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Thread: What should i do?

  1. #1
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    What should i do?

    I have recently transfered over my warrior to a server where all my flat mates play on, and have been for their how wow lifes; i however only recently joined them because i was happy with my old guild on my old server, unfortunatly they disbanded shortly after the release of Toc, so i made the move.

    I joined the guild that all my friends were in, they needed tanks quite badly, whats better than that, joining a guild with friends that needs tanks? Oh dear, what a nieve orc i was. I've spent the past few weeks raiding with the guild, ok so their not overly progressed, struggling with the Keepers of Ulduar, and yet to encounter Vezax, or Yogg Saron (both 10 and 25) and have only recently done Toc 10 normal, and unable to get past Faction Champions in Toc 25, i'm not overly fussed about their progression though, i joined to raid with friends, but during my time i've noticed reasons why they are unable to get past these encounters; tanks, and by this i mean their main tank.

    I have a lot of respect for him, he has been tanking for the guild since Molten Core, so he does have a lot of experience, but as a guild they've never managed to push into the final raid instances of an expansion pack, sticking to Molten Core in vannila, with attempts on Razorgore, doing the lower ilevel content in Tbc (Gruuls, Karazhan, ZA, attempts on Magtheridon, doing the first few bosses in SSC, TK, then moving onto Mount Hyjal, and getting past the alliance village two bosses, im unsure if they entered Black Temple) but as you can see, they've never really had the push to get to the final encounters of a raid, and seem more content with just doing the first few encounters, after which a new patch will come out with new content.

    Right anyway, thats the background of the guild, about the problem i have. As i've said, i have a huge amount of respect for the main tank in the sense that he has been tanking for many years, and has experienced a lot more content than i have (from a tanks perspective, i played shaman during vannila and tbc), i just feel that with itemization, and speccing, as well as a few points i could adress with his encounter awareness he seems to not be up-to-date.

    Ok, so his spec, he's running with this spec The World of Warcraft Armory which i feel is just a jumble of points in protection without any real direction, 1/3 Incite, 2/2 improved spell reflect, 3/3 puncture, no improved thunder clap, no warbringer (not that a big deal, but it does offer a lot more flexibility/manouverability during encounters) and then in arms, 3/3 Tactical mastery, ok that may work, due to the lack of warbringer, stance dancing to intercept, but surely spending one point and not stance dancing is better than spending 3 points and stance dancing?

    Also his lack of duel specs, especialy as a main tank really annoys me, when i was tanking for my previous guild i couldn't live without duel specs, the different abilities it gave to me for different encounters, balancing threat and suvival in the switch of a spec. I think thats more my personal preferance showing though, you can still main tank with only one spec, just spending points in the one tank spec you have more wisely. For anyone looking at my armory and seeing my arms offspec, i've been asked to take a dps offspec for the guild since im offtanking, i've tried to make my tanking spec as balanced as possible, combining survival and threat as best i could, with the help of a lot of glyph swapping!

    His itemization seems very poor to me as well, he's rolling with 31k hp in Ulduar 25/Toc 10 gear, ok health isn't hugely important, but more than 31k espcialy pushing into Ulduar 25 later encounters, and Toc 25, but in some cases avoidance and defense is a lot more effective (tanking Anub adds in Toc heroic) but i have adressed to him that multiple item sets are a necessity for a tank, especialy main tank, as they offer a lot more utility to specific enounters, he shrugged me off saying "His threat gear and survivability gear are the same" i questioned his avoidance gear, he didn't respond. He is hit capped, well actually over hit capped 8.45% with a lot of hit gems, i currently count 4 pure hit gems at the moment, but he isn't expertise soft capped, he's running with 10, and i've tried to explain to him, while explaining to a guild death knight tank questioning duel wield about bosses parry haste, and how expertise is a huge asset to avoiding this, now this may be my bad thinking, but surely having atleast an expertise soft cap is far more important than a hit cap, wouldn't he be wiser gemming for expertise?

