Posted tagged ‘tanking’

Love is in the Paladins: Updating the Blogroll

December 16, 2011

The ol’ blogroll was due for a good scrubbing.

I did the sad task of deleting all the blogs that hadn’t been updated for a bit over a month, then took on the daunting mission of finding the new and promising paladin blogs waiting to be discovered.

I swear that finding new pally blogs gets harder and harder. I do come across exciting new blogs…only to have them die before they’ve been around long enough to link to.

Don't DIE! (Note: No paladins were injured in this screenshot. Character is not a paladin.)

And it seems that new bloggers are getting shyer about advertising themselves.

New pally bloggers, I beg of you, stop making my blogroll task so difficult dammit. I want to find you, so quit it with the hiding!

The Goodbyes

I was pretty merciless in my pruning. Whether they were friends, or bloggers I didn’t know too well, I hit the “delete” button for when I noticed that their last post was over a month ago.

The one blog that did make me do a double take was Paladin Shmaladin. Notice I didn’t link to it? I had noticed their lack of posts, but I wasn’t expecting to find a “page does not exist” when checking the blog.

I never liked Ferraro (oh yes, I am totally mean girls!). The content was often questionable, and, mostly, the writing style had always been a little…off… To the point that when it was revealed that the writer(s) behind Paladin Shmaladin had been stealing someone elses identity, I couldn’t understand why anyone was surprised.

But, in all fairness, Paladin Shmaladin had some excellent moments.

I have to give at least some respect to the person who posted the rotations of every spec of every dps class using game icons, to prove that ret paladins weren’t the most faceroll class out there. I can’t imagine how many hours that took. The guides, while usually not very accurate, were still the best illustrated and easiest to read in the blogosphere. And, most of all, Paladin Shmaladin provided us with the most fascinating blog drama I’ve ever witnessed in the WoW community.

So in thanks for the countless hours of entertainment, I give a goodbye salute to Ferraro and Paladin Shmaladin.

Welcoming the new general paladin bloggers

In the general paladining category, you can now find a link Ask Mr Robot. Mr Robot isn’t paladin exclusive, and I’ve yet to really use the resource myself, but it comes highly recommended as a starting point reference. New to your class and want a basic idea of how to build it before giving yourself a headache deciphering Elitist Jerks? Ask our friend Mr Robot.

I also added Miri’s blog Guarded by the Light. I’m actually not sure why it wasn’t already there… She was our pally tank rep on The Double O Podcast’s Tanking Roundtable, and is fluent in both Protection and Holy. She writes about general WoW topics as well, making her an excellent addition to any feedreader, paladin centric or not.

Welcoming the new Holy bloggers

As usual, Holy is the most active link list. I’m not sure if I just stumble across Holy blogs more than Ret or Prot blogs because I’m Holy, or if it’s just that us healer-types are chattier.

I added the podcast My Epic Heals. It’s not paladin centric, but Eade is a paladin (his blog, My Pally Heals, used to be on my blogroll, but I had to take it off for inactivity. Don’t panic though, the podcast is still going strong!), and they are healing-centric.

We’ve also got Amowrath joining our ranks with The Light’s Wrath. Out of all the holy bloggers who’ve opened shop since my last update, Amowrath is one of the two that are still among us. Head over to his page, give him some love, and convince him to stick around!

The other holy paladin blogger is Dreamy from Drunkard’s Regalia. Her style is completely unique, and, in my opinion, a refreshing change from the many more formal blogs out there. She’s fun, bouncy, and a tad gory. If you’re looking to add some spice to your blog reading, Drunkard’s Regalia is a good place to start.

Oh, and I fixed the link to the Paladin forum at Plus Heal. You can now use it again!

Welcoming our new Retribution brother

We have a new retribution blogger! And a good one at that! Chronicles of a Casual (and don’t let the name fool you, he is a raider, a dps paladin, and informative) fills in a huge gap in the paladin community by writing, with a teachy approach, about his adventures as a ret pally, both in raids and with the target dummy. Considering that I’ve slowly been learning retribution as an offspec myself, I’ve been following his blog in earnest, excited to see what he’ll show me next.

