Archive for WOW

Making the move

Posted in General Raiding, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Masscis

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in past post that I wasn’t real happy with my raid situation. After FBI tanked, I moved to AA where me and a group from FBI formed their 2nd 25 man raid. In the beginning, things were good. We downed Festergut and Rotface then council. After a few weeks Professor went down. Blood queen followed shortly there after in 10 man. That’s where it stopped though. No more progression, hell we weren’t even trying to progress any more. More than half of the group was original AA alts, who were there just to get gear. They had no interest in wiping over and over on bosses they’ve already downed.

Thankfully, my raiding issue has been resolved thanks to Matticus. I have moved over to the Ner’zhul server and joined Conquest. While I’ve only been in the guild for 3 days, I’ve already gotten a shot at 10 man Arthas and 25 man Sindy. So far, I love this guild. Matticus has created a super professional and streamlined approach to raiding. The raids last 3 hours and somehow they manage to get more attempts on a boss in that time than I ever have in 5 hours of raiding. Extremely impressive.

The down side to all of this…I feel like I’m under a microscope, even though I probably shouldn’t. It’s just such a different situation than what I’m used to. While in FBI, I was THE tank, now I’m that new guy. I went from being the backbone of a guild to being an unknown. I was a loud mouth, shouting orders now I’m being asked to speak up in vent. It’s not all bad though, while it may only feel like I’m being judged by conquest, I’m really judging myself. I’m working harder, really monitoring the raid, my situational awareness and the abilities I use.

As far as the future goes, I’m working hard to get my mage up to level 80 because that’s what the guild needs right now. I think I’ve impressed enough to at least get a hard look at tanking the Sunday 10 man and even filling in for an absent tank in 25 until the mage is ready. Not much will change here on the blog, I’ll keep it a warrior/tank/raiding deal and try to get a more constant update schedule going. I’m actually fighting a post about AOE tanking now, I’ve re-written it 3 times already. At this point, it may make it live just after Cataclysm releases…

Tank Experiment: First to 80

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Masscis

Sorry for the lack of post lately but my hard drive crashed. I’m now equipped with a new hard drive sporting windows 7 and a new 80 Death Knight. I hit 80 on Mandylus last week. Leveling through Northrend went much faster than I remember, maybe it was the +XP from BOA gear. I spent the last week working through normal mode dungeons to get enough gear score to run some heroics.

Thoughts on DK Tanking:

I didn’t run many dungeons in Outlands but I hit pretty much all of them on my tour of Northrend. I duel specced Unholy dps for leveling and DW Frost for tanking. Once I started tanking on the DK like a DK instead of a warrior playing a DK…things went smooth and awesome. Basically DK tanking is a hybrid of all the other tanking classes. They have a little something from each class. DnD is pretty much a Pally consecrate and you could look at diseases as their judgments or blessings or what ever the hell they use. Blood Boil has a definite Thunder Clap feel while Rune Strike is a proc like Revenge with the spamming of Heroic Strike. Pestilence could be looked at like a swipe but with the dot of the diseases added.

When I first started tanking with Mandy, I’d pull with Death Grip and Blood Boil as soon as everything was in range…much like I’d charge and thunder clap as a warrior. Once I switched it dropping Death and Decay then pulling with Icy Touch then, getting diseases up, pest and spam rune strike dungeons became easy mode. All in all, I really had fun tanking my way up with her. Duel Wielding just feels and looks cool.

The Bad:

Switching back and forth between unholy dps and frost tanking provided some annoyances. As a warrior, when I switch into Fury and “Zerker” stance, I use totally different abilities then when I’m tanking. I know what everything does and can easily switch between the two. The death knight specs, on the other hand, use the same spells and abilities but do different things depending on talents. For instance, I find myself using Obliterate in Un-holy and wiping out my diseases but in Frost it crits like crazy and does good threat. Other than that, I don’t have much negative to say about them…I’ve heard they are squishy but I don’t see it.

The Future:

For now, I’m grinding Heroics and collecting Teir 9 dps level gear and buying Primordial Saronite with the Frost badges. Once I’ve got a good set of DPS gear, I’m going to start working on tank gear. I won’t tank on her again until I’ve got a decent set of tanking gear. There’s a possibility that once Cataclysm comes out, I have thought about switching her to my main. Then again, it sounds like warrior tanking may be pretty fun too.

