(Gnome) Tank for Life

Poking monsters to death
February 11, 2010, 13:55
Filed under: dps, raid

The “Holy Trinity”: Damage-Dealer, Tank, Healer

It is a widespread belief in WoW that – in a general sense – the job of the tank is the hardest role with the healers’ being either on par in difficulty or in midway between tanking and DPSing. In any case, the role of DPS is regarded as the easiest of the three, with less harsh learning curves, the lack of possible stress which stems from taking responsibility for either letting the tank die or not holding agro well enough or taking a leading position and pulling mobs, all in all any DPS class seems to have an easier time than either the tank or the healer.  After all as a DPS,  I just have to poke the bad monster with my sword, bow or magic until it drops dead.

Nothing could be further from the truth…

AFK-autoshoot anyone?

In 5-mans we all frown at and pity the incompetent random 2k – 1,5k – 0,8k DPS guy (1500 DPS is the absolute threshold according to Gevlon, anyone doing lower in any heroic is unquestionably a moron) and perhaps rejoice at the random pro-rogue, pro-DK or pro-mage who puts out 6k easily on each pull because it speeds things up, but in the end it really doesn’t matter too much because we’ll still complete the run and cash in on our 2 EOF’s – if not in 18 minutes then maybe 20.

Hitting the mark

In raids it’s an entirely different matter. Bosses with enrage timers have existed for a long time, added by Blizzard to make sure that an encounter cannot be prolonged indefinitely, requiring that a guaranteed lower limit of DPS be present alongside the tanks’ health and the healers’ mana.

The problem which at first surfaced on our Festergut-25 tries is now becoming increasingly apparent,  namely that the latter half of ICC requires the same awareness, precision and dedication from the DPS folk as that which is normally only required/expected of tanks and healers.

Suddenly it’s not only us tanks or our healers who are required to perform near-perfection but our DPS as well. Suddenly everything I consider the base-line properties of being a good raid tank since the days of Molten Core – researching your class down to the tiniest details, knowing exactly what does what in your rotation and how will it be optimal to execute in a given moment, knowing how hard I was nerfed in the last minor patch, getting every single gem/enchant/consumable upgrade etc. that will help no matter how small, knowing the encounter inside and out, paying 100% attention from the moment the pull occurs and reacting as if literally my life depended on it, mashing keys like mad so that I waste as few GCDs as possible – all these things would now be required from every single DPS class in the raid.  Suddenly our raids are faced with the challenge of not only beating enrage timers but putting out sufficient DPS and exhibiting sufficient coordination, such as to deal with the interim trash waves on Valithria Dreamwalker.

Overall I don’t think it takes much. One part of a sort of maximalist-type of mentality, an urge inside that tells you to never accept anything less than the best from yourself, and one part dedication – feeling the need to overcome the encounter and knowing that the only way to do it is pumping out the best possible DPS you can. But it’s already clear that a certain minimum standard (Yes I am looking at you, Mr. 125k+ Raid DPS!) will need to be met by the Damage-Dealing department in at least a few key encounters if not every single raid, until then it doesn’t matter how good tanks tank or how well healers heal.

I dearly  hope all our DPS-ers obtain for themselves some form of Frostheim Goggles or find joy in some friendly competition so that our DMG done list will more closely resemble the excellent title header of OutDPS.

Else I might just reroll hunter!


Motivational Raid Leading
February 1, 2010, 11:53
Filed under: raid

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On health and WoW
January 21, 2010, 12:37
Filed under: gaming, raid, real-life

Now, I’m not a person of the best health and conditioning and I don’t do any sports (beside lots of Poi in the summertime) but it has come to my attention recently that too many people prioritize healthy gaming a little lower than they should. For example, I have friends who will forego eating proper supper before raidtime, instead filling their bellies with snacks and junk-food. Folks, the fact that your stomach does not rumble in protest of being empty, does not mean there is no cause for worry!

Here is a very, very good post on TankSpot (courtesy of Jalousie) which details the things you can do to minimize the stress that you put your body through during a 3-5 hour session of raiding. I will highlight some of the best pointers here:

  1. Sit straight, lift up your head and straighten your neck! This is imperative, lots of old-age backaches can be prevented by shoring up your back and not sitting like the letter C.
  2. In accordance with point 1. avoid looking down or up into your monitor! Your screen should be level with your eyes.
  3. Relax at set time intervals! Stand up, stretch out, take a few steps, lie down, at least for just for 2 minutes every hour. While /following someone back after a wipe if you have to.
  4. Tanks! Probably each one of us has heard of the infamous carpal-tunnel syndrome (or RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury), and we do NOT want it for ourselves.  Please do take your hands off your mouse and keyboard and move them around a bit when you take a short break. Try not to have shift/alt/ctrl as part of those keybinds you use the most (HS, devastate, shield slam most likely) as holding these while spamming the skill will really stress your shift/alt/ctrl-holding finger
  5. Eat well and drink well! Believe me it’s not worth saving those last 15-20-30 minutes before raidtime, it is a 500% better use of your time to consume some sort of hot dish before sitting down to raid 4 hours than to take a bag of chips with you. Prepare the meal beforehand and take it with you to eat in parts if you have to, but I cannot stress this enough: snacks are no substitute for a hot wholesome meal. Any sort of fruit is a great addition to a normal meal and/or during raid.
  6. Again, drink a lot! Mineral water or even tap water is the best but tea/other non-sugary drinks will well suffice too. Most likely nobody will take offense at any time if you “brb bio” during raid. If they do, they suck. Coffee/hot chocolate is great for keeping up till late but it does not substitute proper liquids like water.

Stay healthy! Remember if by any chance WoW is still going strong in 5-10 years from now and you’ll still be playing, you don’t want to suffer from the consequences of your earlier unhealthy gameplay.