Category Archives: Blog

Tips for Newbie Tanks

I’ll get to the subject in a second, but first I’d like to play a little catch-up as far as what I’ve been up to in the past… well… ever.

  • Work. Yeah, blah blah RL sucks. Pros and cons of course. I work twelve-hour shifts, so when I’m done I’m pretty much ready to either sleep or go to the gym/go for a walk. Active, get the blood moving.
  • However, I’ve also been making gold. I’m not online often, so I’m using the tips from my last post and slowly but surely get another WoW token. Or two.
  • I’ve also been leveling my Horde Warrior alt. I spent the gold to upgrade the plate heirloom gear, but I’ve only been using him when Invasions have been active.

Which brings me to Ding 110!

I did all my leveling as a Prot Warrior. After reaching 110, I wanted to complete his Warrior Campaign. Part of my OCD when it comes to leveling alts, I suppose. So when I had to run Maw of Souls, I did what I usually did. I queued up as DPS.

“What? Why?” you might ask. Why queue up as damage when I’ve leveled to cap as a tank? Actually, most of you might not ask that. I did it for the same reason most people don’t, despite leveling as a tank themselves.

Criticism.

When you’re tanking in a pug, you’re arguably the second-most important role behind the healer. It’s your job to pull, keep the mobs from attacking the squishy other characters, and keep the group progressing at a rate that’s fast enough for the DPS, slow enough for the healer to keep up, and just the right pace to be able to handle the adds.  If you fail at any of those duties, in the eyes of others in the group, you’ll hear about it (and it won’t be in a format that most would consider “constructive”). Or you won’t hear about it at all and just find yourself kicked from the group.

So I took the easy way out. Wait time, 35 minutes.

“Screw it,” I sighed. I swallowed my fear/pride, braced myself for insults, and queued as Tank.

Boom. Right in the group.

Anyone who’s pugged knows that it’s usually very quiet. People just want to get through it. It’s not social. It’s a necessary evil that must be tolerated. So I looked for any kind of chat that popped up while I tanked.  We went from start to finish without a single character death. We went at a decent pace. I finished the dungeon, got my drop for the Campaign, and didn’t get kicked.

It also gave me a bit of confidence. I didn’t need a pat on the head. I just didn’t want a kick in the ass. All in all, it was a successful experience. More importantly, I learned a few things that helped the experience. Maybe they can help you too, should you want to take the plunge yourself as a newbie tank.

  • Know the dungeon. I had run the dungeon, most of them actually, as DPS. So I knew where to go, and what was coming. When I went through as a tank, I didn’t need someone to show me. I used past experience, as well as the map, to get through without a bunch of waiting around and trying the patience of the rest of the group.
  • Know your limits. Maybe you’re twinked out a bit. Perhaps you have some crafted gear waiting for you at level cap. Even if you can jack up your iLevel to the point where you qualify for Heroics, stay in the shallow end of the pool. Run Normals. You’ll find them more forgiving for your first or second time as a tank. Even if you out gear the dungeon, you can still run it for the experience and confidence-building exercise of it.
  • Know your add-ons. Deadly Boss Mods are great when you’re tanking because when the boss is about to do something, it’ll let you know so you can react to it. If adds spawn, it’ll tell you so you can deal with them. GTFO is good for letting you know that the crap you’re standing it is killing you, and you should GTFO of it before the healer smacks you.
  • Be Honest. First, I’ll be honest. When I tanked, I didn’t tell the group it was my first time. I’d run the dungeon enough times that I made a judgment call. If I could navigate it, I didn’t feel the need to let others know it was my first time tanking in a group. However, if you aren’t overly familiar with a dungeon, be upfront about it with the group. They might be understanding. Or they might kick you. In either case, at least you’ll keep the criticism to a minimum.

I’ve got another DK that I’m considering taking some time to level. He’s only 60 or so, but I may strictly tank with him to get him leveled a bit quicker. Have you had any luck as a new tank? Let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions for someone who is taking the tanking plunge.