The Douche List:

ATM, I’ve been slacking running heroics on the DK. I got through Northrend really quickly and I sit at 80 with a few quest greens, some crafted pvp greens and blues and a couple of pieces I’ve picked up from Heroics….bottom line, my gear score is around 1,000. I have no gems or enchants but the dungeon finder says I’m geared enough so I run them. With that being said, it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve just dinged 80. I have no idea why people feel the need to be complete douchebags to fresh 80 toons. I remember the beginning of Wrath. I’d see someone looking for a tank in trade. I’d send ‘em a tell and pray that there would be at least 2 damage dealers doing over 1.5k…yeah, 1.5k is a joke now.

Anyway, I introduce….the Douche List. It’s perma-linked on my side bar. It will be a place where I can keep track of the douches I get grouped with. Hopefully I have some readers from the Rampage Battle Group that’ll be warned about these horrible possible group mates. If not, it’ll be a place for me to keep track of them and give them hell if they end up in a group with my warrior, who’s gear score is a hair off of 3.2k on wow-heroes.com.

  1. I would like to introduce Demonology, a warlock from Hellscream server. Demonology is actually in a guild that’s neck and neck with mine in progression, that maybe why he decided to run his mouth. He’s a chicken though, he didn’t say a word the entire run and the second the boss fell he broke out with the “Wow Mandy, you suck”. “Is it St. Patrick’s Day? Is that why you’re wearing all the green?” After a few comments attempting to belittle me, I pointed out the fact that I actually out dps’d my gear score (GS 1k, dps 2.5k) and he did 4k dps with a 5k GS (add on). That’s when he started trash talking my guild and I ignored him. Unlucky for him, I know a few actual raiders in Darksin and have already spoken with them of our run. They informed me that he’s just a casual riding the coat tails of his guild’s name.
  2. Standupguy is a liar…his name is a total sham. I had the pleasure of ignoring this resto-druid about 5 seconds into my very first Heroic on Mandy. He shook his head at me then called me a “Fail Knight”. He then proceeded to not send a single heal my way the entire run. I died twice, the first time the pally tank had to stop to rez me. The second was on the final boss….I actually un-ignored him while I waited to roll on the gear until I got my rez. He did not like that at all…apparently this noob doesn’t know that he can leave and still get gear because we waited for about 10 minutes before he finally gave me a rez. I really wish I’d meet this one on my warrior…still deciding if I’d not move until the group voted him out or if I’d tell them not to dps and let him pull a pack of mobs on himself and die a few times….

Welcome to the douche list guys.

The Problem with WoW

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Masscis

In a series of post, I’m going to tackle what seems like a re-occurring issue…”Is WoW too easy?”

First off, I want to say I have taken a short hiatus from Wow. Some time away from the game to get some time with Star Trek: online, Aion and Dragon Age. This break has to do with me really wanting to play these games a bit but also because of a sequence of events that stems directly from my last post, where I talked about FBI breaking up and our raid team joining AA.

Now, I’m not going to slander AA, they are a great group of guys but I’m not happy raiding with them at the moment. I decided to shop myself around and see if I could land a raiding spot somewhere. In my search, I find that one of the top guilds on the server is looking for a protection warrior. I filled out an app. and waited. A few days later I got a message from the GM saying my app. was denied. At this point, I shrugged and just blew it off thinking I don’t have enough raid experience.

I’m nosy though, I had to know who they picked up instead of me. They did indeed sign a prot. warrior. I compared our achievements to see where I needed to be to gain acceptance in a top guild like that. He has cleared Kara a few times and has a few kills in Black Temple but no clears. So he’s been around since BC. Around the same number of Naxx clears as me and at the appropriate times. That’s where our likeness ends though.

In Ulduar, he’s never killed General Vez. in 10 or 25. He’s never killed Mimiron or Thorim in 25. He has a couple of hard modes achievements but no where near a rusted-proto drake. Moving on to TOC, he’s cleared it in 10 man and 25 man but only gotten as far as FC in 10 ToGC and 0 kills in 25 ToGC.

I’ve cleared Ulduar and have all the 10 man hard modes including the rusted drake. Cleared 10 ToGC in 45 attempts and am 3/5 in 25 ToGC. The kicker is, this dude has a higher gear score than me. They had to have chosen this guy based strictly off of gear score. I can’t imagine his application being more thorough than mine. In the business world, this would equate to selecting a new employee based on where they went to school instead of actual work experience. If you’ve spent any time in the working world, you know degrees only get you in the door and when it comes down to it, employers are going to grab the guy with the most experience…unless they’re cheap and want someone “green”.

