Heroic Violet Hold and… tank failure?

So today, I tanked Heroic Violet Hold on my paladin for the random heroic.

No one died. There was a moment or two of concern when we were dealing with the kiting boss, whose name I can never remember, but by and large, I held aggro. And people lived. My healer was never in danger.

And yet, after Cyanigosa died, one of the members of the group (I can’t even remember the class type) told me that I had the worst threat of any pally in my gear they’d ever seen. Then they left the group before I could even go “I’m holy, 95% of the time”.

So, even though the rest of the group laughed and said I did fine, I’m sitting here wondering what, exactly, I did wrong.

It’s true, my spec isn’t maxed for threat. So I could fix that. I could also tab-target more and stack more Seal of Vengeance on various mobs, but if they’re being AOEd down faster than I can stack the debuff, does that matter?

I’m dropping Consecrate whenever I can. I’m also using Hammer of the Righteous on cooldown. Judging Light. Keeping Holy Shield up for the mitigation and the threat.

On single-targets, I’m pretty much fine. I way out-threat most people on Omen without even trying. I suppose it’s just the groups of mobs. If we were all focused on one target (my target) and assisting me for the others, there wouldn’t be a threat issue. The issue stems from people AOEing or not focusing on my target.

So as a tank, am I to spread my threat around beyond passive abilities like Consecrate, Holy Shield and even Retribution Aura? Or am I to expect that good group members will follow my target?

Or, what if I’m really just that bad? Should I then remove myself from the tanking role in the queue and focus on healing, which is what I do best anyways? I could. But would that serve the larger community, to remove a not-terrible tank from the pool of available tanks that seems to shrink every single day?

The way I see it, hybrids who don’t have at least one of their specs dedicated to tanking or healing are fail. They should have rolled a pure DPS class. Paladins can be melee DPS, tanks or healers. Shammies can be melee DPS, ranged DPS or healers. Priests can be ranged DPS, tank healers or group healers. Druids can be melee DPS, ranged DPS, tanks and healers. Warriors and DKs can be melee DPS or tanks.

All the healers CAN be DPS. All the tanks CAN be DPS. And since DPS is basically the easiest job with the least amount of responsibility and, one can argue, the most fun, a lot of hybrids choose to be DPS.

Which is fine.

What I find NOT fine is that, in this day and age of dual-specs, hybrids STILL aren’t tanking or healing. It’s not *that* hard, it’s just different from what you’re used to doing. And with the new dungeon tool, it’s easy to find a group so you can practice. Just make sure you won’t die in three hits if you’re tanking or run out of mana after one group of trash mobs if you’re a healer, and you’re good to go.

So the way I see it, by entering the queue as both a healer AND a tank, I’m doing my job as a hybrid. I’m not entering it as a DPS, which is the most common kind of player available, but as the two most sought-after roles. So… if people live and I hold aggro pretty much the whole time, even if my threat output isn’t amazing, does that mean that I shouldn’t enter as a tank at all?

That said, I clearly need to analyze my threat output and I guess try to stick to the 96969 rotation better.

Stupid perfectionistic tendencies…

A-tankin' we will go.

So, due to the fact I’m trying to get into a routine of doing my daily random heroics on my pally early in the day (so I’m not tempted to leave it ’till the last minute before 3am server), I’ve already tanked my way through Utgarde Keep today.

Apparently, I’m a decent tank.

The priest who was healing me was like “boring, overgeared tank!”

I’m definitely overgeared for regular heroics and more than adequately geared for things like heroic Halls of Reflection. My tanking gear is about on par with my hunter’s overall gear.

The problem is, I have very little confidence in my tanking abilities. A lot of the time it’s not a huge problem to build threat. Consecrate, Hammer of the Righteous, yadda yadda yadda, dead mobs.

The priest nearly died at one point and so I did Righteous Defense on her AND BOPped her. I think, but I’m not sure, that doing so makes me leet.

While it’s possible for me to chain pull an instance, I don’t always do so, even if my healer and DPS have mana. I want to make sure I’m keeping Sacred Shield up, want to ensure Avenger’s Shield is off cooldown, I want to hit Divine Plea just as I’m running in, if it’s not already active… I’m sure that in time, with practice, these things that I’m double-checking will become second nature to me.

