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Posts with tag tanking

Clarifications on Cross-Realm raiding and Warlords' Group Finder

Community Manager Lore has released some additional clarifications on the differences between the cross-realm functionality being added to the Raid Browser in patch 5.4.2, and the new Group Finder being introduced with the new expansion in patch 6.0. These two features are entirely different things -- the Group Finder is an all new feature being built from scratch. This new Group Finder will allow players to find and create groups for any content at any level.

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.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

LFG vs LFM for Blizzard's Group Finder tool

We've been talking a lot here on WoW Insider about the new group-finder tool Blizzard will be putting together to rival the tremendously popular oQueue (yes that is the real link) come 6.0. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street mentioned another tidbit on Twitter which tied in with what our commenters here at WoW Insider have been bringing up.

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.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: Tanksplosion

Officers' Quarters Tanksplosion MONDAY
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

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?

Hello Scott.

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.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 5.4 PTR: Vengeance changes

Patch 54 PTR Vengeance changes
If you're a tank in World of Warcraft you know what Vengeance is. Originally intended to allow tanks to keep up with increased DPS from improved gear with DPS stats on it while accumulating tanking gear that generally lacked those stats, it's turned into a means for tanking players to do chart topping DPS on some pulls (especially AoE ones with multiple tanked mobs). There's been a lot of discussion about what might happen with Vengeance in patch 5.4, and now we have our first look at what Blizzard is contemplating for the tanking specialization.
Rygarius - 5.4 PTR Patch Notes - August 2

Vengeance has received several changes.
  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.

These changes are almost certainly aimed at reducing the very high DPS that we can see on trash pulls and boss fights with a great many streaming adds (such as Tortos' bats or the packs before Iron Qon) especially as we head into the final tier of gear for Mists of Pandaria, which would inflate these numbers even more. Raids that use tanks with the highest DPS tanks will probably feel these changes the most. As always, this is the PTR, so if you have an opinion on these changes getting on the test servers and testing them out is useful so you can give proper feedback.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Joined at the hip

Breakfast Topic Joined at the hip
A couple of months ago, my tanking partner of over a year decided to take a break from WoW to focus on real life. In my guild, our policy has always been real life over the game, so there were no hard feelings. Although I was happy for my raiding buddy, I wasn't looking forward to recruiting a new tank. After tanking together for so long, we could predict what the other would do and we worked very well together.

I eventually recruited another tank, but didn't feel as comfortable as I was with my old partner. "It will take time," I told myself. I was just making myself feel better, and to be honest, I still don't feel a connection with my new tank partner. I've not had fun raiding lately and that's a bad sign. The social interaction in WoW is as big a factor in why I play as the content is.

How about you? Do you have an in-game friend that you team well with? If you raid, how important to you is having a connection with others in your group? How do you feel when that dynamic changes, and what do you do if it does?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The Light and How to Swing It: The problem with tanks

The Light and How to Swing It The problem with tanks SAT
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Last Thursday, Ghostcrawler tweeted something which caused a bit of a stir within the tanking community. In it he revealed that the devs were looking at some strict caps for Vengeance levels (30% of health for 10s, 50% for 25s) that would prevent tanks from using Vengeance to pursue unintended things like solo tanking a two-tank raid boss or standing in fire to stack really obscene amounts of attack power.

Now, this isn't another column about the virtues or not of Vengeance. That's a pretty mutilated horse at this point, and from the looks of it, the mechanic is not going anywhere any time soon. However, the brief rekindling of the Vengeance debate did once again shine some light on what is a continuing problem in WoW: what should tanks be allowed to do (in terms of damage output) and what can be done to keep players from parlaying excessive survivability into unintended advantages?

What do you do when one third (arguably two-thirds, a lot of this can apply to healers as well) of your players' roles revolves around the mitigation and prevention of damage, and the primary means you have of creating barriers or challenges for players is the threat of character death?

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

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Drama Mamas: Time to stop tanking?

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Our email address is having technical difficulties. If you would like to send us a letter to be answered in our column, please email to for now. On to this week's letter.
Your recent article on Time Management has me considering if I need to change roles in the game.

I'm the main tank for my small 10 man guild. We raid two nights a week. We are currently working on Horridon one night, and going back to HoF/ToES the 2nd night to help some members get better gear. If I don't play, 9 other people don't get to have fun. I also feel a certain responsibility to my guild to have the best gear I can get which means putting in a ton of time into WoW on our non-Raid nights.

The thing is I love playing WoW. I love my guild. I love tanking. It's a blast and a great way to shake off the stresses of my day.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Lichborne: The hidden skills of of the tank

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.

DPS guides are usually pretty straightforward. You have your damage rotation, your stat priorities for gear, and maybe an extra section with some tips on using some of your more esoteric abilities. Tank guides get a little bit more slippery, though. Sure, you can cover some of the same stuff you cover in a DPS guide, included stat priorities and tips and tricks for using specific abilities, but a tank will operate on a different level. They need to know when to use their defensive cool downs. They need to know when specific boss fights may require them to switch up gear. In some cases, they need to know certain intangible things about a boss and about raiding or grouping that it doesn't seem like DPS quite need to deal with. These aren't things that will ever really involve using Death Strike, but they may be just as important to being a successful tank as Death Strike ever will be.

