The New Death Knight Tanking:

I’ve had a week now to mull over the changes to the death knight class – and death knight tanking specifically.  Honestly, I don’t like the changes overall but I do not foresee changing mains.  I see this as a challenge for me, but not the end for Askevar.  I’m quite surprised to be able to say that.  I changed mains last expansion, so I was half expecting it again.

Rune regeneration is a pain.  It feels like back when I started tanking on the death knight – I’m fighting for threat every second.  Back then I was competing with Paladin tanks and now it’s all the dps.

Before the patch I was built for single target tanking.  My husband, on his main – prot pally, was the aoe tank.  Now our roles have reversed.  He is more single target dedicated now and I’m the more aoe inclined tank.  It’s caused us to swap roles on some fights [in particular the LK fight].  We both prefer what we were doing before.  I LOVED being the single target tank of the two of us and he’s been a tank since basically the end of vanilla doing the aoe thing [though healing was his primary spec in BC].

I also won’t lie.  The patch caused some tension the night it hit.  We both specced out our main and off-specs on our mains and went dungeoning on our mains.  I waltzed into the first heroic, pulling 3k dps as a tank and mostly holding threat [over a couple of our high threat dps].  We requeued and he had hunter pets pulling off him and was only pulling 2k dps as a tank.  His dps as ret was initially sitting in the 2-3k range that night [down from a minimum of 5-6k] and mine was up to 5kish.  Now granted, he adjusted and is doing a lot better… but that evening sucked for us both.

We’re both adapting and also relearning how to work together as tanks.  We still fuss, off-vent about our rune regen/holy power generation because standing and doing nothing whilst we wait for abilities/runes/etc is totally counterintuitive to tanking in our minds.  That said, we’ve also had to tell our group, “I can’t do X, someone do it” because we had to focus on keeping threat to the exclusion of all else.

Blizzard, if you wanted to make tanking more interactive, this was not the way to go about it.  I realize that eventually I won’t have to think about what buttons to push, but right now it’s making leading a frustrating experience at times.  I like to be able to be back up eyes for Venoym [my hubby] when he’s calling fights.  Right now, I usually have my hands full as is.  DBM blaring things in my face is about the only way I know it’s time for [insert boss ability here].  This isn’t interacting.  This is being removed from the action.

One bonus I see is the lovely joy of watching the pugger who pulled aggro die.  I don’t enjoy watching my own people die but I don’t mind watching the stupid pugger who wants to pull for me, or goes in with both barrels blazing on second one.  Granted, if I were to ever pug as a tank, I’d get scores of “l2tank” and “failtank” which is a lot of the reason my other three tanking toons will probably either change their main spec or go into hibernation.  But hey, it’ll be fun if I do pug.  As Ghostcrawler said- that’s justice.

There’s got to be a medium between aoezergfest and 15 minute planned pulls, and I’m hoping they find that medium in Cataclysm.

As for the beta, I truly believe it’s solely there for the purpose of pacifying at least a segment of their fan base.  Given the fact that known bugs not only made it to the PTR from the beta but into the live as well, it shows that Blizzard isn’t paying attention to the feedback they were given.  Will they fix it?  That remains to be seen.  I sure hope so.

I’ve encountered every reaction known with regard to the patch.  I’ve seen the “It’s the best thing since sliced bread” to “They’ll iron out the problems and it’ll be alright”, to the “It downright sucks and my class is broken” to basically disappearing from the game.  The reality – most of us are having to re-learn a class we’ve been playing for years.  That’s an intimidating thing with 1 80, much less 11 80s – I gotta say.  I’m glad we’re over the most stressful portion of a patch but still, supporting each other is the way to go.  Despite my post indicating my feelings to the contrary, not once this week did I tell anyone to STFU and quit whining.  And believe me, I experienced much frustration and listened to quite a few others express their own frustration.  Very little of it actually devolved into what I’d classify as whining.

BTW: Lowbie leveling is now so OP it’s not funny.  I watched hubby one and two shot mobs in the level 50ish range as a paladin.  Lowbie disc priest healing was also massively OP.  I tried out a run and it consisted of running behind the tank till we got to a boss; bubble tank, penance them after the boss is dead, rinse, repeat.

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Author: Askevar

Raid leader and Tank. Also is an altoholic

6 thoughts on “The New Death Knight Tanking:”

  1. Yes, I’ve started some lowbies on a new server and my mage easily kills things before they get even halfway to me (before it wasn’t unusual to take a few melee swings to the face while finishing it off). My disc priest just bubbles every now and then, I almost never have to cast a heal unless some dps is doing something stupid. It’s kind of sad/counter-intuitive that as a healer I cast smite at least twice for every heal (and that’s counting a shield as a heal).

