As a mage, I know little to nothing about the execution of tanking.I have noticed the large amount of new abilities for tanks now, though. Shockwave for Warriors, Paladins have their same multi-target abilities (plus their new 51-pointer), and Death Knights can both use DnD and disease-spreading moves like Pestilence or Blood Boil. In instances thus far, I haven't had any trouble with my tanks. I know a few of my paladins used to be Holy, so either they have a knack for tanking or the general process has been simplified.I would be one to guess that the general process has been simplified, but the fine points (you provided the patrol example) I would imagine still require the knowledge of your class and plain old reflexes. In a situation where our healer is under attack and our tank is otherwise occupied, I usually make the choice of a) sheeping the target or if it has dots b) tossing down slow/frostbolt and beginning to kite it towards the tank.
I've been a tank since Onyxia was introduced. I remember back when a Pally tank was almost unheard of, and rogues were a dime a dozen. Alot has changed since those days, (Now Paladins are a dime a dozen). But when the Burning Crusade came out, tanks were essentially split so violently I thought it would rip the fabric of the universe. Warriors were stuck with the best single target tanking and boss tanking, paladins could pull half an instance and hold the aggro from the mages. But now the tables have turned drastically for all the tanking classes. Warriors have VIABLE AoE threat generation (About time), and paladins... still can take half an instance with gusto, but also have much better single target threat as well.Not only that but over time, playing your class for so long, you start to experiment with the finer abilities of your class, in Burning Crusade, every warrior tank used pretty much the same rotation. (Bloodrage, Shield Slam, Devastate, Devastate, Revenge, Shield Slam, Devastate, Devastate, Revenge, Shield Slam. Repeat until target dies.) Now, with the inclusion of Shockwave, mixed with a touch of thunder clap and maybe a dash of Challenging Shout if that mage is really well geared, an intelligent warrior can hold their threat against Mages and Warlocks again.Not only that, but even when soloing our DPS has been drastically increased. I'm topping out over sub-par rogues and druids and mages as a protection spec. My mitigation hasn't gone away, and my avoidance and health are better than ever. I don't have to level my alts just because I want to farm anymore, and that alone makes this new direction Blizzard has taken tanks in good in my book.Though there is nothing I hate more than that Retribution Paladin whispering you going, "Why did I take threatz?" My response, every time, has been. "Because you're killing the Star, 4'th in the kill order, before the skull, first in the kill order, and you've ignored me every time I try to be polite and tell you." Tanks used to have it alot harder. Not only did we have to pay attention to our group, and their threat generation, and our own, and the bosses abilities, and when was it a good time to use our Cooldowns. But we also ended up leading groups through most of the instances. (Well, I do anyways, but I'm a guild leader now so it's not unusual.) We're expected by the groups and the people in them to know everything about our class, and their classes. So yeah, I agree with the statement above.Also, when I see something like the scenario above, every one of those statements passes through my head. The group relies heavily on the competence of the tank, and the healer. (Although, when I can heal Hyjal while watching House, I have to wonder exactly how much attention some of them give...)In short... Okay, there is no short and I've be ranting on for way too long now. Tanks everywhere I'm sure agree with what is said above. We are the cream of the crop, well, the good ones of us are anyways, and yes. We are so awesome.
