I have said in the past that, as a druid tank, I’m in favor of running forward to grab my targets, and then turning them so that their back is to the party. I like to do this for a mulitude of reasons;

1) Since I am in the front running to grab my mobs, the melee DPS that follows me can run straight up to the mobs’ backside and begin damage quicker rather than having to circle around behind.

2) I can see what is happening with the party, and am positioned properly to use Feral Charge to leap to someone’s rescue if crowd control breaks or one of my adds gets loose or we pull additional mobs through fear, or runners, or just getting too darn close.

BUT, I do not believe that I have mentioned the other reason I’m okay with doing that, and it is because of keybindings.

Most of us use these newfangled mice with the umpteen gazillian buttons on ‘em. I use a Logitech Razor optic myself, corded. And the mouse has right and left buttons, a center mousewheel that is also a button, and a couple buttons on the left side at easy right-handed thumb distance.

I have one of those extra buttons on the left side near my thumb bound to ‘Flip Camera’.

In the Keybindings section of the Esc menu, there is a category called Camera Functions, and one of those functions is Flip Camera. It is not, by default, bound to anything. If you do like I did and bind it to a handy mouse button, then with a moments’ touch you can see if anyone is behind you, and help maintain situational awareness without spinning around… and without giving away to a potential enemy that you are aware of their approach. Just a tap of the button and you get the camera view looking behind you, and then you flip back. No change of facing required. I started using it in Arathi Basin before BC came out. I just got sick of being nailed with no clue.

Anyway, it works just as well for keeping an eye on your rear, checking your six while you are facing the party and tanking. It’s very handy to be able to glance behind you to see if a pat is on it’s way, or keep an eye on that other group of enemies behind you that you feel is dangerously close, without having to change facing.

Just something that it occured to me that I’d been using more often now that I’m PvPing again, and then realized I’d never really addressed in the blog.

Anyone else have tips that you think of as being a ‘no-brainer’ that you’d like to share with the group?

15 Responses to “A tanking tip on situational awareness”
  1. sheldreyn says:

    It might seems as a no brainer, but it is something that I only discovered recently went I went from tanking to be a melee DPS.

    Avoid moving unnessessarily, once you have position your mobs, avoid moving if you can. This will makes it way more easier for melee DPS.

    I know sometimes it can’t be helped, but when it does this makes it easier for your DPS to time the sequences.

    If there’s a wall, stick your back to it and stay there for as long as it can be possible to be done. That way your DPS will always know were to posiiton themselves to be behind the mob and if you don’t move, this will allow them to use their optimal rotation.

  2. Josh says:

    Sheldreyn beat me to the “back to a wall” comment.

    Separate the tanked target from crowd controlled targets so that DPS’ers can use attack that may have splash – Multi-shot, Chain Lightning, Consecration, etc.

  3. Kikidas says:

    I started to PvP with my druid to get the PvP shoulders for tanking (since everything else that I would like to get is way out of my ability TO get)… but I’m doing it as resto/balance. Because otherwise I’d shoot myself…

    Anyway, some no-brainers I’ve discovered:
    .. when you’re the only healer (or one of few), the enemy will discover this and kill you preferentially. … so if you’re not the healer, please help us out. There’s only so much damage HoTs and barkskin and natural perfection can help with. When we die, chances are… you will too.

    .. If you’re healing, you really aren’t the best person to be guarding a node/zone/tower/flag by yourself. Your best place is pacing the flagbearer/going where the node-cappers are/assisting than remaining kitty stealthed and hoping no one looks your way.

    .. I want to see the expression on the face of the rogue/warrior/whatever else that is killing me when I do Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch to myself when I’m about to die and heal myself almost to full. I bet it’s priceless.

    .. Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch takes at least 1.5 seconds to do, since NS has a global cooldown, so don’t leave off that touch for too long, or the priceless expression will be yours.

    .. A good healer can sometimes make or break your battleground. Love us and we’ll love you!

    As for general things.. can’t say I have anything of interest to report, but that camera flip thing sounds neat. Too bad I have an oldstyle mouse with only three buttons — wheel, left and right.

    My husband plays with a gamepad and bongos, and … dear lord if that doesn’t give you a lot of options.

  4. sheldreyn says:

    Josh nailed 1 good tip here.

