It’s not dead it’s just resting

This is pretty much how I’m feeling about LFD at the moment, anything other than certain normals are simply too much pain with a group which I don’t have a connection and more importantly voice comms running.

So if you’re running a dps and wondering where the tanks and healer are, here is your answer, the dungeons are no longer a faceroll, cc is needed, sensible pulling is needed and everyone has to do their thing and notstandinfire/runfromadds/dpsadds/movetothegood/etc.

In LFD there are too many of all roles (tanks included) who have not yet adjusted from the Wrath “we are all gods” mechanic of the last six months of the expansion where it was almost possible to solo heroics.

A statement from your tanks

This is a statement I can sign up to, I’ve been avoiding PUGs on my tank like the proverbial plague.  Simply put I’m going to let a bunch of dps who just want to concentrate on their rotation ruin the game for me, I’ll be sticking to guild only runs (doesn’t matter which one, I’ve two to choose from) where I know I can get people on vent/teamspeak, shout out what I’m doing know that CC will happen without me having to demand it and so on.

We, the Tanks, are not born with the infinite knowledge of how to perfectly tank everything and are not born with the gear of the gods. Your constant demeaning, insulting and outright aggression of would be Tanks will not create more or better tanks but only less tanks.

Those of us who will survive this crucible of hatred you are putting us through will emerge as your new Gods and Overlords. And we shall be as cruel as and as merciless as you have made us. You shall kiss our feet, speak only when allowed to and above all, obey our every command to the letter, lest you shall be sent to the voids of the groupless, there to wait for as long as your gods please.

Be warned that unless you change your ways henceforth, the next two-year will be a living hell for you.

Signed Morehnai, Tank of Silvermoon

The heroics rock, they also hurt.  They also rock a lot.

My favourite encounter so far from a tanking perspective has the dragon boss (the one with shifting winds) in Vortex Pinnacle.  It requires a stack of awareness, movement, threat monitoring, and trying to keep the boss pointing in the direction where the dps are gonig to get the minimum of pain.

With a PUG it’s going to be a wipefest, even once some serious overgearing happens.

So, dear LFD please start treating everyone in the group with respect, start doing more than just nuking and use your brains.  This is the excellent aspect of the new instances, they require thought.  Do that and I’ll tank for you day and night.

Baradin Hold

A mix of a raiding guild run with the addition of Kaylad wandered into Baradin Hold for the first time (Alliance on my realm is … “ineffective” at PvP) to have a quick look at Pit Lord Argaloth

So what did we learn?

  1. Trash
    The trash does a debuff, the debuff hurts like hell, it can one shot a tank doing around 500k damage.
    It stings a little.
  2. Argaloth
    The slash debuff hurts but is controllable with communication between the tanks, prompt taunting and intelligent use of cooldowns (other tank taunts, blow three stacks on Word of Glory, spam CS to get HRP up to three stacks ready to taunt and blow shield as an instant burst of threat). 

    The fel firestorm is actually easy enough to handle, stand still watch for a meteor coming down on your head, move before it lands into clear space, rinse, repeat.  The two teams then form back up, make sure the tanks are communicating to ensure they know which one is picking up.

After about 4-5 pulls we hit the enrage.

Next step for the team, more hit on the dps, more D on the dps, come back and kill him.

HRP – Holy Rogue Power

4.0.1 Paladin tanking

Ok, so how are things shaping up now that the hotfix cycle on top of 4.0.1 is almost complete (cog of doom patch arrived yesterday).

Well it’s different, my run up style has changed, post wipe my routine was

  • Zone in, start running
  • RF up
  • Seal up
  • Divine plea up
  • Reach boss, eat, drink, make merry
  • Start run at boss
  • Sacred Shield
  • Fairy wings
  • Holy shield
  • Capt America Shield
  • Now we’re cooking

To (mis-)quote our friends in ICC, “I think they broke it”.

I miss my run in routine, in addition to the tank disappearing into the distance everyone else could tell I was serious by seeing wings go up and know that just after that landed they could open up with the glass cannons.

So, where are we now.

Still in a reasonable place, ok it’s harder.  This is a mix of not having two years of muscle memory at our disposal and the current balance issues between threat generation on the tanks and the sheer amount of hate the ranged (yes, we’re looking at you again warlocks and mages).  However it still works, I need to move my buttons around to break my muscle memory I know I’m using abilities which worked nicely a few weeks ago but are now gimping my threat (SoR).  For boss fights I need to get the 939 approach nailed down and cleaner.

Holy shield, this is a plus and a minus, I need holy power to get this up, I need to spend holy power to keep it up (HoR or WoG), so the opening move needs to be something like shield, CS, HotR.  However while giving a burst of early threat it’s not as much threat as a three-stack HotR would give.