When I was a big noob (now I'm just a small noob) I rolled many classes, but ended up in a Blood Elf Paladin, just for the heck of it. Still being a big noob, as soon as I got talent points, I spent them on protection (yeah, lol about it hehe). Now even more noobish than that I spent my gold in white items and wondered "why the heck does my hp lowers?". When I was around level 40-50 with this paladin, I fought a (maybe) level 60 paladin tank, we were world PvPing. Like 10 dudes hitting the Alliance Paladin for around 10 minutes, and they were all yelling like "dude wtf, his damage reduction is way too high". We couldn't kill him lol.Some weeks after that I noticed that the same started going for me, I went to felwood, got around 3 or 4 mobs and killed them all. Almost never died. I tried to "tank" instances, but at that times paladins weren't considered tanks by the community I had access to. They said "warriors are tanks, get a warrior, you'll DPS" (even tough I had tank talents and fairly good tanking gear). So, I, LFG channel, warrior tank. Just LOL, now that I look back at it, lol. Anyways, I ended up dropping that char, played a mage most of the time, met some awesome people, l2p, etc. Started to notice details of the game, things I didn't payed attention to.When I came back to my paladin, I still had the old taste of that "power" of slowly AoEing mobs down. However rules had changed, I understood and I went for retribution, leveled from level 1 retri, till level 42. Those were times of 2.4.3 (LOLRET). I failed to get interested in tanking, switched to holy, failed at that one too. Back to ret, leveled to 70. When I got there I had totally forgotten about becoming a tank, and when I tryed to become one, I was unsupported by my guildies, switched guilds and they helped me get my precious tank gear, by off-tanking heroics.WotLK came out, and that was just AWESOME. I L2P tank and my class, and for the research I have done I had a really general idea of most of the classes out there. I think I've grown a lot since that level 11 paladin with 1/5 imp dev aura. Anyway, back on the topic :PIn that scenario you presented, I'd say what most oftenly happens through my head would be: 7- I had better generate some massive threat over all creatures,Though I think that almost everything on that list went through my head at least once. Heh :PMost of the times I automatically switch to the mob heading for the healer/dps, use my RF macro and that pretty much taunts them all. Try to kite them towards the main crowd, cast AoE and try to keep them all in line for getting them killed. Once the patrol is sufficiently aggroed, I go back to skull and restart my rotation.
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. The point is that DPSing is a game, Healing is a Job, and Tanking is a responsibility.So, If no-one looks at the threat, the (good) tank does the responsible thing and cares for it. The healer does his job and cares for it.The DPS (usually) post meters and yell excitedly at the really huge crit they scored.But I have found a solution to them all:
I liked the list of things going through a tank's head -- it was spot on! (Well, for me at least.)I never tanked on my warrior before the 3.0 patch (some lower level pally tanking, but that was lol ez-mode). Since the 3.0 threat watching additions, it is pretty easy to gauge. Most of the time I just lay down as much AoE threat as I can right off the bat (Thunderclap, Demo Shout, Shockwave, Commanding Shout) and then focus on either my marked target or the one that's taking the most damage. However, most of the time my dps is a combination of wars, ret pallies, and DKs, so AoE threat really is a bit of an issue for me if someone is attacking a different target than I am. When that happens, the new color system is a godsend, as I can easily switch targets and gather enough threat. I rarely have to taunt.When I do have a caster in the group, a simple taunt followed by a shield slam and revenge is plenty to grab a rogue mob.
Your list of whats going through my head is a bit off, 1-9 don't really come up but i'm always on 10.As a tank i tend to know every patrol in an instance and i am PROACTIVE about it if i know one is going to be coming close to our melee dps i will intentionally move over and pull them myself either by body or aoe attack. Or i will see it coming and drag the pack further away to a save zone, this will drag the dps with it and bring us to avoid the patrol.I tend not to actively "think" about how big or how much the healer is healing for, as long as i'm alive he's doing his job. I have the same basic thoughts when tanking packs.
As a druid tank, I have never had much problem causing threat. Before WotLK, our class relied more on damage for threat than pallies or warriors. They can cause more damage now, but with the addition of unlimited target Swipe and Berserk, I'm never short on threat. And while Threat Gauging is something I do subconsciously, I never really think about it.
I have 2 rules when it comes to threat on a mob.1. Simply that I never have enough threat. Ever. No matter what. Enough threat doesnt exist as far as i am concerned.Its doesnt matter that I have a 10 second head start, or that its some trash thats gonna die in 20 seconds, or that I already have a 100k threat lead. When I tank, I go like the clappers and dont stop piling on the threat until the mob stops moving.2. If it moves, I tank it.Patrol? have soem of this threat i have. CC broke? like hell I waiting for it be re-applied.Heck I even get twitchy when I see an off-tank hande something.
