Monday, December 31, 2007

Old Instance

Over the weekend, I got the chance to run Karazhan with my good friend, Aoesrus. Aoes is the person who introduced me to WoW while he worked as a GM for Blizzard. Because of work/family commitments, I actually beat him to 70. This night was his very first in Kara.

We cleared Huntsman, Moroes, Maiden, Opera, Curator, Shade and Chess, but due to time constraints only got one attempt in on Prince. I think the group went back in later in the weekend and finished it off.

We had some wipes due to new people/alts running, but that is going to happen.

I'm up to nearly 50 badges and I've got to figure out what the next upgrade I'm going to buy is going to be. The contestants are Girdle of the Protector, Sabatons of the Righteous Defender, Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx, Bonefist Gauntlets, and Brooch of Deftness.

Up to this point, my upgrades have been fairly straightforward: greens to blues to purples. Now its a matter of going from one epic to another. My lean right now is to get the Girdle of the Protector, and regem my Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable for my Ret set.

I'm only about 800g short of my epic flyer now, and my Engineering is at 368. (Why is Honorshammer shown as inactive in the Armory? I was tanking an Arc Key run just last night!)

Mag is scheduled for Friday night, but I haven't heard of doing anything else. I'm really looking forward to getting out of this Holiday lull and back into some serious 25 man raiding.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Personal Goals

Over the Holidays, Mal Katai isn't doing much raiding. While this is a little disappointing, it would be hard to field a proper raid roster with so many people out/traveling, etc. My own availability has been a bit spotty this week as well.

Honestly, I think some of our officers just need a little break. It would be better for them to take a week or two and not raid, rather than them getting completely burned out and quit Raiding or even WoW altogether.

But I really hope once this break is over, we really get going again. We've already lost a couple of people because of "not raiding enough". I haven't been immune to this either.

I am a bit concerned that the first raid scheduled is for a start time of 7:30pm. That is the same start time that Bloodsky used and I had to leave that guild because that's just too early for me. I know other people in the guild have issues with how late they can go and it's not right for me to expect the guild to work everything around my schedule, but I would be very disappointed if it turns out Mal Katai's Raid schedule doesn't fit my own. It pretty much spells a transfer in my future.

So while I wait for another chance to spend my MKP, or club Mag a couple of times with my Merciless Gladiator's Gavel, I've been working on my personal goals.

The two goals I'm working on are getting Exalted with the Aldor and getting my epic Flyer.

So I've been doing Daily Quests and farming up motes with my handy dandy Mote Extractor. (Just realized I've been watching too many Blue's Clues episodes with my daughter).

I worked on my rep with Sporegar and purchased a Petrified Lichen Guard, and I've been visiting my friendly neighborhood Demon Hunter Supplicants in Shadowmoon Valley.

(Totally off the subject, but on my last trip there I saw a Prot Warrior trying to pull off the same AoE stuff we do with Thunderclap, Whirlwind, Cleave and whatnot. It actually worked okay, but I was able to take larger packs and kill them much quicker. However, he was Alliance and Prot, so I let him have the area for a bit).

Through all these steps, I've managed to break 4000 gold. Now it's just a matter of time and discipline before I will be zooming through Outland at Mach 2.

Of course there is one more step I have to complete before I can fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I have to be a 375 Engineer. I currently sit at 364. I need 8 Khorium Power Cores and 8 Felsteel Stabalizers to make the epic Flying Machine. They are both "green" recipes right now (unlikely to get a skillup).

I need two more Primal Fires to finish off the 8 Khorium Power Cores for the Epic Flyer. Then I'll need 16 Felsteel Bars to make into Felsteel Stabalizers. Once I have those, I'll see how many Repair Bots I need to make to get to 375 and get going on the Primal Fire for those.

So this last 1000g might be a bit slower as I will have to either farm up or buy more materials.

My other alternative is to get my Hunter up to level 58 (he's 56 at the moment) and spend the time to up his mining skill. Then he can mine the Fel Iron and Motes of Fire I need. Of course, it might be better to get him to 60, so he can use an epic land mount to do his mining.

I'm not sure which would be faster. Skilling up the Hunter to mine or farming up the gold to buy the mats on Honorshammer.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Has Shield

By popular request: a Screenshot of Honorshammer and the Shield of Impenetrable Darkness.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Love / Hate Relationship

PVP. I have something of a Love/Hate relationship with it.

I never really understood it until last night.

Here's the story:

Our Kara group was a bust. Whatever server hosts the Karazhan instance was being very fluky. High latency and random disconnects were more common than Bosses dying.

So we called off the Raid. My good friend, and sometimes Ret Paladin, Sevenn invited me to a Premade Arathi Basin. It was a mix of people from various guilds on our server. I even saw some old friends like Jagdelf and DarkDescent.

Normally, I avoid PVP like the plague. While I have some PVP gear, my spec has 0 points in Holy. It's very hard to be a PVP Healer without the Talent Spiritual Focus. What motavated me was Battlemaster's Audicity. It costs 30,000 honor, and the only place to get that Honor is PVP. I realize I could purchase it for 75 Badges, but I still need the Belt, Bracers, and Gloves from Badges. That will cost over 150 Badges, so I'm going the PVP route for the Trinket.

I joined the Raid. This 15 man Arathi Basin was run with all the precision you'd expect from a 25 man Raiding Guild. Tasks were assigned, vent was cleared. The leaders expected you to do yoru job and do it well.

I knew these guys were serious when one of the Mages ran to the wrong point and he was out of the Raid after that BG.

We were doing very well, but I think the moment where my love / hate relationship clicked was during one of the matches where we had lost the mines.

We left defenders at each node that we had. Then half our assault team gathered near the mines on the eastern road, while the other half gathered on the western road. Being a defender, I had the luxury of watching the minimap and was amazed as the new groups gathered up. When the command to attack was given each group moved in unision towards the Horde. While the two assault teams engaged the Horde defenders, one Feral Druid stealthed to the flag and began to cap it.

