Tank like a girl
Aug 31 2009

Wipe-a-thon, the Mimiron Edition

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Last week I extended our raid ID, to get a shot at Mimiron. It was as wipetastic as I expected it to be, but I also walk out of the experience knowing that next time we do this fight, he’ll die be freed from Yogg-Saron’s clutches. So yes, we didn’t down Mimiron yet, but we were well on our way to accomplishing this.

My goal for the day was to see phase 4. On our third try, we got into phase 4. From thereon, some minor mishaps aside (how about both tanks dying to the first Shock Blast in P1, mmm?), we consistently managed to hit P4. Our best try we had the Leviathan at 10%, the middle part at about 15, and the head was at 40ish. That’s not bad at all, if you ask me! Execution is everything here. Everyone living to make it to P4 is another. My plan was to get all parts to 10%, then 5, and then burn them. And next raid, that’s what’s going to happen.

All in all, I thought Mimiron was the most fun encounter so far. So much stuff going on, P4 is just crazy, and yet we were doing so great in parts. I can’t wait to try him again.

On Tankspot I read a strategy where you do not have a ranged DPS tank the head in P3, and that’s what I went with. Our paladin MT’d in P1 and P4, while I basically did nothing but slapping sunders on, keeping Thunder Clap up and waiting for my grand spot in the sun: P3!

The strategy works fantastically well. Basically, as soon as the Aerial Command Unit becomes active, you Taunt it, Heroic Throw or Shattering Throw, and then use Spell Reflect for the first Plasma Ball. From that point on, you do nothing but Spell Reflect and Heroic Throw every cooldown, to keep threat up on him. As you stand right underneath him, you can see every Bomb Bot spawning. Taunt the Bomb Bot when they land, whack them with any attack and keep them from carrying their damage into the raid. That way no DPS needed to pay attention to them and were all able to focus on the Assault-Bots. It worked really well. I managed to reflect about 125k of damage back at the head, and that’s a lot of mana saved and contributed DPS. Not bad for a tank who just stands there for the majority of that phase. You will carry this threat over into P4 and can just keep on doing this. However, make sure that while you keep running around avoiding Shock Blast, mines and Laser Barrage that you continue Spell Reflecting, or you’re going to eat a lot of damage.

I am excited about trying him again, and hopefully by next raid, I can report success! :) Strangely enough, he reminds me of my favorite boss kill of all times, Hex-Lord Malacrass. Hex-Lord was similarly crazy and dynamic, and I think downing Mimiron will feel just as good.

Filed under : raiding, ulduar | 4 Comments »
Aug 27 2009

The gear myth…and other shocking revelations

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When I posted about my guild’s progress in Ulduar this weekend when I was all bubbly and excited, I soon got a downer that really aggravated me. A comment was left cheering the badge changes, making such progress as we had this weekend possible. I resented the implication then and I resent it now. I realize the comment was not meant to denigrate our success as a result of patch 3.2 alone, but it sure sounds like it. I hate pats on the back, but really adore genuine congratulations.

Gevlon, the probably most…hated is probably not the right word, but certainly the most contentious WoW blogger out there, was out to prove that skill > gear, and his guild did that by clearing Ulduar-10 wearing nothing but blue gear.

Impressive feat, isn’t it? And it certainly shows that knowing your class, skill in playing in is a lot more important than any gear upgrades.

Now, I won’t lie, I have received upgrades recently. Let’s look at them in detail.

  • New helmet. Effective gain: 5 strength, 65 armor, 10 defense, 70 parry, 54 hit. Lost 27 stamina.
  • New bracers. Effective gain: 25 stamina, 56 armor, 2 defense, 27 parry, 39 hit. Losing 2 strength, 19 dodge.
  • New chest. Effective gain: 36 stamina, 32 strength, 107 armor, 153 block value, 4 defense, 60 parry. Losing 47 dodge, 38 block.
  • New gloves. Effective gain: 40 stamina, 9 strength, 66 armor, 17 defense, 56 dodge, 49 hit. Losing 43 parry, 30 expertise, 1 socket.
  • New ring. Effective gain: 26 stamina, 34 parry, 26 expertise. Losing 2 strength, 25 defense, 4 dodge.
  • New cloak. Effective gain: 9 stamina, 4 armor, 38 defense, 32 hit. Losing 12 dodge, 21 expertise.
  • New trinket. Effective gain: 15 stamina, plus a frequent armor proc.

