Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Tanking Questionnaire

If some days ago I posted my answers to the Healers Questionnaire created by Miss Medicina, now it's turn for the Tanking Questionnaire created by Beruthiel at Falling leaves and wings (and again thanks to Righteous Orbs, if you are not following this blog you're missing a lot).
Again the character chosen will be Turnak the paladin. As tank he's the best geared and also is the one I enjoy more when standing in the line of scrimmage. So let's go with the meme:

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Any place. While I used Turnak the most in 5mans, I became the unofficial guild's OT, so I'm also tanking in raids unless some friend comes and then I switch to healer or dps.

What is your favorite tanking spell for your class and why?
Mmm this is tough, protadins have a lot of good tanking spells, but I think I'll be a draw between Avenger's Shield and Hammer of the Righteous. Avenger's Shield is a great pulling spell, while Hammer of the Righteous helps me get aoe aggro fast. I know Consecration affects all mobs inside, but Hammer generates more aggro (or at least it's what I feel). Avenger's Shield gets a plus bonus for that Captain America feeling :)

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
Divine Sacrifice. I think I've never used it. I feel is too dangerous, specially if you're facing a boss that hits hard and affects several players. If healers are already struggling to keep you alive they don't need more work. Also nowadays I don't find much utility inr aids since most of the times you have some healer able to do good aoe healing. The only place I can see this can be useful is 5man runs with a paladin healing where there's a lot of splash damage (like poison debuffs in Azjol'Nerub)

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
The ability to generate a lot of aoe aggro and keep all mobs focused on you so they don't run rampant around. Also pallies have great tricks to solve mobility situations (like Hand of Freedom), protective measures (wearing plate armour and a shield, Sacred Shield spell, bubbling someone, etc)

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?

Before Divine Plea it was keeping enough mana to get your spells going. Right now it's just a matter of keeping Divine Plea always up, so only good timing is needed. Still in some occasions you may run oom, then you better pray that you generated enough aggro before so nobody snaps a mob off you until you regain enough mana to continue your duty.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?

Whatever the raidleader assigns me. Thanks to the great aoe aggro I may be better offtanking in fights where you have to pick up several adds, but maintanking the big bad boss is also ok for me.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?

Paladin. You can see why in the answers above: great aoe aggro generation, good survivality and also brings utility to the raid with blessings, hands, etc.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?

I'd say bear druid, but I'd be lying since my feral druid is specced cat, so I'm just an emergency tank when playing him. The real answer is warrior. I feel I have to struggle a lot to generate good aoe aggro, so when doing 5mans or tanking groups of mobs in raids I always feel I'm going to loose aggro ons ome mobs and they will crush a dps or healer, so I don't like tanking with the warrior. And it's not really a matter of gear (he has very decent tanking gear) or skills, I just feel warriors are best tanking one mob than a group, but nowadays you have to deal with groups of mobs or adds almost everywhere.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Good question, because I'm not sure I have an answer.This doesn't mean I'm a perfect tank. I just try not ot pull too many mobs at once, try to keepp high aggro on all... maybe I'm too cautious and I could make instances faster by pulling more, but I don't want to wipe for being trigger-happy. Maybe the worst thing I've ever done is forgetting some times to put Righteous Fury up and then wonder why people is getting aggro.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

Aggro monleys. People that doesn't wait for me to even cast Avenger Shield or Exorcism. And then they scream "AGGRRRRROOOO!!!" and run away from me.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?

In fact i think protadins are better than the rest of classes since they seem to have all the tanking tools needed: good mitigation (including block and parry), good aoe generation tools, a set of "oh shit!" tools (hands, bubbles, heals)... I couldn't ask for more. For example as I mentioned before I feel that warriors lack some better aoe aggro tools (I know they have Demoralizing Shout, Thunderclap and Shockwave). Bears need to stack hitpoints and because they lack mitigation (parry, block) while stacking too much dodge means they will starve rage.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Basically Omen so I see I have enough aggro and RatingBuster to check new loot and if it's better than my current one. I also have a script that tells me if I need to go for parry or dodge. Not sure if it works only for paladins or also for warriors and death knights, I got it from a paladin blog which name I can't remember right now (shame on me):
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("If ratio above 1.88 start getting Parry. Currently at: "..string.format("%.2f", (GetDodgeChance()-10)/(GetParryChance()-10)))

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

Again I'm not sure, nowadays the tank classes aren't so different and they can perform good in simmilar situations. Still there're situations where some classes have some advantage (like Death Knights pulling the sparks in Malygos fight or spores in Loatheb, while paladins excel at tanking the zombies in Gluth)

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?

Probably getting the right stats. You have to care for defense, health, parry, dodge, block... too many things to maintain and when you start a tank this can be cumbersome. Then in second position is mastering your spells/skills rotation.

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?

Depends on your gear and skill. For new tanks, health. Once you have decent health and are defense capped, you can start worriying about avoidance. For bears can be more tricky, too much avoidance will ruin their rage generation.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?

Bears. Probably because my druid is cat specced and when he had to tank it was a stressing. Also almost all the abilities have a paw or claw depicted so it's very very easy to confuse them if you don't play a bear on the daily basis.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?

Omen, Outfitter (without this we dualspeccers would go insane), RatingBuster and that macro I mentioned before.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

As I said once you're defense capped and got a fair amount of hitpoints it's time to worry about the rest of stats. In the begining I went mainly for hps. Right now I've stopped getting more health and I'm stacking dodge until my macro tells me to get parry.


  1. You know bears get rage for dodging too, right? :)

    And gear-changing mods are so last patch... the built-in equipment manager does it all!

  2. Well, as I said haven't played bear for a very long time. In fact i rarely play cat since healers are more demanded, so I go tree all the time.
    About the in-game gear swapper I think it doesn't change on stances/forms (at least when it came out), so I'm sticking with Outfitter since it does the job very well. I also know Outfitter can communicate with the built-in gear tool, so you can store outfits in it, but I don't use it since Outfitter covers all my needs.