It was strategy, and synergy and team work. It was everything I love about 25 man Raiding executed to perfection in a PVP setting.

If this had been one of my normal PuG ABs, we would have trickled in one by one and been picked off one by one and probably lost a couple of points for our trouble.

Normal PVP is the pits. You are 1 of 15 random people running around trying to inflict some damage or throw a heal where you can. Organiziation is nonexistant. The BG chat is likely filled with banter and arguement.

In Organized PVP, you are part of a team. Each action you take is part of a larger action, a grander strategy. You are part of something bigger than yourself.

For that kind of experience, I'd do it again. That was fun. Shoot, I might even spec Holy or Ret for a night (once I buy my Epic Copter).

Doing My Dailies

One of the major goals I'm working on for Honorshammer is to get him up to Epic Flying Skill. I want to go zoom zoom zoom around Outland in my Epic Helicopter, and I really want to try the Netherwing quests. I'm not so much worried about the Dragon (Helicopter >> Dragon), but the quests sound like they are really fun to do.

So I'm a Jewelcrafter and Engineer. I make a little money from Jewelcrafting. Prospecting is a real crap shoot (Yeah! Living Ruby!! Cha-ching baby! or Oh joy, Talasite. Next!) and since I don't have mining, I'm buying the ore to prospect.

Most people are only willing to pay 5g for a cut despite the recipes going on the AH for 300g to 700g. I've actually stopped buying recipes off the AH because the return is so bad. The only one I bought was the Solid Star of Elune, and it happens to be the one I get asked to cut the most.

So I turn to Daily Quests as a source of constant income.

There are two Daily Quests in Skettis and 4 in Ogril'la.

Most of the quests are pretty easy for me, even as Prot. I still find the bombing quests to be fun (Ogril'la much more so than Skettis). The Simon game is pretty straight forward.

The one Daily Quest I find to be the most troublesome is Banish More Demons.

I always try to find a group for this quest, even if it's a PuG up on Ogril'la. But sometimes you aren't going to find a group.

So let me share with you a couple of tips on how I do these quests. I start Banish before Bombing. What I usually do is find the Simon game closest to the Northern Forge Camp. The mobs in the North camp are an order of magnitude easier than the mobs in the south Camp.

I was particularly lucky this day and all 6 Analyzers were manning their posts. Most of the time I'm doing well to find 5.

What I do is aggro all 5 or 6 at the platforms, and drop a Consecrate. Then I start hauling freight north towards the camp. Every time Consecrate's cooldown is up, I stop, make sure the little guys are still following me and drop another Consecrate. This is what I refer to as Consecrate Kiting.

I do my best not to aggro any other mobs (like those stupid spell reflecting Boars, ever Exorcism yourself?). As you get close to the Forge Camp, keep an eye out for the patting green double headed dogs, because you want to avoid aggroing them.

Once you reach the Forge Camp, drop your portal and start to AoE the little guys down. If you got low from the kiting, drop one more Consecrate, bubble and heal, or use the Figurine of the Colossus.

In a very short amount of time, you've gotten 5 or 6 Demons Banished.

Now I start Bombing. I don't know if I've gotten worse, or the cannon's aim is better but I rarely get through an entire bombing run without getting shot down anymore, and dropped right on top of a demon or two.

First off, remember, Bubble makes a great Parachute! Once I'm down, I'll drop the portal and start killing whatever demon aggroed to me. If there is a Wrath Speaker (see below), or Furnace Guard (see below) in Exorcism range, I'll go ahead and pull them, too.
What you've got to watch out for is the 2 Wrath Corrupter, they can put a hurting on you in a real hurry. Usually by the time I'm done bombing, I'm up to 8 or 9 Demons Banished. By doing my Bombing run, I've given time for the Analyzers back at the Simon game to respawn. I repeat the process of Consecrate kiting them up to the Forge Camp. That usually puts me up to 13 or 14.
Now I look for the Wrath Speaker.I can usually pull her, and the 2 Furnace Guards and AoE them down, Tankadin style.
That puts me up to 15 Demons, quest complete!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Email Question

"I've been reading your blog for a few months. Actually since I seriously decided to reroll a blood elf pally earlier this fall with the idea of being a tankadin. I've really liked the idea of pally tanking since TBC came out. I'm up to level 30, and just respecced from Ret to Protection.

So last night I tried my first real instance tanking with a Pug. We rolled through Gnomeragan pretty easily with our group (avg level 29). I held aggro pretty well the whole time just through Consecration, and sealing and judging away like crazy. A few well placed engineering bombs really do the trick too! One problem was I think I was over geared for the place. We killed stuff before it could really hurt me, and therefore I had problems with mana. Since my health wasn't dropping, I wasn't getting many heals, and went oom pretty quick. I joked to my group that I should take my pants off for the next run, but I think they thought I was crazy! :-)

I need to work on my taunting, but for my first trip, I think I held aggro well and things worked out great. I even got a great pair of tanking pants out of the quest reward for Rig Wars quest.

One thing that keeps coming up to me is what pieces of gear should I be keeping my eyes out for. I check the AH everyday looking for BoE blues for the next 10 levels ahead etc. But I think a great resource for up and coming tankadins for what BoP gear I should be looking for or what instances I should make sure not to miss on my way up would be great.
Keep up the great blog!"

Thanks,Gamblorr from Kul Tiras

As a Tankadin, I generally always have a stack or more of Mana pots with me when I tank an instance. These can really help when you get low on mana from a lucky string of dodges and parries, or when the mobs simply aren't hitting you hard enough.

You also mentioned working on your taunting. Our taunt can be pretty clunky. Most Tankadins use a Macro to make the taunt easier to use.

/cast [target=target,help] Righteous Defense; [target=targettarget,help] Righteous Defense

As far as BoP gear, your next target should be Scarlet Monastery. You can handle Graveyard and Library right now, but you'll want to be a bit closer to 40 before you try Armory and Cathedral.

