Miserable first experience

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Miserable first experience

Postby Eveleaf » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:26 pm

My main is a holy priest, but I've been wanting to have a main tank for a long time now. So recently I got duel-spec for my pally and spent approx 10k outfitting her from the auction house, trying to get her ready to tank heroics. I've been reading these forums, too. Last night my druid buddy (great healer) and I decided to take the plunge, and we pugged out the DPS spots in a H Nexus run.

Summary was a miserable time had by all. 2 dps quit mid-run, saying it was the worst heroic they'd been in in a long time. We replaced one of the dps but had to finish by 4-manning it. We had only one wipe, very early on, but the dps died a LOT. I couldn't maintain aggro to save my life.

I started by explaining to everyone that I was really new to tanking and to please watch their threat, and I think they mostly tried. We had a DK, however, who frequently death-gripped adds, and insisted on laying down D&D at every opportunity because "it had never been a problem for him in heroics before."

My gear is passable, and I have 539 def: http://www.wowarmory.com/character-shee ... n=Carlymae
With buffs, food and pots (including imp buff) I was running about 26,700 health. The fact is, I was just a horrendous tank. Every single AOE pull was a disaster. I tried very hard to keep a 96969 rotation, but with mobs breaking and running all over the place, I got extremely mixed up, couldn't find my taunt buttons when I needed them, I'd get out of position, then the DK would overwrite my consecrate and they'd all go running again.

Afterwards, as I was crying to my husband about the whole thing, I realised I'd forgotten to turn on RF again after our early-on wipe. :(

I'm an extremely good healer and usually have a lot of confidence in my play abilities, but this experience has left me more than a little rattled. Are some people just no good at tanking? Should I go back to healing and just be glad I can do that well?

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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby d503 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:34 pm

Seriously...turn on RF and all problems go away...even the best tanks have a hard time holding aggro off DPS without Righteous Fury on!

Threat with RF isn't just your 90% holy threat, but the added threat for being in a "tank stance." You'd be surprised at the increase.

I say go ahead and try it again. AOE pulls shouldn't be a problem too. Just open with Cpt America, Consecrate and Hammer of the Righteous...

Also, it helps if you tell your DPS to assist you, if they're pulling aggro.

Don't get discouraged! You can only learn by continuing to do it :D
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Arcand » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:46 pm

Put a Post-It note on your monitor:

Righteous Fury
Seal of Vengeance
Blessing of Sanctuary

Check it before first pull.

Now, go out, pull some random world
trash and tank them until you can do 696
without taking your eyes off the screen.

Now, run the intended instance on Normal
once so that you know the pulls.

Finally, identify the death knight who was
using Death Grip while DPSing and neutralize
him. Ignore is sufficient, murdering him
IRL is okay as well. No jury will convict you.

Then try again. It'll go better this time. :)
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Wrathy » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:29 pm

I have to agree with d503, Just make sure you have RF on and try it again, you should like it a lot more.

And dont worry about forgetting it, I've wiped raids in Ulduar by forgetting it, it happens to the best of us. Also for the having problems taunting and such, remember that it was your first time, It probably took you a very long time to get the muscle memory in your fingers having to do with PWS or your heals as well. Just keep plugging away and you will enjoy it more!
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Panzerdin » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:06 pm

Aside from that, make sure you've got your spec/rotation right. You can lose a lot of TPS if you haven't. Knaughty's sticky in this forum covers the basics.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Veilan » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:20 pm

Eveleaf wrote:We had a DK, however, who frequently death-gripped adds

Third time after warning gets a free introduction to the magical boot, heroic ID or not. Even though DKs are the new huntards, they usually get that.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Solam » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:24 am

Don't give up. I had almost exactly the same experience my first few times. It was mid BC, I'd been raiding Kara as holy and getting quite a few tanking epics "for my offset" so I figured I'd give it a go. After all, I'd levelled a prot warrior to 65 or so, and I'd been watching my guild's pally tank really closely. How hard could it be?

