Generating "The Threat"
Generating "the threat"
1 - Keybindings
2 - UI
3 - Gear
4 - Rotation
5 - Buffs
6 - Communication
7 - Analyzing
This overview is meant to help the tank understand how to maximize their threat potential. This has multiple real uses, and here are some examples.
Understanding how to generate the highest threat possible will allow you to make better gear decisions and knowing how it will impact your threat. If you can reduce the damage you take, making it easier on your healers, while still retaining high threat generation, you're giving a nice boost to your purpose as a tank.
Having a very solid threat generation playstyle, and being able to put out far more threat than may be needed for your raid's DPS, will let you remain in competitive levels of threat generation in lesser gear - IE Resistance gear. If you lose a ton of your "key" tanking stats and important things like Hit, Expertise, Block Value, and so forth in a massively different gearset, you want to know how to utilize the stuff you do have, to its fullest. This is the essential concept of understanding HOW and WHY you do things, and not just relying on your gear to do it for you. (Think akin to Thunderfury 1.0 - it generated obscene levels of AOE threat without any user interaction - you want to know how to do well without relying on gear)
Being able to put out burst, or high threat repeatedly will let your raid typically raise its DPS. The sooner they can pop cooldowns, so they get to use them perhaps multiple times in a fight, increasing your raid's DPS further. You don't ever want to have your DPS to consistently hold back on damage output due to your threat. Now and then, or on certain fights, or just general boss streakiness is okay, but if it's a regular occurance where people are pulling aggro, or just not able to do their full damage potential, you want to improve your threat generation.
Ultimately knowing how to generate the maximum threat possible should ease your raid all around, due to things dying faster, less damage being taken due to duration, leading to fewer heals required.
The rest of this information assumes a very standard tanking spec utilizing 3/3 improved sunder, 3/3 focused rage, and 3/3 shield mastery. A warrior wishing to maximize their threat is only going to be able to do so as a deep Protection spec, picking up Devastate and Shield Slam. At that point, you've got the basics, and the rest of the rage-reduction talents wont alter the general methodology needed to maximize your threat. It's less about specific math and more about how, why, and when you do things.
Section 1 - Keybindings
This is important, and something that will likely be at the center of someone's playing if they're having issues in regards to threat generation.
It is highly advantageous to have all of your abilities keybinded, at least the ones you hit frequently. More so, the abilities that you by far use the most, need to be in the easiest to push places possible.
These keybinding suggestions/ideas assume the player is using two hands to play, one on the mouse at all times, and one on the keyboard at all times. Generally, one hand is around the left side of the keyboard since it has the highest concentration of buttons/functionality.
Easy to hit buttons for one hand will be all of those that you don't have to stretch your hand around to hit - one example would be all of the keys in the line from the ~ to the number 6 or possibly 7 depending on your reach. Then down that part of the keyboard, so you have access to everything from Q to T(Y), A to G(H), Z to B, etc.
As an example of common type keybindings, someone may use the following: 1 Taunt, 2 Devastate, 3 Heroic Strike, 4 Shield Slam, 5 Shield Block, 6 Revenge. Many variations to that of course, it's semi popular to bind Heroic Strike to any of the other keys in that area, or perhaps even to a button on the mouse (mousewheel, thumb buttons and so forth).
A basic keybinding setup like that for your main abilities will let you hit most of the abilities in their typical order, in succession, going from one side of the keyboard to the other. Or, one of your fingers will be on a certain key hitting it repeatedly while the rest of your hand rotates down the keys. It's generally a repetitive, fast motion that you're going to be doing a lot, so you want to minimize having to move your hand all over the keyboard if your most frequently pushed tanking keys aren't in the same area.
Now, that's typical enough. But then there comes the abilities you hit a little less often. You want those keybinded too. Having some of your abilities that you hit often, but not button-mash often, as a click, will cause you to have to take your mouse hand, which is possibly busy moving your character around (Another assumption, that you use mouselook/mouse to turn, and don't use the keys to turn). If you're not able to navigate your character smoothly while using certain abilities, that will be a large detriment to your playing ability, in a variety of situations.
