Archive for the ‘ramblings’ Category »
Months ago, I think it was in February, I mentioned in one of my blog posts that I have a Formspring account now and that everyone’s welcome to ask questions. Then I promptly forgot about it. Shame on me!
Yesterday I got an e-mail alerting me that I had gotten a new question, which reminded me that I have this account still. Guess what, I found 13 questions, most of them fairly old. Nevertheless, you deserve your answers, so this is part 1 of a 2-part series of me responding to the questions!
1. What motivates you in WoW? Is it the gear, in-game friends, progression, trying to reach tanking perfection, etc etc., asked by an anonymous reader
I am a very goal oriented WoW player who prefers group content of any kind. Gear is definitely nice, but ultimately a means to an end, to push further in the game. I love progression, but it has to be with my friends, which is why I love the tightly knit 10-man raid environment the most. I am very much a perfectionist and have quit playing characters that I feel I cannot achieve the high standards I set for myself. So, as summary, my top motivation in WoW is to kick some serious ass with my friends and experience all PvE content.
2. Why do you enjoy tanking? What have been your favourite encounters in WotLK?, from another anonymous reader
That’s a vaaaast question and will be answered in my warrior post for the tanking series I started back in March/April. I still intend to finish it. So I will respond to the encounters part instead. I think my favorite encounter vote goes to *drumrolls* Mimiron! I thought it was a well-thought encounter that was complex to master, made you feel like you were going insane, especially in P4. But so much fun! Definitely a WotLK highlight. I pretty much am a fan of most Ulduar encounters, though Freya can go DIAF. I thought they all had some interesting mechanics, and it helped that the instance was beautiful.
ICC is not quite as inspiring as Ulduar to me. Of the encounters in there so far I would say that I like Putricide most. It has the complexity that I expect as wing endboss, requires good coordination, and then goes crazy in P3. Besides, it offers the offtank a unique role as abomination that is far superior to many other fights. My thoughts on off-tanking in ICC deserve a post of its own.
3. Your posts on gear for new 80′s are great. What do you think about Heroic level talent specs & glyphs for new Warrior tanks, i.e. pre Raid builds? Everyone’s gotta start somewhere , another anonymous question.
I did actually post about builds way back in April 2009, when dual specs were released. In my mind, you either use the threat build including Deep Wounds, or you use a more defensive build for progression raiding. For someone who’s a fresh 80, Deep Wounds all the way. As new tank you’ll probably struggle with AoE threat, so pick up Cleaving, Shockwave and Sunder Armor, and Thunder Clap is a must as minor.
Soon, we’ll have vastly different talent trees, and I am looking forward to finding out what will work best in Cataclysm.
4. Are you going to roll a werewolf or a goblin in the expac? asked by Jenny
For the Horde! There’s no question for me, I want to play a goblin, very badly. Ever since I watched Gravity’s goblin DK video, I want me one of those. It doesn’t hurt that all reports I have heard so far indicate that the goblin starting zones are fantastic fun. I am actually transferring my level 70 rogue off Bronzebeard, to make room for the future goblin hunter. I really need more character slots.
I will eventually roll a worgen as well, but likely only to play the start zone. I don’t have room on Bronzebeard for a 2nd alliance character, and I do not know any other alliance players US-side. I know a lot of people are very excited about the worgen, but they don’t actually appeal to me that much.
5. On the ‘Bioware spectrum’, when starting a new single-player RPG, do you usually play light side/paragon/good or dark side/renegade/evil?, asked anonymously.
Bioware has been for years the only crack that gets me away from WoW. I have played KotOR, Jade Empire, both Mass Effects and of course Dragon Age. I always go for the paragon side somehow. The glowier the halo, the happier I am. I always peter out when I try to play the dark side. But I owe it to myself to complete Mass Effect 2 as a badass renegade sometime in the near future. I am almost more excited about Mass Effect 3 than Dragon Age 2.