 

The Name Game

Thanks to Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge, I have content! If only I would have done this back when the challenge first came out, like weeks ago. My bad!

The challenge was thus:

“How do you come up with character names?”

My answer is simple – I tend to let others come up with names.

No, I don’t have an army of monkies mashing away on typewriters to crank out names for my WoW toons. Not that that wouldn’t be cool because it would. It would also be filthy, what with the flinging of poop that monkeys tend to do when they’re not working in the typing pool.

My first few toons had the typical Warcraft names. Actually, they had typical Everquest names since I was trying to copy the characters I had over there. But after awhile, I got sick of rolling my face across the keyboard and calling it a name. I wanted to be clever. So I did what many do – I went to my favorite things outside the game and tried using those names.

I had three typical go-to’s when it came to finding names. It was either comic books, mixed martial arts, or fantasy novels. I quickly discovered that the fantasy novel thing was a dead end, because either all the good names were already being used, or they were outright disallowed.  Bummer.

Mixed martial arts was an interesting source for me. Here are a bunch of men and women, like Terminators, bent on distraction …. but in a sportsman-like way. Marketing is big with these particular athletes since they don’t really make the cash you would think a person should get for beating someone unconscious / twisting their limbs in unnatural directions. They have to be somewhat marketable for sponsorship and so on. Ergo, nicknames!

Naturally some of these names are going to be pretty creative. Some of them, like Nick “Fainting Goat” Thompson (now just “The Goat”), clearly comes from a mind that has taken one too many doses of blunt force trauma. But some of them, especially ones in another language, make for good WoW names. I had a goblin named Napao, which is Portuguese for “Big Nose”. Got that from a human wrecking machine from Brazil, Gabriel Gonzaga.

 

gonzaga

Not that I’m calling him a goblin. Not to his face, anyway. Not even to his picture.

 

But generally, my best source material has usually comic books. Of course, good luck getting any of those in-game. Like Fantasy Novel characters, they are already taken (most likely due to a creative use of obscure icons or an interesting spelling) or they’re just not allowed (because facing a Marvel lawyer is a RL boss that nobody wants to tank). I’ve gotten around this by combining those names with the Rokk- prefix, giving me Rokkthor for my Alliance main Death Knight, Rokkhulk (my Draenei Warrior), and so on.

I’ve tried to keep a theme going, but like most things in my brain, wires get crossed. There is a method to my madness, but more often than not there is more madness then method.

Of course, lately, there’s been Scaredevil. He seems to have grown into my Horde main. His name comes not from looking like a scary devil, but looking kinda like a purple version of Deadpool. And since that name was one of the names in the Deadpool movie that didn’t make the cut  (along with Mr. Neverdie), I was tickled that I got to use it. And how ironic, my two main characters are both named after superheroes. And they’re both a hero class. Funny how things work out sometimes.

There’s method to my madness after all.

 

Order Hall Champions – Patch 7.2

 

 

 

I’m in the midst of a thing.

It’s a good thing, but it’s a thing.

See, as with most things with me this thing involves making gold. It also involves making gold without making it a full-time job or eating up an obscene amount of time that could be used actually playing the game. I don’t care about spending gold on things like mounts and transmog and plan on using it strictly to buy tokens to fund my gaming crack addiction  World of Warcraft account.

A side-effect of this has been wanting to improve my Order Hall. My Super Hero DK, Scaredevil, doesn’t have a clue Legendary yet. So why not work on getting one? Since these things appear to fall like rain, might not be a bad idea to unlock the slot to get two of them.

It was during this planning session that I started looking at my Order Hall champions. I hadn’t changed them in a while and was still leveling them to Epic and beyond.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that I could actually get SEVEN of these mammer-jammers running missions for me! Naturally being a gamer, I wanted to know which ones were the most fun best ones to use.

This spawned a whole other mission, which was to get a new sidekick for Scaredevil. Every superhero needs a sidekick, right? Koltira had been doing a fine job, but I really wanted to kick up my game. Another story for another time. But for now, it was time to build up the ol’ clubhouse roster.

