It's time to grapple the big fish, or something.

Alright, so, I'm back with my first big installment. I'll bet all of my millions of readers were angry that I had a big post about Being Back and then no followup--I'm here to correct this.

Note: Here was a giant aoe guide. I decided I can't do it with just text. In the future I'll have a video guide with voiceovers.

Right now I'm going to tell you some things:
1) Stay ahead of your group. Be the first to hit the mob. Once you're way ahead in threat and the mob is nearing death (around 20-30% or so), switch to the next target. This also applies to physically being in front of the group--if an accidental body pull occurs, it's much more salvageable if the tank pulled.
2) Get the most out of AoE abilities! This seems like a no-brainer, but I see tanks use shockwave and hit two of their four targets. I see tanks pull a mob from far away and thunder clap too early. I see tanks use Heroic Strike instead of Cleave. THIS IS FOOLISH. Don't do it.
3) Getting threat requires threat stats. Another no brainer. I wrote an extensive guide on threat, including enchants and gems for it. USE 'EM. I know tanks are all about "lawl stam stackin is the only way" and group leaders go "we're gonna let this terrible druid tank be MT because he has 2k more hp than you", but don't fall for the traps! Good guilds understand that stam stacking isn't everything! Gem for expertise and hit if you need to hit the caps!
4) Proc your procs smartly. Don't use shield block and then shockwave and concussion blow and demo shout and thunder clap. That's 4 of your 6 GCD's wasted. If you use shield block, you can toss out at least 2 shield slams. The moment you use shield block, hit slam, and then use revenge and devastate to proc sword and board--it's a free slam with double damage!

I'm going to expand on numbers 1 and 4 in text, not in video. I've already written about #3 at length. #2 will be covered when I make a video aoe guide.
Tomorrow I'm covering number 1. Don't expect a couple pages--instead I'll do a few paragraphs.

I think I'm adjusting the format so I'll have several small posts a week, and one big post every week or so. The AoE guide will be a big post. When I get my DK to tanking, that will be a big post. Talking about procs will be a small post.




Alright. My last post? August 22nd, 2009. That was four months ago to the day.

I was struck down by disease this past week, and with nothing better to do, and a still-running subscription, yours truly started playing WoW again.

I started doing random heroics for gear, and met a recount-topping death knight who liked my style and was on my server. Now, I'm in enzo, which is four regulars who know each other IRL, some of their less-regular friends IRL, and me, the only person who they don't know the name of. It's interesting, but I mesh well enough provided they speak little about real-world events.

I went from ulduar-10 gear (a range of ilevel 200-226, mostly 219) to mostly 232+ gear. We're talking going from just getting 2 pieces of t8 to 4 piece t9 (including ilevel 245 legs, not just badge stuff) with some good offpieces. We're talking "whoo I just broke 30k hp" to 34k in one week. 26k hp to 30k probably took me six months if not more.
We're talking "worried about my hp on some heroic trash pulls" to "I can tank every heroic except Halls of Reflection (and the last boss of Pit of Saron) with my eyes closed"

Now, I was always ambivalent on the issue of "welfare epics". In some cases, it allows people with good gear to get into guilds and raids, while still learning their class. This issue is compounded by the whole gearscore phenomenon, which I think is disgusting--because I firmly believe in the "bring the player" philosophy. I can tank WAY better than someone who's never tanked but has a character with a higher gearscore, and I'm sure that there are warriors with inferior gear that can outtank me.
However, in other cases, it allows people who stopped playing for four months to get back on track quite quickly. It allows skilled alts to get competitive. And, in an ironic twist, it totally destroys the gearscore phenomenon.
You see, when the WoW community released Gearscore (even though welfare epics were already around) they planned on culling the weak for pugs. Yet, I still see pugs with ungeared people--I was in an Ony-25 where some DK had more than one green and no epics. And in all raiding guilds, gearscore is still used as an epeen measurement, but as far as applications go, nobody cares. If I submit my application to a guild, they'll say "oh boy, he can fail his way through heroics repeatedly and got lucky in some pugs". The good news, though, is that the same panel of judges will say the same thing about ANOTHER applicant--and maybe it'll be true. This requires guilds to actually pay attention to the performance of applicants, more than ever before.
Which means that guilds start caring about "bringing the player", not the empty shell of gear with a brainless gibbon inside. Which is good for me, cause my gear is still merely alright--I'm not tanking ICC anytime soon, but ToC? Sure!

And, on that same note, though the argument against welfare epics is that "but then you're homogenizing the playerbase", it falls apart when you realize that now the playerbase is required to separate the good from the bad by themselves. "Good tank/bad tank" is not about "38k hp versus 30k hp" (something I have been kicked out of groups for, even today), it's actually about Good Tank Versus Bad Tank. This is important. This is new. This is awesome.

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