6. Now that you have tried both, what’s harder in end game – healing or tanking?
I think every role in WoW is equally hard in end-game. To be a capable tank, healer or DPS, it’s all challenging, to do it right. I know that people tend to say DPS is easily replaced, but I don’t find that’s true at all. Progression falters when DPS is lacking, just as much as it stalls when tanks have low health pools or healers can’t keep people up. I personally am still more intimidated by healing, but I also find it extremely fun, just as much as tanking.
7. There is a lot of discussion on WoW becoming too easy. What are your thoughts? Also, do you think there will be a gap between now and Cataclysm where people are milling around in-game because everyone already has T9/T10 gear?
I firmly believe that dungeon design dumbed down a lot of elements in WotLK. A complete lack of scaling has made heroics laughable since Ulduar, so for almost 1.5 years now. As tank, I miss careful pulls, marking kill order, assigning crowd control options. Even before we all started outgearing heroics, people had lost interest in that, because they had AoE buttons and tanks were suddenly able to keep large groups of mobs on them.
As a 10-man raider, I don’t feel WoW has become too easy. Naxxramas was an easy raid, Ulduar was awesome, ToC is this weird place that takes as long as a TBC 5-man would have taken, and Icecrown Citadel has some great encounters.
This question was actually asked 5 months ago, and it should be pretty obvious that a lot of us are now milling around in game, because almost all content is done. My guild needs LK and Ruby Sanctum still, but after that, there’s only hardmodes left and that’s not really new content. I have no idea what we’ll all do, aside from leveling more and more alts.
And that’s it for today, I will continue this on Tuesday. If you want to add your own questions, please do!
And more importantly, is anyone still reading this? Thank you all for your concerned e-mails, I did appreciate every single one of them.
What happened since the last posts in April? Severe tank burn-out, is what. I basically made a promise to myself when I started blogging that I would take a positive approach to WoW and my chosen class, because there’s already a ton of negativity out there in the so-called WoW community. But back then in April, when the other three guild tanks posted their takes on why they love tanking like a girl, I was not in the correct mindspace to tell you why I love being a warrior tank, because at the time I didn’t love it.
It’s now four months later, and I am back to doing what I love, tanking for my guild. Remember that series of tanking posts? Our druid disappeared into the nether, without so much as a word of goodbye, and thus our tank numbers were down to 3. Our paladin can often not make our raid times, so instead of chain-healing it up, I went back to tanking, and fell in love with it all over again.
I generally have a strong dislike of tanking LFD groups in full pugs, because I have been treated like crap from people who only care about speed and their e-peen. On the other hand, on my healer alts I have met so many arrogant tank douchebags that I can relate to some general contempt people have for tanks. Anything from tanks needing all greens as their ‘fee’ for tanking to guys who will insult their groups, feeling entitled from their 30 second queues. I probably have seen it all.
This only makes me appreciate the good tanks more. The calm tanks who will keep an eye on healer mana, especially lesser geared healers. The ones who will spare a friendly word to the rest of the group and just do their job. People like us, we’re still out there. And so I am back.
I am excited about Cataclysm. I hope that it will bring about some changes to the game, like the return of CC, a reduced pace, an end to the zerg rushes that are all everyone knows at this point in WoW. I am not going to dig into the prot changes yet, because things are so in flux, ever-changing. But I have a good feeling about Cataclysm.
Game-wise, I am now 11/12 in Icecrown Citadel-10. I just spent my first six hours wiping on LK phase 2. So far phase 2 has been the brick wall we throw ourselves against, but our work has only just started. I have tanked every fight in there on my warrior, and healed every fight on my shaman. I have six level 80s now, but I only actively play 3 of them at a time. At this moment it’s my warrior, my shaman and my latest 80, my druid.