DPS… learn to hold back

{time passes, I notice this in the drafts pile …}

I forgot to schedule this one, however it’s been a couple of weeks since I drafted the above and I’ve had more time to get used to the changes.  In short they’re good news.  Even with the changes to threat, the general nerfing of AoE, threat decay and the like the fight mechanics (raid mostly) still work.  There are periods in most of the fights where HolyRoguePower (HRP) is being blown on threat generation, however there are others (Halion in twlight, LK in the second and third platform phases and so on) where the DPS are having to do something else (move, nuke adds etc etc) so their overall threat output is lower allowing me to weave in a mix of Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory to take some of the strain off the healers (being taken for a date by an over affectionate Valkyr, dodging slime and so on).

So, HRP and WoG, go go go Paladin tanks to our new dawn!

Cataclysm Beta: Experiments in tanking – Blackrock Caverns

Firstly I would like to say, “ouch, that hurt”.

Korvenwolf is currently geared in a mix of levelling greens and ICC25 264/277 kit, so I’m not sure how much of the problems I was seeing were down to non-ideal itemisation.  Though I’m sure a stack of them were down to not really understanding the changed rotations yet, and as I have since noticed (it’s been a few days since I started this post) the lack of spent talent points won’t have helped one bit.

So actually I think it was pretty bloody amazing I could keep the mobs under control at all (thank you dear party for your patience), on the plus side I do have a better idea of which of the skills I had were useful as threat tools and which were less effective.

Rom’ogg Bonecrusher – Providing the trash is cleared he’s not too much of a problem, however fail to clear the trash and you’re going to be toast.

Corla, Herald of Twilight – So much easier than last time I was in, the number of adds has been halved and the control of the debuff on them went a lot smoother than previous attempts.  Though she’s still a bit of a chaotic fight.  I reckon that it could be tuned up a bit yet to make her more of a challenge.  Clear the trash first, particularly the patrol.

Karsh Steelbender – Nice mechanic, moving him in and out of the pillar of fire effectively is the key, we wiped on the first attempt thanks to me leaving him in the fire too long causing far far too much AoE damage. The trash in this room is a bit on the painful side

Beauty – Watch the fear, watch the breath and other stuff, keep away from Runty and boss is dead.

Ascendant Lord Obsidius – Actually this boss was a bit of a let down, he was a faceroll, I AoE tanked anything which moved and the DPS nuked.  I suspect more tuning is required here.


So on balance I quite like the instance but it could do with being a bit more of a challenge, either upping the boss or as part of the overall tuning of our gear.  However ‘wolf is possibly not the ideal test candidate as he’s still packing most of his ICC25 (264/277) gear and can soak more punishment than a tank geared in the kit from levelling.

Raiding Guilds

It remains a period of change in Warcrack at the moment, with players coming and going, mostly going to be honest.  Yet again I join a guild and one of the core officers drops a few weeks later, so just bad timing or is the universe conspiring against me.  Does this actually change anything, well that’ll depend on whether the feel of the raids themselves alters in a manner which I’m not comfortable with.

Onward tanks, you only have your durability to loose!

A message from your tank

Patch 4.0.1 is coming soon, with it are some major changes in the way tanking and the other roles work.  Shortly after (7/Dec/2010 to be precise) things change even further with the new content, where that shiny gear you’ve been building will rapidly become just so much purple junk.

Now, given these changes I give you some wise words from a Crab we’re all rather fond of (except when he talks about nerfing Paladins to the ground…)

“Right. If you are trying to AE tank and a bad dps is attacking the wrong target and dies, we call that justice.” – Ghostcrawler

So you’ve heard it from the eight legged wonder, AoE zergfests are dead, pick the target the tank marks, focus down that target, use CC on the marked targets.  Behave, don’t be a dick or you will have a repair bill.

Oh and as a final parting thought, the durability costs are being levelled, you’re going to have the same repair bill as the tank, suck on that one for a while.

A night of instance mashing

Let’s see, first there was the run with the Paladin wrecking ball of doom, take H:HoL, a good healer, good dps and a tank rocking in his raiding gear and let’s see just what can be pulled without pausing.  Just for reference for any poor dps/healer partied up with a silly level gear paladin, they will chain pull because of the 14 second window between the last melee hit and Divine Plea dropping off.

Things were a complete breeze, even when we pulled several packs in the room of spinny death and managed to aggro a further pack (one dps ended up inspecting the floor).

Moving on a quick H:UK with the bear, I’m definitely getting the hang of how he works, mostly I lost aggro on a mob just as they were about to drop due to focus fire from the ranged dps.  So that’s cool.  I still need to get my head around the extras (bash, roars and so on) and the “oh shit” health button needs to get moved to somewhere decent on a hotkey not requiring me to get the mouse moved.