WarTank 101: The Primer
NO LONGER UPDATED: As of 10/13/2011 my sub ran out and all my intentions to update this are out the window. As the game progresses the numbers and gearing suggestions and talents will be less and less accurate. Many of the concepts will still be valid, but precise numbers should no longer be assumed to be accurate. I've enjoyed my 2.5 years playing wow, and I might re-up to chat with friends every so often, but as it stands right now, I don't see myself returning to WoW as an active player. Good luck!
My hope is this is useful.
I've been reading TankSpot for over a year now. In that time I've learned a lot. But there does seem to be a hole in the information provided. It is Progression-oriented. While new tanks often get their questions answered very well, the theory crafting and most stickied information is focused on tanks pushing the edge of content. I'm hoping this primer acts as a bridge for new tanks to use to travel from where they are to where the majority of theory crafting is - progression.
THIS IS A WALL OF TEXT - The way I think it will be most useful to people is to read. Come back the next day and read again. Try things for a week - come back and re-read. Try things for a month, and then re-read. Each time you come back, you'll have a better understanding of what is meant. This is almost certainly overwhelming to first time tanks. There's no way around it.
I've tried to focus on the macro-aspects of tanking and not get too detailed into a point-by-point discussion. I figure that discussion will be more useful to you after you've got your teeth cut on some dragonkin.
Now... What this is...This is a primer. It is not perfect, it is not all inclusive. It is a working guide for new WarTanks to find out about their class and role. It is not designed for hard mode tanks. It is not designed for Pallys, DKs, or Bears. It is simply what it is, a introduction to becoming an M1-Abrams.
Before I jump in though, I'd like to acknowledge that all of what you are about to read is basically stolen (err... compiled) from the works of better minds than mine. Aggy, Koji, Wartotem, Melvar and others have put in huge amount of work understanding the math involved. If I've omitted you, I'm sorry - I'm writing this all off the top of my head mostly.
You will often hear non-tanks refer to warrior tanks as meat shields. You will often hear warrior tanks refer to themselves as meat shields, often with great pride. This is only part of the picture. If you are ever just a meat shield, you are not maximizing your contribution to the raid. That is because tanks are not just there for getting the mobs mad and surviving. No, tanks have much more to do. And that is why the tank is the single most critical role in a fight. Because with very few exceptions, the tank is the master and commander of the fight.
So what are then, the responsibilities of a tank purpose in a raid?
* Passive Survivability
* Active Survivability
Passive Survivability - This is done before the raid, or at the latest, before the pull. Basically this maximizing your ability to survive without having to do anything. Gear, gems, enchants, food, and flasks go into this. Maximizing passive survivability, especially as you are learning to tank, will help you tremendously as it will allow you to recover from otherwise fatal mistakes. Later on in the sections for gear and other things I'll go into detail about how to maximize passive survivability.
Active Survivability - This is a key distinguisher between a tank and a good tank. But first, what are some examples of active survivability? Examples include:
* Damage mitigation (Shield block, shield wall, on-use trinkets that decrease incoming damage)
* Temporary survival increases (such as Last Stand, Enraged Regeneration, Armor Potions )
* Incoming damage reducers (Demoralizing Shout and Thunderclap for incoming damage reduction and incoming attack speed slowing - also interrupts - Shield Bash currently, Pummel starting in 4.1)
* Raid buffing (Devastate stacking, command/battle shout)
Knowing when to use these abilities appropriately will help increase your value as a tank tremendously. Using a damage mitigation ability like Shield Block right before you perform a tank swap to minimize incoming damage until your healers can switch over is a great example. Knowing when a fight has a built in burst of damage and using Shield Wall or Last Stand + Enraged Regeneration to help minimize the impact of that burst of damage is a classic tanking tool. Intelligent use of your mitigation and survival CDs will make you far easier to heal, something your healers will appreciate, especially if they have to move out of the fire.
