Friday, December 14, 2012

Look Upon Gara'jal and Die!

The first two fights in Mogu'shan Vaults really stress the tanks to do their job well, so it was nice to get a little respite and have the burden shift to the DPS and healers for Gara'jal.

Aside: I find the similarities between the name of Gara'jal and Gharj, one of the early SWTOR raid boss, to be an interesting coincidence.

We made several solid tries on Gara'jal. We were really struggling with who was going in the Spirit World and who wasn't. Sometimes no healer would get in, sometimes three DPS would go.

The next night our raid leader used the addon Gara'jalAnnounce. This was a huge help, but we simply didn't have the DPS to take him down.

That's when we switched from three healers to two. That put huge pressure on our two healers, but we did better against the timer after that.

On our final attempt of the night, everything was going well, but one of our healers got stuck in the real world with back to Voodoo Dolls right before we hit 20%. The guy was running on fumes the whole lost phase and the raid started to buckle. We watched the health tick down, along with the timer.

Then we heard him emote

"Enough! Off to de spirit world wit' ya!" His enrage was up. Any second we would all die an ignominious sub 1% death.

And then...

...he fell over dead! That's not entirely true. He doesn't fall over as much as he enters the spirit world. It must be one of the 'become more powerful than you can possibly imagine' kind of things.

Focused Shield versus Battle Healer

I really struggled on my Glyph choice for this fight. Focused Shield would increase the amount of DPS I was able to contribute to the raid. Battle Healer would really help out the healers who stretch to their breaking point and beyond.

I decided in the end to go with Focused Shield. More DPS should mean the fight goes faster which should help our healers as well. I also threw out Light's Hammers as much as I could to help with the AoE healing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guardian of Mogu'shan

NaNoWriMo I didn't 'win' this year which is to say that I didn't get 50k words. I got about half that. The biggest thing I learned is that I've got to work on my time management skills. I'm still raiding during NaNo which means I could have done more, but even if I hadn't raided at all during NaNo I wasn't hitting 50k.

Raiding and Tanking I have, largely of my own accord decided to christen my raid team Team Rainbow. We operate within a larger guild. There's another raid team for the guild, but we are completely independent with our own group, own loot rules, etc. I chose Team Rainbow because many of our members have color names like Pinkale, Orangeporter, Blacktouch, and Blueshadez. Plus, at one time, every player in the raid was a different class so it truly was a rainbow in the guild frames.

We've been working our way through Mosh'gun Vaults on Normal mode and hitting up LFR every chance we get. I really wasn't sure what my role was going to be. I have come back to the team after an extended hiatus in Star Wars. WoW is my main game again and I'm having a blast with it, but I didn't expect to walk in and just be handed the tank position back. I guess everyone had in their head that Honorshammer = tank so I'm back in my familiar position of pissing off large mobs that want nothing more than to rip my face off. Fun times! I was really worried that I would hold us back because I have much less playtime than most of the other guys but so far it hasn't seemed to be an issue.

The Dogs 

I'm going to do a post next week about my new UI.

It took me several nights to get the Stone Guard fight down. There is just so much you have to do as a tank on this fight. You have to watch for stuff on the ground. You have to stay parallel to your co-Tank. You have to maintain your rotation to keep your active mitigation up. All that would be plenty for my mental bandwidth to be nearly exhausted, but you also have to keep track of which mob is powering up and what the power level of the other two dogs are as well.

It took us a couple of weeks, but as people got more gear from LFR we eventually broke through and got the dogs down.

Spell Steal

I am the Reversal tank on Feng, and I have to say that is an enjoyable job. I still get angry with myself when I mess it up, especially the time I forgot to click on the crystal to get the buff. It's fun to take a boss ability and turn it around and use it on the boss. We learned the first two phases very quickly, but phase three's square dance of run in, run out, run in, run out took a little while longer.


I find Hand of Purity to be a great help on both of the first two fights. Feng puts a large Damage Over Time on you in each phase, and the Dogs all put a bleed on you. I wait until I have two stacks, or both dogs on me and then I pop Hand of Purity to reduce the damage.

I also find Light's Hammer to be useful. Both fights have periods where strong AoE healing is needed, and I like to be able to throw out Light's Hammer to help take some of the stress off our healers. I like the control of Light's Hammer and being able to target it at our ranged DPS and healers.