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Thread: "You're the offtank"

  1. #1
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    "You're the offtank"

    Hey guys.
    Was wondering if any of you can help me with this situation.
    I've been 80 a month or so now, geared up, badge loot ect, you know the drill.
    I've found a new guild, hooray, raiding.. but to my suprise (we started ulduar10 today first run) i've been assigned to offtank role despite having the best gear of the 2 of us tanks in there (A paladin with much similar gear, bar 3 or 4 blue boe's from the ah for def cap, and myself as a dk)

    My stats currently (incase armory doesnt work) taken from the armory UB:
    HP:32601
    Def: 547
    Dodge: 27.36%
    Parry: 17.71%
    Spec: Standard blood tank spec with personal taste but all the key talents.

    Maybe im missing something here, But it took me by suprise to be asked to take adds rather than a boss after being told DK's do great add tanking with death and decay.
    Call me old fashioned, but i have always been under the impression that paladins were/are the best at multi add tanking since the hyjal days.

    Anyways beyond all that, if im doomed to offtanking, what do you guys do to find the fun in it, i personally cant find any fun in anything i did today, XT deconstructor had a measley 2 adds spawn i had to pick up, and the rest was filled with mindless attacking of the boss with poor dps in the meantime, and arauya(spelling?) was just as boring.
    Should be moving on to the iron council soonish and further after that hopefully, maybe more thought provoking offtanking further into ulduar?

    I guess there are plenty of you in this possition as the offtank, sights set on the MT possition which is so close, but just out of reach.
    I'd like to hear some of your experiences and thoughts if possible.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Jcc; 10-07-2009 at 08:57 PM. Reason: typo on def cleaned up

  2. #2
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    Well, assuming the guild was already established, you're the new guy.

    As an aside, 457 Defense?
    風林火山陰雷

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    Dovie'andi se tovya sagain - it's time to roll the dice

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norrath View Post
    Well, assuming the guild was already established, you're the new guy.

    As an aside, 457 Defense?
    Yeah, sorry for my bad typing, meant to be 547.
    Guilds brand new just formed so was the first raid.

  4. #4
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    I... Do homework, read a book, etc etc.

    But seriously? ... I try to find some random things to do. Like on XT I try to kill one or two pummelers before the rest of the raid works the boss. Also since I'm an engineer I get to use my rocket boots, the anti electronics belt, etc etc.

    Auriaya... I'm at a loss to find stuff to do, I normally just try to pull the defender out of the group before it dies. The only thing you can do is just pay attention to whatever the MT is doing so when you do get to MT your not slowing down any.

    Just make up stupid things to do in a fight and it gets a little fun, or maybe thats the little kid inside me. There's also other fights, where the OT is just as important; Razorscale, Thorim, Freya... Yogg?

  5. #5
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    If it's not your thing, get some experience and gear. Once, you've got that, start looking around. If there's nothing up your alley, start your own pug. If you're opposed to leading, I'm sorry your odds of being MT go down significantly. That's how a lot of us got the job in the first place.

    MTing is often times more about leadership, trust and overall people skills than gear assuming ability is similar.

    However, it does sound like you're not willing to even give offtanking a chance. Many bosses the offtanking role is a lot more exciting than that of the MTing one. I'd ask yourself if it's the really the challenge you crave or the attention. In my experience, MTs looking for the latter rarely get it.

  6. #6
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    Personially im the ot of my guild, I prefer the off tank role. Allows me to better call instructions on the fly. The ot is not necessarily the secondary spot, the raid depends on you as much if not more than the mt. Whenever I can i pass off mt to another tank as its often more boring.
    mt= meat shield
    ot= saves the rest of the raid from nasties.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler View Post
    I'm on a shark

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies!
    I can see where you're coming from with the whole offtank thing now.
    Guess my vision of a tank and the reason i rolled it was probably the vision of "tanking the big guy and stopping the raid from being smashed"... the general appeal of something 50x your size hitting you was always something i thought, yeah i'd like to be that guy.
    But it appears the OT role is bigger than i thought based on the current fights i've done.
    I'll have to keep at it, hope i grasp interest and if not i guess tanking isnt my game.