It’s hilarious that with a few button clicks, I can go from being a very good healer to being a decent tank. Switch specs, use ItemRack to select my prot gear, change my bar config with a new Dominoes profile, change my mouse click bindings with a new Clique profile, make sure to turn on Righteous Fury and Seal of Vengeance and I’m basically good to go.

What’s more hilarious is that doing stupid stuff, which is what I ADORE doing in this game, particularly on my hunter, is easily made possible on the pally.

For example, my hunter cannot solo the first two mobs of Heroic Forge of Souls, not even as BM with a bear pet with 23k health (I am NOT joking, Fozzie had 23k health when I tried!).

Madrana, on the other hand, doesn’t even HAVE to chain fear one of the mobs in order to solo them.

Kurn cannot solo the Wrathbone Laborers (big skellies) in Heroic Pit of Saron. Madrana can. She can also solo the gargoyles on the left side and the poison-dropping guys near Ick.

Judge Light, use Seal of Light and occasionally use Lay on Hands or Divine Protection. That they BOTH cause forbearance now is really, really, REALLY annoying. “But… how.. why do I have forbearance?! I didn’t bubble! Oh, dammit, I forgot.”

I’ve re-discovered how important Holy Shield is. Paladins have pretty abysmal block rating in general, probably because we have Holy Shield. And Redoubt. In fact, I was soloing the second mob in HFoS and watching my character sheet. 12% block bumped up to 42% block, bumped up to 72% block, with 20% parry and 30% dodge (with Mongoose proccing and my libram’s proc). That’s like… 122% chance to dodge, parry or block. I can’t remember the order of the hit table, but that’s probably 5% chance to be missed, 30% to dodge, 20% to parry and then 47.4% chance to block, or whatever. Which is hilarious. And Holy Shield causes more threat, too. Pally threat is very interesting. You basically encourage them to hit you and the more they hit you, the more threat you gain. It’s sort of like they get increasingly frustrated that they don’t kill you. Or something. Even more hilarious with ret aura up, I’d imagine, though I generally run with improved devo aura.

Anyways, that’s my dime’s worth about tanking. I think it’s sad that if I queue up as a tank, I don’t get to heal. At all. I’ve done two quick heroics with me healing just because I didn’t want to bother with tanking and was in a rush, but in order to get the healing job, I had to opt out of the tanking role. I guess it makes sense, though — you bring 5-7 healers to content where you have 5 groups. So you need just more than 1 healer per group. You need 2-3 tanks to content where you have 5 groups. So you need just under 1 tank per group.

Am I the only one who thinks it might be very cool to have 5 healers and 5 tanks and 15 DPS? On most every fight? With beacon of light, you could have two paladins accounting for 4 of the tanks, have a disc priest in on the fifth, a resto druid hotting the tanks and the raid and then a resto shammy or holy priest on the raid.

Strange as it may be, I miss the fights like Maulgar. Man, did that pull initially suck, but it was awesome. Mage tank on the mage, MT on Maulgar, no “tank” for the priest, fel hounds on the warlock and hunters on the shammy. I guess that the Four Horsemen is sort of like that, but the fact that they’re in separate corners already takes some of the challenge out.

Okay, enough ranting about WoW. It’s the holiday season and I desperately need to do some shopping.

Kurn's Guide on How to Behave as a Tank in Dungeons

Kurn’s Guide on How to Behave as a Tank in Dungeons

You’ll note that I don’t specify “random” or “heroic” or “raid” dungeons. That’s because I believe that my guide is good for any level tanking class in any size of dungeon, be it 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 40. It was inspired, of course, by the fact that I’ve done more 5-man regulars and heroics in the last week since 3.3 came out than I have in the previous five months, but there are some good basics here of which all tanks should be aware.

Why am I writing this? Because I’ve run tons of dungeons in my WoW career as all three roles (healing, tanking, damage) and every time I’m on one of my toons, there’s always at least one moron who doesn’t know how to appropriately behave in a group. Always. And those are the GOOD groups.

So, from someone who raids primarily as a holy paladin, who runs anything she can with her hunter, who will reluctantly tank as her paladin, who pugs raid content on her resto shammy, who plays a mage in the 70s and has a dual-specced resto/feral (tank) druid in the 70s as well, here’s my guide for tanks.

