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5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

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5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:55 am

Please keep this thread on-topic.
It's a basic training FAQ for how to be a MT.

5.0- "Mostly there, still under development, but you can giving suggestions or making requests as well as pointing out errors" version. Updated September 26th 2012.

Feel free to make suggestions.


Index
  1. Index and Philosophy
  2. Mechanics and Play changes
  3. Talents, Glyphs and Basic Builds
  4. Rotation
  5. Gearing
  6. Professions
  7. Addons
  8. References and Links
  9. Ret basics
  10. Changelog
  11. Fin



Philosophy of the FAQ AKA: Knaughty is biased

Skip this section if you're uninterested in my personal viewpoint. Actual answers start in Mechanics & play changes in the next post.

Q: What's the point & purpose of this FAQ?
A: Short & simple answers for people who want a quick fix.
The basic assumption is that the reader is a protection spec paladin who hasn't followed every beta patch note in gory detail, or read every single thousand-post sticky on this forum. Or you're a Holy/Ret/SomeOtherClass re-roll wanting some quick advice on how to tank as a pally.

If you don't like the shortness of the answers, do your own damn research - the links under References and Links! in the eighth post of this thread are a great start. Or read Theck's threads all over this site.

Q: You're biased!
A: Yes, very.
This is a guide for people who want to be "progression raiding main tanks" - that's all I've done since 2.0, it's all I know, so that's the advice you get. It assumes you'll be MTing a progression-focussed raid - 10 or 25 doesn't matter much, but you'll be trying for hard-modes eventually. The FAQ also doesn't present the subtleties - just the "standard answer". There are no provisos or subtly nuanced examples of edge cases. I'm a retired tanking officer for a World 500-ish (on a good day) guild, so I have some clue. If you're not aiming for hard modes, my guides (and this forum) may be too hard-core, but in Basic Training we try and get you hooked slowly.

Q: You're a retired ex-raider who doesn't know shit!
A: I "knew" your mother. She says "Hi!" and "OhKnaughtyHandOfReckoningMeAgain"!
Yes, I'm retired. I tanked Lich-King-25-Heroic, killed him, and the nerd-screams sent my wife into labour. Yes, really. No, I'm not kidding, my wife really did go into labour, my daughter was born later that morning. Yes, this means I retired from hard-core raiding, did Cataclysm as a casual 10-man raider and took it easy. That said, I did do most of the 10-man hard modes in Cata in my casual 10-man group and I did tank one full heroic-25-man clear of Dragon Soul for old time's sake.

Anyway, I'm playing Pandas and Pikachus err... Mists of Pandaria and when I tried to find a guide like my old one I couldn't, so I'm taking a crack at writing it.

Q: I think you're wrong and am going to flame you!
A: Official forums ---> thataway. Oh, and expect to be flamed back, I enjoy it.

Q: You're rude and mean!
A: Yup.
It's not really true though. Ask a polite question (even a noob one) and you'll get a polite (if terse) answer (and maybe an update to the FAQ if I think the question is "F" enough). Ask a rude or argumentative question, and I'll joyfully tear you apart. Sorry, it's a flaw, I enjoy baiting the trolls. I'm pretty sure it's the main reason Aergis has never been brave enough to make me a moderator :P

Q: You don't talk about trash mobs, enchants, or detailed gear selection!
A: Correct! Being a MT is a responsibility, you need to be willing to learn how to do your job. If you need that level of training the links under I want more info! in the eighth post are a great start. Or even WoWwiki. This FAQ is to get you started with the basics in heroic content and your first raids. After that... you're off to the Advanced Training forum.

Q: You're just regurgitating stuff other people *cough*TheckHD*cough* have already posted!
A: Yup. That's the point. What's the Wikipedia quote? No original research! This FAQ contains bugger all research. Just a one-shop-stop for (opinionated) advice on questions frequently answered.

That's my philosophy, now...

Image
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:56 am

Mechanics & Play changes:

Welcome to Pandas and Pikachus Mist of Pandaria!

Q: @^%$@!! Everything is different!?
A: Yes. 5.0 is a massive reboot. Yes, even bigger that the 3.0 and 4.0 reboots. Blzzard have given up on re-jigging the Talent trees and deleted them - every attempt by Blizzard to avoid "Here's your cookie-cutter build" has failed so they gave up. The primary concept of "tanking" has also been radically altered since the second half of Cataclysm: Threat is no longer something we're supposed to worry about. If you're tanking a mob, you're not supposed to have to work hard to hold its attention. Every tank is now "DK-Cataclysm-Flavoured" - you use active abilities to take less damage rather than to generate more threat.