I have to finish leveling my paladin to 80, she’s been at 78 for months now. When I was burnt out on tanking, I was also burnt out at the thought of doing the tank gear grind on a second character. But I will, eventually. Cataclysm is still far away, and WotLK’s greatest failure is that there is not enough to do, aside from ‘level to 80 and get the character geared’, over and over. I bet that the number of people with characters in endgame has never been higher than today. A common complaint is that there’s nothing to do aside from raiding, and when you have a guild with only six hours of raiding a week, at most, there’s not much reason to be on inbetween.
So here I am, ready to tell you more stuff about life as a prot warrior, ready to share my bucket list, my general view of tanking in WotLK and whatever else comes to mind. Feels good to be back. I hope a few of you will still be here to read it.
I got some very positive feedback on last week’s post, especially from female tanks, so I am very happy to continue this week. Guild tank number 2 I would like to introduce to you is Shiawase. Her main is an Arms warrior, so she’s very familiar with my own class, but she’s also an excellent paladin tank. She’s also one of the raid leaders of our sister guild on alliance side on our realm Bronzebeard, and an all around awesome person I am happy to call my friend. Now, paladins are somewhat the…hm, arch-nemesis of warriors in some respects, as they are so strong in all the areas that warriors are weaker. I have certainly done my share of whining when tanking alongside a paladin, because it can get frustrating. But ultimately, we’re one team, we tank, we rock the house. Enough of my ramblings, I shall let the belf take over my blog now.
The first time I walked into a raid to tank was in the days of vanilla WoW, for Zul’Gurub. I was tanking the snake boss on my warrior… and… it was awesome! I had so much fun taking the hits instead of dishing them out for once, and needing to use my abilities to keep the boss’ attention on me and to stay alive was pleasantly different!
Now, that wasn’t actually my entrance into tanking as a main spec, but that feeling stayed by me and it was something I wanted to experience again. That didn’t come until months later, well into The Burning Crusade. I told myself I needed to finally make a horde character that I didn’t abandon at level 20 and see what life was like on that side of the fence.
Today, that character is Shiawase, my blood elf paladin. At a glance, you wouldn’t think that she could hold up against a boss like Onyxia. She’s so tiny! Surely the dragon could just eat her? Thankfully, Shiawase has holy magic on her side. At least, that’s how I explain it.
What I enjoy so much as a paladin in a raid is that tanking doesn’t have to be my only job. I have a wide variety of abilities that are useful in particular situations – many of which come up regularly over the duration of a raid. Hand of Salvation for that Arms Warrior (because, bless their aggro-loving souls, they have no threat drop short of death); Lay on Hands the other tank when her health drops frighteningly low during an enrage; Blessing of Protection on that healer that attracted a couple too many adds.
Something I enjoy is feeling like my character is useful. I leveled up a druid in vanilla WoW so I could help heal when we were low on healers. I play an Arms warrior that gives some useful physical damage buffs (bonus: more fun to play than Fury (imo haha)). My paladin offers tanking to a guild that needs it – but with it I also have an arsenal of abilities that are unique to paladins that I can use to help my raid and maybe even save it from a wipe.
While tanking… I can multitask. That’s pretty awesome! It isn’t only related to raiding either… while doing heroics, I can easily tab out and chat in AIM since I have so much AoE threat I’ll probably never lose aggro…
…okay actually I’m sort of kidding on that last one.
But seriously, heroics on my paladin are a breeze, and that makes them fun. I have a warrior and her offspec is Protection, but you pretty much have to pay me (or be my sister and guilt me) to tank a pug on her. Just thinking about it makes me all stressed out and we’re not even at the point yet where none of the DPS are bothering to assist. My paladin takes the stress factor away. I’m consecrating, Hammer of the Righteous-ing, and Seal of Vengeance-ing myself to the second spot (well, sometimes the first) on the damage meters most of the time and I enjoy it because staying on top of threat doesn’t feel like a chore.
