Tanking for Pick-up Groups - Success and Problems

Discussion in 'Monk' started by ARCHIVED-Caethre, May 16, 2010.

  1. ARCHIVED-Caethre Guest

    (( After previous expansions where as Lorianna I pretty much avoided tanking, preferring only to DPS in groups, the changes that came with the SF expansion have persuaded me to start tanking for pickup groups. For the last 2-3 weeks, I have been advertising almost every (european) evening on Antonia Bayle, seeking SF instances as either tank or DPS, and I thought I would share my experiences.
    For background, Lorianna is not a raidgeared character. Yes, in the last expansion, she joined some pickup x2 WOE runs, but no x4 content at all, and unless casual/pickup tier9 x4 raids become commonplace, she is never likely to. However, outside that, she does have over 230AA now, with all the important end-line abilities, she has 75% of her masters (the rest are expert), and the non-rare gear from the easier SF instances.
    So far, Lorianna has successfully tanked the following SF zones to completion: Erudin Library, Vasty Deep: Conservatory, Erudin: Reseach Halls, Vasty Deep: Abandoned Laboratory, The Hole: Outer Vault and The Hole: Spirit's Resonance.
    As far as ability to take damage is concerned, I have had no problems at all. The hardest encounter she has tanked, the dragon named near the end of Spirit's Resonance, involved using all her AA abilities, but with a pretty strong group she managed it reasonably well.
    The main issue she has, which she has always had, is holding aggro against multiple targets. To this end, I try not to join groups with her without a dirge present, for the hate transfer.
    Now, I know she has no +hate gear at all, yet (the items she has being going for simply WILL NOT DROP for her, such is life, they will eventually), but really she should not need such items to be able to hold aggro in the easier instances.
    The problem comes when grouping with raidgeared scouts and mages, those with far far better gear than she has or will ever have, who refuse to moderate their own aggro. Usually, however, such people are so wellgeared that they tank what they aggro, and the group therefore still functions and completes whatever zone is being worked on.
    Until last night, that is.
    Last night, I tanked for a group in Conservatory. I stress, this is a zone Lorianna has tanked successfully now about ten times, with no issue whatsoever, and I know the zone very well. However, the group last night failed to defeat the second-last named, and I ended up calling the group, quite irritated.
    If anyone has any HELPFUL advice (that doesn't just say "get better gear" or something else obvious like that), I would be happy to hear it. :)
    The group was:
    Lorianna, 90 Monk, parsing 6-8k
    90 Dirge, parsing 8-12k
    90 Warlock, parsing 5-6k
    89 Wizard, parsing 3-5k
    86 Necro, parsing 1-2k (yes, I know, pitiful, sigh).
    87 Inquisitor

    Those parse numbers are for single mob pulls, the groups were higher of course.
    Remember, this is a pickup group of mostly casual players.
    Lorianna was in hybrid stance (the healer was quite slow, I didn't trust her in offensive).
    The dirge had their 37% hate transfer on Lorianna.

    One problem was the healer was a bit slow, especially with cures. When stifled or stunned or mezzed, I tended to be left in that state for half the fight, which obviously caused problems, and those were equally obviously not my fault, so I will not worry about that.
    The MAIN problem was this: the dirge kept pulling aggro. Constantly, every pull, it felt like a fight from the pull onwards to keep aggro off him. I do not know the dirge class, but I do know that I have done this and harder zones with other dirges with absolutely no issue, and indeed, with scouts with higher average parse than his, with only minor issues, but this dirge was just impossible.
    The reason we failed the second-last named was that when the adds spawned, the dirge pulled most of them on to him, the casters then pulled them off the dirge, and then they died; the healer was spam healing the dirge and went out of power. All the time, I was grabbing / snapping mobs back, only to have the dirge pull them back off me again.
    I stress, I have never had this issue before with any of the other dirges I have grouped with (including other heavily raidgeared dirges).
    Now, I do know that this dirge was VERY well geared, but I do not know if he was doing this pretty much deliberately or not. But it was a confidence knock, that's for sure.
    What was I doing wrong?
    ~Lorianna. ))
  2. ARCHIVED-circusgirl Guest

