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Thread: Help me improve my tanking soft skills!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Help me improve my tanking soft skills!

    I consider myself a fairly good Pally tank; I don't claim to be amazing, but I think I'm quite good at what I do especially considering I haven't even played WoW for a year yet. This weekend I have a trial run with the #5 guild on my server for a possible tank position in a group early into ICC hard modes, and needless to say I'm both excited and extremely nervous as I really want to bring my "A-game" and impress them as my current guild isn't quite where I want to be raiding and progression wise.

    I've noticed two issues that bug me while in raids:

    Pacing the pulls
    I'm very methodical and tend to take my time with pulls, waiting for one group to die before pulling the next; I even do this in heroics because I abhor the "over in 15 minutes as fast as possible" mentality and would rather go slower and do things properly than go fast and do things messy (I am a software developer in real life, so the "fast and quick" way always spells doom in my experience). I've been in a couple raids lately where the second tank will pull two or more groups at once and I've been wondering if I'm going to slow (nobody has complained) or if the other guy is going a bit too fast.

    For instance, the first pull of ICC - I normally pull the two Damned by the door, bring them a little bit into the room to get the group that runs around, and I don't go to the sides until after those guys are dead (or until there's one or two left that are nearly dead). My last run though, the other tank ran off to grab the Servant and Damned when there were still like 2-3 guys up by the door still (almost dead) and we ended up getting a few of those ice spikes (Glacier Blast?) shooting through the raid, although nobody died. After the next pull with the Nerubian and the Damned, the other tank ran off and pulled the whole group of guys up on the dias before the next room (not even LOSing them like I've always done to get the Servants to come closer). I talked to a friend last night about it, and she was saying it's basically just something that comes with practice, and it's not right or wrong to move slower or faster, it's mainly about knowing the other raid members enough to know I can pull a little more. That makes me feel a little better, but I'm still not sure if the problem lies with me.

    Boss fight strategies
    Every guild I'm in seems to have different strategies for every fight, so I go into the fight knowing how I've done it successfully in the past, only to run into hurdles when everyone else does it differently. I've started to ask/clarify before the pull how the group does the fight to make sure we're on the same page, but sometimes I feel like I'm just going along with everybody else because of majority rule instead of trying to suggest a way I'm more familiar with. I've broadened my views on many fights since trying out a few guilds, since originally I followed the guides here to the letter and expected others to do the same. I still don't agree with some ways of doing fights if they're very weird (e.g. having melee kill two blood beasts on Saurfang25) but if everyone else is comfortable with it I'll go along since the group dynamic has molded the tactic.

    Can anyone give me some advice/pointers in dealing with these issues, as I think they're really the only thing that is hindering me at this stage and I don't want to risk, say, ruining my trial by pulling too slow (although I'm not sure how much it will matter, as given this would be my first run with them I won't be as comfortable with them all yet to know what my limits are).

    Help is much appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    It's really important that you get a good feel as to how fast your new group likes to run through trash - the other tank should be able to help you there. I personally, like it when the next pack is pulled whenever the current pack is almost dead. This gives the tank pulling the new pack the time to position them if needed.

    Ask your other tank for specific fight tactics before the boss fights - he should be able to tell you whatever details you need to know quickly, and it'll prevent you from screwing up as well.

    Tank communication is really important - if you approach the other tank with an attitude of "I'm a good tank, but I realize I'm the new guy, so could you please share your wisdom" he should be able and willing to help you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kahmal
    ...there is no true progression for a casual anymore, just hand outs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martie View Post
    It's really important that you get a good feel as to how fast your new group likes to run through trash - the other tank should be able to help you there. I personally, like it when the next pack is pulled whenever the current pack is almost dead. This gives the tank pulling the new pack the time to position them if needed.

    Ask your other tank for specific fight tactics before the boss fights - he should be able to tell you whatever details you need to know quickly, and it'll prevent you from screwing up as well.

    Tank communication is really important - if you approach the other tank with an attitude of "I'm a good tank, but I realize I'm the new guy, so could you please share your wisdom" he should be able and willing to help you.
    That is very good advice, thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Concerning the boss strategies, I would recommend against "rocking the boat" until you beomce a member of the guild you are applying to. Ive run in some pug/guild hosted ICC25 runs (being that my guild only runs 10m), and I've found that its best to just ask another tank or the raid leader where he wants a boss, or if he wants me tanking first etc. Its curteous to respect how they do a fight.

    I think any guild/raid leader will tell you one of the most annoying things is a new recruit coming in and trying to change everything. Earn your right to be there, then work on improving fights with any ideas you might have. Both involved parties will be happier from this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    And don't forget that part of why they position like they do could very well be due to the strengths and weaknesses of the other raiders. In PP for example, we don't kite him because adding extraneous movement is problematic for some of our members.

    You are 1/10 or 1/25. The way you are most familiar with may not be the way the guild you're joining works. Different strategies are developed for different production levels. The more DPS and faster the reaction time of the other raiders the more flexbility the raid has in choosing the strat that works for them.

    Melee on Bloodbeasts is an interesting choice, but remember, they likely do it because it works for them. Are they light on range or range is low DPS?

