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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Simplicity Itself


The Care and Feeding of Warriors is WoW.com's coverage of all things clanky and angry. Matthew Rossi decided he would give PuGGing another try last night with the advent of patch 3.3 and the new random dungeon interface. He choose...poorly.

What I really dislike is when someone tells me something which could not possibly be true and expects me to believe it.

Let me back up and provide some context. As those who read my twitter know (@MatthewWRossi for those of you just dying to keep up with my once every few days tweets) I had resolved to run the new random dungeon on my underplayed Horde alts, who needed the gear more than my Alliance toons anyway. And so I brushed my tauren fury/arms warrior off (thick layer of dust and all) and ran four random dungeons back to back to back to back in the small hours of the morning, gathering enough Emblems of Triumph to buy him a new pair of shoulders from scratch and everything. Thrilled with the success of the experiment, I decided to try a few Alliance side as well.

Sometimes, we should leave well enough alone. It's okay sometimes to stop when something has gone really well, to say "wow, this was really fun and fast and painless" and not to push our luck. Because what came after wasn't just a PuG. It wasn't just a bad PuG. It was the kind of bad PuG where people tell you bald-faced and impossible lies and make you ashamed to be playing the same game as they are.

Having already tanked Halls of Reflection once already on heroic (and even on the PTR) I knew that it wasn't super easy as a warrior tank, but with some restraint and a proper kill order (healers/casters/hunters/melee) it was quite doable. So I informed my group, we started the long loredump, and then the encounter started. We collapsed to the doorway to move the mobs to us, things were going okay until the third wave started. While I was gathering up the mobs (including taunting the mage off of the healer) a rogue mob ran over and ripped one of the DPS in half. Annoying, yes, but it happens from time to time, Thunder Clap threat won't stop a mob who's getting direct damaged out of kill order. However, the irritating part is when the DPS insisted "I didn't even touch it."

We're in a gauntlet where waves of adds spawn and rush the party.

The healer is constantly healing me and will be casting healing spells and generating healing threat as these mobs become active and rush the party. This means that until I get the mobs gathered up, the top threat target is going to be the healer. He starts each wave with healing aggro on every single mob as they run to us, because he's healing me the whole time. This is simplicity itself. The mobs spawn in random parts of the room, so I can't mark them immediately, which is why we have a kill order going into the waves already worked out.

I am not building immediate aggro on melee mobs. I should not have to. You're not supposed to be hitting them. And it is impossible for you to be putting out more threat than my AoE and the healer's constant healing without doing anything. It's not just a lie, it's a stupid lie. Not only can I go look in the combat log and see you damaging the mob, but I have a functioning forebrain that does things like say "But if he wasn't hitting the mob why would it run 20 yards to yank his head off of his neck when the healer is constantly casting healing spells five feet away from it and is a much juicier and aggro generating target?"

What I'm saying is twofold. First off, for new warriors looking to get into these random PuG's and tank, please be aware that you will run into these people. They will stick sixteen kinds of DoT on a mob and then complain when you don't see it turn to yank their entrails out because you're trying to hold aggro on four others. They think that Shockwave and TC have no cooldowns and generate infinite threat. They're under the misapprehension that you have a groud effect DoT that will cause mobs to run to you instead of people putting damage on multiple mobs before you've even looked at one. They'll cast Typhoon or Thunderstorm just as the mobs get to you and wonder why you're upset with them. They use Bladestorm as an opener.

There is really nothing you can do about these people. There's no way to predict a PuG will have one or more of them in it, the ones who think Shadow Word: Pain doesn't cause threat because they're in Shadowform, or who constantly try and rush the pulls and disdain any and all use of kill order because they have no idea what it's like to tank and couldn't maintain aggro as a tank on multiple mobs to save their lives.
Warriors have two roles in a five man instance: in this particular case being only a two role hybrid is a positive boon. We can DPS (fairly low stress) and we can tank (fairly high stress) but we can't heal, a task that ranges from moderate to intensely stressful. When you are DPSing in a PuG, you have an opportunity to ruin a tank's day that I suggest you don't take. Don't use Whirlwind until you see the tank use a group threat move. Don't ignore her when she says "Kill X first, I'll be focusing on that one". Don't assume that just because he or she is well geared that he or she can defy the rules of the game and just force mobs to aggro on her first even if they're randomly spawning mobs in four corners of a room.

Generally, treat the tank like you would like to be treated were you the tank. You'd think this wouldn't need to be said, but I stand here to contradict you. For a new warrior looking to get caught up for raids, the new dungeon finder is wonderful. In the day of its existence I've had several good PuG's with it. I very much enjoyed the Luck of the Draw buff and when the groups were good it was an absolute joy as a DPS warrior to just sign up as DPS and not have to justify it or deal with people who assume warriors can only tank. And as a tank it got me through the various Icecrown five mans for the attunements. I'm simply pointing out to people new to PuGs, new to tanking or DPSing on a warrior at 80, or even new to grouping period that the new dungeon finder does not magically erase the lamentable human tendency to, well, be human.

Please, go forth and use the new dungeon finder, especially you tanking warriors. You're one half of the lifeblood of this grand experiment. But go in knowing what you might get. It is random, after all.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Bosses, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

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