My yesterday’s small raiding was covering up the un-killed yet bosses with Melaris, the Demon Hunter. And while she went in Havoc, as planned, something snapped when she entered Seat and got straight to Argus.
We had both tanks. Which failed 4 times just in the most epic ways. They were collecting stacks like hell – both of them, they didn’t get a clue what to do with the shiny thing, and they dragged Argus the Unmaker throughout the battlefield, delivering every debuff to the rest of the raid and flooding the field with death cone in the most unsurvivable way.
We tried and explained the drill to them after every failed pull. And it just didn’t work. They just kept failing and failing. Then one of the guys says, tanks, if you don’t know anything about your role, you’d better switch to DPS. And one of them actually did.
I’ve already respecced to Vengeance to serve as a supporting third tank, but I didn’t manage yet to announce it, and the other tank says: well, whoever is the second tank, support me. Understand it right: she didn’t even know whether we have another tank, and she pulled again, which would mean a certain and quick wipe if not for me.
Argus encounter is actually VERY simple for tanks. It’s one of the easiest fights in Antorus. You keep swapping for 3 scythe stacks and don’t turn him anywhere to keep the raid intact. When you’re not an active tank, be behind his back. For the first phase, you hold him in the middle, and that’s it. For the second and fourth phase, you usher him to the wall and keep him facing the wall. For the third phase, you tank an add. This is it. It’s simple as fuck. DPS and healers have really hard day, but tanks don’t.
And we did it with the first pull. The other tank totally failed every swap, not allowing herself to get rid of the debuffs, so she died four times during the encounter, and the last 200k I was tanking all by myself, eventually having 7 stacks or more, with my underpowered artifact of 62 or so. We did it!
The important thing is that I was a bit reluctant to tank the last wing even with my tank-assigned toons. Now I suddenly don’t :) Tanking appeared to be much easier than the other roles here.
One day before opening of the second wing, I’ve decided to try tanking the first one.
Besides the perfect timing, Melaris is closing in 52 on her tanking weapon, and she also had a quest and no first wing runs yet. So I decided to give it a go.
It went surprisingly smooth. Our second tank, a dwarf paladin, didn’t have a clue about what’s going on, so I pulled it off almost alone.
Trash mobs – no trouble at all. Took them out pack by pack, so we were fine.
Goroth – I was the only tank. Even with melted armor I just used my cooldowns, and all was fine. A pair of jumps was handy to relocate myself behind the pillars and back, so the boss positioning was executed by textbook.
Har’jatan – the second tank obviously died, because he didn’t turn the boss to raid bulk. So I pulled it off almost alone. Positioning was not that perfect, I held the beast in puddles very often, so it was not too convenient for melee dps.
Sassz’ine – nailed it, and almost alone again. As for void zones, I only got trapped by jellyfish once, but it was the only fail. I whispered to the second tank before the encounter to aggro from me at debuffs, but it didn’t work too well. He succeeded to perform this once, so I had to survive the whole debuff periods on my own cooldowns. A tough fight, yet I weren’t on the verge of dying.
For loot, I’ve got a cape, tier gloves, and a trinket. A decent drop.
I’m eager to try tanking with other specs, although demon hunter is so great with AoE aggroing which is basically built in rotation. Could be harder with other classes.
So, all roles for the first wing tried and succeeded. Bring us the next wing! :)
A big thing happened yesterday: Oluu tanked her first dungeon in current content.
Of course she tanked through her leveling before. But “current content” issue is important, because gear and abilities are tuned better, so it will give you the proper class feeling. You may one-shot and show the best DPS than DPS-players in most of leveling dungeons, or wipe and feel very weak in some of them. When you come to Draenor, you finally feel your class – everything is tuned better. You can’t win battles without healer and DPS, they can’t aggro mobs in front of you and overcome them alone, bosses live long enough to follow tactics and everything.
I’ve just finished Spires of Arak questing, so I was level 98 and packed around 570-580 from there. Right the point where I could enter Skyreach, and Khadgar thinks the same as he gives me the first epic ring quest.
It was very smooth until the first boss. Trash all over the dungeon went down easily and without flaws. I used active mitigation, tried to stay in healer’s line of sight, helped the healer as much as I could. Our hunter was responsible enough not to make a dozen and a half normal hunter’s mistakes (aspects, barrages, pet aggro), and other DPS were nice too.
Then we stopped at the first big birdie. Tanking has so many aspects you must check at once! It’s the most complex role yet. You keep an eye on other players whether they rip off aggro, you perform your rotation, you interrupt and you react with your mitigation to boss’ most dangerous abilities to survive. Have I forgot something? Yes. And that would be movement.
