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Thread: First time tanking

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    First time tanking

    Hi everyone,

    With all the great advice I got here I went and tried being a tank with my regular group last Thursday in The Slave Pens and it was awesome. My current gear and spec have finally been updated on the Armory ( http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Echo%20Isles&n=Snackpants) so you can see what I'm working with. I followed some of the guides here and switched to protection spec. I thought I would miss the DPS of Arms, but Im finding that Im handing out nearly as much damage with my shield as I did with my big 2-handed sword. I got a great new poleaxe Saturday night, but I dont use Battle or Berserker stances anymore, so its just sitting in my bag getting rusty lol! I also discovered that Im pretty much unkillable, at least at this level. So cool!

    With some coaching from my group (two of whom are pretty experienced), I took the lead and started marking and targeting mobs for the others to attack while I saved the biggest and strongest for myself. For The Slave Pens, we had two hunters and a healer plus me, which, while probably not ideal, made short work of the place without issues. My only complaint might be that Im sometimes hard to hit, mostly 1-on-1 or 1-on-2, and rage is hard to get.

    Even though my knowledge is still next-to-nothing, I found myself getting annoyed with one of the hunters sending his stupid dinosaur in right next to me every time, then immediately opening fire with his rifle before I had time to get anything going. If there was a mob of 4 or 5, I could grab one or two, but hed pull the others back onto the group and everyone would have to struggle to get things under control again and Id be chasing around hitting each one separately trying to get them back.

    More than one of us asked him to count to 5 before heading in, but even after that I think he was really only counting to 2. One of the other guys in the group whispered to me that if he were to act like that in Kara, hed be kicked out for sure. Weve been with this guy since the beginning, so hes a good friend, but he just cant seem to get the hang of waiting for me to do my job. Grrrrrr

    Still, I could usually get myself to the top of the threat meter (Omen?) and get mobs to turn on me if they got distracted. I also had very little difficulty making rage in big groups, often pegging it and having to dump using some of the bigger attacks. I used the rotation I read about here (Shield Slam, Revenge, Devastate, plus Heroic Strike whenever I could) and it worked very well. I also kept Vigilance on the healer. My usual attack was to shoot the mobs, then meet them halfway with a Charge to build some rage early, then hit Thunderclap and Demoralizing Shout (or one of the shoutsthe one with the little green guy, I get confused), then start the rotation. Since we werent really doing any CC, I kept Thunderclap up at all times. Good? Bad? Stupid?

    Anyway, the summary said that I took more than 70% of the damage throughout the entire instance, which I guess was pretty good all things considered (kudos to our healer, too, although I didnt see her working since I was so busy! lol). I picked up a most awesome cape with far, far more armor on it than any other cape Ive ever seen. Wow!

    Were talking about doing Kara maybe later this week. I know Im not up to main tanking it, but perhaps I could practice my off-tanking. Am I ready? Am I sufficiently geared for, say, a 10-man? Or will it be an exercise in frustration for someone just starting off?

    Sorry to be long winded, but Im so excited. Its like a whole new game now and I think I finally found something I can be excel at (although Im really good at being bad at PvPlol). Thank you for all the advice, and I look forward to more.

    Love ya, guys!
    Snackpants, Female Night Elf Warrior, Echo Isles
    My allies are my weapon; I am their shield.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Congrats on tanking your first instance.

    Hunter pets getting to the mobs before you do is pretty annoying. I suppose most of the time it doesn't result in any harm, but it does make the start of the pull pretty messy. Sounds like you've asked them to wait. Suggest that they let the mobs get to you and start hitting you before sending the pet in. You'll notice a very large difference in how smooth things go with a group of DPS that actually wait to start until you have the mobs. Believe it or not, the trash generally dies faster too.

    Rage can be spotty when the mobs aren't hitting you hard enough or often enough. Best thing to do is to just save it for your highest threat abilities. Concussion Blow, Shockwave, Shield Slam, Revenge, Thunderclap. In these cases don't use Demoralizing Shout much because it further reduces how hard you are being hit (conversely it's very important on mobs that hit like trains). Yes, thunderclap is an excellent tool for maintaining threat on multiple mobs so what you were doing is fine.

    Karazhan is a fun place, I say go for it. You may be a bit on the undergeared side for the main tank job ( the mobs in there hit pretty hard when you aren't geared), but then again I haven't really been sine 3.0 and they should be easier. Should be fun for you.

