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Posts with tag tank

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 tankadin, part 2


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons.

We're still talking about fresh, up-and-coming tanking paladins who have just hit level 80 and are looking for gear. After taking another look back at it, most of last week was concentrating on items from reputation vendors and craftable items that you could either make for yourself or nab off the auction house. I decided that I could have done a lot more with various tanking drops from dungeons and items from the emblem vendors. So, this week we'll take a look at just about everything a level 80 can nab from a dungeon for tanking, and next week we'll take a look at what you can do with all of those emblems you earned up running dungeons.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: A priest's guide to tanks

It was just another Sunday when Fox Van Allen woke to the mid morning sun on his face. He sat up groggily and looked around his quiet apartment. A moment passed before he realized something was wrong -- it wasn't here. "Not again ..." he muttered, his brows pressed in frustration. It must have gone back to her again. "Dawn Moore ..." he sneered while pulling himself out of bed. He didn't know what it saw in her. "Priest healing ... Bah! Who would want to do that?" Still, Fox sighed, his doubts gnawing at him. Why was Spiritual Guidance so fickle?

I love tanks. Likewise, there have been many tanks who have loved me.

There is nothing more beautiful than the love between a tank and a healer. It's actually a little known fact that every great love song ever written was written about a tank and healer. Every little thing she does is magic? Totally sung by a tank. Don't leave me this way: sung by a healer. Still don't believe me? Check out Heroes by David Bowie; it was actually originally written as a tank x healer duet. Just look at the lyrics:
"And you, you can be mean,
And I, I'll drink all the time."
See? So, if you want to find your great tank love, if you want a tank that knows how and when to blow each and every one of his cooldowns to maximize every lasting second of your epic encounters together, then you are going to have to rise up and meet him. You need to be the healer his healer could heal like (if she stopped playing hybrid-spec player classes.) Luckily, you're already a priest, the most alluring of healing classes, but don't think that's enough. You need to be more than just some healer who heals him -- you need to understand him. That is today's goal.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Cataclysm: Blood will be the only Death Knight tanking tree

In a complete about-face, Ghostcrawler just announced that there will be a dedicated tanking tree in Cataclysm for Death Knights: Blood. Rather than having all three trees try to be good at both DPS and tanking, Blizzard will be taking the tanking talents from the other two trees and adding them with some other changes to the Blood tree. They announced this today, knowing that this news will overshadow the rest of the DK class preview.

The complete text is after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Reader UI of the Week: Lollypops' UI

Each week WoW.com brings you a fresh look at reader submitted UIs. Have a screenshot of your UI you want to submit? Send your screenshots, along with info on what mods you're using, to readerui@wow.com.

Hello, Reader UI of the Week fans! Is everyone having a wonderful week so far? Great. Let's see if we can make this week even better with a gorgeous user interface design from WoW.com reader Lollypops. This week, we take a look at a user interface that strives to create a very uniform color scheme, and it ends up looking great. After getting into the user interface itself, we will discuss some tips and tricks on making your UI color match. Won't you join me?

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

Balancing class strength and flavor

One of the things I hear a lot from other tanks (especially paladin tanks) is how much they envy Charge, and especially being able to Charge in combat. "Man, I'd give up X for Charge." Usually what they want to give up is their shield throw, or their AoE taunt, which of course is not a terribly compelling idea: warriors have parallels for these abilities and charge isn't one of them. Heroic Throw is our weaker form of Avenger's Shield and Challenging Shout is our stronger but longer cooldown AoE taunt. As soon as they gave up Righteous Defense (which rocks on the Lich King fight, btw) they'd just say "Man, I'd give up X for Challenging Shout" anyway. If warriors actually managed to give up Shockwave for Consecration they'd want it back in a week.

What it ultimately comes down to is the difference between a necessary ability and one that is useful but not necessary. You also need to take iconic roles into account. I doubt many would support giving warriors Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Sanctuary, Lay on Hands, the paladin system of Auras, or what have you. The ability to die without taking equipment damage via Divine Intervention? How much, exactly, is Charge worth and if it's so pivotal to tanking why are you rolling a paladin to tank instead of a warrior? How do we keep classes compelling and interesting while giving them the tools to do the same job?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks and the barrier to entry


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we have cause to reflect on something written by our esteemed colleague Archmage Pants: "Tanking is an interesting thing. It makes you hate everyone else in the party."

It comes as no shock to a longtime player that WoW's social culture is riddled with a number of real-life counterparts, and one of the more troublesome is something called the barrier to entry. In real life, this refers to the difficulty of becoming a qualified professional in a given field, and there are some jobs where the barrier to entry is very high indeed.

Take neurosurgery, for example. Ideally, you want to be completely sure of someone's aptitude for the job before you let them take a buzzsaw to your skull. Society relies on the grueling education and residency required to be a neurosurgeon to weed out anyone prone to use of the word, "Oops."

