Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taking The Wheel

I found myself in what's becoming a familiar haunt to Honorshammer, Dun Niffelem. While there I saw my buddy LeeJenkins asking for an Offtank for 10 man Naxx. Because my schedule doesn't mesh well with the schedule of the 10 man Naxx groups in the guild I jumped at the chance.

I had managed to grab a couple more upgrades since I last Raid tanked. The Titanium Earthguard Ring from Jewelcrafting and Bolstered Legplates from Heroic Violet Hold had been added to my kit. This pushed me into the 26k unbuffed HP range.

So get my Flask of Stoneblood, and my Dragonfin Filet and start flying out to Dragonblight. I started looking around the raid group, and I got really excited. It was a bunch of folks that I ran a ton with back in Burning Crusade, but hadn't been able to run as much with as of yet in Wrath.

We had 2 Protection Paladins (myself and one other) as tanks. Healers were a Holy Paladin, and Holy Priest. We had a Feral Druid, and Titans Grip Warrior as our melee. Ranged was a Hunter (not sure of spec, but I can't imagine Araxe NOT being Beast Master), a Mage (Arcane), a Warlock (no clue), and a Shaman (Elemental).

This was the kind of run I love. 10 online friends were going to hang out for a couple of hours on vent and kill some Internet villains.

I got a bit of a surprised when I zoned in. Lee told me I was going to be Main Tank. Okay, no problem. I had never marked the pulls, or led a group in Naxx, but now was a good as time as any to start.

We decided to being with the Spider Wing.

Okay, who gave the trash spiders Death Grip? That's the Death Knight spell where they yank you halfway across the BG. That was annoying as all get out, and it made getting the pull under control a bit hairy.

Our first boss was Anub. Mal Katai had never done him without a Warrior tanking. The Warrior would intervene a Hunter standing on the other side. I was tanking Anub and would have to walk around the edge.

Just in case you were wondering, falling into the slime is not a good idea.

We pulled again, and this time I managed to run all the way to the other side. When I got there, Anub proceeded to kill me. The fight was new for the healers as well and they were working out where they could stand to be able to reach me with heals but not be affected by Anub's silence.

It took a couple of tries but eventually we got him.

Something really odd was going on with threat, because I kept losing threat to LeeJenkins even though his attention was directed on the adds. I know I'm not perfect on 969 rotation just yet. Too often it becomes 9669 which is not as good. I did noticed that Lee would drop Consecrate where I would not, but that can not explain why I was losing threat.

Now I was judging Wisdom, and Lee was doing Light, but Blizzard was supposed to have removed the threat component to JoL. I wonder if that didn't get worked out completely the way it should have.

Next up was Grand Widow. We had to figure out some minor details like how close the boss needed to be to the Worshipers so she wouldn't enrage. I learned that I can not survive an enraged Faerlina for very long, and very long in this context equates to about 4 seconds.

Once we figured out the range thing we were able to stop her enrage and kill her.

I messed up some of the trash pulls and ended up overpulling at one point (I think we had 3 groups on us at once, or was it 4) which led to a trash wipe. You ever see those Southwest commercials that end "Wanna get away?". Yeah, that was me.

We pressed on and a trash epic dropped, a Medallion of the Disgraced . We don't DKP in a 10 man, just basically need/greed roll. I rolled off with the other Protection Paladin, and won. This replaced my Pendant of the Nathrezim.

When all was said and done and we buffed up for Maexxna, I was sitting at over 34k buffed HP. My defense was climbing well past 540. I felt like I could take on anything in there.

Maexxna would teach me otherwise. I couldn't see everything from my vantage point tanking her, but I usually died during an Enraged Web Spray. We eventually got her down though. She dropped the epic tanking cloak, The Cloak of Armed Strife. Both myself and my co-Tankadin were wearing 'blue' capes.

I opted to not roll against my co-Tank. I had just won the epic neck from the trash drop, and I have enough Emblems of Valor to purchase the Plantium Mesh Cloak. So I felt he would get more use out it than I would.

There was some discussion about where to head next. A couple of people mentioned Construct Quarter. Our TG Warrior put in a vote for Plague because he coveted a trinket off the final boss there.

After our struggles in Spider, we decided Plague was a good choice to try next. We easily had the DPS to handle the Gargoyles. Well, we would have if I hadn't pulled a Ghoul/Slime pack along with the Gargoyle. Yeah, not a banner night for Hammer.

We regrouped and started pulling our way to Noth. Noth would turn out to be our one and only one shot of the night, and everyone was happy for it.

Then came the Heigan. I've watched him be tanked 3 or 4 times now, but this time I was sitting in the pilot's chair. We had two people who were seeing Heigan for the first time, and one of those represented 50% of our healing. My co-Tank graciously offered to help offheal. He had some fun with it. "You got a heal coming, just taking a while".

After a couple of attempts I felt like I started to get the 'dance' down. I was right that it was something I was just going to have to do to learn. What I hadn't picked up on from watching the other tanks, or in any of the videos I had watched, was that there is a 'too close' / 'too far' dichotomy that you have to managed with Heigan. He can't be too close to the casters, but you can't be too far away or you will move them out of range.

I was beginning to have doubts we would kill him, when we managed to survive the first 'dance' phase. I picked him back up and started moving him around again. Somehow I lost my bearings, and had to ask the TG Warrior to help me figure out where to move next.