Reducers are important tools to use to help maximize your raid's progress. Demo shout and TC can reduce incoming damage by almost 20% in melee-heavy fights by reducing the incoming damage and increasing the time it takes to swing (which will also give your healers more time to heal you up). But just knowing this isn't all there is. In a tank-swap fight, like the guy in Baradin's Hold - if you're the tank not actively tanking the boss, you using those CDs allows the active tank to focus on threat and maximizing their damage while their vengeance is fully stacked. So even when not actively tanking, a good tank is still adding utility to the raid.
Interrupts are another key reducer. Not all boss spell casts are interruptible, but interrupting those where it is possible can dramatically decrease incoming damage. Damage never taken is the easiest damage to heal. And while it is great if DPS prioritize interrupts over damage (and they should), you, as the tank, are the most likely recipient of the damage and you never want to leave to others what you can do yourself.
All WarTank buffs can be covered by other classes. Battle and command shout are exact copies of abilities other classes can offer. And Sunder (applied through Devastate) isn't any different than rogue's expose armor or feral's improved faire fire. But even so, making sure you can cover these if your raid doesn't have someone else will improve the efficiency of your raid.
Threat - Maybe the sexiest of all tanking responsibilities - the requirement to piss the mob off and get him to tunnel focus on you. There isn't a whole lot to say here in a primer other than know your rotation and understand why hit and expertise aren't very valuable stats for threat. It's a key responsibility, but I'll cover it in more depth below.
Positioning - Maybe the second most invisible responsibility of the tank is proper positioning of the boss. This is key in many fights. Bosses throw down colored circles on the ground. With very few exceptions, these are BAD. But you can't just get out of them yourself. You, as the tank, need to move the boss around so that:
* DPS can avoid standing in the color on the ground (whether they do or not... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink); and
* Healers can still reach you.
There are usually a few fights every raid tier where this vital - The Naxx Safety Dance may be the most obvious one where constant correct positioning is required. A tank that knows how to and where to position the boss is going to make the fight that much smoother. And sorry, the tank is one person, you, as that one person, are responsible for correct placement - don't rely on the other 9/24 to get it right.
Awareness - This is a nebulous concept and is here not so much because there is anything specific, but because it reinforces an underlying theme throughout the rest of the responsibilities of the tank. You HAVE to know the fight. You have to know what is happening and you may have to react and use CDs, reposition the raid, or perform other heroic feats because other players made a mistake. You are the hub of the fight. It revolves around you. As a tank, we don't get the luxury of making mistakes. Our mistakes tend to wipe the raid, or at the very least, greatly strain the raid.
Control - While at first this may seem like positioning, there is a lot more than just positioning in controlling a fight. There's watching for tank swaps, watching health bars, recognizing when a problem is occurring and shouting orders to fix it. Sure, others CAN do it. But as the tank, you will learn very quickly that the more you control, the smoother the fight goes. It can be overwhelming, but you are the center of the fight, you, like it or not, are in the position of leadership once the fight starts. It is your responsibility.
Going to the next level: CDs, Positioning, and Incoming Damage
It is often said that the difference between a good tank and a great one is knowing when to use CDs, and by extension, how to place the raid and when things are going to happen. I've touched on this above, but now I want to talk about all of these points together.
Actually, there isn't much to say. Once you learn a fight, once you know when things will happen in the fight, then you are able to be PROACTIVE rather than reactive. Using CDs just before damage comes in. Positioning the raid immediately after the ground changes color. Knowing what damage is avoidable by moving out of the targeted zone will all go a long way to making the fight easier.
