Tanking for Dummies


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.

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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.



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.



Rotface is one ugly fight
January 18, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy, Stupid Tanking | Tags: ,

We have been wiping on Rotface enough that I feel like I have a pretty good idea of the way this fight is supposed to work.  I will say, however, that I don’t feel like we’re particularly any closer to beating him because of it.  Let me tell you, tank boys and girls, Rotface is one ugly bastard.

In this drama, I play the tank with the easier job – actually tanking Rotface.  Now, he can melee pretty hard, but mainly My job is to keep him in the middle of the room, and play monkey in the middle with him and the DPS.  By that, I mean that when he sprays, the DPS runs behind him, and right before he goes back to melee I step in front of him.  It keeps the DPS up by making them move only the once.

The harder job in this fight goes to a Paladin tank, kiting the big slime around the room.  There are several reasons for this:  First and most importantly is it gives the kiting tank control of dispelling Mutated Infection.  Second, Paladins have quite good ranged threat capacity. And Third, should it be necessary, the Paladin can use Blessing of Freedom to run through the green slime pools without be slowed down.

We have this execution down really well, we on the tank team.  Yet, despite this, the following problems occur:

  • A shaman (generally) pulls healing threat on the small slime that spawns right after Mutated Infection is dispelled, resulting in a small slime in the raid.  Supposedly, this is impossible, but I’ve seen it often enough to know that this is not really true.
  • Same as above, but as the result of the mutated infection victim dying.
  • During the Unstable Ooze Explosion, we run out too early, spreading the explosion way too far and killing people.
  • Same as above, but too late and getting people with lag killed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we can execute this dance of death repeatedly without incident very very often.  However, the major block for us right now is the fact that each time the dance gets a little faster (and hence, the above conditions happen more often) and eventually it nails us.

And here is the clincher after a fashion:

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.(Source)

We have a limited time to do this with our pride as raiders intact.  Now, my understanding is that this won’t start up until after the Lich King is available – but if we’re stuck trying to get to Putricide until after that buff goes off – it is going to hurt.



Nerf News (or, in case you missed it)
January 13, 2010, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Advice for Non Tanks, Analysis, News | Tags: , , ,

Ghostcrawler

It should be noted that we have been warned about some potential in-coming nerfs to Protection Warriors.  You may read certain choice responses here, here, and here (reply #385).  In case you missed the information involved , allow me to get you up to date (from oldest to newest):

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An Exciting Opportunity
January 11, 2010, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Humor | Tags: ,

Do you suffer from bouts of extreme anger?

Does your red meter feel bloated or full?

Does your usual regimen of Devastate or Shield Slam just not do it for you anymore?

If any of these symptoms describes you, or you have ever felt the sudden urge to crush the cell phone you have bought for your significant other*, you may suffer from a common Warrior condition known as WTMR°.  The causes for this condition vary, from glyphs to spec, to traumatic brain injury.  But no matter the cause of your WTMR, there is hope.

My name is Dr. Tarsus Grimtotem, and though I am not an actual doctor I play one on Television.  Actually, no, I don’t even play one on television, I am just wearing a white lab coat and appear trustworthy.  Either way, I am totally qualified to inform you about an exciting new treatment for WTMR: Heroicstrikacin¹.  Unlike other available treatments for WTMR, Heroicstrikacin doesn’t eat your global cooldown, so you will be ready for that taunt whenever the opportunity arises.  Better yet, Heroicstrikacin doesn’t require a prescription, meaning you can use it whenever the need arises.  It contains no harsh chemicals, and relies solely on wholesome natural processes to relieve your WTMR.  In clinical trials, Heroicstrikacin was show to reduce WTMR by up to 100%.  You can try Heroicstrikacin for free for up to 10 days by visiting this website.

You should not use Heroicstrikacin in low rage environments to avoid having dead healers.  Side effects include mood swings, inability to use other tanking abilities, and painful debilitating hand injuries.  Should you experience any of these effects under the influence of Heroicstrikacin, you should immediately seek medical attention.

If you cannot afford your medications, Blizzard Pharmaceuticals may be able to help.  Actually, no they won’t, but we can always hope they will pay for your subscription.  Er.  Prescription.

* Observed in clinical testing.

° Way Too Much Rage

¹ Generic Name: Heroic Strike



The next Stupid Tank could be you!
January 6, 2010, 2:29 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Well, ladies and gentlemen of all shapes sizes and colors – I finally have the opportunity that you all have been waiting for:

Axiom needs a new Tank to add to the roster.

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