Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tanking Feels... Spammy

Yeah yeah yeah, I hear you already. The entire game is spammy right now. I guess I just didn't really feel it until I started to tank the 5 mans. I'm really enjoying the new side of the warrior's prot tree while out soloing and questing, but the instant I zone into a 5man, it becomes some random mashing of the tab key followed by a random string of buttons about as fast as I can hit them. I mean, I know how to tank. A prot warrior was my first toon, and my only toon for vanilla wow all the way up through Blackwing Lair. My various guilds ran the 20 and 40 man raids, and counted on me to MT or OT effectively. I got the job done.

Back then, though.. oh jeez, and so it begins... BACK IN VANILLA WOW WE USED TO WALK TO SCHOOL UPHILL BOTH WAYS. No, but seriously... back then we used CC during pack pulls, and generally had to assist one another to know who was attacking what. We didn't even have the skull or X icons, etc. Even when those came along, there was a general flow to pulls.

The other two classes I've played in Wrath are a Warlock and Priest. I basically soloed to 80 on the lock (with a felguard/SL spec that allowed me to solo the '5 man quests'), and have been healing on the priest. I'm just as guilty as the next guy of just spamming Rain of Fire on every. fucking. pull. on my lock, with DoTs sprinked around in the mix, but a warlock's damage is pretty gradual. Rogues and Mages are very spikey, and tend to be pulling mobs off me pretty regularly.

We have a lot more 'oh shit' buttons, and actually... just a lot more buttons in general. In vanilla, Thunder Clap was pretty useless. Well, not useless, but you just kept the debuff up. It wasn't some all-in-one magical-AoE-magnet like it is now. Between it, and demo shout, we could get a pack of mob's attention, but then we had to start spreading sunders around to keep them on us. Concussion Blow was your interrupt if Shield Bash was cooling down, and until 3.0 didn't even do damage at all (right?). Now it's some point blank nuke that stuns to boot, and people are saying you should be blowing it every time it's up or it's just going to waste. Same with Shockwave, it's like 'AoE Concussion Blow', and generates more threat than a Devastate. Given the choice between either of our 'stuns' or 'Sunder 2.0', you should go with a stun for max threat.


Shield Block is the one tool that's seeing less use, but only because it's a 1 min cooldown instead of 6 seconds. That isn't to say it's not used, you use it whenever it's up (basically), but you just don't need to push that button as often. But with all these new skills, it's becoming the Pop'n Music GCD game:


But even then, I'm still pulling off some amazing feats of survival while soloing or questing. When everything is under my own control, I can tab around and interrupt the Raven Priest casts while proccing Sword and Board on the Scarlet in front of me, while two others just beat on me for free rage. But in a 5 man, I've got no one following any kind of order, and just throwing random nukes around at anyone in particular. It's totally fucking up my flow, and generally making tanking become a fight against my group, rather than against the mobs. Hopefully this will get better as I leave PUGs behind and step into raids, but I'm still only 73, and that's a ways off.

I think in general, I just need to become more comfortable with the idea of tanking again (I really do enjoy it), and just slow down and become more methodical. But when I read posts about 'speed typists having an edge in TPS', it makes me think pop'n music is the future of tanking, which saddens me. I know we can expect better challenges in Ulduar, but I don't see any 5 mans coming down the pipe any time soon. What we have already is what we're going to have for a long time, and there's no CC or any semblance of order to any pull in any of these.



Kyir said...

This is what it feels like to be a shaman.

CHAIN HEAL CHAIN HEAL CHAIN HEAL oh look Nature's Swiftness is up CHAIN HEAL etc.

It hurts.

Klepsacovic said...

I know the feeling. I think it's mostly a matter of practice. Once you're back into the state of your character being an extension of you, then time feels different, slower I suppose. Then you're hitting buttons just as fast but it's not the same random button mashing OMG COOLODNW IS UP I NED TO HI NOQW!

Unfortunately I've not really tanked on my warrior in weeks and I've not played him a lot in months, so I'm pretty sure I have no rhythm for him.

Rich said...

Kyir: that's actually exactly how I felt with CoH on my priest, and I intentionally didn't cast it at all since I knew a nerf (6 sec cooldown) was coming.

Disc lets me prayer of Healing when I need to, but it's not just insta pew.

With the tank, it's a lot more than one button, but doesn't feel like I'm making any crucial decisions on the fly... I'm just whacking keys as fast as I can. My wife heard my facerooling in the other room, and was like 'are you even playing your game, or just mashing your hands on the keyboard?'


Anonymous said...

Yes. I completely understand your feeling there. Most of the time, when I tank I get the same thing. Keep the aggro away from my idiot group members, It feels as though I would be having more fun, maybe even moving faster were it only me and a healer.

Still, bosses are absolutely wonderful. Just getting into Northrend with my tank, I fought to the last boss of Utgarde, fighting him really was an extraordinary amount of fun, so much more than DPS in that fight. Perhaps this is the life of a tank in Northrend? Tedious boredom on trash and a delightful boss fight? I'll have to do more instances to find out.

oshin said...

