The Obligatory Tank Questionaire

Well I’ve already got one foot in the pool, might as well get in the rest of the way. Honor’s Code, Righteous Defense, and Avenging Wrathy have the survey up so here is me throwing my proverbial hat into the ring. Maybe one day someone will care. XD

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

Tengen, Paladin, Protection (0/53/18)

What is your usual tanking environment?

10Man, 10Man-Heroic, 25Man

What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?

I’m gonna cheat and list my three favorites: Mimiron, Heigan, and Yogg. I like Mimiron because it is an incredibly varied fight, not just for tanking (since I only really do much work in phase 1 and 4) but for everyone. I like Heigan because I just like to move around a lot when tanking. Sure it’s nice to occasionally just plant your feet and dare Patchwerk to hit you, but it gets old quick, so I love the safety dance. 🙂 And Yogg, well, it’s Yogg. The last boss of Ulduar. It’s a very visually interesting fight, and while it can be incredibly frustrating, the overall experience is a pleasant one. I’ll let you know if Algalon makes my list once I see him.

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

Cheating again: Thorim, and any encounter where I pretend I am a DPS with a shield on. XT, Freya, Vezax (and lots of bosses in Nax) I just hate because they’re so boring when viewed in comparison to the other bosses in Ulduar. My guild always cycles cooldowns for Vezax so I don’t have to kite him, and Freya only has to be moved around a little in phase 2, XT in regular mode I stand still and tank pummelers, in hard mode I stand still and tank sparks. Very boring. Thorim I only hate for the arena; shocker there I’m sure. I don’t hate it because I think it’s poor encounter design or that I do it poorly, it’s that it puts far more mental stress on me than any other boss fight. It’s great for an awareness test and an overall tank efficiency perspective, but it’s plain not fun to do.

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

From a tanking perspective (as opposed to a whole class perspective) we definitely have an edge in threat generation, both single-target and AoE (even post nerf), an edge in survivability (the passive AD CD has saved me way more times than it would have if I had to trigger it manually, and being able to be unhittable because of block, though warriors can be too), and an edge in utility (lets see the Warrior tank HoP someone being chased by Anub with no ice patches, or a DK taunt 4 faction champs at once)

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

Respect, we just plain get less. That; and we have the fewest self-activated cooldowns of any tanking class, with our greatest, the one everyone bitches about every time it is off cooldown, Divine Shield, virtually unusable in a PvE main tanking situation. It can be used occasionally while off-tanking, but it’s a very touch-and-go gamble to wipe all your agro. Snap AoE threat on 4+ mobs is an irritant, but not especially a “weakness” I guess. I sure wish consecrate ticked immediately like Thunder Clap does though. 🙂 And, yeah, interrupts. 30s Avenger Shield? 30s Hammer of Justice when fully talented (and most don’t, so it’s really 50s)? 2m arcane torrent because we have no choice but to be a blood elf? Not working for me. Lack of a gap closer (this really only applies to PvP as far as I am personally concerned, I don’t notice it much in PvE)

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

Because of sheer utility, I usually get stuck with the adds. 🙂 As far as where I am best put to use, I have a tough time arguing with that assignment; I just like some variety when it can be afforded to me; and, personality-wise, nothing beats standing toe to toe with a boss and knowing he wonders how you are winning, because he doesn’t get to see the 17 DPS and 5 healers doing all the real work behind his back. XD Boss tanking is always the superstar position, even if it is the easier job on some fights. Personally, I feel I can perform any role necessary of me adequately.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?

I have only ever tanked with my paladin. I’ve leveled a warrior from 1-68 as protection, but I have never tanked an instance with him.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?

N/A

What is your worst habit as a tank?

So many… where to start… maybe it’s that I never obey the 969 rotation in favor of a FCFS snap-agro approach, maybe it’s that I still click a few of my abilities so some reactions are slower than they should be, maybe it’s that I often hoard my cooldowns under the doubt of “but I might need it later” (and then when I use some of them, turns out I did need them later, though this is usually only in the case of HoP, HoS, and LoH), maybe it’s my clicking to pick up adds (which is why I hate Thorim arena so much); I can usually get 3, but the 4th always gets away, even tab targeting can only be so reliable, sometimes it just doesn’t want to target who you want it to target. But perhaps my worst habit is not trusting my fellow raiders to do their jobs (it’s not just cause I’m paranoid, many don’t have a great track record sadly), I’m always trying to do everything (btw, Anub+4adds is not a smart move, neither is every add in yogg25 phase 3).

