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Thread: Problems with our tanks - help please!

  1. #1
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    Problems with our tanks - help please!

    Hey there, i'm a guild leader of a small raiding guild made up of RL friends, we've recently progressed into Ulduar 10 man (slow progress I know) but made a fairly good start to it, taking FL, XT, Razorscale, Ignis & Kologarn down within the first few weeks. However, we've been struggling a lot on some of the encounters due to our MT and OT taking huge damage spikes vs Bosses, and harder hitting trash mobs. This is not a new thing, its something that we've always had, and have just put up with, due to having very well geared healers, but in Ulduar, its now proving to be very very costly.

    Both our tanks are warriors, reasonably geared with a lot of 10 man Naxx & Emblem epics, they both reach 36000 HP buffed comfortably.

    What i'm wondering is if we're missing something really stupid, both tanks are using Shield Block constantly, and both have reasonable mitigation. For a while we thought it may have been down to unlucky parrys due to not being expertise capped, but we now think this is not the case. Here is an armory link for one of them, to show you their gearing, talents & mitigations.
    The World of Warcraft Armory

    I'm not really an expert on tanking (I raid as a priest), and after much discussion we are just wondering if its that they're missing essential talents, they're not capped in all the right things, their mitigations aren't good enough, or if its that they're doing something inherently wrong.

    Anyone who has had similar experience, or even has a suggestion, please please help!
    If at first you don't succeed, shout at the dps.

  2. #2
    If you have 2 warriors, i would recommend one spec threat, and one spec full survival.

    Something like this for full survival build.
    http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?warr...U,IbRqHR,10522
    It picks up improved Demo, which is about a 16-17% damage reduction if i remember correctly. It gives full power Commanding shout for extra health. Also picks up 2 minute shield wall and 2 minute last stand. This is a very good survivability spec, however threat will suffer to some degree.

    For more of a threat spec try
    http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?warr...z,OeRqHR,10522
    Gives Deep Wounds, which is HUGE for threat. Also, tell the tank whose armory you linked, its pointless to spec incite unless going for Deep wounds.

    If you have one specced each way, you get the best of both worlds.

    As far as gearing goes, there are easy upgrades available. H ToC5, Conquest badges, and Triumph badges. They should be running H ToC5 every day, until they get everything they can use out of there. They should be running the daily heroic everyday. The craftable Ulduar pieces are also HUGE upgrades. If they can't afford the runed orbs by themselves, perhaps the guild can help them out. You said they are RL friends, so just consider it an investment in continued raiding.

    Out of curiousity, what is your healer setup?

  3. #3
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    If a tanks is dying the first thing they should do before anything is Glyph of Shield Wall and Improved Disciplines, 2 points out of Improved Revenge and Replace Glyph of Cleaving with Shield Wall and you should see their time to live greatly increase.

    Another thing he could do in his spec is take all points out of Improved Cruelty, get rid of Improved Charge and Impale since they don't really help you much and are mainly used to get deepwounds, all out of focused rage and 1 out of Incite. With those points you could get Booming Voice, Improved Demoralizing Shout and Commanding Presence which are all very good survival talents although he would be lowering his tps and dps.

    Make sure he tries and stays away from gear with block on it, it is generally a bad stat and is only really helpful for an unhittable set for tanking Anub's adds. He should probably just stack EH unless you guys are having problems on Kolo, Auraya, and Vezax the few bosses where I think avoidance trumps EH. Getting Epic gems doesn't hurt either.

    And finally make sure he isn't doing any stupid things such as standing with his back towards the mob, sitting, or standing in fire. Hopefully this will help you guys if after this he is still dying it is probably your healers fault. Edit: And what Thaak said since they only have one prot spec I would get one to use wait I said above and have the other use a threat or OT setup. Also make sure he is always using his cooldowns and putting up Demoralizing Shout.
    Last edited by krc; 10-05-2009 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Just general observation about his gear:

    His chest piece and bracers are not enchanted. I would put 22 def on chest and 40 stam on bracers. After that he could drop one of his def gems for a stam one. I would also recommend picking up the old emblem cape as it has defense on it and also better overall stats than the cape he's wearing. If he gets the cape, he could drop yet another def gem for a stam one.

    I would also get him to put Blood Draining on his weapon as it acts like an emergency pot and relatively great for progression. I think I've lost count of how many times it has saved my ass just by giving my healers that extra 1/2 second to get a heal off.

  5. #5
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    HP does seem a little low. If he uses the crafted Titansteel shield he can probably get rid of 2 +defense gems and use stam gems instead, which would give him 600+hp more. Also a cloak with defense on it would also allow him to gem more for stam.

