The Tao of Tanking

I have played a warrior since the game went live and it's my favorite class. I was one of the ones that screamed for prot spec viability in PvP every day, and got banned for it because, I admit, being a little disrespectful to admins, but going through years of 100% torture of PvP as prot and having forum admins/devs telling its fine/trolls saying you dont deserve to pvp as prot, you get mad, just sayin :), anyway that's getting off topic.


Through years of experiance with my tank I would have to say this set of posts is absolutely correct.
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90 Human Paladin
5160
Maturity and intelligence has no place in this game......I applaud you!!!
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
3160
I applaud the post it seems to focus on results instead of each role of the group raging at each other.

I admit I'm a relatively new tank (played a shadow priest in vanilla started tanking late in WOTK) and I find with Cataclysm heroics I am experiencing some tank burnout due to the fact of losing every time on bosses in the dungeons that are DPS races. I'm not talking we got close to winning I mean not even under 50% type of wipes.

Some bosses that come to mind are heroic Setesh, High Prophet Barim, Corla, Ripsnarl. Bosses where the DPS really needs to step up almost always results in a failure and I'm not sure what to do about it. I get tells about it later ("well we were doing everything right") and the simple answer is they are not putting out enough DPS to down the boss in time. I can only take Ripsnarl's fully buffed 200% faster strikes for a short time before dying.

What do other tanks do to avoid this? Run with better geared DPS? I've been running guild runs to try and get my DPS geared up but things like the above really just gives me a headache and makes me not what to go back.
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85 Worgen Warrior
9560
good post
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85 Goblin Rogue
2885
This post is 10lbs of win in a 5lb bag.
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90 Tauren Paladin
11135
Alexander the Great (or someone like him) knew his stuff and so do you love this post in every way!
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90 Troll Hunter
13590
A very well thought out post, though I would personally separate the Group Leader responsibilities from those assumed to be the tank's responsibilities. In many cases the tank may be the group leader, but this is not always the case.

Tank
Establish and maintain threat on all active mobs
Position the mobs to reduce splash damage to alleviate healer’s workload
Apply appropriate defensive debuffs to alleviate healer’s workload
Pop defensive cooldowns at the most appropriate time, usually to lower the healer’s blood pressure

Group Leader (can be tank, healer, or dps)
Assign CC targets based on mob type/group composition
Make sure everyone in the party is ready for the pull (particularly, the healer has mana)
Pull the group, or have the designated person pull the group. Depending on the CC used, pulls can be move effect when the CCers initiate the pull, and the tank picks up the remaining mobs.
Direct the other party members through those “oops” moments (i.e., the infamous hunter “Where’s My Pet?” scenario)

Everyone's Job
Handle broken CC before it does excessive dmg. This can be the tank picking it up, or one of the other group members applying another form of CC to the rampaging mob.
Use Spell Interrupts, Debuff Removal, Purge, Tranq/Sooth if you got it when appropriate
Work together to accomplish the goal
Edited by Sariax on 12/22/2010 1:30 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
5900
This, one million times, this.

Great post!
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
4150
I agree with Sariax. I've played tank, dps, and healing since launch and I feel OP oversimplified the roles of dps and healing while nitpicking what he could for tanking to the point of having roles that are shared between everyone as just the tank's job. Seems to me that the OP and everyone else who missed this has yet to have had the luxury of playing with above-average players to show them this.

I do agree with the OP's section on recount 100%. It was a great addon until it turned into the e-peen meter it is today.
Edited by Mishya on 12/22/2010 2:09 PM PST
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85 Draenei Death Knight
7430
“If the DPS pulls agro off of me, it’s obvious that they wanted it more than I did, and who am I to deny them something they want so much?”
– Ghengis Khan (or someone like him)


Hey, I made into one of your quote parodies! That's awesome. (yes I know others have said the exact same words at different times but I want to feel important!)

This should be stickied, or at least earn white text. Odds are it will not. There is simply not enough people that read the tank forums that vote to make it happen. This is one of the greatest philosophy threads written on these boards.
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100 Draenei Paladin
8390
It doesn't help that in WoTLK DPS were kicked out of the group based on rank on the meters in pugs.
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85 Draenei Death Knight
7430
12/22/2010 3:47 PMPosted by Izuuza
It doesn't help that in WoTLK DPS were kicked out of the group based on rank on the meters in pugs.


Kicked by dps pretending to be tanks to skip the queues.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
3585
Former Healer Approved.....why couldn't I get you for my tanks when cata launched? :D

/like
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90 Orc Warrior
15830


The tank’s role in 5-man content is, in my opinion, the most critical role in the group. Now, I understand (and agree with) the argument that without a healer, there is no victory, and without DPS, there is no victory. No tank is going to solo a level-capped instance or Heroic. However, the complexity for any given role in a group is largely determined by the amount of responsibility the player has to take for other people in order for the group to succeed.




If you played in BC or LK you know that's just not true.

