11
Sep
08

Shield SLAM, not BASH

Last night I was in a heroic instance, trying to complete the quests from A’dal to get my “Champion of the Naaru” title.

We’ve pulled to the first boss, and its been slow going.  DPS is continually pulling the mobs off of the tank and getting one-shotted.  At first I suspect it is just because we outgear the tank.  But even when we are trying to be careful about threat, its a problem.

Now, I have never played a warrior, so there is not much that I know about the way they tank.  But I do know that Shield Slam is one of their high-threat attacks.  In between pulls I quickly pull open my Recount and look at the warrior’s attacks… no Shield Slams.

Trying to be diplomatic, I whisper to the tank that perhaps he should use Shield Slam more.  The tank responds that he has been using it every time it is up.  Hmmm.

We finish off the first boss and are pulling to the next when I suddenly get a vague memory from a past study of tanking abilities.  I pull up Recount again and scroll down… and there it is.  The tank has been using Shield Bash.

I very politely point out to the tank that perhaps he is mixing up his abilities.  There is a pause.  Then a whisper in return… “Wow, you’re right!  I’ve been using Shield Bash the whole time I’ve been tanking.”  That is -  not just today, but always.

Now this is a warrior who has main tanked Karazhan.  An experienced player.  This is not someone who bought their toon on eBay.  How can this happen?

Its easy for someone to shout “he’s a noob!” and be condescending without thinking about the cause of the problem.  Those names really sound a lot alike.  I think its a fairly easy mistake to make.  Also, this is not the first time that I have seen or heard of a warrior mixing up those abilities.

In the end, the tank was embarrassed but happy that I had pointed it out.  Since he was already able to MT raids, his tanking is only going to get better now.  I’m glad, because pointing out someone’s error is touchy and can easily be taken as an insult.

So if anyone is playing a warrior in the beta, maybe you can drop a comment or suggestion that the names might be changed so they are not so similar.

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4 Responses to “Shield SLAM, not BASH”


  1. September 11, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Yuck, that mistake is a ton of threat loss. Shield slam is the biggest threat move we have. Shield bash is horrible for threat and should be in zero rotations unless you need to do some interrupting. Shield slam should generally be used every time it is up.

    There may be two reasons why he has been doing this the entire time. Nobody bothered to actually look at why his threat was bad and he may not do any outside tanking research (tankspot etc.). Being a complete tank has many steps.

  2. September 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    First, I am certain that it was an honest mistake… he didn’t make a conscious decision to use Shield Bash rather than Shield Slam, it was just a confusion of the two abilities when he dragged it from his spellbook to his toolbar. He seemed to know that he was supposed to use a shield-based ability to generate threat, but got the names mixed up.

    The other thing that I am certain of is that no one had tried to look at why his threat was bad. It didn’t take me long to figure it out and fix it, and I’m no tanking expert. I can imagine that a lot of people just wrote him off as a bad tank previously.

    Its really surprising that he was able to tank Karazhan without shield slam. To me, that makes him a very good tank. Once he uses a proper rotation I expect he’ll be great.

  3. 3 Xtian
    September 15, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Perhaps the better indication of his high quality is that he realized the mistake and then (presumably) fixed it. A lot of players would do a lot of other things before just owning up to it and being better.

    For example, I had some friends get into raiding about a year ago, but their guild was halted by Mag and Grull bosses because their MT couldn’t produce a high-enough threat ceiling to let the DPS beat the enrage timers. Turns out the MT was Shield Bashing and not Shield Slamming. Explains a lot, yes? But when the other guild leaders approached him about it, he refused to acknowledge his mistake. After about a week of fighting over it, the entire DPS squad gquit, and that was the end of that.


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