Friday, June 29, 2007

Origins

One of the cool things I always like was when they would show you the origin of your favorite Super Hero. The episode were Peter Parket gets bit by the spider or Dr. Banner does his experiment with gamma rays.

So what's the origin behind our dashing little dwarf, Honorshammer.

Well on Maintakadin, Kitsuna of Tichondruis got me thinking when he said

"I'm not convinced that everyone of every class hears a "call" to spec a certain way, but I think that protection paladins often do. At some point, against all logic, we decide that we would rather not spam flash of light all day. We'd rather not stay at the back of the raid, and we'd rather not try to fill one of the numberous DPS slots. We hear the call to let big ugly things smack us so that they don't hit our cloth wearing buddies. And those here at maintankadin have answered that call.
When did you hear the call? And when did you answer it? "

Maraudon.

I was playing utility in a group that had everything else pretty well covered. It was what I usually did in instances. Throw a heal, BoP if needed, DPS. I was almost all in ret with enough Holy for the interuption talent.

We got to the double giant pulls before Princess. The party asked if I could offtank one. WoW is my first MMORPG, I had no clue what they were talking about. So the warrior (to whom I shall be ever indebted) instructed me to put on my shield, buff Righteous Fury (untalented), and hit the giant with everything I had. The group would down his target first to let me get a lead and then he would taunt off me once his was dead.

I guess you can guess what happened next. I tanked, and something just clicked. I was like wow this cool. I heard the call.

So I went and respeced to Protection and decided to test my spec out on my next quest which involved killing some elite giants in Feralas. These guys were big slow hitters and about the worst mob in the game for me to fight with my new spec. Disgusted I went back to Ret.

I finally hit endgame about 6 months before BC. I spec'ed Holy, and healed through ZG, AQ20 and MC.

Then two things happened. The changes to Prot were announced, and the Outland greens killed raiding.

Right before 2.0 came out, I tranfered to Altar of Stoms and joined Heroes Inc. I stated clearly that my intention was to be a tank. They were dubious, not so much of me but of the class in general.

Now it is to Heroes to whom I owe another big debt. They let me tank through their UBRS, enduring my mistakes while I learned how to tank, and how to use the new abilities Blizzard had given us (Avenger's Shield, Righteous Defense, Spiritual Attunement).

I had answered the call.

I wiped them so many times with not using Avenger's Shield right and aggroing two groups, or taunting off the wrong person (pre-macro), or not holding aggro against the Fury Warrior. But they never once questioned me, or lost faith in me. They stuck with me, and I with them.

I leveled 60-70 as Prot spec, and I'm now one of the main tanks for my guild. I've tanked every instance in Outland, plus Heroics, and the first two bosses of Kara.

I am and forever shall be a Tankadin.

IT'S HAMMER TIME!!!!!

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Last night was our Arena night with my 5v5 team, PVPed in My Pants. We went about .500 for the night. Actually at one point we were over 1500 rating, but we slipped down again after losing some matches late. We had a couple of matches glitch out where we neither gained nor lost points, nor had a game credited to our won/loss column.

Our team is starting to come together. We still need more practice. Sometimes we just burn through the other team, and most of the time we give a good accounting of ourselves even in defeat. Our worst game was against a 5 mage team. They simply burned us down one by one. I couldn't out heal their dps.

We run a two healer team with me and a Resto Druid. We need to get better coordinating our healing. Either we need assigned targets or I need someway to know who he's healing. More than once, I was winding up a heal on one of our team, only to see him healed to full while another teammate of ours died. If I had know my other healer was healing him, I could have healed the guy who died.

I also got to see another Tankadin in the arena and we played frisbe with Avenger's Shield.

After Arena was done, I jumped on Rabbitslayer, my Warrior for a little bit. He's a fun alt, but only level 21, and I'm trying to catch up to a real life friend who made a character on AoS. He has a mage whose level 31.

While I was on Rabbit, our BeastMastery Hunter, Jadgelf, came on and was looking for a Steamvaults run so he could get to Revered and keyed for Heroics. I volenteered to tank and we got a Warlock from our guild, DarkDescent to come as well, but everyone else was busy in instance so it was time for a PuG. We found a ShadowPriest and a Holy/Discipline hybrid Priest to join our party.

I'm a bit overgeared for normal 5 mans, so I wear a heavy mana, spell damage, and defense outfit. I have 485 defense, 300 spell damage and about 9k life. It's the two Righteous pieces I've had drop (Legs, Helm) along with mostly Netherstorm quest rewards. We were burning through the place.

The ShadowPriest mind controled a mob on nearly every pull. We didn't really need the CC, but he was having fun, so I didn't mind. At one point, he feared a mob into another group, then I got feared into yet a 3rd group. Our Warlock was like "Awesome, Seed of Corruption time." Our Priest was like "Man, I might have to actually use a Greater Heal". Our Hunter trapped one, and put his pet (an Owl) on another. No deaths.

The first boss gave us some trouble. I'm so used to running with Heroes and I figured everyone had done the fight by now. I mentioned "Watch the AoE" in party chat before I pulled, but DarkDescent and the Holy Priest had not done the fight before and got hit by the Lightning Cloud of Ghastly Demise. Our Shadow Priest dropped ShadowForm and threw a couple of heals on me so we three manned the first boss down without wiping.

2nd boss was cake, and then it was on to Warlord Kalithresh. This was my 10th run to Steamvaults and I figure this guys got to be tired of seeing me. We didn't get enough DPS on the first tank, so he got an enrage, which made the fight a bit tougher. We got the 2nd tank down in time and he dropped shortly thereafter.

Jagdelf got revered which means he can run Heroics now. Its really good because Jagd is a very good Hunter, who can CC and contribute DPS while keeping excellent control of his pet.

And then it happened. Yes, it dropped, finally. The Devilshark Cape. The best tanking cape in the game, in my humble opinion. I had expected I'd be excited or happy when I finally got it, but the emotion was much closer to relief.

