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  • Tanking info for Non-tanks

    From the Blizz Forums...good post!!!

    Things every warrior tank thinks every non tank should know.

    My ability to generate threat over an extended time frame is inversely proportional to your ability to generate threat.

    Huh? Ok here is what I mean, we will use a mage for this example but the same applies to rogues hunters, or anything else not a warrior or a bear druid.

    As a fight commences both of us have two bars. We both have big full green health bars. Under my health bar is a big empty bar. Under your health bar is a big full blue bar. When you do dmg, it drains your blue bar. When I give or take dmg it fills my red bar. You have all the ammo you need at the start of a fight to make all kinds of threat which will pull all kinds of aggro. I donít have much ammo to generate threat or take aggro, it takes me a minute.

    The difference is that at the beginning of the fight, your threat making resource; mana, is full. You at this moment can activate whatever ability you want and instantly create tons of threat. Mine is empty. My resource, rage, fills up as I give and take dmg. Over the course of the fight I will get a lot to spend, so the longer the fight goes on the more and more threat I make. Problem is at the beginning of the fight I have little or no rage. It takes me time to build the threat to hold aggro off of you.

    So what does this mean to you? It means that if you start every pull with your biggest most evil 10 second cast fireball, itís gonna be real tough for me to get aggro off of you with my empty rage bar.

    How to apply this advice: You need to learn to pace your dps. Whether you are a mage or a rogue or a lock whatever (except hunters who feign death whenever the cooldown is up) start off the fight with lighter lower dmg attacks. As the fight wears on rank it up to the bigger meaner stuff. You can do the same amount of dmg, but instead of front loading all of your dps (and threat) back load it.

    Seriously, this is the biggest problem I see with every single DPS class in the game. Yes, I can taunt the mob off of you, but then the taunt is on cool down. What if the mob then does an aggro wipe like a knock down and it goes after you? What if it stuns me right after I taunt so I canít build threat? You should be trying to play in such a way that you donít ever have to see the warrior taunt outside of extenuating circumstances like aggro wipes.

    When not to stun.

    Ok so you have a stun button. Iím happy for you, no really I am. Stun buttons are great. You see a mob start to cast a heal or a ďLevel 5 Death to TankĒ stun him, thatís fabulous. You see something chewing on a healer, stun them, awesome. A mob ďattempts to run away in fearĒ go nuts stun lock them to the floor.

    So why insist on stunning a mob I just pulled? Why stun the mob I just taunted? Here is what happens when you do that. When I am tanking I donít really do dmg to make rage. My little red bar fills up when I take dmg. If you stun early in a pull I donít get pounded on so I donít gain threat so I donít hold aggro, so someone like a healer or a mage is going to get the aggro. This wont usually produce a wipe, most mobs you can stun arenít a big deal, but seriously, why make things more difficult then they need to be?

    If you absolutely need a rule of thumb, wait till there are two sunders on a target before you stun it.

    What to do when you get aggro.

    The tank wonít always hold aggro. Thatís a fact. Maybe the tank sucks, maybe he got feared, maybe he got stunned, maybe you just unleashed a cruise missile that crits the target for umpteen gazillion points before the tank had so much as an auto-attack on the mob. Whatever the reason, eventually you are going to have the mob beat on you.

    If you are wearing pajamas and the mob is elite I understand the panic that sets in. You donít want to get two shotted. I donít want that either. So let me explain first the two things NOT to do.

    Donít nuke the thing with another cruise missile! You just pulled aggro so why go nuts trying to dps the thing to the floor before it can kill you? This isnít a lvl 11 Defias Pillager, most likely you wont take it down in time. What you WILL do, is generate another gajillion points of threat that the tank needs to top to get it off of you. Stop hurting it. If you have a threat mitigator (cower, feint, fade, feign death) use it, if not. Just hold still for a sec. It wont be for very long, soon enough you will be sticking it full of sharp metal things or setting the mob on fire again. Just donít make it harder for the tank to get the thing off of you.