Q: You're biased!
A: Yes, very.

Q: You said that in the Philosophy section!
A: I'm repeating it to make the following point in case someone skipped the first post; and to say this:

My advice is based on what will make you a successful tank, assuming you have the ability to be successful. That means I'm not going to advise you to do everything it takes to do the most threat or what it takes to be the most survivable. I'm going to tell you what you need to know to do your job!

Q: So what's my job?
A: Thanks for asking.

Your job has four parts; in general the earlier parts are more important, but success at a tank requires you to balance them to some extent. They are:
  1. Keep the healer alive. It's their job to keep you alive.
  2. Help the healer do their job - stay alive! This is not the same thing as taking minimum damage. You want to be easy to heal - in MoP, being easy to heal doesn't mean taking the least damage, it means taking smooth damage. If you die, the healer's going to die eventually and you failed job 1.
  3. Keep the DPS alive. They're going to kill the shit that's trying to kill you, and unless they're shit, they're easily going to out-DPS you. If everything's dead, the healer can't die and you can't take any damage - Job 1 & Job 2 success. Some people think you should let the DPS fend for themselves - and I'll be the first to admit that I let stupid people die. But saving them is going to help in the long run. If they're too awful to live, don't group with them.
  4. Do as much damage as possible Threat doesn't really matter anymore (deliberate Blizzard design goal since half way through Cataclysm). But doing a lot of damage gets things dead faster. If things are dead, they can't kill you or your healer. The sooner things are dead, the less chance your healer will go OOM and the less chance he'll fail at his job 1 (keeping the tank alive).

Theck's mathcraft tells you the deep details of how to do 2 & 4 - I'll summarise hist stuff, but feel free to consult his stuff for the details. I'm sometimes going to give you advice that contradicts the maths, because I'm trying to help you see the big picture.

The rest of FAQ will stick to tanking & paladin mechanics.

Q: Zomg, what happened to the talent trees?
A: Deleted! The things masquerading as talent trees aren't even trees - they bear no resemblance to any previous version's talent trees. They're perks; and in general you can just pick anything you like. They're also cheap and fast to change - think "changing a glyph" rather than "visit a trainer". You pick a spec at level 10 and that gets you all your spec-specific abilities, specials, spells - pretty much everything you would have (had to have) picked as a talent in previous expansions. Some you get at 10 (passive abilities), the rest are collected as you level up (active abilities). The "talents" give you stuff that's interesting but flexible - the first paladin talent is a perfect example: Every paladin gets to run fast, but how do you want to run fast? A cooldown for fucking fast, judgement as a closer or just always a little faster than normal? I'll give some specific advice, but it isn't game-breaking to pick any talent you like (which is kind of the point).

Q: What? I have to pick a spec?
A: Yup. Click a button and pick Holy, Ret or Prot. Picking a spec defines your "Mastery" bonus and gets you your signature abilities:
  • Holy get Holy Shock; +400%[b] Mana; spirit-based mana regen; 25% bonus healing and "can't miss" with Judge, Holy Shock & Denounce.
  • Ret get Templar's Verdict; +10% to 2H damage; Spellpower hard-fixed to 50% of AP; mana regen (2% every 6 seconds) and +30% to WoG and FoL heals.
  • Prot get Avenger' Shield; theier tanking passives (Stam, Block, Crit reduction); Vengeance (see below); mana regen (2% every 6 seconds); Spellpower hard-fixed to 50% of AP and WoG is off the GCD

Q: Huh? What's Mastery?
A: Every spec gets a semi-unique nifty boost from high-end gear. Old Problem: Too many trinket and ranged-slot thingies to make when you have over 30 different specs, also people whine about wrong crit/haste/hit ratios for their special snowflake spec. Solution: Mastery. Just think of it as "Awesome Rating". Whatever spec you are, right now, Mastery = Awesome. The mastery bonuses for tankadins are:
  • Increases your block chance. Yes, really - Blizzard changed things so you can't get CTC (AKA Block Cap) anymore.
  • When you hit Shield of the Righteous, Mastery increases the damage reduction buff you receive.
  • ShoR also gives a stacking buff called "Bastion of Glory" that increases the power of your WoG. Mastery makes BoG bigger. So when you BoG your WoG you go Oh God!