And for healers, damage never taken is the easiest damage to heal. If you know a boss is going to use a 300k attack on you and you have 150k HP, you know you're going to be hurting. With 58% damage reduction from armor, that 300k hit will actually end up hitting for 126k (assuming it can't be dodged/parried or wasn't dodged/parried). 24k health - not much. But if you pop Shield Block, you're guaranteed at least a 30% reduction if you're at 72.4% combined, before armor (at least I think it's before armor). So 300k becomes 210k (30% off the top) and 210k with 58% of it reduced next due to armor is now just 88k that came through your block and armor. That leaves you with 62k health, quite a bit more (more than twice) than if the attack came through without using a CD. That's 38k damage you never took and thus your healers never have to heal.
With this in mind, hopefully it's a little clearer why knowing when damage is coming and moving to avoid avoidable damage is a mark of a great tank. By removing damage taken from the table, you are putting less stress on the healers and increasing the efficiency of the raid.
Okay - what was that unhittable thing you talked about before, and what does 72.4% mean? Unhittable is a misnomer term used by the tanking community to talk about when you have a 100% chance of at least blocking the incoming damage. Basically, if you're unhittable, then every incoming melee attack is either avoided or reduced due to block. It's pretty simple. The math get a little more confusing.
First, the unhittable 'soft cap'. The unhittable soft cap is 72.4%. That means your Dodge + Parry + Block = 72.4% Why 72.4%? Well due to the 3 level difference between a raid boss and you (they are level 88, you're level 85) the boss has a hit table against you that is 100%, but from your vantage point, 3 levels lower, it is 102.4% This means that in order to guaranteed that the boss misses or you dodge/parry/block every attack, you need dodge + Parry + block = 97.4 with the base 5% miss chance of a boss making it an uneven 102.4%.
The 72.4% 'soft' cap is determined because Shield Block gives you another 25% block chance for its duration. So if you have 72.4% dodge + parry + block, plus shield block up for 72.4% + 25 = 97.4% chance to dodge/parry/block every incoming attack while shield block is active. Add in the base 5% chance for the boss to miss you and you have 102.4% - unhittable.
But this is a soft-cap. You need a CD to reach it. You can't hit 102.4 Dodge/Parry/Block/Miss without shield block. You can't even in the best gear available in 4.0.6. I think ~95% is as high as you can get. So you cannot currently hard-cap unhittable, though it's estimated in the next tier you will be able to (so whichever patch includes Firelands).
Does this mean you should aim for 72.4%? My 2¢ is no. Keep going, get dodge + parry + block as high as you can. This decreases the number of attacks that come in at full strength making it easier for healers to keep you up. But understanding what Unhittable means is important, even if the term itself is a misnomer.
So why gear for unhittable (maximizing mastery) instead of avoidance (maximizing dodge and parry)? The reason is healibility. While it is true you will take less total damage if you pump dodge and parry, (100% > 30%/60%) you will also take more full power swings, meaning your healers will need to use more mana intensive heals more often. Smoothing out the damage, even if you take more of it, will allow healers to use more efficient medium heals and save their CDs not for a bad string of full-power normal attacks that got through, but for tank-killing burst abilities.
Essentially smooth damage intake makes healers happy. Having to react to unexpected bursts of damage from a string of full-power attacks makes healers out of mana sad pandas.
Threat - Reaching through your computer screen and punching that boss right in the face (and other ways to make him mad)
So how do you keep the boss with tunnel vision on you?
Rotation - Use WarTotem's spreadsheet (linked at the bottom) or I think RAWR helps come up with your optimal priority. However, for beginning purposes, this will be a good priority for single-target and multi-target environments:
Single - Heroic Throw -> Charge -> ( Shield Slam > Concussive Blow > Shockwave > Imp Revenge > Rend if not active > TC if rend is less than 3 seconds from expiring > Devastate) (the part in ( ) is your 'priority' system rather than a set rotation, if A is available then A, if not then B, if not then... etc). Heroic strike is a good source of threat, but not as important as the ones listed above. Use heroic strike when you have enough rage that using it won't prevent you from hitting one of the other abilities.