  8. #8
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    I'm an OT and I love it!! Tanking and offtanking are what you make of it, be proactive about finding things to do to make your raid's life easier (just as a good MT maintains good communication, cooldown usage etc) - slowing/stunning the small adds on XT for example to give your raid extra time to DPS them, keep your debuff(s) up on the boss at all times (and any buffs on raid members), carefully position your big adds so the melee get them down, burning your survival cooldowns during tantrum to help your healers. In almost every fight there are things you can do and on those fights where you get to change gear (and spec) and go dps challenge yourself to beat some of the regular dps (while maintaining buffs/debuffs) with your (generally) worse gear.

    I'm lucky enough to say that I love what I get to do and the variety: I love tanking, I love offtanking and I love my main tank and my guild, it takes time for a "tank team" to settle down and to learn to be almost psyhic (spelling?) a good tank team will know what the other team members is thinking - what trash they are going to pull next, which mob they won't have as much agro on, where their weaknesses are. Challenge yourself for a week or two and see if you like it more then.
    **Give me a hug and I'll defend you with my life**
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  9. #9
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    tonight in 10 ulduar xt spawned more adds then i have ever seen, I have gone the whole fight before as just an announcer cause none of the tankable adds spawned, tonight from the start i had at least 3 at all times the entire fight. fun as hell.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler View Post
    I'm on a shark

  10. #10
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    Hey there!

    Don't loose faith. You should form a team as tanks anyway. Some bosses are just made to be tanked by DKs and some not. Switch roles based on what is needed for the raid.

    In general I would have assigned it in the same way since pallies are miserable offtanks because of our mana reg facilities.

    You don't get hits? You don't get mana...

    Cheers!
    skaggi

  11. #11
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    And just what is the OT...?

    As the OT I get the boss on occassion, determines on the situation.
    Look at ToC 10 man as OT u and the MT need to play ping pong with the aggro, so make sure you have enough to taunt off the MT, or your grp will fail.

    You will be happy as hell that you got a pally and you dont need to take Steelbreaker, as you he can cleanse himself, you are at the mercy of one of your temamates to get cleansed...

    OT not so fun.... Just wait till you start HARD Modes....
    Go watch some of the Hard Modes of Ulduar. (Council sucks), most use three tanks, try it with two to bring an extra dps... yea no fun... man you got so much content ahead of you, either aspire to be the best tank you can be, or go dps.

    Just wait till your guild can handle 25s and you hard mode Thorum 25.
    Just for fun .... try to get the Heartbreaker on your next XT encounter... you'll be having fun then, that is if your healers can take it.

    Being the OT is as important as being the MT, hell jsut look at Naxx, who takes the hatefulls from patch? Take this however you want... if I caught you screwing off, and the MT went down an you were not aware enough of the situation... once no issue, twice ... gkick baby, and get someone who wants to be a tank.

  12. #12
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    I'm the MT in my guild, best gear been there a long time and I'm an officer, but we have 2 other DK's, a Pally and a Warrior and, frankly, I do whatever it takes to down the boss. The pally is best on Steelbreaker in IC, and if you think the OT isn't impt, just see how long the raid lasts when Brunidr's spinning lightening isn't interrupted; the Pally is more comforable on XT so I take the adds; I like to try to blow them up with the little walking bombs, I take Hodir (we wiped so much learning him, I can tank him in my sleep), Kolo, lower road on Thorim, etc. It's a team effort and unless the MT gets some preference with loot, all tanks are equal in the eyes of the dice.

    Actually, as we've gotten more tanks, I tend to bring my hunter to raids more often for the ranged dps (my hunter can put out the dps) and I like to give the other tanks a chance to learn the fights.

    There is no "I" in team.