    He also needs to be responsible for watching his own HP in combat and using shield wall\ last stand when needed. Using only one at a time when possible should increase his survival.

  6. #6
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    Make sure they're using Thunderclap and Demo Shout all the time. That makes an enormous difference in incoming damage.

    Get them to start using cooldowns proactively. Shield Wall and Last Stand are not panic buttons anymore. You don't wait until you're almost dead to push them, but instead push them proactively when you know damage spikes are coming. If you know there are no specific predictable spikes coming, use your cooldowns anyway. 2 minutes isn't long to wait for them to come back, and it makes the healers happy.

    Ulduar is going to be a big spike damage place compared to previous raids. Make sure your tanks know that Effective Health is the way to go most of the time in terms of gearing, but that they should keep different gearsets around for whichever encounter dictates its use. Add tanking on Anub'Arak for instance requires a block set, or closer to your progression level, Hodir would probably be easier initially if your tank had a Frost Resist Set.

    Make sure your healers are proactively using their cooldowns as well. Guardian Spirit is especially good for this since if it's not used, the cooldown is extremely short, but you still get the healing increase.

    I think I had about 36k buffed HP when I started tanking Ulduar. Just keep at it, and you'll do fine.

  7. #7
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    Wow! Thanks for the fast replys all! Again, due to my severe lack of knowledge of warrior tanking, there's a lot of fairly basic stuff there that I missed, will certainly be getting onto him about switching gems & enchants round to get more HP total. Also, I hadn't realised how badly miss-specced he was, our other tank seems to have an ideal survival build, so i'll prob ask this guy to look into respeccing threat based.

    Our healing setup is Paladin, Shaman, Druid. The paladin & shaman are MT & OT priority, whilst the Druid looks after raid healing (we have a lot of melee dps - hence the shaman on OT, CH ftw). Was reading another (similar) thread, and they suggested that Druid healers, with their vast amount of HoT's would be better healers for Warrior tanks, would you recommend switching things around so the Druid is on MT duty?
    If at first you don't succeed, shout at the dps.

  8. #8
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    Oh, and if you really wanna go nuts on training your guys up (healers too), run your tanks through several heroics and have him do everything he can to reduce damage in there. I know it sounds silly for a heroic where the damage is low anyway, but the more practice they get with using Demo Shout/TC on every pull, Shield Blocking every pull or 2, shield walling on cooldown unless they know a spike is coming, popping trinkets, using their stuns, including Concussion Blow, etc. the better. They'll get used to using them so that in a raid situation they don't have to think about it.

    You can make a game out of it, running an instance 2 days in a row with the same healer and dps, and seeing if he can reduce his incoming damage, using an addon. It won't be exact, because mobs won't die in the same time frame from day to day, but I guarantee you you'll notice a big difference between their normal damage intake and what they take when they're really burning everything they've got.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RodDog View Post
    He also needs to be responsible for watching his own HP in combat and using shield wall\ last stand when needed. Using only one at a time when possible should increase his survival.
    Yes and no. In lower tier content, that is valid, however as you move into the higher content, that becomes less possible. Its really more about communication and planning.

    36k comfortably buffed was called out as their raiding health, so i'll use that. 36.5k health, and we'll call boss damage 12k on a 2 sec swing timer and no communication. Lets say you get an unlucky streak and avoid 0 hits. You're dead in 3 swings or roughly 4 seconds. Every hit that lands puts you from full to 24.5k. At this point there is no way to tell if you need to SW or not. The second swing would put you at 12.5k, at that point there may or may not be a problem.
    Don't pop SW, hit for 12k-500 health left. 4th swing dead.
    Pop SW(specced/glypyhed) hit for 7200, 5300 left. 4th hit 7200. Dead. Nothing gained from that.

    Same scenario 36k, 12k/2sec and people are communicating. Again no avoidance. Healer yells out I'M STUNNED!/I'M COUNTERSPELLED/I'M OOM-POPPING HYMN OF HOPE/FISHTANK IS ON FIRE<shrug>. Pop shield wall. 1st hit-29300, 2nd-22100, 3rd 14900, 4th-7700, 5th-500, 6th dead.

    By using it based on communication rather an trying to react to your own incoming damage, you extend your life from 6 seconds to 10 seconds(worst case, no heals at all, no avoidance)

    As you move further and further into content this gets more pronounced as the bosses hit harder and harder. How do you tell the normal 25k swing from the one the healers are sleeping through?