    A suggestion on spec would be to take a full 5/5 Deflection in the Arms tree, and move the remaining points you have from Booming Voice and Improved Charge into Sword & Board, and possibly Damage Shield or Shockwave.

    Sounds like a good start, good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalken View Post
    "I'll let the dragon hit me in the face, you stab it in the ass."

  3. #3
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    I would think you'd want to be at least level 70 before trying to tank or off-tank in kara, especially since you're gear probably won't be all that great. The content is definitely easier than it used to be, but that's just my hunch.

    You could become crit-immune thought crafted and quest rewards back in the day. Depending on how well-geared the rest of the group, it might be doable. I'm actually not sure of the minimum level to get *inside* of Kara, although I'm pretty sure I've heard of non-70's getting in there.

    Oh, and is it possible that your friend is intentionally trying to mess with you? I know some friendships work that way... also, make sure his pet is not growling/taunting. That'll make things easier.

  4. #4
    Hey, grats on tanking

    First, don't get discuraged. You are going to get hammered a few times and when it happens people are going to be like ohh you suck compared to they guy thats done it a million times and has better gear.

    Rethink your talent tree to include shockwave. Cyderhelm has a link to his talent build somewere on the site. Go down the prot tree till you get shockwave. I will try to find something for you.

    I am not sure what weapon you were using the but I assume you aren't using a polearm while tanking. Try to get a fast weapon, like 1.5 seconds. I find it really helps especially on trash. I swap weapons now between 1.5 seconds for trash and 2.6 seconds on bosses.

    There is a pulling guild on this site you should have a look at. Personally, I will charge a group and TC. One thing to note you don't have to wait till you get to the target to TC them. So I will charge the back one and tc on the way threw the group. After that I face the group and shockwave. At that point I start building threat on my target rotating in TC everytime its up. I play with shield block on my pull, so I will charge tc then take a few hits with shield block up doing a rotation then Shockwave before someone has a change to get away.

    I started putting vigilance on my healer for a while but when there is one person always pulling off you put it on him instead. Keep in mind it resets taunt if he gets hit so taunt away if theres someone going after him.

    Keybinds will make your like so much easier. I use cause I find it confortable:
    q = SS
    e = revenge/hs macro (hits revenge on use and if active use my free hs)
    r = devistate,
    f = tc

    1 = shield block
    2 = shockwave
    3 = spell reflect
    4 = disarm

    shift+q=taunt // use a taunt macro to change to defense stance
    shift+e=intervine // use a macro to change to d stance and pop bloodrage
    shift+r=mount
    shift+f=cleave

    shift+1= charge
    shift+2=ConC
    shift+3=aoe cc racial

    mouse wheel forward = HS // makes hs spams so nice
    mouse wheel backward = Sunders // good for the time you need sunders up fast like a boss or when you are ot.

    I find keeping q, e, r, f both easier to move and easier on my wrist.

    Mark targets helps and make sure people are on skull. If they pull off you and its not skull then thats there fault. You can point out the obvious if they end up dead. Did you see the skull on his head or the x for next if not you were hitting the wrong target. One trick I heard on one of the pod casts was us your numberpad to set mark targets. That works really well. 0, clear marks, 1=skull, 2=x and so on. Nice thing is 1-3 = kill targets, 4-6 cc targets, 7-8 = whatever marks ( i use them to keep track of patrols since you can see them threw the walls ).

    Leadership was a bit tricky for me. I found I was fine after starting but setting the pace and worse starting I was like "are we ready?" "should i pull". I found very little information on setting pace but I found this video really helped.
    RaidFast - StratFu

    Ben

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Thanks for more great advice.

    Questions:

    1) Is there a standard, well-known marking pattern that all tanks use (i.e. skull is always for the tank, X is for CC, star is for regular attacks, etc.)?

    2) When marking can I put the same mark on multiple mobs, like a skull on two separate mobs? I was marking my own target with a skull, then using other marks to mark the ones I wanted the the two hunters to go after. But if there were four mobs, I only marked three, and told my group that I'd also be taking the unmarked guy. See question #1 above.

    3) I use a targeting add-on that has a bar at the top of my screen where I can just click on the symbol I want for each guy. Easy!

    4) I'm sure my hunter friend wasn't doing it on purpose, he really was just over-eager. We'll get him straightened out.