With the Devilshark on my back, I'm just 6 Badges away from being Uncrusable. So my priorities now are:
1. Run Heroics to get my last 6 Badges.
2. Botanica for my Righteous Shoulders.
3. Daily Quests and mining to get the money to pay back the guildy who loaned me 700g to buy the Solid Star of Elune recipie off the Ah.
4. Mechanar, Arcatraz for Sha'tar Rep.
5. Wait for the blacksmith who can make Green Fortress to get back from vacation/moving and get my bracers made.
6. Run Kara when my guild has a tanking spot.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

There and Back Again

So last night our band of Heroes returned to Quaqmarrian and Heroic Slave Pens.

The group was similiar to the previous nights run.

Me (Prot Paladin)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Wichita (Elemental Shaman, respec'ed to Resto for our run)
Brambles (Arcane/Fire Mage)
Origami (Feral Druid)

It was nice having a sheep for Crowd control on the Mind Control pulls and Origami could offtank the double Champion pulls.

We wiped a couple of times. Once it was because we thought we could sheep pull and not get the adds. But oh yes, we did. I never got that pull under control and we wiped.

The next wipe was a bit perplexing. It was one of those where I'm tanking away and then BAM! I'm dead. Come to find out that the Mobs were using attacks that were destroying my Armor Rating and the damage I was taking was going way way up.

We wiped one time on the last boss when we didn't our positioning right, but the second time around, we got it. 9 Badges down, 6 to go for my Libram.

Of course, no belt dropped. I don't know what I've done to offend the loot masters but the stuff just don't drop.

After another successful run in Slave Pens, I jumped over to my Warrior alt for a bit. He's all of level 20 now and I got to say, Dual Weilding is fun. Its so different from my Paladin. Instead of slow and steady and outlast everything, its basically a race to see if I can kill it before it kills me.

Also, last night, I found a recipie for making Solid Stars of Elune. This is a +12 stamina gem and highly sought after. I had to take a loan from a member of the guild. I really didn't want to go into debt, but man I could use that recipie and it'll help everyone in my guild to be able to cut those gems. I think , though, given the cost of the recipie I'm going to have to charge my guildies for cuts. I've never done that. Most of the time, I supply the gems, although only on rare occasion do I supply a rare gem. I'm going to start working on daily quests and try to get him paid back as quick as I can. I actually didn't use the buyout on the recipie, but put in the minimum bid, so there's always a chance that I won't get it.

Tonight is Arena and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm kind of leary because it seems you get really powerful teams early in the week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More than one way

Last night, our entrepid band of Heroes took on Quagmarrian and his cronies in Heroic Slave Pens.
Our group of Heroes included:
Honorshammer (Prot Paladin - me!)
Sameth (Discipline Priest)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Lakini (Balance Druid)
Wichita (Elemental Shaman)

An interesting group for a Heroic. Veteran WoW players will note a serve lack of crowd control options in this group, which considering how hard the trash mobs hit for, is generally considered a "bad thing" by most of the WoW populace.

Undaunted by our seemingly poor group setup, we charged into the Slave Pens ready to do battle. Our first strategy was to have the Priest mind control, only to discover that Blizzard conveintly coded the mobs with a mind control immunity.

"Thou shalt bring proper CC to your instances, thy healers shalt heal".

So we came up with the odd idea of trying to AoE tank them. This is an area of particular strength for my little dwarf. I felt very confident in my ability to hold 3 and 4 and even 5 mobs from a strictly threat standpoint, however, from a surivivability standpoint I was dubious. Mobs in Heroics, even the trash mobs hit HARD, really HARD, like 2k-3k damage hard.

So basically you had Sameth and Bacon healing me as much as they could. Sameth on the big heals, Bacon throwing HoTs like nobody's business.

And it worked. We moved through the instance taking the 3 and the 4 pulls. Lakini and Wichita have some sick DPS so they would focus fire one target then move the next. My health bar was jumping around like a kid who got ahold of Red Bull, but after the first couple of mobs in a pull went down, Sameth was actually able to dps a little as Bacon could handle it from there.

Until we got to the Soothsayers. These dudes mind control. One time I got mind controled, which freed up the other 3 naga to do as they pleased. Apparently they aren't tree huggers cause they didn't like Bacon one bit. The next pull with a soothsayer Sameth gets mind controled, so our healing went away.

But outside of those two pulls we did well. All the bosses went down in one shot. Poison cleansing totem with a self cleansing tank seemed to help a lot for Quagmarrian.

Aferwords, one of the group members commented "No way we could have done that without a Paladin tank." That made me feel good to know that I had really contributed to our being able to complete the instance.

I'm now up to 6 badges, just 9 more to go for my Libram. Of course, as has been my lot lately, no tank drops from the entire instance. The last time I got an actual drop in an instance was my Aegis of the Sunbird from Botanica. What really bugs me about the drop system is that you run the instance, over and over and over again, hoping you get the drop you want. It would be nice if Blizzard put something in to where if you hit exalted with a given faction, you could purchase any drop from that dungeon for gold, or make all drops tokens like the badges, something.

After Slave Pens, I switched over to my new Warrior alt, Rabbitslayer. He's just turned level 20 and I'm trying to get him caught up to my friend's mage, AOEs "R" Us, who is level 31. A Warrior is definately a different animal than a Paladin, and so far I'm liking him.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Purple Pixels

So I finally made up my mind last night and purchased my PVP rewards. I was able to get the new epic bracers (Veteran's Ornamented Bracers), and the new Arena Gloves (Merciless Gladiator Ornamented Gloves). Yeah, purple pixels.

So armed with my new gear I flew off into Arena's with my 5v5 team, PVPed in My Pants. The team is me (Prot Paladin), Ferth (Fury Warrior), Lakini (Balance Druid), Lou (Assassination Rogue), and Baconstrip (Resto Druid). The first couple of matches I went with a strong +heal, and mana gear set. This was great except that I felt very squishy. One of the reasons I love my little dwarf so much is his survivability. So I switched out a couple of pieces of gear and lowered my mana and +healing but uped my armor and hit points.

Our team is starting to gel a bit more. We went 6-7 which isn't too bad for us. Our rating is almost exactly where it was when we started. After the 5v5 matches, Ferth (Fury Warrior), Lakini (Balance Druid), and myself finished up the last 5 games for our 3v3 team, so the members of our 3v3 who aren't on another team could get their points.

