View Full Version : Tanking Getting into the Groove - Building My Perfect Character

12-14-2009, 06:20 PM
Hey all. First I want to say thanks for this awesome website. Of all the WoW-related sites I've seen, this is definitely the snazziest and the easiest to navigate.

As a nub to the world of tank-type characters, WoW, MMORPGs, and online gaming in general, I have a bunch of questions with which you might be able to help. I'll start off with tanking-specific questions and then I'll move on to more general questions.

How brain-dead is tanking?
I'm in this to have fun, and there are certain things that might detract from the experience if I had to do them often enough. For instance, I can't handle arithmetic at all, so number crunching on the fly is out. I don't want to have to keep track of a billion different things either, because I'm almost certain my party'd wipe if that's my job. I have enough trouble just figuring out my key bindings. I can keep tabs on everybody if I have to take a leadership role, but I'd have to be sure that everyone's doing his/her job.

I basically need a character where I can do very few things and do them well. If a tank can do that, then more power to him. If not, then I'll give it a shot anyway.

What makes a good tank?
I've read a dozen guides and forum posts, and they all seem to say the same thing: "Compared to Class Y, Class X is a terrible tank." What's the scoop? My play style will probably be solo PvE until I'm ready to do heavy endgame stuff, so I need a class that can handle soloing without being grind-intensive, but is also first pick to go on a raid.

How often will I need to respec?
Obviously if I'm going from an efficient leveling spec to a tanking spec, I'll need to dish out at least once. But will a guild expect me to have a chunk of change on hand to respec two or three times a week? I can imagine it would be mighty expensive. Speaking of change:

How do I manage equipment?
I have a Tauren Warrior (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Nordrassil&n=Greyhoof) that I've been playing around with, but I don't quite have a grip on my gear expenditures. I've heard that tanks can be very high maintenance when it comes to upgrades. How much should I spend on gear? How long should it last me? Is it better to wait for a drop, or will upgrading my gear mean being able to afford the next upgrade that much faster?

When should I start looking for a guild?
I know about the benefits of joining a guild, but nobody ever mentions when a player should do it. Most recruiters say lvl 20+, is this sort of the standard? Also, is it acceptable to leave a leveling guild for one that's serious about raids? Are there guilds that do both?

How much attention should I give the AH?
When it comes to making money, I'm not exactly a maven. I know I can only grind for so long before I want to punch a baby monkey in the face. Is the Auction House the only other viable solution for conjuring coin? If I do play the Auction House, how long will it take to settle into a comfortable routine, and how much should I expect to invest before I start making sizable returns?

What's the proper way to establish a group for low-level questing?
In my experience with my rogue character, I've found that some quests are nearly impossible unless I have somebody watching my back. I don't know yet if it applies to tank-type classes, but if it does, how do I find people willing to go kill stuff with me?

Thanks for any advice you can give, and sorry for the wall of text. I hope to stick around for a bit and read some of the articles a bit more in-depth, so for a couple weeks at least, expect to see me around.

12-14-2009, 06:34 PM
You want to play a Paladin. Think of it as Fisher Price My First Tank. It's pretty simple to play, pretty fun and gets the job done very very well.

12-15-2009, 07:29 AM
Just my 2 cents about some of your questions :

How brain-dead is tanking?
There's a lot of things you will have to be paying attention to, ie : dps that go all trigger happy on a non-targetted mob or opens up to early, pats that pop up, poison clouds on the ground - u would have to move away enough that ur melee dps have space to keep hitting the mob behind, knowing the strats on the bosses and what gimmicky talents/abilities to use and when, the right time to use ur o s**t cds, and the list goes on and on.

If ur happy paying attention to all that or have no issues taking in all that then yes, its pretty much brain dead otherwise, u will need to focus, god knows i've wiped groups a couple of times when i lost focus albeit mostly in raids coz in heroics, dps either kills the mob too quickly (most of the time) or does less dmg than u that they will never pull off u.

What makes a good tank?
I would suggest playing each of the 4 tanking classes to about 20 to get a feel for it. all 4 classes have a different style for tanking and not all of them will meet ur playstyle.

