Friday, February 8, 2008

Heroic Tanking - Part 2

I think I have found one of my possible dream jobs through WoW Insider. I wonder how many people would apply for something like that? Unfortunately - I don't have much gaming industry writing experience - and I doubt it would pay enough to live in Irvine, California!

-Heroic Tanking Part 2-

Shortly after writing my "Heroic Tanking" entry, I logged on and found a Depleted Badge for sale on the AH for 450g. I've been keeping my eye out for this baby for a long time now - and had earlier last week bid 500g for an already charged Badge of Tenacity, only to have the seller cancel the auction, then repost at 150g higher... So I bought out the new uncharged badge immediately and charged it up - making my tank gear very nicely at over 23k armor. I also got to Revered with the Netherwing yesterday and received the Commander's Badge, but I'm trying to decide whether the added Health is better for me than the Stormpike Insignia Rank 6... I like that +24 dodge and +Restore Health... (Oh and Mulv! You're going DOWN!!)

Last night I was bored, and tired of the dailies, so I decided to head to the Scrap Heaps near Area 52 to farm Zaxxis Insignias for Consortium rep. I'm determined to get that Haramad's Bargain for my DPS gear! Before I could even start to kill those Magical Mummies, I got a whisper from a former 2v2 partner.

"Hey bro, can you tank?" What kind of question is that - of COURSE I can tank! I'm a DROOOD!!! "We need your help in Heroic Slabs to kill Murmur" Now in my opinion Murmur isn't THAT hard of a boss to tank - it's pretty easy to keep him focused on me, and as long as the healer does his duty (which is much harder than the tanks duty - and I've thankfully had some good ones here!) nobody has to die. However I'd never done Heroic Murmur, but I figured this was a good chance to try out my new gear and get over my trepidation at tanking a Heroic.

I can do it. ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people LIKE me!")

Our party consisted of: Warlock, MS Warrior, Fire Mage, Shaman, and Feral Druid (tank/me). The Warlock in the group had been in my guild 30 levels ago so it was nice to see him again. But, after telling me "Dude, I'm fully epiced!!" he proceeded to ask me "Are you sure you can tank this?" Grrr...

Did I mention that ALL the trash had respawned? That meant I would be tanking through all the trash with no possible rewards/drops from the first three bosses... Lovely. Oh well I can use the Lower City rep and try out that Shapeshifter's Signet someday, right?! (Optimism FTW!!)

We (mostly) cleared the way up to Murmur's hall, we wiped on the first set of mobs due to a pull when one of those extra quickly-killed-by-Murmur mobs added and pulled the next set causing mass confusion...after that wipe, the party basically fell apart.

What caused our downfall, along with a few observations on Tanking and instances in general:

  • In a group pull of 4 or 5 mobs - let ME, the Druid Tank pull so that all the mobs come after ME initially and NOT the squishy puller. Makes it a LOT easier to start and maintain Threat. On one of these pulls of the Demons here I was able to somehow keep the Demon on me even though the puller had TWICE my TPS... VERY lucky we didn't wipe on that one.
  • Haste makes Waste - I don't think people realize how TRUE this is in all areas of life, and WoW. Rushing through ANY instance is more likely to lay waste to the party many many many times than it is getting you to your objective faster. Patience and strategy can make life SOOooooo much easier. Relax! Take a deep breath! Take it easy!
  • Don't change the Mark for sheep from Circle to Moon without informing the polymorpher
  • DON'T HIT THE SHEEP!! ((Sadly this is a reminder for myself... happened THREE TIMES last night - BUT - when I'm trying to get all 4 mobs off the early pull by a clothie who was trying to show how important it is to pay attention and hurry without TELLING anybody he was going to pull...(and ignoring the first point above..) I can forgive myself that mistake in the resulting confusion, especially if only the puller dies and we are able to get out of it.
  • Don't take too many shortcuts. It can come back to bite you. HARD.
  • Don't complain about a healer that's actually doing a good job in a kind of weird group... If you are dying a lot more than everybody else, that might just be one of the reasons why! ((along with pulling too early, pulling instead of the tank and getting too much threat right off the bat, pulling the wrong guy... etc.))
Nothing new there really... but wow!! Every one of these happens a lot! Every one of them happened a lot last night too. Was I perfect? No way! I have a lot to learn.

I think another reason I often decline invitations to run Heroic instances is I don't like to rush or be rushed. If I feel like I can't put 100% into an endeavor because I have something I need to do soon, causing me to be impatient, then it's not worth doing as it will most likely be done badly. (This is true in real-life for me as well) Am I a slow person? Heck no - I like to get things done fast, but more importantly, get them done RIGHT. Rushed people don't work at optimum quality or efficiency. And they die. A lot.

So in answer to the question I asked in my last entry; Can I tank Heroics? (Slabs was a GREAT place to check this theory eh?) I will answer that question with an emphatic YES.

But... before I do Slabs again - I want to get some more experience in what I'll call "Heroic Party Mechanics" in some of the lower Heroics... ;-)

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