I was really bad. In Mechannar the healer left, swearing at me, before we even got to the first boss. I took my own healer to the next one and we did get a boss down, but then one by one the dps slowly excused themselves. I was so dispirited I didn't try again for weeks. But I'd learned from the experience and each one got a bit easier to handle. It will for you too. The forums and theorycrafting help set you up and will help you finetune your performance once you get going, but nothing beats experience.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Solam » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:10 am

Some concrete advice:

Try practicing your pulls, positioning and rotations with mobs like the Converted Heroes in Icecrown. They melee, you can pull as many or as few as you like, and, as they are undead, if you pull too many you have an OH SH*T button with Holy Wrath. Get used to moving them where you want them, pulling them into a tightly bunched group by stepping back, or running through/around them and facing them away from the (imaginary) raid. Even without a healer you should be able to keep going until you feel totally in control.

Before you step into a dungeon, identify which of your high threat moves are best for a particular situation and which you should open with. The 969 rotation is the holy grail of paladin tanking but, honestly, it's not set in stone. Your priority is to get control of the situation and of the mobs in front of you. If you have to front-load your rotation with aoe threat (Consecration, Hammer of the Righteous, Holy Shield) then pick those moves to open with. If it's a single mob then you'll want to use a judgement and Shield of Righteousness as your first moves after the pull. Note that you can still do that and keep up the rotation but if you have to break it, don't stress, you'll pick it back up again soon enough.

When you do step into a dungeon, identify which of the mobs in front of you are the biggest threat, where you want to tank them and how you are going to get them into position. Your Avenger's Shield will briefly silence caster mobs and bring them towards you but then it's up to you whether you step back or close the gap. Closing the gap will usually mean you can get a consecration or hammer off before the dps open up but you might want to keep an eye out for any nearby or patrolling mobs. Pulling back might get them to bunch up more, especially if you can LoS them at the same time, but can you trust your dps to hold off until they're in position? Pick your spot in advance and bring them there. Remember, you're in control.

Remember how we are always told that reactive healing is bad? Well, it's the same with tanking. You need to have your emergency buttons ready to drag aggro off the healer or overachieving dps (Righteous Defense etc) and don't feel you're a bad tank if you have to use them cause we all do (and more often than we would like) but, ideally, the best defense is making sure the healer never gets aggro. Take the fight to the mobs, hit them before anyone else gets a spell off and you won't be losing any threat battle. Or use cc, line of sight pulls, anything to get those mobs under your control. Be decisive. The wrong choice is almost always still better than no decision at all. You'll probably survive if the whole group is following your strategy and then next time you'll know better and will pick the even better strategy.

Keep at it. It does get easier with practice. If you have the desire to tank and the will to carry it through then there's nothing to stop you from beeing a good, even great tank. Good luck.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Pizbit » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:13 pm

As above.
For 5mans 96 really isn't used much, don't worry about sticking to it.
I actually put Holy Shield low down on the rotation, either do it pre pull or after I've used everything else to pickup mobs.

Glyph HotR for 5mans!! It gives HotR an extra bounce which is godly in heroics.

Group of 1-3, AS, then HotR, Consecrate, then whatever else as they come off CD.
Group of 4, AS, note the one that didn't get hit by AS and Judge it, then HotR, consecrate, everything else.

Eg, 4 mobs, Holy shield, AS (target the casters), judge the 4th, they come closer, HotR, then ShoR first kill, consecrate, holy shield.

I view the abilities like this: AS 'tags' 3 to me, Judge tags 1 to me, HotR tags 4 to me and is a 'second AS only better', ShoR holds 1 to me, consecrate keeps stuff on me.

Priorities for me once I have the mobs: HotR, Consecrate, <everything else>

Go out and practice AS throwing, look get used to how it'll bounce, it'll always go for what's closest to first target, then closest from the second. If you have 4 mobs in a line and you target the far left it'll hit the left most 3, then you judge the 4th. Boom you've tagged them all and the healer wont get aggro.
Remember AS silences, this is why you hit casters first with it so they come to you.

Look how HotR can bounce from target to target to hit mobs further away. I've often ASed a 4 pull, judged 4th, then HotR on judged target(since it doesn't get the AS daze) and had HotR bounce to the ASed targets.

Just because a mob isn't in melee range doesn't mean you have to go to it. If it's out of melee range but not too far away see if HotR is bouncing to it from another mob, if so you can leave it alone unless a range dps is on it, in which case judging it+HoTR bounces will keep it on you.

