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So you think that you can tank.


I think one of the main lessons I have learned about tanking so far,  is that your never going to make everyone happy.

Been told they were used to going faster.

Been told I was too fast

Been told my agro was bad  ( says the one in heirlooms aoeing)

I’ve out damaged the rest of the dps

Lobie rogues can tank, and they will.

Rogues like doing it from behind,  so you need to pull a group back so they can do their stuff and not agro the next lot.

People don’t listen when you say “Stay here”

Hunters will  autoshot and tab target

I’ve seen dps wanding the whole instance

Warrior dps  needing on spell power gear

People who pull for me

Healers I’ve had to tell to sit and drink.  ( they were OOM! ” Oh I didn’t notice..’ )

But I also understand the tunnel vision of not noticing  a healer is oom, hearing plaintive calls of ‘ I need more mana’ in the last stages of a fight.

Knowing when someone has pulled extra adds –

A pet  running off into the distance will bring what ever consequences it may.

I have learned that Cleave is stupidly slow with a 2.90 weap

Revenge rocks.

Agro is more important then damage.

Caster mobs are a pain when they are spread out.

The importance of confidence

The importance of stopping and asking for directions

/ignore saves drama

Not sure any of that is making me a better player though – if anything its just reinforced my ‘ she’ll be right mate” attitude.  Its ok. . the clothy can take a couple of hits and not die,   who cares if the hunters pet thinks its an offtank.  A couple of extra mobs just means a more fun party.   Sure pull for me,   I have a taunt button.

As my friend who has been running with me as healer on some of the runs pointed out – its all well and good now – that reckless conduct in instances may be ok now,  but it’s gonna get harder,  and they are learning really bad habits which are going to be harder to break

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10 Responses to “So you think that you can tank.”


  1. 1 Karchon May 8, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Wonderful conclusion, that is exactly what I fear. I wonder if the dungeon finder will be used with much success in the first few weeks of cata, when dps will need to interrupt, CC and kill skull first instead of just spam AOE because it’s most efficient.

  2. 2 leah May 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    it IS teaching these people bad habits, becasue I started running into them in lvl 80 instances for a while now. and lvl 80 instances themselves are not better… I don’t remember the last time I saw melee move from last boss’s lightning nova in HoS for example or those pie slice looking lazers in oculus. heck, we have Sartharion as our weekly right now and after doing it on 5 different characters, I’ve yet to be in a group where everyone moved out of the void zones. some do, yes, but most just stand there expecting to be healed through (and in the name of getting through the raid faster – they ARE getting healed through it)

    the early dungeon finder is not going to be horrible while leveling though, since blizzard usually tunes it for leveling gear and most of us will be going in with raiding gear several tiers higher. But instances at cap? that’s going to be…interesting 😛

  3. 3 loveandwarinazeroth May 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I have experienced all of the things you mentioned here with my lowbie tanks and I agree, it is teaching folks bad habits. But how do you know that hunter who is pulling everything, his pet has growl on, etc. just doesn’t care because he already has an 80, he already knows everything he needs to know and knows that low level dungeons are not srs business? Even if said hunter does not really have an 80 or know what the heck he is doing, he’s certainly going to tell you he does. Which quickly turns into everyone but him being a noob and everyone else needs to L2P. ~sigh~ It’s no wonder there are so few people willing to queue as tank in LFD.

    Wow… sorry. Didn’t mean to get all ranty. 🙂

  4. 4 Shiva May 9, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I just deal with the habits and adapt.

    Caster mobs suck, but they can almost always line of sight.

    Sometimes all you need is a “Take Command” attitude to get people rolling. If people are complaining you’re going too fast, then say “deal with it, it’s okay if you’re drinking as long as the healer has mana and the other dps can do their jobs”.

    People are surprisingly responsive to the Take Charge attitude.

