Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WoW Threat Management Training

I'm not sure if this is a request for Blizz to include, or if its a question to the readers to see if this already exists in some form or another. Any hoo, here it is...

I would love it if there was an instance a 5-man group could go to that is pretty much purely for practicing keeping aggro on a tank. I'm talking about a dungeon that has very little trash to deal with, very little complex pulls (or any pulls besides bosses). I don't care about loot in here.

Just a series of bosses that add in a twist as you get to each next one. And either Blizz or some third party could write up suggested "lesson plans" for a team to run through.

First boss - just a total tank and spank. One mob, no adds. Very little movement or special attacks. Only attacks 1 target, the highest on his threat list. His hits are moderate in strength, but he's got tons of health. The purpose of this guy is to allow a team of 5 (or maybe more, but I want to start basic) to practice the most basic threat management skills in a very simple environment. The lesson plan for this guy could include ideas about allowing the tank to solidify aggro before DPS goes nuclear. Perhaps a Q&A review at the end where the team asks itself "did anybody besides the tank take any damage during the fight?" Since its a hugely simplified environment, just for practice purposes, that should be feasible, unlike real instances where there is much more complexity.

Second boss - Similar boss to first fight, but some relatively weak adds show up.

Third boss - Maybe mix in an attack that will stun the first person on the threat list and switch attack to the second person on the threat list.

Fourth boss - Add in some movement or terrain complexity.

And so on.

Is this just something that a player and team of players just sort of go through during normal instancing? My experience has been that the instances start you off with just a hair too much complexity to allow n00bs like me to really build strong fundamentals.

Maybe it'll just come with time and repetition with the same players, and good communication with those players.

This past weekend was the first time I've ever had a party with other players who use a threat meter. Up to this point, its only been me and my pet on the meter. Now that I'm running more instances in Outlands, many or even all the other players are also running a meter, so my Omen shows a big chunk of the party. Funny, because on one run, everybody except the tank had it installed, making it pretty useless :-)

Being new to seeing other players on my meter, I was not really able to pay attention to the meter, plus chain trap a mob, plus try to keep pouring DPS on the proper targets according to our specified targeting order. Lots of data to process and adapt and react to. I'm hoping that it'll just come with time and practice. And that's what spurred the idea in my head of a hugely simplified environment to allow a team to do a doggy paddle in the kiddy pool first, rather than plunging into the pool to learn to swim.


pelides said...

Mana Tombs is a great instance for learning to manage threat. As is Blood Furnace.

Someone said...

"Funny, because on one run, everybody except the tank had it installed, making it pretty useless :-)"

Why? Of all people, the tank is probably the one that can be WITHOUT! All he needs is to tank and use whatever aggro generating attacks he has when out of CD! It's the other ones that need to be aware of aggro so as not to "steal" it from the tank!

Ironically, I think that the idea of the "training" instance is SO good, that it's a complete waste!

It's good in theory, but you have 3 types of ppl running instances:
1) Guilds
2) Friends
3) PUGs

For 1 and 2 it could be useful, however, as long as they start with the lower end instances for their levels they should learn ok as they go.

For 3 it would be a HUGE improvement, not so much for tanks, but for DPSers which think they HAVE to be on top of the list from T-0. However, it's the one group of people this would be a REAL advantage the same type of people who simply WOULD not do it!

Imagine if on every PUG someone asks to go to the playing grounds first to test skills? PUGs would take even more time than they do and instead of 1 hour picking up people, you'd get 1 hour picking up, 1 hour training (assuming no one refused to do it!), and then, oops... No more time to run the instance today as people start to leave... Of course, no same group tomorrow, that's why it's a PUG! :)

That's why I say that it's so good that it's a waste! The ones that could benefit the most from it, are those that won't do it! :)

Amava said...

Thank you for the replies. Some really interesting points. I'm conviced that I just need to keep looking for a small group I can run instances with over and over, whether in a practice situation, or a real dungeon. The team issues will become moot at that point. But I'm hugely impatient in my desire to find that group. So I'll vent here, and keep looking in-game :-)

Regarding the question about the tank not having the threat meter. The way I have it working, the Omen display on my screen only shows me the threat of other players who also have Omen (or perhaps KLH also) installed. The other party members who have no threat meter addon, they dont appear on my graph.

So that's why it was important to me that my tank didnt have it installed. I could see the threat level of each member in the party, EXCEPT for the tank's. This made it so I could keep aggro off of me, but if the guy on top of the list was another squishy, and none of us could see the tank's threat level, we just end up throttling our DPS way back for fear of getting even close to the tanks "imaginary" threat level. Or do what most PUG'ers do and go nuclear and wonder why we stole aggro.

Is there a way to make Omen show the threat of other players who don't have a meter addon installed?

bloozarumba said...

I am a level 51 BE pally -- a relative noob to the game yet still amazed how many things go wrong in PuG's. I often see casters nuking mobs before the tank even touches them; players fighting whatever mob is closest them, casters fearing too much and aggroing more mobs and forcing the tank to run around after the mob. LOL- want to kill myself in these instances but often the mobs kill me and party first. Had some disaster at Zul'Farrak where I was healing-- mage and warlock drawing aggro - warlock using minion means i'm healing minion too. So yes if Blizzard could build in the game a threat management module that would be cool.