Next on the agenda for our dashing Heroes was Arathi Basin. It was still the bonus honor weekend for Arathi. There is a ton of PVP rewards I still want to get for Honors (epic boots, epic belt, new PVP trinket). Many of those rewards take a ton of AB marks.

While PVPing, I just missed the formation of a Steamvaults group, but Bacon said he'd help me run it anytime. So with me and him, we've got the tank and healer spots covered, we just need to find 3 compentent DPS classes.

The Devilshark continues to elude me, and its frustrating because most of the upgrades I need to my tanking gear are now drops.

There is one more rep reward I can use, but it requires Sha'tar exalted. There are two badges rewards, the Libram at 15 and the helm at 50! I'm doing everything in my power to have the best gear I can to tank with, but now its up to the Random Number Generator to see if what I need will drop.

I'm keyed for Cenarion and there is a group doing Heroic there tomorrow. Once I get keyed for Tempest Keep Heroics, I can run those and work on Sha'tar rep and badges at the same time.

It looks like I'm going to be sitting out the next Kara run. There are two other tanks in the guild (both Prot Warriors) who haven't gone to Kara yet. I've been Main Tank on both the runs Heroes has made so far. I'm excited for them and hope they do well in Kara, but I've got to admit I'm disappointed I'm not going to go. Kara is a blast and I really enjoy tanking there.

We are really close to being able to field two Kara teams, so hopefully I'll be back in there soon. All we need is a couple of healers. Ironic, that if I was still a healbot, I'd have no trouble getting in the group. So tank and sit, or heal and go. Let me think for a minute......tank and sit, yep!

Maybe I can tank a PuG Botanica run or something and show the server what Tankadins can do.

I don't know how I did it, but I think I've found the best guild in all of WoW. Heroes is chocked full of mature, helpful players, and we experience the entire spectrum of the game (Battlegrounds, Arenas, group quests, 5 mans, and 10 mans) together.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend activities

It was a pretty good weekend for my little dwarf.

Saturday night, I went back to Steamvaults once again. The group was me (Prot Paladin), Jagdelf (Beast Mastery Hunter), Paymon (Marksmanship Hunter), Darolynn (Shadow Priest), and Calexis (Holy Priest). This group is what you call easy on the reagents. Paladin Greater Blessing are cast on a class instead of a player and require a reagent (Symbol of Kings). So I only had to cast 3 times to cover the whole group instead of 5.
We essentially mowed through the place. Warlord Kal said hello again, and once again, refused to give up either the Righteous Breastplate or the Devilshark Cape. I'm 0 for 9. Mekinner Steamrigger was kind enough to give up my Steam Hinged Chain of Valor.
I spent a good portion of my playtime this weekend in Shadowmoon, near Legion Hold. I was farming for Marks of Sargeras and Fel Armaments. These are items you can turn in for Aldor rep. I was finally able to hit revered and buy my Vindicator's Hauerbruk. I had Wichita (Resto/Elemental Shaman) make me a Vindicator's Armor patch for that bad boy. I also helped Jagdelf and Paymon complete the Weapons of Illidari quest.
Sunday night, I helped Jagdelf and Calexis finish their Zuluhed the Whacked questline.
Then I joined up with Paymon for our 2v2 games. We went 4-6. Once I finally make up my mind on my PVP gear, and the teams start sorting themselves out a bit, I'm sure we'll improve. All the ratings were reset, so you don't know if you are playing a top rated team from last season or a bottom feeder.
After arena, I was invited to tank Shadow Labs. I'm not keyed for Lower City Heroics, so I jumped at the chance. The group was me (Prot Paladin), Jadgelf (Beast Mastery Hunter), Calexis (Holy Priest), Origami (Feral Druid), and Wichita (Resto/Elemental Shaman).
The run was quick and painless. The only problem I had was not taking enough damage. Yes, you read that right. I was taking little damage, so I needed little healing, so I got back not much mana. I had mana problems much of the night. It was never a major issue because by the time I ran out the mobs were dead.
This was one of the first times I seen a really good use of Lightwell. On the 3rd boss, the guy who calls the voidwalkers to heal him, we used a kiting strategy that seemed to work well in the past. Calexis put a Lightwell down in the path we were kiting him. So he'd teleport us up on the platform and start to AoE. I'd jump down and head down the hallway, stop by the Lightwell for a quick heal, and get into position. We only got teleported 2 times.
Both of the dungeon runs felt very easy and we never felt we were in danger of wiping. Its so weird because the first couple of times we ran Steamvaults or moreso Shadow Labs, we were like, this is HARD! Now its just feels easy.
Also on Sunday night, I may have witnessed a first in the history of our server last night. A Prot Paladin (me) got a whisper from a PuG to tank Botanica. Now, I had already told the group I would do Shadow Labs with them so I had to turn them down. I asked the player how he knew I was Prot, he responded, 'I did'nt, I was asking every Paladin online. You were the only one who said you were Prot, all the others are Holy'. Hopefully, he'll remember me, though I'm not a fan of doing PuGs outside the guild. It's not that I think they are doomed to failure, or even that I worry about my tanking ability anymore, though that used to be an issue. It's more that I'd rather run with my friends in the guild. Every time I run outside the guild, that's one less time that I'll need to run the instance.
I'm still looking to upgrade my gear so I can be a better tank. Most of what I need is drops or Heroic badge turnins.
One of my guildies found a guy selling the blacksmithing plans for the Boots of the Protector. They are some of the best Protection Paladin boots in the game. I ran over to the forums to post a bid for them, only to realize they are a BoP recipie, meaning they can't be traded by the Blacksmith once he makes them. /cry.
One other crafting note, I really don't understand people sometimes. I've been trying to get a piece of armor made, Bracers of the Green Fortress. I put a post on the Realm forums asking to get them made. I have all the materials except for a nether. A person responded on the forums for me to contact about the Bracers. I do. He ignores me. /boggle. The only thing I can figure is that he can't make the Bracers and was just trying to pull a joke on me. Okay, some people find entertainment from that I guess. I did locate someone else who is willing to make the Bracers but he needs to get a nether from a Heroic. He's also in the process of moving and won't be on much for the next 3 weeks. I guess its up to Attumen as to whether I get to pay that guy for his nether. If Attumen would be kind enough to drop his bracers, I can give or sell all this Primal Life (20) and Hardened Adamantite (6) I've been saving to get the Bracer's made.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Karazhan....Take Two

So Heroes returned to Karazhan last night.

