A spin on the meme that spread through healer blogs like wildfire last week, this survey is a brain child of The Renaissance Man of The Children of Wrath. These are great questions, and I hope my answers weren’t too brief. Hopefully this will catch on as much as the healing incarnation did.
What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Rhidach, Paladin, Protection.
What is your usual tanking environment?
Usually ToC-25, 10, and 10 heroic. We’ve been working on 25 heroic, but that’s a work in progress for sure.
What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?
My favorite encounter right now is offtanking Anub10 heroic. It requires so much attention to detail it’s nuts: you have to contribute as much dps to Anub as you can swing, while being aware of when the Burrowers come up so you can nab them before they eat a healer, then you need to position them quickly and efficiently, get them burnt down by the dps, and then be ready to pick up and drag off the next pair. Then, once you hit phase 3 you need to juggle pouring damage into Anub while being prepared for adds to come up. And the entire time your eyes are darting back and forth watching for when the Burrowers turn to cast Shadow Strike so you can squeeze off an interrupt.
I’d probably enjoy the encounter a lot less if we couldn’t down it. But as is it’s pure, stressful bliss.
What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?
Thorim25 I think will always stick with me as one of my least favorite encounters. The arena is unadulterated mayhem and was hell to deal with when we were progressing through it. Not because it was hard but just the stress of having to constantly pivot around and hit various guys with taunts of shield tosses, or judgements, and being sure to consecrate at the right time to have maximum effect and making sure I was facing the mobs in a way to maximize my HotR bounces. Madness! One of my healing friends and I used to spend the wind up to the encounter whispering back and forth how much we hated the encounter.
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.
What do you think is the biggest weakness of your class, and why?
A lot of Paladin tanking is too passive. We have a set rotation that could (if you were bad/a robot) macro’d to two buttons, our biggest cooldown is a passive effect… I hate it when other tanks accuse us of facerolling, but honestly, sometimes it feels like it. I wish our abilities were more proc-dependent, or that we had something similar to Revenge or Rune Strike. I want a little challenge in our “quality of life”.
In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is the best tanking assignment for you?
Add management. The system the other MT and I have set up right now is he has the privilege of standing there and getting punched in the face by the boss, while yelling our various things dps should already be paying attention to, while I get to run around like a maniac and keep adds under control. Adds can be a hard thing to master–in the hands of the wrong person they can go wild and kill off your healers–so it’s important that they are taken care of correctly. I feel like I excel best in those situations.
What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?
Alas, I’ve only tanked on a Paladin (my only 80). I therefore have a very limited pool of experience to draw from.
What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?
See previous question.
What is your worst habit as a tank?
If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said clicking. I used to not have Judgement bound to any key and I think that majorly affected my tps and my performance. I’m happy to say I’ve since rectified that, but it’s very embarrassing it took me this long.
What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
People not paying attention to stupid stuff. For example, during Jaraxxus when a melee gets Legion Flames and doesn’t notice and drops it right in the middle of the melee pack. I understand wanting to maximize your rotation for the best dps possible, but I can’t fathom zoning in/out that much that you tunnel vision and miss warnings. Or people dying because they stood in a void zone for too long. I guess that’s why DBM/BigWigs/etc. have added screen flashes to catch people’s attention.
Do you feel your class/spec is balanced with respect to the other tanking classes?
No. I think we’re probably more powerful than we should be at the moment. As guilty as feel about it, I remember the dark days when Paladins were the worst and squishiest of the four tanks, and I have no wish to go back to those days.
What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
World of Logs, TankadinTPS, Recount’s Deaths tab. One of the great things about tanking though is you need few tools to judge your performance. It’s usually a binary question of if you’re alive or not.
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.
What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?
There’s more to Paladin tanking than just standing there and hitting two buttons. We have lots of utilities that we need to learn how to toss out effectively to maximize the potential of our class. Your various Hand spells are there for a reason, use them!
If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?
I’m really bad about sticking to the strict 969 rotation. I tend to run around a lot and lose my place. I’m a very active tank.
Stamina or Avoidance, and why?
Stamina, no contest (sadly). I’ve written about this extensively, but the cliff notes version is Avoidance is, when you boil it down, RNG. You can’t depend on RNG to save your life, you need to be ready to take an unfortunate string of big hits. Only stam can give us this security. Moreover, we get more than enough avoidance by default from our gear, we don’t need to go the extra mile and gem/enchant for it when we’re just pouring ipoints down the gaping maw of diminishing returns.
Which tanking class do you understand the least?
Warrior tanking. I don’t think I have the digital dexterity to constantly hammer a button mapped to Heroic Strike. (I kid!) Honestly, they seem to require the most attention to play even satisfactorily. I can’t imagine the dedication and fortitude it takes to be a grade-A Warrior tank.
What addons or macros do you currently use to aid you in tanking?
I use Recount to find out what I die to, Pitbull to make my unitframes clear and easy to read and to place them optimally, and Bartender to keybind all my abilities to make my reaction times as short as possible.
Do you strive for a balance in tanking stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?
I try not to enchant or gem for avoidance unless I absolutely have to (match color for metas, or the avoidance enchant is much better than straight stamina), and even then I tend to favor agility over parry/dodge because you get threat and mitigation in exchange for a little less avoidance.
To help the survey along a bit, here are some tags for folks (that weren’t initially tagged) I’d like to hear answers from:
- Wrathy of Avenging Wrathy
- Adgamorix of Divine Plea
- Amber of I Like Bubbles (you tank sometimes!)
Those last two did the healer one, but I know they are itching for another survey to fill out.