Gates of Hell Tanking – Nailed

One day before opening of the second wing, I’ve decided to try tanking the first one.

Besides the perfect timing, Melaris is closing in 52 on her tanking weapon, and she also had a quest and no first wing runs yet. So I decided to give it a go.

It went surprisingly smooth. Our second tank, a dwarf paladin, didn’t have a clue about what’s going on, so I pulled it off almost alone.

Trash mobs – no trouble at all. Took them out pack by pack, so we were fine.

Goroth – I was the only tank. Even with melted armor I just used my cooldowns, and all was fine. A pair of jumps was handy to relocate myself behind the pillars and back, so the boss positioning was executed by textbook.

Har’jatan – the second tank obviously died, because he didn’t turn the boss to raid bulk. So I pulled it off almost alone. Positioning was not that perfect, I held the beast in puddles very often, so it was not too convenient for melee dps.

Sassz’ine – nailed it, and almost alone again. As for void zones, I only got trapped by jellyfish once, but it was the only fail. I whispered to the second tank before the encounter to aggro from me at debuffs, but it didn’t work too well. He succeeded to perform this once, so I had to survive the whole debuff periods on my own cooldowns. A tough fight, yet I weren’t on the verge of dying.

For loot, I’ve got a cape, tier gloves, and a trinket. A decent drop.

Melaris-Gates-of-Hell-Tidestone

I’m eager to try tanking with other specs, although demon hunter is so great with AoE aggroing which is basically built in rotation. Could be harder with other classes.

So, all roles for the first wing tried and succeeded. Bring us the next wing! :)

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Mostly Pictures

I guess there’s gonna be more screenshots than text today.

So, first of all, I did a new cool transmog for Bons :) The fantasy is a highwayman, because I got a bit tired of the knight in shining armor :)

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Second, I’ve queued to EN and TN raids yesterday with a pair of leather toons. I got lucky with two transmog items I missed! More to go, but still.

The important thing is that when Paitsu entered Arcing Acqueducts, there was just one tank, and he quit immediately. So without any discussion she’s just took a keg and tanked throughout the whole wing! The scorpion was even pulled off by me alone. The anomaly got aid from another respecced dps, and we nailed it without a flaw. For Trilliax a proper tank came, but he wasn’t really needed there. It’s been a blast, and I performed the encounters perfectly.

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I really need to tank every raid boss in current content. Not exactly a monk, I feel confident with every tank class except a Death Knight.

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And yes, I did the race change!

There was no goodbye to Mayluna. Well, everything’s good with her: she will stay in Val’sharah to heal the wounds of Nightmare.

There comes a druid :)

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I’ve immediately transmogged everything and artifact weapon too (scythe is too big).

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She immediately went to the dream valleys and order hall.

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Oh yes, choosing the name wasn’t so long and bad this time. She was christened as Helu, a roll on the common tauren letters. If the name were taken (short ones normally are), I had a pair of other names in stock :)

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So, I have a Tauren druid now :) Casting feels nice and powerful, me likey. Oh, and she also picks the herbs in an instant which is a good bonus.

I Bathe in Blood

Mindebad

My previously unplayed spec mastering continues, and the recent acquisition is Blood spec of Death Knights.

It’s interesting how Death Knights never work for me on the first try. It required five DK characters to start a proper Death Knight toon until I got the idea and reveled in Frost.

Mastering Unholy a month ago was easy though – after a single LFR wing I’m as effective and confident as Frost, although I still don’t like pets.

Now, Blood.

Blood was a disaster with me whenever I tried it. People claimed that a DK tank should survive by itself in group content and even without healers. People post videos of DKs running current content raids SOLO.

What really happened: I was dying even to not-so-hard elite mobs in Legion. So when other of my tanks wouldn’t even sweat or suffer more than 5% health bar chips, DK would… die and die again. So I had to kill those hard mobs in Frost eventually.

