Tank like a girl
Jan 25 2010

Storming the Citadel

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-This weekend, my guild had its first ever Icecrown Citadel raid. We’ve never been at the cutting edge of progression and this is like the closest we’ve ever been timeline-wise to starting progression fights. It’s pretty cool. It’s one of the things that I love about WotLK. It truly has made raiding accessible to everyone. We have been able to visit all raid content in the game so far, this would have been inconceivable in previous incarnations of WoW. Kudos!

Now, this first ICC-10 raid was a really different raid for me. It was the first raid I wasn’t going in as progression raid leader and main tank. I recently stepped down as guild officer, after 3.5 years. There were many contributing factors. First, I have no tact. I don’t know if this is a German trait or just me, so I fail at anything that in any form requires tact. When I think someone sucks, I will not sugarcoat it. I won’t be insulting, but I won’t pat on the head either. I will offer advice, but I won’t coddle. As I have posted many times, my guild is all girls. We have little to no drama, but we have a repeating pattern. Girls who have been in the guild for months will leave with absolutely no warning to officers. I don’t know if this is common in other guilds, but it really just happened time and again. Bam, leaving, and mentioning in their apps to other guilds that they did not like something or another about us. The lack of constructive criticism towards the most approachable group of people I have ever met anywhere is baffling. I drew my own conclusion from this: people fear the bad cop, people dislike talking to the blunt, most vocal officer. One of my (many) character flaws is that when I feel pressured and pushed, I will push back and block. But you know what? I was one of 7-8 active officers we had at the time. Even with personal beef against me, there were other nicer, kinder, more gentle people available to talk to, even if it was to complain about me. Never happened. So I bowed out, because I love my guild, and I don’t want to be that officer.

Not being an officer felt like a weight is off my shoulders. I still schedule raids and lead them in off-weeks, but more for my personal pleasure and not with a look at the big picture anymore. On my personal raid to-do list I want to do a Sartharion zerg, because Kadomi of the Nightfall sounds sexy, and possibly Ulduar hardmodes, which should likely be ezmode, but I still want to do them. For fun. After all, WoW is for fun! I am also raid assist for our current raid leader, trying to help her out in any form. We’re a good team, so I think we’ll do fantastically well.

I also did not go in as MT, as I mentioned. In fact, our first night in, I was healing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know most of you come here to read about tanking. But in all honesty I currently do not feel good about the state of the protection warrior in WotLK. I have tried to avoid making whine posts, but I think most protection warrior bloggers like Tarsus, Linedan and even Veneretio will probably agree with me that currently, we get the shaft. Icecrown Citadel, or maybe progression content in its current form is not made for warrior tanking. Our utility and toolkit is supposed to be the buffer for our traditionally low DPS output compared to all other tanks, but that’s not enough for me anymore. Speaking of the toolkit, how awesome will Warbringer be for us when it no longer breaks snares? Thanks, PvP, I love that nerf. Same with Shield Slam damage. Now, there is a sustained damage buff in the air, and it’s likely going to be Devastate getting another buff. This means we go back to Devastate spamming. Big toolkit. Yay.

Yesterday, I was offtank on our second day in Icecrown Citadel. Never have I felt more useless as a tank than in the Plagueworks. Our current MT is a Death Knight. She’s excellent, I adore her, and she does a great job. She could have solo-tanked most of the trash, I suppose. All those AoE pulls where I hopeless spammed Thunderclap and Cleave til I was out of rage and basically only my current target was on me, everything else on the DK. Or on Precious, with all her zombies, where the same situation occurred that she was doing all the AoE tanking and all I could do was taunt Precious off at the right time. And let’s not speak of Festergut. Dead, dead, dead. Here I was, feeling helpless in battle stance, keeping sunders up, keeping Rend up, keeping debuffs up, pretending I was able to make any DPS contribution. I am not able to say that warriors do not have issues. We do. Please fix us, Blizzard. I’ll be on my ‘main alt’ in the meantime, my shaman.

Enough with the whining. Let’s hear some good stuff!

First off, our raid group is awesome. I can’t say that often enough. They bring it. On Saturday, our first ever visit, we went in and one-shot Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper and Gunship Battle. I had a blast healing, and got rewarded for my efforts, with the very sweet Midnight Sun.

Deathbringer Saurfang turned out to be our stumbling block for the night, after an 8% wipe. As we 2-healed this, I felt this was our first real healing challenge, holy crap. Healing a clothie with a Mark is really intense. Our two Blood Beast kiters got some good practice in, and we went back yesterday afternoon. That time I was tanking, not healing, and it was a very amazing one-shot. It was a beauty to behold. Our kiters did a fabulous job, Blood Beasts went down smoothly, our tank transitions were very well timed, and we got our first Mark at about 30%, much later than the day before. I love learning encounters and then kicking their ass.

We moved on to Plagueworks and banged our heads against Festergut for the rest of the day. All in all, I think our raid DPS just isn’t there yet. We need every DPSer to break 4k or it just won’t happen, not in such a tightly tuned encounter. But we did not have everyone break 4k, and those who did weren’t so far above that they compensated for the rest. We cannot carry. I hope that will be in every raider’s head for next time. We cannot carry any DPS. It’s A-game or we will only bring home a huge repair bill. I keep hearing the argument that tank DPS doesn’t decide an encounter, but 100, 200, 500 DPS, it still might mean you beat that enrage timer. I think next time we might have more success with a more execution based encounter as Rotface while we try to solve our DPS problems.

I really did enjoy what I have seen so far, despite my personal disappointment with my own tanking capabilities there. Trash mobs! Traps on the ground to watch for! Rep for killing mobs! You have no idea how excited people were when they got to buy their rings, just like in the good ol’ days of Karazhan raids. Unfortunately I am sitting at 50% rep towards friendly on both my characters now. Next time! The encounters in Lower Spire were all good fun, and especially Gunship Battle made people happy. The Plagueworks immediately set the bar with a lot higher difficulty, starting with the Vrykul trash pulls. It will feel amazing to clear it.

As an aside, I should note that my 24″ monitor I got for Christmas still makes me so freaking happy, and I am in love with my raid UI. Witness my screenshot of the Saurfang kill. Now only try to ignore the stupid quest tracker on the right. Really need to find a way to disable it in raids. I need to write another addon spotlight, to sing the praises for DXE. Deus Vox Encounters is fantastic, I love it, I fully endorse it. Must post about it soon.

Filed under : guild, icc, raiding | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Storming the Citadel”

  1. I hate to be “that” poster, but…

    “Here I was, feeling helpless in battle stance, keeping sunders up, [...] keeping debuffs up, pretending I was able to make any DPS contribution.”

    Frankly, as a physical DPSer, your Sunders are more DPS contribution than any other tank brings to a raid. Can they be provided by a DPS Warrior? Sure, but at a non-trivial cost to their personal DPS, and not nearly as quickly if Glyph of Devastate is used.

    My guild’s 25-man tanking lineup is a Bear, a Prot Warrior, and a Prot Paladin. I would not have it any other way, from a DPS perspective.
    .-= Rilgon Arcsinh´s last blog ..Icecrown Citadel: nom nom nom nom blood nom nom =-.

    Reply

    Kadomi Reply:

    Sunders do not make up for the huge gap in TPS that we have compared to all other tanks in Icecrown. I am good at keeping debuffs up and even use Glyph of Devastate to get Sunders up even faster, but numbers don’t lie. I am sure sundering warriors will always have room in every raid, but it doesn’t change that Prot Warriors are falling behind in every other aspect, IMHO.

    Reply

  2. Heather says:

    Really glad to hear you are enjoying ICC, I too have found it a lot of fun :) Festergut unfortunatly has that affect on people, being dead I mean. I had trouble on Rotface because I kept dying every time I got the injection as I was the one healing it, so I needed help keeping myself up. It got to the stage that the paladins started throwing beacon and bops at me.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Raid Progress =-.

    Reply

  3. hanago says:

    not to be a downer, but i should warn you that the ugly twins (festergut/rotface) actually have very similar gear/dps requirements.
    Yes rotface is execution based… but you still need to kill him before you end up swiming in slimes.
    We found festergut-10 to be much easier.
    Beware the DPS requirement though: we 3 heal it, but our 5 dps all beat 5K (and we barely make the timer).

    Festergut pro-tip: mages and shadowpriests can ignore the spores. Defensive CDs get them through the explosion just fine.

    Finally, as one warrior tank to another: ~huuuuug~. Don’t hang up your shield yet sister, there’s still lots of tanking for us to do.

    Reply

  4. Sawyer says:

    I think it’s awesome you guys got as far as you did this weekend.

    A couple things we do is just to let the marked person on Saurfang die. It makes it much easier for the healers. As a matter of fact, we make them commit suicide off the cliffs.

    Second, Rotface is about 3x harder than Festergut. The dps has to be similar, but the execution is much harder.

    And for Fester, were you tanking the first go, or after the taunt? We usually have the lesser geared tank go first, and the better geared one go second, both to help mitigate the heavier damage in phase 3, but also to help the dps of the lesser geared person.

    Reply

    Sawyer Reply:

    Sorry, also, 4k dps is if you are 2 healing the fight. 3 healing puts the dps up to over 5k a person for Festergut.

    Reply

  5. Kobeathris says:

    Keep in mind on festergut, it’s not just you feeling squishy, its a check for healers as well. They need to be able to keep the tank up at 0 inhales, and 1 inhale without any cooldowns going off. At 2 and 3, cooldowns need to be used to help them out, either yours or theirs. I have successfully tanked him on both 10 and 25, and I have failed on both 10 and 25, if your health is going all wonky at less than 2 inhales, that is a healing issue (In our case, a Resto druid and holy priest healing team = not enough tank heals on 10) If you are the tank who is pulling, make sure you drink an indestructible pot before you pull, as that will help alot, and then you should be ready for another when it is your turn to taunt back.

    As far as DPS/TPS goes, yeah, it’s lame, especially for aoe, but for single target, you can get pretty close. I know you are talking from a 10 man perspective, but if you can get a ret pally in your groups, your personal boss dps and threat can go up by a good bit, since you can drop imp demo shout and go deep wounds instead.

    Reply

  6. Tarsus says:

    Congradulations on your rapid progress through ICC 10! Plaugeworks is a more difficult wing, but with time you should find it will go down just as well (isn’t that the point though? ^_~).

    Reply

  7. Everblue says:

    As people above me have said, on fester your dps need to be 5k ish each (that’s with 5 dps and 3 healers). When I offtanked it (ie tanking first, as the MT is the best geared tank and should taunt off you at 9 stacks) I pulled 3k ish dps overall (once I was in battlestance with the dps buff it was 4.5k I think).

    If you are short of dps try having everyone hug the tank at the spores and just get your healers to heal through the damage.

    Don’t forget to chain cooldowns if you are tanking the boss at three inhales.

    It’s not a complex fight, but it’s a pretty brutal gear check.

    Good luck
    .-= Everblue´s last blog ..Noob =-.

    Reply

    Everblue Reply:

    Oh – also – Rotface is even more of a dps burn than Fester. With Fester your dps just stand there and nuke, with Rotface you have a killer soft enrage mechanic so high dps is a must, and your dps still have to run around all over the place. Prof P is no better – if you get behind on the slimes/clouds then it all goes to shit very very fast. The abomination role is brilliant though.

    I have found that dps requirements in Plagueworks are huge, and as you say your dps guys need to bring their A game or it won’t happen.
    .-= Everblue´s last blog ..Noob =-.

    Reply

    Zellviren Reply:

    “If you are short of dps try having everyone hug the tank at the spores and just get your healers to heal through the damage.”

    No, please don’t try that.

    The reason you need five people at range is because of the vomit mechanic. If there aren’t people at range, he will pick someone in the melee group and the vomit will then spread and effect everyone.

    That’s bad. :P

    In any event, here’s my advice for the abominations.

    Festergut – three healers.

    You need a single tank healer, with the other two on the raid to start with. As Festergut inhales once, you’ll need two healers for safety. When he inhales for the second time, all three healers will need to pay attention to the tank. Finally (especially if you’re a warrior or death knight), for the last inhale, you need to start using cooldowns. Last Stand followed by Shield Wall should be enough if you happen to be tanking at the time.

    Rotface – two healers.

    Always remember that the little slimes HAVE NO THREAT TABLE. They cannot be pulled off, aggro’d or otherwise controlled until they merge with another slime (of any size). That means the job of kiting is actually more up to the DPS than it is to the tank doing the actual kiting. Also, the speed of injection appears to be time based; so Bloodlust early is the order of the day.

    And, yeah – the DPS requirement is just as big as with Festergut, as the number of injections becomes a soft enrage.

    Reply

  8. Lashe says:

    It was a great weekend and we kicked butt!

    I’m sorry about the aoe stuff.. funny though that the day before with our Pally tank I was thinking the same exact thing as you were. I was only able to keep hold of my main target, and everything else was glued to her, and I just felt useless for the trash xD I guess all classes have their strengths and weaknesses, but I do agree Prot Warriors could use some aoe buffs!

    Reply

    Everblue Reply:

    Stick vigilance on the pally tank. Cycle through the mobs taunting them repeatedly off the paladin, while mashing your face against the thunderclap button. Turn off recount. Profit

    :)
    .-= Everblue´s last blog ..Noob =-.

    Reply

  9. Greedar says:

    I follow a hierarchy for my rotation, in which devastate is lower on my priority list than many other abilities, because i’ve heard that sunder no longer does any inherent threat. I think ive heard you say that too, but my question is how do you know? where can i go to keep up with all the threat changes that blizz makes to prot warrior abilities? it seems like i can never keep up with the changes and i don’t know if certain sites are up to date. any help would be great. love the blog!

    Reply

  10. Gabbu says:

    WoW Gratz on all that ICC progress.

    Looks like you are using Vuhdo for healing, I think you should do an addon spotlight for Vuhdo as well. OH DXE yea it rocks.

    Do you have a download link to your UI?

    Reply

    Kadomi Reply:

    No, I don’t have a compilation. My UI is based on Drug’s, and he has the UI available for download.

    I just swapped out stuff from his UI, for example replacing Grid with Vuhdo, and adding stuff like SexyCooldown.

    Reply

  11. Laeraneth says:

    Hello! Long time reader, first time writer and all that :) (and a TLDR warning, sorry!)

    I felt the need to respond as I seem to have had completely the opposite experience to yourself in ICC with regards to my tanking viability.

    Sure, it’s no secret that AoE tanking for a Paladin is pretty straightforward. And yes, with regards to AoE it’s easy to feel somewhat redundant as a Warrior tank working with a Paladin or Death Knight (or a bear with their 360 degree swipe actually, I still think that’s crazy and should just be a 180 degree frontal arc… but anyway, I digress) But in my experience, I’m still leagues ahead of either class in both single target threat (and close on DPS) and seem to be more durable in general as well. (yes, I am a bit jealous of the higher number of DK cooldowns for surviving big painful special attacks, but in general, especially against trash packs, I generally feel invincible ;P)

    To give some more solid information rather than just my subjective rambling. In the 5-6 mob packs in ICC’s early parts, more often then not only 2 of the mobs would remain on me throughout, the rest going to the consecration user.
    But the much more interesting fact is that on the occasion that I’ve tanked them alone for some reason, or the other tank has died, or are unavailable, or disconnected, or dealing with one of the huge guardians, or whatever, I can still keep hold of all of them, with absolutely no fear of dying, and without losing threat to some overenthusiastic DPS’er. Surely that’s what matters?

    For a different comparative example, on Saurfang, where myself and the Paladin were trading off tanking due to the mark, my DPS and threat in this single target situation so far outstripped his it just wasn’t funny. When he taunted off of me, I largely had to stop doing anything beyond keeping sunders/thunderclap/demo shout up, purely because if I kept up even half of my normal rotation, I would pull back off him within 10 seconds *easily*.
    Now, I don’t know if he was lacking skill or something, it’s always possible, but the simple impression that I’ve got is that a Warrior’s single target threat is hugely more than a Paladin’s of comparable gear.

    The final example that comes to mind is on heroics, the newer and at least vaguely dangerous heroics :) Obviously this isn’t the greatest place for comparisons, as everyone is always more keen on raid performance than instance performance, but the point remains.
    On large groups of mobs (eg, the last wave at the end of HoR, the packs of 5 in the Frostmourne Chamber, the packs going up the slope in PoS) I’ve had several healers comment that I barely even take damage, let alone need proper healing. I have to assume it’s down to the combinations of shockwave and shield block and even in some cases a well timed spell reflect.
    The important point here, is that it’s been largely the same for the big packs in early ICC. Even in a raid environment, I have healers telling me I take less damage than our other tanks.

    Frankly… I’m pretty happy with that situation ;) I don’t lose threat in AoE to anyone other than another tank, I hardly take damage where others do, and I outstrip my partner tanks when it comes to single target threat. And on top of all that, none of the first four bosses in ICC even remotely scare me as a tank, they simply don’t feel like they’re ever likely to kill me unless something’s gone wrong with the healing.

    Now… Rotface and Festergut and onwards might be another matter (I have yet to do them sadly) but I can’t imagine they are going to completely reverse the opinion I have of my own viability at the moment.

    To sum up, I feel more positive about Prot Warrior now than I ever have before. (and for the last year or two, it’s been pretty damn good :))

    Reply

    Zellviren Reply:

    I love posts like this and I’ve been wont to write them in the past when I’ve felt good. For the most part, my experience was the same; my threat and DPS on bosses has always been competitive with my guild off-tanks who have been either paladins (2) or a death knight (1).

    Then I read the statistics that are posted throughout sites such as Elitist Jerks and log parses from some of the top guilds in the world.

    Your sample size is one.

    The numbers don’t lie.

    Warriors are a mile behind. In Icecrown, the only fight where warriors are doing well is Professor Putricide but I suspect that’s because the fight is very mobile and there’s a load of Cleave damage to be had.

    Don’t get me wrong, you’re clearly the most gifted tank in your guild – as I clearly am in mine. In fact, I compare well with all of the big shots from my server and assume you’re doing likewise. But that only means that we’re performing pretty much maximally, while our counterparts are underperforming.

    I love your positivity. But, like Kadomi, I love my warrior (and the obligatory blog :P) yet am levelling a warlock which will probably end up my raiding main come Cataclysm unless they fix warriors properly.

    And, FFS, give Protection paladins a proper nerf. They are WAY too good considering the ease of play that accompanies them. I’m sick of smug tossers without a hint of skill running around like big shots while their lack of actual ability is propped up by their class.

    Reply

  12. Linedan says:

    Congratulations on your progress in ICC! Yep, Plagueworks is a HUGE jump up in difficulty from Lower Spire…my 10-man and 25-man have both cleared the first four bosses with little trouble, and both have run up against the same brick wall you did on Festergut.

    I’m not feeling quite as down on Prot warriors right now as you are. I understand and agree with the concerns, especially with our DPS when not tanking (Festergut/Saurfang) and the loss of mobility from the Warbringer nerf–gee, thanks EVER so much, e-sporters, for that one. But, we do still have a very deep and varied bag of tools to use on tough pulls, the best snap threat in the game, and hopefully this Devastate buff will boost our damage a little.

    Besides, we’re warriors. Look up “badass” in the dictionary, and you see a picture of us. :)
    .-= Linedan´s last blog ..3.3.2 prot warrior changes announced =-.

    Reply

    Zellviren Reply:

    Paladins and druids both have better burst threat than warriors.

    Even if you hit Shield Slam and Revenge with the accompanying Heroic Strikes in your first two GCD’s (Shield Block up as well, if you like), you’ll lose.

    Sorry. :(

    Reply

  13. Juodasis says:

    Kadomi,

    In regards to getting above 4k DPS why not re-gear your warrior to Fury, getting all the T9 gear is really easy and most non tier items are either purchasable or can be had in the new 5 man ICC instances including the axes from the final boss in the Pit of Sauron. As DPS I’m quite sure you’ll get beyond 4 k easily and be able to keep the sunders up not to mention buffing the raid with Rampage. I too was a tank in BC and was pushed out in favor of a pally and DK tank, but I’ve come to love being a DPS warrior we kick some serious butt when played well.

    Juodasis Altar of Storms

    Reply

  14. I know exactly how you feel as a prot warrior. I tank next to a Druid and Paladin in our 25 man raids. I often feel like I can easily sunder as Fury (while actually contributing to DPS) on bosses that only require 2 tanks (every fight but maybe putricide). Luckily, on our first BQ kill, the shield dropped…which I won…which has given me new life in prot warrior tanking!

    I hope things start looking up for your warrior, as I enjoy reading your blog from your warrior’s perspective!
    .-= kroxix of dentarg´s last blog ..Blood Queen Lana’thel down! =-.

    Reply

  15. drug says:

    The UI surely looks very smexy on a 24″ inch monitor. Do you raid lead with DXE? Whenever I lead my weekly 10 man raid some other folks with an assist +BW/DBM do all the spammy marking/raid message stuff, I’d be really curious how good it is assisting a raid leader.

    My way of not being all too happy with warrior tanking was leveling a paladin up to 80. The DPS and the AoE threat is absolutely ridiculous. BUT, I still enjoy warrior tanking a lot more. I’d prefer the mobility/gadgets/snap aggro over the relatively monotonous 696 rotation any day. This doesn’t solve the low prot warrior DPS though. I really really hope tweaking devastate won’t simplify our tanking rotation. In 25 man raiding prot warriors do pretty fine. Mainly because those guys are really veteran tanks with no intention of rerolling. In 10 man raiding though, where the tank DPS does matter, it’s a very annoying problem.

    Nevertheless, enjoy healing with your shaman. I like the place where resto healing is right now. Even if our healing tools aren’t that shiny compared to a priest/druid, it takes great skill to master them. Even if we aren’t the best tank or raid healers, I like filling in wherever I’m needed. Also, gearing up, getting closer and closer to the soft haste cap and spending hard earned emblems for the beautiful 2pcT10 bonus is brilliant.

    I hope you’ll keep us updated about your 10 man progress. I’m really curious how you guys are doing in the plagueworks. Overgeared as we are it’s really hard to judge the 10 man content. The prof is a very fun and challenging encounter, even for us and it took us until tonight to finally kill him in our 10 man group.
    .-= drug´s last blog ..@Tanks: Charge from a Healer’s Perspective =-.

    Reply

  16. Jenny says:

    that’s so awesome. congrats. i’ve only been in there a couple times and we’ve not one shotted anything. i got the midnight sun though and i love it :D
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Them’s Some Bad Movies! =-.

    Reply

  17. Aren says:

    I would love to raid with you kadomi, you seem like a like minded person I could work with, too bad Im a guy and your guild has those pesky rules. haha nah, it must be nice to be in an all girl guild, I’m in a guild primarily ran by girls and everytime we hop on vent some loser we picked up from trade to fill a dps spot tries hitting on one of our female officers, which usually winds up angering someone’s husband/boyfriend/some jealouse guildy and causing drama, it can be a real headache.

    Reply

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