    It’s worth noting, if you’ve done reading/research, the best tanking specs aren’t necessarily the best leveling/5-man tanking specs either. I highly suggest, for example, to glyph your cleave. Hitting more targets is always win. 2.8 or what not is extremely slow and counter-productive. You can generate more threat with a faster weapon as long as it’s not a dagger. Heroic Strike does more TPS with faster weapons and will make up the difference. But in either-case, Heroic Strike aside, a faster weapon allows you to hit on the mob and establish your aggro vs. the healer quicker; it also nets you rage faster. Slow weapons are just boring, even if the “number dps” is higher. Don’t buy it, it’s very much skewed because of both cleave and heroic strike.

    (HS and Cleave are fixed modifier, the faster the weapon the more damage they do and often speed will matter a lot more than average dps, you can absolutely find swords, axes and maces which are 2x or more faster than your current weapon, thus 2x more cleaves and heroic strikes, which more than makes up for the small difference in average dps).

    Also, you get things like Recklessness and Retaliation fairly early on, don’t be afraid to use them. Recklessness is awesome for generation threat on a single target. Cast Recklness, pop Shield Block, charge in, Shield Slam, Revenge, and profit. Retaliation is fairly good for getting icky aoe mobs to stick on to you as well.

    Another good habit to pick up, is using Concussion Blow and Shockwave to buy time. Sometimes there are 4 mobs, will Concussion Blow 1 which buys you sometime to generate threat on the other 3, then turn back and taunt the one you previously stunned and build threat there.

  5. 5 Reversion May 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I would say don’t glyph cleave. Stop using it. Glyph sunder armor and change targets a lot while Devistating. Naturally with heroic strike macroed to your devistate. I also macro shouts and shield block to my charge. Using shield block at the start along with a shield spike is a nice bit of extra aoe threat.

    • 6 Shiva May 11, 2010 at 5:45 am

      There is no reason to recommend Heroic Strike over Cleave in a multi-target situation, since both are on-next-swing abilities. You can Cleave and Devastate at the same time.

      Shield Spikes do a fixed amount of damage as well, only Damage Shield talent is affected by shield block.

    • 7 Gnome of Zurich May 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      If you’re in gnomer you don’t have devastate. Doh!

      So you’re stuck with sundering, which is really only worth doing (even glyphed) if revenge takes too long to come up. I stay way ahead of my dps most of the time (even though I have no heirlooms), so I rarely need to build solo threat, I go for damage and aoe threat, revenge whenever it’s up, thunderclap on cooldown, cleave whenever I have good rage, and rends on spare GCDs. Rend is also surprisingly useful for AoE threat since it ticks for quite a bit over its term and only costs one GCD. I have 2/2 improved rend as my only points outside of prot, which I’ll probably respec to get rid of once I have devastate.

      Sunder gets used over rend if I don’t get revenge fast enough on the focus mob and have to worry about losing threat.

      It’s typical for me to outdps anybody that isn’t both in decent gear *and* a decent player on my warrior in leveling dungeons while tanking. threat is mostly a non-issue most of the time. What I focus on is ways to do enough AoE threat that mouth breathers who focus fire mobs during AoE pulls without paying attention to who i have the most threat on *still* don’t draw most of the time.

      That also means I mostly shade toward threat rather than mitigation in my closer gear choices (bearing in mind that avoidance generally translates to more threat via rage generation)

      Anyway, once I have devastate, my rotation will start to look more like yours, but at low levels, that is not optimal.

      Also, an advantage is that you can basically ignore your dps as long as they aren’t aggressively stupid. Me and a healer can clear pretty much anything in azeroth at level that’s not a raid dungeon, and probably much of outland as well.

  6. 8 ReversionLFM May 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Heroic strike specifically does a lot of extra threat over and above its damage. Cleave does not. But Cleave does hit multiple targets so it is a tossup. Diffused threat or focused threat, depending on the situation.

  7. 9 Dyre42 May 14, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Yes they are learning bad habits. However once you start getting BRD regularly you’ll also see people start to behave better (or die). That place is very unforgiving. Once you hit outlands you’ll be glad you’re the tank rather than some DK thats been out of the starting zone for an hour.

  8. 10 typhoonandrew June 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    They’ll change due to the repairs and deaths. It is the mechanism that seems to have the most affect, and at lower levels the game had far more room for mistakes – which is a good thing.

    God how I’ve needed a little wiggle room on my lowbiw alts, and I really want that wiggle to stay.


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