Tobold's Blog
Thursday, December 24, 2009
 
Tankadin and tank addons

Since patch 3.3 I'm playing more often as a tank in a group, both with my level 80 warrior and with my level 56 paladin. And up to now I don't have many addons that would be helpful for tanking. I do have Deadly Boss Mods and the Omen threat meter. I just downloaded Pally Power for my tankadin. But what I'd really need would be an addon that shows me if any of the other members in the party are being attacked, so I can quickly switch to target that mob and taunt it.

Do you have any recommendations for such an addon? Or any other addon you think a protection warrior or paladin should have to do his tanking job well?
Comments:
I use Grid personally. It gives you a nice overview of your entire party or raid and if a person has aggro, it will mark them with a little red dot in the top right of their frame, so you know they have aggro. It will also show if they have a debuff on them, so you can throw them a quick Cleanse if you have time.

The addon is useful in many more situations than that of course. It's great for healers as well, especially in combination with Clique.
 
You might try Tidy Plates with the Threat Plates style (available at WoWinterface).

They'll size the nameplates of the mobs near you according to your threat, so you can see at a glance which ones you need to work on.
 
Just watch their health bars ^^

I'm curious if you'll hit the same wall as I did when playing a tank (note that I'm a 100% pugger, I don't like guilds). You're well-geared, ready for raids, but have no experience tanking them. Which means you'll have 9 or 24 people voting you out after the first or second wipe. I myself ended up tanking VoA every now and then, but nothing more. So I went back to healing (which is more fun anyway imo).
Unless ofcourse you're in a guild which is willing to let you learn.
 
Healbot can help you.

You can make it so that you see on a little bar the addon creates that someone in your party has aggro.

As a paladin tank, you can set up Healbot so that if someone in your party gets aggro, clicking on the person's name will cast righteous defense. You now have aggro back, and all you did was click on someone's name.

I'm sure you can use other healing addons, as others have already said... or other mods, but Healbot is what I use.

Healbot is also great for healing...as the name might imply.

Try out a few of them. Healbot uses mouse clicks for heals or any type of spell. Grid/Clique uses mouse-over macros and keybinding heals.
 
I use Vuhdo for party, raid and click cast duties. It supports macros for a click casting argument (I use it on my paladin for my Righteous Defense macro) plus can inform you of who has aggro.
My Righteous Defense macro is:
/cast [target=mouseover,help][help][target=targettarget,help] Righteous Defense;

Lore from Tankspot in yesterday's Weekly Marmot talked about a mod he uses which enlarges a hostile's name bar when it is attacking someone besides himself. I didn't
 
I'll second Tidy Plates: Threat. Makes it visible at a glance which mobs are getting away from you.

If you use unit frames with a Banzai module, it can color the frames red when they have aggro (e.g. Pitbull, Grid, ouf), but that won't really help with quickly targetting the mobs that are actually whacking on them.
 
I use grid, as a pally tank.

Sometimes bosses have debuff abilities that your healer can't cure (say a magic debuff for a druid healer)

That's when my cleanse comes in.
 
Dan has the right of it. TidyPlates + ThreatPlates works an absolute treat. I only discovered them a little while ago myself after using Aloft for quite a long time to try serve a similar purpose, although it did not do so even half as effectively!

I even ended up doin' a post on them, I was so taken, which you can find here: http://tankntree.com/2009/tidy-plates-threat-plates/

The gist of it though, so that you don't bave to, is that TidyPlates+ThreatPlates makes it so that the nameplates of mobs you have solid threat on are quite small and have a reassuring green aura around them.

On the flip side, if a mob has gotten away from you for whatever reason, their nameplate bar is a big honking red thing which is more or less impossible to miss, and is easily clickable on for rapid taunt and application of thwacky moves to teach it its place.

Improves reaction times a *lot*.
 
What unit frames do you use? If you are using the default unit frames, download x-perl. You can configure x-perl to highlight the member in red who has agro. And you can also configure it to show target of target, so you can always target the creature and see what it is targeting independently of your group units.

I use grid for healing, but only in raids. Grid is wonderful but I'm not sure I would recommend it for 5-man content. If you want to give it a try though see http://www.wow.com/2009/04/03/a-video-guide-to-grid/ first.

Merry Christmas Eve!
 
Grid marks them with the red dot only if you have it configured that way. I have mine turn the whole plate red so I don't miss it.

There are even plugins that will display the varying levels of threat each party/raid member has and display it on Grid.
 
Paladin here:

I use a combination of both of your first two comments.

I use Vuhdo, which is newer Grid/Healbot type addon. I have it setup to show aggro, and I have it setup so a right click does my AoE taunt off of whoever I click.

I also use Tidy Plates with the Threat Plates to show which mob I don't have aggro on, or which one I'm about to lose.
 
Shadowed Unit Frames and Pitbull Unit Frames can be set up to colour health bars red if a player has aggro. They can also be set up to show a threat bar.
 
