Friday, December 31, 2010

Tanking Adventures: Cata Edition.

VoA Version 2.0.

I went in with my guild and 1 shot the new Argaloth on 25 man. We tried last week but ran out of time on TB starting. This boss really is a face roll, the only real chance to not kill him is slow DPS. When we had our kill I was to pull the boss. Even in guild runs you have those who need to newb it Our "lockstar" face pulled the boss which in turn got me yelled at for not having him in a proper position. He was in fact killed so we DPS'd him with 24 and still had a good 20 seconds before the enrage timer.

Now time for me to brag a second. My DPS is on the low side in raids right now compared to 5 mans. Well, yes I know there is the Vengeance thing but tanks I'm tanking against seem to have me riding the treat line with them so I either have to auto attack or stop attacking all together. I guess I will take a low DPS number to get a kill no doubt. Not really sure why, I've never been the "big" threat guy like some of my other tanks but so far in Cata its been like this. I'm proud of that. Here is the bottom line thou, as long as the DPS doesn't catch me or my Co-Tank it really is no issue.

Blackwing Decent

We had a few who had to leave after killing Argaloth. We broke into a 10 man group and picked Blackwing Decent for a run at the bosses. We had no real raid leader in our group so it was done by committee.

We took a run at Magmaw 1st. OH MY is that trash annoying. How can a mob switch targets, stun you for 5 seconds and do 95% of your health as damage? I felt useless as a tank. After a few wipes on said trash (one at 1%) we killed it. What an amazing feeling to have no trash to pull the

Our group set up for Magmaw wasn't great. No hunter or mage and we couldn't decide which way to do the boss. We did get hime to 65% or so but after three wipes we took a shot at Toxitron and his crew.
By compassion that trash is cake!

We watched the vid, had a bit of discussion and started the pulls. We did manage to get the fights rotation and got them down to 40% and wiped. After a few more hours it got no better so we called and are putting said we'd give it a shot later in the week. About 20 mins later invites were out and a whisper was sent, we were going on Thursday for another shot.

The Bastion of Twlight

Again no raid lead and no one with a clue other than "tankspot" and another Youtube vid that we all watched. According to the "experts" we had the bad set up. Our opponent? More Whelps and the Slate Drake.

My impressions of the fight? The debuff the boss puts on you is FAST, DPS really has to allow you to get time on the drake that gets MC'd and only real problem with this fight how fast the raid wide damage goes out.

Our strategy? We pulled the Boss - Slate Drake and Whelps. After the first minute of doing that the fight is cake. Raid damage is non existent and all it takes is a tank swap.

We gave the twin drakes a go for 3 or 4 attempts and our best was 50%. Its pretty fun, lots of movement and totally doable. Again the raid damage is pretty harsh and I think Blizz has said "tanks learn how to use cooldowns and Heals learn how to manage mana" with this 1st tier of raiding.
All in all it was a fun week, raiding is slightly ramped up compared to what we seen in Wrath.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Dread of the Transfer

An ode to the gamble of moving your toon...

I’m using my Blog to vent about something I truly enjoy doing, playing WoW. Why has it been so rough? Please read on.

Today was a horrible day in my WoW life. My confidence is shaken a bit and not having to much fun. Oh…and I haven’t even started raiding yet. Really, I haven’t raided yet.

As much looking around as you do and as much research as you put into moving guilds, you don’t know what’s coming to you get there.

As Wrath was coming to a close, my guild I was in Jinx was going in a different direction or so I thought. Icecrown’s talent was drying up a bit as the number 3 guild left for the alliance. I like Jinx a lot, good raiders but it felt like a job with them. You logged on to raid and jumped on vent and after the raids were over everyone logged off and vent was silent. It was odd for a group that got along like they did, communication was almost non existent.

I did some research, no other guilds on Icecrown were looking for tanks. I wanted to tank and Jinx didn’t have a solid spot for me. I didn’t get demoted but they were unsure of the 10/25 thing. I chose Hyjal for a home. PST server, big Horde population, decent raiding population and PVE. For months everywhere I looked was a guild named Macabre of Hyjal looking for players. They stated they were unique in that there was no drama and the offered multi 10 man teams. I seen many, many recruitment posts looking for people. I gave them my time and here is what happened.