So, such abilities that are often used but not mashed are things like Bloodrage, Stance changes, Mocking Blow, Challenging Shout, Berserker Rage, Fear, Conc blow, Thunder Clap, and so forth. These should also all be in an easy to hit location without moving your hand. Examples might be having your stances as the F-keys, F1, F2, F3, which is directly above the number keys, so stance changing is extremely fast to do as you hardly have to move your hands at all to press them. Other very-convenient keys are R, T, G, H, Y, and so forth. Those would be ideal spots to keybind (don't forget about Ctrl and Alt modifiers for presses too, you have more space than you may think). You want to be able to do an AOE fear or Challenging Shout, or stun, while quickly getting back to, or continuing, your threat rotation. It's even more important that these be keybinded, because these are generally the type of abilities you may be using while running around - if you're running after a mob to Mocking Blow it, you don't want to have to be keyboard-turning while you reach across your screen to click the button with your mouse. You want to mouseturn right on its ass and hit the hotkey without impairing your movement.
That same reason applies to the fact that you want your threat abilities to be easily reachable and continuously hit whilst doing other functions on the keyboard - being able to queue Heroic while using your global to use some other ability is of course essential.
Keybinds will massively differ from player to player, but the basic concept is the same: Minimize movement needed for the hands, and keep your mousehand always on mouselook.
Section 2 - User Interface
This is another thing that will either hamper your ability to play, or bolster it.
As for how it affects threat, the main things you should strive for in your UI is a clear, convenient location for your threat meter, and a good monitor of your ability cooldowns. I suggest having whatever mod to monitor your cooldowns, near the part of the screen where your eyes are most of the time, generally, the middle. There's a ton of mods that do it, but you just want to be able see the cooldowns on abilities like Bloodrage, Berserker Rage, and all of your typical rotation abilities, that way you know precisely when they come up. CooldownTimers2 is fairly easy to use and set up.
That is my current UI, and you can see how I have my Omen right next to my unit frame/target's unit frame, so that when I'm watching the boss or mob's frame for HP, debuffs, buffs, or commonly their casting bar, I can also see how the threat situation is, with hardly a glance. I also have my cooldown mod near the middle of my screen. My actual ability bar is redundant and only there for, uh, "calibration" would be the best way to put it.
Try to reduce unneeded clutter in your UI so you have less distractions, and emphasize the things of most importance for threat maximizing - your ability cooldowns, your threat meter, and your visual-focal-point capturing as much of the information as you can.
Section 3 - Gear
Here's a big one. There's a variety of stats that will improve your threat generation capabilities, in order of priority/most benefit (with the ease of acquisition in conjunction with the rest of the stats) they are Expertise, Hit Rating, Block Value, Armor Penetration, Critical Rating
The Zul'Aman patch introduced Expertise, which was the biggest buff tanking classes received in a while.
The expertise pieces are thankfully also not too hard to acquire, for the most part.
[item]Band of Determination[/item] from Reg. Magister's Terrace
[item]Nightstrike[/item] from Reg. Magister's Terrace
[item]Brooch of Deftness[/item] from badges
[item]Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx[/item] from badges
[item]Sunguard Legplates[/item] from badges
[item]Girdle of the Fearless[/item] from badges
[item]The Brutalizer[/item] from Supremus in BT, or the [item]Mallet of the Tides[/item] from The Lurker Below in SSC
[item]Gauntlets of Enforcement[/item] from Teron Gorefiend in BT
[item]Shapeshifter's Signet[/item] from Lower City Exalted
Executioner enchant on weapon (threat weapon, if you don't have an extra weapon for threat, stick with Mongoose)
There's much more - including a ton of the new Sunwell stuff.
Reminder, Humans want to use Mallet as their ideal threat weapon due to the Mace/Sword racial, and Orcs want to use Brutalizer as their ideal threat weapon, due to their Axe racial. For 5 mans and anything that doesn't have boss-level mobs (73, or ??), the hit/expertise cap is about 6% each. Thus, you don't need nearly as much. for 25 mans and anything with 73's the hit cap is 9% and the expertise (parry) cap is about 15%, so there's a lot more room there.
