Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trials of the Zzzz

Spring Break just hasn't been kind to our Guild. Last Sundays Tempest Keep run was called off to poor turnout so Soontir, our guilds uber Holy Priest (and the only one for a long time) suggested a Heroic Arcatraz run. It happened to be the Daily that day and a couple of us needed it for the Trial of the Naaru so off we went. I was dreading actually working on my Trials because most of the heroics you had to do were ones I had never tanked or ones I had never been to on heroic period. I don't like to be the idiot in the group (Quiet guys!).

Arcatraz was one I had been to once months ago when I was Fury and I remember little about it (I dont count numerous Kara Key runs I helped with), but recently another group of guildies had such a horrible run our Feral Tank (Mooire aka Ferocious Bite) swore she would never go back. Our group however (Warrior, Priest, Rogue, Hunter, Hunter) was about as flawless as possible and only had one wipe one of the pulls before Skyriss. We even one shot the first boss and I had never even downed him before.

One down... three to go!

Monday is an off night for the guild and the Daily Heroic was Shadow Labyrinth. One of our Mages (Solaeh) was in a group with some of his former guildmates and asked me to Tank. I'm leary of doing things with people I don't know but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get another part of the Trials out of the way. Things were fairly smooth until Vorpil. I will interject here and say SL was one instance I had never run on Heroic and I hadn't bothered to read up on any changes. So after giving the rundown, changing into my DPS gear and engaging I wasn't prepared for my immediate banish and the following cluster**** that followed. Vorpil 1, Us 0...

We wiped a couple more times and a forming ZA guild run caused Solaeh to run away in search of loot. One of the other guys found a replacement and we resumed bashing our head into a wall. For some reason we just couldn't survive, I hadn't really bothered to check my fellow party members gear level because we had done well up to this point and I was determined to get through this. On the last attempt I popped Rampage early in the fight and that made all the difference. We wiped once more on Murmur due to not fully understanding how the encounter played out but afterwards it was cake.

Two down... halfway done!

Tuesday was supposed to be our SSC night but Spring Break continued to affect our turnout so we did not go. I put it to those online if anyone wanted to assist with the Steamvault portion of my Trial. I got some guildmates together nad in we went. Steamvaults was the one I was most comfortable with, and tried to hurry a little. My impatience wiped us about 2x before Thespia, but can I be blamed for getting feared right into a group of mobs when I could have been sent any other direction? Thespia also posed a bit of a problem because we didn't have a Warlock to banish, but we ended up killing her with ease. After the initial idiot moments we cleared Steamvaults with ease.

The Final Trial remains!

Shattered Halls was another Heroic I had never done before and the fact that this particular Trial was timed always puts me on edge (45 minute Baron can kiss my ***). Our fearless GM and ungodly creater of dps(Gankszor), and his wife, the Heroic Arc hater(Mooire) also needed this Trial so we set it up for Saturday. On the day of the run I grabbed our lonely Holy priest (Soontir) and our Holy Paladin's mage alt (Vahj..err lets call him Slim) and with such an all-star team I wasn't worried about having trouble... and we didn't. We killed Kargath with probably 30 minutes to spare.

Obviously doing the Trials a year ago without the benefit of Tier 5 gear was really a challenging task. But for those of us who were slackers doing it now is just fine... except wiping on trash in Heroics...what a bunch of scrubs. *sigh*

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Al'ar makes me hot...get it?!

Now that I've adapted to life as a Prot Tank it's become a pretty routine and boring job. We stand around and unleash hellacious fury on our keyboards to cause a lot of threat to a comupter image so that it hates us more and doesn't pay attetntion to the 20 people behind me trying to kill it. Occasionally we get some fun extra things to do like interupt heals, and kite a bit, etc. but generally speaking we stand there and take a lot of punishment (like bad stand up comedians).

That is why I look forward to Sunday because that is when our guild raids TK. Unfortunately Sunday seems to be a bad day to raid and a lot of the time we've come up short and so we cannot go. We might have SSC down to a science but TK is still a little shaky and Al'ar is a big part of that.

Al'ar gives the tanks a chance to be fluid and it also requires a lot of communication and teamwork. If one of us isn't paying attention it's usually a wipe.

Phase 1 is pretty basic. We use a two tank rotation on the top (Myself and Maulmorr aka Angry Meatshield) with me starting the fight. We have two Tanks act as add pick up (Slashappy and Silveria, a Prot Tank and Prot Pally respectively) and then hand them off to our Druid Tank (Mooire aka Ferocious Bite). We save the adds in phase 1 to use as a nice head start for phase 2 and barring any mistakes we get through phase 1 without much trouble.

Phase 2 is where the fun begins.

