Tank like a girl
Sep 30 2008

An overview of tanking glyphs

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Thanks to Aylii I stumbled over my first tanking glyph today: Glyph of Revenge Holy crap, is that awesome, or what? While Revenge might proc less reliably with the Shield Block changes, it still lights up a whole lot. With that Glyph you could use a Revenge macro that would queue up Heroic Strike, for awesome TPS. I am in love. Which means I actually have to look at Inscription and what it can do for us tanks.

You will be able to use three major glyphs and three lesser glyphs. I actually don’t know if you can replace any of your glyphs, we’ll have to wait and see. Now, let’s see which of the glyphs could prove useful for tanks:

Major Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Barbaric Insults: Clearly wins for the name. What it does is that it adds a Taunt to Mocking Blow. The current mechanics of MB are that it forces the mob to attack you for six second, without any threat change. Unlike Taunt, which will actually put you on top of the threat list. With the Glyph, Mocking Blow will be able to do both.
  • Glyph of Blocking: increases block value by 10% for 10 seconds, after using Shield Slam. Mmmm, block value.
  • Glyph of Devastate: applies two stacks of sunder per Devastate. My immediate reaction is to call it weak. To proc S&B you will use a lot of Devastate anyway, so keeping a full stack of Sunders up is no big deal.
     
    Update: My immediate reaction lies in this case, as my commenters have made me see the light. Fast threat on multiple targets possible, plus a fast full stack, for more grinding power when soloing. Hot!
  • Glyph of Heroic Strike: you gain 10 rage for crits with HS. Not so great for tanking, when you’re limited to 3 glyphs, IMHO.
     
    Update: That’s what happens when I post early in the morning, I don’t think things through. This can be a wonderful source of rage. With the Glyph of Revenge we’ll be using Heroic Strike reliably, and will get rewarded for crits.
  • Glyph of Intervene: if you Intervene a lot, and I don’t really do, you might get some mileage out of this glyph. You get an extra attack on you instead of the party member you Intervened too. With Warbringer sure to be in my build, I am fine just using that instead of Intervene.
  • Glyph of Last Stand: while a reduced cooldown would be nice, the health loss makes it unattractive to me. This is something I use on bosses in a pinch, and only sometimes while soloing, so I shall give that one a pass.
  • Glyph of Revenge: as mentioned above, this glyph is just awesome.
  • Glyph of Sunder Armor: if this affects the Sunder Armor effect of Devastate, this would be fantastic for building threat on multiple targets. Has anyone tested this?
  • Glyph of Taunt: again, depends on how much you really have to taunt in 5-mans, and how often you get resists. I won’t want to use this.

That’s it for the major glyphs. There are a couple more minor glyphs, including Glyph of Thunder Clap, which given the TC changes seems pretty nice to have.

If I had to pick glyphs right now, at least major glyphs, I would go with Revenge, Blocking, and Sunder Armor if the effect applies to Devastate. If it doesn’t, then I would go with Heroic Strike instead.

How about the rest of you, what do you think? As a note, the glyphs are of course still subject to change until Inscription goes live. I will definitely pick that up with one character, using Siha’s wonderful Inscription Guide.

Filed under : professions, wotlk | 19 Comments »
Sep 30 2008

Oh my.

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That’s one way to wake up at work. I was sitting here, munching on my breakfast, idly clicking on my Dashboard in WordPress, and then I looked at the stats chart. BAM! Holy crap, my views are going through the roof. And they’re all coming from Tankspot. Hello, friendly tanking people of the world, nice to have you over. :) Thanks for the shoutout, Ciderhelm, it’s incredibly flattering.

And thanks to Veneretio, I now have a Twitter account. As if I needed one more thing to keep track of. It is slightly addictive however.

Filed under : ramblings | 7 Comments »
Sep 29 2008

Weekend Adventures

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The idea of a WoW blog originally sprang from me spamming my personal blog every Monday with tales of my weekends in WoW. As a German player on American servers that’s when I have it going on, with instances, etc. Everyone who comes here should get used to me rambling on Mondays. :)

This last Saturday, I led another Gruul and Magtheridon raid, with girls from my guild, plus friends from our guild alliance. I wasn’t anywhere as nervous as I was the first time round, but I can safely say I prefer the ease of 10-man raids. For 25-man raids, there are obstacles to smooth experiences. People not showing up. People spamming you with whispers for invites. Assigning everyone into the groups they want to be in for best buffage. I made the mistake of inviting early and then someone I had counted on and who needed Mags for the Champion title suddenly not filling in, and the person I had squeezed in refusing to leave, because of wanting a specific piece of loot. My blood pressure is rising just reading it again, aargh. So, hats off to those of you who regularly lead 25-man raids, you are stronger people than me.