I applied to Macabre, talked to two officers and was accepted. Both were looking for a tank and I told them when I xfered over I’d talk with them more and seeing as they weren’t raiding there was no big hurry to pick the team. I xfered a few toons to Hyjal. Why a few? Well Cata was rolling around and I wanted a few farmers as well as my main on the same server. So I spent my RL money to do this. Yes I’ll say it again, I spent money with the understanding I was getting into a “drama free and different type guild”.

About five days after I arrived, there was also about six others who xfered over to Macabre of Hyjal. Not with me but just coming for the “uniqueness of Macabre” that we were all told existed.

I logged on one day and the guild I spent money for fell apart. But not in a way that normal guilds fall apart. See the “hard core” teams, ya know the ones who still raided after 4.0 to get their “Light of Dawn” title didn’t feel comfortable being in Macabre any longer. The took the 50 “best” players and made a new guild called . The biggest excuse for the mass exodus was that the ’leet players were no longer having fun playing with people they didn’t know.

Can I understand that? Sure. I want to know those I play with but the kicker is the new people that just xfered weren’t offered those spots. You see, all the recruiting that Macabre did for the individual teams wasn’t known. Everyone was just recruiting and no one really had control of it. So yes the guild did grow fast.

As the guild split over the next few days, I found out that the lady they left Macabre with “casual” and didn’t really want the lead but stayed for the better of the guild. The forums light up with bickering back and forth. As the Dread people had access to Macabres’ web but not the other way around.

Those that left made it know to those of us left behind there was plenty of talent to start new teams for raiding, that the comments that were made were childish and that we now had a casual atmosphere and they could go play with like minded people.

I get all that, I do. The problem lies with those of us who were caught in transition. I know of 3 tanks who came to tank for this guild. Two have xfered off server due to lack of core tanking spots right now in game.

I’m kind of stuck at this point. I’m in a good guild with decent talent. Very friendly but again. Its not progression, its very “friendly” and I’m the new tank looking in to get a spot. I have been told I have a tank spot, I’m tanking heroics and I’m going to do Ret as an off spec in Cata.

Here is where the rough day part comes in, where my confidence has taken a hit. I guess this is over a few days really. I’m new so when I ask to run a heroic I usually get asked if I want to DPS *my dps set is SOOOOO bad* or no response when I ask. I’ve had a few REALLY horrible pugs lately too. We did the 1st boss in SKF today for 18 minutes and never got him below 50%. I DPS’d ToT today and pulled an amazing 3800DPS on the final boss *never downed him* cause I wasn’t the worst dps in there. The healer just kept saying over and over in G chat how bad that run was, how horrible the DPS did and how it hurt his ego that he even healed such a place. I was in another run (tanking) where we wiped 3 times and one of the DPS was tired of beating his head against wall and was not really into wiping and rage left. I’ve had another DPS from my current guild tell me he isn’t going to glyph fear for CC as he is tired of CC’n already.

The kicker to all this was was in trade recruiting for two tanks. Yes I said two tanks. Must have ilvl blah and loads of experience. This is the second team from I have seen looking for a tank.

The whole xfer to Hyjal has just been bad for me so far. I’m in a “friendly” guild that has a glut of “OS” tanks, at the start of an expansion where many guilds aren’t yet looking for tanks, and if they are, they are start up guild who are RL friends looking to be server 3rd as raiders and have no clue on what it takes to raid at a decent level after coming out of wrath of the free epic xpac that just past.

I’m not the greatest tank in the world. Maybe about top 1000 quality, I’ve done that. I’m not the most dedicated person. I have a RL with a family and things that take priority over WoW. I’m good at what I do, I make sure I fix my errors, know fights, set a good pace and let what is supposed to beat on me, beat on me. Why can’t I find a guild that I can fit into, be happy and get bosses down?

I don’t want to be with people like the guild I’m pissed that they didn’t give me the opportunity to go there thou. They talked about ‘leet and good they were and yet I was better geared than any of the tanks when I arrived and if I hadn’t halted my raiding when I did for school I’d have been more progressed than any of the teams they had. Sure a few were 12/12 HM but it was post 4.0 or very close to that when gearing became the nerf of HMLK in 10 man. Nor do I want to be told “grow up” when I say I think its shitty I spent real money to come tank for a guild that blows up because the tag you have isn’t as prestigious as the one you think will be.
I'm stuck right now.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I just wanted  to take a minute to wish everyone a very merry christmas. I hope you have an enjoyable holiday and get to spend wonderful time with your loved ones.

