Advice on Instances

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Advice on Instances

Postby Talmus » Fri May 02, 2008 10:25 am

I'm relatively new to WoW, just hit level 70, but due to the makeup of my guild (small and I was the highest level and never had a healer with us), I have two things that I rarely if ever experienced - tanking with a healer and tanking Outlands instances.

Since hitting 70 I've tanked some outdoor elites (the Ogri'la quests for example) but I still haven't done any instances, heroic or otherwise. I'm pretty comfortable on my approach to tanking both single target and multiple though and my gear will be at the edge of being ready for some of the easier heroics/early parts of Kara pretty soon.

My question here is more of a zone strategy thing. Having never seen the inside of any Outlands instance other than a single trip through Blood Furnace I have no idea what to expect as far as layout goes. I've read up on each of them but seeing a map and list of mobs doesn't quite cut it. For some of the easier heroics (mech, underbog, slavepens, ramps) is there specific strategy things I should know that you'd only learn by actually running those instances?
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Postby Aedolfmawini » Fri May 02, 2008 11:01 am

You don't want to consider heroics yet. It will just be a painful experience for you. I suggest running every lv 70 instance, feeling them out for yourself, until you get a lot of drops from them. Then go into the same heroics after you know them all well, everything is close enough that you will be able to figure out the changes through experience and wowwiki, etc.
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Postby Kelaan » Fri May 02, 2008 1:22 pm

Advertise in the Hellfire LFG channel that you're willing to tank lowbies through Ramparts and Blood Furnace. They will jump all over having a level 70 tank. Seriously.

Make sure to tank at least 1x each (preferably 2 or more)

Ramparts
Blood Furnace
Slave Pens
Underbog (very fun to AOE tank)
Mana Tombs (not so fun). Get the Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves from a quest here.
Sethekk Halls (Not bad; there are quests here too, for a decent tanking necklace)
Old Hillsbrad (cake!)
Black Morass (Harder, DPS needs to let you drink between pulls.)
Botanica
Steamvaults
Mechanar
Shattered Halls
Arcatraz

Basically, tank each of these until you are confident in doing it (1-2x, maybe more). You probably overgear it, so your real goal is to hold threat. You might want to be careful you don't tax lowbie healers, so pulling double packs of adds may not be good ... but it could probably work in some places.

Once you "master" one, move on to the next. Read ahead of time on Wowwiki so you know what things do. Tell your group you've never tanked it before, and are open to advice on doing things. Make sure you have a petrified lichen guard ;)

This should basically net you some experience with each of them (before you go heroic), etc. And, you get a chance to roll on healing upgrades, if no one else there needs them.
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Postby Meegan » Fri May 02, 2008 3:30 pm

actually becareful who say you never tanked before too. i did that a few times on my warrior to try it out and everytime the group kicked me out or people left the group. i eventually went to arms and was just a dps to finish up my dungeon quests.
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Postby Kelaan » Fri May 02, 2008 4:54 pm

yes, but being 5 levels above them tends to instill some confidence. ;) This person has *NEVER BEEN* in these instances, they have to start smoetime.

Or they could throw on healing gear and heal it once to see how the pulls go, and THEN tank it.
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Postby Wyleai » Sat May 03, 2008 3:45 am

Having now done most of those on both a resto druid and a tankadin - there is no relationship to what you learn on one as compared to the other. It's night and day. Running them in holy spec won't help you learn them for tanking later.
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Postby Supernose » Sat May 03, 2008 3:56 am

Wyleai wrote:Having now done most of those on both a resto druid and a tankadin - there is no relationship to what you learn on one as compared to the other. It's night and day. Running them in holy spec won't help you learn them for tanking later.


Not true if you pay attention. My Pally is my second 70, first being my Hunter. When I first started wanting to tank, I went back and ran every outlands instance with my Hunter, and paid attention to what/how the tank pulled, what they did, everything.

Now with that said, trial by fire is quite the way to learn, and all the studying in the world doesn't make up for actual experience. Make sure you know the tricks of the instance, such as this mob does this, or this particular mob needs to die first, etc. Then once you have those down, get in there and tank it! Eventually you'll get the hang of it and wham, you've been transformed into a real tank.
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Postby Wyleai » Sat May 03, 2008 12:12 pm

For the caliber of learning you're getting from watching with your hunter, you might as well read a guidebook. You won't get more than that unless you experience it and do it. And a healer is the worst choice because what you are doing is so directly opposite from the role the tank is fulfilling.

Not only will you not learn what you need to learn, you will learn a lot of things you have to later unlearn.
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Postby Levantine » Sat May 03, 2008 4:41 pm

=/ I disagree. Learning the pulls is never a bad thing. I don't know about you, but I have the time to look at the pulls, and note what mobs do what, even on Terrin.
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Postby Wyleai » Sat May 03, 2008 8:33 pm

As a fan of analogies... imagine watching a colorized version of a Charlie Chaplin movie. You might come away thinking you understood his comedy, but what you came away with was all wrong, even though you saw the movie.

The perspective is off. You can't usefully learn a perspective unless you put yourself into it.
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Postby Levantine » Sat May 03, 2008 10:52 pm

Terrible analogy is terrible, although maybe that's because I'm a drama student, and his humor isn't in the black and white. That, and I know perfectly well what mobs do what, since I get to react to them even moreso than the tank.
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Postby Wyleai » Sun May 04, 2008 8:13 am

You are still watching it from the wrong perspective.

People often claim statements like "I understand what you are experiencing" over various things in life - but the truth is, unless you are experiencing it from that persons actual perspective you're understanding of it will be different.

I've seen a very marked difference in this game between people who played their spec as they leveled it and instanced it and people who switched after using some other path to level. The second category are simply never as good, regardless of what they themselves think of their ability. The only way to do it right is to actually do it.

