Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to! Warrior Tank - Level 60-69

Wow! There hasn't been a How to! Warrior Tank for almost a month. Hope this will cheer you up! The reason for the delay is mostly because the server I've got my warrior on, Tarren Mill (which happens to be the same server Ensidias on) had some real up time issues the last month. There were several evenings in a row where it was simply offline. It put me off-track somewhat since I played other chars while I waited for the server to come up (they usually just crashed again though) which then took my attention more than I had expected. But, now I am out into Northrend, the final frontier (for this expansion) and will now give you my experiences about tanking in Outlands, which I have just left.
I was really happy to leave old Azeroth and get started with the fresh, fun instances of Outlands. I actually really enjoy most of the instances in Outlands, as they are way better planned than the last instances of Azeroth, which I covered in my last post.

Yet again I had to spend some hours in Outlands to up my professions before I could go into Northrend, actually I dinged 70 before I left Outlands because of this. The quests and mobs in Northrend give way more exp however, so you should go there as soon as you can (although I think 68 is the lowest if you want to be eligble for the quests). I dinged 70 at approximately 5 days and 2 hours played, which is quite a slow pace.
The very first quests in Outlands will offer you a nice set of new gear pieces and alot of experience. You'll probably jump 58-60 like nothing. Since they've boosted the amount exp given and reduces the amount of exp needed for you to level, one doesn't have to do much more than Hellfire Peninsula and Zangarmarsh to level for Northrend. Actually, when combined with instancing you don't even have to do all the quests in these two areas. The fast leveling is the main reason why it's so difficult to keep your professions at a good skill level.
EDIT 24/9-10: Between level 61-64 you can collect the Fel Iron Plate set (Breastplate, Pants, Boots, Gloves Belt) that give nice stats and good set bonuses! No defense unfortunately though.

There is no glyph slot for level 60! We'll have to wait for level 70.

Congratulations on Shockwave, yet another really awesome tankskill in your arsenal of awesome tankskills. Now you have to fit it into your tanking rotation. You don't want to use it too soon, since stunned mobs won't give you any rage. My recommendation is charge - thunder clap - shield slam - shockwave - demo shout - John Fucking Madden. By giving the mobs that moment between charge and shockwave to hit you, you'll have plenty of rage to do anything you want to after it.You might have noticed that I've "ignored" Deflection in the arms tree. The reason is simply that up until level 60, having the means to tank something is more important than avoidance. Stamina can mostly cover for the lack of avoidance at lower levels, later on avoidance will be more and more important however (although stamina will continue to be a very very important stat). Now that you've gotten Shockwave, we can look more into talents like Deflection and Toughness. Of course, if you ever feel that keeping aggro really isn't the problem, but dying alot is, then taking these talents earlier might be better for you. For me, getting talents like Devastate and Shockwave were more important and that is why I have chosen to talent the way I have.

Now that we do have Shockwave however, we are, like I mentioned, free to grab those talents that aren't in the Protection tree but still rock ass for tanking. Actually, after Shockwave my first choice was Deflection. 5% parry is really good. I also chose 1 talent point into Improved Spell Reflection once I had gotten that skill at level 64. There are alot of caster mobs in instances in Outlands, and they shoot quite hard. As you still don't have any means of silencing caster out of melee range (and won't have until level 75) this talent might come in handy. It's definitely not necessary though, so that is 1 tp you can put wherever you like. Other talents I recommend are Improved Heroic Strike, Toughness and Armored to the Teeth. Imp HS is for easier rage handling, and is what I personally chose, Toughness is for more dmg mitigation, which is always good of course and AttT is for more threat. So pick whatever you need most, but remember you'll most likely grab all these eventually anyway as they're all part of a good tank spec.
So we have a little more freedom at the moment to grab the talents that fit our tank style. For myself I chose like this;

Level 60 into Shockwave
Level 61-66 into Deflection
Level 67-69 into Improved Heroic Strike

