Tanking for Dummies

Stating the obvious: There is still a tank shortage
December 14, 2009, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Analysis | Tags: , ,

Ah.  New LFG Tool.  Your praises have been sung by many.  I have, myself seen the beauty of it’s well designed features.  The obvious rewards, both potential and actualized.  I could go on…

But I am a tank.

See, it has been brought to my attention that there are certain discrepancies in demographics, which, shall we say, make the LFG tool less than useful for certain other group roles.  Like, say, everyone else.

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The Plan for Looting Icecrown Citadel (Thus far)
December 11, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

First off, I’m not going to go into the 5-man lootables.  In case you missed it, Kadomi did a super job covering that stuff already.

What I am going to do is talk about Raid and Emblem loot (or at least what we know about it thus far).  I’m not going to worry about “Heroic” versions of these items either. You’re not going to see them until, well, I guess February or March anyway.

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Top 10 Things to do While Waiting for Patch 3.3 to go Live
December 4, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Humor, Lists | Tags: , , ,

Does it seem like your life is a roller coaster, going from Tuesday to Tuesday?  Does each fateful week pass for you, leaving only disappointment?  Is there nothing you want more in life than to stop doing ToC and fling yourself bodily into Icecrown?

For you for whom patience is not enough, I give you these helpful suggestions:

10. Review the strategies for taking down long forgotten bosses as part of the Weekly Raid Quests.

9. Bank money to blow on repair bills – the pug demands it.

8. Stockpile consumables, like flasks, potions, and stacks of Glyph of Taunt.

7. Log on to the PTR and do practice runs of the Icecrown Citadel 5-man Dungeons.

6. Watch videos of the boss fights in Icecrown Citadel Raid.

5. Cast another vote for Basic Campfire.

4. Dream up the RP background for your new Worgen or Goblin.

3. Compose a crazy rant to convince the scary lady with knives that we shouldn’t run ToC anymore.

2. Make a sandwich.

1. Get treatment for the pain in your Heroic Strike hand.

And you thought it was just repetitive stress injury.  HA!

Icecrown Raid Progression is a Recipe for Pain
November 23, 2009, 2:34 pm
Filed under: News, Raiding | Tags: ,

I am certain that many of you have heard The Plan® for gated progression in the Icecrown Raid.  It’s worth your time if you haven’t; if you plan to raid Icecrown Citadel, it is the future.

If you don’t have the time, I’ll try and put this in as few words as  I can (Twitter practice, I suppose):

Icecrown Citadel will have two methods of slowing down our progression.  The first is hard and fast: parts of the dungeon will only open after a certain number of weeks has passed.  This is similar to ToC but I suspect will be much longer in the roll out.  The second is soft and skill based: You only receive a limited number of attempts at certain key bosses.  This number is small (5 times for each wing that has become unlocked, to a max of 15) and shared among the bosses they apply to.

Needless to say, this has produced a great deal of anger and alarm among raiders.  I think a large amount of this is probably pre-mature and dependent on the difficulty of the fights in question (and the competency of the raid team).  There is, almost certainly, going to be pain though.  A lot of it.  Particularly if you are in the business of leading raids.

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Icecrown Raid Loot Lists Updated
November 20, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Gear, Lists | Tags: , ,

I will never cease being amazed by the guys over at MMO Champion with this data.  This effectively overwrites the listing I did last Friday, save for the 5 man loot.

I would like to note the distinct LACK of tanking swords.  This can only be a good thing.  Seriously.


Chest Cataclysmic Chestguard

Hands Gauntlets of the Kraken

Waist Verdigris Chain Belt

Back Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Trinket Corroded Skeleton Key

25 Man Hard

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

25 Man Normal

Ranged Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Chest Blightborne Warplate

Hands Taldaram’s Plated Fists

Legs Legguards of Lost Hope

ShoulderBoneguard Commander’s Pauldrons

Waist Belt of Broken Bones

Wrist Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Finger Harbinger’s Bone Band

Neck Sepsis

Trinket Corpse Tongue Coin

10 Man Heroic

Axe(!!!!) Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

10 Man Normal

Mace Bonebreaker Scepter

Shield Neverending Winter

Legs Deathforged Legplates

Wrist Gargoyle Spit Bracers

Back Cloak of Many Skins

Finger Abomination’s Bloody Ring

Neck Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

Trinket Unidentifiable Organ

Icecrown Citadel: Patch 3.3 PTR Tanking Loot
November 13, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News | Tags: , , ,

Patch day is getting close, and that means its time again for me to parse the loot lists of MMO Champion for you, dear reader, to peruse!

Without further ado, on to the lists!

25 Man Normal Loot

Rowan’s Rifle of Silver Bullets

Legguards of Lost Hope

Belt of Broken Bones

Bracers of Dark Reckoning

Harbinger’s Bone Band

10 Man Normal Loot

The Brokenhammer

Cloak of Many Skins

Marrowgar’s Scratching Choker

5 Man Heroic Loot

Falric’s Wrist-Chopper

Rimefang’s Claw

Black Spire Sabatons

Second Helm of the Executioner

Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood

Fossilized Ammonite Choker

Ick’s Rotting Thumb

5 Man Normal Loot

Splintered Door of the Citadel

Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate

Sollerets of Suffering

Crystalline Citadel Gauntlets

Legplates of Frozen Granite

Titanium Links of Lore

Eerie Runeblade Polisher

Emblem of Frost

Cataclysmic Chestguard

Gauntlets of the Kraken

Verdigris Chain Belt

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

Corroded Skeleton Key

Sigil of the Bone Gryphon

We still don’t know the stats on Tier 10, however, even if we do know the set bonuses.

