Archive for November, 2009

Tanking Survey: It’s all the rage

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Masscis

I found this survey by Tarsus at Tanking for Dummies. It was created (from best I can tell) by The Renaissance Man at Children of Wrath. Linedan at Panzercow (wins best tank name ever award) threw in his 2 cents.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?

Mandalus 15/3/53 protection warrior. The 15/3/53 spec I use is a slight variation of the “cookie cutter”. I picked up Improved Disciplines and dropped Improved Revenge. IR seems useless to me as a main tank because most bosses can’t be stunned. ID coupled with the shield wall glyph is very useful though.

What is your usual tanking environment?

Main Tank for 10 man heroic/hard mode and regular 25 man raids. There is rare occasion where I will tank adds but one of my strong points is knowing what’s going on around the raid and making on the fly tanking adjustments and calls. It’s usually easier to do this while on the boss rather than covered with adds.

What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?

At the moment, I’m going to have to go with Fire Fighter, Mimiron’s hard mode. In my opinion it is the complete package for a tank. Kiting, zooming around picking up adds, using cool downs, situational awareness, etc; if a tank fails at any of these aspects, the raid will not succeed. Second is solo tanking phases 1 and 3 Yogg. Warriors shine in this encounter, lots of snap threat, quick movement and even quicker reactions are needed. Coming in a close third would be Heroic Beast. I hear a lot of complaints about Gormuk but once you understand the encounter, it’s not that bad. Once again situational awareness is key, count the snobolds as they jump from Gormuk. He gets a damage buff for each one that jumps. When the 4th Snobold jumps Gormuk will be hitting for 30 to 40k, pop a shield wall and if he’s not dead before shield wall drops….you’re not going to defeat the encounter anyway.

What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?

Fights like Kologarn, XT, Lotheb, etc where the fight is just stagnant, no movement, nothing to really account for except threat.

What do you think is the biggest strength of your class, and why?

Definitely movement, warriors are hands down the most mobile class in the game and when used properly can really wow some people. There’s also the intangible aspect of being a warrior and the confidence people have in you because of it. I think the stigmata of the warrior being “the wow tank” lets us get away with a little more than say a druid or a DK. People give the benefit of the doubt to you a little easier than they would another class because of this.

What do you think is the biggest weakness of your class, and why?

I don’t think the warrior has any big weakness and it’s obvious Blizzard agrees with that statement since there’s hardly ever any changes to the class. Heroic Strike spam does suck but I’d rather that then cast an ability and go get a drink… There are a few things that I’m jealous of other classes for, like the pally version of shield block with its 8 second cool down or what ever it is but I have no problems doing my job with my warrior.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is the best tanking assignment for you?

I can do it all. I’m most comfortable personally in a main tank role but won’t bat an eye if the raid leader feels the need for me to perform another job…except dps, I hate to dps a raid, it’s boring.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?

I think Paladins and Warriors have great synergy, complement each other well and probably make the best tanking combo. DK are pretty strong counterparts for warriors also. The synergy isn’t as great with the missing raid buffs and they are the “new kids on the block” so they have to work harder to prove themselves than a warrior would. This leads them to push a little too hard sometimes and taunt when it isn’t called for or something along those lines. However if you find a skilled player rolling a DK tank, they make strong partners for a warrior.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?

Definitely druids. Druids to me feel like they are the economy version of warriors. They have similar abilities but because of the hybrid tax, they just don’t seem to have the bang a warrior does. Take that statement with a grain of salt because I have never gotten a druid past level 10 and haven’t really had a chance to tank with a skilled bear. This is just from what I know of the class and the lack of people who roll bears, in my mind, back up this statement.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Looking at the other warrior bloggers that have taken this survey it seems they all neglect HS spam. My problem is the exact opposite. I spam it too much. Sometimes I get so carried away with it, I’ll rage starve myself. Jaraxxus comes to mind: Incoming excerpt from an actual raid encounter –  “he’s about to spit green shit….interupt….damn, I got no rage.” *gets hit in the face with green shit*

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

Impatient dps. Big problem when solo tanking Yogg. They’re in such a hurry to get the phase down, they won’t let the mobs get to me. I can’t build threat if I can’t hit the mob, I don’t care how good I am. Also, when the dps want to “lead the group” to the next encounter and run square into a pack of trash mobs….I’m looking at you mobs at the bottom of the stairs between Council and Kologarn.

It also gets me when a guy that rolled a warrior back in vanilla then switched his main to rogue or something tries to tell me what I’m doing wrong with my class. Come on, warriors have changed quite a bit since then and I read and study a lot about tanking and being a warrior….just STFU

Do you feel your class/spec is balanced with respect to the other tanking classes?

Yes I do. I think DK and Druid are a tad bit behind and I’m concerned that Icewell Radiance is going to steer people away from Bears a bit more. Other than a couple small tweaks to the warrior and pally classes, I think all the tanks are on a pretty level field.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Ego and Pride. I live my wow life by the motto “be my sword, I’ll be your shield”. I don’t remember where I heard it but it stuck. Basically, I take it personally when someone dies. I’m the protector of the group, it’s my job to keep people on their feet so they can do theirs. Failbot helps me with this, when they need to move I can call them out when they don’t. I also use the standard Omen/recount so I can watch that pesky warlock creeping up the threat table. Icehud and scrolling combat text help keep my vision centered on the action. My guild also has a WWS feed that I check when experimenting with different enchants, gems or elixirs.

