Tanking for Dummies


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.



The Plan for Looting Icecrown Citadel (Thus far)
December 11, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

First off, I’m not going to go into the 5-man lootables.  In case you missed it, Kadomi did a super job covering that stuff already.

What I am going to do is talk about Raid and Emblem loot (or at least what we know about it thus far).  I’m not going to worry about “Heroic” versions of these items either. You’re not going to see them until, well, I guess February or March anyway.

Continue reading



Icecrown Raid Loot Lists Updated
November 20, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Gear, Lists | Tags: , ,

I will never cease being amazed by the guys over at MMO Champion with this data.  This effectively overwrites the listing I did last Friday, save for the 5 man loot.

I would like to note the distinct LACK of tanking swords.  This can only be a good thing.  Seriously.

Emblems

Chest Cataclysmic Chestguard

Hands Gauntlets of the Kraken

Waist Verdigris Chain Belt

Back Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Trinket Corroded Skeleton Key

25 Man Hard

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

25 Man Normal

Ranged Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Chest Blightborne Warplate

Hands Taldaram’s Plated Fists

Legs Legguards of Lost Hope

ShoulderBoneguard Commander’s Pauldrons

Waist Belt of Broken Bones

Wrist Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Finger Harbinger’s Bone Band

Neck Sepsis

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

10 Man Heroic

Axe(!!!!) Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

10 Man Normal

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Legs Deathforged Legplates

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Back Cloak of Many Skins

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Neck Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ



Icecrown Citadel: Patch 3.3 PTR Tanking Loot
November 13, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News | Tags: , , ,

Patch day is getting close, and that means its time again for me to parse the loot lists of MMO Champion for you, dear reader, to peruse!

Without further ado, on to the lists!

25 Man Normal Loot

Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Legguards of Lost Hope

Belt of Broken Bones

Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Harbinger’s Bone Band

10 Man Normal Loot

The Brokenhammer

Cloak of Many Skins

Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

5 Man Heroic Loot

Falric’s Wrist-Chopper

Rimefang’s Claw

Black Spire Sabatons

Second Helm of the Executioner

Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood

Fossilized Ammonite Choker

Ick’s Rotting Thumb

5 Man Normal Loot

Splintered Door of the Citadel

Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate

Sollerets of Suffering

Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets

Legplates of Frozen Granite

Titanium Links of Lore

Eerie Runeblade Polisher

Emblem of Frost

Cataclysmic Chestguard

Gauntlets of the Kraken

Verdigris Chain Belt

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Corroded Skeleton Key

Sigil of the Bone Gryphon

We still don’t know the stats on Tier 10, however, even if we do know the set bonuses.

Among other news, there does not appear to be any form of Quel’Delar designed for tanks (boo!).  On the plus side, most of this gear is the best itemized we’ve seen to date in WoTLK, so there will be plenty of opportunities for tanking, very soon.  Remember though folks, this is PTR loot so it could change very soon (not to mention this is only the loot that we’ve managed to see thus far!.



Icecrown Cidadel is Comming
October 23, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

This is no great surprise if you have been paying attention.  But for those of you who haven’t, let me point you at some linkage:

No loot yet to parse and list for you, but you know it’s coming.



Devistate is all better now
October 16, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Strategy, Talents | Tags: , , ,

I want to point more tanks over at Kadomi’s post from Tuesday concerning warrior ability use priority.  It is a great summation of the information gleaned from this TankSpot thread.  Make sure you read both the comments on Kadomi’s post and the responses to the thread, as there is significant dispute (which means time for real in game testing!)

In essence, this is all fall-out from this change in patch 3.2.0:

  • Devastate: Weapon damage and bonus per Sunder Armor on the target increased by 100%. This ability now requires a shield to be equipped.

This obviously shakes up some things I’ve been doing, making me revisit a few assumptions – and that’s good.  Needless to say, I need to put some serious thought into what to do to here.  In the interests of science then, let me share this slice of cow brain with you.  Maybe it will be helpful if you are doing your own tests.

  • I want to try Glyph of Devastate, but I like my current glyphs of Vigilance, Heroic Strike, and Blocking.  I feel like the logical choice for the swap out is Heroic Strike because I’m not precisely hurting on rage.  My role lead says I need to work on my leading threat in any case, so this is probably something I should look at anyway.
  • If it turns out to be true that Revenge is so much lower on the priority scale, should I take that one remaining point in Improved Revenge and put it somewhere else?  If so, where?  Cruelty?  Puncture?
  • I’m using a pretty fast weapon right now (1.6 Speed).  If Devastate lags behind now, is there a slower weapon currently in game that would change the equation.  I’m thinking the Burnished Quel’Serrar (2.0 Speed), but also potential future weapons in Icecrown.  What’s the slowest speed on a 1-hander… 2.8?

Thanks to Axiom switching over to World of Logs, I have a pretty good base-line of numbers to test against.  Heroic Northrend Beasts is still kicking our butts – so anything I can do to boost effectiveness my little part of helping on progression.

Any feed back from fellow tanks who have tested these changes in the field is, of course, appreciated.



And I thought it Couldn’t get Better
October 14, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Media, News, Roleplaying | Tags: , ,

Following up on Monday’s love-fest for Tier 10, here is the screen shots of our plate armor, now broken down by race and gender – courtesy of the ever digging MMO-Champion.

