Monday, January 5, 2009

At Least I'm Not Alone Pt. 2

Since I simply forgot to include the story I wanted to post after highlighting Ferraro's misfortune, here it is now in its full, unabashed glory.

Time: 6:45 PM eastern
Place: Heroic Gun'drak
Group: Prot warrior, holy priest, 2 frostfire mages, and myself (ret paladin).

I was hoping to go to heroic Gun'drak, in search of an expertise-laden ring that BRK recently acquired (much to the chagrin of melee-DPS'ers everywhere). I head to the instance summoning stone, awaiting the completion of the group (which when I joined was a dwarven holy priest and a gnome mage). After picking up another mage to fill out the DPS roster, everyone in the group starts scanning their friends lists for tanks. I don't feel like hauling out my protection gear and respeccing, so I sit quietly, since all the tanks I know are busy or offline.

The gnome mage, who I will from now on refer to as M1 (and the other mage as M2), invites a protection warrior to the group. Great, full group! Let's get crackin'. M1 arrives at the summoning stone and we begin pulling people through the nether.

Sign #1 that the group is going to fail - M2 asks me to buff him with Wisdom instead of Kings, while the priest asks for Wisdom after he's all ready been buffed with it. People that can't recognize the best buff for them, or can't recognize that they're all ready buffed - bad times.

Sign #2 that the group is going to fail - the tank starts the first pull, consisting of 3 snakes, with a gunshot instead of a Heroic Throw, and then despite a Thunderclap and a Shockwave, the healer gets threat and nearly dies (saved by Hand of Protection). When the next pull proceeds much the same way as the first, except this time I get threat from a Divine Storm and a Consecrate, I start wondering what the deal is with this tank.

Sign #3 that the group is going to fail - we wipe on the snake boss due to the tank not controlling any of the adds and the healer getting eaten.

At this point I say to myself "what the f!@# is the problem here?" and inspect the tank. She's in mostly quest blues, but nothing terribly out of place. Then I switch to her talent page - at which point I stare blankly. This protection warrior skipped Concussive Blow and Vigilance, two abilities that just about every warrior who tanks has. I question the tank on her rotation for keeping AoE threat and she says all the right things... whatever, I want that ring. I truck on.

After another near-wipe on the snake boss in which I end up healing toward the end (because the priest died. Again.), I start taking my frustrations out in guild chat. "Why can't this tank pick up adds? What the heck?" We move painfully slowly through the trash leading up to the second boss, every pack an adventure. The mages get aggro; I get aggro; the priest gets aggro; it seems like anyone except the tank is getting hit by 75% of each pull.

As we approach the second boss, I get worried as the tank starts marking up the elementals surrounding the Drakkari construct golem thingy. Has the tank done this boss before? Does she know that the elementals disappear once you engage them? Why is she marking them up? She proceeds to shoot an elemental and the boss comes charging at her. I give her 3 seconds to build up some threat and then open up on the boss - and get aggro. I turn off auto-attack and stand there, waiting for the boss to get taunted... it takes the tank a few seconds to get the boss back. I nearly die. After giving him a few more seconds of aggro production, I try again - I get aggro again. Seriously folks, it's not like I was critting up a (Divine) Storm here or DPS'ing with Righteous Fury up, I was simply Crusader Striking and Judging. Thankfully the boss got to 50% and the elemental spawned instead of me tanking the boss. However... the elemental did not get picked up by the tank. The priest got aggro from the elemental and got smacked down.

We wiped.

Several times.

The tank could not handle picking up the elemental, or the construct once we beat the elemental up. I had to use all my tricks (Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation, taunt-bubble, Lay on Hands, Sacred Shield-Flash of Light, outright standing still and healing) to try to buy the tank and healer some time to get things under control, but every time the healer would die with me trying to heal with ret paladin levels of mana/spellpower, and then I'd end up tanking and healing myself (in ret gear against a level 82 heroic boss) while the mages are running around like chickens without heads. Needless to say, it never ended pretty.

Somehow, some way, the priest managed to keep himself alive long enough and the tank managed to figure out how to pick up the spawns quickly enough that we didn't die a painful, horrible death the 4th time around. I was ready to slam my head against my desk.

