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Thread: Trees and DK tanks...my worst nightmare?

  1. #1
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    Trees and DK tanks...my worst nightmare?

    I am not much of a one for theory crafting and the mechanics of the numbers but it was rammed home oh too many times last night that i cant seem to heal a DK. Let me explain a little.....

    My resto druid is my main, and i have done almost nothing but heal for the last 2 years so I do know what i am doing.

    We're a small guild so on non raid nights i tend to 5 man with 1 of 2 tanks. The guild leader is also the guild MT and i have healed his warrior for 2 years. Recently his warrior got every thing he was going to get from 10 mans ( we are too small for 25s) so he brought up his DK to tank instead for some variety. The DK is now 4/5 T7 and alll items are level 200 or better.

    Stats wise they are pretty close, the DK has 5K more armour, the warrior 1K more hps and more mitigation, obviously they are both def capped. And since they are driven by the same player the tank's ability to play doesn't change.

    So last night we decided to do a timed CoS HC, he brought his DK and we died a lot. Despite every trick i have learnt the tank kept dying and i was pulling aggro with my heals - i NEVER pull aggro, especially not the skull! This only happened on the packs though, bosses were fine once we got to them. I checked my gear 3 times for fishing rods and fancy dress, and checked his too for the same!!Eventually the grumpy tank agreed to get his warrior instead but maintained that it wouldnt change a thing and that we'd be no better off.....he was wrong though, the warrior's health bar never dipped below 60%, his hps fell and rose smoothly and i was able to enjoy the scenery and actually pick up my drink from time to time.

    So i looked at my healing figures....in the first half on the DK my over healing was an astonishing 96.5 %....in other words i was healing him for loads but it was landing at the wrong time, hence my pulling aggro too.

    My theory is that the warrior's shield, and hence block, and slightly higher mitigation meant that the hits landed on him less often even if they were bigger (less armour) so my HoTs matched the incoming damage more smoothly.

    Just so you know how i heal.... i stack and keep rolling regrowth, rejuv, lifebloom x3, use swiftmend every cd, nourish in between and nature's swiftness + HT in a crisis.

    Am i right? is a DK a tree's worst nightmare?
    We know what we know, and we think we know what we don't know, but if we don't know what we don't know.....STUFF HAPPENS!

  2. #2
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    I'm betting he forgot to switch to Frost Presence, that would explain the aggro problem.

    I have been tanking with my dk for a while now, our guild has a few resto druids, and I haven't had any problems with them healing me in heroics or raids. Could have been one of those runs. I remember going in there and rolling all the way to the inn and wiping on trash because every heal missed me. MISSED, hehe.

    I would give it a few more runs before assuming this match is doomed.

  3. #3
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    ok- forgive me if i am being stupid but how can a heal miss?

    i checked for frost presence after the 4th wipe :P
    We know what we know, and we think we know what we don't know, but if we don't know what we don't know.....STUFF HAPPENS!

  4. #4
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    A heal can't miss, you can only be out of line of sight. That seems very odd and you'd have to give us a little more to go by. Obviously something was going wrong but I don't think the fact that he simply was a DK made that big a difference.

  5. #5
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    ok this is the warrior

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    and this is the DK

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    given that the man behind them is the same i cant blame talent or technique
    We know what we know, and we think we know what we don't know, but if we don't know what we don't know.....STUFF HAPPENS!

  6. #6
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    Well, I've seen a death knight with similar stats get annihilated in CoS myself on certain trash, so that part doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that the warrior performed so much better -- the gear difference is not THAT high. I can only guess that he used his active mitigation abilities on his warrior more (some, like Shockwave and Thunder Clap, come naturally, anyway), whereas he didn't on his death knight (e.g., not using Pestilence to put Frost Fever on all mobs).

  7. #7
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    Your friend's DK has a few issues that would make him extremely difficult to heal. He's only defense capped with Sigil of the Unfaltering Knight which is helpful but never reliable.

    He has no points in Blade Barrier which is a whopping 10% more avoidance on Live and he has no points into Morbidity which is a very, very nice talent used when tanking large waves of aoe packs.

    His tanking spec as a whole is just not suitable for threat, or even very good mitigation. So he can have ample talent, but his spec does him no favors.

  8. #8
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    thank you- i knew nothing about DKs, now i do- problem solved!
    We know what we know, and we think we know what we don't know, but if we don't know what we don't know.....STUFF HAPPENS!

  9. #9
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    If a resto druid is pulling aggro from a DK tank that DK almost HAS to not be in Frost Presence.

    I've never lost aggro to a healer, and haven't lost aggro to anyone but another tank threat fighting me in quite some time.

    Blade barrier will definitely help him not die... 10% avoidance at almost all times on an avoidance tank is a BIG difference.... but if he's having aggro problems you have to make sure he's in frost presence (there's no easy way for you to tell in game).

