Friday, 6 November 2009

Tank survey

There is a survey of tanking bloggers doing the rounds. Since Gravity was kind enough to tag me in his response, herewith my answers:

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary Tank?

Everblue, Warrior, and I'm specced 15/3/53 at the moment.

What is your usual tanking environment?

Ten man, normal mode and hard mode stuff.

What is your favourite encounter to tank, and why?

The key ingredient of a favourite encounter is that it must be hard, but not sufficiently hard that I die all the time. I quite like Lord Jaraxxus in ToC10 heroic - you have important stuff to mix into your rotation (the interrupt), you have to be mobile enough to avoid infernal AoE without running into Legion Flame or gimping your dps switches to the portals etc.

In the past I enjoyed Anub'rekan (when it was hard and you had to get out of the insect swarm by intervening).

What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?

Malygos when you don't have a DK in the group. You have to do huge dps to keep ahead of the people who have the damage buff, you have to position the boss so that the breath doesn't hit the raid, and you have to keep moving the boss around the circle so the sparks pass over the raid before hitting the boss. It's an absolute nightmare combination and I hate it.

I don't mind mobility fights, but mobility + dps buffs to your raid = tank nightmare. There are similar issues on Hodir, but the problems aren't as extreme.

What do you think is the biggest strength of your class, and why?

Warriors have an ability for every situation. There is never a boss where a buff, debuff or tank ability is needed and warriors don't have it. Whether it is picking up adds, short cooldown interrupts, kiting, tactical use of cooldowns, the sunder debuff to increase dps etc. We are "good all round".

...and weakness?

We are "balanced" around critical block. Critical block + shield block is very very powerful indeed in current content, but it is unreliable. I therefore think that although we mitigate melee damage better than any other class, we are also potentially the squishiest tank class.

What is your favorite thing about the class you chose for your primary Tank and why?

I like the complexity of our baseline abilities that we use. I think that there is always some ability that I could use better to be better at tanking (for example at the moment I am trying to work cleave and disarm into my playstyle more). I think that some of the other classes lack the depth of the warrior.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is the best tanking assignment for you?

My 25 man experience is limited, but I would suggest that we are the best adds tank. We are very mobile, so can move to pick up adds as they spawn, reasonably tank caster mobs who stand apart from each other or do some limited kiting. We can AoE stun (bosses are usually immune to stun but adds are usually not). We can spell reflect (ditto). Shield block makes us basically immune to physical damage for 1/4 of the time. We have two interrupts.

In a 10 man raid of course you just have to do everything.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?

Paladins. If it's a paladin it means I may not have to keep up demo shout, and I have an array of helpful spells I can call on if the encounter requires it (eg hand of protection on the transition between Gormok and the Jormungar's in Northrend Beasts to clear my impale stack). The extra health from BoSanc is good too, as is the armour from devo aura. Consecration will always be up so incoming adds will get snagged by the pally.

...and the least?

Ummm. Hard to say. I have very little experience tanking with druids, but I suffer from a bad case of health-bar-envy, so I would have to say them.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Mashing devastate in a panic when I am trying to move the boss around. My rotation just falls away in particularly stressful situations. Recent buffs to devastate mean that this is less of a liability.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

My tank partner taunting mobs off me without agreeing beforehand. I don't mind if it's part of the plan, for example in our normal ToC heroic raids my tank partner is much better geared than me, and we agree that in certain circumstances where there are two bosses and his boss is dead he will take over my boss. Otherwise though it's just rude.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks for PvE tanking?

I don't know. The forums say not, tankspot says not, and Veneretio says not. I agree that with block as it is warrior damage is very spiky, but other than that I don't feel underpowered and I am tanking bosses that hit hard. I'm happy with my game experiences, so why complain? (Another 5k health would be nice though...)

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Recount, fraps, "did-the-healer-die?"

What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?

Managing heroic strikes while trying to run a normal rotation. It's a horrible playstyle. Please fix it Blizzard.

If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?

Hmmm. If they watched a video of me tanking on fraps they would see that I have a very large number of keybinds (I have 28 keys bound to abilities that I use regularly, not including modifiers such as shift- and alt-, and not including mouse combinations), that I mash devastate in panic from time to time (see above), and probably that I am a keyboard turner and don't strafe enough. On recount they would see that my dps is not brilliant (but improving I think), and that I am pretty good at stuff like interrupting and reflecting spells. They might also see that I use pretty much all of the warrior toolkit including stuff like retaliation and shattering throw.

They might see that I don't normally use cleave or disarm, although I am now starting to switch these in for fights where they're helpful.

They would see that I use a lot of macros.

Avoidance, Mitigation or Stamina and why?

Mitigation. I know it is better to stack stamina for large unavoidable damage, and I do socket stamina gems and currently run with two stamina trinkets. Nevertheless what I want to do is stack armour, and I look for armour whenever I can get it.

I like my character to feel "tough", which means armour, not a meatbag with tonnes of health. Is "meatbag" a word? It should be.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

I stack stamina and armour ahead of of avoidance. I never enchant or gem for avoidance unless I need the defence rating or I need a decent socket bonus.

What Tanking class do you feel you understand least?

Druids. Never played a druid.

Addons for tanking?

Some form of boss ability timer is utterly crucial. Get it and keep it updated. I use DeadlyBossMods. Also vital is something in your UI which shows the targetoftarget unit frame, together with that frame's debuffs. It is necessary for tank-swapping fights such as Thorim. I use Xperl unit frames for this.

Recount and Omen, obviously.

You also need to be able to see your target's cast bar, otherwise you won't be able to interrupt properly. The default UI now has this functionality, but I use Xperl.

I used to use wardrobe addons (for my blocking set, my EH set, my dps gear etc), but the wardrobe feature in the game's standard UI is very good and I now don't use any external addons for this. I have weapon swapping macros for when I am dpsing.

Other than that? I use Scrolling Combat Text so that my incoming damage and heals don't fill up the screen. I move them to one side and make them smaller.

1 comment:

  1. I like how SCT can clean up the screen too. Nice to read about you too.