Tanking for Dummies


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?

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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.



I don’t want to run ToC 10 (dammit)
December 2, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Rants | Tags: , , , , , ,

In case it hasn’t been said enough on the WoW Blog-o-sphere, I’m going to add to the chorus my own voice and say that I’m not the biggest fan of Trial of the Crusader.  I’ve hinted at this, but for the purpose of this bit of outrage I’m about to produce, it is key to acknowledge this openly.

I thought that I could get away with doing ToC only once a week in the interest of maintaining my gear progression.

I thought that this would be sufficient, seeing as I was also wiping for hours and hours on Trial of the Grand Crusader as well.

I was wrong.

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Making Sure Blizzard Knows New Character Models = Awesome
November 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Rants, Roleplaying | Tags: , , , , ,

In case you hadn’t heard, Blizzard seems to be mulling new character models for Cataclysm and Beyond.  I am hardly the first to remark on this, so I am going to cut to the chase:

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Review: Trial of the Crusader (Normal Mode)
August 28, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding, Rants | Tags: , ,

I’ve now had the distinct pleasure of running Trial of the Crusader on both 25-man and 10-man Normal modes, and though no one has faced down Anub’arak yet I think I can say with some confidence that the experience has been at least interesting thus far.

However, simply put, after working over Ulduar for several months and recently starting on several “Hard Modes” therin, I can’t help but feel something disturbing about the Trial of the Crusader raid experience.  Perhaps it is the speed of the boss-fights, or utter lack of trash, or the quality of the gear, but…

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Ulduar Journal: General “Just use a DK tank.”
June 5, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding, Rants | Tags: , , , ,

So much trash.

That is the first thing that I got from what we did on Vezax.  There is 7 pulls, Three of which are Mini-bosses of about the same level of difficulty as the Ancients in Freya’s area.  They don’t drop Emblem’s though, and that’s okay.  The ones that should drop the emblems are the 4 other pulls of NINE.  Did I mention there is only eight raid markers?  It was a good thing that I’m currently messing around with a dual-prot spec, so I could avoid accidentally dotting the sheep.  Not that this mattered much since the Death Knights did this anyway.  My god that first pull was so much death.  Especially one one of the rogue type mobs decided it would shadow step back to the start of the instance and start ganking healers when we tried to graveyard zerg it.

It works a bit better when your crowd control is working, but it still takes forever to clear, nearly an hour in our case.  As for Vezax himself…

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Blue Post Alert: Messing with Block
May 29, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Rants | Tags: , , , , ,

Ghostcrawler is at it again.  Now he is teasing us about Block:

Ghostcrawler

Ghostcrawler

Think about it this way.

Avoidance is good because it removes a lot of damage. Avoidance is bad because it is unpredictable. If you stack too much avoidance, you are likely to give your healers coronaries.

Mitigation (armor and straight damage reduction) is good because it’s consistent. As you all point out, you can start to learn how much a blow will actually do to you. Mitigation is bad, from a player’s perspective, because it can’t save you. If you have 10 health and dodge, you might live. If you have 10 health and hope your armor will save you… well, it won’t. You become the dreaded mana sponge because you are never avoiding damage completely.

Mitigation also has a risk from a design-perspective that when fights get too predictable they become too easy and unexciting. Imagine a tank with 75% damage reduction and no avoidance. You could calculate from the moment of the first attack whether you will survive the encounter. Heck, you might be able to not even heal the tank and know you’ll survive depending on the specific abilities used by the boss.

Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.

We don’t think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.

We also don’t think it’s necessary that every tank rely on avoidance, block and mitigation in equal amounts. They can’t get too far apart or someone will come to dominate for certain encounters, but we don’t think the tanks need to be completely homogenized to get what we want either.

If (to make up numbers) the DK and druid get hit for 20K every swing that hits, but the warrior and paladin get hit for 24K half the time and 16K half the time, then that seems like it would work. When the boss emoted that his big hit was coming, you could make sure you had your cooldown ready to guarantee a block.

So you’re looking at Block, eh?  Sort of like you’re looking at Heroic Strike?  I’ve got your number crabby.  That’s a discussion you started in February.  Where’s the beef?  Or, should I say, where’s the gumbo?

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