3 pieces of the Scarlet set are Bind on Equip: The Belt, the Boots and the Gauntlets. All 3 are solid pieces. The other two pieces come from the Armory and Cathedral and you will want to be closer around 40 before you go there.

There are two rare elites that spawn in Graveyard. You can zone in, do a couple of pulls and check for the Rare spawn or have a Rogue, Druid or Warlock check, and reset if he didn't spawn. They spawn in the house north of Statue.

Ironspine has 3 really nice drops: Ironspine's Eye, Ironspine's Fist, and Ironspine's Ribcage.

The other Rare to look for is Azshir the Sleepless, who drops the Ghostshard Tailsman.

The other dungeon in your range is Razorfen Kraul.

While the Pronged Reaver and the Stygian Bone Amulet are nice, the real treasures in RFK are the Heart of Agamaggan and the Tusken Helm.

You will probably find you are leveling very quickly, so you shouldn't concern yourself too much with drops at this point. Run dungeons to get practice tanking and view anything that drops as a bonus. They'll be time enough at the level cap to pray for a particular drop off a particular boss.

Gems and Enchant Guide

I did not write this. Ralthos of Cenarious wrote this on Maintankadin. I'm copying it here to my Blog for future reference.


  • Solid Star of Elune (12 stamina, Blue): This gem gives the largest bonus to effective health of all gem options prior to the BT/Hyjal gems, which are 15 stamina each and ridiculously expensive to buy. If you are uncrushable by a solid margin, this will give you the most survivability of any gem option.
  • Enduring Talasite (4 Defense Rating and 6 Stamina, Blue/Yellow): The best yellow hybrid available, giving both a modicum of avoidance and stamina. This is also a solid gem choice for filling the defense gap in the 2.3 badge/ZA gear. This gem is best used to complete socket bonuses in gear, especially gear that has a stamina socket bonus. Completing a socket bonus for 6 stamina on a 3 socket piece is worth it most of the time, even if you lose 6 stamina for a R/B/Y socket color set (as is the case with a number of good epic tanking pieces). The defense rating is worth ~1.66 defense, which is adjusted based on your total defense, making it either .16 avoidance or .32, based on how much defense rating you have.
  • Glowing Nightseye (5 spell damage and 6 stamina, Red/Blue): If you feel slightly low on spell power and have a red socket to fill, this is a good option. Generally, however, this is inferior to Solid Star given that a weapon can give sufficient spell power to hold threat for a long time in terms of raid progression. As with the Enduring Talasite, this is a choice gem for completing socket bonuses.
  • Shifting Nightseye (4 agility and 6 stamina, Red/Blue): Another red gem option, giving slightly more avoidance in lieu of threat. The agility is worth .16 dodge. -Subtle Living Ruby (8 dodge rating, Red): The best straight red gem available for conversion. If you're short avoidance and need a red gem, this is a good gem to choose. Each gem is worth .42 dodge.
  • Thick Dawnstone (8 defense rating, Yellow): The only straight yellow gem worth considering whatsoever. The defense rating is equivalent to ~3.33 Defense, which rounds based on your total defense rating. It is approximately either .48 or .64 avoidance.

General Gem Theory As Joanadark wrote at Tankspot, gear is more efficiently itemized into mitigation/avoidance/stamina than spell damage, hit, spell hit, etc. In that regard, Solid Star of Elune is the most powerful gem available for overall stats. Consumables are more effective for threat than survival, though, so if you're having issues with that, then look at consumables for threat instead of spell damage on your gear slots. Your weapon will probably be a threat weapon due to the stats allocation anyway, so gemming threat is usually not as powerful in general. The general rule here, though, is that if you lack uncrushability, gem to it, while if you have a solid basis of uncrushability, gem to Stamina.


Helm: Glyph of the Defender, Heavy Knothide Armor Kit, Glyph of Power

Of these, Glyph of the Defender is the only worthwhile one. GoP is hardly worth considering for threat compared to the ~2% avoidance from Defender. Similarly, 10 stamina from the armor kit is substandard by comparison.

Shoulder: Inscription of Warding/Greater, Inscription of the Knight/Greater, Heavy Knothide Armor kit Obviously, the greater inscriptions are better than the normal ones. Like the Glyph of the Defender, they're also better than the 10 stamina from Heavy Knothide Armor Kit. For that reason, work on your aldor/scryer rep.

Cloak: 120 Armor, 12 dodge rating, 12 agility

This is the hardest choice among enchants, in my opinion. Armor is the basis for effective health, which makes it a solid choice on any cloak. Agility is a DPS enchant, really, as established above in the gems section. Dodge is a good choice for avoidance, particularly if you're under the uncrushable benchmark. Personally, I agree with Ciderhelm's evaluation: enchant to the strength of the cloak. If the cloak is primarily for effective health, go armor. If it's for avoidance, go dodge. Devilshark should, for that reason, usually go dodge, while Slikk's can go either way, Gilded Thorium to armor, and so on.

Chest: Exceptional Health (150), Heavy Knothide Armor Kit

This one is an obvious choice for the 150 health enchant. You can't make the stamina armor kit compare. Noteworthy alternatives, though not nearly as good, are 6 to stats (60 health, 90 mana, .24 dodge) and 15 Resilience (crit reduction, but you should be getting that through defense unless it's a resistance set, where you need the health anyway).

Bracers: 12 stamina (Fortitude), 12 defense (Major Defense), 15 spell damage (Spellpower)

12 defense is ~.6 total avoidance, while 12 stamina is 120 hitpoints before talents and kings. I prefer 12 stamina. 15 spell damage might be ok for a threat set, but is largely unnecessary as an enchant. As mentioned above, spell damage is best gained through your weapon and consumables, while mitigation and effective health are best achieved through your armor/enchants/gems. 12 defense is great if you're low on defense overall.