    Donít run for the hills! I am a bit baffled as to where this gut reaction comes from. When you were lvl 40 did you outrun a bear or something? I donít think you did. Do you think if you run far enough you will drop aggro? In an instance an elite mob will not drop aggro until you are dead or until you have left the instance. Running wonít keep the mob from chewing on your keester the whole time you run around, really it wonít. The mob runs the exact same speed you do. Guess who else runs the exact same speed you do. Thatís right, me!

    So if train A leaves Pheonix at 5:10 a.m. Pacific time headed east at 45 miles per hour, and Train B leaves San Diego at 5:10 a.m. Pacific time headed east at 45 miles per hour, at what point does train B catch up to Train A? Thatís right! Never! So when train A dies in a monstrous fireball or twisted metal and diesel fuel, it is probably even going to blame train B for not saving it.

    You need to run TOWARD the tank, at the very least hold still.

    Ok Pally OT, bear OT or other Warr OT, when should you taunt off of me?

    Um, really close to never. Why on earth are you taunting off of me? Are you trying to prove a point? Are you trying to demonstrate that you can tank as well as me? Great for you! You have tank buttons too. Now I have to burn my taunt to pull the mob back off of you so you donít die, or so the healer doesnít waste mana on you. Now my taunt is in cool down if I need it.

    The only time you should taunt off the main tank is if I ask you to. When will that happen? Only if the healer dies and I need to bandage, or if itís a fight that requires a tank rotation. Thatís it.

    Now of course there are times when things are confusing, something is chewing on the healer and you are trying to save the day and I taunt and then you do too. Thatís fine, you did the right thing in saving the healer, donít beat yourself up about it, you donít need to apologize to me for it either. I saw what happened, Iím 4% smarter than I look.

    When should you bubble me?


    I hope this is a priest asking this, I really donít need divine intervention thanks. If you bubble me I donít get threat from taking damage. Donít bubble me before a pull. Donít bubble me early in a pull. If my bar is mostly red, sure if you think I need the extra mitigation and there isnít time for a real heal, bubble me.

    Donít BOP me please, itís a fantastic way to kill healers.

    The pull.

    Sometimes we arenít going to fight the mob out where it is standing. Some times I will even shoot the mob and then duck behind a corner. This is not the universal ďunleash your mana wielding ranged casting mightĒ signal. What probably happened is I saw a little blue bar under the mob out there; I want him to come to me so I shot him, then broke line of sight. If you shoot him, guess what, he will stand right where he is and shoot back. Then I have to go out there and risk pulling the whole room to get him off of you unless you figure out how to duck behind corners too, that is assuming that the Moonkin and the Hunter standing next to you didnít just take your cue and unload their blue wad all over the mob you just launched WWIII on.

    The sheep

    We pull 3 mobs on accident. You can sheep or seduce or scattershot or whatever. Thatís a fabulous idea. Donít sheep the thing I am beating on! You know what will happen? It will break and I will already have another move queued up behind the move that broke the sheep which will break the next sheep you are trying to do since you didnít change targets. You might not be familiar with the ďFĒ key. Click me, then click ďFĒ, now you are targeted on my target, so target something else, anything else and sheep that.

    Multi mob pull

    Ok so we just got more than we can handle and I am tanking 3 mobs with no offtank. Attack my target would you? I only have so much rage to spread around. If you start shooting something that I am not concentrating on your going to pull aggro, then I have to decide whether I let you die, or whether I go pull it off of you and risk letting the rest of the party die while they keep attacking the thing I was attacking. The ďFĒ key works great for this too.

