Saturday, November 28, 2009

Are you dead yet?

No, I'm not dead yet. I know I haven't written a single line for several days, yet I've been playing a lot lately thanks to some holidays I got last week. Just I haven't found anything remarkable to create a post (and still I have an unfinished one that's a pain to write). So what's been happening to the *urnaks these days?
Vurnak got exalted with Netherwing after several days of grinding rep. He doesn't have any gatherer professions, so I had fewer quests to get rep (well, one quest less, but it's a nice amount of rep less every day). Anyway he grinded everyday and is now the proud owner of the Azure Netherdrake (I still think the Obsidian looks better, but that's Kurnak's flying mount already). Also yesterday finally did The Oculus, the last dungeon I was missing and now I can create the Wispcloak. And last but not least also got the achievement for completing all heroic daily dungeon quests. Talking about achievements, got several of the Pilgrim fest, thanks to the teleport spell it's not a pain in the ass, but since I don't like much the frenzy people get in during festivals to get all achievements and claim the violet drake I didn't complete them all and won't do any on other characters.
Turnak was invited to ToC25 with our allied guild... as MT healer! (gasp!) An important responsability that I think I managed in a good way (I was only in ToC10 as dps before). Raid took several wipes since it was an alts/non-regular raiders and we didn't manage to kill Anub'arak in the end (damn enrage timer!) and the raid took longer than expected, so as a kind of compensation we went to Onyxia's lair to get some easy loot.
Surnak the warlock dualspecced destruction. Since demonology does such weak dps I wanted to try the only spec I haven't played yet (formerly he was affliction). Destruction spec increases his dps greatly, but it's boring as hell. At least it has a clear rotation to follow. He also got the epic flight skill and crafted the Turbo-Charged Flying Machine, since he's an engineer. I just lack now the rep with Alliance Vanguard to get the Chopper plans. I've been playing Surnak more and more lately and also since he can access the AH in Dalaran he's been selling tons and tons of gems that Turnak prospects. And I've made a ton of gold in a short time. I've almost recovered all the money invested in him (1k for dualspec and 4k for epic flight).
The rest of characters have been mainly inactive. Jurnak still needs to level leatherworking to 450 (he's 433 atm) and then all my characters main professions will be at top level.

Post soundtrack: Are you dead yet? - Children of Bodom

PS: This entry was supposed to be posted through Google Wave, but seems the Blogger plugin is not working correctly yet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Headbanging on a dragon

So yesterday I was with my mage bored in Dalaran, trying to get in a group to do daily heroic when I see someone asking for some dps who had the Vault of Archavon achievements. Since it didn't seem I'd get into apug for that daily hardcore I decided to try going VoA and whispered that guy the Koralon and Emalon achievements and surprisingly got in. The raid wasn't a total pug but a guild run who only needed some spots to fill in. This usually gives more confidence it won't end in an utter disaster, so I was happy to finally found a raid outside my guild's or our "brother" guild that doesn't suck Hodir's Horn (copyright Tamarind again).
The three bosses went down easily since people was good geared and then somebody proposed to do Sartharion 3D (no, not the new Pixar's film in three dimensions). That sounded lovely, since I never did it with any drake on (and the times I tried ended wiping). Checking Recount dps was maybe a bit low, but hey, nobody ever wrote anything about cowards, so we cleared all the adds and then charged the big one.
Oh my...
First attempts were dissapointing, wiping at 20% or so. So some of the players switched chars to increase dps. I was doing around 3,8k dps by then and I needed to improve it (and I was blowing all my cds from start). Then I remembered I was carrying some Potions of Speed. And also remembered that even not being in frost spec I still had Icy Veins. My dps grew from 3,8k to 5k. Mmmm I must make more of these lovely potions, they're a great steampack. Still we couldn't down the bugger, wiping at 3 or 4%. But we were stubborn and kept trying, wiping over a dozen times. From the 20% at first try to 3% it was a big progression and we were happy of such improvement, yet disappointed because everybody knew we could do it and it was just a factor of luck... getting good flame waves so we didn't need to move much, timing the heals when first drake landed... but in the end Sartharion and his drakes won the match yesterday.
Anyway it was great to see such progression, so I'm not complaining. And rest assured, there will be revenge.

