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Thread: Seeking General Tank Class Opinions

  1. #1
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    Seeking General Tank Class Opinions

    Greetings!

    New to the site, long time MMO addict. Life has finally slowed down enough to allow me to return to WoW after a two year hiatus; before doing so, I'm hoping to get some advice from the well informed tanks around here. Having raided as a Rogue all through vanilla (MC-Naxx) and a Holy Pally for early BC (SSC/Sunwell), I think that this time around I'd like to give tanking a go. Problem is, my knowledge of the strengths and shortcomings of the various tank classes in WotLK is, well, nonexistent. Anyone care to share their thoughts? A general overview would be amazing, but I do have a few more specific questions as well...

    Are Warriors still the dominant MT, or are all classes now capable of doing so? And OTs? That is to say, what is the typical raid makeup in terms of tanks?

    I'm pretty intrigued by the DK as a tank class, how effective are they at this role? Cater more to magic-heavy encounters vs melee, AoE vs single target?

    Is AoE tanking a big part of WotLK? I recall in vanilla that for the most part it was not, but I imagine this may have changed. Does any class in particular excel at this role?

    What are the various "oh shit" buttons for each tanking class? And are skill rotations as important in tanking as say a DPS class, or is it more reactive?

    Outside of the raiding environment, are tanking specs capable of soloing most content?

    What, if any, sweeping changes to tanking/tanking classes is Cataclysm likely to bring? Unsure if any such information has even been released, but hey...

    And, of course, what is just plain fun about the various classes?

    Just a couple jumping off points, please feel free to hit on any topics you feel worth mentioning. Something that may be worth noting is that I used to be a hardcore raider, but am not certain that's something I'd like to jump back in to just yet. Instead, I think I'll be spending quite a bit of time in Heroic 5/10 mans, if that has any bearing at all. Thanks for your help, look forward to joining the community!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    Are Warriors still the dominant MT, or are all classes now capable of doing so? And OTs? That is to say, what is the typical raid makeup in terms of tanks?
    All classes are viable to MT/OT any encounter. It all depends on their skill, experience, and gear level. Make up depends largely on the guild. In ours we run 2 warrior MT's with a Paladin as the 3rd when needed who flips to heals when not. However guilds will likely use the most vested, skilled, experienced, and geared tanks they have available regardless of class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    I'm pretty intrigued by the DK as a tank class, how effective are they at this role? Cater more to magic-heavy encounters vs melee, AoE vs single target?
    I can not say from personal experience as I have never played one, however I'm sure someone else can. Generally speaking from what I have read my response to your first question applies here as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    Is AoE tanking a big part of WotLK? I recall in vanilla that for the most part it was not, but I imagine this may have changed. Does any class in particular excel at this role?
    Most trash packs (of which there are very little now) are AOE'd down. All classes have enough AOE threat to do the job, especially since you will have 2-3 tanks working the pack together. Paladins currently have the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    What are the various "oh shit" buttons for each tanking class? And are skill rotations as important in tanking as say a DPS class, or is it more reactive?
    It depends upon the encounter. Some times its scripted to where you must use your cool downs properly in the right order at "x" time or you will eat the floor. Other times its reactive, like if your healers get in a pinch/die, or if you want to reduce incoming damage from a special phase so they healers can keep your DPS up and cooking. Warriors have 3 cool downs at their disposal: Shield Wall, Last Stand, and Enrage Regeneration. I believe the other classes have same amount, they are similar ones that work slightly differently to keep the classes unique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    Outside of the raiding environment, are tanking specs capable of soloing most content?
    I leveled prot in BC and again in Wrath (again from a warriors prospective). I have to say it was a lot more fun in Wrath, you are quite capable of soloing most things, even some lower group quests, if you clean out entire zones before moving to the next highest, which means you will be a slightly higher level than what your attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qork View Post
    What, if any, sweeping changes to tanking/tanking classes is Cataclysm likely to bring? Unsure if any such information has even been released, but hey...
    Check out the recent Weekly Marmot's Lore dose here on tankspot to keep up with what the latest talk about Cata is. Also http://www.mmo-champion.com/ is a great news source for up to date changes and blue posts.

