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Posts with tag tank

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

5 ways to keep your tank happy in 5-man heroics

I recently wrote a similar post about how to keep your healers happy -- now I don't want it to sound like I'm hating on you tanks. See how this is a nice, predictable series? Can you guess what's coming next? I just need to think of another three ways to keep your DPSers happy in 5-man heroics -- but don't worry, I'll run some more heroics and I'll get there.

My first and still allegedly main character is a paladin tank, and I've run a few dungeons in my time. There are some simple things everyone can do to make sure their tank is a happy meaty meat shield rather than a disgruntled defender.

5. Watch your aggro. Remember this from the "How to keep your healer happy" post? Yeah, much as that helps your healer, it also helps your tank. Playing as a paladin, I have one of the easiest AoE tanking rotations out there -- but still, if a DPSer front-loads all their damage into something that isn't my primary target before I've had one GCD to hit the darn thing, even with the new aggro buff, it may well be after you. As a paladin, I can pre-bubble you with Hand of Salvation to decrease the likelihood of this happening or even a Hand of Protection on a caster (or on a melee player to troll them). I also have an arsenal of taunts. However, other tanking classes don't have it so easy -- just give the tank a moment to gain aggro, then attack the thing that they're attacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Addon Spotlight: More information from Visual Combat Table

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Tanking used to be inaccessible because of the numbers game -- mitigation numbers that were hidden away in the great unknown. Players had to rely on the stalwart parsers and number crunchers over at EJ, Tankspot, Maintankadin, and all sorts of websites in order to inform the community about these magic numbers on defensive stats to let a tank do his job. Nowadays, hit and miss numbers are easily displayed for players, and defense as a statistic to worry about is gone forever.

That all being said, the tanking game is still a numbers game, but this time it is more nuanced with the introduction of mastery and the ability to mitigate most damage a tank takes. You've seen numbers being thrown around and you may or may not know what they mean. Well, Visual Combat Table (VCT) is here to make sense of those numbers for you. Tanking is soon to become another hot commodity role to fill in the upcoming Raid Finder, so arming new tanks with mitigation knowledge is always a good thing.

My introduction to VCT started with an email from its creator letting me know about its existence and the role he felt the addon played in the tanking community as a whole. While reading his email, I thought back to my first few weeks of tanking in Cataclysm and realized that for all of the information the game was showing and telling me there still was a great deal that I was struggling with. I wanted more information, and sifting through forum threads wasn't giving me a quick enough answer.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Addon Spotlight: Raiding essentials for tanks

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

With the Raid Finder tool hitting the PTR in the very near future (potentially even right now, depending on what happens between the days betweeen this publishes), new players will be ushered into a new era of raiding. With the new, more forgiving raid difficulty setting, players who might have never been part of the raiding game will get their chance to see endgame content first hand. We want you all to be prepared here at the Addon Spotlight. Today's installment of the column is all about getting tanks in tip-top interface shape for their new adventures in patch 4.3.

Addons essential for tanking, like the other two roles, have greatly lowered in number over the years, as Blizzard has made the entire WoW experience more streamlined and user-friendly. Old paradigms like threat and mitigation have substantially changed over the course of the game's life and now are much more straightforward affairs for the average player. Addons can still help increase the user-friendly nature of the game and give you an extra edge in making your raiding experience an enjoyable one.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Reader UI of the Week: I am Jack's multi-purpose

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Greetings, Reader UI of the Week fans. Everyone seems to have some sort of food poisoning or stomach problems this week, and I have no idea what is up with that. We have a national stomach epidemic here in the United States. Here's something that won't upset your delicate bodily balance; Jack's smooth and slick user interface setup, centered around grouping, dungeons, and questing.

While I am a raider at heart, my recent obsession has been with players and nonraiding UIs. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with a raiding UI, but as someone who primarily lives in raiding content, it is interesting to look and see what 5-man-focused UIs are built around. With the coming of the Raid Finder in patch 4.3 as an introductory raiding system, more and more players are going to have to adapt their 5-man UI setups to a raiding environment if they want to succeed in taking down the big bosses of the raiding world. Jack's UI is a competent setup that can make the change and stands up on its own two legs.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Dev Watercooler: Bloody mitigation

In Ghostcrawler's last Dev Watercooler blog entry, tanking and threat were given a new focus when it came to World of Warcraft encounter design and gameplay experience. Threat for tanks was greatly increased, and the focus for tanks in the future seemed to hinge on active mitigation versus a combination of threat generation and damage mitigation.

