In response to Survey Link Love

For Rhidach and Honors –

I have seen these questionnaire throughout the blogging network over the past few weeks, and I am ashamed to say that I have half heartedly skimmed over the healing ones. Now that there is a tanking one, I actually read the whole thing, however as I expect most people to skim this one as well, this is for Rhidach and Honors…


What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?

Wrathy, Paladin, Protection dual spec (0/53/18 and 0/54/17). Yeah I know, I am a tank-a-holic. The secondary spec has always been saved for gimmick fights. It was originally my general spec with Benediction and a few other tricks up the sleeve, now it is for Anub’arak hard mode, with imp hammer, imp hands, and my Holy Wrath and HoTR glyphs.

What is your usual tanking environment?

25 man Trial of the Grand Crusade, however I run 10 man Ony, ToTC, and ToTGC, and 25 man Ony, and ToTC as well.

What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?

This is a very tough question, and I am probably going to deviate from the true intention of this question, seeing as the question was written in the time of Wrath of the Lich King, however my favorite encounter of all time to tank was Huhuran. Call me Old School, and even call me a warrior at the time, but there was something about a non tauntable mob that you had to ping pong between two tanks that just screams pure professional execution. This was one of the most satisfying encounters to tank of all time when we were 60. I know that this is kind of cheating, and at the time, the Horde did not have paladins, so I was doing it all with Heroic Strike and Shield Slam, but it will always stick out in my mind.

If I am not allowed to cheat, then I would have to say add tank on sarth 3d. Really it came down to running around like a chicken with your head cut off, picking up adds. I did it better than any other tank we had, and I was proud of that.

What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?

Anub’arak 25 man Hard Mode, until he is dead. But in all honesty, something like main tanking XT, where all you do is stand there, and threat isn’t really an issue at all. Boring, not challenging, and overall underwhelming.

What do you think is the biggest strength of your class, and why?

“We’re pretty hard to kill. Between AD, our Guardian Spirit effect, LoH, DP, etc., I tend to be the last one standing during any wipe.” – Rhidach.

Yeah I cheated, but I did not get the rule book. I have to say that our ability to be unhittable with holy shield, combined with the ardent defender mechanics make us a very powerful effective health tank that can take one hell of a beating.

What do you think is the biggest weakness of your class, and why?

Lack of closure. The one thing that I do not like about our class is our lack of interrupt and ability to close the gap. Charge, Intercept, and Intervene are a very potent combination. Death Grip is similarly convenient when trying to close the gap on a mob that is running away or casting something nasty. The combination of some sort of interrupt or gap closure would make us complete in my eyes. I know that we have our Avenger’s Shield, but I don’t trust that nearly as much as I trust charge.

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

I feel that I can do anything in a 25 man raiding environment, and I actually have served as both main tank and off tank for all of the current encounters. If I had to chose one role, I truly enjoy being the main tank. The knowledge of the encounter coupled with a mastery of the abilities at hand are powerful tools, and the puzzle that you have to put together when it comes to what cool down for what ability is one of the most enjoyable experiences in the game for me.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?

Really I don’t think this question can be properly answered. I have preferences on the people that I would like to tank with, but what class they play is really irrelevant to my enjoyment. I have tanked progression fights next to all of the other three classes and enjoyed the experience equally. If I had to pick, I like having a warrior there for commanding shout, sunders, and demo shout on the adds as necessary, however those are more conveniences from a raid leader perspective.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?

See previous question.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Clicking to pick up adds. I have always been a tank or a healer, and have never mastered the art of tab targeting. I use enemy face plates and I click them to pick them up. Two adds, no problem, three getting tough, four or more, not gonna happen, good luck with the mob in your face…

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

This one is going to go back to the good old days once again. I am a pretty laid back guy on my paladin, and with respect to tanking, I don’t get frustrated easily, however when I was a warrior, I could not stand people thinking that they could tank something for me, or that a threat meter was simply a suggestion. When I was level 66 on my warrior, I was in a Setthek Halls, and there were two rogues that were pulling off me constantly. Their response to me requesting that they wait until I was done establishing aggro was: “Don’t worry dude, I can tank this one by myself.” Needless to say, the next day I had a level one Paladin Alt named Wrathy, and I was going to be a healer.

Do you feel your class/spec is balanced with respect to the other tanking classes?

Yes and No. Yes in the case that we each have our day in the sun, and we each bring a different strength to the table. If theses strengths are leveraged correctly, your tanking corps will be extremely powerful. I think that we are fairly well balanced, and we mitigate damage very well. No in the respect that we are not given enough control over our own cool downs. Ardent Defender is a passive effect that is considered a survival cool down. We do not have a last stand or a health regeneration talent like the other tanks. In the same respect, we have Ardent defender, and Lay on Hands, two very powerful but extremely situational tools. P.S. Blizzard, leave me the way I am, I like it here…

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

World of Logs, Eavesdrop, and Recount. I use recount on a fight by fight basis to evaluate what is going on, as well as Eavsedrop (which is a modified combat log). I spend quite a bit of time analyzing World of Logs the day after a raid to see what I can do differently, and even modify gear sets based on the numbers.