We had 16 people from my guild, 9 from the guild alliance, and we started about 15 minutes after official raid start time, which I guess is alright for big raid leader noob that I am. It helped that everyone was reaaaally on time and well prepared.

As for the raid, it went smooth, baby, smooth. I don’t know, I was a bit alarmed, because I had heard that our allied guild had tried Magtheridon twice recently and always had to call it because people just weren’t focused enough. In we went to HKM, where we promptly wiped, because Krosh ran over to where I wanted to pick up Maulgar, and I promptly died after a blast wave and two hits by Maulgar himself. We wiped it, went in again, I nudged hunters to put Misdirect on during the countdown, not afterwards (duh!) and we killed Maulgar and his chumps. Now let me introduce you to someone special in my life: Skirting. She’s that handsome druid over there, and she’s played by my partner. See the sparkly shoulders she’s sporting? /facepalm

It had been my goal to get the T4 shoulders. I won them last time fair and square but gave the token to my crappily-geared off-tank. This time Skirting was the off-tank, only one Defender token dropped, and I lost the roll. There’s nothing more bitter than losing the roll on something you covet so much to a person you love, heh! She hearthed to Shattrath, grabbed new shoulders, enchant and gems, and then we went in and one-shot Gruul. It was a really flawless kill, we only had one death in the raid, and that was at about 5% on him. I think druids do have an easier time as off-tank on Gruul. She took all Hurtful Strikes but two, for considerably less damage than our warrior tank last time. Of course we also killed him faster, in 11 growths. No ground-breaking record, but not bad at all.

We moved on to Magtheridon, swapping two hunters for a rogue and a moonkin, and went on to one-shot him as well. I have no idea what was different from our allied guild’s raids, but the channelers went down nice and easy, the infernals were mostly under control, and despite later seeing that I took some heavy hits (worst for 10k), my health never seemed to be down much. I had the help of an experienced guy from the other guild to call out cube clicking, because while tanking Mags I have this tunnel view of him and my action bar. I ended up rage-starved quite a lot which was annoying, but other than that, Magtheridon is as tank and spank as it gets, to the point of boring.

Two hour raid, two 25-man raid bosses down, and feeling like an accomplished raid leader, that was my weekend. Now I am trying to figure out if it’s worth running Gruul one more time, for the blasted shoulders, or to pray for the shoulders from the first chest in Zul’Aman. We’ll see if I can lay my greedy hands on them this coming ZA.

Filed under : raiding | 9 Comments »
Sep 28 2008

Tank like a multi-tank

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A lot of my WotLK excitement is about easier multi-tanking for warriors. I love huge pulls. I love the challenge. I love holding multiple mobs on me. It’s hugely engaging, you have to be aware of the situation, it surely beats spamming one button. My mission: share the joy. The basics behind this guide will still apply in a post-3.0 world, things will just be a tad easier.

In my efforts to educate casual protection warriors pre-3.0 how to feel invincible by binding masses of mobs on them, I present to you: Kadomi’s Multi-Tanking Tips and Tricks!

Before we start our multi-tanking adventure, let’s review our arsenal of skills, the ones we shall need to bind many mobs on us. Pre-WotLK warrior multi-tanking is hard, yet satisfying work, and here’s what needs to be on your action bars to succeed:

Shield SlamShield Slam. Your big threat move needs to be laid onto your primary target as much as you can.

DevastateDevastate. Of course. Bread and butter. Tab from target to target to lay Devastates on.

ThunderclapThunderclap. Our super-awesome AoE tanking skill. I am choking up right now. (The sarcasm will go away after the patch) Greatly superior to its old form, the TBC version is helpful as you can now use it in Def stance and the threat was increased. However don’t expect Thunderclap alone to keep non-tanked mobs on you, that will likely not work. You have to work a bit harder if you require more than HoT healing.

CleaveCleave. You have rage to spare, you use Cleave. Just like Heroic Strike, it’s a rage dump, it hits two targets, use it.

Demoralizing ShoutDemoralizing Shout. Many mobs hitting you means a lot of damage, especially in heroics, so you can generate some AoE threat using it and minimize the damage you’ll be taking.