    Some non-traditional things we've done:

    VDW we solo tank and 3 heal (2 raid dot-ing her and 1 Holy Pally) because it better manages damage intake and crowd control for our group.

    Rot25 we 2-tank adds because it makes up for the warm bodies we have to bring along.

    We didn't down BP until we had a tank able to sustain Valanar and the other guy, freeing our high HP DK for Keleseth (we could not lock tank for the life of us, even with beacon and the buffs).


    Maybe if you ask why they do things the way they do, it will be easier to accept. And maybe they'll realize too they may not need to do things the same way (e.g. maybe range DPS is better now and they don't need Melee on blood beasts).
    Last edited by Loganisis; 10-05-2010 at 07:20 AM.
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    That's what I've started to do (ask things like "Do you guys move Putricide at all?" or "Should I go DPS for Dreamwalker or do you two-tank it?") since it's as much group dynamic as it is the fight mechanics and given that I'm still new to raiding and WoW in general I'm always ready to try out a different way of doing things since I only know the way I've seen and I'm not aware of other tricks.

    The melee on BBs I forget the reasoning (I was DPSing in that guild so I didn't really ask things apart from knowing if I had to move away from things) but I think it was because we had enough DPS to destroy them and Saurfang quickly (HoJ on a beast + going nova on it works wonders); it worked surprisingly well and he usually only got off one Mark, if that - I wouldn't recommend it as a primary strat for the fight, but it certainly worked for that guild.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    14
    Pacing is set by the RL, and the current tank has probably learned the RL's preferred pace already. If in doubt, pulling carefully is always better than pulling fast. If I was the RL, I'd much sooner take someone who executed every pull perfectly over someone who went fast but let a few mobs get loose. When RLing, I can always push the pace if I feel the group can handle it, but I really hate reigning in a tank that seems to want to pull the whole room all the time.

    As for boss strats, again, go with the flow on this, and don't be afraid to ask a few questions. So far you're talking about farm bosses for a "#5 guild". Almost any strat should work. I would just do it their way for now, and save your strategy recommendations for progression fights (even then, tread softly, and respect the RL, who hopefully knows the team's strengths and spends a lot of time researching new fights). And don't underestimate your own ability to adapt! For farm bosses, it doesn't usually make much sense to have 9 or 24 people learn a different strategy for the 1 new guy.

    Speaking of "soft skills", I tend to give a pretty high weight to people's personalities and potential, rather than only their raw skill, gear, and knowledge today.

    TL;DR: Relax. Have fun. You'll play better. :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    359
    As a raid leader I appreciate feedback from other people on progression fights within limits.

    Here's my advice for you as a recruit:
    For farm content, you're new to their guild. They have a way that works for them. Learn their way and adapt. Clarification is great and if you can manage, do it while you're working your way through trash. You can say, "Hey I do it this way, how do you guys do it?". That way if they see you mess up doing something unusual they can understand it might come from learning the fight a different way. Adapt quickly and learn their strat. Don't seek to change the strategy that works for them until you're socially within the guild and they've gained some trust. Until then, your opinion likely won't be taken well. Don't make suggestions to change the strat unless your wiping and you see a specific problem that the strat change you have in mind would fix. For example, if you're doing Putricide and the raid is wiping due to the abomination not slowing the ooze, that doesn't mean that suggesting going to three healers instead of two because that's what you did in your old guild.

    Now, on progression content, here is where you need a soft touch. Ideally the raid strategy comes from one or only a couple of voices. You, as the new guy, need not be that voice confusing the issue. If you have input, please whisper the raid leader with your thought. Try to make sure they know you plan to do this ahead of time and tell them that if they need you to not distract them to feel free to tell you so. Some raid leaders will get annoyed and upset at you for doing this. Personally, I welcome it, but please don't bombard me with your opinion and don't get butthurt if I don't respond, I'm getting lots of whispers during raid and legitimately miss some and don't have time to keep things moving and respond to them all. I may not incorporate your feedback but the fact you whisper it to me rather than use vent or broadcast it on raid chat tells me that as a new recruit you respect my authority as raid leader, but you wish to try and help us be successful. It tells me that you recognize that establishing the raid strategy is a leadership role and that as a new recruit even being in a tank position, you don't have the social clout within the guild yet to be telling people what to do and understand that it's something to be earned.... Once you've been with the guild for a longer period of time, you should be able to get a feel for the social structure and learn how to guild operates in these areas. Until you know how the guild works, try not to rock the boat. Make the fact you have an opinion known discreetly, but don't put yourself in a position of being seen to want to enforce your will on the pre-existing social order...

    Why do I feel like I've been rambling?

    TL;DR Go with the flow... Be conservative with giving your opinion until you know how the guild works.

    P.S. BTW, be prepared for unexpected stuff. When I'm testing a new tank, I like to instruct people to do stupid things on purpose to see how quickly the tank can react and make it work. Don't take your first night as a sign of how the guild works because they might be testing you. Keep your cool and make it work in the face of adversity. If the RL isn't a jerk like I am to new tank potentials, then count it as a blessing. You won't know how they really are for at least 2 weeks. But they'll probably have a feel for how you are after 2 nights.
    Last edited by Terra; 10-06-2010 at 01:00 PM.

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