Archive for the “Tanking” Category

Hmm, a tanking post that has nothing to do with math or stats or technique.

WoW is a social game, and tanking is, by definition, something done as part of a group effort. So, let’s talk for a bit about the social aspect of choosing to tank.

I think the biggest potential obstacle facing a good player who is contemplating trying to tank in a group is finding a way to deal with the consequences of failure, real or perceived.

Real or perceived by the tank, and by each individual of the groups they will be in.

I spent a lot of time thinking about the phrasing of that statement.

I said good player, and that’s at the core of where I’m coming from.

By good player, I meant people who care about what they do. Care about how well they do while playing their role, care about not screwing up and causing a wipe, care about whatever it may be that they’re doing, just care.

I think, sometimes, that it’s not fashionable to care about things in the game. That, somehow, if you allow yourself to care, to become emotionally invested in something thats “just a game”, you’re tossed off as a loser.

To me, the structure of WoW is a video game, sure, but as soon as you move from interacting with programmed AI to a group, to actually playing with other real living people, it’s no longer “just a game”. It’s now all about playing, interacting, and socializing with others.

Suddenly, the only difference between grouping in WoW and getting together at a party, bar, pool hall, hopscotch tournament or sporting event is that if you act like a dick, the people around you can’t grab you by the throat and choke the living shit out of you.

Just a game”? Like hell. It’s the biggest game there is; interacting with other people, working together towards a common goal. Whether trying to be a leader or a team player, putting the success of the group above your own snotty feelings of the moment.

Who are the losers in real social situations? Assuming a group of people who share similar interests and could be considered part of the same clique, it’s the people who act like self-centered asshats that become ostracized by the rest of the potential group. Nobody will hang out with them except, of course, other asshats, who splinter off and console themselves by saying the rest of the group were losers anyhow.

Enough BS pop psychology so simplified it’s nearly insulting. Let’s move on before Cassie flames me.

To me, it’s the players that just don’t care, who don’t “give a f%&^” that are the players I never, ever want to see again in my groups. They’re the ones you run into that are in it for themselves, care nothing about anyone else, and who, if feeling themselves slighted or inconvenienced, whether from a slow run (by their standards) or a repair bill or just from having things not go according to THEIR plan, will lash out with hatred and venom instantly to make sure everyone else suffers too.

A good player, to me, is simply someone that cares. Everything else is negotiable.

Any time I am playing any character, if I’m running solo I’m fine. I will be relaxed and confident that whatever happens, nobody but me will get annoyed.

If I’m grouping up, then it’s a different game entirely. Why? Because whatever I do affects other real people, and I don’t want to be the one that screws up or causes the group to fail, or even annoys people. I’m playing for fun, I am inferring that THEY are playing for fun, and I don’t want to ruin other people’s fun with my idiocy.

As soon as someone in the group reveals through their words or actions that they don’t care… well, I’ve said it before, you don’t have to be anybody’s bitch. You deserve a certain amount of consideration and respect, too.

The group requirement is a big obstacle for potential tanks.

By definition, tanking is a group activity, right? So, no matter how well you know your character or spec, at some point you HAVE to face the very first time you will be tanking for someone else.

Tanking a group run consists of a different set of concerns than soloing, regardless of spec.

Let’s say you level as a tanking spec. That will help you to become familiar with the mechanics of the spec, and be more comfortable with what you’re capable of. That’s a great thing.

Even if you dual spec at 80, practising your technique while soloing will help you get comfortable with what you can do. Sure, it’s a good idea.

When you’re soloing, though, the mobs you attack aren’t being distracted by other players. You’re not learning what your big threat generating attacks are, what speed sequences work best for different situations, or have a need to practise generating reactive threat.

You never have to fight to keep the attention of the mobs on you.

Also, while soloing you don’t have an opportunity to practise manuevering yourself and the mobs into positions tactically advantageous to the rest of the party and seeing how well it really works.

Yes, you CAN practise line of sight pulls around terrain obstacles to bring ranged casters closer, and yes you CAN find groups of mixed melee and ranged mobs so that, as a Bear, you can practise our unique skill of Feral Charge to leap from ranged mob to ranged mob, pounding them in sequence and building threat in turns.

But you’re also limited in the size and frequency of that kind of training by not having a healer… and again by not having competing threat generators (those pesky DPS) to challenge your control.

Those skills only really come from experience in groups.

At some point, to be a tank you’ll have to volunteer to tank for others without having any actual group threat and mob control tanking experience.

It’s the very first time thats the worst, when the fear is highest, the fear of failure, of screwing up, of letting the team down.

That first experience, I think, is where we lose a lot of potentially great tanks.

Just the knowledge that you have to tank cold and learn as you go is daunting.

How much worse if you have to join group for the first time with strangers?

Some quick advice; do not, do NOT group up as a tank for your first time with a group of strangers. You might get a group of good players, but chances are high that at least one will be a self-centered snot.

All it takes is one to ruin that first time. Please, don’t do it! Ask some friends, or friends of friends, to go with you knowing that you want to take it slow and ease into it.

My second bit of advice, reiterated from before, is practise your actual skills and talents ahead of time. When you go into an instance (or group situation) for the first time, you should already know what the buttons do.

My third piece of advise is, study the instances ahead of time, and be familiar with them. Most especially, read up on what various mobs and bosses do before you go in, if possible. This isn’t meant to spoil new content, but is very important when tanking content that everyone around you has memorized already. Wowwiki and Wowhead both have excellent comprehensive resources describing each instance, and the mbos and bosses within. 

When you enter that instance with a group for the first time, you should know your buttons, be familiar with your surroundings, and know where to go next. That frees you up to focus on learning/practising two new group-only aspects of tanking;

  1. How to grab mobs and build threat as fast as possible. Controlling the mobs.
  2. How to manuever your camera view to watch the room around you, and do it all the time. Situational awareness.

The first one is obvious. The DPS especially, but also the healer, will generate threat. This finally gives you a means to compare your own ability to generate threat against others. Use your Omen, use your Tidyplates/Threatplates, and concentrate NOT on generating your highest DPS but on cranking out your highest possible THREAT per second. You’ll find that is situational. Some of your best threat abilities will be single target only, and if you use a Global Cooldwon on them, you’ll be losing threat on a group of mobs. For Bears, learning when to start with group AoE threat abilities first like Maul and Swipe, and when to ease off Swipe and switch in others during your GCD comes from experience… and learning what your party will do.

The second one goes with the first. If you lose aggro, being fluid and watching your surroundings will show you what’s going on behind you. If you don’t see the mobs break off and go after your healer, then you can’t react to it with, say, a Feral Charge to a mob on the healer followed by a Challenging Roar.

Also, sometimes members of your party will stand in the wrong place and pull mobs from another group. You have to be able to move your view around and see what those chuckleheads are getting into.

It also helps to be able to see if someone in your group is just an idiot, and stands in the green slime all the time. Knowing that the reason their health is dropping is that they won’t move their ass helps take the feeling of personal responsibility over their life off your shoulders.

It also helps warn you that the healer is probably having to spend their own Global Cooldowns on saving said idiot, rather than on healing you. Time to be prepared to pop your own Survivability and Damage Mitigation cooldowns? Could be.

Please, the first time you run with a group, do it with considerate friends that will help. And try and keep at it, practising until you’re pretty happy with it.

But, that being said, the next hurdle will be deciding if you are willing to put up with random bullshit from asshats to tank for randoms.

It will happen. Nobody that tanks randoms gets good players ALL the time.

From that point on, having given yourself every possible opportunity to learn and practise and master the basics and nuances of tanking…

It’s your call.

I know of several really good players that just don’t tank for random groups. They’ll DPS, and they MIGHT heal, but they won’t put up with the casual abuse. They tank for friends, and that’s it.

I hear that from far more people in private comments than you might believe.

If that’s what you choose, I support you 100%. I’ll say it again in a different way; you do not have to suffer abuse from other people. It’s not your job to be somebody else’s chew toy. If you tank in randoms and people throw abuse your way… you don’t have to deal with it. Put them on ignore at the very least.

What I hope is, if you’re facing that wall, the fear of failing a group, if THAT is what is keeping you from trying tanking for the very first time…

I really hope that you’ll prepare, give yourself every chance at success, and then give it a try with friends. Tanking is an incredibly fun aspect of the game, and you’ll never know if it’s that one thing that really ‘clicks’ with you until you give it a try.

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Blizzard has released some of the new Cataclysm Talent Trees, in a “we’re still working on it” condition.

Druids are one of the fortunate few to get to see a preliminary glimpse at their tree!

Can I just say as a prelude, I anticipate people rerolling Druid JUST to have a Nom Nom Nom ability?

I know *I* would.

Sadly, there is some idea that Blizzard might not keep the name of the proposed Talent “Nom Nom Nom”. I’m almost tempted to start a petition drive to beg them to keep it. Would making the Talent icon a small picture of a cheeseburger be going too far? I think not.

Reposted from MMO Champion’s website for those without connection to them from work, here is the text version of the Druid Talent Tree. My rambled musing starts after the info.