  13. #13
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    Sometimes, the more skilled tank (not necessarily best geared) should be the OT. IN some fights, finding and picking up adds can be rougher than staring at "boss crotch", even in fights where the boss needs to be kited.

    It can be boring, though.

    It's affirming to know you can take the big boss hits, so it can be a disappointment not to get a shot at it. All I can say is this: as long as you sometimes get a turn in the hot seat, take some comfort in the notion that sometimes the MT is the MT because he's not up to doing anything else.

  14. #14
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    If it makes you feel better, my guild doesn't even call it "off-tank." We've got Main Tank 1, Main Tank 2, all the way to 4, depending on the situation (i.e. Four Horseman). Sometimes you'll be on the boss, sometimes you won't be. Iron Council will actually have the OT with two bosses on him (at least the way we do it), and when we do fights like Patchwerk, we generally let the tank with the smallest healthpool be primary aggro holder. Typically the OT holds Emalon while the MT holds adds, etc. There are a number of encounters where the "OT," or Main Tank 2, has a very vital role. Plus, if the other tank ever dies, you have to be ready to pick up the boss. If nothing else, that's important too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
    Anyways beyond all that, if im doomed to offtanking, what do you guys do to find the fun in it, i personally cant find any fun in anything i did today, XT deconstructor had a measley 2 adds spawn i had to pick up, and the rest was filled with mindless attacking of the boss with poor dps in the meantime, and arauya(spelling?) was just as boring.
    Should be moving on to the iron council soonish and further after that hopefully, maybe more thought provoking offtanking further into ulduar
    The whole MT theory doesnt work as much in Wotlk. You need 2 - 3 geared tanks to make it. Also, tank Sarth 3d the way it was meant to be tanked before people outgeared it. Tell me OT'ing wasnt fun/stressful as hell.

    Plus, tanks tend to make or break the group. Skill > Gear to a point. They may know or trust the other tank more. Keep on keeping on. Read up on your class. You'll get that spotlight soon enough.

  16. #16
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    You need to show that the raid can trust you to react quickly, and in the correct manner. The Mt just bit the dust and the boss is turning to the DPS? taunt and shield wall while calling out that you have the boss. You see a pat incoming while clearing trash that is about to proximity aggro to the healers? run over and pick them up with no-one dying. The MT spot isnt something you get given (usually), it is something you earn, and like earning respect, that takes work.

    If you know all of the fight's mechanics, can react really fast (as in 0.1-0.5 seconds fast) to a sudden change in plan, then, one day, you will be a main tank. If you are not prepared to work on it, you will always be the second choice. The off tank job is, as others have said, often much more fun, OK so the boss isnt smashing your face in for 60% of your health every couple of seconds, but make it into a game. try to kill your add before the boss dies, try to time it so you taunt and stun the feral defender at auriaya at the very last moment (my best attempt was when it had about 30k life left). there are lots of ways you can make a boring job fun, and you will know the encounter better as a result of this.

  17. #17
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    I can't view your armory, so I can't see your achievements, but if XT is the only Ulduar boss you've tanked I can see why there's some concern. It isn't all like that, and it's not like your role isn't just as important as the MTs role. Adds will wipe a raid as readily as the boss will if they are ignored.

  18. #18
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    The key thing I'd say is don't see it as being "doomed" or in any way an indication of your ability or status. If a fight requires one on the boss and one on the adds then you're both equally important to the success of the raid. There will be times when you're on a boss and times when you're on adds and times when you're asked to switch to your DPS off-spec. It should be about who is right for each part of the encounter and not about the ego factor.

    It can be fun as hell and makes you feel truly epic to tank something huge (Supremus!) so I do totally understand, but the concept of an "MT" and "OT" is pretty outdated. There are now simply tanks and, as others have pointed out, the one with the best gear who is most flexible and easy to adapt should be the one on the adds because it's just a harder job and requires better reaction times.

    Boss tanking can be just as boring as the adds on XT are as well. You'll see what I mean when you get to Freya. I do agree that XT is a fight that's no fun for the add tank - to the point where we solo-tank it these days and just have an extra DPS for the fight.

