Many Random Things…

Had a few interesting things go on this week.

First off, we got the Lich King down to 30%.  We’re making progress every week and we can all taste it so badly it’s not funny.  Right now the second transition phase throws us off balance.  And whoever gets taken into the sword seems to just die.  It can be frustrating wiping for a few hours but it’s also exciting… because we’re working on the end boss of an expansion for the first time!  We have been scheduling a second night when we can manage but it’s dependent on everyone showing [I’m not going to replace someone and cheat them out of a LK kill].

The change to the raid ids seemingly killed our 25 man but several people are showing interest in doing an alt version.  Hubby and I don’t have time [or more likely energy] to wrangle a whole new set of toons together, but we’ll see how it turns out.  Worst case, we may have enough alts to do another temporary ten man on Saturdays.

I have been leveling a lowbie disc priest again.  [Wow is anything not OP at low levels right now?].  It’s been fun and mostly drama-free.  It did become a little frustrating hitting SM- Graveyard because the tank never seems to be willing to leave combat… and that can be rough on the mana regen.  In fact, one group wiped because I simply ran completely out of mana, despite me saying OOM a couple times.  Naturally, it was my fault.

The only other drama I had was in SM-Library – a boe tanking shield dropped.  The tank, naturally, needed on it – as did the druid and lock in the party.  I took a notion/chance and needed on it myself, won it and then traded it to the tank – which wasn’t a popular move with most of the party, but the tank appreciated it and equipped that thing immediately.

At the beginning of Hallow’s End, I had 5 toons that needed either the squashling, the helm or both to complete their violet protodrake.  Thanks to some lucky trick or treating [none was completed via the HH daily], I have finished four of the five of them now.  Only my pally remains incomplete… so I shall be working to get that for her.  I will be helping hubby as well.  One of his toons is short by toothpicks of all things…  And a couple more need the helm.  So I’ll be hitting those to trick or treat some during the day for him.

My shaman and Askevar2 have both gotten the horseman’s mount.  My mage has snagged it as well – twice.

Tanking on my DK is feeling better and better – probably as I get more practice :P.  Rune regeneration isn’t a problem any longer [annoyance if that].  I am probably going to swap my paladin’s main spec to ret and her offspec to prot…  I no longer enjoy pally tanking.  If anyone thought DK rune regeneration was bad… go try pally tanking…  Sitting there and WAITING forever for abilities to come up so you can have something to do and praying you hold aggro is annoying.  I have yet to really test druid or warrior tanking.

is bad mkay?  See this and a few other most recent posts on treebarkjacket.

BBB has a great post musing on the expectations we had for the quality of 4.01.  Though he got a troll or two [what blogger doesn’t occasionally?] the discussions and concerns raised in the post and the comments are worth reading.

Don’t miss Bee Pit Bingo over at Murloc Parliament.  Given that I’ve got a lowbie toon again, I might have to make more bee pit jokes…

NoMoreNoob has the work around macro for the Horseman DC issue.

For those still working on their candy buckets, Revive and Rejuvenate did a candy bucket tour post for the alliance for Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor.

And this post is a couple weeks old, but it doesn’t get old “How Leading a Raid is Like Coaching Little League” over at Forever a Noob.

Priest With a Cause created a worksheet where you can tell just how fail your Halls of Lightning Pug is…

I also wanted to put forth Looking for More’s suggestion for November activities if you’re bored with WoW.  Nanowrimo is definitely fun and worthwhile!  I’ve participated in it several years myself and it’s fun.

The New Death Knight Tanking:

I’ve had a week now to mull over the changes to the death knight class – and death knight tanking specifically.  Honestly, I don’t like the changes overall but I do not foresee changing mains.  I see this as a challenge for me, but not the end for Askevar.  I’m quite surprised to be able to say that.  I changed mains last expansion, so I was half expecting it again.

Rune regeneration is a pain.  It feels like back when I started tanking on the death knight – I’m fighting for threat every second.  Back then I was competing with Paladin tanks and now it’s all the dps.

Before the patch I was built for single target tanking.  My husband, on his main – prot pally, was the aoe tank.  Now our roles have reversed.  He is more single target dedicated now and I’m the more aoe inclined tank.  It’s caused us to swap roles on some fights [in particular the LK fight].  We both prefer what we were doing before.  I LOVED being the single target tank of the two of us and he’s been a tank since basically the end of vanilla doing the aoe thing [though healing was his primary spec in BC].

I also won’t lie.  The patch caused some tension the night it hit.  We both specced out our main and off-specs on our mains and went dungeoning on our mains.  I waltzed into the first heroic, pulling 3k dps as a tank and mostly holding threat [over a couple of our high threat dps].  We requeued and he had hunter pets pulling off him and was only pulling 2k dps as a tank.  His dps as ret was initially sitting in the 2-3k range that night [down from a minimum of 5-6k] and mine was up to 5kish.  Now granted, he adjusted and is doing a lot better… but that evening sucked for us both.

