at hand. Be smart, think of every ability in your arsenal. Check your buffs, are you missing fort? Did your pallies buff your DPS warriors with Salv and forgot to mention it to you to click it off? Is your pally using Crusader in your group instead of devo? Watch Omen, call out when your DPS’ aggro spikes. Be set up to check the combat log for what killed you so you can be a part of diagnosing the issue.Whatever it is, don’t just show up to the raid in your big metal suit and ask to have a mob put in front of you.I don’t even own a warrior, but I’ve heard enough bitching from both sides to recognize what makes a good one.
7-11-2008 @ 12:33PM
Did you even read the article?Beyond that most of what you're saying is true though it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Most Tanks at least the good ones know all this alreadyThe Max camera things doesnt always work like you may think it does Some bosses visibility is very low no matter where your camera is postioned and the Distance ratio makes no difference (in this case)
7-11-2008 @ 2:18PM
Another thing i feel i should mention about your post"I don’t even own a warrior, but I’ve heard enough bitching from both sides to recognize what makes a good one"Easy to judge people when you havent even been in their shoes right? Have you ever even tanked before?Having heard arguments from both sides doesnt make you a better judge of talent... theres alot of things that go into being a tank that you really dont understand until you have played one. (well for most people anyway)The most important cooldowns for tank range from 8 min (last stand(warrior)) to 1hr (Lay on Hands(paladin)) (note that shield wall is on a 30 min cooldown) which is why tanks have a hard time deciding when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to use these abilities. Most Good tanks make use of it at the right time but i am 100% sure that those tanks have also used them when they really didnt need to, wasting it before they actually needed it becaus ethey thought they had no choice. Your perspective on tanks seems to be very limited. Most issues (i'd say 99% of the time) on trash when aggro drop is not part of the equation, is because of some over zealous dpser who thinks he/she knows everything about tanking and isnt smart enough to pay attention to their own threat/omen. A good tank can call out when a dpser threat spikes but in the end the person who should really be paying attention to that is the Dpser themselves, it's not really the Tanks responsibility to make sure that the dpser is paying attention to their own threat.Dps Threat scales, Tanks threat doesnt scale that well and it's designed that way intentionally. Basically from your explantion of a good tank they are the ones doing everything well everyone is just sitting back and enjoying themselves. It's explanation like yours and the mentality like that that causes Tanks to go through the Burnouts they experience... you think it is a coincidence that Tanks have the highest burnout rate when the majority of people think the way you do?It's easy to say good tank should do this and that when in fact it has nothing to do with being a tank in the first place(most of it anyway)...it's about being a skilled player, anyone can make those callouts etcIt's really unfair to expect the tank to:1) Pay attention to his threat as well as the dpsers2) Pay attention to all the mobs around him and check if they are running to a dpser because a) they over aggroed b) broke cc c) didnt follow the kill order the only person i think a tank should watch out for is a healer...that is it3) Paying attention to all their Global cooldowns, while trying to maintain their highest threat rotation4) Calling out everything on Vent5) etc etc tec They arent the only ones in the raid god forbid someone else take on some of the responsibility for stuff going on... i mean it just easier to sit back and let someone else do it...especially someone who already has one of the if not the most important role which encompasses alof of things to pay attention to already.
7-11-2008 @ 6:53PM
I have a feral druid alt who has tanked plenty up through T4 (Mag/KHM/Gruul), though not as progressed as my main, I only brought him off the shelf in TBC when I got the picture from raiding on my main. I wouldn’t have even attempted tanking if I thought I would be a weak link by lack of understanding all of the expectations upon him, making an ass of myself in front of my friends and going in over my head. Even before I brought him back, I leveled a healer and spent a lot of time raiding with him. So I like to think I have experienced most of the game from the three major perspectives and I’m familiar with the triangle of expectations. I have had some fantastic models for really good tanks, and these are the qualities I decided I would pursue and the qualities those tanks look for in others when we need an extra.Knowing when to use cooldowns is the reason I emphasize awareness and knowledge of trash mobs and bosses. If you’re clueless, how would you know when a 30 minute cooldown is safe to use? You could pop your shield wall, allowing the attempt to recover and spare your raid a 5 minutes graveyard run and re-buff if you knew for a fact that you wouldn’t need your shield wall in the encounters immediately ahead, or if you were wise about the encounter, you might save your cooldown even when it goes south if you know you cannot recover from a loss of a key player. If that death is the difference between taking an extra boss out that night, you should be headstrong about using it at the right time. Or maybe you can count on your raid and find that you can use those cooldowns creatively to shave a little time off the run.Knowing that a mob is going to stun you and run away for 3 or 4 seconds (though that’s being nerfed soon), can give you the heads up to take a free action pot or call for an OT. Knowing that you may threat-cap the raid on trash, causing a cumulative loss of time over the course of the night, could spur you to strap on some lighter gear to generate more rage, hit capped for lv71s with expertise to ensure more of your hits land though you’ll still want a load of stam and be uncrittable. Maybe even ask another healer to keep an eye on you. This is a proactive solution, and it’s an action you can take upon yourself rather than asking 14 others to change their style.As far as TPS and zealous DPSers, there’s plenty of room in WoW for dainty tanks and DPSers who haven’t learned to use a threat meter, but not in a raid where you’re working against a timer or trying to get through X many bosses in Y many hours; Zul’Aman bear runs are the gold standard. In T6, a tank’s job is to be cocky and sure of himself, practiced, experienced and hopefully theorycrafted to the teeth. A DPSer should have passed the gauntlet of idiot checks and should be thouroughly familiar with threat meters. Healers should know their strengths and limits and volunteer them readily when given their role as well as when to walk the straight and narrow of their assignment and when to stray for the win. If your DPSers are pulling aggro, act accordingly, if your tank is threat-capping the raid… act accordingly. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to, you should always be doing everything well and if your raid is worth the time so is everybody else.I said that tanks set the pace of the instance, and this is where cockyness and confidence come into the picture. Nothing is worse than standing around during a raid, 30 seconds is fine, 1 minute is a long time, 2 minutes and you start losing people to smoke breaks. A solid tank can keep everybody on their toes and keep it moving to get through a lot more content a lot faster. If everybody in the raid has their eyes on you because the next pull could be coming at any moment, you’re doing it right. In turn, you should be watching the mana bars of your healers, and judging when you /can/ do a pull, rather than waiting for the raid to top off every time you leave combat and your raid leader to verbally poke you. If your raid sees more bosses, they will reciprocate the effort, they’ll move up to the next pull spot before sitting down to drink, they’ll keep oils and food buffs up for trash, they’ll get used to the tempo and pace themselves for longevity. They’ll feel bad when they screw up and slow down the train, they’ll learn from each other’s mistakes vicariously and push each other to new heights through competitiveness.At the simple, technical core of the tank-healer-dps equation the goal is to do enough damage to exceed the health pool of your opponent. In this balance of relationships, the tank has two jobs: set the upper boundary for DPS and ease the healing load through ample defenses. The damage dealer’s job is to make good use of that boundary by surfing it closely without exceeding it and occupying as little of the healer’s effort as possible by self-preservation. The healer’s job is to ensure that the upper boundary of DPS doesn’t suddenly disappear through the loss of the tank and that the lower boundary of DPS doesn’t drop below the threshold of success though the loss of DPS.I know I’m being captain obvious, but I wanted to illustrate that outside of these parameters, raid bosses are mostly gimmicks and are designed to test part or all of this triangle. When everybody is thoroughly skilled and aware of their own capability combined with a little theorycrafting, anything is possible.
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