Friday, October 24, 2008

Warrior Tanking in 3.0 (part 1)

Okay, so you have some new skills, some new abilities, and some old ones (Thunderclap & Taunt) have gotten buffed, big time. Threat has been revamped as well.

The big question is, what does this mean?

First off, as a warrior, you can now AOE tank, and you can AOE tank WELL. Really, really friggin well. Warlocks cackling with glee well. Now, the question is, how do you open up against mobs to get maximum threat for that AOE to open up early?

Here's my (current) aoe threat rotation:
1) Bloodrage
2) Charge
3) Thunderclap
4) step backwards to organize the mobs & shield block
5) Shockwave
6) Shieldslam the primary target
7) Thunderclap

The mobs should be glued to you after that. Obviously, there are some exceptions to that rule. Just do your tab devastates, revenges, heroic strikes, and hit T-clap whenever its up.

Now, the major issues with this?
-Druid trees: I love them... but they are slow. Mom-taking-you-shopping slow.*
Make sure they are standing up next to you before you charge, else, they will be waddling up to heal you (because you charged out of range) and you might go splat. Okay, so that goes for all your healers, but you get the idea.

-Charging the correct mob: Be aware of which mobs are casters and which mobs are melee. Its easier to move a melee than a caster so if there's 2 melee and a caster, try to charge the caster. Oh, hey, and don't worry about the melee running up to you if you get within their aggro range before you can charge... you do know you can charge in combat now, right? ;)

Part 2 will be on single targets, and getting used to the new taunt and charge.

Questions? Comments?

*Mom-taking-you-shopping slow is the pace at which, when you're 13, your mother picks out clothes with you simply wanting to get the jeans, put them in the cart and leave. Its a sunny Saturday, and you want to be outside, but, there's now 17 pairs of jeans to try on. Its summer. You don't even need jeans.

Warlocking in 3.0

Now, I'm a warlock at heart. I love it. I love the idea of it. I loved it pre-level-60, and I loved rampaging and questing with my Fel Guard between 60 and 70. I loved going SL/SL and arena-ing. I loved running around with instant corruption, curse of agony and siphon life and dotting every mob I could find while running dailies and having not worrying about dying.

Right now? I'm feeling very lackadaisical towards my Warlock. No spec jumps out at me. No 51 point talent jumps out and says "I WANT THAT"....

Demon form... while it has the 'cool' factor, completely worthless in instances and pvp. Great for solo aoe farming, but.... really, what warlock does that?

Haunt is a good idea. I like the premise.... but... the way boss fights are now, at 70, its useless. Everything dies in under a minute, cycling 4-5 dots just isn't viable. Obviously this will change as things go forward, and I see myself leveling 51 point affliction and the rest in Demo (for soul link) and running around with a Fel Hunter most of the time.

I was hoping non-felguard pets might be usable. Let me rephrase. I was hoping non-felguard pets might be useful.

As it is, right now, Succubus is used for CC in instances. Felhunter might get used in raids now - but its still gonna die, cuz no healer will heal it and we can't kill our dps to channel a spell for 10 seconds to heal it up, because the pet ain't worth that.

Not that I'm bitter that the hunter pet heal is an instant cast hot or anything.

Big Blue? Useless without a bugged 51 point demonology talent. Tiny Green? Mana battery. Sure, he might be able to nuke a bit if you go destro, but he still has about 7 hit points and will splat as soon as any aoe goes off.

Maybe things will change as I level. Maybe arena-ing as a destro lock with instant seduce will change things for me. Who knows, really.... right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tanking, DPSing, and Titans Whiffing in Kara

So.... basically... we ran Karazhan on Saturday night. The bosses were going down in under 2 minutes for the most part, and we didn't even have our A-team there for the most part. We had one wipe, on Shade (of course) and other than that, the night ran smooth as can be.

I began the night running as fury with Titans Grip. Now, I have better-than-entry-level gear for Karazhan. In my fury set, I'm over 1700 AP unbuffed, with 300 armor ignored and 40 expertise. What am I missing that you need for a titans grip build?

Hit rating. Admittedly, I was running with two blue 2 handers, no purples, but every other piece of my fury set is purple (aside from a ring).

After opera, I respecced back to prot, and ran around still dpsing in my fury gear, but as prot spec. I did more dps. Not just a little more. I jumped from 400 to 500 dps. Do I think Titans grip is broken? No, not at all. It just takes a different approach to gearing than I've taken for my DPS set in the past. I always had enough hit rating to keep me in rage. No more, no less. With Titans Grip, I would need WAY more hit rating to keep me in rage. To have my specials not miss.

Now, as for tanking?

Ohmigosh. Its FUN now. I mean, it was fun before, to tank that single big mean boss and yell at the DPS to stop DPSing because I only did 600 TPS in my full-evasion boss suit -- Yes, I have a threat set and a boss set -- Well, all of a sudden, here I am pulling AOE groups, tanking 4 mobs at once (heck, 10 mobs at once!) and watching the mages cackle with glee as they unload their aoe's.

Boss fights went from toeing that threat line on a boss like Prince, to the DPS just unloading and showing what they've got. Gruul, for example, was never really a threat issue as there's so much time where people aren't DPSing.

Instead of it being me constantly watching omen, and worrying about who was doing what and generating too much threat... it became me tanking. Worrying about positioning. Where to move the mob.

It was fun!

