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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Gold making tip

Posted in gold making with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by Masscis

Greedy Goblin put a post up about the LFG tool. Tonight, I decided to try it out. I made a macro:

/2 Tired of long ques? 3000 Gear Score tank here. I’ll group and tank the random for a small fee. PST for details.

/1 Tired of long ques? 3000 Gear Score tank here. I’ll group and tank the random for a small fee. PST for details.

Went to the Jewelcrafting trainer in Dalaran. Picked up the daily. Hit the macro 1 time. Not more than 10 seconds later a guy sent me a tell, asking “what is the fee?” 50G I replied. He said “I’ll take 2 randoms” We grouped got UK then DTK. He paid 100 G before the first run started. After the runs we went our separate ways.

Dropped group, porting back to Dalaran. Hit the macro again, started flying to Howling Fjord for a proto-drake bone and got another tell. Another random was bought. All in all, I made 150 gold from fees, got a few pieces of frostweave, 2 frozen orbs which go for 8-15G a piece on my server, a blue shard and finished my JC daily in less than 1 hour.

Awesome tip Gevlon, thanks…

Edit: I didn’t even consider the ~15 badges I got. That’ll buy a crusader orb which goes for around 200G on my server. Considering the average heroic takes around 15 minutes, that puts this new business at over 600 gold per hour. I bet I would have none stop customers on a Saturday also.

Edit2: Ok, because I was tired or something…the GPH is off. #1 a crusader orb cost 15 badges not 10. #2 realistically you’ll only be able to do heroics per hour. That puts the GPH at over 350, still not bad.

WTF, wow.com?

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by Masscis

I read wow.com pretty much every day. I usually check it a couple of times a day and usually enjoy most of the articles. The ones I don’t like, I usually skip over and don’t give them a second thought. So far, it’s only Wed. and 2 articles have really pissed me off this week.

The first isn’t so much the article but the fact that the moron writing it has no clue about anything PvE. First off, I’m kind of indifferent on PvP. I enjoy it on my DK and my warrior. I’m not a fan on my mage though. I also love random world PvP. I, along with a few of my guildies, will flag ourselves while standing around the summoning stone for raids. We had some epic battles in front of Ulduar when a horde guild would show up for their raid. At times it’d be around 25 vs 25 right at the steps of Ulduar. It was awesome, of course our GM would get pissed because sometimes the fighting would go so long that we’d be starting the run an hour plus late. That being said I have never stepped foot in arena. I have said time and again, competitive PvP should be skill based. I can’t laugh because I pwned some noob that has a 1,000 less Gear score than me. I don’t find that funny or fun. When I want competitive PvP action, I switch over to Halo or Call of Duty or some other shooter where skill is the only difference between players.

Enough of my views on PvP, none of our views can change the fact that WoW is a PvE game first. The current version of Pvp is tacted on. It was added later in the games life….battle grounds then later arena. That being said, I’m not going to hold it against anyone because they like arena. It’s your game, play it how you want. At the same time, leave me the fuck alone.

It becomes a problem when your game starts affecting my game. Which is where the wow.com article chooses to go. The following is his list of suggested nerfs and tweaks to make prot warriors stop killing his little harmless mage.

  1. Nerf Protection Warrior’s damage
  2. Remove the silence from Shield Bash and Heroic Throw. Also, make Gag Order and interrupt instead of a silence.
  3. Something about how they need to make every thing like Spell Reflect..
  4. Cut the stun duration of Concussion Blow and Shockwave by 1 second.
  5. Shockwave should apply DR to itself.

#1 we do too much damage. Um, last I checked, the paladin off tank that I’m beating by over 1,000 gear score is doing roughly 500 more dps than me in raids. It’s actually more than that but I want to play it safe since I don’t have a screen shot to prove it ATM. On a normal boss fight, I’ve seen him hit 3.4k dps where I’m doing just over 2k…2.5 if I’m lucky. He averages around 3k. If they reduce my damage, it’s very likely on a boss like Festergut who has 40 million HP and a 5 minute enrage timer…I’ll get sat for the DK/Pally tanks who can add that little extra damage, even though I’m the better skilled and geared tank, yeah, that’s the game I want to play. If you read the comments, the readers say it’s because Prot Warriors have found a loop-hole that lets them do crazy damage by stacking ArP to get to 100% armor reduction. There you go, nerf ArP, leave my WIS (Worst in Spec….I just made that up.) damage the fuck alone or better yet, buff it where I can keep up with the pally and DK to make up for my unfortunate loss of ArP. Gonna cost me a fortune to re-gem all that gear…oh wait, yeah, I don’t use it, nevermind.