1) Know how to generate threat. This is the number one priority. Don’t even think about signing up for a dungeon as a tank if you don’t know how to generate threat. No kidding, I am serious. You will be voted out of the group if you can’t generate sufficient aggro to prevent mobs from attacking level-appropriate party members. This WILL be different than how you approach doing damage, it may require a different spec and will probably require different gear. I recommend you do some reading about your class if you’re not sure how to generate threat. TankSpot.com is one of the best tank resources out there, bar none, point-blank. MainTankadin is the best prot pally website on the internet. Big Bear Butt is an amazing feral tank site. And deathknight.info seems to be a good spot to learn stuff — don’t forget to visit the forums.

Probably the most important thing any tank should remember to do is turn on that ability for threat: Righteous Fury for a paladin (which I’ve forgotten more than my fair share of times), Frost Presence for a DK, Defensive Stance for a warrior and, well, if you’re trying to tank in moonkin, cat or tree forms, give up now.

2) Know how to tank more than one add at a time. One of the biggest, most obvious problems for newer tanks is handling more than one mob and having enough threat on all those mobs while your group kills them. It is NEVER acceptable to hold three adds and let a fourth go running off. It is NEVER acceptable to hold one mob and let three go running off. You NEED to hold aggro on all of them and be ready to taunt any free mobs off. Admittedly, paladins and druids have it easy — Consecration and Swipe are 360 degrees of threaty goodness. Death and Decay is great, except it’s not a constant thing like Consecrate — it lasts 10 seconds, but is on a 30 second cooldown. It’ll be great for initial aggro, but then it’s up to you to use your class abilities and talents to maintain that initial aggro on all those mobs. Warriors, we’re talking Thunderclap, Cleave, Shockwave, and you should have vigilance up on whoever steals aggro from you the most so that your taunt is being refreshed when you need it to be.

3) Know how to stay alive. Yes, you have a healer who is probably dedicating most of their time to ensuring that you don’t die. But there’s more to it than that. Let’s break it down.

a) Gear/Defense/Defense Rating:

No one is expecting you to go running 5-man regular dungeons with TOC-level gear. This isn’t about “gear score” or anything of the sort. This is about knowing how to itemize and enchant and gem and how to make sure mobs can’t crit you. Granted, you shouldn’t be tanking heroics in greens; try for good-quality blues or low-level epics, but the basics of it boil down to there being a lot of math involved. Since I am bad at math, that’s something I won’t get into, but the bottom line here is you need defense (or talents or resilience, although resilience provides much less benefit than defense) to ensure that your chance to be crit is reduced by 5.6% for any raid and 5.4% for any heroic. Skull-level mobs (bosses) are mathematically 3 levels higher than you as opposed to your regular level 82 bosses in heroics, so the math is slightly different.

This means that your *defense*, not your defense *rating*, but your DEFENSE, should be 535 (or higher) for heroics or 540 (or higher) for raids. DO NOT BOTHER trying to tank a level 80 dungeon without being uncrittable by the mobs there. Granted, it’s a little difficult to always be defense-capped while levelling, but then you’re probably not going to wipe the group if you get crit once or twice in a regular levelling dungeon. You WILL wipe the group if you get crit a couple of times on a boss fight in a heroic or a raid setting.

Being “defense capped” (which isn’t a terribly accurate term — you basically can’t have too much defense. The proper term is “crit capped”.) is approximately 70 billion times more important than your health pool. So don’t worry if you have, you know, 25k health if you have 535+ defense. Take every opportunity to stack defense. +20 defense gems, defense to cloak and chest, defense helm and shoulder enchants… stack defense if you’re not at that cap. You will need 4.9 defense rating for 1 defense skill. ALWAYS round down when doing quick math, because if you end up right on the cusp, you could become crittable again. And, like I said, you can’t really have too much defense. Defense adds to your chances to dodge, parry, block and be missed. Clearly, defense continues to be great for paladins and warriors who can dodge, parry, be missed AND block, but it loses some oomph when it comes to death knights, who cannot block as they don’t wear shields. You think that’s bad? How about the druids? Apparently, despite the fact that bears in Ashenvale can parry me just fine, feral druid tanks cannot parry or block, leaving dodge as their primary avoidance stat.