Gloves: Heavy Knothide Armor Kit, 20 spell damage (Major Spellpower), 15 agility (Superior Agility), 2% Threat (Threat), 240 Armor (Glove Reinforcements)

This is another very difficult piece to choose an enchant for. 15 agility = .6 dodge, which is a solid choice for the slot, while Heavy Knothide is 10 stamina. In the case of this slot, where the spell power enchant is so potent compared to avoidance stats, it's also a reasonable contender. Lastly, if you reach a certain (fairly high) spell power threshold, Threat does extremely well. Personally, I use Heavy Knothide. As with the cloaks, though, I recommend enchanting to the strength of the gear. Many tankadins swear by Major Spellpower and, truth be told, it is a very potent option. 240 Armor is powerful, but it sees poor returns until your HP is quite high. It's a great consideration for T5-T6 quality gear.

Legs: Clefthoof/Nethercleft, Mystic/Runic Spellthread

Nethercleft is the top effective health leg patch option. Honestly, nothing else holds a candle to it, in my opinion. A fair number of tankadins consider use of spellthread instead, however, for the increased threat. I'm not so anxious to pass up .48 dodge and 200 health unbuffed for 35 spell damage, however. The lower versions (Mystic/Clefthoof) are fine options for transitional gear to save cash, but when you do get a substantial piece that will last for a long time (badge leggings, for instance), Nethercleft is THE way to go.

Boots: Boar's Speed, Fortitude

These two enchants are pretty much the only way to go as far as tanking is concerned. Personally, I value mobility, which makes Boar's Speed very attractive if you didn't already sacrifice 3 talents for Pursuit of Justice. Since PoJ doesn't stack with Boar's Speed, Fortitude is a superior option for those who spec for it. Mobility is something that Paladins struggle with, so having any little boost is quite significant, especially when it only costs 3 stamina. Rings: 12 spell power, 4 stats While an obvious choice for any Warrior or Druid enchanter, a Paladin enchanter is sort of up in the air on this. As far as potency, 12 spell power is pretty strong. I prefer 4 stats as an option, as it gives more effective health. 4 stats is worth .16 dodge, 40 health, and 60 mana per ring, which I consider to be quite powerful. As before, enchant to the strengths of the gear, however. If you're using a spell power ring, use a spell power enchant every time.

Weapon: Mongoose, Major Agility, Major Spellpower, Battlemaster This definitely falls into the category of enchanting to gear strength. I carry a mitigation weapon (Sun Eater) with Mongoose and a spell power weapon (Gavel of Unearthed Secrets) with Major Spellpower. Major Agility is a more consistent option for tanking than Mongoose, giving a static .8% dodge, but seeing Mongoose proc an extra 4.8% dodge for 15 seconds every minute is quite rewarding. Essentially, it's like popping a trinket every minute. Spellpower is a stronger general enchant, giving a significant boost to threat, which is better for nearly 90% of the content you'll be doing. Sun Eater gets pulled out for certain extreme cases, such as Magtheridon's final add. Everything else gets the Gavel. Battlemaster is mentioned because, on certain encounters with AoE damage, the proc can generate a significant amount of threat. It is not a great enchant, by any means, however. Spellpower will generate more threat per second overall than the 1 proc per minute you'd expect out of Battlemaster.

Shield: 18 Block Value (Tough Shield), 18 stamina (Major Stamina), 15 Block Rating (Shield Block), Felsteel Shield Spike This enchant is incredibly dependent on the shield you are enchanting and the gear level that you're at. 18 stamina is a great catch all, particularly for something like Crest of Sha'tar, where you can stack the stamina pretty high. Block Value is incredibly powerful on block value shields, like the Bulwark of the Amani Empire or the Arena PvP shields. Block Rating is powerful if you're not yet uncrushable, as it's nearly 2% total block, a dramatic increase for any starter tankadin. Finally, the Shield Spike is good for a damage shield, like the Petrified Lichen Guard, which you're unlikely to use in a raid setting. Generally, I prefer 18 Block Value because I'm a BV whore, but you should have a shield with at least 2 out of the 4 options on your person all the times. Block Value and Major Stamina are preferred, but not everyone has uncrushable as they're walking into Karazhan. Fortunately, all of these enchants are fairly inexpensive, save for the Shield Spike, which is more of a Warrior thing for OTing than anything. Lastly, yet again, enchant the shield to the strength of the shield. You will find fewer returns from Tough Shield on an Aldori Legacy Defender than you will on Shield of Impenetrable Darkness compared to stamina, while a Bulwark of the Amani Empire needs the extra Block Value from Tough Shield.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WTB Cleanse

I apologize for my lack of posting. Old Man Winter has done a number on me and I've been laid up with a bad cold for a couple of days. I'm feeling somewhat better now.

Then last night, as I'm trying to tank a Kara Badge Farming run, my heating unit dies. We have a guy come out, and he determines we need to replace a very expensive part. Of course, he doesn't have said expensive part on him, and he's not even sure they have it at the shop. It looks like it could be Thursday before we get the heater fixed.

It was already after 10pm when he left, so we decided just to stick it out with some extra blankets since my daughter was already in bed. I'm not sure if we will go to a hotel tonight.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My New Shield

I finally remembered to take a screenshot with my Shield of Impenetrable Darkness, comparing it my old Crest of the Sha'tar.

I gain pure avoidance, armor, uncrushable avoidance, and block value for a bit of health. The increase in the armor and block value should more than make up for the health lost.

Not to be overlooked, the shield looks beautiful. I've seen some around Shat, but I don't recall seeing one on a Paladin yet.

Raid buffed, I have 20,377 hit points, 5508 mana, and 17687 Armor, along with 388 Spell Damage, 511 Defense, 22% Dodge, 16% Parry, and 22% Block.

Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

I've noticed, even on my server, more and more Paladins running around Shattrah with tanking gear. That's awesome.