Q: What? We can't block every hit?
A: Correct.
Q: Turdburger! Why?
A: [b]Too hard to balance, Blizzard changed block to to a "2-roll" system.
Tankadins spent the whole of Cataclysm arguing with nerfs to Mastery and changes to our stat conversion in a (failed) desperate attempt on Blizzrad's part to avoid us blocking every hit. THeck, myself and a few other bloggers pointed out the problem during the Cata beta, but like, fucking whatever. Anyway - at Block Cap, AKA CTC (Combat Table Coverage) Tankadins never took an unblocked hit. This meant every hit was doing 30% less than base. This made Tankadins really easy to heal (smooth damage intake) and thus made us fucking hard to balance. Primary method was nerfing our other cooldowns and damage reduction - so the other tanks could mitigate known burst a bit better or emergency heal themselves a ton more. Meanwhile, we just sat there consistently taking less damage during the "steady state" periods.

Q: So what's the "two-roll" system?
A: They nerfed the fuck out of our mastery and gave it negative scaling with gear.
Q: Huh?
A: Oh, you want the mechanics? It goes like this: Mob swings at us:
  • First Roll: See if we avoided all damage - miss, parry, dodge? If yes, done - take no damage, otherwise...
  • Second roll: Do we block? If so, 30% off the hit.
Scales negatively with gear because as we avoid more swings it takes more mastery to generate the same percentage of blocks - if you have 33% block chance, you block a third of the swings that hit you rather than (old system) half of the swings the boss takes. This leads to all sorts of complications, including two entirely different gearing strategies - but I'll cover that later.

Q: What's Vengeance?
A: The fix for tank scaling in raids sucking. Same thing has happened every expansion: Tank threat starts fine, then everyone gets massive gear upgrades. DPS get big DPS boosts, tanks get avoidance and EH. Second part of problem: Raid buffs boost DPS a lot, boost tank threat a tiny bit. Outcome? DPS peel off tanks when we hit the third raid tier.

As of mid-Cataclysm, the solution is that tanks get a fucking ridiculous threat boost (500%) so DPS can't peel unless they're retards on meth + PCP. We still have the problem that tank DPS is shit, which makes us feel useless.

Solution: When you get hit, your AP goes up by 2% of however big the hit was before all your tanking shit made it nice and small, stacks for 20 seconds Result is that you hit like a truck, but only in a raid when a boss is smashing your face off.

Q: What's Holy Power?
A: Combo Points that stack on you instead of target. All paladins generate Holy Power, then spend up to to three HoPo them on something nifty. As of MoP, from level 85+ you can store up to 5 HoPo instead of the 3 in Cata, this allows Paladins to spend HoPo on a less rigid timer that we lived with in Cataclysm (and also makes HoPo procs less of a rotation breaker). The 5-point bank is a big improvement to our base mechanics.

Q: How do we get it?
A: Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Judgement & a Proc. Use CS if you're fighting one thing, HotR if you're tanking 2+, Judge on CD and AS will give you one if Grand Crusader has procced.

Q: What do we use our Holy Power for?
A: It depends! We use them on active mitigation (ShoR) and emergency heals (BoGged WoG). ShoR smashes in the face of your target, gives you 3 seconds of -30% physical damage taken and gives a stack of Bastion of Glory (+10% to next WoG, stacks to +50%).
ings go to hell. Costs you a lot of TPS, but you may not care.[/list]

Q: Where's my auras go?
A: Deleted. More simplification of the game - there's no more passive aura type stuff. We do have Devotion Aura as a raid CD, but the baseline stuff is gone. Your seals stole the stance bar (the spot your auras used to be in) - you'll be swapping them more than you used to.
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:56 am

Talents, Glyphs, Basic Builds:

Q: OMG, Mists hit and I'm levelling prot starting in 5 minutes tell me how to spec?
A: Retribution
Q: No, really I'm levelling prot
A: Oh, sorry, my bad. R e t r i b u t i o n. Was that slow enough for you?
Q: Fuck you, I'm levelling prot
A: Look, I've levelled from freaking level 1 to level 85 specced protection. Uphill, in the snow, when levelling was hard. I spent that last 15 levels without even having a Ret off-spec, I even did my PvP as Protection! I'm levelling as Retribution this time.
If you insist on levelling as Prot, find a partner to kill your quest mobs and/or level entirely in 5-mans.

Q: What talents do I pick?
A: Pretty much everything is good. That said, here are some tips:
  • Level 15: We use Judge too much for Long arm of the Law to be good, pick something else.
  • Level 30: Burden of Guilt is for PvP, so pick something else.
  • Level 45: Sacred Shield This is the only one where you have no choice. Get SS, spam it.
  • Level 60: Unbreakable Spirit unless you can break the encounter mechanics with one of the other ones.
  • Level 75: All are good, but Divine Purpose is random instead of controllable, so I'd pick one of the other two.
  • Level 90: Execution Sentence is better than Holy Prism as a DPS ability, and Light's Hammer is a better AE heal. So pick ES (offence) or LH (defence).