Multi - (Mark Kill Order - Skull and X is usually enough - and mark mobs for CC) -> Heroic Throw Skull -> Charge Skull -> Rend Skull -> Thunderclap -> Shockwave (as mobs should be moved together by now). After this, you'll use Cleave and Imp Revenge mostly with Shield Slams on the top priority target if DPS gets close in threat. TC to refresh rend on all targets.
Both of these are INTRODUCTORY rotation/priorities. You'll learn what works best for you through trial and error and referring to the spreadsheet or RAWR.
A few things to remember about threat:
A) Vengeance means you will not be hitting at maximum for a while. You need to take damage first. So DPS that charges in before you have established threat or pops CDs before you have an adequate threat lead will pull off you. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. DPS should be watching their own threat and start slowly. --- If however you're getting pulled off of 40 seconds into the fight, you need to look at your rotation, because it probably isn't a very good one.
B) Don't taunt even if they have more threat than you but don't have aggro. Taunting when melee is at 107% threat or range at 125% of your threat won't do anything but add to the taunt-immunity of the mob. Melee pulls off you at 110%, range at 130%. If you are going to get pulled off of, you really can't taunt until it happens.
C) You'll notice the survival CDs aren't listed in your rotation for the most part. You'll need to decide when and how to mix them in. And when to refresh them. This is part of why tanking is more complex than other classes. Even a healing class with 10 or 12 heals plus CDs has nothing on a warrior tank. We have literally dozens of buttons that can validly be used during a fight. Learning to balance these buttons will be a big step in becoming a more effective tank.
Threat and Hit and Expertise - You'll see some tanks claiming you need hit/expertise. You'll see a lot of DPS or healers and raid leaders claiming you need hit and expertise. YOU DO NOT. The sole exception is if you are on interrupt duty, you will need 8% to guarantee the interrupt - but that is the ONLY exception. Why do you not need hit or expertise? After all, if you have 0% hit and 0 expertise you're looking at roughly a 28% chance your attack is dodge/parried/or misses and that means no threat.
The answer is vengeance, rotation, talents, and glyphs. When vengeance stacks and when you use a good rotation, and when you talent the best threat abilities and when you use the proper glyphs, you will, once vengeance stacks, produce all the threat you need. And even 8% hit and 26 expertise will not help you maintain threat until vengeance stacks. You're still landing 7 out of every 10 hits. Those last 3, simply put, aren't really needed. (BIG caveat - heroic raid tanks have discussed needing hit and expertise to maintain threat, even with MDs, in the early phases of fights with raiders with 372 weapons- this is often because for that fight they are pushing the enrage timer and need every ounce of DPS. Beginning tanks don't need to worry about this - and this is a good example of how things change as you develop as a tank).
So , to recap - you don't need hit or expertise to maintain threat.
Gear - one of the most common questions on Tankspot - is my gear right? Well here's the list of priority for gear:
* Perfect gear is Mastery + (Dodge/Parry)
* Great gear is Dodge/Parry with the larger of the two reforged to Mastery
* Decent gear is Mastery + Hit/Expertise with hit/expertise reforged to dodge/parry
* Passable gear is Dodge/Parry + Hit/Expertise with dodge/parry reforged to mastery if it's 2x the hit/expertise, otherwise hit/expertise reforged to mastery.
There really isn't much to say here. If you have a choice, this is the priority for gear itemization. A few other things:
* What about PVP gear, isn't it usable by entry level tanks? Not really. Outside of the threat boost a higher item level PvP weapon would provide, you'll gain a little stamina but lose a good chunk of rating points to resilience, which is worthless now for PvE tanking and can't be reforged. If it's Mastery/Resilience then it could be an upgrade if it's a higher item level due to the increased stamina mostly. But it's not going to be optimal.
* I have Mastery/(Dodge/Parry) 346 gear and I can get 359 gear without Mastery, should I? Sorry - this is going to be on a case-by-case basis. Post a thread in the HALP! forum.
