Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tanking Primer: Racials

Greetings everyone and apologies for the lack of content on the blog recently. I have been a bit busy for a while, dealing with various real-life issues, as well trying to maintain my in-game presence. One these was a pretty bad period of migraines, which I suffer from regularly, and had to, on one occasion, visit the emergency room. Anyway, I should have it mostly under control now, so without further due, lets kick start this day’s topic. I decided on this particular subject, simply because of the overwhelming number of people who are ask about it. I am not kidding when I say that if I had a dime every time somebody, at mmo-c or other discussion boards, asked this I could buy a cool new iphone instead of paying my rent. Another reason for picking this topic is because boards like mmo-c have a problem with people posting, simply for the purpose of boosting their post count, resulting in that the threads are eventually clogged by people saying every race between earth and heaven is a good alternative.

While it certainly holds true that any race fits the description just fine, as racial benefits are not very earth shattering, there are still choices to be made, particularly if you are interested in truly min-max’ing your character, as I assume most people are.

So what are the best races? To me, survivability is the key element to search for and with that in mind, it brings out the three most prominent alternatives; dwarves and elves on the alliance side, and tauren on the horde side. They are the three most viable choices, hands down. Some people argue for all sort of other attributes, like arcane torrent for blood elves and regeneration for trolls but the simple fact is that for tanks, survivability trumps everything else. This actually favors the Alliance side a lot more because we current have the strongest of the available racials.

Elves gain quickness, 2% extra miss chance to their avoidance, allowing them to reach 100% coverage on the attack table a bit quicker. Dwarves, however, have stoneform which not only removes all poison, disease, bleed effects but also grants a 10% damage reduction from all sources, including physical and magic, for 8 seconds. To me, that is easily the best racial you can get for a tank. For the horde, your options are a lot more limited and quite poor for now. Taurens gain endurance, which increases their base health. This was actually quite powerful back in Wrath of the Lich King expansion, where EH was the undisputed master of all attributes, but now in Cataclysm, EH is probably the poorest attribute that you can increase. It can help a little, for those tanks who still opt to stack stamina, but I do not put much stock in that paradigm.

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