Posts Tagged ‘Trash

17
Dec
09

SoComm Versus Vengeance/Corruption

More numbers and graphs!

Just in time for the holidays, Theck has created more pretty colored graphs! This time we have some definitive information regarding Seal of Command, aka SoComm. The reason that there is so much buzz going around about this SoComm is because of the fact that Blizzard very stealthily put in a change to our biggest snap threat mechanic in the arsenal, Shield of Righteousness. ShoR now is considered melee damage, and can be dodge or parried, where as before that was not the case. While most of you sharpen the pitch forks to complain that we just had a threat loss, hold that thought. Because ShoR has been changed to become a melee attack, it now procs SoComm as well! What this means is that you have a seal of absolute crazy mad dps when tanking packs of three or more mobs, and should be using SoComm as your seal of choice.

SoCom, an Old Friend with Big Numbers!

What you see above is Thecks latest headache, a graph that illustrates the different dps disparities between Seal of Vengeance / Corruption, and Seal of Command. As you can see by the legend, he has four different graphs that show a mob with three stacks of Vengeance / blood corruption, with and with out the Libram of Valiance and a mob with five stacks of Vengeance / blood corruption, with and with out the Libram of Valiance. According to Theck, here are the particulars:

The vertical axis is the difference between SoV DPS and SoCom DPS, so a positive number means that SoV does more damage, and a negative number means SoCom does more damage.

The plot is pretty clear, but it’s also misleading. If you can maintain a 5-stack on every mob, then in the many-mob limit SoV is bound to win since SoC is limited to 3 procs. In that sense, the plot seems to reflect things accurately. As you drop to 3 stacks of HV, SoCom gains enough ground that it’s a better choice for 2-4 mobs.

What makes the graph misleading is that it ignores ramp time. It takes a few seconds to build a 5-stack on a mob, but it takes over 10 times as long to build and maintain a 5-stack on 10 mobs. For ballpark figures, if it takes 5 seconds to build your single-mob stack, it takes nearly a minute to build a 5-stack on 10 mobs with tab targeting. So if the mob pack dies before that minute is up, SoV’s value drops thanks to ramp-up effects. It also ignores fall-off, which is a distinct worry for large packs of 6 or more.

What this means is that unless you are the master of tab targeting constantly on mobs with very large health pools, SoComm will be your best bet for pulling large trash packs, and dealing with more than 2 mobs in any situation because of ramp up time. To sum up the rule of thumb, Theck gives us the lay mans term TLDR…

Rule of thumb for choosing seals:

  • SoV for 1-2 Mobs and bosses
  • SoV for AoE tanking things that live for 40+ seconds and that you can reasonably maintain a 5-stack on (so ~6 or fewer mobs at most)
  • SoCom for 3+ mobs that die in 30 seconds or less, and basically anything else

Alternatively, if you’re lazy and don’t feel like tab-targetting, you can simplify this to:

  • SoV for 1-2 mobs/bosses
  • SoCom for 3+

“I’m ok, my TPS is awesome” or “I dont know what to drop”

Oh contrare mo fraire! (sorry for the Van Wilder reference and spelling debacle) Firstly, you TPS may be just fine on trash, and you may be able to wrangle in those adds, but your snap threat is not as good as if you use SoComm, and your DPS and TPS are definitely less than what they could be if you respeced. In ICC this past tuesday, I was second on the dps meters on trash with a whopping 8.7k dps for a sustained fight of pulling the entire first room. Don’t ask me why the rest of our dps were sucking, they turned around and all broke 15k on the next round of trash, but I definitely woke them up when they realized that they were not going to pull off me.

SoComm is a great utility to use and it is not that hard to pick up. While I am a die hard tank at heart, and I have two protection specs as my dual spec options, each accompanied with different glyphs, you dont have to do the same thing. You can take the point out of Conviction (aka 1% crit) and place it into SoComm. For those of you who live a bit more on the edge and want to dual spec prot, I would suggest the following spec with glyphs to boot. This is what I use on our Hard Mode Anub’arak kills, and I usually pull 6k dps. While the Glyphs are specifically tailored for me to interrupt the mobs, you can remove the Glyph of Holy Wrath and replace it with HotR, giving you a nice dps boost.

All in all, I would suggest that any tank that ever ventures outside of Trial of the Crusader, and has a trash pack or two to deal with, pick up Seal of Command and use it. It works best on any trash pack, as well as tanking Lady Deathwhisper and your Ship’s portal on the Gunship Battle.

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07
Aug
09

The Preamble and the Art of Trash Pulls…

Crack open a RockStar and Enjoy!