#2 He wants to pretty much destroy Heroic Throw. This would absolutely cripple a prot. warrior in today’s PvE content. How the hell am I supposed to entice that mage to get in the group with the rest of mobs so my group can kill him? C. Christian Moore thinks I should just “run up and tank it”….read the comments, he actually said that. The dude comes off as ignorant and whiney. He obviously has no clue about anything PvE related and I’m ready to bet that his mage got owned by a prot warrior before writing this article. Really, make it an interupt. So instead of being able to use to actually pull a caster, I would need to face pull the caster, wait for him to start casting then HT to interrupt the cast….or, I could call for CC on it. Yeah, then I’d be known as the only tank who has to use CC in a 5 man….I can hear the QQ in LFG now, “Woot!! we got a tank….oh shit, a warrior, we don’t have a mage. Shall we kick you or do you just want to leave?”

#3 Apparently the douche…I mean writer knows how to avoid spell reflect, because he said we should have more. We need to be more defensive….whatever.

#4 & 5. This is where I start to understand what he is saying. Concussion Blow, 5 second stun. Shockwave, 3 second stun. Gag Order/Heroic Throw/Shield Bash, 3 second silence. That’s 14 seconds I can keep a mage locked out of casting a spell. Notice, he didn’t mention Revenge, which would be another 3 second stun. He obviously plays a caster who wouldn’t proc Revenge by getting a swing dodge, parried or blocked and since he mentioned mages a few times in the article….I assume he plays a mage. Now, like I said, I don’t arena but is 14 seconds enough to kill a mage when he should have a healer in his group? I mean, this is an arena team we’re talking about right? Their healer can keep mage alive while the other dps maybe focus your healer or the warrior….IDK. I guess what I’m getting at is we all play by the same rules, rogues can stun lock you to oblivion…I know, they’ve done it to me. I’ve mentioned before that I played Halo semi-professionally. The whole game was about tactics. They do this, you do that to counter. Is the prot warrior taking out your mage that big of a deal if you take out one of their dps in the process?

Regardless of the point he’s trying to make, the guy made himself look like a fool, insulted 90% of the commenters of wow.com and maybe even got blizzard’s attention to up the already incoming nerf. All because he doesn’t know a thing about PvE content. Bad move bro and WoW.com…I think it’s time to find a new PvP writer.

Ok, the warrior thing pissed me off, more the way the writer talked to the commenters than the actual article. I wasn’t planning on writing this, really I wasn’t…I have a nice article on UIs and addons almost ready to go, I was going to finish it today but instead you get a bitchfest….today I read the new Guildwatch. Come on now, it’s guildwatch…the funny as shit drama section (didn’t realise they had more than just the drama section to tell the truth) was awesome. How can you not like reading about how absolutely retarded some people can be. Man, I loved that column. Now, apparently WoW.com is going “PC”, no they haven’t banned macs, politically correct….or as Walton and Johnson put it, they have furthered the “pussification of america”. Basically, they don’t want to hurt peoples feelings anymore because they called them out on guildwatch. They claim, it’s to bring the community together. What the fuck ever, give me my drama back. I would sit there and read that column for days….really, I’d leave my browser open so I could pick up where I left off the day before. It doesn’t get any better than that shit, from the vent recordings to the ninjas….who doesn’t like reading about douchbags getting caught?

I’m on the verge now of taking them off my reader…probably won’t happen because they’re still valuable to read about class and dungeon changes that may or may not affect my raids. Anyway, how do you feel about these issues? Are you a mage that gets pwnd by prot or a prot warrior facerolling your way to a new drake? Gonna miss your weekly injection of drama?