To the OP, if you want to learn tanking the instances, go tank them.
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Postby QuantumDelta » Sun May 04, 2008 8:20 am

Wyleai wrote:You are still watching it from the wrong perspective.

People often claim statements like "I understand what you are experiencing" over various things in life - but the truth is, unless you are experiencing it from that persons actual perspective you're understanding of it will be different.

I've seen a very marked difference in this game between people who played their spec as they leveled it and instanced it and people who switched after using some other path to level. The second category are simply never as good, regardless of what they themselves think of their ability. The only way to do it right is to actually do it.

To the OP, if you want to learn tanking the instances, go tank them.



Uhm, hi.
I'm one of Europes' most well known Paladins and the inventor of the /original/ Pre1.4 Shockadin (heh 1.9 was a field day for me).
I was admittedly Prot whilst leveling but Holy for almost all of Vanilla wow (with some ret thrown in), Holy/Ret whilst leveling and rerolled after we finished Gruul to prot because the guilds warriors were dying like flies.

I would consider myself an extremely good tankadin and I'm pretty sure most of my server, will tell you the same...

I cannot imagine how many thousands of people there are similar to myself in position (even, to my extremes, there's 4 others at least - on my server)so I really don't regard that as at all accurate ;/
nani shini umareta no? nani shini koko ni iru?
ikinokoritai, umaranai kizum, hikari osoreteta
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Postby Lookit » Mon May 05, 2008 9:29 am

Hi OP :)

First off, I'll say you definitely want to get in there and start tanking normals first, to get some experience. I'd be pretty hesitant to tank a heroic that I hadn't run at least once before on normal. You learn which pulls have mobs that fear, how far pats path, how the boss fights work, etc.

That said, here is some general advice for tanking 5-mans:

-Remember that only boss-level mobs can crush. Since the highest you'll find in heroics are level 72 mobs, this means you need 485 defense to be uncrittable, and after that you want to focus on stamina, spell damage, block value, and lastly avoidance, as opposed to the immediate goal of uncrushability if you were gearing for Kara bosses. Gearing for Kara bosses and gearing for heroics are two very different things. A lot of newer tankadins make the mistake of striving for uncrushability first(gemming for dodge & defense, for example), and then wondering why they have such a hard time in heroics despite being crush-proof, even though they have 9k unbuffed health. Stamina is much more important for heroics, while uncrushability is much less important.

-Get your party to work together to keep you alive. This means rogues using stuns as much as possible, to reduce the damage you take. Warlocks using Curse of Weakness on hard-hitting melee mobs, and warriors using Thunderclap and Demo Shout. Get your warlock to use his imp even if he'd prefer to sac his succy. The extra 1k health you get from the imp will help the group a lot more than him doing 10% extra dps.

-Don't be afraid to use CC. A lot of pallys give the impression that if you're using any CC at all, you're doing something wrong. While there certainly comes a point in gearing where you don't want any CC to prevent mana-starvation, when you're starting out this simply isn't the case. When you have 10.5k health, pulling even a 3-pack in UB or Ramps *can* flatten you right quick. Especially now that our holy frisbee doesn't break CC, it's just too easy to have the rogue sap, or the mage sheep, or even the hunter trap. CC can really trivialize a lot of pulls in heroics, so don't be hesitant to make runs easier on yourself ;)


-LOS pull anything with casters. Remember that mobs in instances will follow you anywhere, which means that you get to pick and choose where to fight them. We've all had it happen - you pull a group of mobs to you with AS, only to have the caster mob stay where it is, blasting you from afar. If you let it be, it will eventually switch targets to the healer because of healing aggro. If you run up to it, you may body-pull another nearby pack. The solution though is simple: just throw your shield, and run back behind the nearest corner or outcropping. Since you are no longer in "line of sight" of the mob, it will run right to you, allowing you to nicely group up all the mobs in the pull right at the corner. The other solution to casters is to have a mage counterspell them or a shaman earthshock them (etc) so they run to you since they cannot cast. Just mark it like any other CC ("please counterspell X after you sheep Moon, Mr. Mage").

-Always remember to give yourself Righteous Fury. Heh, I still forget this one sometimes. ;)
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Postby Talmus » Mon May 05, 2008 1:44 pm

Great stuff everyone!

Basically it sounds like the main part for me is simply going to be staying patient. I'd love to jump right in and start up on heroics but I really do need the experience first. I'm going to get revered with SSO, get the spell damage weapon so that I can run in my tank gear and still have nice spell damage, and then take your advice Kelaan and just start out with the Hellfire zones on normal. You've got to start somewhere and there's simply no substitute for experience. I'll run each one until I have it down and once I'm comfortable I'll add that to the ones I'm willing to run Heroic.

As for gearing up I'm up around 11k hp's unbuffed in my tanking gear (I'm logged out in my solo gear atm) so while it's nothing unbelievably good it's not bad considering I don't have any Kara and/or dungeon gear at the moment.

Finally, you mentioned something Lookit that I didn't realize - that only boss-level mobs can crush. So if I'm understanding correctly unless it's a boss pull stamina and spell damage > avoidance once you're uncrittable. So even for something like Kara I should probably set up Outfitter with a set of gear that's uncrittable but optimizes stamina, threat, and then block value and then have a set that's optimized for avoidance for the boss mobs, correct? That would certainly be easy in places like Hellfire where the bar is even lower (level 71 other than 2 bosses).

Last question - I didn't see a specific piece of info on Thotbott as to whether the bosses for the Hellfire zones can crush. When you said that only boss-level mobs can crush is it related to level, elite status, or some other criteria, and do you have a good list of bosses that can crush that you could point me to?

Thanks!
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