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Posts with tag tanks

Cataclysm tanking cooldown feedback wanted

Nethaera hit the forums this morning, asking for feedback from tanks around the globe. Ghostcrawler has been having a lively discussion with tanks (most specifically protection warriors) recently, and now they seem to be formalizing the discussion for the wider audience.

Nethaera
We're currently working on the tanking cooldowns for tanks in Cataclysm. We're interested in feedback from the community on what makes cooldowns fun and useful. For example, what is the sweet spot in cooldown duration between an ability with such a short cooldown that you must mash it constantly versus an ability with such a long cooldown? Which current abilities are fun? Putting aside any rose-colored glasses, were there cooldowns in Burning Crusade or classic WoW that you miss in Lich King? What, in your minds, should the role be for talents and glyphs. For example, if glyphs shouldn't reduce cooldowns, what can they do?

Nethaera goes on to remind people that this thread isn't the place for balance discussions necessarily, and certainly not a place to debate who's overpowered. This feedback also won't dictate exactly what the developers will do, it will simply help them make the right decisions. Do you have an opinion? Then head on over to the forums and make it known! Politely, of course.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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

Tanking hotfixes being implemented

A recent hotfix has reduced the health on tanking paladins. Meanwhile, devastate is being hotfixed as well to do 20% more total damage rather than 20% more weapon damage (from 100% to 120% total weapon damage presently). There are also some scattered reports that DK tanks have gotten buffs to their Frost Presence as well, but no confirmation from Blizzard on that yet. Ghostcrawler posted that the change to Paladin health was intentional and that an announcement will be soon, and in the warrior thread said that they can't confirm when the hotfix for devastate will drop.

The culprit for the paladin health reduction seems to be the paladin talent Sacred Duty, although this has, at this time, not been confirmed by Blizzard so far as I can find. As soon as there's an announcement we at WoW.com will of course bring it to you.

Edited to include this link to the official forum post explaining the change. Thanks to ummeiko for the fast catch.

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight

Officers' Quarters: The fourth tank's lament


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

It's no secret that tanks are generally in short supply. Blizzard has admitted as much and even designed the Death Knight class specifically to entice more people to taking up the tanking role. They've gone away from fights like the notorious, original implementation of the Four Horsemen encounter that required 8 fully geared tanks and given us more fights like Rotface that only require 2. But for a 25-player raid, you generally need 3.

So what about those fourth tanks? They find themselves riding the pine:

Dear Scott,

I have been playing WoW for just under four months and have worked my butt off to make my Warrior the best tank that I possibly can. I get numerous compliments about my ability and pride myself on being liked by all. I have joined one of the top raiding guilds on my server, but I am finding problems getting selected for raids.

Currently we raid 3 nights a week, and on average, we have 35-40 people showing up EVERY raid night. Obviously, you cannot take 40 people into ICC25 and therein lies the problem. The current state of raids encourages guilds to take 3 tanks at most, and at times, the third tank is running in an offspec, most likely dps. I am one of five tanks in the guild, and the newest of the bunch. All gear is about equal. The other four get selected for raids on a nightly basis based on seniority. I have remained diligent and have shown up for raids every night without fail, only to be told there is no need for me tonight.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: What roles do you play?

An interesting thread popped up on the forums a few days ago that I wanted to ask our readers about here at WoW.com -- what roles have you tried in the game, and has experimentation with other roles changed how you play overall?

Right now my main spends her time tanking and healing at an even 50/50 split. Healing's made me a more observant tank; I have a better appreciation of what a heal team goes through to keep my furry rump alive. Tanking hasn't exactly made me a better healer -- the two roles are so different that I even wind up redoing a portion of my UI while jumping between them -- but it's made me more forgiving of tank mistakes, and also left me in a better position to gauge whether a problem is the result of the tank or another group member. Damage-wise? Oddly enough, playing as a tank/healer for so long has made me into a hesitant DPS at best. I hate losing aggro to anyone as a tank, and hate healing oblivious DPS who pull it, and that's made me incredibly paranoid about my threat as a DPS. I watch Omen way more than I worry about my rotation.

So what role do you normally play in the game? If you change roles at all, do you notice experience from one role having an effect on how you play others?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Pulling aggro in PUGs: who's to blame


There is no question that as we PUG up the Dungeon Finder system for our daily random heroic we are going to encounter a lot of bad tanks. It's not surprising really. These are people who spend all day every day getting smashed in face, typically by monstrosities many times their size. And more disturbingly, they chose to do this in the first place. So it should be no surprise that these aren't the brightest people in WoW.

However, it's often far too easy for us DPSers to blame the tank for losing aggro. After all, holding aggro is their job! What is strangely easy for us to forget is that not pulling aggro is our job. It's time for DPSers to take a long hard look at just how good a player we are before yelling at the tank.

Join me after the cut as we take a look at why pulling aggro is the fault of the DPS almost every single time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry


When writing this Breakfast Topic I noticed in the comments a certain disconnect between how I approach running heroics and how other people seem to. So I thought I'd try and encapsulate the differences and try and help explain why sometimes tanks seem a little touchy or off in runs. It's not just the blows to the head, guys.