Yea, pretty much do all of those when I tank. But you forgot one - constantly watching the party's health, who has aggro, who is about to pull aggro, as a paladin -
My tanking style is... CHARGE!.. Oh bugger, now I need TC, SW and some other stuff to keep all 5-6 mobs entertained :P
well what you said here is very close to an ideal situation. which rarely occurs *smiles*let's say that I am in that instance for the first time, or else there is no chance the patrol will suddenly come around the corner and take us/me by surprise.
Interesting to read. I play a DK tank as my alt and I do all that naturally, although I am pretty much already used to it from playing my rogue and sometimes having to quickly evade tank a mob that got passed the tank and is heading for the healer, then kite it back to the tank. Although a tank should gauge the threat, as a PvE rogue it is essential for me to watch the threat as well. How much threat does my tank have? Can I pop this CD? Will I have to use TotT? My job is to cause as much damage as possible while causing as little threat as possible. I have 4 threat reducing abilities, two of which reset my threat completely. So yes a tank may have a responsibility to keep track of his threat and gauge it, but so does every other class in the raid/party. In short everyone better watch their threat and do their jobs in the group, but have fun and enjoy the game at the same time. =)
I hardly ever move in order to keep the dps at max so if I see a pat coming, I start to prepare for it ahead of time.Keep taunt and thunderclap off cooldown and taunt it as it comes into range and there's always demoralizing shout if you need it and shield block for some free rage.But my fingers usually do things that I'm surprised to see them doing, in which case I suppose the answer to your question would be passive.
In single target fights aggro has (sadly?) become a non-issue. For multiple mobs I start with a Thunderclap and a well positioned Shockwave. After this the healer is already pretty save until these two abilities come of their cooldown. Then I'll just watch the two or three mobs that are losing health the fastest (as each will have a damagedealer dealing damage to it, or they are just simply AoE'd) and split the usual rotation between them.Pats coming your way with both Thunderclap and Shockwave on cooldown are a bit troublesome, but Heroic Throw (very good to pull those annoying casters in patrols!), Taunt and a Shield Slam cover the time until one can Thunderclap again.With all these tanking changes I moved my attention to avoiding as much damage as possible: interrupting casts (or returning them to the caster if possible ^^), stunning the most dangerous mobs etc.
As a druid tank I greatly appreciate seeing a blog like this, and I reaaally hope that DPS'ers out there are paying attention.It's not that DPS'ers are mindless stabby players (or as you said shooting things/setting things on fire), but far too many of them in my humble experience of course, are too busy chatting away on the phone while spamming their highest damage output spell on whichever target happens to stumble into the LoS.I never knew that there was a fancy term for what I was doing, but yes, as a tank I am always looking out for that one mage who's panic button was a massive aoe, or the rogue who enjoys straying off target as often as possible. I think it's a tank thing (and other tanks can either back me up or flame me for this), but you feel a certain sense of responsibility for any group that you're in. DPS'ers from what I've experienced are often the quickest guys to /yell"NOT MY FAULT"and while this could be entirely true, in more cases than not it's only not their fault because they had no idea where they were messing up. Usually I can pick up a patrol with Demoralizing roar, but that's hell hard to do if a lock start's "Rain of Fire" the second the patrol rounds the bend. This isn't to say that all DPS classes do these sorts of things. I've been in many groups where everyone sticks to the marked targets and the run goes hunky-dory for the most part. Even when you get one or two guys who step out of line, for me it's more-so of a challenge in the moment, followed by some gentle guidance for those who strayed afterwards. The toughest part is having a DPS who wil flip you off and tell you it's all because you're not tanking right, and with the WOTLK release I just loved having a fully T7 geared rogue telling me that I'm not tanking right while I'm tanking Utgarde Keep in outland (70) blues, trying desperately to explain to him that the character I'm currently tanking with is not a raid seasoned character and if he could just tone down the "stabby stabby" a notch or two it would help immensely. /sighGreat post, I think that now having read this I'm going to see if I can turn this whiole "threat gauging" from a passive thing to something that I'm more conscious about. Would you be able to suggest any links for researching those numbers? Are there addons that i should be looking at aside from Omen?