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Posts with tag protection-warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Let's get everyone tanking

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Now for whatever reason, I've been tanking lately, usually due to a connection issue or what have you. It's one of those confluences of my gear's being just good enough and my no longer being burned out on the role. While I still define myself as a DPS warrior and raid with that as my main spec, I was surprised to find tanking wasn't that hard to pick back up. In fact, it may be a little too easy.

I hesitate to make this statement because, in part, I know I'm not a typical player. I main tanked for years. I tanked in vanilla, in The Burning Crusade, in Wrath, and for the opening of Cataclysm. I was the undergeared tank trying to do heroics in greens when the expansion came out. I was the guy tanking heroic LK. I've tanked in all sorts of situations and gear and specs. I tanked when TC only hit four mobs and did not work in Defensive Stance. What I'm saying is, I've been tanking for so long there's almost no way for me to evaluate how difficult tanking is for other players. I have years of muscle memory. I've kited. I've done adds; I've done bosses. I've picked up murlocs and traded adds on Yogg.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: How to tank for non-tanks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

So maybe you don't tank or perhaps have never tanked. Maybe you're new to the game, maybe you just haven't tried it out yet, maybe you used to tank but then stopped for whatever reason and aren't feeling comfortable picking it back up. Whatever your situation, the tanking game in World of Warcraft is available to you as a warrior.

A lot of guides tend to focus on gearing and speccing your warrior to tank, glossing over what you actually do as a tank. What buttons are you hitting and when? Sometimes that's because it seems self evident, or because specific fights call for specific things. This guide is written from an absolutely basic perspective: It will tell you what to do and when to do it, assuming you've no experience at all as a tank. Therefore, this caveat: No guide can make up for practical experience, and you may well learn different ways to perform the role that conflict with this. And that's fine. Learning the role through doing will help teach you what's suited to you; this is just intended to get you started out on that road.

This guide also assumes you are level 85. At least for the first 60 or so levels, you have few enough abilities that there's really no confusion and if you level as a prot warrior, you'll pick this up anyway. This is intended for DPS warriors and PvPers who have never tanked but would like to, as well as old hands who haven't tanked in a while.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Snapshots of tanking tomorrow

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

There's been a lot of news about class balance lately. Not only did the devs do a live Q&A recently (here are the important -- that is, the warrior-related -- answers), but they've also been commenting and clarifying on the forums. There's a lot of interesting stuff to consider, and so here we go considering it and the ramifications it all brings or will bring. Here's just one example.

Daxxari - Mastery Raid Buff
Quote:
Q: "Currently block is a superior mastery to Blood Shield and Savage Defense. Are there any plans to bring the masteries closer together?"

A: Yes, in 5.0. Block capping and mastery in general is currently too good for warriors and paladins. We think tank balance is close enough in 4.3 that dramatic overhauls could make matters worse. In 5.0 we will change things.


Right now, mastery is decent for arms, terrible for fury, and very solid for protection warriors. Apparently, it's too good for protection right now. While both paladins and warriors use block somewhat differently (Critical Block and Shield Block work together very well), it's pretty easy for either to get pretty high block. Since the active mitigation tanking model didn't manifest in time for patch 4.3, it seems likely that the mastery and block issue will be addressed when that rolls out. It's frustrating, but right now all we can do is wait and see.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Specializations in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

We are about to live in interesting times, my friends. Last week's BlizzCon effectively promised us most, if not all, of the candy I wanted. With the full awareness that this is all subject to change, take a look at the mock-up for abilities (not talents, core abilities) that all fury warriors will get as they level from 1 to 90 in the revamped Mists of Pandaria scheme. With the announcement that Slam will be an arms-only ability, I personally suspect that Wild Strike is the replacement for Bloodsurge's Slam proc. More importantly, you'll note a few things.

