Is tanking in Classic hard?

Classic Discussion
Is tanking hard?

I wouldn't say it's really all that hard, but in a lot of ways it is more brutal than retail.

In a raid environment you're going to have to know the fights very well and know where to position the boss and when to move. You'll also need to know when to pop defensive cooldowns and when to taunt and which bosses are immune to taunt.

Magmadar is probably a great early example of where it really pays to have a competent main tank and off tank.

First thing a tank would need to know about Magmadar is that he needs to face away from the raid. He has an ability that does a boatload of damage in a large area in front of him. He also has an AoE fear ability that he uses about every ~30 seconds or however long it is.

So where a lot of raids get into trouble is when their tank gets feared and runs towards the rest of the raid causing Magmadar to face the raid, breath molten breath on them and wipe the raid.

That's where your skill as a tank comes in. You need to time your fear immune abilities (berserker rage) correctly so that this doesn't happen. Your off tank may need to taunt off of the main tank if the main tank's fear immune abilities are on cooldown.

Another thing to watch out for as the tank in this fight is fiery pools. Magmadar drops these periodically and you'll have to keep slowly moving Magmadar so that you and the melee DPS don't stand in these as they will kill you pretty quickly.

Last thing to be aware of is Magmadar's enrage. Ideally you'll have at least two hunters rotating tranquilizing shot, but if it's your guild's first MC run you'll only have one hunter with tranq shot. It's doable with just one, but not as easy. If the hunter's tranq shot misses you'll definitely need to pop your defensive cooldowns if you want to have any chance of surviving.

And that's just one example of what a tank has to deal with. There are a lot of fights in classic where you will absolutely need a skilled tank. It's probably the single most important role in the raid. It's not really all that difficult, but you really need to be aware of what is going on around you and you absolutely have to know the boss fights like the back of your hand.
Tanking in retail is like homework. You have to have timers and research the mechanics and do it all perfectly and each boss is another assignment - I guess that makes it "harder"?
I leveled a warrior tank in vanilla, and have had a DK tank on Alliance - (Stopped at Level 80) and have this tank on horde.

Vanilla is less forgiving on a warrior tank - no self heals, and threat is harder to hold over high DPS classes. Once you lose threat there are few mechanics to get it back in comparison to a DK.

I would not say it's 'harder' but it's certainly different... :)

I have not run many end game dungeons on this character, but have 2 and 3 man the smaller ones. (no healer for many of them - makes it interesting) I do not have the time to commit to be in a raiding guild atm... but I still enjoy the tank class. :)
Tanking on the way up is much more difficult because you don't get all the tools you need to tank at level 10 like in retail. You have to get to level 40 to have a full kit, and even then, it's less than retail and your threat generation won't come even close to retail (even BFA threat) ever.
[Played Warrior at launch and tanked through BWL]

Tanking in Vanilla was all about situational awareness. Because of the lack of AoE threat and strong defensive CDs, as well as squishy healers/dps (frequently one-shot if they get aggro), if something unexpected happened there was a very real chance that it could wipe the group. Threat generation was a lot lower too, meaning that DPS or even healers could pull aggro fairly easily if you weren't on top of things.

You were generally responsible for marking kill and CC targets, and making pulls, so the tank was often expected to know more about the dungeon than anyone else. Really, tanking in Vanilla was more of a leadership role where you are responsible for providing an environment where the healer and DPS can do their thing.

Oh, and almost everything runs away at low HP, which is a huge pain in the !@#.
The above have good points - and those factors make you much more reliant on the other players - Everything I did had to revolved around is the healer targetting me? Did the hunter blow all his cooldowns before I had enough rage to gain proper threat? It is like you have to play all the other group members, or atleast know exactly what they are doing, because your threat is so much lower than retail
If you have high situational awareness, can press buttons like a piano player and know the pulls, then yes.

Also, how coordinated your party is has a big impact on how well you can tank a given encounter. If they use CCs and focus on the designated kill target, it’s typically going to be a good time. If they break CC and don’t attack the same target, you often have to choose which mobs to tank and which to let the unruly DPSer(s) tank.