Like mentioned, you'll get spell reflection at level 64. It is a great tool, although not completely easy to use. When solo playing the proper time to use it will be quite obvious, and it will make it alot easier to kill tougher caster elite mobs for instance. When tanking I often noticed I lacked the rage to use it (it costs 15 rage) exactly when I wanted to, so it needs a little planning. One good way to use it is when you've got a group of mobs and one caster standing a little off. If there's only one caster you can charge to that one and collect all the melee around it. But if there's two you can charge the one caster and grab threat on the other by reflecting its first spell back onto him.
At level 68 you get Commanding Shout, which will replace wherever Battle Shout was in your rotation. It gives you a really nice hp boost, so try to keep it up at all times. There is a glyph that increases its duration which you can glyph either at level 70 or replace an older minor glyph with (I recommend the first option though). Battle Shout will probably be the better choice of the two when solo playing however.

There are alot of instances in Outlands. I won't mention them all since that would take all day (for both you and me). I'll talk about the ones you'll most likely encounter before heading for Northrend, and those are Ramparts, Blood Furnace, Slave Pens, Underbog and Mana Tombs. The instances of Outlands also drop some gear with alot of sockets. Some of them even have as many as three. If you can afford it, and you should if you've followed my pointers on how to make money, you could socket them with epic sockets or at least blue quality Northrend ones. At level 65 ish I had around 1500g. Use either Solid (stamina) or Enduring (stamina/defense). I chose enduring simply because they were way cheaper at my server, but otherwise I recommend going for straight stamina. Like mentioned, stamina is generally a better stat for lowbie tanks than avoidance, and will keep on being an important stat all the way to raiding.
You still get satchels for completing instances in Outlands, but they'll rarely give you anything useful. For some reason, Blizzard haven't given the satchel rewards the amount of stats that corresponds to Outlands gear, which means they'll generally be alot less good than anything you can find in Outlands. Strange, but true. So there is no reason at all to do a random instance mainly for the satchel award, which was the case at lower levels.

Ramparts Level 60-62
One of my favorite instances, it is just the right amount of long and difficult. Actually the bosses of the instance aren't the tough part, but there are some really tricky pulls and some tricky mobs in there. The last boss, the fire dragon, used to be really hard, but it seems they've nerfed because I never died when fighting him like I used to on other chars. Ramparts is one of those instances where you'll easily pull too many mobs. Remember about those general rules about tanking I wrote about some while ago? This is a great place to practice them. Drops a pair of nice tankboots, the Ironsole Clompers, which I was unfortunate enough never to get :/

Blood Furnace Level 61-63
An overall easier instance than Ramparts in terms of pulls. There are some really tricky mobs however, like the Technicians that place bombs (that do alot of damage) and the Summoners that.. well summon stuff. Also, the Fel Guards at the end of the instance, that randomly retarget can be quite troublesome.
Slave Pens Level 62-64
Also an instances with some mobs that you have to keep an extra eye on. Some mobs fear, potentially making you pull more mobs, and some mobs will root you, which will give you no chance of tanking a mob that isn't in melee range (since you won't get Intervene until level 70). The last boss, Quagmirran also drops Unscarred Breastplate which has three socket slots and is definitely something you should get your hands on!

Underbog 63-65
An overall really easy instance although quite long. The last mobs fear and the second last boss could prove somewhat of a challenge, at least relative to the rest of the instance. The mob packs just before the second last boss are probably the only tricky ones since the fear and shoot poison from afar and thus can easily make you overpull.
Mana Tombs 66-68
The trickiest part of this instance is the escort quest, which you most likely won't do. If you intend to do it however, remember to clear the instance before starting it, as the escort will take you into places you don't have to run otherwise. The first boss drops a nice shield - Shield of the Void - which you will replace at level 70 anyway, so you won't 't have to be too sad if it doesn't drop. If you're still running around with that shield from Scarlet Monastery though... this is the time to get it upgraded.

That will be it for this time, and the next post will be the last post! Except of course if I make a compilation, conclusion kind of thing in the end. Yeah I'll probably do that. Good luck with your tanking!

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