This is my first post and have been reading the guides here for a week or two. I got addicted to WoW about 2 or so months ago and haven't looked back. I went into the game basically knowing absolutely nothing just that it was extremely popular. Anyways enough blah blah.
I am still very much a noob. My first character, a human warrior (Lvl 80), I've decided to mainly be a tank. However I am having a ton of trouble with it and beginning to get very frustrated. Obviously tanks take the brunt of the blame in groups next to healers and I'm tired of getting bitched at so obviously I want to get this down. However sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake starting off trying to be a tank as it is such a critical role but I figure I've come this far I mine as well learn now.
My first mistake was not running nearly enough randoms/dungeons while lvling up. The vast majority of time I simply quested thus losing valuable learning experience as well as prolonging lvling. Part of the reason I have even decided to become a tank is because the guild I joined, a small somewhat new guild, needs tanks badly. However I feel I am letting them down even though they have been extremely helpful and cool to me. Unfortunately the only tanks we do have in the guild are a DK and a Pally. No Warriors. They have given some valuable advice but no one has experience tanking with a warrior.
My biggest problem is the most important part and that is holding aggro. I need help and advice in that area. I'll try and point out what I know I am doing wrong first of all. I have not started using keybinds but picked up that excel sheet on the guides forum and plan on putting that together with the moves I use most often. So first problem. What are my most important moves/spells to help hold aggro? I've read devastate, shield slam, thunderclap, revenge, demoralizing shout, commanding shout, disarm and others. The most used of the rotation I am looking for I will keybind into the most comfortable spots. I know learning this will not happen overnight but I figure the next couple of days/weeks I can practice in lower lvl dungeons helping guildies alts lvl.
The vast majority of the time, when it is suitable, I start off with a charge to pull aggro. If that isn't possible because of the surroundings or whatever I usually try to taunt a I guess you could call controllable amount. I know another part of my problem is I have not done nearly enough reading on specific dungeons and what not. I will be doing that as well in the coming days.
Another stupid question but I should be putting vigilance on the healer the vast majority of the time correct?
Addons? Currently I have OmenThreat and TauntMaster as far as tanking addons go. Good, bad? Suggestions on others?
Glyphs? Right now my majors are Blocking, Sunder Armor, and Devastate. Minors Thunderclap, Bloodrage, and Commanding. Good Bad? Suggestions?
Build? Currently I have followed this build adding the 2 extra points to Cruelty. Good, Bad? Suggestions?
I also know I need some enchants but our guilds enchanter has not been on in days (I only lvled to 80 a few days ago). I also figured it may be a waste to spend the gold on enchants before hitting 80 and getting decent gear.
My gear score is also pretty sad. It is only at 3.6k currently and I can't really do much about that other than spending a ridiculous amount of gold on mats or to run randoms to get emblems but obviously there is my problem. My guild is more than willing to run me when we get a group of 80's online and are very patient with me because they as I stated earlier really need tanks. So question there does better gear make it easier to hold aggro? I've heard some people say that but I don't know how much truth is behind that.
Any other suggestions you think I should know? Suggested readings? Any other information from me that would be helpful to you in helping me please ask. Yes I am a noob and am basically a below average tank at the time but that is why I am here. I want to get better and am willing to take the steps and practice it to do so.
Sorry for the length of this and the rambling I just wanted to get in what I could. This is an awesome website that has already taken me from the worst tank probably on all of WoW to at least a below average one at the time and am looking forward to any help that is offered.
- Vigilance goes on your highest threat DPS. In 5-mans, I usually put it on a Retadin or Fury Warrior because they are melee with lots of burst AoE. There are a handful of situations where you might want to stick it on a healer (or even a fellow tank) but they are few and far between.
- You don't have a rotation for aggro per se, but rather a priority list - for single target Shield Slam first, followed very closely by Revenge, followed by Devastate spam - use Heroic Strike to bleed off excess rage (if you're tanking a hard-hitting boss you will have a very high HS uptime). Keep an eye out for your Sword n Board procs, I use the Alert addon that gives me a big flashy button on the side of my screen when I get one. For AoE, you want to keep Thunder Clap and Shockwave on cooldown, then tab target around with Cleave and Revenge, and then use Shield Slam and Devastate.
- Charge itself doesn't really generate much threat, you should always follow it up with something. For single-target, just keep a HS queued while you Charge, that will give you a little bit of snap threat. For AoE, you could do the same with Cleave, or even better just TClap right after you Charge in, then back up a little (so all the mobs are in front of you) and Shockwave. Mob positioning also takes a lot of practice, I know that going from a Paladin to a Warrior was very tough for me.
Another thing you shouldn't forget about is Heroic Throw. This is a great tool for pulling casters (because, if you're properly specced, it silences them) or just anything far away from you really.
Thunder Clap is not something you should use single-target except to keep up the debuff on the boss (that 20% slow reduces a lot of the melee damage you take). Demoralizing Shout produces a negligible amount of threat, but is something you should keep up for boss fights because again reduces quite a bit of the melee damage you take. Demo Shout isn't really necessary until you start raiding, but getting some practice with it on heroic bosses is not a bad idea whatsoever. I'm sure your healers won't complain about you taking less damage, either.
