My learning experience as a tankadin continued this week with forays into Slave Pens and Underbog. Slave Pens was a tankadin’s dream. We used zero crowd control and just let me hold aggro on whole groups. It helped that we had 1.5 healers so I was never in any danger of dying even if I pulled a large group.
Underbog was a little different. There were more single pulls and the mobs hit harder. Most importantly, since the patch we have not been able to get Omen to work consistently, so we went without it.
The run was much more interesting! When I pulled 3-5 mobs, I had to keep my eye on every one. I had to watch party health bars to see if anyone other than me was taking damage. I had to know what every mob was doing at all times, and be prepared to taunt or throw an Avenger’s Shield to grab a loose mob away from our clothies.
Experienced tanks would say, “Duh! That’s what tanks do!” I would agree, of course. But having Omen installed since level 1 has made me incredibly dependent on it. From playing a rogue for so long I have become focused on the threat meter. As dps I made sure I was #2. As a tank I need to be #1 by a fair margin.
With Omen, I look at the meter throughout combat. If I have 22k threat and the next closest is 10k, I could rest easy and just let muscle memory go through my rotation of seals, judgements, and consecrates. Without Omen, I had no idea of how close behind my threat every else was. I was really working it to push my threat generation. It was fun! Each time I lost aggro I tried to figure out what I could have done differently.
Reflecting on it, I think its not a bad idea for tanks to run without a threat meter every now and then in 5-man instances. It really forced me to think about my tanking strategy. In a raid or heroic, when wipes are a huge drain on time and gold, the threat meter becomes a more practical concern. Hopefully, I’ll be confident in what I am doing by that time, anyway.