The Ponderings of a New Tank
First and foremost I'll go ahead and sullenly admit to it, yes I am new to the tanking world. Quite frankly it all seems a tad bit on the overwhelming side, but for some reason I've never had this much fun playing the game. I did choose the Deathknight class for my tank, mainly because it looked fun and I needed a break from my Shaman, but enough beating around the bush I've got questions that need your answers!
Firstly, when I'm out tanking heroics I get quite flustered. I have a hard time keeping up with watching my cool downs and keeping my eyes on the mobs. Yet for some reason in this confusion I rarely manage to wipe the group. So I must be doing something right.
Here is more or less what my current set up looks like, thought I've made a few changes since I took this.
I'm using more or less the basic W A S D for moving around, although I do quite a bit of it with both click and hold mouse button 1 and 2. I bring this up because I just read through someones post about being a clicker and I see that several people posted about binding movement keys to the mouse. What are your thoughts on this, is this a necessity that no one has told me about yet?
Secondly, addons. I hear quite a bit of love for pitbull and I am considering giving it a try. I'm very ignorant when it comes to raiding and the addons you really need to be a capable tank. Currently the only raid addon I have is Deadly Boss Mods, and I haven't messed with it hardly at all.
In the process of writing this I've forgotten some of my other questions but this is a relatively good start in my opinion. So, if you would be so kind, take a moment and ponder a bit upon my questions. Any answers will be greatly appreciated and when I get home from work there is a good chance that I will end up replying and/or posting more questions
Thank you for your time!
Hey Ram, Welcome to tankhood! There's plenty of addons out there that are half descent. For your questions on addons. First and foremost the addon OMEN is a must for any tank. Its almost guaranteed that not everyone is going to be hitting the target your hitting and its good to have omen to watch alround agro on the mobs your tanking. A second addon for a deathknight that is hand is RuneWatch, but as you get more experience you'll use it less. Lastly "Tank Warnings" is nice to have. It will tell you when taunt is resisted, when your safeties are used.
As for getting flustered, dont worry about it, it will pass. A Death Knight tank is a hard character to get used to tanking with. Instead of just having a few spells to cast for good agro you have (frost spec) roughy 7 or 8 different spells to cast to get and maintain agro. As you tank more you'll get used to counting the cooldowns of your runes in your head instead of watching.
I'll give you a great spell rotation that works for me on Frost.... First lay Death and decay on the ground infront of you. Deathgrip the mob to you... Then "Icetouch", wait for all the mobs to be in range, "Pestilence" closely followed by a "Howling Blast" follow that with a "Blood Boil" and you've got yourself good group agro. U may need to Rune Tap somewhere in there depending if a Death Rune pops or not.... After u go through that initial spell rotation make sure to get your plague strike effect in there. If one someone is catching up to you on threat throw a few deathcoils at it.
Do a google search online to get some good macro's for instance a mousover macro for your taunt. I'm not at my computer now so i can't write it out for you. Also keep your camera as far back as you can so you can see whats going on around you.
Dont sweat to much if you cant get another death and decay down after your first one, its usually not needed unless the fight has continual adds coming in from all directions. Mostly u can time a blood boil, howling blast or pestilence to pick em up.
If someone pulls off you in a Heroic dont sweat it to much. You going to come across some people that have 3-4K dps and for any tank starting out thats almost impossible to hold onto, its up to them to watch their threat meter and stay behind you on threat. Once you've been tanking a bit and get better gear you wont have to worry about that happening. Other than that make sure your horn of winter us up all the time sit back and have fun.
Hello there. I'm not too familiar with DK tanking but some thoughts about your UI:
-it may be advantageous if you pulled your character portrait towards more the middle of the screen, right now your eyes have to jump from far top to far bottom of your screen when tanking
-your stances buttons could be placed somewhere else in a less obtrusive place than dead center (smaller too), i think you pretty much know what aura you're in even if it takes up less space elsewhere
-you can save more space in the important part of your screen (the center, for less eye jumping) by hiding your class/level/targeted icons on your char portrait (basicly useless info^^), your row of buffs below it (its shown on your right anyway, over-abundant info)
As well, personally I find it convenient to bind auto-run to my mouse3 click. Also in case you don't have it, make sure you have Cooldowncount as seeing the seconds of CD left on your actionbar buttons is, I think, essential.
"Yes." - Captain Obvious
For unit frames
Install Pitbull for your frame and your targets (and target of target), or install IceHUD. I like the heads up of IceHUD over frames.
-For your party/raid, I would recommend disabling all the options on pitbull and JUST use grid. It will show people's hp and if they have aggro (which is all you need as a DK). I'm a druid and also use it for innervates
-Keyboard turning is something you should avoid. Hold down your right mouse button to turn.
-Mouse-only movement isn't necessary. If you can do it in PvP, then do it in PvE.
-Strafing is your friend. In "front" of you is 180degrees, which means you can attack mobs while they are all the way to your left.
For other addons:
- Close recount unless you're really really interested in other people's dps (like if you're leading a raid)
- Install Omen for the reasons previously stated
- OmniCC is good to display your cooldowns.
- Outfitter is nice, I can't tell if you use it. It will allow you to build sets and switch out all your gear for another set with one click.
- RatingBuster is a nice addon for judging gear since you're new to this whole tank thing
From the replies I gather that I should have given a bit more detail.
Yes, I have omen but I keep it on auto-collapse. Keyboard turning is atrocious, before this I came from FPS style games and I absolutely loathe the slow keyboard turning. In fact I replaced A and D with strafe because it feels more natural. My character frame rests right above the middle left bar that has 1234 bound to it and my target rests right on the stance frame. EBB I moved to the upper left and Mini map I re-sized and it now rests right on top of the far left bar (These were all the final changes to that set up before I uploaded the picture and I didn't have time to get an updated one loaded yesterday). Cool down countdowns is something that I need and it's one of those things I think about to myself in game and forget to do after I log.
Personally what it is that I'm really getting confused on, and I suppose this is just a muscle memory thing I need to work on, is what I'm watching. I tend to keep switching my attention back and forth from watching whats going on to watching my cool downs too often I think. Also, as comes with new binds and setups, I feel a bit awkward with the new setup and it doesn't help all that much, but it's getting easier.
Hiding recount is probably a good idea, although I do like to look at it from time to time. I suppose that I could be a bad distraction from watching the mob.
I sounded a little more ignorant that I think I am with my original post and for that I apologize, I guess I just take some things for granted. I still struggle with trying to keep focus on what's going on some times, especially when it turns into a cluster F. I pretty much know my rotations for single mob and AOE, so I guess really my question is does it get easier to focus on the fight when you know more of what's going on. Repetition, i guess.