Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pugs, Specs, and other sundries

Just a few observations to get your day started.

Good groups do not guarantee success. My guilds Holy Pally and I pugged 3 dps to run Heroic Azjol for the daily. All three DPS knew what they were doing. Reasonably well geared, showed some dedication, everything you want in a pug.

We never made it to the first boss.

For those of you not familiar with the 3 pull sequence that leads to the first boss you get 3 packs of three mobs. And they put out tons of poison damage on everyone. Needless to say, Pallies aren't exactly know for their poison cleansing abilities, nor their AOE heals.

The DPS consisted of a Blood DK, Frost Mage, and Affliction Lock. No help there. To top it off, they were all in the 1500 dps range, which is generally fine in a well played group. After the first wipe, we said we'd give it one more try.

It was a good group and the only thing to do was not waste every one's time and money on repairs.

Specs, there was a rate the DK tank thread over on the official forums and I participated. I got high marks for my enchants and gems, but was called out on my spec. Specifically, the poster said I don't know whether you are trying to tank or DPS. He has a good point. I am trying to do both with one spec since I don't have the luxury of spending gold on 2-3 respecs daily. However, when dual specs become available I will convert to a full tank spec and a full DPS spec.

If the tank dies it's the healer's fault. If the healer dies it's the tank's fault. If DPS dies it's their own fault. In Heroic Nexus we had a pugged Lock. He died 4 times when everyone else stayed alive. Generally speaking, I believe an Unholy's AOE threat up to anything. This guy was consistently tossing 3000 TPS on all the mobs with his seeds of corruption going on each one.

Regardless of class, if you are DPS, take the threat reducing talents. Wait a second Scourge! You don't have subversion, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black.

Yes it is, but I stay away from my highest threat AOE attack when I'm not tanking. Plus in the event I do pull a mob I CAN tank it. Clothies, not so much.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Please don't be a Deathtard

/rant on

After my Sarth kill last night I had a bit of free time left and most of my guild was already tied up. So I logged onto my 62 Shaman for some elemental healing fun. Getting groups in Hellfire when you can heal is ridiculously easy. Getting groups that aren't full of Deathtards a little harder.

Ramparts here we come.

Now I make a huge assumption about my readers. Since my little blog is nowhere near as well known as Skeleton Jack, World of Matticus, Big Bear Butt, or Big Red Kitty I assume if you are here, you care about how well you play. I care too, and even though I have an elemental spec I know that a Shammy should have no problem healing a proper group.

To your right you see the damage taken meter. We booted Icey before the first boss since he would run way ahead and start an AOE pull 50 yards from me the second I sat down to drink, every time.

Here's a little tip to everyone still leveling and learning to play a tank. DON'T PULL UNTIL THE HEALER IS READY.

After Icey was gone we picked up Golgren. He was level 59 and consistently pulled threat from Dysfunction who was supposed to be tanking. When I saw Golgren pop Frost Presence I suggested in a whisper that he try blood presence because he kept getting threat which meant I either had to let him die or take heals away from the tank. His reply, "I know what I'm doing". The asshat in me wanted to respond no you dont.

Here's a tip. IF YOU ARE DPS, DO NOT EVER, EVER, USE FROST PRESENCE. Frost presence increases your health, your armor, and your threat, and it provides a lot less damage than blood presence. Please use blood presence for lower threat and greater damage when you are providing DPS. Believe it or not, Sliceofdeath went offline before the second boss and was never tanking but still a very high second on the damage taken list. Just because a healer has an AOE heal does not mean you are not responsible for ensuring you take minimal damage.

As the healer I took over 46 thousand in damage, I only have 4000 HP. That means I died a lot. That means the group wiped a lot. I'll own up to one death where I stupidly stood in AOE and promptly died. I violated Raid Rule 1B. The others were all on AOE pulls. Somehow the casters never had aggro cemented on the tank.

AOE Tanking tip. USE DEATH AND DECAY. Not only that, make sure you pull casters into it via death grip or line of sight. After DnD is up, get your diseases running and hit pestilence. You'd think 4 death knights running around like they snuck outta the house with daddy's Porsche would manage to crash into every mob and prevent the healer from getting aggro but nope. Didn't happen.

DPS tip. USE YOUR RUNIC POWER. Ok at the low 60's these guys didn't have Horn of Winter, and only one had Unholy Blight. But you do have death coil. Stop standing around with your head up your ass waiting on your runes to recharge with 100 RP. Cast a freaking Death Coil, it will increase your DPS and kill stuff faster.

Finally, use common sense. We fought the first boss while still fighting the mobs that need to be cleared around him. Why, everyone charged in instead of pulling them back. Needless to say the boss patted up to our position and joined the fight while I was already at 60% mana. Any guesses how that turned out?

Call me a masochist, but I got 30% of a level on rested XP out of this fiasco. I think I'll respec resto and do it again. I just hope the next group listens to me when I suggest they let one person tank, and what rotations will actually generate AOE aggro.

Sartharion Down

Good night to be a Death Knight. I walked away with 4 Emblems of Valor and a new found respect for Blood Tanks. Yes I said BLOOD TANK. The main tank was not only a Death Knight, but here is his Blood spec.

Note that he has all 3 standard mitigation talents, he also has morbitity for shorter Death and Decay cooldowns, as well as Epidemic for longer lasting diseases. To be fair he is also one of the best geared DK tanks I have seen.

I used to be a part of this guild so when I opted in and learned the MT was blood I didn't worry at all because I also knew him when he tanked T5/6 as a Pally and I trusted him them.

