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VERY BASIC tanking know-how?

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VERY BASIC tanking know-how?

Postby Chronotriggerjm » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:41 am

I generally find that this site has heaps upon heaps of useful knowledge, but one thing that I find lacking (maybe didn't search hard enough) on this site, and most sites in general, is very basic tanking know how, that I see get forgotten almost all the time. I was wondering if we could maybe put up another section in the sticky that could cover some of the should-be obvious basics?

Quite a few times in my playing of world of warcraft, I see players that I would personally consider new to tanking, with great gear, and the proper spec, just get brutally thrashed around because they forget simple fundamentals, I would like to compile a list of just basic, basic things that all tanks should keep in mind, and maybe try to enhance the basic quality of tanks that visit the site. :)

A few things that spring to mind~

Problem: Keeping your back to your party, I see it happen quite often, and more often than not, many non-targets are the poor victims to line of sight attacks. Another big problem with doing this, is it becomes increasingly more difficult to see when a mob is getting distracted, or who he might be casting on for attacks that target random party members.

Solution: (or so I'd like to believe): For most pulls, drag your mobs to where you want to fight, and attempt to hold them at a 90 degree angle away from your party, if a mob gets distracted, you can easily tell because he'll be the only turned mob in the pack, it's easier to see mobs that break your pack and attack your team mates, and re-capturing these mobs with ranged attacks or taunts can be done without turning your back to a pack of enemy's, which will keep you alive longer, and keep your healer with more mana.

Problem: Casters! And a common mistake to miss them. MANY times, a tank will pull a group of mobs and proceed to fight without establishing ANY hate on the damn casters :( What happens as we know, is the tank get's healed, and the caster nukes the healer. It's just ugly. I see this happen all the time.

Solution: Bring the caster to you ala silence, death grip, etc etc, Incapacitate him via repentance, sap, etc etc, or when cases allow, fight your group on the caster.

Another one related to the first...

Problem: Turning your back on a large group of mobs to hit an enemy near your party. Such a common thing these days :( If I'm not mistaken, you lose your ability to dodge, parry, and block when your back is turned to a mob. This will end you fast!

Solution: Get used to using Q and E to sidestep and get around the group your tanking, sidestep until you can target the mob of choosing with your grab hate abilities, it sounds like a long process, but in practice it really isn't. This usually keeps you with full mitigation, and you can get to the target in just about the same amount of time.

Problem: Monsters leaving "dead zones" and not pulling the mobs out of them, allowing the party to get trashed. On many bosses, there will be area's that you "shouldn't stand in". More often than not, I will see a tank stand in them and take it like a champ, but for the unfortunate melee dps, they simply get thrashed. Yes your dps should know to back off, but in practice it's not hard for us to back-pedal. Kindly move the boss out of the lightning storm, the black circles, and green clouds preaze.

Anyhow, lunchtime is here :) Feel free to add to the obvious list. Hopefully we can help eradicate some of these simple mistakes.
Last edited by Chronotriggerjm on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby bub64882 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:36 pm

I would say if you are tanking a 5-man PUG, you should ask to be made leader if you are not already, and then lead. Mark your targets everytime. Macro a "party rules" preamble, and broadcast it before the start of every run. Something like "Skull dies first, then X, then it's up to you. If I want CC on a pull, I will mark sheep. If you need something, roll need, else greed it. I will pull everytime unless I specify that responsibility to someone else by name. Please do not pull to speed things up, since a wipe is not making things go faster. Other than that, let's go kick some ass and have some fun. /smile".
Even if you are new to tanking, a little bravado will go a long way to keeping over zealous DPS in line.
As a tank, the only person in the group you really need to listen to is the healer. There are 1 or 2 exceptions, if an encounter calls for a hunter kite or a priest MC, their assessment is important. Otherwise, the healer is the only thing keeping you up for more than 30 seconds, so listen to them.
Hunters need to turn growl off their pets, and warlocks should have any pet EXCEPT the voidwalker out, unless they are asked to specifically off tank a MOB.
Initiate a /readycheck before every boss. Wait for everyone to click "ready".

