Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Block the Bad, Absorb the Good. (Web)Circles.

Since my wife called me out yesterday, I figured I might as well go ahead and get on with it. Three questionnaires in ten days might bore you, but I'm hearing that people are actually getting something out of these, so who am I to stop the rain (of fire)? In any case, my DK tanking stuff continues to get good comments and traffic, so I can only guess that there is a pretty decent amount of interest out there. Here's hoping I satisfy some of your curiosity.

This circle of tanks is an adaptation of Miss Medicina's webring of healing that's taken the blogosphere by circular storm. Sort of like a Dyson. Or the Carousel. It goes up and down and around, in a circle. Circular. All good things.  All good things.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Decedereful, the Dual Wielding Frost Loving DK.  My spec is linked on here if you want specifics.

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Heroics and Lower-end raids, both 10 and 25. 

What is your favorite tanking spell for your class and why?
I'll answer this with a quote from Mortal Kombat: "Come here!"  I want that sound effect when I use death grip really, really badly.

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
Death Strike.  That's the one where you hit them and get health back right?  Yeah, I always forget I have that option.  So unwarlocky of me.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
We're like the tanking tool-box.  We have a tool for just about anything.  Want some burst AoE, have a howling blast.  Prolonged AoE, here's some disease and a DnD.  Single target, eat runstrike bia.  Plus more cool downs that I can shake two one handed weapons at.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
It seems like we're harder to heal than most.  I think it's a combination of things, but the weakness is just being hard to heal.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Give me the adds any day of the week.  Perhaps I'm an OT at heart, but with so many tools available... MT tanking is just a waste, IMO.  Unless it's a really complicated MT fight with lots of aggro dumps or something.  Plus, you probably don't want the big baddies whaling away on me.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
Paladins.  Between a good Pally and a good DK, ain't nothing gettin' at yo party.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Druids.  I can never tell if they're AoE'ing and, if so, when and on what.  Even warriors at least have a large sound/sight effect with their AoE.  Sometimes the druidism gets lost in the chaos I think.

What is your worst habit as a tank?
Not waiting for mana.  As a warlock main... I don't think I've ever experience OOM in any of my adventures.  As a tank, this means I'm constantly asking "WTF are we waiting for?!"

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
Getting anal about your buffs.  They're a gift for the family.  If you can't do your job without a perfect "buff status" then maybe you're just not that good.  (I don't usually run on the "bleeding edge" of content, so while it may be more pertinent to get all your buffs at a higher level, where I'm running... it's nice, but geeze, get off it already, you'll get 'em when you'll get 'em, don't be a nag).

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?
I don't get into the heavy theorycrafting, but I feel like I take more damage right now than a comparatively geared tank.  Maybe I'm just not using my cool downs right or whatever, but it does seem that way.  Maybe we need a small buff?  Tank balance now is better than it's been in ages though, even if it's a bit homogenized.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
Omen and if we survive.  I'm sad that recount really doesn't tell me a whole lot.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
We all suck.  A properly played DK is quite a formidable weapon due to the sheer number of abilities we have.  I mean, hello, epic class.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
How to put all your tools in finger's reach and use them at the right times.  Sure DG is cool, but if you run around using it on anything and everything, you're a deathknoob.  Timeliness and appropriateness are cherished skills in this game.

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?
Health.  I need more of it.  Parry is good too though. That's what I want.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Warriors.  I know thunderclap and charge and that's about it.  What are they always doing back there? 

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
The DoT timers built into Xperl can be really useful for keeping an eye on your diseases.  It's really a holdover from my warlock play though.  I don't really have any tank-specific addons.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I'm pretty much still "gearing up" so it's really all about stacking emblems and buying the big upgrades.  I look mainly to stay def capped while picking up health and other stats.  I will probably try for balance.

That's it.  I tried to keep it short and un-boring.  Maybe I succeeded.  Maybe not.  You decide.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to continue the tanking series with some of my thoughts on the DK "rotation".  I realized I hadn't really covered that before and I've been getting tons of tank time on my toon as of late, so plenty of tweaking chances.  More on that tomorrow.


  1. Hey, I couldn't resist to make my own tanky post. A lot of our answers were similar, and no matter how much I want the prestige of being the MT I just wanna OT!! It is just too much fun as a DK, and with our healing issues it is more appropriate. You mentioned death strike and this is in my rotation as a blood DK. I know you love frost and I do too, but consider going blood until your gear makes the healers more relaxed if you are in raids. Frost is fun, but I have done every spec many times in raids and heroics, and every single healer I talked to loves my blood spec, I do so much healing to myself, they love it!

  2. Something to keep in mind since you dual-wield is that if you have less than 21 expertise you have an increased risk of taking more spike damage due to the hasted attacks. This might be contributing to you being harder to heal.

    I personally have not, and probably will not, dual-wield tank but I am one of the main tanks in my guild. Once I got my gear on par with my partner tank, I have noticed I'm not nearly as difficult to heal as I was when I first started tanking.

  3. Yeah, I'm still very much in the "gearing up" stage... so I'm definitely deficient in a few categories. I refuse to change specs, however, because I want to learn how to tank in my chosen spec... it fits my playstyle. Plus, the group I'm gearing up with... I still overgear a lot of the encounters. It only became apparent when we tried some of the harder content, and then the tanks I was with were better geared than me for sure, so I haven't really had a good comparison.

    The difficult to heal thing is mostly based on what I've heard from others.

    I def need to work towards the expertise cap though. Also, blood is certainly a more healer friendly spec... but my healer is usually Fuu's priest, so I don't care too much about being friendly :-). (Plus, being in the same room really allows us to work together to make it not so bad... if she's getting behind, she calls it out to me, I pop a CD, etc... it's worked well for us, but not something that would work as well over vent.)