    He is using Repelling Charge still (defense trinket from naxx 10) again, if he is below defense cap couldn't he swap out a few hit gems for defense, replacing Repelling Charge with a stamina trinket to boost his EH, he's also running with Rune of Repulsion as his second trinket (parry trinket from Sapphiron 25) great trinket, i use it for my trash/heroic item set, but again as a all round trinket it can't be that effective especialy considering the Dr on parry.

    His encounter awareness is weak in my eyes, rarely using cooldowns to help out the healers, whether it be Last Stand after a fast spike of damage, or Shield Wall just before a special ability is about to take place, again making the healers job a lot easier. Also he's not very vocal with his healers, communicating cooldowns, when i tanked for my previous guild i was always vocaly communicating with the whole raid, announcing before i was about to use Shield Wall, announcing i'd need a Pain Suspression, or a guardian spirit, or even letting them know no cooldowns were available i will be taking a lot of damage - all making it a lot easier on them, preparing them for bursts of high damage, and letting them know when i wouldn't be.

    His threat is generaly low, acceptable on stationary encounters like Xt-002 but when it comes to mobile encounters such as Hodir it drops to the point where warlocks are in need of a 30 second soul shatter and mages holding back, really impacting on the group dps. His rotation seems fine, i think this may just be a spec issue, and perhaps a lack of keybinds, and strafing.

    Ok, so what im asking is how can i adress him to highlight these issues, i have tried a few times, giving him little pointers during encounters but he seems to shrug it off, not taking any notice. The last point i made to him was using his cooldowns during Frozen Blowws on Hodir, i told him "I know you can survive Frozen Blows, but it's a lot of strain on the healers, perhaps set up a cooldown rotation during them to mitigate the damage, rotating between you and the disc priest to burn Shield wall and Pain Suspression's" he replied "it's the healers duty to keep me alive, as long as stay alive im happy", to which i replied "Surely you'd rather survive without your healers dead at their desks due to heart attacks" no reply, ok maybe my little joke didn't go too well .

    As i've said, i have a lot of respect for this guy, but i think he may be the reason due to their trouble at the end bosses of an instance, and i don't want to offend him, i just want to advise him.

    Does the tankspot community have any advice how i go about this?

  2. #2
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    I think the biggest problem with your tank, which you need to solve before anything else, is his lack of willingness to learn and improve. Perhaps because he's been tanking years in this 'friendly raiders' type of guild that he has assured himself he knows everything already and doesn't need your 'help' to get any better. Well he does. If you want to (be able to) improve you need to constantly question and compare why you do things a certain way and not the other. If you cannot answer someone's question about your spec/gear/playstyle in a logic, argumental way, this is the first step you need to take.

    Because until you can do that, all other advise will simply fall on deaf ears.
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  3. #3
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    The one thing i worry about is coming across too much "i know best, brag brag brag" and i don't want to start giving him pointers to improve his game play when i don't actually know what im talking about. I THINK i know about warrior, and tanking mechanics very well, but is this just me being big headed, giving myself a false sense of security? The reason i posted with a lot of background information with spec links, expamples etc, was just because i wanted reassurance that i am right to feel the way i do, and that me talking to him would help, or is he the one that is right? And im wrong.

    I'm fairly new to the guild, so i don't want to give myself a bad reputation, so i want to know that if i talk to him its going to be for the right reasons.

    Also avice on how to approach the situation would be regarded very helpful, in warcraft im the bossy tank that puts it as it is, do this please, stand there please, move here now, get to the point and do it. I am like this in life as well, fairly straight forward, and will only explain things if asked to. I know this won't be the best approach, so anything to help would be great.

  4. #4
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    Well perhaps the best way is to offer to tank an encounter that the guild is currently struggling with that you think you'd be able to help them down.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Winkle View Post
    Well perhaps the best way is to offer to tank an encounter that the guild is currently struggling with that you think you'd be able to help them down.
    This. Ask to tank one of the harder encounters and be on your game, tank it like a champ. Afterwards discuss the encounter with the healers (quietly maybe) and get their feedback on damage: were you easier to heal, how was the spike damage etc. Use this as a basis for discussing specific mechanics with your friend and how best to manage cooldowns.

