Interesting Times…

I logged on yesterday to my one level 85 horde toon – a holy pally… a holy cow to be exact, named Holykau!  I didn’t have any notion to level anything or really to do much as hubby and I will be moving servers shortly [but that story for another entry] so I figured I’d just chance a heroic on my tauren pally.  Her gearing is decent, but most of the healing gear she keeps picking up lacks spirit…  [I know, right?].  Anywho, I got into a really stupid Grim Batol run and after I was kicked, I got asked if I wanted to come to an ICC retro run.

My son was down for his nap, and I rather enjoy doing ICC achievements, so I said yes and got an invite.  The horde guild I’m in was teaming up with another horde guild to get things done.  We managed most of the fights on heroic mode, save Putricide and Lich King, but we got the achievements off those two [Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion and Been Waiting a Long time for This] and many achievements off the others.

The Lich King fight was a bit of a heartstopper.  Not everyone had logged into vent and no one was explaining the fights in text…  The first defile covered the entire platform… We had to move onto the throne ramp to survive and dodge a defile there!

Epic recovery though and to my chagrin, my inner raid leader stepped up and was calling things, since no one else would *sighs*.  But we did it – we one shot it, with some massive mess ups…

But the most exciting part of the night was that right as we were waiting for the post 10% RP to happen on LK,  hubby told me that the Tues/Wed raid group was asking for us to come give them a hand with Nefarian as they had two people out.  [The RP on the LK fight never took that long before, I swear!].

I still cannot stop laughing every time someone in my horde pally’s guild calls me “bro”, “dude” or “man”.

Anywho, I finished up, hopped over and despite hubby and I not having really done much with the fight, we managed to one shot Nefarian, then moved on to Bastion and downed Halfus and V/T.  Only had time for one shot at the council – which most of that group has not yet seen, so eh.

A full night of raiding… that I haven’t had in quite some time lol.

Tanking and Healing Ahune

The Midsummer event provides us with another instance to grind every day for JP and 353 ilevel cloaks.  I’m going to recommend here and now that if you can viably tank or heal the boss – do so!  While both [though moreso healing] provide a few tense moments, the queue is much faster and will in turn make everyone else’s queue [including your alts] faster.

The messenger guarding the ice stone is inconsequential.  A single cloth dps can easily burn them down without problem.  Half the time he’s being killing as my screen comes up from the zone in and I honestly don’t care.

You talk to the ice stone to engage the event.  Immediately a large add pops up that you’ll want to quickly wrangle.  The add does a melee aoe, so if you’re ranged – DON’T stand in it.  Healing two people is annoying, three is dicey and 4-5 standing it in is going to probably be a dead group.  Healers, don’t be afraid to use emergency heals for melee and the tank here, there’s actually quite a bit of time to recover mana because the damage lulls somewhat after the big add.  You’ll probably be throwing efficient heals and keeping everyone up as long as people don’t stand in every single bad.

Once the big add is dead, you’ll deal with a flurry of little adds.  Do your best to “tank” them although you won’t be able to keep threat on them all.  Just keep throwing out aoes and dps and in most cases, half of them will die before they get to you.  Also watch out for runes on the ground that indicate where the ice spikes will come up – avoid those as much as possible.

When the boss submerges, gather up aggro on the last few little adds and go dps the boss.  You’ll want to kill him in two submerges at most [it can get dicey with healer mana beyond that] and one is even better.  Continue to watch for the runes because they do pop up in the snowy area and can be hard to see.

After each submerge phase, another big add pops up that must be tanked.  Rinse, repeat.

If the boss dies near to re-emerging, then take care to watch for an add because sometimes it glitches and spawns anyway.  Tank it, kill it.  You can’t loot the chest while in combat.

This DOES need a healer spec/gear to heal and a tank spec/gear to tank.  Please don’t try to tank or heal as a dps.  That’s already caused issues in several groups for me this morning with people that thought they could.

A couple other trivia/pet peeves thus far:

1. Tanks, don’t let the healer tank the little adds in favor of dpsing the boss on the submerge phase.  Secure the adds FIRST, then dps the boss.  All dps should go immediately to the boss.
2. Hunters – your pet isn’t going to get heals if you send it on the boss.  I recommend to keep it on passive and send it in on the big adds and the submerge phase.  Same goes for melee who dps the boss while he’s not in submerge phase.