Our group was
Me (Protection Paladin)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Sevenn (Holy Paladin)
Resto Druid (Baconstrip)
Resto Druid (Lakini)
Destruction Lock (DarkDescent)
Arcane/Fire Mage (Brambles)
Marksmanship/Survival Hunter (Paymon)
Shadow Priest (Darolynn)
Assassination Rogue(Lou)

We started once again with Attumen. Just like our last run we had little problem getting him down. Is it possible to have a boss on "farm" status two nights into an instance?

After that we decided to try Moroes again. The trash gave us less problems than before, mostly because we knew it better. I tried to skip a couple of pulls, but that turned out to be a bad idea. We accidently aggroed them and that caused a wipe.

When we finally got to Moroes, we had a Priest for shackle. We drew an interesting set of adds (Mortal Strike Warrior, Holy Priest, Holy Paladin, Shadow Priest). We had our Priest shackle the Warrior, and the Hunter trap the Holy Priest, the Feral off tank the Holy Paladin, and DPS down the Shadow Priest.

The fight started out pretty ugly with one of our Resto Druids getting mana burned right off the start and losing our Shadow Priest. No worries though, a Battle Rez and a couple of mana pots later, they were back in the action.

Our CCers did a tremendous job of keeping their adds under control. We also got really lucky with Moroes Garrottes. I got one which I could Stoneform out of. Our Holy Paladin got one. Bubble for the win! Plus both myself and the Holy Paladin have the improved Blessing or Protection cooldown talent. I was able to BoP two people out of Garrote.

We dropped Moroes in one attempt (2nd attempt overall for the guild). I actually remembered to put master looter on and manage to distribute the epics without messing it up. Still no tanky loots in any of the 3 boss kills.

Enboldened by our success on Moroes we thought about what we should try next. After a brief discussion we decided to try the Opera Event. Honestly, I've been looking forward to this fight for some time. I was pretty excited.

We had some problems with the trash. The Spectral Performers self buff and start to hit really really hard. Eventually we made it past them and had our Rogue scout out the event for the night.

Rumolu and Julianna. I was a bit excited as I've read that Rumolu is one of those bosses where Tankadin's really shine.

We got Julianna down, then Rumolu. Then you have to fight them together. We were doing okay, but then I went down. I'm not sure exactly what happened and I forgot to log my combat log. I don't remember hearing my healer saying anything about going out of mana, so I can only conclude that I got a bad string of crushes and the burst killed me. Once I went down, it was pretty much lights out on the raid.

Once more, we had accomplished more than we expected and we are making much more progress than we ever thought we would this quickly.

I've got to work my gear up to get uncrushable. Step one will be finishing the last 2000 rep I need to get my chestplate for the Aldor. After that, I'm pretty sure every other upgrade I need is a drop, and I've had terrible luck with the "big" drops I needs (Devilshark , Righteous Spaulders, anything from Kara).

Everyone is enjoying Kara. We are all like kids with a new toy, can't get enough of it.

On a sad note, we had our Fire Mage from our first run decide to leave the guild. I never like to see that happen, but if he wasn't happy in Heroes, he needed to find a guild where he could enjoy himself. I hear he's landed with a really good guild on our server. Hopefully we'll see him around Shattrath sometime.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Deck the Halls

I managed to get into a Shattered Halls group last night. It was me (Tankadin), our newly respec'ed Holy Priest, Destruction Warlock, Balance Druid, and Arcane/Fire Mage. We used Charm and Sheep on about every pull.

The run went very well. We had a few wipes, mainly from adds. The worse being when we pulled a 5 group and then about halfway through the fight another 5 group joins up. We had no idea where they came from.

It almost seemed like we were overpowered for that instance. I'll be running it again in the future. I'm way short on Honor Hold rep.

We one shot each boss, and wound up disenchanting most of the drops. I did get my Shattered Halls quests done which means I am now the proud owner of a set of Dauntless Handguards for my Uncrushable set, and a Mantle of Vivification for my PVP/Healer set.
Is it ironic I'm building a PVE Healing set that I hope I never have to actually use outside of PVP? Actually healing in the 5s (5v5) is more akin to PVE Healing. I typically wear less stamina and more +healing. Opposing teams just seem to leave me alone more. In the 2s and 3s, I wear more stamina and spell damage as I'm going to get targeted, and I'm going to need to do a little damage.

My bags are getting mighty full. I keep my 5 man threat/mana set, my uncrushable set, my boss/stamina set, my PVP Healer set and my 5v5 healer set on me. I guess I could go to my bank and switch stuff out but my bank is pretty full too. I've even got a Retribution Set I'm keeping in there should I decide to go down that path again, and I've kept just about every resist peice I have ever found. I remember well the runs to Maraudon when I was 60 trying to get some Nature Resist gear for AQ.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Touch.....of Destiny

A took a night off from playing WoW to go see my daughter's dance recital. She really loves dancing and the best present I could give her was my presence at her recital. She was awesome!

Found a little tidbit on WoWInsider from an interview they did with Nihilum, the current gold standard of raid guilds. They have gotten many of the World First Kills including the end boss of Burning Crusade, Illiadan Stormrage.

"Guilds that go with Protection Paladins and Moonkins will not do as well as the ones that bring an optimal raid setup. This is a fact." - Nihilum

That got me thinking about being a Tankadin. When I'm tanking a mob, holding threat, and mitigating damage like a madman, I feel just like my daughter does up on that stage.

I know some people who play WoW just love to see those big numbers fly up on the screen. For me, the coolest sound effect in the game is the block sound effect. I can't tell you how much fun it was fighting those Demon Hunter trainees in Shadowmoon Valley.