- Your build is pretty much the standard Deep Wounds spec. Putting those 2 points in Cruelty is good for a fresh 80 as well, later on you're going to want to spec and glyph Shield Wall but you're nowhere near that point yet. As far as glyphs go, Devastate is fantastic for single-target TPS, Blocking is pretty good (for both threat and a bit of survival), but in my opinion the Cleaving glyph beats the heck out of Sunder Armor. Being able to spam 3-target Cleaves is fantastic for AoE threat.
- Your aggro will definitely get better with gear. Right now a lot of PuGs are simply overgeared raiders looking for quick badges as fast as possible, so they'll be ripping threat off you like crazy.
That being said, you need to reach the defense minimum of 535 (for 5-mans, 535 defense is required to keep from being crit by mobs and bosses - 540 is the minimum for raiding). There are defense enchants for shield cloak and chest available from enchanters, as well as a head enchant from the Argent Crusade (definitely get their rep ASAP) and a shoulder enchant from Sons of Hodir (SoH rep is a pain to grind though, and the 30 stam/15 resilience shoulder enchant available for 10k honor isn't a bad deal at all - resilience counts towards uncrittable, although it does not provide any dodge parry or block like defense does). Get these, and slap some cheap enchants on the rest of your gear. For example, you can get the 45 stamina/15 agility leg patch from a leatherworker instead of buying the much more expensive 55 stam/22 agi one.
As far as gemming goes, I would not use anything that isn't at least half stamina. Meeting a gem socket with dodge, expertise, hit, or defense (depending on what you need) is not a bad idea at all for a fresh 80 - but you don't want to gimp your health pool with orange or red gems. If you're having trouble reaching 535 (or 540 if you begin raiding), then using yellow gems is OK - otherwise, I wouldn't use any gems that don't provide at least some stamina.
One last note: 535 or 540 defense is not a cap, it is a minimum. Over that mark, it is still a useful stat for avoidance (dodge parry and miss) and block - it's nothing to stack intentionally but still nice to have. So if you find yourself at 550 defense or something, don't think you necessarily need to get rid of some of it.
Some of these might be a bit out of reach for you atm but are recommendations none the less..
Heavy Borean Armor kit everything you can if you cant afford the chants..
-Replace your Meta with Austere Earthsiege for 2% Armor Increase
-Enchant with Arcanum of Stalwart Protector (Revered with Argent Crusade)
-PVP Shoulder Enchant (10k Honor)
-225 Armor Enchant
-275 Health Enchant
-40 Stamina Enchant
Jormungar/Icescale* Leg Armor *if you can afford it
25 Champion seals in Argent Tournament quests will get you Teldrassil's Protector which is nice weapon upgrade or Infantry Assault Blade drops from 1st boss H UK
Trinkets: Try to get Black Heart from N TOC and Essence of Gossamer from H AN until you are getting badge trinkets..
Last boss in H UK drops Unsmashable Heavy Band which is great tanking ring.. If you have triumph badges get the Clutch of Fortification.. Best ring in the game.. After that if you have emblems left over get the Helm ..
Thats all the gear I can think of at the moment... Use the Loot Comparison Tool on guildox.com, uncheck all the 10/25man stuff and items that dont suit then look at getting all the upgrades you can to get into Heroics..
Dont gem for strength or parry, just stamina or defense at the moment until your gear gets you over 540/535.. Defense getting to 540 should be utmost priority, this combined with more sta will get you into tanking heroic uk/nexus/an at least..
Vigilance goes on highest GS dps in the raid to start with, then if someone is pulling aggro alot chuck it on them.. You should be able to do this mid-fight if you have to.. I usually go the Hunter, Rogue or Fury Warr..
rotation wise there is no set rotation but a bunch of situational abilities..
I go something like this: if only one target charge -> shield slam -> strafe/turn em around and thunder clap -> shockwave -> demo shout ... devestate while shield slamming and revenging.. if its a caster shield bash him..heroic strike if you have > 40 rage.
multi targets: charge -> thunderclap -> strafe/turn em -> shockwave -> demo shout -> tab through mobs laying devestate and shield slamming/revenging as much as possible.. Cleave your arse off!
Heroic throw any casters to pull them into the pack.. or run over and shield bash him, taunt him and run him back to the pack..
Umn just a poke I seen quite few tanks wearing same trinket that you are.
"Death Knight's Anguish", since I had it over 15months ago on DK tank, I studyed bit of its figures.
I remember somehow that when it "Wracking Pains" applied it lowered armor quite alot like up 1000 per stack, I would recomend that remove it, if somebody doesnt confirm that "Oozing Wound" that doesnt do anything negative, then feel free to use it untill find replacemend. I couldnt find info about this matter on various of databases, checked four of them.
Just if anyone has this item on alt or main, try tricker it and check defences if armor or anything is reducted.