    5) No, I'm not using the poleaxe for tanking, silly . I have a shield and some spikey brass knuckles lol. The knuckles are a blue item, and the shield might be, too. I'm going to put a spike on it before the next run.

    6) I've got everything keybound already. I don't use the mouse to turn, but I can do everything else from the keyboard. I made a macro for my opening attack which casts defensive stance, bloodrage, shield block, charge, then thunderclap with a second push of the button, then I do my rotation manually. It works pretty well.

    No Kara this week since I probably won't be level 68 by Thursday. We're going to do something else more appropriately leveled and maybe Kara next week with some more experienced people in my friend's guild. I'd like to take notes from a more experienced tank.

    Still, this has really changed the game for me for the better. I love being so strong--it's really a strange thrill for someone who has always been petite and shy IRL lol. Love it!
    Snackpants, Female Night Elf Warrior, Echo Isles
    My allies are my weapon; I am their shield.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snackpants View Post
    Thanks for more great advice.

    Questions:

    1) Is there a standard, well-known marking pattern that all tanks use (i.e. skull is always for the tank, X is for CC, star is for regular attacks, etc.)?

    2) When marking can I put the same mark on multiple mobs, like a skull on two separate mobs? I was marking my own target with a skull, then using other marks to mark the ones I wanted the the two hunters to go after. But if there were four mobs, I only marked three, and told my group that I'd also be taking the unmarked guy. See question #1 above.

    3) I use a targeting add-on that has a bar at the top of my screen where I can just click on the symbol I want for each guy. Easy!

    4) I'm sure my hunter friend wasn't doing it on purpose, he really was just over-eager. We'll get him straightened out.

    5) No, I'm not using the poleaxe for tanking, silly . I have a shield and some spikey brass knuckles lol. The knuckles are a blue item, and the shield might be, too. I'm going to put a spike on it before the next run.

    6) I've got everything keybound already. I don't use the mouse to turn, but I can do everything else from the keyboard. I made a macro for my opening attack which casts defensive stance, bloodrage, shield block, charge, then thunderclap with a second push of the button, then I do my rotation manually. It works pretty well.

    No Kara this week since I probably won't be level 68 by Thursday. We're going to do something else more appropriately leveled and maybe Kara next week with some more experienced people in my friend's guild. I'd like to take notes from a more experienced tank.

    Still, this has really changed the game for me for the better. I love being so strong--it's really a strange thrill for someone who has always been petite and shy IRL lol. Love it!

    1)Skull is generally the 1st target to die, Moon is generally mage's sheep :P. Anything after that I've seen a lot of variation for. Some people use X as 2nd target, some use it for sap. just set up a macro you can press that tells the group what their marks mean before you start an instance so you can just press it and do it as you see fit.

    2)One skull, one X, one triangle. you can't put the same mark on multiple mobs unfortunately.

    Lastly, you will probably want to learn how to mouse turn. It's faster, and while I do know tanks who still keyboard turn and are apparently good you will still be wasting valuable seconds when an add spawns on a boss and your back is facing it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    803
    They made some changes to hunter pets not too long ago, that make it a bit more challenging to deal with pets. Just a recommendation, but ask your hunter friend to set his pet to passive, and manually send it in. I have managed to accidentally send my pet in while I am MDing the MT, by just not being focused on what I'm doing. It's fairly easy to do.

    Grats on tanking though, it's pretty enjoyable now. :-D

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    36
    You can't mark multiple mobs with the same lucky charm, although you can change them during the fight. This is actually very useful. Get people trained to always attack skull, then just before the current skull dies put skull on your next target. That way people don't need to remember your kill order.

    The icons I use are:
    Skull - kill first
    X - kill second
    moon - sheep
    circle - mind control
    square - trap
    diamond - various other CC

    In general, after skull & X, kill the CC in order of mob release, which tends to be trap first then circle or diamond. Sheep and shackle can be reapllied as long as no one dots it, so break these last. Roots (which can now be applied indoors, but only really usable against melee mobs) can be reapplied even with dots, although they won't last as long because breakage is related to the amount of damage the mob receives.

    As far as doing behavior modification on early dps'ers, one technique is to let them tank the mob they pull. Some people object to it, and I don't do it myself, but if it's someone you know and it won't be fatal to the group then it might be acceptable, even amusing. For a pug, just dump the one causing the problem.