Post soundtrack: The Revenge - Russell Allen and Jorn Lande

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Feeling better

Seems the heals and cleanses finally arrived (thanks Tam!) and yesterday was much better, enough to give a hand to the guild and do some Ulduar raiding (also after so many time in bed my back was killing me). Fortunately I could rid of the fever (thursday I was over 38ÂșC), the headache was almost gone and the choughing reduced to minimum. I've also taken so much paracetamol for the muscular pain that probably I'm still half anesthetized. Still my voice sounds like Darth Vader after smoking half dozen of cuban cigars, so the few times I talked in vent I probably scared someone.
We tried the Golf Caddy (copyright Tamarind) with the 4 beacons up, but there was too many shit going on and people wasn't that experienced and we wiped, so we took down 2 of them and then flatlined the caddy easily. A good start. Next was Razorscale who was also killed on first try granting also the Quick Shave achievement. Things were on a roll. XT-002 also was downed without any problems (no achievement this time, we lacked firepower). But things came to a dead end with Ignis. We tried like 6 times and we couldn't get him down, wiping at 9%. Frustrated we decided to move on because it was getting late and we didn't seem to improve on each try. Kologarn was going smooth until the left arm was destroyed, nobody said anything in vent and I didn't saw the adds on time, so they killed the healers. Darn! Not again with this boss! We rezzed, rebuffed and this time I set the camera so I could see the left arm while kicking the right arm. Luckily the left arm wasn't destroyed this time and the giant fell like a chopped tree. It was getting very late so we had time only for one boss more, the Crazy Cat Lady, that's it, Auriaya (a.k.a. Screaming Bitch). We cleared the sentinels from the right side but thinking we could get her down fast we didn't clear the ones from the left side. Big mistake. And mistakes here are paid with blood. After the Feral Defender was killed and we moved to the other side someone was feared into the sentinels, so a smooth boss kill turned into a chaotic hell. Of course we wiped, even after trying to tank the sentinels at the same time. This time we killed these sentinels and this time the screaming titan went down without any problem (message to Deadly Boss Mods creators: you should get Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden to record his famous cry "Scream for me (city name)!!!", so when she goes down screaming like mad we could hear Bruce "Scream for me Ulduar!!!". That would be truly epic!)
Let's see if tonight we can get enough people again to continue, at least I'd like to see some new bosses like Hodir and Freya.
Btw, Turnak got a new shiny shield from XT-002, the Pulsing Spellshield, much prettier than the Aegis of Damnation and that silly rune it has. Bye bye egyptian look.

Post soundtrack: Gods of War (live) - Bruce Dickinson

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WTB Cleanse

Woke up today feeling sick, seems flu has finally got me (right now doesn't seem swine flu at least). Sore throat, headache, cough, muscular pain...
Next week I'm on holidays, so WTB Cleanse very fast, no matter price, but must be effective, just /w me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Tanking Questionnaire

If some days ago I posted my answers to the Healers Questionnaire created by Miss Medicina, now it's turn for the Tanking Questionnaire created by Beruthiel at Falling leaves and wings (and again thanks to Righteous Orbs, if you are not following this blog you're missing a lot).
Again the character chosen will be Turnak the paladin. As tank he's the best geared and also is the one I enjoy more when standing in the line of scrimmage. So let's go with the meme:

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Any place. While I used Turnak the most in 5mans, I became the unofficial guild's OT, so I'm also tanking in raids unless some friend comes and then I switch to healer or dps.

What is your favorite tanking spell for your class and why?
Mmm this is tough, protadins have a lot of good tanking spells, but I think I'll be a draw between Avenger's Shield and Hammer of the Righteous. Avenger's Shield is a great pulling spell, while Hammer of the Righteous helps me get aoe aggro fast. I know Consecration affects all mobs inside, but Hammer generates more aggro (or at least it's what I feel). Avenger's Shield gets a plus bonus for that Captain America feeling :)

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
Divine Sacrifice. I think I've never used it. I feel is too dangerous, specially if you're facing a boss that hits hard and affects several players. If healers are already struggling to keep you alive they don't need more work. Also nowadays I don't find much utility inr aids since most of the times you have some healer able to do good aoe healing. The only place I can see this can be useful is 5man runs with a paladin healing where there's a lot of splash damage (like poison debuffs in Azjol'Nerub)

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
The ability to generate a lot of aoe aggro and keep all mobs focused on you so they don't run rampant around. Also pallies have great tricks to solve mobility situations (like Hand of Freedom), protective measures (wearing plate armour and a shield, Sacred Shield spell, bubbling someone, etc)

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?

Before Divine Plea it was keeping enough mana to get your spells going. Right now it's just a matter of keeping Divine Plea always up, so only good timing is needed. Still in some occasions you may run oom, then you better pray that you generated enough aggro before so nobody snaps a mob off you until you regain enough mana to continue your duty.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?

Whatever the raidleader assigns me. Thanks to the great aoe aggro I may be better offtanking in fights where you have to pick up several adds, but maintanking the big bad boss is also ok for me.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?

Paladin. You can see why in the answers above: great aoe aggro generation, good survivality and also brings utility to the raid with blessings, hands, etc.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?