I added a link to Rel Pal too, a great resource for beginner Ret pallies (like me!) as well as more intermediate ret pallies.

Welcoming our new Protection sister

Bravetank is, well, bravely, leveling a tank through Azeroth’s deep dark dungeons. She shares her observations, be they about tanking or about the people she meets or about the general game in frequent, juicy, meaty posts. If you’re leveling a tank too and want some chicken soup for your soul, or if you just like to read solid blog posts, you’ll love Bravetank.

And non-Paladin links!

I don’t usually do a lot of maintenance on the non-pally blogs. Deciding which ones I’m going to link is always frustrating. My paladin blogroll is already quite long and if I added all the blogs I read, we’d have the list that never ends (yes, it goes on and on my friend). I aim for active blogs on general topics and/or blogs of more personal friends (because, yes, it’s my blog and if I want to play favorites, I’m totally allowed).

So I added Clockwork Bard. If you’re a long time WoW blog reader, you might recognize the writing style of More Bars Than You‘s Skip Cocoa. He’s a close irl friend of mine, and more importantly, a fantastic writer with an endless imagination. And thus Clockword Bard appeared on the blogroll.

The other blog I added is Healer by Nature by my guildy, raid leader and friend (I hope!) Thespius. Normally I’d require a tad more frequent posting for a blogroll listing, but because Thes is awesome, he gets to be an exception.

Know other Pally blogs that I need to list?

As mentioned in my intro, I’m totally open to shameless self promotion. Us pallies need to stick together and the only way we can do that is if we know each other.

As long as a blog is written in a paladin perspective, has been alive for a couple of months and has been active in the past month, there is a spot on my roll for it.

By the Light!

Adventures in and Reflections on Lowish Level Tanking

March 8, 2010

EDIT: I need to put a disclaimer on this. This post was written well over a year ago, before specialization. While tanking in retribution spec at low levels *may* be possible (after all, the instances are designed to be rather idiot-proof) in Cataclysm, I haven’t tried it myself and therefore can’t comment on it.

I love getting post requests. Not that it happens often, but when it does, it’s great. I don’t have to go through the stress of “what kind of topic should I work on, what haven’t I done too recently but that readers will still enjoy and that I’ll still have fun writing“. Plus, I know that regardless of the topic, at least someone will appreciate it. As long as I don’t screw it up too bad.

So when @amypage on Twitter asked if I would write some about tanking, I jumped up and down. Then I asked what exactly about tanking. We chatted for a bit and I found out that her retribution paladin was leveling through BC content and this was her first character. It’s always fun to give tips to people who are newer to the game because, unlike those leveling their 7th+ alt, they never write back with that “omg I totally already knew that” look.

We talked a bit about tanking in a retribution spec. Valkyrierisen chimed in, testifying that tanking in a retribution spec is indeed a lot of fun, at least until the 60s where things start to smack you a little harder.

I have to admit, I was rather clueless in that department. I tanked the early Wrath instances in my leveling retribution spec, but that was the extend of my experience. And between you (all of you) and me, when you’re going through Nexus/Utgarde Keep/AN in tier 5 tanking gear, you don’t really need any talents at all.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I dusted off Ophelie-Eredar, level 53 retribution paladin extraordinaire.

This armor totally doesn't cover my love handles

While all of you were chitchatting with Single Abstract Noun peeps (yes, I will join EVENTUALLY but there are not enough hours in the day dammit!), I was taking care of SRS BZN. And by taking care of SRS BZN, I mean farming BRD (because APPARENTLY there are no other level 50-60 instances) and telling other leveling paladins what to do. (A former guildie of mine once gave me dating advice. He said I should wait until at least the third date before correcting everything a guy says. I answer that it was too much to ask.)
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How to Tank Heroics and Not Run Out of Mana

December 26, 2009

This post is dedicated to a former guildie and dear friend. It’s not much, but I do what I can.

There’s something I’ve been wanting to address for a long time, but never got around to it. But now with pugging made easy through the LFD system, the lack of tanks and the abundance of highish ilevel gear, the time is ripe. Especially when I hear horror stories of disc priests getting kicked from the ICC 5-mans for using Power Word: Shield. Especially when the tank is glyphed like this:

Taken from a real armory screenshot.