One I really want to highlight at the start are the no-brainer talents that aren't talents anymore, like Flurry, Raging Blow, Bloodsurge and both Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury. You'll also note that you don't have to choose between TG and SMF. You get both at level 38. I used the fury abilities screenshot because that's the one I managed to get. If Blizzard did an arms or protection one, I didn't see it. But all three talent specializations are worth discussing, because we're heading into a future where your talent choices are no longer constrained by spec.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: PVP with a PVE spec -- protection

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

This is part 2 of our look at PVPing with a spec mainly thought of by others as a PVE spec. Protection has waxed and waned in popularity as a PVP spec since Wrath of the Lich King launched. Its mobility, stun potential and kite resistance (as well as some nice spell interrupt utility), combined with excellent survival, weigh against its lack of raw burst potential. Protection can do many things well in PVP, from carrying a flag or protecting a tower or cap point to tanking in Alterac Valley or the Isle of Conquest, but its strengths are balanced by one factor. Compared to other warrior specs, protection in PVP just plain lacks the raw killing throughput of arms or fury.

This doesn't mean a prot warrior can't get off a Shield Slam that will make another player cross-eyed, because it can and does. But unlike arms, when prot charges a target and stuns it, even using Shockwave immediately afterwards, it simply isn't likely to burst out anything close to the raw damage of the non-tanking specs. If you're prot in PVP, you should be maximizing your strengths, not dwelling on your weaknesses.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The new tanking threat paradigm and you

If you're wondering what all the fuss about Ghostcrawler's latest dev watercooler post is about, well, you should probably go read it. Some of these changes have already gone live on the realms, while others won't until the next patch. The basic gist is as follows:
  1. Threat generated by tanks has been increased from 300% of damage dealt to 500%. What this means in practice is if your tank is doing 5k DPS, you'd need to do over 25k DPS to pull threat off of him or her. (You need to do roughly 110% of tank threat to pull once he or she has aggro, so you'd actually need to do 27.5k DPS to pull off of a tank doing 5k DPS.) This change was hotfixed in, so if you're noticing your tank is suddenly doing a lot more threat per second, that's why.
  2. The way Vengeance stacks is going to be streamlined. Vengeance currently ramps up somewhat slowly. In the current model, every time you take damage as a tank, you gain 5% of the damage you take as attack power. So if you're hit for 20,000 damage, you gain 1,000 attack power. As you take more and more damage, this stacks up to a maximum of 10% of your health, so for a tank with 165,000 health, this caps at 16,500 attack power. In the new version, when a tank takes that 20,000 damage, he or she will gain one-third of the damage of the attack as attack power immediately, or 6,600 AP. This is more than six times as much attack power gained as in the current model. Vengeance will otherwise work the way it does now.
These two things combined by themselves mean that, except in cases where the DPS simply blows all their cooldowns immediately upon seeing the trash coming or as soon as they see the boss while the tank is sitting down to eat, threat will be almost trivial for a tank to gain and maintain. In addition to this revelation (which we are already starting to play with right now, as I experienced in a recent pickup Zul'Gurub instance), Ghostcrawler talks about how tanking will be redesigned to remain active with this new design philosophy.

This is really groundbreaking stuff, and it means that patch 4.3 will see the complete dismantling of the legacy of vanilla WoW tanking design. Once, gaining and keeping threat was the most important role of the tank, more important even that survival, and many endgame tanks were warriors 31/5/15 specced into Defiance in the protection tree to ensure threat. These changes can be seen as driving a final nail into that kind of tanking's coffin.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The newly 85 warrior tank blues

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Okay, so you leveled as protection. Let's assume you intend to tank on said warrior. Since you're now level 85, it follows that you should look up what the top raiding tanks are doing and do that, yes?

No.

Sweet candy-coated Garrosh clusters, no, you should not do that. Those guys are wearing gear you haven't even started to collect and are in 10- or 25-man raids that are composed of some of the best players in the world. You're just starting. You're most likely going to be tanking in pickup groups where the other four players are complete strangers who neither know you nor care one whit about your gameplay. In some cases, sure, you'll get a good group and everyone will work together and kill the monsters as a unit. That's great.