Plus, as an offtank, I finally felt like I could "hold my own" by adding a bit of DPS when needed.

So, 3 more posts on the horizon, which do you want first?
1) Warlocking
2) Tanking in instances
3) Prot Talent Review

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sorry, I have none...

Alleria was down all last night so I didn't get to play at all.


Maybe tonight I'll get to do inscription, get a haircut, and re-talentize my characters.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Patch, Big Changes

Over at WoW Insider, the "Care and Handling of Warriors" (sorry, can't look it up for a link at work) has a great writeup on the changes of the warrior trees.

I'm supremely excited for the changes to the Prot tree.

I plan to play around with different specs, different builds, and all in all see how much I can make Kikidas giggle aoe tanking mobs.

Charge will be usable IN ALL STANCES! Amazing. That in itself makes being a tank that much better. Instead of starting a multi mob fight with 20 rage from bloodrage, you can get up to about 40 with a bloodrage+charge. HUGE difference.

Crushing Blows: Gone. Amazing. Its being changed from +3 levels to +4 levels, so bosses will no longer crush... as long as you're 70.

Strength is becoming much more important. Instead of 20:1 for block rating its becoming 2:1. Mind you, I'm still not sure if block rating will be useless or not for Warriors. I need to do more reading on that subject.

I've done *some* reading, but I am going to pick my points without much of a guide. Some defense will be lost with the re-distribution of points due to the gear changes in the patch (mostly due to Paladins tanking mechanics being changed). I am letting the patch decide if I save up for a 150 badge 2h weapon for Titans grip or if I get the 100 badge chest piece.

More to come on Warriors and Warlocks on Wednesday morning... (After testing Tuesday night)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yes, I know Whirlwind does more damage...

A slight rant....

I'm a warrior. I'm a tank. You're a warrior, you're dps. Now, you'd think, you'd have at least a very basic idea of how *my* threat generation works. Sadly, this hasn't seemed to be the case in my experience with DPS warriors.

1) My job, as a warrior tank, is in this order:
- Save the healers by keeping my threat on all targets above the healers
- Keep my threat above the DPS's on the current kill target (skull, then X guys, c'mon)
- Keep my threat above the DPS's on _all_ targets

Now, mind you, that 3rd one, I hardly ever worry about. I'm not an aoe tank (although, that may change a tad during wrath), I can hold aggro on 4+ mobs as long as the dps is smart.

I'm not an idiot for you getting aggro on 2 mobs when you decide to sweeping strikes, cleave, and Whirlwind. Its not my job to keep that much threat on 4 mobs. Its my job to keep enough threat on 4 mobs so the healer doesn't get smooshed.

So, please, all you DPS warriors (and Rogues for that matter) stop using those multi-mob targets while I'm tanking.

"Lrn2tank" is not a proper response when I let you die on the 4th pull after I told you 3 times to stop doing that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't you know you're ridin' with the (Lich) King?

So, there's a few things I want to do in the next 6 weeks before Wrath hits us like a brick wall.

1) Get my druid to 60, (54.5 at the moment... 55 tomorrow, hopefully) and max out his herbalism and Alechmy. Abs will be taking up inscription and Androgynist will become my potion maker.

2) Sell off my primals, All of them. Gone. Poof.... aside from maybe the primal fires I can use to get engineering up once the expansion comes out (for Khorium cores)

3) Decide what I'm buying with all of Pos's badges. I'm almost to 100 now, the question is, do I buy the chest? Do I buy a weapon? Suggestions?

4) Decide upon a Death Knight name. Yes, he'll be a gnome. Yes, he'll be a he. Right now, I'm thinking.... Kablammo but *someone* has issues with that.

5) Lead s'more raids. I had a bit of burnout, and RL busyness solved it. I'm ready for more so long as my guildies are ready for it too.

So, while waiting for Wrath....

KoU decided to friggin DESTROY ZA.

We reserve Sunday nights for 2-hour (ie: less stressful) progression runs. In a guild as small as ours, Zul'Aman is progression for our 10 man crew.

Well, we fielded an amazing 10-man squad, and rolled into Zul'Aman.

We downed the Bear and the Eagle and ended up with 6 minutes remaining on the timer (16 after eagle died) and easily picked up two chests. (Hooray!) Then, we rolled on to Jan'Alai, and took him down on the third try, on our smoothest kill of him yet. We made one simple change to our strategy (wait to aoe the second platform of dragonhawks until after he shoots firey balls of doom) and, we owned him.

We'd done all that in just an hour and a half, so we decided to give the Lynx boss a shot.

Well, thats all it took. One try. One shot. Our healers were awesome, our DPS was great killing the totems, and our Mage... well, he basically solo'd the whole thing.

He ran over 1200 dps on the fight. 1200!!!! Without AOE!

I brought Abs to this party (After respeccing from SL/SL to Destro for the run) and kablammo'd my way into awesomeness.

I was only threat capped on the Bear boss, and thats because I shattered too soon -- should've waited, so I could've gone all out for the last 60% instead of toeing the line the whole time.

That, really, was my only real screw up. (self pat on the back)

Our crew consisted of two priests and a paladin healing, a druid and paladin tanking, and dpsing were an Elemental Shaman, frost Mage, Warlock (me!), a Rogue (who seemed to die a lot.... silly Gobblez) and a BM hunter.

Suddenly, I got infinitely more excited about Wrath.

Go figure.