Phat loots

Posted in gear with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2010 by Masscis

-on the 7th day the lord declared “LET THERE BE MANDALUS!” and it was done.

Yeah, that’s right, my birthday was last week….ding! Gratz me if you feel like it, I don’t expect it. Really, my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t feel like it…of course I may not give out the gear list I have prepared if you don’t but whatever.

Ok, I’ll give it up then. The following is my “pick list” of gear for T10. It includes drops, badge gear, crafted items and tier gear. I will preface this by saying, I used wowhead for this and they don’t seem to have a loot table yet for Blood Prince Council or Arthas.

Also, I have noticed at least 1 piece that has incorrect stats on it. I picked up Cloak of Many Skins from Festergut this week and the stats on the piece I got are 169 armor, 72 str, 108 stam, 45 defense, 37 dodge, 42 parry and it has a blue socket with +4 dodge socket bonus. The wowhead version has identical stats except they list the item with 120 stam and no socket.

Head Pieces: I only found 1 head piece that drops in ICC from 25 Deathwhisper. I’m going to assume that there will be another head dropping from either Lich King or Council.

  1. Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Greathelm
  2. Broken Ram Skull Helm
  3. Ymirjar Lord’s Greathelm

Out of these heads, I’m definitely going to pick up the 264 T10 head. The broken skull helm is nice as an avoidance piece but I like the extra strength on both tier helms better. I’m currently using Helm of Wrath, I will be upgrading to the 251 T10 helm tonight…mostly because I need it anyway to get the 264 one.

Neck: I’m currently sporting Endurance of the Infernal but Blizz really hooked us up with some tasty neck upgrades.

  1. Bile-Encrusted Medallion
  2. Noose of Malachite
  3. Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

All the necks are very nice. All with gem slots but it’s not a hard choice to realise which is BIS….you can’t go wrong with bonus armor!

Shoulders: At the moment, I’m using the 245 T9 shoulders. The same as the Helms, I could only find 1 set of shoulders that drops in ICC.

  1. Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Pauldrons
  2. Boneguard Commander’s Pauldrons
  3. Ymirjar Lord’s Pauldrons

This is a pretty tough decision. The Boneguard Pauldrons give an extra socket while the 264 T10 has a bit more stamina. Other than that, they are equal. You’ll end up with a bit less stamina going with the tier 10 but if you want the 4 piece bonus, I definitely want it, this isn’t the piece to skip.

Back: As I said before Cloak of Many Skins dropped for me this week. As is becoming the norm. it seems like some drops are missing from the wowhead database.

  1. Sentinel’s Winter Cloak
  2. Cloak of Many Skins

Obviously in this case the badge cloak is top notch. Bonus armor and an extra 20 stamina is win.

Chest: I think it’s safe to say, we know of all the chest pieces dropping in ICC. I was lucky enough to get my hands on Chestplate of the Towering Monstrosity in ToGC. So, I won’t be upgrading this one for a while.

  1. Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Breastplate
  2. Cataclysmic Chestguard
  3. Blightborne Warplate
  4. Ymirjar Lord’s Breastplate
  5. Ghoul Commander’s Cuirass

Another tough choice here. I think the +39 stam coupled with the ability to get the 4 piece bonus with the tier chest puts it on top of the blacksmith chest, even with the 1,200 extra armor.

Wrist: While the Saronite Swordbreakers have been good to me, I think it’s definitely time for an upgrade.

  1. Bracers of Dark Reckoning
  2. Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Blizzard isn’t making this easy. Once again we’re choosing between that sweet bonus armor or a big boost to str and stam. I’m going with the dark reckoning if given the choice.

Hands: Lots of options here to upgrade my old T9 gloves.

  1. Gauntlets of the Kraken
  2. Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Handguards
  3. Veincrusher Gauntlets
  4. Ymirjar Lord’s Handguards

This is where the choices get tough. The Kraken gloves are obviously BIS (best in slot) but we still need 1 more tier piece to get the 4 set bonus, which I highly recommend. To get the 4 piece, you’re going to have to skip out on a BIS piece for either legs or hands. If you don’t want to shell out the obscene amount of gold and/or emblems to craft the blacksmith legs, then grab the kraken and take the tier legs.