    I’m far too often unable to use Whirlwind because a CC’ed mob is too close. Move em’ out of harms way. That way I’ll be able to DPS em even faster.

  5. ARA says:

    Great idea I wll try that out. I’ve used a similar method: simply rotate the camera around the scene, while you’re beating on your mob with your hot keys. You can freely rotate your camera entirely independently of your positioning and attacks. And sometimes its nice to have a side view of your bear swiping away, especially if you’re crammed up against a wall.

  6. Erthshade says:

    Actually, Nature’s Swiftness doesn’t activate the GCD. If it did it would be almost completely worthless and self-defeating.

    My tip that I thought was basic knowledge: if you’re tanking and something’s breaking off to run, move away from them to open up space for a Feral Charge sooner. Strafing works well, especially if you mouseturn to 90 degrees away from the mob so strafe moves you directly away. Chasing straight after rarely helps because the mobs have no intention of coming back without help anyway.

  7. Kikidas says:

    Hrm. Then maybe it’s just my computer being laggy. It seems to have a GCD… I tend to pvp while I’m on the laptop at work and it’s .. not the best machine ever.

    Here’s me blushing at my error. *blush*

  8. Lawn says:

    Druid Tank -
    Save your “Image of Archmage Vagarth”, when running a raid/dungeon place the archmage where you want your group to wait while you go collect/mark the next set of enemy mobs. “Ok you guys stay here and defend Archmage Vagarth!”

    Kill Order should almost always be healer, casters, and everything else. However, if you have cc measures then break up the casters and healers. I perfer to do healers on skull, and then everything else killed, while the casters are cced.

    Druid Healer -
    When a stray enemy is running for you and you know it’s coming, cast cyclone to stop it for 6 seconds. This will give the tank a chance to grab it after the cc is off.

    No time to cast cyclone? Switch to bear form and take a hit or two before the tank picks up the stray mob. Instead of getting 1 shotted you’ll get 1.5 shotted. (Hey every little bit helps!)

  9. ChainTrap says:

    That camera flip trick is a new one on me, and a great one at that! I shall be binding the flip to that exact button, as I suspect that I’m going to find it hugely useful, both with my hunter and my feral.

    I don’t have any generic tips, but I think I’m going to go and blog some pvp hunter tricks that I’ve learnt, in the hope that they’ll be useful to someone.

  10. Crimeariver says:

    >that camera flip thing sounds neat. Too bad I have an oldstyle mouse with only three buttons

    I use a basic mouse too, and I’ve bound the camera flip to the mouse wheel (rolled backward). I started doing this while running flags in wsg. It’s nice to see what’s behind you so you can plan your next move or more easily target your pursuer.

  11. Owl says:

    The camera flip is extremely useful! (btw, I’m a lurker that loves reading your blog) But just in case you can’t key your mouse to the flip, you can set a keybinding to it. I’ve used that for a long time, since I tend to tow people around a lot while they’re on auto-follow and sometimes lose them to a tree…that way I can always see behind me. And..as a priest I do like knowing what’s behind me, lol.

  12. Minmon says:

    One thing I’ve found was that, if you have a mod that lets you move your unit frames, it’s great to move your personal unit frame, as well as your target and target’s target frame, nearer to the center of the screen. This lets you more easily see how your health is doing, and possibly save time if you have any emergency buttons you can use.

  13. Lypi says:

    If you’re offtanking the second or third or whatever target, turn it so that melee DPS will have the shortest run to your mob’s backside. They’ll love you for it.

  14. sheldreyn says:

    Nice one Lypi.

    I’d also add, if the target you are offtanking has no cleave / Whirlwind like Aibility, you can tank it “close” to the MT’s target so that DPSers that have multi-target (Sweeping strikes, cleave, Blade Flurry, etc) abilities can use them. (always make sure no CCed mobs are close)

    Sometimes those 5 extra hits helps down a mob sooner.

  15. KhyBearStare says:

    So…it’s a couple weeks since this was originally posted, but I just found this pretty killer blog today and just have to share one of my tricks. Hopefully someone will read it…

    When I’m going all kitty scratch dps on The Prince in Kara, if I’m not enfeebled I will run THROUGH him to where the tank is up against the wall. That way, when his aoe goes off, I don’t get knocked back into an infernal…I usually end up just jumping up and down a little as I hit the wall…then back up and continue the dps.

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