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I am a devoted Husband, Father, tax payer and I am an Alliance player whom as of late, find myself with quite a bit of downtime, thus deciding to write about my adventures, gripes, questions and discussing anything and everything that is WoW. I sincerely hope should you stumble across my humble WoW blog that you enjoy it and I encourage and welcome your feedback. Cheers!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Onto Syndragosa

Well folks, Putricide down.   After a few weeks of tuning the fight to our raid composition 2 healers, 2 tanks and DPS we managed finally get past this brick wall we called Professor Putricide.  Not that he's extremely difficult, but there still needed to be a fair amount of coordination and movement, the key for us was that at Phase 3 we bring him back to his table where we then tanked in motion back towards the exit door, keeping him as close to the wall as possible in order for the Slime pools to grow outward in mainly 1 direction towards the center of the room, leaving the other side growing into the walls.   The other key was making sure I gobbled up all the slime before we went into the daze pre-phase 3 ensuring that when phase 3 started we didn't start the phase with pool of slime in the middle of the room, that's tricky though, the rest was the awesomeness of the group we have, our healers are absolutely amazing and our damage dealers can bring the pain there is no doubt of that.   So good times there, here's a pic of my reward...
Then as we moved forward we did our first attempt at the Cache of the Dreamwalker and we completed this on our second attempt. 


 
Next will be to get through fast enough to clear the first two wings on Tuesday nights so that we can have a good go on Thursday night at Syndragosa and what lies ahead....  stay tuned for more on Knights of Camellot's progression in ICC...   By the way, I'm still under 5K gear score... ;-)  Even after I got the sword off Prof. Putricide... hehehe...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just fun to watch!

So as I was looking at some youtube videos on the Time Lost Proto Drake, I decided that I might complete the quests series I had started long ago to get my Nether Drake Mount... and was looking into it when I stumbled accross this video... had to share it with you all, it's old but worth the few minutes of your day to get a laugh...

Enjoy!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RnbxzGSKIo

Haven't lost my touch...

Well I dinged 78 this morning on my warlock while enjoying my morning coffee and running around aggroing mobs I needed to kill and cursing them and speaking in demonic languages only another warlock would understand. While getting up to level 78 (leaving me with only 2 more levels to go in order to get my dealer of death and destruction up to 80!!) made me happy this morning, what pleased me the most was seeing that I haven't lost my touch when it comes to bringing on the pain and suffering to those that stand in my way.

Not only did I enjoy a nice morning kill on a level 80 Tauren warrior on route to my quest location, and then as an irresistable quench once more on my way back to turn in my completed quests and collect my spoils, I also took a look at this and then grinned as I realized... "yeah... I still got it" and then proceeded to log out as I had to go to work... (ahhhh curse you!!!!! real life obligations!!!!)




Yeah, I did that, at level 78 and I wasn't raid buffed.

My spec? While grinding out the quests I am Demonology, my main spec and where I would really shine is Affliction... either way, regardless of which specialization I chose to be in, if you're my enemy and you see me... run... before I see you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Threat and you!

Following through on my articles on tanking, today I will talk about threat, what it is, how to get it, how not to lose it and what to do when you do lose it.  First let's define what threat is.  In short, threat is the amount of hate you have on a given enemy or more commonly referred to as "mob".  As a tank, your job is to lead your group through an instance and absorb all the damage and minimize the amount of damage your group receives as much as possible, in order for you to accomplish this, you need to generate enough threat so that mobs hate you more than the rest of your party. 

There are several tools at our disposal that enable us to do this, but be mindful of the fact that you can't do it alone, how often I've seen DPS and even healers in a group grab aggro before I have even gotten into position, i.e. as I run into a pack of mobs a healer throws a heal over time on me just as I'm in aggro range, and ooops! there goes a stray mob onto my healer... or an overzealous DPS caring only about being #1 on the damage meters who can't wait a second or 2 to allow me to grab my pack of mobs throw an ability on them before laying into them with their damage... and OH! there goes a dps! 

Thankfully we have tools in order to help in this situation, and those tools are our Taunts.  We have 2 taunts as Paladins plus a couple of other nifty abilities we can use to help on top of the taunts but we will cover those later.  For right now, let's take a closer look at how threat works, the math behind it.

A good post over at Maintankadin's lays out the mechanics very well, so I don't feel the need to re-write this part, so here's a copy / paste of the part of that thread that applies to this post. 

"Each mob has a counter for every player how much threat that person has. This starts out at 0 usually, unless there's some specific mechanic; there might be a very small amount of proximity threat for pulling a mob; but I didn't check.

As players perform actions that generate threat this 'threat' counter of that mob for that person rises.
Dealing damage to the mob usually causes the threat counter of the mob for the damage dealing player to increase by 1 per point of damage dealt (threat modifiers apply).

