Thursday, February 23, 2012

arthaslol and the most excellent warriors - part 2

In this second vignette we hear about the most excellent warriors. This story occurred quite early in my 5-man tanking career, not much beyond level 30, in Maraudon.

I didn't know the instance and had not been assertive enough in engaging my fellow party members on the matter (post on learner tanks and instance knowledge incoming) and after some confusion when I went one way around a rocky outcrop and the healer the other (and we wiped) our healer and a dps disappeared in a flash. This left myself and two warriors. But not just any two warriors, two most excellent warriors! We requeued and waited… and waited. After a while we decided to forge ahead. I survived through trash via Victory Rush and eating afterwards and after a while we got to the end boss.

We gazed up at the huge weed with its spiky arms and slavering maw. “I don’t know,” said Dorf, one of my fellow warriors, (I shall call him ‘Dorf’ for my memory portrays him as such) looking over Razorlash, “there’s a lot of hits there.” “Let’s rotate the taunt,” came the suggestion from our colleague. “Alright,” I added, “wait until I’m low then you grab him, then Dorf, then I’ll blow cooldowns and see if we can’t finish him.”

And you know what – it was close but we did and we could. I’ve had many good experiences pugging but this still goes down as one of the best. Three players, finding themselves in adverse circumstances come up with a plan based upon the capacities of their class and then successfully follow through. It was a pretty easy low-level instance but this outcome felt like a great victory. We completed the run and I gave a hearty farewell to my warrior friends – hoping to see them again.

Stay liquid folks,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

arthaslol and the most excellent warriors - part 1

Ollo folks,

Tanking PUGs gives you exposure to the best and the worst of the WoW community. I have to say that I love it. It’s challenging and it’s fun – it can be uplifting but it can also be very very odd. Two vignettes follow.

Our first scene opens at Slave Pens where a brave band of adventurers, thrown together but the winds of fate, set out for fun and fortune. I did say ‘fun’ right? They are led by the redoubtable Bankgrrl who, as a protection warrior since her early days of adventuring – having levelled exclusively through instances as prot - knows a thing of two about tanking. Runs are quick, aggro is held, the healer is protected and thanked at the end of the run (for healing pugs is a challenging role). In the way of warrior tanks it’s not ‘all’ business but it is ‘mostly’ business. She takes pride in leading her teams to good outcomes.

Bank (as she is known to her friends) surveys the team, a priest, a mage, a shaman and a death knight – a sturdy crew who seem up to the task, although… there is something odd about the DK. She can’t put her finger on it. He’s quiet as many of his people are but a little ‘too’ quiet. Shelving her doubts she begins the task.

The first few pulls go well when suddenly early into the fourth pull one of the mobs suddenly flies past our resilient tank’s right shoulder to land in the midst of the dps pack. Instinct kicks in, she slaps out a taunt and charges then works the mob back into the group.

“Please don’t pull the mobs DK (name and server address withheld).”


The instance continues. Bank decides that it must have been muscle memory on behalf of her DK companion, a Death-Gripping hangover from single adventuring until right at the next pull there goes another mob, flying out of the tight group she’s formed for AOE right into the middle of the dps pack. The healing is split, the DPS fracture, Bank blows a cooldown and charges back to grab the mob.

“Seriously? Please don’t pull the mobs DK.”


Another trash pack and more flying mobs. “What’s wrong with you – don’t pull the mobs!” And then the mage pipes up, “He’s not doing any harm.” But he is – he’s slowing down the run, he’s moving the dps between AOE and single target damage, he’s pulling bulk heals from the healer to hold him up while he grabs aggro on elite mobs he’s not specced for tanking. He queued as deeps; what on earth is wrong with him?

Let’s leave the third person narrative here. This odd DK didn’t last much past the first boss. I got on with tanking and stopped talking to him. At Mennu he continuously taunted from me and I taunted back to hold aggro. He never said a word and soon after the boss fight simply left the group. I’ve tanked somewhere between 40 and 50 instance runs on this toon and this guy was the oddest person I’ve come across; he was an enigma wrapped in a passive-aggressive riddle.

Tomorrow – The Most Excellent Warriors!

: )


Thursday, February 9, 2012

flipping at armour changes + prot warrior links

Everyone loves a bottleneck. Especially gold hungry moguls!

Recently I’ve levelled a priest to cap and am currently levelling up my bank alt Bankgrrl as a prot warrior. Along the way I’ve rediscovered a couple of very lucrative flip points for gear purchases on the AH.

The Cata Flipping Point
Cata gear starts at around level 77-78 which is at the high end of a battle group band. To avid PVPers this represents an ENORMOUS jump in stats, by comparison to the lesser geared members of the opposition, causing you to have access to one-shots and the like.

Level 40 Mail to Plate Flipping Point
Specifically for tanks this one represents an almost doubling of armour on various pieces by comparison to mail. All 40 tanks will be looking for these pieces so you can charge a premium.

Level 40 Leather to Mail Flipping Point
This one is for the shamans and is less likely to be profitable. For PVP shamans this is the beginning of a new band so even with an upgrade to mail the added damage mitigation is not going to be a great deal of help. PVE shamans are even less likely to be concerned here. It’s worth a look though.

What to buy
Now, as you approach these flipping points you’ll find at least one if not a few AHers firmly ensconced. Don’t be concerned by this – remember you’re not trying to buy ‘their’ stuff and flip it, you’re looking for the guy who’s had a drop and posted it up for 90g. A quick buy later and you have a piece that will likely provide somewhere between 300g to 500g profit. Making gold at this method requires a daily pruning of your gold bush (hmm, not sure I’m comfortable with that metaphor) to garner in the good deals and quickly flip them up onto the selling floor.

Control of the market?
Don’t even try it! Except for this one item: shields! Shields are a major source of armour for prot tanks. In the early days almost half your armour can come from your shield. There is NO heirloom shield so all tanks will be looking for that good drop or something special from the AH. If your realm is like mine then you won’t see many good tanking shields on the AH (although you will find a large number of items with Int on them). If you’re buying up to 100g and flipping to around 300g I think this could be a good market.

A Few Links for Starter Warrior Tanks
Go here for a brilliant level 15 tanking guide – this was so helpful to me – but also read on for general prot tanking tips in the bigger guide.
Pulveriser’s guide was also wonderfully graphic and contains some good high-level information – check the youtube version as well.
And best of all for a newby starter tank go to Maps For Tanks! Just go there! It has maps laid out in the sequence they come up in the LFG tool with the best path through the instance for you to take (including where quest items are). The folk from Disciplinary Action who run this site seem to be taking a break from updating it so the maps run out around the level 40 mark atm but they assure that they’ll be back soon. I can’t overstate the usefulness of this site for familiarising yourself with the instances before you get there.

That’s all for now folks.

Stay liquid,