kidglock34

First Ever Tank...several questions!

16 posts in this topic

As the title says, I've finally rolled a Tank and opted for a class I've always wanted to play; the Druid. Coming from a Shaman and Paladin that has done a lot of both Resto and DPS I felt it is time to try the other side!

I have never tanked before...I was going to queue up for my first ever dungeon run but chickened out. I don't want to make a mess of it first time out before talking to some of you that have been here before. I'm still VERY low level...hit 18 last night while questing. Basic gear but have money from other toons if needed for gear.

My questions are...when did some of you start your first tanking experience? Is gear at that low level of any importance or is everything pretty forgiving your first few times out so you can get an idea of rotation and how things work? Anybody have a few wipes on their first time out? Any advice for my first time out?

Appreciate the hell out of the help! Thanks in advance and hopefully tonight I can partition off some time to get my first dungeon run in! I'm back after playing through until Cataclysm so it has been fun seeing all the new things added...a 6 year hiatus is quite a long time!

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Welcome back to the game! I'm not too jaded to remember when I was a nublet rolling his first bear and trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

The early instances are easy. The armor bonus from bear form alone puts you ahead of most tanks at low levels, especially Monks which are basically rogues with a taunt. The most important thing is knowing the instances well enough to navigate and not skip a boss. As the tank, you're the leader and the rest of the group will normally move with you. You're going to get some assholes who want to rush you, ignore them and let them die if they feel like pulling without you. They'll get the point sooner or later.

Also, every single group is statistically going to have a BM Hunter or a Warlock with a pet taunt. Forget about it. You can save Azeroth, but you can't do anything about randoms.

If you have some gold or DMF tickets left over, investing in some leather heirlooms will be worthwhile for the item scaling and XP gain. The weapons I can take or leave since their bonus is not that spectacular. The XP gain is the main reason to get them now, since they vastly reduced the difference between gear levels pre-endgame. I've seen gear that was item level 79, compared it to a 292 from Cataclysm and it only had 1 more main stat.

As far as specific Guardian tips, Thrash is a 360 degree cleave and doesn't need a target, so you can easily use it for snap threat. It also stacks up to 3 times, so you just keep using it on cooldown, even on a single target. Mangle on cooldown for Rage generation. Fill with Moonfire or Swipe. Spend your Rage on Frenzied Regeneration since it has better scaling at low levels, compared to end game. Use Barkskin liberally whenever you are actively tanking, it has such a short cooldown - for a while I was using a macro that attempted to use Barkskin whenever I used Mangle.

Edited by Tarazet
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Thanks for that! I had to laugh at your very accurate description of the early PUG as well. As incredible as the Druid class is, even at low levels, I felt I'd be ok in giving it a try. But I do want to do it properly and learn the mechanics of it as well as I can. I have a good guild and while they aren't in dire need of tanks at the moment I'd like to be able to contribute to any raid or dungeon run as more than just DPS. I always enjoyed Resto Shaman and have had a ton of fun DPS'ing as an Elemental so it is time to try the Tank!

Very good point on the heirloom gear as well. All that appeared after I left and I initially thought it took away from the 'collector' aspect of finding new and cool looking gear, but that combined with the transmog option it makes questing that much more satisfying when you find the cool stuff AND can just change the look of your current gear.

Again,  thanks for the info and the advice. I've wanted to give it a try and now is as good of a time as any!

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23 hours ago, kidglock34 said:

I have a good guild and while they aren't in dire need of tanks at the moment I'd like to be able to contribute to any raid or dungeon run as more than just DPS.

You've picked a good class for being able to swap roles, that's for sure!

Another thing to remember as bear is that, given how fast you are in other forms, it can be an excellent habit to jump into cat form (or travel if you are outdoors) to run between packs, since you are so much faster there. It can make up for your lack of mobility compared to the Leap + Charge of a Warrior, or Roll etc. of a Monk.

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I know your post is specifically about tanking, but as you have healed, I can also recommend dipping your toes into trying Resto Druid too. A lot of fun. As for Druid Tank, what Tarazet said really - get some heirlooms & dive in. The over-zealous DPS shouldn't die while leveling. The healer should easily be able to keep u all up & just taunt what u need to. I used to target certain armor items before all the heirlooms via Wowheads database. E.g. If I did a search for a let's say 'Boots' upgrade, I'd target said quest or dungeon & go for that item. Got some xp too while leveling & staved off the boredom of constantly doing dungeons or quests & mixed it up a bit. I'm not a PvP'er but if that's your bag do a bit of that too. You appear to be experienced enough in the game to know what your doing generally, so don't want to come across condescending, but Druid is great - jack of all trades, master of none - rubbish! Can be master of all specs, well, maybe not master but darn fine & great fun to boot! Tried all classes & specs, but always seem to return to the Druid, as it's the class I always seem to have the most fun & versatility with.