It was a hard nut to crack, and a challenge. It intrigued me and itched my nerves, so I’ve rolled up my sleeves… and learned to play it.

The secret was easy. Other tanks have distinction between offensive and defensive abilities. I even assign the offense into 1-5 keys, and defense goes into mouse-clickable bar located over bags and game menus. With DK, it’s not.

It’s blended.

The core defensive abilities of DK are also offensive, so what I needed to learn is to HOLD myself from pressing the attack keys on cooldown like I do with other tanks. This small management did the trick: my dear brutal Mindebad is unbreakable like she should.

I have no urge to run group content as a tank for the time being, but the utility of cracking the hardest WQ boss solo is now available to the undead Gnome as well.

Woo-hoo!

P.S. The artifact weapon is one of my most favorite.

Prepared for Legion: Outsider Alts

After assembling my Feat of Strength Team yesterday, I’ve made an important toon toggle between realms.

Gottenbar the Tauren Warrior was the second warrior on my main EU-Fordragon realm. I transferred him to EU-Azuregos where my other alts dwell to free a slot. And Baisa the Shadow Priest moved to EU-Fordragon – to become the priest there.

*Funny thing: ‘Baisa’ nickname was already taken at Fordragon, so I was suddenly stuck in inventing the new nickname for an hour. Finally I’ve narrowed options to play on light and darkness – which resulted in Aurinko, ‘sun’ in Finnish.

The operation resulted in this: EU-Fordragon now holds 12 toons of different classes, the ultimate team. Six of them are Gnomes, which is especially heartwarming for a blogger named Gnomecore for a reason. And that left me thinking: do I really need the rest of the toons at EU-Azuregos?

Tanking Team

As a devoted DPS throughout all my life, I’ve grabbed the idea of tanking and liked it only in Draenor dungeons and LFR. By my habit, I’ve started separate toons for the tanking specs. Yet in Legion it may be much more enjoyable to level up another artifacts and double-spec. The only question is: will I regret about toons and will the tank spec vibe fit my DPS races?

Gottenbar, Protection Warrior

Gottenbar

I’ve never really liked Tauren because of their movement. Due to their size, their strides are wide and slow. Although Tauren tanking vibe is extremely convincing – who would tank among races if not Tauren, after all? – I could live without it, especially if ‘an armored flea’ comes in charge:

Bons, Fury Warrior

Bons

I would trade with ease. Bons would double-spec into Fury and Protection. Gottenbar – out.

Zindari, Vengeance Demon Hunter

Zindari

Well, this would be easy. he’s very new, I didn’t invest any specific time in him. I’ve just replayed the starting DH questline to see all the small things I’ve previously missed in a rush. He didn’t invested time to do any invasions.

Although I liked the vibe of a male Blood Elf as a Demon Hunter, he steps aside for trained and geared:

Melaris, Havoc Demon Hunter

Melaris

The Night Elf girl would DPS, but also she could tank if she gets bored. I’ve grasped the abilities and the whole DH tanking idea. So, Melaris will double-spec into both Havoc and Vengeance. Zindari – out.

*Yet he will do one more thing for the sake of other toons. He must into Draenor and do Jeweller’s Horde starting quest for a toy you can’t get otherwise. Then he vanishes into Twisting Nether.

Oluu, Brewmaster Monk

Oluu

Why, she was nice. But something was broken in the pre-patch. Some spells were gone, and the few left just feel awkward with a Draenei. Her class match @ Fordragon is:

Paitsu, Windwalker Monk

Paitsu

The big thing is that Brewmasters will wield kegs like Chen Stormstout – putting them on shoulder. This doesn’t associate well with sleek races like draenei, trolls and elves. But it will go extremely well with orcs, pandaren, dwarves… – and yes, gnomes.

I just think it’s gonna be awesome. So, Paitsu will double spec as Windwalker and Brewmaster. Oluu – out.

Now that we’ve done with the tanking toons, let’s go to some harder choices.