  10. #10
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    It looks like he has respecced since the original post into an Unholy tank. Talent selections look good, with one exception - the 5 points he put into Necrosis should have instead been shifted over to Bladed Armor. Having more AP immediately benefits his spell damage, through Impurity. He'll be a better tank for it, if he throws more gold at the problem.
    Makepõ - Cold Hearted
    Bryenne - Disc Jockey.

  11. #11
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    DKs can be a pain in the butt to heal and sometimes just impossible, I am not sure what it is myself either but I have seen very well geared dks I can not keep up and then I have seen well geared ones that are skilled but I barely keep up and I have to be on my toes the whole time, 99% of dks are just bad tanks I am not sure what it is but I dont play the class myself, one major factor I think: DK tanks are born in ramparts that doesnt require any healer only months ago while the other tanks are born in VC and Wailing Caverns years ago (much more experience), maybe DKS are just harder to tank on or something but most of them are really bad, I know a few that are good raid tanks but while healing them I kinda feel like they are only staying up cause they got 6 people tossing heals on them. I think everyone that plays DK tanks or thinks DK tanks are so much better has not seen them from a healer perspective.


    Bottom line, For healing DK tanks you cant take your attention from their health ever and never let yourself get into a rythm, You have to be ready for them to take a giant spike for 3/4 their health at any moment, as a paladin I will save my holy shock for these spikes and try to avoid using it other times. In raids I always put my beacon on the DK tank.
    Last edited by TheJeremy; 04-10-2009 at 01:34 AM.

  12. #12
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    I dare to make the bold statement that it's shockwave.

    Let me explain. You can't dodge or block when you get hit from behind. What I see often with Death Knights (and inexperienced protection paladins) is that they aoe tank in the middle of a pack.
    A warrior tank wants to use shockwave for aoe threat and to make maximum use of shockwave the pack has to be in front of the warrior. Same goes for cleave. So the warrior does things right (keeping mobs in front of him) because of how mechanics work (not because he's a better player).
    The point blank nature of paladin and death knight aoe threat do not make good behaviour because of mechanics rather they have to figure it out themselves.

    One of the occasions where I noticed this was when healing an UP heroic run with a DK tank. I was totally caught off-guard by the amount of damage this guy was taking, we even wiped before first boss. And it kept bugging me, easy to heal on bosses but the trash was hard. Going over and over that run in my mind until I suddenly realised that the guy was in fact getting hit in the back a lot.

  13. #13
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    No you seem confused, hit in the back is fine for prot pally, in fact its pretty fun especially for keeping mana up.

    dodge = 2% mana (5.5k ish in heroic = 110 mana)
    Hit in back = 2000 damage = 200 mana regened from SA

    If you start running low getting smacked in the back is good (its like x, but safer!). Also its a heroic, most geared tanks are sitting 30k ish unbuffed (34-40k buffed) without going dual stam trinkets (I have about 30k with 2 threat trinkets). At this point, when heroics are doable with 19k unbuffed and crittable a tank sitting backwards and afk rarely dies.

    The DK sigil is reliable, its 100% proc chance on an ability they use regularly, I think it requires a slight rotation change to guarantee uptime (so you lose an obliterate to refresh diseases early, and cannot abuse the multiple target pestilence trick) but its reliable. Best bet is frost presence wasn't up, the stance doesn't show up as a buff (least on my version of xperl, all I ever see is talented ones like the blood aura), so he was likely squishie. Dropping a D&D at the start, a healer should never get aggro, my DK tanks as blood (terrible aoe aggro) and I don't lose it to healers (I do lose it to silly dps, but thats a rotation issue for me). Frost presence will be your culprit, again I tanked heroics with way lower health and crittable and its not suicide given the number of cds dks have (and he should be using those, if not he is just bad since DKs get excellent mitigation from CD usage).

    Edit:

    Heroic UP trash hits harder than the bosses, especially the packs with dogs (they enrage equivalent, and hit hard), and are hard to heal. Hit the doggies first, and the undead themselves are normally not an issue (none of them stun).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndNin View Post
    No you seem confused, hit in the back is fine for prot pally, in fact its pretty fun especially for keeping mana up.....
    I'm baffled, someone saying getting hit in the back is fine...................I understand WHY you do it, I regularly press /sit in heroics but making getting hit in the back is absolutely NOT fine and a very very very bad habit if you don't perfectly understand why you are choosing to get hit in the back.
    New tanks especially should make sure to get hit from the front.

    Our protpaladin went down often on sartharion 3 drakes, because healers couldn't keep him up. We were breaking our heads till another paladin noted: he's not keeping the mobs in front, that's why he dies. Since he now keeps em in front it's np anymore.

    To new tanks: getting hit in the back is NOT fine, it's bad tanking.
    Sometimes you have to tank bad because game mechanics make tanks perform worse with in increase in gear when outgearing an instance.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndNin View Post
    Heroic UP trash hits harder than the bosses, especially the packs with dogs (they enrage equivalent, and hit hard), and are hard to heal. Hit the doggies first, and the undead themselves are normally not an issue (none of them stun).
    The Bloodthirsty Tundra Wolves do not enrage; they have a Fixate ability (same as Anub'ar Skirmishers in Azjol-Nerub). Unlike skirmishers, though, they target the tank with it (to be precise, the person who has aggro). The Fixate is a 20% melee haste, but generally not much of a problem; they don't hit particularly hard on plate.