Balance Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
Starlight Wrath (5 points) – Reduces the cast time of your Wrath and Starfire spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 seconds.
Genesis (5 points) – Increases the damage and healing done by your periodic spell damage, healing effects and Swiftmend by 1/2/3/4/5%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
Moonglow (3 points) – Reduces the Mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Starsurge, Wrath, Healing Touch, Nourish, Regrowth and Rejuvenation spells by 3/6/9%.
Nature’s Majesty(2 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of your Wrath, Starfire, Starfall, Nourish and Healing Touch spells by 2/4%.
Improved Moonfire (2 points) – Increases the direct damage of your Moonfire spell by 5/10%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
Nature’s Grace (3 points) – All non-periodic spell criticals have a 33/66/100% chance to grace you with a Blessing of Nature, increasing your spell casting speed by 20% for 3 seconds.
Solar Beam (1 point) – You summon a beam of solar light over the enemy target’s location, interrupting the enemy target and silencing all enemy targets under the beam within 10 yards while it is active. Solar Beam lasts for 12 seconds.
Celestial Focus (3 points) – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Starfire, Starsurge, Hibernate and Hurricane by 23/46/70%.
Nature’s Reach (2 points) – Increases the range of your Balance spells and Faerie Fire (Feral) ability by 10/20%, and reduces the threat generated by your Balance spells by 15/30%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
Nature’s Splendor (1 point) – Increases the duration of your Moonfire and Rejuvenation spells by 3 seconds, your Regrowth spell by 6 seconds, and your Insect Swarm and Lifebloom spells by 2 seconds.
Lunar Justice (3 points) – When you kill a target that yields experience or honor, a ray of moonlight will shine underneath the fallen enemy instantly restoring 2/4/6% of your base mana to you or the first ally who stands underneath it. Lunar Justice lasts for 15 seconds.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
Brambles (3 points) – Damage from your Thorns and Entangling Roots increased by 25/50/75% and damage done by your treants increased by 5/10/15%. In addition, damage from your Treants and attacks done to you while you have Barkskin active have a 5/10/15% chance to daze the target for 3 seconds.
Starsurge (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Solar Beam – You fuse the power of the moon and sun, launching a devastating blast of energy at the target. Causes 622 to 691 Spellstorm damage to the target and knocking them down.
Vengeance (5 points) – Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Starfire, Starfall, Moonfire, and Wrath spells by 20/40/60/80/100%.
Dreamstate (3 points) – Regenerate mana equal to 4/7/10% of your intellect every 5 seconds, even while casting.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
Gale Winds (2 points) – Increases damage done by your Hurricane and Typhoon spells by 15/30%, and increases the range of your Cyclone spells by 2/4 yards.
Lunar Guidance (3 points) – Requires 1 point in Starsurge – Increases the radius of your Solar Beam by 2/4/6 yards, and your Starsurge also instantly generates 5/10/15 Lunar or Solar energy, depending on which is greater.
Balance of Power (2 points) – Increases your chance to hit with spells by 2/4% and increases your spell hit rating by an additional amount equal to 50/100% of your Spirit.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
Moonkin Form (1 point) – Shapeshift into Moonkin Form. While in this form the armor contribution from items is increased by 120%, and increases the spell critical strike chance of all nearby friendly and raid targets within 100 yards by 5%. The moonkin cannot cast healing or resurrection spells while shapeshifted. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of Polymorph and movement impairing effects.
Improved Moonkin Form (3 points) – Requires 1 point in Moonkin Form. You also grant 2/3/5% spell haste to all nearby friendly party and raid targets within 100 yards while in Moonkin Form.
Euphoria (2 points) – When you critically hit with Wrath or Starfire, you instantly gain an additional 2/4 Lunar or 4/8 Solar Energy. When you reach a Solar or Lunar eclipse, you instantly are restored 6/12% of your total mana.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
Owlkin Frenzy (3 points) – Requires 1 point in Moonkin Form – Attacks done to you while in Moonkin form have a 5/10/15% chance to cause you to go into a Frenzy, increasing your damage by 10% and making you immune to pushback while casting Balance spells. Lasts 10 seconds.
Wrath of Cenarius (3 points) – While moving, the direct damage of your Moonfire spell is increased by 5% and its mana cost is reduced by 10% for 3 seconds. This effect can stack up to 3 times and lasts 3 seconds, but is refreshed as long as you are in movement. Your starfire spell gains an additional 8/12% and your Wrath gains an additional 4/6% of your bonus damage effects.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
Improved Eclipse (3 points) – Increases the amount of Lunar or Solar energy generated from your Starfire and Wrath by 12%, and when critically hit by a melee or ranged attack, you will instantly generate Lunar or Solar Energy. When you critically hit with Starfire, you have a 101% chance of increasing damage done by Wrath by 0%. When you critically hit with Wrath, you have a 61% chance of increasing your critical strike chance with Starfire by 0%. Each effect lasts 15 seconds and each has a separate 30-second cooldown. Both effects cannot occur simultaneously.
Typhoon (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Moonkin Form – You summon a violent Typhoon that does 400 Nature damage when in contact with hostile targets, knocking them back and dazing them for 6 seconds.
Force of Nature (1 point) – Summons 3 treants to attack enemy targets for 30 seconds.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
Earth and Moon (3 points) – Your Wrath and Starfire spells have a 100% chance to apply the Earth and Moon effect, which increases spell damage taken by 2/5/8% for 12 seconds. Also increases your spell damage by 2/4/6%.
Fungal Growth (2 points) – When your Treants die or your Wild Mushrooms are triggered, you spawn a Fungal Growth at its wake covering the area within 8 yards, slowing all enemy targets by 35/70%. Lasts 10 seconds.

Tier 11 (Left to Right)
Starfall (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Typhoon – You summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 30 yards of the caster, each dealing 303 to 348 Arcane damage. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts 10 seconds. Shapeshifting into animal form or mounting cancels the effect. Any effect which causes you to lose control of your character will suppress the starfall effect.

Feral Combat Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
Sharpened Claws (2 points) – Increases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.
Ferocity (5 points) – Reduces the cost of your Maul, Swipe, Claw, Rake and Mangle abilities by 1/2/3/4/5 Rage or Energy.
Feral Aggression (5 points) – Increases the attack power reduction of your Demoralizing Roar by 8/16/24/32/40% and the damage caused by your Ferocious Bite by 3/6/9/12/15%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
Shredding Attacks (2 points) – Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.
Feral Instinct (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
Thick Hide (3 points) – Increases your Armor contribution from cloth and leather items by 4/7/10%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
Feral Swiftness (2 points) – Increases your movement speed by 15/30% in Cat Form and increases your chance to dodge while in Cat Form, Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 2/4%.
Predatory Instincts (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your melee critical strikes by 3/7/10%.
Feral Charge (1 point) – Teaches Feral Charge (Bear) and Feral Charge (Cat). Feral Charge (Bear) – Causes you to charge an enemy, immobilizing and interrupting any spell being cast for 4 seconds. This ability can be used in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form. 15-second cooldown. Feral Charge (Cat) – Causes you to leap behind an enemy, dazing them for 3 seconds. 30-second cooldown.
Improved Feral Charge (2 points) – Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat).

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
Nurturing Instinct (2 points) – Increases your healing spells by up to 35/70% of your agility, and increases healing done to you by 10/20% while in Cat Form.
Fury Swipes (3 points) – When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.
Primal Fury (2 points) – Gives you a 50/100% chance to gain an additional 5 Rage anytime you get a critical strike while in Bear and Dire Bear Form, and your critical strikes from Cat Form abilities that add combo points have a 50/100% chance to add an additional combo point.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
Brutal Impact (2 points) – Increases the stun duration of your Bash and Pounce abilities by 0.5/1 seconds, and decreases the cooldown of Bash by 5/10 seconds.
Heart of the Wild (5 points) – Increases your intellect by 4/8/12/16/20%. In addition, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form your stamina is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%, and while in Cat Form your attack power is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Survival Instincts (1 point) – When activated, this ability temporarily grants you 30% of your maximum health for 20 seconds while in Bear Form, Cat Form, or Dire Bear Form. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
Predatory Strikes (2 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50/25% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
Natural Reaction (3 points) – Increases your dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form by 2/4%, and you regenerate 1/2 rage every time you dodge while in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form.
Endless Carnage (2 points) – Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.
Survival of the Fittest (3 points) – Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases the contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
King of the Jungle (3 ranks) – While using your Enrage ability in Bear Form or Dire Bear Form, your damage is increased by 5/10/15%, and your Tiger’s Fury ability also instantly restores 20/40/60 energy.
Leader of the Pack (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Heart of the Wild – While in Cat, Bear, or Dire Bear Form, Leader of the Pack increases ranged and melee critical chance of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%.
Improved Leader of the Pack (2 points) – Requires 1 point in Leader of the Pack – Your Leader of the Pack ability also causes affected targets to heal themselves for 2/4% of their total health when they critically hit with melee or ranged attacks. The healing effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds. In addition, you gain 4/8% of your maximum mana when you benefit from this heal.
Primal Tenacity (3 points) – Reduces the duration of fear effects by 10/20/30% and reduces all damage taken while stunned by 5/10/15% while in Cat Form.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
Protector of the Pack (3 points) – Increases your attack power by 2/4/6% and reduces the damage you take by 4/8/12%, while in Bear or Dire Bear Form.
Infected Wounds (2 points) – Your Shred, Maul, Ravage and Mangle attacks cause an Infected Wound in the target. The infected Wound reduces the movement speed of the target by 25/50% and the attack speed by 10/20%. Lasts 12 seconds.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
Primal Madness (2 points) – Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.
Mangle (1 point) – Mangle the target, inflicting damage and causing the target to take additional damage from bleed effects for 1 minute. This ability can be used in Cat Form or Dire Bear form.
Improved Mangle (3 points) – Reduces the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability by 0.5/1.0 seconds and reduces the energy cost of your Mangle (Cat) ability by 2/4.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
Nom Nom Nom (2 points) – When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.
Rend and Tear (5 points) – Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10%.
Pulverize (1 point) – Requires 5 points in Rend and Tear – Requires Dire Bear Form – Deals 100% weapon damage plus additional 786 damage for each of your Lacerate applications on the target, and increases your melee critical strike chance by 2% for each Lacerate application consumed for 10seconds.

