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As I was hoping to, I ran a string of LFG heroics yesterday on my shiny new DK tank.  I took SaveTheFails with me as my healer and Protflashes as one of 3 DPS.  Despite the horror story Prot felt the need to relate to you, it was actually a positive experience overall.

For ye experienced Blood tanks out there, some questions:

  1. I hear you can do a double Blood Boil when you open up on multiple targets.  Problem is, I don’t seem to have the runes available to do that after I throw down D&D/diseases/Pestilence — I usually have to immediately blow Blood Tap in order to get the runes back to do one (not two!) Blood Boil.  Which seems…wrong, I guess.  Thoughts? 
  2. Is Blood Tap a ‘Oh shit!’ button for you, or do you use it regularly?  What do you use it for?
  3. What do you do if a party member pulls an extra group and your D&D is unavailable?  After taunting one mob and using Death Grip to grab another, the only option available to me short of blowing something like Empower Rune Weapon seems to be to use straight up melee to get the new mobs’ attention…  Is that right?
  4. Where gear is concerned, how much T9 are you wearing, and what Emblem of Triumph gear did you buy?  I’m sure buying full T9 isn’t worth it.

They say Blood is weaker on AoE threat than Frost and that’s probably true, but whatever — I want to play Blood.  The only thing that drives me nuts is how many GCDs you need to get through in order to set up threat on a group of mobs…  I suffer a small heart attack every time the DPS starts AOEing  halfway through me laying down diseases.  That’s the sort of thing that would cause me to hover over the Empower Rune Weapon/Blood Tap abilities and seriously consider wasting their CDs right then and there just so I get can a couple Blood Boils in before things get out of control. 

Threat gen on single targets seemed fine, though — even VS substantially better-geared DPS (which is not hard: I’m taking with a green weapon, for God’s sake).  That was cake.  Too bad the days of single-target DPS are long gone, and the only thing that matters now is AoE…*sigh*.

Despite that, I will not be so easily discouraged.  I specced into Corpse Explosion to ease the burden, and I have to say it’s been pretty handy!  It just doesn’t help build initial threat.  If I’m to be really, truly honest with myself, though…I specced into CE in part for flavor and in part for nostalgic reasons, so I’ll have to review how practical it really is once I’m more familiar with all my abilities.

Now.  All that being said, in the vast majority of cases where the DPS weren’t deliberately being asses, I was able to hold aggro on mob groups without issue.  I installed the Tidy Plates > Threat Plates mod to get a better view of what I have threat on VS what I don’t, and, from what I could tell when it was toggled on, everything seemed alright.  So that’s good news!

Doing heroics from the tank’s perspective was both reasonably familiar and oddly alien.  It occurred to me only partly through UK that I should be turning the dragons away from the party when I run in & engage.  Hehe…yeah.  The idea of turning the mobs around such that I am facing the party and the mobs are facing me is the weirdest thing.  As DPS, you just don’t care about that stuff (most of the time, anyway).  I also realize that I need to learn how to do certain pulls.

Luckily, despite having seen many PuGs commit all manner of tank-enraging atrocities, I didn’t get that many bad party members.  Most people were dead quiet (I can never quite decide if I like that, or if it annoys me), but fairly well-behaved.  I got zero negative comments about skill-related stuff, and I think that’s why I came away with such a positive outlook on the experience in the end.  That, and the fact that I haven’t been tanking nearly long enough to have invested any real pride in it, so I’m unlikely to get super-pissed or overly stressed beyond the usual noob-tank performance anxiety (which, BTW, has disappeared almost entirely).

I did, however, get a winner of a whisper from a Ret pally that told me that I shouldn’t be tanking ‘without Frost’.  I asked him what he meant by ‘Frost’ and quickly checked to make sure I was in Frost Presence (and I was, haha!), and his reply was something like: “frost pres, spec gear armor and u shouldnt be using a 2h”.  Very nice, LoL.  I thanked him for the advice and asked him to let me know if he detects any issues during the run.  The guy was below me on DPS and never came anywhere near me on threat…so I dunno.  Kinda hard to get upset at stuff like that!  Only other comment was the dodgy one from the pally (what is it with these pallies?  Do all the catty ones come out on Saturdays?) in VH that Prot posted about earlier.  Again — the comment was gear-related, so it didn’t really put me off.  

It was tons of fun overall, and I’m absolutely going to continue with it.  I netted a load of upgrades during our runs and even got my T9 gloves, as well as a new 245 sigil to replace my iLevel 70 one (yeah, I still had the one they give you in the DK starting area).  So I call that a win.