* Is the 4pc worth it? The shoulders and Helm have hit... Honestly - dunno. 18 second shield wall is delicious - so I'd guess yes. But I don't know.
Gemming is pretty straight forward. Gem for the color.
* Yellow = 40 mastery
* Red = 20 parry/20 mastery
* Blue = 20 mastery/30 stamina
* Prismatic = 40 mastery (JC, BS, some relics)
* Meta = + Stamina / + 1% Block (Eternal)
If you are a JC then replace a 40 mastery with a 67 mastery JC cut 3 times.
The reason is 1 rating point of mastery is equal to roughly 1.5 rating points of dodge/parry for purposes of becoming unhittable. So even a 10 parry/dodge bonus per gem will result in the same total unhittable gain as if you gemmed pure mastery. And if the bonus is greater than 10 dodge/parry per socket, then you've come out ahead.
The exception would be DPS items used for tanking (e.g. Mastery/Hit gear with a +10 str socket bonus) - gem pure mastery here.
It's nice being multi-colored, isn't it? :D
There isn't much to say here. Maxdps.com isn't always the most accurate in terms of gearing, but their list of enchants is pretty good. I'd recommend there.
Basically: Mastery enchants > Stamina enchants. But there usually isn't much choosing - the best enchant is pretty self-evident.
The exception to this are wrists and weapons. I know a lot of places (wow-heroes and maxdps among them) value the precision (+50 hit) enchant for the wrists as one of the best in slot enchants. It's not. Go 50 stamina or 50 dodge.
The other one is Weapons. It's probably Windwalk > Mending and then kinda meh. But tanking weapon enchants have been tangential for a while.
Talents and Glyphs
I would strongly recommend this build and set of glyphs for new tanks. It has a good balance of survival and gives very good threat, which for new tanks may be a little challenging at first.
First - talent points I don't suggest that may seem good:
Blood Craze - Healing when hit? What's not to like? marginal healing when hit. At 150k health, 3% is a 4,500 heal, over 5 seconds, so it's 900 health per second. And it has a 10% chance of proc-ing. It's RNG and weak. And RNG sucks. (RNG stands for random number generator, shorthand for procs you have no control over).
Gag Order - More HTs and a silence - To be honest, you don't use HT much outside of the pull and the silence doesn't buy you much.
Impending Victory - 5% heals! Only when the boss is down to 20%. And it's still 50/50 your devastate will proc it and... Basically, it's just not very useful. Points in higher DPS so the boss dies quicker will help healers out more.
Thunderstruck - It's this or Blood and Thunder, and Thunderstruck is probably better for single target raid bosses, it just takes so long (18s under optimal conditions) to fully stack and then affects only shockwave for single target that the ability to merge threat (rend) and attack speed slow is preferred by me for boss fights, and the ability to spread rend around for packs of mobs makes B+T superior to me.
Safeguard - this ability is loved by some, loathed by others. And they are generally at the progression end, not new tank end. You may end up grabbing it later on, but for now, I don't think you'll find you use it.
Quickly - why Deep Wounds? Simply put, Deep Wounds is the best threat per talent point (even factoring in the 3 War Academy points) you can grab. As a new tank getting comfortable with everything is overwhelming, so I suggest a threat-centric build that leaves a few situation specific utility abilities out in lieu of better threat for a better learning curve.
* Prime glyphs are obvious. Just use the 3 as marked.
* Major glyphs are not. Cleaving is probably on there for its general usefulness when running heroics. Outside of that, there are a lot of choices. Shield wall, Heroic Throw, Thunder Clasp, Shockwave, Intervene - how you use your abilities will determine which glyphs you use.
* Minor - Demo shout is a must. Intimidating shout makes it useful for trash packs as an o-crap breathing room ability without drawing new packs. And, this is purely from personal experience, I find we almost always have the stamina buff covered in our 10 man, but not the str/agi buff always.