    Also try logging the encounter with both of you tanking, compare the incoming damage and tps. Solid numbers are hard to refute.

  6. #6
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    Does he visit Tankspot?

    If he does, the he should know better if he does not.... direct him here! Any sort of reason will do, see a video, ask his opinion on a thread, recommend it out of the blue.

    He seems like he's comfortable, happy with his role and his job, secure in the knowledge that he's the MT and that's that. I agree; being new you don't want to rock the boat... maybe ask him what tanking sites he visits, so you can visit them as well, then recommend the single best source of all things tanking on the internetz... tankspot.

    Trying to help someone that doesn't realize they need help without coming off as condescending is a difficult thing to do. It's best if he realizes himself he needs to improve.

    It really sounds like it's his spec and encounter awareness that is the issue.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vine View Post
    Afterwards discuss the encounter with the healers (quietly maybe) and get their feedback on damage: were you easier to heal, how was the spike damage etc.
    Asking healers for an opinion on how easy you were to heal after one pull or even one night is one of the worst things you can do. There are too many things that will factor into their response:
    1. Was the pull better or worse because of outside factors?
    2. Were they paying more attention to you because you're new?
    3. Was the encounter defeated when in the past it may not have been?
    Awful, useless feedback can happen from anyone if you get their opinions without sourcing it with data and without giving them enough time to legitimately form them.

    A good example of bad feedback is Faction Champions -- when it was first out, a lot of guilds were out claiming they knew the 'secret' to faction champions:

    Always kill the healers first. Kill one DPS and then the healers. Kill the pets first. Make sure you have an MS. Always kill the HOT classes first. Always kill the melee first. Always kill the Hunter and Shadow Priest first.

    These guilds are virtually always describing what they did on the pull where they first killed Faction Champions with their group. They had experimented with a lot of things that didn't work. Yet, the kill order wasn't the issue in most cases -- the players in the raid learning how the fight worked and how to keep themselves alive was the issue.

    The core of the issue is they believed they were as good at the encounter as they'd ever be prior to entering it. In none of the cases where guilds proclaimed to know the secret were they saying, "the secret to Faction Champions is that your raiders have to learn how to keep themselves alive and use utility abilities that they don't normally use in other PVE encounters."

    Once they learned those qualities, they couldn't look at themselves and accept that was the reason, or the dozen other minor changes they'd made over the night were the reason, but instead looked at whatever tiny thing happened in the very last pull and claim that's the reason.


    And that's exactly what most healing groups will do outside of top 0.1% guilds. If the encounter goes better for them, it won't matter if it was a dozen other factors, they'll claim it was changing the tank (after all, they already know how to heal perfectly!). If the encounter goes poorly for them, it won't matter if they're screwing up, they'll say the new tank is worse. Unless the healers are more friendly towards the new tank, in which case they'll assume the new tank is better.

    An example: We had a Death Knight tanking NRB hard mode about 3 weeks ago. He had switched over from DPS and from my own experience with him, he knows exactly what he's doing in terms of tanking and gearing, and he's tanked plenty of hard modes. After a few wipes on phase 2, the healers started complaining how difficult he was to heal and how the encounter would be significantly better if we brought in a different tank in his spot.

    A quick glance into healing chat a few minutes later, and one of the app Holy Paladins is realizing that his beacon of light isn't hitting the tank they were complaining about because he's not using it correctly. Another healer wasn't even aware he was supposed to be healing that tank. Ouch.

  8. #8
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    OMG, Cider, say it ain't so, you have wipes? It doesn't all go perfectly all the time like in the videos? Crushed I tell you, I'm crushed.

