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During the past couple weeks I’ve spent all of my WoW time leveling up my new paladin tank, Fontasy, and things are still going pretty smoothly.  I’m not really in the mood to play my other 80 characters, so this is really working out well so far. As of early February he’s at level 47 and quickly climbing with about 2 days and 11 hours of play time logged. I should also note just for fun that most of this play time was spend while listening to Keith and the Girl.

I’m still leveling him exclusively via the LFD tool and so far it’s going good. I had an idea that I would never let him leave SW after level 15, but then I suppose I wouldn’t ever be able to buy any emblem gear at 80. I don’t usually take too well to the weird ideas people have about leveling their characters, but this one seemed a little intriguing to me. Oh wells. It won’t work.

After many hours of learning the ins and outs of tanking through trial and error, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable in my new role. The end game heroics still seem to be a little intimidating to me, but I’m sure I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m also not too sure about how I’m going to go about gearing up for heroics, but I suppose I’ll figure that out later too. Having spent no time at all as a DPS paladin, I would be probably be just as unfit doing that as tanking undergeared.

Anyway, here’s a quick run-down of some of the instances that I ran last weekend. I didn’t take screenshots of the party chat arguments because it seems a little useless, but overall it was a good time.

Scarlet Monastery:

I got into a couple groups for SM, but for the most part I had out-leveled and out-geared it. I think I queued up for it once or twice for some quick and easy XP when I was about to hit 46, but other than that I didn’t bother with it too much. Most of the runs were pretty good with the exception of one in particular that was a damn nightmare. One of the DPS just jumped around the mobs while the druid healer didn’t even bother to throw the smallest of HOTs on me. Right as I was about to port out and find a new group, someone pulled before I could and we got a huge number of pissed off people attacking us. Luckily I survived, no thanks to the healer, and dropped group. The icing on the cake was the clothie who pulled instantly asked for a rez as soon as the fight was finished.

Maraudon: Orange Crystals

This instance, unfortunately, was my bowl of “just right” porridge for the better part of a day and it got old pretty quickly. Almost every other instance seemed to be too high or too low for me so I was stuck running this one over and over. As a result of the lack of concentrated mobs, it also made for extremely slow leveling. To make matters even worse, the LFD tool calls the instances over after the second boss, at which point of course everyone leaves with the quickness.

After killing the first two bosses about 10 times or so, I finally got a group who decided to continue on and clear out the rest of the instance which was great. I was able to chain pull for more XP and even picked up some great gear upgrades for when I hit 48, including a new shield. I was also pretty surprised to find that there are some pretty cool bosses deep in the instance. I’m not sure why people get their LFD loot after the first boss, but it seems like Blizzard would want people to go a little deeper in before calling it quits.

During the one bad run that I had here there was a mage who was using only a staff to do damage and her warrior friend who was wearing cloth armor and using some ridiculous weapon that I can’t remember. Unless it’s an intentional run by a guild to use, say, only fish as weapons or something along those lines to add a further challenge, I didn’t find it the least bit amusing and nor did anybody else in the group. The two stupids stuck together and tried to defend their asshattery, but in the end the entire group was forced to disband because they both couldn’t be kicked. I still can’t really wrap my head around what would make someone do such a thing. It seems like part of it is intentionally wasting people’s time, but I feel like a larger part of it is just sheer ignorance.

Zul’Farak

Zoning into ZF was a huge breath of fresh air after being stuck in the caves of Maraudon all day. I hadn’t been there since I was leveling my priest so it was really good to revisit. I’m not too sure why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for that place. Despite being mostly the same, the mobs are fun to kill and there the last hydra boss is also cool to down. Although there weren’t really any gear upgrades, I noticed that the XP gains were tremendous compared to what I had been doing before. I also managed to pick up a couple quests from other people in the group that netted me about an entire level’s worth of XP, albeit after traveling around the world for an hour to do the turn-ins.

The Near Future:

I feel like I may want to dust off the priest soon in order to get emblems to buy the leather chest for my up and coming druid. I kind of got tired of playing the druid a little bit, but the goal of getting another heirloom piece might be worth running some more heroics.

Although I think I’m still done playing my mage for most part, I thought for awhile today about trying to get one of the rare whelps pets on him as a change of pace. Aside from another pet, it would actually be a pretty beneficial thing to do since I could send the leather to my druid to level leatherworking and also send the greens out to Fontasy to disenchant.