In this case, we know this late in an expansion a guild shouldn’t want somebody “green” to step in and tank for them. They shouldn’t want to have to train this guy up.

So, “What’s wrong with WoW?” A few months ago I would have said nothing major. Since I’ve been playing Aion I’ve noticed people who play other MMOs think WoW is for the noobs. I figured it was jealousy, since they’re MMO of choice didn’t have the player base that WoW has. After spending some time in Aion and STO, I realized that they really don’t like us. In Aion, if you ask in general chat where the AH or Auction House is and you’re going to be met with jeers of “Go back to WoW noob”. On the flip side I’ve seen it asked if Aion had “Guild Housing” and a huge discussion broke out on how awesome Guild Wars is…Granted Aion and GW are made by the same developer but still why are we considered noobs because we play the big boy on the block?

There has to be something there. Looking back at my failed app to guild I spoke of earlier, it’s not like the guy they picked had me beat by a lot in GS either. I broke the top 10 in GS for Prot. Warriors somewhere in the middle of Ulduar and I haven’t left the top 10 until shortly after ICC was released. Currently I’m sporting 3 pieces of ToGC gear. At the time of the app, this guy was beating me by 75GS.  The week ICC was released, I was a trinket away from being the top geared prot warrior.

Is this the problem here? A guy with no real raiding experience can come from absolute obscurity and take a raiding spot from someone who’s cleared pretty much all content in an expansion? I believe I’m on the right track thinking this.  Basically what Blizzard is telling us by making gear so easy to get is that our prior achievements mean nothing.

What I think needs to happen to fix this: There are a few routes that Blizzard can take.

  1. Badge gear should be there to fill in the blanks for gear you didn’t get in the last tier of raids. To put in the current tier’s context, no piece of Frost badge gear should be better than a 25 man drop from TOC. Example would be the tanking frost badge cloak is better than the cloak that drops in 10 man ICC when in fact it shouldn’t be better than a cloak dropping in 25 TOC. It’s a fact you don’t need ICC gear to raid ICC, you need probably a full set of TOC gear to raid it. Any pieces that are missing from you’re set should be filled by frost badge gear. The same thing goes for gear bought with badges of Triumph…they shouldn’t be better than gear dropped from Ulduar.
  2. You can’t say that people shouldn’t be allowed to gear up for current content by running heroics. After all, if you been raiding WotLK since it was released…you geared for Naxx by rep farming and doing Heroics. That being said, I’ve got a lot of time invested into my toon. To see somebody who hasn’t put that time in achieve things that I can’t at this time, feels like a slap in the face. This guy took the easy route in my eyes. If Blizzard wants to keep Frost Gear BIS until Hard Mode gear is available, I should have an easier time getting it or the guy that hasn’t raided should have a harder time getting it. I go for the second option…Lets take tier gear for example. Make it actual tier gear. In order to get the tier 10 head you must have the tier 9 head, in order to get tier 9 you must have tier 8 and so on. Of course there would have to be a break somewhere, you can’t expect someone who wants a full Tier 10 set to start at Tier 1 and work their way up…go by expansions and have all the tier gear in WotLK linked in this fashion. Go one step further and do the same thing with badge gear. If you want to buy the ilevel 264 tanking trinket from frost badges, you must have an ilevel 245 trinket (it could be pvp or a caster trinket) which can be bought for triumph badges and to get that one you’d need a ilevel 226 trinket.

Either method you pick would still make it to where someone who is un-geared for the current tier of raiding has to put in a bit more work but can still gear for current content. I know Blizzard is on this kick about how they want everyone to have access to all the raid content and that’s all fine and good but I think “The Problem With WoW” is that they’ve taken it too far and made it to where you have to totally re-gear your toon after every content patch.

