The Tao of Tanking

(Sticky)

85 Night Elf Death Knight
1260
My good god. Someone actually makes sense! I use to be a huge DPS oriented played. But since Wrath I have found myself tanking and loving it. I always let my group know I play extremely fast. My point of attack is to get through this instance as fast as I can and leveling everything that comes in my path. I know I can't do it by myself. I am humble and know I need help. Having just bought Cata and leveling through it as well as doing the needed instances for quests I find that DPS is putting too much threat out their and making the group implode. You guys just waited 40 minutes for me to pop up for an instance and you are the ones that success is based off of. Overall I think tanking is a lost art. Their are few of us left that actually know what we are doing. I hope some people actually read this and finally understand how to tank.
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85 Undead Warrior
6750
Wow Sceilence! That was truly inspirational. Your veritable essay has given me a much clearer view of the larger picture in 5-player content, especially in what I find to be a bewildering new world as of Cata-day. As a PvE player only, it has also encouraged me to start giving much more thought to how I might approach dungeons. I've been Warrior-tanking since mid-2010 (I think, hard to remember exactly), and I had been reading TankingTips regularly, eagerly soaking up all the l33t Warrior discussions, much of which did not make perfect sense to me as quite an amateur player. However, since Veneretio left WoW (shock horror, freaked me out), I've been at a bit of a loss for advice on being
A stalwart protector who uses his shield to protect other[s]
:P :P Now I know where to come for such insightful posting!

Thanking you,
Finnh
Edited by Finnh on 1/1/2011 8:45 PM PST
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90 Human Paladin
7825
Great article. I attempt to subscribe to this mindset.

One question - how do all the tanks just learning deal with the fact that the rest of the group expect them to know all the encounters?

Even watching the videos from tankspot or where-ever doesn't give you everything (and my hat is off to those who forged the way and had to figure out the mechanics from scratch - they are the real heroes..). But this doesn't matter, a mistake from the tank = wipe and then somebody starts ridiculing. This instantly turns the run sour. It isn't enough that I know I caused the wipe, that now I get to listen to some jerk spew crap for the rest of the run.

What is in the "Tao of Tanking for this situation?"
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85 Night Elf Death Knight
1260
01/01/2011 8:49 PMPosted by Tirolden
Great article. I attempt to subscribe to this mindset.

One question - how do all the tanks just learning deal with the fact that the rest of the group expect them to know all the encounters?

Even watching the videos from tankspot or where-ever doesn't give you everything (and my hat is off to those who forged the way and had to figure out the mechanics from scratch - they are the real heroes..). But this doesn't matter, a mistake from the tank = wipe and then somebody starts ridiculing. This instantly turns the run sour. It isn't enough that I know I caused the wipe, that now I get to listen to some jerk spew crap for the rest of the run.

What is in the "Tao of Tanking for this situation?"
The weight of pressure for starting Tanks is at such an extreme. Players having waited 40 minutes or more expect to have the best tank possible for having to wait so long. People nowadays want instant gratification. The new Tank can't take everything to heart. You can't be so hard on yourself. You are just starting. THERE WILL BE SOME WIPES. But the biggest thing is to learn from it.

My advice for a starting tank. When you wipe look exactly what happened and how. What you were doing at that time etc. Also, do you research WHILE you are playing. Instances carry around the same mobs throughout it's entirety. During your run make sure you see how much damage certain npc's do to you and what they would do to a cloth wearer. Those ones are the ones you make sure you hold on to. Don't let it out of your grasp. Let a smaller monster go if you have to. One that you know the DPS can at least pick up if needed. Other then that just Practice, practice, practice.
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90 Tauren Druid
10955
I am mostly bumping this for more people to read as it's nothing but truth and win.

I wish it were less sucktastic to be a tank for the pugs. I enjoy meeting new people and having a new challenge with each group. But that's not what happens. What happens is no one talks, except for criticism.

The game has been harmed by what transpired while I was away for the past year. Something needs to change within the player base to make the lfg tool work. There is very little disincentive to be a !@#*wad. When groups were all from your server at least we could community police. If you acted outside social norms there were repercussions. You had to be polite to get a group and having a bad rep could force you to name change or server change, a very real cost of your behaviour. Now you can take whatever say whatever treat others badly and there is no cost.

I am done with the tool for now. Which should make the queue ever so slightly longer for others.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
2565
Request Sticky.
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81 Human Priest
5680
I as a long-suffering healer from WoW classic to now in Cataclysm, wish one thing amongst all my DPs brethren: Please click my Lightwell. I have placed it nearby you so you can handle your own healing while I ensure we don't wipe by allowing the tank to die. The tank is my top priority in healing and you, poor dps, come dead last in the healing rotation (tank >> healer >> all else). Actually, that's not true. I'll heal a hunter before I'll heal their pet. :D
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85 Tauren Death Knight
4300
As a relativly new Blood Tank, this is pretty helpful. I wait for mana, yell at the DPS to get away from the fire elemental about to supernova their ass in Grim Batol, and mark everything for CC. Lately thoguh, i've been in some heroics with a few people who just don't listen, most healers are nice but the DPS are either being smartasses or just being insulting. If they don't leave group, i LOL at them and let them die on the next pull out of karmatic taste, or i just say shut up and polymorph the diamond. I don't think most of the DPS out there realize the fact that as you said, they can be replaced easily, while if i get fed up with them yelling at me to do something i can't do and I leave, they have to sit there for a half hour waiting for another tank.

