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Thread: Wanting to try tanking...

  1. #1
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    Wanting to try tanking...

    When I'm in a dungeon or raid, I'm a healer, generally speaking. I don't like DPSing in dungeons, at least as the classes I've tried so far. Still, every now and then I get the urge to try something different.

    I decided I'd like to give tanking a try. Specifically, a new class, since I imagine jumping in at level 85 with a full Pally tanking toolset and not a clue how to use it would be a lot harder than starting with the low-level dungeons.

    Anyway, my question comes down to, for those of us brand new to tanking, is there a guide somewhere (I've looked, but may have missed it), that gives a general idea of how each of the tanking classes play? (I mean, I've looked at the class specific guides, but most are about 'use this ability, then that ability', they don't really do much to explain the benefits and drawbacks of the tanking classes compared to each other, at least if you don't know yet what this or that ability does. For examples, are DKs more survivable at the cost of being complex to play?

  2. #2
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    Blizzard generally tries to keep all tanks equally survivable when played well (otherwise , due to the minmaxing nature of MMOs, no one except underdog masochists would take the less survivable tanks).

    Warriors - rotation provides resource to keep a defensive buff up, and proactively use shield
    DKs - rotational use of deathstrike to proactively shield or reactionally heal
    Paladins - rotation provides resource to either proactively reduce damage or reactively heal
    Druids - rotation provides resource to keep a defensive buff up, and reactively heal
    Monks - rotation provides resource to keep a defensive buff up, or prevent damage.

  3. #3
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    A few opinions about how each feels to play for me:

    DK - You will often need to take a casual, paced approach to your strikes. Your biggest limiting factor is your runes. If you burn them as fast as you can, you may have periods where you do nothing waiting for them to refresh and you have limited ability to react to anything. Threat is good enough that you can pace yourself and be fine.

    Warrior - Holy keybinds batman! Prepare to have lots of keybinds and to be pretty spammy with your ability usage. With most abilities generating rage now and devistate has no cooldown, you always have something to press. Usually, you will have more than one thing to press and need to understand your priority system for strikes.

    Bear - I haven't played mine yet since the patch. Due to having a cd on most abilities, my bear used to fall into a fairly predictable pattern that was almost a rotation. It used to be my least reactive tank. Dodge, armor, hp and savage defense used to handle most everything. Now, of course, like all the tanks you will need to manage savage defense so I'm sure it's a bit different. Prior to the rogue legendaries, there was very little competition for gear (except tier of course).

    Paladin - My main since the beginning. Basically all of the paladin abilities have cds. Occassionally, you may hit blackouts where everything is on cd but most times you have only one or two you can hit. It largely falls into a first come, first serve where you hit what's not on cd. Tons of raid utility once you get comfortable. Between lay on hands, your hand spells (hand of freedom, hand of sacrifice, etc), you can place sacred shield or word of glory on others instead of yourself, etc, it just seems like this is the tank that I always have something to do. When a fight is tough for me, of course, I am busy surviving. When a fight is stand in one place and tank and spank, I can still help a ton with utility (usually).

  4. #4
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    I think the bottomline is to go for a tank whose concept appeals. Do you want to be a bear? A panda bear? A holy warrior? An unholy warrior? Or a liberal democrat warrior, I mean a vanilla warrior? They are quite different ideals and aesthetics, and I would just follow your heart.

    However, a few more observations on playstyle:

    Charging (bears, warriors) vs non-charging tanks (palas, DKs): charging is cool, especially in 5 mans. Warriors are particularly mobile, with potentially two charges plus a heroic leap; bears need to talent their charge.

    Rage (bears, warriors) vs non-rage tanks (palas, DKs): personally, I dislike rage due to occasional starvation - mana and runes as resources you deplete, rather than accumulate, tend to be somewhat more reliable and controllable especially on the pull.

    Spikey vs non-spikey tanks: this is still being tuned, but it seems that shield tanks may give smoother damage reduction. Druids now rely on big bursts of dodge, but statistically will suffer from bad luck. DKs do get a blood shield, but it seems their damage jumps around rather more than shield tanks, hence a recent buff to their stamina.

    Rotational vs free form tanks: palas used to have the most rigid rotations (969, 939 etc) although now bears and warriors don't feel so different, as all three are essentially generating resources to fuel their active mitigation. Bears feel a little boring to me - they have relatively few buttons to press in combat. Warriors I used to feel had a massive toolbox to draw from, but a lot of that (disarm, hamstring, concussion blow, spell reflect etc) have either fallen by the wayside or are not used on bosses. DKs give me a great sense of freedom - I don't feel impelled to mash buttons or follow a set rotation; it's more discretionary and in someways feels more like playing a healer whereas other tanks have pseudo-dps rotations (with the new vengenance, not so pseudo anymore).