Tanking dungeons as Warrior in Vanilla is one of the most active, fun, annoying and rewarding roles.
I liked Vanilla tanking more than retail. It’s a little bit more challenging , which can get ramped up if your DPSers are being sloppy with their threat and CC.
It's pretty easy to tell a good tank from a bad tank. Just watch the rage bar. There's more to tanking than there tends to be in retail (now that active mitigation took a huge hit), and you're not at all invincible, even with gear. Plus there's more finesse to holding aggro.
11/13/2018 12:52 PMPosted by Thèón
Classic is an easier game than retail is. Tanking is like it is today, hold aggro and manage your defensives.


Clearly someone who never actually tanked in vanilla.

Warrior tank is the only viable raid tank (I guess some will choose a druid for AOE Pulls, but again Warrior is better). Druid can pass as a 5 man tank, but many groups will pass and wait for a warrior.

Warrior tanking is very different in vanilla then current retail. You have no main AOE ability in defensive stance, the best AOE threat is to actually spam battle shout. Threat is measured in strange ways in vanilla and the act of Buffing another player (5 in total) actually equates to far more threat then using demoralizing shout.

My recommendation is Range Pull - Battle Shout - Begin tab sundering targets + Heroic Strike when available. Also always mark your kill target, so that when DPS is on the wrong one and pulls agro you can yell.

Anyways I'm sure more "Vanilla Experts" will chime in on how its easier then retail, but believe me they are incorrect.


Druids for aoe pulls? What did druids have that was any good for aoe threat? When I played one in vanilla all they had was swipe. It was a small aoe cone in front of them that could ONLY hit 3 targets. And it's damage sucked. There's challenging roar if you want an aoe taunt every 10 minutes that only lasts 6 seconds. Did you mean paladins? Cause that makes sense.
Not sure about the current game. However I remember thoroughly reading up on it, and gearing as best as I could in LK with my DK...because everyone expected DKs to tank...BUT I FAILED! Tanking is obviously not easy.

Other post on the subject of tanking in the original game suggest the proper use of macros is essential . I think I will pass on any attempt to tank in Classic. But good luck!
Depends on how difficult it is for you to push <tab>.
5 man dungeon tanking is hectic depending on the dungeon and your group. You will need to learn what mobs to pull LOS pulling and what mobs must go down first or be CCED. Also in 5 man's rage is a struggle so you will have to decide what mobs are more important to have aggro on, healing aggro wasA real threat especially if ur healer went balls deep to early. If your mage would CC the target to late you would be required to pay attention to your tab targeting. Sunder armor was your best friend since it was instant cast. Heroic strike created higher TPM with the right weapon but was limited for rage generation loss in 5 man's. If I remember correct there was a patch during classic that either nerfed or buffed battle shout where you would only get threat from it if ur team didn't have battle shout on them already. Raid tanking has more importance on knowing mechanics and what to do, however you had rage to spem heroic strike sunder armour shield slam shield block and so on, also stance dancing was a thing to get berserker rage up. Also remember ALL dragons are immune to taunt, other than the 3 drakes in BWL. That's the basics I can think of off the top of my head. I remember during vanilla launch I use to tank with a 2 hander since I couldn't get any rage untill later dungeons, think they patched that by the time I got to them tho. My favorite experience in private servers was tanking and watching a mage try to nuke/aoe everything down and I would let him die get threat back and finish the pull with 4 peeps.
...

Clearly someone who never actually tanked in vanilla.

Warrior tank is the only viable raid tank (I guess some will choose a druid for AOE Pulls, but again Warrior is better). Druid can pass as a 5 man tank, but many groups will pass and wait for a warrior.

Warrior tanking is very different in vanilla then current retail. You have no main AOE ability in defensive stance, the best AOE threat is to actually spam battle shout. Threat is measured in strange ways in vanilla and the act of Buffing another player (5 in total) actually equates to far more threat then using demoralizing shout.

My recommendation is Range Pull - Battle Shout - Begin tab sundering targets + Heroic Strike when available. Also always mark your kill target, so that when DPS is on the wrong one and pulls agro you can yell.

Anyways I'm sure more "Vanilla Experts" will chime in on how its easier then retail, but believe me they are incorrect.


Druids for aoe pulls? What did druids have that was any good for aoe threat? When I played one in vanilla all they had was swipe. It was a small aoe cone in front of them that could ONLY hit 3 targets. And it's damage sucked. There's challenging roar if you want an aoe taunt every 10 minutes that only lasts 6 seconds. Did you mean paladins? Cause that makes sense.