Tier 11 (Left to Right)
Berserk (1 point) – When activated, this ability causes your Mangle (Bear) ability to hit up to 3 targets and have no cooldown, and reduces the energy cost of all your Cat Form abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. You cannot use Tiger’s Fury while Berserk is active. Clears the effect of Fear and makes you immune to Fear for the duration.

Restoration Tree

Tier 1 (Left to Right)
Blessing of the Grove (2 points) – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 2/4%.
Nature’s Focus (3 points) – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Healing Touch, Wrath, Entangling Roots, Cyclone, Nourish, Regrowth and Tranquility by 23/46/75%.
Furor (5 points) – Gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain 10 Rage when you shapeshift into Bear and Dire Bear Form, and you keep up to 20/40/60/80/100 of your energy when you shapeshift into Cat Form. In addition, your total intellect is increased while in Moonkin Form by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 2 (Left to Right)
Perseverance (5 points) – Reduces all spell damage taken by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Subtlety (3 points) – Reduces the threat generated by your Restoration spells by 10/20/30%.
Natural Shapeshifter (3 points) – Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 10/20/30%.

Tier 3 (Left to Right)
Naturalist (5 points) – Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch and Nourish spells by 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 seconds and increases the damage you deal with physical attacks in all forms by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Omen of Clarity (1 point) – Each of the druid’s damage, healing spells and auto-attacks has a chance of causing the caster to enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana, rage or energy cost of your next damage spell, healing spell or offensive ability by 100%.
Master Shapeshifter (2 points) – Requires 3 points in Natural Shapeshifter – Grants an effect which lasts while the druid is within the respective shapeshift form. Bear Form – Increases physical damage by 2/4%. Cat Form – Increases critical strike chance by 2/4%. Moonkin Form – Increases spell damage by 2/4%. Tree of Life Form – Increases healing by 2/4%.

Tier 4 (Left to Right)
Improved Rejuvenation (3 points) – Increases the effect of your Rejuvenation and Swiftmend spells by 5/10/15%.
Tranquil Spirit (5 points) – Reduces the mana cost of your Healing Touch, Nourish and Tranquility spells by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Tier 5 (Left to Right)
Nature’s Swiftness (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Naturalist – When activated, your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds becomes an instant cast spell.
Improved Tranquility (2 points) – Reduces threat caused by Tranquility by 50/100% and reduces the damage you take while channeling Tranquility by 25/50%.

Tier 6 (Left to Right)
Living Seed (3 points) – When you critically heal your target with Swiftmend, Regrowth, Nourish or Healing Touch spell you have a 33/66/100% chance to plant a Living Seed on the target for 30% of the amount healed. The Living Seed will bloom when the target is next attacked. Lasts 15 seconds.
Nature’s Bounty (5 points) – Requires 3 points in Improved Rejuvenation – Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth spell by 10% on targets at or below 25% health, and you have a 20% chance when you critically heal with Healing Touch and Nourish to reduce the remaining cooldown of your Swiftmend spell by 0.5 seconds. Increases the critical effect chance of your Regrowth and Nourish spells by 10/15/20/25%.
Fury of a Stormrage (3 points) – You have a 5/10/15% chance when you cast Nourish or Healing Touch to cause your next Wrath spell to be instant cast and cost no mana. Fury of Stormrage lasts for 8 seconds.

Tier 7 (Left to Right)
Swiftmend (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Nature’s Bounty [NYI] – Consumes a Rejuvenation or Regrowth effect on a friendly target to instantly heal the target for 5306.
Empowered Touch (2 points) – Your Healing Touch heals for 5% more on targets at or below 25% health, and your Nourish spell has a 50% chance to refresh the duration of your Lifebloom on targets. Your Healing Touch spell gains an additional 32%, and your Nourish spell gains an additional 16% of your bonus healing effects.

Tier 8 (Left to Right)
Efflorescence (3 points) – Requires 1 point in Living Seed – When you critically heal with your Regrowth spell you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 15 yards who stand on them for 10/20/30% of the amount healed by your Regrowth every 1 seconds for 7 seconds. Increases your total spirit by 10/15/20/25%.
Empowered Rejuvenation (5 points) – The bonus healing effects of your heal-over-time spells and Swiftmend is increased by 4/8/12/16/20%.
Natural Perfection (3 points) – Critical strikes against you give you the Natural Perfection effect, reducing all damage taken by 2/3/4%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 8 seconds.

Tier 9 (Left to Right)
Revitalize (3 points) – When your Regrowth or Lifebloom heal-over-time periodic damage critically hits, you instantly regenerate 1/2/3% of your total mana. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.
Tree of Life (1 point) – Requires 5 points in Empowered Rejuvenation – Shapeshift into the tree of Life, increasing healing done by 15% and increasing your armor by 240%, but reducing your movement speed by 50%. In addition, some of your spells are temporarly enhanced while shapeshifted. Lasts 45 seconds. 5-minute cooldown. Enhanced spells: Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Regrowth, Entangling Roots, Thorns, Wrath
Improved Tree of Life (3 points) – Requires 1 point in Tree of Life – Reduces the cooldown of your Tree of Life by 30/60/90 seconds, and increases your damage done while in Tree of Life by 5/10/15%.

Tier 10 (Left to Right)
Improved Barkskin (2 points) – Grants 80/160% additional armor contribution from cloth and leather items while in Travel Form or while not shapeshifted. In addition, the damage reduction granted by your Barkskin spell is increased by 5/10%.
Gift of the Earthmother (5 points) – Increases the healing done by your Tranquility on targets at or below 25% health by 4%, increases the healing done by the bloom effect of your Lifebloom by 2%, and your Rejuvenation spell also instantly heals for 3% of the total periodic effect. Increases your total spell haste by 4/6/8/10% and reduces the base cooldown of your Lifebloom spell by 4/6/8/10%.

Tier 11 (Left to Right)
Wild Growth (1 point) – Requires 1 point in Tree of Life – Heals up to 5 friendly party or raid members within 15 yards of the target for 2905 over 6.99 seconds. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Wild Growth reaches its full duration.

Isn’t that just amazing?

Remember please, that the Talent Tree specifics including the picture is reposted directly from MMO Champion, and you can expect them to have continual upates and additional information as they discover it, so please check there yourself when you’re able. Thank you.

Now, for the, ahem, “value added” part of the blog post, yes?

The first impression is, Feral Bear Druids are going to walk into Cataclysm with very few changes to the core philosophy of the class.

We continue to have Feral as our main tree, with some points in Resto, and none in Balance.

We continue to use Survival of the Fittest, in Tier 6, as our “immune to critical strikes from opponents 3 levels higher than us” ability. By implication, max level raid mobs and bosses will continue to be set at 3 levels higher than us in terms of Hit.

In fact, we continue to have all of the abilities and Talents we’ve grown used to as Bears. Survival Instincts for an “oh shoot” button, Natural Reaction to increase Dodge and return Rage, Primal Fury to return Rage from critical strikes, Leader of the Pack and heals from Improved Leader of the Pack, Protector of the Pack for an overall damage reduction (including magic), Mangle and Berserk.

I think that, considering the changes in store for Plate wearers in terms of diverting attention away from Defense Rating, we can be reassured that we’re building on our foundation rather than ripping it up and starting over.

The first big change of note is the addition of Perseverance in Tier 2 of the Resto tree. This Talent will add an additional 10% spell damage reduction. That’s a pretty huge Bear Tank survival Talent change, and should be cause for some happiness.

Unsurprisingly, when we consider a new level 85 cap with 76 points available to spend, I’m not seeing a “perfect” build that gives me everything I want. Which is what we were told to expect.

What I’m seeing specifically in my build analysis is a solid 16 points in Restoration, with 5/5 Furor, 5/5 Perseverance, 5/5 Naturalist, and 1 in Omen of Clarity.

I originally posted this as 18 points in Resto, and 2/2 Master Shapeshifter. Unfortunately, as Kaethir pointed out (as someone always does within seconds of a post) there was an inaccuracy. Namely, you can’t take Master Shapeshifter without first taking 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter. In really looking at the options available, I can say that I am unwilling to lose 3 points elsewhere so I could take Natural Shapeshifter, just to keep +4% physical damage in Bear form. That’s a 5 point investment for +4% damage. We’ll keep in mind that we’d like to free up 5 points from the Feral tree in a perfect world, shall we?

Don’t hold your breath.

With 16 points in Resto, at level 85 we’re left with 60 points for the Feral tree. 

I’ll describe my initial thinking, including describing all Talents (not just new ones), just because you never know how knowledgeable someone is about what a Talent name actually corresponds to in end effect. I do try to be new tank friendly. 

