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View Full Version : Tanking Basic Tanking 101 help needed please.



Aitch
12-22-2009, 04:43 AM
Hi I'm very new to tanking. until now I've only done content with 2 friends, and so we have casually 3 manned our way through older content. So I've never really seen how a tank should operate in groups.

Now with the /lfd tool I'm trying to tank for 5 man normal dungeons.

I'm a level 80 Frost DK and here is my Armory sheet The World of Warcraft Armory (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Jaedenar&n=Aitch)

I have read Cider's easy 540 defense guide and managed to reach that.

I've also read Satorri's scomprehensive DK guide.

The problem that I've got is that all the guides/info on this site assume a level of knowledge that I don't have.

So I have the following newbie questions.

1. How do you prioritise which mob to kill first in a group? I generally will tank a caster first as it's easier to see a melee mob run off and attack someone than a caster send fireballs off.

2. When fighting a boss with adds should I grab agro on everything and stick to the boss and let the group take down the adds, or should I agro everything and work my way through the adds first?

3. Do you announce pulls when in random groups? With my freinds we talk on skype and so it's never been an issue but in random groups I'm not sure on what the correct etiquette is. If you do announce your pulls do you use a macro and if so what is it?

4. What is a good way to switch mobs in a fight? I currently click but is tabbing a better method? Clicking seems faster and more accurate, but can be tricky when you've got a group of mobs clustered around you.

5. Addons - For tanking I currently use Omen, recount, runewatch. Are there any other that you would recommend.

6. DPS - I've noticed in some groups that I top the DPS Meter, and in others I'm 4th just above the healer. Is this normal? The groups where I'm 4th has usually been with people who appear (to my eyes) to be raid specced. So they out DPS, me but I'm still holding agro.

7. Do you have any pieces of information - that every tank should know? Please assume that I'm clueless, because I'm sure some of the groups I've been in think I am :D

Thanks in advance.

Aitch.

Trork
12-22-2009, 05:59 AM
Hi there :-)

To start off, I would like to point some thing out on your talents.
They are alright atm, but I would remove acclimation and hungering could, and place those two points in Epidemic on the unholy tree, having diseases longer on adds is good. You could also add them to Morbidity, so you don't have that big of a CD on DnD, which is very helpfull in tanking in heroics.

now to your questions:


You should first kill adds with mana, cause if they stay out of your AoE range, they will go for the healer. If there is a add that does some sort of WhirlWind or any other sort of AoE, you should kill these first.
When theres a boss with adds on, I target the boss and do my normal AoE rotation, if one of the mobs is about to or have changed target, I taunt him off and hit him a bit, then back to boss even though that hardly ever happens. There is a very nice addon that shows u which adds are about to get loose, or are loose, its called Tidy Plates (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info13674-TidyPlates.html) and Tidy Threat Plates (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info14984-TidyPlatesThreatPlates.html), and remember to have the name plates out at all times by pressing "V".
You can mark your adds, there is a very nice marking addon for it. You can download it here (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info5353-SimpleRaidTargetIcons.html). (it works even though it says its out-dated, there are other addons out there, but this one works best for me, ctrl+left click on add).
I usually click on the name plates. When I change adds, I either go for those about to get loose (which I can see with the threat plate addon I mentioned on question 2) or the one with most HP.
Besides the addons I have mentioned so far, you should also get EventAlert. (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info9592-EventAlert.html) Since you are a frost tank, and you depend alot on your Killing Machine, Rime and Rune Strike procs. It will show on your screen when you have a proc, so if KM procs, you know u gotta use Frost Strike, or if Rime procs, you will wait till KM to proc, and then cast HB.
Tanks arent DPSers, do not worry about your DPS, worry about keeping the adds on you, and none loose.
I think that all you need to know, you have already asked, if I missed something out, I am sure someone else will fill it in :) Also, you could buy some new gear with emblems, they are quite easy to get.

Happy tanking for you, and hope this helped out.

