My guild is probably going to do a "tanking clinic" at some point in the near future. We're basically in a situation where we have a couple of very good tanks, and a whole bunch of tanks who are…weak in various ways. The trick is to figure out the most efficient way to get everyone up to speed and at least in possession of the appropriate information.
So, I'm curious as to what the community's thoughts on this are. What topics are important to hit? How would you present/practice them in a controlled and repeatable group setting?
My current thoughts are to use Lucky as a training dummy, since he's an absolutely inane tank-n-spank fight that hits back at a high enough rate to keep energy management decent and also has enough hitpoints that we're not going to kill him by accident. Bring a bunch of tanks, a healer with a lot of patience and a couple high-burst DPS out and go to town. Everyone would have to be willing to /stuck to avoid getting the boss on respawn lockout. A couple practical things we can practice:
- Openers - Get a geared Combat Sentinel and a Sharpshooter Gunslinger and don't guard either of them. Precast Orbital and pop Inspiration on leap. Get the tanks to hold agro. Openers are really important, and most tanks screw them up royally. All tanks *can* hold agro under these circumstances, but it does require some precision.
- Rotation - Have each tank hold the boss and tank for a minute or two. Watch their abilities and critique rotation and priority queue. Sustained damage is part of every tank's job. Live parsing will probably help.
- Active Mitigation - More important for some tanks than others. Just by watching a buff bar, it's pretty easy to tell if a shadow is screwing things up. Guardians are harder to mess up (keep it all on CD), but it's worth checking. Vanguards have a bit of variance with Energy Blast. The main thing they have to worry about is Shoulder Cannon, which is hard to time without bugging the GCD.
- Kiting - The Lucky arena is fairly large, and he has some physics effects. We could practice kiting him around at a pace that is acceptable for melee.
- Cooldown Usage - This one is harder, because Lucky hits like a wet noodle. Maybe have the healer pause healing at certain intervals to simulate distraction/death/burst damage?
- Tank Swapping - The number of tanks who screw this up is depressing. Swapping smoothly without extra cleaves or refacing/repositioning the boss is a simple skill that's worth practicing.
We could also head out to Makeb or the Czerka daily areas. There are some trash packs that are fairly large, and some which have interrupt or facing mechanics. We could use this to practice cotanking trash, which is an art form unto itself. The DPS could simulate focus targeting, or just complete spread-fail targeting. It's not as good as it could be, since all the packs have very low health, but it works. Maybe the pre-bridge pull in the Section X heroic would be better?
My favorite trash pull in the entire game for learning how to tank difficult trash is the double-carver trash pack right before Titan VI. Unfortunately, that requires an op instance, and thus is harder to orchestrate.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Insults?