Now you need to back up this authority w/ some solid tanking skills. Check if Righteous Fury is up before every pull, and you should be fine. :)
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Chronotriggerjm » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:09 pm

Yeah the rules one is awesome, and totally makes you look super 1337 :)

Some other simple things I've seen commonly overlooked. This one is more common pre-heroic. Often times, a bored healer will ask you to "pull the whole room". And while doing so is a blast and a half, many times the tank ends up needing heals halfway through. This just ends poorly. We've all seen it.

A few solutions to this would be:

1.) Don't do the pull if you don't think you can handle it. Pull a bunch, but not the whole room!

2.) Ranged attack mobs on one side, then pull the other side of the room. It lessens direct exposure to damage.

3.) Pally baby :D Hit the divine shield before gathering.

4.) Back pedal away! You can gather many mobs and slap them with your aoe's while kiting and taking comfortable damage.

Problem: Not paying attention to attacks when you see a casting bar! Holding hate in many situations isn't hard. But don't let the lack of difficulty fool you into thinking you can just tank n' spank with no problems! Many "readied" attacks can obliterate you!

Solution: Ask before hand if there is any special requirement for the boss your fighting, often times there will be area attacks that you can avoid by running, or line of sight attacks that you can dodge by sidestepping. If avoidable please do so!

This one apply's mainly for Paladin tanks.

On boss fights, or when fighting small groups of enemies, paladins will keep retribution aura up, when they could be using a resistance aura for a boatload less damage taken. If the dungeon is primarily a certain element that you have an aura for, by all means keep it up! The party will go so much more smoothly than you would normally think. And for bosses that slam you hard with melee attacks, devotion aura can be much more effective for tackling large numbers. Aura's are free to switch between, use them!

Problem: BUFFS!!!! I've been in SO MANY parties where the buffs just don't seem to stay up. Loaded with inconsistencies.

Solution: I've been asked ten's of times what add-on I use to manage buffs, and I tell them every time, the add-on called common sense! If you buff yourself first, before buffing the rest of the party, then you'll have direct info on when your buff duration will be down. So when your in need for a buff, just go ahead and re-cast it on yourself, then just repeat the cycle, as long as you hit everyone at the same time, they'll all need a re-cast at about the same time. Not rocket science!
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Panzerdin » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:12 pm

Make sure you look confident in what you're doing, even if you don't have a fucking clue. If you don't perform well, odds on nobody else will either (in a pug, that is).
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby badgermonkey » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:21 pm

Panzerdin wrote:Make sure you look confident in what you're doing, even if you don't have a fucking clue. If you don't perform well, odds on nobody else will either (in a pug, that is).


Yep. Assume you are the best. Don't be arrogant and call people noobs or anything, but just know for a fact what you are doing is perfect.

If you exhude confidence, people won't assume you are the problem , even if you are.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Arcand » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:13 pm

badgermonkey wrote:
Panzerdin wrote:Make sure you look confident in what you're doing, even if you don't have a fucking clue. If you don't perform well, odds on nobody else will either (in a pug, that is).


Yep. Assume you are the best. Don't be arrogant and call people noobs or anything, but just know for a fact what you are doing is perfect.

If you exhude confidence, people won't assume you are the problem , even if you are.


...but ask questions when you need to. Acting like you know everything, and then proving that you don't, looks pretty bad.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby badgermonkey » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:04 pm

Arcand wrote:
...but ask questions when you need to. Acting like you know everything, and then proving that you don't, looks pretty bad.



Oh that too. Normally a "Any abilities I need to know about?" before a boss sufficed for me.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Sarevok » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:09 am

For the buff problems, pallypower is the key.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Vadis » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:58 am

Sarevok wrote:For the buff problems, pallypower is the key.