Q: How are you going to spec?
A: 323213 May swap Light's Hammer in for Execution Sentence once I see what the raids are like (I'm expecting 10-man normal to be pretty damn easy, thus ES). The extra CD from Holy Avenger easily makes up for the minor DPS loss compared to the other options.
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:57 am

Rotation:

The first rule of Rotation Club is that:
  1. We can't use Clubs, only Maces.
  2. We don't have a rotation!


Q: What's our new rotation?
A: We don't have one, we have a priority list

Q: Fine, what's our new "priority list"?
A: Remember Job 1? First priority is to taunt, AS or Judge the mob on the healer.
A: Now - onto Job 2
Job 2 is being easy to heal. That means taking nice smooth damage and as little of it as possible. So here's your tanking priority list:
  1. Keep the mobs debuffed - make sure to open with HotR as soon as the mob's in-range to apply weakened blows for -10% physical damage. Keep the debuff going.
  2. Cast ShoR as often as possible - every time you do, you get 3 seconds of -30% to physical damage.
  3. Generate as much Holy Power as possible so you can cast those ShoRs.
  4. Be able to cast an emergency WoG, preferably a Big BoG WoG.
  5. Job 3: Keep adds off the DPS - taunt followed up with AS & Judge are your tools
  6. Job 4: Do as much damage as possible by getting your ability rotation correct
Please note that getting your rotation "correct" is job 6... Don't skip the first five to do the last one.

Q: What are our Holy Power generators?
A: We have four: Single target primary strike: Crusader Strike; AE primary strike HotR; Judgement and Grand Crusader procs on Avenger's Shield.

Q: So what's our rotation?
A: Three-bar waltz.
Q: What?
A: Three counts of three - like this:
CS-J-X ... CS-X-J ... CS-X-X
You hit CS every third GCD (replacing CS with HotR every 30 seconds to maintain Weakened Blows), you hit Judge on CD (it gives HoPo now, remember), you hit the rest of your abilities as they're available, in this priority order:
  1. Avenger's Shield
  2. Consecration. Yes, Really.
  3. Sacred Shield if it only has one tick to go.
  4. Your L90 talent (unless you picked Light's Hammer and you're saving it as a raid CD)
  5. Holy Wrath
  6. ShoR, so long as you have at least 3 HoPo (ideally 5)
That maximises your HoPo generation, which maximises ShoRs, which minimises damage taken. It's also close enough to max DPS while maintaining close to full mitigation.

Q: What about execute?
A: Hammer of Wrath is OP, SPAM THE FUCK OUT OF IT: You should maintain your three-bar-waltz if you're still tanking.

Q: What's our AoE rotation?
A: Swap seals to SoR; Replace CS with HotR We don't have Inquisition any more, all of our best single-target filler abilities are also our best AE abilities. Very simple. I'd suggest that you use that rotation whenever you're facing 2+ mobs. Hell, you can use it single target and it doesn't stuff you up that much. This is also your "trash clearing" rotation.

Q: What Blessing do I use?
A: Kings if there's no druid, otherwise Might. If there's a Monk, sort it out with them. Mark of the Wild and Kings are the same thing now, and they don't stack - +5% to Strength, Intellect & Agility and no Stamina increase. If there's a druid in the group, cast Might for 3,000 Mastery. Monks have the same stuff: Kings = Legacy of the Emperor, Might = Legacy of the Tiger, so say something like "I'll do Kings, you do Tiger" and you'll sound like an informed person. If someone asks for Wisdom, feel free to be a sarcastic arse, you have my permission.

Q: What Seal do I use?
A: For 3+ mobs, SoR
A: Single-target, it depends - are you damage obsessed or "not dying" obsessed?
Q: Errr?
A: Never mind, I'll answer both:
A: Damage Obsessed! SoTruth unless your healer can't keep you alive, in which case switch to SoInsight for Healing.
A: Not Dying Obsessed! SoInsight unless your healer is nuking from boredom, in which case switch to SoTruth for DPS.
SoT proc is tiny, but the DoT is huge - 18k DPS (~20% of our damage) once stacked, in starter raid gear. You can trade that almost exactly 1:1 to healing by switching to SoI and your self-heals get bigger.

