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Thread: I love active mitigation tanking...

  1. #1
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    I love active mitigation tanking...

    I really do. Do you?

    I find it so much more interesting to always decide / balance what I should use my rage for and when.

    Yup, I'm a happy (bear) tank

  2. #2
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    Several of the first fights place more importance on the tanks as well. With the tank specific mechanics for Stone Guard and the tank specific mechanics on Feng, there is just a LOT going on. Trying to survive, raid lead doing call-outs and get the new tank mechanics right is really challenging me. I find that I am dying at times with survival cds I didn't use which didn't use to happen. I'm just losing track of my hp due to having to watch so many things (and to be fair, I'm trying a new UI setup without Icehud and the HP bar I'm used to watching). I really feel that this is a situation where I need to be able to rely on others in the raid to help call stuff so I can worry a little more about the tank specific mechanics on top of the new survival rotations etc. Unfortunately, so far, if I don't do it, it doesn't get done...and I have went splat too many times already.

    I'm a bit torn on this. I'm not sure if I'm letting the raid down because I don't feel like I'm playing as well as I can or that they are too reliant on me and I shouldn't have to do it ALL.

    Either way, it is nice to not feel like all I do is back into a wall and taunt on three stacks with the rest on auto-pilot. I think both changes are partly responsible for tanking feeling more challenging. I did dread not having as many one tank fights since I used to be able to dps those. Maybe that won't be such an issue for me if tanking stays this busy.

  3. #3
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    I had the same overwhelming stuff going on Sif. It really starts to settle down as you get more comfortable with the fights though. So far it seems like all the fights have a certain flow to them (especially the first fight) that once you get into it then the pattern is fairly consistent. Once I got more used to/comfortable with that then I was able to work on calling out dps and survival cooldowns more actively. Much like you describe, normally if I don't call these out they don't get used =(

  4. #4
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    To be honest since both warrior rage dumps are preactive mitgations, its kinda boring. you can pretty much just use SB on CD and then Sbar if you know a big hit is coming in.

    Fghts are pretty fun though,
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  5. #5
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    It gets better the more you realize how many layers are in the cake, at least for me. At the surface, it's Ragegen just to generate enough for an AM button push. And you have to choose between SD or FR depending on the fight and what's going on around you.

    Some people (like my housemate) just choose to push the SD button all the time, and that's fine for them. Some folks are a big believer in the FR button, like a bear who tanks for one of our hardcore raid guilds (and is glyphing FR on Stone Guard!).

    Realizing that you can choose to gear for more Rage+Active mitigation _or_ more passive defense is the big crossroads -- if you go Dodge + Mastery, you'll take less damage but be hit more often, but that's the easier road while you're learning stuff. If you go Hit/Exp + Crit/Haste, you're responsible for how much less squishy you are _while_ learning the fight.

    So far I've been taking my undergeared guild into Mogu'shan vaults just to practice the mechanics, and the first day I couldn't get my SD uptime average above 18% because there was so much going on (I was also raid leading). The next day we came back and I was averaging 39%, and as high as 55% uptime, while still using FR on myself as well. (You can dodge the Rend Flesh and Melee, as it turns out, and there's an interesting bit of data I got from poring over my WoL logs -- Rend Flesh is cast every 6 seconds and lasts for 15. If you get hit once, you're stuck with it for 15 seconds, but if you dodge three times in a row, it falls off for at least 3 seconds. On our best attempt, I dodged enough Melee strikes to save a little over 1 million in damage, and took the Rend Flesh uptime down from 89% to 78%.)

    There's subtle stuff that I figured out once back in the beta that's coming in to play -- if you're setting up to taunt one of the dogs away from the other tank, that dog is not in melee range (and therefore not eligible to generate rage off of) until it reaches you, but you have to target it to taunt it and establish sustained threat on it once it arrives, lest all the DPS yank it off of you. Do you taunt, tab target back to the dog that's next to you, and tab back when it arrives, and hope for the best, or do you wind up making special taunt buttons / focus macros for each dog?

    Playing with my talents and glyphs is another layer. Like I'm pre-plotting out when to use my defensive cooldowns, so that there's an even damage flow, rather than a nailbiting minute or two where I have no cooldowns and no dodge. Or experimenting with different talent combos on different fights.

    Macro programming is another. I'm field testing a macro that I haven't posted to the Survival Instincts guide yet, partly because I'm researching other bear tanks to see if they're doing stuff better, and partly because it feels like cheating.

    I was prepared to hate bear tanking when they put in Active Mitigation and nerfed our dodge and took away our passive SD shield. But I'm finding it's more of a challenge now, overall, and for me, at least, fun.

    The hardest part is building your new reflexes and muscle memory for all the new rotations and button pushes and things to watch for now. It really is unlearning everything you used to know and starting from scratch. Compared to DPS (learn your new damage rotation and balance your cooldowns, get out of stuff on the floor...) and healers (OMG everyone is going to die ... oh crumbs I'm OOM) they really doubled the workload of the tanks, and I for one am dreading the potential return of one of my old raiders who used to be our main tank, because his big thing was 'stand there and look cute' (he couldn't even turn Onyxia properly), and he will _not_ adapt well to active mitigation. Some of the other raiders have been nervously joking about that, too. "Hey, if so-and-so comes back, is he going to get his main tank spot back?"

