This is part two in a series of guest/jointly written posts from Vidyala, formerly of Pugging Pally and now writing at Manalicious. All italics in the post are Vosskah’s contribution. If you missed part one you can read it here: Looking to be a great warrior?
I said I’d be warrior tanking, right? I didn’t necessarily say I’d be warrior pugging. I have done some pugging. The last few levels have been really nice, though, because I had the opportunity to run with friends for most of it. I’ve done instances with Rades, Redbeard, Lara, Anea, and Voss himself. (He made a lowbie warrior, don’t ask). Below are the
talents and glyphs I have cleverly chosen Voss told me to take. I told him he’d better write about them himself because I don’t want to spread rampant misinformation.
Glyphs and Talents
Glyph of Shield Slam This is your primary single target threat weapon. An additional 10% damage is a very welcome addition.
Glyph of Thunderclap The old instances are all made with packs of trash. This is your best AoE aggro tool until you get shockwave at level 69. More range with your thunderclap means you have a better chance of grabbing that mob that could be heading towards your healer.
Glyph of Battle The minor glyphs are really not that wonderful. Battle Shout is the first shout you have, might as well keep it up longer so you don’t have to think about it so much. In the new reality of 4.0 though, Battle Shout gives you rage instead of costing you rage. This means you should use it a lot more often. It’s not just a question of keeping the buff up. It’s giving you the resources you need to keep everyone’s attention on you.
I have maxed out Shield Specialization as well as Hold The Line.
This is again, as explained in previous posts, a question of generating as much threat as possible. In all of the instances Vid ran with her warrior, she was never even remotely in danger of dying. The biggest issues she ran into were mostly threat related when facing DPS that were 6 levels higher than her. I was wrong in my second post. Shield Specialization is the most important in the second tier and I would follow with Hold the Line. I would keep Gag Order for later.
My tanking odyssey continues. I had an unexpected boon in the form of Wailing Caverns – you can’t queue for Wailing Caverns until you “discover” it. Not exactly in a rush to discover this twisted turd of an instance, I decline to do so, and thus never have to tank it! (I’m sorry, I really don’t like Wailing Caverns). Here are the instances I have tanked.
This instance is a bit complicated to navigate but it’s not too bad. It has many wandering patrols. Here I had my first encounter with a really annoying person…actually not a DPS, the healer – a paladin – wielding a two-handed battle axe and jumping in my face the entire time.
The JUMPING. He never stopped jumping. This story has a happy ending, though. As we approached the outdoor battlements that lead from one building to another, we attacked a group precariously close to the edge. The healer bounced up, up…and off. I wish it had killed him, but I still laughed really hard anyhow. Poetic justice for the insatiable jumper!
This instance wasn’t bad once I remembered the correct way to go; tanking this is fairly straightforward. The only part that’s potentially hairy is once you leave the naga/satyr section of the instance and head into the “Twilight Cultist” section. Some of these are runners and they are fairly tightly packed. I tried to use the corners to my advantage – particularly once you head up the steps and are facing the groups on the walkway with the big columns. You can line of sight these guys around the columns, and I recommend you do so! It makes life easier for your healers. Anea actually complimented my LoS pull here and I had to admit, “Voss told me to do it.”
You can do a similar thing once you reach the building where Twilight Lord Kelris resides. LoS these various casters out into the little corridor with your group (if they are patient enough to wait). Your ranged weapon is your friend, and maintaining control over these groups will ensure no ridiculous hilarity. Similarly with the candles – you will likely run into people who insist they should be lit at all at once! …Don’t let people do this. You can use a nice shield slam on one group of mobs as they enter, and then strafe over to the other pack to Thunderclap them. You should have the rage to do that. The rest of the instance is cake! I ran it a few times, with pugs, friends, a mixture, and with only friends.
One of the things I enjoy the most while tanking is when I can execute the perfect pull. A tank needs to be aware how the fight will unfold before the pull. The tank needs to know who are the ranged enemies and what trick should be used to group them with the rest of their friends. Ciderhelm put together a very good video explaining this: TankSpot’s Tanking Reference: Awareness & Camera Control. I highly recommend it. Ciderhelm also used to have a video about pulling techniques for warriors but I have not been able to locate it in a while.
This instance has the potential be annoying/frustrating. On the one hand, it’s very straightforward. Simple rooms, interminable rooms full of things. On the other hand, most of these will run if they can, and annoying half-walls at the back of each room can present LoS issues. I tended to run into each room, shield slam one of the first prisoners and then move back a bit to Thunderclap the rest. (You see, I absorbed Voss’ insistence about Shield Slam). You can hit them through the wall sometimes, you can also try to run in to where they are but then you might be cutting yourself off from your healer. Just play it smart.