What I’m looking at in the Feral tree is;

2/2 Sharpened Claws, for increased Maul damage. Maul is a huge part of Threat generation.

5/5 or 4/5 Ferocity for Rage cost reduction on many abilities. If you want a single point for something else, this is a possible choice. Otherwise, go 5/5. 

3/3 Feral Instinct for increased Swipe damage. More Swipe damage = more Swipe threat on AoE targets. Win.

3/3 Thick Hide… mandatory talent for Bears.

0/3 in Shredding Attacks for my build, because Lacerate is only one ability in the rotation, and the Rage savings doesn’t measure up to the value of a point to me. This attitude on my part may change with the new desirability of full Lacerate stacks to an Endless Carnage/Pulverize rotation. But I doubt it.

2/2 Feral Swiftness for the Dodge, another core Bear talent.

3/3 Predatory Instincts, increased melee critical strike chance. This is important as a foundation for the build, not only because crits increase damage based threat across the board, but also because a later talent, Primal Fury, feeds us Rage on a successful critical strike. More crits = more Rage, especially with Swipe on AoE.

1/1 Feral Charge. I use Feral Charge all the time when running from group to group. Heck, I even use it a TON during a single group pull, when caster mobs are spread out like they are in early Forge of Souls and on the ramp of Pit of Saron. The spell interruption is perfect since I use it to go from caster to caster.

2/2 Improved Feral Charge. My initial plans put this as a possible place to shave points. The reason I want to keep it is because 30% melee haste for 8 seconds, in the very first 8 seconds of an initial group pull, is pretty huge in terms of fast threat generation, SO LONG AS YOU HAVE ENOUGH RAGE. I see this dovetailing with Enrage and Primal Madness to form a new standard pull strategy of Enrage and Feral Charge in every time. Assuming, of course, you’re not doing that already.

1/3 or 0/3 Fury Swipes, and I’ll tell you why. It’s based on auto-attack speed, it’s 12% max chance, it triggers only from auto-attacks, and it can’t happen more than once every 6 seconds. For a DPS rotation, yes I’m sure it could be good if used properly, but for Bears, with so many other Talents to choose from, it’s not going to improve our initial Threat generation in the first 6 seconds of a pull by nearly enough to justify three points. Over a long fight, yes it could be very significant, and may be a solid Talent for a main tank boss fight build. BUT, for most situations, Talents that improve initial threat generation and instant damage should take precedence over Talents that add damage at a steady, measured pace over time. So the longer the fight, the more significant Fury Swipes would be. My default is to leave a point in this one so it does trigger occasionally, and see if the 6 second choke on it helps it proc enough to overcome not having a higher chance of occurance.

2/2 Primal Fury is another core Bear talent, returning Rage from successful crits, including crits caused by each mob affected by Swipe.

5/5 Heart of the Wild – we get to keep this? Yay!

1/1 Survival Instincts, again I love this as an effective “oh shit” button, especially when triggered right before Frenzied Regeneration.

3/3 Natural Reaction, a core Bear talent increasing Dodge and returning Rage per successful Dodge.

2/2 Endless Carnage. This is a really interesting one, because for Bears it will increase the duration of Pulverize by 6 seconds. Pulverize is a talent on the Tier 10 range that I’ll go into a lot more later. Just keep in mind… plus 6 second duration of Pulverize.

3/3 Survival of the Fittest, our core Bear talent for being uncrittable by mobs 3 levels higher than ourselves, which are basically raid mobs and bosses. Oh yeah, and more armor for more damage reduction!

3/3 King of the Jungle – this is one of the other abilities I can see losing a point from. We could either lose 1 point in this, Ferocity, or Improved Mangle. Losing 1 point in this drops our boosted damage while Enraged to 10% instead of 15%.

1/1 Leader of the Pack, a great party/raid buff, but that’s not why I like it.

2/2 Improved Leader of the pack, a self heal per crit, and THIS is why I love LotP. It’s nice when in a party or raid, but when soloing, it’s divine, especially on lower level instances. And I’ll be honest… one of my favorite things to do is to run my friends/wife through lower level content. This almost completely removes the need for a healer when running through Ramparts.

3/3 Protector of the Pack, which does boost damage, but more importantly is one of the main ways we reduce magical damage. Our armor does not affect magic damage at all, so this, and the new Perseverance, are our two magic damage reduction abilities. Is it important not to instantly die in an AoE fire? Yes, I think so.

0/2 or 1/2 Infected Wounds, normally none. If you do feel particualrly squishy, especially on new boss fights in Catacylsm, the slower mob attack speed can help. If so, or if you’re annoyed by lots of runners, you can put a point in here from somewhere else. I’d recommend starting with Fury Swipes and Improved Mangle to draw from.

2/2 Primal Madness, I love having that instant Rage from Enrage, and this now also buffs Berserk Rage, so yes, I want to keep 2/2.

1/1 Mangle. Umm, yeah.

3/3 or 2/3 Improved Mangle. This one is the one I really think is the most likely to lose 1 point in my build. In my rotations, with the longer Bleed duration, I think it would be fine. The one wierd thing is, while it says 3 ranks, it shows 0.5/1.0 and 2/4, which indicates only two ranks. So, will we not even have the opportunity to have 3/3? We’ll see.

5/5 Rend and Tear, which not only buffs Maul damage by 20 bloody be damned percent, but ALSO unlocks Pulverize.

1/1 Pulverize. A new Talent, a new ability, and an interesting choice. Dire Bear Form only, so it’s a tanking thing. What does it do? Well, it looks like an instant cast that deals 100% weapon damage, PLUS 786 damage per Lacerate on your target. So, you stack Lacerate to max and then boom. But wait, there’s more! It also EATS those lacerate stacks, and in exchange it increases your melee crit strike chance by 2% per Lacerate. It’s 10 seconds default, plus 6 seconds if you have 2/2 Endless Carnage. There is nothing that says this is increased crit on that target only. So, what we’re saying is, you can stack up Lacerates on one target, blow Pulverize, and increase your max crit chance on all targets affected by everything, including Maul and Swipe, for the next 16 seconds.

Yes, please. Oh, hell yes. Remember that whole “regain Rage on successful crit” thing from Primal Fury? And let’s never forget, your successful crits BUBBLE YOU. Yum yum yum feaking yum.

And finally, 1/1 Berserk. I love Berserk anyway, and now Primal Madness makes it give me Rage, too.

So… interesting, interesting. I’m not seeing any problems here whatsoever. It’s all good, my friends.

Anyway… the future looks so bright, my Bear might have to wear shades!

And please… no whining about not getting more AoE talents, all right? I think 1 16 second buffed crit chance from Pulverize might help enhance the threat of our existing Swipe AoE.

Oh yeah, and as far as no ranged Silence to help pull… well, I LIKE using Feral Charge and ranged Feral Faerie Fire and Growl on distant mobs. It feels like I’m more active on the battlefield. Don’t ask me why.

So… what are your impressions?

Comments 41 Comments »

As with all of my other posts, what I’m going to say represents my opinion. No more, no less. 

The tanking role is a mighty strange one. 

There is a saying that floats around sometimes, “Perception is reality”. I think some of the implication is that it doesn’t matter what may have been intended; once something goes live, people build expectations, and the longer it’s around, the more entrenched those expectations become, and the more people accept them and work to fulfill them, the harder it’ll ever be to change it.

Take tanking. There is no rule that says a party has to be led by the tank, any more than a raid has to be led by one.

Early on in Warcraft*, folks formed parties wondering how all this “group instance” stuff was gonna work out, and everyone stood around looking at each other, wondering what to do. Nobody wanted to get their face eaten off by a mob, so they turned their pitiful gazes on the tank and suggested, “You go get ‘em, and we’ll tag along and kill ‘em and keep you alive. We’re squishy.”

So what happens? The tank is looking at all the mobs, and decides who to pull first. The players who are there to kill things are looking to the tank for their next target. The healer is watching the health bars, and their positioning if there is lava.

So the tank is seeing more of the instance, and the reactions of the mobs, than most players tend to.

When wipes happen, sure everyone sees it and everyone speculates on what the cause was, but the tank is the one that feels guilty for letting the party die. So the player that tanks tends to do research on what happened so it won’t happen to him again, and comes up with a few ideas on how to approach it differently next time.

It didn’t take very long before the expectation in vanilla WoW was that the tank was the party leader, because the tanks you met led the way through, and in self-defense researched what would happen and how to handle the pulls safely, and spoke with the voice of experience… or faked it well.

Perception became reality. As more people expected tanks to be the leaders, new players that wanted to be tanks figured that in order to be a good tank, they had to learn everything about the instances first before they could successfully try tanking it.

Tanks came to be expected to know each instance or raid intimately.

By intimately I mean that sometimes you get screwed really hard a few times before you learn what not to do. I am on intimate terms with a lot of instances.

The tank knew what the enemy would or would not do, knew where to go next for quests, knew who needed to be sheeped or sapped or banished, knew when poison cleansing was important, knew when to ask for a chain trap, just bloody well knew.

It’s pretty intimidating if you’re new to the game.

Is it laziness on anyone else’s part that the tank almost always leads? No. It’s just the way the three party role paradigm works out. The player that does the pulling tends to be the one others look to for direction on where to go next. 

