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lrn2Tank, Lurz!
  • As a change of pace from 6 years of DPSing, and in the interest of shorter queues and Call to Arms ph4t l00tz, I've been leveling a goblin warrior with the intention of learning how to tank. I'm in the mid 30's and I've tanked a couple of LFD randoms and it's been a ton of fun, but very different. I'm wondering if anybody with warrior tanking experience have a nugget or two of wisdom that you can share that you wish you had known when you were just learning? Obviously I'm reading resources like EJ, but most of the discussion out there revolves around tanking heroics and raids at 85 and I'm really just interested in the fundamentals at this point. For example, how in the world can you tell if a party member has pulled aggro off a mob that you're not targeting when your party and a group of mobs are all standing on top of each other? If my melee DPS is standing right next to me, I can't tell if a 2nd or 3rd mob is beating on him or me. Am I supposed to tabbing through every target repeatedly, checking threat?

    Addon recommendations are welcome as well. I'm already using Skada to monitor threat, and I have PugLax and Simple Raid Target Icons installed just to get a feel for them, though I don't think I'll need them for awhile.
    Spencer Cross AKA Lurzmog | Balkhmog | Gobhoblin
  • I'm sure a more experienced tank will comment, but as a healer i use grid and got some tank add ons for that for my pally tanking learning experience. I set it up so that anyone getting aggro had a red box around them and you can see whos health is going down. I set up macros so that i could easily mouse over whoever was getting aggro to grab their mob back. I'm sure there are more wonderful tools but i managed to learn with just something as simple as grid. You can also see debuffs on yourself and others which is helpful too.
    Post edited by Jexii at 2011-04-21 15:25:14

    Jexii | Mexiico | Jezaal
  • > I'm wondering if anybody with warrior tanking experience have a nugget or two of wisdom

    Don't freak out when someone pulls agro because they will. "Ohh, you hit the boss before I even got to it and it attacked you and you died. Oh well! Now you know not to do that again."

    Of course, people will try to blame you for it when it is they who screwed up. When I first started tanking on my warrior I would freak and think that if a mob got away from me then it was always my fault, but it usually wasn't. so after a while I stopped freaking out over that haha!

    >For example, how in the world can you tell if a party member has pulled aggro off a mob that you're not targeting when your party and a group of mobs are all standing on top of each other?

    I use Tidyplates for that. Great nameplate addon. So if you have agro on all the mobs, all the nameplate bars will be a certain color, like red. If you start to lose agro it will go yellow and when you lose it completely and it goes after the dps, It will go blue. Which is really really easy to notice even if you are not targeting it. It is pretty customizable too. You can make the nameplates pretty big and set it so that they don't overlap too. Which makes click targeting the add that got away really easy.
    Post edited by Allynn at 2011-04-21 16:46:06
  • If you want to learn to be a great tank, DO freak out when people pull agro off you, just don't let it cause you to melt down. If you can't get overwhelmed by chaos without freezing up or losing focus, Tanking will not be fun. Get really really annoyed and obsess about your threat(though not at the expense of survivability). Go out of your way to group with DPS that can really pour it on with little regard for your state of mind. Hronk, Clef, Riot, etc. will teach you to not only watch things like a maniac (yes, you need addons to track agro for each mob), but will also teach you to manage all your resources, and not just blow your big taunt the first time you lose agro to a hunter that is going to FD well before it gets to them.
  • I just wrote a bunch of tips on tracking threat below (mentioning quite a few addons) but...the tank really has 3 very important jobs.

    1) Stay alive! Know your cooldowns, have your trinkets accessable, get out of poo (GTFO is your friend in addition to being aware), be ready to interrupt casts. Keep things like thunderclap (slow effect) and demoralizing shout active (when possible/reasonable (and available in your spell book.)

    2) Keep the threat. Marking targets can help. I do Skull X and then whatever else. Also CC is very helpful. In the lower level dungeons this is less of a big deal (in part because of massive nerfage) but know the best threat rotation, tab target between mobs (if necessary), use your AOE abilities when necessary.

    3) Manage the situation. The tank is managing the bad guy/gal on deck. This doesn't just mean keep threat. This also means be aware of where the mob is pointing, what poo is down and where, and keeping the mob where it can be hit.

    Some examples:
    The boss pukes/breathes fire, has a big frontal cleave - makes sure he's only puking on you.
    The boss does a knock back - put your back on a wall (and make sure it isn't a hole in the wall.)
    The boss rains fire around him - make sure you aren't in the poo AND if there is no safe place for melee to stand move the boss.

    In general keep the mob being controlled stationary - set them in position and stay there if possible. The more you move the harder it is for everyone else (and if you get out of range of your healer it really annoys them and can result in unnecessary death.) Of course if you need to move, move, but keep it to a minimum (it also improves your threat because you don't end up out of range as you can when you kite the boss.)

    Other things to think of - sometimes charging is fine - sometimes you want to pull the mob to you. Where do you want to fight the fight (are there pats/other mobs you don't want to join you - pull accordingly.)

    I also find that knowing the fights - and communicating that to the team leads to a more successful fight. You can go in without it - but it makes it much easier.

    Now onto the "threat tools" addons. I have a few other "must have" addons in my arsenal but this post is already long enough. :)


    Tidyplates or Aloft both are nice that they show you if you have threat on a mob, how that threat is doing (are you losing it) and handily you can click on the plate to target.

    Another addon is Tauntmaster which in addition to telling you if someone grabbed threat allows you to click on the name of the offending dps (or healer) and taunt the mob who has targeted them. (Of course you'll want to do some aoe threat shortly thereafter since taunt just gives you threat parity - and if they keep gaining threat they'll have the mob back real soon now.) I have this installed but rarely have it turned on - but it is probably worth trying out while you're getting the hang of things.

    Also whatever raid/group frames you are using should show you threat. I use Vuhdo (which doubles as a healing tool) which tracks threat, incoming heals and more. Grid will do the same, Pitbull had similar options, I haven't checked the ingame ones but they might too.

    Also on the threat front have a threat meter. I use Skada which will track threat in combat and afterward will give me a dps read out. That way it is useful as DPS or as tanking. Put it somewhere where you can see if anyone is creeping up on your threat. Yes, you want to stay on a good threat rotation but if someone is about to overtake you on threat perhaps you want to get a nice shield slam in instead of doing a demoralizing shout right now.

  • im not a good teacher =(
  • Leonhart said:

    im not a good teacher =(

    Sometimes the best teaching is just being a good example. I appreciated seeing how you tanked TOC back when it was newish.

  • You guys are awesome. This is super helpful.
    Spencer Cross AKA Lurzmog | Balkhmog | Gobhoblin

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