- Difficult to get starting gear - For most people, it's hard to get started as a tank. Gearing is an issue, because some tanks (DKs, warriors and paladins) need specific tanking gear, while even the leather tanks still generally use different stats to some degree, different enchants, different weapons for tanking than DPS or (especially) healing. This is a problem the gearing changes in Warlords should really help with.
- Where can you learn it? - Tanking requires a different skill set from DPS or healing. While proving grounds exist, they don't really teach the most important part of being a tank - reacting to other players. It can be hard as a new tank to walk into a dungeon having never done it before. That leads into the third difficulty of picking up tanking.
- Dungeons don't provide any sort of experience right now - With the wildly disparate gear levels on people running random dungeons, you can have a tank in 450 gear trying to hold aggro off of players in 580 gear. While it can be nice to be the tank in 580 gear, even you might have trouble when groups don't cooperate, run ahead of you, pull mobs half way across the zone, and generally simply refuse to act like any kind of groups at all. This is something I'm hoping the gear squish and ten levels will do away with - we'll all basically be on the same page when Warlords dungeons are being run.
Posts with tag tanking
My gear is adequate - about ilevel 566, with quite a few heroic pieces - but it's still a learning curve and one that's sometimes fairly hard to adjust to, and not just for me. This is a raid we've been clearing weekly, and suddenly here's a new tank who doesn't know what's going on as well as the previous tanks did. Combine that with my general sense of perfectionism (I do not like making even the most understandable mistake) and it can be pretty stressful.
But sometimes it's necessary -- your group has all the healers it needs, and you volunteer to DPS. You've been playing a hunter, now you're on your priest healing instead. (Hi, Final.) You're a tank but you're burned out and you need a change of pace. So, how can you deal with this, both as a player and as a group with a player switch? While I'm not pretending to having any sort of universal answer, here's a few things I've noticed.
In addition to new stats, there are the abilities each tank will see affected by readiness to consider. There are also Draenor Perks for each tank spec, granted randomly as we level from 90 to 100. There are changes in what abilities exist, in what specs get them. Vengeance is gone, replaced with Resolve, buffing our self heals and absorbs. In short, while the basic idea remains the same - generate resources via attacks to spend on damage reduction in one fashion or another - how we go about it, how it interacts with us has so many changes that it's worth discussing in length. There's so much change coming in that I don't pretend I'll catch all of it, which is why we have comments, after all.
So what do I expect to see out of tanking coming 6.0? It should be noted, this discussion is based on the Warlords alpha patch notes and such datamining as I've looked over, and I freely admit I only tank on one class, so while these are general observations I may be missing key class specific factors.
The solution being implemented here is to overall increase tank DPS without an unreliable mechanic like Vengeance adding different attack power depending on how much damage the tank takes. This also removes the temptation for tanks to deliberately take more damage in order to get Vengeance stacked up faster. So Vengeance is gone, and Resolve is implemented. How does it work?
- Resolve improves self-healing and absorbs done by the tank to the tank (so no, it won't buff priest bubbles) based on the damage taken (ignoring avoidance and mitigation, same as Vengeance now) within the last 10 seconds, and your Stamina. This means stuff like Death Strike, Shield Barrier, things of that nature. If you cast a heal on someone else, Resolve won't buff it.
- Each tank class' tanking mastery will now add 12% attack power, and the amount of attack power will scale with mastery as well. This is in addition to current affects, not replacing it - your tanking mastery will do what you're used to it doing, it'll just also do more.
- Brewmaster monks will no longer deal less damage. That 15% damage penalty? Gone.
The section of the patch notes detailing the change is, as always, behind the jump.
Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?
Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?
Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.
Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.
There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?
There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.
Written by familiar faces from around the WoW community, the guides themselves are fairly basic -- you won't see any number crunching or theorycrafting. Instead, they act as a quick reference for players wondering what they should be doing with the character they play. That said, it's a wealth of quick-reference information that I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep bookmarked. Check out the class guides for yourself over on Wowhead.
Filed under: News items
It's always weird coming to the end of an expansion and seeing the road before you suddenly much shorter than you remember it was the last time you gave it a serious look. Very soon things will radically change -- the gear that made us gods will be obsolete, health pools will be laid low, and the stats that we had come to loathe will be no more. As they say, all good things must come to an end. Pandaria is no different.
This is a path we've walked before, in the twilight of every expansion. As the content winds down in its own interminable fashion, and we run that end raid for the umpteenth time, we find solace in trying new experiences through the prism of alts. As I discussed in last week's post, with the advent of the boosting feature, many folks will be trying out paladin tanks for the first time -- especially since they now have the advantage of skipping the (painful) journey of leveling a tank entirely. This guide is for them.
With the introduction of level 90 boosts on the horizon, many players are going to be trying new characters, classes, and specs they may have never tried before. I expect this means that many folks are going to give protection paladins a go for the first time, which is a very exciting prospect, because the spec makes for a very fun tank playstyle.
In order to help those new folks hit the ground running, I'm kicking off a two-part "quick start guide" that'll break down the spec in the 101-iest way possible, to give those new tankadins a barebones foundation that they can use to jump right into getting their faces pounded in. For today's post I'm going to talk about why one should choose to spend $60 or their free Warlords-given boost on a protection-specced paladin, and what they need to know to safely jump into that first dungeon.