Summary: Gained 10 strength, 298 armor aka a damage reduction of 1.76%, 46 defense rating aka 9.35 defense skill, 148 parry rating aka 3.27% parry, 99 stamina aka 990 health, 174 hit (essentially not important for a warrior tank). I lost 25 expertise rating aka 3 expertise (which hurts a lot more than gaining hit outweighs) and 26 dodge rating, aka .57% dodge.

The most dramatic change is the amount of parry. But this is because Blizzard is pushing parry as a stat, when it previously was the redheaded-stepchild of avoidance stats that no one was actively gearing for as you got the lowest bang for the buck.

Parry and dodge are essentially the same for me now, when previously I had a lot more dodge. I phased out more dodge gear in the last couple weeks. I phased out pretty much all of my T7. Looking at the cold numbers I see that my gear improved, but not so dramatically. My avoidance evened out to include another stat. I was able to re-gem because of extra defense, for more effective health. I did not gain dramatic amounts of armor that would suddenly make me take tiny hits.

Gevlon is right when he says all of us are too focused on purples and numbers. I know that a few of our raiders have been grinding heroics for badges every day. Some haven’t at all. Some got maybe one upgrade. Extra mana, attack power, crit, haste, spellpower, they’ll have helped us, sure! But coordinated damage on elementals, focusing on Detonating Lashers and switching to Eonar’s Gift on Freya is not accomplished by gear. The players behind the wheel do that.

The previous week we did not get Thorim down because we had gazillions of adds in the arena and were overwhelmed before the gauntlet team cleared the Ancient Runegiant. Arena was no problem this week, because we had an excellent melee team, including our extremely skilled paladins. On Saturday we did not get Thorim down because adds would kill the gauntlet healer or someone would die in Shockwave. This has everything to do with skill (in this case I failed at picking up adds) and intelligently responding to things like fire/voidzones/poison/shockwave/all sorts of other crap. On Sunday we had two battle resurrections available because we had two druids, so it’s also a question of composition.

Maybe the ultimate revelation is that my guild runs gear requirements, and there are certain limits that you should have reached for raiding, but the most important delimiter for me these days is experience. Earn experience in Naxx, learn to acquire skill, rock the house.

For more thoughts about this, check out what Gravity has to say, and RJK.

And now it’s time to lean back and to find out if Tobold really turns out to be Gevlon, which would be just as shocking as the Ferraro scandal.

Aug 24 2009

Deeper steps into Ulduar

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First-kills feel dang good, don’t they? We’ve had 8 bosses down in Ulduar so far, but we definitely want to get more keepers down and progress. Seeing new content is pretty exciting, even for casual scrubs like us! :)

On Saturday, we mowed through Flame Leviathan, XT-002 Deconstructor, Kologarn and Auriaya, all clean one-shots with no difficulties whatsoever. The only stressful moment was when one of our druid’s rez macro went haywire and she kept announcing midfight that she was rezzing me, then herself, then the other tank healer. Heart attack time! I wasn’t dead, was I? Hee. I was pretty pleased that I finally listened to Veneretio and re-bound Heroic Strike to mousewheel. 2.1k DPS on Kologarn, 25% done by Heroic Strike. It is weird to see Devastate up there. I decided to help melee DPS with sunders on XT’s heart, which led to 36% of my damage coming from Devastate that fight. It’s time to re-write my old tank priority chart to include the new and improved Devastate.

We then did Hodir, and had a heart-breaking 12% wipe killing our streak of one-shots. However, as we’re still struggling on him, that was already an accomplishment. Lots of people (including me being bounced around by an icicle like an idiot) got flash frozen, every single time someone got frozen, and I guess my lecture that people needed to step it up helped, because we all got the Cheese the Freeze achievements for no Flash Freeze victims. That kinda felt good as raid leader! :)

We had enough time for a couple of tries on Thorim. I was gauntlet tank, my partner tanked the arena as bear. From the start, it was easier than our first visit to him, with a lot less arena mobs from what I hear. Gauntlet tanking was fast-paced, and fun. On the try where I did the pep talk that we would first get him into phase 3, we actually did, which also felt good, after the wipefest of the previous raid. Unfortunately, people, including me, were getting tired, and I could feel it wouldn’t happen, at least not on Saturday.