My thrill is seeing the poor mob or Hordie try to kill me only to get met with Dodge, Parry, Block, Block, Parry. I love watching my screen literally fill up with little yellow numbers as I AoE tank a pack of 10 non elites (not recommended unless you have a healer with you).

From the comments some people in Heroes have made to me, I know that they think I'm at least competent as a tank. I know how to gear myself and I'm skilled in using my abilities. A former member guild mate, who moved on, called me the best Tankadin on the server. To which I replied, 'I'm probably the ONLY Tankadin on the server, lol.'

I love being a Tank, and specifically a Tankadin. But I keep hearing that Paladins can't main tank much past Karazhan. So I decided to ask the fine folks at Maintankadin.com, especially the guys who have gone further end game than I have. The basic consensus, from people who know far better than I, is that Paladins CAN be tanks in all 25 man raid content.

The caveat is that a guild using Protection Paladins will progress slower than a guild using Protection Warrriors, but that the gap will be 1-3 weeks at most. Is that what Nihium meant by "not do as well as" guild's that use Tankadins?

I can live with that. Can my guild mates?

If I knew what I know now back when Honorshammer was cutting his keep on Troggs in Dun Morgh, I probably would have made him a Warrior, but I didn't. Back then, I thought a Tank was a military vehicle, Raid was something you used to kill bugs, and CC was something you put on an email so more people would get a copy.

I didn't know any better. I rolled a Paladin, and the thing I enjoy most in the game is Tanking with him. I don't know what will happen if or when Heroes is ready for 25 mans, I guess I'll have to wait and see along what path my destiny lies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Key Master

Last night, I logged into WoW for a bit. I started by farming up in Netherstorm for Aldor rep turins. I managed to get 2 Fel Armaments and 20+ Marks of Sargeras. I'm now only 2000 rep away from Revered with Aldor for the shoulder enchants and the Vindicator's Hauberek.

Next up I joined a Warlock buddy in farming up some Primal Water. I wanted to get the Khorium Ward set for my Arena set. If the patch goes in today, I'll be able to buy the Season 2 Gloves and the new epic Bracers. My Arena set will be looking much better.

While we were farming, we got an guild invite to go on Black Morass run to get some more people in our guild keyed. The group was me, a Rogue (not sure of his spec), Shadow Priest, Resto Druid, and Enhancement Shaman. I love having a Shadow Priest for that place. The first attempt did not go well. We started to get behind by Portal 4 or 5, and as Bacon always says, "Once you get behind in Black Morass, you've pretty much lost the instance." And we did.

Our rogue had to go, but we subbed in another Rogue (Combat), Lou from my arena team. This time we did better but we wiped on the 2nd boss. This one was completely on me. See, I have two to three sets of tanking gear that I carry around. I have a high spell damage set, a high stamina set and a high mitigation set. I had been wearing the spell damage set for the run so our dps could really open up and we could get the portals down fast. Well, I forgot to switch to my mitigation set for the second boss. His debuff got too high and we wiped.

We decided to make one more go of it. This time I remembered to change clothes for the second boss. As with my other runs, his debuff would get to 3 or 4 and then fall off. I never had to drop my beacon.

Both the Rogue and the Shadow Priest got keyed. We've got to be getting close to 20 keyed people in our guild.

And Aoenus (the last boss) was kind enough to drop the Paladin Dungeon 3 pants, and dropped a sweet healing trinket for Bacon (Resto Druid).

Finally, before the night was done, I found an 8 of Furies on the Auction House. I snapped that bad boy up. I now have the entire Furies Deck! Now I just have to wait for the Faire to come back and I'll get my sweet trinket.

All in all, a great night.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Initial Run gear

So whenever I would read an entry like the one I made over the weekend about Kara, I would immediately wonder, what would a dashing young dwarf with six pack abs wear to face down Attumen for the first time. So here is the list of gear I wore for our guild first Attumen kill.

Head: Felsteel Helm (Keeper of Time Enchant)
Neck: Strength of the Untamed
Back: Cloak of Eternity (+12 Agi)
Shoulders: Warchief's Mantle (green gems)
Wrists : Shatari Wrought Armguards
Hands : Felsteel Gloves (+20 spell damage)
Waist: Shatari Vindicators Waistguard
Legs: TimeWarden Leggings (2 +9 stamina gems, +6 stamina, +5 spell damage gem)
Feet: Flesh Beast Metal Greaves
Ring: Wind Trader's Band
Ring: Iron Band of the Unbreakable
Trinket: Regal Protectorate
Trinket: Dabiri's Enigma
Weapon: CrystalForge Sword (+40 spell damage)
Sheld: Aegis of the Sunbird (+18 stam)
Libram: Libram of Saints Departed

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Karazhan....Karazhan

So Heroes Inc takes its first brave steps into Burning Crusade raiding with Karazhan.

First, our group. The tanks, Main Tank was none other than your humble author (Protection Paladin), offtank was a Feral Druid (Zadorr). Our true supporters and healers were a Resto Druid (Baconstrip), a Holy Paladin (Sevenn), and a Balance Druid (Lakini). Our face melters, I mean DPSers were Assassiantion Rogue (Sylvara), Fire/Arcane Mage (FaceEraser), Feral Druid (Origami), Marksman Hunter (Paymon), and an Elemental Shaman (Wichita) who was tearing it up.

We started clearing the trash leading up to the first boss Attumen. The horses feared and we had a single bad pull because of it, but pretty much it went okay. I wasn't as shocked by the hits as they were in line with what I was taking in Heroics.

Then we get to Attumen. I was take him while the Feral Druid got on Midnight, then I took them when they formed. I had the Feral stay Bear and try to stay #2 on threat. This was because I'm not uncrushable in my gear and I was worried that a bad string of Crushes would kill me.

It never happened. Halfway through the Feral Druid went Kitty and we one shot Attumen on our first ever attempt in Karazhan. Not bad.

Next we moved onto Moroes. His trash gave us all kinds of problems, and we were a bit short on crowd controls. We tried him twice and never got very far. We never even got all the adds down despite drawing a favorable group (Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin, Ret Paladin). We had accomplished more than we thought we would for our first night in Kara, so we called it.

