Hi Healers. How can a Tank Better Serve You?

Hi all,

I am a lvl 67 Tank. This the highest I have ever been. I have thus far been an amazing tank. I know this cause I can see how well i am doing. I get compliments from DPS and Healers and fellow tanks. I don't know everything, but I know the right stuff to be really good.

I am curious what things are there you as a healer like that your tank does; and do not like that you tank does? Please respond with any info. There are plenty of things I already do, so if you mention one of these things, then we can expand on it and find out why other tanks don't do this said action.

Also Keep it civil if this becomes a rant thread Blizz will have to close us down. So constructive criticism. I don't mean to sound like a parent I know that a post like this one can open the flood gates of the frustrated, just wanted to put this up just in case. From browsing the threads this past month (I am newish BTW) I have noticed a very cool and constructive family of players here at WoW.

So lets do our best to stay on point and see if you can't help me and maybe other tanks become better guardians.
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85 Undead Priest
6975
What I like: When a tank listens to my "One sec. Need mana."

What I don't like: When a tank thinks they're better than they really are.

What I like: When a tank knows what positioning is and makes sure mobs backs are to the party.

What I don't like: When a tank turns into DPS and blames deaths on the healer. Because somehow, in their world, I have leap of faith already and should not only be watching their health bars and my surroundings but theirs and saying in party chat to move out of poison.
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12/08/2010 11:27 AMPosted by Epohlast
What I like: When a tank listens to my "One sec. Need mana."

What I don't like: When a tank thinks they're better than they really are.

What I like: When a tank knows what positioning is and makes sure mobs backs are to the party.

What I don't like: When a tank turns into DPS and blames deaths on the healer. Because somehow, in their world, I have leap of faith already and should not only be watching their health bars and my surroundings but theirs and saying in party chat to move out of poison.


I must admit I do sometimes miss when a healer says they are out of mana, but I also keep an eye on everyones mana bar, so it is usually not an issue for me... I have ben meaning to make a seperate window for party chat... it's pretty much required in EQ.. I will do that, thanks for the tip.

I do think that I am a really good tank, but I am aware that it might be a balance issue (overpowered? not 85?) so I make sure to tip toe as I begin each and every instance till i get a feel for what I cna handle and what the healer can handle. I do think i am a really good tank, but i still ACT like I am a bad one just to be sure I keep everyone safe.

My best friend plays a rogue so he made sure to *#!*% me out each time I did not turn/position the mobs so thanks to him this is nailed into me forehead forever.

I do my best to pop heals on my self so if anything I sometimes do a bit less dps than i could cause I try to focus on keeping my health up since it uses no mana and let the priest focus on others and emergencies. Many healers have told me they did not have to heal me a single time. So i feel I am doing good at this.

I am often unaware of Aoes and poison and such from the enemy, but when I am i make sure to get the party to a new location ASAP.

Note to self: I need to create 2 macros. 1. that says "I am healing myself healer take care of them." 2. that says "We need to move to a safe location, don't pull aggro and follow me."

Thanks a bunch Epohlast! I already have a few great tips to apply to my play style! Thanks!
Edited by Orig on 12/8/2010 11:44 AM PST
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85 Undead Priest
6975
No problem.

The thing to keep in mind is that my rant is based on cataclysm. I've healed in vanilla - doing down ranked spells to conserve mana (cata is starting to remind me of those days).

The thing about mana is that is it now an issue, and since the tail end of TBC and all of Wrath many tanks and healers forgot about mana and just wtfpwnd everything they could reach without going too far out of range. Therefor, having a tank/group have to change their thinking is like getting you to 85 - it's going to take some time.

My first dislike - I by no means meant that to be aimed at you. Just a generalization and a pet peeve of mine. The whole "I'm an amazing tank and if you pull aggro off me, then F you and tank it yourself." Do you job, not matter what. I do the same - though I almost have a heart attack when DPS pull aggro and their health plummets - I'm not going to withhold heals to "teach them a lesson." I rolled a healer, therefore I take on the responsibility.
Edited by Epohlast on 12/8/2010 11:52 AM PST
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I hear you dude. I try to keep in mind that past 80 and end game can get very different, where I am still leveling so certain mechanics might be overpowered until I get to 80. So everything I do might change with cata. I hope not too much... these are tactics I learned from EQ back in 2000 and they have served me well.