Waist: I never did see the heroic version of Girdle of Bloodied Scars drop, so this is a piece I’m definitely looking to upgrade.

  1. Verdigris Chain Belt
  2. Belt of Broken Bones
  3. Ironrope Belt of Ymirjar

There’s no doubt which is BIS in the waist category, 157 stam, 120 str and also 1,000 bonus armor…yes please. Second place on the list is a bit of a toss up, Ironrope has 2 sockets putting it in second for effective health but you’d actually lose 20 str if you had bloodied scars already. Broken bones has 120 str and dodge and parry putting it second in threat/mitigation/avoidance.

Legs: This is the section that really got me into looking at gear for ICC. I wanted to know how BA the crafted legs were. Another of the gems I managed to pluck out of ToGC 25 man were Legguards of Feverish Dedication. These aren’t going to be replaced easily and in fact the legs that drop in 10 man ICC as well as the 251 T10 legs are down grades to these bad boys.

  1. Pillars of Might
  2. Legguards of Lost Hope
  3. Sanctified Ymirjar Lord’s Legguards
  4. Deathforged Legplates
  5. Ymirjar Lord’s Legguards

If you’re a serious end-game raider, Pillars of Might are a no brainer. A shot to the gut comes in when you start looking at the mats, 12 titan-steel bars is steep enough. Add in 8 primordial saronite at 2k gold or 23 frost badges a pop and you’re looking at an expensive piece of gear. I’m calling them BIS, even compared to the heroic version of Legguards of hope and heroic T10 legs. The catch is, you don’t want the T10 legs, even if they’d complete your set bonus. Legguards of Hope vastly out weigh them. The T10 legs are a waste of badges, in fact, the 95 badges that they cost would get you over half way to having enough primordial saronite to craft Pillars of Might. To wrap it up, unless you plan on farming H ICC to get the Heroic version Legguards of Lost Hope, Pillars of Might will last you until the opening raids of Cata.

Rings: I’ve already replaced both ToC rings, at the moment, I’ve picked up Ashen Band of Umatched Courage and Juggernaut Band.

  1. Devium’s Eternally Cold Ring
  2. Ashen Band of Endless Courage
  3. Harbinger’s Bone Band
  4. Juggernaut Band
  5. Abomination’s Bloody Ring

As far as rings go, they’re all pretty nice. All of the Ashen Bands are worth it just because it’s free. Also, once you hit Revered, you get that sweet armor proc. Devium’s is BIS, but I’m happy with Juggernaut ATM. Harbinger’s Bone Band is a nice BOE that drops off of trash in 10 and 25 man.

Trinkets: We have a couple nice ones, 1 I’m not too sure about and one that’s garbage.

  1. Unidentifiable Organ
  2. Corpse Tongue Coin
  3. Sindragosa’s Flawless Fang

  4. Corroded Skeleton Key

The Organ and the Coin are top notch trinkets, I’d love to have either of them. Out of the 2, I’d much rather have the Organ, the stacking stamina buff is going to be awesome. With the coin, the dodge makes it a little less valuable but it procs a ton of armor. Sindragosa’s fang and the skeleton key have probably the worse “use” of any trinkets I’ve seen. The use for the key is absolutely trash and the fang is almost as bad. IDK, we may see a need later in ICC for resistances but it only last 10 secs. Yeah, you get big stamina with them but having good “use” is like having an extra cooldown.

Weapons: Don’t know what to say about the weapons, I’ve already picked up bonebreaker scepter to replace shiver.

  1. Last Word
  2. The Facelifter
  3. Bonebreaker Scepter

I really like the looks of Last Word, nice damage and look at that proc. I’m kind of meh about the scepter, especially after running with shiver (one of the coolest looking tank maces ever).

Shields: I probably won’t even be upgrading my shield in this tier unless I get a heroic one to drop. I’m wielding the heroic Crystal Plated Vanguard and the 2 new shields are moderate upgrades.