All but the gloves should be obtainable by nearly everyone, and if the gloves just aren't obtainable by you, utilizing the rest of the choices will provide you with more than ample threat generation for the level of content you're on.
Using gear that gives you a lot of avoidance will cause your rage gain to be spiky, and thus, your threat generation wont be constant, and likely will suffer. Typically equipping threat-esque pieces lowers your avoidance, so you accomplish two things by changing each piece of gear. (More threat stats, less avoidance stats). You can do this in other ways without actually changing to threat pieces, by shifting from items that are heavier in avoidance, to items that have perhaps just solid armor on them (so you take less damage, but still gain rage, and so forth).
You can still achieve great threat with a setup that includes little to no gear specifically for generating threat, but it's more random. You can get pretty large streaks of dodged/parried/missed attacks, or you'll go on a very long spree of avoided hits, and thus have bad rage.
Strike a balance for your threat suit that you like and feel safe with. You don't want to go to extremes that cause you to take so much more damage that you might die, or needlessly stress the healers. My threat suits retain acceptable and safe levels of actual "tank" stats.
Section 4 - Rotation
Oh, right, yeah. This is the part where you hit your buttons really fast in the proper way to keep the mob hitting you.
Your basic rotation is Shield Slam/Revenge/Devastate/Devastate
You won't always be able to do that, because of rage. When rage dwindles, focus on never missing a Revenge, otherwise Shield Slam. That's when it'll be Revenge/Shield Slam/Devastate...
Generally the inquiries about threat regard how to MAXIMIZE your threat once you're already getting hit enough, though, and there's a certain way to do that.
Keep your 4-ability rotation constant, and don't miss a beat. SS/Rev/Dev/Dev - watch your Rage bar very closely. Whenever your threat is hovering at ~45+, you can mash your Heroic Strike key. Often your rage gain is predictable enough for you to safely mash your Heroic key while you keep doing your rotation. You must hit multiple keys at the same time. From that first sampling of button-spam, it should be pretty clear what "3" would be the keybind of (Heroic Strike!).
On a boss that gives you excessive rage and it's just an all-out effort from you, you should be making quite a racket with your keyboard. There's really no other effective way to do it, you have to hit your buttons fast, you can't miss a GCD, and you want every single swing you make to be a Heroic Strike, so you don't want regular melee swings slipping by. (Given you have the rage to support that..)
Now, the important bit.
When your rage DOES start to drop off, you have to notice IMMEDIATELY. That's why watching your rage bar is important. If it drops sub 30, STOP MASHING HEROIC. If you know you have one currently queued, and you're trying to min/max, I hope your reaction time/ping is quick enough to hit escape and cancel that queue. When the rage drops off you completely cut heroic from your cycle and continue the standard SS/Rev/Dev/Dev until you start hitting 40+ rage again. Heroic Strike is solely a rage dump, and you are only using it to BURN OFF EXTRA RAGE.
I have to repeat that. HEROIC STRIKE IS A RAGE DUMP. Only use it to burn off extra rage. Do NOT just mash your tanking keys, including Heroic Strike, and cause yourself to drain your rage away with Heroics before you can even complete the standard ability rotation. Heroic has the worst threat per rage of any of the abilities by far, so every time you use it in a low-rage situation, you're seriously hurting your threat output.
As for shield block, its usage depends on the boss. If the boss can crush and you need high threat, hit your SB on cooldown, and just hope your avoidance isn't so high that your rage gain is really starved. You'll be prioritizing Shield Block over a Heroic Strike every now and then. However if a crush from the boss isn't life threatening and you're in good shape to take a max of one, you can let SB slip off. (Example: You're in the middle of a boss fight and at full HP, say 20k, and a crush from the boss is for 9k. If you let SB drop off and take a crush, you can then immediately use that rage to put SB back up, and have enough HP to survive a regular blocked melee hit, and hopefully by then heals will have come in to keep you in healthy shape)
If the boss can crush and threat isn't too important, it probably hits hard. Prioritize Shield Block above all else and keep to your standard cycle, only using Heroic if you get a high excess of rage (60+).
