I resolved that when I was handed my Tier 6 gloves, I'd bust my beard to make sure everyone else who wanted T6 got theirs.
Last night was the beginning of making good on that.
We blast through Mount Hyjal, one shotting all 4 bosses. He dropped 3 Rogue tokens.
I decided to try the 2 piece Tier 5 bonus with my Shoulders and Gloves, but I died on the first pull. I went back to my Tier 4 shoulders, but I kept my Tier 5 gloves.
I was flawless on the pickups of the Doomguards on Azgalor. I would stand directly on top of the person with Doom and drop a Consecrate a couple of seconds before they died. The Doomguard would spawn, eat a tick of Consecrate and I had them. Then Vlad would taunt him off me. After my issues the week before I'm thinking she was spamming taunt to try to grab it as soon as it came up.
I had a small problem moving the Doomguard off the dead player so he could soulstone since the Doomguard would Warstomp and stun me. But I felt much better about my performance.
After the raid, we went and took a look at Archimonde. We were all curious about the area and exploring a bit. Everyone got their tears and practiced jumping off. Someone managed to get too close to him and engaged him. My whole screen went red and suddenly BAM. I was hit with Finger of Death for over 900,000 damage. No, you didn't read that wrong. After a couple of pulls like that we called it.
I've already been told I will be sitting for him for the first few kills.
Archimonde is a one tank fight. I have offered to spec Holy again, however due to the need to decurse and the power of Archimonde's Fear, we will be bringing mostly Druids, Priests, and Shamans. I'm glad fear will not be a large dynamic in the expansion. A Blizzard CM said that in the months leading up to Burning Crusade. I must el oh el now.
After we have killed him a couple of times, I can get a spot healing the Ranged DPS, and hopefully get my T6 hat.
Of course, it's more the fun of doing the fight than the loot. The loot is just the stuff you need to get to the next fight. Of course, I could get lucky and Bloodsky (the only Alliance guild on my server) could have a rash of Tank Engineering Patterns (Hard Khorium Goggles) drop in Sunwell, and sell me one. Thereby removing the need for my T6 hat.
I was disappointed when a comment was made to our Raid Leader / Guild Master following the raid. I never saw the comment (so it had to be in a private channel or whisper) but I heard Vlad respond by basically repeating the question.
Basically someone was upset that I wasn't wearing the gear that had been defaulted to me (Tier 6 Gloves, Tier 5 shoulders). I guess people are still not comfortable with the Gear The Tanks First idea.
I explained that I was in my Block Value set for Hyjal trash and that I even had a few blues in that set. Different gear sets for different jobs is something most tanks have. I wasn't going to wear gear simply to make someone else happy when I knew the best gear to wear for the specific job I was doing.
I spend a good bit of time and effort researching how to be the best Paladin tank I can be. I have yet to have anyone communicate that they are unhappy with my performance.
I never asked to have one thing defaulted to me. It's just the loot system that Dominion uses. I readily accept that I'm third in line for most tanking upgrades (Kaz's shield for example).
In later fights like Bloodboil, Reliquary, and Council, I'll need an be wearing the gear that has been given to me, and hopefully more. I could use the Paladin Tanking Boots from Naj'entus (Tide Stompers), the Bracers from Shade of Akama (Seeker's Wristguards) and the Belt off Bloodboil (Girdle of Mighty Resolve). Supremus has a pair of tanking shoulders but I'd have to wait until both Kee and Vlad have them first. They are better than my T5 but inferior to my T6. Supremus also has a nice ring but I actually prefer the combination of Sunder Souls (off of Morogrim Tidewalker) and Stalwart Protector (Badges). I would take it for a max hit set, but again I'll wait until the other tanks have it.
Honestly, it's getting a bit wearing on me that people seem so interested in my gear.