Marzim
12-22-2009, 06:00 AM
Hey.

First off your spec: It's mostly good however there are 2 things i would change. Take the point out of Hungering Cold and take the point out of Acclimation and put them into Epidemic. Also I recommend getting Glyph of unbreakable armor instead of either Oblit (this is the one I would change) or Glyph of Frost strike.

Now on to your questions :) :
1. You are doing correctly here. Casters first they are usually the ones who should die first, they usually have less health and die faster, also as you said they are harder to notice when they change target. (if you are pulling many mobs I usually drop DnD and DG the caster into in and let the melee follow. then use HB and BBx2->BT>BB that will give you a lot of aggro fast)

2. Depends on the boss. For example First boss in UK: Drop DnD in their path (they always head for the healer) and then do a HB so you get some more aggro on them. If it's a boss like the second one in HoL leave them to the DPS (they can't be controlled either way). However your main focus should be on the boss as that is what most ppl will be hitting.

3. Most ppl don't say anything and just pull (more so now with the new LFG tool). If you want you can make a macro. Mine is "Pulling %t! Show them to me and we can save the world!" (%t appears as the name of the target if you didn't know that) the second sentence is a private joke ;) for trash i almost never use this but befor pulling a boss i tend to use it.

4. This is up to each and everyone. i tend to use tab (Mouseover macros for taunt are awesome as well eg:
/cast [target=mouseover] Dark Command

5. DBM (deadly boss mods for warnings on boss fights) + the ones u use those are the only ones that I feel are "needed" for tanking. I have about 5000 other addons but that's just me :P

6. If you are on top of the meters something is wrong with the dps in your group period. DPS should be over you in dps (unless you are tanking in raid gear and the DPS are in only blue)

7. Never turn your back to the mobs (can't parry then)
KEYBINDS! these are your best friend as a tank when you need to react fast.
Unbind shit+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8&9 so you don't push these by accident and loose your abilities.
If you are unsure of anything when in a group ASK don't pretend you know it and then fail. Most of the times ppl will help you if you only ask. If they don't they've got only themselves to blame if you wipe because you don't know the fight or something like that.

can't think of anything else that you need to know :)

GL with the tanking and don't give up :)

Martial
12-22-2009, 06:21 AM
Yeah what they said :D

and remember, in LFG you'll occasionally get the odd terrible run and the other pugs may roast you a bit (because its always the tanks fault! lol). Keep a thick skin, laugh and move on. Confidence is the biggest hurdle for a new tank but getting stuck in is the only way to overcome the challenge.

PatrikL
12-22-2009, 06:54 AM
Depending on your unit frame setup I can recomend focusing your healer (talking 5 mans here) so you can easily notice if he/she is dropping in hp or mana too much. If you are using the standard blizzard unit frames you will see this anyway but I prefer having the healers frame closer to the middle so I I dont miss thing happening to him/her.

Also about aggro, try holding them all. Sure there are specific fights where this is very hard but the goal in most fights are to keep as much incomming damage on you rather than the dps and healer. If a mob gets away you can taunt them as someone mentioned before and you can also root them in place using Chains of Ice if your Dark Command is on cd.

About dps, you really shouldnt top the meters here. If you are its not your fault, but the dps's underperforming or beeing hugely outgeared. More dps = more threat in general but some attacks produce more threat than others. As a DK, your frost presence also increases the threat produces by all your attacks so you can be far below the others in dps and still hold aggro.

Other things to mention: Remember to use your cooldowns. AMS for example is an excelent thing to use against magical attacks, last boss in HoL and first boss in Gundrak come to mind. Also your other cooldown which refresh runes are very good for situations where you suddenly find you are loosing aggro and all runes are on cooldown already.

Other than that, pugs is a great way to practise tanking I think. If one only runs with ones own guild you might gets used to how they play but if you run a lot with other ppl you learn many other types of situations. With the new LFG system, finding a group as a tank for a random dungeon only takes like 5 seconds (on my realm but this seems to be the norm). Doing normal dungeons this might take longer but I'm sure you could start with some of the easier heroics if you havent already.

