Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Advice for the Next Generation

Gather 'round, kids.

Have a seat on Uncle Mis's lap and let him give you some advice.

When you finally hit your 80th season and decide to start running those heroic dungeons or raids to get all that fancy gear you've seen folks in Stormwind walking around in, here's a couple of things you should know. Now, they may seem pretty obvious, but there are plenty of folks out there who didn't have an old battle-worn tank to tell them about it, or they just didn't pay attention.

I know you've learned plenty from others of your class, and I know they've been giving you good advice about how to do the most sustained damage you can. If you wanna get on your tank's good side, though, and stay alive long enough to finish the fight, listen closely:

Be Patient

You're gonna be in situations where a tank is gonna pick a fight with a bunch of big scary bad guys, and your first instinct after fighting through 80 seasons is going to be to jump in and start laying into them.

Just hold off a second.

Your tank has a couple of things he needs to do first. If it's me, I'm going to start by hitting one of them, likely a caster, with a Heroic Throw. That'll silence the caster and get them to run at me so I don't have to do anything fancy to invite them over for a tea party.

Once they get close enough, I'll Thunderclap to let 'em know I mean business, yell at them to make them feel bad about themselves, then pop off a quick Shockwave to make them forget who they are and why they were running at me in the first place.

After that, jump right in the fight. Hit 'em hard and often.

If you get a little fidgety and start doing your thing before I've gone through that little song and dance routine, there's a good chance that they'll decide you'd be a more enjoyable target and start beating the living nether out of you.

Stand Behind Them

Now I know you've spent a very long time standing toe to toe with those big, mean, scary people....or things....or whatever, but from here on in, that's gonna be my job. That means it's time for you to get to know their heels for a change.

The first reason it's a good idea to stand behind them is because these guys'll parry attacks from anybody standing in front of them. If they parry one of your attacks is just going to make their next attack come quicker. Since I've hopefully done a sufficient job insulting their mothers and they're looking to pummel me first and foremost, those quicker attacks are gonna land on Uncle Mis's pretty face. You don't want that, do you?

Secondly, some bad guys have a tendency to cleave or do something else that may affect any number of people standing in front of them. If you're behind them, you'll be safe from getting hurt by something like that.

Oh, and let's not forget about dragons. 99.9% of the time dragons are gonna breathe fire or something else that's pretty painful...that's kind of their thing. A dragon that doesn't breathe fire is pretty much just an over-sized lizard. Standing in front of dragons is very, very bad. Here's the kicker, though: dragons also have really big tails they like to swing around, so don't stand behind them, either.

When fighting a dragon, then, stand to the side. All of their vital organs are there for you to poke at and you're pretty much safe from getting fried or frozen or knocked into next week.

And there you have it. Next time you run off into a heroic or a raid keep these things in mind. It'll make your tank very happy and keep the healers from having to waste a bunch of their mana resurrecting you while muttering under their breath.

Run along now, kids. Aunt Cheesi made cookies.


Lhian said...

Oh man, I love this. It's sad but I've seen many a DPSer start whacking on a dragon's backside only to be knocked into next week. Luckily, I'm incredibly anal and have to read up on fights I don't know beforehand so I managed to bypass this painful introduction to Where To Stand.

The joys of being a melee DPS. ;D

And I have to say that I DO wait for the tank to do their little dance first but sometimes I think I wait a little too long as the other melee are usually already banging away by the time I start. I guess I need to find a medium ground somewhere. Either that or the other melee I group with are all antsy, high-strung little guys that go off at the sign of a pull.


Cookies, did you say?

Misneach said...

Knowing when to jump in takes a little bit of knowledge of how much threat you're going to pump out and how much threat you tank is capable of pumping out. When you've run with a tank for a while, you'll just get a feel for it.

And it still surprises me how many people will fight right by my side as I'm hacking away. A lot of melee dpsers just don't understand parry mechanics.

And yes, there are cookies, and they're tasty.

Cheesi said...

Ok, I get it. What your really saying is us melee DPSers should stay in the kitchen and bake you cookies. Is that it? Then when your done with those, maybe bring you a big mug of stout or some Dalaran Red for your tanking trouble. We should stay in there chopping up your hearty rhino meal with both blades until we are permitted to be blessed by your ├╝ber tank presence? Is that it? Well, let me tell your something, ya big plate wearing bully. Us DPSers have feelings too! Maybe we need to feel imporant too. Maybe we need to be appreciated for something other than how we look in leather and our ability to dual chop meat. You better be careful, Mister. Or, the next time you take a bite of a Dalaran apple, it might have been chopped up for you by a tiny little rogue with deadly posions on her blades, while you thought she was off making you cookies.

