Since Rhidach tagged us to answer these questions, we all decided we’d get them done. Theck and Ana’s are upcoming, but they’ve tasked me to lead the way. So with no further ado:
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Meloree, a protection paladin (0/31/10 most of the time). My main since I started the game in December of 2007.
2. What is your primary group tanking environment?
I tank raids. 25man heroic raids. That’s pretty much all I do in WoW. Sometimes I level alts.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
I’ve written a couple of blog posts now that touch on cooldowns, so it should be fairly well established by now that I don’t have a favorite cooldown. If a cooldown works for a situation, I’ll use it there, and if it doesn’t I’ll use it somewhere else. I don’t have any emotional attachment to them.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Does BoP count as a tanking cooldown? The number of times where there’s a tauntable boss that I actually use Stupid Pally Tricks on twice in a fight is pretty low. If not BoP, then probably AD. I have a habit of trying to leave it out of cooldown plans where possible, since the life-save is useful reactively when I didn’t forsee something going wrong.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
The biggest strength of the paladin right now is the arsenal of cooldowns piled on top of very high baseline mitigation. It’s hard to kill a paladin that doesn’t want to die. Perhaps too hard.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your class and why?
Mobility. Fights like Al’akir were certainly possible to tank as a paladin, but it was much easier to tank it with a warrior or feral. similarly Cho’gall adds in heroic were easier to place in position as a warrior (heroic leap). DKs are in a very similar boat, there’s mobility haves and have-nots in tanking right now. How important that is depends on fight design – two very high profile ones in T11 rewarded mobility, but so far in T12 it doesn’t appear to be critical.
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Right now I think the ideal tanking assignment for a prot paladin is the “something can interrupt your healing stream for several seconds” assignment. Jumping up to the web at Beth’tilac, where you might need to take hits unhealed for a few seconds, and that sort of thing. Simply because we have the best arsenal of emergency tools to deal with that (LoH, DS, WoG, BoP, etc)
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most and why?
A bear. Mostly because it’s what I’m experienced with, I’ve been tanking with the same co-tank since I started raiding. So it might not actually be related to bears.
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least and why?
Warriors. They want my precious shields! The truth is, it doesn’t bother me to tank with any of the classes. Good players tank well, bad players tank poorly, and that’s class agnostic. We try and keep at least one viable offspec of each tanking class around so that we can exploit the strengths of any of them as needed. I’m not biased against anything that’ll make it easier to get kills.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
My worst habit as a tank is raid leading. When things are in the middle of going horribly wrong in a potentially salvageable way, I’ve been known to lose focus on my own job and create the wipe I was trying to avoid.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
Mages. No, wait – warlocks. I’m going to go with warlocks.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks for tanking?
Balance between the tanks is probably as close as it’s ever been in most ways, but I feel like Prot paladins are just a little bit too strong right now, and that heroic Firelands gear is going to put the nail in the coffin, with high-stamina CTC capped prot paladins.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
World of Logs, FRAPS, my healers, and my fellow raiders. When I make a mistaken in a 25man raid, someone will be able to tell me what I did wrong if I don’t already know it myself. I sometimes FRAPS myself in order to evaluate my own performance after the fact – you’ld be surprised what you think you do right in the heat of the moment, but a closer look after the fact will tell you what’s wrong. This is actually a subject that I’d planned to blog about sometime soon.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
That paladins are still “the” AoE tank. Get over it, people, it’s not TBC anymore.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
It depends – if it’s another tank rerolling to tank on a paladin, they mostly have to get used to positioning. Not having the mobility tools of some other classes means we need to manage mob movement in a different way. If it’s someone just picking up tanking for the first time, the most difficult thing to learn is the same as for every tank – raid awareness.
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or Total Damage Reduction?
CTC is certainly more important than TDR, and I think for most tanks CTC is the way to go. I’m personally currently in the stamina camp, although with a couple of the right pieces of gear from Firelands, I’m going to switch to CTC/unhittable.
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand the least?
I don’t think I understand any of the tank classes poorly. It’s my job in Edge to understand them all fairly well, so as to make best use of them. If I had to pick one it’s probably DKs, though. Paladins are just holy warrior clones, and I’ve tanked for years with a druid co-tank.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
TidyPlates and SUF. I can live without any other addons, but those I HAVE to have. I can’t stand the default location and look of the UnitFrames in WoW, so SUF to adjust them to a useful location is critical, and TidyPlates because woW’s enemy nameplates are bad. MSBT is also great, because it displays damage and healing taken in a very readable way. That isn’t, by any stretch, the full set of addons and macros I use, but that would be a series of blog posts all by itself.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I gem stamina heavy, but match all socket bonuses. I pick gear and reforge for mastery. I’ve blogged about why.
And that about wraps up the questionnaire for me. Look forward to Ana and Theck sometime next week.