Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fixing the soft spots!

How do you really improve as a tank, a raider and a player? I think you need to discover your weaknesses as a player and a person. Now, I know that sounds pretty deep when we talk about a game. Until you realize your weakness you won't know what you needs to be fixed.

I think I'm a good tank-
Lets look at what a good tank is for a second. We can loosely say this is subjective but the very basics of a good tank is:

♦Knowing your class (cooldowns, taunts, high threat).
♦Knowing the fights (boss ability, enrage, adds).
♦Knowing the pull (who gets CC'd, who dies 1st).
♦Keeping a decent pace but not out pulling your healers mana.
♦Knowing the limitations of your group/guild. (is threat gear ok vs. pure surv. gear)

As you can see all of these are in one way or another associated with knowledge. That in essence means, you need to tank; to get better, to keep your reaction up, to understand your class and others around you, and to hold threat.

So I just told you want it takes to be at least a competent tank. How do you get better? You have to figure out what you are doing wrong, or at least what you could do better. How? How do we go about that? Listen!

Yes, folks, talk to your tanking partner, healers, DPS...get a feel for what is going on with your pulls, your survivability and your reaction time.

After that is figured out, its time to hit the books or, um, the web. The game of Warcraft changes so fast, you have to get on the web and google it.

Brush up on the basics-

A classic video from Ciderhelm, a good watch and very informative.

The most important rule for any tank in a busy fight is preparation.
If you can answer these questions, you know you are in good shape:
1.) When is the bad thing going to happen?
2.) Who is the bad thing going to happen to?
3.) Where is the bad thing going to happen?

Find what works and make it better-

I don't know where your weakness lies but here is what I have done recently to fix my flaw...

By nature I'm an instinctual guy, I play by feel more than a robotic rhythm in nature. Once I learn a fight or that little light bulb clicks I have it down and rarely do I ever make the same mistake again. I'm not perfect but once I know it, I do it.If I do make a blunder...LOL it is usually EPIC and giggle worthy.

My progression as a tank has gone from keyboard turner (arrow keys) to ASDW key and clicking to all key bound etc...

I've worked on fixing my weaknesses-
♦ Forced myself away from the arrows, to a more comfortable area of the keyboard.
♦ Found a keybind blog and read it, I put my keys like that and talked to my guildies about how they do it. Then I went and praticed doing that forever.
♦ I'm now to the point where I don't keyboard turn in a fight at all, I drive my toon with my mouse and basically type all my spells. Well, wait, I'm a paladin, I don't think there is enough keys on the board to do that so I still click a few things.

Moving it along-

My next biggest area of concern is fight knowledge, sadly it is. If you don't have to raid lead you get complacent and allow the raid leader to do the work for you but...you are the tank, our work is different.

I'll admit, tank spot has a place in my heart and seeing Aliena every now and again isn't the worst thing. That givea you a basic overall just of the fight but it isn't the be all end all of fight knowledge.

So what have I done? I went back to when I had to raid lead our Algalon kill.I spent a lot of time figuring that fight out. Not only did I know his abilities I took into account the limitations of our group going in. Here is an excellent post on what it takes to figure out a fight.

At the minimum you should be-

♦ Watching the fight POV from your class or role in that fight.
♦ Reading Wowwiki or Wowhead and what will happen when the boss casts it.
♦ Watching a video with instruction (Yogscast, Tankspot or Cynicalbrit).

We wear plate-

Thicker skin is the theme here. As a tank, we are the front line of getting our heads kicked in. We need to stop incoming damage and there are other things that get put on us. We are offically the unoffical pace car and scap goat in most situations. Look, I'm not here to talk about pugs, and all that nonsense about who's in charge or whatever. At heart most of us like this responsibility and take some damage at home, behind the key board as well as in a raid/group setting. Its something that just happens.

Not everyone is going to like your tanking, your style or how you pull. There are people that are going to look to call you out as a tank, for various reasons it happens. It could be because they want to tank, want to make you look bad or just don't have a real understanding of the game. You have to move past this and understand, do your job and it will work itself out. Understand you are the pivot person of a raid, with that good or bad you will get attention, wanted or unwanted.

How to counter this-
♦ Understand where its coming from and counter it, is it a warrior or kat that wants to blow all its DPS cool downs on the pull. You could pop a salv. on that player before the pull or if it becomes really overboard, BOP them.
♦ Work on one of the above mentioned areas of concern. Faster movement, fight knowledge...etc.
♦ Communicate with the problem person or people.
♦ Keep doing things the right way and looking to improve, the problem doesn't lie with you.
♦ If you have done all of the above and the problem isn't fixed, Move on....

1 comment:

  1. You really hit the nail on the head: no one is perfect, we all miss stuff and make mistakes. It's how we respond to those mistakes that separate the good tanks from the great ones. /salute