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

As George Carlin so aptly put it, “I don’t have pet peeves, I have MAJOR PSYCHOTIC FUCKING HATREDS!” I hate downtime, so AFKers and people who are just not ready for immediate pulls as soon as the last piece of loot has been awarded irk me. I also know plenty of people who say “if we had 24 more like me, this encounter wouldn’t be a problem” (and I’ve said it too on occasion), and my raid doesn’t have enough of those kinds of people, willing to be, as Meloree puts it, “accountable.” People who can’t take care of themselves during raids (nevermind being an outright detriment) is a major strike.

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

Paladins are definitely a little overpowered in just about all aspects, but honestly, I can’t imagine how things could be balanced much further without true tank homogenization. I guess that’s why I don’t have a job at Blizzard. 🙂 “P.S. Blizzard, leave me the way I am, I like it here…” Wrathy quoted for truth XD

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

The most basic metric is obviously, did the boss die, did I survive the encounter, and were any of the deaths of anyone during the encounter (if any) directly or indirectly my fault? (i.e. DPS runs into opposite colored twins ball or doesn’t stand on an ice patch and get spiked, not my problem XD). I use recount for a more technical look. I’m still trying to figure out how to see world of logs as a useful tool and not a series of incomprehensible graphs and lists of numbers.

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

That we can’t be killed. Also that we are trivial to play and play well (notice I said trivial, not “easy”, we are kind of easy with so much of our abilities working passively and a stable threat rotation, but we are by no means trivial). Playing a paladin effectively is generally uncomplicated compared to learning how to tank with a warrior, but, like everything, it is as difficult to master the nuances and variety of as just about any class out there.

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

Wearing plate doesn’t make you a tank. Getting hit doesn’t make you a tank. Being defense-capped doesn’t make you a tank. Tanking a 5man doesn’t necessarily make you a tank. Tanking is ultimately about one thing: Responsibility. It is the responsibility to be prepared, responsibility to set the pace, safeguard yourself, and safeguard everyone else. If you understand that and resolve to rise to that responsibility, you are a tank. Gear, skill, and experience will all come with time, patience, and effort; but none of those will make up for responsibility.

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

They would see that I don’t follow the typical 969 rotation but still manage to out-threat all my other tanks and hold threat off the DPS. They would see that I cleanse quite frequently when there is a need for it (I cleanse myself frequently). They would see that I have a clear favoritism for some of my raid mates as they are the ones who always get priority on HoP, HoS, LoH, and DI (though they are healers, so it might not be that bad). They would see that I take significantly less damage doing the same job than others would take because of my class mechanics and gear.

Stamina or Avoidance, and why?

Stamina, especially when looking ahead to Icecrown. As much as I love being unhittable, there are attacks which simply cannot be avoided or mitigated, only absorbed. DKs have cooldowns to take care of this, bears have a big ass, warriors and paladins have stamina gems. 🙂 I get my avoidance from gear and occasionally a trinket, but if I had the choice, I’d gem for straight stamina and use the 258 and 245 version of the ToC stamina trinket (damn drop rates). It’s true that there are fights where only physical damage goes out (or 90%) and for those fights, an avoidance set trumphs a stamina set. I don’t go into Hodir stacking dodge though (I stack frost resist XD), and I don’t go into Anub’arak hard mode stacking stamina (block works better).

Which tanking class do you understand the least?

Death Knights. I have a rudimentary understanding of warrior tanking and Druid tanking operates on the same basic mechanics (rage).

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

Deadly Boss Mods for timers and warnings, Omen (for piece of mind), Recount for the post-game analysis, Bartender to customize my look and free up some screen real-estate, Grid to have eyes in the back of my head, Clique for cleansing and taunts,

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

I value balance but I wouldn’t say I “strive” for it. I get the avoidance that comes on my gear and stack stamina gems. I favor agility over secondary stats because it scales with Blessing of Kings and contributes to armor and crit as well as to dodge coefficients. I also favor defense gems over dodge or parry gems, even if I’m above the defense cap. I’m not deep enough into the math to max myself when it comes to the equilibrium between 1 point of stamina and 1 dodge rating.

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