While there's nothing in WoW that comes close to the seriousness of getting a competent surgeon, most players would acknowledge that there are similarities between the RL and in-game version of the "barrier to entry." I'd argue that the comparison is strongest when you're discussing tanks. Tanks, and more importantly, beginner tanks who could potentially ease the tank shortage that causes lengthy queue times for DPS in the Dungeon Finder, have to hurdle a series of problems in the effort to become geared and experienced. Some of these problems are the result of deliberate design choices on Blizzard's part, but the larger share is the consequence of a playerbase that needs tanks but is (ironically) hostile to beginners.

Everyone wants an experienced professional. Nobody wants to be there for the learning process.

And if you're a beginner tank, there's a lot of crap in your way that Blizzard didn't put there.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Growing Pains: How to approach gearing up your tank

I'm going to assume that if you're still reading this past the title, you're interested in talking about tank gearing for your level 80 and that you've presumably used the Dungeon Finder to level him or her as a tank, but you're certainly not rocking full T9 yet. It's generally accepted that you'll be saving up emblems for that, and of course filling the gaps for rings and trinkets and such as you can. You also may be a DPS player who wants to switch over to tanking but don't have the gear yet.

First off, please, don't pass on tanking gear just because it's blue or dropped in a normal or heroic. Just because it's not iLevel 232+ doesn't mean it's not good. You should be collecting and using upgrades as they drop, even if they won't immediately put you at 35K health. Please remember also that a lot of people ran these instances and heroics back when Wrath first released with 22k or so health: despite what speed obsessed or hyper geared players will tell you, it is indeed possible to tank all the original Wrath heroics in blues.

Take the Nerubian Shield Ring, for example. If this drops and you don't have better, roll need on it. Don't worry that people will lose their shard, don't let people give you grief on gear not being up to some ridiculous standard, just take the ring. It has armor, defense and stamina. If you're there as DPS but you want to build a tank set? Roll need if you don't have better. Just ignore people who give you grief over it, clearly they don't understand how important every possible upgrade is while building a tanking set.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Upcoming tier 10 tank armor stat changes


With Icecrown Citadel's unpopular Chill of the Throne debuff, or as we like to call it, "Getting out of Dodge," tanks have had to re-prioritize in terms of avoidance and mitigation stats to the point where tier 10 gear might not be as desirable as Blizzard intended. Thankfully, they appear to have realized this, and change is coming! To tier 10 tank gear, anyway. Blizzard CM Zarhym posted a note on the official forums announcing their plans for said gear:
"We recognize that many plate tanks are making their gear choices based on the amount of armor they're provided, as this is currently the most preferred stat. In order to make the tier-10 plate tanking sets more desirable, we will be adjusting the stats on the gloves and chest pieces in order to inflate the amount of armor they provide in the next minor patch. This will apply to all item levels of the tier-10 death knight, warrior, and paladin tanking gloves and chest pieces."
He also noted that Emblem gear will continue to be comparable to the tier gear in terms of stats and, for those concerned about Feral tanks, they'll be keeping an eye on gear scaling on druid tank gear as well.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What do you do while waiting for LFG to pop?

Every so often, an email comes along the tip line that really gets the writers talking, and we received one such email last night from our reader Zikko, who was curious what people did while they were waiting for the Dungeon Finder to assign them a group ("Guess this only applies to DPS," as he/she observed). While Zikko usually does dailies, watches TV, or farms mats for cooking and fishing, he/she wondered whether anyone had hit upon a better way to pass the time while the Dungeon Finder went on the search. I include the writers' individual comments below, not just because it's a nice "slice of life," but I also think it's a good peek at how different peoples' experiences can be depending on the roles they play:

Matt Rossi: I have time to inhale a couple of times during the LFD queue.

Allison Robert: To amuse myself, I start counting, "One mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi..." from releasing the mouse's left button on the Join Group option and the queue popping. However, I am likely to discontinue the practice, as my brain is having increasing difficulty remembering what comes directly after three. It starts with an F. I know it does.

Alex Ziebart
: When I'm queueing on my DPS, I tab out and play a different game for 15-20 minutes. On my healer, I brace myself so I don't get whiplash zoning into a heroic so fast.

Eliah Hecht
: I have about enough time to cross my fingers hoping it's not Old Kingdom again.