I'm here to write columns to help you out, and frankly, you don't need help with good groups. You need my help for the groups with the fury warrior in full Firelands gear who shows up in your heroic Deadmines run and does 28k DPS. (I said I was sorry.) You need my help for the ret paladin who doesn't know what his interrupt is called (Rebuke) or the mage who won't cast Polymorph because it's just going to break anyway when he starts jumping around casting Arcane Explosion constantly for no reason.

This week, we're going to talk about how to gear and play a tank starting out in normal level 85 instances and the first tier of Cataclysm heroics.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.2 lurches towards us

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

All right. With patch 4.2 dropping next week, it's time to discuss it in detail -- at least, what it means for warriors. What changes will it have in store for tanks (almost none) and DPS (less of it) warriors? What will happen to us in PVP (arms and fury warriors will lose burst, prot won't)? Why is our PVP set so ridiculously ugly that it makes me cringe?

We'll start by looking at what Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street said about class balance. And specifically about warriors, because that's the column, you see. I could give a rat's hindquarters about the other, lesser classes. Except shamans. If you can't be a warrior, being a shaman is a good backup plan. Why not be both? Go ahead and roll six warriors and a shaman, I'll wait.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Ask the Devs Round 9 mitigates your tanking questions

Ask the Devs is back for Round 9, which deals with the most awesome role in WoW ever -- tanking. Of course, coming from a tank, that might be a bit biased -- but deal with it, healers and DPSers. I've got creatures to keep from punching you in your squishy little faces.

Of note this time around is Blizzard's tough time dealing with tanks wanting threat stats (hit and expertise) and the current struggle with making it work. Currently, in cutting-edge content, threat stats are pretty good for initial aggro, but over time, Vengeance does its job admirably and keeps bosses on tanks with relative ease. I think that design decision is hitting the sweet spot, but it begs the question of why even have the threat stats in the first place?

Blizzard also discussed the mastery bonuses for each tank. The devs feel that death knights and druids are doing pretty well, all things considered, and that paladins and warriors have a similar problem in "capping" mastery, but that paladins are more susceptible to problems. There is still the sentiment in the community that Blizzard needs to add its own visual threat meters or some type of aggro status, but there is a reluctance on Blizzard's part to clutter up its own default UI -- understandable, but this may potentially be a part of Blizzard's forthcoming (but not discussed) "how to tank" solution.

Buried in this discussion, however, was a little tidbit about patch 4.3. Blizzard states that the design for the patch 4.2 legendary, Dragonwrath, has wide appeal to a number of staff-wielding ranged DPS classes. However, it then mentions the "patch 4.3 legendary" and its more narrow appeal. Will we be seeing a tanking legendary in the near future, or potentially another healer item? We do know for sure that it will not be as widespread, class-wise, as Dragonwrath, so we can only sit back and assume. What is interesting, though, is that patch 4.3 also looks to be a raid tier and not a patch 4.1-style dungeon content update. Could patch 4.3 be bringing us the War of the Ancients raid that we have been eagerly anticipating, especially with the return of Nozdormu and his crazy time antics? Only time (heh) will tell.

Also, don't expect a new tanking class any time soon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: One warrior's view of the Call to Arms

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I doubt it will surprise anyone to discover that I have strong opinions about the new Call to Arms feature for the Dungeon Finder. As a warrior, I play one of the classes that can fill the tanking role, and I have gear that is more than adequate for even the Rise of the Zandalar heroics. As a result, you might expect that I'm out there tanking a load of heroics for instant queues and a chance at free pets and mounts.

You'd be wrong. I haven't queued as a tank since patch 4.1. I have not, of my own will, tanked a single heroic since before February. When I have, it's been for friends or guildmates -- and yes, it's been generally successful. Why am I not tempted by the extra rewards of the CTA? Well, there are three reasons.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week, we discussed hit and expertise. Before that, we talked about tanking etiquette and how to work up to tanking. This week, we're going to talk about the nuts and bolts of warrior tanking in heroics and raids. Before we do that, we should point you at the Protection 101 and Protection 101 talent guides, which will cover a lot of what we talk about here in more exhaustive detail.

Heroics and raiding are similar but have different demands on a tank. With the announcement this week of a new Call to Arms feature that will most likely result in added rewards for those of us willing to tank in the LFD system, it's a good time to familiarize yourself with the role and how to perform it to the best of your ability.