  1. Icecrown Glacial Wall

  2. Neverending Winter

Ranged:As usual, we get 1 new ranged per tier…but wait, we’ve got 2 this time!!

  1. Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets
  2. Dreamhunter’s Carbine

Basically, if you get one to drop, take it. There both nice.

This conclude’s the gear list. As you can see, I didn’t add any heroic gear. So, some things may chance depending on if you’re in a heroic mode guild or not.

EDIT: Added Harbinger’s Bone Band, thanks Spinks

The Burn

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Masscis

My typical “wow” night starts off with me logging into my bank alt. I collect the gold from the previous days auctions, returned items and new stuff to auction sent from my various toons. Then I start a full AH scan using my AH addon. At this point I usually pull up the net and read some blogs or watch a movie of a boss kill or something until the scan is finished. I post whatever new auctions need to go up and buy some gems to cut if the price is low enough.

Then, I log over to Mandalus. I pick up the JC daily and knock it out real quick. At this point, I either choose to tank or dps a random for the frost badges. If I feel like getting on my alts as quick as possible or I’ve got a raid coming up, I tank. If not, I pick up the fishing daily and que for the random while completing that daily.

Before the LFG tool came out, the decision was whether or not I felt like doing the fishing daily. Now though, it seems more and more, the decision is “do I feel like tanking”. I like leveling my mage because it feels like that’s what a video game should be. Mindless repetition, blowing off steam….killing shit. When I tank, I have to be ontop of my game for the most part. Mostly because of M&S DPS that can’t follow my lead.

I am fully capable of leading a group. I don’t really like to but I can and have done it successfully. In my guild, I’m one of those elite ranks….not quite an officer/raid leader but more than just an average raider. My GM wants to make me an officer. The problem with that is that I would pretty much be pushed into raid leading on a weekly basis. I don’t want to. I do enough leading just tanking.

Deathwhisper is a perfect example. I like to LOS pull the trash in her room. Yeah, that usually takes about 5 minutes to get everyone from in front the door to stack on the Star or whatever icon I have on my head at the time. Really, how hard is it to just stand here and let me bring the trash to you? Why do I have to ask 10 times to get everyone where they should be?

This is it for me, this is what’s going to burn me out from tanking…As it is, I don’t want to lead, so when I step up and do take control of the situation…please follow me. It’s not that hard.

It’s not just the raids, the random pugs are worse. I usually just mark a skull on your first target to kill. Kill that one first, by the time it dead, I’ll have solid threat built on everything else and you can pick whatever you want to kill. Yet these boneheads will just randomly pick a target and blast away. Hunters won’t MD, mages won’t ice block….whatever, from now on you die if you pull something before skull is dead.

When I’m DPS, I don’t notice the idiots. I don’t. I don’t have to deal with them, I just hit the ability that heals me, then hit the one that spins me in circles and hit the one with a cast bar when my addon tells me to. Oh and HS over 50 rage. That’s my dps rotation. That’s all I think about….target skull>heal thingy>spin thingy>heal thingy>instant no cast thingy>cramp your finger thingy>start from beginning. On a boss I do the same but add in the 2 that make me do big recount numbers….

Tanking is more like, ok where’s the caster…mark skull….wait the hunters got his mark on “not skull” ok, switch skull to where hunters mark is. Charge skull>shield slam>switch to caster>heroic throw>TC when caster gets to range>intervene mage because he’s not hitting skull>target mage>cast vigilance>switch target to skull>taunt because hunter won’t feign death>shield slam>try to get everything in front of me and shockwave>TC>repeat until everything is dead>get whiskey>spill some trying to get back before rogue pulls the next group>get yelled at if someone dies….

I really can’t decide if tanking is worth putting up with this shit. Don’t get me wrong, tanking is fun and what I want to do when everyone in the group is working together. Trust me mr. 10k dps….I’ll vote to kick you in a heartbeat if you can’t follow suit. I have no problems with a guy learning his toon, doing 1.5k dps and doing what he’s supposed to. I’d much rather have him over the L337 DPS that hits everything but skull guy.