    The Ymirjar Flesh Hunters are generally the nastiest mobs in these pulls, because they do Aimed Shot (reduces healing taken by half).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndNin View Post
    If you start running low getting smacked in the back is good (its like x, but safer!). Also its a heroic, most geared tanks are sitting 30k ish unbuffed (34-40k buffed) without going dual stam trinkets (I have about 30k with 2 threat trinkets). At this point, when heroics are doable with 19k unbuffed and crittable a tank sitting backwards and afk rarely dies.
    As an aside, I really wish people would stop generalizing like that. There are plenty of heroics that I'd be extremely reluctant to do with a tank with 19k unbuffed health (and not only because the tank was apparently lazy and didn't do their homework when it came to gearing up). Utgarde Keep is fine, though it can have some rough spots if you have bad luck with a 19k health tank. Nexus has some really iffy spots, such as an enraging Keristrasza (10k fast hits, a high damage breath attack, plus plenty of AE damage flying around) or if the dragonkin chain Mortal Strike on the tank. I'm not even going to bother doing Culling of Stratholme or Drak'Tharon Keep with a 19k health tank. Some of the trash in CoS can rip an undergeared tank apart in seconds and King Dred is capable of two-shotting them.

  17. #17
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    Getting hit in the back is NOT fine or fun, especially for trees healing. The bottom line is that we rely on our HoT's to keep ur health near full and top it off. We do not have heal bomb's like other classes so if you fall below half health, we are then scrambling to get you back up. I would wager that this was the problem exactly. I have found this to be a common problem with DK's in VH and CoS. I have also run those instances with DK tanks who are very good and had no problems at all. It's amazing how many tanks who I point this out to after or while it's happening had no clue that it made a difference.

    I'd also like to mention that DK's are a little squishier than most tanks, but you have that nice array of 'oh crap' abilities on short CD's. USE THEM...you were given them for a reason. If your health is plummeting...pop something please.

  18. #18
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    I warrior tanked in vanilla and BC. Tanking with a DK is alot different. One of the hardest things I had to grow accustomed to was the use of tanking CDs. Lichborne, IBF, UA and AMS are not only oh crap buttons. They are as much proactive as reactive. Knowing the fights and what a Boss or mob is gonna throw at you helps you decide what CD to use when. It make life easier on the healers. Short cooldown timers mean your DK friend should be using them more often than not.

  19. #19
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    I have a DK tank and I can say I have never had any of the problems you describe. Firstly, regarding aggro, I can only imagine he was not in frost presence. When I am tanking, I have NEVER had any problems losing aggro to the healer. I can simply drop one DnD and be set for the fight. I may lose it to DPS doing this, but not the healer. DK Tanks have some of the best AOE aggro of any tanks, so this should be far from a concern.

    The lack of frost presence also would explain the crazy damage he was taking as well. Like others have said, it is also imperative he get all mobs in front of him. Unless you do this, you lose any chance to dodge or parry and your avoidance will only be about 8% to miss. Usually, I drop a DnD, then Icy Touch, Plague Strike (Unholy tank here), pestilence, and at this point make sure to position myself on the edge of my DnD with all the mobs in the middle, in front of me. One of the top 2 healers in my guild is a druid and he never has any issues keeping me up in raids, let alone heroics.

    Your friend may be a very experienced Warrior tank, but tanking as a DK is very different. As has also been stated, cooldowns need to be a regular part of what he does. I usually pop my bone shield about 5-10 seconds before every pull it's up for (usually every other pull) so my rune is ready when needed for plague strike. On the pack pulls when bone shield isn't ready, I use icebound fortitude right after my DnD when the attacks will start coming in. Blizzard gave us such short cooldowns so we can use these always, not just when it hits the fan.

  20. #20
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    ive got a dk tank (a blood Tank) and i have no problems in HC or raids with aggro at all...
    only problem i can have is on biggs pulls and dps cant attack the skull :-P
    but i never lose it to the healer....

    I also have a healer (priest) but still a healer .
    Ive healed with my priest from lv1 til now with both specs so i know what im doing.
    then the day came where i had to heal a dk tank for the fist time. he was a bit undergeared but ive healed other tanks classes with about the same gear so i thought i would go fine, but dam on the bosses he was hard to keep alive and we wiped...
    i asked if if he ever uses eg. IBF and hes says sometimes
    we tried the boss again and i kept an eye on if he used them or not, and not 1 time did he use them.
    i told him next fight he used them and it went alot better..
    PPL forget that eg IBF isnt just an ohh crap button its a tanking skill (wep) like warriors have Shields....

    but if you get a DK tank that uses his skills right there easy to keep alive

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