Today, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer Greg Street) posted more thoughts about overhauling tanking. He delves into what active mitigation means for the WoW team, some potential models that the future of tanking can hold for many tanking classes, and a deep, introspective look into what it means to hit buttons as a tank. Plus, he goes in-depth on how these major changes ahead will affect death knights first.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Reader UI of the Week: Pathanos' clean and simple setup

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Last week, Reader UI of the Week profiled Lellee's UI and a call for help in fixing up a non-widescreen UI and just making the whole thing work a little bit better. One thing that I try to do during a call-for-help-type article is point people in the direction of an example of what I am trying to articulate. In this case, I wanted to profile a user interface that is simple enough to replicate on your own with a minimal amount of configuration addons, with an acceptable amount of time needed to create it. That's what today is about -- the philosophical process and a general outline to making your user interface look nice and tidy, just like our friend Pathanos has here.

Pathanos' UI is built around a Razer Naga-plus-keyboard setup for his tanking paladin. In the screenshot, you will see his sparse raiding UI, a clutterless view space that allows for plenty of information gathering while not being an addon monstrosity. Hopefully we can get you up to speed as well as to what is needed to set up something like this, with a quick understanding of the concepts needed, where to start, and what you want to look for when building it.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

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

Lichborne: You can tank your way to level 70 as a death knight

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

I've actually seen more than a few questions lately about tanking as a lowbie death knight. People want to know if it's possible, how to gear, and if there's any special tips or tricks you should watch out for. Combine this with Alison Robert's resurrection of her lowbie tank project, and I have to admit, lowbie tanking has been on my mind. There's no denying that tanking at level 60 is an entirely different beast than tanking at level 85, but there are enough similarities that practicing at 60 can help you develop a lot of the tools you'll need to soldier through those level 85 heroic PuGs on the way to those Satchels of Exotic Mysteries.

This week, we'll take a look at the average level 58 death knight (58 being the level your average death knight is upon leaving the starting experience), and figure what you can do to get in gear and get yourself tanking all the way through to level 70.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Addon Spotlight: ThinkTank sets you up for tanking fast

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Tanking in Cataclysm has simultaneously become the most reviled and most desired role players can choose. The random Dungeon Finder and Cataclysm's change in mechanics has created an odd world for tanks to live and thrive in, one of dependence and expectation. Blizzard's goal is to make more players into tanks, through the inclusion of tanking-specific heirlooms as well as rewards like the Call to Arms bag feature that launched with patch 4.1, providing extra rewards to players who chose to queue up as a much-desired tank. For the most part, Blizzard's efforts have been working well.

During deep contemplation, a state which I frequent a lot these days, it dawned on me that I would love to be able to give new and budding tanks a list of resources for user interface tips to make their tanking lives easier. What better way to introduce more tanks to the game than by taking some of the mystery of the tanking UI out from the shadows and make a recommendation for a tank UI? So I began to search the internet, looking for the right UI to recommend for players who want to make a tank alt or for new players interested in the vital tanking role. Let me introduce you to ThinkTank.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Reader UI of the Week: Germany represents with Viday's UI

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com.

Tuesday is here, and you know what that means: We are one week away from a WoW Insider Show special live show extravaganza! You heard me right, folks: Next Tuesday, May 31, Mike Sacco, Matthew Rossi, and myself will hit the live stream for a full show dedicated to all things WoW. Plus, we're doing the show during downtime, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern/8 a.m. Pacific, so you won't be busy and can totally listen. We'll be giving away prizes, too. That rules!

Anyway, we've got other business to attend to right now. Reader UI of the Week gets a good number of submissions from both Europe and the United States, but there is a really fun factor in seeing non-English UIs. The localization process is awesome and incredibly intriguing to me, and I love seeing what different UI elements are labeled as and how UI issues are dealt with. Imagine my utter disappointment when German native Viday changed his entire interface to English so it would be more understandable.

Story of my life.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Ozmorgius' UI and simplicity for tanks

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com.

Since Reader UI of the Week is written before (obviously) the date of publication, my opening remarks about the present are actually predictions from a past devoid of clairvoyance. However, today (yesterday), I can say with the utmost confidence and fact (prediction) that patch 4.1 went off without a hitch, children are playing in the streets (of Azeroth), and sunshine and rainbows (of the double variety) have graced our presence. Truly, we live in an age of kings and men. Speaking of that, I need to watch the second episode of Game of Thrones.

Enough of this! Enough, I say. You're here on business, aren't you? A stalwart soldier in the fight against UI clutter and an investigator of all things creative. This week's Reader UI of the Week comes from reader Ozmorgius, whose bottom bar-based user interface is simple enough to take care of clutter but advanced enough to be an effective death knight tanking user interface that facilitates rather than hinders. Let's take a look, shall we?

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Lichborne: More blood tanking questions answered

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With the new patch 4.1 Call to Arms feature likely to be stuck near permanently on tanking, death knights are going to find themselves with a pretty nice little incentive to stay in their blood spec a bit more often. With that in mind, it's pretty lucky that we just finished going over the basics of blood tanking and gear tweaks for blood tanks. Considering that's still the hot topic, though, and that we're likely to see a surge in death knight tanks looking for that Call to Arms bonus in patch 4.1, I want to take one more week to keep on this whole tank thing and answer some of the questions I've seen floating around, both here and elsewhere.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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