Good read, thanks for posting this :D
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80 Troll Warrior
3595
This post just may get me tanking again. I LOVED tanking in Wrath, but was unprepared for the changes that came with Cata. More reading for me I guess, thanks for the inspiration.
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85 Undead Warrior
3055
Grats on the sticky! :D
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85 Night Elf Druid
8710
Woot for sticky! And still a great read =)
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85 Blood Elf Priest
3670
It's may be delicious but it's so darn sticky!!

Grats =).
---------
List of CC and Interrupts
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1536335625
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85 Night Elf Priest
8145
Lovely article. However, as a priest, I'd like to comment on the responsibilities you've laid out.

Assign CC targets based on mob type/group composition


I've had to do this as a healer. In fact, I often do it. It may be under the "should do" list for priests, but it's something a healer can do as well.

Make sure everyone in the party is ready for the pull (particularly, the healer has mana)


A healer does this as well; in fact, a good healer will often inform the tank that s/he's ready for the next pull. I often just say "if you're hit with a PoM or Renew, I'm ready".

Pull the group, often in some elaborate fashion that creates separation between the CCed mobs and the active mobs


This is mostly tank specific. I've definitely helped a few less...savvy tanks by using Life Grip or ducking in and out of line of sight so ranged mobs are forced into melee.

Establish and maintain threat on all active mobs


Yep. Tank specific.

Position the mobs to reduce splash damage to alleviate healer’s workload


Not sure why this is on you. The healer and dps should position themselves so unnecessary damage is avoided.

Apply appropriate defensive debuffs to alleviate healer’s workload


I'd use them if I had them as a healer. I've definitely used Shackle as a spell interrupt, too.

Pick up broken CC before it WTFPWNs someone


It's on the dps to not break CC and anyone who is CCing to reapply as needed/able.

Pop defensive cooldowns at the most appropriate time, usually to lower the healer’s blood pressure


I have 2 cooldowns that can and should be used on the tank as Disc and 1 as Holy. Healers also need to know when to pop cooldowns, whether defensive or "offensive" (I guess healing cooldowns are all pretty much defensive).

Direct the other party members through those “oops” moments (i.e., the infamous hunter “Where’s My Pet?” scenario)


This should be on everyone, not simply the tank. In fact, healers are probably better able to manage this; ranged dps, even moreso.

Basically, I think you're putting too much on yourself and/or not giving healers (at least) enough credit.

In many/most runs, I:

- Heal
- CC when applicable (with some groups, I start with MC and have people hold off on doing anything until the MC'd mob is dead)
- Watch threat to make sure the tank is doing his/her job and dps are playing follow the leader instead of look what I can do.
- Manage my mana, using cooldowns as necessary and playing triage with health as needed.
- Mark if the tank is not or will not.
- Use PI at appropriate times on an appropriate person.
- Pop PS, PW:Barrier and GS at appropriate times.
- Use Leap of Faith to aid in positioning/kiting and keep people out of bad things, or get them out faster.
- Keep a dialogue going with at least the tank.
- Offer to help/guide new and/or inexperienced players and gently (most of the time) offer corrections so mistakes can be avoided in the future.

Edit: Oh, and complement should be compliment. :] Also, the Tree of Faults quote is funny, but most definitely wrong. o:
Edited by Elethia on 1/4/2011 4:26 PM PST
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85 Draenei Death Knight
7430
Woot a philosophy sticky!
OMG OMG OMG!

Grats!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
17085
Excellent sticky and a great read.

Should be posted on every dungeon door like a contract/agreement, groups may not enter until they read and understand and follow its covenants.

Blizzard needs to break the recount/skada damage meter addons like that did with that paint-circles-on-the-floor addon, whatever the name.

We made it through dungeons/raids in vanilla and BC without any of that crap, where CC was not only needed, it was Expected. A mage who didn't sheep wasn't worth the price of his biscuits. Hunters are actually wanted in groups again. Rogues are useful! Spriests are respec'ing and glyphing to provide whatever CC we can. The DPS will listen and do - we know the consequences of not relearning how to play.

Thank you Mr/Ms Tank. Whither you lead, I will follow (especially since I get lost in dungeons).

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85 Human Warrior
5565
Wow. I stopped by the tanking forums today and saw this was stickied, and my jaw dropped. I'm glad my insights are useful to the community, but I won't ruin it by rambling on here.

Thank you all for the sticky requests and the well said comments!
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Grats on sticky!

An excellent read for everyone (tank, healer or DPS), especially for up and coming tanks such as myself :)
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85 Night Elf Warrior
4900
I was a priest before and I LIKE this post! It is true indeed and great reading.
I hate DPS who spammed their best shots without considering the threat.
Manage the threat - Pull aggro if something's going on with CC and stay calm
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85 Gnome Priest
1645
A well written post is not only easy to read, but it is also enjoyable.

This post is both, and it is also quite informative.

I appreciate all of the input and perspective offered by the OP, although I gotta say a lot more could be added.

Great post tho!
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83 Night Elf Druid
3280
well i do like your thread alot it was awesome.

but one thing i noticed that made me laugh was in your list of roles that healer, dps and tanks have to do in dungeons you added a bunch of stuff to tanks and sometimes added it twice.... just to make the list longer when u could of added the same stuff to healer and dps.

"apply defensive buff....." you said that twice in tanks part

so then the healer and dps could also list "apply offensive buffs..." "apply defensive buffs..."
DPS- "make sure not to pull aggro"
Healer- "make sure not to go oom"
DPS/Healer- "Re-CC before it WTFPWNs someone"
Edited by Theholyelite on 1/5/2011 6:48 AM PST
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