When you get in a multiple tank environment like a raid, it’s a lot easier to break the mold and have anyone be the raid leader, provided the tanks aren’t control freaks and are open to direction. But in a group of five, one tank, three DPS, one healer, the expecation was, and remains, that the tank will lead the run.

If you have never been the tank, and you’d really like to try it out, there is so much baggage tied up in the role that it’s hard to know where to start.

So, let’s break things down and build on them, one piece at a time.

Is playing a tank, the actual mechanics of being a tank, more difficult to master than any other class or spec?

No. Absolutely not.

You can easily learn the basics of being a tank.

Each class has it’s own niche in a group.

If you’ve played a DPS you’ve already learned that success is measured by doing top DPS and performing your crowd control (and other class abilities) wisely.

If you’ve played a healer, you’ve already learned that success is measured by keeping everyone’s health up and cleansing, and using other class abilities wisely.

As a tank, it’s the same thing. To be a successful tank, you hold threat on all the mobs, and intercept the ones that get away from you, taunting them back. And you try to be hard to kill, but that’s all about gear first, and proper talents/cooldowns second. Oh yeah, and use your class abilities wisely.

You can practise all that without being in a group. You can ask any friend you’d like to come along in a party with you, and you can grab large groups of mobs out in the world and go to twon. Shadowmoon Valley has some great places to find clusters of mobs to try yourself out on, especially just east of that honking big volcano thingie in the center of the map. Or maybe you’d prefer grabbing huge groups of undead in Icecrown. Whatever, as long as there are both melee and casters in the mix.

Grab a group of mobs, let your friend use whatever AoE they have, and try and drag the baddies around with you. This let’s you practise moving while keeping your front to the group. You don’t want mobs to get behind you.

If the groups have runners when they get low on health, it’s wonderful. The mob will run, they’ll likely grab another group and drag them all back to you. You’ll have spell casters at range shooting at your friend, you’ll have melee running into you or at your friend, it’ll be chaos.

It’s the perfect chance to learn how to do ranged taunts to get mobs off your friend when they’re outside your immediate range. Or to learn how to Feral Charge all up in the ranged mob’s face. Or to learn how to do line of sight pulls around architectural features to make ranged mobs run to you, and find out what happens when you friend stands out in sight, and gets aggro because he keeps shooting them. Or to Death Grip, or use your shield throw, or whatever.

If you’re nervous about the mechanics of playing a tanking class, you can practise without being in a group. You can gain confidence and learn how to respond to the mobs. It’s really not hard to do, I promise you.

What is hard is trying to learn the mechanics of playing a tanking class without previous experience or confidence, at the same time as you try to perform the tasks of party leader in front of a crowd of strangers.

So, learn the mechanics of your class. Practise. Try things out yourself, in the “real world” before you go into an instance. Take a friend or two that has some patience and is fine with experimenting. I know of very few DPS players that would be upset to be told, “I need you to blow things up as hard as you can for me so I can see if I can grab aggro back. Can you do that?”

“Aw, shucks. It’s a hardship, and you’re gonna really owe me one, but if I really have to, I suppose I can help you out.”

The second part, leading a group of experienced strangers, that’s the part that I think scares a lot of people. And rightfully so.

It’s going to be hard to lead a group somewhere, especially a group that may already know the ins and outs of an instance, if you don’t know where you’re going.

Doing an instance as DPS or healer the first time, and keeping your eyes open, can help you out. It gives you an orientation on where things are, what to expect. So can watching any of the thousands of videos on YouTube showing walkthroughs of instances or raids.

Reading about what the mobs in an instance can do in advance, what their attacks and abilities are, can also help you know what to expect. Wowhead and WoWwiki are both excellent resources for researching mob tactics. Both websites have sections giving very complete details of instances and raids. WoWwiki tends to be out of date on things, but it’s still a good resource.

But the single most important thing you can do, is break down every mob fight into it’s component parts, and practise basic tactics based on those components. No matter what instance you go into, trash fights are basically going to work the same.

You’ve got two types of mobs. You’ve got melee and ranged casters.

If you walk up to your extreme range from a group, and you taunt (or shoot an arrow, or whatever) into the crowd, the ones that are melee will run to you, and the casters will stand in place and shoot at you.

It’s really that simple.

So what do you do about it?

If you learn which mobs are melee, and which ones are ranged, then you’re going to be able to move yourself with confidence right at the start of every pull.

The mobs themselves may do different things, ranged DPS or heal others or AoE or Hex or Curse or whatever, but the important distinction is ranged or melee.

When you attack a group, the melee will run right to you. The ranged enemy will stand in place and shoot/cast. Period.

With that in mind, the most basic tactical manuever is to run/charge into the group, targeted on a caster first, and use AoE as you go to do damage/threat to all the melee. Your first goal is to get within your melee range of as many ranged mobs as possible. Move yourself so as to get as many of them as you can in your AoE/multiple mob attacks.

At that point, when you Swipe, or Death and Decay, or Consecrate, you’ll be getting the casters as well as the melee.

Clear out the ranged casters first. If you have to move around, have no fear, the melee will follow you around. They like you!

Build your threat on all the mobs, and burn them down. Squishies get to die first. Once they’re all dead, you’ve won.

Next!

Congratulations, that’s how 90% of your isntance run trash pulls will work.

Now, if you can’t get all the casters into your melee range in one shot, then you’ve got more tactical decisions to make from there.

Your first step is always bringing the fight to the ranged. If you can’t get all the ranged in one go, you can get them to come to you.

You can do that using a line of sight pull. This takes into account the fact that mobs will move the shortest distance possible in order to get their target within line of sight to continue the attack. Line of sight is blocked by most architectural features. Like walls and corners and really, really wide pillars.

The line of sight pull means you taunt/shoot one mob in a group, then duck around a corner out of sight to them. This does threat to one mob, and gets the attention of the rest. (While doing no threat to those other mobs. For more on how threat works on group pulls, check out my incredibly ancient post on the subject from 2007. Most of the multiple mob stuff there is obsolete with the introduction of Maul Glyphs and Swipe, but threat still works the same way.)

So, you stand there hiding around the corner, and the entire group will come running in a straight line least distance manuever until they can all get you within their sights to attack. This clumps them up beautifully as they round the corner, right into the maws of your fully automatic machine guns and nuclear powered chain saws.

Sadly, most heroic groups don’t let you do this anymore. If you do a line of sight pull, you’ve got a good chance that someone will either shoot them, pulling aggro and making them stop to attack their new favorite target, or the healer will run forward to stand within sight of the mobs and “top your health off”, thereby pulling aggro so that they stop in their tracks and shoot him.

Another tactical choice you could make is to move to and stand on as many ranged casters as you can just like normal, build aggro on them with your AoE, but keep the most distant ranged caster(s) targeted, and use ranged attacks/Taunts on them to keep them focused on you for a short time while you build up a nice threat lead on your current group.. After the current group within your melee range is nice and smacked up, you can do whatever you’d like to get the distant mobs. Feral Charge over, Shield Throw with Silence, Death Grip, walk over swinging a sledgehammer, whatever floats your boat, honey. 

The point is, the goal is to keep threat on all your targets. The melee targets will run TO you and even follow you around, conveniently staying in your AoE and multiple mob threat attacks. The ranged casters will not. So, your special attention goes to planning how you intend to get the casters’ attention and keep it.

It doesn’t sound all that hard, does it?

That’s the secret. It’s not.

You don’t have to know the exact names of every mob, and what they all do. It helps, sure. Experience, and knowing when to apply the right ability at just the right time is great. Studying instances beforehand will help you feel confident, at keep you from getting lost.

But that works the same for all classes. Is the tank the only one expected to know what mobs do? Of course not. Every Shaman knows that when you’re going up against King Dred in Drak’theron Keep, that’s a real good time to drop Tremor Totem, amiright?

But my point is, if you already know how to, and feel confident with, tanking and holding groups of combined melee and ranged, then you’re in the zone.

From there on out, it’s fine tuning the process for each situation, learning from experience what flows best from group to group.

Do that, and you’ll quickly build up the confidence to tank any random you’d like.

Confidence built from being comfortable with what your abilities are and how to use them. Confidence that when you pull a group, you know how you’re going to handle casters and melee mobs.

Once yuo’re solid with the basics, go for it. The more real experience you get from that point on, the more confident you will be that when the shit hits the fan, you’ll be ready. 

Sure, mistakes happen, but they happen to everyone. Tanking can be a lot of fun, and take it from me… you really don’t need to be an obsessive control freak to be one, and do well at it.

No, no matter what you think, I’m serious. Really. You don’t.

No, put down the straight jacket and back away, I swear I’ve seen tanks that aren’t obsessed control freaks with an encyclopediac knowledge of every mob and instance in the game.

Like… and… well, then theres… hmm. Right! Oh, wait no….

Okay, I’ll get back to you on that.

* Changed from Everquest, since I never played Everquest, and while my friends have told me stories about tanking, someone said I was wrong, so hey, go with what you know.

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If you’re thinking about tanking, then no matter what class you might intend to try, there are a few ideas you should have in the brain housing group to help you along the way.

Over the years I’ve said all this stuff, so none of it is particularly new or ground breaking. I don’t think I’ve ever put it together and stickied it before, though, so here we go.

When you want to play the game, you want to be successful. You want to be a good tank, a successful tank, a tank that other people will want to run with again.

