Boy, you have posted the perfect forum thread. Aight heregoes:
Tanking in vanilla is crazy deep, starting tanking you usually can just get away with holding threat, but the more you get into the meta, the better you become. Lets start with the basics:
If you want an easier leg up, go for tactical mastery talent first, being able to charge in battle stance, and swap to defensive. In my current playthrough I forgot about this, and I dont want to burn a gold respeccing and it >sucks<. In vanilla threat is hard as all get-out to aquire. Go down the fury tree to help build rage, rage=threat. Fury also leaves you open to swap to dps with an offhand weapon so you can easily pop into groups/grind/quest. Deep prot spec isn’t needed until late game/raiding.
Rotation: your main buttons are going to be shield block, revenge, and sunder. Easiest way to think about it is shield block will normally proc revenge for 1 point of aggro, if you can build up enough rage sunder is 2 points of aggro. Heroic strike is in there but I can’t remember the last time I used it and Im level 31 almost exclusively tanking dungeons.
Tanking is very situational, tanks aren’t the end all be all of a groups success. (Despite what alot of dps might tell you) we just set the pace, and specify which enemies should die first, and which to CC. Starting out, be ok with pulling one pack at a time. If those groups die super quick and your healer is constantly pegged at 100% mana, maybe try a double pull. Be careful though, one of our jobs, (if you’re a good tank), is picking up the slack of the less self aware party members. Your one pull can easily become a double when the rogue steps back juuussst a bit too far.
Now this one is super important:
AWARENESS. This comes in many forms but it’s the number 1 skill a tank uses.
First, awareness of aggro ranges, pats, mobs around you. Knowing when to pull with a bow, vs charging in, knowing when your position is too close to another pack and you need to pull back for group safety. Know your aggro radius and be extremely careful with it. Many times a mob runs at 10% and im standing there like an idiot, because if I chase it, I’ll pull 15 mobs, but if I let it go catch a friend, we have 2 more to deal with.
Awareness of mobs and what they do:
Mobs are built around basic ideas of our character classes. So, some are mages, some are shamans, a few are paladins, etc. Know which thing you’re fighting and what to interupt with your shield. This is hugely important for 2 reasons:
1: It determines kill order. If everyone is kicking a warrior mob in the shins, and the mage mob is free to do all the damage he wants while he waits, thats healer stress. Reverse that, the mage will die super fast, and the warrior mob has been smacking your shield the whole time.
2: Interrupting spells that make it a bad time. Any healer mobs extend the fight to an inane degree if not interrupted. Seeing as I have a rogue in almost every group, and I think 2 of them knew that kick existed, seems it’s up to us to peg healing spells. Also a great rage dump. It’s not super expensive, but if you end up with extra rage, you can stop a hefty frostbolt from pelting you in the face. Healers love it.
An interesting thing I’ve notied trying to wrangle retail dps aggro:
Weave taunt into your plan. Retail dps is going to IMMEDIATELY pull. This sucks, but I found a way around it. If the dps does pull immediately (read: dammit):
- Taunt mob off dps
- Wait for rage, pop shield block
- Pop procced revenge for 1 pt threat
- Wait for taunt to pick up the OTHER mob dps pulled.
Most of my pulls go down like this. And…ugh…stay like this. It’s pure chaos. It’ll be better at higher levels, i swear.
On that topic, do not stress out if a dps holds a mob for a bit. Most dps are hardcore researched now and most of my healers are impeccable. Shaman dps helped tank on one of my runs to make things faster. Your job is to be an attention seeking wh***. If you don’t have all the mobs attention, thats ok, the rogue will be fine till taunt comes back up.
And im probably forgetting alot of meta, but this is now impeccably long so lets cut to the important bit:
If a party is a nuclear family and the tanks the dad, the dps are three caffinated toddlers and the healer is the mom.
HEALERS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
Watch their mana bar. If they go OutOfMana stop pulling immediately until they’re ready to go again. Buy some cheap water at inns to give to them before every dungeon. It’s expensive, but they love it, and…IT HELPS YOU NOT DIE! ITS A WIN-WIN!
No mob should ever be on a healer for more than a tenth of a second. They are #1 save priority. If the rogue dies, they can res after the pull. If the healer dies EVERYONE GETS TO GO BACK TO THE ENTRANCE TO HELP BRING THEM BACK.
I don’t have a caps lock that matches how hard I want to stress the teamwork between you and a healer.
If you want to be a good tank, it’s 25% skill, awareness, meta, and 75% teamwork with your healers.