I use Grid as well. If I see a red dot, then I can RD off of them. I've been considering getting clique for that reason.

I've found that I'm slow to taunt that way because I have to click on the person on grid and then hit my taunt hotkey.

It'd be nice if I could just click them, never lose my target, and RD them all at the same time.
 
Grid is an excellent choice. Clique isn't just for healing, though - you could also bind Righteous Defense and have an easy method to use that taunt.

Healbot (which I used as a tankadin) can accomplish the same thing - highlight aggro, and click on highlighted frame to cast Righteous Defense.
 
I have to say, I think allowing a mod to substitute for tanking situational awareness would be a flaw in game design and I think take most of the fun out of tanking challenging 5 mans. Probably the old school view, but situational awareness is not something we should hand off to our computers.

That said, I find myself in that mode rarely. In raids most trash push are just AE, encounters are highly scripted so that everyone should know everything that is going on almost all the time anyway. Most 5 mans treat most instances as weak raid trash pulls--AE everything, no real downside to getting agro.

I don't know how much my group mates notice it, but I find optitaunt a good one.

It announces resisted taunts and untauntable mobs, often with something funny to the mobs target letting them know I am spamming the taunt button. I think is the mod that also broadcasts cool down usage to the party/raid (shield wall, last stand, etc).

Tidy plates sounds interesting--I am thinking particularly on the gauntlet in HoR.
 
I agree - I use GRID as well. It has a nice alpha color change or you can assign it to the border of the unitframe but it will show all members who have aggro.
 
Grid is excellent if you care about your screen real estate. Personaly I use it with mouseover macros but a lot of people tend to use Clique.

I like to use addons that are usable on all of my alts which is why I switched from PallyPower to ZOMGBuffs. It's a buffmanager that works for all classes. It should sync with PallyPower but reading the comments on curse.com it seems like that part at the moment is broken. Might not be an issue for your paladin at this level though:)
 
Grid works beautifully. A trick for tankadins is to have a mouseover macro (or use Clique) for Righteous Defense. That way you can taunt of partymembers who get aggro without having to manually target either them or the mob attacking them, and even without breaking your rotation. I really miss this when I'm tanking on my druid.

This works very well with other spells you might want to cast on partymembers while tanking, such as Cleanse or any Hand of Foo spells.

Just make sure you take the time to configure grid properly. It has a *ton* of options, and the default config is probably not the best for tanking.
 
ZOMGBuffs is several times better than PallyPower, especially the target-coded buttons for e.g. Hand of Freedom or Sacred Shield are invaluable, as is the restocking of mats (no kidding). Just beware that currently there are some issues in the PP-Syncing module that might get you disconnected in 25-mans with > 3 paladins using PP.

I used to like Grid, nowadays I don't really see the need anymore. For 25 mans, almost any raid frames will work fine.

Clique is nice for dispelling or Righteous Defense (I use shift-"Right click").

I have found LDB-Threat a lot easier to track than Omen for Threat.
 
I have a BE healer and BE Tankadin so I use Healbot for both. It's very simple to set up and I dont have to change the way my screen looks or disable any additional addons for either role. A lot of other tanks scoff when I tell them I use Healbot for tanking but being able to see an aggro puller and get it back with one click without losing my target is invaluable.
 
If you configure your grid to show people with aggro, then a really simple mouseover macro that will taunt their target allows to just move the mouse over grid and click taunt.

No need to click the grid or loose targets or anything.
 
Here's another vote for Tidy Plates and Threat Plates.

The visual style makes it very easy to spot the mobs you need to work on. Highly recommended for everyone in the party, no matter what your role is. There is a toggle for DPS so they know when they're getting too much threat.
 
Is it actually possible to play WoW in a group without using Add-Ons?

I don't use any Add-Ons for anything else in WoW and I don't intend to start. I rarely even use any macro or auto options provided within games, let alone from outside sources. I like to put my spells/abilities on the hotbar and do everything by mouse.

Can you play any role in a WoW group just by using the mouse, maybe with a very few keyboard controls?
 
I would also highly suggest grid, there's just too much that it can be useful with to pass up.
I'd also suggest getting TankTotals. It'll show you all of the pertinent numbers important to your tank and announce your taunts and cooldowns to raid/party members for you.
 
Another vote for TidyPlates with Threatplates.

My #1 tanking addon by far (I would even *gasp* put it above omen) on my 3 lvl80 tanks.

Personally, I also use icehud to have my HP and mana/rage/runes near the center of the screen, and have a 50% opacity omen nearby.

I have vuhdo for raid and party and main tank frames, and love it's customizability.
 
I think the addon that you might be looking for is one called "MTLove 2". I find it useful as all you need to do is mouse over a mob and a tooltip over the mob will tell you who it is currently attacking. No real setup required and you don't need any other interface addons to use either.
 