We're still tinkering with how we want to do this phase, but on one of our kills we had the add tanks gather them up and give them to Mooire and let the ranged dps kill them off while the melee stayed on Al'ar. It was a crazy fight but we did kill her.

The two main problems we have are Melt Armor and the Flame Patches. Melt Armor turns the current tank into a giant Marshmallow waiting to be roasted (I like this analogy). The other Al'ar tank has to be faster than the speed of light to taunt Al'ar to him befor the dubuffed tank gets destroyed. Lately me and Maul havent been able to do this. When I had to taunt it on one attempt my Taunt was resisted, my CB was resisted and then my Mocking Blow missed... how cool is that? Then when it was his turn I got dropped immediatly and smelled of burnt marshmallow the rest of the night.

Flame Patches turn anyone who stand in them into Marshmallows, and our guys have a lot of trouble avoiding these. It's also fun when one springs up on the tank who just got the Melt Armor debuff and can't react in time. As a rule we've never done anything about them, but as soon as we get to go back to TK I want to see how it goes when the tanks spell reflect them and 'kill' them. If there aren't many Flame Patches on the ground our dps can't magically find ways to stand in them... right?

So for us to kill Al'ar the main tanks have to be quick to save the debuffed tank, pick up Al'ar quick after Dive Bombs, avoid Flame Patches and stay away from the area where the adds are being held.

The off tanks have to be quick to gather up adds before they play havoc with the DPS, find our Druid tank and let her pick them up AND they get to do all the Main Tank stuff if one of us goes down. (When I was originally an add Tank I got to do that once, and man is it fun to have to pick Al'ar up from across the room with your add still on you)

The add tank has to keep the adds gathered up watch for Flame Patches springing up under her, move the adds out of a Dive Bomb and not die when an add is killed.

The ranged DPS has to be aware of where they are at all times so they don't get killed by the Flame Patches, they have to run away from the Dive Bombs and most importantly they have to make sure not to kill an add during a Dive Bomb because it wont count and DPS fast so the adds don't pile up.

The melee DPS get to stab Al'ar... and watch for flame patches. They have all the fun.

The healers watch everyone doing all that and make sure it doesn't kill them. Of course they also have to avoid the same stuff at the same time. I would not want to be a healer here, but our healers rock and should be worshipped daily. <3

So the whole fight can be summed up rather easily... don't be the marshmallow.


Monday, March 17, 2008

I want to be cool too...

Lately some guildmates of mine have followed in the footsteps of our lone blogger (Ferocious Bite) and started their own blogs. While we will probably never be as cool as her we have all decided to try anyways. <3

My name is Lung and I am a Protection Warrior in World of Warcraft and a long time member of the Rogue Angels Guild on Detheroc. If you told me a year ago I would be a Prot specc'd raiding Warrior I would have told you to STFU... and then probably punch you in the face.

I HATED Prot with a passion. Ask my guildmates...

My first experience with it was very early in the game as one of the first to attempt MC. But doing it in mostly greens and a few blues was a bad idea and I could barely kill mobs when I was soloing. Then my guild got hardcore because they wanted to stop wiping on the 2nd trash pull and decided to run MC from 5pm to 11pm like every other night and gear up the rest of the time. I guess they were the brute force smash your face into a wall til the wall falls down. I could not commit to that...

So I spent the next 2.5 years doing the PvP / Arena thing. I joined my Guildmates on their server and had quite a bit of fun. I still had an interest to Raid but I was emotionally scarred by my very short experience with it, and I refused to go Protection spec but at least I had gathered a somewhat respectable suit for Tanking 5-mans and heroics.

Then one fateful night I got to run Grull's Lair, by then we had it on Farm and some of our guys had their Tier 4. Maulgar dropped the T4 Shoulders and Grull dropped the T4 Leggings for Warrior/Priest/Druid. In some strange twist of fate no one that night wanted them so I took both. Since my DPS Suit was already epic I decided to make them into tank pieces. In doing so I effectively doubled the amount of epics in my Tank suit and felt the overwhelming urge to Spec Protection for the hell of it. I followed my then GM's spec of 5/5/51 and my guildmates were in shock. They didn't believe I would ever do it and honestly I didn't either.

I started running Heroics to test my ability and oddly enough even more Tanking pieces that were huge upgrades dropped. Then I got to run half a Kara and got about four more upgrades. (In what is now a humorous story my friends ran the last half without me and Nightbane dropped the Plate BP and the Shield... I was so mad, but I was able to get them a few weeks later)

It was simply meant to be. I had gone from a nub blue geared tank to a full epic tank in a month and I even learned how to tank along the way. I have been Prot now for 4 months and I love it. I wish I had swallowed my Pride earlier.

Sorry for the history lesson, but to have hated the thought of being a Prot Tank, to never wanting to go back is amazing.