Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tanking Almost Seems Fun?

For the fun of it I decided to run a random on my paladin tank yesterday.  No one in guild wanted to run so I stared at the queue for a few moments trying to decide if I would be willing to run alone.  I don't tank alone.  I kind of fear it.  Okay, not kind of, I really fear it, the people in it that is.

Lets add to the fact that my paladin is still in half DPS gear, has 318 pants and a 305 trinket.  Also my tanking experience at 85 on my paladin is limited still.

After a few moments I figured what the hell, let me run it alone.  I pop the window open and see that tanks have the baggie, surprise surprise right?  I almost hit the button right away when I noticed it was for a Zul.  While I was willing to take the chance I most definitely am not willing to take the chance at a Zul.  Not in that gear, not with my limited tanking experience as a paladin tank in this expansion.

What the hell is wrong with the system?  Why was I even allowed to queue for a zul?  I did not have all tank gear, I did not have a lot of experience, I did not even have all blues.  This is the reason the item level system is not a good way to judge if someone is capable of entering a dungeon.

I know better.  I know my 347 item level is not a "good" 347.  There is a huge difference between what I am wearing and what someone in all 346s that are actual tanking pieces are.  Not to mention my huge 128K life is not exactly a nice sponge for the damage is a zul.  Who cares about my 70% avoidance when I could still go down in 2 hits should I get unlucky.

See, I know I am not Zul ready.  Don't count on any one else in the game to actually look at things the way I do.  Most people will queue up as a tank in the same situation and then it becomes your problem because "the game says I can do this".  Hate to break it to you Mr. "the game says I can do this", the game is wrong, you can't and even if you can with a great group, this is a random group so odds are it will not be a great group.

I switch to a regular heroic and there is no baggie for regulars.  I call bull crap.  If I queue up I will get in instantly, which means tanks are needed.  Happened to me many times on my healers.  I queue up and am in instantly yet I get no baggie. 

When there is a baggie option I have sat for over 10 minutes more then a few times.  So making me wait over 10 minutes means I am in need and it deserves a baggie yet me getting in instantly means I was not needed? 

No wonder I rarely agree with how blizzard does thing.  I think logically, they do not.  I would have guessed the other way around.  If I wait 10 minutes that means I was not needed.  If I get in instantly that means I was needed.  I guess my logic fails.

Either way, I am about to queue up solo when someone in guild whispers me and tells me they will switch.  Cool, do not need to go alone.  Then another person switches.  So I have a DPS warrior and a healing shaman to go with me.  Now I feel a little more comfortable and it was not like I was going to get the baggie anyway.

We get in to HoO and on the first pack the hunter traps one, the shaman frogs one and I get the other and drag it to the big guy.  Not sure who did it but both the frog and the trap are broken nearly instantly.  See, this is why I hate pugs. 

I am not getting any heals either.  I can hear the shaman on vent taking and sounding as if what she is saying was actually said 2 minutes ago.  I know what is happening, lag for her, big time.  I grab up all four, start using word on myself for heals, throw a lay on hands on myself at the last possible moment, stay alive just long enough for three to go down, the forth one was still up with just the lock and the hunter standing.  I release and come back to help but they down it.  Nice work on their part, even if the lock was only doing 5K, they got it done.

The healer apologizes for the lag and restarts her computer.  Amazing we did that with no heals really.  It is not like we had epic DPS or epic tanking in my case.  We just scraped by, but we made it, that is all that is important and that was actually quite fun.

Second pack and pack in front of the boss go off with no problems.  We end up wiping on the boss because the healer DCs.  The lock drops group, no biggie, their 5K DPS wasn't exactly going to make things easier, no great loss.  I tell the shaman on vent I am kicking her, if she can not stay connected she is hurting us more than helping us.  Yes, I kicked my own guild mate because they DCed.

I only kick people for DCs really.  I am not a serial kicker.  I've only kicked one person in a random for being "bad" even if I have run across 100s of bad players.  Goes to show you how bad they really where if I kicked them.

We get a new healer, another shaman, and a new DPS, another lock.  I sense the game wants us to run with this set up no matter what.

New lock seems to be doing less DPS then the other one did. 4K, woohoo.  The hunter is doing 16K and the warrior is doing 10K and I am sitting at 7K as a tank so it is no big deal, we more then cover for the lock doing 4K.  Thing is, the lock actually needs things from there.  Sure, there is no excuse for someone doing 4K in a heroic, even in quest greens, but if you can handle it, let the person tag along and get some gear.  I only really bitch about DPS if things are not going down fast enough causing problems, if they are in all epics and still only doing 4K, or if they complain about everything.  I don't care if you are doing 40K DPS, if you are going to be a whiny little bitch please be a whiny little bitch in another group, thank you very much.

The new shaman healer informs us that they just hit 85 an hour ago.  I did not even bother checking their gear.  Lets roll with it.  Who cares, lets have some fun.

We do pretty well over all.  The healer has a few moments where I know they had to be sweating big time, like on the guy after the four mini bosses, they were oom pretty quick there.  That boss and the last one can really be a major issue, even after the heroic nerfs a long time ago, to healers in just the 329 minimum.

The healer lost a few people here and there but no wipes with them.  I had to use all my cooldowns and help with healing with lay on hands a couple of times and holy radiance a few times as well.  Hey, that is what cooldowns are for, might as well use them.  We did a full clear being both the shaman and the lock needed some gear.  As luck would have it two pieces did drop for the lock and I saw the lock's DPS go up after each piece. 

