Massively Casual Tanking

Tales of a casual Death Knight in World of Warcraft

A new challenge awaits …

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Once again, my little brother kinda opened my eyes to something.

To many alts is just to many. Or like he says, one alt is one alt to many.

I kinda have to agree, from a certain point of view. I do spend an enormous amount of times on alt characters. And it’s really getting to me. Having to gear them all, having to do dailies on all of them is … just to time consuming. So I took it upon myself to take up a challenge. To not play any alt charaters at all.

So the last couple of days I’ve been focussing on my Death Knight only, gearing up my tank spec, and yes, actually tanking again on him. And I forgot how easy it was to AoE tank as a DeathKnight. Also I’ve pretty much reforged and gemmed like AskMrRobot says, and it really paid off. My mastery is through the roof and with the smart use of cooldowns I’m soaking up damage like a monster. So good days for sure.

Thanks to Blacksmithing my latest weapon is now the Masterwork Elementium Deathblade, which makes for an awesome DeathKnight tanking weapon. And it looks okay I guess.

This whole focussing solely on my DeathKnight sheds a new light to the game, what to do at level 85 and you’re pretty much geared (meaning the only upgrades available are Valor points upgrades). Time for a new blogpost series “What to do at level 85”.


Written by Beetle

August 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Class in review: Warrior

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As a specialist in alts, and a player who likes to meddle with a lot of different classes, I’d like to give my take on some of the World of Warcraft classes.

The Warrior.

“Warriors combine strength, leadership, and a vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat.”

We need to make a distinction between the leveling experience and the endgame play.

Leveling experience.

Leveling a Warrior is fast and furious. You have the choice between three different play styles. You get to be a shield wearing beast who’s mission is to protect allies in dungeons, or you can choose to deal damage as an Arms or Fury Warrior.

Not going to much in detail, but rest assured whatever path you choose will be an ‘easy’ path. Due to the nature of the Warrior class (lots of armor protection!) you will find questing and leveling a fun and fast experience.

Endgame experience.

This is where things change a little bit.
You need to make a decision, do I want to be a damage dealer or do I want to tank? In order to be decent at your chosen role you will need to gear up your character the correct way.

* The Warrior Tank

So you want to protect and safeguard your allies in dungeons? Then you will be happy to hear the Warrior tank class is an excellent choice. It is not the easiest to master, but once you get the hang of it you are in for a treat.

What makes the Warrior tank so special? Most important I would have to say, the mobility and the different tools at your disposal. A Warrior tank has many special abilities (Shield block, Shield wall, Spell reflection, Last stand) to make sure he/she can perform like a beast.

Unlike a Death Knight tank, a Warrior doesn’t have to worry about keeping his migitations up. You do not have to worry about actively blocking, dodging or parrying your enemies. This is all done passively. Does this mean a Warrior can just sit back and relax while doing his job? No, a Warrior can not do that. Quite the opposite actually.

As a Warrior tank, you will be fighting to build up threat most of the time. Unlike a Death Knight or a Paladin, a Warrior will be actively tabbing through targets while Thunder Clapping, Shockwaving and Shield slamming. This is one of the biggest differences between other tank classes (besides a Druid tank perhaps). As a Warrior, you will feel a lot more involved with the fight at hand.

Is this a good thing? That’s up for you to decide. I for one prefer this way of tanking. It’s a big difference than my Death Knight tank where I can just drop a Death and Decay on the floor and have the enemy mobs stand in it to get threat going. But isn’t this a lot easier you ask? Of course it is, but it comes with a catch. You see, a Death Knight tank has to actively use abilities over and over again to enhance his defense (migitation) and self heal. This makes you (me) feel a lot less involved with the fight because you are constantly busy ‘buffing’ yourself.

* The damage dealing Warrior

Often referred to as a Rogue in plate armor. We hit hard, we kill stuff.

This is a very big in your face kinda play style. You are constantly in the middle of the fight dealing damage with melee weapons. A very offensive minded DPS class.

In general we bring very little utility to a group. We have a couple of group wide enhancements like Battle Shout or Commanding Shout, but not something that’s considered awesome.  We also do not have any crowd-control utilities, which can be a real bummer. Also, unlike other classes, we have no aggro-dump abilities what so ever, meaning we are one of the rare classes that actually have to pay attention to the amount of damage we are dealing.

