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Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

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Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby referee » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:46 am

Hi there. I've just registered at Maintankadin.

I'm from Spain and this is my main character: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/d ... lly/simple
As you can see, I'm really new to the game (started last January), so this is my first character ever in WoW

And you might be thinking, "hey, wait a minute... This is a DPS Paladin!" Well, yes... since it was my first character, I picked DPS (Retribution), since I wasn't up to take "responsability roles" (my term for combined Tank and Healer) as a complete newbie.

But when I reached level 30, I picked Protection as the secondary. However, my attempts at tanking has been few and far between so far. Still, when I try, I'm like I don't know what I'm doing.

Most of the info here (and just about all of the info anywhere else) deals with expert players at level 85 and geared for raiding, and flood me with data on some technicalities that maybe escape me.

As you see, I'm still levelling up (Level 81 as of this post), I'm not sure if I will raid, that seems to require a level of precision I don't have, and seems (to me, at least) a tad too time consuming. So mostly dungeons, I'm guessing.

It's a shame that you can't see my tanking gear in that link, though it still has lots of room for improving, but you can see the talents. While the DPS talents are pretty much spot on with the usually listed ones (the only 'flaw' seems to be Acts of Sacrifice), the Protection tree is a bit more different, currently at 0/34/2 + 1 unassigned, proof again that I haven't grasped tanking that much yet. Glyphs are pretty much empty because I haven't managed to get many yet.

When I try tanking, the problems seem to be that first, I don't know the dungeons yet, so I act a bit lost and maybe a bit slow, I dunno. Second, the players seem to be a bit impatient with a learning tank, which is a shame. My guild is small enough that we often end on a 3+2 or a 4+1 group. And Third, my talents and my tanking bars are a bit in disarray, since I haven't found yet an efficient way to attack.

Also, my computer is quite old, so I can't put loads of Add-ons, I don't know if there are many that are that useful at my intended level of play. I can't still figure whether when things went wrong it's only me to blame or someone else all the time.

So, before this post gets too long (I might be already late on that), what I'd like to ask is, what kind of info can you give to a starting tank which is also a starting player? I'd like to have some really basic level tips (ie, in order to be an optimal tank, you first have to be a tank), since the usual posts on the matter (and I think it's the matter's fault, not the poster's fault) tend to grow to a massive load of info which is really great to know, but a bit hard to digest for a newbie.

Since this is the only place I've seen with a "basic training" forum, I decided to ask here for some "pre-basic training". Thank you for taking your time to read all this, and let's see if I can get this tanking thing to work. :)
When you enter an instance, repeat to yourself: My job here is to die first.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby Calleana » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:44 am

First things first hello and welcome to the world of tanking.

Secondly good job at looking at some of the more specialised forums, most people who are not looking at raiding don't so good on you.

When you start out tanking I recommend running the instance as DPS if you can first as this allows you to learn the fights and the instance without the pressure of tanking.

General rules are to go for casters first, as you learn the fights you'll figure out which things t kill first. I would recommend assigning the F1, F2 etc. Keys to skull, cross, cc targets as this will help you get your DPS to do what you want them to. This can be done through the normal Blizzard UI so no need for add ons. In pulls of more than 3 mobs, I would generally assign a cc target. Part of the assumed jobs of tanks is to control the instance, establish a pace etc.

I would also recommend setting up you user interface so you can see healer mana bars as pulling when your healer doesn't have any mana left will ge you in trouble. I'm afraid I don't know how to set this up on the normal Blizzard ui.

Finally have a look at the basic training stickies the stuff about rotation is really useful and you should be able to utilise this at level 81.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby bldavis » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:48 am

I also would like to welcome you to the tanking community, and just wanted to add a little to what has been said already

if you can, i would have a guild tank walk you through how to pull, positioning, and when to use cooldowns
a lot of it will come with practice and is almost instinctual level when you have tanked a while

if your guild doenst have a pally tank, ask in trade if there is a tankadin that can help
most of the time tanks will help fellow tanks (or maybe i am just a really nice guy)
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby kas » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:26 pm

Hello! Welcome to tanking!
I'm a fresh tank myself (just hit 85 about 6 days ago) and am already MT Firelands trash! It happens fast once you get the gist. I did tank a few lower level dungeons, but got tired of pugging and puggers so I put off tanking and just mostly solo quested til I hit 84, when I started running the dungeons with guildies on reg mode.
First thing I learned about pally tanking was to keep Judgement up all the time. Use your seal of truth, keep Righteous Fury up, and generate threat asap, especially if you have a few ranged DPS as they pull aggro like crazy (especially if they are out gearing you).
Tanking just sort of came naturally for me on the pally as I have a capped DK as well and have gone through most of the dungeons a few times and a couple of the raids.
Since you're quite new, find yourself a casual and social, helpful guild on your server and just see how knowledgeable they are. Generally, if you ask the right questions, you will get some good answers.
Welcome again!
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby referee » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:02 pm

Thanks for the welcoming and the good advice you've given. If someone else thinks that there's something more to say, please by all means keep them coming.