Before you prepare, you need to get it clear in your mind, what is a successful tank? How do you measure success as a tank?

A successful tank is one that can hold threat on all appropriate targets, and can regain threat when it’s lost as soon as possible.

You can go above and beyond that, but aggro is the key measure of success.

In any combat encounter, there are mobs you intended to fight. Maybe you as the tank pulled them, or charged into them, or maybe another player attacked from range, or maybe a Rogue stealthed in and got busted before you got there.

However the pull happened, if you immediately grab aggro on all intended mobs, you build threat on those mobs to the point that your other players find it difficult to pull it away from you when they are dealing strong DPS, and you ride the group down until they’re all dead without chaos or confusion, then you are performing well as a tank.

I’d like to say you would be graded as “meeting expectations” on a performance review, but I’ve BEEN running heroics and randoms in LFD at all levels, and I’m here to tell you; a tank that can grab and hold aggro is exceeding my expectations these days.

That’s it. All the rest of this post is going to be meandering tips and suggestions on how to prepare for the mission of grabbing and holding threat.

First, study your abilities as you get them when leveling up. Take the time to read the player comments on Wowhead for any abilities you are not intimately familiar with. You’re not expected to know everything about how an ability works the second you get it. If you read what other people have to say, very often you’ll get some helpful tips on how other people use it… or whether people even use it at all.

As you read about your abilities, make a list of the ones that specify they deal “high amounts of threat”. What that phrase means is that, while all normal attacks will have a standard amount of threat per point of damage, some abilities have a built in multiplier; they do more threat per point of damage, or even do massive threat without dealing damage at all.

Also, make a list of abilities that affect more than one target. Those are your prime “multiple mob” abilities.

Read through the list of Glyphs available to your class. Some of them may modify an ability to affect additional mobs, or cause your AoE to have a greater range of effect. Any time you can use a Glyph to have a core threat generating ability affect more targets for free, it’s something to take notice of.

With Glyphs, don’t get locked into the idea that what works best at max level or for raiding is what you need to use all the time, or at all levels, either. You can find some things helpful at lower levels, then upgrade as you go.

So, build up your own repertoire of abilities based on threat, and on affecting multiple targets. Plan your Glyphs to help out.

Put your Taunt abilities, single target and group, someplace on your bar or hotkeyed where you can get to them fast. No matter how good you are, every tank has experienced someone pulling threat from them. Everyone. It’s how quickly you grab that aggro back that counts.

Finally, try and control the battlefield.

Controlling the battlefield is the absolute hardest thing for tanks to do.

I like to suggest that, when you don’t know how the group will work together, you try and mark a Skull target for a “first kill”. That will be the target you’re going to focus on when you’re not spreading AoE/multiple mob threat around.

A lot of players seem to resent such marks these days. I’m not sure why, since the idea is to help the tank hold aggro and let the DPS open up without worrying about pulling threat. Maybe people WANT to pull threat. Maybe people resent being told what to do by anyone, and want to be their own boss. Maybe some people are just dicks. I dunno, a little of part A, a little of part B with some C mixed in for flavor?

Still, it’s a fact. I’ve seen people bitch about Skulls, I’ve seen people intentionally target anything BUT Skull, I’ve even frequently seen Skull be the last mob standing in runs, even after asking everyone to please focus on Skull first.

Like I said, I suggest using Skull as a starter. All you can do is try. If you get good enough at threat generation, if you have your own ways of knowing whos got threat on what, you always have the option of not using a kill mark, and if someone pulls off you, just taunting the mob back and moving on with your life. There’s less drama that way.

Amazing how quickly people get prickly if there is the slightest suggestion that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t the greatest group player in the universe if you mention that they’ve pulled aggro fifteen times during the run so far. So, you can just deal with it as an added challenge, suck it up and move on.

Or, if you feel like you’re doing everything you possibly can and should do and they’re still pulling aggro, you can always let them pull and die. What the heck, it’s their repair bill. Tough love, right?

Back to controlling the battlefield.

Knowing which mobs in a group you DO or DO NOT have aggro on is very, very difficult. You’ve basically got three options.

The first option is what I call “Spray and Pray”. You start with your AoE threat ability, like a Druid’s Swipe, Warrior’s Thunder Clap, a Paladin’s Consecration or a Death Knight’s Death and Decay.

Then, you build on that by spreading around attacks that have multiple mob affects. Specifically, you target the mob on the center and use a multiple mob attack, then target the left most mob and attack, then the right most mob and attack. Since you have no control over who the extra mobs are that get hit by “target plus x” attacks, this is an attempt to spread your damage/threat as wide as possible among the group.

An example of Spray and Pray for a Druid is, start with Swipe, target the left most mob and get a Maul triggered (plus attacks), Swipe then target right most mob and Maul plus other attack, Swipe and hit the center, Swipe and Maul the left again, etc.

You’re hoping to build up group threat across the board before settling in on one main kill target. Then if you haven’t already, you can mark with Skull and keep the Swipes going, and hope that the group either switches their main focus to your Skull target, or that your Swipes and the Mauls you laid down at the start stay ahead of the DPS. Your healer will be fine.

If you lay a Skull down at the start, use that as the target you keep coming back to as you spread threat around. That’s the target that would get the Sunder Armor, the Mangle or Feral Faerie Fire, etc.

The problem with this method, of course, is that you won’t know if you’ve lost threat until a mob breaks from the pack and either heads for someone, OR if they’re ranged, begins shooting someone else. In a messy enough scrum, you might not have noticed you lost threat at all.

Still… guess what? It’s what at least 50% of the tanks out there do. And it works. If you really work at it, work on threat generation and gear, you’ll never need anything else. But when you do lose aggro, it’s gonna be frustrating as heck to get it back.

The second method is what I call “Information Overload”. It’s a variation of Spray and Pray, but instead of working blind, you add in the results of a threat meter like Omen. If you use Omen to show you threat levels on targeted mobs, then as you target various mobs in the group using your Spray technique, you can glance over at Omen on each mob, doing spot checks on threat levels.

As you do the circuit of mobs, if you see for example, that the Mage is building threat really fast on one particular mob, then you can choose his target as your primary kill target. If that’s who the Mage wants to kill first, and you’re way above threat for the rest of the group, just switch to that target for the rest of your main attacks, right?

The problem with Information Overload is exactly that; lots of things to watch all the time.  If you’re always glancing at Omen, then you’re not watching the mobs, and you might react a few seconds later when one breaks from the pack.

On the other hand… if you’re doing it right, then you’ll know long before the mob breaks loose, right? This is the method I’ve used since just about forever.

The third method, and one I just started using a few months… oh heck, I have no idea how long ago now,  is what I call “Evil Overlord”.

I call it that because, first, I’m silly, and second, using it can feel like you ARE an evil overlord when you feel so in control of the battle. It’s just using mob nameplates with a Threat Plates addon like Tidy Plates (with Threat Plates plugin) to be able to see in real time exactly who you do or do not have threat on.

With a nameplate addon, If you start to lose threat on someone, you see it as it happens, because that one nameplate will change size and color. If you’ve got thirty mobs in front of you all with tiny green nameplates, and one suddenly turns yellow and grows in size, you know exactly who to target and unload on to bring him back in line.

Just like smiting an uppity minion.

The wonderful thing about Evil Overlord is that you can see you are losing aggro before it happens. You get a warning, as the mob’s nameplate shifts from green and small, to yellow and bigger, to red and big, to flashing red and really big and THAR SHE GOES!!!! Plenty of advance warning to give you a chance to taunt and keep going, leaving nobody else the wiser.

Wrapping up threat.

So, a tanks main responsibility, and your means of measuring success, is grabbing and holding threat. You’ve got abilities that do lots of threat to one target, to multiple targets, and to every target within an area of affect (including behind you). You’ve got taunts on fairly short cooldown to grab threat immediately if someone breaks from the pack. You’ve even eventually got a mass group taunt, although they vary in ultimate effect. Some of them just force the mobs to focus on you for a few seconds… and then if you didn’t build up enough threat, off they go again.

Aggro and threat management is the core of it. Sure, if you are too damn squishy, you won’t get TOO far, but if you can hold aggro on your targets, all of your targets, then you’re well on your way.

Yes, study your class, learn what makes you tough and strong. Stamina never goes out of style. Be as hard to bring down as possible. Be as tough, as strong, as healthy as a brick shithouse.

Advice on that is better found elsewhere, depending on your class.

A few of the basics, if you intend to tank, you’re going to want to have your armor value as high as possible to reduce the physical damage you suffer as much as possible. We call this physical damage mitigation.

Then, you’re going to want to talent into whatever abilities you have that reduce damage from magic. Physical armor values do NOTHING to reduce magical damage, you might as well be standing there naked against it. Fortunately, most Talent trees have some form of Spell Damage reduction.

After physical and magical damage mitigation, you want to really build up your health. It’s fine to reduce how much damage you take overall, but you really want to have a high health pool, too.

Finally, you’re going to want Agility, Defense Rating, Dodge Rating, Parry and Block (where appropriate), whatever your class uses to increase your avoidance. Not only do avoided attacks do no damage, but most classes have special attacks/threat generating moves that activate when you Parry, Block, or Dodge. The better your rating in these areas, the more often you get your special moves.

The importance of high damage output.

