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Thread: Why so hard to heal DK's?

  1. #1
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    Why so hard to heal DK's?

    I have a 76 Dk that will soon be 80 and start gearing for tanking, but here is my question.

    Why am I hearing from multiple healers that DK's are the hardest tank class to heal? I am Hopeful that one of the many healers that visit tankspot can shed some light on this for me. So is there any truth to how hard they are to heal? Are these Dk's just undergeared or underskilled? Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
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    The only reason I would imagine you would hear that is because of the current state of the LFG system.


    There are a LOT of DKs out there, and some of them are rather good. Many of them are not terribly skilled or experienced, but they can climb fast and easy to 80 because of the huge head start.

    DKs have all the necessary tools and abilities to be fantastic tanks, as hearty as any other class (some would argue more in certain situations). In order for that to happen though (and this is true of any class), they need to take the right tools and use them well.

    I imagine that feeling is simply a matter of a lot of less skilled or simply not tank geared DKs who are playing as tanks so they can get into groups. DPS DK friends of mine have said they can wait 30-40 minutes to get a group as DPS, but tanks get a group the moment the join the queue.

    So, generally as a class? Not hard to heal. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a higher incidence of people tanking when they just weren't ready for it though.
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  3. #3
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    DK has the highest representation of any class, therefore it also has the highest numbers of people playing it poorly.

  4. #4
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    I've had really disparate experiences with DK tanks. I joined an instance once with a dual wielding DK in really kind of lower than average gear who took almost no damage the whole run and chain pulled. He was super easy to heal, and it was a lot of fun.

    I've also had several instances with ToC 5 runs with moderately geared DK tanks who would just drop like a rock. At the time, I wasn't a particularly good healer ( still not great, but better at least), and the DK kept dying over and over again. We then switched to a warrior or a paladin in similar gear and suddenly it was easy. The tank's health was moving in predictable ways, and didn't have those deadly spikes I was seeing with the DK.

    I don't generally like to stereotype tanks by their class, but I've generally found that DKs who are raid tanks take no more nor less damage than any other tanks, but DKs tanking heroics often seem to take large damage spikes. I don't know if it's because they aren't using their mitigation cooldowns well enough, or what, but that's been my experience in healing them.

  5. #5
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    A poorly-geared tank is probably going to be difficult to heal.
    An unskilled tank CAN be difficult to heal.
    Poor healers find most everything difficult to heal.

    Paladins and warriors are particularly well-suited for heroics simply because the block mechanic prevents large spikes of incoming melee damage simply because heroic mobs do not hit very hard. Even so, death knights and bears should take comparable damage overall, it just may end up being a bit more spiky.
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  6. #6
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    So then I guess I shouldn't worry too much. I will focus on getting good gear and learning the encounters as dps. Then once I understand all the encounters and I have hit my caps get in there and practice.

    Thanks for your help all.

  7. #7
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    Get a proper tanking spec, some crafted plate with defense, and start tanking regular five mans now. People will be more more patient in sub-80 instances than they will at 80 in heroics.

    It's going to take you much longer to gear up as a plate DPSer hoping for the leftovers that the tanks in your runs don't need. (Don't be the DK dps needing for off spec when the tank in the run also needs the drop /sigh) Even if you've got a guildie or friend with a geared tank that's willing to run you through heroics for gear after you hit 80 and you do put together a good set, you're just going to be a decently geared DK tank with no experience tanking. Experience is generally more beneficial than gear.

  8. #8
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    Another point to remember is that when most people say DK tanks are hard to heal they forget about the healing the DK's do to themselves. This is especially true for blood tanks, who have many talents that improve deathstrike or granting self healing abilities. This gives a perception of taking more damage, but part of the damage is nullified by the healing the DKs do to themselves. This is just a small part of the big picture though.

  9. #9
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    DKs are overpowered when leveling up and alot of them think they can tank just by virtue of being a DK. I've seen DK's show up to tank a heroic with no tanking gear at all. That being said though, there are those that know their class and how to tank and have been fine to heal.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice and imput all. I am now going to round up as much tank gear as possible and get to tanking imeadiatly.

    I am off to track down some more gear.

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    Thats my toon as he stands. You think that is good enough till 78 when I can get some Tempered and Daunting plate stuff?

  11. #11
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    Yes, you should be fine until 78. I'm sure there aren't many lvl 78 toons who can match your dedication to the playstyle/spec/gearing that you have on your dk. When you have that combination at that level you should be good to go in those randoms!

  12. #12
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    I have never played any kind of tank, and so I can't tell you WHY DKs are hard to heal, I can only tell you what I see when I heal them: big damage spikes. And yes, this does tend to be less true of the DK tanks with high end gear (ToGC and up).

    I can cope with this in all but the worst cases. The point is, I don't see the same thing with other tank classes, except, for example, where one is not defense capped.

    Before you DK tanks get all hot and bothered, please don't think that this is a slam against you! Most of the DK I run with are smart, responsible and have made a big effort to do well.

    I should also say that this didn't use to be true, pre-3.2 I loved running with DK tanks. As to what happened there, you'll need to read/talk to the DK experts.

    Like I said, I can only tell you what I see, not the mechanics behind it.

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