Since you can't really see what I wear as a tank in the link in the OP, because I'm really playing as a DPS most of the time, as I said before, I thought I'd give you guys a glimpse of what it looks right now. As of this posting, I'm level 82, so I'm guessing all of this is pretty much being to be replaced soon. I've been told that my item level of 307 at this point is a good sign, above what many players at this point have.

Here's hoping I'm doing this tiptool thing right.

Head: Hardened Obsidium Helm Has Parry, but no Mastery
Neck: Alacite Pendant of the Rockslab
Shoulder: Tundra Pauldrons Awfully low level, need to find a replacement
Back: Burned Gatherings Mastery, but no avoidance
Chest: Raz's Breastplate
Shirt: Empty. On a tank, it won't display. Shirts are for cloth healers...
Tabard: Renowned Guild Tabard Because
Wrist: Redsteel Bracers Actually from my DPS set, but still much better than the previous ones
Hands: Hematite Plate Gloves Ditto
Waist: Dreadmaul Girdle of the Earthfall Law of threes
Legs: Triton Legplates
Feet: Darksky Treads Parry and Mastery!!

Finger: Jasper Ring of the Bouldercrag Double the avoidance...
Finger: Jasper Ring of the Bouldercrag Double the fun
Trinket: Porcelain Crab
Trinket: Leaden Despair Hmm... a conditional survival thing...

Weapon: Captain Taylor's Chopper Agility, No avoidance, Not a mace...
Shield: Riot Shield Awfully Low Level
Relic: Etched Horn Bought two so that I could put two different gems... bad idea?

<begin edit>
Forgot to add a few stats

LIFE CONSTANTS
Max Health 61108
Total Armor 23825
Mana 9802

CAPS
Hit 3.98 / 8
Expertise 23 / 26

DEFENSE
Mastery 12.45
Dodge 13.12%
Parry 16.99%
Block 33.01%
Total Coverage 68.12%

THREAT
Haste 4.63%
Critical 5.94%
<end edit>

So yeah, massive undergearing, or a good job with a couple obvious holes?
PS: I read this line somewhere which I sadly forgot, but I've put it in my sig. Like it?
When you enter an instance, repeat to yourself: My job here is to die first.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby econ21 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:48 am

You seem to have the right ideas about gearing - try to level in the highest possible level areas, to get the best gear. Twilight Highlands quests at L84 in particular are very rewarding. Digren's gear guide has very useful information for gearing up - Yappo's failsafe also.

As for basic information on tanking, once you have the rotation down, you should not have too much trouble on trash. We have quite a few AOE moves (HotR, AS unglyphed, holy wrath and consecration) so handling groups is not hard for us. For heroics, you might want to start learning about CC - you could see my thread in this forum about "who can CC what" as having a mage or whatever CC an annoying mob can be a life saver when you are undergeared. Something to quick mark mobs - I use the add-one QuickMark - can be very useful. Running normal dungeons as a tank is a very good way to learn how to handle trash pulls.

For bosses, there is usually one or two mechanic that it is critical to understand unless your group overpowers the encounter. Running normals is not a good way to learn these, as often the mechanic does not exist or is inconsequential in normals. You might pick it up by observation if you run as dps, but doing some reading about the bosses on wowpedia and doing it by trial and error as a tank is what I did. It can be very painful but if you run with supportive guildies, it's not so bad. The odd PUGer can't vote kick you and can just put up or leave.

I would also recommend you spend the rest of your levelling as a tank. That will get the rotation and CDs etc familiar to you. If you know your class abilities well, you can fully devote yourself to the instance mechanics.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby Worldie » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:42 am

As an extra note, you can just read about bosses abilities in the dungeon journal.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby referee » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:56 pm

On the top link you can see now the state of my tanking gear, I'm quite advanced in the level, but I still just visited Deepholm. I have no enchantments on my gear, and I have almost no glyphs, which is something I'll have to ask my guildmates for.

You can see my probably poor choice of talents, too. At this point, a respec is unavoidable, is it?
I'm working on finding the action bars layout that gives me the best results, but that's just a matter of testing things and seeing which one works better for me.

My threat stats all have gone down, and my coverage hasn't gone up much (69.07 now), But there are no too low level items, lowest is 272, average equipped is 302, and there's zero overlap with my Retribution gear now (except the guild tabard).

Questions now are:

Am I losing too much if I'm sticking to Blacksmithing / Mining? I know I'm way behind schedule in my professions, will have to take some time raising them.

When I go to Enchant, Gem, and Reforge my gear (I think I should wait until 85?) is there a specific order I should work the improvements in?