While almost all of my time in-game as of late has been spent tanking low level instances via the LFD tool, I noticed that I’ve picked up a few interesting habits recently that I never used to have. I find this interesting because for the most part I’ve always kind of chugged along and never thought too deeply about how I can improve my playing. Although I still won’t even stick my toes into the murky waters of theory crafting, I am doing a lot more to get a little more performance out of my gear.

Auction House Tanking Gear:

The first new habit I’ve picked up is to check the AH for gear upgrades for my tank after every ding. At this point gold isn’t really a problem and I figure if I can eek out just a little more armor here and there it’ll probably help out the group. While this may seem like a halfway normal practice for someone to do, it should be noted that in the past I never really cared too much for good gear while I leveled because, hey, I’m going to outgrow it as soon as possible if all goes well. As a tank now, it seems that I’m not just playing for myself now. I now have four other people to think about, especially the healer.

Dungeon Reruns:

The other habit that I think I’m going to stick to is running the easier and quicker instances until I almost out-level them, and there are two reasons for this. The first is that since I’m a relatively new tank, if I can power through the mobs a little bit faster it might be a little easier on the healers should things get a little crazy. The other reason is speed. Lately I’ve been running Stockades repeatedly and can now steamroll through the place in about twenty minutes or so. There are often times where I only have an hour or so to play before work, so the quicker instances are much better suited. On the downside, I don’t really need anything that drops from those places when I’m a good five levels or so above every mob there.

Although I am using the dungeon finder, I decided not to use the random dungeon tool too often. The main reason for this is that, as previously written, I can continue to run the same instance over and over without getting thrown into one that is too low or too high for my level. It also works out pretty good in regards to time limitations. Not only are some places longer than others, (Deadmines and Gnomergan) but it also seems that the longer instances are plagued with people constantly dropping group which holds up the group as we have to escort the newcomers to where we’re at. Without using the random dungeons feature I’m able to knock out a quick instance in about 20 minutes and then take of other things if I need to.

Gems and Enchants:

Gemming and enchanting my gear is something that I’ve become obsessed with lately on my two level 80s, the holy priest and fire mage. I find this to be interesting because when I played the mage during TBC I never understood or gave two thoughts about how to further improve my gear. I think this was partly because I didn’t have much gold to pay for them and also because I didn’t follow the many WoW related websites and blogs that I read today.

Now however, I find myself instantly heading for the auction house as soon as I pick up a new piece of gear worth keeping and spending hundreds and hundreds of gold to buy the top notch gems and enchants. I even spent about 45 emblems to instantly reach exalted with Sons Of Hodir just for the shoulder enchants and don’t regret any of it.

To supplement the effect of getting some new gear every level on my tank, I’m also enchanting my gear when possible which helps a bit. I’ve been a little too lazy to do it just yet, but I’ve also been meaning to send some leather armor kits to the tank as well.

As always, thanks for reading Thoughts of Warcraft. Stay tuned for next post.

Brad

http://thoughtsorwarcraft.wordpress.com

In a recent post I wrote about wanting to try my hand at tanking. Well, I did and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

I Tank Now:

The first thing I did ironically enough was delete my old level 22 human paladin. I hadn’t played him in over a year and I hated his name and look, so it’s wasn’t too difficult of a decision. Luckily I hadn’t bought too many bank slots so I didn’t sweat it too much. I then made a brand new dranei pally named Fontasy and loaded him up with four heirloom items, bags, and a bunch of gold. I plan on leveling him by only using the LFD tool. The name of course is from one of my favorite podcasts, The Best Show On WFMU, and it’s a reference to how they thought Gene Simmons would pronounce the word “fantasy.”

Because my top priority was to begin tanking instances as soon as possible, I instantly headed for Elwynn Forest because that’s where I’m most comfortable leveling quickly. Before I knew it I was level 10 and began putting talents into the prot spec. I leveled solely from quests until the very moment that I hit level 15 and then began my journey into the wonderful world of tanking. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about any professions at first, but later decided to pick up enchanting just for the hell of it. The only bad thing about leveling up was that I had already had a paladin that was capable of tanking before creating Fontasy. Oh well. I know I’ll have more fun with this character than I ever would have on the old one.

