Archive for May, 2010

Yes, I got Hand of A’dal yesterday

May 28, 2010

After our Thursday raid failed to go, 16 of us went out and cleared some old world content.

We cleared out TK, SSC and BT. A few people went beyond that and cleared out MH. I got my Hand of A’dal title a year and a half after it officially went away forever.  It was a good time.

However, I have to say it was unbelievably easy. I got my Teir 6 Chest. With the shoulders I have banked I now have 2-piece teir 6!


10 tips to being a better tank!

May 28, 2010

On they were having a reader submission for the top 10 things to be a more successful tank.  I thought about submitting, but hey, I have a site of my own to write for! Check out my top 10 below:

Top 10 tips for being a better tank!

1. Make things mad at you! You are a tank. There are two jobs that a tank must accomplish to be successful. The first job is to make things mad enough at you to swing at you rather than the guys wearing dresses. You need to get aggro on mobs otherwise your not tanking anything. Get into your tanking “stance” at the beginning of the zone. If you’re a druid, get into Bear form. If you’re a warrior go Defensive stance. If you’re a paladin throw up Rightous Fury. And a DK needs to be in Frost presence. They all grant the tank the abilities needed to make things mad. They also grant the ability to…

2. Stay Alive! (aka do what is necessary not to die!) – Things are now mad at you. Great! Now they will try to kill you. The second no-brainer to being a good tank is to not die. Seems simple enough, right? If your dead, no mobs are tanked. We are in our tanking “stance” so we have the added survivability packaged with it, but what else can we do, as successful tanks, to do this?

 The most effective way to do this is to wear tank gear. It is designed to keep you alive by making you crit immune as well as raising your defensive stats and health. You would be surprised how many people who click tank on the dungeon finder don’t do this. Nothing makes your healer look fondly towards you more in an Heroic ICC5 man than being a Fury warrior with 2 giant axes and a 25k health pool. (Sarcasm is fun!)

 3. Use your whole toolkit – Using all of your abilities can make or break a fight. A druid dropping form when not tanking an add to raise a raid member can make or break a fight with a tight enrage timer. A paladin tossing out Hand of Salvation on the aggro hungry warlock can allow him to dps more without worrying about threat. Knowing your full capabilities can allow you make a fight end in your favor.

 4. Know your healers – I don’t mean personally get to know your healer. (They may think your creepy if you start whispering them asking if they are Babylon 5 fans or something). What I am recommending is inspect your healer/healers at the beginning of a run. Just join an ICC 10 pug? Take a look at your healers. What kind of gear are they bringing to the table? If they have top level stuff you may be able to pull faster. If they are bringing 232 stuff you may want to move at a slower pace. And if you only have two healers in the run and one is rocking quest blues, get out of there as fast as possible!

 5. Know your limitations – Not only knowing what you can do, but knowing what you can’t is important to being an effective tank. Have trouble getting aggro on a large amount of adds? Warn your dps to hold back for a few seconds. Have a 28k health pool? Have your dps use CC on the big pulls near the end if your running Heroic Pit of Saron. It’s always better to have some humility than to wipe.

 6. Be observant – Are you in the fire? Move! Is the big fire breathing dragon you are tanking facing the raid? Turn him! Knowing what is happening around you is very important to being a successful tank.

 7. Use raid frames – Many fights allow for the tank to be in a static location. If you have raid frames up you can keep track of what is happening around you and have it dealt with. A paladin tank can see a health pool dropping and toss out a Lay on Hands or a Hand or Protection.

 8. Be a General – You’re the person who has to gain control of the mobs. Tell your group where you want them and what is happening on complex pulls. Call out if something is happening that needs reacted to. You often don’t have to move often, so pay attention and do what you can to direct the raid when needed. Your raid leader may cover this, but in a pug this is a role you have almost every advantage for on an average fight.