Food, Flasks, and Potions
Another easier one.
Food = Mastery http://www.wowhead.com/item=62663
Flask = As a new tank, Steelskin http://www.wowhead.com/item=58085 (progression tanks may run with 2 elixirs rather than flasks, but this is more expensive, and not really needed if you're behind the progression curve - meaning you've got VP gear, not just blue gear).
* Just before you start the pull (pre-potting is what it's called) either http://www.wowhead.com/item=58146 or http://www.wowhead.com/item=67944 it'll be the same effect - this is for extra threat to start and the ability to use another potion 60 seconds later in the fight (or after that depending on when needed) - and the potion you would use in fight is:
* During the fight - the damage reduction from http://www.wowhead.com/item=58090 will outweigh any healing pots.
You may find dozens of add-ons that might help. During fights, I've found the 4 I use the are:
* X-Perl and Bartender for User Interface Customization (putting things where I want them);
* Omen 3 for tracking threat and make sure I've got enough of it or I don't pull off the other tank on tank swaps; and
* Deadly Boss Mods (DBM).
There are others - but these are the ones I find most useful.
Where to next?
Identify your best threat priority system for your abilities: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...or-Spreadsheet
Math in WoW (Warning - math heavy and DPS-centric): http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...nd-Math-in-WoW
Aggy's incredible WotLK guide to why tanks do what they do. Not 100% accurate anymore (no mastery in Wrath and a lot more bonus armor) but still incredibly useful for understanding how tanks take damage and how they can reduce incoming damage: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...g-mechanics%29
Beginner Gear Guides, a list of guides maintained by Kaz: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...er-Gear-Guides!
Exceptions and FAQs
As key points that don't fit into the above are made, I'll add them here.
This version was posted on 3/11/2011. It is version 0.1
It's late, but I do plan to do some formatting to this tomorrow to make it prettier and easier to read and so the spacing is consistent.
However i Disagree slightly with the single target priority, either i'm misreading it, or you haven't mentioned the 4GCD sequence build around proccing SnB.
Also, BnTing a rend with less than 3 secs left is actually a crap ton of threat and better than shockwave untill you get up to about 15.5k AP, and if you have someone providing the 30% damage buff to bleeds It's your second best choice for filling the last GCD on SS's CD. that buff shakes up our priority something serious
Cool, I started to write something like this, two days ago, too. There actually was a need for this. Good that't there now. :)
I did not read everything, but I saw one point: 8% hit for interrupts is only needed until 4.1. maybe you should include that so that people know that they can change back if they remember it then. And maybe you should also say, that taunts cannot miss, even now. Especially since possible taunt misses were why there was a need to hit-cap before and many people may throw that at the new warrior tank.
On the rotation: You assume some talents there (TC to refresh rend). Maybe you should indicate - maybe with a * - that those are only priorities if you have the according talent. Same for Shockwave, if you have Thunderstruck it may be better to delay it shortly for a 3stack version.
4pc-bonus: It probably depends on the encounter. Chimeron for example is one where the bonus is probably good to have (especially heroic version). As many decisions between two or more items of comparable qualitiy do. It's a good idea to have some options. So the goal should be to get those options and to gear for the fight not to gear once and forget.
- I think it would be better to also give an AoE-talent version. Some tanks use both specs for tanking. Entry level tanks will probably run a lot of 5mans and there is a lot AoE-tanking it may be nice to have a spec with both Thunderstruck and B&T. You can tank bosses with such a spec, too. (I do it most of the time.) If the majority of content one faces is AoE related, such a spec should be at least considered.
- I use Gag Order a lot in 5mans. Ok I've learned how to use the silence best, so it may be less important for new tanks. But I would weight it differently for raiding tanks and non-raiding tanks. If the warrior is not interested in raiding soon, it may be worth to play around with. (If one wants to raid maybe it's better not getting used to.)
- Tidy Plates. (Or Threat Plates) something like this makes a huge difference.