I know in general we have bad times come to mind of the year that is about to pass but take a minute and reflect on the good times you had this year. It will do you good. Thinking of the good is a great way to have a better day.

If all else fails watch this:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So you want to tank...

I found this link on the official forums. Not always a great place but its very informative at times if you can get away from the QQ and Trolls.

I would love to thank Sceilence from Yesera for a wonderful post. Its a tad bit of a long read but really hits the mark. Please take a moment to read thru this its really well writting and hits the mark HARD!

I have played this game since launch, and I have played this character since Blackwing Lair was endgame content. I have never been in a server-leading progression guild, but I have led raiding guilds working their own progression, usually a tier behind the curve or so. In Wrath, I had all three plate-wearing classes at the level cap, specced and geared for tanking. I am a self-admitted idiot at DPS or healing; for some reason, my brain just won’t function properly in those roles. But so far as it goes, I’m pretty well versed in tanking in this game.

I have recently noticed a number of instances, in-game and in the forums, where 1) people are asking for advice on tanking because they’re new to it, 2) DPS or healers are complaining about tanks because they are being bossy or dictatorial, and 3) tanks are complaining about DPS for…being DPS. Several of these questions and comments have been addressed from the perspective of mechanics, but only rarely do the responses really touch on the theoretical foundation of tanking, or what I have come to call the Tao of Tanking. This post is intended to address this gap.

I am not a Theorycrafter. I leave that kind of thing to much more dedicated and talented individuals. I would recommend Elitist Jerks and Tankspot for guidelines on mechanics-related specifics, should you have questions on exactly how to maximize your threat or what the best tanking build is for your class. I am also not God’s Gift to Tanking, and frankly, I would question anyone who tried to tell you they were. From my perspective, tanking is a mindset, much like political affiliation; nobody is ever actually right (no pun intended), but people can certainly be wrong.

The purpose of this post is to put into writing some of the philosophy behind tanking. I expect that it will be exceedingly droll for people who have been tanking for quite a while, because they’ve probably got this figured out. It could, however, provide some insight for people new to tanking, or to DPS/healers who would like to understand why tanks act the way we do.
On Leadership
The tank’s role in 5-man content is, in my opinion, the most critical role in the group. Now, I understand (and agree with) the argument that without a healer, there is no victory, and without DPS, there is no victory. No tank is going to solo a level-capped instance or Heroic. However, the complexity for any given role in a group is largely determined by the amount of responsibility the player has to take for other people in order for the group to succeed.

The DPS player has only to:

Do any CC they’re asked to do

Do damage to the appropriate target

Stay out of the fire

The DPS player does not have to take responsibility for any other member of the group (though really exceptional players will find a way to do this - these players are truly treasured gems that should always be appreciated).

The healer, on the other hand, has to:

Do any CC they’re asked to do

Stay out of the fire

Make sure that nobody’s hit points get to zero before the pull is ended
The healer takes responsibility for other people by healing them when they take unnecessary damage (taking cleave hits, standing in fire, pulling threat from the tank…I could go on and on here); in this way the healer is taking up some of the slack created by poorly performing DPS (or tanks).

By comparison, the tank has to:

Assign CC targets based on mob type/group composition

Make sure everyone in the party is ready for the pull (particularly, the healer has mana)

Pull the group, often in some elaborate fashion that creates separation between the CCed mobs and the active mobs

Establish and maintain threat on all active mobs

Position the mobs to reduce splash damage to alleviate healer’s workload

Apply appropriate defensive debuffs to alleviate healer’s workload

Pick up broken CC before it WTFPWNs someone

Pop defensive cooldowns at the most appropriate time, usually to lower the healer’s blood pressure

Direct the other party members through those “oops” moments (i.e., the infamous hunter “Where’s My Pet?” scenario)

If you buy into this model, generally speaking, a DPS player takes responsibility for him/herself, the healer takes responsibility for the party’s health, and the tank takes responsibility for everything else.