Fast forward to the last boss: I had given up hope of making it to Wintergrasp, it had started 30 minutes ago, and I had all ready been in this instance an hour longer than I expected to be. We were at the last boss, I figured I'd kill him, hopefully get a shot at the ring I wanted (since there were no physical DPS in the party besides myself, I had no worries of competition), and then get out of this FPUG from hell. We buff up, charge in... and when the boss turns into a rhino, the tank gets seemingly insta-gibbed as soon as M2 gets impaled. The healer apparently couldn't handle the healing necessary to keep the tank and the impaled victim alive at the same time. "Fine," I say to myself, "I'll help with the healing. I'll Sacred Shield both the tank and Impale victim, and use my Art of War-Flash of Lights to keep them healthy."

It wasn't enough. Another 3 wipes until the priest pulls his head out of his a$$ long enough to kill him.

The only silver lining? I got my ring.

Never going back to that instance, and never grouping with anyone involved in that train wreck again. Gorram FPUG's.


Anonymous said...

Yeah I've been running into some pretty bad warrior tanks lately. In their defense, it does seem that warriors and druids could use some aoe threat buffs. The only warriors that I've seen that can keep good aoe threat are those that have been playing the class as prot for quite some time. I notice alot of warriors also don't seem to be using devastate enough, which of course will land sunders onto nearby mobs with the proper glyph. For example, I was in gun'drak the other night, and I kept pulling aggro from the secondary and tertiary targets with just my aoe dots (frost fever and blood plague)...then I noticed that the tanks threat on the first target was like 5 times everyone elses -- i.e., he was focusing his threat on the first mob too much, and not spreading it around enough. I told him that he can swap around between the targets to keep the threat up on all of them higher...after that we blew through the place without anymore wipes.

Ragar said...

Maybe I've just been playing a prot warrior for too long, but I'm thinking that this tank you had was either lying about maintaining a proper rotation/ability priority or he was just dropping Devastates on the main target and hoping Damage Shield did the job for him (He did take Damage Shield, right? Surely he can't have been that crazy as to skip it).

Honestly though, even if he was just full-on wearing blinders and focusing on one dude, a Shockwave and using Thunderclap regularly is more than enough AoE threat to outpace a Consecrate. My only other guess would be that he was tanking in Battle Stance and getting the reduced threat, but then he wouldn't have been getting any Enrage proc from Imp Defensive Stance and that would just be crazy.

CJL said...

AOE threat is harder for prot warriors than paladins, but not THAT hard!

But what really intrigued me is that you're annoyed that your tank is not specced for concussion blow and vigilance.

You do realise that the best tanking builds out there involve neither concussion blow nor vigilance, right?

Both talents are pretty useless, conc blow less so than vig. There are far better places to put points, especially in a Deep Wounds build (the current gold standard for threat).

sekai said...

I agree with CJL. i don't play a prot warrior but i do play my paladin both ret and prot so from my stand point i thought that both those talents were sub-par.

Concussion Blow to me seems like a talented HoJ that does damage (which is ridiculous, if we didn't get HoJ baseline, i can't imagine why i would ever take it for PvE).

Vigilance just doesn't seem very good to me either. The tank should be doing enough threat to make the 10% threat transfer irrelevant. Not only that, considering that most DPS have talents to reduce their threat (which should always be taken i think, specially now that there is no BoSalv) making the threat you gain from them even smaller.

but again, i don't play a prot warrior so i might just not understand warrior mechanics too well


*vlad* said...

Warriors can aoe tank just fine. I ran Nexus with a a Warrior tank who was lv 72, and all the dps were much higher - 76/77.
Very rarely did anyone pull aggro, and when they did, the tank got it back almost instantly. No deaths, no drama.

Pike said...

I was totally expecting the warrior to ninja your ring or something. Really glad you got it <3

Pike said...

Also to add to the discussion in the comments, our guild's prot warrior is an AoE threat MONSTER. It's insane. But then again, he's like, ridiculously good. Now we just have to get him to 80...

Ragar said...

@CJL: The Deep Wounds build is the current build being promoted by Tankspot and the like, but their version does include both Vigilance and Concussion Blow.

Concussion Blow may seem like a talented HoJ, but it actually hits quite hard (75% of your AP). I think modified his attack priority to put it somewhere between Shockwave and Devastate for single-target threat.

As for Vigilance, it's not perfect, but it does have its uses. It's nice for situations like phase 1 Malygos where initial threat's a little screwy and the raid's getting a lot of buffs. It's also useful for those cases where the main and off-tanks have plenty of threat, but could use more mitigation. It seems a bit odd to use a -threat talent on an off-tank, but for a fight like Patchwerk, it may be worth it for that 3% mitigation.

Rich said...

"while the mages are running around like chickens without heads."

i LOL'd at work reading that.