Concussion BlowConcussion Blow. Sometimes stuns are nice. Rage likely won’t be an issue in any larger pull, so it’s beneficial to knock one mob out, to further minimize the damage you’re taking.

Challenging ShoutChallenging Shout. If the shit hits the fan, it makes more sense to blow that cooldown to get mobs back on you. With its vastly reduced cooldown in WotLK, we’ll be able to use this more often too!

DisarmDisarm. When multitanking causes too much damage to you, minimize it. Especially handy in heroics, where fearsome non-CCable mobs turn into puny harmless puppies for the Disarm duration.

Everything ready? Then let’s go to ‘Outland Multi-Tanking School, Class 101′. The place is otherwise known as normal Shattered Halls. Your classmates should be a healer, and 3 people of the kind that pew-pews. For extra added difficulty to make you an A-level student, do not take more than one pew-pewer of the crowd-controlling kind with you. Be brave. Take a resto shaman, an elemental shaman, an enhancement shaman and a shadow priest along. Do your best.

Fel orcs in Shattered Halls

To start off the class, you will pull the legionnaire at the entrance, and run forward to invite his two buddies to come play as well. Three is a good-sized group to tank. Initial move should be a fancy Shield Slam to the face of the legionnaire, followed by a hearty Thunderclap and Demoralizing Shout. That bit of AoE threat needs to tide you over while you lay on some Devastates on primary target. Next up, tab to mob number two, and Devastate. Tab to mob number three and use Concussion Blow. Back to the main target, to see if you still have a threat lead. Shield Slam and Devastate, weave in Thunderclap every cooldown, and with plenty of rage Cleave. If your lead is solid, switch to mobs 2 and 3 again to apply sunders via Devastate. There’s always something to do when multi-tanking which is my favorite part.

One often-cited reason for warriors to stick to single target tanking is that it’s so difficult to properly tab-target, and that you end up having mobs on the other side of the room targeted. Not quite correct. You can control what mobs you will target when tabbing through them. Tabbing uses a cone around you. Let’s say your primary mob is in the center of your group, and you want to tab to the mob to the right. Turn to the right so you’re directly facing the mob, then tab. Voila, you have it. Now you want the mob all the way to the left. Again, turn, face the mob, tab. Another slight turn, and the next tab takes you back to the primary target. There is a system to the madness, you can control what mobs to tab-target to. Positioning is the name of the game, and it’s fantastic practice for Shockwave, which is also a cone effect. Are you currently bored? I recently read one of Veneretio’s recommendations what to do til WotLK. You could level a mage to 26 and play with Cone of Cold, to learn how to master the cone effect.

After the first hallway of pulls which is just a warm-up, you end up in the room where the legionnaire paths from group to group. Pull the legionnaire when he’s either all the way to the right or the left, and pray you haven’t pulled the whole room. Note that you have mixed groups of casters and melee for the rest of the instance. Of course it is crucial that you tank right where the caster is. The easiest part is to bring casters to you, by using Line of Sight or rather, the lack of it. When you have mixed pulls, look around for opportunities to break line of sight. It’s relatively easy in my example. There’s a niche you can duck into on both sides. Stay against the wall until the caster is running around the corner towards you, then start your tanking cycle. In the following hallway, there are large niches with statues, you can also use those to your advantage to bring the sharpshooters into melee range. The golden rule: look for LoS breaking opportunities, and warn your group to hold the DPS until all your mobs are in melee range.

And that’s it, really. It’s not the easy Consecrate button that paladins have, and your DPS will not be able to AoE without drawing aggro. But warriors are more than capable of tanking multiple mobs if they get the opportunity and if the pulls go as planned. It requires that your group plays along. Last night, e.g. I tanked Heroic Shattered Halls, a line of sight pull, and some of the DPS did not wait for all the mobs to be in melee range. Mobs ran in different directions, splitting them up, and once your mobs are scattered all over the place, it’s very difficult to round them up. Ideally, they’re all on you in the first place. If pulls go wrong, explain what you need, and don’t give up. It’s possible, and it can be fun. And we want to have fun too, right? And just remember, this will all still work in WotLK, and we’ll get some added perks. Me, I can’t wait to re-visit Heroic Shattered Halls post-patch.

Filed under : guide | 10 Comments »
Sep 28 2008

Hallelujah!

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Latest news from Ghostcrawler, druid and warrior tanks rejoice!

Thunder Clap — Increase in threat generation. No target limit. Swipe gets the same treatment. With these changes, all 4 tank classes should be able to generate very respectable AE threat. Consecration is still a little higher in threat to account for Thunder Clap’s debuff.

