Archive for the Tank Experiment Category

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.

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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.

Tank Experiment: Update 2010

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Masscis

The past month I have been of course bogged down with christmas/new years. Lots to do on the family front and work is at an all time high. I’ve never seen any engineering firm this busy during the holidays. It’s even more suprising that our company isn’t even 8 months old yet. Which maybe actually why I’m so busy, I’m the only one here to do any work…

You’re not here to read about that crap and I don’t feel like talking about it. So, onto the update. I got some more work done on the DK. She’s somewhere in the ball park of level 63. Unholy ATM and have yet to tank with her, dpsing is pretty fun though and I’ll probably wait until I hit northrend to begin tanking. I’d rather go in as a tank just trying to learn the class and since I know the northrend dungeons pretty well, it’ll make the learning experience much easier.

I haven’t gotten a chance to mess with the druid or paladin at all. Instead I’ve been working on my mage….wait what? Yes mage! Maybe it’s because every single toon I have is melee but I’m loving the encasing mobs in blocks of ice while slinging more blocks of ice at their face.

A little background on Masscis the mage. He is the very first toon I ever created in WOW. I picked some random server, created a gnome mage….I was thinking gnome because I planned to pvp with him and figured it would be a nice slap in the face getting pwned by such and innocent little creature. Little did I know, I hate pvp on him. I later found out that a friend of mine played wow, so I made a hunter on his server. The hunter was way too easy. I just owned everything. I transferred Masscis to Hellscream so we could level together. Shortly after, my wife began playing. Since Masscis was already in his late 20’s. I re-rolled Mandalus and my buddy started a level 1 alt so we could all 3 level together. My thinking was if we were on at the same time, I’d level Mandalus with them and if I was solo, I’d level Masscis. Of course I fell in love with the warrior play style and tanking and never looking back.

Going back to level my mage now was supposed to just be about changing it up. Getting away from everything and just blasting shit. However, I have found a use for him and it actually fits quite well into my tanking experiment, especially since the new LFG system is up and running. That use is, I get to see some dungeons I missed while leveling Mandalus….Mara, while too long and confusing to navigate, is beautiful. The big thing…I get to see many tanks in action. I’ve been doing this on Mandalus….queing up as dps, just so I can see different play styles and maybe learn a trick or two. The problem with doing this on an 80…a geared 80 anyway. Is that I’m usually with others that are well geared and we just blow right through the dungeon. I don’t really get to see anything that I didn’t know from the tank.

Masscis, however, is level 46 now and the 5 mans take some work. I’ve run around 6 dungeons using the LFG tool now and have gotten a variety of groups….some awesome, others not so much.

ZF – group make up, 4 pallys and me. They were already through the first 2 bosses when I joined. Best I can tell with this group was we had 2 tanks, 2 healers and I was solo dps…1 tank would run through the room and agro as much as possible and the other tank would collect them and I would blizzard the crap out of everything. Surprisingly, we only had 1 wipe and I think it was because the round up tank wasn’t ready. The only problem I had was being out of mana quite a bit. I pretty much used enervate every time it was up, drank when I could and kept my mana gem on cooldown.

Mara #1 – Group 2 druids with almost identical names, 1 was tank the other healed, a hunter, warrior and myself for dps. This was the best group I’ve had. I was the highest level toon in the group and doubled everyone else’s dps. That being said, there was nothing I could do to pull agro off that tank. I’d set my blizzard reticule down and wait to see the swipe animation. Then let loose. A simply amazing job. This guy knew what he was doing, as did the healer. I don’t believe we had a single death. We actually ended up clearing the entire place, even though to get the bag of goodies we only needed to down 2 bosses. I got some nice loot from it also. Very fun time.