On the second day, we always start with Razorscale as way of warmup, and what a warmup it was. We got A Quick Shave, getting her grounded permanently the second time she landed. Admittedly, she had just tossed us back when she hit the magic 50%, so it was indeed close! Also, I had amazing 73% avoidance in that fight, which is such a sweet thing to see. All my recent gear is very parry-heavy, so I have just about the same distribution for dodge and parry right now. Sweet!

Off we went to Thorim, and started with a misunderstanding in the gauntlet. The second time, we pulled it off flawlessly in the gauntlet, got him into phase 3, our gauntlet boomkin arrived just in time to battle-rez a healer, and we took Thorim down. Not that difficult once you survive phase 2. I think this will be a farm encounter soon.

We then headed to Freya, and I was really unprepared for the trash pulls. There is a lot of trash there, oy. After a few mispulls, we figured it out and soon made it to Freya. I was tanking Freya, and uber-pally was on adds. We had big trouble with the elementals waves who kept coming back. I think at one point we had three waves of adds up at the same time, it was that bad. The Detonating Lasher and the tree waves were no problem, but the elementals need some more work. Nevertheless, the team pulled it off and just as I died a second time on Freya, they brought her into phase 2. She got picked up by our paladin, and they killed her. It felt eerily familiar to the Icehowl kill, with me kissing the floor and the rest of the raid doing the job. It made this firstkill a bit bittersweet for me. I will elaborate more on this tomorrow, I think, today I want to be all happy and uplifted as I should be.

We’re extending our raid ID to get some shots at deeper Ulduar. We have four bosses left standing: Ignis, Mimiron, General Vezax and Yogg-Saron himself. It’s a tough decision to make. Extend the raid ID and risking little to no loot for the raid, or starting fresh, doing farm encounters and having the risk of having to call it before you can do new bosses. We would have had time for one or two tries on Mimiron yesterday, but that would have been it. Tough call. I might change my mind and remove the extended lockout again. Needs some discussing. General consensus seemed to be to extend it.

I’ve been excited about Cataclysm and 3.3 news. I think we’ll actually have cleared Ulduar by the time Icecrown drops, so the timing is great. I don’t know yet if I want to invest much time into the filler raid TotC, because the idea of the Faction Champions encounter is such a turn-off.

Overall, I am just super-proud of my guild this week. We’ve been to Ulduar five times now. Less than 30 hours total, and we’re 10/13 in Ulduar. We’re pretty damn good.

Aug 20 2009

Trial of the Champion

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The latest addition to 5-man instances in WoW is Trial of the Champions. If you look at LFG and /trade on my realm, you could almost think there is no other instance out there. Farmed and farmed and farmed and farmed. However, it’s easy to understand why. Both normal and heroic versions of this instance have pretty amazing drops for 5-mans, item level 200 on normal (on par with Naxx-10 or better) and item level 219 for heroic (on par with Ulduar-10).

What’s expecting you if you haven’t set foot in there? A very fast-paced instance (once you’re past the lengthy intro dialogue), on heroic a surprising amount of damage and hefty DPS as requirement to get shiny loots. Always remember that it’s got a super short corpse run, so if DPS dies, they can always come back, as the instance is not locked!

Encounter 1:
Faction Champions
You can get five possible champions here: a hax warrior, a mage, a rogue, a shaman, a hunter. The jousting part is easy enough. Charge and shield-break kill the three trash mobs in each wave, have the leader mark in what order you want to knock the champions off their mounts, don’t forget to trample them once they’re down and then…either pray that the pickup works, or do what most groups seem to be doing these days and have everyone run out. Due to the nature of the champions getting dismounted sprawled out across the room, it is incredibly difficult to pick the three champions up without one or two party members getting insta-gibbed, unless you manage to dismount them pretty much on top of each other (which we made happen once!) I wish it were different, because I hate the feeling of defeat of running out, but it is definitely easier.

Kill priorities: The shaman heals, so he’s a great target to focus on first. Always number one or two on the list should be the rogue when she is around (female dwarf rogue, wtf?!?). Her poison pools and FoK spam can be lethal and leads to a burden for the healer. Same with the warrior, his Bladestorm and the knockback charge plus Mortal Strike are a PITA. The only problems with mage and hunter are that they are ranged, so it can be difficult to cluster them with the melee mobs. This is more difficult with the hunter, as you can effectively bring the mage into melee range using Heroic Throw or Shield Bash if you are spec’d into Gag Order. Use the normal trick with NPC hunters, slowly move backwards and they will stay in melee range.