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

Guildwatch "makes a potion out the QQ"

The story here is all about sweet, sweet ego: Aliana had a sense of entitlement while raiding -- she was angry that items she would really like to have were going to someone who could only do 4k as opposed to her 9k, thanks to a lousy so-called fair DKP system. We'd like to think Grator is a true Guildwatch fan: we just sit back, listen in, and make a delicious potion "out the QQ."

Lots more QQ potion in this week's Guildwatch, along with the last downings before Icecrown and recruiting notices from around the realms. If you have something to send us (and please do -- the coffers are running a little low, probably because guild business has slowed down pre-patch), throw us an email at guildwatch@wow.com. Hit the link below to read on.

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Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor, Guildwatch, Wrath of the Lich King

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).

Read more →

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

Shifting Perspectives: Why effective health needs to die, part 1


Every week (usually), Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we brace ourselves for the howling pack of tanks likely to descend upon us, but -- as we have previously observed -- we are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

If you've tanked at all over the course of Wrath, you've probably become familiar with the phrase "effective health." It's a concept that's cropped up with increasing frequency on the tanking forums, and not necessarily in a good way. If you knew nothing of the idea beyond how players tend to use it, you'd be forgiven for thinking that "effective health" is the only metric by which all tanks are measured, and proof that Blizzard either can't (or won't) balance the game. There are very real differences between the tanking classes when it comes to average EH, and this has resulted in some angry discussion when the term is thrown around by players who either don't really understand what it means, or don't know that it was meant to be used in context. Consequently, "effective health" as used on the tanking forums has become an endlessly parroted phrase that's not only starting to lose all meaning, but is also guaranteed to derail a thread once it makes its inevitable appearance.

When I say that effective health needs to die, I don't mean that the concept itself is intrinsically wrong. It's not. But the twisted version of it so frequently used to bludgeon players over class differences is getting more ridiculous by the day, and it prevents or distorts more reasonable commentary on things that are much more likely to kill tanks on hard-mode content.

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

Cataclysm: "Almost all items are going to have to change."

So, wait a minute. If Strength on leather gear is going away in Cataclysm, how are feral druid tanks going to be itemized? Ghostcrawler's got it handled.
We talked about druids in bear form also getting AP from strength. Strength won't appear on leather and no piece should have Str and Agi together, so it's not like they would really double dip. That lets us still have tanking necks, rings and cloaks with strength on them that are attractive to all 4 tanking classes.
Ghostcrawler, you machine, you. First you tell us that all of these stats are just plain goin' away in Cataclysm, and now you give us specifics? Such an industrious crab. But how is this change going to be carried out? Turns out he's got something to say about that, too.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, News items, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: The disappearance of the bear


Every week (usually), Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, confused bears everywhere ask themselves, "Why is no one playing us if we're so awesome?"

I've had an article on this subject percolating for a while. Why people play what they do is a question that endlessly fascinates me, and Nick Yee made a business out of examining the various factors that influenced people's class and role choices in games. Unfortunately, with only fan site numbers to go on, it's sometimes tough to figure out exactly what's happening with demographic shifts ingame. For a while now we've had the sense that, while Feral has lost population since Wrath hit, it's bears in particular who've been hit hardest, and as I've written previously, they've all but vanished from my own server. Because most Armory data sites don't distinguish between bear and cat specs, I never figured out whether all the stories I heard about a shrinking bear population were an accurate gloss on what was going on.

Sometimes, though, Blizzard cuts through the confusion and bluntly states that a class or spec just isn't being played that much. Witness, if you will, the gradual extinction of the bear.

So Xariks on the Tanking forum poses the question; why are bears so underplayed? Any well-designed spec that's a PvE or PvP powerhouse and the frequent target of nerf demands has historically resulted in a huge influx of players (e.g. rogues for most of classic WoW and warlocks in Burning Crusade, among others). In Feral, we have before us a spec that had a 50% share of the druid population in BC and, in the transition to Wrath, received considerable buffs to many of its historic weak spots, the removal of prejudicial encounter mechanics, the addition of another weapon option, and the tanking community's hatred for its highest effective health on average. Yet they've been singled out for especial commentary for being, per Ghostcrawler, an "unpopular spec" in modern raids.

Druids, tanks, and developers all want to know -- what gives?

Read more →

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

Guildwatch: Have a nice day baddie


I live a good part of my life on the Internet -- I work on the Internet, and throughout the years, I've learned to play quite a bit on the Internet. So I realize that once I post something everyone can see, it's not necessarily mine any more -- once I share it with the public at large, I can't really lay much claim to it being mine and mine alone. That said, I understand Ravenmeow's problem above -- Deathlymorg of Endless Fury on Nagrand purportedly stole her tips off of her guild's website and reposted them (without credit, we assume) on his own. Sure, they were on the Internet, and nothing you really post on the Internet, especially in a forum, can ever be locked down again. But I see the complaint, especially when Deathlymorg isn't even the least bit grateful for the information, not to mention that he is pretty condescending to boot.

That drama and much more in this week's Guildwatch (which you really shouldn't go reposting in full on your guild's forums, but hey, can I really stop you?), along with the usual downed and recruiting notices as well. To share something from your guild (or a bit of drama you've noticed elsewhere), send us an email at guildwatch@wow.com. Read on for more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

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