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Posts with tag warrior-tanking

Rage normalization in Cataclysm

Straight from the mouth of Bornakk this morning comes some critical news for warriors and druids concerning the rage mechanic in Cataclysm. The short summary: rage is going to be normalized, each auto-attack will give a set amount of rage. This will solve rage starvation at lower levels and make rage an interesting mechanic at the higher tiers of raiding.

Some of the major points:
  • Rage [will be] no longer generated based on damage done by auto-attacks. Instead, each auto-attack provides a set amount of Rage, and off-hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage main hands do.
  • If the attack is a critical strike, it will generate 200% Rage. Haste will accelerate swing times to generate Rage faster.
  • Rage from damage taken will no longer be based on a standard creature of the character's level, but instead will based on the health of the warrior or druid.
  • All "on next swing" attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage.
Personally, I find the removal of the "on next swing" attacks to be a major change that is long overdue. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially given the years of theory-crafting and playing style that has been devoted to rage management. It's all going to change when Cataclysm comes out.

The full statement after the break.

This post is currently being edited.

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Filed under: Druid, Warrior, News items, Cataclysm

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Warrior and DK threat bug hotfixed

My own Death Knight is not quite up to raid tanking yet; I've got a few more levels to go on that one. However, some players have noticed that DK threat, especially on single targets, seems a bit low - significantly lower than the other three tank classes, to the extent that the tanks were having trouble keeping threat against high DPS.

It turns out that there was a slightly complicated bug involving Frost Presence, the foundation of DK tanking. It went like this:

  • Some aspects of Frost Presence don't go away when you die, and some do (this is the bug).
  • Part of the threat boost, however, does go away when you die.
  • When you res and come back without changing presences, the game doesn't reapply Frost Presence, because it sees that you already have some of the effects of it.
  • However, you still don't have all of the threat boost.

So potentially, DKs who die and come back without switching to another presence (Blood or Unholy) and then back to Frost were missing out on 15% of the 45% threat that Frost Presence brings. This has been hotfixed now, so there is no further need to worry about it. If you saw your DK threat go up a lot yesterday, that's probably why.

Ghostcrawler adds that "it is likely" that Defensive Stance was also being affected by this bug, although I haven't seen any prot warriors complaining about their threat since 3.0 hit.

Filed under: Bugs, Raiding, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: The tanking shortage


One of Blizzard's avowed aims with the creation of the Death Knight class was tackling the chronic tanking shortage for 5-mans. While it was the opinion of many players that the tanking shortage had a lot more to do with tanks' unwillingness to suffer messy and expensive (and sometimes stupid) PuG's, there was no way around the fact that only 3 of 9 available classes could tank (and that 2 of them were just as frequently specced to heal). Providing a new, cool-looking tanking class that had tanking talents in all three trees and could use Warrior gear was Blizzard's contribution. Post-release, the rest is up to the players.

I've seen several Death Knights already at 80 on my realm (and to my everlasting horror, two of them in my guild beat me to 80), but haven't noticed any real difference in the number of tells in trade and LFG searching for a tank. Whenever I see these, it's hard not to wonder what's going on. While it's much too early for the majority of leveling DK's to have had a big impact on 5-man tanking between 70 and 80, most of the ones I've seen at 80 are rerolled DPS and have continued in that role. Some would like to tank but just don't have the gear to withstand the damage of a high-level dungeon. Others have privately admitted that, while they're willing to give tanking a try, having to learn it at 80 with an impatient group that just wants to get through a dungeon is a daunting prospect. Still others really do just prefer to DPS.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Features, Death Knight

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

First impressions: 5-man healing in the beta


I specced resto in the beta the other week to try out the new talents and abilities Druids are getting in Wrath, and decided to brave the horrors of LFG and scribble some notes for your sake, dear readers. By the way, the aspect of beta that I will miss most? The 1 copper respec fee. Can we keep this?

Please note that this is written from the perspective of a 70 Restoration Druid, so unfortunately I can't comment on whether Priests, Shamans, or Paladins might have had an easier or harder time healing the instances. I have a good but not jaw-dropping resto set, and on the live realms clock in around +1998 to +2100 healing unbuffed. If your gear's better or worse, then just adjust the potential difficulty level as needed. And even if you're not a healer, you still might find something useful here:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Tank Talk: should the main tank position still exist?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. Today, dear readers, we might make ourselves hated by the entire population of undisputed, royal-bloodlined, main tanks, but that's OK. We are used to staying at the top of someone's hate list.

One of the accepted facts of raiding life used to be that the main tank was the guild's gearing priority. As Adam Holisky's observed, "Everything that happens in the raid eventually makes it back to the tank." Healers undergeared? You're screwed. DPS incompetent or just badly grouped? Buh-bye. Random number generator wreaking all manner of havoc on healer crits and boss parries? Thar be the graveyard. A truly cynical mind would opine that the tank should be as well-geared as possible if only because it makes it easier for the raid to forget that person existed as anything other than a rapidly-advancing line on the Omen screen that: a). always stayed above their own, and b). never died. There are enough random variables while the raid's learning a new boss that the tank needs to be eliminated as one, and in vanilla WoW that was certainly the goal. Raid and offtank damage on most encounters hadn't scaled to the point where you could make a compelling argument in favor of gear equilibrium across your tanking roster. What was the point of something like that when 95% of the damage in a fight was going to be absorbed by a single person?

