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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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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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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Procs, twitch factor, and the Global Cooldown
April 22, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Rants, Talents | Tags: , , , ,

Allow me to begin with a caveat: I love the changes to protection in Wrath.

The increased damage?  Awesome.  AoE Tanking?  Hey, I love actually being invited to tank Heroics.  Shockwave?  You gotta love it for keeping trash from sneaking behind you.

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Wanted – More Shields!
April 13, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Rants | Tags: , ,

tars-shield

I don’t think I could ever love tanking on a Death Knight or a Druid in the same way I love tanking on my Warrior, and the reason is simple: I love shields.

I loved shields before 300 demonstrated to the world that shields are awesome.  It’s not just an implement of protection, it’s dangerous weapon.  The first time that someone strapped a block of wood or stretched hide to their arm for added defense was also the first time that someone smacked someone in the face with it.  Let’s be honest here – there is something just fantastic about that image that is almost as timeless as the idea of the Warrior.

I want to know why we don’t see it more.

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RNG, my ancient nemesis, we meet again.
March 23, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Raiding, Rants | Tags: , , , ,

Ghostcrawler has implied that Blizzard has an issue with RNG mechanics, at least as far as players are concerned.  I can understand this on principle: deciding the results of a battle by a roll of the dice is not a fair measure of skill.  I would imagine that this is the purpose of PvP.

That said,  I cannot help but notice that Blizzard has developed a kind of fetish for developing encounters dependent on randomness.  My frustration with this can perhaps only be matched by a priest caught in the sights of a mace-spec rogue.  I must inquire what bright mind in arguably one of the greatest game studios in the world thought this was a good idea.

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