More than anything the most helpful thing I found in Stocks is to really stay ahead of your group. Just always keep them on their toes, move on quickly to the next pack so they never get a chance to pause and think, “Say, I should attack this before the tank does…”
Ah, my old nemesis, we meet again. I honestly think I would not have been able to complete this instance without the Lara’s assistance. I told her before we even queued that I am apt to get lost and that Gnomeregan is the worst for me. She assured me that she knew her way through the instance and could help me lead the way – and she did; like a gentle dwarven sign post she would run ahead and pause at our intended location, and mark creatures that we needed. A few times she asked me quizzically, “?” or, “Are you going that way for a particular reason?”
Nope, no particular reason, except that I don’t know where I am going. I really tried to remember the way that we were going in case I have to go back without her. Except I hope that I don’t have to go back without her. Our first run included some mild loot drama – a feral druid rolled Need on a pair of cloth boots. The hapless druid was harangued by myself, the priest healer, and Lara for a good five minutes. “I can heal too,” he said.
“But that’s not what you’re doing now, is it?” Eventually this degenerated into the priest ranting about people needing on gear, at which point she/he became belligerent and opted to make my life difficult by running ahead to aggro mobs and act as if she were the tank. I told her pointedly, “I’m sorry if I’m not going fast enough for you, but you aren’t making this any easier.”
I hate when DPS pull for me. I hate it so much. It throws off my groove. It steals rage from me. It is unspeakably annoying. If you are a DPS, don’t do this. If you are a healer, don’t heal DPS who do this, and if you are a tank – I’m sorry.
This is another instance I tend to get lost in. Fortunately for me, I had Lara by my side again, and for the brief moment she had to go AFK I just headed towards the nearest pigs and killed them. I feel I’m sort of getting the hang of some of this tanking stuff. It’s like a small light bulb going on. (Very small). I know that I’m learning when I say, “Hmm, that one’s a caster, isn’t it?” and Voss looks over and says, “Yup!” and I know that means I have to go to it. The toughest thing for me is moving as a melee DPS or tank would. I was trying to turn the mobs for the melee DPS sometimes but I was inconsistent about it and this is something Voss pointed out to me – a finer point, if you will. I am coming at this whole venture with an attitude of wanting to learn and knowing that I am far from perfect so I will gladly ask for criticism about my performance or guidance where it’s needed! RFK went off without a hitch, the people were nice and friendly. Most instances have been incredibly smooth, truthfully. The biggest pitfall I am having is, well, actually there are a few things.
1) Absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever. I downloaded the Atlas addon, but the fact is that even the time it takes to open up and look at where bosses are – most groups are not going to wait. The only way I’m able to keep them on their toes is through rush rush rushing. If I don’t go – they start going without me. So I don’t know if I’m going to have to start studying up or what – I look forward to the Scarlet Monastery instances since I know those pretty well.
2) Rage generation: I am having times where I have so much rage I don’t know what to do with it, and other times when I am staaaaarved. That’s what I asked Voss to write about.
3) Keeping an eye on my rage: I don’t usually use a HUD on any of my characters because I haven’t found it absolutely necessary. Now I don’t always know how much rage I need.
4) Movement. I’m trying really hard to not put my back to things and to move smoothly but it’s just not something I often have to think about as a healer/ranged caster.
My next level (level 29!) should allow me to get the awesome talent Warbringer, so I am greatly looking forward to that.
I think that item 2 is wrong. It’s not as much a problem of rage generation but of rage management. Yes, a HUD will help you get attuned to how it flows depending on your actions. In this case, it’s a problem that most new Protection Warriors face: Starting a pull with absolutely no rage to work with.
There are many things that can be done to alleviate this. Before level 29, you can change to battle stance, charge and then change back. To be honest, it’s a pain in the butt and it becomes much smoother as soon as you get Warbringer at level 29. So, yes, you can charge. You can use Battle or Commanding Shout to generate some rage. These are all very good way to generate rage. There is another way to go though: Do not spend all of your rage to finish a trash pack.
The tank’s job is not to kill the enemies as much as it is to keep control of the situation. You do not have to press a button all the time. At the end of a pack, when you have plenty of aggro on mobs, you can let your last couple of hits be white hits, giving you rage, while your dps finishes them. Of course, keep an eye on your threat so that they don’t pull from you. But if you’re aware that the fight is almost over and have already planned your next pull, you can start moving as soon as the mob is down to your next target, thereby starting the fight with enough rage to cement the enemies on you and moving fast enough to keep your group on their toes. A group that feels that the tank is moving at a fair pace has much less chance to become creative and pull for you.
As for number 4, to be honest, I learned movement in PvP. I am awful at it, but it forced me to learn to move and adapt very quickly. You learn to run, jump/turn/run, charge/intercept/intervene. It’s a wonderful and merciless school.