As much as I know you enjoy the stories of Honorshammer adventures in Outland, I'd like to see my Blog become a greater resource for new and aspiring Paladin Tanks. I'd love to do more posts like my recent "Questable Tankadin Weapons" and "How to Off Tank Gruul"

My problem is, I've been doing the Paladin tank thing since before the Dark Portal opened. I spec'ed Prot immediately after the 2.0 (last preBC) patch came out. I had recently transfered over to Altar of Storms and joined Heroes Inc. I started out tanking in Upper Black Rock Spire.

I say that to say that I don't really know or remember what the top 5 or 10 questions a new or aspiring Paladin tank might have.

So if you have suggestions for topics, questions feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at the link to your left.

Mag > Mal Katai

With Gruul good and all (not just mostly dead, thank you), we headed over to Hellfire Peninsula and Magtheridon's Lair.

The group was switched up a little bit from our Gruul kill. We only had two Warlocks available, and only 2 Rogues.

We cleared the trash groups. I had a little trouble with my mob on a couple of the pulls. What would happen was Brindall would pull and I'd run and grab my mob. I'd land no more than a Judgement of Righteousness when I'd get Death Coiled and start running around feared. I'd come out, Seal up, and before I could even Judge, I'd be Death Coiled again.

Running around feared is not the best way to build solid aggro on a mob.

By this point, the Mob would run towards one of our healers. I know I got Doraelian killed at least once. They really need to makes squishies less, well.... less squishy.

All the trash packs were dealt with and we were standing there with Mag's rather large presence over us.

I standby awaiting my assignment. In our first attempts I was on Warlock #4. I was a bit surprised when Brindall assigned me to Warlock#1 because he wanted me to PICK UP MAG when he released. I was going to Main Tank Mag. /chindrop /doalittledance

The conversation in vent was interesting:

Random Person: "So Drew (Brindall, guild MT) has been demoted?"
Brindall: "No, it's just that Mag hits really hard and Honors has a (&^ton of health."

Mark one up for the ole EH gang!

So here we go. Paladin Tank versus Demon with a Rather Large Derriere.
First off, major props go to Raydz, one of the other tanks in the raid. In the screenshot, Mag has only been active for a few seconds but he's already got Demo Shout AND Thunderclap up for me AND Commanding Shout is up as well. Good job, buddy!!
We made 3 attempts at Mag. You can see them in all their WWS glory here.
The first week, we didn't get more than 3 Warlocks down. I know this because I was on Warlock#4, and he didn't die.
This week we got all the Warlock killed. Now we just have to get the whole cube clicking thing down, and keeping people alive while the Infernals are running around.
This was an area where I think I was able to really help. Once Warlock#1 was down, I went and parked myself over in the forest (near our 3 Resto Druids). I'd aggro anything that got near them until a Warlock could fear or banish it.
Then when Mag was about to spawn, I'd drop a Consecrate right under his Rather Large Derriere. He would aggro to me, and with a quick Exorcism, I was in business.
This was the first time I've used my Dawnstone Crab proactively. Usually, I save it for when I need a quick burst of avoidance. For this fight, I popped that baby every time the cool down was up.
We've still got to work out the best place to tank him. We tried a couple of different spots but I'm not sure we're sold on any of them yet.
I was a great experience to be able to Main Tank Mag even if we didn't kill him. I don't have a clue how I'm going to survive the 30% Cave In, but I'll worry about that when we get there.

Mitigation Cars vs. Avoidance Cars

This is from the front page of Tankspot. Tankspot is an incredible site, and should be a daily stop for any serious tank.

This was on the front page today, written by the site's administrator, Ciderhelm:

Mitigation Cars vs. Avoidance Cars
"I was listening to the Sonics game and a radio commercial for Lexus came on. The advertisement read along the lines of, "Car safety has too-long been judged by how cars best handle being in an accident. We have a new vision for car safety -- we prefer designing cars to avoid the crashes altogether."
And they described exterior mirror defoggers.That's only, like, 1% Dodge."

Unfinished Business

Last night we regrouped and headed back to Gruul's. I downloaded and installed the new Omen. It seems much more accurate now.

I was thrust into the role of assigning the healers. Joanadark over on Tankspot wrote up an incredible guide to assigning Raid Healers which I had read. However, at the moment Rob asked me to do the job the entire guide went slam out of my head. I should have reverted back to what I did when assigning Paladin buffs: Write down the names and the jobs on my notepad and read it into Vent.

We had 3 Holy Paladins and 4 Resto Druids. I assigned 2 Paladins and 1 Druid to the Main Tank, Lanorah, and 1 Paladin and 1 Druid to the Hurtful Strike Tank (me), then left 2 Druids on Raid Heals. I got some names mixed up and pretty much sounded like I had no idea what I was doing.

The fight was going very well. We were not having very many people dying from Shatters and Battle Rez was helping to make up for our mistakes. He was at about 3% when Lanorah goes down. I don't why he died. As a good little Hurtful Strike Tank, I was 2nd on threat in melee range.

My my healers and myself realized what happened and the transition was pretty smooth. Raydz started climbing up the threat chart as the Rogues loaded up on bleeds and poisons and got out of melee range.

I was holding him, healers were keeping me up, I was Main Tanking Gruul!

I got so excited, I hit my Push to Talk key. "Oh yeah! Who says Paladin's can't tank Gruul!"


I died, but at the same moment, so did Gruul.

"Yeah, man, that was an awesome 2% there."

(You ever seen those Southwest commericals? "Wanna get away?")

With Gruul dead we set our sights on Hellfire Peninsula and Magtheridon's Lair.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


We lost a friend. A guy who had been with me in Heroes Inc and Mal Katai, Faceeraser.

He was a great player and I'll miss running with him. He's transfered off AoS to a PVE Realm to a more advanced guild.

I have no clue if he reads my blog.

This is for you:

May your Pyros always Crit.
May your Sheeps never break.
May you defeat many Bosses, and the epics fall soft into your backpack.
And until we meet again,
May the Light guide your path.

