Tuesday, March 17, 2009

With a Little Help From My Friends...

Remember what I was talking about yesterday? About just needing a group of people to trust me to tank and I would wow them with my skills? Well, that exact situation happened last night!

Just after hitting 80 and starting to play as prot spec exclusively I ran into a three man group of guys from this guild called Poptart Posse and we ran about 4 heroics in a row together, cycling in and out that 3rd dps spot. We all worked together amazingly. We all had about the same level of gear and we all got along great! They were calm and cool and I was nervous as all get out, so it worked out really well.

So, last night I was on and had just finished my dailys and was about to start looking for heroics when I got a whisper from the priest from Poptart Posse wanting to know if I was saved to 10-man Naxx? Dur, I had been prot since 80, of course not! Instant raid invite! OMG! And, I'm the main tank! /faint

That's right! I main tanked 10 man naxx last night. Now, it wasn't the greatest 3 or so hours of raiding ever seen in the history of wow, no, but it was a group effort and everyone was calm, cool, and collected. They took direction with ease and did exactly what was asked of them. In the end we cleared both Spider and Plauge Wings! We are planning to go back in tonight and do the same thing all over again, with fewer whipes this time, and hopefully see Patchwerk (and KILL him!).

All in all, it's nights like last night that help put my faith back into humanity, wow humanity, and it helped bolster my ego a bit. We all did a hell of a job last night. I'm proud of my new friends in Poptart Posse, and I hope that I can continue to make them proud.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Harsh (Virtual) Realities

Character update: I hit 80, and I have started the instance/reputation grind for gear.

Now, on with the show.

I had almost automatically assumed that once I hit 80 and speced prot that I would never be able to enter the LFG queue for more than a minute without being spammed with invite requests. Reality has a way of crushing a persons expectations. I really should have thought this out before hand, but I sometimes assume too much out of people, and read the writing on the wall. For the longest time there has been a shocking, and sometimes depressing, shortage of tanks in this game. This has been a constant thorn in the side of most WoW players for years, but, as reported by wowinsider.com, certain things have transpired that have changed that fact. First, tanking, for all tank able classes/specs, got easier. So easy that every tanking class can aoe tank with little to no trouble at all. At that point the only hitch is the skill/gear of the tank and his healer. If either of those are the least bit overgeared then the whole process of tanking is trivial. Second, with the introduction of Deathknights there are now 4 viable tanking classes available to play, and, with the fairly mindlessly easy aoe tanking abilities that they all have, every dk thinks that they can tank (in most cases they can) any and all instances. This is where my problem comes in. I'm not nearly as in demand as I had previously assumed that I would be. I see in LFG channel that a majority of groups have a tank, or at least someone who thinks that they can tank, and are just looking for a healer to keep that person alive. And, if said healer has enough gear they can, in every case but the most extreme, keep him alive even if the tank is grossly undergeared/underskilled. Which leaves someone like me out in the cold.

I still have a lot of work to do on my gear. I am completely aware of that. But, I'm not an idiot. I paid enough attention when I ran these instances on my Hunter that I pretty much know everything that's headed my way as a tank. I know which mobs are the most dangerous in each pack, which ones do nasty whirlwinds (Tacon killers), and which ones have annoying abilities like aoe fear or mind control. This isn't something that shows up on my armory, so I am told that I just don't have enough hp, or my gear isn't good enough for their uber group, which really pisses me off!

The deeply gratifying flip-side to this is when I do get into groups I am praised as a savior. Apparently some of those dk's who think that they can just kind of... faceroll their way through most heroics are in fact being called out for what they really are: bad tanks, and the groups that are tired of bad tanks are shocked, surprised, and happy to find a person like myself. I'm newly 80, I need a lot of gear but I'm not an idiot, and I work like a dog at being the best damn tank I can be given what I have available to me. And good players, good people, respond to that. They love me and I love them. We work together and amazing things happen. We kill bosses, we get loots, and sometimes we get achievements. It's a beautiful thing.

BTW, I talk a lot about needing gear, but I'm not that far off from having the best in slot at the heroics level. As you can see here the only places that I am truly lacking are Bracers, Belt, and Trinkets. Wrists: Bindings of Dark Will would be a great upgrade with Bracers of the Herald being the best pre-naxx piece available. Belt: Skadi's Iron Belt will be a huge upgrade with the Ancient Aligned Girdle being the best pre-naxx. Trinkets: Now, trinkets are kinda... well, to be honest tanking trinkets are kinda fucked atm. I will defiantly be going for the Essence of Gossamer, but after that things get a little tricky. About the only viable option left to me would be the Valor Medal of the Fist War, which isn't that great (craptacular would be a better word), but it's better than nothing. A new tanking Weapon would instill a bit more confidence in healers/groups too I think. Hammer of Quiet Mourning is a great weapon, but i think everyone knows that its a quest reward and that it's about as basic a tanking weapon as you can get before heroics. Red Sword of Courage is, of course, my main goal before I head to naxx but until then my options are: Eternally Folded Blade (HOL(N)), Infantry Assault Blade (UK(H)), or Cloudstrider's Waraxe (Occ(H)).