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On 10/20/2017 at 2:35 PM, Blainie said:

You've picked a good class for being able to swap roles, that's for sure!

Another thing to remember as bear is that, given how fast you are in other forms, it can be an excellent habit to jump into cat form (or travel if you are outdoors) to run between packs, since you are so much faster there. It can make up for your lack of mobility compared to the Leap + Charge of a Warrior, or Roll etc. of a Monk.

Good thought. I've done that for traveling but had not really thought about using it for starting a pull. I picked whatever Lvl 30 talent that gives you a charge but I didn't like losing the extra range the Roar was giving me. Very good 'low tech' solution giving me both mobility and the extra range for the roars.

17 hours ago, Jemaris said:

I know your post is specifically about tanking, but as you have healed, I can also recommend dipping your toes into trying Resto Druid too. A lot of fun. As for Druid Tank, what Tarazet said really - get some heirlooms & dive in. The over-zealous DPS shouldn't die while leveling. The healer should easily be able to keep u all up & just taunt what u need to. I used to target certain armor items before all the heirlooms via Wowheads database. E.g. If I did a search for a let's say 'Boots' upgrade, I'd target said quest or dungeon & go for that item. Got some xp too while leveling & staved off the boredom of constantly doing dungeons or quests & mixed it up a bit. I'm not a PvP'er but if that's your bag do a bit of that too. You appear to be experienced enough in the game to know what your doing generally, so don't want to come across condescending, but Druid is great - jack of all trades, master of none - rubbish! Can be master of all specs, well, maybe not master but darn fine & great fun to boot! Tried all classes & specs, but always seem to return to the Druid, as it's the class I always seem to have the most fun & versatility with.

A great point! My shaman will always be my favorite character but there is only so much they can do. The differences between their 3 specs, aside from Enhancement being melee, really isn't enough to make me want to completely change specs. I liked Reto because it got me queued up and running dungeons much faster than being Elemental even though I like the elemental/DPS much more...way for fun.

The Druid is just a juggernaut... Love the Guardian spec and honestly look forward to trying the others. They seem much more varied and interesting when compared to other classes and their different specs.

 

thank you all for the feedback! I have tanked my first dungeon, did really well except I did get lost LOL

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20 hours ago, kidglock34 said:

Thank you all for the feedback! I have tanked my first dungeon, did really well except I did get lost LOL

You'll learn the way soon enough! Good luck with more tanking though, it's really great fun once you get into it! :)

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Welcome to tanking! The best advice I can give you starting out is to just jump in and get your feet wet. Heirloom gear gives you a great edge in survivability and holding threat (especially against the dps who are wearing it as well) The most important thing you can do is not get discouraged at low levels though. You will have bad runs and will make mistakes but the leveling dungeons are super forgivable.

 

If you are into add-ons look at tidy plates threatplates. They make multi target tanking much easier. 

 

As a tank you control the pace, too fast and you lose your healer, too slow and the dps will start pulling mobs for you which makes your job much more annoying. I will often grab a group, establish threat then start moving to the next one when the first group is at half health just to keep the dps from running ahead of me.

 

Make sure your unit frames displays party mana so you don't pull when your healer is oom. This is much less of an issue than it used to be but as a tank you want your healer to be happy.

 

Have thick skin. Everyone who queues for a low level dungeon has a main in a top 10 guild and they are the foremost expert on every aspect of wow, mmos and life in general. Just tune it out but be receptive to a helpful suggestion, I've been tanking in some form or other for well over 2 decades and I learn new tricks or small mechanical nuances every day.

 

Do your homework. Not really applicable at low levels but once you get to current content spending 2 minutes watching a video or reading a strat will more than make up for the time spent banging your head on the keyboard during wipes. 

 

Heal/dps in lfr. In raid finder an unprepared tank can cause a fail but an undergeared/unprepared dps or healer doesn't make much of a difference and will give you a chance to study the tanks who know what they are doing. 

Good luck and have fun!

Pv

 

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13 hours ago, Pennyvise said:

Heal/dps in lfr. In raid finder an unprepared tank can cause a fail but an undergeared/unprepared dps or healer doesn't make much of a difference and will give you a chance to study the tanks who know what they are doing. 

Another note on this - asking the other tank if you are unsure is much less likely to cause anger than going ahead without knowing what's going on and wiping. If you just ask nicely, say you aren't sure, they're likely to give you a quick 2-step on how to do things, or just at least let you know when to taunt.

