Friday, December 30, 2011

#05 - Crotch Encounters!

And Here are the magic scripts you'll want to enter into your chat window! You could use an addon that does this for you as well, but if you like being minimalist, just run these once and you'll never have to worry about it again!
Script 1:
/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",50)
Script 2:
/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMaxFactor","3.4")
Just copy and paste these into your chat window like you would normally type into, hit enter, and you're done.  Except now you'll notice how far you can zoom out now and see much more of your surroundings, where the safe spots are, where the adds are spawning from, or position your camera on the opposite side of a boss if you're tanking with your back to a wall.  This is one of the simplest solutions and tanking secrets as to how tanks seem to know everything that's going on around them.

Now, even if you're not tanking, YOU can be empowered to know all and see all!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#04 - Blow it off... with cooldowns!

This will likely be the last Segment of the year. So let's make it through this burn-phase of the holidays with some cooldowns!

I mention an Addon called Power Auras. This addon has been around for a while. Even though there are basic Auras built into the default UI now, to alert you when you get an "On Chance" ability that happens, Power Auras allows you to decide what same or additional information you want to know, how it alerts you and where it alerts you. Maybe you want a big red identifier when your health drops below 40%, or maybe some easier to see indicators when other classes cast special abilities on you. Or maybe you would rather have them off to the side instead of right on your character.

By setting up your own custom auras you can make it phenomenally easier to know when to use your cooldowns in an emergency, but can also help you pace out your cooldowns to use 1 after another in succession, increasing your longevity over a greater duration, especially when you're receiving mitigation or reduction buffs from other players.

Most tanking cooldowns have a 3 minute duration or less. With this kind of availability you can use at least 1 of them nearly every group of trash mobs in dungeons or raids and really decrease your dmg taken (and healing required to keep you alive) so your healer can start healing those guys over there standing in the fire ;) .
In addition to Self alerts via visuals or audio indicators (or both), you can also have Power Auras alert you to Primary or Focused target buffs or debuffs, number of stacks, or a countdown for how long of a timer remains on it.

Allow me to wrap up with another addon which requires Zero setup, works with ANY class or role, extremely handy way to augment Power Auras or use by itself: In-line Auras.
This Places a small ticker, tracker and/or timer on any of your action buttons that have a HoT, DoT or use some kind of resource to build up an ability (like Combo Points or Holy Power). It will countdown your HoT/DoT ticks, tell you your stacks *right on the spell icon*. The advantage here is that there's no additional GUI hogging up your screen and you get the same information as other DoT/HoT trackers out there. One quick glance at your action bars and you know what's up!

Monday, December 5, 2011

#03 - Line of Sight

If you've ever watched the Death Star try to get in Firing Range, then you already have a basic understanding of what Line of Sight is (LOS). The Rebel Base has aggrod the Empire and the Death Star just wants to eat it for lunch but that other darn planet is just in the way! Ok, maybe that is a galactic stretch of an analogy.

Whether you've got the means to take it to them, or drag them to you, or silence any enemy healers at ranged, there's still plenty of situational things that can happen where being able to manipulate mob positions based on your terrain can be quite advantageous and give you that edge other tanks may lack. Remember to communicate to your group about a LOS pull., DPS love to begin, often when you're not quite ready,

There isn't always terrain or an object to force these mob types into a location. If you're in this scenario always bring the Melee mobs as close as you can to the Caster/Ranged mob. However, next time you have a chance and there's a stairway, wall, corner or some other kind of structure that can't be cast through, give it a go. Use the Los!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#02 - Target Icons

Great! Now that you know about watching all those health bars to keep tabs on all the creatures in that pull, eventually you should begin to realize that some enemies hurt more than others and things can go much more smoothly when those certain enemies die before others.

Sometimes you don't realize this until half way through the pull (Maybe you forgot, or maybe you assigned an icon to the wrong target) that things could have been done better. But if you take the time to actually type out "kill that other thing first" you could fall behind quickly and start losing threat on those mobs. Right clicking and choosing icon and then selecting an icon is cumbersome too. It is pretty easy to at least find a few unused keys on your keyboard to bind those high priority icons too.

Here is the Macro discussed in this segment (feel free to modify to suit your needs) that quickly communicates your intention to your group:
/p {skull} First kill ::: {cross} Second kill
/p -- Additional CC. Call out your own --
/p {moon} - {star} - {triangle} - {square}
If you've never made a macro before, don't worry. If you can "Copy and Paste" that blue text above, you can create macros. Here's How!
  • Type /macro in your chat window in game. this brings up the Create Macro interface. 
  • Click the New button Type a name for your macro. (I named mine Kill) 
  • Choose any icon of your liking and click OK. Now you'll have a button in your Create Macro window.
  • In the "Enter Macro Commands:" text box below, Paste the Quoted macro from above into this area. 
Now you can simply drag this spell button onto any of your action bar spaces for easy access to tell your party how you want things to go down!

Monday, November 7, 2011

#01 - Health Bars

In Tanking 101, If you've never played with enemy nameplates or health bars turned on, this is one of the easiest first things you can do that will enable you to tackle more than 1 enemy at a time and keep tabs on all those meanies trying to kill your party members!

Name plates are visible through walls & floors.  You can actively monitor each and every one of the enemies in a group to know how close they are to being dead.  It can also make targeting specific enemies at a distance a little easier, as the name plates stay the same size within their viewable range.
Even in PVP/battlegrounds nameplates can make it easier to find that darn Arcane Blast spamming mage hiding in a bush!

Addons Mentioned:  Tidy Plates + Threat Plates
This addon is functional outside of tanking though, If you're in a healer or DPS role, the addons works in the reverse as described in the segment (They're green when you do not have threat, turn yellow if you're about to pull threat, and turn big & red if you're about to get the bad stuff)

(Threat plates is not a second addon, it is an optional "theme" for use with the Tidy Plates addon)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A short delay...

My segments in the Hearthcast podcast will be delayed.  Apparently a bumper is being made for the segment, but won't be ready until the next show (Episode 92).  I have no idea what they have in store, so this will be a surprise even for me!  (prepares some damage reduction cool downs... ) however, I may still make my own intro/outro for these stand alone segment archives.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hoofit's Podcast Segments

Thanks for visiting! I'm new at this whole podcast/segment stuff so please Bear with me through this learning process.

My first few segments will cover some Tanking tips and general practices applicable to any tanking class and may cover some addons that enhance these basics.
Sure there's Dungeon and Raid guides out there, but if you want to become a tank you may not be sure about some of those things that most tanks take for granted.
I'll be posting segment clips here after they've been added to Hearthcast's Podcasts.

In addition, I decided to start this blog if anyone wishes to discuss things that can be elaborated on here if there are questions about what may have been said in the segments. I'll be trying to keep them very short and concise. If I inadvertently leave (or edit) out something important, You can poke fun at that here!

Stay tuned at for my segments in the show.
Soon.. You CAN have more cowbell!