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Thread: Not the usual "Am I ready?" topic: or, Healer Goes Fetal at Edge of Tankage

  1. #1

    Not the usual "Am I ready?" topic: or, Healer Goes Fetal at Edge of Tankage

    (I'm posting this with the knowledge that the short answer might be, "If you have to ask, the answer is 'No!" " )

    I've played WoW for 5 years now, mostly as a heal or ranged DPS class. I've raided and instanced a lot, both with guilds and in PUGs. A while ago I began to feel that I was probably missing out on a lot by never having played a tank. Like a lot of people who'd never done melee before, I found soloing/DPSing with a DK unexpectedly fun, and before I knew it Reikoku was 80... and well, a lot more I happened but the bottom line is, I've put together Frost DW "tanking set" with 545 defense, 33 expertise, 30K+ HP, hit capped if I swap weapons (AiL is 212, still have 10 pieces of level 200 gear). I'm pretty sure my gear is good enough for heroics. I know the dungeons and raids and the mobs therein (albeit from a healer or Ranged DPS perspective.) I've read articles here and at EJ and various tank/ DK bloggers til I thought my eyes would dry up ....

    ... and what I don't know and can't find, in all the articles and guides and videos, is how to get over my terror and make the jump into actually TANKING. I've healed probably hundreds of tanks, from great to terrible, and feel that they are much more key to the success of a run than even the healers - and I don't wanna be "that fail tank." ~ I know that this is due to "lack of experience-based knowledge translating into a lack of confidence." I know that, and still can't bring myself to click that Specific Dungeon button for H UK.

    Any other longtime healers successfully take the plunge into tanking? If so, how the heck did you do it?

    P.S. Guild runs not an option, as I am between guilds atm.
    Last edited by Rhadamanthys; 12-30-2009 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Your gear is more than ready, but only you can say if you feel ready.

    Honestly, I'd say that if it's something you're really worried about, run some non-heroics first to make sure you're holding down threat correctly. Once you've got those down, H AN is probably the easiest to tank. It sounds like you've done your homework and have a lot of knowledge already, so I have a hard time believing you're going to be "that fail tank." If you're really concerned about it, try to find someone who is a tank playing on an alt and ask him for pointers as you run. Most people love to mentor others, and it gives you a sense that you're being supported while you learn.

  3. #3
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    You are a lot better geared then I was when i started heroics. So gear is not an issue. Your spec is clean. Your gemmed right. Everything I can tell by your armory is pretty much by the book.

    So for starters. Do you have all your abilities macrod to runesrtike? If the answer is no you gotta do that ASAP it makes your life so much easier.

    /cast Blood Strike
    /cast !Rune Strike

    the ! makes it so you don't toggle off Rune Strike

    Its kind of ridiculous how much threat you get from Rune Strike.

    Second what your opening rotation on pulls? On multi-mob pulls generally you will go DnD - HB - BB. This will glue most mobs to you with the exception if you have dps targeting something other then your main target. Mark a skull for the dps. If something other then skull kills them, its most likely their fault.

    Single target: IT PS BS BS OB (FS) OB OB (FS)

    FS if you have the runic power but try not to drain your entire bar

    another useful macro is

    /cast blood tap
    /cast Unbreakable Armor

    blood tap converts a blood rune to a death rune so if you dont have a frost rune available you can use the death run. It also refreshes the CD on that rune so its definitely nice.

    IBF and AMS are your best friends. If you know a target is going to use a magic ability pop AMS, you will get runic power back and take a ton less damage. Also AMS can be used if a fear is coming your way. It doesn't always work but does give you a better chance to resist it.

    The last thing i guarantee is by far the most important. Be confident. It makes all the difference.
    Last edited by Sevynn; 12-29-2009 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Spelling

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reev View Post
    Honestly, I'd say that if it's something you're really worried about, run some non-heroics first to make sure you're holding down threat correctly. Once you've got those down, H AN is probably the easiest to tank. It sounds like you've done your homework and have a lot of knowledge already, so I have a hard time believing you're going to be "that fail tank." If you're really concerned about it, try to find someone who is a tank playing on an alt and ask him for pointers as you run. Most people love to mentor others, and it gives you a sense that you're being supported while you learn.
    This. Running regular instances while overgeared is the best way to learn, and also most considerate to prospective party members. Level is also an indication of the complexity, for example regular UK is far, far easier than regular Culling of Stratholme, becuse the mobs are low 70s in UK whereas they are 78ish in CoS.

    As for the heroics, I disagree, H AN is not the easiest, it was actually one of the hardest ones when I was starting heroics (but it could have been a gear issue, I only had heroics and nax10 gear to work with). I recommend H UK, H Nexus and H VH if you want to leap from regular to heroics.