Reev
12-22-2009, 06:58 AM
Hey.

First off your spec: It's mostly good however there are 2 things i would change. Take the point out of Hungering Cold and take the point out of Acclimation and put them into Epidemic. Also I recommend getting Glyph of unbreakable armor instead of either Oblit (this is the one I would change) or Glyph of Frost strike.

Now on to your questions :) :
1. You are doing correctly here. Casters first they are usually the ones who should die first, they usually have less health and die faster, also as you said they are harder to notice when they change target. (if you are pulling many mobs I usually drop DnD and DG the caster into in and let the melee follow. then use HB and BBx2->BT>BB that will give you a lot of aggro fast)

2. Depends on the boss. For example First boss in UK: Drop DnD in their path (they always head for the healer) and then do a HB so you get some more aggro on them. If it's a boss like the second one in HoL leave them to the DPS (they can't be controlled either way). However your main focus should be on the boss as that is what most ppl will be hitting.

3. Most ppl don't say anything and just pull (more so now with the new LFG tool). If you want you can make a macro. Mine is "Pulling %t! Show them to me and we can save the world!" (%t appears as the name of the target if you didn't know that) the second sentence is a private joke ;) for trash i almost never use this but befor pulling a boss i tend to use it.

4. This is up to each and everyone. i tend to use tab (Mouseover macros for taunt are awesome as well eg:
/cast [target=mouseover] Dark Command

5. DBM (deadly boss mods for warnings on boss fights) + the ones u use those are the only ones that I feel are "needed" for tanking. I have about 5000 other addons but that's just me :P

6. If you are on top of the meters something is wrong with the dps in your group period. DPS should be over you in dps (unless you are tanking in raid gear and the DPS are in only blue)

7. Never turn your back to the mobs (can't parry then)
KEYBINDS! these are your best friend as a tank when you need to react fast.
Unbind shit+1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8&9 so you don't push these by accident and loose your abilities.
If you are unsure of anything when in a group ASK don't pretend you know it and then fail. Most of the times ppl will help you if you only ask. If they don't they've got only themselves to blame if you wipe because you don't know the fight or something like that.

can't think of anything else that you need to know :)

GL with the tanking and don't give up :)

I just want to disagree with your "unbind shift +1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9" comment. Everyone has their own tanking proprioception, and while some ways are slightly more efficient than others, for a new tank still learning the basics, I don't think now is necessarily the time to be relearning, especially when it's possible to tank very well using the standard Blizzard setup. I tank exclusively with the 1-9 keys and my mouse, and I do quite well.

To the OP, welcome to the world of tanking!

I can't agree with the earlier poster enough about marking targets. You can get that addon he's talking about to help you, or you can do what I do and bind F1 through F8 to raid marks. The generally accepted kill priority is skull first, then X, then whatever is left. I'd like it if people kept with the order after and killed square, then moon, then triangle, then diamond, then condom, then star, but they don't, and it's usually not that important. Using the raid targets helps you in 2 ways. First, it makes the dps concentrate their dps and therefore threat on one target, making it easier to hold threat on all the targets. Second, it gets you as a tank used to having good habits and able to think about the individual mob threat tables a little better.

In terms of addons, once you start raid tanking, I'd recommend having Grid. Many people think of it as a healer addon, but I think of it as a way for me to know with a half second glance everything that's happening in the raid. It's important for a tank to have an understanding of what the whole raid is doing and what is happening to them because it changes what he does. For example, I can glance at grid and see that one of my healers just died and 2 of them are silenced. That means that now would be a good time to blow a big cooldown like Shield Wall. Or I can glance at it and see if my offtank has received a debuff that means I need to pull the boss off of him. It's very useful all around.

In terms of announcing pulls, the general rule of thumb is on trash, if your healer has more than 60% mana, you're OK to pull without announcing a thing. That said, you should be aware of how your healer plays. If they tend to empty their mana bar every pull, 60% might not be enough and you may want to let them mana up a little before pulling.

