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, 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.

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