And even if you don’t buy into this model, chances are, your tank does. This is why the tank starts looking through the combat log after a wipe – they want to figure out what happened, so they can appropriately address any apparent issues and avoid another wipe. This is also why the tank asks the one question healers hate to hear after a wipe: “So, uh…what happened?” The inevitable response is: “Uh, you ran out of hit points?”

Of course I ran out of hit points. But why? Were you busy healing one of the DPS because he was standing in fire? Was there some debuff that needed to be cleansed but wasn’t? Did you run out of mana because you were spamming flash heal? Where other members of the party may be willing to dismiss the causes of a wipe or a bad pull, the tank refuses to do so, because all tanks know this one fundamental truth: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”. Loosely translated, this means that the tank doesn’t want to repeat that horrible experience again, and is looking for input on avoiding doing so. So give your response some thought before pointing out the obvious.
On Threat, Crowd Control, and DPS  
One thing everyone needs to understand, and this goes for the tanks, the healers, the DPS, everyone, is that trash is no longer a speed bump between you and the boss mob’s loot table. This is no longer the WoW that has been played for the last two years. The Wrath model for the game was discarded by Blizzard, and AOE grinding instances is a thing of the past. Yeah, at some point tanks will have the gear to survive pulling the entire group without CC, and healers will have the gear to heal through such pulls, but even under those circumstances it will be more efficient to single target than AOE DPS, because Blizzard doesn’t want AOE DPS to actually do anything anymore.

I think what really needs to happen in the game is a paradigm shift. Everyone needs to step away from the view that being a good DPS player is represented in the numbers posted by Recount, and embrace that a good DPS player is someone who avoids taking unnecessary damage, does a good job with CC (both performing and not breaking it), does respectable damage, and has the ability to think outside the box. Honestly, this is the level of expectation placed on tanks and healers, so why have we allowed DPS to be gauged solely on their damage output?

I have a mage and a ret paladin that I group with regularly. The pally has been playing since launch, and the mage just started in Wrath (3.1 or so). For nearly two years I have heard them arguing constantly about overall damage done according to Recount. With this expansion, they are having a hard time beating my damage output when it comes to overall instance damage done according to Recount. This has caused absolutely no end of argument and frustration for them, which in turn frustrates me, because I just don’t care about overall damage done for an instance. Show me your l33t skills by not dying to your own stupidity, by be a benefit to the party rather than a hindrance, and by doing some decent measure of DPS. DPS players that do this are like liquid gold.

The fixation players have on damage meters is probably one of the single largest causes for the ineptitude encountered in random groups. DPS players want to prove their worth in the group. As established previously, it’s not hard to prove the tank’s worth, or the healer’s worth. DPS have to work at it. Enter, the DPS meter. Now we have PROOF of how important we are to the group! We have numbers to back it up!

Yes. And sadly, Recount provides me with some equally interesting numbers. For example, I can see that I’m still at the top of the chart in interrupts, because I’m the only one doing it. I can see that the healer is spending entirely too much mana healing your stupid ass. And if you keep playing like an idiot, I’m going to start seeing you climb the charts in total number of deaths as well.
I tank with the understanding that many DPS characters can pull agro off of me whenever they really want to. This is less of a concern at this point in an expansion, where the gear differential is not significant. As that gear difference becomes more pronounced and as DPS players in Tier 18 epics start showing up in your random daily heroic run…you may notice some threat issues. Do not be discouraged by your lack of ability to maintain threat in this situation, for Blizzard has granted you a tool for dealing with such inanity: the repair bill. It really is OK to let the DPS die, as long as you save the healer from a similar fate.
On the Successful Group
The successful healer understands that communicating with your tank is important. You need to be willing to speak up if you need a minute to drink. Again, without heals, the tank is not going very far. Complements should always be extended to a good healer, and patience should always be extended to a new healer, for this one thing is true: healing sucks. Just as being a good tank is a thankless job, being a good healer is even more thankless.

The successful DPS player understands that they can be replaced instantly, or that the tank’s queue time is pretty much immediate. While DPS wait in a queue for over 40 minutes, a tank waits less than a minute most of the time. So if you’re unwilling to play by the tank’s carefully laid plan, don’t be shocked when you’re booted from the group. It’s no problem for me to replace a DPS who is breaking CC, or AOEing all over my sheeped and repented mobs.