Crisis management: How to effectively regain lost mobs if this should ever happen? Are there any "Survival CDs" I should be aware of? And if so, shall I work my Stoneform racial into them?

As you see, still not too confident, I still find myself more comfortable in DPS duties, we'll see how it turns out, here's hoping I don't get too many pugs souring the experience beyond repair.
When you enter an instance, repeat to yourself: My job here is to die first.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby econ21 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:06 am

referee wrote:You can see my probably poor choice of talents, too. At this point, a respec is unavoidable, is it?


Yes, you may as well. You need Judgements of the Just, you don't need Eye for an Eye or Eternal Glory. Have a look at Theck's talent guide or TLDR just copy his spec. Absolutely get glyphs.

Am I losing too much if I'm sticking to Blacksmithing / Mining?


They are my profs and I think they are fine choices - just level them up.

When I go to Enchant, Gem, and Reforge my gear (I think I should wait until 85?) is there a specific order I should work the improvements in?


It depends how rich you are. I'd only optimise 333 or perhaps even 346+ gear.

Crisis management: How to effectively regain lost mobs if this should ever happen?


Use tidyplates threat plates to see which mobs are lost. If it is just one, use hand of reckoning. If you need a second taunt or they are piling on one party member, use righteous defence.

Are there any "Survival CDs" I should be aware of? And if so, shall I work my Stoneform racial into them?


We have so many survival CDs now. AFAIK, they are multiplicative rather than additive, so generally it's better to spread them out than to press them all simultaneously. Holy Shield I use almost on cooldown, unless I know a big hit is coming. Divine Protection, I use almost every significant fight when there is heavy damage - the cooldown is so short, it's fine even for hard trash pulls. Guardian of Ancient Kings I use for a big boss fight where my survival is in question. Lay on Hands is a real panic button for a 5 man where I am about to die. With the glyph you can use it virtually every boss fight. Ardent defender is when I am out of other CDs and about to go down. We also have our immunity bubble, but that tends to rule out LoH and causes us to lose aggro so I use it sparingly (e.g. if I am last man standing or to wipe some debuff stacks, quickly cancelling it via a macro).

Then I may also have some CDs from trinkets - e.g. Mirror of Broken images for a quick CD defence against magic burst damage.

Divine Guardian is nice if the whole party/raid needs some help.

Not sure about Stoneform to be honest, but sounds like it should give you yet another string to your bow.
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby referee » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:16 pm

Update: I'm 85 now. I've run a few heroics (no Zuls), but as retribution, because the guild still thinks I'm not ready, they say I need more gear first. I found some nice drop shoulders, my gloves stink quite a bit.

116 thousand hit points, 24 thousand mana. While questing, I still found myself low on mana at times.

I have a total coverage of 62.25 now. Got dodge and parry more or less at the same level (I seem to recall that this is the right thing to do), and total armor is 32580 (55.55% reduction). No threat ratings added. I'm not glyphed yet*, but I've been pestering the guild inscriptors quite a lot, hehe. No gems or enchants yet. I think I shall start doing so.

So, what do you think can be enhanced? I'm thinking everything at level X or above (for some X), I wouldn't want to spend pretty resources on enhancing something that will be replaced soon. Also, Is there any process like, first get the gems and then the enchantments, or might it be done as the things come available?

Also, I'm thinking I shall wait to start reforging until everything else is in place, or can it be mixed in the process? The moment I get ready for a tankadin is getting closer!

* speaking of that, although a bit off-topic, can I get some glyph suggestions for Retribution, and are my Retribution talents OK or shall I respec those too?
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Re: Greetings, and asking for basic BASIC info :)

Postby econ21 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:29 am

I think your guild is right that you are not ready to tank heroics just yet - you have only 323 item level equipped when the minimum requirement is 329. (And PUGs expect something closer to 346+.)

You can safely enhance any purples - there are better alternatives for wrists and boots available to you, but they are not a priority: what you have got will last you a while. Enhancing 346 is up to you. Below that, probably not worth. Once you get to the stage where you can get your max VPs from heroics and Zuls, you will find you get 359 gear quickly. 378 stuff is just a slow grind. I would do gems and enchants together, but often the gems are cheaper (+40 mastery gems seem a steal).

Are you running your dailies/getting rep from tabards? The mirror trinket from Tol Barad is worth grinding for. The Firelands quests give quite a few goodies. They also give a nice amount of cash. Have a look at Digren's gear guide and Yappo's failsafe one for other ideas.

For ret glyphs, have a look at Elitist Jerks. For prot glyphs, that's not urgent if you are not tanking but get them asap once you start.

Think about possible Auction House purchases. An unbreakable guardian would be first on my shopping list, if the Obsidian Cleaver is unavailable (they disappeared from my AH shortly after the drop nerfs).
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