Yes, keeping your mana up can be a challenge when you’re a brand new tank sporting tier 9 gear. But it can be done. Here’s how.

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Shared Topic: Class Spells and Misunderstandings – Paladin style

December 19, 2009

So far, it looks like I’ll be the only one taking part in this week’s shared topic, but it’s okay, I’ve never been all that good with sharing anyway. The shared topic (which probably isn’t going to be shared) for this week was suggested by Rilandune of A Rogue’s Tale and the original thread can be found on Blog Azeroth.

This is a topic I have planned for an upcoming piece. It happens far too often that players of another class simply do not understand your own class, and for that matter everyone elses. The classes within WoW are so dynamic that there is a large gap in understanding between those who play [insert class here] and everyone else who does not.

What 3 core abilities, be they spec dependent or core class spells, would you most like to see every other player know and understand? These could lead to better teamwork in PvP, or cleaner, more concise raiding environments where, for instance, everyone understands how the Hunter Misdirection works.

I’ve written in depth discussions about specific spells before, notably the Blessings, Divine Sacrifice and Beacon of Light. If you’re interested in the ins and outs of paladining, I suggest you check them out. I’m going to bend the topic a little because, lets face it, I never do things the way I’m supposed to. Still, when it comes to paladin spells, some things need to be said. Said, and sometimes beaten into people by my giant spoon. So here’s what I’m going to talk about: the use of my tanking shield, resurrecting etiquette and the darker side of blessings.

Things you (and me and them) can do with a tanking shield

A shield can be used to block, which decreases damage taken. You can also use it to bash enemies over the head, which damages and angers your victims. And if you have to, you can throw it from a distance to grab an enemy’s attention or to shut them up for a few seconds.

Not a tanking shield

Me: I can’t line of sight, could someone silence that caster for me?
Person X: Use your shield.
Me: *sigh*

What they say is true, if a pally tank does does their talents properly, Avenger’s Shield will silence for 3 seconds. On the downside, it also dazes whatever it hits, so chances are the silence will run out before those casters reach us. It’s also on a 30 second cooldown and takes up a lot of mana, which is sometimes an issue in a 5 man. Yes, it’s a great spell, but it’s not always available.

And just because I get asked this all the time, Block Rating increases a tank’s (or anyone’s, really) chance to block an attack and Block Value increases how much damage will be absorbed by a block.

How to Die and Be Rezzed Properly in 6 Easy Points

1- Really, you shouldn’t be pulling aggro (unless you’re the tank) or standing in bad looking things in the first place.
2- Paladins can’t battle rez. As long as we’re in combat, you’re not getting a rez.
3- If the rezzer in the party seems to be at least sort of aware of what’s going on, don’t ask for a rez.
4- If the rezzer has died and will need to run back, release and run back too. The rezzer isn’t below you in any way. If he has to run back, so do you.
5- Upon rezzing, sit down and eat. If the healer is busy drinking, then you should be busy eating. Don’t expect to be spoonfed health points.
6- Upon rezzing, thank the rebuffers. Don’t ask for buffs unless it’s really obvious they forgot.

Why do I always get so pissy when talking about rezzes? Anyway, moving on.

Be Patient about Blessings

If there’s more than one paladin in the party, it might take a few minutes to them to come to an agreement. We’re not like priests or mages who can just buff the whole raid with one click. (And if priests and mages sometimes screw up, then we’re allowed a break!) While the system is far from the headache it used to be, it can still be confusing to a new level 80 paladin, especially one who doesn’t have PallyPower or ZOMGbuffs installed. Personally, I discuss buffs (I’ll do kings, you do might) in party/raid chat at the beginning of a PuG so the others can see whats going on, but it doesn’t seem to be common practice.

Also, if you get battle rezzed, you’ll probably be given a temporary 10 minute buff. It’s ok. Most fights are shorter than 10 minutes and you’ll get a full buff after you’re out of combat.