Tanks should not be topping the damage meters.

When choosing a mob kill order, generally the rule is kill the most dangerous one first. Usually that's a caster, because they don't tend to follow the tank around well, the lose aggro on you easier because of that, they use magic damage which tends to hit hard and bypass armor, and often they have nasty debuffs and AoEs they can drop on group members.

But yeah, just keep practicing, don't worry what your groups say about you, and keep it up! You're already on the right track by coming to Tankspot. Also though, you should try to find an in-game mentor. This can help smooth out the process for you. Just remember that mentors aren't infallible, and continue to check against what we have in the guides on this site, which tend to be pretty accurate.

Martial
12-22-2009, 07:03 AM
I can't agree with the earlier poster enough about marking targets. You can get that addon he's talking about to help you, or you can do what I do and bind F1 through F8 to raid marks

ooh, that sounds cool. how do you do that? i'd like to bind F6-F8 with the main raid icons if possible. wouldnt know where to start

Reev
12-22-2009, 07:06 AM
ooh, that sounds cool. how do you do that? i'd like to bind F6-F8 with the main raid icons if possible. wouldnt know where to start

If you go into your key bindings menu that comes with the game, and scroll down to raid markings, you can bind them like any other key. Just choose the mark you want to bind, then hit the key you want to bind it to.

Martial
12-22-2009, 07:07 AM
I never you knew that! you are both Wise and Mysterious oh Reev The...er...Wise and Mysterious..

Cheers

Blackwolfe
12-22-2009, 07:25 AM
I bind my raid icons to 1-9 on the number pad. In the usual kill order for my guild. So: 1 = skull, 2 = X, 3 = star, etc.....

So there is another option for you.

As to the other questions:

1. Casters always die first (for the same reasons listed in previous posts)

2. This will depend on the boss fight mechanics, but as a general rule, I would generally work your normal single target threat rotation on the boss, inserting a AOE threat ability every once in a while to make sure you out threat the healer on the adds. Generally, DPS should be targeting and DPSing the boss, so that is where most of your threat needs to go.

3. I always give a warning before pulling any boss. Just out of courtesy. Other than that, the healer's mana is the ultimate guide for how fast I pull in any instance.

4. I tab-target all melee mobs as they are usually in a cluster, and it is pretty hard to pick them out in that mess. But I click targets if they are spread out, because for me anyway, it is faster and more accurate to target the mob I want.

5. As others have said, add some kind of boss warning addon like: DBM (Deadly Boss Mods), Big Wigs (and Little Wigs for 5-mans), Deus Vox Encounters. There may be more, but those are the "big three" in that category.

6. For a DK (or Paladin for that matter), it is easy to out DPS your DPSers if 1.) you outgear the DPS and 2.) you are doing a lot of AOE tanking. However, any well geared, knowlegable DPS should out damage you.

7. My biggest two tips would be to:
1.) make sure you get comfortable doing your threat rotation while moving
2.) learn to look around while tanking making sure that you are situationally aware of every mob in the fight.

Aitch
12-23-2009, 02:23 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

I did a few more 5 man dungeons last night and really started to gain confidence in my ability to hold agro and keep it all flowing nicely.

I found the two Tidy panels addons theat Trork recommended fantastic. It's so much easyier to catch a mob and select it when you have the clear panels above their heads. The threat pannel addon is great I was able to move from mob to mob as needed before they started to go for a walk.

Trork, Marzim, you both suggested that I removed points from Acclimation, and Hungering Cold, and put them in epidemic. I can't do that withough sacrifiing howling blast, and I'm pretty sure that is not what you had in mind. The only other place within the frost tree that I could sensibly move them to is to icy reach, but I don't see the point as I rarely have a problem with distance. To get the points in epidemic, I could sacrifice points in scent of blood or two handed weapons, but this doesn't "feel" right.

Again thanks for all the help.

Aitch