The target limit was also removed from Swipe, so happy AoE tanking! This is fabulous news, I can’t freaking wait for this. :D

Filed under : wotlk | 1 Comment »
Sep 26 2008

BA Shared Topic: Improved professions

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This week’s BA Shared Topic comes up with the question asked by Pixelated Executioner: What do you wish your profession could do?

Work work! Me no orc like dat!

Work work! Me no orc like dat!

I happen to be a 375 Blacksmith with a specialization as Armorsmith, with mining on the side. At 375 I find it to be one of the most useless, pointless professions to have. There, I said it. What do I, as maxed out blacksmith do with the profession? I make the occasional enchanting rod, adamantite sharpening stones, and the Felsteel set for leveling plate armor tanks. If you do not have access to epic blacksmithing plans, there is no market for blacksmiths. This is a problem. Now you might say that most professions have this problem, but I always find that I do a lot more with my other professions (maxed out leatherworking and alchemy) than blacksmithing.

The Armorsmithing specialization is equally problematic. In my DPS gear, I am sporting the Bulwark of Ancient Kings. Out of sheer desperation I wore it as and the lower version as tanking chest for a long time, for the use effect and the nutso amount of stamina on it. But it’s clearly a DPS chest. None of the few armorsmith BoPs does anything for tanks. How can this possibly be?

I actually have no idea what plans Blizzard has for the blacksmithing specializations in WotLK, but I would hope that it’s a better implementation than in TBC. In comparison, look at tailors with their specializations. You can pick your specialization on what kind of caster you are (frost/shadow, fire/arcane, healing). I would not have picked armorsmithing and would have gone swordsmithing if I had known about the lack of tanking gear this would provide me with.

Now that I have done my share of griping, the good stuff. Blacksmithing did provide me with decent gear while leveling. The Fel Armor set was amazingly good, same for the Adamantite set, and as I got all Felsteel plans fairly quickly, that set was also great. Sharpening stones are awesome. I want to continue to see great pieces of gear you can make for making leveling easier. I am totally excited about the addition of shields. But I think the biggest step is that we get to add sockets to gear. That is great. This will be something of use even at max-level in the profession. Everyone will eventually upgrade gear and will want extra sockets. Especially one that’s colorless. It provides so much needed utility.

From the other Shared Topic bloggers I have seen the same request, and I am endorsing it as well: let us repair our own gear. That would be a killer feature for tanking blacksmiths. Blacksmiths should be able to repair mail or plate armor, leatherworkers should be able to repair mail and leather, tailors should be able to repair cloth armor. That’s the ideal for me. Come on, I can make fancy armor, but I can’t hammer the bumps out of my plate pieces? You could even do it as a bonus, like half-price repairs. Everyone knows that us folks have huge repair bills, and every little perk would count.

As last request, something with a fun factor would be great. Tailors will get a flying carpet in WotLK, engineers get tons of stuff that just screams fun, it’d be nice to have something like that too. I am fresh out of ideas what could be fun smithing gadget, but surely there could be something.

So as summary: do something to keep blacksmiths busy once they’re at 450, something with utility; make blacksmithing the killer profession for tanks by adding the ability to repair armor; and some fun stuff wouldn’t hurt.

Sep 25 2008

Prot Warrior Overview

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Yo, prot warriors, if you’re not reading Tankspot regularly, check out Ciderhelm’s excellent summary of what’s in store for 3.0. Good stuff.

Yesterday, I found out it’s easy to fret and worry, because I talked to an unhappy warrior and fretting appears to be contagious. I like to read uplifting stuff, if I want depressing, I would go read the official forums.

Filed under : wotlk | 2 Comments »
Sep 22 2008

Another one bites dust

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While I am still woefully behind on my crafting goals for the alts, this past weekend wasn’t bad at all. On Saturday, we managed to beat the first timer in Zul’Aman, finally, killing Bear with a minute to spare. Much cheering, I was really happy. I will say that having a mage along really helped with CC on the last pull before the boss. I was a bit worried about the Eagle gauntlet, as we didn’t have our usual holy paladin along, but we managed to rush through without too many difficulties. Eagle himself took three tries again. We had some bad luck with DPS dying early and such. Lynx trash is pretty easy IMHO, and I kinda really enjoy the Lynx fight, despite the spikey damage. We’re pretty good at it now too.

