Monday, December 28, 2009

I was also a jerk pug tank

One of my recent finds on the Blogosphere is Righteous Defense, obviously a tanking blog.

His most recent post was titled "I was a jerk pug tank", which tickled my funny bone as I had done something similar this past weekend.

I think it was Friday and I was doing the random heroic which dropped me into hHoL. Don't remember the party other than there was a rogue in it. I'm known for having a bad memory, so sticking out in my mind is either a tribute to your skill or a tribute to your utter lack thereof. As one might guess from the title of this post, it is the latter...

The rogue managed to pull hate off me on every pull up to the first boss. I'd mark targets, and then I'd lose on of the secondary targets. I dunno, maybe they were going after secondary targets b/c they'd live longer so they'd lose less combo points since of course the tank would taunt it off them. By losing less combo points (possibly also using Rupture), they'd get more DEEPS(!) on the meter, which is (of course) all that really matters.

We went right at the first intersection and cleared to the far right corner. General Bjarngrim was coming down the ramp, the lightning debuff gone. By this point, I had already noticed that the Rogue was being stupid, so I resolved not to taunt targets off them anymore unless it was the main target in the first few seconds (I put out enough TPS to hold threat off of anything but decently geared Hunters and Warlocks, both of whom have an aggro dump anyway...). I mark the two adds as the priority targets, then pull.

So we start killing, nothing special, and the first add goes down. Then by halfway through the second add, I see that Bjarngrim is at half health. Hmmm... Well, not hard to see what happened. After the first add went down, the Rogue decided to prioritize his position on the damage meter over doing the instance as a team. So about the same time as i notice this, I notice that the color around the Rogue's life bar has turned yellow, indicating they are getting close to pulling aggro.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't crack a small smile as I knew what was coming and decided to stick to my guns in letting him die.

So the yellow glow turned to red, and Bjarngrim turned on his new friend. There was a good two or three seconds which was more than enough for me to react (as I had shown earlier in the instance) as Bjarngrim tore the Rogue to little pieces. Meanwhile, the rest of the party finished off the second add and then moved on to the boss, easily defeating him.

Afterwards, nothing was said, I quickly rezzed the Rogue and we went on our way. Not surprisingly, the rest of the run was smooth, and the Rogue either spammed FoK or stuck to my target like glue.

Maybe I could have dealt with the situation in a more diplomatic manner, but I like to imagine that this really hit home the point that each person is responsible for their own survival on some level and it's not the tank's job to make up for their lack of control or desire to max out their DPS over being a part of the team.

3.3 Update

So been too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off to do much in the way of posting. Time for a bit of a stream of consciousness.

My guess about how long it would take me to get my shield that I posted about in my previous post turned out to be sadly too accurate. Running regular HoR at least once a day (often more than that) every day since 3.3 went live and I only just got the Splintered Door of the Citadel. I went from just barely having gotten the gloves and shoulders of T9 to 5/5 T9, the iLVL 245 shoulders, having both 245 librams, and being only about 20 emblems short of having the iLVL 245 helm before I finally saw the shield drop. Prior to getting it, it was one of my three remaining iLVL 200 pieces I still had. Despite the dour mood running HoR constantly left me in, at least it gave Emblems of Triumph, which allowed me get something from all those "wasted" runs.

After getting my shield, I was too pumped to sleep (despite the late hour) so I ran a number of random heroics to get the last badges I needed to replace my helm. This had a number of benefits including getting me back over the Expertise soft-cap.

Additionally I scraped and saved my Emblems of Frost enough to get the Corroded Skeleton Key yesterday afternoon. Between doing two of the weekly random raids and a PUG ICC-10 (with a good amount of help from fellow Maintankadin poster Thornir and my lovely girlfriend), we cleared the entire instance and managed to get the achievement "I've gone and made a mess.", I got all the emblems I needed a good week or so earlier than I might have otherwise.

In other news, my DK has been brought out of retirement. Not to make him my main again by any means, but mixing gearing him up with making money. "Making money?" you might ask. Well, as everyone who's paying attention to the various game news reporting sites knows the new Legendary, Shadowmourne, will require twenty-five Primordial Saronite, plus the new crafting recipes for ICC also cost one (or more?) of the same. Primordial Saronite is the new "orb" for this patch, and costs 23 Emblems of Frost along with having a chance to drop inside ICC (I believe...). On top of that, Primordial Saronite is not BoP and is able to be put up on the AH. So after realizing this (I knew it, but kinda had a brain fart about it), I started running my DK through one random heroic a night along with trying for the weekly random raid. And last night I got the emblems I needed for my first Primordial Saronite. Sold it for 2.4k, which is probably cheaper than some servers, but whatever. I'm gearing up my alt, and getting paid (albeit in an indirect manner) a lot of money to do so. I approve of this.