Summary: choose a good kill priority, interrupt casts whenever you can, move out of poison pools. Don’t forget to keep the ranged champions clustered with the melee so you won’t lose aggro on them.

Possible loot:

  • Legguards of Abandoned Fealty (normal mode): fantastic pants easily outshining the legs from heroic Violet Hold
  • Mark of the Relentless (heroic mode): fabulous ring very similar to Signet of the Accord, just without defense and increased stats. If you can pull off wearing it despite it not having defense, it’s awesome. I put a +30 stamina gem into it.

Encounter 2:

No matter which of the two bosses you get for the 2nd encounter, you have to deal with three groups of three trash mobs. A priestess, a lightbringer aka paladin and a monk. Unsurprisingly, the priestess heals and on heroic she also MCs, so make sure to interrupt both. The Lightbringer does annoying paladin things. The monk bubbles at the end which slows you down, and that’s just about all it does, annoying each and every person. Pull the priestess with Heroic Throw and tank and spank ‘em.

The two possible bosses have similar loot tables, but they’re not quite identical, so I will list all possible loot for them individually.

Argent Confessor Paletress
The scantily dressed clone of Scarlet Monastery’s Whitemane that listens to confessions on the tournament grounds is the more annoying of the two bosses and on heroic is a serious DPS check. If your DPS does not break 1.5k DPS, you will have a hard time here as some serious damage is flung about that will tax the healer. When she first aggros after the last trash mob is down, she will cast holy spells like Smite and Holy Fire. Smite has a very short cast time but you can time your Shield Bash and force her into melee, which looks funny, and the healer will like it. Once she’s at 25%, she will knock people back, cast a reflective shield on herself and summon a Memory. No matter which Memory you get, be it Heigan or Hogger, they all have the same abilities. The Memory fears for 3 seconds, causes shadow damage and slows down, and puts a bleed on people. Ah, and not to forget the melee damage. The Memory has a big healthpool, 390k to 485k depending on which mode you are in. It’s ideal to have a shaman with a tremor totem, but if that’s not available, use Berserker Rage to break fear. The Memories fear frequently, so BR might be on cooldown still at times.

Once the Memory is out, the encounter turns into a DPS race. The Memory needs to be burned, because while it fears and all the good stuff, Paletress will cast Renew on herself and the Memory and she will smite without any kind of aggro table, which places a strain on the healer. It is only when the Memory is down that her reflective shield drops and you bring her down. Dependent on how long it took you to get the Memory down, she might be at full health again. Dispel all subsequent attempts at Renewing with your friendly Shield Slam and collect some shiny gear at the end of it all.

Summary: burn her, interrupt her holy spells when you can. Burn the Memory, break fear, bring high DPS. Once the Memory is down, it should be no problem to get her down as well.

Possible loot:

  • Mercy’s Hold (normal mode) – lovely gloves, easily beating our T7 gloves
  • Regal Aurous Shoulderplates (heroic mode) – say it isn’t so, but these shoulders are fabulous. I will have to replace my beloved T7 shoulders with these boring looking ones. But the stats are awesome.
  • Helm of the Crestfallen Challenger (heroic mode) – same ol’ look as the Tempered Titansteel, this winged helmet is heavy on parry, stamina, hit. It’s a steal. And a blue socket. This can be turned into a stamina monster.
  • Peacekeeper Blade (heroic mode) – turkey knife, or lovely itemized tanking sword that has no no defense? It has a yellow socket however, so you can gem it for defense without losing the expertise bonus, or whatever you want to stuff in there. WTB more tanking axes.

Eadric the Pure
Compared to Paletress, he’s a harmless loot pinata. As a paladin, he will throw his Hammer of the Righteous at people. This can be dispelled. Or you throw the hammer back at him, as your main action bar will be replaced with a hammer button once the stun wears off. Other than that, you only need to pay attention to his Radiance spell. He loudly announces the cast, you turn your back to him until he’s done, and then you continue. Harmless, easy, tank and spank.

Summary: tank and spank, turn your back on him when he casts Radiance.

Possible loot:

Encounter 3:
The Black Knight
This three phase encounter is the most heal-intensive and challenging of the three encounters. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I myself am at times having problems keeping phase 2 under control.