Mara #2 – Tank, druid….the group didn’t last long enough for me to even remember who else was here. I think the healer was a priest and we had a rogue. I know it was a rogue because I followed him to the entrance, which I would have never found, after we wiped. 1st trash pull, I counted to 5, watching for that swipe….never saw it…/shrug, maybe I missed it….so I cast blizzard and pulled the entire group off of him, including his focus target. Oh, did I mention he was 2 levels higher than me? Yeah, I died…then the entire pack went straight for the healer. On the run back (nobody quit, amazingly) I got the “wait for me to get agro, don’t use you’re biggest dps attack” speech. Yeah, I’m specced frost….I got blizzard and frostbolt pretty much. I use frostbolt on 1 guy and blizzard on a bunch of guys. Then cone of cold if they get too close.

2nd pull, I didn’t even cast anything. Healer pulls agro almost instantly….Since I was not dpsing, I inspected the tank. Lets see, intel gear. There was some spirit too….and yep, balance spec…if you wanna call it that. I was about to tell the dip shit not to pretend he could tank in whatever gear/spec just to get a group but he left before I got the chance. Oh well, he’ll either learn or get kicked from a lot of groups, I guess.

Summary:

All in all, I didn’t learn much I didn’t already know. I realise the druid from mara#1 was watching mana bars very closely because she was chain pulling until the healing druid got below 1000 mana then abruptly stopped so we could drink. I also learned, I’m a dps I would love to have in my group because I wait a few seconds to start dps, especially in a group pull with AOE. I also find myself completely stopping dps when I get close on omen and I tend to watch omen a great bit more than recount. I think blizzard did a great job with the new LFG system and I’m thinking about maybe healing a few runs on my druid, just to see what it’s like.

I will definitely encourage any tank out there to dps as many runs as possible. #1 it gives you a break from the tanking grind (which will be the subject of my next post) #2 It lets you see how others do it. I know I get comfortable doing it one way and the dps just has to come along for the ride. As dps, I’m the one along for the ride and I get to watch how other tanks pull and position groups. As well as, maybe pick up on what spells and abilities they are using.

I’m definitely glad I’ve decided to take up this project, I’m definitely enjoying the game much more now than when I had just Mandalus with no real other options. Now, I can log on and work on professions or set a goal for a particular toon….like getting the pally his mount, a flying mount on the DK or just hitting 50 on the mage….I wonder what will happen first.

Any input? Have you all of a sudden gone back to a toon that you haven’t touched for a while and just been like “WOW, I can’t believe I haven’t been playing on this guy”? What about any stories, good or bad, from the LFG tool?

I’ll leave you with this quote….”Water?…Like in the toilet?

Tank Experiment: Update

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Masscis

Just a short update on my experiment. I LOVE THE DK. I haven’t tanked on her yet but I did dps ramps….400dps vs 200 for the second place spot. I’m leveling her as un-holy right now and she totally fits the archetype of RPG characters I like. In most RPGs where I can customize my characters abilities, ie; oblivion, KotOR…I choose a warrior type and beef up something like fireball or in the case of KotOR, force lightning. With Death Coil, I have that built-in fire-ball. Something starts to run…death coil and it drops. Plus I get to yell “GET OVER HERE” ever time I death grip something….I know you do it too, stop judging me. I don’t have un-holy presence yet, but all the dots and AOE from un-holy plus blood presence means, I never have to stop to eat even after battling 4-5 mobs. I wasted an entire weekend with her doing BGs. That was some fun, foes just melting under my axe. I can definitely see why people complain about DKs. I am an unstoppable killing machine. I did gain a level in AB, but I think as a leveling tool, questing is much better still.

 Since 3.3 has dropped, I haven’t had as much time with her as I’d like and she’s just dinged level 61. The leveling seems to go fast and I fully expect to have her at least to northrend within a week or 2.

I re-made the paladin and he still sits at level 1, mostly because I’m loving the DK so much. He’ll be the first toon I pick up when I tire of the DK.

I did get the druid to 30 (or close to it). Same ole, same ole. Nothing really new here, still a killing machine in cat form but pretty fun to play but I have spent more time on him than the other classes so far. I’m going to give him a break, get the DK to northrend and catch the pally up before I continue with any leveling here.