And that is why, druids, you don’t have defense on most of your gear. That’s cool, though. Blizzard compensated you for that by giving you a talent that every tank would love to have — Survival of the Fittest. 3/3 in SotF and voila! You are now uncrittable by any mob who is up to 5 levels above you (although, you can be crushed by a mob four levels above you, so I recommend not trying to tank anything higher than 3 levels above you).

In short: Have 535+ defense for heroics and 540+ for raids.

b) Defensive Cooldowns:

Ardent Defender (proc) and Divine Protection for paladins. (NOT DIVINE SHIELD. If you EVER bubble yourself as a tank when you have aggro, you *fail*. Of course, bubbling to remove awful bleed effects or such when you are NOT currently tanking the boss and right-clicking it off immediately is fine. The key is not while you’re tanking.)
Shield Wall and Enraged Regeneration and Last Stand for warriors. If you have a bunch of rage, pop Enraged Regeneration and Last Stand to help out your healer when a boss enrages or starts hitting harder or you accidentally stand in something. Shield Wall is your real “OH CRAP” button.
Icebound Fortitude, Anti-magic Shell and Anti-magic Zone (depending on spec) for death knights. Icebound Fortitude, with its 2m cooldown, should be used first and should be used whenever you can, basically, during a fight that does something “extra”. Lightning Nova on Loken, for example, or when Ormorok the Tree-Shaper frenzies in Nexus. Anti-Magic Shell should be used on any magical damage you can to mitigate that damage taken, and if you have 4pc T8 (though most people should be moving on to T9/T10 now), it’ll mitigate 10% of physical damage taken, too. If you’re Unholy and have Anti-Magic Zone, that’s a great party/raid-wide cooldown that should be used on magical damage effects as well.
Survival Instincts, Frenzied Regeneration and Barkskin for bears. Barkskin is great, a 1m cooldown and usable ANY TIME. You can be stunned, feared, asleep, whatever, and you can pop it for a 20% damage reduction. Survival Instincts is always fun to pop to see how huge your health pool will get and Frenzied Regeneration, like a warrior’s Enraged Regeneration, will convert rage to health. Druids have some very nice cooldowns.

Also, if you’ve got Herbalism, don’t underestimate Lifeblood. It’s a small amount of health, but every point helps. Same with Draenei and Gift of the Naaru. Who doesn’t love instant-cast healing spells?

And don’t forget to use your tanking trinkets. Got one that increases your dodge rating? Pop it when the boss is super angry with you! Got lots of mobs on you and a trinket that increases your armor when you’re hit? Pop it then! A tank who knows how to use their trinkets (and which ones to equip for the encounters) is a good tank.

4) Know when to taunt. Something that bothers the crap out of me is that people taunt like crazy these days. So let me explain exactly the mechanic of a taunt. And by “taunt”, please take that as an umbrella term for: Taunt (and to an extent, Mocking Blow), Growl, Dark Command and Righteous Defense (and to an extent, Hand of Reckoning).

A taunt does not, in itself, cause threat. A taunt will match you with the highest threat on that mob’s aggro table. But it will not add threat if the mob is already on you, as the various tooltips say. This isn’t what I’ve noticed is a problem. What I HAVE noticed is a problem is this:

Tanks are taunting to pull.

WRONG.

Ten MILLION kinds of wrong! You do not taunt to PULL. There IS no aggro, so basically, a taunt to pull is a facepull. You’re getting on the initial aggro table and that’s basically it and it’s EXTREMELY easy for anyone to pull off you. If you had any kind of hot ticking on you, guess what? Your healer now has aggro. Or that overeager DPS is now dead. Either way, bad news.

Paladins, of course, are slightly different since Hand of Reckoning’s tooltip says:

“Taunts the target to attack you.¬† If the target is tauntable and not currently targeting you, causes [1 + 0.5 * AP] Holy damage.”

So when I cast Hand of Reckoning on a mob who isn’t looking at me, because we’re not yet in combat, that gets me about 8k threat off the bat in my current gear. But it’s still a lazy way to get aggro and should be avoided.

Warriors: Heroic Throw is a great ranged pull for you. If you don’t need to range pull, run on in and start producing aggro.
Death Knights: Death Grip is a great ranged pull for you, unless you’re pulling all casters/ranged.
Druids: Feral Faerie Fire (wow, try saying that three times fast!) will cause some nice threat off the bat if you want to range pull.
Paladins: Avenger’s Shield anyone? If you can’t use your shield for some reason and you NEED to range pull, go ahead and use Hand of Reckoning.