Frankly, I view tanking as something that requires more effort than DPSing. On my warrior, I find it takes less effort and less work to top DPS meters than it does to tank. This isn't necessarily because tanking requires more skill (I would argue it's no more complicated than DPSing in either spec) but rather due to a combination of added pressure, expectations and labor required to do it well and make it look like you haven't had to work hard at all. So let's talk about ways you can make it easier on yourself.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

A week or so ago, while I was planning out this series of posts about tanking in Cataclysm, our old friend (well, okay, I've never met nor spoken to him) Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) had some interesting things to say about the current state of hit and expertise for tanks. I wasn't able to immediately address them because I'd already written out what would be published, and so I had to wait until this column to talk about the history of hit and expertise for tanks in previous expansions and what the current state of the art is.

As warriors, we've been grappling with hit and expertise for years now. Why, you may ask, are they suddenly less viable for tanks than they were during Wrath? Well, believe it or not, hit and expertise have become less compelling for tanks entirely because of two big quality of life changes for tanks: the removal of parry hasting and taunt miss chance.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week we talked about tanking etiquette and how you can deal with the heightened stress of tanking an instance without convincing your run that your brother is actor Emilio Estevez. This week, we're going to talk about how you, as a new or returning warrior, can learn how to tank.

I've been playing warriors for a long time now. Right now, I have three 85 warriors that I'm working on, for DPS, tanking, and PvP. This means to some degree I'm in a constant state of relearning the class. In addition, I'm leveling a druid, DK, and paladin for tanking purposes as well, because I think it does help you as a warrior tank to see how other classes tank. (So far, my perspective is that paladins and DKs are brokenly good and druids need a little work. I don't pretend this is unbiased.) The first and best advice I can give someone who wants to learn to tank is, go out and tank things. While this is akin to the old teaching people to swim via throwing them in deep water approach to swimming, it has several advantages.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

One of the things warriors do in game is tank. We're one of four classes that can tank, and one of two classes that can only tank or DPS, meaning that there's a reasonable chance that any warrior you meet will be a tank and an absolute certainty that if your warrior isn't DPS specced, it's tank specced. (I don't include PvP in this because there are PvP warriors of all three specs.) Since tanking is something I talked about at great length during the past year or so, I have been endeavoring to talk more about the DPS specs since Cataclysm launched. So, I've done that, and I'll continue to do it, but this week and as a recurring feature here at TCAFOW I'm starting a Cataclysm Tanking series of posts. These will come as topics suggest themselves to me.

For this week, rather than discuss gear or rotations (some of which we covered in the Cataclysm Protection 101 posts a little while ago) I wanted to talk about something less tangible but more immediate in its impact, namely, how to behave while tanking and how to behave towards your tank. Lately, with running heroics so much a part of the gearing for raiding experience, and some people really feeling at the mercy of the tank and resenting it, it's time to talk about how we can all make each others lives easier and more enjoyable.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection Warrior 101 -- talents


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Tanking. It's what we talked about last week, and if not for a massive burst of gut rot that hit me Thursday like a hammer wielded by the Spectre himself, we would already have talked about it more this week. Better late than never, I suppose. To give you an idea of how sick I am as I type this, I didn't want to move all day, so I'm actually writing the column from the floor of my living room using my TV as my monitor. I'm so sick and exhausted that I find this screenshot of my worgen in his prot stance and gear standing on Anduin Lothar's shoulder to be hilarious. You see, Lothar was so badass, he had a werewolf for his conscience.

Maybe you have to be extremely dehydrated to appreciate it.

Anyway, this week, we're going to talk about protection's talents, which ones are niche talents and which are more generally applicable. Not all of the talents we discuss will be in the protection tree, as we'll also look at arms and fury talents that are well suited to tanking. It would be hard to justify talking about useful tanking talents without discussing Field Dressing, for instance. I had to tank those annoying parasites on Magmaw this week, and I was very glad to have the boosted self healing from Field Dressing for my Victory Rush heals.

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