  2. Hmm, maybe I should work on my druid and new toon some if it’s easier. I tried to work on my wee lock the other day but was having baaaaaaaaad lag problems so bad I couldn’t really play. I think I’ve managed to nip that in the bud, though.

    It’s sure interesting to hear people’s reactions to the Grand Patch, for sure. I’m just cautious. I’m trying not to over or under-react, but I can’t help being stressed by the lag/getting booted from the game. As far as the changes to my toons and their specs, it’s hard to judge when things have changed so much. In the case of my DK’s frost dual wield spec, it’s a clear “Woah, awesome!” For Endyme, it’s harder because she’s my main and I’ve been doing things a certain way for years now, and that’s just been changed massively. Ultimately I may end up loving it more than before, and I can start to see that I might, but right now it’s hard because I feel like such a noob again.

  3. I have to admit I feel pretty lost on both of my 80 tanks (warrior, my main and paladin, an alt). Threat just isn’t what it used to be and I find the rotation/pace have changed quite a bit. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though, but it’s obviously not going to happen overnight.

    While re-learning my classes is frustrating I have to say that the bug that crashes my game anytime I touch a cogwheel (like the pumpkin for the Headless Horseman or flags in PvP, doors etc.) THAT I find extremely frustrating and annoying.

  4. I liked the changes. Hunter: having a load of haste procs associated to a 1 second GCD makes rotations hard to and challenging to do. I am under the GCD when I have all of my trinkets and procs up, will probably hit under 0.8 second Steady Shot cast with Heroism. Priest: Shadowy Apparitions are AWESOME LOADS OF FUN. Chakra is also SUPER FUN, thanks to Revelations and State of Mind. Can’t even wait for Evangelism, let the smiting begin!

    The time for alt leveling is NOW. Before they revamp leveling and tune the difficulty to our current abilities and talents. I went from 18 to 30 in two days with a warlock, using RFD and quests. Soloing as a warlock used to be easy. Now, it is super easy. Leveling as a paladin is almost as easy. You don’t get too much to heal yourself because you’re busy stocking holy power and oneshotting monsters with Templar’s Veredict. I still need to transfer heirlooms to my baby boomkin and to a rogue who still needs a name. So much to do, so little time I have, I almost feel overwhelmed. Oh, and I’m leveling a DK, but right now he’s benched because the heirlooms are on the pally.

  5. I’ve been having a lot of issues with threat lately as an Unholy DK. For some reason, I’m building tons of threat and the tanks are having to fight me for it…and I was even holding off on my dps for a good 5 seconds. Twiddling thumbs ftw! (Also, having a pocket healer really helps keep me alive).

    I do know that the tanks in my guild have been whining about a lack of AoE threat. Almost considering becoming a tank to help them out with that.

    Hmm…at least after much wrangling with my stats, I’m back to being top melee dps (and like #3 overall)…as I should be.

  6. After the patch and the initial “screw this”, on my pally tank, followed by several wipes in heroics, I started talking to guildies who went through the same thing, and I found some peace. Thanks to Ven’s Pally workshop and Ask’s support 🙂 Rebuilding the talent tree a few times, reforging and regemming, to get to the ultimate “blockage” or combined avoidance really helped with the much needed New tanking spec and removing the squishy factor to prevent oneshotted tank death. After doing that we dove right into the ICC and moved at a very fast pace all the way to Sindy, and one shotted her with no casualties on our side! Woot! The new Sick DPS took care of whatever issues we used to have with Sindy or Professor, even tank swap on Sindy was like, ah, whatever, let’s do it anyway. If all things are bad, I am thankful for the New SICK dps, at least for now. We have not changed anything as far as roles in tanking, having the same Pally/DK combo tanks, but here I think the new Patch worked favorably for us, since we had slightly reversed roles than in your group. We also have not changed the pulling of groups. The team was warned however, that if they see a mob going for you, kill it, run to tank, or die, those are your only choices. We prefer to save the healers! The threat was most of the times below our ranged Dps on single targets, but somehow it was not an issue, as long as range keep their distance.

    And I somewhat like the new warlock, hence I got a new demon, and a free bag space! Woot, but no increase of DPS at least not as Demonology lock. Sigh, but I love them too much to switch to destro.

    The disconnecting issues or lag issues are still a problem for me, I was not able to do the headless horseman on my machine yet.
    Every time I try to queue I have to force quit the game, and all my setting are set to what was suggested by guildies. So, if you have found a cure for this, please share!

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