Show enemy name plates, when a mob gets down to about 40-30% HP you can almost always ignore it as DPS wont be able to pull it off you before it's dead, leaving you free to looks at other mobs.

I tab target a lot and look at omen to see who is getting high on what mob to give that extra ShoR loving.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby vonrychte » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:28 am

Hey, would ya'll mind sharing a little more info about what this DK Deathgrip is and how to watch for it? Is it always bad news for tanks??

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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby KysenMurrin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:36 am

Death Grip is the ability that yanks a mob through the air to them. It also functions as a taunt and forces the mob to attack the DK for 3 seconds.
You'll essentially see the DK shoot purple-ish lines out to the mob and pull it flying through the air.

It can be useful to help pull a caster into melee range if you arrange for them to do it beforehand (and it's great for positioning sparks on Malygos), but generally you don't want dps taunting the mobs. Can also cause trouble if they do it right as you hit Avenger's Shield and they yank the mob out of its bounce range.
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby vonrychte » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:41 am

got it , i guess i knew the move but not the name. so can be helpful if they're using it to assist the tank, but only if they're working with not against...

thank you

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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby phaqueue » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:14 am

Also, most DK's are used to pre 3.1 paladin tanks when AS didn't silence, so we had no way to pull casters to us, now that AS will silence, the caster will automatically come to you...

If the DK does continue to DG everything - letting them die a few pulls from tanking usually gets the point across, otherwise kick them.

Death Grip isn't a bad thing overall, it's just all about the situation - my roommate plays a DK and death grips all the time - he just makes sure I know he's doing it first so I can taunt the mob right back...

as far as not holding aggro... like the previous posts have said - we all forget RF once in a while (especially when it used to be 30 min... refreshing it sucked)... there are a couple of ways to combat this... first is the post-it note that someone suggested earlier, also - if oyu have a healer or DPS that is basically always in your groups - they can remind you... they will notice that you are not holding aggro and can say "hey - did you remember RF?" - also - as you do it more - you just get used to it, when I see "Changed target" come up on my SCT - the first thing I do is check my buffs for RF...

Practice is a good thing... one way is to go practice with mobs outdoors - the other, and perhaps more fun way to do so is to get a healer friend and 2-man old instances... it gives you a chance to get used to keeping threat off a healer...

if you really want to get better, get the healer to start challenging you... have them pull and you pick up the mobs, or have a pally bop you randomly so you have to react and pick the mobs off him...

if you go to level 60/70 instances - for the most part the things there aren't going to kill your healer before you recover, and if they do - oh well - it's a lesson...

also - when you are in heroics on trash... 969 is not anywhere near as important as getting control - if there are multiple mobs... I will rarely follow 969 on them... I will just frontload what I need to get aggro on all of them then worry about keeping it... it's just all about practice and getting a feel for what you need and when...

just keep at it - remember we all start somewhere and you can only go up :)
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby Judgeratt » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:26 am

I like to think that I'm a good tank - I have decent gear, quick reflexes, situational awareness, and I use all the tools available to me regularly.

On one of my guild's Sarth +3 attempts last night I forgot to have Righteous Defense AND Seal of Vengeance up... >.<

It happens to all of us. Don't worry about it! :P
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Re: Miserable first experience

Postby vegardhv » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:01 am

Judgeratt wrote:I like to think that I'm a good tank - I have decent gear, quick reflexes, situational awareness, and I use all the tools available to me regularly.

On one of my guild's Sarth +3 attempts last night I forgot to have Righteous Defense AND Seal of Vengeance up... >.<

It happens to all of us. Don't worry about it! :P

I don't think it's been mentioned, I would reccommend installing pallypower. That keeps track of Righteous Fury, your current seal, and all buffs from all paladins in the group/raid. Most paladins on my server have it anyway.

Also keep Righteous Fury ready when you're battle ressurrected, it's a bitch coming back to life with no buffs, no seal and no righteous fury, usually leads to healer death and wipe unless you're very fast to put back RF.

Edit: that was in response to the OP, I'm sure all experienced (or semi-experienced) pallyes are aware of pallypower :p
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