The mob also has a current 'target' which is what it's currently attacking.
If another player has more than 110% of the threat that a mobs target has AND is in melee range the mob will change it's target. If another player has more than 130% of the threat that a mobs target has, even if he is not in melee it will change it's target.
Many threat addons don't show the RAW threat but 'effective' threat and 110/130% will appear as 100%, but this is just so people who don't know how it works can understand it more easily; this will make 'taunt' appear to generate threat but it's actually an illusion, taunt simply sets your threat to the current targets threat and changes the mobs target (and the former target then has to generate 10% more to get from 100 to 110% to steal the mob back)

Nowdays for most skills the threat generated simply has a % modifier; Defensive Stance/Righteous Fury/Frost Presence/Bear Form simply multiply your threat generated by some number, some abilities also get an additional multiplier (the ones with 'causes high amount of threat' in their tooltip).

The threat counter accumulates indefinately until the mob dies.  Since the threat counter is independant for each dpser it means that if you have more than one dpser on the mob you need a smaller threat lead as the mob will live less before it dies. (You only fight the highest dpser for threat, all the others are basically 'free')
When you decide if you can leave the target you should think about how long you expect it to live vs. how long you expect a dpser to catch up to you. More dpsers on a mob will make this easier, since time to live will go down but they won't catch up any faster. Individual good dpsers have no effect on this, as both time to live aswell as time to catch up goes down.

IIRC Heals generate half the amount healed in threat divided evenly on all mobs currently in combat with the healer. So a healer healing the tank for 25k greater heal will generate 12k threat on 1 mob, or ~4k on 3."

Ok so now that we've covered how threat works we can talk more about taunts.  Taunt brings up your threat on your target to the same amount of threat it's target has, in other words if say for example you're in a fight requiring that 2 tanks taunt off each other (example coming to mind is Saurfang, or Festergut , Lady Deathwhisper etc. ) your taunt will put your threat level at the same as it's previous target (the other tank) and you will have 3 seconds to get at and past 110% (for melee, and 130% for ranged) of that threat level to retain aggro, otherwise it will revert back to it's previous target.  This is a "fixate" that lasts 3 seconds and is basically built into the taunt ability.

We have 2 effective taunts, the first being our single target taunt "Hand of Reckoning", and we also have "Righteous Defense" which taunt's up to 3 enemies forcing them to attack you. 

"But Eridian!!!???  How do we use these spells effectively?"   Simple my friend, you don't use them when you don't need to use them.  In other words, don't throw Hand of Reckoning into your rotation while tanking, it's not necessary as it won't increase the amount of threat you have and it does no damage as your target is already targetting you, so not only do you lose the added benefit of the damage it does, but you just put 1/2 your taunts on cooldown... Brilliant! so if you lose threat to your healer and you're not quick enough to hit your Righteous Defense your healer is now dead.  Got it? good.  Don't use it to pull either.  Save it for that moment in the pull when you know your DPS is pre-mature (ahem) and bursts AoE just as you've body pulled (i.e. generated proximity threat only) that's when you want both your taunts available in most cases.   Other than that, you will be using them only if you lost aggro on a given mob, or a group of mobs, and if you're running with a group that knows what the hell they're doing, you will never have to use your taunts at all.  Too often group members think aggro is the tanks job only, whereas it's everyone's responsibility to understand and manage.  You do your part and they do theirs, and everything should work as intended.

Now.  If all hell breaks loose and you lose total control and your taunts both end up on cooldown, what to do... what to do...  I'll tell you what to do, throw a Hand of Protection on whoever the hell just pulled aggro on your mob.  Not only is it funny to know that for a second or 2 that person will be all confused as all of a sudden they're button mashing and nothing is happening until they realize you've put a Hand of Protection on them, but it will also force the mob back onto you (unless someone else is higher on the threat table than you are, but if that's the case then you definitely need to read more than I can share... my advice then is to completely go back to the basics).   Next and last is Hand of Salvation, I use this in conjunction with Omen Threat Meter, when I see one of our guild's awesome DPS start to get a little too close to me, I'll put Hand of Salvation on them, it will set them back in threat a bit, giving you just enough breathing room to make sure you don't lose aggro. 

This pretty much covers threat, the rest is up to you my friend, but also up to your party or raid group, don't be shy to tell them if they're not giving you enough time to get into position before nuking the crap out of your mobs, or worse yet, if you see an arrow whizzing by your ear as your running towards your mob pack feel free to give that huntard an earful or better yet save time and just remove him from the group, if a dps opens up before you've actually done your pull, they're idiots.  Plain and simple.  For any tank to do a good job, the rest of the team also needs to do a good job, we only shine when our group performs as they're supposed to.

Hope you found this helpful, there will be more about threat covered in Skills and Abilities and our Rotations.