If you’re not sure about your tank/healing sets, just give it a single go and pug it.  Worst case scenario is that you get cussed out by people you’ve never met and will never see again.  Big whoop.  Best case, you practice your skills at tanking and healing, get a faster queue and possibly some loot.

I Swore I’d Never…

I’ve got Askevar geared and I’ve been doing a few instances [including heroics] on my hunter and Askevar 2 as I feel like it.  That’s gone fairly well all in all and they’re both doing well – doing about 10k each.  My priest [Kintara] is as geared as she can get without running heroics and still provides me with healing issues in regulars… therefore, I’ve been extremely reluctant to go that route [though I’ll probably be doing some PVPing with her].

Several guildies have been pushing me to take my pally holy and try healing.  I finally caved and did so…  And I right enjoy it!  It’s going to take some getting used to the new abilities… but it seems alright.  So we shall see how Cata healing treats her when I take the notion to queue up for a pug.  I may finally get a shot to trying all the existing specs for all the existing classes now.

Random Thoughts…

Well, I took part of my morning and cleaned my account of most of the extra toons.  I kept a few on servers where I have friends [ie the Effers] but other than that I went through and deleted all the extras…  I still had level one toons that have been sitting for two years and never even played.  I deleted total about 20 toons.  The lowbies just got deleted and all the extra death knights picked someone at random and traded them the gold they had.  Someone might as well use it right?  And with the BoAs supposedly becoming bind to BattleNet, I may want to roll some new toons at some point, or develop the ones I have on other servers first :P.

My priest is 3 Tol Barad commendations away from having her spirit trinket.  It’s a little frustrating as we’re sure not to win today again.  The win quest alone would get me what I need.  But alas, I shall get the trinket tomorrow for sure.

Cardboard Tanks
I’ve discovered a new phenomenon.  The “Cardboard” tank.  We all know what a tank is, and what a “dps tank” is.  But what is a “Cardboard tank”?  They are a special breed with decent gear and appropriate tanking specs that are insanely squishy – as in, I have to dump most of my mana bar each pull – on just the tank.  When I run across one of these on my healer, I just bow out of the instance.  To be fair, I always give them to the first boss, then politely bow out.

Now how can someone have the right spec and gear but still be squishy as a tank?  It’s very easy!
1. Don’t use your cooldowns – AT ALL.
2. Stand with your back to half the mobs
3. New tank.  [not a bad thing to be new but new tanks do tend to be more squishy]
4. Don’t take the talent in your tanking tree to be uncrittable
5. On top of any and all of the above – refuse to use CC.

Now your healer is dumping BIG heals on you and draining their mana each pull to keep you alive.  Even worse, Cardboard tanks RARELY watch healer mana.

On an aside, Lost City of Tol’Vir is also the bane of my existence as a disc priest because of the aoe damage, especially on the third boss.

I’ll Wipe to Prove a Point or Why I Probably Shouldn’t Heal

Maybe that’s sad to say.  I usually won’t do that on my main – my tank, but on my healer?  You better believe it.  You run off and pull more mobs while I’m drinking?  I’ll finish drinking and THEN move that direction.  If you die and then I consequently die?  Well, I’m sorta figuring that wiping will mean more to you than it does to me.  And if not, hey, we’re even I suppose.

My healing toon [a disc priest] just hit 85 and is in ur instances healing ur randomz.  She’s technically “geared” for heroics, but I’m sure not going there yet.  I barely survive a lot of the fights on normals.

I suppose this qualifies as my whiny post for Whiny Post Day.  Unless I get something better to whine about.


Hubby on his new pally and I on my disc priest with two other guildies got into a H-HoR earlier.  The random thing is wacky of course  :P.  Well it gave us an awesome enhancement shaman Dwellana who was very patient and when I died [causing our one wipe] she immediately started throwing some heals.  In the most touchy parts she also threw a few chain heals to get us through.

So thank you Dwellana of Draka for giving us a very pleasant H-HoR run!