It was close and we really had to burn him down those last few percent, but we won! He dropped the Amulet of Autopsy. I was sitting with an epic neck and my co-Tank still had a quest blue, so I passed. I think the badge bought Chained Military Gorget is pretty much equal to the Amulet. That will let my co-Tank pick up his Badge belt sooner (which I already have).

We ran through the little grub gauntlet and soon we were facing down Loatheb. This fight is pretty simple from a tank perspective. I have to sit there and tank him and hope the healers keep me up during the small window they get to heal in. We used at least 2 Lay on Hands cooldowns, but we managed to get him down.

No trinket for the Titan's Grip Warrior, but Lee got a new pair of T7 shoulders. At that point it was getting late, so we decided to call it after two wings.

It was something of a rough run, and I knew it was going to be a learning experience. Hopefully it goes better next time.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honors - Funny thing on Anub'rekhan. The "best" 25-man groups I've been in have kited him during locust swarm, but my guild just heals the tank through it. This has been no problem for us on either 10 or 25.

We tank him halfway along the right slime canal, where he's far from where the adds spawn. The melee still run out, the ranged and healers still stay at their max effective range, just no kiting. I'm surprised more groups haven't picked up on this yet.

Grats on clearing two zones on your first night MTing/RLing in Naxx!

Fedaykin98

PS I think your reasoning about those loot rolls was exactly right, so hopefully the loot karma gods and your guildies will remember.

Anonymous said...

its all about getting use to the place, i felt the same way when icarus went on vacation and all of a sudden my pally was gonna tank the place, now it gets smoother every week, of course im still afraid to screwed up by pulling too much trash at the same time and wiping the raid but its really fun to tank that place

btw this is our new site if u ever wanna stop by and drop a line to ur friends from dominion
http://dominionaos.guildlaunch.com

fares

Ken said...

Man your groups always rack up on tank loot. My guild so far has only done the first boss in each quarter of Naxx, and the warrior tank got the abomination shoulders that dropped off Patchwerk. I doubt I'll be doing 25 mans any time soon, due to not even having 25 in my guild and despising PUGs.

We hope to give it another go this week, with intentions of trying to clear Arachnid. Congrats on the new amulet and I applaud you for passing on drops to help your group. I believe that improving group members' gear also improves myself.

I think I'll pick up the Emblem belt tonight, since I can't ever seem to put a group together that can finish Azjol-Nerub, and I already have 2 ilvl 200 epic gloves to choose from. It still seems an open argument to which epic belt is better (Ancient Aligned or the Waistguard). But it seems they are about equal overall.

BamaTank Inc. said...

Good luck with getting the fights down. I always figure the first time I (or my group) sees a boss we'll wipe.

For my 9696969 rotation, I have two macros. First is a /castsequence macro for my "9" spells, the second is the same for my "6" spells.

Drop them in #1 and #2 on my castbar and while I'm tanking, I just hit one then the other continuously, makes the 969696 rotation into a 1212121212 rotation. That way I don't have to watch the cooldowns and I can concentrate on everything else.

I've thought about making a third macro which would just use the "9" macro then the "6" macro in castsequence, but I'd get bored hitting one button continuously.

Alternating between two buttons makes me feel like I'm doing something but I can do it without diverting any brainpower from avoiding all the stupid things one can do as a tank.


Best of luck,

BamaTank

Anonymous said...

If you have someone in your raid that knows the exact patterns for heigan and where to stand, just mark them with a raid icon. The first few guild runs, we had a feral druid who knew what to do, and I learned by following him. It's all about memorizing the invisible lines on the floor.


Wankster of Magtheridon

thedoctor said...

ya, like one of your commentors already stated, you got really lucky on the tank loot.

I raid 10 Naxx as a restro shaman and after 4 weeks in that place, I have only gotten 2 upgrades.

I have a feeling my t7 shoulders will drop this week though...Gratz on getting yours!

Anonymous said...

Just a comment on that 696969 rotation. This might generate the most possible threat, but you don't really need it. Personally I just try to keep holy shield up at all times and spam whatever is not on cooldown. Threat is never an issue for me on boss fights.

Well, maybe it's just me slacking with macros and learning that rotation, but it works for me :)

And I agree with Fedaykin98 about the Anub'rekhan fight. I always tank him in the same spot and am healed through it. The healers better move out of range though so they don't get silenced as well.

best of luck with you're game mate.

croiman / Hellfire Eu

LittleHonors said...

As some of the earlier posters have said my guild finds it much easier to just heal through on Anub and not kite at all. We tank him exactly where we enter at, and just have everyone but the tank run out on locust swarm.

Heigan is totally just about doing it yourself. My first time they marked where to run with white smoke flares and i was so intent on tanking the boss I would either run by them or not run far enough and it would end in a wipe. Now I seem to have a pretty good feel for where I need to be and it has improved a lot.

Grats though on the tanking loots and clearing the wings.

Azrak said...

Honors,
for Heigan, one thing you might want to look into is the corner method I learned last week. Think there are some descriptions of it on maintankadin, but basically it eliminates the need to move and tank at the same time.
Otherwise, just keep at it. I felt the same way my first week or two in Naxx, but now after only about 3-4 times in there, I'm leading PUGs and explaining fights to new people.
Keep it up.