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Thread: Good raid leading: knowledge of other classes

  1. #1
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    Good raid leading: knowledge of other classes

    Hi all,

    I'm surprised I've never seen a topic about this anywhere on Tankspot - hopefully we can make this thread a great resource for people like myself, who are looking to make the transition to raid leader but who don't have the experience and knowledge to back it up.

    Clearly one of the qualities that makes a good raid leader is a solid base of knowledge about other classes and what they can and can't do. For example, most tanks will have a general idea about the CC capabilities of most classes, but does your average 5-man PUG'ing tank know the names and functions of their less "obvious" abilities?

    It always impresses me when a non-Warrior knows little details about the Warrior class... for example, when patch 3.0 went live, I was too busy drooling over my own damage output to remember to use Vigilance. On something like my 5th heroic after a few easy trash pulls, a party member said "aren't you going to use Vigilance?"

    It made an impression on me that somebody knew about a new talent used by another class on the day it was patched, and was aware enough to notice that I hadn't used it after a few problem-free trash pulls.

    So, what I want to know is: what are some of the things that an exceptional raid leader might know about each class?

    Obviously people who have experience playing alts will have a deeper understanding of different classes, but I'll put any useful tidbits up here, so please feel free to contribute.

    I've written a basic outline of prot Warriors (see further down the thread after the reserved posts) for non-Warrior raid leaders. I'd like to expand this thread to include details on all classes/specs.

    If referring to a spec (for example, Rogues playing Combat spec) please specify which one.

    Let me know what you think!

  2. #2
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    Death Knights

    Death Knights

    Note: under construction - will add Blood tanking and Unholy tanking notes in the near future. Please feel free to make corrections, as this is 100% researched based and 0% practical experience based.

    Death Knights specialize in melee DPS or tanking.


    Death Knights as tanks - general

    Unlike other tank classes, Death Knights can spec deep into any of their three talent trees and remain perfectly viable tanks.

    The abilities outlined in this section are core DK abilities relevant to tanking. The one exception to this is Blade Barrier, which should be specced by any DK wishing to tank, regardless of which talent tree they wish to persue.

    Buffs

    Making pulls

    • Death Grip: widely recognized signature DK ability that pulls a mob to the DK. Is effective at pulling casters into melee range.
    • Strangulate: core ability which silences mobs for 5 seconds. DK's occasionally use this ability to force casters to get into melee range.

    Interrupts:

    • Mind Freeze: silence/interrupt ability which prevents the mob from using any spell from the same school that was interrupted for 4 seconds.
    • Death Grip: as well as pulling a mob to the DK, Death Grip also interrupts any spell being casted by the mob at that moment.

    Regaining aggro
    • Dark Command: the "taunt" of Death Knights; forces an enemy to attack the DK. Has a range of up to 30 yards. 8 sec cooldown. Mainly used when healer/DPS pulls aggro, or when MT/OTs are switching aggro on a boss.
    • Death Grip: pulls a mob into melee range and forces it to attack the DK for 3 seconds. This shouldn't be considered a true "taunt", since it doesn't modify the DK's threat in relation to other raid members; the DK will still need to gain aggro.

    Incoming damage reduction
    • Icebound Fortitude: core ability casted on self by the DK - reduces ALL damage taken by 20% plus an additional reduction based on the DK's defense. Lasts 12 secs with a 1 min cooldown. Can be effective in reducing predictable spikes of damage.
    • Blade Barrier: talented ability that increases the DK's Parry chance by 10% for 10 secs whenever their Blood Runes are on cooldown. It can't be "casted" per se, since it relies on both of the DK's Blood Runes being on cooldown, although ideally the DK's rotation should ensure Blade Barrier is up 100% of the time aside from the first rotation of a pull (i.e. when Blood Runes are up).

    Magic damage reduction
    • Anti-Magic Shell: self-targetted core ability - absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by harmful spells and prevents application of harmful magical effects. Lasts 5 secs, 45 sec cooldown. Useful for predictable spell damage spikes.


    Death Knights as tanks - Frost

    The Frost tree enhances the DK's avoidance.


    Buffs:
    • Improved Icy Talons: raid-wide buff that refreshes when the DK uses Icy Talons; increases melee haste of raid by 20% for 20 seconds, and should be rotated so it's always up. Does not stack with a Shaman's Windfury.
    • Frost Aura: raid-wide buff of +80 spell resistance.

    Immunity/related:
    • Lichborne: self-buff, makes the DK immune to Charm/Fear/Sleep effects for 15 seconds, 3 min cooldown.

    Incoming damage reduction:
    • Lichborne: self-buff, increases the miss chance of attackers by 25% for 15 seconds, 3 min cooldown.
    • Icy Touch: applies debuff that decreases a mob's melee/ranged attack speed by 14% (can - and should - be talented to 20%).
    • Unbreakable Armor: self-buff, increases armor by 25%, strength by 10% and parry by 5% for 20 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
    Last edited by Juzh; 03-04-2009 at 04:01 PM.