    The off tanks target

    Just because I am the main tank does not mean that my target is the most important target to kill. In fact, often it is the opposite. I am the main tank because I take the best beating. The Hunters wind serpent that is tanking that other orc over there wont hold up as well as me. His target needs to die first. My target should be the last one to die. Those other tanks arenít built to take the abuse I do, help them out. I will be ok, I have all kinds of squishies watching my back. Seriously, go fight the other guyís target.
    Beep


    Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

  • #2
    Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

    Originally posted by beep View Post
    Multi mob pull

    Ok so we just got more than we can handle and I am tanking 3 mobs with no offtank. Attack my target would you? I only have so much rage to spread around. If you start shooting something that I am not concentrating on your going to pull aggro, then I have to decide whether I let you die, or whether I go pull it off of you and risk letting the rest of the party die while they keep attacking the thing I was attacking. The ďFĒ key works great for this too.
    This is the one section I don't agree with. When I am tanking multiple mobs, I am cycling through all the targets shield slamming and sundering, the worst thing to do would be assist me for a target. If the 3 DPSers all do this, they'll end up on different targets. Assist another DPSer, that way you're assured of at least helping 1 other person kill a target. Rogues are a good choice to assist since they tend to stick to one target to preserve their combo points.

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    • #3
      Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

      Originally posted by Hitchins View Post
      This is the one section I don't agree with. When I am tanking multiple mobs, I am cycling through all the targets shield slamming and sundering, the worst thing to do would be assist me for a target. If the 3 DPSers all do this, they'll end up on different targets. Assist another DPSer, that way you're assured of at least helping 1 other person kill a target. Rogues are a good choice to assist since they tend to stick to one target to preserve their combo points.
      Yep...I agree. If the leader has marked the targets and designated the order for killing, then THAT would be preferred method for handling multi-mob taking.
      Beep


      Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

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      • #4
        Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

        Something to consider also is that a hunter should disengage first, off tank second, feign death third. If a hunter pulls aggro then that means they have exceeded the 130% threat threshold and a tank needs 10% more threat to get aggro off you. If the hunter disengages then you will drop your threat slightly and make it more likely for the warrior to pick it off of you by decreasing the amount of threat they need to generate.

        If you do not lose aggro from disengage then its time to wing clip. Hunters have this nice mail armor that's the second heaviest armor class in the game. That means we make pretty decent off tanks in the sense that we can take more of a beating then say a priest or mage can. Of course, this doesn't mean stand still and take a beating. Hell no, that'd only waste your healer's mana. If possible you should wing clip and start kiting the mob in a nice little circle or line so that its chasing you and not beating up your healer or mage. Now the tank can catch up because Train A is going 45 mph, Train B is going 45 mph, but the thing in between is only going 10 mph. Alternatively drop a freezing trap at your feet and let the mob get trapped to buy your tank some time.

        The ability of last resort is feign death. A lot of people say feign death is an threat reduction tool and should be used as much as possible. Well...a lot of people are complete idiots. Feign death is the "oh crap I'm going to die" tool plain and simple. Of course in some cases getting aggro equals "oh crap I'm going to die" and that's where the confusion over feign death comes into play. Why shouldn't you use feign death first? Well because if you have aggro that means you have exceeded 130% of your tank's threat on the target. If everyone else in your group isn't slacking off then you'll have to assume any caster or healer falls between 100-129% of the tank's aggro and any melee DPS falls within 100-109% of the tanks aggro. What does that mean? It means they probably have more aggro then the tank! That means when you feign death its going to go down the list and start beating on your casters or healers because they have more aggro then the tank. Then you have the mob running around and the tank has to follow it around to try and get aggro. Of course this is even worse with a paladin tank because their taunt is cast on the target of the mobs they want to taunt and not the mob itself.

        There are also other practical reasons why you want to save Feign Death as a last resort. The easiest one to think of is if you blow your feign death because of something stupid its going to be a long 30 seconds until you can hit it again when the crap hits the fan.
        My sanity is not in question...
        It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.


        Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.



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        • #5
          Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

          Blizzard has made this more entertaining in BC with fewer traditionally controlled mobs, controls that break "early" and mobs that break aggro. The learning to work together with various groups and group makeups, indeed, is a delightful part of the game. Since tanks vary in gear, methods and spec as all toons do, experience with each other is irreplaceable. In the instance that Hitch gives, an alternative method of damage is via incremental aoes along with dmg on the main goal. The aoe level is kept to not pull the side mobs while hate to the tank is building the mobs are being weakened. Such battles make shattered halls a 52 min run in the park, and thunderclap a nice aoe attraction.
          Dewi

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          • #6
            Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

            Outstanding post Beep!