The rise and fall…

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by Masscis

This post is more for my own benefit than anything else. Some may find it interesting with the lack of drama on WoW.com these days. *NOTE: I like the way Larisa formats her post, I’m going to make an attempt at replicating her formatting…*

THE BEGINNING:

I was a noob. I’d never raided and had spent around 6 months leveling to 80. I did manage to hit 80 with most of the others coming from BC although I never hit the level cap during BC’s reign. I was in a few guilds on the way up. Most were with RL friends who played, none of them were raiders though. They all played socially. I knew during leveling, I wanted to raid. When I hit 80 I decided to leave my little group of RL friends and find a raiding guild. At this point I had no idea about wowprogress.com or wow-heroes.com. I saw a guild in trade chat looking for raiders so I sent a tell to the GM. I hit 80 while in this guild. While running a heroic, a DK guildmate of mine ninja’d a tanking helm from me. The helm was a huge upgrade for me but he claimed the guild wanted him to tank Naxx, so he needed it. I left that guild that night.

I found Krazy, GM of FBI, spamming trade that same night. After a few weeks of getting to know the awesome members of FBI, I got in my first raid with them. It was an OS 10 with zero drakes up. I was lucky enough to be in the run with the guild’s main DK tank, Port. He was awesome, I explained it was my first time in a raid and he took the time to give me a few hints and tips. He got me to tank Sarth while he collected the adds. The result was the guild’s first 1 shot of OS. He told me to sign up for the 10 man Naxx run on Tuesday and he’d get me in his group.

The guild had over 300 toons at the time and we had no standards for Naxx runs. If you wanted to go, you signed up. Port would invite all who signed up to a single raid and we’d split up from there. Usually into 3 or 4 10 man groups. We’d PUG to fill in the gaps and 9 times out of 10, the PUGs would become new members. In fact, looking at our raid today, I’d say 90% of our main raiders PUG’d with us before they joined.

Port was a great raid leader and tank. I learned a tremendous amount about tanking from him but he had a little secret. He hated tanking. He tanked because he could and pretty much had to. His true love was his warlock. I basically became his project. He wanted to turn me into the guild’s Main Tank so he didn’t have to do it anymore. By the time Ulduar was around a month out he achieved his goal. I was main tanking all bosses in whatever 10 I got put into and also our 25 man. I also was MT for the guild’s first Mally kill.

THE RISE

When Ulduar finally dropped. FBI held a ranking in the low 30’s on server. At this point, we didn’t really care. We just wanted to kill shit and kill shit we did…in 10 man. We had the 4 keepers down and were working on the General within the first month of release. The problem was it was only 1 10 man doing it. The other 2 or 3 10s that we got together rarely got past XT and never past council. Also, in 25 man, we struggled for what seemed like weeks on each new boss. Finally after a month of Ulduar, Krazy called a meeting of officers. While I wasn’t an officer at the time, I was included in the meeting. At the meeting we were instructed to start keeping tabs on raid members and see who’s just not pulling their weight.

Finally after a few weeks of collecting data, FBI began really recruiting raiders instead of casuals. We began replacing some of the “slackers” and it showed in our rankings. Before we knew it, we had 3/4 keepers down in 25 man and Yogg fell in 10 man. Our ranking reached 19th on server and we were starting to turn some heads and the more our rank improved, the better the recruits became. By the time TOC came out we were competing for top 10 on server. We had about 15 people with rusted proto-drakes and were killing bosses in TOC as fast as Blizz could put them out. We even scored a couple server first achievements along the way.

I think the highest we got on server was 7. Some of the top guilds even started shit talking us, which made us really believe we had arrived. This continued throughout the reign of TOC and into ToGC where we got 10 man insanity and ended up 3/5 in 25 ToGC. Good enough to finish tier 9 content in 8th on server. Just as a side note, we play on Hellscream which is one of the top PVE servers around. Usually ranking top 20-30 in the US. The server’s top guild is usually in the top 100 in the world.

The Fall

It wouldn’t last though. In the time while working towards insanity and trying to down heroic FC in 25 man. Krazy’s personal life kicked the guild in the nuts. I don’t know all of the details but I will try to piece together what I know. Basically, as I understand it, he was playing WOW at work. He got fired, his wife left him and took the kids. Instead of backing out of the game and fixing his life, he threw himself even deeper into the game.

Krazy has always been a bit of a hot head and on occasion would throw a tantrum on vent if we wiped where we shouldn’t or somebody was slacking. It usually worked though, he’d yell and we’d get a kill. We began to joke that we weren’t really raiding until we got yelled at.