Don’t worry about your DPS. The important thing to know about DPS is that DPS is NOT your job.

I’ll say it again. Doing tons of Deeps AIN’T YOUR JOB.

Your job, as the tank, is to hold aggro and survive. That is the only standard by which you should measure your success.

Now, once you learn the ropes, nail down threat, and know exactly what your capabilities are, you can change your style if you want to. I still hesitate to recommend ever tying to go for DPS over threat.

IF you decide you can do so much threat that the other DPS players cannot possibly come close to matching you, THEN you can start mixing in DPS attacks over threat attacks.

Never forget that your job is to hold threat.

Why is it hard to hold threat sometimes? It’s hard, because DPS players are trying to do as much damage as possible. That’s how they measure their success.

So they are often going all out to be top cock of the block. They want to prove their worth. To be the baddest badass in the group. To strut, if only to themselves.

Or, to be kind, to feel that they contributed the best they could to the group’s success. :)

In order to do damage without pulling aggro and getting killed, the DPS have to stay under the threat of… guess who?

So, the higher your threat output is on targets, the more DPS the other DPS players can safely put out. EACH of them.

There is one of you, and at least three or more of them. If you worry about your DPS, if that’s what you are pushing instead of threat, then great, sure you’ll be up there on the meters, but if your threat output suffers for it, you’re bringing everyone else down. The DPS players will have to throttle back on their potential just so you can get your jollies.

It hurts the entire group.

If your threat output is so high that nobody can ever come close to you, then sure, do some DPS. Just like a Healer that never has to heal, so they start using Hurricane or Chain Lightning.

But if you are the tank, then every other properly played DPS class is using your threat level as their benchmark for how much DPS they can do without going past you.

If you’re worried about your DPS, and your threat output suffers for it, you might never actually LOSE threat, but most DPS players doing comparisons will quickly decide you can’t tank, because they can’t go all out with you like they can with good ol’ Frank.

Don’t be that tank. Focus on threat first, not DPS.

If, at the end of any given run, you can look back and see that you either held threat all the time, or were able to regain threat as soon as you lost it, then you did a good job.

If, when you look back over a run, you know that you put out so much threat that players could go hog wild on their damage without fear, you did a GREAT job.

You have to start with grabbing and holding aggro. You build on things from there, being able to take a beating and survive for a while, giving your healer a chance to stay on top of things.

But that’s where it all begins. If you start with “I’m going to grab this group, get aggro on them all, and hold it”, with the addition of “Now I got ‘em so I’m watching the area around me, and any other mobs that get pulled are getting taunted on me right away”, then you’re going to be doing a great job.

End of line.

Rambling thoughts… I’ve seen people in various forums ask for advice on abilities, Talent specs and gear ratios for tanking while leveling. Often, in fact more often than not, the return advice seems to be that you don’t have to spec as a Tank. Warriors are told that they can just go Arms as a tank while leveling and they’ll be fine. Paladins can go Ret. Druids can focus on Kitty spec and gear (which, okay, is actually pretty accurate).

There is a significant difference between “you CAN do something” and “you will do WELL at something”.

The truth is, if you’re going to tank a random instance with strangers, if you do it in anything other than tank spec with properly prepared abilities, you are letting yourself in for a miserable ride.

I’m leveling a Warrior as Protection. I hit level 35 last night. I’ve tanked a ton of randoms, and I’ve done a ton of quests. I am 100% Prot specced (except for 5 points in Parry, which in my mind still counts as Prot).

My gear is Strength and Stamina. I have enchants for even more Stamina.

I find that I like Battle Stance when questing for the fast Charges, Rend and the slow debuff to keep mobs from running when they get low on health. But it doesn’t really matter what spec I am, I’m questing just fine, and it’s really nice knowing that if things get tight, I can switch to Defense Stance, and swap in Sword and Board. You can change Weapons/Shield while in combat, unlike other armor pieces. So, just like with Lances, I put the icons for them on my button bar to swap faster in combat.

It doesn’t matter in questing. Sure, my DPS is undoubtedly lower than it could be. But I sure don’t notice it being slow to kill things at all.

But when I’m in instances as the tank, every single run I hear variations on “Good lord, finally someone that knows how to tank”. Almost every time, they want me to run another one with them, queueing us up immediately, or asking me to keep going for more.

With a new group in a random, I kept seeing DPS just run ahead without waiting for me, and start pulling themselves. As a longtime tank, this pisses me off. It’s hard to grab and hold aggro when some jackass just takes off without a word and starts pulling. The first thought that comes to MY mind is, “You want to tank, next time queue as tank, jackass.”

And some of them probably would if they let Hunters queue for randoms as tanks.

What I’m starting to figure out is, based on running in groups as DPS on other classes, lots of people are used to having tanks that may have plate armor or high health, but do not have high threat generation. They have standard DPS spec threat generation.

Those wonderful Arms specced Warrior tanks in Gnomeregan. Yay.

People leveling in groups at this point have gotten used to thinking it’s a free for all, every DPS for themself, everybody try and kill targets all by themself and hope the healer keeps them alive.

As soon as I run in and grab the whole group and just take them away, the attitude of a run typically changes immediately. Well, that coupled with my “Hi, I’m leveling as Prot and am gearing and specing for it. Give me a chance, and I’ll control this chaos, and we’ll have a smooth, fast run. Thanks!” macro.

People calm the heck down and approach it as a regular old run, instead of a chaotic free for all. Although amazingly, I get snotty “macro lol” comments, too. At least, I do until they see I actually hold the damn aggro on the group.

That can be you. No, really. And a LOT easier than you might believe.

If you want to try tanking, and you’re nervous about it, you’re scared you’ll suck, people in randoms are mean pricks, etc… give yourself every advantage first.

Get a nameplate addon and try it out on your own, or in a party with a friend. You don’t have to have one, but it can sure give you a feeling of improved confidence that you’ve got better control over the fights. I love seeing that distant nameplate turn bright red, Taunting it back to green, and then watching it stay green as I take care of business where I’m at. And, if someone panics and starts shooting it cause they don’t know I got aggro and am ignoring it because I know, for a fact, that I’ve got aggro but they don’t… well, there’s always Feral Charge, or another ranged Taunt, or running over and beating heck out of it before moving back to the first group.

Get some gear that focuses on Stamina and high Armor value, and get some enchants on it for more Stamina. Look at Glyphs, you get a Major as early as level 15.

And get your tank spec settled, know what your abilities do, and focus on the ones that give you the biggest bang for your global cooldown.

I’m serious, as a Warrior tank at 35 in instances, I rarely use more than Thunder Clap, Sunder Armor, Cleave and Revenge. Sometimes I have to Taunt when someone pulls the next group before we’re ready.

In Scarlet Monastery Library, there are lots of mobs that Stun you. I don’t lose aggro, because I’ve already blasted the hell out of the groups with Thunder Clap, Sunder Armor to left and to right, and Cleave. I get stunned, and I watch the nameplates show that I don’t lose aggro the whole time.

You can do it. You can even do it easily, especially if you give yourself every advantage.

Remember the tired old saying; Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

It may be a tired old saying, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true!

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Yeah, you know it. Uh huh, that’s right, you know it.

Just when everyone is choking down actual gameplay teasers being released in a flood, here I come with some non-informative post about a PUG run.

Hey, there’s only so much teaser BS a person can take in one day. You gotta have somewhere to go for a laugh, right?

Last night, I returned to the PUG for a turn or two on my Druid.

My lovely, beefy Tauren piece of awesomeness.

As a sidebar, I’d never really noticed how much I had grown to dislike the appearance of my very first, original female Night Elf character. When I started the game and chose my Druid, the male Night Elf options all looked terrible to me, and the Night Elf females looked pretty nice. I didn’t know about the whole “pole dancing” thing yet.

But the face I chose for the Druid just looked… well, vapid. Stupid. Irritatingly so. She looked like a valley girl, like, ya know?

Is it any wonder you hardly ever saw me in anything other than Bear, Cat or Tree?

But my Tauren… ah, my Tauren.

I love him so much, I want to heal in Tauren form. Screw going into Tree, I can’t see those horns!

Okay, anyway.

Oops! First, let me make clear, there ARE Night Elf females I do like. I think my Nelf Hunter Windstar looks awesome. She looks both sensitive and badass at the same time. It’s not Night Elf females in general, it was the choice I made in face design for my Druid in specific. You can’t change faces in the Barbershop. Doing a faction change, for that alone, is almost worth it.

Okay, anyway, anyway. Again.

(You know I do that with my grammer just to torque Kestrel, right? Shh, don’t tell him. Oh, and now some dots, everyone loves my dots…)

((Love you, Kestrel!))

(((Damnit, I spelled Grammar right above… I better fix that… okay, fixed. Moar dots!)))

I’m in a cheerful mood, so watch out, I don’t know where I’ll be driving this bus next!

Right. Where the heck was I? Oh, yeah, right.

[Queue Keanu voice]: Woah.

So there I was last night, all horny and everything, and wanting to build up my stockpile of Emblems.

I created this Hawt Blood Elf Hunter Chick (Which is kinda like a Sexy Blood Elf Biker Chick, but with a reddish colored cat with great big fangs like this ;-<) and she’s got two Heirloom Trinkets, some sexy Heirloom PvE shoulders and a chestpiece, and this big honking double-barreled PvP Heirloom shotgun.

