Sep 12th 2010 4:02AM Yes on so many levels.
If you want to tank, start tanking the moment you can enter an instance, and don't stop.
Starting to tank at level 80 is as wise as getting to level 80 by only doing 'travel quests' and entering combat for the first time ever at 80.
- Not only do you need that leveling to learn your action bar, you need to learn all of the pacing and threat generation. Classic instances are great for tanks because they're better designed: they aren't straight linear lines and to get through them often takes learning tactics.
Wrath has instances that are just way to simple and way to forgiving of sloppy play.
- Learning from them means that when things do go wrong, you often have never learned the tricks needed to correct.
Sep 12th 2010 3:56AM That's not just your server.
Its routine to have DPS -intentionally- avoid attacking whatever the tank is focusing threat on. The DPS that do this are the ones that are most likely to call fail on a tank when they pull.
But they prefer doing it to DKs and Warriors. Paladins rarely get this abuse, and most don't seem to know how to react to Druid tanks.
- People have decided that DK = fail tank, so they are intentionally rude when a DK is tanking. Having so many different tanks, I've seen this repeatedly, where when I'm tanking on my DK people do all sorts of things that they will never do when I tank on any other class. The bad manners are still present when on my warriors, but they usually follow along. Only on the paladin will people act properly (back in BC, it was the other way around - people would try to mess me up when I tanked on my paladin, like they do now with my DKs, but quietly obey when I tanked on my warrior).
Sep 12th 2010 3:46AM Solution to tracking what the tank is targeting when they fail to mark:
1. Set the tank as your focus and use a macro like this:
#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast !Aspect of the Hawk
/cast [modifier:shift] Arcane Shot
/cast [@focustarget,harm] Arcane Shot
As for tanks that fail to mark - once cata comes out this will cause a LOT of wipes, as AoE tanking is going away. Tanks will need to mark and DPS will need to learn how to attack the right target... again... after we'd finally managed to get this into their heads in late BC, Wrath wiped the slate on it...
And here's how a tank can mark fast:
#showtooltip Heart Strike
/cast [nomodifier] !Rune Strike
/cast Heart Strike
/script SetRaidTarget("target", 8)
- Modify as appropriate for your given class. That's on my DKs, since this is a DK article, but I have similar for my Warriors, my druid, and my paladin. What gets me is the people who, even in heroics, ask things like 'why are there funny shapes over the monster's heads?'
Sep 11th 2010 8:26PM @Stone_Rhino:
I've got 2 80 Dk tanks, 2 80 Warrior tanks, 1 80 Druid tank, 1 76 Paladin tank (that was my main-tank back in BC), and a few lowbies filling out the this and that. Plus an 80 Holy Priest and my Druid is dual spec into resto.
- So with that in mind, I've found it very easy to get def-capped on my tanks regardless of class. I also find that while weapon matters a lot, its not that hard to get what you need to build enough threat.
Its not that gear dependent, it -IS- dependent on your priority list, quick reactions - moving mobs around right, and all of those 'finer things' that come with experience rather than gear.
But... you can have some fairly good threat early on by gemming for expertise rather than stamina - and in heroics that's the better move anyway. You can pop into a heroic as a fresh 80 with barely 19k health and mostly blues - argent crusade / wymrest accord gear, and find yourself having 3 fully ICC geared AOE-DPS that open up with the 'End of Days' as their initial move - blowing all cooldowns and trinkets in the first GCD...
- and still hold threat against them and their 6k+ DPS.
- Not easy, but possible. And mostly about what you do and how you do it, what order, and so on... Granted with that pack of DPS, you'll also probably be burning your taunt key a few times... but you -can- keep them alive.
Once you start raiding you'll need more stamina gemming, and that means needing more threat coming from the weapon. But get the iLevel 219 weapons and you're "good enough" if your priority list (similar to rotation) is right.
Tanking is not so easy, and you do have to be aware of all sorts of factors, but it can be fun. I tend to tank with my camera zoomed back and my eye shifting about looking for where mobs are going, and where DPS or the healer(s) are going, where my MT or OT is going, and so on... Think of it like watching a chess board - see the whole board, not just where your piece is. Look at it like a waltz of figures moving around, and 'feel out' patterns so you can anticipate where things will be before they get there.
I can often sit there and watch what for me seems like several minutes as some DPS or a healer stands in a spot where I know they're going to bite it, but I can't type in chat fast enough to tell that person to move, and it just seems so obvious to me, and then sure enough they don't, and they go down.
- and what makes that worse is when its me, and I'm sitting there watching myself and thinking 'why did you just use that ability when you know perfectly well you needed to use the other one... or 'why left when it should have been right...'
- and I see myself wipe a group in what feels like slow-motion... :)
(Which is another reason why I get annoyed at people who call out others for failure - I've reached a point where I know when I'm failing, if I am, or when its someone else. But I'm polite to them and don't say so when I see it, and I can't stand people who blame the wrong person - regardless of who is blaming whom. I think most experienced tanks can tell this, because to get to the level of being good at tanking, you've had to learn how to watch the entire chess board - so you can see where the actual mistakes were, and after a while you learn that everybody makes them now and then...)