Cheers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tanking according to Eridian.

So the other day I was doing my random daily Heroic which ended up being The Occulus. A true cake walk in my book. There was another paladin in the group who, after the run was over, asks me in whisper if I'd help him with his tanking. It was a nice compliment to be asked to coach someone. So bud, this is for you and any other interested Protadins that are looking for a place to start or just looking to see if there’s anything else they can learn and hopefully this loooong article will be able to provide some tips and tricks and tools to do just that.

In this article I will cover the following aspects of tanking and divide them into 5 specific articles.
- Threat and you
- Spells and Abilities (a look at our Rotations)
- Spec (at level 80)
- Gear and Stats

General Information:

Personally I don’t have the time nor the inclination to do the theory crafting behind each talent and ability in our arsenal, I leave that to those that seem to really enjoy breaking it all down, and my source for all my theory crafting for my Protadin is over at Maintankadin’s forum, you’ll find everything you need in that one spot and much more.

Naturally different people will give you different opinions based off their successes and failures, I always say learn from other people’s mistakes whenever possible, but try things out for yourself, just because one thing is good for a handful of people doesn’t mean that it is good for a different handful of people. So that’s basically my disclaimer, you’ll read various thoughts and opinions and grab the theory crafting from Maintankadin’s forum and from there I’m positive you’ll end tanking like a pro in no time.

So, let’s get on with it shall we? Get a snack and a drink; this is going to be a long and hopefully informative article. So… I’m by no means the best tank in the world of Azeroth, I’m positive there are some that are better than I am, but I do not underestimate myself either by any means, I do consider myself to be an excellent tank. If you read my introductory post, you’ll remember that I started in WoW shortly after release and started with a Warrior and tanked for quite a while before changing characters, and I think that makes me better than some, because I started as a Warrior and thus much of my playstyle while tanking is largely attributed to the fact that I used to tank as a Warrior in WoW before paladin's were even considered as being a potential tank. So here’s how I do what I do.

In Wrath of the Lich King(WotlK), the beauty of being a Prot Pally is that we excel in AoE tanking and just about every pull in WotlK normal or heroics is accomplished by your group AoE’ing the group of mobs you pulled, that puts us ahead of the game as far as tanks are concerned, especially that the majority of mobs in WotlK are undead and that half our of our threat rotation are AoE abilities.

AoE means Area of Effect, and basically equates to 50% our threat rotation. Being a good tank doesn’t mean having the best gear and looking good, as I’ve stated in a previous article, you could be wearing gear that comes out of ICC 25 and that will not impress me, nor should it impress anyone out there and the reason for that is simply that gear in today’s World of Warcraft is far too accessible to players. In order to get pretty good gear you simply need to accumulate enough emblems of the set you’re working on and you can get an entire set pushing you over 5k gear score (in this example I’m referring to Frost emblems), alternatively, you can farm farm and farm some more and make gold and get yourself some really good crafted gear, and then there are the players that have bought a level 80 character and think they are the bomb, and there are those that buy gold (you’re ruining the game!!! Don’t buy gold!!!!!) and get their gear. So please try and avoid bragging about your gear and please do not EVER tell people they should listen to you because you have a gear score of over 5K…. it really doesn’t mean anything.

What I think being a good protection paladin tank means (and this is good for any tank really) is quite simple and I would sum it up with the following. Do your pulls smartly, always plan your next pull while you’re fighting your current pack, and ALWAYS position yourself so that your party is facing the backside of the mobs you pull, I do this because simply put, I don’t know what every single mob’s abilities are and I don’t have the time to research it all, what I do know is that if I turn my mobs away from my party they shouldn’t be taking any damage or at the very least will take very little.

Situational Awareness. This is extremely important. If you’re tanking with a close camera zoom you’re not seeing the big picture and as a tank, that’s not good. You need to be aware at ALL TIMES of your surroundings and there are things to consider when you pull one, two, three or more mobs. The amount doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is that in every instance you have mobs that are stationary and some that are called “pathers”, this term refers to mobs usually in groups of 2 or more that patrol an area or simply cover ground from point A to point B and back, you as a tank need to be aware of their presence, the path they cover and whether or not you or a member of your group will end up aggroing them if you tank pack A in your current spot. So plan ahead, and be aware of what’s going on around you.


When possible and depending on the group I will tank with my back to a wall or fixed object, again I don’t know every single mob’s ability and I don’t always remember which ones knock you back. Being knocked back is a pain, in some cases can wipe your group if your positioning was not right, getting knocked back into another pack of mobs can sometimes wipe a group that have little SA (situational awareness). So positioning is important at times, and I tend to not rely on the uberness of my healers (or sometimes lack thereof O-o).

In my next article, threat and you! Tomorrow I will cover an in-depth look at threat and our abilities and how I have chosen to utilize them.

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