Alt Update

Askevar is now 2h frost tank to collect souls for shadow’s edge.  Her threat actually seems a bit higher than in the dual wield build… not appreciably, but just a smidge.  I got just over 200 souls last week between a run of the first 4 bosses in ICC [6 of our 10 regulars were out so we snagged other random people and alts to fill] and ICC25 up through fester and rotface with a few shots at Dreamwalker – YAY ADDS!

Askalaphos – My hunter is now decked out in 4 piece t10, thanks to VoA 🙂  She’s a great example of toon in excellent gear doing mediocre dps.  On a stand and burn I can hit 5k…  with anything else I hover in the 3-4k range.  That’s fine for heroics… but yeah… the idea of raiding with her in this shape is not pleasing.  I may need to consider a respec.

Alika – My pallytank is coming along well.  I’m hoping to get her into an ICC run eventually… as either tank or dps.  I’ve snagged a couple failed pugs so far that either couldn’t clear the trash or wouldn’t listen to mechanics and wiped on Marrowgar.  But I’d love to replace her 219 tanking ring… and frankly her 219 shield as well.  Her day will come 🙂  I’ll get a pug that can hit lower spire eventually.  I’m saving up the badges for her tanking pants next.  Her ret set is pretty good, but it’s all crafted/ICC 5 mans drops.  Yes, I’m very aware that the NES isn’t the ideal trinket for her ret offspec.  Unfortunately, most of the ones she needs are in ICC…  not going to happen anytime soon and I darn well don’t need 500 hit… so the hit trinket is out.  And “facerolling” 4-5k in an offspec ain’t bad either in randoms.

Carlyn – is slowly gearing up.  I have several more things she needs via triumphs before she’s “complete” there, but she’s coming along well.  I actually managed to pull 5k on a heroic boss fight [I stink at trash – big shock I know] so maybe I’ve not forgotten too much of warlocking from back in BC.

Aulao – My mage is doing alright.  I’ve cannibalized most of her frost for saronite for Shadow’s Edge [and my poor shaman’s as well] so they’re both behind on gear, but still doing okay.  She’s been arcane for a while but I’ve been experimenting with fire – with mixed results.

Tsali – Enhancement/resto – but spends more time in healing gear than in dps gear ironically.  I heal so that I can buy her better enhancement gear…  Still having issues with resto shaman healing in some of the simplest places.  If the group is good, it all goes smoothly.  If I have jerks and people pulling for the tank… well.. we’re probably going to wipe.  I don’t have the instincts yet or the skill to do any amazing saves.

Arica – My kitty is about 20 badges from 4 piece t10 and she’s doing awesomely…  probably the best of all my dps toons.  I’m  pulling 6-7k dps on boss fights and typically end up with an overall of 4-6k.  I’m impressed and the “rotation” really clicks well with my playing style.  She’s my primary dps alt

Kintara – My primary alt and I love her so!  If I could walk away from tanking and Askevar I would be playing her as my main.  However, I still adore tanking and Askevar too much to give up.  Disc priesting is wacky bubbly fun :D.  Save for a drop in VoA25, I may never see, she’s as geared as she can be short of ICC10/25 gear.

Kalliana – Um… she’s there.  She does the weekly and is done with gearing from triumphs… just need a better ring [curse you HPOS!!]

Odyyn – He just got his first piece of t10.  I seem to fall in and out of love with warrior tanking… some weeks I like it and run his dailies… some weeks I don’t.  Of course, jerks in ICC 25 gear can test many a tank’s patience.

Now, how do I keep it straight?  I honestly don’t know…  I just do.  They are separate toons, with separate personalities… they’re individuals, so it seems easy enough.  I also have a list on rememberthemilk dot com of things I need/want/would like to do.  I mark them off when I get them done.

“But you’re making WoW into a chore!”

No, I’m not…  I have no deadlines set on the list… no requirement to get everything or anything done.  But hey, if I get in a mood to explore or grind rep, I can easily look and see who needs what, pick what I want and go.  It’s about efficiency.  Altoholic helps with that too.  But I try to make anything I do go quickly and easily.  Since I’m cutting back on my WoW time, that’s even more important.  And if I don’t touch the list for a week?  Who cares?!

Have I Psyched Myself Out?

I often joke that I minored in worrying… because well, I’m good at it.  I’m starting to realize that I’ve let other people erode my self-confidence as a death knight tank. 

On my pally, threat has rarely been an issue – randoms or otherwise.  I can half sleep through the instance and keep threat on stuff.  Not that being good at pallytanking is easy, because it takes work and practice.  It is EASIER.  On my warrior I knew the “problems” they face going in.  I accepted them, and made a conscious decision to be fearless and plunge into heroics.  It worked and my warrior tanking experience has been mostly successful.  Now I’m working on getting my druid out there tanking… and I’m facing a lot of the same insecurities.  I took her on a guild heroics run this evening and did alright…  Had threat pulled a few times, and caught up with a bear tank friend who gave me a few tips…  I may try it again.  I won’t go into heroics until I consider myself good enough or until I make a conscious decision to be as fearless as I was on the warrior.

But back to the death knight…  It’s been a struggle with her for a long time.  Not because she sucks, or I don’t play her well.. or anything other than self-image.  Now, don’t be thinking I’m considering giving up dk tanking here.  I love it and I believe it complements my hubby’s pallytanking well… but I also have my own frustrations.  I’ve let a lot of stuff get to me that shouldn’t.  Former officer in the guild berating me on officerchat for low threat [dk versus pally], as well as in vent.  Same officer taunting mobs off me in the 25 man raids in order to be the center of attention…  pug healers that see me and “omg dk tank – drop group”.  The many disastrous pugs I’ve encountered on my dk and the poison that is trade chat – espousing that dks should never tank and weren’t made to tank…    It also can be a frustration when I can’t get a rune strike to proc in ICC and hubby’s aoe threat keeps yanking stuff, so I can’t get a rune strike… etc.  Bad RNG can suck.  BADLY.