If rage gain is horrible, like really bad (You can't hit the boss, it can't hit you), just Revenge on cooldown. That might be the only thing you have rage for. Revenge has the highest threat per rage of anything, so you want to use it as much as possible. Streaks like this shouldn't last too long, so just be ready to smoothly transition back to a regular rotation.
Throw in other things in your rotation, Bloodrage on cooldown is generally a smart thing to do. (Just don't use it at a time where the rage it instantly grants would be wasted...) You can shield block + switch to zerker stance and put on Berserker Rage, the shield block is so you aren't crushed in Berserker for like 20k. If you've got clicky threat-esque trinkets, don't forget to use them at ideal times.
This might be a good place to mention tanking macros.
I am highly against tanking macros, all except one:
#show Shield Slam
/cancelaura Greater Blessing of Salvation
/cancelaura Blessing of Salvation
/use Gnomeregan Auto-Blocker 600
/use Glyph of Deflection
/cast Shield Slam(Rank 6)
That should be obvious. It's my Shield Slam hotkey, all it does is activate any block trinket(s) I have on when I hit shield slam, which lets me squeeze in 4 shield slams with the bonus value with ease, while simultaneously making sure I'm never tanking with a goddamn Salv some terrible paladin gave me.
Using any combo-macro, or one-button-tank macro will flat out make you a bad tank. I could rant on this a lot, but you NEED precise micromanagement of your abilities if you want to get the most out of your rage. There's just too many small situations that will arise where a macro will NOT make the right decision. Saying "eh, it works good enough with the castrandom" isn't the right attitude. If you're going to settle for "eh, good enough", why are you bothering to read a forum/website specializing in bettering the player?
If you've got any such tank macros, I promise you it'll do you good in the long term by removing them, even if it's something "harmless" you might think as combo Shield Block + Revenge macro. I could list a lot of things off the top of my head where it's a terrible idea to use that.
Section 5 - Buffs
Pretty simple stuff here. If you want to maximize your threat, you'd have a Shaman in your group, Battle Shout (either your own, or an offtank's, or a dps warrior's), a Feral Druid for LoTP, or some combination of the above.
LotP and Windfury totem provide a very similar threat gain - I compared multiple logs of me having one or the other, but not both, and the difference wasn't really discernable (1300+ tps for both).
Having your resto shamans Earth Shield you will give you a nice TPS gain, as well as a nice survivability boost. This should be standard for one of your shamans.
Prayer of Mending will give you threat as well, but isn't nearly as efficient, useful, or logical as Earth Shield.
Elixir of Major Agility is a nice threat boost, while providing some avoidance as well.
If you aren't getting Windfury, you can use a sharpening/weight stone on your weapon for a nice boost.
Section 6 - Communication
Talk to your raid. If you just got a huge threat boost at the start of the fight, (say you crit like 8 things in a row), tell your raid that they can go hard. "I crit everything, you can go all out"
Similarly, tell your raid if you've gotten a bad streak. Start of a pull, can't land anything, "Missed all my shit, hold off for a bit". If some smartass replies with something like "LOL GET MORE HIT NOOB", tell them you just used "missed" as a broad term to explain that you didn't land anything, since it's more succinct. Preferably after the fight's over. You'll probably hear that a lot.
You want your raid to know whenever your threat output differs from the norm in a way that could aid or harm them. Threat-wipe, phase change, you run up and can't land anything decent, or just saw a big shadowbolt crit the boss for 50k, you may want to tell that lock to soulshatter, or get a BOP, and for a hunter to MD you.
