Friday, 26 December 2008

First level 80 tanking experiences

So anyway, I jumped straight into a couple of instances.

1) Halls of Lightning (normal)

Joined a PUG who'd lost their tank after the first boss. The group was under-levelled - with an 80 retadin, 75 healer, 76 dps warrior and 78 hunter. We zerged the instance quite quickly, AoE-ing everything down. We struggled for dps quite badly on the bosses - the hunter and retadin topping out at 1200 or so with me at 800-ish and the dps warrior nowhere. Neither the sword nor the trinket dropped for me, so the run netted me some rep, plus experience of Loken which will help in the future. I'll need to go back at least once more, since I'm some way from being uncrittable and the defence bonus from will really help.

2) The Nexus (heroic)

A whole different kettle of fish. I joined up with two of the officers from my guild, who are serious raiders, the GM of one of the top raiding guilds on the server, and one of their mates who is again one of the top ranged dps toons on the server. V scary therefore.

I ran the Nexus on normal about a month ago, and I had pretty much forgotten it. We wiped three times - on bosses 1, 2 and 4 - and at least two of those were my fault because I didn't know the bosses. The whole instance was fairly traumatic - we had a shadowpriest who had VE on for bosses and I really struggled to stay ahead of her on threat, we didn't use much cc or marking (not my call - I asked for marking on the tougher pulls and generally got it, but most of the time I was just trying to keep aggro on everything).

I picked up on the first boss, which was a huge upgrade for me, which is really helpful, and got a chunk of rep. I also now feel confident I know the bosses, so again that is useful. Nevertheless I was really shown up I think for the novice tank that I am, and I need to focus more on:

- Shield Block - I turn it on at the start of the fight but then need to remember to push it on cooldown. It is such a huge ability in terms of mitigation that it's of huge importance to get maximum use out of it.

- Threat - When I remembered to use HS on each swing my dps (and hence threat) went through the roof. The problem I find with tanking is that there is so much going on all the time that it's hard to get into a smooth routine. Even if you don't have to move and you can just sit there you need to remember your GCD moves - to keep your debuffs up, to revenge when it lights up and to use SS on cooldown. Add to this your non-GCD moves such as Shield Block and Spell Reflection and using HS kind of gets forgotten. If you have to move the boss about then I just end up hitting buttons sometimes and my dps falls away really badly.

I think that it will come with practice - this was only like my 8th instance run ever as a warrior tank - but right now it feels like I have a long way to go.

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