But the rest of the post is ok. Shame that people need to be told this.
Edited by Kíngbradley on 12/22/2010 4:35 PM PST
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85 Dwarf Priest
3780
Ergo the vast majority of dps problems!!!
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85 Human Priest
3405
Your tank, my healer, let's have babies
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100 Draenei Paladin
8035
Hi. You know that Ret Paladin that was mentioned when discussing The DPS? Yeah. That’s me.

I remember a post some time ago where it was pointed out that the tanks and healers have instant feedback. They know it when they are doing a good job, and they know instantly when they are not. When you play as a damage dealer, the issue is not so clear. In a dungeon group there are two other people doing the exact same job, and they might be picking up the slack for you. You also have no simple way of knowing if you are doing a good job or not.

I care. I’m there to do my job and I am trying just as hard as any other member of the group to do the best job I can. The tank is doing his thing, the healer is doing his thing, and I am doing mine. Together we all get loot and glory. Yay team! I’m part of a team and I recognize this. I care about doing my part to the best of my ability.

The only thing I have to tell me how good a job I personally am doing is the Damage Meter.

The DPS player has only to:

Do any CC they’re asked to do
Do damage to the appropriate target
Stay out of the fire

I note something in that listing, and I think the biggest problem I run into while playing as a damage dealer can be seen from it. “Do damage to the appropriate target”. I’ll tell you a secret. It’s not just “do damage”. It’s “Kill the mobs before the CC times out, and before the splash damage becomes more than the healer can keep up with, and before the healer runs out of mana or the tank runs out of hit points.”

I am often told that the only time my damage output really matters is on boss fights. 90% of the time spent in dungeons is spent on killing the trash. Do you really think that for the vast majority of the time the skills and efforts of three of the five people in the group don’t matter? I disagree. Try doing a dungeon with three “dps” who are incompetent and see how far you get.

So yes indeed, when we finish off a trash pack, and I look at Recount, it frustrates me to see that the highest damage per second and the greatest total damage output came from the tank. I was in there trying my best, and my efforts ended up producing less result than the tank, who wasn’t even trying to do damage. I believe that this is part of the reason why damage dealers are largely held in contempt.

The Dungeon Finder, combined with the current paradigm that Blizzard is using for threat output and tanking, has made a trend which has been in the game since it was released worse than ever. The efforts of the damage dealers are not respected. We are treated like a necessary evil rather than useful and important members of the team. Tanks talk about us and treat us like children they have to nursemaid, and we are constantly reminded these days that we are easily replaceable. If we don’t do as we are told we can be booted out of the group and someone else brought in.

Sceilence is an excellent tank, and a real life friend, and yet even *he* fails to respect my efforts much of the time. Doing dungeons with the dungeon finder tends to be a nightmare. After a 45 minute wait I get tossed in with some incompetent imbecile who refuses to mark, breaks CC freely and without concern, and whose gear gives him fewer hit points than I have. This “tank” blames everyone but himself for anything that goes wrong and will quite happily boot me out of the group if I try and say anything in my own defense. After all, he doesn’t have to wait in queue, I do.

I can and have tanked. I understand where Scei’s post is coming from, and I agree with most of it. I personally do not enjoy the role of tank. It’s not that I can’t do it. I’m competent enough. I just don’t like it. I don’t want the responsibility and I don’t get the same joy out of being the hub around which the group revolves. Tanking is quite often an ego thing. Most people I have known who prefer to be tanks like it because they get to be The One In Charge.

In the end WoW is a game, and we play it to have fun. A horrible wipe-fest can still be a good time if the people involved are concentrating on having a good time playing a game with their friends. You can’t measure that on Recount, and the repair bill has nothing to do with it, but it’s by far the most important thing.
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90 Troll Druid
10880
<3 OP
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87 Draenei Shaman
0
Boy, I sure am glad I'm the one they're carrying through instances. All I hafta worry about is a couple little green bars.

/love Scei and Whims
Edited by Baltu on 12/22/2010 7:48 PM PST
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85 Gnome Mage
2445
A very well thought out post, though I would personally separate the Group Leader responsibilities from those assumed to be the tank's responsibilities. In many cases the tank may be the group leader, but this is not always the case.


I agree 100%.

I've only played a mage and a warlock at the level cap, and I've led plenty of instance groups.

Group Leader (can be tank, healer, or dps)
Assign CC targets based on mob type/group composition
Make sure everyone in the party is ready for the pull (particularly, the healer has mana)
Pull the group, or have the designated person pull the group. Depending on the CC used, pulls can be move effect when the CCers initiate the pull, and the tank picks up the remaining mobs.
Direct the other party members through those “oops” moments (i.e., the infamous hunter “Where’s My Pet?” scenario)


...by doing all these things.

I put up the lucky charms on targets to be CC'd, I asked people to stop when the healer was low on mana, I said, "Ok, pull" when we were ready for pulls.

And I haven't done a lot of directing people through "Oh <poop>" moments, but yes I have done that as well, and successfully I might add.


To be a group leader, you just have to be situationally aware. You don't have to be the tank.
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