I originally leveled Shiawase to see what the Horde thing was all about. I decided I wanted to try out tanking. At level 80 I bounced between three specs, had rubbish gear for all of them, and didn’t know what to do with myself until finally I said to myself, “Hey you know, my guild needs tanks and you are halfway there. You liked this in the last expansion. Let’s do this thing.” I haven’t looked back since. It’s a good thing that Shiawase has that holy magic to protect her slight form from being immediately gobbled up by a dragon, because I intend to have her on the front lines, tanking the biggest and baddest bosses, for as long as I am playing World of Warcraft!
I have been one of the very few tanks in my guild for years now. We just never have a lot of those. In TBC, it was two warriors, a bear, and very late into the expansion a paladin or two. In WotLK we struggled in similar fashion. For a good long time, it was me and a paladin. The paladin moved on, and our first DK tank emerged. Now, going towards the end of the expansion’s life cycle, we finally have four progression tanks signing up for raids, more than we have ever had before. In a guild of more than 400 characters, it’s just those four for progression. Interestingly enough, the four of us are all of a different class. And thus, the idea grew in my head how it would be to ask those other three to collaborate, and truly make this blog represent how it is to tank like a girl. Four girls, all of them tanks, representing their views on why they love tanking, and why they love their particular class, and any thought that comes to mind.
Today I bring you part I of this collaboration. Let me introduce you to our newest Daughters of the Horde tank. She’s only recently joined us, leveled to 80 and went off into the world of pug tanking right away. She then joined us in Trial of the Crusader and now Icecrown, to tank bosses WITH HER FACE! It is my pleasure to introduce you to Beisenberger.
Tank Like a Resto Druid
My love affair with the druid began nearly 3 years ago. In fact, it was only moments after I installed World of Warcraft for the first time on my geriatric, hand-me-down computer (a PC that could be classified alongside such technical marvels as the EASY-BAKE Oven) that I had zoned into Mulgore on my very first toon..the bipedal cow. Er…I mean the Tauren Druid.
Life was good. In my state of newbness, I achieved level 10 through an attempt to bludgeon every mob with my staff. Needless to say, I encountered several trips to rediscover my corpse. But after these many out of body experiences, something marvelous happened: Bear Form.
Immediately, my world changed. The once ‘laughable’ love taps from my melee weapon turned into deadly mauls, and the once deadly beatings from the enemy turned into laughable love taps. Clearly, things were going well.
As I leveled the Druid, I experienced all 4 specs offered from this amazingly fun hybrid class. When I reached end game, I decided, “Why don’t I heal for a while until I’m more comfortable with raiding.” Little did I know that ‘a while’ would turn into almost 2 years!
Though I do enjoy healing, it seems that when a person becomes comfortable in a certain role, they forget that sometimes, it would be nice to have a mangling, swipe-mashing, BADASS BEAR. (Especially when you had a particularly awful day at work! Just come home and…RAWR!Slash!MAUL!Grrr!. Therapy.)
You see, tanking in end game was always something I ‘wanted to try’ when I ‘had the time’. And aside from leaving the safety zone of a role I’d played for years…as a female player, there was also a hesitation to fulfill the most brawny role in the game. Melee and tanking classes don’t seem to be quite as appealing as some of the more ‘girl friendly’ classes that WoW offers. And I’m not just talking about male Bloodelves here, I’m pretty much referencing any class whose strong points rest in ‘mind over matter’. (Or anyone that wears a dress in place of armor.)
Let’s face it. On a global scale, women are not renowned for their ability to bench press 200 lbs and smash beer cans with their foreheads. This being said, I think there is a grave fallacy when the classic female mind first studies a tank.
“Ew, he’s going to hit me? IN THE FACE??. And what is this? A hammer? I have to pound that into some dude’s ribcage? No thanks, that’s pretty barbaric.”
In this way, women misjudge the tank. Tanks do not actually symbolize strength in an aggressive, physical way. They are not bullies, they are not self-centered. A tank symbolizes endurance. They do not attack to harm…but they do protect others at all costs.
To endure and protect. Are those masculine traits?
I don’t think so.
In fact, one of the most feminine characteristics in the world happens to be endurance.