The successful tank understands that the game is social in nature. Goading your DPS by linking your top-of-the-meters-in-overall-damage-done performance is not only insulting to the DPS players, it shows your own ignorance of the game’s mechanics: congratulations, you’re the top of the meters in a useless stat. It’s like being top of the meters in mana regeneration. You’ve also alienated the rest of the party, and while you may not care (yay, anonymity), you’re also not going to improve anyone’s performance by doing that kind of thing.

The successful group will accept that there may be some deaths, and that you may actually have a repair bill after a heroic run (contrary to most of Wrath). Every expansion since Vanilla has increased the amount of gold available in the game, and Cataclysm is no exception. Commenting on your repair bill after a wipe shows only one thing: you are a lazy tag-along who wants to get carried to your gear.

The successful group will understand that being respectful of one another is preferable to a more egomaniacal approach, and that teamwork is required in order to avoid a wipe-fest. The successful group will understand that the tank’s goals are the same as everyone else’s goals: to finish the instance.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Can I CC that?

Wrath did alot of damage to players. They now know how to AoE like no other but when it comes to know what a classes skill set it has set us back as a whole.

What do you say to a mage that tells you he can't CC a beast...
When a tank BoP's you becuase you were kiting a mob and he says it was to many taunts on him so learn to play your class....

What is CC?
Crowd Control (abbreviated CC) refers to spells and abilities which limit an opponent's ability to fight. CC abilities are used to reduce the number of mobs that the group fight at once. Due to the fact that most groups cannot tank more than a certain number of elite mobs at a time, crowd control is often essential to prevent a group from being overwhelmed. For a guide on how to effectively use CC in instances, see the Instance grouping guide for a crowd controller. (source)

Druids -
  •      Hibernate- works on Beasts and Dragonkin.
  •      Cyclone - 6 seconds only but unable to attack or be healed while banished.
  •      Roots- Snare effect works great on melee mobs.

DK - (No major source of stable CC) excellent kiters.
  •       Chains of Ice - 95% reduction speed.
  •       Death Grip - pulls mob to DK.

  •      Traps- used with launcher or placed at feet and distracting shot.

  •      Wyvern Sting (surv hunter only)- sleep target for 12 seconds.
  •      Kite- Probably still best class in game to kite a target. Use of traps, wing clip and aspect makes hunters excellent for all your kiting needs. Hunters can also slow by use of Concusive shot as well.

Paladin -
  •      Turn evil - fear on Undead only.
  •      Repentance - sap like for Undead, Dragonkin, Humanoid, Demon and Giant.
  •      Hammer of Justice - short term long CD 6 second stun.

Shaman -
  •      Hex - solid sheep like frog. Lasts 30 seconds and works on humans and beasts.

  •      Sap- used before combat, Human, Dragonkin, Beast and Demon.
  •      Blind - disorients target for 10 seconds.
  •      Various other slows and intrupts.

Mage -
  •      Polymorph - Humans and Beasts only. Turns target into sheep (turtle, cat or w/e) for 50seconds.  Breaks with damage.
  •      Frost Nova - snare that locks mobs in place for 8 seconds.
Priest -
  •     Mind Control - Humans only.
  •     Shackle Undead - only works on undead and breaks on damage.
  •     Pysic Scream and Horror - Fear and if talented will make the target tremble in fear and drop weapon.
Warrior - (no major source of stable CC)   
  •      Intimidating Shout - 8 Second fear on up to 5 targets
  •      Hamstring and Piercing Howl - stun and slow targets.
Warlock -
  •      Seduction - Only with succubus out and last 15 seconds on humans
  •      Banish - Demon or Elemental will be immune to attacking for 30 seconds.
  •      Fear Kite - by placing curses on a mob will cause the mob to ping pong back and forth.
  •      Enslave Demon - Controls Demon for up to 5 minutes.

So far in Cataclysm we have a ton of Elementals and Dragonkin -
  • Paladins Holy Wrath (glyphed) will stun them.
  • Dragonkin - Root, Trap, Sap, Fear, Stun, Repent and Hibernate
  • Elementals - Banish, Root, Trap and Fear. (source and source)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Archaeology in Cata

What is this and what does it do for me?

