This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
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.
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.
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 -
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.
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.