Not always the case, but it's more likely.

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Again, thank you Pennywise and Blainie for more sage advice. I have had very little time this week and will be away to my son's soccer tournament (Go Sporting Southern Indiana!!) so wish us luck :D

I think the 'dive right in' approach is the proper one.  Just hit level 40 and I need to just pick out the instances, give them a quick study and then queue up! Hopefully by this time next week I'll have ran a few more and have a story or two to tell!

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On 10/27/2017 at 4:55 PM, kidglock34 said:

Again, thank you Pennywise and Blainie for more sage advice. I have had very little time this week and will be away to my son's soccer tournament (Go Sporting Southern Indiana!!) so wish us luck :D

I think the 'dive right in' approach is the proper one.  Just hit level 40 and I need to just pick out the instances, give them a quick study and then queue up! Hopefully by this time next week I'll have ran a few more and have a story or two to tell!

Good luck!

Definitely. It's a lot faster than worrying about every little step. Make mistakes, learn from them, enjoy the game and have fun!

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On 10/29/2017 at 12:10 PM, Blainie said:

Good luck!

Definitely. It's a lot faster than worrying about every little step. Make mistakes, learn from them, enjoy the game and have fun!

Well I went and did it yesterday. It has been such a long time since I was last in some of those instances around lvl 40 I was worried I had forgotten some special mechanics or would lose my way, but I still queued up. And I ended up tanking about 6 or 7 in a row. Had a hell of a good time doing it! Group didn't wipe but I did die twice. My inexperience was probably 99.9% to blame. Don't remember the name of the place, but it was huge, sandy and had a ton of trolls. I sort of remembered something about a big mob at the bottom of a pyramid where you fought one of the bosses back when I was either DPS or Heals...so about 2 steps from the bottom I realize I might not want to charge into that...but it was too late. Fought them off best I could but I think my healer got overwhelmed and I was a goner LOL it was fun and I cannot wait to do it again!

 

For anyone that was like me, afraid of making a mess of it, don't worry too much about it. Several of the people I had ran with were great and very well geared. We queued for several in a row and it was fun to learn a new aspect of the game. I know a lot of people lose their minds when they die in an instance/raid but everybody was awesome that I ran with.

 

thank you all for the great advice and encouragement. I love my shaman but my Worgen Druid is quickly becoming my new favorite! I don't know if I'll be good enough to lead Mythic or anything like that but I had a blast and can't wait to level up enough to start visiting the content I do remember!

 

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46 minutes ago, kidglock34 said:

Don't remember the name of the place, but it was huge, sandy and had a ton of trolls. I sort of remembered something about a big mob at the bottom of a pyramid where you fought one of the bosses back when I was either DPS or Heals...so about 2 steps from the bottom I realize I might not want to charge into that...but it was too late. Fought them off best I could but I think my healer got overwhelmed and I was a goner LOL it was fun and I cannot wait to do it again!

That'll be Zul'Farak - great instance to practise keeping aggro on those stairs :p

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29 minutes ago, Blainie said:

That'll be Zul'Farak - great instance to practise keeping aggro on those stairs :p

That's right! Way easier as a DPS but it was fun. We did have a hunter with a pet that kept taunting everything but we were mostly handling it throughout so it wasn't that big of a deal. It did get hairy on occasion but I figured the more pulls meant more XP's.

 

That may have been the hardest is trying to keep aggro. I think I did pretty well but it was hard to tell with that pet running around everywhere. Heck the mage may have even had something out there too HAHA! I'm excited to more again.

 

Is there a special thing with those stairs? I haven't looked it up just yet, but I know there are some NPC's involved so I'm guessing I probably should have just tanked with them up on the top of the stairs and waited until the mobs came to me!

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31 minutes ago, kidglock34 said:

Is there a special thing with those stairs? I haven't looked it up just yet, but I know there are some NPC's involved so I'm guessing I probably should have just tanked with them up on the top of the stairs and waited until the mobs came to me!

You normally can sit around the middle of the stairs and just keep aggroing mobs as they run up, waiting until the boss appears. There's no perfect method, you can just do as you prefer!

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15 hours ago, Blainie said:

You normally can sit around the middle of the stairs and just keep aggroing mobs as they run up, waiting until the boss appears. There's no perfect method, you can just do as you prefer!

Now that you say that it does ring a bell. I do remember DPSing on the steps. It was a funny moment and thankfully only cost a few silver to repair my gear, but that thought of 'Something seems familiar...like I should wait or something...' then the entire mob hit me at the bottom of the stair LOL

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