    If you're having problems with large groups of mobs, I would suggest speccing for mantis leap and when an add wave rolls in use mantis leap and crane flock--you'll lock everything around you down with ease. You'll sacrifice a bit of dps to run this spec though, so I wouldn't put it in your dps spec. Mantis leap has a very short recast, if you're still having problems with aggro then it can be a huge help.
  3. ARCHIVED-Silzin Guest

    The Mantis Leap and crane Flock trick works wonderfully. also a nether AA that helps is the new SF aa in the monk tree that adds a threat component to dragonfire. use it as the mobs are inc, and it helps get the stray mobs on you so crane flock can grab them.
  4. ARCHIVED-BChizzle Guest

    The mantis leap crane flock trick is only going to help you if you are pulling every 2 minutes. Also dirges don't really have much AE's so if a dirge is pulling agro from you it is hardly an AE agro issue it is a single target one. Specing mantis leap for that is hardly going to fix the problem.
  5. ARCHIVED-couching Guest

    In most cases, when crane flock is up, we should be fine for aoe aggro.
    It's a waste to spec mantis leap for extra hate position increase with crane flock. The help is tiny.
    Based on your post, your problem is that your aoe dps is lower than the dirge in the group.
    AND in that fight, the named always dispels group buffs including the 37% hate gain from the dirge.
    I bet that dirge didn't rebuff you after every dispel. This is why you have suffered so much trouble in that fight but not the whole zone.
    Also, ask the dirge to give you BC instead of himself when you have aggro problem.
  6. ARCHIVED-circusgirl Guest

    Chances are its a "dps being obnoxious" problem. Dps attacking too early on the pull & grabbing the mobs off of you before you have a chance to get them. Add to that idiots running around in circles or just holding the mob far away from you and it can be a pain in the butt to grab the mobs back. If its a single target across the room, peel works wonders.
    In any case though, if its single-target aggro thats the issue, then you're not limited by crane flock's slow recast, since you don't need it up to be effective. Mantis leap on its own holds aggro pretty fantastically, and between that, peel, rescue, the TSO snap, hidden openings, and the monk endline ability which makes all your taunts increase hate positions, single target aggro should be pretty easy to hold.
    I don't have aggro issues ever, so I don't run mantis leap anymore--but if you have problems with aggro, then I would follow the stamina and wis lines to get crane flock/mantis leap, put points into agi line for reuse, and then head into either str or int for double attack or crit, whichever you need more.
  7. ARCHIVED-Lorrn Guest

    hmm that really is a tough one.
    i party with a 13k+ dirge pretty much daily and while he can rip agro early in the fight its usually only the first 4 seconds of the fight that his name might pop up in target of target window. in the group you had built with dirge hate and warlock hate on you ae agro shoudl have been cake as long as those two were keeping it on you. not being cured in a timely manner im sure is what actually killed your dps and your aoe agro.
    couple things though, if your running with a summoner make sure they use elemental toxicity early in the aoe fights and the second you see it come up hit crane flock hehe no worrys on agro after that cause it reduces all non fighters hate every proc. really though it was more then likely a combination of slow cures and dirge wasnt keeping an eye on seething sonata.
    aoe is the toughest part of our agro, when im tanking aoe fights with my monk ill make the group use an MA so i can cycle the mobs and taunt as neccessary. it works wonders. mantis leap helps but as said its got kind of a long cooldown and woudlnt be available every fight. but it is a very good aoe control coupled with flock on named with adds. dont burn it right away though use it when you need it is how i do it. and i think you said you havent gotten any of the agro procs yet from sf. i hear ya there hehe all the ones i have are on raid loot, still trying to get demitriks ring heh. malice is a single target proc though. the help you most liekly need is in the aoe department so try and get the bangle out of cellas off the queen. nice encounter proc on it. and i hate to say it but the bg legs have torrent proc on them as well if your willing ot put in the time to get them.

    overall the only folks that usually rip agro on me in ae fights are ae auto specced assassins and both sorcs. but as tiny as it may seem i have the full 5% hate suck on my TV and most often ill place that on the lock or wiz if neccessary sometimes the sin.
    crane flock is the key for our ae agro though. make sure ya got all 8 points in extending the duration and your re-use maxed out if you need it.
    ive grouped with your monk a few times with alts and believe me its not you that messing up or anything liek that you play her very well. couple gear pieces and ae agro will be pretty easy for you. until then mantis leap flock combo, use an ma on named aoe fights, and if neccessary teach your group how not be noob it up when they have a brawler tanking on aoe fights. lot of folks are a little to used to crusader ae agro and have 0 clue how to function outside that realm.
  8. ARCHIVED-Vincenzo Guest