We’re both adapting and also relearning how to work together as tanks.  We still fuss, off-vent about our rune regen/holy power generation because standing and doing nothing whilst we wait for abilities/runes/etc is totally counterintuitive to tanking in our minds.  That said, we’ve also had to tell our group, “I can’t do X, someone do it” because we had to focus on keeping threat to the exclusion of all else.

Blizzard, if you wanted to make tanking more interactive, this was not the way to go about it.  I realize that eventually I won’t have to think about what buttons to push, but right now it’s making leading a frustrating experience at times.  I like to be able to be back up eyes for Venoym [my hubby] when he’s calling fights.  Right now, I usually have my hands full as is.  DBM blaring things in my face is about the only way I know it’s time for [insert boss ability here].  This isn’t interacting.  This is being removed from the action.

One bonus I see is the lovely joy of watching the pugger who pulled aggro die.  I don’t enjoy watching my own people die but I don’t mind watching the stupid pugger who wants to pull for me, or goes in with both barrels blazing on second one.  Granted, if I were to ever pug as a tank, I’d get scores of “l2tank” and “failtank” which is a lot of the reason my other three tanking toons will probably either change their main spec or go into hibernation.  But hey, it’ll be fun if I do pug.  As Ghostcrawler said- that’s justice.

There’s got to be a medium between aoezergfest and 15 minute planned pulls, and I’m hoping they find that medium in Cataclysm.

As for the beta, I truly believe it’s solely there for the purpose of pacifying at least a segment of their fan base.  Given the fact that known bugs not only made it to the PTR from the beta but into the live as well, it shows that Blizzard isn’t paying attention to the feedback they were given.  Will they fix it?  That remains to be seen.  I sure hope so.

I’ve encountered every reaction known with regard to the patch.  I’ve seen the “It’s the best thing since sliced bread” to “They’ll iron out the problems and it’ll be alright”, to the “It downright sucks and my class is broken” to basically disappearing from the game.  The reality – most of us are having to re-learn a class we’ve been playing for years.  That’s an intimidating thing with 1 80, much less 11 80s – I gotta say.  I’m glad we’re over the most stressful portion of a patch but still, supporting each other is the way to go.  Despite my post indicating my feelings to the contrary, not once this week did I tell anyone to STFU and quit whining.  And believe me, I experienced much frustration and listened to quite a few others express their own frustration.  Very little of it actually devolved into what I’d classify as whining.

BTW: Lowbie leveling is now so OP it’s not funny.  I watched hubby one and two shot mobs in the level 50ish range as a paladin.  Lowbie disc priest healing was also massively OP.  I tried out a run and it consisted of running behind the tank till we got to a boss; bubble tank, penance them after the boss is dead, rinse, repeat.

First Impressions of the Classes

Death knight tanking – Blood tanking actually feels like frost tanking did in a lot of ways.  It’s not got the feel of the old blood.  I keenly miss my frost spec, but the transition was relatively painless.

Death knight DPS – Frost dual wield is SICK.  I LOVE it.  I still have yet to suss out a “rotation” but I get my “frost dk” fix from this.

Pally tanking/Pally dps – YIKES.  Never have I felt like deleting my pally before.  Hubby is just now getting the hang of it and it’s his main.

Warlock – Carlyn is a demonology warlock and I refuse to use anything else [tried em, don’t like em].  As an alt now, I can afford to be that finicky.  That said, Demonology performed well in a heroic.  I was used to 5k dps on boss fights.  I pulled 4.8k last night without knowing much of the new abilities.  [I activated a fel guard ability on one pull and ended up with 8k dps… still trying to figure out what I unleashed].

Mage – I’ve tried Fire and Arcane both.  I can mash whatever buttons I like and come out with 4k dps pretty much [better if I actually work on a rotation].  Mage is the new faceroll class.

Enhancement shaman – Same as always.

Resto Shaman – Pain in the butt at the moment.  I struggled through Halls of Lightning.  That said, I don’t know the priority on the heals and I did only have one death [a dps died when I dc’d].

Disc priesting – Feels like normal.  Still trying to get into the evangelism thing.

Hunter – I have respecced my hunter but I haven’t tried her out yet.  Seems like a single target version of what I had before at first blush.

Druid [kitty/bear] – I haven’t respecced or regemmed her yet.  I plan to work with this today.

Rogue – Haven’t touched her yet and very little interest in checking out rogues.

Warrior – Scared to death to even test his abilities.  He’s not even specced yet.