I love tanking. I don’t know why and I don’t know how it happened but I just love it. For some reason, hitting big beasts on the head to distract them or gathering a million minions in a tiny pile for maximum AoE carnage appeals to me. I did try the other roles dps and healing in raids but in the end I prefer tanking. So it’s no big surprise that my first reflex with Wildstar was rolling a tank class, more specifically a Warrior which turns out to be not the easiest choice I could have made.
But first things first. Tanking in Wildstar is a bit of a different beast than what I’m used to in MMOs. It’s faster, there’s stuff running everywhere and there’s a ton of stuff to dodge on the ground. And by the way, most healing is AoE so you have to step into the heals while moving away from AoE and with everything going on it can be hard to see what is going on. Did I tell you most of my abilities have areas of effect too? Positioning is king in Wildstar my friends.
On top of that Warrior is not in the best of spots as a class right now. As is usual with new MMOs, the class balance is a bit off and the end result is threat issues with the warrior class. Devs have acknowledged the issue and will be working on this so I’m hoping it will be fixed sooner rather later.
So how did it go for me? Well, let’s just say my first run of Hycrest was a bit of a disaster in the sense that I couldn’t hold agro on anything at all. Besides a few taunts, I spent most of the run trying desperately to hold onto any mob. My ego took a hit right there and I spent quite some time researching the class to see what I had missed and as usual, what I found was of little help. As usual there are people saying everything is broken, others that all is fine and they can do this asleep and lots of theories but little concrete information which I supposed is to be expected out of a new game.
In the end, I decided to trust my experience and figured that since at it’s very basic level damage = threat I’d shoot for a balance between tanking and dps abilities and it has turned out much better. Maybe at higher levels I’ll be better equipped and go for pure support talents but right now a balance is helping more.
The next few runs has been spent fine tuning Amps, talents and rotations and finally last night I had a run where I was more or less in control the entire time and it did feel like I was tanking at last. The whole process did leave me completely broke and I still don’t have a mount but who cares, I can tank again.
I’m a bit hesitant to put this here since it’s not proven theorycraft but I’ll still list some rapid tips for warriors in the hope it may help orient someone else out there who’s starting out. So here’s my list of tips for low-level warrior tanking.
- Go for balance in terms of DPS talents and Amps vs support ones. I found Rampage and leap to be really useful and some points in Crit % amps did help.
- Starting fights with your stance ability (R) helps a lot with initial agro.
- Don’t try to tank everything all the time. Individual mobs hit for less and with AoE healing it’s not a huge a deal to have a trash mob hitting on a dps for a moment. If you try to gather everything when things are split you may end up losing every mob.
- Atomic spear is vital! Every single time you can use it do so. It’s your best threat tool by far.
- Get used to step into healing AoEs. Watch the green telegraphs and get in them as much as you can.