Some things your PuG tank wants you to know…

1. Just because I have good gear doesn’t mean you can be stupid.
Yes, Askevar has great gear – wonderful gear.  And that does not give you license to do whatever you want rather than filling your role.

2. Don’t attack my offtargets.  If I don’t have things marked, I can understand you pulling aggro on a single mob.  But purposefully selecting my offtarget to attack because you’re leet?  No.  Charging in and performing high threat AoEs before my DnD is down?  No.  [See Number 1]

3. Do NOT initiate pulls!  A lot of people are doing this lately, whether to speed me along or because their main is a tank and they’re used to it.  If I’m waiting – there’s a reason.  It could be I’m waiting on the healer to get mana, or I’m waiting on a CD.  Either way, if you pull, I’ll taunt once, then the next time I’ll let the mobs swarm you and I’ll pick them up after the fact.  This rule doesn’t change because you’re a healer.  I’ll pay the repair bills to make the point [up to a point anyway], even at 10-15g a death.  [see Number 1]

4.  I’m NOT required to take abuse from random pugs.  Yes, it’s my job to put out as much threat as possible and make the mobs hate me the most and I’ll gladly take that abuse.  If you’re being stupid [See 1,2,3 above], and I let you die, and you proceed to cuss at me, do you honestly think I’m going to stay if the group is unwilling to kick you?  You can find another tank who’d prefer to take your abuse while I wait 15 minutes, get into an insta-group and clear the next instance in 10-15 minutes.  I’m seen a number of dps with the attitude “Shut up and tank” or “Shut up and heal” and they seem to believe that I’m required to do as they say.  No.  I’m not.

5. Cussing out and voting to kick my guildies in the same group will not yield kind results either.  I actually had a group I was healing that on the last boss in HoS, did NOT explain the strat for Abuse the Ooze so guildie and I were under the impression you kill adds until the big oozes spawn.  Explaining that was not the case [since YOU insisted on the achieve 5 seconds before intiating the fight] might have been a good idea, rather than voting to kick the over 4k dps dk and in addition losing your healer – on the final boss.

Weekend in Review

Decided to do a quick post before going to bed because I feel like it 😛

I spent the weekend doing a good bit of grinding Emblems of Triumph [and frost] on my main and alts. My death knight tank is of course getting the best and such, but the Disc Priest is second on that list, followed by the kitty druid, enhancement shaman, hunter and mage.

Askalaphos, my hunter got a few nice things because I ran her through the new instances on regular – Heartshiver, Krick’s Beetle Stabber and Rimebane Rifle.  She ended up getting the Windrunners Spaulders of Conquest with badges as well.

Aulao, my mage snagged herself a new wand, the Brimstone Igniter, getting her “Superior” level on all gear.

Arica, my kitty druid finally snagged the idol I’ve been working on casually for a long time – Idol of Mutilation.

Kintara now has 3 pieces of tier 9 and I’m loving it!  I’m 39ish badges away from the final t9 piece and I then plan to work on Merlin’s Robe and Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers as well.  She snagged these:  Velen’s Leggings of Conquest, Velen’s Gloves of Conquest and she already had Velen’s Shoulderpads of Conquest.

Askevar, my main, snagged a trophy from ToC25 on Saturday evening and upgraded her chestpiece [Thassarian’s Chestguard of Triumph] and since I had the badges sitting, I went ahead and upgraded my gloves [Thassarian’s Handguards of Conquest] and pants [Thassarian’s Legguards of Conquest] to tier 9.  She’s never done better tanking than she did tonight… even with the dodge nerf, her threat was amazing and for the first time in a long time, I actually felt solid – which is a big deal for me because I have never felt on solid ground where she’s concerned.  I know that sounds crazy, but, well…  Let’s just say I think I finally accepted that she’ll never have pally level threat and I am where I am for a reason – because I’m getting the job done to the best of my ability…  Maybe nothing like the pressure of a new instance can make you focus on your strengths and attempt to overcome any weaknesses?  Eh, I dunno but it felt amazingly good.