    And barring all that, in a lot of fights, CDs are required due to the mechanics of the fight, so they can't be used for other things. Hodir HM-frozen blows, Mimiron-plasma blast, Vezax-surge of darkness(yes you can run, but a CD rotation keeps you on target and generating threat, which is useful with shadow crash caster buffs) and so on.

  10. #10
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    What consumables are your guys using? I assume they are rolling around flasked and fooded? How about Indestructable pots?

    Can you link the armory for both warriors?

    What bosses are they dying on? What's going on at the time of death? Do you have WWS reports for any of the deaths you are wondering about?

  11. #11
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    They're both flasked with Flask of Stoneblood? (HP increasing one), Fish Feasted up, but am looking to get them investing in the Expertise & Stamina food, and no, they don't use indestructable pots. Would you recommend them?

    The 2 fights we've been struggling on are Ignis, and Assembly of Iron (Steelbreaker snotting MT straight after Fusion Punch, even tho its being insta-dispelled)
    If at first you don't succeed, shout at the dps.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LordAntilles View Post
    Wow! Thanks for the fast replys all! Again, due to my severe lack of knowledge of warrior tanking, there's a lot of fairly basic stuff there that I missed, will certainly be getting onto him about switching gems & enchants round to get more HP total. Also, I hadn't realised how badly miss-specced he was, our other tank seems to have an ideal survival build, so i'll prob ask this guy to look into respeccing threat based.

    Our healing setup is Paladin, Shaman, Druid. The paladin & shaman are MT & OT priority, whilst the Druid looks after raid healing (we have a lot of melee dps - hence the shaman on OT, CH ftw). Was reading another (similar) thread, and they suggested that Druid healers, with their vast amount of HoT's would be better healers for Warrior tanks, would you recommend switching things around so the Druid is on MT duty?
    Paladin's have a more difficult time raid healing(not saying they can't, jut saying its more difficult) due to their lack of actual AoE heals, so you probably want to keep him on the tanks, HOWEVER, with the changes to beacon that happened in 3.2 holy pallies are more versatile(beacon now transfers over overhealing as well, so spamming heals on the others will still get the full heal to the tank).

    If you are melee heavy then yes chain heal is beautiful.

    I guess the main question would be are your healers healing proactively or reactively? As boss damage goes up, it becomes impossible to heal reactively(unless maybe you're a disc priest) because the tanks are in danger of suffering a 2shot scenario and in these cases you have to spam heal and/or stopcast heal the tanks(choice depends on mana regen/pools/fight length/class and spec).

    Now obviously the actualy setup will change from fight to fight(XT-tantrum/lots of raid damage, Vezax-basically no raid damage) and you have to adjust your assignments according to the fight. However, on an average fight you could try, pally beacons OT and spam heals the MT( thus effectively healing MT and OT constantly), druid keeps hots rolling on both MT and OT(helps cope with spike damage), and shaman does raid(being melee heavy CH will be great and some will even carry over onto the tanks). H-pallies and trees are very mana efficient and should be able to spam heal the tank, regardless of if he needs it or not(provided the dps doesn't drag their feet and make the fight last all night).

  13. #13
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    I'd suggest indestructable pots for any tank working on a boss not on farm. Pop one before the pull and then one 2 minutes in for 4 minutes of damage reduction.

    Fish feasts are sub-par for warrior tanks and they should be using blackened dragonfin generally.

    On Ignis, make sure your tank isn't exposing his back during kiting and more importantly, make sure the adds are going down in a timely fashion as having too many up can be healing intensive.

    For Steelbreaker, are you sure about the dispels because fusion punch is a leading cause of tank-death. Are you utilizing cooldowns?

  14. #14
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    Indestructible Pots are good if you're struggling. They can be used twice for a fight, before you go in, and during the fight. They provide a pretty large amount of mitigation, especially at their gear level.

    Khellus really needs a real tanking chest piece. The one he's using now is a Frost Resist piece, and as such has no avoidance/expertise/hit/block value/block rating/defense (except what he's gemmed in). Get him to spend emblems to grab a Conqueror's Siegebreaker Chestplate. In the meantime, it might be worth it to take a bit of a hit to his stamina by downgrading even to a blue piece like Sun Emblazoned Chestplate.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LordAntilles View Post
    They're both flasked with Flask of Stoneblood? (HP increasing one), Fish Feasted up, but am looking to get them investing in the Expertise & Stamina food, and no, they don't use indestructable pots. Would you recommend them?