It is the cornerstone of a woman’s ability to overcome any odds by her sheer willpower. To give birth, to endure that pain. To raise her children, to comfort the people she loves when they are grieving, to stand up to men who are bigger, stronger, more powerful then they…to place others joys and sorrows above their own. To lose and to live on. To preserve life.
Protecting others at the cost of oneself? I don’t think I have to sell that point at all. It is ‘clear as day’ feminine.
So, If all this is true, how did these brazen, manly claims come about on an overtly girl-tastic role?
I can’t tell you that. But, I can tell you that I’ll have a blast figuring it out as I perfect my mangling, swipe-mashing, BADASS BEAR TANK on WoW.
It’s been over a month since I last posted in early February. After that post, something happened that I had not forseen, a combination of burnout both as protection warrior and as blogger. My original vision for this blog was to post and share my experiences as a protection warrior in a casual WoW environment, who happens to play a role that is traditionally male-dominated, more than any other role in World of Warcraft. But when I started to not enjoy that particular role anymore, I lost my drive to post. I did not stop playing Kadomi, but I often phased her out, focusing more on my other beloved orc girl, my resto shaman.
Things I have done since I last posted:
- leveled a mage from 54 to 80, getting her fully geared in ToC-10 gear in alt runs – never has leveling and getting geared for raiding been as easy as today. I was practically able to buy my first piece of T9 the moment I hit 80. But I learned a valuable lesson. DPS isn’t anywhere as easy as it looks like, and to contribute fully it still takes skill. My DPS instincts are somewhat lacking, so it’s an interesting experiment.
- ran VoA-10 and 25 just about every week on my shaman, and VoA-10 on Kadomi – my shaman got her T10 kilt off Toravon-10, which made me very happy, because 2pc T10 for resto shamans is hot! Also, it gave me an opportunity to have spectral shoveltusks, who doesn’t love that? Kadomi has been less lucky, because I only got the DPS legs from Toravon? Is this a sign? But no, it can’t be. Prot warrior for life, yo!
- started Ulduar hardmodes – it’s long been my dream to go back to my favorite WotLK raid instance and try hardmodes. Sure, we outgear them like crazy now. But they’re still fun! So far we have gotten Heartbreaker, I choose you, Steelbreaker, I could say that this cache was rare and Lose your illusion. This ‘only’ leaves Freya and Mimiron hard-modes for Algalon. I am looking forward to going back and trying. I had a blast. I did go as healer, and actually scored an upgrade from Hodir hardmode. I had never seen Ice Layered Barrier before, it’s a sweet piece of gear that is replacing gear I got from ToC-10. Crazy world.
- being 5/12 in ICC-10 – Icecrown is going somewhat strangely for us. We’ve only made it to Rotface once, and we got him to 4% on our first night. But we haven’t been able to get back to him, because we are really suffering from lack of sign-ups. Our staple healers are all MIA due to heavy attack of RL, our heavy hitter DPS was not around either. We are struggling far more in there than we really should, which is very disheartening. But we’ll keep at it. Not everyone needs to kill Arthas already, Cataclysm is far away.
- finally started leveling my alliance paladin again – Please meet Leala. She is a paladin, and she tanks like a girl. I think this was one of the hardest things for me to do in my time in WoW. I am such a proud defender of the warrior class, but something in me just broke. Months ago someone sent me an e-mail that they thought I should try a protection paladin because they felt I would have a lot to give to the world if I experienced that tanking style. So I sent the girl heirlooms, leveled her from 67 to 70 and went dual spec on her. My first week was spent panicking. She had barely 10k health unbuffed, not even def-capped for level 70, just a set of Cobalt gear and a crappy stamina/expertise sword I got as a quest reward. But I went ahead, and tanked and was flabbergasted. 5-man tanking as paladin is such a different experience from warrior tanking for me. It basically feels like relaxed, easy-going tanking in slow motion. Nothing could go possibly wrong. The only concern is mana. Where as warrior I still feel compelled to mark a kill order, it feels like it doesn’t matter. DPS not on my focus target? Eh, they’ll stay on me anyhow. My paladin is now almost 76, and I have tanked everything through VH. This makes me think I might want to give those other two classes a shot as well. My druid is languishing at 71, and I could easily go feral on her. I was a feral druid in TBC, and druids at the time felt very similar to how warriors play. My DK is only logged on for cutting gems, and I could grind some T9 tanking gear for her. But I don’t know about that yet, because I know DKs still get a lot of crap in PUGs. We shall see.