Rest assured, the lack we have in certain areas is something we make up for with excellent damage capabilities. In short, we do excellent pewpew.

My play experience with the Warrior class.

I like playing my Warrior character. It’s fast, it’s furious. Questing and grinding is easy and fast due to the nature of the Warrior. We wear the heaviest of armor and get to deal a lot of damage, or we are able to soak up  a lot of it.

Because of the lack of certain abilities, the Warrior class is a lone ranger kinda guy. You can’t really self-heal a lot, you have no aggro-dump tools and you are definitely not needed because of crowd-control. So when you’re DPS’ing and you’re in a group of people doing a dungeon, you bring the pewpew, and nothing more. Which is cool.

Is the Warrior a difficult class to play?

When you are tanking, I’d say yes, it can be a challenge to get started and learn. of course this depends a lot on the people you play with or encounter, but still playing a Warrior tank is considered more difficult.

When you are DPS’ing, I’d say no, not really. The rotation of a DPS Warrior really isn’t complicated, and one might even label it button-mashing at times. Important to remember is the lack of an aggro-dump ability, so the saying ‘You spank it, you tank it’ should always be in the back of your head.

Written by Beetle

August 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Posted in World of Warcraft

My alt-o-mania is in danger because of the raid bug

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I like making alt characters. I also like trying out different classes.

Problem: This takes up a lot of my gaming time.

I like raiding again. It’s challenging, rewarding, fun. It brings out the best in you.

Problem: This is going to take up a lot of my gaming time. I think …

So what’s a guy to do?

My Warrior alt.
Level 85, protection specced. I love to tank on my Warrior. A lot more engaging and versatile than my Death Knight.
Maybe gear up his DPS spec. DPS’ing as a Warrior is good old fun.

My Rogue alt.
Level 84, assassination specced. Not going to gear/play him for a while. Currently being used because of Alchemy truegold transmutations.

My Shaman alt.
Level 44. Fun to meddle with, although healing is not my cup of tea anymore. Elemental is kinda blah, and enhancement is another melee DPS class. I’m got plenty of melee DPS atm.

My Paladin alt.
Level 33. Protection tankadin. I already have two capable tanks, and leveling this guy is no fun at the moment. I’d love to have a Paladin tank at 85, but like I said, I’m done with melee leveling atm.

My Druid alt.
Level 22. Feral kitty is just no fun what so ever. I’d love to have a druid tank at 85, but same old I’m done with melee leveling atm. Healing no go at all.

My Mage alt.
Level 11. Bleh … A fun change. Arcane + pew pew = dead mobs.
Could I bring myself to level this toon? I alway say no, never again, but who am I kidding? Playing a Mage is something I’ve never done, so it would be a nice change.

My Hunter alt.
Level 56. We have a shitload of hunters in our guild, and usually when we do guild dungeons, there’s always 2 or 3 ready to get going. And when I see how easy it is to play one, and how easy it is to do decent DPS without breaking a sweat … then yeah … this character has the most chance of getting leveled.

Problem is, and maybe this is only a low level issue, playing/leveling a Hunter is so damn boring. You pretty much auto-shoot you way through everything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fast, easy and versatile I’m sure, but boooring. Or maybe it’s just me. He’d make an excellent farm character though.

Time to think it over.

This needs some thinking. I can’t keep playing all these alt characters. Don’t have the time for it. I really need to stick with two characters, a main and one active alt. The rest is support only.

I’m a melee kinda player. I prefer to be in the middle of the fight, wacking and mashing sh*t up. So that leave me my DeathKnight, Warrior and Rogue. Obviously the DK is my main character, so that is decided up front. Which leaves me to picking a second active alt.

I’d love to have a ranged character at 85. Just to see how it plays. Probably a lot easier, but ok … I guess there’s a reason why Rogues and feral Druids (kitties) are so rare these days. I can’t even remember the last time I had a Rogue in my group using the LFD tool. It’s always Hunters, Mages and Paladins, and a lot of DKs as well.