I heard that they recently made mana a more valuable resource. This also reminds me of EQ where I was a healer. you see 5 people would take 2-5 minutes to kill 1 mob, and the Healer was OOM at the end every fight... almost ALWAYS. Being a good healer and managing your mana meant only being at 5-15% mana by the time the battle finished. Also it was sacrilegious to heal someone to full. If you ever healed a tank to full they would smack you around verbally (Well the good tanks would.). We kept everyones health between 20% to 80% depending on that mob's mechanics. This was nice cause it also meant a healer kind of just sat back until someone hit 40% health. ultra mana conservation.

I am not saying WoW is like that now, but from what i read it sound like it is going in that direction a little with this change.


As for the DPS/Healer pulled aggro thing. I will always run around and grab ALL aggro from everyone. Unless I have already spoken with that player about pulling aggro, then I might just let then take it. that has only happened twice in my grind to get 2 tanks to 70. So for the most part I never do that. Also I was grouped with a healer I was in vent with on both occasions. We had asked this guy to watch his aggro, and he would not. So i let the healer know to not heal him either.

I have played with worse players since then and usually a quick reminder stops it, and I just play through the bad ones as best I can.... oh and 1/3 of the time the healer asks to have said player kicked anyways.
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90 Draenei Shaman
11015
I chain healed (lol) instances from level 15 - 80. I chain healed Heroic Wotlk instances because I adore healing. I have 30 kills on some TBC Bosses and 25 kills on some Heroic WotlK bosses.

I've done a lot of instance healing.

My biggest complaint? Not stopping when I say "I need mana/Oom."
You could be the world's most fail tank but as long as you show cooperation with me and give me 30 seconds to have mana when I need it, I will stick by your side through and through.

My second pet peeve is not drawing mobs off of me. Spell pushback combined with my health dropping while trying to save everyone = raaage.

You sound like an extremely considerate tank and one I would adore healing with. Just let us get mana, draw mobs off of us, and we'll have a fantastic time.

12/08/2010 11:51 AMPosted by Epohlast
I'm not going to withhold heals to "teach them a lesson."

I'm the exact opposite. I'm a sarcastic, b****y shaman healer, and I take sadistic delight in letting DPS die. They always get warned once not to pull aggro, they get a second warning with "do it again and you're not getting healed", and the third time I sit there and giggle as they try to book it to the instance portal.

What? Am I supposed to be nice because I'm a healer?
Screw that, I'm an Arbiter of Death : D



edited for typo.
Edited by Epidra on 12/8/2010 12:21 PM PST
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90 Gnome Priest
3995
Make sure you get a little aggro on the caster mobs so they don't end up blasting me while I try to heal. Pushback and time taken to heal myself makes it hard to do my job, and that's when I get antsey.

If I run through the melee group, it's because I've got a melee mob on me. Please peel it off. Usually not a problem with a pally, since you're probably using some AoE stuff anyway.

Don't pull when I'm dead or have just been rezzed (both have happened, believe it or not).

Personally, I'd prefer that you not heal yourself actively unless absolutely necessary. I'm kind of uptight and take it as criticism. All tanks have some passive self-heals (Seal of something or other in your case), but when I see WoG or Flash Heal, I get uptight and take it as criticism. My job is to use mana to keep you alive. Your job is to use mana and Holy Power to keep mobs beating on you. I appreciate you being willing to use a cooldown or a self-heal if and when it really gets bad, but what usually happens is your heal and mine land at about the same time and one of us wasted a resource.
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12/08/2010 12:17 PMPosted by Epidra
My biggest complaint? Not stopping when I say "I need mana/Oom."