Also, if you’re grouped with a hunter, please make sure they’re using misdirection on you. It’s very easy for hunters to pull from range. And most hunters enjoy doing so. If a hunter you’re grouped with doesn’t like to MD you, they fail.

5) Know how to pick up the mobs. Should be pretty simple, right? There’s a group right over there, so you jog over and beat on them. Things aren’t always that easy. In Violet Hold today, for example, I saw a warrior who just stood back, waited for the adds to spawn at the portal and then charged in. Is this wrong? Not when it’s a single add (Portal Guardian). But when it’s a group of mobs that all scatter and charge for the door? WRONG. This idiot warrior refused to get close enough to the portal to get initial aggro because he (or she) was insisting that charging in was the best choice. No. It’s not. Getting initial aggro so that your healer doesn’t, or that your shammy’s totems don’t, THAT is the best option. Refer back to rule #1: know how to generate threat. Part of generating threat is BEING NEAR THE MOB.

6) Know how to Line of Sight (LOS) mobs. I’m pretty sure that I notice this because I’ve been a hunter for four years, but people don’t know how to line of sight pull. What does that mean?

a) You are looking at a bunch of mobs, probably casters.
b) You have a section of wall or a hill or some place you can hide from the casters nearby.
c) You aggro them somehow.
d) You run behind the wall or down the hill and wait for the casters to catch up to you.

That’s it. Pretty simple. A lot of people are doing this obsessively in Halls of Reflection, which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of, but that’s another rant entirely. No mob can hit you if they’re not able to see you because you ran around a corner. So what do they do? They chase you. Casters (and other ranged mobs) will start casting again as soon as they have a clear line of sight on you, so being right at that corner or being prepared to run up that hill when they arrive is a good idea.

Corollary: Do NOT LOS your healer. That’s to say, always make sure your healer can heal you. Don’t go up on top of the stairs when you can fight on the steps themselves and your healer is below you, or else they’ll have to chase you up. Chasing you means they’re not casting, which means they’re not healing, which means you or someone else could die.

7) Know how to position the mobs.
There are a lot of mobs in this game that do frontal cone damage or cleave damage. What’s that mean? A frontal cone means there’s a triangular area of damage from the front of the mob, extending out to the sides. If you’re the tank, you’re expected to take the brunt of this, but you’re also expected to turn the mob so it’s not facing the group. Cleave damage means that the boss has a frontal attack that will hit ANYONE standing in front of it (in range) very hard. Melee DPS is supposed to DPS from behind anyways, to ensure their attacks aren’t parried, dodged or blocked, but as the tank, it’s your responsibility to turn the mob to ensure there’s no damage hitting your group. It’s usually a good idea to get aggro and then turn the mob, strafing and stepping backwards as you go. Mobs behind you can be a bad thing, because players can’t block or parry attacks from behind, so you’ll want to step back a couple of paces if you have that issue.

8) Be aware of your group’s status at all times. Okay, I’m primarily a healer, but even before I was a healer, I was a hunter and I was a raid leader and the number one thing I learned by leading Zul’Gurub and Molten Core runs was to be aware of the healer mana bars and whether or not people were dead. So while I heal with Grid, I also tank with Grid. I refer to it to see if I need to wait to make sure my healer has mana before pulling. I have various debuffs coded into my Grid so that I can see if my healer is silenced, for example, so I can pop a cooldown. If I’m being healed by a priest and there’s no shaman with a cleansing totem down and I’m poisoned, I’ll also cleanse myself and even other party members if need be. I also have Grid showing me who has aggro and you better believe that if the healer has aggro, I’ll right-click on them on my Grid and that’ll use Righteous Defense on that player, meaning I just saved the healer’s butt without even turning around and targetting the mobs. Granted, I’m a paladin and that’s total hax, but I’m sure there are other abilities or macros other classes can use in a similar fashion. A warrior’s Intervene comes to mind.