It was amazing. Raid tanking is everything I thought it would be, and I loved it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

First step into a larger world

The night started out well with me and my Marksman Hunter partner (Paymon) doing our 2v2 Arena games. We did really well, went 12-4, and raised our rating quite a bit. It seems like my spec is much more an asset in 2v2 than in 5v5. I wear the Teir 2 recolored helm that just screams "I'm a Healer", but then fill in with tanking/spell damage gear. Melee DPS has a hard time taking me down. Range DPS has to deal with a mail wearing, machine of death in my partner. It was a lot of fun. I look forward to the patch so I can spend the 2000 Arena points I've saved up, and get our rating reset to 1500. I think we can make some noise in the 2v2 bracket.

So last night, I attempted my first Heroic dungeon, Heroic Slave Pens. My group was me (Prot Paladin), Discipline Priest, Balance Druid, Fury Warrior, and an Assassianation Rogue.

Just from the first pull, I could tell things were very different. I'm not used to trash mobs hitting me for 2000+ damage. Ouch. That's with over 12k armor. I decided to go for a stamina heavy build for the night. Unbuffed I was at 10.5k and 489 defense.

After we got adjusted to the fact I couldn't have 3 or 4 beasties beating on me and hope to survive, the run started going well. We one shot the first boss and second boss. Two boss, two badges, and I'm that much closer to my Libram of Repentance.

It was the next few pulls that really proved difficult for my group. They were 5 pulls consisting of two warrior types that feared, and caster type that mind controled, a pet that feared, and a caster type who nuked. On top, of that was a patrol of two big warrior types who had a really big circuit.

Our first wipe was due to sap breaking a bad time and pulling the patrol. Next up, Righteous Defense bugged out and a aggroed the patrol from a good 40 yard away. Then on the next pull of this type, our Moonkin got mind control and hit (not crit me) for over 4000 damage. Lakini, I love you, but that starfire, it hurt. Plus when he got mind controled, the mobs gained Moonkin Aura. Wipe.

So we finally make it to the last boss, Quagmariann. He does this acid spray thing that hits everyone in a cone area in front of him, and he spits poison on the whole party. Our first attempt, he decides to spit at our Priest, and promptly kills her. Wipe.

I've got to figure out how he chooses targets for his spit. When he switched to the priest I thought I had lost aggro, and promptly taunted, which didn't work, but put Righteous Defense on cooldown. Thanks!

After that it was getting late and our Fury Warrior and Priest had to go. We subbed in the Holy Paladin and Fire Mage from my awesome Botanica run.

First couple of attemts with the new group, Quag again went after the healer with his spray. Dead healer. Wipe.

On the next attempt, I decided I was NOT losing aggro. I charged in, poped the wings*, whacked him upside the head with my shield**, threw down a Consecrate, and a Judgement of Righteousness. This time he sprays me, so I'm on the only one taking the damage. The Holy Paladin heals right through it (Sevenn is an awesome healer), and we put the big green giant down.

He drops like 6 things. A Badge of Justice (of course), Shackles of Quagmirran (AP Leather), Pauldrons of Wild Magic (Spell Damage Mail, Epic), a Primal Nether, Bleeding Hallow Warhammer (Spell Damage Mace), and the Ace of Furies which I won.

I now only lack the 6 of Furies, and the 8 of Furies to complete the deck and get DarkMoon Card Vengence. Of course, I'll have to wait until the Darkmoon Faire is in town, but if I've got the cards and its in Mulgore, you can bet I'm going to take a tour of the happy cow level.

*aka used Avengers Wrath
**aka used Avengers Shield

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Good Teams Play on Wednesday

So Honorshammer went back to the Arenas last night with PVPed In My Pants. It was an exercise in frustration for most of the night.

We seem to get the same team about 5 times in a row. This team consisted of two so called 3 minute mages. These mages have the ability to pop a bunch of 3 minute cooldown and increase their DPS to the level they kill someone in 2 shots. Their team was really good at doing something to CC my little dwarf self. In the time it took for me to use my Trinket or Stormform or whatever I could do to get out of the CC 1 or 2 of our players was gone. We lost every match against them. The silver lining was that we only lost about 3 ratings points per match. Losing so few points indicates we were up against a much better team, and they showed it. They were probably as frustrated seeing us all night as we were seeing them. I'm sure after the first couple of "LOL, we pwned those nubs" games, they were probably hoping for a new team to play as much as we were.

Our final two games were against a different team, albeit we got this team two games in a row. We won the first and lost the second. The difference in my mind was the map. In the first game we got Lorderaeon and in the second we got Blade's Edge. Our team really struggles with Blade's Edge. It has a couple of pillars that range DPS can use to really make it tough for our heavy melee DPS to get to them.

On another Arena front, I think I've found a possible solution to my issue with Honorshammers spec. I spent his talent points to be a tank, and a very good one at that. But nearly all those talent points are not very helpful in Arena. It's almost like I need to be Holy for Arena and Protection for Tanking. Furthermore, I'm getting to the point where I really need to be a full on Protection spec (49/12) and that makes me very poor for Arenas and PVP.

Enter Daily Quests. With just 5 daily quests I can get the gold I need to respec from Holy to Prot, or Prot to Holy. It would certainly help with the respec costs. I've heard of Prot Warriors doing this (Prot for raid days, Arms for PVP days). Sure, it will take some gold, but it could be cool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well that was quick

As I was finishing up the Scarlet Monestary on my Hunter, I got a tell asking me to tank Botanica. Now it was late and I really should have gone to bed, but the Righteous Shoulders drop off the next to last boss in Botanica, and they are really nice. Sha'tar rep is a nice bonus as well from that instance.

The group was me (Prot Paladin), Holy Paladin, the Elemental Shaman from my Steamvaults group, an Ice Mage, and a Beast Mastery Hunter.

The Botanica features alot of caster type (low armor) mobs that the group just tore through. We had a pull of 6, followed by a pull of 9, and the coup de gras, an unintentional pull of 11 including some non-elites. Everything, even the bosses died really fast, and I was holding aggro like a champ. The High Botanist only transformed into a tree one time, and only one person got sacrificed by the demon boss.