What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have with your tanking class?

“It’s easy mode. While Paladins in general tend to require less effort (we have no equivalent of Revenge/Rune Strike, like I mentioned) to tank successfully, any form of tanking is still pretty hard. With Paladin tanking it may be easy to be mediocre, but the spec is difficult to master.” – Rhidach

I can’t say it any better. However, I feel that as long as an excellent tank can understand the mechanics of another class, they can tank just as well on any of the four. Tanking is more about situational or environmental awareness and not how to optimally use the 969 rotation. And with respect to Revenge and Runestrike, a DK or warrior is lying to you if they tell you that it is hard to use this ability. They should be bound  in macros to their most common ability. All the classes have pretty easy rotations when it comes to tanking, but the rotation is only a very small part of the whole picture of being a main tank.

What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?

The utility. Any tank can sit there and pound out a 969 rotation, any tank can hold threat with out even using that, however it takes a while to get used to your utility spells, hands, cleanse, etc. Holding aggro is not difficult, preventing damage, mitigating damage, and using your utility takes a lot of practice.

If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?

If they watched a fraps video of my tanking, they would probably get sick. I move the camera around A LOT to see what is going on in the encounter. They would also barely be able to see my toon, as I use a macro to zoom out a long distance to see more. I am a visual guy, and I love to know what is going on around me so that I can react to it. Recount would show them that even though i have 53 hit, sometimes even 25 (LOL accuracy enchant), I am still giving the dps a run for their money. And, World of Logs would show them I am an avoidance and mitigation junkie.

Stamina or Avoidance, and why?

Is this question even necessary? I would hope that everyone that this reaches knows my stance on the Great Debate of 2009. When the dust settled and Meloree walked away with a glistening trophy of victory called Chill of the Throne, I conceded. So the answer to this question is most definitely YES. Avoidance outside of ICC, Stamina on my progression set. I am going to spare everyone the long winded debate on the subject, but if you are craving more, and when I mean more, I mean you just got to work and want to kill 8 hours before you go home, then scroll down the blog and read away.

Which tanking class do you understand the least?

I am going to have to go with the Bear. As much as I wold like to think that I understand enough about all of the different tanking classes to be a good Tank leader in our guild, I am a bit fuzzy when it comes to the nuts and bolts of druid tanks. I believe that the reasoning behind this is two fold. I had a roommate that was one of our main tanks from SSC/TK days through Mu’ru, and I lean on him any time that we need to make decisions regarding the bear.

I currently play a paladin and consider myself fairly up to speed on the theory and practical application of our abilities and role, so that one is taken care of. I tanked on a warrior for all of pre-BC. Now while I know that most of you will say that warrior tanking has drastically changed since then, well you are right. And, when it came time to light a fire under one of our tanks that was, shall we politely say, less than qualified to be a MT, I hopped back on my warrior, beat on a target dummy for an hour and a half, and then tought our Warrior MT how to play his class. DK’s are half and half. I have a dk that I leveled to a whopping 77, however my best friend plays a DK tank and his computer screen is a solid 2 feet away from mine, so I see a lot and we discuss even more.

What addons or macros do you currently use to aid you in tanking?

I have recently switched from DBM to DXE, due to the shadow strike timers on P3 of Anub’arak being off on DBM, and I have liked what I see, so I use DXE. I also use recount, Eavesdrop (modified combat log), Satrina Buff Frames so that my debuffs are nice and central to my viewing pane, Power Auras, Class Timers, Omni CoolDown Count, Pitbull for focus and debuff clarifications, and most importantly now a blizzard staple, the equipment manager. If you ever raid with me, you can see me swap out gear for almost every pull. In Ulduar I probably switched gear sets no less that 15 to 20 times, now in ToTC, it is a bit different, but you will see me going back to acting like a girl trying to figure out what to wear on her first date when we hit Icecrown Citadel.

Do you strive for a balance in tanking stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?

Please reference the Stamina versus Avoidance debate once again. I am one of the most vocal supporters of balance over stamina. I love the fact that I can sit with a little less health and more mitigation and avoidance than the others. Once again, I will not beat a dead horse, balance over stacking any day of the week (minus ICC patch day).


3 Responses to “In response to Survey Link Love”

  1. 1 Ardent Defender
    November 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Read the whole thing like everything else I read. Nice read for the Q&A.

    I guess what’s good about the Q&A is that nothing is wrong or right, it’s what defines you as the tank and character as you are or what drives you as well. Nicely written!

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