    This is an interesting thread for me because I've recently rolled a Monk with the intention of tanking, and my main is a Dirge, so perhaps I can at least shed a little light on that aspect.
    The first thing to say about the Dirge class is that most of our damage (and hence threat) comes from autoattack, and that a good Dirge will be right up with the tank attacking almost instantly after the pull. The reason for this is so that the Dirge can use

    1. Turnstrike (AOE blocker)
    2. Debuffs, including Misfortune (burst damage + strong debuff)
    3. Scream of Death (one of our high damage DoTs, but needs to run 24s to do decent damage).

    The Dirge has an unusually slow setup time (getting debuffs in) before they can do meaningful damage, so most of us train to attack just after the tank. This sometimes gets us killed, but in time we learn to time this just right.

    The only ability that I have ever pulled "snap agro" with is Misfortune, which is usually rectified by the (plate, I rarely get to group with a Brawler) tank within seconds with a taunt / rescue.
    Having said that, if I was consistently getting agro I would stop using Misfortune early in the fight, and use it later. However, if the agro was consistently going to the Dirge, then it's being caused by the autoattack DPS.
    You say that Dirge aggression buff was on you, so that can't be the reason.
    What would be important is if the Dirge had Battle Cry (+15% DA) on you or themselves. If your DA is not capped at 100% the Dirge should definitely have buffed you with BC, especially in light of them pulling agro.
  9. ARCHIVED-Caethre Guest

    (( As the Original Poster for this thread, I thought I would come back now, two weeks later, and make some comments on what I have observed since then.
    The occasion I posted on in the opening post has proven to be a "one-off".

    On reflection, I suspect the reasons for it were a combination of circumstances:

    (a) a weak/slow healer;
    (b) a weak set of dps in the group, so kills were slow;
    (c) no power regen in group, hence with slow fights and a weak healer, people were running out of mana, especially Lorianna herself;
    (d) the dirge never re-casting the hate buff on me when it was dispelled; and
    (e) the particular dirge being generally overzealous, seemingly more interested in their own parse than in the success of the group.

    A few of these factors on their own would not have caused the group to fail on the second-last named in the Vasty Deep Conservatory, but all of them at once was just too much. Since then I have completed the same zone numerous times with pick-up groups, with ease in fact.

    I decided not to spec for Mantis Leap, despite the comments in this thread, as looking at it, it would hurt Lorianna's DPS too much to do so. Furthermore, I am just not overly keen on the STA line, it never did much for her when she was spec'd in that at one point. by contrast,
    I am a fan of both Crane Flock and Chi, and have no intention of dropping either of them anytime soon. :)
    However, I did make a few changes to Lorianna's set up for tanking.

    Firstly, now I always have her in defensive stance for tanking, not hybrid. The small loss of +crushing skill I counter with some +crushing jewelry, but the extra defensive abilities combined with the +25 aggression really help with the use of healer power if the healer is weak and/or there is no mana regen. Overall, it doesn't really seem to affect her DPS very much at all.

    Secondly, I went out and made/bought a full set of adornments for Lorianna, including +19% of hate adornments. These have helped considerably with aggro retention in general. I would advise any other non-raiding monks who may have issues with aggro to consider this as well, I have not regretted it!

    Thirdly, on the fight that caused an issue, I now always ask the dirge in whatever group I am in to make sure that their +hate song is continually recast when dispelled, and that doing so is more important than their own DPS, and so far since then, I've only grouped with decent pick-up dirges who have done precisely that.

    So, since that initial post, Lorianna has not only carried on successfully tanking for pickup groups in Erudin 1&2, VastyDeep 1&2, and TheHole 1,2&3, but has now also succesfully tanked Cella and Vigilant 1. I am not sure if she would be up to tanking Vig2, Vig3 or Erudin Palace yet, however, without some more gear upgrades, but certainly I am finding that when I *do* decide to build groups, they are not taking as long to fill as once they did!

    I still won't form pickup groups where she is tanking without a dirge present, because if I end up with any raidgeared DPS, who are getting up to double Lorianna's own parse, or even more, then without serious hate transfer, tanking would just not be successful.