  9. #9
    Hello,

    Yeah, skull and x are kind of standard. For cc, i typically mark as I go so if I run into a mob i need cced then from then on the mark i gave them is theres.. As in I will put up a moon and say sheep the moon. From then on if I need a sheep I will use the same mark and assume (possible remind him) that he/she needs to cc.

    I find a end up doing a lot of aoe tanking. Somethings to keep in mind, make sure you are using shield block and make sure you aren't ccing and using shield block. Ie try not to hit shield block then shockwave right after, not going to get hit by much if they are cced. Make sure you use TC everytime its off cd ( instead of devestate ).

    Tab targeting will not cycle threw all the mobs, it will cycle threw all the mobs in a small cone in front of you so you need to turn your character towards the group you want to cycle threw.

    Ben

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    1
    I agree with many of the post given to you here. And welcome to the world of Tanking. Im glad your enjoying it. I was just going to add on with your build im sure you've changed it since you posted this thread but for my Tank (62 Undead Warrior) I have a full Prot build. Including Damage shield,Warbringer,Shockwave,and Devestate. I dont know just personal opinion there. Im sure i this has been stated somewhere above me but i though id just re-enter it in.

    Also when your tanking and a Hunter or Someone (DK's = / ) Start to pull before you get to them. Just kindly explain to them that. "I charge when i pull so i can get some early Rage on the MoB's, can you please not (Depending on the class for my Example im using Dk's) Death Grip while im trying to pull. And then things should be clear.

    If i missed something then im sorry. But this is my first time posting long time read. Hope you enjoy Kara

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    192
    I prefer using a mnemonic device for marking. Skull-X-triangle-square for kill order or x is second (two bars), triangle is third (three sides), square is fourth (four sides) and then the typical moon for sheep.

  12. #12
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    Ahh welcome to the wonderful world of tanking. lv 68 to start tanking? what took you so long its definitely the most fun role in my opinion.

    So i guess first off, you shouldnt do kara as a tank until your 70 due to something called crushing blows. Crushing blows are attacks bosses do that deal much more damage than normal. You can get crushing blows if a boss is over 3 levels above you (kara bosses are 73). Second, you should be crit-immune, which means its impossible to get hit with a critical stike. To do this, your defense rating needs to be over a certain value at lv 70... i forget what that number is atm, i wanna say 390? someone can correct me

    it sounds from your description that when you mark, what you're targeting is different from what DPS is suppose to be hitting. As a general rule, DPS should only be attacking the thing you are. So whatever you mark 'skull', means that you are actively attacking it and so is DPS. Also, generally you want to kill casters before melee. This is because you cant reduce magic damage coming at you, but melee damage get mitigated through your armor and defensive stats

    If by knuckles you mean a fist weapon, you should consider getting a 1 handed sword/mace/axe. Fist weapons are for DPS classes.

    as far as rotation goes, if its working for you, great! but you will have to eventually refine it. you dont need to cast defensive stance, since you should be in it pretty much all the time. charging in is good, then using thunderclap, then shockwave then shield slam/revenge/devastate on skull will pretty much secure aggro for a bit. remember to cycle through your targets and apply a devastate/ss/revenge/heroic strike on them to make sure no one else grabs aggro. theres no real set rotation for a warrior just priorities. like use shield slam whenever its not on cooldown, its your single largest threat spell. then revenge-> concussion blow -> devastate -> heroic strike. and its very good that you keep thunder clap up all the time. you can in fact use it liberally if you have a lot of rage ( like >50 )

    for your spec, you can lose puncture and improved disarm and instead pick up the rest of anticipation and focused rage. you should also be picking up deflection next, if not replacing improved bloodrage and improved heroic strike for it.

    and as always, TS is an awesome resource! read up on everything

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed View Post
    To do this, your defense rating needs to be over a certain value at lv 70... i forget what that number is atm, i wanna say 390?
    490 defense skill at 70, this is obtainable (or very close) with the crafted cobalt set

    Quote Originally Posted by Zed View Post
    If by knuckles you mean a fist weapon, you should consider getting a 1 handed sword/mace/axe. Fist weapons are for DPS classes.
    how is a fist weapon any different from a sword/mace/axe? Granted they don't usually have tank stats but neither do most of the sword/mace/axes you get while lvling

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