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    Warriors

    Warriors

    Warriors can specialize in melee DPS (typically utilizing the Fury talent tree, but some Warriors prefer Arms builds) or tanking (Protection).


    Arms
    Arms builds focus on large amounts of burst damage using two-handed weapons. Arms is traditionally considered a PvP build (many of it's talents are useful in PvP combat), although currently Fury is the favored PvP build for most high-ranking Warriors. Arms features various talents and abilities which are useful in PvE, although Fury is generally considered to be superior for Warriors wishing to achieve maximum DPS. Blizzard claim to be buffing Arms' DPS output in upcoming patches.

    (Detailed description coming soon.)


    Fury
    Fury builds lead to the 51 point talent, Titan's Grip, which allows the Warrior equip a two-handed weapon in each hand. Fury builds are considered the "golden standard" for Warrior DPS builds and allow for large amounts of sustained DPS.

    (Detailed description coming soon.)


    Protection
    Protection builds are for Warrior tanks, offering excellent survivability and many extremely useful talents for tanking end game content.

    Making pulls:
    • Charge: well known core ability. Stuns enemies for 1 sec, 15 sec cooldown. Is only usable in Battle Stance and before entering combat except for prot Warriors who have specced Warbringer, in which case it is usable in any stance and during combat.
    • Heroic Throw: high threat ranged ability, can pull casters if specced Gag Order (prot tree) since it silences the target for 3 seconds. Almost all prot Warriors will spec Gag Order due to the 10% Shield Slam damage increase.

    Buffs:
    • Battle Shout: attack power buff, lasts 2 mins. Cannot be active at the same time as a Paladin's Blessing of Might.
    • Commanding Shout: HP buff.
    • Vigilance: prot-spec talented single target buff, reduces damage taken by target by 3% and transfers 10% of their threat to the Warrior.

    Interrupts:
    • Shield Bash: core ability, shares cooldown with Pummel (another core ability used when in Berserker Stance - i.e. DPS Warriors). Silences target for 3 seconds when specced Gag Order (most prot Warriors will be).
    • Concussion Blow: prot-spec talented ability, stuns target for 5 secs. 45 second cooldown.
    • Shockwave: 51 point prot talent, AoE stun (lasts 4 secs). 20 sec cooldown.

    Other interrupts/related:
    • Spell Reflection: core ability (requires shields), reflects next spell cast on the Warrior (lasts 5 secs). Can be specced so that it reflects the first spell cast upon the closest 2/4 party members. 10 sec cooldown.
    • Intimidating Shout: AoE fear (up to 5 mobs), lasts 8 secs. 3 min cooldown.
    • Charge: with a point in Warbringer (deep prot talent - most prot Warriors will have it), the stun from Charge can be used creatively in certain situations.
    • Intercept: core ability which can be used only in Berserker Stance which behaves the same way as Charge with Warbringer - i.e. can be used during combat. 30 sec cooldown, requires stance dancing for tanks.
    • Improved Revenge: most prot Warriors will put talent points into Improved Revenge, which has a 50% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds when using Revenge (core part of a prot Warrior's rotation).

    Immunity/related:
    • Berserker Rage: Warriors can break fear (and be immune to it for 10 secs) as well as other incapacitate effects with Berserker Rage (now usable in any stance), 30 sec cooldown.

    Regaining aggro:
    • Taunt: forces an enemy to attack the Warrior. Has a range of up to 30 yards. 8 sec cooldown. Mainly used when healer/DPS pulls aggro, or when MT/OTs are switching aggro on a boss.
    • Mocking Blow: similar to Taunt in that it forces a mob to attack the Warrior (for 6 seconds opposed to Taunt's 3), but can be used while silenced since it's an attack (Taunt is considered a spell).
    • Challenging Shout: Forces all nearby enemies (10 yards) to attack the Warrior for 6 secs. 3 min cooldown.
    • Intervene: like Charge, but targets raid/party members instead of mobs and intercepts an attack and reduces the party member's threat by 10%. Example: healer pulls aggro and Taunt is on cooldown, so the Warrior intercepts the healer and takes the mob's first attack and quickly regains aggro with threat abilities).

    Debuffs/reducing damage taken by the tank:
    • Demoralizing Shout: debuff that reduces the attack power of nearby enemies. Doesn't have to be used on trash/farm content, but certainly should be for progression raid bosses.
    • Sunder Armor: debuff applied by the core ability Sunder Armor and Devastate (deep prot talent, superior to Sunder Armor for tanking) that reduces a mob's armor.
    • Thunder Clap: core ability that affects unlimited targets within range and increases the time between an enemy's attacks, thus reducing a mob's damage output.
    • Disarm: core ability that disarms a mob's weapon for 10 secs, 1 min cooldown. Certain raid bosses can be disarmed - it pays to know which ones.
    • Shield Block: increases the Warrior's chance to block and block value by 100% for 10 seconds. Blocked attacks = less damage taken, higher block value = a larger amount of an attack's damage is absorbed by the block.