    Aside from all that what it really comes down to is trying the classes for yourself and finding the one you like best. There are tons of current guides here on tankspot in the gearing forums to help you, check them out and of course when you settle on a class you can come back here to the Halp! forum for some more detailed info.

    And Welcome Back.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  3. #3
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    Are Warriors still the dominant MT, or are all classes now capable of doing so? And OTs? That is to say, what is the typical raid makeup in terms of tanks?
    The concept of MT/OT is mostly out the window. We're talking tanking team these days with each tank getting about the same use/responsibility in raids. That's 2 for 10mans, 3 for 25. Well, the 3rd in 25mans might be considered OT sometimes but best to think of it as team. Typically all tank classes are perfectly capable of tanking all content. All tanks have their "oh shit" encounter somewhere in there along with the "oh yeah" encounter so it's more about the player behind the toon than the capabilities of the toon.

    Quick recap of stuff i've noted (ie personal opinion)
    Warriors: More effort to get the same work done, great single target threat, adequate aoe threat, unmatched mobility and very fun.
    DK tank: Probably the tank in worst shape atm but things keep changing so just wait for it. Decently easy if you've mastered the class in general, dps & tanking mechanics are equivalent so it's easy to learn. Death Grip is awesome. Lots of emergency buttons for every situation on very short cooldowns. Overall very fun, and less demanding that warriors.
    Bear: Boring to play but oh yeah, give me that stam & armor (100K hp with cooldowns popped!) Very high survivability, great on both single target and aoe.
    Paladin: Most of the survival stuff is built in & automatic so much easier to play. Best aoe in the game too. Easy to play, just shy of being boring and gives you enough time to mind your surroundings & keep track of stuff in the raid.


    I'm pretty intrigued by the DK as a tank class, how effective are they at this role? Cater more to magic-heavy encounters vs melee, AoE vs single target?
    Each type of dk tank tanks differently. Blood tank has the highest EH, great selfhealing and just doesnt want to die. Good single target threat but aoe suffers a lot. Frost tanking is based on great mitigation for survival. A geared frost tank will easily hit the armor cap. I find frost play much more fun though inside raids i've found it harder on survival (ie needed more gear) compared to blood so i switched to blood. Frost is best while dualwielding btw. Frost is great for aoe threat too as well as single target. What i like about DK tanking is you can pull off some ranged stuff (ie ranged kiting and still keep aggro - works great on Rotface oozes for example). Overall you could find a lot of people who'll say DK tanking sucks. I play both a warrior and a dk tank in raids, i also raid together with a really good & geared DK tank and i'll choose to say they're pretty good at tanking (and fun).

    Is AoE tanking a big part of WotLK? I recall in vanilla that for the most part it was not, but I imagine this may have changed. Does any class in particular excel at this role?
    Anything that's not a boss, you can count on AoE - ie, decently significant portion of a raid. Crusaders coliseum was different in that it had no trash. Paladins are the best aoe tanks, warriors & blood dks are at the bottom (but adequate). As a warrior though, i simply dont aoe tank inside our 25man raids because my other tanks are a DK and paladin and i just cannot stop them from grabbing stuff off me.

    What are the various "oh shit" buttons for each tanking class? And are skill rotations as important in tanking as say a DPS class, or is it more reactive?
    There are just too many to list here. But all tank classes have enough cooldowns. Warriors have to spec & glyph to get their survival cooldowns to the same level as the other classes but then we have great tools for starters so i'd say it's ok. DKs have the most & frequent cooldowns but their class is also designed on their frequent use too. Basically all tank classes have the cooldowns to get the job done though in different ways (ie a warrior might use last stand to greatly increase his hp, a blood dk will have a similar ability to increase his hp at a lesser level but add increased healing received to make up, a bear's shieldwall will be on lower cooldown but reduce less damage, etc etc. As for "rotations". there's of course a standardish rotation that we use but Blizzard is aiming for a more priority based approach. ie, something procs and you want to use that, or cooldowns on abilities dont allow you to put a standard rotation, etc. But no, if you miss your rotation or your proc, you dont get hurt as much as a dps, hence why you'll see only tiny bits of hitrating on tanks - we can afford to miss.