He used the game to get away from the divorce but instead of leaving it in the real world, he brought in game with him. His tantrums increased and the moral of the guild as a whole diminished. I think the breaking point was a ToGC 25 where we had a “guest”. This was no ordinary PUG. He was a good friend of many of the guild and GM of one of the guilds that were ranked above us. Krazy absolutely blew his shit on vent in front of this other GM and began ranting and cursing at one of our top healers for no apparent reason. No more bosses were killed that night. Most logged off immediately after the raid ended.

In the days that followed that incident, I began getting tells asking if I was leaving the guild. It seemed like nobody wanted to be the first to leave but everyone wanted to stick together. The officers decided to put some pressure on Krazy to see if we could get him to leave the game for a few weeks to get his life in order. It was met with a stiff “fuck you, this is my guild. I built it, I’m going to run it as I see fit.” I knew at this point it was over, it was just a matter of time.

Upon the release of ICC, we rolled in and quickly put the first 4 bosses on farm in 10 and 25 man. We managed to keep our ranking in the top 10 and it seemed like we were going to clear the place despite krazy. When the plague wing was released we hit a brick wall in progression. To date we have not killed Festergut in 25 man and not downed Professor in 10. No bosses are down in newer wings. Our ranking slipped to 19th on server and Krazy flipped his shit once again. He went on some rant that pretty much ended in him saying if we didn’t kill Festergut and Rotface in 5 attempts, nobody would get any DKP for the night. This rant occurred before we even stepped foot into the raid, needless to say everyone was on edge from the get go.

Flash forward to Rotface. 2nd attempt he falls. Move to Festergut, 1st attempt we get him to 5%. 2nd attempt Krazy dies on the pull somehow. Shortly after another dps dies. We asked a druid to BR Krazy and Krazy to BR the other dps. Krazy took the BR but didn’t rez the other. The attempt ended in a wipe and when asked why he didn’t BR the dps, we got no reply from Krazy. It was then that we realized that he had dropped to another vent channel to talk with his new “girlfriend”. The raid leader “death gripped” him back to the raid channel and gave him a lecture. Krazy in typical fashion began to argue that he didn’t need vent because he knew the fights. He then began to pout. We put one more attempt on Fester that ended with him about 75% and we called it.

The “core” raiders all logged onto alts, got in a group and later into another guild’s vent. We discussed the situation and decided we were done raiding with FBI. We knew we had a solid raid and wanted to keep them together. We discussed the idea of starting our own guild or merging with another. By the end of the weekend, it was decided that we would merge with another top 10 guild, Athena’s Avatars. We would become their second core group. We’d have our own raid, leaders, loot system like we were our own guild but have to ability to pull their alts into our runs to fill in any gaps we have.

THE FALLOUT

The following Tuesday, everyone logged on and /gquit. The carnage was amazing. I was one of the last to quit because I just wanted to watch the fall out. FBI went from a strong 350 plus members to 77. Of the 77, only 27 are level 80, about 10 of them are alts and the other half are either inactive or never raided.

For the core group, we managed to keep about 20 of us together and move to AA. In the process, we lost our top dps rogue. Also, AA’s core group has begun picking our top guys to join their 1st core. We’ve lost our #1 dps to them, our warlock and it looks like we’re losing our best paladin tank.

Personally, I’m not going to sit by and watch our best members get picked off one by one. I’ve got numerous applications out atm. I guess we’ll see where I go from here.

Tank Experiment: To Northrend

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by Masscis

It’s been a week or so without a post. A lot has been going on, I’ll fill in the details sooner or later. Today’s post will focus on Mandylus, the Death Knight in my experiment. Yes, she has arrived in Northrend and is now level 72. I have picked up duel speccing on her, unholy for questing and 2H frost for tanking. I plan to switch to DW Frost as soon as I get some decent 1h weapons.

First off, the last time I reported on her status, Mandy was in her early 60’s. I pretty much made the run from 60 to 70 in about 8 hours. I want to give some credit to a couple of websites that have helped me out a ton. WOW Pro has some of the best free leveling guides I can find. Jame’s guides are some of the best on the site. I began using them when I was first leveling my warrior through to 80. I went back to using them for the DK and discovered they have an add-on version now. Let me just say this, the leveling guides helps but the add-on is just amazing. It’s a combination of Tom-tom and Tour guide. Jame has optimised routes and has a Tom-tom marker for everything. It’s light weight and just full of awesome. Of course, I like to run 5 mans while leveling and I’m decked out in BOA gear so I do get pretty far ahead of the guide at times. The add-on makes it very easy to skip ahead of the guide to get to proper level content. This is an amazing site, amazing add-on…amazing guide and I highly recommend it to anyone leveling a toon.

