Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Embarrassment Of Riches

Wednesday is usually my night off. I knew Dominion was going back to Archimonde, and the way our raid was clicking on Tuesday, I knew they were going to kill him.

I went and got a 'Kitchen Pass' to play. The guys on vent found the term quite humorous. Basically, I talked to Mrs. Hammer and asked if we could move our date night this week. She agreed, so it was HAMMER TIME!!
Before the Raid, I was in Tanaris and leveled up fishing to 285. This is going to be a quite a grind to get to 375.
Tanaris makes no sense from a geographical standpoint. For there to be a desert that close to the ocean, you would have to have a major mountain chain almost right on the coast to break up the the onshore precipitation that would be nearly constantly generated by evaporating seawater. But I guess Azeroth doesn't have to play by our rules of science.
I was still Holy and assigned to Group 5. Our first attempt on Archimonde was very solid. We lost someone to a Grip + Airburst combo and couldn't recover, but it was a very solid attempt.
We regrouped for our second try. I got Airbust a couple of times, but I took very little damage. We were running from Doomfires and doing our best to stay alive.

I'm supposed to be over there, healing Kee, our Main Tank Warrior. There is a line of fire completely cutting me off from him.

We passed the 50% benchmark. We were healer heavy last night, running 10, but our DPS was still right in line for beating the enrage timer. We lost one of our DPS Warriors and a Feral Druid. I am not sure 100% why, but my guess would be a Doomfire on melee. Somehow, maybe because of all the healers, we were able to survive the Soul Charges.
I managed to finally get back in range and start healing Kee when a Doomfire spawned right on our group. I still don't understand the mechanic of a Doomfire spawning so far away from the Boss. I was nearly on the very edge of the healing range. We had no time to react and myself and one other person in my group got the debuff. I needed to heal myself, and run from the Doomfire. Healing on the run is not something Paladins tend to do well. My Bubble was already on cooldown from the Trinket/Bubble rotation we used to keep healers on the Main Tank at all times.
I stopped to throw a quick Flash of Light on myself and the Doomfire caught up. I was wearing my Tank boots because they have Boar's Speed on them so I was able to get away from the Doomfire again, but I knew then I couldn't stop to heal myself. I put my Health Potion and Healthstone on cooldown. We were almost away from the Doomfire, but my health was dropping. A grip or Airburst would have been the end of me. Even barring that happening, I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

Enter Dar. Dar was a Resto Druid who was running with my group. He hotted me up, and threw a quick Nature's Swiftness plus Healing Touch. I now introduce you to full health Honorshammer! After the Raid, I made a point of letting our Raid Leader know what a great job Dar had done. I left out the detail of exactly who she had saved though. Dar got some well deserved kudos over open vent.

We were really tight on the timer. With 10 healers, and 1 tank, we had only 14 DPS, and we were down 2, so we really had only 12. We needed to take off 12% of his health in the next minute.
Then we hit the 'magical' 10% mark. Everyone was bubbled by the Wisps, and everyone, even the healers ran in and started pouring on the DPS. I kept looking for my Avenger's Shield button, which, of course, wasn't there.
Just like in the end of the Battle of Mount Hyjal in the Warcraft 3 game, the Wisps came to surround Archimonde and destroyed him.

VICTORY!!

I was really excited. Mount Hyjal cleared in 1 and a half nights. Our raid has been really hot lately.

There was a Tempest of Chaos and a Helm of the Forgotten Conqueror (Paladin, Priest, Warlock) and 2 Helms of the Forgotten Defender (Warrior, Hunter, Shaman).

Under our Loot system, I was defaulted the Helm of the Forgotten Conqueror as a Main Tank. Kee, our Main Tank Warrior received one of the Defenders. Vlad, who also has Main Tank priority graciously passed on the helm and it went to one of our Hunters.

I grabbed the Keepers of Time head enchant. I was really luckily that ThLadyBlue, one of our Alchemist in the raid happened to have an Earthstorm Diamond. Doubly fortuneate that she is also a Jewelcrafter who cut the 18 stamina gem for me. We also had an Empyrean Sapphire available which I got cut to 15 stam.


I lose a little hit, and defense, but gain health, a huge amount of mana, spell damage, armor, and avoidance. So this helm increases my survivability and threat. I'll take that. It puts me to 2/8 Tier 6 and gives me the 2 piece set bonus. That rocks.

It is something of an adjustment for me as far as aesthetics . I've been wearing my Tankatronics so long they had become almost a part of me.

The night was still young, so the raid regrouped at the Black Temple. At first, Vlad (Raid Leader) had told me to just stay Holy, but after seeing we still had plenty of Heals in the raid, she told me to go back to Prot.