Not necessarily having bad luck landing things, but just have no rage, and DPS threat is right behind you? Tell them that, too. "Have no rage, boss can't hit me, slow dps please". Suddenly get flurried and have a nice full red rage bar? "Ok go"
It's simple stuff like that which will help clue people in, since it's hard for the raid to know when you're just losing the RNG (Random Number Generator)
Section 7 - Analyzing
Alright, so you've tanked some things, and gotten a few WWS logs. Now you want to see how you're doing. First off, find your own tank logs, and then click on the boss fight, and then finally your own name, to see your ability usage/activy for that specific boss fight. (You want to make sure it's a boss, otherwise you're going to see weird stuff due to trash downtime and such).
Once you have your page open, hit the "Columns" button near the top of the ability usage, and check the following boxes, under the "NB" section: "Crits" "All Miss". If you want, you can also check the box for Miss, Dodge, and Parry, to further understand where your biggest loss of threat is from.
Now, add up the total number of Shield Slams, Devastates, and Revenges. Just add the number of Hits, the number of Crits, and the number of "All Miss" (Crits are not included in the "hits" column!) Due to non-premium WWS reports expiring after 15 days, I'm going to just paste the example I will use here, I'll have links too but they will become inactive, I can keep uploading my log but for the rest you just have to use your own example. Adding up those numbers gives you the total number of times you attempted to use that ability, which is what we're looking for here.
Here's a WWS log of mine, of Gorefiend (any fight will work, this is just for the example) WWS Loading...
The ability usage of mine is:
23 Shield Slams
The fight duration was 157 seconds.
How does this help us? Well, we all know the cooldown on these abilities, and the standard cycle used: Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devastate. While revenge has a shorter cooldown, it's not efficient to wait for it and spam it like that, which is why we do that typical 4-ability rotation. This puts each of Revenge and Shield Slam on a 6-second cooldown before they will be used again. In a typical boss fight, you have enough rage to always do that rotation - the extra rage/threat comes from simply adding Heroic Strike to it.
With a fight duration of 157 seconds, you can divide it by 6, to get the approximate ideal number of shield slams/revenges you could use in that time. 157/6 gives us 26. Now, you have to take into consideration human error and lag, the biggest being lag. As perfect as we try to be, squeezing all 4 abilities in at exactly 6 seconds is almost impossible, so you're going to lose some. So, 26 is "perfect", and this example log has 23 of both shield slam and revenge. Since the number is the same (23), we can derive a few more things:
Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devastate until the boss dies causes you to create the same number of Shield Slams as you have Revenges, if you prioritize properly. (that IS the most efficient order). The number can be off slightly - by one - if the boss dies beore you can hit your next ability. (Example, new rotation, Shield Slam - Boss death, so you never hit that revenge to equalize you again). Thus, if your SS/Revenge numbers are equal, you know you kept to a very very strict rotation and probably could not have done any better.
The next ability to look at is Devastate. Since you're using Devastate twice as often as SS/Rev (ideally), it's simply half the "cooldown" of those - so 3 seconds. 157/3 = 52 devastates. My example log had 44 Devastates. Now, this is a bigger variance, but again you have to take into consideration the lag factor. Now, it's still a "little" off - but this is most likely a good thing, rather than bad. This is because if your rage is ever very, very starved for a period, the first ability you drop off (Besides heroic strike - you stop heroic striking as soon as rage slows!) is Devastate. Both Shield Slam and Revenge are more TPR than Devastate. So, if you're doing a SS/Rev/Dev/Dev cycle and suddenly rage dries up, you will probably drop to a SS/Rev/Dev cycle, or even worse, SS/Rev. That's very rare though - so the more likely bit is simply dropping 1 devastate now and then to ensure you don't miss a SS/Revenge.
In a "perfect world" scenario assuming rage is always plenty enough to not miss any ability usage, you'd want to see 2x the number of Devastates used as SS/Revenges used - My log should have been 46, I had 44, so sacrificing Devastate for SS due to no rage is probably indeed what happened.
So, now you saw what a "good" log looks like, very close to the ideal, now you want to compare it to your own to see where you have room for improvement.
Another example log, can't WWS link it since it's expired, but you can simply choose anything, has the following:
37 Shield Slams
The fight duration was 315 seconds.