What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have with your tanking class?

People are comfortable when a warrior is their tank. They go in with the attitude that this guy knows his shit. I bring it upon myself to prove them right. There is a new misconception that seems to be arising, one that Pallies are OP and warriors are falling behind the curve. I don’t believe this, they do have some nice tricks but they still have their place and we have ours.

 What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?

Situational awareness. Seeing what’s going on around them. Not getting “zoned in”. Knowing what to do when something goes wrong and having the reactions to pull off the save. Stats seem to confuse many new tanks as well.

If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?

I’m very precise in how I position a mob. Almost to an OCD. I put the mobs in the same spot every time and my raiders realise this and expect it. They would also notice, I favor avoidance and mitigation stats over pure stamina. And I spam the crap out of Heroic Strike.

Stamina or Avoidance, and why?

I personally like avoidance. ATM I have 50k HP without stacking stam. Why would I need more. I like avoidance because my face is too damn sexy to be pounded on that much.

All kidding aside, I’m actually at a cross roads here with stats. I have a big problem with people who don’t understand tanking stats and judge a tank based solely off of how much HP they have. With word of the 20% dodge reduction coming in ICC. I’ve begun switching my gearing more towards effective health. EH is not just stamina though. Armor plays a big role in it. Vene has an awesome EH Calculator on his site that I use quite a bit.

That being said, at the current time I’m gemming and enchanting for stamina, armor and agility. Mongoose on my weapon and I’m looking into leveling engineering for the armor enchant to gloves.

Which tanking class do you understand the least?

Other than warriors, I feel I could pick up a Druid and be close to the same level in a couple of days. I, as does everyone, have a DK alt. 3 actually, none of them have gotten past level 65. That being said, I understand how the class works and feel I could probably tank effectively as a DK within a few weeks. Paladin on the other hand….I have no clue. I deleted the 1 pally I created at level 20. All through Ulduar and TOC I’ve had Paladins as my co-tanks and I just don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. It’s all the light this and hand that and being all judgemental. I’ll stick with my warrior, run in shove my shield in someone’s face and piss them off so bad they want to kill me…then call it a day.

What addons or macros do you currently use to aid you in tanking?

Didn’t we do this question already?….Icehud, scrolling combat text, omen, recount, DBM, elkano’s buff bars, bartender. I don’t use any warrior or tank specific addons. The addons I use give me the info I need or the comfort to do my job.

Do you strive for a balance in tanking stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?

I don’t think “balance” is possible for tanking stats. I think if you try to mix too many avoidance stats with effective health, you’ll end up being sub par in all categories. Warriors are very gear dependant, which is why we have multiple sets of gear.

Week-in Raiding: Glory of the Ulduar Raider

Posted in Week-in Raiding with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by Masscis

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1 Light in the Darkness: Complete

I had a rough week last week, wifey went afk with pneumonia and work decided that I should spent back to back 14 hour days grinding work stuff….something about them wanting to make money. Hence I was a no show on my own blog.

As you can see by the above picture, I am now a glorious ulduar raider! FBI has now defeated Yogg Saron with only Thorim to aid us. It was a tough fight, I died less than a second before Yogg did and I had 1 sanity left when I went down. I’m pretty proud of myself as I solo tanked the entire fight.

Phase 1 is pretty easy once everyone realises the movement speed and damage decrease from not having the extra keepers up. Basically I parked myself on top of Sara and taunted, heroic throw or used my ranged weapon to bring the adds to me. Once they were to me, dps started. Our dps was high enough to where I never had to deal with more than 2 adds at a time. The DPS also were on top of their game here, keeping away from the clouds. I could handle 1 extra add but if 2 clouds were popped, I had a lot of trouble keeping them under control and it usually wiped us.

I really hate phase 2, mostly because anyone not going in the portal feels useless. Yeah, kill the tentacles and what not but the entire raid is hanging on what 4 members can do in the brain room. It took us a couple of attempts to get past phase 2 because we had some melee that have never been in the brain room before. Once they go it figured out, it was smooth sailing into phase 3. The biggest thing for those killing the tentacles to do is stay close. We had a problem at first with people getting out of range of heals. I pretty much just floated around interrupting the coruptors and crushers.

It only took us 2 attempts to get phase 3 down. The first attempt, we kind of limped into with a couple people dead. Our second attempt was solid, everyone was around 70-80% sanity and the burn was on. Adds came out much faster than I was expecting but also died much faster than I remember in normal mode. I faced Yogg at bad times and got hit with the purple beams too often, leaving me with 1% sanity with Yogg at 10% HP. I called for dps to ignor the adds and full burn on Yogg at this point. I ended up going down with 5 adds on me with Yogg at 1%. The dps did their job and the healers kept them alive with adds running rampant.

In the end, I still like firefighter the best of all the hard modes. It’s the one fight that actually feels like a different fight in hard mode. When I do Mimiron regular mode now, it feels as if something is missing.

After 1 light and running outside to mount up and check out our new drakes.

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The Rusted Protos

We continued on to Algalon. After an hour of learning and adjusting, we managed to get him to 30%. I have a feeling he’ll be biting the dust next week.

I’ve got a couple more post scheduled for this week. I found a pretty cool Tanking Survey and I’ve got some comments on the RMT pets blizzard is offering. Until then…good luck.