My current biggest flaw as a tank is positioning. I really need to check out the battlefield and plan my moves. Yes, I would step out of the bad of course, but this could lead me elsewhere. It happened yesterday at the first Skyreach boss. I was so busy and happy driving him out of his wind walls that I’ve chased him to the platform rim. And he stuck there. He kept on with casting, but we weren’t able to hit him. He aggroed on me properly, but he would never move from there. So we had to deliberately jump off the platform, and die, and beat him again.
Now that I was aware of this danger, everything worked fine.
The solar construct was next, and it was relatively easy kill. I’ve stepped in the rays, and it worked fine.
The nasty bird with hatchlings went dead easily. First I let one of her most dangerous abilities hit me, but managed to shield the next two.
The last boss was amusing. Our healer went down in the first half of the fight due to standing in the bad, and we said ‘uh-oh’, because there was no battle rez. But we continued. I did my best to survive by myself, and surprisingly it was interesting enough. I’ve aggroed properly and didn’t let hit dps buddies. I managed to roll to the very edge of platform to liberate one of our dps from carrying bird – we wouldn’t make it without him. I didn’t die, and anyone else survived as well. We nailed it!
I don’t see battlefield, and I’m reacting slowly, which is bad. My major goal as a tank now is planning my positioning and planning my movement.
So, the reasons I’ve started my new monk were these:
Altoholism – because there are 3 more months until Legion with nothing to do.
Tanking – I want to dig this role a bit more. I already have a Protection Warrior which will no longer be Gladiator in Legion, so I’ll play two tanking toons.
Fu Zan, the Artifact Weapon – I mean, how cool is that:
An obvious choice for my Brewmaster race was a Draenei girl. Of course, I must have chosen the most beer-related race, and no race is so booze-related in World of Warcraft than Draenei… Just kidding. I like Draenei girls, and those hoofed roundhouse kicks are awesome :) Agility and grace, that’s the point.
Name’s Oluu, with Draenei trademark double vowels and hailing from the Finnish word “olut” which stands for “beer”.
So, questing and dungeons – here we go.
If you were following my blog and/or twitter for some time, you probably remember that I enjoy proper leveling a lot. I never use any heirlooms, I don’t run dungeons multiple times and I don’t use any other boosts. It’s questing and single runs for each dungeon.
Yes, questing experience is broken somehow. I’ve already mused about how it should be fixed, but anyways Oluu will undertake a questing challenge at least for levels 1-60. I’m going to do every quest in every next zone on my way through Kalimdor according to claimed zone level. So, it’s Azuremyst (1-10) -> Darkshore (10-20) -> Ashenvale (20-25) -> Stonetalon Mountains (25-30) and so on. Needless to say that I’ve already overgrown them – as I’ve just started Stonetalon and I’m already 33. But I want to see how many levels I will get through doing classic Kalimdor zones in their proper leveling order.
Starter’s dungeon experience is hell, and I can’t even imagine how it feels to new players. People despise their respective roles. Healers have little to do, so when things begin to get rough they just come there unprepared. Tanks (like myself) often find themselves behind some plate and mail players, who tend to aggro everything in sight and when they die, it’s you and healer to blame. But nothing tough really happens until level 30 dungeons, so that encourages them to do so. DPS burn through mobs like a hot knife through butter. Being a slow caster like a fire mage, you may not even have a chance to plant a single spell onto mobs – because when you’ve finished casting, they’re already dead.
Please add some toxic and asshole behaviour in a pile.
If a healer or a tank leaves the group in the middle of a dungeon, the group is disbanded at once because no one wants to wait for a replacement.
Many people “need” the loot they can’t use – mages need leather and mail, hunters want swords and daggers, shaman would go for Strength items. The assholes assume that everyone must have and use heirlooms by now, so they must need the items for vendor. It’s a very rare occasion that a “needja” would pass an item to another player when asked to do so. What is worse, no one would support a loot talk because it slows the group from running dungeon asap.
One perfect example of a 100% asshole was met yesterday in Gnomeregan instance. Tanking the mobs, I’ve noticed that I didn’t see any pet around me or projectiles hitting enemies, and we had a hunter among us. There could be afk reasons, or the guy could be lost, but there he was, following us. After a boss fight when his dps still equals zero, I call for kicking him out. Immediately I get his curses in CAPS in the chat – and the group votes him away from the dungeon. Then the other dps tells us it’s the second group this hunter was expelled from. It’s just hilarious. You maybe doing these dungeons for a 1000th time, but you’re with a group. You have a role to follow. What surprised me most is that he could restrain himself from shooting. Yeah, you may not play with full potential because you’re lazy, but how could you not plant a single bullet or an arrow just for fun during the whole dungeon?