- Something to see the raid - either default UI or one of multiple other choices.
@ Teng - The reason I put shockwave up that high was it doesn't miss. So Rend might be better overall, but at the start of a pull, gauranteed threat over the chance of missing stacking threat was what I found best works for pulls. And by the time shockwave is off CD, you should be at the point where you've got vegnegence fully stacked. I'm not arguing the rotation is optimal, but rather the most effective to help new tanks.
And the 4 GCD build around SnB procs is going to be built into the priority system. Con Blow, SW, and Rend will all be on longer CDs, so 'most' of the fight the priority basically becomes SS > Imp Rev > Dev. I didn't mention it explicity though. I'll probably add that in the next revision as more comments come in.
1) I do plan to update this after 4.1 - so there will be some changes then - and that will be a key one. Interrupts like pummel with no secondary abilities, not missing.
2) I would never support using thunderstruck unless all you do is single-target tanking (raidboss tanking). Even without thunderstruck SW hits like a truck and is in the prioirty queue. I've played around in WarTotem's spreadsheet and Cruelty > Thunderstruck for threat by a good chunk (with my build, it's like 300% more threat per talent point). Plus it's guaranteed threat, which I value on the pull. This is probably a personal preference issue though.
3) On the next revision, that's a good idea - TC with B+T to refresh rend.
4) 4pc bonus - I wanted to stay away from this mostly because when you start talking about gear by encounter you're talking more than entry level tanking. That's a discussion that's for more experienced tanks, whereas I think everything in here, even the more 'advanced' concepts like positioning are valuable immediately to new tanks. By the time you've ground out VP for 3 items + enough BH or Cho'Gall kills for the 4pc, hopefully you've graduated to that level.
5) What would an AoE talent version be? Thunderstruck? That's the only one I can think of and I don't think that's a very good AoE talent. Blood and Thunder + Deep Wounds will give you all the AoE threat you need IF you mark targets. Marking kill order is the single most important part of a good pack pull anyway. I think we just have vastly different opinions to the benefits of those 2 points in thunderstruck ;-)
6) Maybe it's different play stiles, but I haven't found the silence to be all that useful. Shield Bash, Concussive Blow, Charge, Shockwave, Intimidating Shout glyphed - we have a lot of interrupts that work. About the only mob I can think of is the fireballer in HoO. But I'm not going to suggest Gag Order just from him. It is a play style choice obviously. And I don't expect this to work for everyone. Maybe I'll add a little more in next time on the benefits to talents I don't value as highly.
7) LOL - this one is definately personal preference. I HATE Tidy Plates/Threat Plates. It's just too messy. I've not found a way to use them in a clean elegant manner. And I've found with target marketing for kill priority it isn't much needed. Maybe I'll give it another shot and add in that a lot of tanks them. I wrote this from personal experience, so it does have some differences from other tanks.
8) Something ot see the raid, you're talking Grid aren't you? I forgot to add that in. I do use Grid for tanking and I did intend to put that in the list, I just forgot.
Definetly need to differentiate between the pull and the cruising rotation/priority. it's not clear at all. and telling new tanks to be sub-optimal is not really...optimal
Originally Posted by Loganisis
It's not optimal from a maximum TPS standpoint, but it optimal from a minumum TPS standpoint. But I get where you're coming from. I was looking at this as more a minimum level getting started and now I probably should be more definitive here on what is best and then offer a sub-optimal alternative that can be used to raising the floor (though lowering the ceiling) until they are ready to use the optimal.
1) Ok. :)
2) I was speaking about the priority order of abilities - if you have Thunderstruck, you should wait with Shockwave until you have a stack of 3 TC before using it - if you use TC often. If you don't have Thunderstruck it can be used whenever it's free and comes in the priority around where you put it.
2a) (another thing: Shince Concussive Blow is off the GCD it's nothing you use in the GCD priority list. It only compeates against those for rage but one should have enough, anyway.)