I haven't tanked much, but the built in tools seem to be enough for me.

Open the game menu, go to interface, then display.

The three settings you might be interested in are:
- The dropdown box for "display aggro warnings"
- show aggro percentages checkbox
- play aggro sounds checkbox

Let us know what works out for you so we can try it too =)
 
@Bhagpuss

Honestly, don't use your mouse for buttons. It's slower, in the first place. In the secondplace, I have overshot many an ability when I was a mouseclicker--in a high stress situation you're gonna drag the cursor all over the place and sometimes it's just luck that you hit the correct button. Keyboards give you efficiency, accuracy, and ergonomics. I have a logitech g5 and it has 2 side buttons--the front one is cleave, the bottom one is heroic strike. Those two abilities are all I use the mouse for; the rest is turning, because I turn a LOT.
 
For telling if a party member has aggro - any "raid frames" addon usually has a threat indicator built in. For example, Grid shows a red dot if someone has aggro, Vuhdo puts ">>" "<<" marks around someone's name.

I happen to like Vuhdo, but any of these will require some tweaking, and all of them will feel a little odd when you first set them up.
 
I use grid + grid raid debuffs
In the top right corner, it will show a red dot if they have aggro. But then the raid debuffs add-on will show you the debuffs you should switch tanking on.

e.g. ToC beasts, shows you the number of gormok impales. in ICC, shows you the number of lady deathwhisper stacks.
Saurfang, shows you when the other tank has rune of blood, and you should switch.

Just be sure to disable all other 'standard' debuffs like poison, curse, etc. as your healers care about them, not you.
 
For those who were talking about not losing your target when using righteous defense: I don't play a paladin at all, so I don't know the specifics of how the spell works, but try a macro like this:

/cast [target=mouseover,help][help][target=targettarget,help] Righteous Defense
/targetlasttarget

The last line is useful in an infinite number of other macros as well. Even knowing the slash command is useful; as a fast typist, I've used it to great effect when I need to, for example, interrupt one add while burning another add (think OK).

You can of course use clique to use this macro by shift-right clicking (or whatever your preferred method is) whoever has agro.

I also recommend changing the default grid agro alert from a red square to a red frame outline. I find it's more noticeable that way.
 
@davidburela: Imo, "I'm the tank, so I shouldn't have to dispel" isn't a valid reason for wiping the raid (and I'll bet you that's going to come up in ICC at least once, if only on the hard modes). "I'm the tank, so I was busy picking up adds and taunting off healers" is a valid reason not to dispel, but that's about it. If you have the ability to dispel anything, you do your raid a great disservice by hiding those debuffs.

If you want raid debuffs to show up over other debuffs that you can dispel, increase the priority on the raid debuffs or decrease the priority on debuffs you can dispel.

There are other useful ways of using the priority slider. For example, on my priest, I like to know who has Prayer of Mending and how many more charges it has, so I made an indicator for that and set it to the center icon. I then realized it was hiding important things (such as the +50% damage taken debuff in Halls of Stone), so I moved the priority down to 89 from the default 90.
 
I wonder if Tobold has written an entry about using add-ons before. While I understand the need to use add-ons, is there such a thing as taking it too far?

I personally do not understand why you need such an add-on. Isn't it part of the game (as the tank) to be aware when a mob lose attention to you --- and on that matter, that your team members be sensible in their damage dealing?

Or is there something that I am simply missing here?
 
If you find it hard to maintain threat/aggro you should try the addon, TauntMaster. It displays a button/healthbar for each party member that displays their aggro level. Then you can simply click the button to taunt their target off them. I have found it indispensible when tanking.
http://tauntmaster.com
 
I dont recommend using Tidy plates + threat whatever for 25 man raids or even 10 man raids. In these scenario's you will usually have another tank or two with you and if they are doing their jobs then a fair chunk of mobs will be smacking them instead of you.

Safest way I have found is to use grid/vuhdo/xperl/healbot to actually change the colour of people with threat. That way you can make a snap judgement to RD them.

Also when tanking dont always be looking forward :-D sounds bizarre but I spend more time looking at the group than the mobs I'm tanking so I can instantly spot when mobs are running away from me.

Other addons I find particularly useful are:

Trinket Bar (helps you monitor trinket cooldowns),

Miks Scrolling Battle text. Not necesarrily for the scrolling text but for the fact that you can set it up to make noises on specific events (taunt resists etc, cooldowns available such as divine protection).

Boss Tactics. I have a bad memory and it also has a nice utility to write the tactics into a channel of your choice. Useful for when you are raid leading.

Pitbull/Xperl. I recommend using either of these two as it allows you to put your health bar, target and target of target in the middle of your screen. Unfortunatly you dont have lots of time to react and I've found having this information in the middle helps.

PS: Hope they fix the mob pathing problem soon, I am getting really tired of dancing with them to get them properly into position! Also sorry if this got posted twice.
 
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