But, as the night had gone, no Shoulders. I did however pick up the Aegis of the Sunbird, which is better (from a mitigation and avoidance perspective) than my Netherwing Defender's Shield.

My guildmates are gaining more and more confidence in my ability to tank. At one point the Holy Paladin even commented on how little damage I was taking, yet, I never seeemed to have mana problems, probably because the stuff was dying so fast.

Just about every one of those guys (save the Hunter) are slated to be in the Kara group. The way we tore up Botanica makes me think we actually might have a chance to do some damage in Kara.

Humming a Different Tune

After my run to the Steamvaults, I still had a bit of time. As I was walking around Shattrath, I noticed someone spamming the trade channel for a Scarlet Monestary group. Now, I have tremendous trouble getting groups on my Hunter, Honorshummer. Add to that the fact that he has a ton of rested experience and that Scarlet Monestary Library or Graveyard are relatively short instances, and it was too good to pass up.

He almost got to level 34 from that run. No good drops to speak of, but it was a nice change of pace to be on my Hunter again.

A Hero officially Heroic

For a night that I thought I might not log in to WoW, it turned out to be pretty busy. I managed to get a group to run Steamvaults, yet again. I think its getting to the point that the mobs are getting tired of seeing me.

The group was me (Prot Pally), Discipline Priest, Elemental Shaman, Feral Druid, and Balance Druid. You will note that each person in this group can heal and rez and you should also note an extreme lack of crowd control. On a couple of pulls we used the Priest to mind control, but for the most part I ran in and tried to keep aggro on 4 mobs. The run when well and the only time anyone died was when I got silenced and the mobs got away from me. Silence = no spells = no threat = bad.

For the last boss we switched out the Discipline Priest for his Fury Warrior because he wanted a shot at the nether, with the Balance Druid picking up the healing.

Of course, no Nether, no Devilshark Cape, no Righteous Breastplate. This boss does not like me. This was my 8th, yes, 8th run to the place.

On the upside, I did hit Revered with Cenarion Expedition and pick up my Strength of the Untamed necklace. Plus, I can now do Heroics in Coilfang Resevoir and start working on Badges for my Libram.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am NOT prepared

So it looks like Heroes Inc will be venturing into Karazhan for the first time on Saturday night. I will be one of the tanks and the raid leader for this little excursion.

I'm still fully crushable in my 10k hitpionts gear. I could switch out some pieces and get to 14% crushable, but I'd have to drop down to 9k hit points to do it.

I've read up on the first boss Attumen the Huntsman. He seems fairly straightforward. I haven't found any information on the trash packs to get to him, so I wonder what suprises await me there.

I'm glad that Sevenn is planning on coming to the raid. He's actually been inside Kara before and should be able to keep us for getting too lost.

This should be interesting to say the least. Heroes isn't a raid guild per se. We do a little PVE and a little PVP. Our main focus is on having fun. I heard it said once that WoW players fall into two groups, those who play to win and those who play for fun. I think Heroes is definately in the play for fun crowd.

Tankadin versus Arena

I spent last night doing Areans with PVPed in My Pants. It seems we are getting better. The main causes of our losses were disconnects, or just not playing smart.

There was one match where we faced a team that was setup perfectly to defeat us (BM Hunter, Ice Mage, Demo Warlock, Resto Druid, and a Shaman). That's like the anti Melee DPS with Paladin healer team. We did much better against teams with two Paladins. They couldn't interupt or shut down my healing.

I know some people believe the Paladin is the easiest class to play in PVP and we don't have all that affect on the outcome. My experience is that my play has a large impact on the outcome. When I play well, my team stays alive longer and we win. If I play poorly, my team generally loses. With abilities like Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Freedom, Cleanse, and my healing, I feel like I make a major contribution to whether or not we win or lose.

After Arena's I worked on my Cenarion Expedition rep a bit by doing some quests up in Blade's Edge Mountains. I'm still about 1300 rep short.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I want to be a farming ranger...

Over the weekend I helped some guildies do Shadow Labs and get a couple more people keyed for Karazhan. The Aldor reputation turnins were dropping pretty good. I wound up with 2 Fel Armaments and about 30 Marks of Sargeras.

This insprired me to go do some Aldor quests out in Shadowmoon at the Ruins of Ba'ari. Now at first I hated the place, because the dang Ashtongue Workers would run off and grab some friends. Now, normally as a Prot Paladin, I grin a bit when I get adds, however in this place there are a ton of portroling mobs including a shaman type with a nasty AoE fire totem (ouch), and a Satyr/Demon type that has a Mortal Strike ability. Thanks, guys! Of course, after having a runner cause me a death/repair bill, I remembered that old friend, Judgement of Justice. I literally could kill these guys if I was AFK now. I'm sitting at halfway to revered with Aldor.

So last night, I once again go to Steamvaults. This was my 7th run to the place. Joy. The last guy Warlord Kalithresh has two drops, Breastplate of the Righteous and the Devilshark Cape. The Devilshark is the best cape I can get for my little Tankadin for a long, long time, and it's never dropped, not once. I did however get a Ring of the Silver Hand which is nice for my 5 man tanking and soloing set.

I also made a real find out of game from Maintankadin. Eloff of the Alterac Valley Server has made the gear spreadsheet to rule them all. I can finally see in glorious logical mathematics what I should be wearing. Both of us favor a mitigation approach, so we evalute gear in very similar ways. Way to go Eloff!! You can see his work at http://www.failsafedesign.com/maintankadin/index.php

Friday, June 8, 2007

And the Portal is open.....

Last night was a big night for my little dwarf. Heroes finally, finally beat the Black Morass. Our group was me (Prot Pally, main tank), Ferth the Fury Warrior, Sameth the Discipline Priest, Origami the Feral Druid, and Lakini the Boomkin.

Fury Warrior on the adds, witih me Feral Druid and Boomkin on the Elites/Bosses. The run went quite well, except for me making a huge mistake on Temporus. On our last failed run, I didn't move away from the portal enough and aggroed adds with a Consecration. That eventually led to a wipe, so I made sure to tank him off the left of the portal. Well sure enough, he knocks me back, and resets. Lovely. So now we have to kill him twice. The Mortal Strike debuff got up to as high as 5, then fell off completely. I guess I just got an unlucky streak there.

