Category Archives: Tips

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.

 

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!

Gearing Alts in Patch 7.2

 

I don’t usually pay much attention to patch notes. Just put the content in the game, and I’ll play it if I can. If there’s changes, fine. I’ll deal. I’m a grown-ass man playing a video game. It’s fine.

However, I will admit that Patch 7.2 has had some pleasant surprises for this grown-ass man. It’s taken an expansion and turned it from being very alt-unfriendly to busting out some very forgiving catch-up mechanics for alts.

Captain Fun had just reached 110, and I’d been wondering how long it would take for him to be, well, not so far behind everybody else on my character roster. Luckily for me, Bellular had recently released a video that addressed that very issue. In fact, it’s this video right here!

HERE!

 

It’s a great step by step process in setting an alt up for success in a Patch 7.2 world. For example –

Artifact Knowledge

  • Get the compendium from main that boosts alt to AK 20.
  • Do five quests that the AK guy will have for you @ 500 resources a pop, and voila AK 25!
  • Do not do any Artifact Power quests yet, tiger!
  • Now go ye forth and do the Broken Shore scenario. Follow the breadcrumb quests. Khadgar will have a quest to use a tome in three different locations. Continue on the quests until they send you back to your Order Hall. Hand in your quest and be rewarded with a tome that will bump you up to Artifact Knowledge 26 (100k% bonus to AP, as opposed to the 25k% at AP 25).

Gearing Up

  • Either pick up the crafted gear (which now starts off at an iLevel of 835 rather than 815)  or run some Normal/Heroic dungeons.
  • Run through the Broken Shore, kill rares & farm Sentinax and get some Dauntless tokens.
  • Khadgar will give you a quest for the new dungeon, Cathedral of Eternal Night, which rewards a nice relic.
  • World Quest gear scales from your current iLevel, and should reward gear at around 855-865.
  • World Quest Dungeons rewards 865 gear.
  • Nighthold LFR should fill in any slots that are lacking.

 

Artifact Power

  • Three Emissary caches and dungeons should be enough to get your Artifact weapon to Rank 35.

 

And did it work? Well, Captain Fun went from an iLevel of around 780, to running Heroic dungeons (iLevel 825 needed) with his Artifact weapon at Rank 34. Total run time, maybe four hours.

Well played, Blizz. Well played.

Best Leveling Addon

ding110

I’m going to say three things that some people might find *gasp* controversial. Game-wise, at least.

  1. Warlords of Draenor was one of my favorite expansions.
  2. I hate Mists of Pandaria. Not hated, hate. Like, still do.
  3. I use leveling addons, and will damn well pay for a one if it’s good enough.
head_explode

Mind. Blow. Right?

 

“ROKK!” shouted the masses (if three voices could, in fact, be considered masses).  “EXPLAIN THYSELF!”

Sure thing, brumblefarts (Wait, what? — Editor). It’s pretty simple.

  1. WoD made me an in-game millionaire with only five to ten minutes of “work” per day. Had I started sooner, that would have been multi-millionaire and I’d be pimping around on that million-gold spider mount today.
  2. Leveling in MoP was so boring, so time-consuming, so loooooooooong, that I actually walked away from WoW for an entire year. Doing more than a handful of quests gave me a headache born of frustration. No expansion, no video game in my entire life, gave me that kind of negative physical reaction.
  3. I hate wasting my time.

Now I should have prefaced this entire thing by saying I don’t care about WoW Lore. I’m barely interested in reading quest storylines, but I will most likely not remember them. I will read only the quest text that says “Choose your reward.”

What’s this? I’m being handed a note here from the Hurt Feelings Department… *sigh* (Do I really need to say this? I shouldn’t have to spell out… Okay, fine. FINE. Fine.)

I understand that many people who play World of Warcraft enjoy the rich story, the expansive lore, and the clever quest text. I am by no means marginalizing how they choose to play, nor implying that how I choose to play is better or worse than how others choose to play.

(Well said.)

You do you, snowflake, is what I’m saying here.

(*sigh* So close.)

I’m generally not the “Log into WoW and look at the flowers” kind of guy. I’m not a tourist, much as I might want to be. I’m a DO WERK kind of guy, and I want to do it in the most optimum way possible. I don’t like wasting time, and running around trying to find the best way to get up a cliff to cut some goblin’s ear off is wasting time.

It’s an unspoken truth that “the game starts at level cap” (quoted because people say this, so I guess it’s not really that unspoken). To its credit, Legion has been quite enjoyable to level through (due to mob scaling and the various side quests of Class and Order Hall missions). But after running through every zone about three times now on six different characters, I just want to get through it as fast as possible.  

Like I said, I enjoy using leveling addons. For Legion, I’ve actually bounced between two of them. One of them, Zygor’s Leveling Addon, I paid for because I wanted to get my Alliance characters leveled quickly. However, this was before people started talking about Conslegion. Since then, I’ve used it to level some Alliance, and all one of my Horde.

Truth be told, I enjoy both addons. They take me through different routes, so things stay somewhat fresh as I beat the content to death over and over. But each addon has its charm.

