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Thread: A utter noob question on tanking, please bare with me

  1. #1
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    A utter noob question on tanking, please bare with me

    Hi guys

    This is a very noob question of me, and please don't jump to conclusions as I am not a noob in itself but, how do you tank? Lol.

    Let me put it more clearly, i have no trouble with specs or 5 man runs or so but what I want to know is, when raiding I am either dps or healer, surly one will want to try out some raid tanking after these years right? well that's me.

    Although I am melee dps or healing those tanks, I never focused on why and when the 2 tanks would taunt the boss off the other, the first boss in ToGC is an example, saurofang in icc i understand gives that mark that they need to avoid.

    either way in a normal 10/25 man run, when there are no adds for the OT to take care of, what should this second tank do, and when, and why.

    Thanks up front for any helpful comments and answers.

    P.s If there is a post like this some where please direct me to it and I am sorry but I couldn't find it anywhere

  2. #2
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    usually there is something for the offtank, or second tank to do, like taunt the boss when the boss applies too many stacks of a debuff to a tank. The only boss I can think of where an offtank has absolutely NOTHING to do is general vezax in ulduar. Basically patchwerk without the need for additional tanks. Then all you can really do is go DPS/heal. Most bosses do, however, have some means of keeping both MT and OT busy.

  3. #3
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    The OT is a fail safe in case one of the DPS overtakes the tank on threat. With 2 tanks, the dps has to overtake 2 high threat making tanks and with an extra tank, you are more likely to recover agro with a taunt or something if the DPS strips agro.

    Also, in some encounters a boss' attack my split damage between the tank and a nearby player, such as the fire boss in VoA. meteor fists will split damage between the tank and the OT, which you need because you want a highly capable damage sponge next to your tank. They won't necessarily do anything else, except make sure they are in reach of taking threat from a dps if needed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nythian View Post
    Hi guys

    This is a very noob question of me, and please don't jump to conclusions as I am not a noob in itself but, how do you tank? Lol.

    Let me put it more clearly, i have no trouble with specs or 5 man runs or so but what I want to know is, when raiding I am either dps or healer, surly one will want to try out some raid tanking after these years right? well that's me.

    Although I am melee dps or healing those tanks, I never focused on why and when the 2 tanks would taunt the boss off the other, the first boss in ToGC is an example, saurofang in icc i understand gives that mark that they need to avoid.
    Well, the first boss in ToGC does a nasty debuff that'll kill a tank if allowed to stack too high. So to prevent the debuff from stacking too high, you use two tanks.
    Most tankswap fights have similar mechanics - the boss does something that either kills a single tank over time, or makes it impossible for him to tank. Basically, if you see a tank getting a steady stacking debuff of sorts, there's tank swaps to be had.
    either way in a normal 10/25 man run, when there are no adds for the OT to take care of, what should this second tank do, and when, and why.
    It all depends on the fight, really. Current content design has very few (if any) encounters that are meant to be handled by a single tank. When those fights do occur, it helps if the tank has a valid offspec. (My first raid healing was due to this - I got to heal Hodir in a 25man progress fight. Luckily, we had other healers that did know what they were doing.)
    If there's no offspec, the extra tank does as much dps as he can, he provides (de)buffs where needed, and he stays ready should the tank have an accident.
    Thanks up front for any helpful comments and answers.

    P.s If there is a post like this some where please direct me to it and I am sorry but I couldn't find it anywhere
    Glad to be of help, and these things aren't all too commonly asked, for some reason. But just like I don't get the intricacies of doing 12k dps or being a great healer, I guess nontanks don't understand all aspects of a fight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kahmal
    ...there is no true progression for a casual anymore, just hand outs.

  5. #5
    Well theres a short answer and a long answer to your questions. The long answer will be taken care of by other posters. The short answer I can take care of here. Learn the boss fights. I know that sounds harsh and its not ment to be. However, that is the only definitive answer for you. Each boss fight has something different. as stated above me sometimes theres a reason to taunt off. sometimes your just there to help soak dmg. some times you there to taunt if your tank dies. sometimes its just better to swap to your dps spec and help kill the boss. Learn the fights and that will tell you what to do when as an ot.


    (Again sorry if I sound harsh but I couldnt think of another way to put it as each fight is different with different things to do.)