Its a secondary profession, a time sink and a way to get some cool rewards. The other aspect it brings into the game Lore *GASP* why did they do this? To add another thing for people to do with their toons. To see the rewards check out this link.

How do you do this?

See your trainer in for your faction in any major city. For Stormwind it is Harrison Jones and for Orgimmar it is Belloc Brightblade. Now if you intend to go forward with this WoW give you a bit of info if you click on your profession tab. Pull up your map and it will add little shovel icons to show you were to go. Next put your dig icon on your hot bar to make putting out your scope faster.

Head off to your dig site, you view this by the little icon of a shovel on your map. As you enter the zone you will see on your map an area oranged out for you approximate location. Now when you get there know a few things; you can dig 3 times in this area, no one else has this dig location and it can be anywhere in the world (according your skill and toons level).

Are you ready to dig? Click on the shovel icon it looks like this and was the one I suggest to be put on the hot bar.

Now the only thing left to do is read where you need to be. After the scope is placed you will get a direction and a color light. The bigger end of the scope is which way you need to go and the color will tell you approx. how far you need to go. Red indicates you are the furthest, yellow is closer and green means you are within yards. If you are in the area you need to be a clickable treasure will appear.

You will need up to 27 to finish the artifact you are working on. Once you get enough of the items, click on solve and you will get the item you were looking for as well as some lore to read about the artifact.

As of launch in cataclysm, this is not a extra raid buff for you or PVP buff type job. Right now its just a ton of fun. According to the video below there may be something later on in game but as of now it might lead to an epic or boa weapon. For leveling purposes I got XP, at level 81 I was receiving almost 9k per dig.

Please enjoy the video below for further details.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Revised leveling zones in Cataclysm

I'm lost in a zone I know?

Been lost since the shatter? I have, here is my story.

The DK that I have been tanking with only has one profession, for the crit buff and the fact I don't have a skinner I picked it up with the DK. The first few parts of skinning are easy. I logged for the day and started again when I logged the next day I decided to head to Tarren Mill, the area I needed to continue to level. Much to my surprise the level has changed, the whole zone has changed. Well, DUH...the whole world has changed.

I took myself to google to see where I needed to be and ran into a great blog and excellent map of the revised leveling places. I also seen that most of the dungeons have had level revisions. With the below map and a bit of time I was gaining skinning points again.

leveling flow
This is a wonderful map for those who want to level a new Goblin or Worgen. I guess out of naivety I didn't know ALL the leveling zones had been changed. All the WoW I play and I didn't look further into this makes me feel very newbish.

New level requirements for 5 man dungeons:

In order by minimum level to enter.
The Deadmines – Level Range: 15-21 (10)
Ragefire Chasm – Level Range: 15-21 (10)
Wailing Caverns – Level Range: 15-25 (10)
Shadowfang Keep – Level Range: 16-26 (11)
Stormwind Stockade – Level Range: 20-30 (15)
Blackfathom Deeps – Level Range: 20-30 (15)
Gnomeregan – Level Range: 24-34 (19)
The Scarlet Monastery – Graveyard – Level Range: 26-36 (21)
The Scarlet Monastery – Library – Level Range: 29-39 (21)
The Scarlet Monastery – Armory – Level Range: 32-42 (21)
The Scarlet Monastery – Cathedral – Level Range: 35-45 (21)
Razorfen Kraul – Level Range: 30-40 (25)
Maraudon – Purple Crystals – Level Range: 30-40 (25)
Maraudon – Orange Crystals – Level Range: 32-42 (25)
Maraudon – Pristine Waters – Level Range: 34-44 (25)
Uldaman – Level Range: 35-45 (30)
Dire Maul – East – Level Range: 36-46 (31)
Scholomance – Level Range: 38-48 (33)
Dire Maul – West – Level Range: 39-49 (34)
Razorfen Downs – Level Range: 40-50 (35)
Dire Maul – North – Level Range: 42-52 (37)
Stratholme – Main Gate – Level Range: 42-52 (37)
Zul’farrak – Level Range: 44-54 (39)
Stratholme – Service Entrance – Level Range: 46-56 (41)
Blackrock Depths – Prison – Level Range: 47-57 (42)
The Sunken Temple – Level Range: 50-60 (45)
Blackrock Depths – Upper City – Level Range: 51-61 (46)
Lower Blackrock Spire – Level Range: 55-65 (48)
Upper Blackrock Spire – Level Range: 55-65 (48)