Note that Blessing of Sanctuary (3% damage reduction) is a prot talent and must be given by a tank. Note as well that Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom can be improved via talents points. These blessings are identical to a Warrior’s Battle Shout and a Shaman’s Mana Spring Totem, respectively, so a crappy version of either Might or Wisdom can be overwritten by the improved Battle Shout or Mana Spring Totem. In the future, when the Might given to you by the holy paladin disappears while there’s a dps warrior in the group, you’ll know why.

And there you have it

3 spellish things about paladins that I wish everyone knew. If there’s something you wish everyone knew about your class, there’s still a few hours left, feel free to join in on the shared topic. Despite what I say, I really don’t mind sharing…too much.

Tank Survey

November 4, 2009

Now that all awkwardness has hopefully passed, its time for something less dramatic. Koriel from whatisboom posted a reply to the recent healer survey with a tank survey. Since it’s quite time for a technical pally post, I jumped at the occasion to join in. I don’t expect to be doing much tanking in the near future, but I did have tanking as my mainspec up until now.

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

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mostly 25 man (normal modes), some 10s and 5mans.

What is your favorite tankng spell for your class and why?
I would say Hammer of the Righteous as it hits 3-4 targets (depending on glyphs) and spreads whatever seal I’m using around. Great for tanking multiple mobs as well as soloing.

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
I use pretty much all of them according to need. Maybe Avenging Wrath, since I’m often worried it’ll interfere with my shield wall.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
Hmm, I’m not too sure. I’ve usually picked my tanking assignment based on my own personal strengths. I find we have especially good survivability due to Ardent Defender. We’re good tanks all around, but somehow we seem to have a slight advantage when it comes to taking big hits

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
Mobility, in my opinion. Consecration is a great spell for holding on to a lot of adds, but I can’t pick it up and carry it around as needed.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
It doesn’t really matter. I’ll tank the boss or adds as needed and do a good job.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
On the healing survey, the “with” caused some confusion, those who only played one healer took it as “who would you like to be your co-healer” while those with many healers stated the healer they preferred to play. I only have one tank, so I’m going to answer the question using the first meaning. I don’t really care who’s tanking with me. I’m mostly experienced with warriors and other paladins, but as long as they’re geared and doing a good job, I don’t care.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
I’ve mostly tanked alongside warriors and other paladins and I don’t sense much of a difference between the two. I don’t have enough experience with DK or druids as fellow tanks to know.

What is your worst habit as a tank?
Having the wrong mob targeted when I taunt. And forgetting to put up Righteous Fury. I don’t make those mistakes often, but every time is once too much.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
When other tanks taunt off me, I’m possessive of my adds, dammit! I do get annoyed if a dps hits the mob before I do and doesn’t stop attacking. In reality, it’s just a sign that I should be quicker, but it annoys me.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?
I don’t know enough about other classes of tanks to say, but I’m satisfied with where paladin tanks are right now.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I find it difficult to evaluate my performance. On the spot, I’ll look at my threat, my reaction time, my appropriate use of CDs. Afterwards I’ll ask about what it’s like to heal me, but my healers are too nice and just say what I want to hear :).

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
I’m not sure! The only people I hear talking about paladin tanking are other paladin tanks. A general mistake I see made about tanking is use of the term “defense cap”. Cap implies that once you reach a certain amount, any more is wasted. While defense won’t be your stat of choice after a certain point, it’s still useful. So it’s actually a “defense minimum”.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
I have to say, I see some strange specs out there.

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?
Looks like Effective Health right now. I wish it were Avoidance, Avoidance seems so much more appealing to me, but Effective Health wins right now.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Probably DKs. I don’t know too much about other tanking classes at all, but I’d say DKs confuse me the most.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
Grid, with Clique for using Righteous Defense and other useful tools on my fellow raid members. Omen to watch my threat. One thing I use a lot too, and its not an addon, is my combat log for quick “how did I die” referencing.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I like having some basic avoidance and basic threat, but I tend to stack stam above everything, except in my 5 man sets, where I use a lot of strength to up threat and dps.

Edit: Apparently this was a popular idea. Honorshammer started his own version of the survey as well.