    The 2 fights we've been struggling on are Ignis, and Assembly of Iron (Steelbreaker snotting MT straight after Fusion Punch, even tho its being insta-dispelled)
    I personally use expertise food even though i'm over the soft cap, due to its incredible ability to reduce burst damage from parry hasting. The Indest pots are pretty nice. Pop one just before you pull, and that starts the 2 minute timer, then as soon as it run out pop a second one, and you've basically bought yourself 4 minutes of a bonus 2k armor. Only good against physical damage, so its a waste on some fights.

    As for ignis, I would put the Tree on the OT(who should be kiting adds) since he can run and heal, put the pally on MT, and the shaman on MT/raid. Everyone should be grouped up so CH should work nicely. The Druid can also throw out some AoE heals after Flame jets if needed. If the OT has a good block set have him use it to tank the adds, as they don't really hit that hard.

    IC can be a pain without a pally tank, but its far from impossible. One thing to remember is that when dispelling fusion punch, a person with 0 hit rating has 17% chance to miss that dispel. On an unrelated note, pally tank+disc priest=OP for steelbreaker.
    My setup would be to put the pally and the tree on the steelbreaker tank(tree has to keep up raid too, though if the tank is beaconed the pally can toss about raid heals provided he isn't slow) this will allow the pally to remove fusion punch as soon as it is applied, and the tank will already have hots rolling on him to help negate the spike. Put the shaman with the tank who has Runemaster and Stormcaller(the damage from these two isn't that much, so the shaman should be helping with interrupts on stormcaller as well). Make sure the tank for stormcaller and runemaster knows to Shieldslam dispel the red glowy bubble that i forget the name of(shield of runes?) so that Runemaster doesn't get a damage buff, he also need to interrupt as many of stormcallers abilities as he can(shield bash=interrupt+silence, Heroic throw=silence, shockwave=stun, conc blow=stun, charge=stun, all of those can be used as interrupts on stormcaller in P1 and P2)

  16. #16
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    I'm sure about the dispels yeah, usually its myself or the paladin who dispels it (I raid as a shadowpriest) and we both run with DBM active, so are ready for the fusion punch hit when it comes. I think our healers are most definately reactive healers, so they'll have to look at changing their whole healing philosophy. Well, looks like its gonna take a concerted effort from us all to make things start to work again.
    Thanks for all the great posts and helpful answers, i'll let you know how next weeks Ulduar goes!
    If at first you don't succeed, shout at the dps.

  17. #17
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    I'd have to agree with the concerns voiced above about glyphs and talent point allocations. The tank may not be up to date on tanking theory, especially since he point points in cruelty and impale but didn't take deep wound (!).

    Another thing to look at is the tank you linked above has skinning as a prof, when Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting is an excellent way to gain another 60 stamina or more.

    ...and that cloak is not good, he should really get the badge cloak (Platinum Mesh) or the BOE cloak (Cloak of the Iron Council), it'll increase his defense allowing him to regem for more stamina.
    "I'm a rage-a-holic! I'm addicted to rageahol!" -Homer Simpson

  18. #18
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    And Valor Medal of the First War is a pretty non-good trinket and two of your guys are both sporting them. Same goes for Brawler's Souvineer which is the same trinket with a different name. (Bruch has both equipped)

    The more I look over their armory pages, the more I think its time for an Agonizing Reappraisal of the Whole Scene.

    If you're having trouble on content, these guys should be fixing their gear. I see green quality gems, non-standard specs, bad trinket choices, unenchanted items, items that could have been upgraded with conq badges and generally bad gearing choices. If you guys are very casual and don't really have a strong interest in progressing, that's one thing but if you want these tanks to lead the way through Ulduar for you, they need to get their acts together.

    If you want to pick the tanks you're concerned about, I (or one of the other posters on this forum) can make an itemized inventory of changes that should be made.
    Last edited by Griff; 10-05-2009 at 04:30 PM.

  19. #19
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    Oh wow, I didn't even see Bruch. Tanking with a dagger is a big nono. Daggers are normalized at a much faster swing speed, which means you'd lose out on a ton of Devastate damage.

  20. #20
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    Lol, sorry about this, should've explained, there is a lot of alts that have long ago been dropped from even thinking about raiding, Bruch being one of them ^^
    We're currently doing a mass overhaul of our dps classes within the raiding team, and the two warriors are pretty much our only 2 tanks. Very very rarely, our healadin, Sanglant, will tank on his secondary spec, but he's not one I really worry about, as we don't suffer from the same problems what we do with Malarr & Khellus.

    I think a problem is that a lot of our players are very casual, and trying to get them to make that step up to being semi-serious is proving a lot harder than we originally thought, the professions being just one crazy example of that.
    If at first you don't succeed, shout at the dps.

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