I am bad at this. I always miss it in the chat spam, or I don't notice it until the moment after I pull aggro... i feel so bad each time. I am going to make a separate chat window just for party chat... this has always been standard for me I dunno why i have not done this yet.

12/08/2010 12:17 PMPosted by Epidra
You sound like an extremely considerate tank and one I would adore healing with. Just let us get mana, draw mobs off of us, and we'll have a fantastic time.


I try to be. Aside from my "please everyone mentality" I am also aiming to be in a top raiding guild so i need to have good tactics right now, so they are 2nd nature while I am trying to learn raiding.

Long story I will try to keep short... I used to quad box: 4 wow accounts, 4 characters, 1 player, 1 computer. Pally, Priest, 2 Mages. I leveled very very quckly so I always had bad gear on all my toons... infact my healer and mages still had lvl 10 greys by the time I was 40 my tank had maybe 3 purples, some whites and a few greys (and the starter lvl1 boots!).

My rag tag quadro was amazing! It was all about the tactics. I did not have the best DPS, best healing, or best tanking... But since I controlled all 4 the team work was perfect. and we plowed through ALL instances no matter the difficulty. that's when I realized proper gamepay and tactics will trump even 4 lvl 40's still wearing 1/2 a suit of lvl 1-10 greys.

I stopped boxing and took tat tank and did a PUG and I sucked soooo bad I kept dieing. my good tanking skills were lost on no longer having that perfect group sync. Once I geared up I was better able to handle the inconstancies a group can bring.

TL;DR Some stuff happened and I learned a Team of 4 players in very bad gear vs a team of 5 people not working together with good gear. The Team of 4 has a fighting chance.


As for not healing a bad apple

Thats your choice. I have no issue if a healer wants to take care of everyone and I have no issue if a healer will be picky about the bad apples. before lvl 32 I don't go crazy helping the bad apples cause I can't it takes everything I have to hold aggro if I try to help them i will loose aggro and good people will die.

After lvl 32 I usually have aggro anyways LOL.
Edited by Orig on 12/8/2010 12:59 PM PST
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What I like:

When a tank marks a kill target on a tricky pull that can't be mindlessly AoEd down.
When a tank looks at my mana and either knows that he can pull the next group or knows to wait for me to drink without me even having to ask.
When a tank knows when to pop survival cooldowns, either due to heavy hitting bosses or him noticing that my mana is low during a fight.

What I don't like:

When a tank charges in on one mob and ignores the rest.
When a tank does not mark a kill target and mayhem ensues.
When a tank chain pulls while I have no mana, even after I ask him to wait.
When a tank does not pop cooldowns if things start getting tough.
When a tank is not in his tanking presence (that makes me die a little inside).
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I am lucky playing a Pally Tank. We have so many multiple hit his skills I can quickly get really "good" aggro on 3 mobs at once and "ok" aggro on others, i can then work on building my aggro on each mob.

Thanks to addons I am always aware of various mobs aggro levels. I can see how much each one hates me and with another tool I can see who in group is about to pull aggro from me, so i can focus on that mob, or be ready to pull aggro back with a cool down.

I like it when someone who as aggro runs through the group. In fact I prefer it. You see I need to be near the mob or near the person to pull aggro and if neither are close it is tough to run cause I am usually slowed or rooted.

Once in a while I will pull if someone is recently rezzed even the healer, cause I can heal myself pretty well, but i will not pull if somene is dead.. as soon as someone dies I put on the breas and do my best to finish off what we are fighting and get that person back up.

Yeah I was concerned about the healing myself thing also. I will begin working with/talking to the healer about that. Let them know I can help myself in an emergency and setup a method to let them know I will take care of myself while they help someone else. Thanks for the tip I probably should not be healing myself much... also with cata being the way it is it sounds like I will lneed as much hate generation as possible.
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12/08/2010 1:21 PMPosted by Flintte
What I like:

When a tank marks a kill target on a tricky pull that can't be mindlessly AoEd down.