Phase 1:
The Black Knight is a pretty default DK, who uses diseases and summons the herald he killed as ghoul. As the herald will annoyingly jump around siwtching aggro and will also explode after a while, he should be quickly burned at the start of the fight. I have not been able to interrupt Death’s Respite, which is the knockback he casts on random party members. This is a very easy phase.

Phase 2:
He comes back as a skeleton who immediately starts casting Army of the Dead. It’s easiest here if everyone piles up on the tank because trust me, running around like a headless chicken peeling single ghouls of the 8 ghouls that are summoned is no fun whatsoever. If everyone’s on top of the tank, it is a lot easier to keep this encounter under control. These ghouls need to be killed quickly. If you see them start growing you must run out immediately, as the explosions hurt a lot. It is important to move out of the Desecration that the Black Knight will cast on random targets. If you can get rid of the ghouls quickly, this is not too bad at all.

Phase 3:
This is the ‘Let’s pray enough people survive’ part of the fight. It’s made infinitely easier by having Shadow Protection from a priest or paladin available. The Black Knight will cast a stacking shadow damage attack at people, plus he will cast a non-dispellable debuff on someone increasing damage by 200%. So basically, if you’re unlucky and the healer gets hit, this can get rough. Save cooldowns for this part of the fight, and blow them all, this is the ultimate DPS race.

Possible loot:

  • The Black Heart (normal mode) – this trinket makes the place the place-to-be for any tank. 126 stamina and a frequent proc is amazing. Do it, become a member of the Black Heart club!
  • Girdle of the Pallid Knight (normal mode) – definitely on par with the EoH belt, and a very welcome addition to a weak slot in ilevel 200 gear.
  • The Warlord’s Depravity (heroic mode) – the BK’s only tank drop on heroic is a pretty nice necklace that has dodge and a whopping 104 SBV. I merely use this for threat fights, the very easily obtainable Shard of the Crystal Forest is far superior as far as necklaces go.

Hope this is helpful to some of you. Enjoy running the place, and may the loot gods grant you better tank favor than they’ve granted me lately! *mumbles about spellpower plate*

Filed under : Gear, guide, instances | 13 Comments »
Aug 17 2009

Recent raiding adventures

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I really wanted to post about our last Ulduar raid, just never got around to it. It was my first raid weekend where I didn’t tank, as we had enough tanks but not enough healers or DPS. On the first day we killed the standard program that we manage so far, FL, XT, Kologarn, Auriaya, and then wiped to Hodir. The next day we killed Razorscale, Hodir, and Iron Council after we gave up on Thorim.

Thorim was an interesting albeit frustrating experience. I am not sure how I would ever be able to tank the arena (which is why I am glad that I was blood DK DPS). Our protection paladin had issues picking up all the mobs, and we were just torn apart in the arena. The gauntlet team got the second boss down, so I think with a little practice, we’ll get through Phase 2 soon. However, I am thinking moving to Freya might maybe be a better option, but I am not 100% sure. She sounds a lot more complex, but maybe not as rocky as Thorim. We’ll work more on him next week.

Due to my work schedule, I have not really been able to run heroics much, and I still have the issue that I usually show up when the guild groups have already started running. I think that showed when I daringly scheduled a Trial of the Crusader raid. Our protection paladin has been running heroics consistently, so she has 2pc T8 and goodies.

First off, our Trial of the Crusader raid was very successful as we managed to down both encounters that are currently available. I found the difficulty on Northrend Beasts a lot higher than on Lord Jaraxxus. We had several issues on Northrend Beasts. I had an incredibly high fatality rate on Gormok the Impaler, and for the first time I felt like an undergeared tank scrub. We first started switching aggro at 3 stacks, but later moved to 2 stacks, because I would inevitably die, despite blowing all the cooldowns I had, using Disarm every cooldown, really trying my best. To add insult to injury, our paladin’s threat output is definitely superior to mine. This meant that after the Taunt wore off, Gormok would just go right back to her. Very humbling and disappointing.

Eventually we got that under control, and reliably made it to the blasted Jormungars. I was Dreadscale tank. We picked them up right by the door, and that’s where the problems started. How to kite Dreadscale so that the toxin people didn’t have to run far, but that I wouldn’t carry Burning Bile and poison rings into the raid? We tried the path around the wall, which didn’t work, then I led him around the Acidmaw tank behind her. That seemed to work a lot better, though it still felt like I was carrying death and destruction through the raid. In the end, I died just as Acidmaw went down and was able to watch Icehowl from the ground. I felt Icehowl was the fun reward the raid gets for having survived the Jormungars. Looked incredibly fun. The first time we got past the Jormungars, we had it.