I don't mean I pulled aggro. I mean that when I queued, I forgot that I had tank selected alongside DPS. I do this in five man heroics I'm running for justice points as well. When I find myself selected to tank the dungeon (often only noticing after I get in and no one else is the tank) I usually shrug and put on my tank set and do it. It's not the group's fault I keep forgetting to uncheck that box, after all. And there's a bit of an up side. The other day my wife and I were talking in game and I said "I think I'm going to ride my blue dragonhawk" which surprised her, because I am not a mount collector. "Wait, you have a blue dragonhawk?" Well, yes I do, and I can thank forgetting to uncheck that tanking box for it.
I'm under the impression that I'm fairly rare in this regard. I don't know how true that is, because I've really only talked to a few people about it, and some of them don't play hybrids, so there is no other box for them to check. I'm sure all the warlocks I know would select tank if they could, for instance. But at least some folks seem to do this from time to time.
Being an opinionated cuss, I have some thoughts on this whole phenomenon I'd like to share.
Granted, as far as class design goes, protection paladins are sitting fairly pretty (and not just the blood elves). Our rotation is great, our stat priorities produce a fun playstyle, our talents do what they need to. We don't have any serious holes in our stable of cooldowns, and on the whole staying alive isn't really an issue for us as long as there's a healer nearby. If you had to ask me what the biggest source of frustration with my paladin is, I would quickly reply with the inconsistencies of how aggro plays out.
That's not to say that single-target, Patchwerk-like aggro is an issue. Vengeance as-is means that tanks really aren't going to lose threat if they have a lead and they're being punched in the face. Rather, where the look and feel of the system breaks down is on the periphery, and in particular when new adds appear as the clock ticks on those crucial few seconds between spawning and gnawing of the closest healer.
My best guess remains that the popularity of the death knight and the protection warrior in early Wrath pushed a lot of druids and paladins out of tanking. We had more role options than they did, so respeccing to melee, heals, or ranged DPS was a better option than getting yourself or others benched. There were other things going on that probably didn't help much, but at the end of the day it was a numbers game that the bear and paladin simply lost. It was a vivid lesson that design decisions that don't necessarily have much to do with your class or role can wind up having a serious impact on them anyway.
@Revets315 Awesome, glad you enjoyed it -- we're always looking to add new and engaging tank mechanics. We know "taunt at X stacks" is bland- Watcher (@WatcherDev) January 14, 2014
The story behind this is that the taunt at X stacks model, that was so prevalent in Dragon Soul, in Normal Mode difficulty and some heroics, was the thing that made me switch from tank to healer. I even wrote about it, to express my frustration. Commenters at the time thought it was an attempt by Blizzard to make tanking more accessible, and to increase the tanking population. But, for me at least, easy-mode tanking drove me away.
And the "taunt on X stacks" model has far from disappeared as we've moved through Mists. While there have been fights like Will of the Emperor that really demanded a lot from tanks, many others didn't. Stone Guard, while it was another taunt-swap, at least required some more engagement. But there's still far too much of the taunting on X stacks. Writing the Bosses in 5 Seconds guides, I just have to figure out which debuff, and how many stacks for many of the bosses.
The cross-realm functionality in 5.4.2, however, is just that -- cross-realm functionality. Currently, the Raid Browser only allows players to see other players from their own realm. In patch 5.4.2, players will be able to see cross-realm players as well -- something that is similar to what the popular addon oQueue already accomplishes via the BattleTag system. Follow after the break for the full post from Lore.
One reason why I love reading the comments is that they often point out ideas and insights that I would otherwise have missed. And exactly that has happened here. As the tweet Greg responded to said, the new system needs to be an LFM system not an LFG system. And, as several commenters have added, here's why.
So what's the difference between LFG and LFM?
Greg hits it in his response to the tweet. On a basic level, LFG is an individual looking for a group, and LFM is a group looking for more individuals. Think back, if you will, to the days of Tol Barad. Once your faction had won the battle on the island, your trade chat would suddenly fill up with "spriest LFG" along with their item level, the relevant achievement for the boss at the time, if they had it, and the request to either PST or /w, depending on what side of the Atlantic you were playing on. It always amused me how, although Trade was filled with LFG, barely anyone started their own group to LFM. As a tank, at the time, I often did exactly that, and believe it or not, I would be ready to go in no time.
Filed under: Warlords of Draenor
A good tank is a precious resource to a raid team. Few players want the responsibility and the pressure. Those who not only want it, but thrive in it, are rare indeed. This week's email asks, what do you do as a guild leader when your tank goes off the deep end?
Im a long time reader and I have implemented a lot of your suggestions in my own guild and it has helped sort out many of the issues, but I once again find my self at a crossroad and I have many doubts on which road to pick.
In many of your blogs, you talk about the behaviour of one member within a guild, that is having a very negative effect on the guild as a whole, and Im sorry to say, that my problem concerns one such individual. [...]
This guy is our guilds main tank, and he does suffer from the old: "I'm a tank, so therefor I AM GOD!" complex, but we can deal with that, since it has been contained to his tanking and not spread to the rest of the guild.
That was untill a few months ago, when things suddently took a turn for the worse.
Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)