View Full Version : Spec and Aggro help?

07-31-2007, 06:48 AM
My guild is currently working on Karazhan, we've killed everything except Netherspite and Nightbane so far. Our MT quit about two weeks ago to go to another guild, so I'm taking over now. One of the problems that I've had has been building 'fast aggro'.

I respecced from Old Spec to New Spec last night to try to help with getting aggro faster and taking a bit less damage. The only major changes I made to the mitigation side of things were to remove some points from Anticipation (still leaving my defense over 500) and Improved Defensive, but it seemed like I was taking a lot more damage on normal melee than I'm used to and still stuck at about 300 TPS. I did change out two of my Enduring Talasite gems for +8 hit gems, but that didn't seem to do much either. Any thoughts?

07-31-2007, 07:00 AM
The spec isnt to bad, but you have alot of points spread out in places where they are probably not needed. If your main issue is agro and only agro I think its partially because of your gear. You need lots of upgrades in lots of places. Mainly your shield block value is probably really low, if you can raise that some you should be able to raise your tps. The second thing is, what abilities do you use and in what order when you start tanking that plays a good part in how much tps you build.

07-31-2007, 07:21 AM
I'm currently MT'ing kara - for a guild at a similar stage to you. Your spec looks fairly standard - some points (improved sunder, anger management, imp demo shout) are a question of play style and preference. My only piece of advice is that if nightbane is on your list of things to tank soon, is to put 3/3 in Tactical Mastery for stance dancing the fears. I dont normally have those points but very useful against nightbane.

07-31-2007, 07:35 AM
Yeah, I know the gear isn't great. I haven't been lucky with drops at all, just got my T4 gloves last week :rolleyes: Usually I start trying to get SS and then a couple sunders, then mix SS and Revenge when they're up, and Dev and HS when they're not. I thought one of the issues was my +hit, since I was missing about 17% during the last Prince attempts we made according to the RL (was before I had the mod to tell) That's one reason I changed out some of my +def/sta gems for +hit

07-31-2007, 07:41 AM
When I'm tanking I use an ability hierarchy list almost, it goes:
Shield Slam > Revenge > Sunder/Devastate and always throw in Heroic Strikes when you have the rage.

07-31-2007, 07:56 AM
Some basic things to help with would be
- Make sure you are doing the initail pull
- Use Bloodrage right after the pull has started
- If single target, start off with a SS
- If multiple targets, start off with a thunderclap (then follow up with SS on main target)
- follow the stardard hierarchy as posted earlier, but make sure you are using Sheild Block every single time you can, This helps to midigate damage and keep revenge lit for extra threat.

Other then that it takes pratice - run some heroics and pratice the order and timing, try doing runs without using SS to better get the feel and timing down of the base threat skills

Good Luck with Kara and Happy tanking

07-31-2007, 08:30 AM
Thanks for the advice :) I've been tanking stuff for awhile and have been the OT in Karazhan for a couple months. I have the order pretty well settled, I'm just trying to figure out what I'm not doing that I could be to gather more TPS other than new gear.

07-31-2007, 08:42 AM
The 17% probably includes dodges and parries, which you can't do anything about until you can increase your +weapon skill. The miss part you only need to bump up by ~5% (5.6% to cap) to virtually eliminate misses.

As far as consistent aggro generation, most people use a 6 second, 5 skill rotation. SS>SB&Rev>Dev>Dev. Just remember to weave in HS whenever rage allows.

07-31-2007, 09:01 AM
I think part of my problem may be mashing too many buttons too fast, heh. Another part may be that I have way too many mods running for my own good. I'm using the Mazzle UI because it had a ton of things that I loved, but I'm thinking of severely paring it down to see if maybe some of the issue is latency. I seemed to have a problem getting things like Demo Shout to actually work last night no matter how many times I clicked :(

07-31-2007, 09:02 AM
Yeh, the difference between 300 tps and 1k tps, are 2 factors most of the time if you have a consistent rotation.

1) Not enough Shield Block Value, what is yours? and what kinda #'s do you see when you shield slam? A front loaded Auto-blocker Shield Slam Crit should front load 3k+ threat off the bat.

