Update: Dr. Theck has published his "How to Prot in 6.1". It's fantastic and well worth the read. I'll do a summary post on it tomorrow.
When I logged on Tuesday night, I got a Facebook notification from the guild. Our guild communicates mostly through a closed Facebook group. We do have public facing website with forums but they aren't used nearly to the extent the Facebook group is. While I resisted the idea at first, I really like the Facebook group as a way of communicating within the guild especially one like ours that spans many games. You see people's real names, real faces and often their profile pictures contain family members. It helps translate our fellow guild mates from pixels to people. The only problem is learning to connect the real person to their in game persona. I usually tag my posts with 'Honors' so people know who I am.
Its also great for those times when players change their focus. One of our DPS Warriors really got into Secret World recently. Not only does the Facebook group give us a way to keep in touch but other guild members can join him in Secret World as well. Our guild can and does exist across the pixel boundaries between games. We even have a Boom Beach group.
The notification was for a post from one of our two main tanks stating he wouldn't be able to make it but that he had every confidence in me and other usual tank to carry the night.
We started with Hanz and Franz. I was nervous about the stamping phase. In our attempts on Hanz and Franz, I've survived one of four attempts. The one I did survive was our kill. Now the stakes would be raised. Its one thing to die as a melee DPS. It's a whole 'nother ball of wax to die as a tank. I also wouldn't have the luxury of popping my Divine Shield if I got into trouble because that would mean dropping threat and killing one of our poor hunters.
I don't know what it is about tanking with me. It's the same basic thing as melee DPS. Do your rotation. Avoid the bad. But when I'm tanking, I'm more focused and I feel like I react faster. It's weird. I survived the first stamping phase with only one close call. When it came time to Suplex I mashed my Ardent Defender button, but nothing happened. I vaguely remember reading about a bug where tanks couldn't use their cool downs while Suplexed. Luckily the Holy Paladin threw a BoP on me and I survived. We did one more stamping phase and that was all it took.
Next up we went over to my old pal Gruul. This was my first time handling the Inferno Slash and the very first one I didn't react quickly enough to and I went squish like a grape. We regrouped and tried again. I did better on the next attempt but the group got a little spread out on one of the Inferno Slashes and I went squish again. The next attempt the same thing happened to my cotank. I managed to hang on for a while and then I used one of my Stupid Paladin tricks. As Gruul wound up his Inferno Slash, I hit Ardent Defender. Inferno Slash 'killed' me and AD brought me back with the heal. I love being a Paladin. I was ready with the old Burning Crusade Bubble Taunt click off Bubble trick to clear my stacks for the next Inferno Slash but we managed to kill him before I needed that.
Did I mention I love being a Paladin?
We had a little time left and we thought about knocking over Beast Lord but a hotfix had been rolled out that nerfed Oregorger and we thought we might give him a try. We cleared the trash over to him. For each Acid Torrent, I would cycle through Glyphed Divine Protection, Ardent Defender and Guardian of Ancient Kings. I also made sure that I had a 5 Holy Power Shield of Righteousness ready to go.
We made several attempts and it was pretty clear that the rolling damage had been nerfed. We survived that phase much easier. Our major problem was getting back in position after the rolling phase. The tanks have to be between Oregorger and the ranged. Oregorger Tank Ranged - good. Tank Oregorger Ranged - bad. It doesn't matter if the tank is the closest person to Oregorger. The Acid Torent projectile is fired at Ranged. Oregorger will literally turn around to fire it. If you aren't between it and the Ranged, it will hit them unmitigated and the splash will fairly well wipe you.
We kept making progress each attempt. 60%, then 50% then 35%. Then we started reaching enrage. That's always the first hurdle in learning a tough boss. That meant we were surviving, we just had to concentrate on upping the DPS. We had a heartbreaking 7% attempt.
We debated going over to BeastLord to finish on a high note but we were so close, we wanted this overgrown bowling ball dead. The next attempt was a 'last attempt of the night'. People were fading fast. We poured everything had into him. He was low but we were only seconds from enrage. I got ready to do the bubble Hammer of Wrath and hope they didn't code his enrage to bypass bubble.
But with milliseconds to go, Oregorger keeled over. The Dirty Cs had given him a permanent dirt nap. Well permanent until reset. But still. He be dead. I haven't had a boss that felt so satisfying to kill in a long, long time. Nerf or no nerf.
It felt great to be tanking again. I'll have to send our regular MT a thank you note for giving me the opportunity.