Next in my bag of tricks, Wow Leveling Builds. A site dedicated to optimizing your build while leveling. Every class, every spec is up to date for patch 3.3. This is where I found the 12/0/59 Unholy build that I’m using while questing. I picked unholy for the extra AOE abilities. Improved DnD and extra disease damage when using pestilence. I never die, get plenty of healing from Death Strike. Plus I get the permanent pet. This site is definitely a good spot to sent people for fastest possible leveling specs. They don’t have any explanations as to rotations but it wasn’t hard for me to pick up.

On to DK tanking. I’ve often talked about Death Knights as being crosses between Warlocks and Warriors. I still feel that statement is true when it comes to dps but tanking definitely feels like a perfect cross between Paladin and Warrior. Plenty of buttons to mash, rune strike may as well be heroic strike. Rune power is similar to Rage. Blood Boil has a definite Thunder clap feel. Yet, it’s got the “set it, and forget it” feel of Pally AOE with DnD and Pestilence.

So far, I’ve tanked 4 times on Mandy. 3 UK and 1 Nexus. The first run was the most interesting, I pulled the first group in UK and they went down quick. Second group, mobs scattered and it was hectic. The healer did an awesome job keeping everyone up. At this point I got worried because I was having major threat issues. After about the 4th pull, I remembered I wasn’t in frost presence…I know, fuckn’ noob. After that minor oversight we cleared the place with 1 wipe. I forgot to run out for the dark smash on the last guy… In the following dungeons, other than having a few new to healing healers it’s been smooth sailing and a ton of fun. I’m learning quite a bit but I also think my tanking experience on the warrior has saved me a few times. I have a leg up now though, I don’t have to learn the dungeons while learning to tank…just need to learn the class.

I would like to point out one thing to anyone bringing a plate tanking class up…do the colderra quest, all of them. By the time you’ve finished all the quest there, you’ll have 4 quest in Nexus. Get the book, scan the rift, kill the rock guys and kill Keristrasza. Not only will you get a ton of XP from the dungeon and quest, you’ll pick up a few blue tanking pieces.

In closing, even at leveling 70 I get in dungeons in about 10 seconds as a tank. I plan to tank Mandy all the way to 80 before I work with another of the classes. Once she hits 80, I’m going to put her in my wife’s guild, who’s short a tank atm. I’ll use her to help them progress and farm Frost Badges for Primordial Saronite to sell and craft Mandalus the BS legs. I’ll probably begin working on the druid next but I may try to bring the druid and pally up together. I find if I work with 1 class to long while leveling I get bored, so I don’t know where I’m going with it yet.

My Eleanor

Posted in gear, General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by Masscis

If you’ve seen “Gone in 60 Seconds“, you know it’s a movie about stealing cars. Memphis is a retired car thief who returns to the car stealing game to save his brother’s life. There’s a bad guy who’s going to kill his brother if he doesn’t steal 50 cars by some random deadline. The cops are aware that Memphis has returned to town and are sniffing around, so the crew decides to steal all 50 cars in 1 night. They research the cars and give each one a lady’s name. Eleanor was the name given to the 1967 Shelby GT 500. The crew said Eleanor was Memphis’ Unicorn.

Why am I going into detail on a movie the majority of you probably saw 10 years ago? Memphis was the king of thieves. He could steal any car…except when it came to the Shelby GT. It has a direct correlation to the World of Warcraft and our pursuit of Phat Loots. What’s the first thing that we, as raiders, do when a new patch comes out? Yeah, we go look at the new loot that’ll be dropping in the new dungeon. You update Rawr or a spreadsheet or you may write it down on a napkin. Don’t lie, you look at the loot then try to figure out how to kill the boss to get said loot.

I’ve played WOW for about a year and a half now…I’ve been at the level cap for around a year. Do the math…that means I couldn’t have raided in BC. My experiences with loot began at 80. I knew I wanted to raid, I knew I wanted to tank. I did what any want-a-be would do, made a gear list. #1 on that list….The Red Sword of Courage, which I believe is still one of the coolest looking weapons in wrath. Anyway, I started running heroics crossing out pieces on my list 1 by 1 until only 1 remained….yep, the Red Sword of F-ing Courage. 10 days in a row I had run Heroic UP and still it evaded me. It had become my first Unicorn. That mythical piece of gear that evades your grasp until you’re sure there’s some sort of conspiracy against you. There are times when you believe even wowhead is lying about it’s very existence.