The first instance I tried was Ragefire Chasm and I was surprisingly pretty nervous about it. I suppose I thought that tanking was some long lost secret that no one ever taught me. As you may know from previous posts, I tend to get that way until I get used to doing something, and this was no exception. I let everyone know that I’ve never tanked before and then pulled my first mob. At first I was very careful and only pulled one mob at a time to minimize my damage. Lucky for me, most of the mobs were very spread out which I thought was a nice introduction to learning how to tank. After a few RFC runs though I was charging right in and doing some chain pulls.

Huntards:

The Dinosaur Huntard

One thing that I found to be extremely surprising is that so many people pulled groups of mobs before I could, and effectively ruined my threat generation. I thought that it may have just been a low-level thing, but it turns out I saw it pretty consistently until I hit about level 25 or so. Make of it what you will, but the main culprit was always a hunter. And, for the record, you can’t rain Misdirection until you’re a level 70 hunter so they obviously weren’t trying to help me. What made things even stranger was that even after I and other members of the group warned them, they still continued pulling. The most extreme case of this was in Deadmines where the whole group decided to let the huntard tank a few mobs if that’s what they really wanted to do. They quickly died and ragequit and we continued on our merry way.

However, I can’t say that I’ve never done this before myself. There was a time during my first 5-man instance, Deadmines, where I pulled before the tank because I wanted to help out and didn’t understand threat mechanics. In my mind, I felt bad for letting the tank do all the work and simply wanted to help him out. At this point in time I had no concept whatsoever about what threat was. After getting yelled at a bit in chat I instantly fell back and played the role of a good DPS. What I’ve been seeing lately though just seems to be pure ignorance and unwillingness to cooperate.

Lazy Rogues:


Another one of my pet peeves as of late is rogues not doing anything in instances. It seems that every time I look over at the rogue as I’m in mid-fight, he’s just standing in the corner cloaked not attacking anything. In another case the rogue pulled groups of mobs before I could, which led to more of the problems that I mentioned before. I haven’t brought up recount yet to confirm their slacking, partly because I’m too busy and also because I wouldn’t really even know what good DPS at level 26 would look like. I will say however that it’s gotten pretty old already and gives new meaning to being carried through instances.

Well, thanks for reading the blog as always. I plan on running almost exclusively with this tank and I can’t wait to get him up to heroic level. I’m sure the learning process will be pretty interesting and should provide for some good stories, which I’ll of course relay here on Thoughts of Warcraft.

Until next time.

Brad

https://thoughtsofwarcraft.wordpress.com

Well, it’s been a little over a month or so since the last update so I figured it was about time. I’ve probably had the time to write new posts, but my interest in writing seems to ebb and flow every couple months and I really wasn’t interested in writing anything during the past couple weeks. But, now I am.

Although I’ve recently started an army of alts in the past few months, 9 of the allotted 10 per server, I found that leveling my hunter was not only the most fun but also quite relatively easy. As far as pets go, I’ve stuck with tanking pets almost the whole time. I kept the first bear that I tamed for quite sometime until I got bored and wanted to branch out a bit. From there, I tried a number of cats from Stranglethorn Vale but I very quickly came to hate the way that they always stayed in stealth mode. It didn’t seem to make any tactical sense at all to me. Obviously, I’m not stealthed so if I pull aggro it will only slow down the reaction time of my pet even further if he’s stealthed. So, I went right back to tanking pets and found a gorilla that has been working out pretty good.

From a rotation standpoint, it seems weird that I find myself using the same three attacks time and time again when there are so many others to choose from. I suppose that’s the only downside of playing a dps class. You find what works and stick with it…for 80 levels. In an unrelated area, I still find it odd however that both the bear and gorilla can’t tank multiple mobs. Maybe there are some talent points that I need to add later as the leveling process continues, but it would seem to me that that would be their main job right from the get go.

Despite now being what I would consider a seasoned WoW player, I found myself in yet another frustrating noob moment as I was leveling Leatherworking. While browsing around online recently I learned that at level 40 I think, Hunters can use mail armor, which pretty much makes Leatherworking useless. As a result of my frustration, I’ve since stopped playing him for a little while. I plan on coming back later on and will probably even get him up to 80 within the next 6 months or so, but for now I’ve had enough. He’s currently at level 38.