This.
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Mert » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:25 am

Sarevok wrote:For the buff problems, pallypower is the key.


Just going to throw out my support for deleting PallyPower and using ZOMGBuffs instead, especially if you are expected to be the leader of a party or raid. It allows you to one-click add seals, Rightous Fury and gives you clickable buttons to place elsewhere for Sacred Shield or Hand of Sacrifice. It also allows you to see all buffs across the raid - Priest is missing Druid buffs? Death Knight not using buff food or flasking up? You can see all of this in one neat little popout window.

It also learns who is what and can auto-assign based on such priorities - so you can differentiate your DPS and Tank Warriors, or which flavour your various Paladins are that day. When you auto-generate it will set their blessings based on a (configurable) priority list for that particular spec.

Seriously, give it a go - you'll love it :D

As for the thread, I concur with the fact that confidence and leadership skill is what makes for a great rather than simply an adequate tank, but on the subject of fundamentals, I'd include some examples of when it might be better to use a single-target pull rather than something like Avenger's Shield, a breakdown of what the various stats are, what they do and how they function - we often see posts that say 540 defense > stam > dodge > parry > block rating or whatever, but very rarely do they go into detail on exactly why that is the case.

Finally I think it'd also be useful to maybe have a list of DOs and DON'Ts for a new tank - especially for things like turning your back on a boss, having a mob with unknown abilities face the raid, etc - I think that might make the information easier to read at a glance rather than the Problem/Solution method, though that method certainly works better for other examples. I've considered writing something like this for some new tanking off-specs in my guild before, so keep up the good ideas :)
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby badgermonkey » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:57 am

ZOMGBuffs was too involved for me. I just click some buttons to buff, normally assigned by our healing pally :P
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Mert » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:58 am

badgermonkey wrote:ZOMGBuffs was too involved for me. I just click some buttons to buff, normally assigned by our healing pally :P


Why click on some buttons when you can click on one button? :P
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Metarra » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:07 am

I like the idea of a basic tanking how-to.

A big help to new tanks would be positioning.. as in stuff like "pushing" a boss to scoot them back a bit, tips for moving "tall" bosses (heigan, runemaster mulgeim, auriya). Sure new tanks will be in heroics first, but not for long.. so there are less experienced tanks in Ulduar, and even more fresh tanks in Naxx.

Auriya isn't as picky while moving, but sometimes she likes to move on her own when the tank is standing still.. could this be because the tank who turns with their mouse is facing their character to the side a bit?

I see some tanks dislike tanking Heigan because moving him can be a pain.. since you have to move farther away from him than normal mobs/bosses before he himself moves. Heigan is my favorite boss to tank in Naxx. I keep Heigan's back to the raid, so it keeps melee closer to the healers on the platform while I'm farther away but in range of heals. When I need to move Heigan, I strafe out until I see him run at me, then I quickly run back to intercept him where I want him, which is in the middle of the next safe-zone.

Runemaster Mulgeim is another twitchy mover. Moving Mulgeim out of Rune of Power is easy enough, but keeping his back close to the Rune of Power so melee can get the damage buff and still dps Mulgeim from behind can be tricky. Runemaster Mulgeim is a tall boss, so you have to move away from him farther for him to move, but this can also make him move more than you wanted him to and the Rune of Power will be out of range for melee. Other times, it will look like Mulgeim barely moved outside of the Rune of Power and his feet are out of it, but he still has the damage buff.

Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else find tall bosses/mobs quirky when it comes to moving them?
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Worldie » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:00 pm

It's not a matter of "tall" bosses, it's a matter of "bosses with wierd hitbox"
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Re: VERY basic tanking know-how?

Postby Chicken » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:06 am

Mobs that spawn adds also move around by themselves often, mobs don't like standing on top of each other. Same thing happens if you're tanking a very large amount of mobs, like 25 or so, then they'll pretty much constantly be moving around trying to find spots where they aren't standing on each other.
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