    Thank you for the comments.
  10. ARCHIVED-Lorrn Guest

    if you had no trouble with the zonns in vig 1 vig 2 and vig 3 are on your doable list. the only fight in the other vigs that rough is the ranger in vig 3. the constant porting and memwiping is a pain so hes one fo those burn em quick as possible types. in retrospect on my monk it was actually harder to tank vig 1 then anything in vig 2 and 3.
    palace is rough on all tanks heh and we all knwo what set of named im talkin about. i have yet to be successful tanking those 4 punks but soon. the wiping is just a lot to handle and with only crane flock at teh beginiing to get them on me soon as it wears off im screwed.
    as far as not going stamina line. ive dropped mantis leap off my specs but ill never be without mantis bolt. that proc easily does 15% of my zw.
  11. ARCHIVED-MurFalad Guest

    That sounded like bad play I'm guessing from the dirge there as by choosing to aggro the adds first he was causing much of the mana problems, I'm guessing he was too busy watching his parse :p

    On my guardian we had a really fun session with that boss a while ago with only 5 average geared players (no raid gear), we initially wiped a few times on it because we had very little power regen, and even I was tempted to call it but we carried on to try and finally got it down by better play (I was being very efficient with aggro), and also tactics.

    What we would do would be to hide behind the cart as usual when the adds came, then I'd do one aoe shout to get the adds and we'd kill them slowly (mostly auto attack to conserve power) until only one was left, that one add didn't do much damage so we'd sit tight with him not attacking slowly regenerating power, then take him down and carry on the boss.

    By the third group we had enough power to tear through the rest and get him, its a valid tactic if you are not taking much damage, we managed to complete it with a group that shouldn't have completed it otherwise.
  12. ARCHIVED-Selpone Guest

    I have found Inq./Temp. healers not to be a good match for Monks. Their effecive heals are reactive. Their single bang heals cost too much power and are slow casting for what they are. Monks being an avoidance class aren't getting hit as much as plate tanks. When we do get hit, the MIT tends to be less then plate so monks take more damage per hit making the reactive less helpful. Healers classes that use wards or regens are my favorite when I'm tanking. The ward is there when you take a hit. I can avoid hits often enough to get a fresh ward before the old one wears off. Avoidance will allow the full use of a regen rather then letting the reactive heal expire because you tossed on a buff to avoid all attacks for a period of time.
    The problem with the healer may not be just that he/she is personally slow. If the healer has a long cast time, they may be waiting for the heal to cast when a cure is needed quickly. On my healers, I have a macro for my cures:
    - /cl (clears all skills that are on que)
    - /cancel_spellcast (cancels the current ability being cast)
    - Then place the skill to cast.
    If they are stuck in a long cast and a cure is needed quickly; this helps. Toss this idea out to healers who may be having trouble with their responce times. It just may offer them the edge they need to be more effective.

    As for hate, well, I'm working on that problem. I've tanked "Sarah Gearheart" a few times and ripping aggro during a tank swap isn't easy. I've needed to shorten the recast of my snaps to make it possible for each swap. This is, of course, only one mob and AE aggro is something I'm working on. I've had to sacrifice all my damage AAs, but double attack, crit% and bonus are making up for the loss. I did have a good suggestion made that I need to look into, but I need more coin and manas to make that happen. Being poor doesn't help in making quick changes. The suggestion involved getting the Focus: AE Autoattack which stacks but are limited to 3 items you can adorn. 15% AE autoattack does spread enough DPS to the other mobs and would make it easier, but I haven't tried it to make a final understanding of it.
  13. ARCHIVED-Brickfist Guest

    Selpone wrote:
    You go through more than 10 swaps on sarah? 4 snaps and provoking stance stance give us enough snap that the quick grab is almost a joke unless you have 0 hate buffsand get knocked down the hate tree to 4th or 5th. The rip is easy, keeping it after the rip is the hard part. I've had to start saving my ca's for the preriod that I tank to hope tokeep people lower than 85% on the hate meter. As far as giving her up on the swap away, we're the best suited of that among the 6 fighters because all we have to do is fall on our face. But anyways unless yer running 2 brawlers or only 2 tanks you shouldn't be doing the swapping anyways because brawlers are the best choice to run laps for adds on the outside.

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