Just wanted to say thanks again to everyone who replied. All of the info I've been trying to put into practice and it has helped me tremendously. I still have a lot of work and practice to do but already notice a huge difference.
A few pointers I use and notice alot of tanks neglect and missuse:
1) Use macroes, they are your friends. To open the macro interface, use /macro in chat. There's ALOT to say about those, but basicly, you can chain abilities with those on the very basic level. For example, my Charge button is also macroed with Berserker rage and Bloodrage and Blocking. Why so? Simple, those cooldowns come most handy on the begining of the pull, ensuring you have alot of rage [Bloodrage + Berserker rage], take a little less damage while most monsters are still up and the damage inc is supposingly highest [Shield block] and gives you a bit of brust threat asuming you use your Shield Slam right away. I also have my Shield Slam and Shield block on another macro, so that it tries to use Shield Block each time I use Shield Slam, to have it used most of the time and not have it ready to use and forgotten. My macroes look like this:
Charge + all those nice CD's:
/cast Charge(Rank 3)
/cast Berserker Rage
/cast Shield Block
These are very basic macroes, but if you try them out you'll notice you get to use all your 'lesser' cooldowns, who are actually very important both to being stable damage-wise and mantaining threat/rage. You can look around the macro forums for more manuals for those, it's really an endless topic.
You stated you're a bit new to the game [Noob, in your own words :P]. Well, I hope that you do know that the game has an Addon fuction - little pieces of code that people upload onto the network and you can add to your interface in game. They're safe, spacially if you use the very poppular ones, so no need fearing to use those. Some are a must-have for a tank. The 2 I'd reccomand you to get ASAP are Omen Threat Metter and DBM. Omen shows you a lil' configurable frame that shows how much threat everyone in your party/raid have on a monster, which is very important to know. If you have ALOT of threat on one mob, you're prolly laking some threat on the others. Try to tab/Shield Slam/Revange each monster once before going too high on a single mob, unless your dps doing focused fire and you simply can't afford to waste the time on tabbing. DBM on the other hand is a must have for new comers to the heroic/raid worlds, it simply shows you timers and writes warnings at the right times, things like when to move away from the boss, when to taunt or when the boss is going to use a hard ability.
There's alot of other usfull addons, but if you want to read more of those there's planty of info on these forums
3) Vigiliance, Recklessness, Retaliation. Alot of people neglect those 3 abilities warriors have. If you suffer from low threat, those abilities can be life savers. while vigiliance was already explained and pretty obvious to use, you must be saying to yourself "But wait, recklessness and retaliation aren't in defancive stance! And recklessness increases my damage income!!!". Yes. They aren't, and yes, it does. That's why those 2 are optional, but they can give you a VERY nice threat boost at the begining of the pull. All you have to do is to stance dance. You go into Battle stance, activate Retaliation, change to defancive stance [best done by keybinding those 2 abilities one next to the other, say 1 and 2. Could prolly be combined into a macro aswell, but they share a GCD, so it won't work with 1 push and you'll need to hit it twice] and charge right away. Do notice it lowers your rage by loads [stance change is bringing your rage to 0, unless you got talents for it, and even then it's really nothing], but in fights that are a fresh start, you'll be dealing about 10-15 hits back to monsters that hit you, which isn't that much of a threat - but increases both rage, damage and threat gain but a lil'. Recklessness I use on boss pulls, by going into Berserking stance, activating recklessness, jumping to Defencive stance and charging. On charge, have heroic strike already pressed, Shield Slam and Devastate/Revange right after. You'll have 3 crit hits right away, which is a HUGE threat boost. You will be hit once with 20% more damage, but it's a minor price to pay imo.
4) A few things about stats [a bit freestylish', you'll have to forgive me on that :P].
As much as DPS are obssed with hit rating and expertise, you can safly ignore those, you'll be getting them from items alot without trying, and they're safly ignored by tanks, spacially warriors. I personally advice any new tank to focus on 1 thing - stamina. That's your main stat, and if you wanna know why you're free to read around, but on the bottom point - get Def rating capped [And I DO use capped - items that get you MUCH higher then 540 you can usually replace with other items, that have more stamina/avoidance stats] and then get as much stamina as possible. Sure, armor is important aswell [actually as important as stamina, at a ratio of about 14 armor = 1 stamina, if I'm not wrong] - but you'll notice that the higher the stamina on an item, the higher the armor usually. Avoidance [Dodge/parry/block] are nice to have, but don't gem/stack eqp for that at the cost of stamina - you will be getting enough of that off the gear you collect for stamina. Make sure your meta gem is activated - you'd need 2 blue gems in your gear [purple works aswell, I suggest block/dodge + 15 stam] and make sure you enchant all of your gear.
Practice is the key word, as well as raid awarness. A tank is always the head of the group, you are the one that has the highest chance of making a mistake and making everyone die. Look around you, make sure to make as little mistakes and watch for your group's mistakes.
Tanking isn't easy as a 1st char, but it's sure possible. I've started tanking as my 1st char, and could never stop
Last edited by Nehama; 05-11-2010 at 10:08 AM.
Reason: My spelling fails ;(