If I pick my Warrior, I’d have another melee class. Capable of tanking and doing DPS. That’s definitely a plus. A downside is the melee again. I’m not saying a Warrior is a DK, but they are close by definition.

If I pick my Rogue, I’d have yet another melee class. Capable of great DPS. It’s stealthy, rare by appearance these days. A different play style (leather armor!!). But again a melee class!.

If I pick my Hunter, I’d have to get him to level 85. That’s a bad thing. He’d be a great support character, and I’d finally have my ranged class. Problem is there are so freakin’ many of them out there already. Not to mention in our guild.

If I pick my Mage, I’d have to get him to level 85. That’s also a bad thing. I’d have my caster ranged class, and from what I’ve seen, a class capable of doing awesome stuff.

If I pick my Shaman, I’d have to get him to level 85. That’s a bad thing … again … and again … I’d have my caster ranged class, capable of DPS and healing. Only problem is I don’t like to heal these days. People are plain stupid, and you just can’t heal stupid.

If I pick my Druid or Paladin … not going to happen. Not leveling a melee class at the moment again.

Thinking time!

Written by Beetle

August 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Day two of Firelands raiding

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The second night of Firelands raiding is over, and unfortunately we didn’t get Beth’tilac down. We seem to be struggling with the third wave of adds (drones & spinners). Once again, I’m not to shy to say I performed admirably topping the DPS meters by a mile.

Of course that particular fight is very friendly towards Death Knights and add  control. At one point I even got tasked to killing the Cinderweb Spiderlings all by myself. I did get the job done, thanks to the occasional multishot from the Hunter and some mushrooms from the Druid.

Again, I’ve been asked to participate in their next couple of runs, this thursday and sunday. Pretty exciting, but also weird. Here I am, running raids with another guild. On its own not a big deal, because my two guild leaders are there as well. And I just can’t turn down this opportunity to see the Firelands raid content.

But it is cutting down on my usual game play that consists of doing dungeons with my brother. He’s online late during the evening (family thing) and can’t live up to predetermined raid schedules.

As to raiding for our own guild, it’s slowly coming together. A new schedule has been put up for next week, and we’re aiming for the final boss of Black Wing Decent, Nefarian.

On a silly / drama point, our ‘main’ tank apparently decided to not tank for our raid runs any longer. The fact that our two guild leaders, myself and another guildie (Hunter) are doing Firelands with another guild is a thorn in his eye … and something else about ‘certain people being special people’ …

Good riddance for all I care, I can’t stand the guy anyway. Always full of himself, loud on ventrillo, never shy to give negative remarks towards other ‘lesser skilled’ people. Don’t get me wrong, he’s really good at tanking, and a skillful player. But you cannot, and I can’t stress this enough, expect the same level of skill, dedication, blabla yadayada … of other people when you are in a casual/adult/relaxed guild.

If you cannot stand the fact that there will be people in your raid who are slower than you, do less DPS than you, can’t get out of the fire as fast as you … fill in the blanks, then you should not be a member of a super casual guild. You then need to /gquit and find yourself a nice progression guild with clear performance requirements. But of course, such a move would require dedication and actual serious effort. Why is he a member of a super casual guild again? Right …

Written by Beetle

August 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Getting into raiding

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It finally happened. I’m back into raiding again.

Over the weekend my guild leader asked me to join a Firelands raid. Like I said before, she and her husband frequently raid with another guild because they used to be hardcore raiders, and I’m guessing the people from the other guild used to be their guildies …

I immediately took her up on the offer and was summoned seconds after, ready to enter my very first Cataclysm raid. Target of the evening was Beth’tilac, the spider boss something something. To get the obvious out of the way, no we didn’t down it. But boy was it fun.

Right away, I got into the old groove again. Finally something ‘epic’ to work for. Sure we wiped and wiped, but one thing that struck me right away was the fact no one was complaining or pointing fingers. These people had the right mindset, that in order to get this done everyone had to be able to execute things properly. And sometimes (a lot of times) someone makes a mistake. And things go bad. In other words … shit happens.

Apparantly I did a good job, because they asked me to join their run that is going down this evening, to try again. Oh did I mention I was top DPS the entire time? Yeah I know, it even freaked me out. I’m having these recount issues at times, when it doesn’t load or update propper in an instance. During the trash clearing near the raid boss I noticed this and retoggled it, and bam … top DPS.