Kellers, Fire Mage

Kellers

Well, she’s just so cool. The animation of a casting human female is so great that I enjoyed every moment of it all through her leveling and up to invasions. Her class match is:

Micromantica, Ice Mage

Micromantica

There could be no blending. Yes, I would give Micromantica a fire spec, no problem. But Kellers is so in character, she’s so awesome that I just can’t delete her! :) Kellers – stays. 

Hedersen, Outlaw Rogue

Hedersen

Yeah, she’s also an awesome character. Her fighting style and class fantasy is corsair, and cool cutlasses just can’t, won’t go with my assassin, Hexen:

Hexen

The girls stay as they are. Hexen will be an elite assassin, and Hedersen is a corsair princess, all about seas and sails. And swords. Hedersen – stays. 

The Final Toon List for Legion

EU-FORDRAGON:

A1A2H

 

 

EU-AZUREGOS:

A3

Household Chores & Tanking BRF

Two completely unrelated topics.

Oluu & Her Tanking Towards Epic Ring

I stepped into Blackrock Foundry yesterday. Tanking went extremely easy. I failed just once at Gruul – I failed to notice one of his infernal *swish* in time, and when I just started to move to a group of players, I was dead.

The other bosses went down easily. I found out how cool it is to learn the encounters to the bone as a DPS (ranged and melee), because when you come afterwards as a tank, you know exactly where to put a boss for them to kill easier. So “movement” issues become not issues at all, and I can concentrate on my survival. By the way, although I’m mostly dressed at 650 baleful things (which makes all gear from BRF an improvement), I keep my health bar up really well. I don’t feel like I’m on the verge of death – almost never.

The first week gave me 230 runes as of now, and I guess more are coming through shipyard missions before cooldown reset, plus I have 2 more bosses to kill. I’m quite busy at Tanaan every day – I need a solid batch of Apexis to cover the weekly epic quest. It’s 20k Apexis exchanged for 75 runes. Not impossible of course, but some daily discipline is required to complete all quests every day :)

Household Chores

Suddenly I’ve noticed that I enjoy doing some peaceful stuff ‘at home’ from time to time. Both Halfhill farm and Garrison missions/Salvage Yard – I’d rather do that than go elsewhere.

It would have been awesome to have this option of peaceful activity, and at your own place – while waiting for raids, for example. Yet if the activity will bring some profit, then profit will make it obligatory for all alts, so it quickly grows into routine, and you grow to hate it. On the other hand, I guess no one will do some vain activity.

Could there be an option?

Newbie Monk Tanking: Skyreach

A big thing happened yesterday: Oluu tanked her first dungeon in current content.

Of course she tanked through her leveling before. But “current content” issue is important, because gear and abilities are tuned better, so it will give you the proper class feeling. You may one-shot and show the best DPS than DPS-players in most of leveling dungeons, or wipe and feel very weak in some of them. When you come to Draenor, you finally feel your class – everything is tuned better. You can’t win battles without healer and DPS, they can’t aggro mobs in front of you and overcome them alone, bosses live long enough to follow tactics and everything.

I’ve just finished Spires of Arak questing, so I was level 98 and packed around 570-580 from there. Right the point where I could enter Skyreach, and Khadgar thinks the same as he gives me the first epic ring quest.

It was very smooth until the first boss. Trash all over the dungeon went down easily and without flaws. I used active mitigation, tried to stay in healer’s line of sight, helped the healer as much as I could. Our hunter was responsible enough not to make a dozen and a half normal hunter’s mistakes (aspects, barrages, pet aggro), and other DPS were nice too.

Then we stopped at the first big birdie. Tanking has so many aspects you must check at once! It’s the most complex role yet. You keep an eye on other players whether they rip off aggro, you perform your rotation, you interrupt and you react with your mitigation to boss’ most dangerous abilities to survive. Have I forgot something? Yes. And that would be movement.

