Ok, so the title says "Threat Gauging", and then goes along to talk all about tanks and stuff. Now, do not get me wrong, a tank does lots of threat gauging all the time, but he is not (or rather should be not) the only one doing it. I am a healer. I "/pat" my tank to give him the signal, and he charges a group of mobs. At that moment, I observe the tank and all that he does. I need to know when it is safe for me to heal. I need to know just how safe it is. Perhaps press fade and then spam heal? Did he press thunderclap? Is it safe to throw a shield? And the mage is nuking the wrong mob, I'd better shield him to give him time to iceblock. And look the mellees are going to pull the patrol the suckers, those mobs are going to come straight up to me, I'd better position the tank between me and them so that he may thunderclap, and press fade just to make sure.... and tons of other thoughts. And when I swap to DPSing I take note on what the tank is building aggro on, and how much aggro has he build.So threat gauging is in my opinion, something everyone should do. Excellent point! The tank NEEDS to guage threat, but everyone else SHOULD also be doing so. In groups where everyone is aware, 5-mans and 10-mans can be cleared soooo much faster and with much smaller (if any) repair bills. Not only that, but the run as a whole is much more enjoyable... not just "we cleared it", but rather a "we cleared that really convincingly and smoothly".
I tend to tank "in advance," as it were. Especially in 2.0, I felt there were really only about one to three ability rotations a tank of any given class needed to have memorized to cover all the possible tanking scenarios. I called these "protocols," to signify that they really were the mathematical answers to maximize TPS. My experience in 3.0 so far has been that the basic protocol concept hasn't changed much; our abilities have just gotten better.For any tank class that I'm playing, I try to figure out roughly two main protocols in advance, going through the threat numbers by hand (well, by spreadsheet): my single-target TPS protocol and my multi-target TPS protocol. Each of these has two variations: one for situations where I'm generating less rage than my maximum burn rate (I prefer that formulation to "unlimited rage," since all classes have an easily calculable maximum rage per second they can use), and one where I'm generating more rage than my maximum burn rate.On top of these two, I work out one or two "pick up" protocols: one for multiple lost targets (be they adds or simply a whole bunch of mobs I somehow lost aggro on at once), and one for a single lost target. These aren't concerned with maximum TPS so much as how to regain aggro in the minimum amount of time while minimizing mob mobility.For me, working out the math in advance and reducing the results to a few easy-to-remember protocols helps me react faster in combat. I don't really think about specific abilities; I think about situations. If a patrol is coming I ask myself whether I want to switch protocols or not, and that's more or less all the conscious thought I need. Since I don't really need to ask myself which abilities I'll use if the patrol adds, I have more mental cycles available to keep track of whether my DPS is properly focusing fire, whether I'm spreading out enough threat to keep pace with my healer, whether I want to move the mobs, or things of that nature. This way my actual execution can be "instinctive," but I have the confidence of knowing that it's backed up by solid mathematics, and I can spend more of my time in-game thinking about the overall tactical picture.
5. Once the heal lands, Shockwave or Concussion and then a taunt or mocking blow will keep him with me.Wouldn't you want to taunt before using those abilities as doing it after often makes the threat gained with them nil?I usually taunt as a last resort anyway, in this situation I would commanding shout while they are running, wait for them to pass me on the way to the healer. Thunderclap, AoE stun, make sure shield block is ready to go, and just begin using threat building abilities on these mobs as if nothing new happened. I will typically use last stand here if there seems to be any kind of healing issue as that extra health will help while a few of these mobs die.
5. Once the heal lands, Shockwave or Concussion and then a taunt or mocking blow will keep him with me.Wouldn't you want to taunt before using those abilities as doing it after often makes the threat gained with them nil?I wanted to point out the same thing... taunt only works it's "magic" on targets not attacking you, if the target is already attacking you it's pointless to taunt. Don't know if you knew this, and I sure don't want to lecture you Consider this: you are tanking 3 mobs, and you lose 2 of them because, let's say, dps started too early and not on the same target as you. It is best to taunt one, TC if available, and just try other abillities on the remaining of the 2 mobs. If you TC, DS, then taunt you have just blew an abillity for nothing, since it can be overrid by an increase in threat generated by dps that continues "nuking".Here's taunt tooltip so you can check it easyhttp://www.wowhead.com/?spell=355
...Welcome back, Nab :). Hope we see you in the Druid forums soon.
For the most part, I live by this mantra:"If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault. If the DPS dies, it's their own damn fault."Of course there are some exceptions, but 99% of the time it's true.Agree with this article completely though, and agree with previous commenter about "Tank Instinct" don't even notice I'm doing all that until I think about it.
BRAVO Manwue! I have a lev 80 tank warrior and a lev 79 priest healer. Your post of 12/06/2008 is not only beautifully written it really hits the nail on the head. "The point is that DPSing is a game, Healing is a Job, and Tanking is a responsibility" ...and to this i would add a good healer or a good tank have more than just the proper spec ...they also wield integretary and values.
im dps'ing with my rogue, but went tired of not having any tank in the bc,so i made a troll warrior (!). Right now he is still levelling, but with protection.So ofc im tanking with him. Actually tanking made me much more"clever" about WoW! - now im levelling a healer!
Love the list. I've found though, after tanking the instances in WoLK in prot and then switching to first arms and then fury for raiding, that I had a *much* easier time gauging threat when I was the one doing it.I thought I had waiting long enough for the tank to get high threat on a group in heroic Naxx when I popped Bladestorm... only to pull threat on almost all of them and get pummeled to death.Then again in heroic 3D sarth as fury, pulling both drakes off the tank after a Recklessness + trinket + Whirlwind combo, finding out "how much heat" I could take.... not much. ;-)