Tanking for Dummies


Frost Lotus Droprate Increased
February 18, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: News, Raiding | Tags: ,

Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game. Keep in mind that some of these changes may not be active until after the realm has been restarted.

To review previous in-game fixes, please visit: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=21723843880&sid=1

02/17

  • The drop rate of Frost Lotus, from herbs in Northrend, has been increased by 50%. (Source)

BEST.

NEWS.

EVER.




Hey You! From HoR Yesterday!
February 16, 2010, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Rants | Tags: , , ,

Does line of sight mean anything to you?  I mean, the mob that’s killing you is at range.  How hard is this?

Continue reading



You’re not Hardcore Enough: Icecrown Gating
February 11, 2010, 11:08 am
Filed under: News, Raiding | Tags: , ,

In case you missed it, the most pernicious part of Icecrown Citadel’s Gating vanished on Tuesday:

After each region’s maintenance this week, raids will no longer lose attempts on wipes in Normal mode for Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. There will still be limited attempts in Heroic mode.

We will continue to monitor developments in Icecrown Citadel in the future, especially since the Heroic difficulty has been unlocked by a significant number of raids. (Source)

I will admit, I was expecting this development at some point, but this felt too soon.  Should I feel ashamed or something that Axiom was not among that “significant number of raids”?  Or, you know, even among those that had unlocked the Lich King?

I can’t say that I am.  I can’t really speak for Seri, or others in charge, but since we’ve focused our time on working on the non-attempt locked bosses I’m assuming that they were laboring under the same assumption that I was – namely that we’d at least have a few weeks before the counter was removed from normal mode.

For those of you feeling like Blizzard just poked your Bloodrage button – I can understand.  The Lich King had only been unlock-able a week.  You could be forgiven for thinking that Blizzard only put this “feature” into ICC to put the reigns on the top tier of raiding guilds.  Which is to say it failed utterly since the Lich King was dead 24 hours after the potential to do so was made available.

The effect was really only to make it more difficult for the next tier of raiders to take down (or even take shots at!) the Lich King that first week.  A kind of double kick in the no-no parts of raider pride.  You cannot say now “Well, we’re not a top 100 raid guild – but at least we killed the Lich King when he required attempts to do so.”  Either you killed him in the first week it was available – or you’re just a scrub.

Oh.  Wait, there is that matter of the buff.  So there is some hope left to distinguish yourself from the unwashed masses.

Better do it quick though – no telling when Blizzard will start implementing that one.  Recent developments indicate it could be as soon as next week.



A Simple Reminder
February 1, 2010, 11:23 am
Filed under: Gear, Raiding | Tags: , ,

How do you measure the value of an upgrade?  The stats on the item? Gearscore rating? Perhaps a list made by a blogger?

Quantum Fluid Theory?

No matter what system you use for determining your list of desired upgrades, before you do boot up your armory profile and consider this little bit of advice:

An upgrade is only as good as the piece it is replacing.

Take, if you will, the case of Tarsus’ gloves. They’re Tier 8 (Ulduar) set gear.  I’m not still wearing them because they’re some sort of super itemized awesome piece – I’m wearing them because my Tier 9 options were downright underwhelming.  Given the sparsity of hit on Tier 9 gear, that 49 hit rating was quite valuable – and they didn’t exactly have another option available.  In terms of my list of priority – gloves were then at the bottom.

Now looking at what is available in Tier 10, I have other options.  Specifically I have an attraction to the Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Handguards, now that (come Tuesday) they have bonus armor on them.  Having that clear of an upgrade over my existing gloves moves them substantially up the priority list (now at priority one, since that is my last piece of Non-Heroic Tier 8 gear).

Sometimes this is easier than others, as described in the example above.  It is, however, more difficult when you have to weigh the impact on your entire gear set.  For example, you could pick up Last Word – but it has no defense, no hit, no expertise – hell it doesn’t have anything on it by stamina and that proc.  That is a pretty hefty hit when you compare it to my Sorthalis – I need to find some of those stats elsewhere before I can equip it.  Down on the priority list it goes (despite replacing gear of lower Tier).  I still need a weapon upgrade, but maybe I can stand to find some new boots first.

So, when weighing spending your DKP or just making up your list – remember that your tank is the sum of their parts and give some thought to your upgrades and prioritize.  You never know, there might be another tank in your raid that needs that piece more than you and you need to know how generous you can be.