    Finally, asking for pointers from somebody, and also warning the people you are learning go a long ways in a group.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sevynn View Post

    So for starters. Do you have all your abilities macroed to runestrike?
    Yeah - Been doing the macro thing for a while. Have most stuff macroed - like a cast sequence macro that gives me heals (/castsequence Lifeblood, Gift of the Naaru, Raise Dead, Death Pact) - and DG on mouseover.

    I'm also considering testing a "taunt and mark with skull" macro.

    Second what your opening rotation on pulls?
    I've read and read, and it seems unlike, oh say advice for Resto Druids or Disc priests () the DK info is much more all over the map - at least as applied to using PS and BB (and even IT to some extent). Though I certainly use those when I run instances as DPS on my DK, it seems like, at least to start, a "single disease-no BB" is simpler and pretty effective - HB, BS, BS, OB OB OB (etc), FS as dump, HB again when Freezing Fog procs (and yes I have Power Auras). I saw advice somewhere that even said "take IT off the tanking hotbar so as not to hit it by accident and waste the Rime proc."

    /cast blood tap
    /cast Unbreakable Armor
    any reason why you'd pop these together? - or is this one of those "use them every time they're off CD" things that you just put in one button to save space?

    Also AMS can be used if a fear is coming your way. It doesn't always work but does give you a better chance to resist it.
    Ah cool, didn't know that. EMFH is the the only thing I miss about playing a Draenei.

    The last thing i guarantee is by far the most important. Be confident. It makes all the difference.
    Yeah, as must be evident I'm quite lacking in that.
    Last edited by Rhadamanthys; 12-30-2009 at 10:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Former long time healer here!

    what you're feeling is natural. my first tanking run occured with my heart mainly in my throat (it didnt help that i was tanking with a druid that up until recently was a tree!).

    Take some mates if you got them and start on UK HC. focus on UK and maybe nexus for few days. you'll get used to the 'feel' of tanking and after that..you're flying.

    Well done and good luck

  7. #7
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    well i don't know about healing but i had never tanked before i was always dps till i got sick of not being able to find tank so i started building a tank set and jumped into tanking it was a trail by fire but i just warned them before the run that i was learning and i knew akk of the fights and i have been ok its a learning prosses thats for sure but the only way you learn or over come your fear is by doing it

  8. #8
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    I would say that your best bet will be to ask some friends or guildmates to go along on your maiden tanking voyage, and agree with those that say a regular dungeon may be the place to start. You eventually just have to take the plunge. My first tanking experience on my warrior was in Zul'Farrak, dual-wielding in an Arms spec (I maybe put on a shield)... if I survived that, you look plenty knowledgeable to do fine in dungeons, and your gear should be more than adequate.

    EDIT - Hmm.. I did miss that PS at the bottom somehow. In that case, just mention going in that you're new to tanking. It might take a few tries, but you should be able to find a group that's willing to let you learn as you go.
    Last edited by Eravian; 12-30-2009 at 08:09 AM.

  9. #9
    Former healadin here...leveled my pally as holy, did some pre-bc raiding and did 60-70 all as holy and raided up to Gruuls before taking a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrry long break from the game. I came back and decided that I should give tanking a try, knowing absolutely nothing about it. My first tanking experience was in regular Nexus at 71 and I was such a complete noob about it. I was still tanking in spellpower healing gear in a prot spec because I didn't do my research! It looks like you've done your homework and know what is expected of tanks, and to be honest the best thing for you to do is just give it a try sometime.

    A couple of things I don't recommend:
    Don't run low level instances (like regular to try and get your tanking skill up. You will hold insane threat over lower level mobs and it will give you a false sense of ability.

    Don't sell yourself short. You are more then geared enough to be a tank, and you aren't going to be an uber l33t tank your first time out. Give it your best and learn from your mistakes.

    Don't lose your buttons! I can't tell you how often I would sit freaking out looking for my taunt button because I moved it somewhere completely random because I had never used it before.

    You said that guild runs are out of the question (I actually read your post!) so what you could do is start doing the Random Regular Dungeons in Lich King. At your level it should only put you at the top end Dungeons: UP, HoS, HoL, CoS, and maybe even the newer ICC instances. Normal mode will set you up with people that aren't insanely geared for DPS so they won't be ripping mobs off of you too easily. This also gives you some leway in finding out what rotation works best for your style of tanking.

    You gotta learn to walk before you run. Take it slow, pull according to your comfort, and most importantly...you gotta have thick skin. Tanks get criticism more then any other class from their pug mates, don't take it to heart...just keep at it!
    Last edited by Rominoodle; 12-30-2009 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Don't know if it was planned, but if so that's AWESOME! Your stam in your DPS gear is 1337 :D
    Noob Prot Pally - Armory

  10. #10
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    I've found that reading up on how to do a thing only takes you so far. You learn best by doing, doing it wrong, and figuring out how to get it right the next time.

    If you feel ready to learn, you often stumble upon what works well and what does not -- and then later find a thread/article/post you were unable to find before, that confirms what you already figured out.

    Take the great advice that the other posters have given, too.

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