- trying to learn how not to be an officer – yeah yeah, I stepped down a while ago, as a combination of too much drama regarding a guild we used to be friends with, and general burnout. I just fear I am totally unable to let go. I still lead raids, I set up raid groups for the weekly quest every week, and I am dying to get things done, when it’s not really my job anymore. So either I will learn to let go, which would be awesome, or I might beg for them to take me back.
- learning how to play without my SO – my partner decided to call it quits with WoW in February. We had played WoW together since September 2005, and we were officers together from summer 2006 until she stepped down last year. Our Yogg-Saron kill was her last raid. Funny how something like this matters, but it does. The game has lost some of its shine, even though I still play a lot and we sometimes even butt heads because she’s bored when I raid. It was the two of us who busted our asses to make DotH start raiding in TBC. She inspired me to be a healer to heal her druid. I miss playing with. I miss talking about the game with her. I miss her min-maxing on her warlock when WoW was not boring to her. I wish there was a way I could magically find her some fun activity in WoW again. I miss you, Q.
So there you have it, the digest version. If you want to hear a lot of blabbering, you should follow me on Twitter. I should warn you all, I can get very ranting there. My guild has had some minor amounts of drama lately, usually caused by my German raging.
I also have a Formspring set up, a way that you can ask me anything, anonymously or not, and in the next couple of days I will go through my queue of questions I still have up. Feel free to ask me more!
Tomorrow, I will post about my impressions as tank in ICC-10, up to Festergut. It’s going to be a rant, be warned, but maybe that’ll entertain some of you.
A special thanks to all the concerned commenters and readers who sent e-mail. I am still here, and it feels good that I was missed. I am here to stay. Prot warrior for life!
So just about a week ago the long anticipated content patch dropped for WoW, supposedly the last one before Cataclysm. Which I can’t quite believe because that would mean either a) Cataclysm is really further along than anyone’s led to believe or b) there is much boredom ahead of us in the WoW.
For someone as burnt out as me, 3.3 is a breath of fresh air, but I do have my concerns. As just about everyone, I have dived into the LFD tool. Since Wednesday, I have been able to buy the 75 emblem Headplate of the Honorbound and the 50 emblem Glyph of Indomitability. Average waiting time in queue for me as tank: about 10 seconds. Regardless of time of day. The time of day thing is of huge importance to me as European on a US server. In the past I was always limited by my timezone and was never able to find groups before 9 pm my time. This is pretty amazing. But I am not fully sold on tanking for full PUGs. Not 100%. Mostly because apparently some people are not happy about my pace. Now, I am a chain puller. I move from group to group as quickly as possible. I will only briefly stop if mana seems low on a healer. But apparently that’s not fast enough for some. One priest actually dropped group at the second boss in Gundrak. The expectations are a bit stressful. But it depends on the group. One run we actually 4-manned, HoL. A rogue was practically afk the whole run, providing a total of 7% to the group’s damage. Just a couple pulls before Loken we finally had enough and voted to kick him.
Really, it’s not been bad at all, but being the PUG tank is more stressful than healing or DPS. Then, I am a funny girl. I got majorly upset by a run that was actually full guild, with some of our newer 80s (though one of them isn’t new). I came out on top damage-wise and that just pisses me off. We missed the CoS timer by a minute. It’s been many months since I last missed the timer, so I was really cranky about that. It wouldn’t have bothered me at all if it was a PUG, but that it was a guild run, that really annoyed me so much.