What made swipe great was that it was the only other ability they really used besides maul. Basically a druid tank would queue up maul and burn excess rage with swipe. It might not have done great damage, but it was cheap and spamable. A druid could easily hold multiple mobs.
11/13/2018 01:08 PMPosted by Thèón
11/13/2018 01:01 PMPosted by Jimibob
...

Clearly someone who never actually tanked in vanilla.

Warrior tank is the only viable raid tank (I guess some will choose a druid for AOE Pulls, but again Warrior is better). Druid can pass as a 5 man tank, but many groups will pass and wait for a warrior.

Warrior tanking is very different in vanilla then current retail. You have no main AOE ability in defensive stance, the best AOE threat is to actually spam battle shout. Threat is measured in strange ways in vanilla and the act of Buffing another player (5 in total) actually equates to far more threat then using demoralizing shout.

My recommendation is Range Pull - Battle Shout - Begin tab sundering targets + Heroic Strike when available. Also always mark your kill target, so that when DPS is on the wrong one and pulls agro you can yell.

Anyways I'm sure more "Vanilla Experts" will chime in on how its easier then retail, but believe me they are incorrect.


All of that is easy if you know your class. And YES. Vanilla was and still will be easier than retail.


Outside of Mythic+ and high end raiding, an interactive screen saver is harder than retail.
11/13/2018 01:45 PMPosted by Teedo
The above have good points - and those factors make you much more reliant on the other players - Everything I did had to revolved around is the healer targetting me? Did the hunter blow all his cooldowns before I had enough rage to gain proper threat? It is like you have to play all the other group members, or atleast know exactly what they are doing, because your threat is so much lower than retail


In vanilla, threat responsibility generally falls on the DPS. There's a famous saying that goes:

If the tank dies it's the healer's fault. If the healer dies it's the tank's fault. If the DPS dies it's their own fault.

Now of course this isn't true 100% of the time. But it's a pretty good guideline.
11/13/2018 12:49 PMPosted by Melhann
I'm planning on rolling Warrior in Classic and know tanks are usually in high demand because they were the best ones then, was it very complicated or just like it is today but slower?


No matter what anyone says... tanking in Vanilla is harder than any other expansion.

I've played every. single. expansion. I have tanked in every single expansion and without a doubt, Vanilla was the most difficult. In BC there was some remnants of Vanilla tanking, like using some DPS pieces for threat and what not... but by each passing expansion tanking just became so incredibly mindless. It is now about the mechanics of the fight more than it is about the mechanics of your class. In my opinion the lack of AoE abilities in Vanilla really affect tanking. Ever since BC it pretty much does NOT matter what buttons you press because you're always going to have threat. In Vanilla you have to be a lot more coordinated.

To any retard that thinks tanking is harder in any other expansion, answer me this.... why was itemization so important in Vanilla than ANY expansion? AND why was Alcor's Sunrazor Almost a necessity for maintaining threat?
One thing that was prevalent in Vanilla was CC. If you have CC, tanking is easy. If you don't, it can be a challenge. Pulls are uglier. There are more patrolling mobs (dead side Strat comes to mind...damn gargoyles). AoE threat is more difficult by far. Your AoE damage is limited to Rend ticks and Thunderclap, which are a joke.

It's not impossible, obviously; in fact, it's more fun in many ways. But it's not nearly as simplified as it is now. Threat matters.
Tanks lost threat waaaay more in Vanilla than now. It's not even close. I remember being one shot by a mob in a dungeon as a mage when the tank lost threat for like 2 seconds.
11/13/2018 12:49 PMPosted by Melhann
I'm planning on rolling Warrior in Classic and know tanks are usually in high demand because they were the best ones then, was it very complicated or just like it is today but slower?


It's mostly about knowing the dungeons than anything imho. Knowing when the patrols are coming through so you don't over pull or get adds. Proper pulling. Stopping/slowing runners and dealing with CC breaks/timing/failures etc. Its just more chaotic and busy. Some find this stressful, some find it fun. For me I had more hotkeys/macros+engi on my Warrior than any other class, except maybe hunter so it can be a workout if you're a perfectionist.

The -60 dungeons in retail have been streamlined down so it's pretty straight forward but in classic you kinda need to know whats up if you're going to lead people through for quests, shortcuts, keys, etc. You're already committing a pretty big amount of time just by running one (1hr for the easy/quick ones) so you ought to know wtf you're doing or you can double it.

I'll be making a warrior again at some point but not until the general population is more in tune with the game hah.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum