Apr 19, 2010

Tanking: Do the right thing

Yeah, Facepalm Bear is back again. This time it’s the tanks’ turns in the barrel. I’ve been rolling healbot for frosties more so than tanking, simply because I find it frankly easier and less stressful. If I’m not healing I’ve been on the mage shooting fire around. From either perspective I’ve seen some doozies of fails when it comes to tanking. Granted most times things go smoothly. But when they screw up, it’s usually big time.

So let see what the FPB has to say today.

Don’t Be a Hero: Even if you’re pushing 50k health, there is no need to try to pull the entire instance in one shot. Pull two groups, no problem. Going larger than that rarely goes without someone pulling agro. The best example of this was a bright and shiny T-10 pally tank over 50k health that decided to pull the entire first hall of Utgarde Keep. Things went well…right up to the point he got stunned and his avoidance went all to crap. No matter how big your life pool is, you are not invulnerable. If you still feel the need to pull big than at least…

Speak the F^~% Up!: If you insist on pulling big, open your damn mouth and let the party know. This is important for two reasons. First it let’s you round them up and the DPS can hold off until you’ve got them where you want them. Secondly (and more importantly) it puts your healer in the right mindset. Your healer can be preventatively healing for the expected damage rather than getting taken by surprise by the fact that your tank just ran out of range. It is so much easier to heal big when you start ahead of it than to scramble and catch up. And if the healer draws agro due to your “heroic antics” then you are nine kinds of fail.

Control the Locale: Pop quiz. By show of hands, who wants a fast heroic run? OK good. Who wants to move along briskly with few snags? Good, good. Ok so where are you fighting the following?

• The Commander boss in Heroic Nexus
• The statue & mojo mobs before the Collossus/Elemental boss in Gun’drak
• The all-caster groups in Hellfire Citadel Ramparts

If you answered any of these “Where they stand” then you need to go back to basic tank training (or at least not queue tank for a while). More often than not, where you fight is going to dictate if you’re going to have surprises. Fears will happen. Melee DPS needs to be behind their targets to be most effective.  Too close and they could pull additional groups.

By bringing the mobs to you rather than you running to them, you control these factors.  You lessen the risk of pulling more that you wanted. Remember, as the tank if you have to scramble because of positioning, you failed. Even if you save it, you still failed.

The Key to Smooth:The key to a smooth run is simple. It’s not what you pull or how many. It’s all in how you do it. A little communication and a little bit of forethought goes a long way. They definitely go further than having to scramble. Don’t get complacent because the higher gear on most folks these days grants them higher survivability. Do it right. Do it smooth. Be the example. Be the tank. Make the Bear happy will ya?

1 comment:

  1. Even with these tips my good man, bad tanks will be bad. Now I will say I've been guilty of the UK hall pull, and died due to being stunned, but ya know what. You learn, and I can't remember the last time I died doing that. Cooldowns are there for a reason, if you're a tank and reading this do me a favor, don't suck. Use them. They have ridiculously small CDs now a days. Beats the old days when Shield Wall had a 30 min cd, remember that? yea. Five minutes is awesome.

    Many times have I encountered terrible tanks. It's shameful with how easy tanking is in wrath, but it's still there and very evident.

    Back to the big pulling thing, here's a little known secret.. ready? You don't have to pull big to make a run go fast. Shocker I know. It's almost just as fast, or even times faster, to just pull the groups normally but pull at a steady pace. Bam bam bam, one pull after the other. I do this (with the occasional bit pull) and my heroic runs last 15-20 minutes with people seldom dying. Try it.

    Also, another tip. You have party frames for a reason. Keep an eye on your healer and their mana. Over 50% and you're good to go. Under 50% just ask them if they want a drink, not hard. Like Jarr says, just because you have 50k life doesn't mean everything, especially if you don't have a healer. If they need a drink, let them. It won't kill you to wait a few extra seconds. Remember its a group thing.

    PS Jarr, good to see a new post :)