In the same time that I managed to get all those sweet pieces of tanking gear with emblems, I also managed to run enough instances with my shaman and my DK to buy T9 gloves and shoulders for the shaman and T9 pants for the DK. I really do not ever get to play my DK much at all, and who previously took DKs into a PUG on my server? No one. Now I get groups within 10 minutes and it’s awesome fun. I can go farm stuff and have instances pop up for a break. I love it.
I mentioned concerns up there, and I do have those. First, I am wondering what this will do to a guild like mine. We’re a social bunch, but since 3.3 hit, you look into who’s on and see 8-15 names on in my normal hours, and just about everyone is in a different instance. Very few questions in gchat if people want to group up for instances. Not anymore. Not when it’s so easy to just dive into any heroic. Spinks posted about the changing role of guilds in WoW, and I see her point, but I do worry. As officers we are now setting up one day during the week when it’s all guild runs all the time. We’ll see how that goes.
My second concern is that we’ll all blow through heroics for hours and hours now, but what when you are swimming in Emblems of Triumph? At the end of 3.2 I had 142 Emblems of Conquest on Kadomi, and just about zero desire to tank heroics. Instead, I ran them with my shaman, in order to gear her up. But at the accelerated rate of emblems from the random dungeons, I predict I will be done with Triumph gear in just a couple weeks. And then? It’s not like you can run WotLK heroics for the entertainment factor. Once you’re in any badge gear, all of them are frighteningly trivial. I am leaving out the 3 new ones, I hear Halls of Reflection puts the same terror into people’s heart as Magister’s Terrace did at the time. The rest? I was shocked to see how badly Oculus has been nerfed. You just look at trash sideways and they fall over dead. Everything was ridiculously easy. I have no answer to this, but I expect a sharp drop in heroics popularity soon. Unless everyone and their brother levels yet more alts.
As far as raiding goes, we’re holding out. Despite the allure of ICC, we’re continuing to get more gear on people. Because we focused on clearing Ulduar first (which I am glad we did), our average raider gear-level is more 219, not so much 232. This weekend we had our 3rd TotC clear, and the first one where I felt how easy it is. ToC and Onyxia done in 1.5 hours. We one-shot the Twins easily despite missing the interrupt twice. Nuff said. Icecrown Citadel, we’ll come for you in January 2010. The girls will be rolling in, ready to kick ass and take names. Soon.
So share, what’s up with you guys? How’s your tanking in PUGs been?
It’s been a while since I have done…story time! The mindless rambling of stuff that I have been doing day to day in WoW and which I used to post on Mondays. However, between the Sunday raiding and having to be at work at 7 am, I just have to squeeze it in this late in the week. So what have I been up to? Not much, and yet at the same time a lot!
First off, my shameful leveling project. It should be a testament to the ease of leveling in general, but in particular hunters when I can proclaim that my hunter just hit 70. I rolled her in the first week of August, and give her a playtime of 3-8 hours a week tops, which is very little for me. Yes, the one class I vowed I would never level because it’s so boooooring. But you know what? Boooooring can be very relaxing. As officer and raid leader, I go through bouts of burnout and stress, and that’s when the hunter comes in. True, I could just send the pet in and auto-shoot my way to glory, but it’s been very relaxing. Tiraxi is currently a BM hunter in absolutely craptastic gear (I have done one on-level instance, Blood Furnace), but at 80 I am looking forward to going Survival and might even raid with my German friends. Maybe. They raid a lot more than I do and are all gung-ho about hardmodes. But who knows? I might fit in. And if not? That’s also a-okay.
On Kadomi, I have drastically reduced the amount of heroics she’s doing. After tanking every single day of the week, in a frenzy to save up Emblems of Triumph, it all kinda deflated after I got the 45 emblems shoulders. I have been trying to get some achievements in while doing heroics, and that is an aspect I still enjoy. If timing wasn’t such an issue, I would be all over an achievement group. Me and mah favorite gals, we keep talking about it, and then never act on it. One achievement I had never tried for was Abuse the Ooze and though we completed it, I can see why people might skip it. Those slimes can get out of control very quickly, sheesh!