What I don't like:

When a tank does not mark a kill target and mayhem ensues.
When a tank does not pop cooldowns if things start getting tough.
When a tank is not in his tanking presence (that makes me die a little inside).


I never mark a target I always assume everyone should be assisting me.... But I think I should probably mark targets cause it just makes sense.

I am very god with my "healing, aggro, and save my own butt" cool downs. Very good with my "pull aggro to save someone else's butt" cool downs. But I suck at using my cool downs to "protect others".. I suck. I really need to work on that.. I probably could have prevented a few wipes had i even remembered I could bubble another player.

If I am about to out level an instance, have been through it 30+ times, and have maxed my gear out for that level range I will usually switch over to dps style buffs in order to help us get through the instance faster.. If i notice my health dropping to often or the healer, healing more I will switch back.... I should probably start asking the healer for their input on this before I do it.

Thanks for the tips man.
Edited by Orig on 12/8/2010 1:43 PM PST
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85 Undead Priest
6975
Always remember:

A Tank is as good as his Healer.
A Healer is as good as his Tank.
A group is as good as their DPS.

Without one the group fails. Something that was lost to many people in Wrath.

Now, if only we could get a DPS to write a "Hi Healers. How can a DPS Better Serve You?" thread...
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12/08/2010 1:28 PMPosted by Orig


Yeah I was concerned about the healing myself thing also. I will begin working with/talking to the healer about that. Let them know I can help myself in an emergency and setup a method to let them know I will take care of myself while they help someone else. Thanks for the tip I probably should not be healing myself much... also with cata being the way it is it sounds like I will lneed as much hate generation as possible.


Self healing is actually incredibly useful and it'll make your healer's job a lot easier. As I was healing 5 mans in Beta at 85, I found that on many occasions, the tank would've died if it wasn't for self healing, with all the stuff going on. Death Knights make great tanks to heal because of that, since Death Strike can potentially heal for decent amounts (though it did get nerfed). If you can spare the threat, and you probably can, then definitely choose WoG over SoR for your Holy Power dump if you're not at full health. Most healers will thank you that you're saving them mana.
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12/08/2010 1:34 PMPosted by Flintte

If you can spare the threat, and you probably can, then definitely choose WoG over SoR for your Holy Power dump if you're not at full health. Most healers will thank you that you're saving them mana.


Actually we have a talent that give our WoG a 30% chance to not use Holypower, so we can heal and 1/3 of the time also use SoR... If it worked the other way around that would be nice cause then i could unleash my DPS/Hate and have a chance to heal myself... Still i like the way it works now also. I can see tactics in either configuration.
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100 Draenei Paladin
13025
I've tanked, healed and dpsed for about 2 years now, and have learned alot all 3 roles. When it comes to tanking, go the extra distance. I've seen people tanks not pull aggro back after someone pulls it off (by accident or on purpose) or the healer not heal them due to an aggro pull. That is a bad stance to take. Perhaps they deserve worse, but your spec isn't called protection for nothing. You are there to keep them from dying no matter what. Go the extra mile. That mindset will come in handy when you encounter end game raids and excepcially hard mode content, when you'll need every ounce of that training.

Also some things that come in handy to learn and do are: a.) be able to watch the groups'/raid members health bars with the those bars indicating who has aggro, and your positioning (where and what your standing at/in) all at the same time. If this requires you to modify your user interface then do it. It pays off.
b.) Know your rotation so that you never have to look at your bars to do it. This way you can keep your eyes on the many other things that need to be watched.
and c.) Know the encounters and mechanics of each fight. You are the center piece of how your raid interacts with special fight mechanics. If there's an aoe blast that's about to go off that the raid needs to get away from that's next to the boss, then move the boss. If dps have to waste time moving out of the fire instead of dps that's lost valuable time. If you move it, then that's time you don't have to waste arguing over why so and so died b/c they didn't move out of the fire.