Among other news, there does not appear to be any form of Quel’Delar designed for tanks (boo!).  On the plus side, most of this gear is the best itemized we’ve seen to date in WoTLK, so there will be plenty of opportunities for tanking, very soon.  Remember though folks, this is PTR loot so it could change very soon (not to mention this is only the loot that we’ve managed to see thus far!.

Icecrown Cidadel is Comming
October 23, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

This is no great surprise if you have been paying attention.  But for those of you who haven’t, let me point you at some linkage:

No loot yet to parse and list for you, but you know it’s coming.

And I thought it Couldn’t get Better
October 14, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, Media, News, Roleplaying | Tags: , ,

Following up on Monday’s love-fest for Tier 10, here is the screen shots of our plate armor, now broken down by race and gender – courtesy of the ever digging MMO-Champion.

First, the ladies:

And now the gents:

Did you see it?  DID YOU?

Check out the Tauren models.  Blizzard finally put holes in the helmet for our horns.  I thought that Tier 8 would be the last time I would turn my helm graphic on.  Man, was I ever wrong.

Here’s hoping that this is the beginning of theme.  Elves and Trolls need some loving too.  Maybe dwarves.  Let’s face it, helms chop off and through a lot of things people took time or spent gold to customize.  It’s about time they gave us helms that actually let us show that off.

Patch 3.3: Linkfest
October 5, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Lists, News | Tags: , ,

As promised, some follow-up from Friday’s peek at the three 5-man dungeons in Icecrown Citadel:

  • MMO Champion has a couple of screen-shot Galleries up, a more general one is attached to this post.  One focused on the Pit of Saron is here.  Matticus has some additional, more personal, shots on his post.
  • The folks at WoW.com (that’s formerly WoW Insider, you know) went into the Pit of Saron over the weekend.  Their impression of tanking is here.  Oh, and there’s some healer info as well, but who the heck cares about that?  (The TL&DR is that at the moment the instance is fairly standard 5-man fare if you are already in Tier 9 level raid epics, but probably significantly more challenging if you’re just making the move up from, say, Trial of the Champion.)

Some other interesting tidbits have also come out regarding the upcoming Patch:

  • There are weekly quests for raids given out by The Council of Six.  These give a whopping ten Emblems of Frost (that would be the token drop from Icecrown I imagine).  Currently, there are twelve of these, 3 in Naxxaramas, 4 in Ulduar, 2 in Trial of the Crusader, 1 in Icecrown Citadel, as well as Malygos and Sartharion.  Talk about something else to do with your raid if you finish early.
  • There is quite a good deal of speculation about Quel’Delar, the sword that is embedded in the ice just south of the Argent Tournament.  It seems unlikely that this will be a second Legendary in Icecrown (see Shadowmourne), and MMO Champion seems to think that it will be a quest to give it to the Argent Crusade.  Myself, I think it is more likely somehow related to Shadowmourne, perhaps the axe is salvaged from the remains of the blade?  No doubt we will find out soon enough.
  • And lastly, on the PTR they’ve taken away some of the function of Damage Shield, meaning it will no longer proc, say, Deep Wounds.  It’s almost like they really don’t like Protection Warriors having it or something.

Patch 3.3 Goodness: The Frozen Halls
October 2, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis | Tags: , ,

A new instance!  Hallelujah!

The Frozen Halls is going to be the new 5-man instance associated with Icecrown Citadel.  It looks, quite frankly, awesome, and I am sure that it will present some unique challenges, especially for those of you who didn’t do much in the way of instancing in Classic/Vanilla WoW.

Things I would expect:

  • Separate instance branches, ala Scarlet Monastery, but gated to make sure you go through them in order at least once.
  • Heavy lore content on Jaina Proudmore and Sylvanus Windrunner, your NPC guides through this excursion.  Wowwiki links provided for studying purposes.  Both have very strong relationships with Arthas, though very different obviously.
  • Related to the above point, I expect some kind of resolution or, at least, partial redemption for Arthas.  It’s important to remember that he is only half of the Lich King (the other half being Ner’zhul).
  • Extremely well itemized loot.  The reported item levels place it on par with the stuff from Trial of the Crusader – meaning it will likely be a regular trip for those of us looking to fill out our gear-sets, or even get slight upgrades thanks to better distribution of stats (and I bet you were wondering why it looked like ToC had a surplus of Block Value and Block Rating).

And some sketchy predictions:

  • Some revisiting of strategies for old raid fights, scaled down for 5-man.  Call me nutty, but the “Devourer of Souls” sounds not unlike the “Reliquary of Souls.”  Falric and Marwyn seems like a fight likely akin to either the Twin Valkyrs or the Eredar Twins.
  • A new “Emblem” token that drops in the 5-man as well as in the raid content.  This might also come as a reward for the Heroic daily, but they won’t change the tokens that drop in the instance itself.
  • And for my last prediction: You will actually be able to defeat the Lich King in the 5-man dungeon.  There is no particular reason why the right to kill the big bad guy should be reserved for Raiders, and I am pretty certain Blizzard intends for everyone to get their shot in at him.

It’s been a while since we’ve had an instance of this size to stick our teeth into, and almost never with the amount of key lore points.  Frozen Halls is likely to be a treat, and I will be sure to let you know any more nibblets of information I get about it or any other Patch 3.3 goodness that comes along.

As a side note, if you see some changes going on to the blog over the weekend, don’t be alarmed.  I’m doing some renovations.


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