I'd say bear druid, but I'd be lying since my feral druid is specced cat, so I'm just an emergency tank when playing him. The real answer is warrior. I feel I have to struggle a lot to generate good aoe aggro, so when doing 5mans or tanking groups of mobs in raids I always feel I'm going to loose aggro ons ome mobs and they will crush a dps or healer, so I don't like tanking with the warrior. And it's not really a matter of gear (he has very decent tanking gear) or skills, I just feel warriors are best tanking one mob than a group, but nowadays you have to deal with groups of mobs or adds almost everywhere.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Good question, because I'm not sure I have an answer.This doesn't mean I'm a perfect tank. I just try not ot pull too many mobs at once, try to keepp high aggro on all... maybe I'm too cautious and I could make instances faster by pulling more, but I don't want to wipe for being trigger-happy. Maybe the worst thing I've ever done is forgetting some times to put Righteous Fury up and then wonder why people is getting aggro.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

Aggro monleys. People that doesn't wait for me to even cast Avenger Shield or Exorcism. And then they scream "AGGRRRRROOOO!!!" and run away from me.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?

In fact i think protadins are better than the rest of classes since they seem to have all the tanking tools needed: good mitigation (including block and parry), good aoe generation tools, a set of "oh shit!" tools (hands, bubbles, heals)... I couldn't ask for more. For example as I mentioned before I feel that warriors lack some better aoe aggro tools (I know they have Demoralizing Shout, Thunderclap and Shockwave). Bears need to stack hitpoints and because they lack mitigation (parry, block) while stacking too much dodge means they will starve rage.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Basically Omen so I see I have enough aggro and RatingBuster to check new loot and if it's better than my current one. I also have a script that tells me if I need to go for parry or dodge. Not sure if it works only for paladins or also for warriors and death knights, I got it from a paladin blog which name I can't remember right now (shame on me):
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("If ratio above 1.88 start getting Parry. Currently at: "..string.format("%.2f", (GetDodgeChance()-10)/(GetParryChance()-10)))

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

Again I'm not sure, nowadays the tank classes aren't so different and they can perform good in simmilar situations. Still there're situations where some classes have some advantage (like Death Knights pulling the sparks in Malygos fight or spores in Loatheb, while paladins excel at tanking the zombies in Gluth)

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?

Probably getting the right stats. You have to care for defense, health, parry, dodge, block... too many things to maintain and when you start a tank this can be cumbersome. Then in second position is mastering your spells/skills rotation.

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?

Depends on your gear and skill. For new tanks, health. Once you have decent health and are defense capped, you can start worriying about avoidance. For bears can be more tricky, too much avoidance will ruin their rage generation.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?

Bears. Probably because my druid is cat specced and when he had to tank it was a stressing. Also almost all the abilities have a paw or claw depicted so it's very very easy to confuse them if you don't play a bear on the daily basis.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?

Omen, Outfitter (without this we dualspeccers would go insane), RatingBuster and that macro I mentioned before.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?

As I said once you're defense capped and got a fair amount of hitpoints it's time to worry about the rest of stats. In the begining I went mainly for hps. Right now I've stopped getting more health and I'm stacking dodge until my macro tells me to get parry.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cute pets

While I've never been mad about getting pets and also I'm not prone to spend money on game items (other than the monthly fee), yesterday I couldn't resist and got the two pets you can only buy through the Blizzard Store. Let me introduce you the Pandaren Monk. He bows, practices kung-fu moves and finishes with the world famous "crane stance" from The Karate Kid movie.

And now cower in fear in presence of Lil' K.T., the mini-version of the Archlich. He laughs when your enemies die and also freezes critters to dead and then cackles at their demise. And it's Kel'Thuzad himself who writes the letter in which he comes attached.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vurnak's day

After several days grinding quests endlessly it's done! Vurnak got the Loremaster of Northrend achievement. And not only that. I gathered enough Emblems of Triumph to get the Mantle of Catastrophic Emanation, picked up the recipe for the Deathchill Cloak (which I crafted and enchanted and I'm wearing right now), bought him Artisan Riding and spent some emblems in Band of Channeled Magic. I crafted the Magnificent Flying Carpet plus finally I can use the Bronze Drake that I had in the bank collecting dust. Yeah, he's like Paris Hilton with daddy's credit card on the wild. But he deserved it. The Loremaster achievement was a frigging pain in the ass. Hours and hours of grinding. While Borean Tundra was tedious at least you could skip the group quests. Not with Icecrown. I had about 120/140 done and all I could see were group quests. Oh my... luckily I found two ret paladins who were doing these quests and we all three managed to do them all, included the Battle at Valhalas line (a mini-arena chainquest). Looks like Blizzard's obssesed with arenas... expect 5 or 6 in Cataclysm *roll eyes*

So now I'm wondering who should receive more attentions in the form of Emblems of Triumph (until 3.3 comes and all heroics drop that). I wish to do it with Kurnak to get these sexy Pauldrons of Trembling Rage but I fear he would only be invited as tank when pugging, and I never feel comfortable tanking with him even in guild runs (I always feel I can't grab enough aggro when pulling groups of 3 mobs or more), so no way I'm bringing him to pugs where dps are so trigger-happy. And ticking off the Tank checkbox would reduce his probabilities of getting into a party a lot. Oh well, we'll see...