Blog Archives

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.

 

Star Wars Transmog

Death Knight Jedi

Spellfire Longswords make great Lightsabers.

 

As you may have noticed in the past little while, I’ve been working on getting more of a Star Wars feel on some of my characters. Today, Bellular helped fuel my issues by releasing a video with some Star Wars inspired WoW Transmogs.

Check it out. Enjoy. Take notes. Start farming.

 

May The Force Transmog Be With You.

Alpha to Omega – Burning Crusade

Time to conquer another planet, says the Super Villian-looking dude.

Time to conquer another planet, says the Super Villain-looking dude.

It has been eighteen hours of /play-time, and Odingreen has dinged 61. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad number. It’s like almost four levels per hour, which while abysmal at lower levels, by the mid 50’s or so that seems like some good pacing.

I’ve used one Elixir of the Rapid Mind for that 300% xp buff. These are best used in dungeons, sometime around boss kills and the time you hand in the dungeon quests. It persists through death, but as long as you don’t have a completely idiotic group you should be fine and maybe even squeeze off a level or two during a single run.

How has the experience been, asked no one but I’m suggesting it as a valid question anyway?

There have been some definite pros and cons, which I will now discuss.

Pro: 

  • I’ve revisited many old zones, some I haven’t been to in ages. Usually not for very long, since questing with heirlooms makes things move along much quicker. But it was nice to see Westfall again, especially since so few of my characters are Alliance.
  • It’s been time away from Draenor, a planet I have spent 99% of my gametime in since the damn expansion started. Time away from garrisons, from Tanaan Jungle, from the entire endgame. It has been a reminder that there is more to World of Warcraft than a few zones.
  • Playing a completely new class that I’ve never played before has been a distraction. It’s put me in a different mindset – while I’ve played range DPS classes before (ie Hunters) there’s something about just sitting back and blasting away. Getting aggro as a glass cannon is a new sensation, as is getting one-shot from a boss that the tank decided to train on me just before he died. Dude! Do I look like a fucking priest to you?
If he had that captain hat, he'd look more like Baron Von Strucker or someone equally Hydra-esque. Hail Marvel!

If he had one of those captain hats, he’d look like Baron Von Strucker or someone equally Hydra-esque. Hail Marvel!

  • Odingreen looks straight-up pimpin’. Not like a pimp, of course, but he definitely puts off that muscular super-villain vibe. He’s wearing a uniform, has a spectacle covering one eye, and is blonde and muscular and powerful. He’s douchie in a way that is different, yet fun. He casts judgement over no one, and not just because he’s a mage rather than a paladin (Ah, spell-casting humor. Is there anything more nerdy? Because if so, I’m not aware of it.)

Con:

  • Maybe crushing 90-100 has spoiled me, but the level grinding is starting to wear on me. The goal is to get him to 100, and he’s already halfway there. With a few more hours of playtime he’ll probably be able to jump into Northrend. I don’t know how I’ll handle that, and I’m already dreading leveling through Pandaria. When it was current content, MoP questing gave me stress anxiety headaches.  What increases the potential stress is…
  • I don’t know how I feel about the Mage class. By level 61, I can honestly say that I’ve given it a good go. I’ve quested, grouped, leveled both in Frost and Arcane spec. There’s not a whole lot to it, and while I know I’m not playing it to the absolute max I’m not at the bottom of the recount charts. I’m in the middle, but that’ll happen when you’re not using weapons to buff your damage.
  • I’m also used to more of a steady stream of damage coming out, rather than having to wait for a spell to cast, then another, with nothing in between unless he procs something. Groups have cleared entire dungeon trash packs while I wait for a single spell to refresh. I’ll get one cast before they move on. Luckily, the fact that I’m a good 100-200 dps behind the next character hasn’t gotten me kicked out of groups yet. I hear Shadow Priests have more insta-cast spells at their disposal.

Observations:

  • The mage is currently at the same level (give or take a level or two) of a pandaren warrior, a human monk, and a worgen hunter that I had leveled, then abandoned. Do I want to continue taking the Mage to the end game? Or do I want to take a left or right at this crossroad and advance another character? One I’m both familiar and comfortable with?
  • The leveling thing. Now regardless of who I move forward with, I have taken each of the three from level one to their current level. So there’s no invalidating the spirit of the A2O mission. But do I sock away a few bucks and boost this character? Or do I grind through the next thirty levels?