Divine Sacrifice, now and after now

October 22, 2009
Finding Divine Sacrifice and it's friend on your talent tree

Finding Divine Sacrifice and it's friend on your talent tree

Ah, divine sacrifice! One of my favorite spells. One of the more interesting and confusing in my spell book too. It’s getting a face lift in patch 3.3 and I wanted to try my hand at figuring it out. I’m not the first to touch on this topic, so if you want to see what the pros are saying, check out Honershammer’s post as well as the thread on Plus Heal. There are quite possibly others discussing this, but I have yet to find them.

For the sake of simplicity, lets use for our examples, a prot paladin with 40k health and a holy paladin with 20k health. We can imagine they do their 5 mans with 4 friends their 10 man raids with 9 friends and their 25 man raids with 24 friends.

protholy
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Now here’s an interesting one

September 28, 2009

eyeforaneye

As I was spying on other tanks to compare epeens (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!), I came across this interesting waste of two talent points. When it comes to unconventional builds, you can often understand the logic behind it. Someone quit raiding and is overgeared for 5 mans, someone only ever OTs, someone only ever MTs, someone only runs Ulduar, someone always runs with ret pallies, someone never does, someone is paranoid about running out of mana, someone is stuck on reckoning.

But I don’t understand why anyone would ever spec into Eye for an Eye. Exactly how often do you get critted as a tank? Um, thats right, never! (I think there is an exception or two, but one or two bosses in a 5 man don’t justify 2 talent points) I suppose if you prot pvp a lot, EfaE may be acceptable, but this particular build didn’t include any other pvpish talents. So why, oh why would you choose EfaE over Crusade? (Or over Seals of the Pure if, like me, you spend 90% of your raid time in Ulduar)

Also strange is the choice of Divinity as a third glyph. I’m somewhat liberal myself with my third glyph, but when would you care that LoH restores your mana when you cast it on someone else?

I run out of mana in two situations:
1- 5 mans
2 General Vexaz

5 man mana is easily regenned by switching to seal of wisdom once in awhile (I wear all threat all the time gear in heroics so threat is never an issue) or by pulling more mobs when possible. I solved General Vexaz by wearing lots of block and threat pieces and using spiritual attunement as my third glyph. LoH doesn’t even restore mana on General anyway!

The strangest thing is that this particular tank has an otherwise decent build and has made a decent choice of gear and enchants. They obviously do their homework, so what’s up with the eccentricities?

It looks great, but, um, what it is?

September 23, 2009

My guild went and tried out the new and improved Ony fight. I didn’t like it much, long and boring fight, but thats neither here nor there. I want to talk about what I found on Ony’s body.

blade stats

What on earth?

…Lets take a closer look at this.
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Taking a walk on the wild side

June 22, 2009

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be pretty intense

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be pretty intense

After much consideration, I chose tanking as my main spec. I didn’t do it for my guild, I didn’t do it out sheer love of tanking and I didn’t do it because tanking came naturally to me. I did it for the opposite reason: I became a tank because I wasn’t a natural. While healing seemed to be something I was born to do, tanking scared me. An as uber perfectionist, as an extremly shy person, as someone with an anxious personality, the idea of being on the front line of a pull was absolutely terrifying. I remember my first few runs, feeling physically sick before each pull, shaking like a leaf the entire time… I loved every second of it!

I suppose it’s the emotional equivalent of scary rides at the amusement park. Rides put you in a situation where you feel like you’re in danger, but in reality, you’re quite safe. (Unless you’re very unlucky.) My first tanking runs were just like that. I worried that I’d fail (very disastrous for a perfectionist!), let everyone down and heck knows what else I fretted over­. But in reality, I was just playing a game with my friends. They’d still love me after a few wipes in Shadow Labs. I felt like I was in emotional danger, but the worst case scenario was being affectionately teased about it for a few weeks.

Did I get anything more than amusement out of trying something outside my comfort zone? Definitely. As I worked my butt off trying to be a good tank (which I still struggle with to this day), I gained a level of understanding and attachement to my class that I never would have experienced had I stayed a pure healer. I also deepened my understanding of the game in general as I watched the mechanics from a new perspective. I became better at all my specs, including holy and ret, it helped a lot when learning to play my mage and I find it much easier to learn other classes for when I need to give advice to a guildie. (more…)


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