Misneach said...

Thank you, ma'am, may I have another.

All I really gleaned from the comment was "how we look in leather."

Selective listening is the key to a good marriage.

Cheesi said...

Seriously, why is it the tanks wife has to be the one to make the cookie's?


Cookies....*walks away shaking head in disbelief*


Misneach said...

Geeze, Babe. Not in front of the kids. I'm trying to impart wisdom.

Crap, I see a stunlocked beatdown in my future. Actually, chances are I won't see it...I'll just wake up afterwards with a headache.

Cheesi said...

Wisdom has been imparted. You to the DPS and me to the Tanks. All is fair in Love and Warcraft. :p

Cynwise of Stormwind said...

Stunlocking is also the key to a good marriage.

Good tips. I've taken to ordering melee DPS around to the sides when bear tanking, and just spinning Drek around like a top in Alterac Valley on my DK. I should probably just park him with his back to everyone instead.

Jaz said...

Mmm...cookies....wait...are you sure they are not laced with something? Better double check Cheesi's poison vials now that you've gone and pissed her off. ;D

Misneach said...

@Cyn: The sides are fine as long as people stay out of the parry zone.

When I tank Drek, I usually just park him and turn him around if melee decides to stand next to me. Mercifully he's not exactly the hardest hitting NPC in the game and there are usually quite a few healers around to make up for any bad parry luck.

With the whirlwind mechanic, the knockdown, and any player-controlled characters also trying to kill me I think tanking Drek is a lot of fun.

Misneach said...

@Jaz: Makes me a little worried about what I may be having for dinner tonight....

Crippling poison-basted pot roast with a side of Fan of Knives.

Cheesi said...

For the record...pickpocket is the key to a good marriage. :D

inmysissyrobe said...

But Uncle Mis, what big goggles you have...

Sorry, I have no idea where the Red Riding Hood theme came from. I suppose fairytales have taught me to be naturally suspicious of level 80 warriors inviting me to sit on their lap (although actually it happens less than you'd think...)

This is another one of your brilliant posts, very funny, very sensible.

I learned everything I needed to know about melee DPS from our doomed attempt to 2-man Onxyia. Since it took, like, forever, it was an object lesson on the best place to stand and why.

Maybe you could start a training course on Living With the DPS Demon, helping eager young DPSers cope with their issues.

Misneach said...

@Tam: Thank you.

I'd offer to let you sit on my lap, but after Cheesi's wall of text I think I'd better watch my step for a while.

Regarding the training course, all you need to know about living with a Rogue is:

a)if they say "here, drink this" while holding a pen and paper and watching you closely...don't drink it.
b)the answer to "where's my wallet?" is always the same (see above comment).
c)if you can't see them, they're behind you.

Jaz said...

Well like they say, "Rogues like to do it from behind."

Thanks for the offer to sit in your lap Mis but I'm afraid people would just get the wrong idea. This line just keeps on popping up in my head, "Is that a *enter word for any pointed object* or are you just happy to see me." LOL :D

inmysissyrobe said...

Jaz, I was trying *so hard* to behave myself over the invitation to sit on Mis's knee.

Also I think the line should be specially tailored per protection warrior, in this case "Is that a Teldrassil Protector in your pocket or..."

Misneach said...

Now, now boys...no fighting. Remember, my lap is reserved for Cheesi.

Of course, she is a gnome, so there'll still be plenty of room left after she sits there, but that's not the point.

koalabear said...

It helps when the tank marks the kill order.

Unlike mages and hybrids, it is easier for me to DoT up one target and then move to the next. When they jump in as soon as the tank pulls it makes it imperative to also jump in to at least get a hit on the stuff before it dies.

Stupid lack of time on trash pulls >.<

Oh and I am sorry, but I cannot sit on your lap. I fear the wrath of Cheesi

Misneach said...

Having a kill order can help, but (a)it doesn't do a bit of good if people don't give the tank a chance to tear off a rotation on the skull and (b)it doesn't do a bit of good if people don't follow it and start AoEing before the mobs even get close enough for the tank to start working.

Locks dotting up the first target on the kill order is usually fine, because it'll be a bit before the DoT aggro becomes significant, but if a Lock decides to drop Rain of Fire 10 yards in front of the tank as the pack runs through there's a problem.

koalabear said...

Arent you glad I am not one of those locks?

Misneach said...

Yes. Yes I am. :)

Cheesi said...

I believe the line is. "Is that a Gnome in your pocket or are you just happy to see me."

Jaz said...

Well since Cheesi is a gnome I guess you could say, "Is that Cheesi in your pants or are you....HEY! It is Cheesi!" :D

Misneach said...