2) Not enough heroic strikes. Heroic strike is a very fast way to generate threat when your other abilities are on cooldown. My heroic strike damage is always in my top 3 damage outputs normally moving back and forth between normal hits, shield slams, and heroic strikes. Devastates and revenges follow after.

If you are mashing too many buttons, check out the Macro's Sticky in one of these forums, it has lots of valuable information on macros =]

07-31-2007, 09:16 AM
I seemed to have a problem getting things like Demo Shout to actually work last night no matter how many times I clicked :(

Was it on Prince phase 2? I swear he's immune during phase 2. So many resists.

07-31-2007, 09:44 AM
lol, yeh, i've noticed he likes to resist on phase 2 too. Hit your adamantite trinket, drink your stoneshield pots, mash shield block, and just pray lol.

07-31-2007, 10:04 AM
One thing about Demo and TC

If you get to a point where he resists it outside of your normal rotation on it, let a secondary warrior take care of re applying it (I usually give mine a secondary attempt after anotehr 6 second rotation)

When you attempt to apply demo and tc, you lose alot of threat and you run the risk of losing aggro if the DPSers are close

07-31-2007, 10:11 AM
Was in Gruul's last night with a joint raid, not Kara, but that that would explain it. When we do Prince, we only use one tank so there's no one else to apply the stuff, heh.

I'm not sure what my current SBV is honestly. Adding it up from the Armory page, it's about 85. I was focusing on Avoidance as that was the suggestion of our previous MT, but I think after reading a lot of the posts here that maybe I'm going the wrong way with it and I should be looking over my gear, gems and enchants again.

07-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Well its not that you want to go one way or the other, you really should go both ways

Some gear offers alot of advoidance while some is stam/armor - there is a balance to be found

Try getting your BV up so you can put out more threat so the DPSers can put out more DPS, then work back from there

07-31-2007, 10:33 AM
yeh, armory wise, its easy to calculate your SBV.

Str / 20 = sbv from str
Block from shield = sbv from shield
all other +shield block value gear = sbv from gear.

Add it all up. :] You shouldn't sit much lower than 300 in raiding gear. I like to push mine to 450 to help with threat.

07-31-2007, 11:10 AM
OK, well, that's horrifyingly bad and probably a large part of my problem then, since I'm sitting right now at about 185. Time to dig back out that block gear, heh.

07-31-2007, 11:20 AM
OK, well, that's horrifyingly bad and probably a large part of my problem then, since I'm sitting right now at about 185. Time to dig back out that block gear, heh.

I doubt it's that low. Try going up to an elite mob and hit shield block. That's the easiest way to test your SBV.

07-31-2007, 11:28 AM
I think that the last time I was blocking in Karazhan I was blocking about 283 damage or so, but I'll check before raid starts tonight if possible. I've got some gear pieces to change out too thought that will up it from what it's currently at. I really appreciate all of you taking the time to answer these questions for me :)

07-31-2007, 02:40 PM
I have a couple quick pieces of advice :)

A. Your shield block value is low; I did a quick analysis and saw about 213.5 (adding the 30% from S-spec), which is one point.

B. I could assume that you use devastate alot; and I also am going to assume that your devastate strikes are less than 200 damage. If this is true; then drop devastate immediately. Most tanks make this mistake routinely; if your damage from devastate does not surpass 200, then you are not doing more threat than sunder armor, and you are wasting rage as well. If you are hitting for more than 200 then read on..

C. Your cycle of abilities should be as follows:
Shield Slam, Revenge, Heroic Strike, then Sunder or Devastate. A common misconception for tanks is NOT to use HS only when rage is abundant, this is not true. HS is one of the most Rage efficient (9 rage talented), and most powerful threat builders because of its innate 196 threat base + damage threat easily push this ability off the chart in comparison to Devastate. If you consider some math:
base devastate 101 threat + 200 avg dmg=301 threat for 12 rage
base Rank 10 HS 196 threat + 176 + 200 avg dmg= 572 threat for 9 rage(not including actual hit modifiers such as weapon speed)

With a weapon like the Fireguard and your +hit, you should be easily achieving 500+ HS strikes which is more rage efficient and more threat than devastate. If your devastate is not higher than your Heroic strike, but is higher than sunder Devastate should only be used to reapply sunders, or when SS, Revenge, and HS are used already.