This was the recommended Order Hall Champions for Death Knights in Patch 7.2

  • Thoras
  • Thassarian
  • Koltira
  • Minerva
  • Nazgrim
  • Morgraine

Champions for other classes can be found at the Reddit link over HERE, so check it out to find out if you’re running a top shelf Order Hall.

In the next few weeks, I hope to discuss the new, casual gold-making method I’ve been using that will (fingers crossed) earn me enough gold per month to buy my own tokens without spending all day in-game.  I also hope to reveal Scaredevil’s new sidekick.

Legion beware!

Road Diary – Keeping Busy

Note: This was a stream of consciousness post that I put together during a commute in my car. Hence the clever name of the post.

I’m back mother truckers!

Five days in Las Vegas, followed by three nights at work. I finally have a day where I can get my head on straight and what do I do? Play Borderlands 2 exclamation point!

Wait, what? What the hell is going on?

I have found that my nerd card is quite full. And oddly enough, I have to blame my family for that. I went to visit my cousin the other day, and he re-introduced me to the awesomeness that is Borderlands 2 on the old XBox 360. He also got me back into the pen and paper RPG world with Pathfinder. Not only do I have a character in the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign that he’s running, but this Friday I will be running one of my own as well!

I know, I know, calm down ladies. All nerd, all the time.

But what about World of Warcraft? No, I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m doing my usual gimmick where I try to make gold to afford a server transfer. Yes, another one. I also know that I’m going to be spending the next couple of days getting caught up with all things Blizzard that has happened while I’ve been off the grid. Well, at least Blizzard things I am interested in. So maybe I am being generous with the whole two days. Maybe two hours.

I have to admit though, as busy as it keeps me, this real life thing isn’t all that bad. The long workdays and little sleep aside, it does help pay for things like BlizzCon. I’m hoping to pull in a few more overtime shifts because I have a flight I need to pay for. And as of right now, I may be sleeping behind the dumpster at the Super 8 just down the road from the Anaheim Convention Center.

And oh, do I know that dumpster well. That’s a story for another time.

Well, that’s where I’m at right now. Dabbling in a little real life entertainment, a little pen and paper, and a little gold making in World of Warcraft. Oh yeah, Not to mention trimming down and training up for BlizzCon! As well as undoing some of the damage I did to my body in Las Vegas. Not everything that happens in Vegas, stays there.

Again, a story for another time.

Spoiler, I’m talking about food and drink. Not herpes or anything like that. Damn, you Americans know how to make up some tasty treats.

‘MURICA!

My Week In Review

Yeah, not really a big week in WoW. Bigger outside the game than inside.

  • Work. Had to do that thing that keeps a roof over my head and the lights on. It was a shitty schedule of nights, followed by an exam (part of my training program), followed by more training days. To say this week kicked my ass does service to neither the kicking nor my ass.
  • Gold. I made maybe a couple thousand gold, all through class hall missions that I accessed through the Legion app. I didn’t restock auctions, nor did I even post any auctions. I was that swamped, both mentally and physically.
  • Logging Less. I really didn’t log into WoW very much at all this week. At the very least, I’d normally log in to do the daily profession cooldowns and/or crank out some hexweave bags. But this week, I logged on to maybe three characters and that was just to spend some Bloods on Order Hall resources. For the most part, I made sure I could run class hall missions. My focus was on Rokkthor, who will be the guy to unlock Legion flying for me. I tried to focus on missions that would help give him Broken Shore rep, to make up for the lack of dailies being done. So it wasn’t a total waste of a week.
  • Muscle Wizard. I’m quite done with leveling alts, unless said alt really and truly intrigues me. While researching classes for the Pathfinder RPG that I started playing in, I came across a class that, of course, got my attention – the Muscle Wizard. I decided that maybe I could summon the strength to level one more character if I could make him that entertaining. And lo, the Orc Muscle Wizard was born.

 

I cast Fist!

 

There’s something else, but for the life of me I just can’t… Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come to me.