9) Be at least somewhat familiar with the fights. So maybe you’ve run Utgarde Keep 1000 times as a DPS or a healer. Does that mean you know how to avoid Ingvar’s Dark Smash ability? What about Anub’arak’s Pound? Do you know how to position Gluth in Naxx? What about how many stacks you let Impale get to on Northrend Beasts? Even if you know the fight inside out from another perspective, doing it as a tank completely changes things, so read up on the fights you’re planning on doing as a tank over at WoWWiki.com to make sure you understand what’s happening in the fight from a tank perspective. It’ll allow you to know when to pop those cooldowns, when to expect new mobs, when to move away from the boss (like during Dark Smash or Pound) and other handy tips like that.

10) Run back. If you and your healer have died and there is no other rezzer in the group, guess what? You’re running back, pal. As a healer, I have totally held up a group while a pug DPSer has finally released to run back, five minutes after the rest of the group did. The rule of thumb is: if the healer has to run, so do you.

I’m absolutely positive I’ve left out a bunch of things, but these are 10 things that I expect of my tanks in general — and expect of myself when I’m tanking. Am I perfect? Hell no. But I know how to generate threat on my tanking toons, both of them are uncrittable for their levels of content and I’m reasonably good at holding aggro on many mobs at once, plus I know how to avoid most boss abilities that are avoidable and I can pull because that’s what I did for the first year I played. ;) Those are probably the basics, but if you manage to follow through on all the points I mentioned, you’re a good tank — doing the little things and big things right. And it won’t go unnoticed by a healer or DPS who know what they’re doing.

Having said that, thank you for taking on what is probably the most challenging of all roles in this game. You may not have known what you were getting into, but if you keep doing it, I’m guessing it’s because you like it. Tanks (and, to a lesser degree, healers) are a rare commodity in WoW and a *good* tank is the rarest of all. Except, you know, a female dwarf rogue.

So thank you for what you bring to the table, tanks, and I hope that this was at least a little helpful for some of the newer ones out there.

LFG, ICC and other assorted acronyms.

As I write this, I’m waiting for a random Lich King Dungeon for my mage, who is now 75, thank you very kindly, and I’m amazed by how long it takes to form a group.

Compared to, of course, level 80 instances that I DPS on my hunter.

Or any level instance when I queue as a healer or as a tank.

Hell, queueing up as a healer AND a tank means you’re never going to ever, ever wait. It’s hilarious. I’ve done the random heroic every day (from Wednesday on) on my paladin, queued as both a healer and a tank and so far, I have tanked: Nexus, Forge of Souls, Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Champion. I have healed nothing.

Ooh, VH for my mage!

…Interlude for discussion of VH-related fail…

… the DK tank just wiped us on the first boss. Granted, it was the kite boss. But, the DK tank hasn’t dropped death and decay once and he had no presence up WHATSOEVER, much less FROST presence, until wave 5.

By the end of the second boss, the DK tank seems to have learned to drop D&D, has been in Frost Presence and has hauled ass to portals in a reasonable manner.

And yet, by the end of the instance, it appears that the DK tank did not learn from his mistakes. At all.

Happily, the healer was also from Proudmoore, so we queued up for a random dungeon together, with her in her tank spec (she’s a druid) and got the same ele shammy as in VH, plus a priest and a ret pally. We ran DTK randomly and VH (not randomly). How is it possible to reset a dungeon from within the cross-realm LFG interface? We couldn’t seem to reset DTK.

Anyways, it’s nice — my mage made a friend. And is 3 bars from 76!

Right, so, where was I? Oh, yeah, queueing up as a tank AND a healer.

So those are the two roles for my druid, right? So I’ve taken to doing this before I queue:

– check spec.

– put on opposite-spec gear.

– queue for whatever I want.

– get called in to tank or heal and, once zoned, only have to change EITHER spec OR gear to match the role I’m in.

Basically, I’m sitting there in tank spec with healing gear on, but my queues generally go like this:

Tank, tank, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, tank, tank… tank.

There ARE no tanks out there for lower level instances and so very few at higher levels.

In other news, thanks to some gratuitous trash-farming, Kurn has the Ashen Band of Vengeance while, due to a guild ICC25 and a pug ICC10, Madrana has the Ashen Band of Wisdom. Kurn has yet to kill a single boss in ICC (though not for lack of trying on Deathwhisper 25), whereas Madrana has killed them all twice already, once on 25 and once on 10.