In the coming weeks, now that we have the new LFG tool out, I plan to tank some level appropriate dungeons on each toon. Test the waters a bit, I guess. I’ll give updates as the runs happen.

That’s about all I have to report. I would like to thank Shawndra for her interest in the project. I’ll try to keep some short updates rolling in. Be on the look out for a posting coming up that will probably get me banned from the blogging world….hint: I bash christmas…

Tank Experiment: Meet the tanks

Posted in Tank Experiment with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by Masscis

There’s 2 things I’ve learned since I began my wow career…ok more than 2 but 2 main reoccurring themes involving tanks.

  1. When a paladin talks about tanking and the spells he uses, I feel that he is talking in a foreign language. I understand Bears a bit better but DKs not having a shield is mind boggling.
  2. People argue a lot over what class is the best for tanking.

My answer to these issues are to do a study to put these issues to rest once and for all. That’s right, I’m leveling all of the tanking classes to the cap and plan to take a spin on each to see if I can learn a few things about how other tanks do business. Also, who knows, I may end up with a new main before it’s all said and done.

Introduction:

The Warrior

Mandalus is my warrior and 1 and only level 80 character. I have all of my raid experience logged on him and he has been prot from the get go.

The Death Knight

Mandylus has been around for a few months. I created her as a joke, one of my guildmates calls me Mandy all the time thinking it gets on my nerves. She is at level 58 and sitting in Outlands ATM.

The Druid

The druid, Mandabar, has been around for a few weeks and is level 26. He came about when I got the bright idea that I wanted the Insane title on Mandalus. I created a rogue to do the pickpocketing which I’m bored to death with now. Since I had all the leather BOA gear for him, I passed it to Mandabar and have been having a blast in Cat form, which is wierd because it’s just like playing a rogue….

The toon I never thought I'd create....Paladin

ATM, his name is Mandalite but after seeing the Shaqtus commercial last night during the Saints butt kicking of the Pats (WHO DAT BABY…WOOT!!!!). He will be renamed to Shaqtus, what a perfect name for an avoidance tank…I could /yell no-one touches the Shaqtus the entire raid, I wonder if they’d boot me.

Impressions:

So far I, of course, love the warrior. He will probably play a major roll, in some form or another, the rest of my wow career.

The DK is pretty fun to play. A lot of AOE and neat little abilities. The Runes get on my nerves a bit but so did rage when leveling the warrior, I’m guessing it’ll be better in a raid environment. Prediction: I will probably enjoy duel wield tanking but I haven’t read up on it to see if it’s viable again. The DK just feels like a dps class and not an epic tank at the moment.

So far, every raid tier I’ve had a piece of gear that just wouldn’t drop. Naxx and Uld. it was shields. Never could get a good one. I still remember tanking The General in 25 man with the Skull of Ruin. Druid feels like a warrior so far but at end game will have twice the HP and no shield drops to worry about. Sounds like a positive to me. Getting through the 20’s as bear was rough, I felt like I was a level 1 warrior with just Heroic Strike the entire time. With Cat now, it’s much more fun to play. I think out of all the toons, Druid will get to 80 first simply because I can go bear if I get bored with cat. Caster if I’m tired of melee or just go heal a dungeon. I would feel sorry for the party that I join to heal but that’s on them.

If I could pick one toon that has the best chance of not making 80….Palladin. Shaqtus is now 6th level and has no, zero, ziltch….not a damn offensive attack. Let me break down a 6th level paladin for you, go all judgemental with the light shit, get a coke….rinse repeat. Really, I though judgement of light or what ever it’s called was an offensive spell. It’s not, it’s a healing thing. The only way to do damage to a mob ATM is autoattack. I’m bored already and haven’t even gotten 10 on him yet. He’s lucky he’s got a badass LSU alum’s name or I’d can him now. That’s right, LSU fan / Saints fan…must be a Louisiana boy.