Thursday, October 30, 2008

It Finally Clicked

(Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans on winning the World Series. I used to follow the Phillies when I was a kid, but I haven't follwed them closely in years and years. I don’t really follow baseball anymore. The NFL is my passion these days. GO PANTHERS!!!)

We had a bit of unfinished business with Illidan in Black Temple.

I always knew I would be a Flame tank for Illidan. Very few guilds would allow a Protection Paladin to Main Tank Illidan as we had very few tools for dealing with his Enrage in Phase 5.


Some guilds mistakenly believed that his Shear attack was only preventable with the Warrior’s Shield Block skill, but with sufficient gear, a Paladin could be equally immune to Shear with Holy Shield.

So I worked diligently to prepare myself. I read strat after strat and watched at least a dozen different YouTube videos of Druids, Paladins, and Warriors tanking Flames of Azzinoth.


I farmed up over 100 Badges to buy the entire Fire Resist Badge gear, and did long quest chains for the Cloak and Neck. I scanned the auction house constantly until I found the Ring that would complete my set.


I even did PVP on my Paladin to get some fo the Resilience gear that allowed me to be uncrittable and have full Fire Resist.

With the Belt I got off of Bloodboil, I was actually fully uncritable in my Fire Resist gear once again.

But for all the preparation I did, I was still, as Illidan would say, NOT PREPARED. What I needed now was to actually go out and do Flame tanking, and get some ‘on the job’ training.

Finally, last night, after about our 3rd attempt, it clicked. The preparation and the mistakes I had made finally came together. I ‘got’ it. I understand how to do this now. I don’t think I’ll have another problem successfully tanking a Flame and I would expect a one shot next time we pull the big guy.

Once we got past Phase 2, it was ‘in the bag’.

It was after Illidan was down that the big bad Loot Drama Llama entered our raid, and somehow your humble author found himself square in the midst of it once again.

So here’s what happened from my perspective.


Illidan dropped one Conqueror token (Paladin, Priest, Warlock). I knew I was down on DKP, so I whispered my Paladin class officer. His name is Chief. I told him, ‘you best be taking that chest’.


What I was trying to tell him was ‘Please don’t pass on this for me’. He had just passed on the Tier 6 Legs the night before.

Someone, maybe the Raid Leader, I honestly don’t remember, questioned me as to why I had not rolled. (Under our loot system you simply /roll to show you are interested in a piece of loot. This puts a nice list on the screen for the Master Looter to check the various DKP of the people wanting loot). I explained that I didn’t roll because I knew I didn’t have the DKP to win the piece.

The next thing that happened was the Raid Leader and officers left our vent channel and went to an officer channel.

After a couple of minutes, without warning or explanation, I was awarded the Chest. I messaged Chief and asked him what happened. He explained to me that since his Paladin was an alt, he couldn’t roll over a main.

Chief is one of the most selfless guys I’ve met in game. He has two level 70s: a Paladin who is generally Holy, and a Shadow Priest. He will bring whichever one the Raid needs at the time.

You have a couple of different factors working together to make this a complicated situation.

First of all, our loot system is so inflated that you can win piece after piece and it never really affect your place or rank for getting the next piece. So in theory, Chief could land a Tier token on his Paladin, and come the next night and still be in first place to land the token on his Priest. Another interesting twist on this is that in Tier 6, Paladins, Priest and Warlocks share the token so Chief is rolling against the exact same group of people on his Priest and Paladin.

But I don’t believe for a second that Chief is the kind of person to abuse that.

I also think the situation may have been influenced somewhat by the events of last Thursday.

Basically, what happened was Unbreakable Will dropped. I lost it to Chief on straight DKP, and I didn't feel that the loot was handled properly, but it had nothing to do with the fact that Chief has a second 70.

The difference (in my mind) was that Unbreakable Will is a Tank item. Chief, on his Paladin, is Holy about 90% of the time so I think of him as a Holy Paladin. I don’t think a Holy Paladin should be given Tank loot over a Protection Paladin.

Of course, Chief does spec his Paladin Prot from time to time. In fact, I get the impression he’d rather his Paladin be Protection, but the raid usually needs Healers and not Tanks.

So for being a really flexible guy, and filling whatever need the raid needs, Chief gets kind of put in a rough spot.

Afterwards, someone asked me why I didn’t pass the Chest to Chief. The answer is I didn’t know I was getting it until it was in my Inventory. I didn’t even know it was down to me and Chief. I figured I was too far down on DKP to have any shot at winning the Token.

Up until the very second it appeared in my bag (without any further explanation), I fully expected the loot to go to Chief.

Later, the Raid Leader announced that Chief would be able to roll on anything with either his Priest or his Paladin.

We have two more resets before the Expansion. I had originally planned to start cutting back a bit on raiding and kind of ease into the Expansion, but now I really feel like I should keep on raiding and see if I can't get Chief another shot at Illidan.


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