Questable Tankadin Weapons

Drops. We love them, we hate them. The Random Number Generator can be a cruel mistress sometimes.

So in response to a thread over on Maintankadin, I've compiled a list of Quests you can do for your aspiring Tankadin.

Quest Progression:

In Hellfire Peninsula pickup Makuru's Vengence or it's Horde counterpart, Source of the Corruption These quests should be done not too long after you cross through the Portal.

They award Sedai's Blade or the Horde version, Fallen Vindicator Blade

Next up is a Terrokar Forest Quest called Terrokantula It's the end of a chain that has you fighting a lot of spiders and finally an Elite spider. It took me a good 7 or 8 minutes and a Lay On Hands but I soloed the Elite. This grants you a Blade of Retribution

The Alliance have an additioinal option of going to Blade's Edge Mountains for the quest, Cutting Your Teeth This will award you a Vibro Sword

When you hit 70, there is a long quest chain that culminates in Veredis Must Be Stopped, from which you get a Summoners Blade The chain is very long, but introduces you to the Ruins of Korabor, and a Tankadin's very toy, Demon Hunter Supplicants.

There you, a gaggle of Tankadin Blades without needing a single drop.

Messy Night

So last night was supposed to be our "farm" night. One shot HKM and Gruul and maybe go try to get a trash drop in SSC.

"The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry."
I have been moved up from Priest tank to Warlock tank. A Feral in full DPS gear is tanking the Priest now.

First attempt Olm feared Raydz and I into Krosh's AoE. Ouch. We quickly reset him.

The next two attempts were fouled up by the Warlocks not getting the Fel Hunters under control fast enough for them not to eat our healers. Then Olm would kill our healerless Warlock tanks.

"I'm sorry, sir. The Fel Hunter ate my Healer."

Fourth attempt and we kill him.

On to Gruul. I'm offtanking again. I've really gotten a good feel for this role in the fight.

We had something very strange happen during our attempt. Despite Omen showing me in 2nd place on the aggro chart, I pulled. Lan couldn't get him back for anything. I asked in vent if I should bubble. He thought about it and said I should.

This made Gruul ignore me for 12 seconds and let Lan get aggro back.

Our main problem was new people dying to Shatter.

I did manage to hit a new HP record last night. (I'm not even 'Well Fed')
I really don't understand how you can go from one shotting Gruul's Lair (which we did the last two weeks) to a wipefest.
We have Mag and Gruul on Thursday, here's hoping for better things.

I Love Me Some Me

There are times and moments in the game where you do something and it really strikes you just how much your enjoy your character.

This was towards the end of an awful Heroic Auchidoun Crypts run. I was invited to the group by a friend because they were having tank issues. The group was a PuG.

Now I haven't PuGed in a long long time.

I immediately went and inspected the Priest. He's wearing mostly Epics with a few blues. I knew the Hunter and Mage because they were both Mal Katai. The Feral had decent gear (mostly Blues with a couple of Epics).

The problem we were having was the first boss, Shirrakk the Deadwatcher. He does an targeted AoE firebomb thing that hurts. What we figured out was its a dynamic similar to dodging Arcane Orbs on the Void Reaver fight. You've got to run away from the spot where the person targeted was standing. What would happen is our Priest would try to finish a heal and get splatted by the fireball.

We finally got him down after 4 or 5 tries.

The rest of the instance was pretty painless. The last boss Exarch Maladar took a couple of attempts because DPS wasn't switching to the copies he creates.

Really bad news for the Tank: If he makes a copy of you, you get a debuff that reduces all damage by 50%, effectively reducing your TPS by the same amount.

The run was for the Heroic Daily quest which netted me enough badges to purchase Slikk's Cloak of Placation.
(Mods are Ratings Buster and EQCompare, Comparison done to the Devilshark Cape.)
I lose some Block Value and gain some Avoidance, a good amount of health and Armor, plus I replace a blue with a purple.
I have only blue left in my tanking set, my trinket. I really need Moroes to drop the Pocketwatch. I haven't been as diligent as I should be in grinding the Honor for the PVP Last Stand trinket.
I also think it will be a while before I PuG again, lol.

Much Rejoicing


So the GMs at Blizzard worked their magic and I am now the proud owner of this shield. It's actually a net loss of stamina, but a big upgrade in Armor, and it looks awesome.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Thursday night Mal Katai headed into Magtheridon's Lair for the first time.
It took a little while to get everything together and organized. The instance starts with trash pulls of Warlocks in a circle around Mag's room.

We actually managed to kill all the trash without wiping, although we did lose some people to shadow bolt volleys.

Because Mag is a new fight we spent a good portion of our time talking and explaining. Once again, though, we were short on healers.

Brindall was leading the Raid. I was assigned to the 4th channeler while Brindall took channeler 1 and 2. To see a Warrior hold two mobs like he does is really impressive to me.

Our first pull was an "oops" pull. How you "oops" pull in Mags in beyond me. The mobs don't proximity aggro but they react to aggressive actions. We spent too much time trying to figure out what happened, and some people were uncomfortable with the fascination other players had with figuring out who made the mistake.

I read a really good book once, and the 'moral' of one of its stories is "Let him who has never screwed up be the first to jump on the case of those that do screw up." Let me see.... just checking here..... nope, contrary to popular belief, I'm not perfect. I've screwed up in a raid, so I have no right to give another player a hard time over their mistake.

Fully Raid Buffed I was able to hit 19k Hit Points. No other tank in MK has over 17k as far as I know. As each Channeler dies, the remaining ones get stronger and stronger. Putting on on Channeler #4 indicates to me a strong belief in my capabilities as a tank.