 
For Lord Jaraxxus, I had the easy job. Pretty much a tank and spank with interrupts. I only had to move him when a volcano came too close. Originally, I had wanted to tank adds, but then we changed plans, so I could dispel his Nether Power with Shield Slam. The first try, we had people with Legion Fire go down, and then got overwhelmed by adds, and the second try we had it. As was the story of my life yesterday, I went down when he was at 4%, but our pally picked him up, and we got him. Really easy fight, considering it took us 10 minutes to get him down, after wiping on Northrend Beasts for more than 2.5 hours.

 
I got me a shiny, the very nice Dreadscale Bracers that I will gem nicely with a +30 stamina gem and slap the +40 stamina enchant on them. Nommy! On my to-do-list for this week is running more heroics for badges and giving the triumph list a long, hard look to figure out a gear priority. Expect a look at the Emblem of Triumph gear soon.

Aug 11 2009

The week after

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The first week after a content patch is always one that’s a) busy as people are trying out the new content and b) ripe with frustration at the numerous bugs that need to be hotfixed. With 3.2, both is the case, as my guild has seen record numbers of people being online, while being plagued with bugs in several instances.

Two of the more common bugs appear to be buggy encounters in the new 5-man, but also bugged raid bosses, e.g. Gothik, Thorim and XT. I’ve run into the Trial of the Champion bugs several times. The champions of the first encounters won’t stay down, e.g., or the trash groups before Paletress/Eadric are clumped together.

Speaking of the new 5-man, it follows the tried and trued Magister’s Terrace model: definite step-up in difficulty compared to the other instances, with the same increase in loot quality. I have had beautiful groups of friends in there where we just tear through the instance, or I have had groups where DPS was so abysmal that we had to call it on Paletress. My advice to anyone who wants to do this on heroic is to really find a group that brings it in all three departments: tank, heals and DPS. Don’t drag your groups down when you just can’t break 1.5k DPS, be sensible. Yes, this also includes my guildies.

The new 5-man does of course offer very tasty tank loot and I was able to grab most pieces the many times I have run this place now. I’d first like to proudly declare myself a member of the Black Heart club, along with such ‘famous’ members as Veneretio and Spinks! It took me about 5-6 consecutive runs on normal mode before I finally got it, which was pretty happy-making.

On heroic, I have scored the Mark of the Relentless and Warlord’s Depravity. The latter is a very strong SBV neck, despite the not updated Wowhead tooltip, and the former is a wonderfully itemized ring that is a stamina dream. It has no defense, but I have gotten a lot of defense heavy upgrades that I can actually wear it now. I also broke a personal milestone, I hit 30k health unbuffed. Finally! I wouldn’t mind getting the other two tank drops in there, preferably the helmet, and I am sure I will eventually.

A common argument of the people who don’t like the badge changes is that it provides gear to casuals who don’t need upgrades, but they are forgetting the big part where upgrading your gear just fills great. It’s a sense of personal accomplishment at any level of play. Gear upgrades make people feel happy, and that’s why everyone’s running Trial of the Champion over and over again, and why people run chain heroics. I managed to snag two emblem purchases, Platinum Mesh Cloak and Gauntlets of the Royal Watch, and along with the drops from ToC, it’s a great feeling. Every emblem naysayer should think about that. Let other people have fun too!

I will admit that this first week after the patch was more filled with frustration than I have experienced in a long while, and those of you who follow me on Twitter will likely have seen screams of outrage that are a bit unlike me, at least to this public extent. Stuff just boiled over for me. A big contributor is that most days my guild is only able to field one group into heroics during my playtimes, and yet, no one ever asked me along on the fun. People are running chain heroics, and yet here I am, the guild officer who has to PUG. That was incredibly frustrating. By now, I know I am not the only one who feels left out, and we’ve been able to do runs on our own. I guess it’s an issue in guilds of our size that can’t be helped. It’s still been a hurtful experience.

I have had more personal issues as well, and the only thing I want to say about that is that it’s not polite or nice to whisper other people in your character’s main spec every single drop you’ve been getting. It doesn’t accomplish anything but breed resentment, especially if that’s the only kind of conversation you ever have. This might seem hypocritical seeing as I at times use this blog to tout all the new gear I have acquired. But I think there’s a difference.