Fights like these make me wish I had night of the dead because the blast wave kept killing my Ghoul which gimped my DPS. But until dual specs come out I'll have to live without it. The Gargoyle sure was nice to have and I was able to pop him twice on the fight. I'd use blood fury racial and wait for a fallen crusader proc to pop him since the AP buffs at the time of summoning increase its DPS for its entire existence.

And yes that's my escalated ticket in the upper right to fix my dumb mistake. The priest says don't worry but to me its a matter of principal.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Goal

I have an ambitious goal for the new year. Get all my toons to 80 while still raiding on my Death Knight.

Why? One, I enjoy leveling and it fits my play schedule nicely. I usually have an hour every afternoon which is just enough time for a few quests or some farming. Questing is more rewarding to me and I like seeing the dings.

Two, a few of these toons I feel an attachment too. Huntomen was my first toon I rolled. I abandoned him on Nazjatar at level 36 and rerolled Omenator and leveled him to 70 there before I changed servers and founded a guild with a couple friends. Omenator was also the first toon I raided with before I knew how to be serious about raiding. I rolled Bearcat because I wanted to tank. I'm sure most of you know, you just feel more involved when you are taking the bosses best shots staring at his knees.

The remainders I dual boxxed using refer a friend to take them all to 60 in the run up to wrath so I could have a better understanding of what each class is capable of. I surprised myself by liking the warrior, mage, and shaman the most.

So now I have 9 toons between 60 and 71 in addition to my main and I want them all 80 with epic flight. That's a tall order especially since I currently have less than 1,000g.

So I'll ask myself why again. I enjoy the challenge and more importantly I believe a good tank and raid leader has a thorough understanding of what each class can bring to a raid. That way you are better positioned to get the most out of the group at hand to kill the boss.

So now the only question is which do I start with?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DPS can be fun too

After scoring my T7.5 DPS chest off of Archavon it was time to play DPS and test it out. The guild wanted Gun Drak so we went and had some fun. It was also a chance to DPS after I revised my talents.


The best test came on Eck the Ferocious, it was pure single target. Valgard had vigilance on me so I went all out. Squeezed in my Orc racial twice, kept the Ghoul alive the whole time, and got a full minute out of my gargoyle.

I can live with 2770 :) I can't wait until dual specs become available. There are several reports out there of 5k+ dps using a 0/32/39 duel wield spec. That will also allow me to focus my tank spec a little tighter to provide even more mitigation.

I'm still 85 hit shy of the cap in my dps gear since I am sharing quite a few peices with my tank set still. Remember get def capped first, then focus on DPS and you will find plenty of parties to go to.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PvP for the PVErs in all of us

As you know by now, I don't PvP. I leveled my lock to 70 on a Ally Dominated PvP server and hated every minute of it. Especially the level 53 druid who thought it was fun to camp my unguilded ass outside of Nessingwary when I was 31. I did it, I transfered off with some friends and I don't regret it.
So I log in to see a pug forming for a 10 man Archavon and they need a tank. I had some spare time so I said I'd do it. I get invited as the last person in. But as things were organizing we lost a couple DPS. At the time I had a total of 3 other guildies on and two just got out of Hero HoS. No problem. Marxi and Kludiwen are in. Then the guy who was going to OT the fight drops. Valgard is on so we bring him in to tank and I change to OT. Next thing we know the PUG is 40% Chaos Brewing and none of us have even read up on the boss.

Gotta say Archavon is easy. Two tanks and the second taunts off the first when he lunges. Same mechanic as the bear boss in ZA.

After one-shotting the 10 man version we had two more guildies come online, Beercan the Boomkin, and Lampost the killer holy paly. Everyone wanted to do it as a 25. So we invite our guildies, 6 of us now, and pug the rest.

We picked up another prot warrior so I switched to DPS duties and we went on to two shot the boss in hero mode.

Yup, two more achievements for the list. I'm about to break 1,000 points and I'm not chasing the things. I also scored a new piece of DPS goodness. Notice the signs of quality I immediately went out and put two quality gems and got the +10 stats enchant put on it. I want to be welcome in pugs and not have people bitch about my gear when I join up.

One last point. So far I haven't said much about the raid difficulty in wrath. I actually consider myself a casual raider even though I beat Ghostcrawlers if your 80 your hard core statement with my DK by well over a week. But this is the 5th 25 man boss I've pugged and I've downed them all. Then again, I still hate that elemental boss in Heroic VH.

Dumb Mistakes

I hate when I make a dumb mistake and I made a big one this morning.

I feel like an idiot and I actually submitted a ticket.

Yup, yours truly looted an item I shouldn't have.

In my defense, I was on the phone, chasing my son, and tanking heroic Violet Hold.

All I saw was 73 hit rating on a trinket.

Mark of the War Prisoner

I didn't see 346 spell power on use. I needed since I am in desperate need of hit.

d'oh

The only redeeming quality is that the only caster in the run was the healer and he doesn't need the hit.

That said I still contacted a GM to get it moved to him.

UPDATED 8:26PM: Spoke with a GM and they have escalated my ticket and says it should be transfered within a few days. The healer in question is surprised I am making the effort, but I may play a nasty toon, but I have integrety as a player. An amusing aside, after the reset this morning I went back with a guild run and got the same two bosses again, I hate the elemental, and at the end the mark dropped again. This time I let my Elemental Shammy have it.

Updated 1-4-09: The GM's finally moved the trinket to the healer who was quite pleased. Nice to know when I do f up, it can be fixed. Lesson learned, look at an item fully before rolling on it.