Robin Torres: I tend to my farm in Country Life.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Hotfixes incoming for some DPS and tanks, not hunters or priests

Ghostcrawler has dropped information on the forums about a few incoming hotfixes to patch 3.3. The first three changes are posted over on the DPS role forum:
  • Hunger for Blood will increase damage by 10% instead of 15%. Assassination rogues needed damage, but they got too much, and this will bring them back. Sorry rogues -- the tooltip, we're also told, might not change right away.
  • Scourge Strike will crit only once, not on the shadow portion of the damage. "This change just proved to be too bursty in PvP and provide too much sustained damage in raids." He also gives lots more explanation of the change on the forums -- this one will be discussed quite a bit.
  • Rolling Corruptions will no longer use the initial haste value indefinitely. More of a bugfix than a change, says GC -- the haste value should drop out to normal after a few ticks of the spell.
Elsewhere, GC says that there are no changes planned for the new hunter epic ammo, so find a friendly engineer and stick to them like glue. There is a hotfix incoming for the bug that causes tanked mobs to move around randomly -- thank goodness on that. And SW: Pain's immunity from the haste change for shadow priests will probably stay right where it is.

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Dungeon Finder reactions from players

The long-awaited Dungeon Finder is finally out on the servers, and people have had a few days with it now, so let's jump in and gauge some early reactions. Overall, it seems to be a big hit -- tanks and healers are jumping into groups right away, and while we've heard of longer waits for DPS, it doesn't seem bad at all. While of course the initial flood of people brought instance servers down (I'd expect to see the same thing happen during peak time this weekend), everything seems to be working well since then: disenchanters are correctly dropping items out, loot is getting distributed correctly, and groups are doing what they were always supposed to do: rake in the badges and rewards for players.

Hots and Dots actually has a long take on the Dungeon Finder, including "15 Things You Should Know," like that tanks and healers are still as important as ever (if you sign up for DPS and another role, you likely won't be doing DPS), and that we're finding out very quickly just how skilled or knowledgeable people really are ("the Party Leader will be forced to confess midway [through] that they actually know nothing about the instance").

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Leveling

Tank opportunities in the late endgame

I've been tangling with the tough issue of tanking again lately -- I have finally leveled up my paladin to 80, and ideally, the plan is to jump in as a dual specced tank and healer when patch 3.3 hits. All LFG all the time, eventually headed to higher level raiding. But Honor's Code has a good post up this weekend about the trouble that many tanks are facing lately -- they say that while there's lots of tanking to be had in the early endgame (every 5-man and heroic group out there needs a tank), the available positions narrow down as you get farther up. By the time you're reaching Icecrown (which I would like to do someday), there are so relatively few guilds raiding there and so few serious tanking spots within those guilds that you either have to be a really great tank, know someone who's in charge, or be ready to switch off to another spec or alt when necessary.

In essence, they're saying there's a glass ceiling for tanks. Once you reach a certain point, it's hard to find even the opportunity to be a solid tank.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 1


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. For the next couple weeks we'll be taking a look at low level dungeon runners.

Cross-realm instancing is coming in patch 3.3 and along with it will be the ability for low level characters to finally find those level appropriate groups for old world dungeons. Being that those parties will need tanks, we thought we'd take a look at what an up and coming paladin needs to know about dungeons as well as what types of gear and stats to be on the lookout for. We're going to start with tanking and then move on to healing and damage-dealing in the weeks to come.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 2


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the issue of effective health in more depth.

We've discussed in the previous column why effective health is important; here, we're going to discuss why it's not as important as you might think if you had nothing beyond the collective opinion of the Tanking forum to go on. While this has something to do with the mob mentality of the forums themselves, it has more to do with how the concept of effective health isn't usually placed in context. Tank death on hard modes is quickly attributed to EH discrepancies, with rather less discussion on encounter mechanics, inappropriate gear, or that great but frequently unacknowledged bugaboo -- player error. It is for this that I say effective health needs to die.

What is effective health?


I neglected to put some hard numbers on this in the last article, but calculating base effective health is actually pretty simple. It's your health as modified by the damage you'll take after armor contribution (AC), or Health / (1 - AC%).

A 50,000 health tank with 25% armor contribution has 66,666.67 effective health (50,000 / 0.75).

A 50,000 health tank with 50% armor contribution has 100,000 effective health (50,000 / 0.5).

A 50,000 health tank with 75% armor contribution (the maximum functional AC) has 200,000 effective health (50,000 / .25).

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Raiding, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Some new WoW-related tattoos in our gallery

Time once again for us to update our WoW tattoo and license plate galleries with submissions from you readers. This time around, we've got a few new updates to the tattoo gallery, including Raevyndra of Rexxar's new arm ink above, these two pieces sent in by Tonya, and Sean J.'s pretty elaborate Horde crest. If tattoos are your thing, there's definitely some cool WoW-related ink to check out in there.

This is the only new license plate addition at the moment, but if you happen to have a WoW-related plate on your car that we haven't seen just yet (or can grab a picture of someone else's -- just stay safe if you happen to be driving at the time), be sure to send us a note on the tipline. Stay tuned for more tats and plates when we see them.

Gallery: WoW Tattoos

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Galleries, Fan art

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