Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tips for Tanks

I'm still here! Sorry for the lack of posts these few weeks, but RL and in-game responsibilities have hit in full force, and blogging was one area that got it's time significantly cut down. (And seriously, Cure Disease should take care of the flu. Just sayin')

Also, I need your help! As a follow up to my post about guild app checking, I would like to do a real review of an 80 resto druid. Looking for someone that's possibly new to 80, new to the raiding scene, or perhaps took a break and is just now trying to really get their character geared up and ready to kick some ass. If you'd be interested in being a lab rat, please let me know either through a comment or e-mail, and we'll discuss some details =)

And now, on with the show!

Er, post.



Some tips for my tanks: <3 your local tree

1. If I'm above ~50% mana, keep going. Chain pulling trash is great, just let me drink before a boss. However, still keep an eye on the dps's mana. If the mage, lock, and oomkin are all drinking, then you need to give them a moment.

2. Watch your cooldown usage. I have as much armor as that shammy in mail over there, plus some nifty cooldowns I can use if a mob or two is whacking on me, so go ahead and save the mage that's fixing to die. I'll be okay until you can get over here =)

3. Please please please watch my LoS. If you run up the stairs, around the corner, and duck down that hallway, you're going to be without heals until I can get my roots up there. That's probably one of the most identifiable traits about an experienced tank, but you know they probably learned it the hard way.

4. Don't try to run things that you are not even close to being geared for. Even if I have the gear or skill to heal you through it, it's going to be more stress and effor than I signed up for. Know your limitations, and spend 2 hours getting gear in lesser heroics instead of killing 4 other people in H HoS.

5. Do not demand thorns every 9.5 minutes. I will do my best to keep it up, especially before boss fights, but your tanking should not depend on a buff that I may provide.

6. Read up about your class. Know what stats you need, what you don't, and what stats should make you salivate. The warrior that rolls on the spellpower plate just because it has more armor on it is going to get a /farewell from me as I hearth.

7. Don't ever try to tank an instance blind. If it's your first time in somewhere, go ahead and read up about the boss encounters ahead of time. For a raid, there are various websites that you can find strats on, as well as videos. is a popular one lately, but check to see what strategy your guild often follows.

8. Watch what you say. While that's something I think every person that is wanting to interact with others on a social level anywhere should keep in mind, it still applies in a party in WoW. Sexist, racist, nationalist, class-ist... Any derogatory comment you make can and often will offend someone. In addition to keeping in mind Blizz's policies for chat, you should also think about just basic common manners. I'm not saying you can't tell someone to L2Play, but try to keep it decent. Play nice kiddies.

9. You will make mistakes. There will be times that the group wipes, sometimes in cases that you couldn't have prevented. If it was something that you did or contributed to, own up, and explain what you'll try the next time to get better. If it wasn't, ask the group what they believe may have gone wrong, and if there's anything that you can do to make their jobs easier next time.

10. Know when to call it. You will run into situations where your group simply cannot defeat an encounter. Sometimes it's the group's skill, gear, or makeup, others it's random bad luck that keeps happening. As the tank, you will almost always be the leader of the group, and so it will normally fall to you to know when it is time to end the deaths and either call the run for the night, or move on to something else. There's no hard number, but keep an eye on your group's moral. A tired and pissed healer will typically continue to get worse until everyone is ready to pull their hair out (or worse!)

11. Have fun! If choosing between slightly undergeared and new tank that was making jokes throughout a heroic, and the ToC25 guild MT that was complaining the entire way about the group and their life and their kids, the one that was actually enjoying playing a game and sharing that with me is going to get put on my friends list, and I'd be happy to run again with them. Like I said, as the tank, even if you are not the actual leader of a party, you are almost always the one actually in charge. Your decisions and attitude will set the tone for the entire group for the run, so keep everyone else in mind =)

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