SS/Rev ideal number would be 315/6 or 52, Devastate ideal would be double that, for 104. Knocking that down to realistic areas due to lag and such would give you ~47 Rev/SS and 92~ Devastates. Right away you can see that this log's ability usage is all over the place. There isn't a close to matching number of Shield Slams and Revenges, and there's not nearly enough devastates that there should be. You can derive from this that this person was ensuring they hit Revenge on cooldown every time, but then prioritized Devastate over Shield Slam, and then didn't use the extra rage to finish fleshing out their rotation with more devastates. This log "should" look like 47 SS, 47 Rev (this is on-target), 92~ devastates.
Taking all of the above into consideration, you can see once doing this how you can figure out if you need to tighten up your ability usage, which is simply strictly hitting the same buttons in a row, and knowing when to drop off devastate to keep SS/Rev always on cooldown. Dropping Heroic Strike instantly when it can start to threaten rage should become standard as you get more interested in improving your threat.
Finally, you can look at your number of parried attacks, or missed attacks, to see how that's hurting your threat. If you're still getting lots of misses, capping hit will help you out, and if you're getting tons of parries, more expertise will help you out. But this is standard stuff, you can still see how your rotation is doing even without threat gear.
Well that's all for now, I'll probably amend this several times, but I didn't really see any guide or pointer-list of this type on these forums, and the recent Gorefiend log thread spawned some discussions. Hopefully this will help out those having troubles or lots of questions about threat generation.
Excellent stuff. Thanks Xav.
If you think it's relevant, perhaps you could list the necessary talents that help with threat as a MT etc. As in whether improved heroic strike is necessary and so on.
-- gyre --
I only have two things to add:
- Devastate has better threat per rage than shield slam. In situations where you are often rage starved, I would drop shield slam temporarily instead of devastate.
- Every global cooldown should be spammed with something. At the rare moments where an avoidance streak leaves you with only 7 or 8 rage and Revenge is still on cooldown, the best action is to shield bash, not attempt to wait for additional rage. This of course does not apply to situations when an interrupt is necessary.
This is actually not true. Once you factor in the difference in damage between the two abilities shield slam comes out as slightly more TPR, even after the improvements to devastate. If I've mathed it out correctly, devastate is only more TPR for the first 5 applications since you receive the threat from the sunder armor debuff in addition to the devastate base threat AND the devastate damage.
Originally Posted by Ekarderif
Please someone correct me if I'm wrong on that. I haven't taken the time to threat theorycraft since right after 2.3 hit.
I just did some math and yeah you are right. I must have confused the numbers... :o
Indeed, situations where Devastate may be higher TPR is if your shield slams are rather weak, ie, no 4-piece bonus, and very little block value, whereas your devastate are very high (using a slow weapon). Something like that might apply to a prot warrior building secondary on something, for example Void Reaver. You should use a really slow hard hitting 1 hander, and under the right conditions that may be better to spam over Shield Slam, and only use Shield Slam with extra rage.
My post generally deals with maximizing your threat while main tanking, and the logic for generating high threat can be applied to offtanking or other roles.
I edited some minor things and added an Introduction.
Xav did you test out the 4pc? Because I know when I first got it, it was 10% of the base (increasing the bottom and top end of the tooltip by 10% 420 turned into 462 and likewise for the top) I since I haven't touched my Warrior in some time, they might have changed that 'bug' but if its still there, then I would go with [item]Faceplate of the Impenetrable[/item] just for the extra bit of stam. As far as shields go, I think using [item]Kaz'rogal's Hardened Heart[/item] will cover your hit needs so you can socket other parts of your set (boots for example) with stam gems. Every single boss has a different threshold you would have to cover in terms of survivability and threat does not need to be any higher then that of the next highest persons dps cap. I'm wholeheartedly against using dps items to increase one owns threat since i belive you have all the tools available to you to reach high TPS, however if you are struggeling with threat a simple solution would be to pick up [item]Dragonspine Trophy[/item] instead of the pocketwatch for example.
Yeah I pretty much addressed everything you wrote there in the post, ass ;)
The 4-piece bonus applies to overall damage, not just the tooltip. I tested it thoroughly, as well as asked someone else about it before testing.