So, as you can see I may be a bit undergeared at the moment, but that won't last for long. I have a list, I have a plan, and hopefully, with the help of some trusting healers/dps, I will see those plans come to fruition.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

... Worth a Thousand Words

Time for some pictures! I have never been much of a picture taker on any of my toons (I'm usually too busy killing stuff and moving along to the next quest to think about pics), but here recently I grabed a couple of screen shots from my adventures in Northrend. I think this is partly because Blizzard really went out of their way to make Northrend worth remembering. The events and quests here are amazing to look at, be a part of, and share with others. So, here goes.

What do you mean "Daddy!"?!

I really do love these lil guys!! I want one as a permanent pet now sooo bad!

My lil family! =)

Now, I've been to the top of Wyrmrest Temple more than once, but this time I couldn't help but notice something new!

Look at the Junk in that Trunk! DAMN!! That's one dragon that I would let mount me anyday!

Look at those curves!!

Now, THAT is a work of art! /drool

Ok, enough nerd-boy faping.

Calm before the storm. /badass

She just dropped in to say hi! (from the legendary Wrathgate event)

In the presence of giants! My two favorite NPC's in the whole game preparing to retake Undercity, by force.

A moment of quiet reflection. The quiet, solemn ending to the Wrathgate event.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Killing Machine

Other than mounting up and riding past a large group of mobs, I have discovered that quickest way from point A to point B is by killing stuff. No other toon I have ever played can say that. Avoidance has always been the quickest route between goals on almost all of my other characters, but not in the world of warrriorcraft. Add together the distance spanning Charge, Intercept, and the terrifying speed at which I murder things and it just makes more sense, in may cases, to destroy every mob in sight than it does to ride, agro, and then have to continue riding until agro drops to get somewhere. The only other class that has come close to this murder spree feeling is the dk, and even then it didn't seem as... deeply gratifying as the way in which the warrior does it.

Now, I'm not sure if this is how I'm "supposed" to do this, but It's worked pretty amazing for me so far, so here's my "rotation" for my warrior.

  1. Start in Battle Stance
  2. Charge
  3. Mid-Charge I switch to Zerker Stance (with Imp Charge and Tactical Mastery I now have 25 rage and in Zerker before I reach the mob)
  4. Reach mob
  5. Auto attack twice
  6. Bloodthirst
  7. Whirlwind, and instant Slam if Bloodsurge has proced
  8. Execute for the kill
  9. Switch back to Battle Stance
  10. Wait for Charge to come off cooldown, because most mobs are only lasting 6 seconds here lately.
  11. Repeat steps 2 through 10 again with Victory Rush added in just for shits and giggles
  12. Wash, rinse, and repeat the whole process over and over until quest objectives are complete.
I intercept only occasionally, I hardly ever bloodrage(which means my bloodrage glyph is a bit of a waste, but there aren't too many options in the warrior glyph department), nor do I ever sit down and eat. That's what Lifeblood, Cannibalize, and bandaids are for.

But, is this "Right"? Who the shit cares?! It's fun! And, that's all I care about.

My hunter can destroy enemies incredibly fast, always has and will, but it isn't the same as doing so with the warrior. There is an intimacy that comes with fighting toe to toe with a player or mob that brings a more sincere sense of fulfillment when I kill them. There is a closeness in the mayhem. With the hunter there, literally, is a space, a distance, that has to exist for him to do what he does, where the warrior needs to be as close as possible to do the same thing. The in game audio helps complete this feeling. I know it sounds odd, but it really does. When I am fighting a mob on the hunter I am usually 30+ yards away and the sound engine makes all mob sounds seem that far away. In fact, most times I only hear the sound of my bow or annoyingly loud gun and my pet while the sounds that the mob makes are drowned out or pushed into the background. With the warrior I hear ever hit, every crit groan, every slash and clang, every whooosh of missed strikes, every splash of gushing blood from a bleeding effect. It's a symphony of pain, and I love it! Call me a noob if you will, but there is also a very dramatic Bang! every time my Fiery enchants go off and it feels like... I have an artillery battery somewhere in the distance and they are honed in on my target and they are "giving it hell, sir". It just plain rocks!