D. Start your boss fights with popping zerker rage; then blood rage as you enter, and then immediately follow with a Shield slam, and then Revenge, HS, Sunder as they come up. (with shield block, TC, Demo as necessary)

E. Place a shaman in your group for windfury; this will immediately increase your threat through damage. (For free)

F. Buffs, either Totem, Blessing, Potion, Magic, etc. will all help as well. Remember increasing your damage increases your threat.

07-31-2007, 03:08 PM
HS cost you more than 9 rage. You are forgetting the rage you lost from your HS eating your white swing.

07-31-2007, 03:43 PM
Actually I didn't....you are correct that because no white hit = no rage generation, however neither does devastate, ss, revenge,etc.......

Point is; if you choose to spend 12 rage on a devastate with paultry threat over HS, you are making a mistake. Don't take my word for it; test it yourself. In this OP's case this is definitely the case.

Btw, I spam HS, am never aged starved; and constantly ask my DPS'ers to pour it on :)

07-31-2007, 04:06 PM
Some quick math.

Assume 10 white swings with 1.6 speed weapon = 16 seconds. Y rage gained. X threat gained.

1) HSx10 and zero white swings = 90 + Y rage used. 1960 (innate) + 1760 (bonus damage) + X (white) threat

2) Devastex10 and 10 white swings = 120 rage - Y rage used. 1010 (innate) + 1750 (bonus damage) + X/2 (devastate damage) + X (white) threat

The rage breaking point is 1.5 rage per swing. Unless you're generating less than 1.5 rage per swing, devastate is more efficient.

The threat breaking point is 146.5 threat per swing. Unless you are generating less than 146.5 threat per swing, devastate is again, more efficient.

Can someone double check that?

07-31-2007, 04:34 PM
that looks good Wartorn.

and to maintank, your assumption about devastate/ss/revenge/ not generating white rage gen is wrong. heroic strike consumes your next white hit, and replaces it with a heroic strike. All of the ones you listed don't consume your white it, and instead just instant attack inbetween your white hits. THAT is where devastate outdoes heroic strike, because you can still GENERATE rate, while devastating, but with heroic strike, it is physically impossible to generate rage from attacking.

07-31-2007, 07:27 PM
I make no assumptions; btw, I understand completely how things work.

Remember the OP is talking about generating quick threat....using devastate is not going to do that unless your devastate damage is 200+ normal.

Point 2, all this talk about white hits is great; but tanking is not absolute in the sense that in your "120" rage bar you can have 12 white hits and 12 devastates :) That would require an additional 4 more heroic strikes ;) added to your math, and lets also be realistic in the sense that in a boss fight white hits + devastate is not what you are always doing. In between them you are using revenge, ss, tc, demo, etc....again, the point is threat generation, not overall efficiency. Efficiency is nice, but rage efficiency and high threat are not always a direct reflection of each other.

In the OP's case, I suspect his Devastate is the issue, more than likely he does not support 300+ overall threat devastates, and is using 12 rage to burn em as well.

*My point about devastate is not that its a tool no one should use, however it is a tool that has prerequisites prior to use. I.E. doing more than 200 per hit with devastate, and knowing when to use it. It is not a spam type ability like everyone portrays unless you are hitting for 350+ on each hit, then by all means, go to town. But leaving rage on the table IMO is horrible, and HS is a great threat builder, and in heavy aggro fights it is even more important.

07-31-2007, 08:34 PM
Btw, there are flaws in your math :)

You assume 10 Devastates; not possible. 100 Rage is my limit, as is yours :)

Lets do some math:

1. 100 rage bar as standard

2. 200 damage average white hit

3. No crits

4. No armor, misses, etc.

I'll pull a page from previous examples I used w/Impale, then show the total threat gained and rage generated.