We made 2 attempts on Mag. Our main issue seem to be loose Infernals killing our Healers, then our tanks dying. I don't believe we ever got Mag to under 90%.
It was interesting to watch Brindall's reaction to Mags damage. He saw that Mag was hitting really, really hard, and instructed the 3 healers assigned to him to basically spam him with heals.
In my opinion, that strategy is sound, but it demonstrates why I prefer the Effective Health argument. With 3 Healers spamming him with heals, the only effect of high avoidance will be overheal. Our healers are really good, but they can't predict the future. The heal is coming anyway. Unless they are able to cancel their heals at the last second, the heal will land and if the hit is avoided, then the heal will be overheal.
I was a Raid Healer for about 2 months right before BC came out. Canceling heals is something that even skilled healers miss from time to time.
Is overheal necessarily a Bad Thing? Only if the healers run out of mana before the boss runs out of hit points.

Now we have sampled Magtheridon, Void Reaver and Lurker. We should really pick one and stick to that boss until he is eating the dirt. Mag would be an interesting choice. It will take several weeks to learn him, but if we and get him down, we could easily turn our farming night into HKM/Gruul/Mag and move on to SSC and TK for progression. On the other hand, we could probably get Lurker or Void Reaver down sooner.
It will be interesting to see what our leadership chooses.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

In Limbo

Tuesday night, Group 1 went back to Karazhan for our Badge farming run. This time Trelic, our imba Feral Druid, took his new Warrior.

He didn't grab Attumen before my Consecrate did, so I was double tanking them for a while. I stopped Consecrating so he could pick him up. Warriors start out with 0 Rage, so it can be tough for them to gain the Rage to build threat if they aren't being beat on.

We went and killed Moroes. That Pocketwatch of his must be made of solid Eternium or something because he refuses to give it up. I guess I'm really going to have to start grinding the Honor for Battlemaster's Audacity.

Even though I'm not supposed to tell anyone, we did have a little trouble with Maiden. Our raid was "bit" melee heavy (2 Rogues, 2 Ferals). To lessen the melee crowd, I donned my healing gear, and Trey's Warrior tanked her. With all that melee, her Chain Lightning type spelled chained and chained and chained and was oneshoting Trey's tank.

We had a one of the Ferals throw Wrath and Moonfire, while one of the Rogues spammed Deadly Throw.

For Opera, we got Wizard of Oz. I tanked Roar. He didn't hit very hard so I'm thinking next time I'll tank him plus something else.

After Opera we engaged Nightbane. The fight went really well. He dropped the Shield of Impeneetrable Darkness. It's one of the two drops I still need out of Karazhan. Trey passed on his Warrior (thanks, buddy!).

The reason you don't see a screenshot of it on Honors back was there was an glitch in the Master Loot. Our master looter accidentally Master Looted it to herself. She had been disenchanting nearly every drop during the entire run, and made a mistake.

She apologized profusely, and even though I was extremely disappointed, I did what I could not to show it and try to show her the grace I'd want shown to me if our roles were reversed.

We put in a GM ticket, and waited.....and waited.

While we waited we kept clearing.

We made some changes to the roster as some people needed to go. We were able to get David (Regolos) in the run. It was really cool to be running with him again. He is well geared and well skilled and just a generally nice guy.

Regolos has over 200 Arcane resist in his gear, but man does that gear look funky. (Note to self, must remember to screenshot it next time). We knocked over Curator. Despite me spending 75 Badges on Unwavering Leggards, he didn't drop Wyrnn's for Trey.

We had 4 druids in the raid, plus a Warlock and a Mage. Illhoof time! This time we let Kil'rek die to AoE and Seed of Corruption and kept DPS mostly on Illhoof.

After Illhoof we tried Aran. It took a couple of attempts to get him. There is so much going on in that fight.

To finish up the night, we did Chess. The Triptych Shield of the Ancients dropped. Since I was the only shield bearing healing capable toon in the raid, I grabbed it for my healing set. Ironically not the shield I wanted to leave Karazhan with, but an upgrade to my hybrid set nonetheless.

What's almost funny is that I've been able to build a fairly decent healing set without really even trying. I pass on any healing item that drops, but sometimes the healers already have the item or have better so I end up taking it.

As of Thursday Morning, we still have not heard from a GM on the Shield. The only thing we know at this point is that the ticket has been escalated to a Character Specialist.

Trey told us that he had a similar issue in his pre-BC guild and the GMs were able to fix it. I really hope the GMs can do their magic and have the Shield magically appear in my inventory.

If they can't, I'll have to get the Shield to drop again, or have Gruul's Shield drop (and win the roll). Also, Jan'alai (Dragonhawk Avatar) in ZA drops a very nice shield, but we haven't been able to kill him yet. Again, I'd have to win the roll as I'm sure his shield would appeal to the other tanks in the run.

The other option I have open to me is using my Arena points and buying the Season 2 Arena Shield. It's got massive amounts of Armor and Stamina but lacks any other defensive stats (like Defense, or To Hit). I really need to find a good 3v3 team and start getting points again.

A Different Christmas Poem

This is a non WoW related post.

A friend emailed this poem to me.

A different Christmas poem..

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
Sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,
'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!'

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.'
'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,'
Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.'
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.'
'So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.'
'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

'Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.'
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

'Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Large Concern

I've been really hesitant to make this post, but I've got to get my thoughts put together. I'm not sure how many from Mal Katai read my blog, but it will be a smaller audience than if I post this on the Guild Forums.

Since Beta, Tanks have debated between gearing for Avoidance and gearing for Stamina. There have been volumes written in blogs, forums and websites as the two viewpoints are argued back and forth.

We have awesome Tanks in Mal Katai, and I am proud to be part of the tanking team. That said, I think I'm the only tank in Mal Katai that goes for the Stamina or Effective Health route. Even before Paladins received their stamina buff in 2.3, I had nearly as much, or more health than our Warrior tanks. This was despite a Warrior having roughly 1.5k more health than a Paladin before gear (i.e. 'naked').

I have never gotten into a discussion with the other Tanks in the guild on this subject. Bosses are dying, and the squishies are not. That is the sole barometer in my mind. I'm not looking for perfect tanks, only adequate. And Mal Katai's tanks (all of us) are more than adequate.

