Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Dearest Mylra (the Broken Shore and Demon Invasions)

Please note there are major spoilers for the Alliance Broken Shore scenario contained in this blog post.


The King Returns

My Dearest Mylra,

I’m sure by now, even in Deepholm, you’ve heard of King Magni’s return. While it thrills me to see him moving again, I am relieved he is allowing the Council to remain ruling Ironforge. The last thing this world needs is another War of Three Hammers and you know better than anyone how my heart would be divided in a such a conflict. I could never stand against my fellow Bronzebeards, nor could I take up arms against your Wildhammers. With the Council still in place, it will not look odd or out of place for a Wildhammer and a Bronzebeard to be seen strolling together through the Commons.

It is hard to believe it has been four years since we first met far above the rocky surface of Deepholm. So much has happened in that time: the rediscovered of Pandaria, then the reopening of the Dark Portal and the battle against the Iron Horde and the Fel Horde. I know how angry you were each time I left and you didn’t hold back your elemental fire. All I can tell you is I did it for the good of Azeroth, and to protect the future that I pray to the Light we may one day have together. With Archimonde vanquished atop Hellfire Citadel, I returned to an Azeroth at peace. I even picked out a little spot near Farstrider Lodge on the edge of Loch Modan where we could build a house together. The Tram should be here soon to take me to Stormwind and from there to Deepholm.

I can't wait to see you again.

With all my love,

Theogrun Bronzebard aka Honor's Hammer

The Summons

My Dearest Mylra,

As I got off the Tram, I was handed a summons from Varian Wyrnn, the human king.

The Legion has returned to Azeroth.

A ship to take me to the Broken Isles is already prepared and I must leave at once. My mission to Deepholm, must, once again, wait. My fellow heroes and I will drive the Legion back to the Twisting Nether from whence they came and then you and I shall be together.

With all my love,

Theogrun Bronzebard


My Dearest Mylra,

I write this as we are recovering from the failed assault on the Broken Isles. We have lost so, so much. First, the Legion destroyed Highlord Fordring right before my eyes. The Light that had saved him and protected him from Arthas atop Ice Crown Citadel proved impotent against the immense demon Gul’dan summoned. I can still hear his tortured cries for the Light as he fell. But even after losing Tirion, we pressed on and had gained the advantage. Victory was in sight. Varian called for the Horde archers to clear the skies, but nothing happened. As we looked to the place where they were stationed, they retreated! Looking up on that ridge, and watching the demons fill it to rain down hell upon us, it was like reliving the betrayal at the Wrathgate. I could almost hear Putress’ voice. 

Wasn't the Wrathgate enough? Wasn’t Theramore enough? How many times are we going to trust the Horde and watch as they betray us? If it wasn’t clear to everyone by now that the Horde cannot be trusted, I don’t know what more it will take. We can’t spare the strength now with the Legion at our throat, but should I survive the coming campaign, I promise you this. when it is over, the Horde will receive justice and retribution.

Varian called for a retreat, but a great Fel Reaver grabbed our airship. As I slid towards its maw, I prepared myself, knowing I would never to see you again, but Varian lept from the gunship and cut the monstrosity down, sacrificing himself to save us.

As a dwarf who once lost his own King, I know something of what the humans are going through, but we have no time for our sorrows, for now we prepare for the full Legion invasion. 

With all my love,

Theogrun Bronzebard aka Honor's Hammer


My Dearest Mylra,

After defeating a Legion incursion at Gadgetzan, I received news of another attack, this time at the Crossroads. I wondered if I should let the Legion just have the Crossroads. Give them Durotar and the Barrens for all I care.  I am saving Azeroth for the Alliance, not for those blood thirsty, backstabbing monsters. But, as quickly as the thought came, I knew it was wrong. We can give the Legion no quarter, not one spec of dirt on the whole of Azeroth to call their own -- even if it means saving a Horde settlement.

I fly north. May the Light and the Elements protect me.

With all my love,

Theogrun Bronzebard aka Honor's Hammer

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Tanks' Dilemma

You ever read something and identify with it -- like the person was telling you your own story. This  happened to me reading the comments on the Officer's Quarter post "The repentant quitter and the wandering officer" on Blizzard Watch.

User Fyresparxx said this:

Guild searching often makes me feel like a hooker. (Am I allowed to say that?) I want a mythic tank slot more than anything else. Those slots are really hard to come by. Which often makes me consider what I'm willing to do to get one. I've raided with guilds I actively dislike. I've put up with abusive environments and rampant guild drama. I've tolerated corrupt leadership. I consider joining guilds I know for a fact that I won't enjoy. But I want that tank slot. It's like a drug. I need it and I'll do just about anything to get it. 

I would say I feel more like a mercenary. I've never had any ambitions of being a Mythic raider, but I understand the craving for a tank spot all too well. I wouldn't call it a drug, but a choice. The Tank role happens to be the one I like the best, but the math works against me. If I wanted to heal, there are 4-6 spots in each raid. If I loved to DPS, well, you can always use another DPS, but whether it's a 10 or 30 man raid, there are two and only two tank spots. Two tanks, to be exact. And ixnay on the wishing for more tank spots. That's all. Two. Uno, dos. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds.

I think there is going to be tremendous social pressure on Tankadins, Brewmasters, and Guardians early on in the expansion. There are going to be a legion of new Demon Hunter tanks (see what I did there?). Demon Hunters, Warriors and DKs don't have a healing spec. With all specs (and dimensions and realities) open to us, I can see the following scenario happening with some regularity. The Avenger's assemble, err, I mean the raid assembles, and lo and behold, we're short a healer. We've got three capable tanks: a Brewmaster, a Vengeance Demon Hunter and a Protection Warrior. The Prot Warrior and the Vengeance Demon Hutner can't do anything but tank or DPS. The Brewmaster, though, can switch to Mistweaver and be our missing healer. Maybe he doesn't have his artifact leveled up, but with more gear than ever workable for multiple specs, a lesser healer is still better than no healer at all.

It puts the Brewmaster in an unenviable position. Either he goes Mistweaver or we don't raid tonight. Maybe he goes along with it for one night, but then it happens again. How many times does it happen before he's no longer a Brewmaster, but a Mistweaver, or before he starts casually looking through the Recruitment forums?