I am their shield.
They are my sword.
As long as I draw breath.
They shall not perish.
Edited by Jmaximus on 12/8/2010 1:53 PM PST
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90 Gnome Priest
3995
12/08/2010 1:34 PMPosted by Flintte
[quote="13055155507"]
Self healing is actually incredibly useful and it'll make your healer's job a lot easier. As I was healing 5 mans in Beta at 85, I found that on many occasions, the tank would've died if it wasn't for self healing, with all the stuff going on. Death Knights make great tanks to heal because of that, since Death Strike can potentially heal for decent amounts (though it did get nerfed). If you can spare the threat, and you probably can, then definitely choose WoG over SoR for your Holy Power dump if you're not at full health. Most healers will thank you that you're saving them mana.


It won't save me any mana, since I've probably got a big heal about to land. I have no problem seeing a tank use self heal in emergency, when they're getting real low. There's also a number of abilities they have that do some amount of self heal as they perform other actions - that's nice because it smooths out the healing that I need to do. Really, it's only pally's that have the ability to do a 15K self heal that has no other benefit - these make it harder for me to predict when I need to spool up a big heal and I wind up wasting mana.
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12/08/2010 1:54 PMPosted by Brussel
12/08/2010 1:34 PMPosted by Flintte
[quote="13055155507"]
Self healing is actually incredibly useful and it'll make your healer's job a lot easier. As I was healing 5 mans in Beta at 85, I found that on many occasions, the tank would've died if it wasn't for self healing, with all the stuff going on. Death Knights make great tanks to heal because of that, since Death Strike can potentially heal for decent amounts (though it did get nerfed). If you can spare the threat, and you probably can, then definitely choose WoG over SoR for your Holy Power dump if you're not at full health. Most healers will thank you that you're saving them mana.


It won't save me any mana, since I've probably got a big heal about to land. I have no problem seeing a tank use self heal in emergency, when they're getting real low. There's also a number of abilities they have that do some amount of self heal as they perform other actions - that's nice because it smooths out the healing that I need to do. Really, it's only pally's that have the ability to do a 15K self heal that has no other benefit - these make it harder for me to predict when I need to spool up a big heal and I wind up wasting mana.


It's a lot more useful by 85, when one heal generally won't top off the tank. Even a Greater Heal or Penance will only do around 20% of a tank's health pool, so even with the tank using self heals, it generally won't be a wasted cast.

Though isn't there a prot talent that turns WoG self-overhealing into a damage shield? Or was that removed a while ago? I don't know paladins so well, but I could've sworn I remember seeing that in the patch notes ages ago.
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90 Gnome Priest
3995
12/08/2010 1:59 PMPosted by Flintte

It's a lot more useful by 85, when one heal generally won't top off the tank. Even a Greater Heal or Penance will only do around 20% of a tank's health pool, so even with the tank using self heals, it generally won't be a wasted cast.


I can certainly see how that would be. I'll still have a bit of a "Hey, that's my job!" reaction, but less so when it doesn't overheal so much.
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@Jmaximus Greta tips I appreciate it. Yes I was still on the fence about how to handle lackluster players. I have simply protected them, but I think I will make that a rule instead of just an option.

So far I an keep an eye on health, and positioning but I am not very good at it, more practice or a different UI might help me with this.

I am still learning my rotation, then again I still have 2-3 abilities i have yet to get soooo I don't actually have my real rotation yet... so I will give my self some leeway with that... But Not having to look down at the bar for the global cooldown is a good idea... i should start practicing that.

Yes I have been studying various mechanics of the Cata Dungeons and Cata Raids... maybe by the time I get to 80-85 I will have a decent amount of it stored in memory.

I like your tip about moving the boss away from stuff in order to protect the group.. it make more sense for me to move instead of 9-24 other people. Great tip. Heck. Great tips Thanks!
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100 Goblin Priest
6790
I have a 60ish pally tank, which i level solely by doing instances. I am primarily a healer historically, for about 6 years.

I can tell you that what you see in leveling instances, as a pally tank, is a joke. You can spam 2 buttons and hold agro on everything. Do not let it inflate your head. There is no managing of damage mitigation, very little positioning or other concerns.
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