My current biggest flaw as a tank is positioning. I really need to check out the battlefield and plan my moves. Yes, I would step out of the bad of course, but this could lead me elsewhere. It happened yesterday at the first Skyreach boss. I was so busy and happy driving him out of his wind walls that I’ve chased him to the platform rim. And he stuck there. He kept on with casting, but we weren’t able to hit him. He aggroed on me properly, but he would never move from there. So we had to deliberately jump off the platform, and die, and beat him again.

Now that I was aware of this danger, everything worked fine.

The solar construct was next, and it was relatively easy kill. I’ve stepped in the rays, and it worked fine.

The nasty bird with hatchlings went dead easily. First I let one of her most dangerous abilities hit me, but managed to shield the next two.

The last boss was amusing. Our healer went down in the first half of the fight due to standing in the bad, and we said ‘uh-oh’, because there was no battle rez. But we continued. I did my best to survive by myself, and surprisingly it was interesting enough. I’ve aggroed properly and didn’t let hit dps buddies. I managed to roll to the very edge of platform to liberate one of our dps from carrying bird – we wouldn’t make it without him. I didn’t die, and anyone else survived as well. We nailed it!

I don’t see battlefield, and I’m reacting slowly, which is bad. My major goal as a tank now is planning my positioning and planning my movement.

Trivia: Leveling & Midsummer

Midsummer

Midsummer Fire Fest is here, and I’m busy again.

Probably it’s the last holiday event where I got some things to do. Of course I will be running Hallow’s End and Brewfest bosses for mounts, but I have all the achievements and toys from every holiday already – except Midsummer.

There are three toys at Midsummer – costing you 500+350+350 flower tokens. As always, I’m giving this task to several alts, each one assigned for his own toy. My favorite way of acquiring them is of course via travelling through the world and interacting with bonfires. I like this type of holiday things when you need to visit places – besides being fun for me, it helps to unlock the map for your toons. I’m very close to have all the WoW maps unveiled for every character, and Midsummer is one more kick in my butt to uncover the maps for the few left.

Hexen the Goblin Rogue was launched first for the flowers as she had least of the EK/Kalimdor maps covered. She effectively visited all the bonfires on these continents (plus Cataclysm, because they were on her way), and now she has only high elf starting zones and one of the Plaguelands left for being an ultimate Explorer of the world.

EK+Kalimdor+Cata bonfires, plus a single Ahune run (7 flowers), plus two easiest dailies (10 flowers) granted her 502 flowers – right enough for the most expensive toy. Splendid! And I’ve spent only 2 hours for it, even if delayed by exploration issues as well. If you travel straight from bonfire to bonfire, it will save you much time.

Toons

With Midsummer, my tanking Draenei Monk Oluu was put on standby mode for a couple of days. I’m pretty confident about her – she’s just reached Kun Lai Summit with her level 87. Leveling is extremely fast, and I’ll have her in the middle of Draenor by July. And maybe she will even manage to start the epic ring quest chain.

Mayluna, my Night Elf Druid, has a complex spec history. She started as a healer because I wanted to try healing. After she reached level 64 in Pandaria times, I changed her spec to Balance, because healing didn’t work for me and I hated the activity. She was Balance until now, until getting her Epic Ring, she tried some ‘serious business’ tanking a pair of LFR and holiday bosses as an off-spec, and now I’m thinking of changing her main spec to a kitty. Healing won’t do for me, I’m somewhat disappointed in Balance (it feels pretty slow), and Bear just doesn’t associate with my nimble, agile girl. So at pre-patch and Legion – Cat it is. She will keep the Bear off-spec to tank the holiday bosses, so she will be a beast thing.

Month Before Pre-Patch

As August will be all about pre-patch and learning new abilities and rotations for my toons, I think that in July I will follow my previous plan and get my main Micromantica to get me some Archaeology and Pet Battle achievements. It’s essential that I play lazy before we rush into the new expansion at full speed.

What are your plans for the next two months?