I was out of the game for a short while. A friend wanted me to rejoin and play with them in a new leveling endeavor, and they needed a tank, so I’m back for a while.  How long, remains to be seen, but I’m committed to being a tank for a small group of real life friends, so I’ll shelve my warlocks for a while and concentrate here.  Not to the insane levels I had been playing, but hopefully, a more relaxed and fun game with people I actually know.

I rolled a goblin warrior named Coda yesterday on Wildhammer US-PvP.  I traditionally don’t like PvP servers, because I played by myself so much in the past, but I’ll give it a shot.  I’ve been a tank before, and I would have preferred a paladin over the warrior, but I didn’t want another tauren or blood elf, so I went goblin warrior.

So, we’ll see!

Tanking Shortage

Expanding a little bit about what I was talking about yesterday, I’m wondering why there is a shortage of tanks in the game.  There are probably a few factors that contribute to the overall problem.

  • People are too impatient, and make the job harder than it has to be. I have tanked almost every instance from Ragefire Chasm all the way up to Forge of Souls, and I can’t count how many times I’ve had other players “assist me” by pulling.  They do it with no regard to when I’m low on health/mana, or my taunts and abilities are on cooldown.  It’s always my fault if I don’t grab everything they bring me, all the while relentlessly doing damage and preventing me from gaining aggro.  Especially in leveling instances where some of the mobs may be higher level than me, and I get a miss or resist with an aggro causing shot.  And if someone’s below 30% mana, and I pause for them to drink, I get, “Gogogogogo”.  Then, they post the damage meters, so they can brag about how much they’ve done.  Every class has some form of threat management, and it’s each person’s responsibility to do the most damage they can, but back off when they start drawing attention.  Being a good DPSer is knowing when to back off and let the tank re-establish threat.  It’s all these little things that make me prefer playing my warlock, following along in the back and throwing shadow bolts.
  • People do not help new tanks gear up.  Each of my tanking capable toons that hit 80 has faced a major problem.  I can not start doing heroics as a tank right away, because there’s no way I can hold aggro against someone who has ICC25 gear when I’m in crappy blues.  If I even try, I’m booted from the group.  If you want more people to tank, be more supportive of newer tanks getting better gear so they can better tank in heroics.  This is also a discouraging point, so I feel like I have to run and gear as a DPS spec first, and then start building a tanking set, which is what I’ve done on my paladin.  If you’re a plate-wearer in the DPS slot, don’t roll on defense plate when the tank needs it.
  • People are ass-hats.  I’ve been in PuGs where I’ve been met with the must vulgar, rude and insulting party members you can imagine.  I don’t put up with it anymore.  If anyone doesn’t like they way I tank, or the pace I set, they go on ignore, I leave, and 10 seconds later I’m in a fresh instance while they’re waiting for another 20 minutes for a replacement tank.  If I’m on cooldown, I hop on one of my other tanks, and I’ll still be in a run before them.  I just refuse to group anymore with people who are disrespectful and mean-spirited.  You would think they’d be more appreciative and nicer after having to wait so long.

I think the bottom line is that tanking can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding, but every group has the opportunity for someone to make it a negative experience, and that’s why more people aren’t doing the job.

The Gearing Up

Yesterday, my tauren warrior I rolled in March, Squood of Steamwheedle Cartel US, dinged 80 in Icecrown.  He was at the top of the PvP and non-heroic dungeon finder brackets, and suddenly he’s at the absolute bottom of the level 80 crowd.  He got wtfpwned in Wintergrasp and battlegrounds, and ended up face down on the dungeon floor in a few instances, running as fury spec.  Humbling after playing my well-geared warlock in ICC25.

He did get a few nice upgrades and made some progress, but the gap between him and toons who have been 80 for a long time is huge, and gear makes all the difference in the world.  It’s going to take a whole lot of patience being at the bottom of the damage meters and getting called out for it for a few weeks to get him to a respectable level.  I’m not even going to try and tank in heroics for a while.

Luckily, the horde owns Wintergrasp much of the time on SWC, so I’ve already got 18 WG marks toward a nice pair of shoulders.  All those gems and enchants are expensive, though, and he doesn’t even have epic flying yet.  He’s also lacking any professions, having leveled almost entirely through the dungeon finder and battlegrounds.

I’m not entirely susre what I’ll do with him for the moment.  The guild my other toons was in imploded and disappeared overnight, so they’re all out in the breeze at the moment.  I just haven’t been able to find a good, stable community guild in a long time.

As much fun as leveling the warrior has been, and getting instant queues, I’ve been feeling the itch to get back on my warlock again.  It’s still the coolest class in the game by far to me.

Two more to go!

