Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tips For New Tanks - Part 1

After running as dps behind a couple of "new tanks", players who are new to the tanking role, I thought I'd do a little write up on some tips and tricks for players new to tanking.

Yes it's true I'm going to pretend to be all wise and knowledgeable again, but please remember that I'm only pretending and that you could probably get better advice from hundreds of different sources. Also note that I am not very knowledgeable about the paladin class in regards to tanking.

Tips and Tricks.

1) Let your group know your new to the role: This is a big one since you are likely to be under geared if you're just starting tanking and this will significantly affect your TPS (threat per second). Letting your group know your new will give them the heads up that they may need to adjust their damage or healing out put.

2) Use your highest threat hit on the pull, and use it on your secondary target:
Non-Tanks tend to be trigger happy during the pull, casting unnecessary heals, dotting up mobs, sheeping just before you pull and generally making your life as a tank a living nightmare. So use a big threat hit to start the pull, and if you have two tank two mobs use it on the second on the kill order. This means that when that priest throws the heal before you hit your mobs your already targeting the one that's likely to run after him. If you have to tank three use it on the third on the kill order as this one will be getting the least of your attention during the fight. Warriors are limited to their ranged weapon, but I would recommend feral druids use Moonfire whenever possible to start a pull, and of course pally's have their holly Frisbee

3) Be Aware: Keep an eye on all cc'd mobs in case they break out and need to be brought under control again. A quick taunt on that mob and then switching back to your primary target usually allows the CC'er to do their job without getting squished, or worse your healer getting squished. Also keep an eye on loose casters as they just stand there even when attacking different targets. Is that frostbolt he just cast heading for you? If not then you need to get his attention again. Has someone in your party just died? If so do you need to pick up another mob that they were cc'ing? These are just some of the things you have to keep an eye on while tanking, so the more information you can have your UI show you the better.

4) Set you camera distance to maximum, and use it properly: This is all part of Being Aware. Setting your camera angle to maximum allows you to see as much of the fight as possible. By "use it properly" I mean turn your camera angle to where you can see as many of the mobs as possible, or where you can see the mobs most likely to cause trouble (these would include freeze trapped mobs and seduced mobs). If you have to back yourself into a corner for any reason, move your camera to directly above you. This will ensure that you have the best view possible in this difficult situation.

5) Share the love: When tanking multiple mobs it's very important that you don't leave any unattended for very long. One good way to do this is to move the tanked mobs away from the CC'd mobs and liberally use any multi target damaging ability you have, this would include cleave, Thunder Clap, Swipe, Consecration, and anything else that will hit more than one mob close to you. When tanking only two mobs a focus macro is very useful. To use this select your secondary target and type "/focus". This will set that mob as your focus. Then you select your primary target and every so often use this macro.

Warning: My macros are an ugly affair, please do better if possible.

/target focus
/cast Devastate

This will target the mob you set as your focus, cast devastate on it then return you to your main target. You can replace "devastate" with the name of any spell, Mangle for example. This just makes it easy to maintain threat on two mobs without losing track of your main target, something which is very easy to do

Thats all for this issue of "Tips for new tanks" stay tuned for the next edition where I will be covering Line of Sight Pulls, Moving Casters, Making Use of a Good Hunter (the rare beast that they are), The Time and Place For Thunderclap, and I might even throw in a couple more of my ugly macros especially the one for "on the fly" tanking.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.


steblack said...

hiya stunty.

quick question. whats crowd control?

Queue said...

thanks for the post. It's amazing how many tanks don't know to hit the last mob to be tanked first. When our pally started doing this, our guild really started rolling. Anyway, good advice thx stunty

Stuntyone said...


Crowd Control is that thing that under geared paladins, warriors and druids use to not go splat.


Cheers for the support and there is more on the way ... when I'm not feeling so lazy.

the vase said...

OOOh stunty! I have a much better macro for you!

/cast [target=focus] Devastate

This will throw a devastate on your focus, and you never change targets!

much more useful especially if your melee has some sort of assist macro and your the assist. WOuld hate that mage to brew up that pyroblast at the exact second you switched targets to put a little threat down.