Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts on Tanking as a Bear

So, after a couple of discussions with different members of GIP I decided to take up feral on my druid to offer tanking as well as healing. In general, it just seemed that it would be nice to be able to give a bit more in the way of utility to the guild as well as give me something to do different. Also, a nice added benefit was that I found a hybrid kitty/bear spec that looked pretty promising. This way I could fit any need in any situation. I like the ranged DPS of the Moonkin but the guild as a whole seems heavy on ranged DPS, and I could really just push one of my other toons (Crabby or Orkette) the rest of the way to 85 if I really wanted to have a ranged DPS toon to add to the stable of things I can do.

Anyway, I have taken a couple of shots at tanking so far and I've learned quite a bit. First, as always gear is important. Also, paying attention is important. I took some of the info from Elitest Jerks to make sure that I wasn't doing everything wrong. From there I read some stuff on WoW Insider to get some more details. To be fair I think the Insider author was the same as the EJ author or one read the other because there wasn't much different between the two.

As I have been working up on gearing I've noticed something I haven't been able to figure out yet, and haven't found the answer to anywhere. How in the hell do I pick up groups of mobs and keep hate on all of them. I mark each pull, use Faerie Fire to pull 1 then use other abilities to pick up the second, but after that if there are more than 2, I'm screwed. Without fail, they will run by me and attack someone mushy in the back field somewhere. I turn and run to pick them up only to lose the aggro of at least one if not both of the mobs that I already had aggro on me. This then leads to a wonderful job of running back and forth like a chicken with no head (or is it bear?) trying to keep up hate on everything.

I have tried using Thrash/Swipe to help this but it does not give the huge boost of hate that I think I need to keep the things squarely on me. I have also tried the whole tab method of picking things up, but I am missing something because without fail someone is always getting their face beat in by the time I have tabbed back to whatever mob they were fighting (often the one I have marked appropriately).

It is actually pretty interesting to tank though, as it gives me a new perspective of the game. I grew up in FFXI as a tank, and the world of tanking in WoW is just entirely different. In FFXI I had to worry about keeping one thing focused on me while everyone else was doing their best to pull it off of me. This does me some good when I am doing single mob tanking, but lets face it there just isn't all that much single mob tanking out there.

Suggestions are appreciated to help my fail tanking stop.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Will the last one out....

In the few years that I have been playing World of Warcraft I have been a member of quite a few guilds. In my time I have ended up out of a guild for a number of reasons. I've been merged into another guild, been kicked out because of guild drama that I made the mistake of getting involved in, I've left on my own for what I thought was greener pastures, I've left for actual greener pastures, and I've watched a guild die.

While I was trolling Blog Azeroth for the firs time in a few months the other day I stumbled across the shared topic for this week, and it called out to me. What happened when a guild dies? What do you do?

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I find in this case it really is true. At the time I didn't see many of the signs that would have alerted a more observant man than me that not all was well in the world. The first rumbling of the end came months before the true end. The guild had been spending its raid time running twenty-five man Ulduar. Running is a nice way of saying we were killing 1-2 bosses consistently and then wiping over and over. The guild was not well geared, people weren't great listeners, and only a few of us were doing things outside of the raid night to make ourselves better.

A few of the higher end members began running a ten man Trial of Champions on the night prior to our Ulduar run. They were becoming more and more geared while others, like me were falling further and further behind even though we had behind. Comments began to be made about members in the Ulduar run. Some were fair, others not so fair. The guild became more and more split. The split continued to grow as more and more people got tired of being harassed by the "elite ten" as they came to be known. People began to leave the guild for places where they would be more respected, others just stopped logging in. Soon it was hard to fill the Ulduar raid. Tempers flared. More frustration built. The "elite ten" split off and raided more nights, including our original night for Ulduar. The end had come, I just didn't know it.

Then, one day I logged in to a mail from the guild leader to the entire guild, telling us we had twenty - four hours to fnd a new home because the guild was closing. This was the first time I had ever heard of the command /gdisband. I dropped guild immediately and began to look for a new home, but learned a valuables lesson.

From this I learned that respect is the most important part of a guild. It doesn't matter whether you always agree with the other members of a guild. It does matter that you show respect to the people of your guild, and you help them as opposed to attacking those below you. This is a lesson I have taken into every guild I have gone into since, and has helped me to avoid many a guild, and even leave a guild.

Respect, it isn't just a song by Aretha Franklin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

With the coming of a new year

So with 2010 officially over and 2011 just beginning, I think it is time to begin to look forward to what I want to do in the new year. With Cataclysm having been ou for almost a month, I think it is a good place to start.

I, like many others, have already sped through leveling a chracter to 85. I have even begun to gear herup to run heroics and eventually raid. Our guild is looking to be able to attack rais by the end of January. I think its a plausible goal, and I want to make sure I am one of those ready to do it.

With Paci's race to 85, I feel that I probably missed out a lot in the rush, particualarly in the way of quest lines. This isn't to say that I am one of those people who didn't read the quests, but sometimes I find that I don't remember part of the story after I've gone through it. One thing I thing can give the folks at Blizz without fear a doubt is their ability to spin a great story through their quest lines. One example in cataclysm is the Naga quest line in the new aria Vash'jir. With out giving away any spoilers, the game developers have out done themselves on capturing the feel of a good war story. Usually I don't think much of the quest lines that don't have me play the character that I have put my blood, sweat, and tears into, but this time I just didn't mind.

World of Warcraft wasn't the first MMO I played, Prior to WoW I spent my time playing Final Fantasy XI. I can safely say that the quest lines in FFXI were often to disjointed to make sense, or if they were clear, they quickly became so absurd that I didn't want to bother doing them.

On to other things to do in 2011:
1. Bring my professions up to max. This was on my list in 2010, but just never got done.
2. Get in and do some old Raids. I know this is lame to some, but I had a great time plowing through Naxx a bit back, and would like to do some of the others.
3. Work on the blog to bring it up to date. Too much has gotten old, stale, and just out right wrong.
4. Try my hand at a guide. We'll see. I don't know if this will go anywhere, but we will see.
5. Be more consistent with my posting. Again, we shall see.