    Outside of the raiding environment, are tanking specs capable of soloing most content?
    Oh yes, definitely. I regularly solo an elite daily quest. As for regular stuff, i find switching to my quite decent fury spec/gear a chore while doing the normal dailies & go do them in tank setup.

    What, if any, sweeping changes to tanking/tanking classes is Cataclysm likely to bring? Unsure if any such information has even been released, but hey...
    That's a lot of reading/watching Marmot

    And, of course, what is just plain fun about the various classes?
    I can only talk about warrior & dk as my paladin is just too inexperienced yet.

    Warrior: Mobility. Like ping pong mobility. Think of yourself as a "guided" bowling ball. You can pretty much charge around knocking down all pins before going on :P Next, i would say the impressive array of tools at my disposal. Sure it ends up making it a lot more work than other tank classes but it's much more engaging & active.

    DK: Feels more like playing a dps class. Tanking with a huge 2h is also fun. Has a more "proacitve" feel to it.

  4. #4
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    I have seen it said on here that Pallies are like an automatic transmission, while Warriors are like manual transmissions. It all depends on what you enjoy. I drive a manual transmission Jeep and enjoy tanking on my manual transmission warrior.

    However, if you decide to roll a Druid and find that you don't like tanking, you have every other option available for that toon (heals, ranged dps, melee dps, etc..). Pallies are also very versatile if you decide to change to a different role.

    I haven't seen a whole lot of quality DK tanks, but i am sure they exist on one or two servers. :-)

    For specifics on each class, search thie website, there is a ton of info.

    Just my .02$

  5. #5
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    I'm relatively new to tanking (just started wow at Christmas) and I'm a warrior tank. The learning curve is steep because your aoe tanking is very limited you have to use your mobility to keep threat up on all targets. If you want to be spamming keys all over the place and breaking keyboards go warrior. If you already have a paladin at 70+ I'd say spec into tanking, find some beginning tanking gear (There are many lists on here to help you get crit immune) and give it a try in some 5 mans before you decide to level up a different tank.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meldwyn View Post
    I have seen it said on here that Pallies are like an automatic transmission, while Warriors are like manual transmissions. It all depends on what you enjoy.

    I haven't seen a whole lot of quality DK tanks, but i am sure they exist on one or two servers. :-)
    You could substitute DK for Warrior in the above phrase. I tank as both a DK and a Pally and the Pally is kind of like easy mode tanking in the sense of sticking to 969 rotation and not a lot of cool down management. DK's are more cool down dependent whether in Frost (Unbreakable Armor, Icebound Fortitude, Trinket's etc) or Blood (Rune Tap, Vampiric Blood, etc). The DK defintiely give you more to think about.

    And yes there are some very good DK tanks out there - don't listen to the Warriors they don't like the DK's cause DK's tend to be better looking and get all the hot Night Elf girls, while the Warriors attract the space goats.

  7. #7
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    If you're just getting into tanking I would suggest leveling your pally up. Pallies are the most forgiving when it comes to tanking and if a pally can't hold threat/hold a rotation then the player is bad. When I want to turn my brain off I jump on my pally and breeze through a few heroics lol. 9-6-9 fo lyfe!

    True Knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
    Agg's tanking guide

  8. #8
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    Appreciate the feedback, all very helpful. I agree, leveling the Pally to 80 would be short work and not a bad way to get a feel for tanking. I'm drawn to Warrior though, as to me the class is the "purest" tank and most interactive. Don't want to make tanking incredibly hard on myself, but at the same time prefer to have a plethora of skills that I may or may not use versus a single rotation for everything.

    Nice UI btw, Boda. Don't see many people using HUDs, was always a fan of them. I might be tempted to try and modify it for a smaller resolution.

    Thanks all!

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