-Devastate- (12 rage base damage will include 5 sunders and 200 base weapon damage: Formula is W ÷ 2 + 35 × S=
200/2 + 35x5= 275)
Base damage in defensive stance: 247.5

Base threat from Devastate: 101

Threat Total Combined from base threat + damage modifiers: 247.5 + 101= 348.5
Threat per rage point: 29

Threat Total for SUNDER ARMOR: 301
Threat per rage point:(minimum 10 rage sunder- 2 Imp. Sunder + Focused Rage) 30.1 (33.4 with 3/3 Imp. Sunder)

-Heroic Strike- (Rank 9 base 200 weapon damage + 176 for 9 rage)
Base damage in defensive stance: 338.4
Base threat from Heroic Strike: 196

Threat Total Combined from base threat + damage modifiers: 338.4 + 196= 534.6
Threat per rage point: 59.3


So lets show the hits shall we:

10 Heroic Strikes
= 90 Rage used
= 534.6 per hit(using model from above-total threat including damage and defensive stance modifiers)
= 59.3 threat per rage
= 5346 total threat (534.6 * 10)

8 Devastates
=96 Rage used
=348.5 per hit (using model from above-total threat including damage and defensive stance modifiers)
=29.04 threat per rage
=2788 total threat (348.5 * 8)

8 white hits (assuming you get all 8)
= 0 rage used
=200 per hit
=200 threat per hit
=43.6 rage generated (1600 *7.5/274.7=43.6)
=5.46 per white hit generated
=1600 threat total (200 *8)

HS threat total= 5346
White hits + Devastate threat total= 4388

In reality, this model is not accurate, because we assume only 100 rage as an absolute, in a dynamic boss fight, other variables considered into this model would dramatically alter the overall outcome. In some cases more rage efficiency is the outcome, in others more threat...

Remember too, your argument is that we use only HS (a next weapon attack ability), and no other instant. I could argue that I use revenge, ss, tc or any other ability + HS, while you use devastate + white hits. :)

Simple hard and fast rule is; if you have the rage, use a high threat ability first. More threat on your behalf=higher DPS ceiling for your group.

07-31-2007, 09:19 PM
We just finished the first night of Kara tonight, clearing Attumen to Curator, and I generated probably double the threat that I usually do thanks to the suggestions you all posted. I traded out a few gear pieces to go for Mitigation instead of Avoidance, and exchanged a few gems. Also, I did make a couple more adjustments to my spec, I did without Dev, though that wasn't really intentional, heh. Was sitting at roughly 600-700 TPS instead of my normal 300-400. Thanks a ton for all the suggestions. :) Please feel free to let me know anything else that may help.

08-01-2007, 09:21 AM
Sounds like a huge improvement, 600-700 is standard, anything beyond that is just infinite rage situations, really well defined macros, and high SBV gear. with 600-700 TPS your guild should be able to "open up" relatively well.

Glad to hear you're doing better now =P

08-01-2007, 03:05 PM
I make no assumptions; btw, I understand completely how things work.

You don't understand.

My example was over 16 seconds of combat using only HS or only Devastates, apples and apples. The math shows that devastate + white hits is more rage efficient if you get 1.5 rage in return per white hit. It also show that devastate + white hit creates more threat in the same amount of time if your white hits generate more than 150 threat. Your example uses 16 seconds combat for HS spam and only 12 seconds for devastate + white attack. If you are going to compare the two, you have to have the same basis.

You are right about one thing, HS does generate more threat than devastate as an individual skill. However, you continue to ignore that HS and white attacks are on the same timer. Therefore you need to subtract the white threat from HS, which significantly lowers its actual threat benefits.

In summary, HS adds ~360 threat for ~13 rage to your white swing (usually 1.6 seconds), which is ~225TPS @ 27.7 TPR. Devastate adds ~350 threat for 12 rage per 1.5 seconds, which is ~233TPS @ 29 TPR. That was assuming your white hits are 150. The harder you hit, the better devastate becomes, and the worse HS becomes.