The lock even did 9K on the last boss, but that boss does have a damage boost so that is not completely telling.  They went from 4K average at the start to 6K average at the end.  They improved.  See, that is why you don't just automatically kick low DPS unless you absolutely have to.  If they are not hurting the group and you can cover for them, let them gear up and get some time in to learn and hopefully you will end up with one better player in game instead of kicking them and ending up with one bitter player in game.

It was not a great run but I had some fun doing it.  In the end it was even just me and one guild mate so maybe, just maybe I might be willing to run alone.  We decided to do another run and one of the DPS in guild wanted to come just for fun.  He is our main druid cat which means he is completely raid geared, so at least I knew the run would have the DPS needed. 

He can carry the spot of all three DPS most of the times.  This means it is challenge time for me.  First pull in LCoTV, trash of course, he shoots up to 70K DPS and of course I lose a few mobs to him but everything goes down fast enough that the healer was capable of keeping him up.  They tell him to let me get some aggro first with that DPS.  I tell the healer that next time she should let him die.  That is how I teach him to chill on aggro when I heal.

He pulls 38K on the big guy there, I never have any aggro issues holding that however even in my, compared to him, crappy gear.  Have to love having DPS like that along, it makes everything so much easier.

Funny side story is that there was a hunter in the group at the beginning, all 391 gear, no kidding, when we first zoned in the cat made a comment that this would be a killer run with him and this hunter being how decked out the hunter was.  After each pull and the cat doubling the hunters DPS on every pull the hunter would grumble something in party chat.  Not actually say anything, just some random letters.  We where joking on vent that he was probably pissed that a cat with not even 1 391 piece was doubling up on him, triple at some points.  The more the cat did, the more random letters he did in party.

Out of nowhere he just dropped.  We were moving fast, things where dying like lightning.  There could only be one reason why he dropped like that after all his grumbling.  He is someone that apparently DPS means everything too and he must have been pissed he was getting out DPSed by someone in normal firelands gear when he had all heroic firelands gear.  Actually, looking at his DPS, I wonder how the hell he managed to even get into a heroic raiding guild.  I was doing more DPS than him before I ever had my first 359 piece on my hunter.  15K with the 15% buff and all 391 gear is actually worse than the 4K lock from the previous run that faked his way to 329 to get into a heroic.

Back to me vs. kitty over mobs. Over all the only real aggro issues I had the whole run was on that first pull and a few of those fruit tossing guys that kept throwing at others.  No so bad.  Of course the cat did wait three seconds before jumping in after that first pull.  Seemed like it was long enough for me to get a threat lead so his 70K AoE spam would not pull off me.

He did die on the last boss and the healer, a druid as well, did not rez him.  He joked on vent that this was the healers revenge.  It was no big deal, we downed the last boss without him, just took a little longer.

I actually had fun running the heroics.  Sure, the second one ended up with two guild mates and the first one had one but as long as I get some half way decent people I think I would be willing to do this alone.

Not sure if it is just that I am getting move confident having tanked all these things on a few other characters already but it seems as if I have more power as a paladin tank.  Paladins always had that feeling about them and it seems even more so now then ever before.

Even with the deaths here and there, the wipes do to DCs, the 4K DPS and 5K DPS locks, the repetitive nature of the dungeons, and not being with all guild mates, I still had... fun.

That just does not seem right.  Not right at all.

Paladins seem really OP when tanking heroics.  More than my druid, warrior and DK.  So if I am going to tank a heroic, for now at least, I am going to use my paladin.  For raids, warrior is still the way to go, warriors are meant to be tanks and that is the venue they where meant to be in.

Just like I had come to the conclusion a while back that Shaman are the best 5 man healers in the game I have come to the conclusion that paladins are the best 5 man tanks in the game.

At least from an ease of play standpoint healing as a shaman is easy and tanking as a paladin is easy.  For me at least, and as I always say, people are better at what they are most comfortable with.  Guess I got comfortable with them in 5 mans faster then I did with my other healers and tanks.

So comfortable I might actually be willing to dabble in randoms solo as a paladin tank.

Be afraid, be very afriad.


  1. Paladin tanking in 5man is pretty relaxing. Got tools for everything!

    Which mob got aggroed by dps in this giant pile? Ah, no matter, just hit whoever gets aggro dot on Grid with Righteous Defence!

    Healer getting aggro from adds on boss and all taunts are on CD? Ah, just hit Hand of Protection on Grid, no need to look. Then Hand of Sacrifice if it still gets pounded on.

    Big Aoe Incoming? Just hit Divine Guardian and pop Holy Radiance with Avenging Wrath!

    Healer obviously not keeping up? Just press holy shield on cd! Not enough? Hit Divine Protection and Word of Glory! Then Ardent Defender! Then Guardian of Ancient Kings! Then Lay on Hands! Or even switch to Seal of Light!

    Group has no resistance mechanics? Switch to Resistance Aura!

    Something needs to be interrupted? Avenger's Shield from range, and Rebuke from melee!

    Really, the only thing i'm really missing on paladin is Charge and Intervene... with them the fun would be complete!

  2. I use healbot, not grid, just what I am used to. It is amazing how many things I have bound to my healbot. It sure makes tanking a ton easier. Any time you can remove the need to target someone you shave time off of your reaction time, have to love that.

    Paladins only glaring problem is the fact they have no gap closer. Bears and warriors can charge, DKs can bring stuff to them, paladins have nothing, unless it is a caster and close enough that hitting it with the shield will silence it long enough to get in range.

    Over all, they do have the best tools in the game for 5 mans, save that.