After my night off of WoW, I got going again Thursday night. The evening started with a big all hands Guild meeting. These things generally bode ill for a guild. This particular meeting was centered around your humble author and our recent kill of Azgalor.
Apparently, some people were less than completely excited about the fact that I had received the T6 gloves and had expressed their displeasure to the officers.
I felt in somewhat of an awkward spot. I'm relatively new to the guild, and I don't have relationships with hardly anyone. They weren't really upset with me, but with the system. I listened as the Guild Leader and the officers explained why they had chosen to distribute the loot the way they had. Dominion uses a "Gear the Tanks/Healers" system that gives priority on Tier tokens to a group of documented Main Tanks and Main Healers. There are 4 Main Tanks and 6 Main Healers. I was chosen as one of the Main Tanks, and thusly received my Tier 6 token from our Azgalor kill. It was also explained that T5 content would no longer be a focus, and would likely be run on off nights. Raid nights were going to be exclusively for T6 (BT and MH).
A couple of the people in vent (I don't recognize voices yet) made some very humbling and flattering comments about my ability and performance thus far in the guild. "He's the tank we were looking for" particularly stuck in my head. After the meeting I thanked everyone for their comments. I resolved in my head to run Hyjal until every person in that chat room had their T6 gloves.
Vlad started invites for the raid. She said over vent that she had the tanks and was working on the rest of the raid. I was disappointed because I hadn't gotten an invite yet, but she had said she would need to rotate people through. I started thinking about what I should do with my evening.
I've taken the approach of being very careful what I verbalize. I can't tell you how many times I've said 'I wish I hadn't said that'. It's not very often that I say 'I wish I HAD said that'.
It's like the old adage of which my Father was found. 'It is better people think you might be a a fool with your mouth shut than to open it and remove any doubt.'
As I flew out of Shadow Moon Valley, I got an invite. I pulled back on the stick of my Gyrocopter and turned back towards Black Temple.
I discovered a portal near the entrance to Black Temple, similar to the portal that takes you to Shade's room in Kara. Apparently after you kill Supremus, this guy spawns and will port you up to the next level where Shade of Akama and Teron Gorefiend are. Conveniently, there is a reagent vendor and repair vendor right there.
We took some time to learn the trash. There were a couple of AoE pulls that I tanked and a couple of pulls that needed 3 tanks. Other than that, I kept an eye on sheeps, made sure Judgement of Light was up on the mobs. I was also charged with watching for skeletons that the Deathshaper mobs could summon.
I really don't think it has much to do with my class. I came to an established guild with established tanks. Currently, I'm the 4th tank in the guild. I'm fortunate the #1 tank has decided to play his Resto Shaman.
Most of the night I was really concerned as I kept my eye on Omen. I just wasn't producing the TPS I'm used to producing. The other two tanks were spiking up to 1100 or 1200 TPS, while I never saw mine over 900. I checked all the usual suspects, Righteous Fury on, Salv off, etc.
I run about 550 Spell Damage, so I should be producing good threat.
I wonder how Omen knows whether I've got Improved Righteous Fury (50% more aggro) or Fanaticism (60% less aggro). I wonder if it's calculating the TPS accurately for Paladins.
I was really concerned because the one advantage a Paladin tank gives you on Gorefiend is fast aggro. Because he's undead we can open up with Avenger's Shield, Exorcism, and Judgment. That's a truckload of threat right out of the gate.
Gorefiend is something of a DPS race. He slowly marks one person for death in the raid, they die and spawn constructs, which the dead player, now a ghost must kill. Only ghosts can kill constructs. I had practiced my ghost skills on a simulator and watched a couple of different videos on them.
It turned out it wasn't going to be an issue because the #2 tank was going to tank him. This guys is at least, if not a little better geared than I am. One advantage I had in my previous guild was that with all the Badge gear I had purchased, I actually out geared some of the content, and most if not all of the Warriors and Druids. Now that I'm in a Tier 6 guild, those advantages have disappeared.
I miss being that #1 tank more than I thought I would. I'm just going to have to be patient, show I'm a good player, regardless of my particular assignment, and wait for my opportunities.
I volunteered to help dispel the Immolate that Gorefiend puts on people. I was one of two people on dispel duty. The Immolate ticks hard. The first person to get it was a mage and we nearly lost him, but after the 2nd Immolate I got much faster. It became something of a mini-game to me. Would I beat out the other Paladin who was on dispel duty?
I got smoked that first attempt 4 to 2, but I came back strong winning the next attempt, 5 to 2, and the 3rd attempt 4 to 2. Last attempt, he got me. I lost 9 to 7. So we split the attempts. Not bad.
We made 4 attempts at Gorefiend before the trash respawned on us. Each attempt got better. Even with me in the raid we had enough DPS to defeat him. The fight is going to be won or lost by the people who get turned into Ghosts. If their constructs reach the raid, we will wipe.
There are a couple of fights in Burning Crusade like this. You can't control who will be the pivotal player in the raid. It's sort of like baseball. In most of the other major sports, when you get to a tight spot, you look for your 'go to' players. You want the ball in their hands. In baseball, you don't have that control. Bottom of the 9th and 2 out, your 8th placed hitter maybe the one up in the batting order. Sure, you can pinch hit for him, but if your pinch hitter was your 'go to' guy why was he on the bench the whole game?
In much the same way, you can't control who the game picks to control the Ghosts. You've got to hope that it's a solid player. I can't see Gorefiend taking more than 1 more night. We can blast through the trash and get more attempts on him.