Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What makes a good.....(Part 1)

I mostly just rant about my days spent on the game, but I also want to provide a bit of information that may help people out as well. So, as for the dots, it can be anything you want. Make a suggestion in a comment or via email and I will see what I can do. The first one I am going to talk about is "What makes a good tank".

Tanking can be a thankless job, but it is also one of the most difficult, scrutinized, and important. You have to be REALLY bad to be bad at DPS, but it really doesn't take alot to be a bad tank. There are several things that you can do to make yourseld a better tank.

Knowledge is King: Knowing you class and its abilities inside and out are a great start. When I first started tanking I was a terribad tank. I didnt know what a sunder was. I learned how to tank on the job, and thanks to alot of encouraging support from friends I became a good tank. I even had an in-game friend tell me that I was probably the best tank on the server with all gear being equal. There are so many tanking tools on the interwebs that it is ridiculous. Being a warrior tank, there is For Paladins there is (sorry if that is wrong, I am going from memory). For any kind of tank class, my favorite resource is If you arent looking at outside sources, you really arent using your homework.

Confidence: Being a tank is alot about confidence. You have to know that you can grab those 4 mobs and tank them effectively so that they dont go and 1-shot your priest. You have to know that you can get that critical shield block up at just the right time to not get gibbed by that hard hitting boss. If you are confident in yourself, it will show in your playing ability as well as the way you are percieved. People will want to run with you, which builds confidence and makes you a better tank. Confidence often leads to.......

Leadership: If you have been tanking for any amount of time you have either embraced the leadership role or been thrust into it by force. Everyone has joined that pug where the first thing they do is pass you leader. Dont pass it back, embrace it. Being a tank, it is just as important to know the fights as it is to have the gear for the fights. When you lead, you learn. When you learn, leading becomes easier. Mark the mobs with the symbols and explain to them what each one means. For example: "Ok, Im going to tank the skull and X. The skull is the first dps target followed by the X. I am going to need (mage) to sheep the moon. Rogue, stealth in and sap the star and then I will pull. Hunter, bull the square back to you and trap it. We will be running arounf this corner so that the casters have to follow." Be a leader at all times.

Rotations: Every class has it's threat rotations. Learn them, use them. For example, a warrior usually likes to shield slam, then devastate until 5 sunders are up. Once the sunders are up, you will want to shield slam and revenge every chance you get. Dont forget to throw out devastates to refresh the sunders from time to time. When you are getting high on rage and the next hit will cause rage waste, use a heroic strike (or possibly a cleave if you are tanking multiple mobs). Thunderclap and any shouts should be renewed when shield slam is on cooldown. A good rotation is important to maximize threat. Using heroic strike all the time in a limited rage situation is bad. It is a good threat booster in high rage fights, but it eats thru rage at an alarming pace, and isnt as much bang for the buck as other abilities.

Dress to impress: This doesnt mean to have the best item possible in each slot. The random loot gods can be very unkind and we should never rely on them (thank god for badge gear). Because you may not have the optimal piece of gear doesnt mean that you dont have to enchant it and gem it. Use blue or epic quality gems in your gear. Period. When people inspect you and your gear is unenchanted and ungemmed, it makes them think that you are not serious about what you are doing. Do your research and gem accordingly. Once you are defense capped, you should generally gem for stamina. Use the best enchants for each piece. 2 percent threat on gloves is better than strength. Mongoose is the top enchantment if you want a nice combo of threat boost and avoidance (as agility raises your crit/attack power as well as your dodge).

For the most part, tanking is a little bit of preparation combined with a heaping does of common sense. You either have it or dont. If you can do all of these things, you will become a great and respected tank. If you cant, well there is always PVP and Fury.

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