Finally after 13 straight days of running the dungeon, I looted the boss and there it was…my Eleanor. I was ecstatic, all that work had finally paid off…yeah, I was a noob. I had no idea that it was just the first of many. That unicorn was quickly replaced by Essence of Gossamer (10 runs to get) which was replaced by Last Laugh (17 runs) and Wall of Terror (never dropped for me). Then Ulduar came out and with it, you guessed it a new unicorn. Heart of Iron was the tier 8 version of Eleanor. It took me 13 runs to see it drop, lucky I had the dkp to win it.

Then came patch 3.2 and with it TOC and of course a new unicorn….Satrina’s Impeding Scarab. This ones a little different, see the unicorns in the past were mine before they dropped. I either was the only tank that needed it or had the dkp to get it. After 13 Faction Champ kills, I have seen the Scarab drop twice. The first my off-tank had 5 more dkp than me and won it. The second was this past week. My guild had an alt/new 80 TOC 25 run. I volunteered to tank it for a chance at the trinket. Guess what…it dropped…guess what else…I rolled a 14 off-tank rolled a 22. Since it’s now old content, dkp doesn’t matter, all loot was open roll.

This newest Eleanor has by far been the hardest to swallow. Twice now, it’s been in my grasp, yet has failed to land in my backpack. It makes me wonder if she will show up in ICC…as of now, no gear really jumps off the page as “I gotta have that”. Most of the really sweet gear is either from badges or craftable. Although, I can see the tier armor tokens being a pain. This tier I’m running with 2 shaman, 2 hunters and another warrior. I’ve already lost 2 dkp battles for a token but at least there’s more than 1 boss per week that drops them…I guess.

Lets hear it, what’s your Eleanor? I know most tanks I talk with have a problem upgrading shields. I’ve been fortunate in that respect, for me, it seems the fabled unicorn will always be a trinket….maybe this one will take the scarab’s place?

UI of a Main Tank

Posted in User Interface with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by Masscis

A shot of my UI

I’ve talked a little about stats and gear, I figured I’d spend a little time with addons and UIs. I recently spent a good bit of time cleaning my UI up a bit and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out. The basic design I was going for was to have the most important parts of the UI closer to the center and the least used towards the top and sides. At the same time, I wanted comfort to play a big roll.

I’m going to detail a bit of my UI for you. First, I’ll let you in on which addons I use…First are the ones you can see in the screen shot above:

  1. Elkano’s BuffBars
  2. Prat 3.0
  3. Bartender4
  4. X-Perl Unitframes
  5. Cooldown Count
  6. Recount
  7. Omen
  8. Deadly Boss Mods
  9. Sexy MiniMap
  10. MiniMap Button Frames
  11. IceHUD
  12. Scrolling Combat Text
  13. SCT – Damage
I have a few others that you can’t see.
  1. Gearscore
  2. Auctioneer
  3. onebag

Above, I’ve labeled the location of each visible add-on.

I’ll start with my buff bars.

Elkanos buff bars

As you can see, I have 3 columns set up. The first column shows general raid buffs. The second column shows my debuffs. These 2 columns set up automatically when you install the add-on. The third column is a custom one I created. It shows my “important” buffs or the buffs I want to keep an eye on. This column includes self cast buffs, food, flask, shouts cast by me or others and any procs I may have. In the screen shot you can see that mongoose has just proc’d. This way, while in 25 man especially, I’m not having to search through a list of 50 to 100 buffs trying to find how long my flask, shield wall or last stand has left. Having the shouts in the “self cast” bar, lets me quickly see if a fury warrior may be using commanding or battle shout. It’s also in the upper left corner, out of the way but yet there when I need it.

I have a fourth buff bar setup. This bar is scaled really big and sits in the middle of my screen. The only buff that it’ll list is when I get an instant slam while I’m dpsing. It’s by far the best warning I’ve seen to announce proc ablilities such as instant slam.

Above the buff bars I have a couple action bars set up. This is mostly none combat stuff; flask, food, hearth, professions and mounts. I do have a couple attacks up there though. I use a 9 button mouse and have these up there for special key bindings mapped to different mouse buttons. They include charge, autoattack and shoot/throw. I also have heroic throw, shield wall and last stand mapped to my mouse but they aren’t on the top bar.