Q: Huh? Explain single-target again?
A: Here's the priority queue - you could put your abilities in-order from 1-5 and hit the leftmost one that's active:
  1. CS
  2. Judge
  3. AS
  4. Consecrate
  5. HW
And here's the conditionals:
  • SS before the pull and refresh it every 30 seconds
  • Open with HotR instead of CS and refresh it every 30 seconds
  • Hit ShoR whenever you hit 5 HoPo.
  • Use your L90 talent on CD
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:57 am

Gearing for the fresh 90 tank:

Today's blog post from Theck covers the ugly detail, I will summarise later, but the amazingly short version is this:

Mastery / Hit / Expertise > Parry / Dodge

The active mitigation model means you have to connect to power your mitigation (thus hit & expertise are mitigation stats) and mastery boosts your active mitigation.

Gearing like this will lead to very slightly more damage taken than stacking avoidance, but you take much less spike damage. Taking 3% more damage overall won't kill you, but taking a lot of burst damage will.

Thus: As far as your healer is concerned, Mastery/Hit/Expertise > Dodge/Parry - stack active mitigation stats in order to be easy to heal.

As a bonus - Mastery & Hit are our best DPS stats.

As a double bonus - even Haste is a decent mitigation stat since it speeds reduces ability CDs now, letting you run through your rotation faster - and haste is also a very good DPS stat.

Result: Yes, this does mean you can tank in the ret gear you collect while levelling. Just replace the +Crit pieces ASAP, or reforge it away as much as possible.
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:57 am

Professions:

Will be provided later. Or hunt down the info yourself - it is out there.
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:57 am

Addons
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:58 am

References and Links:

Theck's 5.0 MATLAB & pounding headaches post. Go here for a migraine. And really correct and detailed answers to how our mechanics actually work.

Theck, Meloree and Anafielle's blog.

Rhidach's column at WoW Insider and his blog if he ever updates it again.

Fetzie's Tanking with BoK guide over on tankspot

For levelling, you should probably go ret, because our solo damage is craptastic. Speaking as someone who spent the last two expansions (no, not tiers, expansions: IE: all level 80 & 85 content Yes, I did all my levelling from 1-85 as prot, uphill, both ways, in the snow) without a functional ret spec I'll be reading Dan Desmond's ret guide. It has a couple of basic guides on getting to 90 as a Retardedribution Paladin.
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:58 am

Levelling as Ret.

Step 1: Maintain Might and Seal of Truth

Step 2: Do this priority list
  1. Inquisition It's a flat 10 seconds per HoPo, feel free to put up a small 10 second one if you're killing quest mobs one at a time.
  2. Templar's Verdict to spend HoPo
  3. HoW if wings is up or if mob under 20%
  4. Exorcism > CS > Judge to build HoPo

For AoE, HotR replaces CS, Divine Storm replaces TV.
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:59 am

Changelog.

  1. 20-Sep-12: Start laying out FAQ structure.
  2. 23-Sep-12: First half first drafts done & up. Logging on to play for a while.
  3. 24-Sep-12: Fixed some typos, couple of minor clarifications.
  4. 26-Sep-12: Added a tiny gearing guide and a tiny Ret guide (just the ability priority list)
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:01 am

Reserved.

End of FAQ structure.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby Levantine » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:35 pm

10/10 very informative.

Also since when were you still on the forums? If I have known you'd be back I would have put my fan girl suit on.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby knaughty » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:07 pm

Levantine wrote:10/10 very informative.

Give me till the end of the weekend and I'll see what I can do.
Levantine wrote:Also since when were you still on the forums?

Since this week.
Levantine wrote: If I have known you'd be back I would have put my fan girl suit on.

Pics or GTFO.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby bldavis » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:22 pm

i am looking forward to this being updated! :)
Image

Brekkie:Tanks are like shitty DPS. And healers are like REALLY distracted DPS
Amirya:Why yes, your penis is longer than his because you hit 30k dps in the first 10 seconds. But guess what? That raid boss has a dick bigger than your ego.
Flex:I don't make mistakes. I execute carefully planned strategic group wipes.
Levie:(in /g) It's weird, I have a collar and I dont know where I got it from, Worgen are kinky!
Levie:Drunk Lev goes and does what he pleases just to annoy sober Lev.
Sagara:You see, you need to *spread* the bun before you insert the hot dog.
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Re: 5.0 Tankadin FAQ - Protection Paladin Basics

Postby Sagara » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:31 am

There is something reassuring in seeing the giant Righteously Furious Tank try to FAQ us.
When that day comes, seek all the light and wonder of this world, and fight.

Worldie wrote:I used to like it [mean] back on Sylvanas.

Queldan - EU Stormrage (H) - Good night, sweet prince.
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