My thoughts on ICC:

– Trash is icky unless you know what you’re doing.

– The first four bosses are basically a review of Black Temple with a hint of SSC and just a sprinkle of Hyjal.

– Marrowgar might be a little overtuned in 10s, but seemed like a pushover in 25. I worked HARD in that 10-man pug, which was mostly some guild’s run. They’re not amazingly geared, but they’re good enough that they shouldn’t have had to struggle as much as they did. This fight steals from SSC’s Leotheras the Blind (whirlwind), Hyjal’s Archimonde (the fire, although it doesn’t chase you) and BT’s Naj’entus.

РDeathwhisper is a little overtuned in 25m, I think. The big Death and Decays are fine, the deformed fanatics/adherents are fine, the resistance to various forms of damage based on mob type, all fine. The MC + the Curse of Torpor need to go or at least  be nerfed on 25 or else your cleansers/CCers HAVE to be on their game. 10m is a freaking pushover in comparison. This fight steals from the Shade of Akama fight, in that you deal primarily with adds until the boss comes out.

– Gunship Battle is HILARIOUS. I love it. The guild one-shotted it, I believe, and the 10-man only took four attempts or so. Got it by the skin of our teeth, mind you. But we got it anyways. :)

– Deathbringer Saurfang. 3 tries on 25m. 2 tries on 10. And I even got this on 10m:

stormingmess10

That’s I’ve Gone and Made a Mess, which was originally a reference to our good ol’ buddy Moroes in Karazhan, because Saurfang originally Garrotted, the way Moroes did.

– The best item in the ENTIRE GAME, hands-down, drops off 25m Deathwhisper: Zod’s Repeating Longbow. I haven’t seen it, but it’s in the drop table at wowhead and OMG. Reference to Superman II? WIN. “Kneel, son of Jor’El! Kneel before Zod!” God, I love that movie. If Kurn can get this bow, ever, I may never replace it. Okay, so I probably would in Cataclysm, eventually, but it would sit in my bank right next to my Rhok’delar.

Other achievements I’ve recently gotten include the BEST-NAMED ONE EVER.

retreating

That’s “We’re Not Retreating; We’re Advancing in a Different Direction.” I got that with my RL friend, the resto druid and three of “our” guildies, although I was on my hunter which not everyone knows about. I laughed my ass off when I got it.

I’ve also been getting a lot of rep while doing the new dungeons. Madrana got these:

mad15

And Kurn got:

kurnknights

Both Kurn and Madrana have gotten:

lfm

Which brings us back to LFG and the dungeon tool.

There I was. Level 71. Tanking, on my druid, in Azjol-Nerub. (As if I don’t deal with Anub’arak enough as it is!) I’m in with a 74 rogue and a 76 DK, as well as a 73 mage and a 72 priest.

I can’t keep aggro off the 76. And have trouble with the 74 at times. And because I’m always taunting off of them, it’s tough to get aggro back from the healer. So I basically stopped worrying about them and worried about the healer. Because, as we all know, if the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault, if the healer dies, it’s the tank’s fault and if the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault, right? :D

So the DK is all like “wow tank how come you cant hold aggro?” And I mention that he’s never on my target, so yeah, he’s going to pull aggro. And then I say:

Me: “I’m trying to taunt off the priest and so my taunts aren’t up for you.”

Him: “thats what im doin waht ddid u think i was doin to boss” (I think this was referencing keeping on my target.)

Me: “Watch your Omen. If you don’t have it, get it. Better, run an instance that’s suitable for your level.”

DK: “funny mate funny”

Me: “True, I can’t keep aggro from a level 76. I’m not supposed to.”

DK: “still ur a tank”

Healer: “a tanks job is to keep aggro off the healer, a dps job is to keep aggro off himself now lets stop arguing”

DK, to me: “u cant ever hold agro off all us so stop telling me what to do”

Me: “You really don’t understand the mechanics of this game…”

DK: “what fuck u talkin about now”

DK: “what u think im doin”

Of course, this was all happening during the trash and boss fight for the second boss in Azjol-Nerub. So as soon as we were done:

votekick

I’m going to write three how-tos, I believe. How to Behave as a Tank/Healer/DPS in random dungeons.

The overriding rule to them all is, of course, don’t be a fucktard dick.