This week, we'll take a look at some of these intangible things and discuss ways to make sure you're on top of them. Most of this will apply primarily to pickup groups, since at the raiding level, it's easier (or at least necessary) to make sure even healers and DPS know this stuff. But if you're in Raid Finder, boy howdy will you want to keep this advice in mind.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Pro Tip: Damage meters don't tell the whole story

Pro Tip Damage meters don't tell the whole story
Some people /ignore others in random raids or dungeons for language or bad play. I add to my instant /ignore list those who spam the meters in raid chat.

Anyone who cares about whose bar is the longest is already measuring on their own screen. Not only is the reporter almost always on the top (and conveniently never reports when s/he is below), but displaying the damage done for a fight to the same raid who's on the meter is just pure epeen spill. Asking for a damage meter is just laziness (or, in rare cases, a really crappy computer paired with a log-intensive fight).

Let's not forget that problem of boiling a player down to a single number. All three roles of the holy triad have a complex set of abilities for every encounter.

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Tanks to have some hope of getting DPS gear in LFR

Ghostcrawler tweeted an interesting reply today concerning the ability of tanks to get DPS gear through LFR:

This is a major problem for tanks -- they're not able to gear up effectively in LFR for anything other than tanking. And with the daily-centric approach to MoP this leaves those that choose the best spec to be left on the side of using blues and whatever other scraps of gear they can get. For people who raid normal/heroic modes all the time it's not a huge issue thanks to getting off-spec gear, but it's still a problem.

Hopefully this option Ghostcrawler is speaking of applies to all off-spec gear, but we don't want to speak for him.

Of course as with everything you hear on Twitter and everywhere else about future WoW stuff, take it with a grain of salt. Things can and do change, features get pushed back and discarded for whatever reason. And just because Ghostcrawler and his team want to do something, it doesn't mean they'll be able to do something. Don't go nuts if it doesn't happen -- but keep in mind something might happen.

Keep your fingers crossed with me.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Blood Pact: A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing

Blood Pact A pewpewer's notes from tanking and healing MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill muses about tanking, healing, and why she really does play a DPS.

I have a confession: I was once a tank. Technically I could have been half a tank, because I think I healed just as often, but once upon a time I rolled a druid with the intent of getting a melee DPS perspective.

One night in Wrath of the Lich King, my first guild had some trouble with kiting the adds on Gluth. So we upped the tank count to 3: the paladin tank moved to the back for holy tag with the undead while the former-bear warrior walked me through my feral spellbook as I sat in bear form on that pipe. I think it was the extra Mauls that hooked me. I became a bear tank with a branch-waving offspec.

I have fond memories of alt or PUG raids where I had cooldown-busting health pools and hero-bear resurrections between Gormok's death and the arena entrance of Acidmaw and Dreadscale. But as my guild tore apart in the beginnings of Icecrown Citadel, I've been back to pewpewing from the back as a warlock. My bear is merely an alt.

But my bear has made my warlock a little stronger.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Once a tank, always a tank

Once a tank, always a tank
It could be called the first rule of the tank club: once you join the tank club, you never leave. You learn a mindset, a way of doing things, a way of looking at things and evaluating the situation that never changes. After you've become a successful tank you never stop thinking about aggro and mob positioning, about pulling strategies and mob group comp, about healer strengths and cooldown timing. It's there engrained in your brain, and there's nothing you can do to get it out.

Yes, I'm waxing poetic about tanking today -- and I'm going to be for a while (strong emphasis of on the wh there, just for your pleasure). My Warlock is dead and regulated to the bane of althood, and my tank I played from Classic through Wrath is back alive and well.

WoW has come full circle for me, and while some may look and see my return to the very first character I rolled back in 2004 as the rejection of the game and an attempt to return to the past's glories, I dismiss that view outright. For me, my return to tanking is nothing less than the return to the beginning, and the start of something great.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Six simple tips for getting started in tanking

5 tips for getting started in tanking
Tanking is arguably one of the more stressful roles in WoW, particularly in the raid finder. You can't just waltz in and hit some things or heal some things and everything will turn out rosy, you do actually have to know the fights. Not that healers and DPS don't, it's just that they can generally get along a bit easier if they aren't exactly sure what's going on. The same is, alas, not so true for tanks. The fact that there's only two tanks, and that, even in the heady days of Dragon Soul, they had to be relatively co-ordinated on some, if not all the fights, puts the spotlight firmly on their performance. Some groups are forgiving, some less so.

The same applies in smaller dungeons, tanks are expected to lead the pack, to take control. Of course, there are exceptions to this, it's a generalization which is not true 100% of the time. But I don't think it's unreasonable.

All this makes it a little harder to get started in tanking. So, WoW Insider has put together some tips for the novice tank.

Pulling is the term given to getting a group of mobs to hit you, instead of that mage over there. For most early dungeons, and several of the later ones too for that matter, the pull is half the battle. As long as you can get those baddies latched on to you, you're doing alright.

So how do you do it? Well, that is, of course, highly dependent on your class, but there are a few kinds of pull that I can run you through here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Rookie

Officers' Quarters: My rant about raid roles

Troll priest
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

It's been a long time since my last rant, but I read something today that really irked me, and now I feel compelled to write this column. I don't want to quote the email because the person involved asked a question that had nothing to do with this topic, and he was really just an innocent bystander getting hit with the shrapnel of a raid team willfully blowing itself up.

The part of his email that set me off was essentially this: "Our realm has very few healers, and we haven't been able to recruit one for months. As a result, our raid team is disbanding, and the raiders are going their separate ways. Our guild might lose every single officer except me."

To this I respond: What a bunch of selfish jerks.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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