Thursday, January 24, 2008


A decision has been made ... No not the one alluded to in the previous post, but one about this blog.

Here It Is

I will not be making any "how to tank" posts, instead I shall be placing little gems of wisdom in amongst posts like the previous one.

There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that I just tried to make one and I felt like a complete prat :( . Another is that those type of posts are boring to read ... big wall of text and no real enjoyment from reading them (for most people anyway).

Most people don't want to slog through pages of text, calculus and colour coded graph's just to find out that they need 490 defense rating to become un-critable (when I found this out I went and checked my defense rating, then inwardly groaned, no wonder the last healer before that said I was taking an awful lot of damage).

Anyway if, like me, you want the big walls of text with calculus and colour coded graph's I suggest you go to the Elitist Jerks forum these guys can supply that in huge quantities. Although while I'm not good at theory crafting, I do appreciate it, and like to know why I should have things like 490 defense. So for anyone like me Elitist Jerks are the dogs you know what.


You know what they say about speaking too soon, well I start this blog and gripe about non-tanks then I go and put my large, plate shod, dwarven foot in it.

Allow me to enlighten you.

The Story.

I had a great pug today. This is strange in itself because I almost never pug (one too many bad experiences), yet today I puged Heroic Slave Pens because a guildie was asking if anyone wanted to come and I trusted his ability to preform well in a heroic (he's the best hunter I know to be honest). We ended up with the Hunter (BM), 2 combat Rogues, a holy/disc Priest and Me.

Anyway there we were tearing through the trash with no mistakes and completely owned the first boss. Then I type to the group "brb just need a quick ciggy", we were making good time in the dungeon and thought everyone could do with a quick breather. So I go off and have my ciggy come back, let everyone know I'm back, then pull the already marked mobs (2 man pull 1 cc one tank).

Has anyone spotted the mistake in this sequence of events?

Something missing prehaps?

Thats right well done 5 tanking brownie points to you.

I never asked if they were ready. Next thing you know the second mob peals off heading behind me, as it should as it was marked to be freeze trapped, however instead of going into the hunters trap like a good boy it goes and squishes our priest ... /wipe, and I'm lying face down wondering what the hell had happened. From that comment can anyone point out my second mistake?


Anyone at all?

YES thats right I had not turned my camera angle so that I could keep an eye on what was happening behind me. /Facepalm.

It turns out that my hunter guildie was busy typing to someone in whisper when I pulled and only realizes whats happening when our healer goes splat. This leaves me in the position of apologizing profusely to everyone in the group, and promising that it wont happen again. I even offered to contribute 5G towards each of their repair bills, so horrific was my mistake (they all refused and were very good natured about the whole thing. So if you happen to read this, thank you).

What can I say? I was totally self-owned.

All Is Not Lost

I can however alleviate some of my guilt over this by blaming it on the hunter (This is a guild tradition where any hunter in the group automatically gets the blame for any wipe, especially when it's clear they had nothing to do with it. If no hunter is in the group we simply blame one who happens to be online at the time).

There is however more than mere prejudice for this 1) My hunter friend had commented before I got back that "Everything was going well", thereby jinxing us, 2) He was marking and he had marked one of the mobs for him to trap when they were immune to CC (tenuous I know but there you have it).

Also there were two more wipes, one caused by one of the rogues forgetting he was not stealthed when approaching a mob to sap, the other caused by the same rogues UI going mad and confusing several of his buttons, the problem being his distract button became his throw button :(.

I blame patches, I know they usually sent my UI into fits as I'm addicted to mods and almost non of my UI is original.

In the end though we one-shotted all the bosses (only trash wipes) and I completed my daily heroic quest which I had been saving making a total of 5 juicy Badges of justice. On another note I'm not sure whether to blow some of my badges on that lovely tanking ring or continue to save them for the pants. Decisions make my brain hurt so I will put this one off for now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Personal Gripe.


You will hear me blather on and on about these nasty, tank bashing, inconsiderate people.

There are those out there that are not a tanking class or have never played their tanking spec and yet full understand the needs of a tank. These people get a big thumbs up, many tank brown points (to be used against any genuine mistakes), and an honorary tank membership from me. As such they do not fall into this category.

To my knowledge there are two category's of non-tank, the first being the Dps Junky.
Sounds familiar?
It should as there are so many of them, the power mad mage that just doesn't want to let you pull or that wont understand that big crits mean big threat, the over eager rogue that attacks your target right before you can hit it, the crazy hunter with the pet on growl, the crit happy Boomkin that just wont slow down, and my favorite ... the dps warrior who thinks he's the tank.

The second is the "Healing causes threat?" healer. You will hear me later go on about treating your healer with respect, but the reverse is also true. You will find healers that slap a big heal on you right after you Bloodrage and wonder why all the mobs ran right for them. The healer that even when space allows stands right next to the combat healing his butt off not realizing that getting a little more space increases the amount of threat needed to take a mob off you.

Dealing with the Non-tank:

What should we do when we encounter these people?
Well the thing we don't do is fly off the handle calling them noobs or start the whole L2P thing. this just makes you look the complete prick and destroys any respect the party had for you to start with.
What we do is wait until the fight (or wipe) is over then start the conversation with...
"If you don't mind I have a suggestion." or similar phrase (and if it was a wipe you will be amazed at how readily people will listen).
You then continue with ...
"Well if you were to (Insert appropriate piece of advice here) it would help me maintain aggro."
Never ever accuse people ... especially if they did wrong, this will make them defensive and less likely to accept advice. By all means point out their mistakes, but in a nice way and add a smilie face to take the sting out of it.

Ok you've been nice, you've made your suggestions and they still repeat their mistakes?
Now we have a problem, as I see it you have two options 1) Put up with it and do your best then avoid grouping with them again, 2) Give them an objective lesson in aggro management.
No.2 Means letting them take the aggro, then letting them die, recovering it and finishing the pull in full control. Thus showing them (with a large repair bill) that they "done did wrong". This requires you to have full confidence in your ability to regain control of the situation, and be a bit spiteful.


This is not me giving you a license to boss everyone around, and make d@mn sure that it was them that was at fault and not you (otherwise you just look like a complete @sshat).

Remember that if they realize their mistake and apologize you need not go through any of the Dealing with the non-tank steps you just keep quiet, give 'em some tank brownie points for owning up to it and check another tick on their honorary tank membership form.

Also remember that making multiple but different mistakes is allowed. Often people wont know that something is done right until they do it wrong.

What Warriors Should Know.

When I was asked to spec protection by my guild I had very little tanking experience and I wish to impart all the things I wish I had known when starting out.

Over the next few weeks I hope to be posting all I know about being a warrior. I don't claim to be THE authority on all things warrior or even that everything I post will be 100% correct (We all make mistakes). Now with that disclaimer out of the way on to business.

The topics I shall be covering are (these will be Initially from a tank perspective):
  • Know your group.
  • Treat your healer with respect.
  • Tanking styles.
  • The Pull. (It deserves the capitals).
  • Communication within a group.
  • Your user interface.
  • Leading from the front.
  • 5 man instance tanking as arms.
These will be done in no particular order. Also I shall almost certainly not be covering an entire topic in one go, or even in consecutive posts. There will also be other posts regarding gear and stats, but these are things you can find from a dozen different sources. What I wish to impart are those things I had to find out by trail and error and talking to other (better) tanks. Plus there will be some completely random things thrown in ... In fact I think I'll start with one of those.