And finally, my hubby queued up his baby pally with my baby prot warrior for a level 74ish instance.  I went dps because I didn’t really have good tank gear and I didn’t want to be a detriment.  I bought dual-spec for the occasion lol.  We got in there and the “tank” [another pally] had half of everyone else’s health and was a level higher.  He was using spellpower and ret gear rather than tanking/defense gear.  After a couple wipes, we voted him out since he decided to just refuse to move or do anything and I queued up as tank/dps [which seemed to relieve the shaman healer].  I did much better as a tank than I had as a dps and only lost threat a couple times when hubby’s baby pally spiked 2k dps [yes at level 73].

I love the new instance finder because I can get 3-4 toons through for their daily frost while my son has his morning nap!  I LOVE it!

Week in Review on my Toon Army

As we all know, Hallow’s End started this week, and I already have 2 of my toons with the title, Hallowed [my main – Askevar, and my former main – Carlyn]. Carlyn was lucky enough to also receive the [What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been] achievement… well I say lucky but I worked a lot on that :P. I hope to see that on my new main someday but that’s going to be a bit more work as well.

All the rest of my toons [save my level 25 warrior] are just a squashing, a hallowed helm, or both shy of the title, so I’ll keep trick or treating on them this week to see what I can get.

My mage is just shy of level 79 as I write and I’ve been doing tournie stuff with her and working on making her some decent PVE gear. I mainly plan to PVP with her, but eh, it’d be nice to heroic on her occasionally. I’m currently debating whether to dual spec her. With the changes coming to Frost in the next patch, I should be able to heroic with her alright in a modified pvp spec as I understand it, and I don’t honestly plan to raid on her –  must do more research.

Got my priest into a VoA10 and 25 – both ended with boss deaths, but the 25 had some… normal pug issues I guess you could term them.  No loot but achievements were had 😀  Also healed a guild pug of Ony10… well we tried to do it.  Let me say, I have new appreciation of what you healers do on that fight.  I’ve never sweated that instance as a tank… not really, but trying to MT heal was most interesting and frustrating at times.

Dear Tanks and DPS: What Your Healers Want You To Know

After healing a VoA 10 on my disc priest – I realized that there are some things we as tanks don’t see from the healing perspective [or even the dps perspective].  We succeeded marvelously with a pug group.  The tanks – a paladin and a dk – who reminded me so much of my husband and I, it wasn’t funny.

1.  Fire is bad – whether it’s blue, red, orange, pink, or polka dotted.  Fire is bad.  Healers can on occasion heal someone through it, but seriously, don’t count on it.  It makes healers mad and mad healers = no more heals for you!

2. Healers are human [even if they’re another race :P].  We screw up.  We heal a second early or a second late on occasion.  It’s an art form – much like knowing how to pop cooldowns in your tanking and it requires a certain combination of experience, knowledge, skill and some luck.  It requires anticipating damage – for example a paladin will take steady damage where a death knight is more bursty in what they get.

3. All healers heal differently.  Druids are all about the hots.  Disc priests are about bubbles and preventing damage.  If your group is succeeding, don’t fuss because the disc priest is low on the meters – or know enough about them to know it’s normal [as the RL did in this case].  I have seen so many disc priests lately saying they keep getting kicked from groups for being low on the meters and they’re considering respeccing as a result.  To them I say, if you want to be disc – BE DISC.  Don’t let some jerks who don’t want to even gain a basic understanding of other classes and specs push you out of your favorite spec!  The healing lead in our guild atm would KILL for a raiding disc priest simply because of the flat 3% damage reduction you bring!

4. As a tank – if I die and I can’t immediately figure out what happened, I will ask my healer [and consult my combat log]- “What happened?”.  Sometimes stuff happens – seriously.  I get out of range and they get punted the other direction.  Just ask.  Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s them, sometimes it’s just plain bad luck.  The point is NOT to blame the healer or anyone else but to find out the problem, correct it and move on.  I’ve gotten the response from my healer in a whisper “I screwed up, I’m sorry.”  Okay, thats good, let’s move on and get it done!  We’re all in it together and hey, it really is a game.  Deaths I don’t mind on occasion.  What I hate is repeated stupid deaths making the same mistakes.

I may to have more to add later, but eh, this is what I had on my mind.  Feel free to respond and add to it if you’re a healer!