  9. #9
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    You may have to accept the fact that he feels he is an awesome tank and doesn't need to change. This can be very frustrating especially for someone who takes the time to research their class and does their best to be an exceptional tank. Asking to tank a harder encounter and helping your guild progress is a great idea. Asking him to come to Tankspot is another great idea. Does your guild have forums? If so, you could provide a link to posts that he will benefit from.
    Last edited by Teslin; 10-06-2009 at 12:48 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Satrina View Post
    Teaslin!

  10. #10
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    I think it was touched on but not said plainly: it sounds to me like this tank is trying to shoehorn his old vanilla wow tanking style (stance dancing and all) into WotLK.

    You also mention he's stacking a lot of defense. Unhittable? As I recall that used to be all the rage for boss tanking, but not anymore.

    He got comfortable with a particular style of tanking and he doesn't want to (or is uncomfortable with) changing. That's a hard thing to overcome, because then he'd have to admit that he's so far behind on current tanking technique, he's back to being a nub tank -- at least, until he looks up some stuff and practices.

    As to what you should do: I'd go along with the suggestion of trying to get a turn at MTing one of the encounters they are stuck on. It can be framed as simply "giving you a shot in the hot seat". If that is done every once in awhile -- and it yields better results -- it should be obvious to him you are doing something different and perhaps better. If he asks you about it, then you can direct him here.

    TL;DR: show him by example, let him come to you.
    Last edited by Bashal; 10-06-2009 at 12:55 PM.

  11. #11
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    I know things can go wrong and people sometimes have a brain-fart, but I think it's important to have open dialogue between healers and tanks, Cider.

    My main is a healer and I'm always able to give solid feedback to the tanks on their incoming damage, we've found it useful if they are trying out new gear sets. Maybe I pay attention more than other healers, or have just been healing for a long time, not sure... I questioned our druid tank recently on his spiky damage, when he checked his character screen he was wearing his dps gear by accident.

    Having a solid heal team where everyone sticks to their assignments means you develop a rhythm for each encounter, a baseline, deviation from that is easy to spot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vine View Post
    I know things can go wrong and people sometimes have a brain-fart, but I think it's important to have open dialogue between healers and tanks, Cider.
    I think the difference here is you are talking more about healing tanks that the healers are already familiar with, and Cider is talking more about healing a tank that is new to the healers.

    In the latter case, the kind of cognitive bias Cider describes comes in to play much more than it does with tanks that are already familiar to the healers.

  13. #13
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    Start a second raid group and pass the other raid group in progression. heh.

    I don't think you can help him, he has to care and want to fix it on his own. While Ciderhelm does make good points about the subjective nature of healers' analysis on a given fight, over a long enough period of time the healers can form a decent opinion on how well a tank is performing.

    It isn't necessarily in quantifiable numbers, that's what theorycrafting is for, but other actions that the tank takes during the encounter. I witnessed this happen during the High King Mulgar fight while swapping in multiple tanks for learning purposes.

    After one of the other tanks fought the boss they came to me and said he was excessively difficult to keep alive. We had wiped 2 or 3 times on it and they had ended up needing 3 healers dedicated to him to keep him up, where typically we only had 1 MT healer. They wanted me to figure out what was wrong and help him fix it or they said they would veto him tanking that fight in the future. When you are first doing the encounters or if the difference in performance is slight they won't be able to give you good data, but they should be able to tell you if they are having to work extra hard but only for that specific tank.

    DPS works much the same way. They might not know the mechanics or methods involved, probably because they don't care, but they will be able to tell you which tanks can control aggro in a given scenario. The feedback mechanism is going to be the Omen sound alert about aggro ripping and eventually they'll figure out which ones allow them to ignore Omen completely, or at least are consistently able to save them from their high DPS even when they ignore the bong sound.

    The problem with this is that the guild won't provide feedback. He is a fixture and even if he sucks he's important within their social group. If he did a PUG it might open his eyes because he would get honest, sometimes aggressive, feedback about his abilities. Most folks seem to prefer pats on the back from their yes men, not honest feedback.

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