Which leads me to the second part of this post.

We (our guild) did our very first guild raid yesterday. We finally got enough people to sign up, and we decided to head for Black Wing Decent. Which went really well, considering most people in the raid never raided before in their lives. We got down 4 bosses in 2 hours, which is good considering our setup.

Yep, I’m definately into raiding again …

Which leads me to the third and last part of this post.

Why am I always the only melee class in a raid … seriously??

Now, don’t get me wrong, more chances for me when a loot item drops of course, but still … Okay okay, the above question was a rethorical question. I know why I’m always the only melee class (besides the tanks). Playing as a ranged DPS is so much easier, and I’m guessing more fun because of the design.

Half the time the bosses are so freakin’ huge you’re constantly looking at enemy feet or boots as a melee DPS. So yeah why not stand back and shoot from 50 freakin’ yeards away.

Also half the time the bosses fly up, move around, need to be switched … It’s like chase the dog syndrome. So yeah, why not stand back and shoot things from 50 freakin’ yards away.

I’m thinking blizzard really hates melee classes.

Written by Beetle

August 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Getting seriously bored with the Regrowth and Molten Front Daily Quest Hub

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Or is it just me?
Why is there such a serious lack of ‘epic’ there? If you read the article in which Blizzard announced this new zone, you can’t help but get super-excited.

“You’ll have a lot of freedom in choosing what content you unlock and when, giving you more control than ever over your questing experience. What’s more, this element of choice won’t only be reflected in the content you can access, but also in the world around you.”

Yes this sounds great, but in reality it just means you can pick which dailies to do first. Doesn’t matter squat, because in the end you’ll be doing most of them anyway. So forget about control of your questing experience.

“To ensure that friends can play together even if they’re not progressing identically, we’ve avoided separating players through phasing for all but a couple individual quests. The hub may look very different from one player to another, but they can all still adventure together. No matter where you are in the progression, the Sentinel Tree will be alive and thriving with fellow defenders of Mount Hyjal!”

Again, sounds delicious, only this time I really wished for a phasing experience. There is no epic involved when the entire zone is overrun with players AoE spamming and ninja-stealing mobs. I’ll say it again, there is no epic feeling what so ever!!!

“Earlier, we mentioned that over 60 new quests would be available at the Regrowth and the Molten Front. Since this is quite a lot of content — almost half a zone’s worth! — many of these quests will be randomized into smaller groups. Out of 15 possible quests at a certain hub, for example, you might be able to pick up between three to five each day. This should help keep the content feeling fresh and fun, and your daily quest load a lot more manageable.

This randomization will also play off the environment. On one day, you may be tasked to bolster the defenses outside of Malfurion’s Breach against an onslaught of Molten Giants. On another, you’ll be pitted against lava worms that have surfaced throughout the outpost. These quests will be based on the events taking place around you and are likely to change daily.”

Did these guys even test their own game?

Every single day you are bolstered by killing the same spiders, rescuing the same druids, gathering the same worthless crap on the ground. Over and over and over. Where is the epic??? Every day you escort a bunch of druids to take over a spot in the Molten Front and see them destroy a tower. Every single day, every time the same damn tower.

I feel cheated :(.
At least there are free epics at the end of this worthless pathetic grind.

Written by Beetle

July 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Ramblings

First time tanking Zul’Aman with my Warrior

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And what a difference in gameplay it was, even though my little Warrior only has an ilvl of 348. Yeah it was stressful for our healer (at times), but in the end we didn’t have many real problems.

I keep reading about the great mobility a Warrior tank brings to the table, and finally for the first time I experienced it myself. I was all over the place, charging & tabbing through targets like crazy. And I loved it. No longer the constant need to keep an eye on my runes and actively keep migitations up all the time. A pleasant change.

Maybe to soon to make a final decision, but I guess my tanking days as a Death Knight are over. Long live the Warrior tank (for now).

My DK is not going to be shelved, no sir. As a DPS DK I’m rocking the house plenty.

Written by Beetle

July 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

Posted in Ramblings