Ode to the Bear
January 29, 2010, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Humor | Tags: , ,

Oh Bear! Though thy bottom is great in size

And thy avoidance gimped in Icecrown raids;

You have a character that is a prize

With An aspect that never truly fades.

‘Tis not thy health – though ’tis matched by no one.

‘Tis not thy mitigation – though quite nice.

‘Tis not thy dance – if amusing and fun.

‘Tis not thy gear – no plate to sacrifice.

In Kitty form you’re of the highest rank,

The time to see you’re the best half-a-tank.

Props to all those bears out there – your ability to swap from DPS to Tank to DPS in the middle of a fight continues to amaze me.



There is mischief afoot
January 27, 2010, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Rants | Tags: , , ,

By which I mean this:

Ghostcrawler

Protection damage in 3.3.2
The damage you’re going to do depends a lot on your gear, raid buffs and personal style. But I think these are in the ballpark for an Icecrown 25 guild.

Shield Slam — hits for maybe 3500.
Revenge — hits for maybe 3000.
Devastate — hits for maybe 2000.

Over the course of a raid, Shield Slam and Devastate might do about the same total damage, with Revenge doing 50% of that. (In other words, if we ignore all other abilities, you’d have a pie chart with a 40%, 40%, and 20% slice, though Revenge can be pretty variable.) So at first glance, you might imagine a world in which Devastate eclipses all other abilities. But let’s consider them in more detail. You’re probably using Shield Slam half as often as you’re hitting Devastate because of the cooldown. Are you going to give up that much damage packaged into one GCD? Now Revenge on the other hand might be a contender for another Devastate GCD, but consider the enormous rage bargain that is Revenge, even that doesn’t seem like a big concern.  (Source)

I’m not sure why, but this really pisses me off, because my numbers don’t look like that.  Tarsus is much more like:

Shield Slam — hits for maybe 2500.
Revenge — hits for maybe 2900.
Devastate — hits for maybe 1900.

Now, the Revenge and Devastate numbers are off by 100, I can handle that.  That Shield Slam number, that – THAT gets under my skin, especially because it’s Shield Slam that is getting the nerf-bat.  I wasn’t precisely riled up about the nerf before, but now I’m feeling the itch.

So, I have to ask, what the hell is wrong with poor Tarsus?  Is he some weird mutant that just can’t get his Shield Slam up?  I don’t precisely stack block, so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining, but come on here – I’m 1000 under where I “should be” according to the crab.  It’s not like I’m some strangely geared aberration.

Serious WTF here on my part.  I have to wonder where these numbers come from.  Maybe the mystic land where Prot Warriors are overpowered or some crap.

On a side note, updates are being sparse because of real life issues impacting when I have time to write.  These are good sorts of real life issues, so nothing to worry about, but they are time consuming so apologies if I keep missing regularly scheduled posts as has been happening.



You can tank (if not now, then later)!
January 20, 2010, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks | Tags: , ,

There is a lot of nervousness on the part of those who are attempting to take up the tanking torch.  I completely understand why this is so – the new LFG tool incentivizes tanking with low wait times and high desirability.  Even if you’re terrible at it and you get kicked from your group, you probably wait less time for the debuff to wear off than you would to get into a new group as DPS.

Yet, expectations are high, as is performance pressure.  Tanking is a lot about confidence.  You are, after all, the front line.  So that nervousness is itself working against you.  The tag line of LFG instancing, “Gogogogogo,” doesn’t help this situation much.  No one wants to be rushed.

So if you want to tank, take the following tip from the Stupid Cow: If you know where you are going, everything else is just heroic strike spam.  You can read the strategy on Tank Spot, or watch a video even.  Boss strategies are about research more than anything.  But getting lost is  not something you can prepare for very well.  In my experience, no video or map can replace the actual experience of running it through.

In some instances, this is cake.  You can’t exactly get lost in the Halls of Reflection.  In others, such as Sunken Temple, it would be easy to get lost.  As the tank, you control the pace of the group it’s true, but more importantly you control where the group goes.  If you know that, you’re already on the way there.  If you don’t, maybe you should run the instance using a character you are more comfortable with.

THEN come back and tank it.

Because after that, you’re talking about either things you can prepare for outside of game (boss strategies, etc) or things that even the best tanks would be hard pressed to compensate for (bad LFG puggers).  Everything else you either get by tanking, or just knowing where you are going.

That is how you get from where you are to tanking.  Run the instance on your other spec/toon.  Consult your favorite strategy site.  And pick up your shield and go.

You can get to “Gogogogo” later.  It’s not like they can do this without the tank.




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