It may be a bit odd that I went from spending all of my time leveling him to dropping him like a bad habit, but whatever. It’s a game and I’m doing whatever is the most fun for me at the time. Perhaps with 3.3 here now I might bring him back out again and have some fun.

wow-warrior3

As stated in my last post, I kept trying to find groups to heal all last weekend on my priest, but to no avail. So after getting a little bored with my hunter I decided to play an old level 11 warrior that I made named Genki. Again, thanks to the heirloom items, he had a one-hand sword, a bow, and 10% exp bonus (albeit with cloth shoulders). After getting the basic ideas of healing under my belt and now only working out the many fine points, I’d also like to give tanking a try eventually and figured that I’d try it with a warrior.

I’m not sure why, but from what I’ve played of the warrior class, it just feels very clunky to me. I think I’m used to the quick-casting ranged abilities of mages, priests, and now hunters. In comparison, having to build up rage to do large scale attacks is a bit odd for me. Also, Heroic Strike seems to take forever to happen after I click it. So, I’m not really enjoying it too much, but I’ll probably keep it going until about level 20 and then see what I think about it then.

I’m leveling as protection in order to tank in dungeons to see if I’m any good at tanking. One of the toughest things that I’ve found about tanking so far is that there is no way to judge how much threat you can generate while soloing. I could be the best tank ever or the worst, there just doesn’t seem to be any way of knowing yet until I get into Deadmines I suppose. Either way, it should be interesting to see how it turns out and I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted about how it goes.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

heroic

I’m sure I’ve said it before in the blog, but I’m truly a fan of how Blizz implemented the heroic instances in the Wrath expansion. Between the reputation gains you get through wearing tabards, the badges, and of course the opportunity to get some new loot, I can pretty much knock out three birds with one stone. Furthermore, I usually don’t have the time or patience to do Naxx runs and still don’t know all of the encounters enough to PUG them, but of course 5-mans aren’t too bad.

If I had my choice, I would run Heroic 5-mans all of the time, but lately I’ve doing a lot of battlegrounds only because it’s easier to get a group going. Now that I’m in all purple and enchanted gear, with the exception of my wand, I can kick out some pretty high DPS and am really only doing the runs for badges, rep, and fun. With all of the great new changes that Blizz has made recently to the LFG system, I think another dimension should be added for people to find a group. Perhaps another set of boxes to click if you know the fights well, if you have good gear already, and also if you even have experience playing your class at all.

It’s a difficult subject to touch on. Perhaps the two most important people to have in a five man group are the tank and the healer and they can be tough to find sometimes. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing then it’s really a disservice to everyone else in regards to both time and patience. Of course people have to get experience somewhere, but I don’t think that heroic PUGs are the place to do it, especially when there are a few other options available.

heroic-fantasy

First, I would suggest doing guild runs on heroics. Here, your guildmates will be far more forgiving if you wipe than a group of people you don’t know. You might also be able to pick up some better gear as well. Second, I would suggest that they run the instance on regular until they can do it blindfolded. It sucks that sometimes DPS can half-ass things in an instance, but thats the way it is I guess. The whole group has to rely on whether or not the tank can hold aggro. For me it’s not a matter of being well geared or not, but just that the tank knows how to keep threat up enough so that the whole group doesn’t wipe.

I’m currently slowly leveling another priest up and he’s currently at about 38 or so. I’ve a had a little bit of healing experience before with my 58 horde priest, but I wouldn’t say I’m great at it…just decent. As a result, I’ll be damned if I get into a heroic before being fully confident in what I need to do. I’m not sure if it will work out well or not, but I’m planning on running quite a lot of PVP battlegrounds to get some basic skills up once I hit 80. It’s a very different environment than what you can find in 5-man instances, but nonetheless I can probably get some basic gear and get some healing skills under my belt.

It’s gotten to the point now where I get very hesitant to even put my name into the 5-man LFG queue, and when I do find a group that runs smoothly I want to play with them forever. Something must have happened recently because I never remember it being this tough before in Wrath PUG-ing, and in fact it was quite good most of the time. So much so that I think I read a number of articles on WoW Insider about it. But alas, something has changed. All I want to do is blow some shit up…

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

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