Continuing on to the right top….Sexy minimap.

Sexy Minimap

This is really just for looks. No real function except the coords below the clock. I just like the looks of it really. Some may argue that the square map gives a little more viewable area but it’s just a light weight addon that looks good.

Speaking of looking good. Just above and to the left of the minimap is a little bar.

Minimap Button Frames

If you want a good looking UI, this little gem is a must. Every add-on has it’s own minimap button. This addon takes those buttons off of the map and puts them in this little box. Right click the box and it reveals all the icons inside….”It’s a secret to everyone!” It really cleans up the UI nicely. It’s small and can be dragged anywhere and with just a right click you have access to all your add-ons.

We’ll jump to the bottom left now and talk about Prat.

Prat

I downloaded Prat out of necessity more than anything. Last year I built a new computer. It was awesome. I built it with what I could afford and upgraded as time went on. When I upgraded the video card, while the graphics were amazing (Ultra FTW), I couldn’t read the chat anymore. All text whether they were tells, general chat or guild chat, had lines through them. Prat solved that issue, guess it was something with the wow font getting corrupt? I enjoyed Prat and never tried to actually fix the problem because I though the color coded class names was sweet. I later found out that you can change that in the default UI but whatever, I like my UI and I ain’t screwing with it.

To the right of the chat window….the 1 add-on every Protection Warrior should have.

Bartender 4

Face it, default UI just does not give you enough room to put everything close at hand like it needs to be. Enter, Bartender. This is probably the add-on I can’t live without more than any other. It gives you easy access to key binds…/kb, then mouse over the spell, esc to clear the current key bind and hit the key you’d like to assign to the spell. So easy. As you can see, my key binds are a little “odd”. I will be doing a follow up to this soon to explain them in full.

I have 4 bars cut into 2 rows. The top left bar has all my main abilities on it. The bottom left bar has lesser used abilities and need shift to modify. The top right bar is my shouts and in this screen shot my trinkets. On the bottom right bar I have my saves and heals. Notice the lack of key binds on the saves. I usually pull this bar up towards the middle of my screen during a boss fight. This allows me to click the spell I need while still keeping my left hand “home” for other abilities.

To the left of my main bars, I have recount and omen. I’m sure almost all know of these and don’t need any more explanation. I will say, yes, recount is helpful for tanks. I use it to see what kind of damage I’m taking and how hard a boss is hitting me. It also helps spot when that pesky warlock starts creeping up the treat table when his dps jumps up…lets you quickly call for a hand or intervene on him.

X Perl

I really only use XPerl for it’s ability to move my frames around. Being able to see the whole raid and whose dead is helpful but I don’t use it during a fight too much. I really like the focus frame which, when used, is situated a little below and to the left of my IceHUD action bars. I didn’t have a screen shot, sorry. I usually put the off-tank or highest threat dps as focus. Off tank when we’ll be switching up on the boss, that way I can watch his de-buffs. If there’s no boss switching involved, I’ll put a mage or warlock or whoever is giving me threat issues as focus. I have intervene macro’d to /tar focus /cast intervene. Works well…if they’re in range. All in all, if I had to change 1 add-on, it’d be XPerl. I want to be able to turn off my frame and my targets frame but can’t seem to find it in the options.

IceHUD

If yo look to the center of the screen shot, you’ll see IceHUD. This addon gives so much info, right in the middle of your screen it’s unbelievable. First, it has my health as the green arc on the right. My target’s health just outside of that. Below those 2 arc is where the bosses buffs show up. On the left, you’ll see my rage arc and just outside of that is the bosses mana/rage/energy arc. Below the rage arc is the bosses debuffs. I love this part of the add-on, it always puts debuffs I’ve applied first, followed by all other debuffs. Very easy to see when to refresh something. Below the arc in the middle you’ll see some basic info about your target…boss/elite/level etc. Just above that, you can see the number 5….this is awesome, it tells me how many sunders are on the boss without even searching for the de-buff!

Just to the outside of IceHUD, on the left you’ll see the outgoing scrolling damage text and on the right is the incoming damage text. Makes it easy to spot a bit hit or if I crit…fun to watch all those blocks and dodges stack up too.

I hope you enjoyed a look into what I see every time I sit down to play. Hopefully, next week I’ll have a write up on keybindings and why you should use them.

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