    There are a lot of fights in Ulduar where both tanks have to be "MT" - Razorscale, Thorim, certain strategies for Hodir, Kologarn (on 25-man only though really), Yogg-Saron and Algalon all have both tanks on the boss alternately. In the Coliseum, two fights have a boss tank and add tank, one has no tanks and two have two "main tanks".

    Again, like people have said, being "MT" isn't so much about what you tank but the leadership, the motivation and morale boosting, the trust they engender in your raid, the fact that they can't imagine doing anything but tanking. A truly great tank is the one who has the complete confidence of his friends in his raid. When he dies, the guild asks what they did wrong to allow him to die, rather than assume he did it wrong. That can only ever come with experience and is far more important than gear. Give it time and you'll be just the same - a leader of men (and women and gnomes)!

    Next time you're there, talk to your other tank and say you'd like to get a more rounded experience to help your tanking - ask him if he minds you taking a certain boss for a change etc, he'll probably be fine with it. We don't have an "MT" in our guild, just a pool of tanks and we switch around either based on the encounter and what our individual strengths/weaknesses are or, more commonly, we simply /roll for who gets the boss for farm stuff.



  19. #19
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    Once again, thanks for the responses.

    Apologies if i came off at the start as a bit of a whine, or maybe even a butthurt tank (that the wowterm nowdays?), guess im just a bit of a stubborn mule when i have my sights set on something.

    I've taken a lot of your advice on board and am actually quite looking forward to some of the stuff to come.
    We did VoA today, and i'm glad after the experience of Koralon that i didnt have to MT, How the hell MT's can see in that fight with the sheer amount of fire animations he/warlock casters cause him to have seems prety tough.

    We also did ignis with myself as OT for the adds, nice role that when i actually thought about giving it a serious try i thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Bit hectic when you get lobbed into the Slag Pot and adds go all over the show,but other than that was good fun.

    Now the trouble of choosing a best answer for this thread, of which im not sure i can do due to the amount of help in it from each of you.

    Many thanks.

  20. #20
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    Just a couple of more points:

    I started tanking back in the days of Molten Core as the fill-in tank, aka the dude who sat at the entrance for 3 hours and only got called in when repeated wipes made somebody fake a Alt+F4. Over the years i've risen to Main Tank as you want to call it and later Tank Commander and finally 2nd highest ranking officer in my guild. The patience that i learned over the years has contributed more to my tanking than any skill/experience/gear ever has. The tank position, be it main/off/add/xyz, is the bottleneck of the fight. It's where you fight both the boss and your own team and keeping cool and not getting worked up is what will make you a star tank.

    The "Main Tank" position as you view it is at this time, more of a slacking position for me. I run in, i work my ass off doing the best threat i can but otherwise it's pretty routine. The offtank is where most of the hard business happens and all those years trudging through trash & adds is what has made me into a good tank. Dont treat your position as a "queue" but rather as a tanking 101 class. (Heroics really dont do much to teach you proper raid tanking).

    Once your raid is comfortable with the fights you're doing, ask your MT to switch positions every now & then. You could use the experience (it's an interesting lesson in aggro management & generation when you take over from a boss tank and see the dps start ripping the boss a new one even before you land your first hit). And he could probably use the PoV provided from inside the raid. He'll especially appreciate it if he has an alt that he wants to raid/pug with. A boss crotch rarely allows enough view into a fight :P

    In our guild right now, we have a tank pool, we plug in whoever is available and whoever is the best for the job. We very rarely use the term OT. Hardmodes especially put a different perspective, so does dual specs. On most fights i'm on the boss & our pala tank is on adds. On Hodir hardmode or Mimiron Firefighter or Vezax or Yogg-Saron10, our pala tank gets the boss and i turn dps for example. Coliseum is rarely a single tank instance. (and i dread the day some other tank gets the boss and i end up tanking those adds on hardmode) The right man for the right job and everybody enjoying progression works better than fixed positions

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