Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Weekend 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I'm still alive and well. I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend.

My Labor Day
I live in a beautiful little place called Charleston, SC. We spent our Labor Day enjoying the local beaches and got just a hair too much sun. Basically my skin matches my raid frame (read: pink). I'm rather uncomfortable, but doing fine.

Let me bring you up to speed on my WoW activities over the holiday.

Zul'Aman
Saturday night started with a ZA run. Vlad (co-GM and 25 man raid leader) would really like to see some of our guys to get Bear Mounts before the ability to get them is removed in the Expansion. I was honored that I was picked for the team because I know she wants the best players she can get.

We did pretty well for our first run. We ran 2 Shaman healers, and 2 tanks along with some of our best DPS. I was the lone Paladin in the run.

We managed to get 3 timers. Just like my run with Heroes back in June, it was Dragonhawk's trash that put an end to our attempt. Dragonhawk seems determined to show me his entire loot table before I see either the Block Value Shield or the Healing Shield. The 3rd chest did yield up a Signet of Eternal Life which I won on an all Greed roll. That went into my Ret PVP set which I would put into use after ZA.

PVP/Arena

I had finally gotten enough Honor Points to buy a Merciless Gladiator's Bonegrinder. It's the best weapon I can get barring a Raid drop or my team's rating improving.

My partner and I put in 19 games before I had to call it a night and finished 10-9. It seemed like every time we were a win away from breaking 1500 we would lose a couple and get knocked back down. With the new Mace, and my new Ring, my Resilience broke the 300 mark. I'm thinking about switching from a 5/11/45 spec to a 0/20/41 spec. I would give up the scaling Strength from Holy and pickup the deeper Prot talents like less damage taken, stun resistance, and faster Hammer Of Justice. We really want the other team focusing on me while my Rogue friend works his craft.

The bane of my Arena experience at the moment seems to be Druid/Warrior. It feels like a horrible match up for my Ret/Shadow Step team. The Druid goes Bear and I really can't put much a hurt on him and the Warrior seems to be able to keep up with the Rogue. I can trinket the first cyclone but I can't do much to stop the next one. The druid can load up the Warrior with HoTs while I sit there rather helplessly.

If we can catch a good week, I feel like we could break 1500. I don't know if we'll ever see the rarified air of 1600, but one step at a time, right?

Raiding

Monday night saw my guild downing Teron Gorefiend and Shade of Akama. Allow me now to sing the praises of the Decursive mod. The Raid leader commented that dispels on Teron were going much better and we put him down again. My major concern around Teron is that we've pulled him probably 20 times now and I've only been picked for Ghost duty maybe twice. I'm pretty inexperienced at it, and I really don't want to wipe to raid if I get picked next time we encounter him.

For the first time, Tuesday was not devoted to clearing out Mount Hyjal, but rather focusing on Black Temple.

As seems to be the norm for our raids, we welcomed some new people.

Some nights, like last night, we will have 40+ people on and everyone is begging for a raid spot. Other nights, we can barely scrap together enough people for a solid 25 man group.

Even with the new faces, we were able to handle Najentus and Supremus.

I swung and missed again on the Tide Stompers; perhaps they have been removed from his loot table. Of course we also have yet to see the Hunter weapon drop either. However I did score both the Pauldrons of Abyssal Fury and the Syphom of the Nazerium from Supremus.

The Pauldrons are going to be perfect for my next tanking job which should be tanking the Rogue add in Illidari Council. My approach based on what I've read of the fight is to go in a hit/avoidance suit. Concentrating on Hit will ensure that my Avenger's Shield has a very small chance of missing and concentrating on avoidance to reduce the strain I'll put on my healer. The Rogue add will have the dual wield miss penalty already working against him and I will stress that even more by going avoidance heavy in my suit. If I can free up my healer from needing to heal me, the healers would be able to throw a heal or two on the raid which takes crazy amounts of damage in that fight.

I may have mentioned the Syphom before. I want it to be ready for patch 3.0. Yes, if you haven't heard, Blizzard will once again do a pre-Expansion patch where we will get the new talent trees, new spells, and new mechanics. When this patch is coming is anyone's guess, but I have a theory it will be on the PTR by September 9th or 16th.

One of the significant changes for Tankadins is that we are being moved from being reliant on Spell Damage to be reliant on Attack Power and Spell Damage, and we will have a talent that converts Stamina to Spell Damage in 3.0. Of course, it's still Beta and everything could change, but I felt like picking up a good weapon was a smart move to prepare to 3.0.

With Najentus and Supremus out of the way, we made our way to Reliquary of Souls. This is a fun fight for me, and it's one where I get to do some Boss Tanking. Unfortunately, I'm not 'on' until Phase 3. The tough part for me is that I have to wait for us to get through Phase 1 and 2 successfully, and then do my best in Phase 3. I get the least amount of practice in my role in that fight. I try to envision what I'm going to do and walk through the steps in my head. The last thing I want to do is to get to Phase 3 and make a mistake that causes the raid to have to repeat Phases 1 and 2. I am very proud to say that once we got to Phase 3 last night, we finished the job.

This was the first time I had tanked RoS in a 0/49/12 type of spec (0/47/14 was my exact spec). It was a little tougher holding off the Hunters, and warlocks (especially once they got Heroisms going), but I didn't die at the end, and we scored a kill which is always good.

The last note from the weekend was that I found the time to fly up to Netherstorm and pick up the Relentless Earthstorm Diamond pattern. I would have purchased the Tabard but my bags are filled to the brim. I hate the thought of selling off some of my D3 or Tier 4 pieces but it may soon come to that.
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