Monday, 24 May 2010

Ironic achievement

On my eighth kill of the non-heroic Black Knight he finally drops the Black Heart, so of course I roll Need. As of course do the dps DK and druid. A good time to roll 100 :)

Most of the group are happy for me, but not the death knight. I'm not sure it's me who's Needy...

I'm assuming the cross-realm bribery attempt is ignorant, rather than cynical. You can never be sure though!

How to enjoy PUG tanking

This isn't actually a general guide, as it only really works for someone in my position -
  • I'm fairly decently geared already
  • I'm not raiding, so Frost emblems aren't really of much interest to me*
Only sign up for specific dungeons
I need six items from the ICC dungeons and one from heroic Black Knight. So I don't run the original level 80 heroics, with their "gogogo" mentality", only the harder instances where people expect things to be a bit slower and more careful. So the difficulty comes from the mobs, not your group members.

Be humble
When I stuff up I admit it, and hopefully learn from it. And I'll at least listen to advise, even when it's not well presented. Not using Spell Reflect on Devourer of Souls? Doh! But I'm learning, and one day I'll be perfect...

Outgear at least one of your DPS
This certainly helps. It feels a bit wierd the first time you're the best geared in the group, but in a good way.

Confidence in your abilities
Partly it's reassuring to know that, once you have comparable gear to the DPS, you can comfortably hold threat. So all those times you were told you were a noob, it probably wasn't (always) true. It's also nice to know, when the healer randomly dies, you can probably string together some cooldowns and probably complete the fight.

All the stress and grief it's taken to get to this point really has been worth it, and tanking is fun again. I do still need to make more effort on reading up on tactics though, rather than find out the tricks afterwards.

* I have one item from Frost emblems, the chances are I'll never have enough emblems for a second item, so why endure the pain?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Sights I never saw at 70

The Grand Ballroom in Karazhan, with all the guests still dancing.

A great thing about being the tank is you're leading the way and making decisions about pulls (whether or not your group follow them is another matter...).

As a healer you're probably right at the back, and you often only see areas - especially in a raid - when they're partially cleared.

As an encore to Molten Core I thought I'd take a look at Karazhan, with the minor goal of getting the Mongoose enchant for Grulgok. Moroes was surprisingly easy, but I need to go there again with my priest and a tank (as the priest is 180 rep short of exhalted with the Violet Eye - another nagging lose end). I'm not sure which name to refer to my priest with at the moment, as I'm not sure whether to keep him as a dwarf, or faction change him to a Foresaken or a female blood elf.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

"Soloing" Molten Core

Not sure it quite counts - I dual-boxed the place with Grulnak and Grulgok - but I was still pretty pleased to get the achievement.

I'd been as far as wiping to Majordomo in classic WoW, so I'd never seen Ragnaros and this felt like a nagging loose end. WHU's Extreme Soloing guides had given me inspiration (and tactics for most of the fights) so I was pretty sure this should be doable with two fairly well geared 80s, although I had my doubts a few times.

Grulnak was spec'd 40/0/31 - restoration as far as Cleanse Spirit for decursing, then as much elemental dps as possible. Grulgok kept his normal tank spec, which probably wasn't optimal, but since I'm too poor at the moment to get him duel spec it was more convenient for general play.

My main worry was nature and fire immunity (since my only AoE is Thunder Clap, Fire Nova and Magma Totem), but it was a lot better than I expected, with only the fire elementals being flame immune and no nature immunity that I could see. Hence the core hound packs where killable, although some managed to respawn two or three times on me.

The only bosses to cause me problems were those where I needed to move the two characters simultaneously - so one wipe on Gehennas (where running out of AoE and decursing at the same time proved slightly hard), several on Baron Geddon and one on Majordomo Executus.

I was worried for a while that Geddon might not be doable for me, at least not without fire resist gear, as I was just taking too much damage. In the end I switched Grulnak to full resto spec, shielded up Grulgok then ran out of range before running back in to reshield and heal to full when necessary. Meanwhile with Grulgok I just needed to run out of the AoE, pay attention to which direction my healer was in after the disorientation of being blown up, and very slowly "dps" Geddon down.

With Majordomo the major factor was to pay enough attention to Grulnak to notice when he's been teleported into the lava pit, and when he has aggro from Majordomo. I failed on lava awareness the first time around but otherwise he was straight forward.

So I finally got to see Ragnaros in person. A very cool experience, even to my jaded eye.

Again I was worried that here was a boss I couldn't beat. With no real fire resistance Grulgok was punted far and wide, at best taking massive falling damage at worst landing in the lava ring and dying there. Eventually I managed to position Grulgok such that he would land on top of the ridge that Grulnak was using to prevent knockbacks on him, and hence take less damage but most importantly not end up swimming in lava.

Apparently the punt can be addressed by spamming Intercept, and hence never having to worry about where you land.