What do I like about the Zygor addon?

  • It’s very thorough. Step by step guidance, with a custom TomTom arrow to make sure you don’t get lost. It explains what to do for certain steps of a quest. For Legion content, it even has guides for Suramar and Class/Order Hall questlines.
  • The guides are available for all expansions, not just Legion.
  • It’s more than just a leveling addon. It has guides for rep grind, making gold, holiday events, pets and mounts.
  • Constantly being updated.

While it sounds like the cat’s pyjamas, there are a couple of things about it that really tweaks my trousers.

  • It’s a paid guide, and you pay for everything. You can either pay a one-time fee for each individual guide (Legion Horde and Legion Alliance are separate guides, despite essentially being the same damn thing). Or, you can become a monthly subscriber which gives you access to everything, past and future, for $8/month.
  • It’s a system processing beast. When I load Zygor, it chugs up 175MB of processing juice because the game loads everything in one shot. I’ve had my system hang up and crash occasionally during loading or big fights. I can’t say 100% that it’s because of the addon, but it seems to be a common issue shared by many who use it. Definitely frustrating when you just want to finish a quest, but you keep crashing to desktop.  

And then there’s the Conslegion addon. Hey, if it’s good enough for World First players, it’s damn sure good enough for me. What is it about Conslegion that floats my boat?

  • The price is right – Free. Nothing wrong with free.
  • Like Zygor, Conslegion guides you through the zone questlines quickly. It sticks mainly to zone storylines, avoiding side quests. Very streamlined, as you would expect from an addon designed for World First leveling.
  • It’s a very processor-lite addon. Bare bones, covers quests for a handful of zones.

Fills the bill, so to speak. So what’s not to like?

  • It’s only good for Legion leveling zones. It won’t help you get through Suramar, Order Halls, or any other expansion outside of Legion.
  • Now that the expansion is months old, Conslegion isn’t updated as often as other leveling addons. It still occasional bugs on certain steps, and since World First has come and gone, cleaning up those bugs isn’t exactly a priority.

So which is better? Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either one. Conslegion will get you to 110 just as fast as Zygor will. But Zygor will get you through the entire Suramar questline, as well as the Class and Order Hall questline. Plus, if you have alts that you want to level up to 100, Zygor can help you with that as well. You’ll have to pay RL $ for it, but it’ll do the job. Assuming you don’t get disconnected.

Of course, you can choose not to use anything and level up the old fashioned way. Tab out and check Wowhead when you have questions. Follow the in-game map. Whatever works for you.

Level Headed

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There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

That’s a figure of speech and not an open admission of sadism. I feel like I need to clarify that sort of thing because this is the Internet after all and some of you are pretty twisted.

Not me, though. Nope. Right as rain here.

Of course, that gets called into question when I decide to level another alt to 110. To be fair, it didn’t start off that way. At first, it was just an experiment to see how much gold I could make on a new server. I had a boosted toon on a Horde server, but rather than level up yet another DK I decided that my farming toon would be a Demon Hunter. No twinking, no locking his level. Just run my farming route and let nature take its course.

Now my DH is 110 with an iLevel of 822. It’s been fun, so I’ll probably finish off his Class quest, get him his Slayer title, and then call the experiment complete. I have to admit, I actually enjoyed leveling this time around. Probably because I didn’t do it the way I did over the past four toons. I learned a few things, and if I level another character I may do this again.

What did I do? What did I not do?

  • I didn’t follow the zone storylines. Been there, done that four times already. Wasn’t excited to do it for a fifth. Not entirely, anyway. My priority with my DH was as a farming character, and that’s what I did. Grinding mobs. Picking flowers. I focused on that, and every quest that did not involve doing something involving the lore/zone storylines. I did the Profession quests. Order Halls.  Class quests. I snagged his other artifact weapon just for the XP.  
  • Zone storyline quests fill in the gaps. Two things suffer when you level outside the main quest lines – your artifact power and your gear. I got a little bit of each from completing the occasional random dungeon, but it wasn’t until I started doing the zone storylines that I started getting some meat on those bare bones. Mind you, I was already 108 when I started pushing zone content for the fifth time. But even those two zones that I did run were enough to get me a respectable iLevel by the time I reached 110.
  • PVP paid off. I’d queue up for dungeons while I was leveling, but it wasn’t until level 108 before I even considered dipping my toe into queueing for random BG’s. I could select two that would not be up for random selection, and the wait time was shorter than dungeons. I was surprised by how much XP I was being awarded for winning. I didn’t pull exact numbers, which could be reason enough for me to lean this way if I level another character. The gift box at the end of the BG also had the potential to provide artifact power, gear, or gold. If and when I level up another character, I may start this a bit sooner and take note of the spoils of victory.

Like I said, I’m still working on Captain Demon Hunter. He’s not quite finished his class quest. But while he may not be a Slayer yet, he was killing the content in his own way. Get it? Slayer? Killing the content?

JOKES, people.
Also, Happy Holidays.