I guess things get better in later levels where enemies begin to get tough. Armored DPS suddenly crouch behind a tank, healer begins to heal, and tank begins to tank. Not yet at level 33, but almost there.
Can’t yet get a full grip of my defensive abilities. I’m pretty trained and confident to deliver my rotation in the field through questing, as I already have almost all DPS abilities in my sleeve. But mitigation and defence – not yet. And I had to run through Icy Veins for clues. It became better, but I need a lot more practice. I think I will master it by the time I reach Draenor raids and lay my hands on Fu Zan, the legendary keg staff in Legion :)
Yesterday I proceeded with my tanking. It was the third tanking night in my life, and it was Destructor’s Rise this time.
As I recall from my epic ring tome collecting being dps, it was the most complex wing save Archimonde. While Zakuun has always died easily, like a grey mob, there were always multiple wipes at Xhul’Horac and few were not impossible at Mannoroth.
Our cooldown is renewed at Wednesday morning. Yesterday it was Tuesday evening, which means we have to expect undergeared/leftover alts to complete the last hours of cooldown in the PuG. What can I say? It went extremely smooth.
I was prepared for wipes, but we didn’t fail.
Zakuun? Kicked the bucket like a baby, which was to be expected.
Xhul’Horac? Playing a DPS against Xhul means you have to run like a cheetah, use defensive cooldown except trying to dps and constantly switch targets. The encounter appeared to be much easier for a tank, I didn’t even notice the first phases! The last mechanic has to be mastered, and we didn’t taunt properly, missing few blows of the correct color. The other tank died, I did not.
Mannoroth? It was a bit challenging, I was often losing about 50% of health when the boss came out. Still I didn’t die and the other tank did twice :) It’s because I taunt the boss when the other tank has few stacks to let him have a rest. And he instantly taunts it back with his debuff stacks still on, and doesn’t use cooldowns, and dies.
There’s a problem with another tanks, it sometimes seems that they taunt for taunt sake, and not according to fight mechanics, being ignorant. Or they are too skilled and overgeared and are sure that they could ignore any tactics, they just want to have fun, holding the boss aggro on themselves throughout the fight. It’s hard to tell, but it doesn’t help me to learn proper tanking. Even if overgeared, I’m always doing it right, either as a tank or a DPS.
Anyways, with my tanking debut at Destructor’s Rise I didn’t die a single time and offered great skills of positioning the bosses and adds, although coordination among the tanks lacked a bit :) Now I’m pretty confident about having a Protection Warrior – a totally tanking toon – in Legion.
I think I have found myself a new fun in WoW, and it’s TANKING.
I’ve never tanked properly. I was completely lost at starting tanking experience with paladin and warrior. Dungeon mobs just kept running everywhere, so I didn’t make it far after level 25-30 or so.
I guess it was Summer when I gave my druid, Night Elf Mayluna, an extra spec – Guardian (she’s Balance). So far I’ve occasionally tanked 2 bosses in Balance gear: Velhari and Gorefiend. Mind you, it was successful, I didn’t die, aggroed properly, bosses were killed in 1st try.
While grinding Halloween’s dungeon for a horse, I found myself tanking the Horseman in bear spec. Not only the dungeon queue is instant (compared to dps waiting time), I thought that I actually enjoyed this.
So yesterday I decided to give myself a proper tanking trial.
I nailed Silver Proving Grounds – and it was on my first try! Although it’s still Balance gear, but I have tanking cape, 2 rings and 2 trinkets. Besides, Intellect changes to Agility when you change spec – for most things except weapon and neck. Still I think I’ve overgeared it maybe.
I’ve tanked UBRS Heroic after that. I never was under 70-80% of health, and I didn’t even use defensive cooldowns much. I think it’s because we’ve overgeared it. Healer was definitely bored.
By the way, it was a PUG. So, you can keep moaning about pugs. Not a single death in a party, with a total newbie tank who goes to tank a dungeon at max level for the first time in his life. No silly situations. No orc/dragon/ogre whole rooms aggroed. We just cleared it up from the beginning to and through Warlord Zaela. Then everyone thanked everybody and we left.
My next goal will be trying to tank raids – from Highmaul to Hellfire Citadel. As I see my major problem now, it’s the encounters where you have to move much. But practice makes perfect :)