Hopefully we’ll have some new bosses to take out in Icecrown tomorrow and invigorate me a bit. Otherwise I may change the name of this blog to Ice Block and start writing about mages….or just wait for Star Wars

What about it? Are you an ex-tank? A current tank getting burnt out? We’ve had tanks just vanish without a word, another who one day just said he wasn’t tanking anymore. He went ret and ended up totally shelving the Pally for a warlock.

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?

Fallen

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by Masscis

I’ve read a lot of post about how to app to a guild or heard stories of horrible apps. In this post I will talk about the exact opposite. In FBI, I have access to read, approve and deny all applications to the guild. I normally only deny the really bad ones and if I see a real good one, I’ll inform the GM and let him handle it from there.

About a month ago, I logged onto my banker toon and began an AH scan. While the scan went on, I jumped to the guild website to read the aps. We had received one of the most outstanding aps I have seen yet. This Prot. Warrior filled the ap out to a T. I was really excited reading, I knew immediately we had found the one we had been looking for. We needed a tank/dps who could tank 10 mans and dps 25 mans. As long as this new ap was willing to split time like that, it was perfect.

I logged onto Mandalus and immediately KB, the GM, sent me a tell, telling to get on vent. I dropped into the officer’s channel. Immediately KB started talking about the new warrior ap. We discussed it for a minute before Peachh, who’s another tank and also a officer, dropped in. The new ap logged on a few minutes later and was pulled into officer chat.

We talked for an hour or so. I asked questions about his spec, gear, gemming and chanting choices. All were met with well-informed answers and I came away feeling this guy knows what he’s talking about.

Peachh and I have developed a good relationship and a mutual respect for each other. We’re also both clowns who constantly cut each other down…all in fun of course. The app quickly picked up on this and joined right in. I was very impressed, in most interviews the app is nervous and shy. We really got to see this guys personality and it was a perfect fit for our guild.

KB shot an invite, which was quickly accepted. /G Welcome! poured down the chat window. Then it came, KOTOR ROCKS!!! The apps name was Revanx. Revan of course is the sith master mind in the Knights of the Old Republic RPG. My personal favorite game of all time. Revanx and discussed KOTOR and clowned around a bit before it was off to a meeting to talk about how best to utilize our current tanks.

Peachh and I each main tanked a 10 man ToGC run. Mine rolled on Thurs. and his on Sunday. On Friday, we would both join up for 25 man ToC / ToGC along with 1 of the off-tanks from our 10 man runs. We decided to have Revan run with Peachh and I’d take one of the pally OTs on Thurs.

After talking with Peachh after his run. He had nothing but good to say about Revan. It seems as if we’ve finally gotten our tanking rotation down and just in time for ICC to drop. Everybody was pumped. The guild loved Revan and he certainly fit right in.

Then, he disappeared. He missed the Friday 25 mans. Then Sunday ToGC rolled around and Revan was a no-show. We scrambled and were able to get the runs off with other tanks. 3 weeks went by and still Revan had not logged in. He hadn’t quit the guild, just hadn’t logged in.

This past weekend, I see “Revanx has come online” pop up in the chat box. Immediately I “/G Revan…where the hell have you been?”

The reply I got was completely unexpected. “I am not Revanx. Just a friend of his. Does Revan have any RL friends in this guild?” We told the guy that we didn’t believe so and asked where Revan was. I was thinking “hacker” and was about to demote him or /gkick him to protect the guild bank.

The next line really threw me for a loop. “Well, I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news but Revanx was killed in a car wreck 3 weeks ago. His mother asked me to log on to see if he had any RL friends here who need to know.”

Eddie….Revanx. A protection warrior. A proud member of Far Beyond Insanity. Was destined for greatness in wow or anything he attempted in life. He was smart, funny, clever, witty…He had a great head on his shoulders and would make anyone proud to call him a friend. He was killed by a drunk driver. He was 21. I dedicate this post to his memory. The world will darker place without you brother.

Please all, be safe this New Year….don’t drink and drive. The world can’t afford to lose any more great warriors, least we be overrun with paladins. (ok, I feel dirty for trying to make a joke in such a serious post.)

R.I.P. REVANX  10/11/88 – 12/11/09