Just to be clear…the healers were the cool kids! We did it first! Oh yea, that’s right, I said it! But, the truth is, it was an awesome idea, and I learned a lot reading through all* of the responses (*and by all, I mean the majority…I think, there are so many to keep up with now!). Koriel apparently thought so as well, and modified the original questionnaire for tanks.
“But Beru…you don’t tank!”. Yes, yes I know. But I do have access to someone who has as many tanks as I do healers! I also happen to be in a position to nudge him (and by nudge…I mean fill out the survey or sleep on the couch buster! ;)). Alright, I didn’t have to threaten to make him sleep on the couch (but it sounded good, right?), all I had to do was email it over to him and ask him to fill it out
I don’t read a lot of tanking blogs, but I would like to nudge a few people to add their two pennies to the discussion as well. I can only imagine that it will be just as helpful for tanks as it was for healers! So, Tarsus, Spinks and Chastity (if you have time!) I’d love to get your responses, and hopefully you read more tanking blogs than I do (and I can only imagine more tanks read your blogs than mine), and can share your knowledge/experiences! I’d also encourage any of the healers that pop by to rest under my wings to nudge a tank or two to fill out the modified survey
Without further ado, here are Brade’s replies:
- What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
- What is your favorite tanking spell for your class and why?
- Feral Faerie Fire. It allows for ranged pulling, grabbing more ranged threat after a taunt, and is a part of the threat rotation.
- What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
- Challenging Roar (AE taunt) Using this ability means someone failed along the way. When things are tanked properly this ability should never get used.
- What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
- Larger health pools than the other tanks, coupled with armor. This allows me to take bigger hits that might normally kill a tank with lower life.
- What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
- I think the druid is a very strong tanking class, with few drawbacks. One of the weaknesses though is only relying on dodge as a primary avoidance/mitigation stat. For example, take heroic Anub’arak for an example. Only a paladin or warrior can single tank that fight because they’re they only ones who can put together an “unhittable” set with block gear, parry, dodge, and miss.
- In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
- Boss tanking.
- What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
- I think I enjoy tanking with the paladin the most, but that may be because my warrior is only 76. Though the threat rotation on the paladin is very simple and repetitive, it’s slightly more complicated than the druid’s. However, the paladin just has so many tools at hand to do a variety of different things including all of the Hand type spells.
- What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
- I’d have to say the death knight is the least enjoyable. I don’t know if it’s my current spec or the whole tanking with a 2 hander, but it just doesn’t flow well with me. It’s quite possible I enjoy it least because I’m not as good at it as I am with the other tanking classes.
- What is your worst habit as a tank?
- Chain pulling. This can sometimes be a good thing, but I don’t always take into consideration the rest of the group/raid before I just grab the next set of mobs. (Beru Comment: Oh god, this is SO TRUE!!!).
- What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
- I’d probably have to say assisting. It’s very annoying to mark something with a skull to kill and watch some idiot dps gleefully blast away on something I’m only building passive threat on.
- Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?
- The tanking druid is a very strong tanking class. If you believe Ghostcrawler’s hype, he thinks it’s almost too powerful. I’d have to say it’s probably the easiest tank to play as well. Is it balanced? I’d say that all of the tanks have their roles they’re strongest in. The druid is definitely competitive with the other tank types.
- What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
- I primarily use Recount and Omen. Omen obviously let’s me judge my threat immediately. Recount is used to see how much incoming damage I’m taking, how much healing I need, and the spikes for the damaging attacks. I also evaluate our parses on World of Logs to corroborate the information I’m seeing in game.
- What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
- I think most of the misconceptions about a druid being able to tank were taken care of in BC. (Beru comment: One thing that he constantly complains about is that swipe doesn’t solve all problems. So I think I’d add that a misconception that I see is the people think that just because a druid swipes, they can hold infinite agro on any number of mobs).
- What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
- I think the druid class is fairly easy to learn for tanking. The threat rotation really only consists of 4-5 keys.
- Effective Health or Avoidance and why?
- Effective health. Higher armor coupled with stamina has been the druid forte for a long time. It helps smooth out the spikes and provides a stable up/down rhythm in my health bar that the healers can go along with. Coupled with the “radiance” in Icecrown coming up, effective health is going to be even more important.
- What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
- Probably the death knight.
- What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
- This question is really encounter specific. I use a series of targeting macros to hit certain mobs in add type fights, a feral faerie fire macro that also puts a skull up on my target, and I also use a series of focus target type macros for the Faction Champions fight in ToC as well. If I feel a macro will help perform my job better, or is necessary for effective communication while performing an action, I’ll make a new one on the spot before continuing to pullFor add ons, I don’t use anything specific just for tanking aside from Omen and decent group/raid frames. Knowing which of your healers is alive and with mana, as well if something is loose and beating on someone else, helps a ton.
- Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
- I primarily stack stamina and expertise. Other stats come along with the types of gear that have these stats on them. High stamina gives healers more time to react to hits out of my life bar, and expertise is critically important on bosses to reduce parry haste, as well as threat generation.
I hope people can learn as much about tanks and I did about healers!