    I'm really glad to see someone else bear tanking and loving it. A lot of the bear tanks I know got out of the business because of how much more difficult it became, and we've gotten a bad rep in dungeons and LFR already -- to quote, 'oh good, a bear tank that isn't squishy...' was something quoted at me just this week.

    -Tielyn

  6. #6
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    Yep loving tanking agin with the changes they made.Been doing heroics with my Bear and I don t feel squishy at all.So many cd's to use well.
    Will wait and see what raids are like but I suspect I will be fine.
    Starting tanking on my Pally as well now.

  7. #7
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    I'm loving it as well, but will agree with Sif and Cakey. Having to keep an eye on CDs, health, buffs and debuffs, there are times there it's overwhelming. But I like it. It's making me have to think instead of zoning out like most the fights in the past expansion
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    To be honest since both warrior rage dumps are preactive mitgations, its kinda boring. you can pretty much just use SB on CD and then Sbar if you know a big hit is coming in.Fghts are pretty fun though,
    In raids I agree. In dungeons its different. I have no qualms about using an execute on trash. Now that I've got a victory rush and demo shout in my back pocket I can pop recklessness + deadly calm and start spamming cleave. Makes chain pulls in dungeons a lot more entertaining.

  9. #9
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    I have no qualms about using execute on raid bosses. I just chain whatever defensive Cds i have left and dump all my rage into it.
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    Hunters, Just get a Sporebat, most LFRs will be missing that buff.

  10. #10
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    I picked up Bear tanking at the start of MoP to fill a spot in my guilds 10 man roster and have been loving it. I like how you have to really watch what your doing and whats going on so as to make sure that your not just a big ball of squishy fur. Have only done 2 bosses in MV so far so will see how I do with the rest of the bosses.

  11. #11
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    Frankly, I love the concept but hate the execution. It comes down to two simple facts:

    1. If you can't dodge it, you are screwed.
    With the old SD, we had at least some layer of protection while stunned or otherwise incapable to dodge. Now all we have is HP, armor and 25% vs magical damage (did the 12% damage reduction on thick hide ever go live?). In Cata, I could plan ahead, force some crits for a shield and make it easier for my healers if I knew a stun was comming. Now all I can do is max my HP before it lands and I turn into a pin cushion.

    This however, is the minor issue.

    2. Its just so darn darn boring.
    We are basically back at to a rotiation: (Assuming you have the Trash stuff up)
    1. Press Mangle
    2. Press Lacerate
    3. Press FFF
    4. Press Lacerate
    5. go to 1.

    The only exception is when mangle procs, at which cause we default back to 1.

    They really should have given us a secondary resource to generate with mangle and procs from other abilities for SR and kept rage as a choice between Maul and FR. And maybe have SR be a combination of dodge and a shield instead of pure dodge. That would have made for interesting judgement calls. It would also fix the problems that for some fights (Stoneguard) SD is basically pointless as 90% of the damage comes from a bleed that can't be dodged.

    As it stands, Maul is completely off my bars for most encounters. I miss my Maul. =/

  12. #12
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    Lysiander:

    You are at the first level of bear awareness. :} I was there too, and nearly quit playing because of this very reason. I liken it to working without a net -- it reteaches you to not go charging in willy nilly with impunity, which arguably for some is part of the fun of being a tank. Active Mitigation is just that - how to not die while active, so that when those stuns come in, you either learn how to avoid them or, as you say, prepare for them in some fashion or another.

    I used to rant about how squishy I felt because of the unfamiliarity of having to fish for Mangle procs and the loss of the SD bubble shield, but now that I'm used to it, I'm our guild's least squishy tank again. All tanks got some sort of 'need to do more to be less squishy' bit, but ours is probably the most binary, which is probably why we have the biggest static magic defense.

    I have the 'luxury' of having three of the five tank classes available to me in my guild, and so I'm compiling data of who is good on which fights and why. But in truth, any tank class can do any fight; while some classes shine better than others, if you get the hang of the changes, you'll be fine.

    Unless there's eight zillion new mechanics to work at once... this past week's challenge is that damned Lightning Fists, which has nothing to do with AM and everything to do with how well I can twitchswitch to the other tank and channel...

    -Tielyn

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lysiander View Post
    It would also fix the problems that for some fights (Stoneguard) SD is basically pointless as 90% of the damage comes from a bleed that can't be dodged.
    the stone guard bleed can be dodged.
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  14. #14
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    the stone guard bleed can be dodged.
    Yes it can be, but there's little point to actually doing it. It procs of attacks, does not stack and lasts for 15 seconds. Subsequent hits just refresh the duration. Unless you either dodge the initial application or dodge for 15+ seconds straight so it falls off, there is little point in dodging it as the damage is ticking anyway. The dogs meele damage is minor compared to the bleed, ~20% vs ~70%. (according to my logs anyway) Dodging a minor amount of damage instead of healing a major one is kind of pointless in my opinion.