Much to consider. Until then, keep flexing!

#FlexFriday #BigPoppaPump

#FlexFriday #BigPoppaPump

Best Way To Gear Up in Patch 6.2

 

Patch 6.2 - Y U SO BUSY

Patch 6.2 – Y U SO BUSY

 

Okay Internet, let’s get one thing straight. I will get Draenor flying. Don’t you worry your pretty little head over it. I just won’t get it in the next few weeks.

And I blame Kephas for that (@TheKephas).

No, not for reelz. Not entirely for reelz.

It all started when I was doing the Tanaan Jungle rep grind dance. I was working the quests, picking up Apexis crystal rewards on a character who really didn’t need the gear. “What a waste,” I thought to myself. “At least I’m getting the rep for flying.”

Meanwhile, as I and many others like to do, I had Youtube videos going in the background while I played. TheKephas videos are some of my favorite ones to play in the background because a) his videos are informative, b) he keeps it simple, and being a simple beast myself I can appreciate that, and c) his videos always feel conversational rather than instructional.

As fate would have it, I happened to be playing his video “Gearing up for Hellfire Citadel” in the background. It’s a great video, and despite the length I highly recommend that you both watch and listen to it. He discusses the best way for gearing up in patch 6.2, so naturally it’s worth checking out.

That video slammed the emergency brakes on my flying progression. Yeah, it was that good. Well, for me anyway. Like I said, I’m a simple beast.

The video in question, or Exhibit A (for Apexis – get it?):

It all seemed like a great way for a character to gear up. That got me thinking – did I have a character that I could gear up like this? At least to the 650ish iLevel?

For the giggles of it I started looking at my level 100 characters. That’s when I found him:

Hello there Disco Duck.

Hello there Disco Duck.

Oh he was terrible for all the right reasons.

  • He was a fresh Level 100 that I blitzed to level cap. When I say fresh I mean just that – he dinged 100 and was tossed to the curb. Case in point: He had a Level 3 Garrison with open plots, and maybe nine followers. I hadn’t even bothered to finish the ten minute quest line that would unlock the Salvage Yard.
  • His gear was putrid. He had a sub-600 iLevel, and still have gear on that was just barely above 500. He was still wearing heirloom items.
  • Alliance. Nuff said.

I decided that for a few days, I would work to get him into Tanaan Jungle and see about upgrading his gear. Of course, I could wake up tomorrow and decide that this is all stupid and a waste of time. But until then, I think I’ll see what I can do.

Nothing like setting the bar low.

Nothing like setting the bar low.

Look at that. I’m playing an undergeared Alliance Prot Warrior. Thanks Kephas!

Ding 100 Yet Again

lv100_8

While World of Warcraft players are fleeing the game like rats from a sinking ship, I can’t seem to stop leveling characters. At last count, I have now taken one Monk, two Warriors, two Hunters, and three Death Knights to level cap. I have one more DK who is tucked away in his bare bones garrison, gathering resources to buy xp potions should he get the leveling nod.

Damn, that’s a lot of Death Knights. That probably reflects on a whole post of other issues, ones I won’t get into here because content. (Stay on target — Editor)

Unlike Mists of Pandaria, which twists my guts into a knot so profound that it would prompt a sailor to give a thumbs up with his obvious erection at the sight of it, I have no problem with the leveling process in WoD. It’s faster this time around because there are so many ways to earn experience – treasures and bonus missions are the bomb-diggity. In fact, this may be the most number of characters I have at level cap since I started playing World of Warcraft.

Speaking of the physical distress I get from leveling through MoP, I have two characters currently sitting in Pandaria. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, if and when I decide to take my final DK to the “promised land” that is Level 100ville. Will I boost them to avoid questing through MoP? Will I bother leveling yet another Warrior and Hunter up to 100 at all? Should I start a new class from scratch and see what life is like there?

It’s just too bad I’ve got nothing to do with them once they reach level cap. Guess there’s always transmog runs through old content.

Illidan_Selfie