(Source)  and (source)  

Enjoy the leveling and the new areas Blizz has put in.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Tank in Cataclysm ~

Important questions -
Times, they are a changing. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself, do I really want to tank? Seriously, go ask or at least turn your monitor off and look into it. Now, let me ask, are you ready for the coming changes? This might sound crass but looking at the beta vids, hearing Blizz talk and the fact the changes we have now in 4.0.3a tanking will be different.

Oh, I have a bit of a gift for you all, more on that later.

Back to the future -

*This is something we must all make the adjustment with but if you have only tanked in cataclysm please re-read this.

I am not going to sugar coat it this should be a guide to point us that way. Wrath was easy on us all, if we make adjustments, play smarter and play with in our toons limits it will make the runs easier for all involved.

Back to the basics -

Mark your adds - Allow the DPS to see what you need dead first. Tell them to target your target with cute little icon over the NPC's head.

Use CC - You have it, use it. This will help your group as well. All accounts Cata is going to be harder on us all, healers will have less mana to play with and less damage makes their life easier.

Pull smarter - Learn to LOS, let your group know you are doing it. Use the body pull as well. If CC goes off and you throw shield or holy wrath you could break CC and we don't want to do that. It’s why we used CC. This body pull thing... learn how to do it, its a controlled face pull.

Give instruction - Tell the DK, Hunter, Mage you need them to kite. Let the lock know you need seduce and make sure no one is to far bomb the group.

Take suggestions - Regardless of our queue times, we are not the royalty of the group that we think. Yes, Cata DPS will not be able to do a heroic without you but it doesn't mean you need to be an asshat. You are there to take damage and reduce damage to others, let them know you know what you are doing and if someone says "hey I seen it work this way" do not rage quite or tell the group, kick me or GTFO. Your heroic wrath gear will not say what a big shot you are any longer.

Improvement -

Know your toon - Put a bit of time into learning your toons. What do I mean by this? Know cool downs, heals and damage reduction. Be liberal on your Cool downs and use stuns. Is this a caster group? Have Resistance aura up instead of Devo. You have hands for a reason, know when to put a hand on someone in your group.

Know your enemy - Sure there will be an adjustment period, a time when no one in the group can find their behind with both hands. But have an idea of what you are facing. Expect on pull a burst of damage. Know when a special ability is coming and let the group know. In other words, things will be dangerous never underestimate your opponent.

Assist the group - This goes back to healer’s mana and you soaking damage, oh and using tools. If there is a dot on you; cleanse it. If the healer has one on him, cleanse it. LoH, Salv and BoP all work wonders at helping the group. Let them know you know how to tank. I believe that a well-placed hand or LoH's sends the message, you are the go to guy/girl in this place.

Don't be "that tank" - Know what classes have what CC, what buffs and by all means allow the healer to have mana. Don't ask a mage to sheep undead, it won't work. You will look like a fool!

Use buffs - This is no longer Wrath; you cannot zone in and pull. At least initially, use some consumables. Pots, food and buffs will help you along. There was a time when a tank was not in any way shape or form part of DPS that has changed. Do what you can to speed the run by taking a second to use your toons potential.

TL;DR - Use common sense as the tank; mark your adds, use your tools and don't be a tool. But I suggest you read this, its not really that long.

There is a great post on MMO champion along these lines. Good read and well, its MMO Champ so you know the responses you get but the OP gave a more detailed all role break down.
My Gift -
Some might know this, lots don't but here is my gift to you as a reader...Clear your quest log out, everything, clear it out. Go grab 25 dailies and do them until December 7th. You should by now have your hearth set to your home city. As Wrath goes live, spend the first 10 to 15 minutes turning in your 25 dailies and you now have 1/3 to 1/2 of a level and some extra gold...FREE! Hearth to your home city and start your journey to level 85!!!