    Self-healing:
    • Enraged Regenaration: heals 30% of the Warrior's total health over 10 secs and consumes an enrage effect. If prot Warrior's aren't enraged, they can deliberately make themselves enraged by casting Berserker Rage or Bloodrage.

    Survivability/cooldowns:
    • Last Stand: prot spec talented ability, usually used in emergency situations (although only has a 5 minute cooldown), grants the Warrior 30% of max health for 20 seconds.
    • Shield Wall: core prot cooldown (requires shields), reduces *all* damage taken by the Warrior by 60% for 12 seconds. 5 min cooldown (can be specced to 4 mins).

    Multiple mob tanking:
    • Cleave: melee attack that hits two targets - the main target and the closest other mob to that target.
    Last edited by Juzh; 03-04-2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Added Shield Block to Incoming damage reduction section.

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  13. #13
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    Good post i think.
    Maybe add some commonly used rotations.
    Seeing as you are a warrior (and i know hardly anything about warrior's abilities) maybe specify a bit more which abilities are considered to be a tanks highest threat moves, so that when im looking at my guilds WWS reports i can interpret it better.

  14. #14
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    rotations and skill usage would be a topic for another post i think.
    for this it would be better to state which class/spec can do a certain job best/efficiently/not-at-all. examples would be healer allocation, assigning tanks and dps to boss/adds and things like that. so you would be using your people to their full extent (or at least somewhat efficiently ^^).
    another thing would be to name buffs/debuffs and skills with a longer cooldown. and certain techniques some classes can pull off (iceblocking/bubbling some debuff for example).

  15. #15
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    Since the audience is presumed to be a class other then what they are reading, its important that little things be correct.

    For instance, under intervene you use an example about the mob moving out of taunt range, but Intervene has an 8-25 yd range while taunt is 30 yd.

    Not a big deal really, but I could see a raid leader telling a warrior they should have interviend the priest if taunt was on cool down, nothing a player likes less than being told how to play, especially if its incorrect.

    I'm looking forward to reading about the other classes, I find myself stumbling around for ability names all the time, this could end up being my favorite thread.

    Great idea!

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the suggestions, I also corrected the Intervene/Taunt thing. (Haven't actually played since the Taunt range was increased, due to a dead laptop.)

    I actually think it's a good idea to include some basic details about rotations. It's something that I think any exceptional raid leader would have at least some knowledge of. I know that I personally don't know ANYTHING about any class besides my own when it comes to rotations. I remember thinking "do Mages do anything besides cast Fireball?" once after noticing a recurring theme on the cast bar of a Mage I was running a PUG with back in TBC... aside from that I haven't given it a second thought.

    It's also a good idea to write about little tricks that the different classes can do, I'll be doing that in the short class summaries at the top of each post.

    Future ideas include a companion thread that lists everything by function rather than by class for quick reference.

    For example:

    Interrupts
    • Shield Bash (Warrior)
    • Strangulate (Death Knight)
    • Kick (Rogue)
    • etc.
    Today I added some notes on Death Knights and the Frost tree for tanking. I'll attempt to write up on Blood and Unholy in the next few days. With the DK stuff, it's 100% research based, since I've been unable to play for most of WotLK.

  17. #17
    1) Next to vigilance should be noted mehanic that whenever target with Vigilance is hit by harmful attack, warrior's cooldown on Taunt is refreshed.
    2) Next to enraged regeneration should be noted that when used with Last Stand, Commanding Shout and health/stamina trinkets gives crazy amount of heal since it heals for 30% of HP in moment of tick.
    3) Battle Shout is almost always glyphed for 3 min due low amount of good minor glyphs.

  18. #18
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    A very good idea, in my opinion. If I had a cheeseburger for every time I've seen someone ask the rogue to sap the undead, the warrior forget to use vigilance, etc....

    Sorry, I'm hungry now.

    Are you going to cover the other auras for Death Knights? And a note about Death and Decay might be nice, since I see enough DPS Death Knights not realizing it's a high threat ability, let alone anyone else.

    I can try to come up with something for the rogue section if you'd like help with that at all.
    "DPS looking for socks."
    ~Eharne, Sentinels

  19. #19
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    Two things to note about DKs:

    1) Most DKs I know glyph Horn of Winter (3 min duration), because we have almost nothing else worth slotting.

    2) Strangulate isn't an interrupt, it's a silence (which, of course, bosses tend to be immune to). Mind Freeze is our interrupt.

  20. #20
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    Roatations have been and will be covered ad nauseum in other threads. Keeping this thread in the manner intended will eventually make this a must read thread for all tanks I would think.

    Please don't make this great idea of a thread into yet another rotation discussion

    Nice work, looking forward to updates.

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