My dk who was made and specced and geared with raid [mostly] single target tanking in mind… has trouble in heroics with ICC geared dps going all out [specifically bladestorming warriors, nonmisdirecting hunters and on occasion mages].  I see other dk tanks having the same issues… and warrior tanks, who are even more aoe threat starved than I am…  And I realize that I’m not alone.  I’m not the only one struggling and fighting to be the best and do their best.  Maybe this is why I try to be more careful with warrior and dk tanks on my dps toons.  I rarely have to tread very cautiously with pallytanks and bear tanks are rather rare in my random experience… so usually the ones that exist are very geared, very good, and have very few issues.

As several guildies have told me – my tanking talent is there and I’m good at it.  I just need to stop worrying, be fearless and just tank.

So… Let’s all be fearless together.  If you have a toon with a tank or healing spec that is ready for heroics but you’ve been too timid to try it, today is the day!  Throw yourself out there and just do it!  I declare today “Fearless” day!  Feel free to reply and tell us how it goes, good or bad!  Do it!!!  Do it NAO!!!

ETA: “Fearless” day can apply to all toons eligible for dungeon finder!

Stop Tank Abuse. Now.

Again and again, this issue rears it’s ugly head.  Again and again, I dig my heels in and to no avail.

This morning, I was tanking an instance on my warrior.  Warriors don’t have a butt-ton of aoe threat generation – and I’m still learning, though I’m getting pretty good.  I managed to pull H-Gundrak in the timer the other day with some sick dps…  All bosses down – even Eck.  Timer ran out right as we got to the final boss.  It was pretty epic.

Then this morning, I hit H-Utgarde Keep and start my chain pulling procedures given that the healer was ICC-geared.  And I have a cutie-pie ICC geared hunter, blasted targets full blast without misdirect just as I’m getting to the mobs.  :/  Not good.  So I ramp up and give everything I’ve got… I’m aoe-ing as much as a warrior can, tab-targetting flurry to get a devastate on every mob, and I’m managing most of them.  Then I have my healer running ahead [while I nearly died twice] and pulling more because I’m not going fast enough.  So I skip the group he pulled and pull the next one, ignoring the ones going crazy…  I don’t try to out-tank stupidity.  They killed the rogue in the party, sadly, because he was screaming at them to let me manage things.  And the healer goes and pulls the next group [without rezzing said rogue], while I’ve been sitting here being the only person on the party of 4 I have…  Um… no.  I got us out of combat asap, and went to sit in Dalaran, whilst still in party.  I’m not going to suffer a debuff because of stupidity.  Yes, I’m just that stubborn.  I have 10 80s.  I have 2 accounts.  I have housework I can go do.  Trust me, it’s more of a time waster for you to be stupid than for I.  Healer and hunter refused to kick me because they were going to “make” me leave and take a debuff.  Good luck with that.  The healer ended up being vote kicked finally, and I went back in… only to have the hunter misdirecting to the new healer.

These incidents are becoming more and more common.  And I KNOW I’m not the only one seeing them.  My husband on his ICC geared pally got refused heals because he was pulling too slow while pulling a whole instance up to the first boss in one pull.  A guildie had a warrior queue as dps, in prot spec/gear and then keep taunting from/pulling for him while doing 500 dps, refusing to say a word – only trying to stay in combat.

Tanks, don’t take this anymore.  Please.  The more we take, the more they’re going to dish out and the worse this whole thing is going to get.  Please.  We are there to take abuse from the mobs, not other players – REMEMBER that.  Healers and dps – support your tanks.

Stop Tank Abuse.

Baby Warrior Tanking Blues:

I took my baby warrior [level 75] into the random LFD as a tank.  I’ve bought as much tanking stuff as I could for him.  He’s at 476 defense and short of some expensive enchants, don’t really know how to boost him higher, but he’s done a good job, much better than most of the tanks I’ve seen queuing in Northrend level instances without defense gear at all.

Anyway, I accept, get into the instance, and I see that 4 of us are zoned in, the fifth was on a quest mount, and I assumed, would come along shortly.  The healer tells me to go ahead and pull.  So I do.  First pull goes perfect.  Mobs die, we don’t.  Second pull: DK dps pulls my offtarget rather than focusing on the one I clearly marked skull.  We wipe.  I then notice that the mage in the group is standing at the beginning of the instance… just standing.   And the druid’s quest completer is dinging off the objectives he’s continuing to do as we’re sitting there.

They call for him to come in several times with no response.  He’s party lead, AND we have the debuff so we can’t vote kick, and then the healer and dk begin critiquing my weapon and how I want “tanking stats”.  Now, I’m using the 1 handed resilience BOA weapon.  I specifically bought the pvp one because resilience helps you crit cap as a tank [and I have stonekeeper shards everywhere].  I have 3 level 80 tanks, 2 of whom are plate wearing and one of whom is insanely geared.  There’s not a good level 75 tanking weapon that I’ve been able to get hold of, so what am I supposed to do?  Magicly create one?   I’ve already sat down with my blacksmith, leatherworker and other assorted profession alts to bump this guy’s defense as high as I can, and I’m experienced at tanking to boot.

Why am I supposed to sit there and take abuse from a healer who knows it all, a dk who won’t stay on target, a mage that wants to sit at the front of the instance and a druid who won’t even get in the bloody instance?  I left.  As a level 75 tank, I can queue again and be in within seconds of the buff going away.  I’m sorry, but I’m not going to fight that level of epic dumb.