Sorry for the huge gap between this post and my last. I went on vacation last week, to New Hampshire, for my annual retreat to the mountains. I love that state. (And not just because the booze is that much cheaper than in Massachusetts.)
But I digress. A lot has happened since my last posting!
Bye-bye birdie and hello Domo
Last week ES managed it’s first kill of Alysrazor, which apparently was hardscrabble and required a whole night to make it happen. Then Tuesday night this week for our follow up we four shot her. I guess that makes it farm now, haha.
The fight did feel a lot easier when we did it this week. Then again, so did much of Firelands. It felt like the place was hotfixed (and it was, as we later found out) when we plowed through Shannox, Rhyolith, and Beth with nary a peep of resistance. Especially Rhyolith, which was so obviously nerfed with the amount of armor melted away per volcano shooting up to 16. The trash also seemed to be nerfed as well, I kept wearily looking for those two packs of Surgers that shoot around and usually catch me flatfooted. They seem to have run off.
The common refrain was “that was nered, right?” and one of the shamans would reply “nah, we just got better.” I admire his optimism!
For Alysrazor though, we totally did get better. People were so much better about tornadoes — it finally clicked — and we easily killed her before she lifted off the second time. My hatchling dps was better than usual, as well. Though I chalk that up to having my 2pc t12 now.
Anyway, once the bird was plucked from the sky, we marched off for some early shots at Majordomo Staghelm. The trash was something of a nightmare at first, because people couldn’t conceive the logic behind the leaping cats. Once we got past that, and got three licks on Domo we called it a night. Best attempt, 51%. And it was abundantly obvious we needed to work on raid cooldown coordination and seed management.
Last night we went back to Domo and had a fantastic night of progression. Better than I can remember in a while. The flow was steadily towards a kill, and though it didn’t happen, we got so freaking close. 8% on our best shot. He’s as good as dead next time.
Tanking the fight is fairly boring, though there is some excitement when orbs go up and you need to find a nice place to shuffle to if the orbs are too close. (At least, that might be just me. I don’t like them close by.) And cat phase in general is basically spinning around the center of the room trying to keep your front to the felines.
The cooldown management, I guess, is fairly engaging.
I’m stupidly excited about this. One of my deep, dark impulses is to favor gear based on looks before much else. I suppress this pretty effectively in Wrath, which was really hard for the past few weeks when I was half-blue and half-brown due to the competing aesthetics of t11 and t12. In single player, however, I feel no such compunction. I usually run around in games like Fallout with the best looking — and often flimsiest — armoring. It’s not my fault that a Regulator Duster looks so much better than t-51b Power Armor. I’m a victim of fashion.
Ok, I took a weird turn there. In any case, the first thing that hit me about the new system is the overwhelming, endorphic joy that I can ran from then until the end of my days with the Bulwark of Azzinoth as my shield. That alone is worth $15 a month. My next thought was no more wrestler belts! Finally I can dispose of that abomination from my avatar. And, hell, if the boots model sucks as well (looking at you, Mirrored Boots — Vanilla WoW called and they want their style back) I can fix that.
It’s a silly change, but the best silly change to WoW in a while!
When I logged on last night, the first thing I did was check out my bank and look over my collection. I have a ton of tier pieces accumulated: tier 4 (my very first tier), tier 6, tier 7.5, tier 8, tier 9, tier 10.5. I also have a complete set of the DK-style tanking gear from heroic Icecrown that I loved because it screamed “Blood Knight”. I love that aesthetic!
I think for weapons, I’ll be rocking Quel’Serrar (the original, level 60 version) for swords. I need to figure out which mace and axe I like. For shields, there’s no contest.
For armor, I’ll be making several sets and swap around depending on my mood. One will definitely be the Icecrown Blood Knight look, though I need Taldaram’s Plated Fists to complete the set. Another will probably be the Lightforge look-alike set, with Tabard of the Lightbringer covering up the Alliance deal on the chest piece. Then of course the tier 2 set, because how can I not?! Lastly, a t6 set, though I need a lot of the off-pieces to complete the look.
The end of threat
I’m really not happy about this, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to get very worked up about it. Threat is one of the few quantifiable measurements of tanking (aside from “is he standing?” and “why is he taking so much more damage than that warrior?”) and the removal of it, for all intents and purposes, feels so horribly wrong. I know why they’re doing it, they feel that tanking is hard enough and don’t want us to have to worry ourselves with threat generation. Moreover, it’s assuredly a move to boost the tanking population in LFD.
Still, I always used to pride myself on providing a more than adequate threat ceiling for my fellow raiders. It was fun to do my rotation as best I could and jump ahead of the pack on threat, and stay there, and hold there for the duration of the fight, never giving an inch. A threat ceiling was a mark of a good tank, and now, with the whisk of a pen (so to speak) that metric is gone.
Nonetheless, they broke threat at the launch of 4.0 with the introduction of Vengeance. Now they’re just finishing it off. It’s a shame, a damn shame.
On the flip side, the announcement also bore the news that tanks will be migrating to a system of more active mitigation. To which I say: YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES. I love active mitigation. The introduction of the new Holy Shield is one of the best changes to the prot paladin ever, because it gave us that short-cooldown ability with a huge amount of control over our survivability. If we continue down that road to a model where we’re spending a lot more of our GCDs buffing our mitigation rather than just dishing out damage, I could absolutely plant my flag there. So to speak.
In any case, I’m awaiting 4.3 with bated breath now.