As my first post on the new blog I wanted to introduce myself, tell you all a little bit about my background, and why I started this. I have been playing World of Warcraft since June of 2005. I was never really into video games prior to WoW, aside from the occasional drinking game in college, so I was a bit lost when I first entered the world of Azeroth.
I play a Blood Elf Paladin on US Destromath. I was originally a Prot warrior and a MT for a progression guild, however when TBC came out and I started leveling, I rerolled to a paladin and healed all the way through pre nerf Sunwell. Once Wrath of the Lich King dropped, I was asked by the other officers in my guild to be our prot paladin, and at the same time, just a lowly off tank and Sacntuary Bitch.
It is so nice to be back to tanking, I always loved the responsibility and intelligence needed to be a MT in a guild. I found that when I was healing in TBC, I never really knew much about the instance, just where to stand on what fight, who to heal, and how. Now that I am back over 540 defense, I have been enjoying the instances so much more. As my role in the raid transformed from Sanctuary Bitch to Off tank to Main Tank, the time I spent researching every aspect of PvE I could think of grew exponentially.
One of the main reasons that I started this blog was because of the fact that I had a hard time finding some one that was running into the same issues I was and talking about it. At one point I created a hunter alt that I leveled up all the way to 80 and raided with quite often. I had no clue how to play a hunter, what spec to use, and how to use it. In comes Airman Howell, aka BigRedKitty. I became obsessed with his blog and even as I geared up and became fully proficient in the ways of the huntard, I still returned to read every post until he “retired” to Brain Needs Space. This is the source of my inspiration and Avenging Wrathy.

This brings me to my first of many digressions to come in the future:

Tanking responsibilities and the necessity for us to know more. As a tank, I have always felt that we have to prepare for new instances and new bosses more than any other role. Sure great healers want to know what the boss abilities are so that they can proactively heal according to the incoming damage, but lets face it, no one else knows how to mark trash, pick up bosses, and understand the need for spacial awareness like tanks do.
I was hoping that I would have some juicy topics to discuss with respect to the Coliseum and the new content that just came out this week, but alas it seems that the Northern Beasts were a joke, both our 10 and 25 man groups 1 shot them!
Luckily, my boss made me stay late at work the night my guild went to Ulduar so I have some new fuel for the rambling machine. This week, my best friend and fellow MT, although a death knight, was off in mexico celebrating his fiancé’s completion of the BAR and I was stuck at work leaving our guild with two newer but fully capable tanks to run all of Ulduar. This was the first time that I have missed a raid since Ulduar came out, and it was quite apparent that the MTs were not there.

Trash Mobs and Tanking:

Since the start of WotLK, trash has been a joke, in naxx, you threw a paladin and a druid at the trash and everyone AoE’ed from the first second they were placed into combat. Ulduar, on the other hand, required a bit more coordination. My favorite trash pull so far has been the trash to Ignis on patch day (pre nerf) warlocks, mages, and rogues alike were dropping like flies, as Naxx had really dulled the skills of even the most seasoned veteran. The era of the intricate trash pull was back! Sadly the trash was nerfed very quickly. Needless to say, many dps and healers think that trash is a joke and it magically marks it self and gets cleared with little to no coordination.
Boy were they wrong! With the absence of the two MTs, our guild had quite a bit of trouble marking, assigning targets and killing trash with out wasting time. A great tanking core will work together to mark, chain pull and assign on the fly and in tank chat. Our strategies are always the same, first one with out a mob starts marking the next pack. Second tank with out a mob pulls the next pack. The efficiency and speed that is a result of this philosophy is not noticeable until it is not there. Moreover, marking is not as simple as throwing marks up on each of the mobs and hoping that everyone does their job right.
Each tank in our guild has their own mark, each CC class has their own marks. Each mark has a DPS order. If your guild does not employ something like this, you should consider bringing it up to your officers, as it will help immensely. For us, tanking marks are Star, Circle, and Diamond (on occasion Triangle as well), Sheeps are Square and Moon and Banishes are X and skull. The dps order of the mobs works hand in hand with this pattern as we dps down the mark order, star, circle, diamond, triangle, square…etc.
Like I said earlier, just throwing your marks up does not make you more efficient. As a tank you must first properly understand what each of the mobs do, and derive the most logical kill order from that information. What should you sheep, any humanoid? the one that does the most damage, the one that can heal, the one that has an AoE effect. These are all questions that must be answered prior to assigning marks.
Most of the time, marking is simple or even not necessary, however when you get into complicated and dangerous trash packs, like the Freya trash or the large packs in General’s room, marking and control make all the difference in the world. If there is one take home message it is this: Know your opponent and set your self up for success by properly preparing and executing any pull with coordination and a plan



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