I never use chain heal on my shaman in 5 mans / 10 man naxx. I find its just too weak to heal up people. But from the few 25 mans I did, it was insane, provided your not on a stupid fight like kelthuzad where nobodys in range for to bounce.

Warrior tanking is really spammy now, tanking in pugs I find myself sweating when TC and shockwave are on CD as everybody is usually aoeing there brains out and plain old devastate and taunt just wont cut it when the aoes pull aggro.

Its probably even worse for druids, palas and dks, as there aoe ability's have shorter CDs.

Rich said...

i did realize last night that AoE taunt is only 3min CD though, instead of the old 10 min.

So at least I can burn that without feeling like I may regret it.

*vlad* said...

A yes, the old days. Remember 'don't dps until 3 sunders are on the boss'?

Tragedyx said...

I remember tanking MC and BWL back in the day. I also remember attempting to tank Nef adds, then realizing I'd dual wield to rip them apart instead (Yay thunderfury). Seriously though, my rotation was 2,3,4 (SB/Revenge/Sunder) and i'd constantly keep up Demo shout / TC. 1 was heroic strike, 5 was cleave, both used when I had rage to burn (Pretty much only on huge boss fights and AOE packs?) Oh and stance dancing, does anyone remember that? "Oh look, my full rage bar just hit 0 because faggot nef just class called me. Good thing the rogues are about to pull aggro from backstab spam."

The game was, as i've heard it put, aggravatingly more fun. You know though Izo, you did most of it too. Maybe is this new instance is as hard as they say i'll go join a god mode guild and have fun again. Probably not though.

In my mind, it went something like this:
Bliz dev team: "Some warriors tank poorly." "Hrm, I know, give them AOE sunder." "No, too easy. Give them a glyph that gives them AOE sunder, and just make all their other threat gen abilities AOE. Oh, make it so when they block it deals passive damage and threat too." "Great idea! Now anyone who has a warlock can faceroll and tank just as easily."

Being a good ANYTHING should come as a result of massive amounts of time spent playing, not time spent speccing. I'm so bitter. >.<

(Note: My word verification is "floppy". lol)

Darraxus said...

You think is is bad now, wait until you are raiding.

To help with AOE pulls, I picked up the glyph of Cleave, which makes cleave hit an extra target. Works very nicely with Thunderclap and Shockwave in Aoe of te Lich King.

5 mans are not as spammy. Patchwerk is spammy. I was using Heroic Strike on almost every white swing on my last Patch fight. I have Heroic Strike on my mouse's wheel down for super fast spam.

Hatch said...

I'm right there with you Ixo. Been playing my DK tank the past few weeks while waiting for Uld. I used to tank as a warrior as my main for the first year of TBC.

Right now it's spammy as hell. I have to get my threat rotation perfect and do it as fast as I can and never let up, or some mage is going to eat a monster to the face. I am gearing my tank focused on threat at this point. I respecced from Unholy to Frost to increase my threat. I don't feel like a tank, I feel like a dps class who has to keep 540 defense and actually has to dps HARDER than my dps character to keep up.

It's mostly a function of how trivial the content is now, with everyone in tier 7.25 doing content tuned to be easy for people in blues. When I first hit 80 in January, keeping aggro with my DK wasn't nearly this hard. It also doesn't help that he's an alt, so I'm tanking in Naxx-10 and heroic gear for dpsers who are in full 25-man best-in-slot.

A lot is riding on this patch.

Rich said...

I chained a few 5 mans together with a somewhat competent group last night, and made myself slow down.

I actually realized I was spinning my wheels a bit. You still need to be doing things quickly, but there it's some wiggle room to squeeze a bit of precision in there.

I don't think I realized HOW much each 'high threat' move gives me on omen. I was just flailing around, because everyone was nuking all the time, and I felt like I was going to lose threat if I didn't spaz out.

There's a bit of space to slow down and analyze a bit (A BIT). A shield slam buys you a good chunk of time on *that one mob*, and give you chance to tab, Conc Blow, Tab, devastate-heroic strike, Tab, Thunder Clap-Cleave, etc.

Before it felt frantic, now I'm starting to find a groove. It will get better, then get a whole lot worse once I step into my first raid, I imagine.

For now, soloing is awesome though. Spinks has a piece up about feeling like a hero, and when I pull 8 mobs and survive with one second remaining on Last Stand (mob dies, it ticks off leaving me with 1 HP), I feel pretty. fucking. badass.


Darraxus said...

That is another thing. I rarely get my threat challenged especially on a single target. I usually end up having a 50k gap in threat in no time.

Anonymous said...

This response is a bit late - but yeah, warrior tanking sounds about as bad as a paladin, which has...5 abilities, which can be macroed so all I have to do is press 12121212121212.