My tauren warrior Squood, on Steamwheedle Cartel US, dinged 78 this morning.  That means it’s time to start collecting some Wintergrasp tokens!

On this realm, the horde is pretty overwhelming.  It usually controls Lake Wintergrasp for most of the day, with the alliance slipping a win or two in the very early morning.  Most of the battles I’ve done end up with the alliance standing in their graveyard, being shot up by the horde like ducks in a barrel.  I’ve played both sides for a long time, and it’s not a lot of fun doing world PvP on the alliance end.

I got a few new two-handed weapons, so I’m making sure my skill is up this time for the Isle of Conquest Call to Arms, which starts tomorrow.  That should easily put me at 80, and give me enough honor for a few more pieces of PvP gear to get me started in heroics.  I’ll probably start off as crappy DPS in fury spec, because there’s no way I can hold aggro against some of the 6000 gearscore equipped damage monkeys as a fresh 80.

Next up, I want to go back and finish off the handful of dungeons I missed while leveling, so I can get the dungeon-master achievements for each of the brackets.

Squood enters the Tournament

I got my tauren warrior Squood to 77 last night, which means this morning he started on his Argent Tournament dailies in Icecrown.  I also cleaned out the Shadow Vault and started him on the Knights of the Ebon Blade rep grind.  He’s getting so close to the top! 🙂

Skill up, stupid!

This morning, I didn’t have a great deal of time, so I did a bit of minor questing on my level 76 warrior Squood in Northrend.  I switched to Fury spec, and got my 2-handers out with Titan’s Grip, only to discover that I’ve been severely lacking in skill with those weapons.  I haven’t used them in quite some time, and apparently all the PvP I did last weekend was done under an extreme handicap.  I guess you don’t gain skill against other players as opposed to NPC mobs.  I wondered why I wasn’t putting more of a hurting on the alliance in Strand of the Ancients.

I’ve fixed that problem now, and this weekend I’ll be doing Isle of Conquest and Wintergrasp under a little more optimal conditions.

The dual-specs have been great, but while leveling, it’s a sizable deal of work to keep my hotbars and weapon skills up to date!

I also just dropped a thousand gold on my new human paladin, Vez, on Skywall to buy her the retribution spec for PvPing.  That took her down to 4 gold, which I spent on a 2-hander, so I’d say it’s time for her to start fishing again!

Squood nears the finish line

My tauren warrior, Squood, on Steamwheedle Cartel US, dinged level 76 from mostly running Strand of the Ancients this weekend.  He made good use of his alternate Fury spec, and is finally starting to perform respectably in there.  Just a few more levels, and he’ll ding 80 and join my other toons in the gear chase.

To avoid becoming honor-capped, be’s already bought the i-264 PvP cloak for when he tops out.  Wintergrasp is also just around the corner, and on SWC, he should do quite well tagging along in there.

The weekend was about half & half, pretty evenly split between alliance and horde.  Winning on the Call to Arms weekend gives you a pretty hefty chunk of honor and experience.  He should have quite a few gladiator pieces when he dings 80 to get him ready for heroics.

Pretty soon, I’ll move back to my new human pally, Vez, but the upcoming weekend is Isle of Conquest, so I’ll probably do some more for Squood to get him over the finish line.

To finish the weekend, I tanked Violet Hold and Drek’Theron Keep, and got him a few new blues, bringing his armor level up quite a bit.

Strand of the Ancients Weekend!

The weekend is here, and that means it’s time for yet another battleground holiday.  This time, it’s Strand of the Ancients, so it’s Adult Swim, with level 71 and above.

I dusted off my tauren warrior, Squood, who is sitting at level 72.  I did 5 early morning matches to start the day, and ended up losing 4 and winning one.  A loss gets about 3% of a level, but a win netted me a whopping 14%! I have 2 of the XP bonus heirlooms on him, so he’s getting the extra 20% gain.  I’ve also made about 5700 honor so far today.

I’ve got fury as my secondary spec, so he’s dual-wielding 2-handers with Titan’s Grip.  He does okay, but he’s very much on the low end of the spectrum, so I think he’ll do better as he goes up.

I don’t think many of the quality players on the horde side were awake yet.  We had the obligatory Yelling Guy on our side in the first four matches, and we lost.  The fifth one, he wasn’t there, and we faired much better.  Seriously, why does there always have to be one douche-bag who feels the need to let everyone else know that the entire group sucks except for them?  I think if they spend more time fighting, instead of typing, we might get somewhere.

I’m not sure how much I’ll get to do this weekend, but I’m finding the Call to Arms makes a nice break in the dungeon finder routine.  No new gear drops, though, so I’ll have to head back to instances before too long.