So layteknight’s trying her hand at DK tanking (she’ll post more on that later I’m sure). She’s freshly 80, and freshly geared for heroics (meaning mostly iLevel 187 blues and a few solid greens).

This post isn’t about that. It’s about how, as we were running some random heroics for gear and fun, I called someone a douchebag to their face for the first time ever today:

I was so mad. So unspeakably mad. It doesn’t matter that it’s technically true:

  1. How the Hell did the LFG system pair up a 5.9K gearscore paladin with a group ranging from 2-4K?
  2. Given her gear level, she probably won’t be able to tank for him, though I maintain that if he’s even a fraction as good as he seems to think he is, he could play it easy and not have TOO much trouble.

Nobody has the right to talk to another human being like they’re nothing. The condescension is uncalled for, rude, and unwelcome – on anyone. Layteknight kept saying: “It’s fine, it’s true, my gear’s shitty and he’s going to pull off me, whatever.” But it’s not about that – not for me, anyway. I’m a principles person – it’s the principle of the matter that matters to me, and the principle of the matter is he was being a rude piece of shit, and no amount of factual accuracy can justify that.

Maybe I’m oversensitive – Christ, I’d believe it. Maybe I’ve just been on the recieving end of this kind of attitude for too long. Maybe he didn’t mean it as shitty as it came out. But it sent me through the roof.

There are a million different ways he could have made those points. For instance, he could have said: “Shit. Sorry in advance if I pull off you – I’m overgeared for heroics, so it might be a bit rough.” Or even: “My gear’s really high level for this place and I’m probably going to do too much threat – did you want me to just tank it instead? :)”

But no. He has to ask a completely unnecessary rhetorical question, simply oozing with arrogance and disdain. And when layteknight confirmed it in a good natured fashion – while, I might add, telling me to calm down and not freak out and it didn’t matter – further suggest that he was just going to have to “ret tank” it because she’s obviously so shitty in comparison.

Do people not understand tone? Do they not understand how they sound when they speak? It’s so easy to put someone down or crush someone new to some aspect of the game. Layteknight’s not in danger of being crushed, but what if it was someone else? Someone newer to the game, with ZERO tanking experience, coming up against this attitude all the time? Bashing their heads off it constantly? I see it all the time and it’s to the point where I can’t stand the thought of letting it go, even though I recognize that may be wiser or easier or healthier for me in the long run.

It wasn’t necessary to summarily dismiss a person – a real person on the other end of the intertube – you’ve never met based entirely on your own opinion of how good you are.

Fucking. Douchebag.

I regret nothing.

So I continue to spaz out. We hit one of those pulls, on the left side of the instance, on the top level, where it’s a group of four and they split into two groups. Instead of waiting back with the tank like an intelligent DPS (gearscore or no), the pally rips up one side and decides to go without the lot of us because he’s just that uber. None of us are surprised. He’s been playing like a retard since he got in here.

We let him go. Layte runs over and gets the other half, the rest of the party follows her.

Mr. Douchebag6KGearscore decides that 50% health is just too low for him to tolerate, so he fucking bubbles and SaveTheFails picks up the aggro. Layteknight pulls the adds off him before he dies.

I start ranting out loud, and in whispers to Save, something along the lines of “Nice “ret-tanking” you fucking asshole” and how I wish, oh I wish, I could say it in Party Chat, when all of a sudden I see this:

And THAT is why SaveTheFails is my hero today.

With my DK inching ever closer to 80, I’ve been doing some serious thinking.  I run a Blood/Unholy spec and have been levelling with extreme ease, and I always assumed I’d be DPSing my way into heroics & beyond…but, as I take a closer look at what the class has to offer, I realize that I’m no longer so sure DPSing’s what I want to do at 80.

I want to tank.  Yeah — for real.

I find the DK versatile overall, but for some reason it seems particularly attractive as a tanking class.  I’ve played a couple other tanking classes to varying degrees (pre-60 and past-70) and gave them thought to try to figure out what I like and don’t quite like about each; the conclusion I came to is that I like options.  I like having a good toolbox I can plunge my hand into when shit hits the fan.  I like knowing that I can react in a situationally appropriate manner. 

From what I can tell, I think the DK can do that.

But I’m not there yet.  I have a tanking ‘set’ (i.e. 3 greens and an old trinket, yay — PuGs are gonna ditch like mad when the random hooks them up with me!) saved up in my bank and am hungrily eyeing my XP bar as it climbs towards the-point-where-I-no-longer-have-to-log-in-an-inn, but I have no experience.  I’ll be surfing the net to find info in the next couple days, that’s for sure. 

Any folks who’ve DK tanked before have any spec suggestions, rotation ideas, or general advice to offer?  I’d love to hear it, as it’s all golden at this point!