It’s all good, the cute off the shoulder armor with the little red vest is precious, but the shottie? That’s so, like, Dwarf, you know?

Now, if the Shotgun had some taste and refinement, if it had the finishing touches found in a nice Holland and Holland over/under combo, if it came in a fine handcrafted ebony wood case with a few bottles of Mont Blanc, well…

But no, it’s entirely too plebian. It simply will not do.

But I did see just the thing in the latest Tiffany’s collection catalog, this very well shaped Heirloom Bone Bow,  that looked just the sort of thing for a Blood Elf with an eye towards style and sophistication. Perhaps with the 12 1/4″ shafted arrows with Northrend Shoveltusk ivory inlay, silver chased heads and rare black eagle feather fletching?

Yeah, those cost 65 Emblems, and my charge cards are all maxed out. And you don’t EVEN want to go there, but you know, it was Easter, all the stores had their new Spring collections out, what can you do, you know?

So anyway, that’s totally why I need Emblems right now.

Hey, let’s go on a pug!

I went into the LFD tool as a healer, because I pretty much have decided that I will only tank for friends from now on. I play for fun, or to achieve goals for other characters that are going to be fun, and being a tank for the groups I typically get just isn’t all that spiffy anymore.

I love tanking with friends, but strangers? Yeah, not so much.

On the flip side, I try to never be the person that does to other tanks what people do to drive ME to stop pugging as one. You pass it on, right?

I joined LFD, and right away got an Azjol-Nerub group. That’s a good thing, because AN is about as smooth and straightforward and fast as you can hope for in a pug, when it’s all about return on time invested. 5 Emblems, 15 minutes. Sweet!

You suspect it’s going to be one of those runs, when you don’t even have five in the group yet, and the tank has already pulled the first mobs.

You know it’s going to be one of those groups, when you just rounded the corner trying to catch up to “hopalong tankaday”, and you get a facefull of ignored Skirmisher all up in your roots.

So, yay, I self-heal through that, while tossing my HoTs around and begin getting down to serious healing. This group, tank included, are taking just a massive amount of fast damage.

Wow, what the heck?

I’m running the Gearscore addon these days, NOT to judge people’s worthiness to be in my groups, but for just this type of situation. By looking at each player’s portrait in the party, I quickly see I’ve got a Paladin tank with a 5600 Gearscore, I’ve got two players, Death Knight and Shadow Priest with 3K GS (or under, actually, both were like right on the edge of 3K) who are both in the same guild, and a Warlock at around 4K.

By way of comparison, my healing gear on my Druid is pretty solid from Emblems and Heroic PoS/FoS drops, and it’s gemmed and enchanted properly, and I’m at 4.8K GS. I’ve even got a Frost cloak. So 5600 tells me that’s someone in pretty good raiding gear, and 3K tells me a couple pretty new level 80s in mostly Blues and a few crafted Epics or drops, and 4K tells me the player is working their way up nicely.

Notice I make no judgments on skill at all here. I’m simply making assumptions on current gear level, where it may have come from, and set a few expectations on where they might be in terms of DPS and survivability.

It’s handy, as I said, specifically for situation like this. Because the tank actually says, while on the first boss, “C’mon DPS, wake up, you suck.”

Well, no, actually, considering the comparative levels of their gear, they’re doing pretty damn good. I’m very impressed with what the Shadow Priest is squeezing out of her gear, that’s a player spot on.

But okay, whatever, we’re moving too fast for me to type.

Boom, we get down to the next boss area, we’re flying along, killing, clearing, boss goes down, moving on.

We get to the two large mobs just before the last boss, and one of the players, the Shadow Priest I think, is back a ways. They haven’t caught up to us, and wonder of wonders, the tank didn’t just run ahead and pull without them.

But he DOES take the time to get bitchy in chat.

“Are you coming or what? We don’t have all day, get over here.”

I take the time to reply, “Since we’re sitting here waiting and you’re bored, how about buffing me with Kings, since you never gave anyone Paladin buffs yet?”

Yes, that’s right. A tank too lazy, too rushed or too ‘leet’ to bother buffing the group, not even doing the new standard “I’m too good to give you the buff you want, I’m giving everyone Kings” like you see most of the time these days. 

I get my Kings, and he shuts up.

For now. Oh yes, for now. But there is still one more boss, and this pull will tell me something.

Gear or skill? Care or indifference? Phoning it in or in it to win it?

One pull. We’ll see.

We clear the two mobs, we all line up on the King, and the Paladin runs in to pull.

Here’s the test. How did he pull?

He ran straight forward to the boss and stopped dead right there, boss facing the entrance ramp, and stayed there.

This is the loser way to tank the final boss in Azjol-Nerub.

Whether you want to call it laziness, ignorance, or just-didn’t-give-a-shit, bad tanks run forward on the last boss and stop.

Why?

Pound.

The last boss casts Pound. It has a long cast time, and when it goes off, he casts it in the direction he had originally been facing when he started casting. Well, most of the time. Sometimes he bugs and does whirl around if his main threat target is behind him, as the tank is supposed to be.

Oh, and Pound’s key characteristic is it does a shitload of damage to anyone standing within an area the shape of a cone in front of him. It’s a cone-shaped AoE.

It’s almost enough, sometimes it IS enough, to kill cloth or leather wearing players.

By running forward and stopping right there, the tank is leaving it to everyone else in the party to be aware of the mechanic, and run all the way the long way around the boss to get behind him, and during that time, of course, only instant cast spells and attacks are going off.

And if the other players aren’t aware of the mechanic, then when Pound goes off, guess what? Everyone standing somewhere in front of the damn bug king gets a big facefull of WHAM!

So, the tank ran in. Stood there. Kept the boss facing the ramp.

Not everyone ran around to the sides and back like I did. The Death Knight and Shadow Priest did, the Warlock didn’t.

The Warlock’s health plummeted to about 500, and my existing HoTs quickly pulled him back up.

The Paladin, who had run through the boss to get behind him when Pound started casting, lols in Party chat.

He did it on purpose, the worthless little prick, hoping to kill someone else.

Why? Why would someone do something like that?

The run had been smooth. The enemies all died. Nobody ran crazy. Everyone stayed on target. There was no chaos. My heals prevented sillyness and unnecessary deaths.

So why?

I tell the tank in party chat, “How about pulling the boss to face away from the party.”

He announces that you can’t move the boss after he casts Pound.

Well, he has managed to be technically accurate, while at the same time avoiding the fact I didn’t say shit about moving the boss DURING the Pound, I said move the boss to “face away from the party”.

On the second phase, sure as hell, he does it again, and the Warlock eats it again, and doesn’t die. Again, the “lol noob” rolls off the tanks’ lips.

I’m making sure that if nobody actually gets one shot, nobody dies.

Yes, not even the tank.

Phase three comes around, I’ve whispered the Warlock, and the only person that eats Pound is… the Tank. Who immediately throws a Party chat hissyfit.

Guess what?

He moved through the boss during the Pound cast, and the boss did his sometimes-seen bug and whirled around before it went off, nailing the tank.

Amusingly enough, the Shadow Priest, Warlock and Death Knight had all moved to the side during the cast, and didn’t eat it.

Oh, yeah, I was at the side too. Of course.

What? Hey, of course *I* know about the bug, I blogged about it a year ago. Or something like that. Back when it really hurt to get hit by Pound. Like, in Neolithic times, with the dinosaurs and shit.

The tank is hot. He ran through and got hit by Pound anyway, and that’s not fair.

Now, here is the question I have up to this point.

I’m the only one who has said a word, besides the tank, on the entire run. Not a peep out of anyone else while the tank has acted like an immature child.

Do you think the silence was due to not caring what an idiot thinks, or because they were afraid that if they said anything to show they didn’t appreciate the attitude, the tank would leave and the DPS would have a collapsed run on their hands?

Do YOU adjust your behavior, do you hold your tongue when insulted or ridiculed, so you don’t piss off your tank and maybe have him leave you in a fit of childish rage?

While you think of that, I’ll wrap the run up with a fun moment.

When the boss falls, the tank first rolls the Recount log of Damage done through Party chat, and then says, “God you all suck, I’ve got top DPS and I’m the tank.”

I immediately reply, having been primed for this bit of asshattery since the first boss, “You are a Paladin tank with a 5600 GS. The rest of the DPS has nowhere even close to your gear level, so what is your point?”

At the same time, the Death Knight says, “Well, if I was on my other character my DPS would be a little different, lol.”

The tank replies, “Well, the Warlock has 4K.”

To which I reply, “You are a complete moron. A MORON. Goodbye!”

/leave group.

The Warlock has 4K? This is your answer for being a dick about being a tank with the highest DPS? And a Paladin tank as well?

“Oooh, I only outgear you by 1600 gear score, how come I’m top DPS, you must all suck.”

Damnit, there are days, as I said in guild chat, where I just want to bitchslap the world.

Or, in this case, I’d like every tank with this kind of attitude to line up single file, perform a left face, and I’ll freaking ride down the line on a Harley doing 70 with my hand outstretched, to SLAP THEM ALL!!!

Do you do it? Do you eat your feelings and allow yourself to suffer indignities in silence just for the sake of not bruising a sensitive tanks’ ego, challenging his asshattedness, so that you get your run finished?

I now return you to your informative MMO Champion/Blues Tracker game announcements, still in progress.

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