Aug 15th 2010 10:35PM The 50% rage bonus on targets not attacking you will also be handy in helping overcome the losses to some forms of AoE tanking. If the DPS pulls a mob, you won't get rage starved while trying to taunt to thing back. Smack it a few times, click taunt, and hit something big on threat.
- But yeah, it will make OTs also very handy for getting mobs back from DPS if they're able to more often keep their rage up high so they can dish out heavy threat right after the taunt.
In early wrath I kept getting stuck as an OT to paladins (for some reason) when we were doing naxx-10, and it was rough being near useless with no rage between waves of adds.
Aug 10th 2010 10:49PM I used to have a macro that I would spam at the start OF EVERY PULL telling DPS to wait so long on casting 'The End of Days', to leave X alone until Skull was dead, Moon was for hunter/rogue CC, Square was for Mage/lock/priest CC...
Yeah, all the time.
Got rid of it in Wrath.
Wonder how often I'll get votekicked in Cata for spamming it before players learn enough and I no longer need to spam it... :)
Even now, in the days when all of my tanks can grab snap AoE aggro when a DPS starts a pulls or something, I still tend to type 'x' or '/sleep' when I see them do it...
- wait for that one DPS to bite it, and then run in.
Guess I better grind a -LOT- of repair bill gold before cata launches...
Aug 8th 2010 4:26PM @Eli: My first 70 was a Druid - that was my raiding toon for half of BC before I decided to try a paladin (which I dropped like a rock when 3.0 hit and made paladin rotations too simple & boring). She's now dual spec feral/resto. Spend most of the time on that toon tanking (one of my 5 80 tanks and in her resto spec, 2 80 healers). Cat form -which I've used now and then- is basically rogue simplified. Since I didn't mention Druids in the post you replied to though - I'm not sure why you made a druid comment at me.
@jscott87: Started my guild on my enhancement shaman back in April of 07. The toon didn't make it to 80, sure, and is presently 72 - but its the most played non-80 I have. All you do is smack a shock, and then run through the talent specific abilities (lavalash, stormstrike, etc), and then a shock again. Enhance is trivially easy. It is a priority list and not a rotation - but its the simplest priority list out there as the choices don't much differ in their impact. Getting one wrong won't tend to cause anything but a slightly longer fight.
Aug 8th 2010 3:59PM Warriors do have a rage based self heal. But you don't get it until level 75:
That said, for a skilled player - the warrior is very survivable, and even at low levels you can do large pulls, take them down, and keep on going. I tend to level my warriors in protection spec, and stay in defensive stance whenever soloing for the greater mitigation allowing me to do tank-like AoE pulls and take little damage. First Aid is enough to keep you going most of the time. Keep a healing pot or two on hand, and spec for last stand as soon as it comes up.
But that is -not- a good plan for a new player.
Aug 8th 2010 3:16PM http://www.warcraftrealms.com/census.php
- WoW is largely about Paladins, DKs, and Hunters - in that order. For 38% of all toons in the game.
DKs are not popular tanks - because while its an easy class to solo, and is a very powerful tank - learning to tank on it comes in a close second just behind warrior in terms of difficulty. Paladin is the easiest tank - despite Druids having an almost 3-button rotation, paladin is still easier to master (paladin doesn't have anything more to learn once you learn the basics - Druid can, but its a thin margin - fewer but better designed options leave them just a little more room for human skill than Paladins have.
Warrior always has more complex angles to find, and DKs have a lot of intricacies and tricks one can find as they grow with the class). Both of these classes can keep a skilled player entertained for a long time. But both are also hard to be competent at for a new player (with the exception of DKs in the DPS role - where basic competency good enough to not get booted out of your raid group is easy).
But for DPS, there are too many DKs out there, and they often do not excel at what they do. Competency is easy, but getting good at it is not. Likewise with hunters. On both classes you can be 'good enough for government work' - but to actually be in the top 50% of your raid's DPS will take a lot of dedicated theory-crafting. Though DKs get patched so often this could flip by the time I hit the submit button on this post... :)
Paladin tanks are everywhere, paladins DPS are everywhere, and paladin healers are everywhere. They are all 'good' at the role, but none of them have enough dynamic play to let a really expert player excel - once you get good at it, you're good and the class' limits will start to show, driving you slowly into boredom. The problem there though is that an 'slightly below average' player can still perform as 'good' on a paladin - its so simple its hard to get it wrong, but its also so simple its hard to get better than good, and the class itself never grows beyond 'very good'. The locked in rotations means human skill eventually just gets locked out.
So Paladin might be a great starter class - but its probably a bad one to stick with. It can leave a player eventually thinking WoW is too simplistic of a game, lacking in variety for play.
Aug 8th 2010 12:26PM Bringing tank pets is no surprise. LFG gives you about 30 seconds to reply - and if you're not right next to a stable, you're going to show up with whatever you were using. Chances are you were out there soloing something, meaning you're coming in with a tank pet.
While not the answer for a new player - for any player with any past experience, simply having a macro in some of your attacks that makes your pet attack your target makes it easy to have it switch targets. Likewise a macro to have you attack the target of your focus solves the problem of pulling mobs off the tank.
But even for new players, the hunter is easier in solo play than most of the other choices because it has something out there to protect you from a lot of mistakes. And unlike the easier paladin, its not boring to as many people. The paladin is just too simple.