    There's been a slight tendency for two handed weapon tanks to do more damage, as one might expect, but it's not big enough to sway matters.

    While tanks are designed to be able to do most core jobs (tank and spank, AOE, interrupt, taunt etc) proficiently, they do tend to have a few distinctive "tricks". The DKs anti-magic shell is one such. Paladins lay on hands and bubble are others.

    Personally, my main is a paladin and I've always found him a very solid tank. Some say paladins are boring and I might have agreed before the introduction of holy power. I levelled my bear alt last and was shocked at how few moves he had to make in combat while levelling and he is not that exciting at end level. The warrior was a joy to level (charging into combat never gets old), but Cata put me off a bit when rage issues meant she felt somewhat less reliable than my paladin - the playstyle was more frenetic than the pala, but the impact of pressing the buttons seemed less solid and to have less definite impact. The DK was a revelation. I came late to the class when the tanking style was finalised, but to me it is a thing of beauty. It's hard to describe properly the DK tank system (runes etc) and written on paper it is anything but intuitive, but it is surprisingly easy to pick up as you play.
    But I can see why they redesigned the other tanks to be more like the blood DK. If I had not invested emotionally so much in my main (and I did not so much prefer the aesthetics of a holy tank to an undead one), I would probably go for a blood DK on play style alone.

    One suggestion would be to roll a DK. As you start at level 56, I think, you are close to getting your main abilities. A few hours of play and you will be in Outland. Wait till level 60 for death and decay, then tank the early Outland instances. You start with fantastic blue gear and will feel like a god among players. That will give you a taste of tanking and a good feel for the DK style.

    However, if you do go for one of the other tanks, don't be a afraid to start at level 1 and tank your way to 85. It's a great way to get familiar with your class and queues times in LFD are close to zero (they were surprisingly longer on my healer alt). What I did was queue individually for each instance once - randomly queuing tends to give weak rewards and you can end up in the same miserable dungeon again and again. When you are not in LFD, build up a profession and just do the odd quest or zone that catches your imagination. LFD as a tank while levelling is relatively low stress - you tend to pull the group along, you never wipe, it's very smooth and people are generally relaxed. The experience (and gear) rewards the first time you run an instance - doing the associated quests - tend to be excellent and so the process is very quick. I've actually had more fun levelling alts in the last 6 months than for a long time.

  5. #5
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    Have you played a rage tank since the buff last night? rage flows like DPS idiocy in LFR.

  6. #6
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    How about a DK with hit cap and exp soft cap and Gurth - the dps is amazing. It's fun to be the tank and be at the top of the meters.

  7. #7
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    Just my quick two cents........

    Really, all of the major current tank classes have a fair number of similar abilities that work in slightly different ways from each other. Bear has a lot of parallels with DK in the sense they're not shield-tanks, but is very similar to warrior in others. Pally and warrior are similar as shield-tanks, but pally has some resource management like Dk with runic power/holy power. Mobility is probably the biggest difference between ANY of them, with warrior > druid > pally > DK for mobility.

    At the end of the day..... ALL are viable and ALL can excel! Find the one that appeals to your personal playstyle the most, and you'll likely have the most success.
    No one tanks in a void.........

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    Have you played a rage tank since the buff last night? rage flows like DPS idiocy in LFR.
    Wow, that buff is live already? Blizzard moves fast. I guess the DK health buff is live too?

    The timing is good for me, as I am finally going to get my bear geared up but was nervous about returning to him in the AM era.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    How about a DK with hit cap and exp soft cap and Gurth - the dps is amazing. It's fun to be the tank and be at the top of the meters.
    All tanks with hit/exp caps do rediculous DPS in DS now.

  10. #10
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    Thank you so much! This all has been exactly the information I've been looking for. It sounds like DK is definitely more my style, so think I'll be giving that a try. Thank you agan!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fobok View Post
    TIt sounds like DK is definitely more my style, so think I'll be giving that a try.
    That's a good choice. I found a number of very good guides when I rolled my blood dk alt. In particular, the icy veins one was surprisingly good. The way it lay out the abilities and particularly the various cooldowns was very useful to a beginner.

  12. #12
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    IMO, the best dk guide anywhere is the one here by Satorri.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2
    "he doens't need healing, he doesn't need healing, he doesn't nee-WHAOSHIT!wtf was that man!". Please stop leaning on TDR. -Teng

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