Mmmm - I loves me some threat. Last night I took three of our heavy hitting DPSers (Hunter, Boomkin, and Retadin) and sauntered into H VH to test some threat generation. In hindsight I probably should have grabbed one of our feral druids that keeps dying due to pulling hate - but I'm fairly convinced that happens just because they are idiots.
Now I don't want to get off on a rant (Dennis Miller, I miss your comedy - come back to us), but watching DPS die from pulling agro pisses me off almost as much as that warlock who refuses to not be hit by Thorim's lightning. I think the only thing that pisses me off more is DKP/Loot babies who bitch about paying for offspec gear. Get over it.
Anyway, I'd consider our guild to be fairly progression oriented. Our 10 man group is doing exceptionally well, with Algalon being our final hurdle in the boss chain. Our 25 man has done a few hard mode attempts, but we're having problems with the execution. Some of it is from stupid deaths, other parts are from stupid players.
Watch your threat dummy
I DPS'd on a warrior long before the reduced threat mechanic was added to Imp Brezerker Stance. I watched Omen like a hawk, and when the kalxon horns started sounding at 100% threat...I stopped DPSing. Yeah, that's right. I let my own numbers slide for a second to give the tank a second to rebuild his agro. I sacrificed my own epeen for the raid, so that I didn't pull the boss and get one shot. Why? Because dead DPS have a theoretical output of ZERO.
Now don't get me wrong. A tank can't just sit back and blame the DPS - as a tank you have to break you back every boss to make sure that your threat is as high as possible. The symbiotic relationship is pretty simple. The more threat the tank generates, the more DPS that can be done, which means the boss dies faster, meaning less healing is needed. It's not rocket science.
Know when to back off
Get lucky and catch a sunbeam, the shaman buff, and 10 stacks of cozy fire 22 seconds into Hodir? Know how fast you can open up the throttle. Sure, your tank should be hit capped for specials, and have enough expertiese to reduce dodges, but really - maybe he got a bad string. Open up like you're racing a Formula 1 car though, and there's a good chance you're going to spend the rest of the fight looking at the floor.
Another instance where you might want to learn some self restraint is Freya's lashers, especially with 1 or more keepers up. These bad boys hit for a lot of damage, and when you kill them in quick succession on top of your priest - well, congratulations on the fratricide.
The fact that these things still happen, not to mention the avoidable environmental damage that gets eaten, are some of the big reasons why we can't get hard modes in our 25s.
Tannyr has a great thread over at WoW-Pro on the full 9/6/9 Paladin threat rotation, complete with graphs, addon suggestions, and pictures for those of us that don't read so well. It's a great setup, and one worth spending the time on.
What I want to add is that you have to know your raiders. Obviously in the world of AoE heroics, your average PuG isn't going to listen - but your regular guild mates and raiders should. Remind them that just because you pulled with your face, that doesn't mean they can open the can yet. If they can't wait five seconds, tell them to wait until there's at least one tick of consecrate on - or three stacks of SoV. I've yet to see a fight where three seconds of lower DPS in the first 15 will lead to a wipe.
In short - work with your DPS. Let them know how much threat you're putting out, and bust your hump on every pull to make sure it's as high as it can be. Don't forget to pick up Vindication in 3.2 if you don't have a warrior in your group. Knocking off over 500 AP from the boss is no small reduction to incoming damage.
Fragment count - 20. Here's hoping for a good drop reset next week.