I recently finished the Champion quests for all Argent Tournament factions and woohoo, I am a Crusader. *yawn* Those quests get old, I tell ya, but I am a pro at jousting now. As Crusader I am pretty happy, because those dailies are short, fun, and in a nice route of getting nice gold and Champion Seals into my pocket. The first reward I saved up for was the Pony for my squire. After all my squire looks like mini-me (if I’d ever take off my helmet). Adorable! Disappointing that I can only use mailbox, bank or vendor, instead of all three in a timed window. Boo!
Then one night one of our guildies had an interesting bug. She sold something to a vendor and bam, she got the Gruul’s Lair achievement. Bizarre! This started some sighing from people who never got that achievement, and I decided to drum people up and off we were to Blade’s Edge, to re-visit the big guy. 10 level 80s, ready to take on the world! High King Maulgar and friends was an adventure. Our Krosh mage tank didn’t know how, our enslaving warlock couldn’t keep perma-fearing Olm off me, and those ogres laughed and mocked us. It took us four tries before we finally had enough control over the fight that we pulled it off. Not so easy still, that pull. Gruul himself was pretty much a joke. I seemed to have an endless stream of dodges and had fun stuff like -312 (3400 blocked) in my combat log when he managed to hit me. People were happy about their achievements, and I got to rar for justice, because they finally were mine. My QQ post about my SO outrolling me on the T4 shouldertoken is still a vivid memory for me, so when HKM dropped two Protector tokens, I was all over one! Right after the raid my friend Cariad and I went straight for Aldor Rise and then I got on a table to be at her level. Yay, Warbringer Shoulders!
The loot gods are so very kind to me lately. We did VoA-10 and Onyxia right afterwards, and Gleaming Quel’Serrar dropped. I only took it for looks and to maybe be my threat weapon in heroics (stats > unreliable proc), but I also won the roll for Onyxia’s head. Bye-bye Seal of the Pantheon, hello Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman! You might not be the best trinket in the world but in gear sets where I need def over stamina, you will now be my precioussssss.
As added bonus, Auriaya then coughed up a shield for the first time, and I won the roll, and am as happy as a tank can be. The same raid ID, we managed to clear to Yogg-Saron within our six hours of alotted raid time, with maybe 30 minutes of tries on Y-S himself. I extended the ID and we will devote a full raid to learning this fight. As our three tries were pretty disastrous in P1, any advice is welcome. Oh god, I want to kill him so bad, and I am so happy he’s such a challenge for us. Killing him will feel super-awesome, I know it.
So yeah, I guess I have been busy. What’s up with y’all? Getting excited for Icecrown?
In June I received an e-mail asking me if I would consider an interview for the WoW magazine of the Swedish magazine Level about my experience as officer in an all-girl guild. I thought, sure, why not, and had a ball with answering the questions about my guild. Then I moved in July, completely forgot about it, and only on Monday did I remember to follow up on this when I saw Ensidia’s Kungen ask around for a copy of the magazine with an Ensidia article in it. Hmmm, they cover Ensidia and MY guild?
One of the cover stories of the current issue is ‘Tjej Guild’ which apparently means Girl Guild! Yesterday I received the layout screenshots, and a copy of the magazine will be shipped to me here in Germany. I just about fell over and died when I saw that my little interview and the couple screenshots I sent are a six-page spread.
Here’s a sample of the article:
The magazine is still on the shelves until mid-October in Sweden. For all us non-Swedes out there I’ll re-post the original English interview once the magazine is no longer on the shelves. If you are in Sweden, you should totally buy the magazine and read about me and Daughters of the Horde. I am totally stoked, this is probably one of the coolest things ever to happen to me.
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.
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.