 9. Do what’s comfortable – Is your pug heroic group is asking you to pull faster? Do you like to do a Line of Site pull at a particular location in a dungeon? Then do it. Tell your group how you’re going to do a pull and do it your way. Why make your job more difficult?

 10. Don’t think you are special – That’s right. Sure, tanks are on average the most difficult slot to fill in a group, however, they are not that rare. Be pleasant; don’t be cocky. You can be replaced!

Raid Loot Distribution – Fair Distribution in a Roll System

May 21, 2010

Part of being a raid leader involves loot distribution. This is often the part of raiding that can cause the most drama.  Lets say we are in a guild run 10 man where there is no loot system being used so we’re going with a straight roll.  Let’s look at some Scenarios.

1. A staff drops with spirit and spell power.  Three people roll on it. One is a holy priest. One is a warlock. And the final person is a Elemental Shaman. The shaman wins the roll with the priest coming in second. What do you do?

2. A Bow drops with agility, attack power, and armor penetration. This is rolled on by a hunter, a rogue, and a warrior. The roll is won by the rogue, and the second highest roll was the warrior. Who gets the bow?

Lets take a look at some of the questions that should be asked in the above scenarios.

In scenario 1 the staff is a 251 staff – The Priest is currently rocking a 264 MH and a 251 OH and The lock has a different 251 staff. The shaman however has had terrible drops from the ICC 5 instaces and still is using a 219 caster weapon with a 200 OH from Inscription. 

In this case as the master looter I would evaluate the situation. Obviously the staff isn’t the best item for the shaman to grab. It has a stat entirely wasted on him with the spirit. However it will be the biggest upgrade for the raid as a whole. The shaman would get a more signifigant gain right away from the staff, although the shaman would also most likely take an upgrade immediatly on the item as well. There may be a reason why the priest is rolling on the staff having similar and possibly superior items with a 264 item level.  Possibly the priest current items have hit on them and the staff is better itemized. The lock having come in last should really be out of the running. With the merit of winning the roll as well as falling far behind in the item slot, I would be inclined to give the item to the shaman, short of there being additional evidence that the priest needed it for main spec for a particular reason.

In the second scenario the bow is a 264 piece from heroic ICC. All three of the people rolling on it are currently using a 245 ranged weapon. In this scenario there is no way I would give the bow to either of the Melee classes. Why? because to both of them it is a stat stick. To the hunter, its their primary weapon. It would benifit the hunter far more than either of the other toons.

So what do I look for in general when passing out loot?

1. What slot does the item fit into? I want the item to get the most use and that means giving the item to a class that will get more out of it.  Don’t give a hunter a melee weapon when a melee toon needs it. The melee toon will hit things with it – the hunter will get a slight stat increase.  Don’t give a warrior a gun that can be used by a Hunter – same deal.

2. What is the primary armor type of the recipient? Don’t give the holy pally cloth when a clothy needs it.  If the clothy doesn’t need it then I open it up to other armor types. This also prevents wasted loot. Lets say we did give the pally the cloth piece that dropped. What happens when the plate spell power piece drops from the next boss? The clothy can’t wear it. However the pally will pick that up too. The pally gets almost the same stats from either piece and the clothy stays the same. That is not helping the raid compared to each getting an item.

3. What is the user currently wearing? If an item is a slight stat allocation for one player, and the second player would be upgrading from a crafted 200 level piece to a 264 piece, its more beneficial to the raid as a whole to have the second guy get the upgrade. However, in this case it is far better to have both parties agree to it. I would never pass an upgrade to one player over another when the won the roll if it, but I would mention it!  This really only can be used with guild groups.  Pugs would flip out of they won a roll and didn’t get an item because it was a bigger upgrade to someone else.

To really get the most out of your drops, you need to be knowledgable of class mechanics…all class mechanics.  Know what stats benifit classes.

To keep your job you need to be fair.  Especially if your working with a pugs.  One mistake and your reputation is down the tubes.