I will say though that ZA seems to hate tanks, at least our raid IDs do. We have yet to see a single piece of plate dropping. I had my hopes up on Bear again for the Jungle Stompers or even the shoulders from the chest, but nooo, Bear dropped Fury, and some caster cloak was in the chest.

On Sunday, we did our day two of ZA, which in the past had been filled with nothing but Dragonhawk attempts. I have to admit I copped out on Dragonhawk tanking. Our holy paladin went Retribution with the rest of the points in protection, and she helped me with tanking the dragonhawks. In fact, she had most of them, I only picked up stragglers. It worked, but it tastes a little bit like defeat to me. Just a little bit. I am looking forward to trying again in 3.0 to tank those birdies and then hold them myself, rar.

45

We then tried Hex-Lord a couple times, our best attempt being 45% or so. It looked promising, but it also looked really hard. We had imp, wight, blood elf priest and dragonkin adds, and I think I didn’t have them handled the right way. We DPSd the imp, dragonkin was hibernated then killed second, and last was the wight, shackled and then killed. We actually only managed to start DPS on Malacrass once, as it took a while to kill the adds and respond to Malacrass Soul-Drain accordingly. Holy crap, Consecrate sucks, doesn’t it? Opinions seem to differ how to handle the adds, so now I will be hunting for strategies for a while, to see how T4+badges gear equipped groups can get him down. I am proud of my girls, and I am positive we will pay a visit to Zul’jin before Nov 13. Go us!

Sep 20 2008

First impressions

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After installing the PTR client yesterday and copying all my 70s over while doing so, I only logged on to fiddle around with obvious visual changes. I liked the calendar, laughed at some of the achievements and cheered the mount change. Who knew, I did 1375 quests on Kadomi. The retro-achievements are a bit wonky, as it didn’t attribute a lot of bosskills, but I don’t care that much.

Then I started looking at my gear. My attack power went up from just over 600 to 1100. However, in my threat gear I was sitting at a measly 463 defense. My threat gear as I currently have it won’t be an option. I fixed the gap by equipping Adamantine Figurine and Dabiri’s Enigma, taking me to 495. I’ll miss my Shard of Contempt, QQ. Or all my other non-defense trinkets. I hope I can figure out a way how to hit the cap without trinkets soon.

Just when I started fiddling with the talents, the server was shutdown, in preparations for build 8970 which I patched to this morning. Apparently it’s really buggy atm, as the higher your hit, the more you miss. Go figure! Then I copied all my addons over, and there were many tears. A lot of my addons were broken, of course. On the other hand, a lot of addons already work. I set up Dominos, mourned the loss of SCT and Chatter, and started spending talent points.

I somehow ended up with a build I didn’t actually want, a very weird 5/2/54. The protection tree seems very bloated to me, there’s a lot of fantastic stuff in there. I think I will drop Puncture, as I don’t think rage is going to be much of an issue, after testing it. Once that was done, I set up my bars (not very happy with them), and set out to AoE wonderland: the Ata’mal Terrace in SMV. I wasn’t the only one with the idea, a bunch of prot pallies, prot warriors and frost mages were about as well.

Pictures say more than a thousand words.

 
What can I say, this is probably the most fun I had for a while. Note the guy on the left. He’s a pathing level 70 elite who just randomly joined the large group I was fighting. If I take the elite solo, I still have 85% health. Good stuff! This is really a blast. My TopScoreFu wouldn’t stop dinging, so many new crit records. It’s amazing fun, I love it. Thank you, Blizzard. Now please don’t nerf it to death, kk?

Afterwards I tried to solo Uvorus, like 5 other people before, even people in T6 gear, and that was full of lolworthy fail. He fears, he casts a flamewave spell, which cannot be interrupted nor reflected, so that was a no. But it was fun trying. :)

Filed under : wotlk | 5 Comments »
Sep 20 2008

Avast!

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Capn Kadomi ready to plunder and pillage!It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day today, ye scurvy sea dogs! If’n yer readin this, drown yerself in rum, like this cap’n wants to do, as she waits fer the PTR client ter install. Arrr, this be a mighty slow process, we can sack whole cities while waitin’ for that slow ship to land in port. But once it’s here, we can be seein’ how well mighty Capn’ Kadomi is farin’ in the New World of 3.0, and if she’ll have to get the shiny Adamantine Figurine from the bank to not be critted in the face by her enemies.

May yer days be filled with lotsa bounty and phat pieces of loot, and don’t ferget to join the pirate’s life by talkin’ to a friendly crew-member in any capital city or Booty Bay, to join the cause. I’m sailin’ off to the PTR now!

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