Monday, February 16, 2009

VoA and Oculus

It was something of a quiet weekend for me from a WoW point of view. I had a wonderful evening Saturday night. My wife and I went to a nice restaurant for dinner, and spent way more than we should have. Then we went home and watched a DVD. I don't know what it is about a quiet dinner that seems to make it really easy for us to talk to each other. You'd think after 13+ years of marriage we'd have just about covered all the ground there was to cover. But we talked and talked Saturday night, and it was really cool.

In WoW, I sort of just laid low this weekend, trying to let the whole Guild situation work itself out.

I moved my Hunter alt, Honorshummer from Mal Katai to Heroes Inc, and spent some time this weekend leveling him up. He's now up to 72. He tamed a Devilsaur from Netherstorm and is working his way through Borean Tundra. It's a bit slow going, mainly because he's attacked and killed by every Rogue and Death Knight on the server. Death Knights especially seem to be very powerful at this level, and Death Grip is a Hunter's worst nightmare.

The irony of the Mal Katai split is that neither guild has the numbers for 25 mans anymore, and folks are PuGing what they can. A couple of guys got into a PuG with my old guild, Dominion, and another guy went and PuGed Naxx10 with yet another former guildy. I'm sitting 7 Emblems of Valor short of being able to buy the Tanking Boots (currently, Best In Slot). I don't see PuGs hardly ever asking for Tanks, just Healers or DPS.

I got into a group for 25 man Vault of Archavon. This was your classic bad PuG. First of all somehow the leader had put together a group with 6 Death Knights, but no Warlocks or Rogues at all. I was convinced we would see nothing but Rogue and Warlock drops. Then we had one guy who was blissfully questing in Icecrown waiting for a summon, despite the aforementioned lack of Warlocks.

So right off the bat we were 24 manning it.

The tanks were myself and a Death Knight. I presume Frost, but I know so little about Death Knights it's hard for me to say. Since we had so many DKs, I had every Aura on me (Blood, Unholy and Frost).

I ran in to engage, popped Wings and opened up with everything I had. I kited Archavon out of clouds when I saw them on the ground. The problem started when he picks me up. The Death Knight didn't taunt, and Archavon proceeded to kill a couple of DPS. Nice. Archavon dropped me, so I picked him back up. We got to the next Lunge (where Archavon picks up the MT), and this time the DK taunts him! Yeah, DK! Only he drops like a rock. The guy basically got 2 shot. Then Archavon takes out the Healers and it's over.

I had a buddy in the raid, a very well geared, and skillfully played Mage. He was #1 on DPS. No surprise there. I was #6.

"Houston, we have a problem."

I can pull about 1500 DPS when Prot. It's not shabby but it's a half of what a real DPS could bring. There's no way I should have been 6th.

We tried again, and this time things went better. The Death Knight either pulled or taunted before the Lunge, so I taunted when the Death Knight was picked up. I had to Bubble Wall to survive. Either we didn't have enough Healers or they weren't transitioning well from tank to tank. He drops the Death Knight and he picks him up again. We do this a couple of times, but we hit the Enrage timer and it was over.

We try one more time, but again, we didn't have enough DPS to get him down before he Enraged. The PuG blew up and everyone walked away. At least I didn't get saved so I can try again Monday. I may have to start forming my own groups.

Afterwords, I got a chance to run with Heroic Oculus. It was a run with people I was very familiar with. The Mage from my fPuG was there. My co-Tank from Naxx10 had speced Titan's Grip. We also had the Warlock from my Naxx10 group along with one of the best Resto Druids on the server (in my humble and completely unbiased opinion). There are two Resto Druids on the server that I'd run anything with and feel completely safe. This one (former Mal Katai, now Red Headed Step Children, and one in Heroes).

I was a little envious of my Warrior friend. His tank gear is every bit as good as mine, but he can turn around and pull 3k DPS as Fury. I still don't feel comfortable that I've broken the 2k barrier when I spec Ret.

It was a good run, but not without it's moments. I got careless on a pull here and there and let the Warrior or Warlock get killed.

I did end up having one of those epic tank moments on Mage Lord Urom. We lost people on the Arcane Explosion, and it was down to just me and the Mage Lord. He was at 6 or 7%. I kept up with my regular rotation and threw in a Hammer of Wrath whenever I could. I needed to use Bubble Wall and Lay on Hands, but I was able to solo him the rest of the way down.

We wiped a couple of times on Eregos (the last boss) as people figured out their Drakes. My Warrior friend switched from a Bronze Drake to a Green one, so we had Red, Red, Green, Green, Bronze. That combination seemed to do the trick. I got the Achievement for both the norma and Heroic versions of Oculus in one run.

They wanted to run another Heroic, but it was getting late and I had to call it a night.
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