    I feel like I am a little misunderstood here, so allow me to clarify. I don't feel that the bear is squishy, far from it. It's workable enough. Its just that the mangle centric rotation feels boring and we have little mechanical options aside from SD and FR. Everything we can do to avoid damage outside those two is the exact same thing everyone else can do: cooldowns, movement & awareness. We don't have a statue to taunt off of us, can't jump away from the mob or intervene to a healer, don't have immunities or the like. Maybe its more precisely said that our toolkit feels small.

  15. #15
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    The thing is Total damage reduction is not a good metric for tank survivability, it wasn't in wrath, and it wasn't in cata, and it still isn't in MoP.the Bleed may be the main source of damage in that fight, but it in and of itself is not going to kill; its what 30k DPS? at least 10 seconds of no healing before it kills you. Each dog hits as hard as morchok HC did. It's not a tank survivability fight. even without active defenses we're looking at a good 5-6 seconds of taking it to the face before we keel over. Its a don't stand in stuff whilst the the tanks juggle mobs fight. Its a boring fight once you learn the mechanics.

    As to intervening healers or jumping away, that will inevitable turn your back to the mobin transit, which if you're actually dying to the dogs melee/bleed and not shit on the ground, will cause you to take a spike, don't bears have the ability to teleport 20 yards away via displacer beast? The monk statue doesn't taunt off them, it taunts for them; it's the monks equivalent of challenging roar of old, and do not bears have access to a set of taunting trees?
    Harsh Words and Steel: A Protection Warrior Guide
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    Hunters, Just get a Sporebat, most LFRs will be missing that buff.

  16. #16
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    You only need to dodge two in a row for the bleeds to come off, and then every dodge after that keeps it off. Managed to dodge a few times in a row after having it fall off and spent 37 seconds bleed free, which isn't a 'lot' for a 7+ minute fight, but I'll take saving my healers 1.4 million in damage to heal any day.

    Displacer Beast activates Prowl and Cat form, and is pretty much a PvP/get out of combat free talent, which as the tank he prooobably doesn't want to do. The best equivalent is Stampeding Roar, which I use on a regular basis if I have to kite away from something. Especially if I only have one dog and the bleed fell off. Used to use it to drop my stacks on Shannox, too.

    I may try the Taunting Trees, but it shares the tier with Soul of the Forest and Incarnation, and since I use SotF, I haven't tried the trees since the beta. Depends how tough they are.

    At least three of the tank classes (Warrior, Druid, Paladin) use the binary 'this or that with defensive resource' choice. I can't speak on monks or death knights, but those three got that as their Active Mitigation mechanic. It's less boring than not needing to worry about choices at all, I suppose, and we didn't lose a lot of spells, so may I humbly ask what made bears more interesting to you pre-MoP that you're missing now? Or is it that you see that other tank classes have more buttons/functionality overall?

    I for one am enjoying the Mangle fishing rotation - it actually forces the bears who were favoring Maul over Mangle to get with the program or be squishy. The changeover made my play requirements more interesting in that I'm juggling resource generation, defensive choices, and oh, there's a boss to deal with -- previously, it was just a matter of picking and choosing what to do with my Rage to beat things up and maintain threat, and all of the defensive bits were static except when I needed an emergency button.

    -Tielyn

  17. #17
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    At least three of the tank classes (Warrior, Druid, Paladin) use the binary 'this or that with defensive resource' choice. I can't speak on monks or death knights, but those three got that as their Active Mitigation mechanic. It's less boring than not needing to worry about choices at all, I suppose,...
    Can I ask what you mean by that?

    If you're talking about e.g. the choice between Shield Block and Shield Barrier, there is as much choice there as between Savage Defense and Enraged Regeneration.

    Shield Block or SD is used to counter melee swings, the other one for all the rest.
    It's pretty similar with the other classes, maybe the exception being DKs who got it all in one.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airowird View Post
    It's pretty similar with the other classes, maybe the exception being DKs who got it all in one.[/COLOR]
    That's not really true. Not completely true at any rate.
    Deathstrike/blood shield is physical damage only.

    I know.... you're probably thinking of the heal afterwards. That's hardly an equivalent to shield barrier. Enraged regen is probably "closer".

    Dk was doing active mitigation before it was "cool".
    No one tanks in a void.........

  19. #19
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    GO look up GLyph of shield slam. Prot warriors did active mitigation before Blood shield even existed.
    Harsh Words and Steel: A Protection Warrior Guide
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    Hunters, Just get a Sporebat, most LFRs will be missing that buff.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tengenstein View Post
    GO look up GLyph of shield slam. Prot warriors did active mitigation before Blood shield even existed.
    In fairness, it used to be a 50% chance.
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