How often will I need to respec?
There are cookie cutter specs - i would suggest starting with those and modifying them to fit ur own playstyle. there are also specs that are recommended for certain gimmicky fights - u dont need to use them but whether u want/have to switch to use it for one particular fight each week is really something that has to be dealt with between u and ur guild/whoever is running the raids

How do I manage equipment?Initial costs : if ur just starting out tanking and depending on how willing the ppl u run with (referring to guild here mostly) are to put up with the occasional dmg spikes - i would say minimal if theyre willing to carry u thru content to gear up (depends on how lucky u are to in terms of RNG) or to quite a bit if u want to go will all the top boe crafted gear available. there's a list somewhere on these boards that list starter gear that pretty cheaply obtained - i would suggest checking that out first.

in terms of upgrades - drops vs ah : it all depends really. unfortunately, most ppl have the concept in their minds that all tanks just come into being geared up and that anything under 25k hp is too low even for heroics -_-. i would say look in the ah but spend based on ur resources, otherwise grit ur teeth and just tank ur way past any comments made by snarky dps - pretty easy to gear up now anyways considering all heroics drop triumph which can be converted downwards to pick up rings/cloaks etc after u've picked up t9 minimum

u will probably notice that each time u get an upgrade, u'll be spending a minimum of 120g - 400g, depending on gems/enchants/item enhancements prices on servers.

How much attention should I give the AH?
see above

What's the proper way to establish a group for low-level questing?
IMO, if u get a decent rotation right in tank spec, u could prolly solo level quite a bit even if it might take a while to kill something especially elites

When should I start looking for a guild?
can't really advise on this one too much, been in my guild for the last 4 years and no plans on looking for another =P

not sure about ur server but on mine, there are a couple of guilds created specifically for levelling with the notion that once ur 80, u will probably leave to move on - their only criteria is that ur toon is actively played - u could try looking at joining one of those.

in regards to joining a raiding guild, u would have to check out their application processes although it seems like everyone and their uncle these days are lf members of new guild (guild spam in trade anyone?)

hope these answer ur questions - just bear in mind, this is just my opinion, i'm sure the others will be able to answer them with different viewpoints

12-15-2009, 07:44 AM
OK, I'll disagree with the poster above me in that I don't think you can get a feel for each of the class's tanking styles until around level 60 or so.

That said, based on all the things the OP mentioned, I think that a paladin is probably the way to go. It's been used here before, but I think that the comparison of an automatic transmission vs. a standard transmission applies well here. Paladins probably have the fewest things to juggle (though that's not to say they're complete easymode), so for someone who wants to keep track of fewer things at once, that's probably the way to go.

As far as gear upgrades, the simple rule is never buy anything off of the AH until you hit level 80. The prices on that gear are set for people who have level 80 characters and large stacks of money lying around to buy that stuff with. Since you probably don't have that kind of money yet, just don't buy. Selling, however, is awesome. Sell anything you can on the AH. Metal ores, herbs, leather, whatever you've collected.

As a tank, you should be able to get instance groups pretty easily. Practice tanking early and often. Learn what your threat moves are for tanking. If you're having trouble holding aggro, ask for advice early and often. When you ask, many people will probably help. If you don't, they'll likely just call you a noob and get pissed. Asking here is a great place to ask. The earlier you learn basic tanking, the easier it will be for you at higher levels.

If I were you, I'd get a guild as soon as possible. At low levels, you will likely be in a "levelling guild," which is awesome while levelling. It gives you a social context for the game. Find a guild that suits your personality, and don't be afraid to leave a guild if it doesn't, or even if it's just boring. At level 80, you'll want to move on to a guild that is made up mostly of level 80 players, doing heroics and raids.

Hope the advice helps.

12-15-2009, 08:07 AM
You want to play a Paladin. Think of it as Fisher Price My First Tank. It's pretty simple to play, pretty fun and gets the job done very very well.

As a paladin I want to be offended, but it's pretty much true. Once your fingers get used to the 96969 rotation, paladin tanking is a breeze. I hear druid tanking is similarly easy, while DK's and warriors have a tougher time (especially warriors).

All the tanks are pretty similar in effectiveness however, Blizzard has done a pretty good job with that. There are a few class discrepancies, but nothing major enough to make one class THE tanking class.

12-16-2009, 01:05 AM
Wow, thanks everybody for the detailed responses. I've had my eye on the Paladin for a while, but I didn't want to level a character to 80 and find out nobody wanted me. Maybe I'll see somebody around as I level. :)