In a later post, I will post about my experiences tanking Trial of the Champion, it certainly has a lot to offer on the challenge plate, and I will of course have to talk about our first visit to Thorim in Ulduar, and pick your collective brains for advice.

How’s the first week of 3.2 been treating you?

Aug 04 2009

Happy Patch Day

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Sorry for the long silence, but I moved RL, and have only returned to WoW this weekend.

Today is one of those long dull Tuesdays over here, called Patch Days. They usually mean no playtime til Wednesday, because servers come back so late that it’s bedtime over here. It’s time for 3.2, highly anticipated by many, and strangely enough dreaded by just as many, at least based on the vibe I got from the WoW Twitterati. I am kinda torn on my own feelings about the patch, so here’s my personal look at the patch today.

Pros:

  • Warrior changes: Increased radius for our shouts; 100% buffed damage of Devastate; more attack power via Armored to the Teeth; Shield Specialization now grants 5 rage per block, dodge or parry. It’s not a huge buff, but it’s a buff, and I will enjoy the DPS increase and the availability of more rage in all tanking situations. Premonition’s DPS parses showed a big jump for Devastate, which is awesome. Speaking of Premo, check out Xav’s Tank Tests as well.
  • Shaman changes: totem bar, Call of Fire to put down totems within one GCD. What’s not to love about that? :) Also, increased range for all shocks; increased jump distance for CH plus less heal decrease per jump; 2 minute cooldown for Nature’s Swiftness
  • Death Knight changes: I am no tank, I don’t like Unholy, so I am happy as blood DK and will go back to the same spec I currently have. Big plus for me: fixed RP cost and fixed duration for Dancing Rune Weapon. This means I can now reliably use it every cooldown, instead of waiting for 100 RP.
  • Emblem changes: heroics will find a sudden rise in popularity again, and I get to play the gear game again. This will be a huge help for us in Ulduar and will lessen the gap between my guild’s Naxx raiders and the Ulduar team.
  • Trial of the Champion, a new 5-man. Not so thrilled about the jousting boss, but variety is good. 
  • Raid ID extensions. This could be hugely helpful for us as we’re trying to push deeper into Ulduar and are still running out of time. I think we’ll use this feature to get more attempts in on the Keepers.
  • Nexus instances: drakes scaling with gear. About freaking time. This should make Oculus and EoE phase 3 less painful.
  • Bye bye to some addons, welcome to the general UI: Doublewide, EquipCompare, SellFish
  • Boosts for twinks: earlier mounts, faster mounts, heirloom cold-weather flying, new heirloom chest. Doesn’t really help me specifically as my lowest played character on Bronzebeard is 66, but I can see how many people will find this helpful.

I am sure I forgot something or another, but that’s all the good stuff I got at a glimpse at the patch notes. I am definitely most excited to see what change I’ll see while tanking, but I think other than a DPS increase, I won’t notice much.

Cons:

  • Where’s my fix for Heroic Strike? Since 3.0 the devs mention it, and still, there is no fix. Not even an attempt. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Spam. One. Button
  • A jousting encounter. Did I mention how quickly the novelty of jousting wore off, and that I know maybe one person (hi Rilgon!) who actually enjoys jousting?
  • The tedious Argent Tournament quests got some fixes that make them even more tedious. 3 Boneguard Commanders, really? Specific mobs for the Scourge quests, so that you’ll have camped mobs? I’ll never do that quest anymore, ever. But as I want to see the new quests, I’ll have to continue grinding it out, to hit Exalted and get the Crusader title. Bleh.
  • The Block changes are lame. Diminishing returns on Shield Slam is also not very exciting. 
  • Despite having similar combat ratings to Dodge now, Parry is still weaker, and diminishes more quickly than dodge. What’s the point?
  • I do not like the change to Tidal Waves for shamans. I will miss my super-fast Lesser Healing Waves.
  • Why did Blacksmiths get zippo zilch? Every profession got a boost, blacksmiths get absolutely nothing.
  • I don’t care about the new raid yet, because as long as Ulduar isn’t cleared, I don’t want to set foot in there. Strangely enough I feel a bit rushed now.

All things considered, the cons list is not that bad. It could be a lot worse. So, a very mixed bag, this patch. How about you guys, what are your thoughts on 3.2, what do you like, what do you hate? Would love to hear opinions. :)

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