            This should be required reading for everyone.

            I would love to see something like this added for Druid Tanks and Paladin Tanks as well, to give us a better understanding of how your aggro generation works.
            Sajaman/|TG-Irr|Sajier - WoW Resto Shaman, BF2/BF2142 Assault/Medic

            | | |

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            • #7
              Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

              Priest do have a vital interest in aggro, as battle intensity and duration may cause increased healing and healer aggro. Therein lay one of the battle tensions of tank and damage classes. The damage proportion still needs to be fast enough that there is no OOM by the healers, dead healers, healers on the run, dead tanks, or other classes kiting mobs off the healer. Some of this in BC is intended by Bliz and actually makes for great times. Near battles end it can by advantageous, as the tank and healer may be near spent, for damage classes have mobs come for them. In general, this should be at a time when the mob will fall at the feet caster/hunter/..... I'll look for a link from 'subcreation.net' on aggro mechanics from the author of KTM and post it.
              Dewi

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              • #8
                Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                A link:http://forums.subcreation.net/viewtopic.php?t=791

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                • #9
                  Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                  From that link:
                  The behaviour of Taunt is more complicated. It has three effects. Firstly, it applies the taunt debuff to the mob, which forces it to attack you for three seconds. Secondly, it gives you as much threat as the mobs current aggro target, permanently. If you were the target, there is no change, and if you had more threat than the target (that is, if you had more than 100% but less than 110% of their threat), you wont actually lose threat from it. However, this effect can give you arbitrarily high amounts of threat. Lastly, if you came on the threat list before the mobs old target, you will also get aggro on the mob.

                  The last effect is significant and needs explaining. For a normal taunt you will get threat but not aggro, so if you do nothing else, after three seconds the mob will return to the old target. But if you came onto the mobs threat list before the current target, e.g. you pulled the mob, or attacked it first, then you will gain aggro with just that taunt.

                  This can be used to your advantage on tauntable bosses that require a tank rotation. If the tanks taunt the boss in the reverse order that they came onto his threat list, then all but one of the taunts will be easy, giving aggro to the new tank, while only the last warrior in the cycle will need to get the additional 10% threat to gain aggro.
                  I bolded the part I was unaware of, very interesting.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                    Interesting, as the implication is the tank to pull with sheeps, shackles to follow. Hunters have "misdirection" as an alternate pull, else seems others not only avoid aggro (even at the low level of a wand pull) but avoid breaking the taunt cycle.

                    Additionally, I've wondered, when a Pally in tanking, considering they have the armor to take the first few hits, why not have them get aggro by doing the initial heals, sparing the other cloth, leather healers. The aggro to the Pally then would be by combined healing, spell dmg and other aggravations they may have. I know in ZG one stategy on the rouge boss with the panthers was to have a pally heal like mad.
                    Dewi

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                      This is a great post, I wish this had been put up on the Blizzard forums and stickied 16 months ago.
                      ďWaiting to be awakened by some unexpected thunderous roar, never dying...the sleeping giant lives and will sleep no moreĒ. - John Seabrook

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                        Thanks for that great info there guys. There's so much to learn, and just when I thought I was getting comfortable in my druid shoes.
                        New to TG?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                          Just to add to this, a suggestion for the healers.

                          Let the tanks take a little damage before healing. Try to factor in the amount of damage that is being taken and the amount of health the tank has for you to work with. If a tank is being hit for 2k, but has 14k hit points, he/she can take a few hits before you start your big heal.
                          Uglyduck - Spec varies - Currently Prot
                          MMORPG = Many Men Online Role-Playing as Girls

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tanking info for Non-tanks

                            I found a great post regarding threat generation.

                            http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...86645670&sid=1

                            to sum it up:
                            Revenge > Shield Slam/Mortal Strike/Bloothirst > Sunder/Devastate with regards to threat per rage

                            It also quantifies the threat generation of Thunderclap, and why Improved TC is a great tool for holding multiple targets.
                            Uglyduck - Spec varies - Currently Prot
                            MMORPG = Many Men Online Role-Playing as Girls

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