Ok, I haven't posted in a while, but I've been active in game gearing up my warrior to tank our guild's ICC 10 alt runs - which I successfully did last week. (yay! - 5% on Professor Putricide is not too shabby for our first real alt run)
So, now that I've got 3 of the 4 tanking classes at level 80 and have experience Wrath end game content on each one, I feel I have a real good handle of how each of the 3 classes work. Up until recently I had been working my warrior as a DPS, and swapped back to tank because few things irritate me more than not being in control of how the group moves and how quickly the pace goes (Sounds a bit control freakish I realize... but my sanity cannot take it when a tank will pull two mobs at a time).
As such, I would like to give the general populace a few tips:
1) If your tank is a Paladin, ignore the rest of these tips. Paladins are so facerollingly easy to tank with most people will have no trouble holding aggro, even the bad players will excell.
2) If your tank is a DeathKnight, be cautious of the first few pulls, if the DK is any good, you will see things like NOT using death and decay on every pull, you will see pestilence spread diseases, you will even see him / her use cooldowns on trash pulls. If the above statements are true, you can usually cruise through an instance with little to no excitement.
3) If your tank is a Warrior, be very cautious of the first few pulls. Warrior tanking takes a lot more finesse than the other two I have mentioned. Good warriors will be constantly swapping targets to maintain threat levels on the mobs, and try to adjust his / her positioning to hit most (if not all) of the mobs with a thunderclap and maybe a shockwave. DO NOT GO CRAZY WITH DPS until you feel the tank has a decent threshold on aggro.
4) If you are a DPS with some sort of threat transferring ability, USE IT, ya tard! Look, I'm more than happy to keep mister bad guy focused on me, but keep it up and I WILL let you die. And then laugh.
Why are these tips necessary?
Setting: VOA 10
Tanks: Warrior & DK
Trash pulls - I charge in and in the middle of the charge get a heroic throw off and maybe an auto attack which is quickly followed up by the mob turning around and beating the snot out of a hunter. So I got a good chuckle out of it, but the hunter more or less acused me in raid chat of losing aggro. Well.. Guilty as charged buddy. Hope you learned your lesson.
Gee, you mean to tell me a 5800 GS hunter can't just unload against a mob while a 5000 GS tank is trying to establish aggro? Who'd a thunk it.
That was not the only excitement on the run however. The off tank (who was lesser geared than I) had the joy of dropping dead while it was his turn to tank the boss (when he remembered to taunt - I knew I was in trouble when before we get started I receive a whisper from him saying "Remin me how many taunt.") The amazing thing, however, is that ALL of his cooldowns remained unused. DKs are great in this fight. Ice bound fortiude can reduce your incoming damage and Anti magic shell is great to pop right when you see some of those frost swirly things (What.. I'm a tank, it's a frost swirly thing to me; I got bigger problems to deal with).
He receives a battle rez and miraculously got back in the fight to taunt off and relieve some of the pressure cause by the 8 debuffs now stacked on me. DK gets his 3 debuffs and a quick taunt swaps Toravon back to me and I sit there tanking watching my debuff stack up... 7....8....9 "Hey, you feel like taunting any time soon?" 10...*splat* "Guess not") which the boss died seconds after.
I still remember the days when our guild was first venturing into Molten Core and the very first pull featured two molten giants whith a very very touchy aggro table right at the start. The guild was commanded DO NOT ATTACK UNTIL YOU SEE THREE SUNDERS ON THE TARGET.
In fact, I remember a 40 person guild run wiping because a hunter pet wolf growled (which it just does automatically by entering combat) before the tank had even hit Vael in BWL. Which, by the way, was quite amusing. Fight starts *growl* dragon immediately turns and does a fire breath followed by the quick deaths of 14 raid members. Heh...
Raiding required discipline... It's not like that currently.
Here's hoping Cataclysm brings at least a little of that back. I would love to see an adaptation of the Dire Maul Tribute run.