Now comes Magtheridon.

Mag has two main abilities he uses on the tank.

  1. Melee: Magtheridon's standard melee strike will hit the tank for about 6,000.

  2. Cleave: A frontal melee cleave attack which hits for over 8,000 on plate. It is on a 10 second cooldown, so it's fairly predictable.

Melee + Cleave = 14k in what will look like one hit.

Our Main Tanks, Brindall and Lan run with about 15-17k raid buffed HP. By comparison, I run with 17k-19k.
I know these guys have incredible avoidance (Dodge, Parry, Miss), but if we are counting on avoiding attacks so that you never get a Melee + Cleave to both hit, we are relying on pure luck to beat the encounter.
The last thing I want to do is to look like I'm trying to tell these very successful tanks how to play. But I'd be kidding myself if I didn't admit that I think Tank death from burst damage is going to be a major issue when we try Magtheridon.
Is this all just some pitch for me to be Main Tank for Mag? That's not what I'm trying to do. His Cave In at 30% is well suited to have a Warrior use his Last Stand and Shield Wall.
This is just me expressing concerns I have about the encounter in the place where I feel most comfortable doing it.

A Bear, An Eagle and a Stalker

Last night I logged on to hear we would be doing Magtheridon. I was pretty excited because I've never done the fight before, despite my concern over our Tanks.

However, Rob and Trey determined that we didn't have the class mix we needed online to do Mag. I think we needed Healers, but I'm not entirely sure.

So instead Group 1 headed into Zul'Aman. We set a goal of getting the Bear boss down in the allotted 20 minutes.

The trash pulls went really well. We tanked both of the Bear Riders and were ready to pull the boss with about 7 minutes left on the timer.

We start the boss encounter. Everything is doing fine until the first switch. I get a taunt resist. Drew goes down, then I go down when I get Brutal Swiped for 11k (Ouch!).

We hurry and get rebuffed and try again, but the timer finishes while we are fighting him. I thought as long as you pulled before the timer you would get the extra loot, but it seems that you have to kill him before the timer.

After that, we moved onto the Eagle boss. We had gotten Eagle down once previously, but we still had major issues. People were slow to move under the storm and we would lose either healers or DPS. We used 3-1/2 healers, with me being the half. Actually with some consumables (Healing Power, Draenic Wisdom, Golden Fishsticks), I was able to get over 1200 +healing and 10k mana.

Healing in a 10 is not quite as bad as I remember healing being in a 40 man. I still much much prefer tanking, but Eagle only needs one tank, and that was Brindall last night, so I strapped on the healing gear and went to town.

Eventually we traded out a Rogue for a Warlock to help thin the flock of birds that Eagle boss calls. It took several attempts, but in the end we got him down.

Neither boss dropped anything remotely useful for ole Hammer except for those beautiful Badges of Justice.

We decided to call it a night at that point.

I went and checked the Heroic Daily and it was Underbog. A group was already forming so I humbly offered my tanking services. In Guild Chat I see Bandarno pipe up "I'll go if Honors is tanking". It really feels good to have people say that about you.

It was me (Prot Paladin), Pylar (Holy Paladin), Bandarno (Feral Druid), Lumiandpet (Hunter), and Padamay (Balance Druid).

It's been a while since I've been able to run anything with Scott (Lumiandpet). His Kara group usually takes the same people and they run a bit late for my schedule. It was really nice to run with him again.

Major props go out to Pylar, the Holy Paladin who healed on this run. We had a couple of "Oops!" pulls, and very little CC. He healed the whole thing like a champ. Healing is a rough gig, and often a thankless job. When you find a good one, you better do what it takes to keep him.

We only had a couple of wipes. Black Stalker, who had given me so much trouble the day before was down in 3 attempts. It was a bit lucky because he never levitated me or Pylar, always going for either our Boomkin or a our Feral. I turned in the Daily quest and got my Badge count back up to 12.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Demo Google Docs

This is a demo of embedding a Goggle doc into a webpage:

Anyone can view it at

or you can embed it like this:

Holidays pwn Playtime

I know this has nothing to do with WoW, but man I hate College Football's system for their endgame. Why they don't do like every other NCAA division of football and every other NCAA sport and have a playoff is beyond me. So in protest, I will not be watching any of the Bowl games this year.

The only night I got on this weekend was Saturday night. The rest of my weekend was spent doing Holiday stuff.

There really wasn't much going on Saturday night due to a lack of Healers. I really didn't feel like trying to put any groups together, so I waited to see if anything formed up.

While I waited, I decided to check out the PVP daily. It was AV. So I gave it a go. AV is a bit different now. I held back and helped capture the towers. Alliance actually won this AV, so I turned in my quest for the bonus honor and gold. It's going to take a while for me to get the 30k honor I need for the new "Last Stand" type trinket, but if I take it in small bits I think I can manage it.

As I was in Ironforge, I got a tell from someone asking if I was Prot. Almost every time this happens, the person is asking if I'm Holy, but this guy was looking for a tank for his Heroic Underbog run.

I rarely, if ever do PuGs, but I figured I'd give it a go. The group was me (Prot Paladin), a Mage, a Holy Paladin, a Rogue, and a Shaman.

The run went pretty well. We wiped on the hydra boss. I've never wiped on him before. I just stand there and tank it and the whole party got wiped out from something. Second attempt on him and he went down.

We had major problems with the last boss. Every time we tried him, I'd get levitated. When I did, he'd wonder over and start killing the party with the help of his adds. We never actually got him down. I picked up 3 more Badges to bring me back up to 5. Only 30 more to go for my cloak.

I loaned a buddy of mine 500g to get his normal Flying mount, so I'm back to around 2500g for my epic. I figure he'll be able to pay me back before I get to 4500g anyway.

We also formed a 2v2 arena. I've been waiting for this guy to finally get to 70. We aren't going to win many matches (if we win any at all), but it's a good start on getting him some PVP gear.