4) I would not start to speak about special bosses, I would just say, that having multiple options is better than to have only one fixed BiS set. And switching stuff around as needed. Special effects (like set bonus, trinket procs/on-use-effects) should be evaluated for every encounter, not globally if you are speaking about tanks and healers. It's different for most DPS classes. In most cases what's good for one situation is good for most.
5) Yes I include Thunderstruck into an AoE version. Because if you do it right, you get something what DW cannot give you at all: Controlled bursth threat. You just have to time your pulls so that you can open up with a 3 stack Thunderstruck-Shockwave. That's much better than any DW that can proc from a crit. You never can control your crits, but you can control the burst of Thunderstruck.
6) There are many places where I use it. For pulls, but also while tanking groups. Well or to be more precise: where I used it - it's less important when one can burn through 5mans as I can do it with my gear. But since we are speaking about entry level gear, there may be something. However, if there will be nothing additionally I would not recomment to spec into Gag Order after 4.6. So maybe it's got to get peopel away from it, even now.
7) Yes it is. I adimt that I only changed to it recently. And I love it. It's a big difference. I'm using Tidy Plates. And they re-did it for Cata. So maybe it's different than what you did see. Anyway, many tanks like to have use addons like this, so it may be a good idea to at least tell people that something like this exists.
8) Lol. I hate Grid. :) Actually it's one of the few raid-UI-addons I just delete again when I try it out now and again. But there are plenty others and it is not important which one uses as long as one can see the status of the raid / group. Even the build in is ok.
Originally Posted by Loganisis
I don't know if its just me, but I really can't find a blue gem with 20 mastery / 30 parry on it.
Or am I taking it far too literally and I should look for either a gem with 20 mastery on it or a gem with 30 parry on it ?
Many thanks, your primer is excellent!
Doh! Sorry, I was tired when I was writing this. Blue = 20 mastery / 30 stamina, it's a green cut. Sorry.
Originally Posted by brodygb
I actually did grab Tidy plates and found it to be a great help..I did not grab the plugin "Threat Plates" simply because of the sizes and it got too confusing for me on the intial setup as a 1st time user to it...For the "messiness" your reffering too, im assuming u mean those plates filling your screen...I chose to allow the plates to overlap, and it made it MUCH cleaner...Although it does make it a pain to click target (personnally, i hate tab targetting, it almost alway skips the target i want several times, and i end up clicking it anyway..) Tidy Plates you can click right onto the "plate" (which is where overlapping them or not makes a difference)
As for Thunderstruck(I like it) i think its also important to note it also adds 6% Increased Damagefor Rend, Clave, and Thunder Clap ontop of the stacking 10% dmg boost to Shockwave..(30% at 3stacks max)
-Simple Marker (convenience for easier/faster marking rather than the default dropdown)
-Tidy Plates (with or without the "Threat Plates" plugin(I dont use Threat Plates))
-Aggro Notifier(Although this can be covered through other addons)
I know I'm forgetting something...
Huh? I thought it still used the spell hit table.
Originally Posted by Loganisis
Could you elaborate what adjustments to the 4GCD cycle should be made on the pull and at what point you need to switch to "cruising"?
Originally Posted by Tengenstein
I've never seen shockwave miss, and since I'm running with 0.64% hit, for a spell miss rate of 16.36%, I'm sure I would have seen it. Taunt used to use the spell hit table, but I don't remember shockwave ever using it.
It's conical - so if you don't place it right it could miss, but from targetting, not from missing the mob. Unless someone knows something I don't (I didn't say anything in the 4.X comments at WoWhead, wowpedia, or mmo-champs).
Shockwave can miss (and be blocked), but not be dodged or parried. The reason is that it is implemented as a ranged attack (which makes sense in a way). I remember a blue post back in Wrath sometime about them planning to change that, but obviously they didn't.