A week ago, Najentus had given them a challenge. I was assigned to watch 3 tree druids and one of our best DPS Rogues. My main responsibility was to remove spines from them. Any other damage or healing I could add was secondary. Sure enough, one of my trees got the first spine. I waited for the Raid Leader to call for it.

"Han will have that shield down, we've got to give him more time!"

3-2-1 Pop it. Najentus was one in one shot. He didn't drop the Paladin boots. I made a comment in Raid chat about it. I know I had JUST gotten an awesome piece of loot, but I'm afraid I'll end up like Mortel who has been farming Illidan for 6 months and still hasn't seen them drop.

At one point clearing trash, the Swiftsteel Bludgeon dropped. I let it get blown up. When a second one dropped, I rolled on it. It would be a nice weapon to try out the Hammer of the Righteous spell that Protection Paladins are getting with Wrath of the Lich King. I made some comment about seeing every trash drop BUT the one I wanted (Illidari Runeshield).
I hate that I seem so 'loot focused'. You know that little roller coaster ride you go on when you drop a Boss who can drop 'your loot'?
Woohoo! We got him!
Did it drop?
No. Bummer.
The rough thing when you need a Trash drop is that go though that, every time a mob dies.
We moved on to Supremus. This boss invariably gives up problems. Sure enough we lose a DPS Warrior, and a Rogue right off the bat. Is it just me or is that fight just designed to kill Rogues? Despite our early losses, everyone stayed focused and we one shot him too.
We started working on Akama's trash. We moved into the hallway going into Akama's room when we accidentally pulled two groups. Someone said over vent "It's a wipe!" which caused one of our Holy Paladins to DI our sole priest.
Between myself, the two Warriors and 2 Ferals we managed to get everything locked down. The priest clicked off the DI and somehow our team pulled it out, and didn't wipe. That's just the kind of week it's been raiding for us. Even when people makes mistakes, the other 24 team members rally around and pull it out.
After that, do you think Shade of Akama had a chance?
We did the final bit of trash when one of my Restos started acting a little weird.
I was assigned to break a sheep target and start tanking. My Resto friend goes from Tree to Bear form and Feral Charged and taunted. The healers reacted well so we didn't lose him.

Normally our raid leader is pretty quick to come down on people who pull from a tank, but since he was a Druid, she saw an Orange raid frame, which can be a tank, she probably didn't even realize it was a tree. The first time it happened, I thought it was odd. The second time, I was started to wonder what he up to.

Was he doing this to try to get a reaction out of me? Was he just bored because we had plenty of healers, but very little raid damage going on at the moment? I decided not to say anything. If he was hoping for a reaction from me, he was disappointed. I'm just not sure what was going through his head. He didn't do this on any other mobs other than those last two where I was assigned to break and tank.
We start the Akama event. It remains one of my favorite so far in Black Temple.
Can you see One shot?
And what should appear in the loot window on Shade's corpse: the bracers, The Seeker's Wristguards, which are the best Paladin Tanking Bracers until Sunwell.

I give up a modicum of health, defense, and avoidance to gain a major upgrade in Armor, and Spell Damage. I'm not even worried about the Shield Block rating as it will likely fall off the table in most situations. The bank was out of Greater Planars, so I picked up 10 off the Auction House for 160g. When it come to enchanting and gemming up my tanking gear, I don't have any problem dropping whatever amount of gold that is needed.
Two major upgrades in one night, plus another epic 'toy' for Wrath. It was truly an embarrassment of riches.

I can't remember if it was after the raid or near the end, but my Raid Leader made a comment to me about my last blog entry. In the blog, I was talking about being Holy for Archimonde and I said "I hope this is the last fight I'll have to be Holy for."
What my Raid Leader said was she didn't think that would be the case. Now, I've looked at every fight we will be doing, and each of our new fights (Bloodboil, Mother, Requilary, Council, and Illidan) requires at least 3 tanks, so I am at a lost trying to figure out which fight she thinks I'll need to be Holy for. The only one that comes to mind is Teron, but we should be doing Bloodboil right after.
I can't see her wanting me to spec Holy for one fight and then respec Prot for the next if we are doing them on the same night. If she plans on me being Holy more often, I will need to start bidding against the other Healers on healing gear, and I can't see that going over well.
I was recruited as a tank, and I have 'Main Tank' status in our loot system. I guess I will have to just wait and see.
The situation in the guild is incredibly positive right now. The Raid is a very fun and relaxed place to be
I am further progressed than I ever thought I would be. I am truly thankful to be in Dominion. We have a group of people who are focused on completing Burning Crusade before Wrath hits.
We are approaching the end of July, and the bank is full of Hearts of Darkness. I hope we make it to Illidan in time!
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