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Help with OTHER aspects of tanking
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I really love the idea of tanking. I want to get really good at it; an old guildie of mine was the best tank I've ever run with, even today. So I've done the bear tank reforging, the rotation memorizing, the gemming, all that, and if I'm queueing for a specific thing I check the dungeon journal first.But I'm having a really hard time getting enough practice/learning in and
what I've learned in my brain, because I find it really intimidating.
So I guess what I need, since I'm in a super small guild (as in one other active person besides myself right now), is advice on how to deal with the social aspects of tanking. I'm intimidated by the amount of pressure it seems that tanks have to know all the fights going in, and know ALL of the fights for ALL of the dungeons. I'm worried about doing a bad job or messing up and making the group wipe, even if it only happens once, because I haven't had a ton of luck with good, understanding groups. For example, I just queued for Zul'Aman specifically because my offspec healer gear needs a couple of serious upgrades from there. One of the DPS was negative about being there at all, and was even more negative when I asked for someone else to lead, because I wasn't too familiar with the layout. We wiped on the first trash pull because I was turned the wrong way to see them AND not dismounted or in bear form, so the healer went down immediately. The healer and two DPS left instantly, and the remaining DPS kicked me from the group after another thirty seconds or so. It's kind of discouraging, you know? I wish there was a tank and/or training mode for dungeons where the other players for the group were all bots, so people could learn without the pressure of doing it perfectly so random strangers won't yell at you or kick you from the group.
I wish we had bots or at least something (Contest of Arms would be awesome - see my suggestions list).
But in all seriousness, you can...
-learn by running dungeons as a different role and watching what other tanks do.
-try to run them yourself or with a group of friends you can trust (cross realm too).
-run dungeons you outgear (either by tier or selectively) for practice*
-watch some videos on how to tank (specific dungeons if you want)
-ask me more specific questions about a specific dungeon.
This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
1) Practice your "rotation" on the target dummies. Get comfortable using your skills. Practice using your cooldowns too.
2) Focus on one dungeon at a time. Use wowhead and tankspot's videos to learn the fights for that particular dungeon. Then queue up for only that dungeon instead of randomly. Yeah, you won't get the benefits of the RDF but its better than being overwhelmed trying to learn all the fights for every dungeon you might get queuing randomly. Plus, you're a tank, you should still get an instant queue.
After running each dungeon once or twice, you should be comfortable enough with each dungeon to queue randomly.
@Interest: You are truly an organized person, I'm leaving your suggestions thing open to peruse later. I've read and watched plenty about how to tank, and worked on my rotations quite a lot, so I think my best bet would be to just pay more attention to what the tanks are doing. That's a bit harder now than it was in previous expansions, it feels like, because there's so much that EVERYONE in the group has to pay attention to, things to not stand in, mobs to kite/run away from, etc., but I'll certainly try.
@TKitch: I do actually have the right gear score for the HoT, so maybe I'll try that, perhaps with a guildie in tow for moral support. You're right, ZA and ZG are challenging even for DPS, I think, because of how many bosses and all the running around.
@Glanzman: I'm getting better about the cooldowns. The idea that I should use Berserk and Savage Defense and Survival Instincts and even Barkskin whenever they're available, rather than just in emergency situations, was an absolute mindblower. My main is a hunter, so getting in the right mindset for tanking can sometimes be a slow shift. And thank you for the suggestion about queueing for specific dungeons; that makes far too much sense, and while I still doubt my memory's ability to hold onto tactics for that many dungeons with that many bosses, I'm betting it'll still help a great deal.
As someone who's main is a bear tank here's a couple of my thoughts:
* The 4.3 heroics are a really good place to learn how to tank. In general they're very forgiving, they're short, and they have just about every kind of situation that you can face in a 5 man. As soon as you can queue for them you should, as you'll learn far faster in there then you would in anywhere else. Don't be scared, just do it. :) The wonderful thing about WoW is that death is very meaningless. If you wipe, you wipe. The only negative thing that happens is that you gotta run back. That's it. It's nothing to be scared of. :)
* Try to understand how the healer's doing. This is a big part of CD usage, and can take awhile, as it can be based more on feel, and knowledge of other classes. If you know the limits of the healer, you know when a situation is actually dangerous or not. If something is only hitting you hard and leaving everyone else in the party alone then you probably can just pop barkskin and the healer should have 0 trouble healing through it unless he's very undergeared as healers very rarely have trouble with single target healing unless they are having really bad mana problems. However if the healer's mana is low because the DPS are bad and are getting hit by all the aoe and crap on the ground, you probably should hit survival instincts. If he just used a big CD like pain suppression or tree form you probably should try to chain a CD after it instead of using it at the same time (unless you're about to die I suppose ;) ). This is what makes tanking fun for me, because knowing what's going to probably happen in the fight, what the healer is going through, and what's happening to you is all intersecting, and it's your responsibility to make it all work out. :)
If you're looking for a good site to check out
has a good walk through of just about anything you should know for tanking.
Edit: I looked at your druid character and the thing that stood out was that you're using a 333 weapon. If you can get
you'll notice you're going to be far stronger. The trick of course, is getting it to drop. ;)
I do make it a priority to keep an eye on the healer's mana, if nothing else. I've been in enough dungeons throughout the levels where either I was healing and ran out or was dpsing and the group suffered a partial or total wipe because the healer couldn't heal anymore. I'm also definitely not one of those tanks who pulls too much at once. :)
The other advice about watching the healers is excellent, thank you. I know when Cata first hit, a lot of casters in general were having an issue with mana disappearing way too fast, and it seems like some groups still have a problem with that.
Yeahhhh my weapon is pretty terrible. I'm having the same problem on my hunter, and have been trying to get the same staff to drop for her, but it seems that a lot of people really hate WoE, so getting a group that doesn't bail immediately can be hard sometimes. x_x Watching tanks in that dungeon has made it look pretty straightforward, though, so perhaps I'll try that tonight.
Another thing to watch for to see how the healer's doing is your own health. Are you consistently sitting around full health? Then the healer is probably in great shape. Are you consistently not getting topped off and hovering around 40-60%? Then maybe pop a cooldown to let him or her catch up.
Not knowing the fights is only a minor problem. Reading the dungeon journal is of course a good idea before queueing for a dungeon, but you can also ask the group if you're unsure about a particular mechanic, or if you haven't run a dungeon in a while and just forgot what a certain boss does. I have found myself asking questions like "oh, this is the guy who casts spell x and we have to do y to negate it" a few times in my tanking career, and most groups are happy to answer questions.
Advertise in trade or find a guild that will help you learn. That's the best thing you can do to learn to tank is go in there with a full group who are aware of what they are getting into. Especially if you can get someone to come and dps who has a tank of that class and can give you pointers as you go. Other than this, it's all about knowledge. Knowing you abilities and when to use them. Know the fights, and know your procs/talents so that you can use and abuse them.
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