That changed.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Tank Talk: The irresistible fight


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and Allison Robert (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish.

Since Tank Talk began, we've gotten a few questions from people about raid fights that require tanks to use resist gear. With all of Burning Crusade's raid attunements now removed, and with lots of guilds testing the waters in Tier 5 and Tier 6 before Wrath hits, I figure now's as good a time as any to discuss what resist sets you're going to want if your guild is intent on progression. The resist gear issue is nowhere near as dire as it was in vanilla WoW (Molten Core, anyone?) and in general the raid as a whole rarely needs to worry.

Tanks are special. But you knew that already, didn't you?

This guide covers all of the existing 10-man and 25-man content in the game outside of Sunwell Plateau:

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

Tank Talk: The better (and lesser) angels of our nature


Tank Talk continues this week with one requisite "Why does my ingame life have to suck so hard?" story in deference to a point made by commenters on our first column. We will then take a look at the most fundamental decision you will encounter as a raiding tank -- and one you are likely to make, and then re-make, on just about every boss encounter in the game.

There is a Druid on my server who messages me almost daily asking me to come tank his heroics. What annoys me is not being asked to tank per se, but that he, too, is a feral Druid. His gear isn't as good as mine simply because he hasn't raided past Magtheridon, but he's sitting on at least three of the better pieces of Tier 4, crafted epics, and several of the badge pieces that I'm still using to tank Tier 6. At a matter of fact, with the advent of two different badge vendors and badge drops from 10-man and 25-man bosses, his stats are significantly better than the ones I had tanking most of Tier 5. This guy literally has the gear to do just about anything in the game short of the more advanced content in Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau, and I used to point to him with no small measure of Druidic pride as proof of what a little elbow grease could accomplish.

But he still wants me to come tank for him.

I started getting irritated with the constant begging at one point and asked him, "How can you possibly have any difficulty getting groups? Everybody in LFG is looking for a tank, and your gear is excellent."

At his computer, I'm sure he was shrugging. "You do it faster than I do."

"I really don't. Just get some good DPS and you'll be fine."

And then the truth came out: "Well, I don't really like tanking. I'd rather DPS."

Ah.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Raiding, Factions, Classes, Death Knight, Tank Talk

Tank Talk: Do you feel lucky, punk?


Tank Talk is WoW Insider's new raid-tanking column, promising you an exciting and educational look at the world of getting the stuffing thrashed out of you in a 10- or 25-man raid. The column will be rotated amongst Matthew Rossi (Warrior/Paladin), Adam Holisky (Warrior), Michael Gray (Paladin), and myself (Druid). Our aim is to use this column to debate and discuss class differences, raid-tanking strategies, tips, tricks, and news concerning all things meatshieldish. At least, that's what the others said they were doing. I intend to use it mostly as a soapbox to complain. Absolute power tends to......something something.

Welcome to Tank Talk. I am your bear Druid hostess for this week, with a topic that occurred to me while reading a recent article here on the site. Eliah Hecht wrote that his guild is facing a not-uncommon tank shortage and that he has considered the possibility of leveling a tanking class to 70 before Wrath, or tanking on a Death Knight afterwards. A number of people on my server and in my guild have talked about doing the same thing, or switching mains once Wrath hits. With so many people playing Death Knights, I think it's very possible that more people will discover they enjoy -- or at least, don't mind -- tanking, and may seek to do so in a raid environment without necessarily knowing what they've really signed up for.

From those of us who have tanked raid content in vanilla WoW or BC, here are the 10 questions you'll want to ask yourself if you're considering the possibility of tanking serious raid content:

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Tank Talk

Are hybrid tanks going to *be* left behind?


In the wake of Alex Ziebart's recent post for Hybrid Theory, we received a number of comments from paladins on their ability to main-tank a 25-man raid. Behind the scenes, the subject was equally controversial; many of us here play tanks and we all feel passionate about our classes. An email discussion started about hybrid tanks in general, and it got to be so interesting that we were threatened with being fired if we didn't post it we were asked to share it with our readers.

Warriors? Druids? Paladins? And the people who love them? This one's for you. Now, I've previously fielded complaints that my posts are too long, so far warning; if you're not in the mood for a pretty thorough look at the current state of hybrid tanking, you'll probably want to keep moving. If you play any tank at all, just want to know more about them and the people who choose to play tanks, or are considering rolling a tank class, I hope you find the following to be of interest.

Please note that the headers below are not, as in portions of Matthew Rossi's post, quotes from anybody involved; they're just a means of helping me organize my thoughts and translate our email conversations into the blogging format. I'm attempting to condense the content of multiple email conversations.

My perspective on Alex's post

For reference, my main is a tanking feral druid in a Tier 6 raiding guild. Our main tank is a protection paladin, and we're on Reliquary of Souls at the moment. This guy main-tanked Vashj, main-tanked Kael for a certain period until we found out his computer settings made it really tough for him to see Flamestrikes (so we substituted a warrior for that reason, not because of the pally/warrior divide), and has main-tanked most of Hyjal and a fairish amount of Black Temple.

More past the cut.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Classes

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