Elitist Jerks - View Single Post - The Protection Warrior
Btw, as I also wrote above, I don't have kaz'rogal's shield!
As for using DPS items to increase threat, and then suggesting DST, that's completely unrealistic for the vast majority of "tanks". Most people wont have DST, and will never get a DST, or any similar trinket, due to low drop rate, and high demand/use on actual DPS classes. That's why I suggest, if anything, using easy-to-get DPS pieces, and the only piece I actually "use" is the PvP cloak, which is phenomenal. The rest is easily obtained via extra gear with different sockets/enchants.
I was at work man, you cant possibly expect me to read every detail of the post, i mearly suggested things upon seeing the glimps of the post. And i took your CTPorfile as a guide to ideal threat set not what you had. As far s DPS items being given to tanks, thats all based on DKP and how much that guild values their tank >.<
Nah, a tank taking something that would clearly benefit a dps more and that they'd use fulltime is fail, if the tank wouldn't use it fulltime!
This. Thread. Is. Awesome.
Thanks for making a thread. I know there were a few things I didn't realize, and I'm sure it'll help countless tanks become TPS rockstars.
Added a section about analyzing your threat and tanking rotation from WWS logs, this will help out people who want to know where they can improve, and how.
This guide is really good. I read a lot of parts where I thought "this always seems to work but I wouldn't think to put it into words myself." The part about WWS was very good, I will have to look over my logs and see what I can do to improve in the future.
Just a note:
"Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, Devastate until the boss dies causes you to create the same number of Shield Slams as you have Devastates, if you prioritize properly. (that IS the most efficient order)."
The bolded devestates should be revenges :)
Whoops, thanks for catching that. Figures I'd make a few typos I didn't catch after typing the same few words repeatedly!
Xav, this is a really great guide for people like me.
I usually dont get any group buffs and am always ahead of the DPSers on threat. I do have one question though.
How do you start a boss fight? Ive been thinking about this lately and I usually start off with a shield block + revenge, as I dont want to take crushes. I dont really know if this is the best way, any advice?
I tend to worry more about threat than crushes initially, as that's an area I could do with improving slightly. I'd rather pop BR, SS, and get a devastate/Revenge in first. It's a great list as I noticed I was under using revenge and being a bit lazy with devastate. Remapping the keys added a good 50-80 TPS, but I'd be alot happier if I was continually churning out 700-800 TPS, and not having dips into the 600's.
It sounds a bit cowboyish but having run some heroics & KZ with undergeared characters, and some suicidal dps I've had to take another look at what I'm doing. When starting a fight I assume the healers are awake, and more importantly they know I'm gonna get a couple of smacks initially and are acting accordingly, so I can get on with my job and also drop onto a sensible rotation asap and make their life a bit easier. I've started to reduce out stam rings & trinkets and use more haha dps ones, unless it is a boss or a healer, or myself thats struggling.
I guess the other key thing for me is that with heroics/kz my gear is developed to a point where I can take the hits until they catch up. The real benefit to that is more in terms of confidence in my kit and with the healers. When I can finally break my bad habits (moron use keyboard and not the fecking mouse!) I hope to be a better player & less likely to cause the occasional panic attack..
I've found that FT+GoA totems are the same threat yield (within 15 TPS in my testing) as WF alone. This obviously shows that FT is largely inferior to WF, but if you request these totems instead of WF, your enhancement shaman will starting arguing over who gets to be in the tank group, as WF totem is useless to them.
My findings have otherwise been consistent with yours, as I've found roughly a 150 to 200 TPS boost from WF, FT+GoA, or ILotP.
Also, great guide!
The issue with FT+GoA is you aren't gaining any additional rage outside of white crits from them, whereas Windfury will consistently give you extra rage to work with.
As for starting pulls, it depends on the boss. On Teron, since he can crush, start with shield block. I always do, just because I don't want to be crushed for a ton off the bat when people aren't even done moving into position yet. Then I just revenge after, and continue from there.