  6. #6
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    Thank you for all the helpful advise.

    I haven't really noticed it yet, but i guess in the great videos on this site they also include what the tanks have to do besides soak up damage, i.e kite, swap aggro, ect.

    Well it makes sense to study up on the boss, of coarse I do know them, just not from a tanks view and role.

    So yeah I'll just need to focus on what the tanks need to do when reading up and watching those insane videos, and I need to remember that I am not dps now and shouldn't focus on that, or keeping the tanks alive.

    Again thank you to every one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nythian View Post
    I haven't really noticed it yet, but i guess in the great videos on this site they also include what the tanks have to do besides soak up damage, i.e kite, swap aggro, ect.
    I'd also like to add, if the raid leader is explaining a fight, don't just listen to (for example) what the healers are supposed to do and then zone out. That's your opportunity to learn what the whole fight is about, so if you have to fulfill some other role later on, you already have some clue about it. Also, knowing the bigger picture instead of just your own little piece of the puzzle helps your game play, regardless of role.

    This is how I learned boss fights as a healer. When I switched and did some tanking for a bit, I already knew, at least technically, what was needed in each fight.

    I'm always a little stunned when people switch roles in a raid, we get to a boss, and they ask "ok what do I do?" when they've been there for weeks, and never really bothered to soak up the entirety of what's happening. I didn't even intend to learn what the other roles needed to do; I just paid attention because I figured all of the fight instructions are important.

    But yes, the videos here are meant to cover the basic mechanics of a fight, and usually provide information for everyone to take away from it, whether you are DPSing, healing, or tanking.

  8. #8
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    The earlier posters have covered most of the important bits. The only thing I'd add is that there a small collection basic tanking maneuvers/gimmicks and most fights are made up of combinations of them. The abilities, animations, and triggers are different from boss to boss (e.g. you tank swap on Gormok because of stacking damage, you tank swapped on A'lar because of armor debuffs, you tank swap on Deathwhisper because of a detaunt) but the action you take is pretty standard.

    Off the top of my head the list is something like (these are just the names I've used RLing over the years, I'm sure other people call them other things):

    Tank Swap - Tanks swap the main boss to let buff/debuff stacks fall off. Almost always tauntable now since they decided Huhu/Vael aggro fights are amazingly stressful.
    Interrupt - Tank goes squish unless a cast is interrupted (or cleansed, or reflected, or whatever, same basic gimmick).
    Knockback - Tank the boss with your ass against the wall to save the raid from moving.
    Frontal Cones - Never point the boss at the raid
    Puddles of Death - Boss drops fire, void zones, runes of power, gas clouds, icky puddles of death you can't stand in, so you reposition when they drop. Sometimes inverted in that he drops things you have to stand in to get a buff/avoid a debuff.
    Kiting - Boss needs to be kept moving. If it's ok that he hits you, or you have to do it constantly just backpedal along the kite path. If it needs to be done fast or you can't let him smack you then you need to strafe.
    Adds - Boss either starts with adds or spawns them mid fight, tank needs to get snap aggro before they eat healers.
    Run Out - The boss stands still and casts something at an area and you need to not be there when he's done. You run out of the affected area and back in or reposition at the new location afterwards. Point Blanc AoE's are the most common form, but there's lots of variations: radial nukes, Lurker/Mimi/C'thun spinney lasers, etc.
    Meteor/Saberlash - Attacks that split a fixed amount of damage among all targets, tanks stack.
    Aggro Reset - Boss occasionally drops aggro, may or may not be tauntable.

    I don't know if other tanks do this, but I end up mentally categorizing fights by the tanking gimmick rather than trying to remember the specifics of that particular fight's ability. For me Gormok, Deathwhisper P2, Toravon, and Saurfang are all the same tankswap except for stacks, so I just remember that Gormok and DW are 3 stack fights, Toravon's a 4 stack, and Saurfang is a 1 stack.

    I find once you get used to the basic building blocks blizz uses, it's easier to learn fights. You can go watch Marrowgar vids to get ready for ICC and you can come out and realize, "Hey, it's just a Meteor/Puddle of Death fight, I know how to handle both of those things". Deathwhisper becomes Adds/Puddles for Phase 1, and Tank Swap/Interrupt/Puddles in P2 with the fight specific exploding ghost gimmick, etc.

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