Monday, November 17, 2008

First Instance Runs

So far I’ve run two instances, Utgarde Keep and Azjol’Nerub. Both were fairly easy and quick. I was a little surprised at how easily and quickly we completed Azjol’Nerub since most of those mobs were level 72-74, and my party was mostly still 70. The only one over 70 was a Hunter. It literally took us 30 minutes start to finish.

This instance is not for anyone with arachnophobia. The whole instance looks like you are transversing a giant spider web and the mobs are all spiders and spider variants. The second boss is probably the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in World of Warcraft.

The final boss in Azjol’Nerub was none other than Anub'arak. He was a Hero Unit from Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, and accompanied Arthas on his long march through Azjob’Nerub to the Frozen Throne for his confrontation with Illidan.

Anub’arak dropped a Signet of Arachnathid Command. I greed rolled for it. The ring is lacking in Defense which it seems like I’ll need a ton of to stay uncrittable as I level. I would definitely look to pick this up if your Tanking ring is from SSC or Kara. I would rate the Hyjal Ring, the ZA ring, and the 60 Badge ring a little better.

Utgarde Keep was pretty cool and the instance really connects well with the quests from Valgarde in Howling Fjord. It was the only instance we wiped in. Our tank (Warrior) failed to move out of a Dark Smash, and got…well… smashed. Utgarde is filled with mostly melee. All the casters seemed to be female Vrykyl while the males were melee. Kill the casters first. Our tank could handle entire packs hitting him at once and this was with an Elemental Shaman as our only healer.

I made a macro to help with healing on the boss. I hit it whenever I get an Art of War proc.

/tar [tanks name]
/cast Flash of Light

I think it helped a bit on that final boss.

I asked to see my DPS after the first boss in Azjol’Nerub. I wasn’t interested in ‘showing off’ to other DPS. My main interest was just to see if I was carrying my own weight. I was clocking about 1300dps and I was in neighborhood of the other DPS. So I felt like I was pulling my own weight and didn’t ask to see DPS again.

Replacing Epics

I’ve already replaced my first epic. I had Pendant of the Perilous from Serpentshrine Cavern, but replaced it with Razor-Blade Pendant from the quest Disarmament(Alliance) (Horde version) which requires a run through Utgarde Keep. The quest also rewards a very nice tanking neck called the Woven Steel Necklace. This is clearly an upgrade to either the Barbed Choker of Discipline or the Frayed Tether of the Drowned. Depending on how much you like expertise, I would even consider this if you have the Collar of the Pit Lord from Brutallus.

My Shield Arm is Aching
Both instance runs I was Retribution. I speced Ret right after I installed for leveling purposes. It’s been a blast, and I tear through most mobs pretty easily. If I can get a couple of procs and crits, I can 3 shot a mob. I’ve never been able to do that, and the feeling is quite exhilarating.

But I miss being Prot, and I especially miss tanking. It’s not that I’ve run with bad tanks, in fact, both of the tanks I’ve run with so far were very good. No, the problem is I just miss tanking. I just don’t want to have to respec every time I go to run an instance. So I’m going to give Prot leveling a try.

My original plan had been to wait until 75 to spec Protection full time, but we are going to make some adjustments. I really wish Dual Specs were in.


Argon said...

A FAQ on Maintankadin says you can tank instances while specced Ret, just using your tanking gear. I'm a little afraid to try it, however. My tanking gear is also pretty terrible.

Eidlhe said...

Amen to your last statement. I'll second it. I attempted to do a hybrid build so that I could still heal but that just didn't work out to well for me. Maybe becuase I don't really know how to use ret. So I respecced back to my 51 points in holy and am putting points in ret as I level.

Anonymous said...

I'm not getting Wrath until the 22nd, so I'm very interested to hear more about levelling specs, Prot vs Ret. I had been thinking that I would be Prot all the time. On the other hand, there are a lot more tanks in my guild now than there used to be, and I'm wondering if I might get groups more easily by going Ret (this would be a reversal of the way things were in the BC area, when I was being asked to tank things all the time - but we had fewer tanks then).

Then there's the PvP angle to consider. I really enjoyed PvP in BC (even though I'm on a PvE server to be with my friends) - BGs, Arena, and particularly the World PvP objectives they threw in there. I'm really looking forward to Lake Wintergrasp, and obviously Ret is the preferred tree for PvP.

So any thoughts on those topics would find very interested ears here. Also loved the story about the Horde targeting DKs for excessive ganking - I wonder why? Funny, though.


Orgauth said...

I suppose one could probably tank as Ret, just don't have many tools to get it done easily: missing Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield, Hammer of the Righteous, Redoubt, Blessing of Sanctuary for threat gen; Improved Righteous Fury or Spell Warding for mitigation; Deflection or Anticipation for avoidance. That's a LOT to give up, and with everyone's DPS being ramped up - it would be a real test of tanking skills (and party restraint and Omen observation).

I respecced for a Nexus run last night, burned it down in roughly an hour with three mages giggling in ecstasy as I told them to forget CC (as a tankadin should). NOTE: Spell knockbacks are ANNOYING AS HELL and make the tank's job more difficult. KNOCK IT OFF!

I decided to go resume questing as prot - and hated it. It will be great for AoE farming eternals (found some decent spots for earth/water/life in Howling Fjord), but it still sucks for killing individual mobs. And the mana regen is HORRID now in solo play (as expected by the nerf) - didn't drink much in the dungeon.

I'm back in EZRetMode...

Gothyelk said...

I replaced an epic over the weekend as well - a couple actually. All quest rewards from The Nexus.

I'm leveling as prot and loving it.

Ripcat said...

Bah, prot all the way. I'm having little trouble taking on packs of mobs 1-2 levels higher then me while questing. Sure single targeting is a bit slower, but I can still move through mobs pretty quickly. (mana tap & divine plea FTW). I'll run low on mana, but nothing (outside of a instance boss) has managed to kill me yet.

I've also been tanking instances 2-4 levels above my level (with a solid group of guildies. piece of cake (or pie, if that's your preference).

BigFire said...

Just tanked AN as retribution as well. I don't remember the instance being hard in Beta, but that's when I tank the instance as Protection. Tanking as Retribution makes extremely squishy, even in full T6 gear. I'm seriously debating on whether to go back to Protection after level 75.

Orithia said...

Leveling prot isn't that bad at all - as long as I pick up more than one mob I can knock out quests very quickly. I leveled from 20-70 as prot, so switching to ret would just leave me clueless. And while you can tank an instance as ret, it's just easier to do it prot.

(I think this is my first time commenting - I just wanna say that your blog helped me out a lot when I decided to reroll a pally after the patch completely nerfed my lock main. I managed to get her to 70 before the Wrath release thanks a lot to your leveling advice. :D)

Jido said...

I play a prot pally and solo questing is not that bad, as long as you are aware how mana regen works nowadays for us. Best way I found of doing stuff is keeping up blessing of sanctuary ALL the time (I never use any other blessing on myself anymore), since whenever you block you get mana back, and always pull multiple mobs to you so you keep blocking and thus keeping the mana up. Fighting individual mobs does suck for us, so try riding/running around them first to pull a few before you start.

Try it, I was also cursing about mana regen being broken down til I figured out the BoS part.

Use your tools to pull mobs to you, avenger's shield, righteous defense, exorcism, seals... they all work to keep the mobs coming at you, and you should be able to handle them easily :)