I realize in retrospect that my assessment that queue times for random heroics is not quite as fast as I guessed. For we tanks it's blindingly fast even at off-times. Queue times of over a minute are rare and I've only been waiting for two minutes once. For healers it is close to this, from what I understand, with the average being a minute. Meanwhile, the glut of DPS leaves them with a long queue time, the shortest listed average I've seen while playing on my DK, who I've changed as a primary role to being a DW Frost DPS, is 8 minutes and some as high as 15 to 20 minutes. Sheesh!

As for why I changed Kazalix to primarily being a DPS, while I love tanking, as I've mentioned elsewhere, tanking on a DK is a bit more than I can do effectively, so instead I hit things and have fun doing so. Though I am kinda considering going back to using a 2H. As a DPS, using fast weapons is less of a big deal to me, plus I'm now a Draenei and the male Draenei 2H animation is less ridiculous than the male Human 2H animation (as shallow as that is, it was a deciding factor for me...). Maybe when I get my second Battered Hilt (first one will go to my girlfriend for her Enhancement Shaman), I'll see about either a Blood or Unholy DPS spec with the STR 2H Quel'Delar.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3.3 WOOOOO!!!

As anyone who logs in regularly (that is, those who aren't stuck in College-finals-hell) would know 3.3 went live yesterday. Beyond the standard "Servers are a bit unstable" for the first few hours, things went okay.

I got to try the new random dungeon thing for the new LFG tool. First off, not surprisingly, the LFG tool is BLINDINGLY fast. I got into a Heroic Gundrak run which went smoothly other than me getting knocked into the pool between the 2nd and 3rd boss (turned the targets around then got hit by a knockback off the ledge. Go me).

Next I queued up for the new 5-mans on normal mode. I had done ZERO research into the instance (mostly to avoid lore spoilers) so I figured doing it on normal mode would be a good learning experience. It definitely was, plus this time I got to see the Disenchant option in action (though I understood it's mechanics before). Managed to take down the first two instances before I had to go off to my weekly nerdfest (D&D!).

Afterwards before bed, I queued up for the final five-man (Halls of Reflection), got into one that had cleared the first two bosses and all that remained was the final gauntlet run. Did that really fast and completed it and then at the end of the instance you can get onto your airship (The Skybreaker for the Alliance and Orgrim's Hammer for the Horde). Not sure about the Horde, but it seems that a number of those who do it on the Alliance side get logged out when they try to get onto the Skybreaker.

Then I queued up again to do the instance, this time getting into one that hadn't been done before. Sadly I had a fail Elemental Shaman who insisted on running up and using Thunder (the knockback), sending all of my targets flying. RAGE!RAGE!RAGE! This was even worse as the first 10 pulls are a mix of casters and DPS. This morning I found out abou the LoS trick, which will be immensely helpful as the mobs are annoying if you're trying to pull them all together. After that went up to the gauntlet again (this time noticed the room beyond is made to look like the Throneroom of Lordaeron... NICE!) and completed it again, and as before got disconnected when I tried to get onto the Skybreaker.

I have two gripes about the new instance and the LFG tool, one minor and one major. The minor gripe was that I couldn't get onto the Skybreaker in either of my attempts. I figure this is due to the lag on the system as God and everybody does the three new instances. And I've heard rumors that it was a problem specific to cross server groups made by the LFG tool. Hopefully they will get this ironed out tonight so I can do it when I get home.

The Major gripe I have is that the first HoR pickup I joined was it was mostly completed (I really wanted the 2nd boss for his shield). It's not that I missed out on the shield that bothers me, but the LFG tool will replace someone who goes away. Not a real problem for a regular 5-man, but what about a heroic? If someone is lost, those players are locked into that heroic partially completed. The person brought in has no warning that he's being brought into a partially completed instance so he may be stuck in a bad situation, or the rest of the party is. Just have to pray for not being in a group with a failure.

Despite those gripes, I really love the new LFG system. It's much faster and easier than before. No putting up a list of heroics I want to do, then going off and questing for a while, maybe getting interrupted half way there or while I'm in the middle of a quest. My plan for now is to do one random heroic daily for the day to get my 2 Emblems of Frost (saving up for my super STA trinket! I should get it in a month or so...) then doing each of the ICC heroics for the day (I liek purplez), then doing HoR over and over and over and over until I get the shield and replace my stupid iLVL 200 sheild. -_- It's one of 3 iLVL 200 items I still have, and outside of a raid, this is the only upgrade available to me. There isn't even a heroic option other than the one I'm using now.

Finally, one personal bit of bitching... I was one quest away from getting the achievement Proof of Demise (which is now a Feat of Strength which I have on my DK). RAGE! Though at least I'm not Njall. The last quest he needed appeared Tuesday morning and he did the run and was moving like a bat out of hell to get the credit only for WoW to crash on him (as the servers probably went down) and he couldn't get back in. Now the quest is gone from his log but he still has the quest item. Ouch! I'm sorry Njall.