We had to drop 2 becaons and still the shield was down to 11%, meaning only one shot at Aoenus. I was chugging health pots and doing everything I could to make sure I kept my hit points up. It got dicey near the end when he enraged, but we got him down. No wipes, battle rezes or anything.

I'm now Revered with Keepers of Time. I got my Continuum Blade, Time Warden Leggings, and Andormu's Tear. Can I get a woot? Oh yeah, Woot!

Heroe's now had 11 people keyed for Kara. That means I need to get my gear Kara ready on the double. I'm still about 15% short of uncrushable. I can get 2% from a respect to full deflection and 5% from the Libram, but that means I need to start running Heroics. I'm still a little short on Stamina, but I bet I can make that up with enchants and gems.

So lookout Attunemen, Heroes are coming!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Green Thumb

Last night our guild ran Botanica. It was another really good run. The group was me (Prot Pally), Ferth (Fury Warrior), Zadorr (Feral Druid), Sticker (Fire Mage), and Baconstrip (Resto Druid).

We only had real trouble with the 3rd boss (The Tenderer). He's the oneo who does a Hellfire and also periodically sacrifices people (and wipes his aggro). A couple of times, Bacon would get a heal off or Sticker would land a Scorch just after he wiped his aggro. I should have brought some Fire Resist pots since I have almost no Fire Resist gear.

I was much better chugging potions anytime I got low. I figured I'd err on the side of drinking too often versus causing a wipe.

It's amazing how much things have changed since I went to more a spell damage build in my gear. My guildmates have been very impressed with my ability to hold aggro. I'm still uncrittable in my gear, but my hit points are little lower than I'd like them to be (about 8500 unbuffed). However, with Kings, Mark, and Commanding Shout I was still able to get over 11000.

One of the things I like about being a tank is that I can take hits. It never ceases to amaze me that I was standing there infront of this big ugly taking hit after hit and then see him pretty much one/two shot anyone else.

Of course Laj did not drop the Paladin shoulders, but I did get my Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard from completing the Arcatraz key quest. It's the best pre-Kara tanking waist I can get.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Once more into the breach

So Tuesday night we again tried Black Morass. This time the group was me (Prot Pally), Ferth (Fury Warrior), Baconstrip (Resto Druid), Sylvara (Rogue), and Lakini (Boomkin).

It was our best attempt to date. We got all the way to the last boss, but we wiped when he was at 10%. Ugh. I got killed when he stunned everyone and my health was too low.

The group was really impressed with how I handled the second boss. His healing debuff never got above a 3 stack.

I've really got to learn to use pots. When I was Holy spec, I'd use mana pots in the rare event I got low on mana during a boss fight. It was pretty clear when to use then, and if I forgot, standing there with no mana usually clued me in. With tanking, its very different. You've got a couple of seconds to react or you'll be thinking about the health pot while you chill with a Spirit Healer.

I'm really in something of a conumdrum with my gear. I need about 250 spell damage to hold off the dps (especially the Boomkin and Fury Warrior). With Salvation and 250 spell damage, they can't seem to pull aggro off me, but it leaves my health around 8500. I can push my health up to 9100 but I sacrifice about 100 spell damage to it. Once I hit Revered with Keepers of Time and get my Continuum Blade and TimeWarden's leggings, I'll be in better shape, but I'm still about 9k rep short.

So now I'm trying to find Spicy Crawdads, and Nightmare Seeds. The crawdads give me more stamina and the seeds give me a mini Last Stand type of ability.

Running the Vault

I had some time after Arena's so we put together a Steamvaults run to help a couple of guildies who needed the SteamVaults fragment of their Kara key. The run consisted of me (Prot Pally) tanking, Aleks (Arms Warrior), Sameth (Discipline Priest), Calexis (Shadow Priest), and Origami (Feral Druid). The run went incredibly quick and smooth. We only wiped once on the last boss because we didn't switch fast enough to the tanks and Origami couldn't find the back of the tank to use shred.

I really feel I'm starting to arrive as a tank in this run. In one of the 4 pulls Origami asked if he should offtank. The group felt it was better for him to stay cat as their Prot Pally could hold all 4 quite well. Then on the failed attempt on Warlord Kal, he got enraged by consuming 3 tanks. The group was very impressed that I survived as long as I did. I guess most tanks they have run with couldn't last past 1 or 2 enrages.

Of course Warlord Kal refuses to give up my Devilshark Cape or my Righteous Breastplate. This must have been the 5th or 6th time I've killed him, but still no cape or chest. I'm only about 4k rep from Revered. I guess its a good thing they drop on Heroic mode as well. Plus I can at least get my Strength of the Untamed necklace once I hit revered.

Arena's / PVP

Monday night and I'm back from a nice weeklong WoW vacation.

We did Arenas Monday night. PVP as a Protection Paladin is interesting to say the least. This last patch I respect to something of a healer/tank hybrid with points in Spiritual Focus and Improved Concentration Aura. I had to give up 1 handed spec and reckoning. I didn't miss 1 handed spec much. It's one of those passive talents that you can't really see working. But reckoning, oh man, that was a rough one to give up. However I can say that PVP healing is much easier now.

Before I speced into Spiritual Focus, something as simple as a hunter pet on me made my heals take so long that my team mate was dead before the heal ever got off.

My 5v5 team is called I PVPed in my Pants. It consists of me (Prot Pally), a Fury Warrior (Ferth), a Rogue (Lou), a Boomkin (Lakini), and a Resto Druid (Baconstrip). We played about 20 games and won about 9 or 10. The good news is that I now have enough points to start getting some Gladiator gear, but I'm thinking of holding off and buying the Season 2 gear which is supposed to come out on June 12th.

After our 5v5, I helped out on a 3v3 team. 3v3 is different from 5v5. In 5v5, I basically sit back and heal, but in 3v3 I need to do some damage as well. I might even have to use my solo/spell damage set instead of my PVP Healer set (Resilience/+heal/Stamina).