First, the ladies:

And now the gents:

Did you see it?  DID YOU?

Check out the Tauren models.  Blizzard finally put holes in the helmet for our horns.  I thought that Tier 8 would be the last time I would turn my helm graphic on.  Man, was I ever wrong.

Here’s hoping that this is the beginning of theme.  Elves and Trolls need some loving too.  Maybe dwarves.  Let’s face it, helms chop off and through a lot of things people took time or spent gold to customize.  It’s about time they gave us helms that actually let us show that off.



Tier 10 Set Bonus = Awesome
October 12, 2009, 10:50 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

So, now that we have a good sense of what the new Tier 10 set bonuses are, let me express a word of praise for the design of the Prot Warrior set bonuses:

  • 2 Pieces (Tank): Your Shield Slam and Shockwave abilities deal 20% increased damage.
  • 4 Pieces (Tank): Your Bloodrage ability no longer costs health to use, and now causes you to absorb damage equal to 20% of your maximum health.

To provide some context, here are Tier 8 and Tier 9

  • 2 Pieces (Tank): Increases the critical strike chance of your Devastate ability by 10%.
  • 4 Pieces (Tank): Shield Block also grants you 20% reduction to magical damage taken.
  • 2 Pieces (Tank): Decreases the cooldown on your Taunt ability by 2 sec and increases the damage done by your Devastate ability by 5%.
  • 4 Pieces (Tank): Decreases the cooldown on your Shield Block ability by 10 sec.
  • It is fairly easy to see the pattern here.  The 2-piece set bonus is always something that generally increases threat.  It’s hard to argue with something so basic and functional – though never something to write home about – not unlike getting that 3rd rank in Incite.  By contrast, the 4-piece bonus is like an extra glyph slot, some secret new functionality to an already useful ability.

    I’ve already talked about how I love the functionality of the Tier 8 4-piece bonus.  I’ll not mince words, however, about the Tier 9 bonus.  It’s terrible.  Sure, you could pop Shield Block every 20 seconds for the bonus to your shield slam, but from a defensive point of view it adds no particular functionality because Shield Block is such a weak cooldown.  The 2-piece bonus is actually even worse, in some ways, because Taunt has become so handicapped.

    With that in mind, the Tier 10 4-piece bonus is a really awesome addition to the Warrior repertoire.  Assuming the continued growth in health pools, it’s easy to imagine being able to produce a shield that can absorb 10k  worth of damage every 30 seconds.  That’s magic damage.  That’s physical damage.  It’s a lot of little hits.  It’s a good chunk off of a large hit.  I suspect it will stack with healer damage absorption. It scales very well with your gear.  It’s hard to imagine a situation where this wouldn’t be useful, and easy to imagine a situation where it would be very useful (I’m thinking Heroic Gormok the Impaler here).

    Now, bear in mind, these things have a way of changing on the PTR, so take this with a grain of salt.  But until then, there’s something to smile about warriors – this is probably our best protection set-bonus yet.



    It’s a Boar!
    October 9, 2009, 12:01 am
    Filed under: Gear, Humor | Tags: , , ,

    I personally thing that the new Tier 10 looks awesome.  As far as the texturing goes, it probably looks more like actual armor than most of the tier sets.  There are some things I am sure we could quibble about, the fact that once again the Horde (red) version looks infinitely cooler than the Alliance version (blue).  I just have one small, teensy problem.

    I’m going to have to be correcting people about the animal on the shoulders.

    It’s not a pig.  It’s a boar.

    You might want to practice saying it in the mirror, because it would seem that you’re going to be saying it for some time to come – or something like it.  Apparently Blizzard has this crazy idea that Warriors should not have animals on their shoulders that could be un-ambiguously wild.  First it was the Sheep/Goat/Ram thing.  Now we have the Pig/Boar thing.  What are we doing here?  Putting on a production of Animal Farm?  Seriously folks.

    Druids?  Nothing ambiguous about stags or moose.

    Shamans?  Nothing ambiguous about wolves.

    Hunters?  Nothing ambiguous about anything.  Remember the giant blinking eyes on their shoulders?

    But Warriors?  We can’t even get a predator on our shoulders, let alone something that’s unabashedly un-domesticated.

    So here’s some future inspiration Blizzard:  How about something that makes us look like a Bear?  Hell, even a badger would be preferably unambiguous, if probably stupid looking considering who is designing it.  Or, you know what, how about no animals what-so-ever.  History is replete with awesome looking examples of plate armor that have no animal symbolism.

    I’m not picky, my blue worded friends.  All I want is armor that doesn’t leave me open to ridicule.  They have focus groups for this, but I’m sure if you just asked Ratshag he would be happy to inform you that there’s a pig on the shoulders.  What can I say?  The orc has taste.

    I suppose at least I don’t have to worry about Saurfang eating me.  Not that I wouldn’t wipe ten thousand times over just to have a chance to fight by the side of the greatest warrior who ever lived.

    Oh wait. I do.

    Man I love being Horde. Sometimes you really need pity the Alliance.  You all miss so much awesome, it’s not even funny.



    Breaking: Warrior Tier 10 revealed
    October 7, 2009, 9:25 pm
    Filed under: Gear, Media, News | Tags: , ,

    Courtesy of MMO Champion, once again!

    Update: 8:16 AM EST – But wait!  There’s More!




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