Tanking for Dummies


Preventing “The Claw” – Binding Heroic Strike to Mousewheel
November 30, 2009, 11:57 am
Filed under: Analysis, How To | Tags: , , ,

I make a lot of jokes about Warrior tanks crippling themselves trying to max out their Heroic Strike usage.  In the parlance, I refer to the ravages of carpal tunnel as “The Claw” (pronounced like ‘da crah!’), that feeling after raid like you cannot move your hand because your fingers hurt from jamming that Heroic Strike key for 4 hours.

I can’t help but feel I’ve been a little flippant about this whole thing.  So to make it up to everyone, I’m going to give you all a brief primer on setting up the best temporary solution to give your left hand a break: Bind your Heroic Strike Key to the Mousewheel.

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Making Sure Blizzard Knows New Character Models = Awesome
November 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Rants, Roleplaying | Tags: , , , , ,

In case you hadn’t heard, Blizzard seems to be mulling new character models for Cataclysm and Beyond.  I am hardly the first to remark on this, so I am going to cut to the chase:

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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.

Emblems

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



Patch 3.2.x Raiding Sucks Your Will to Live
November 18, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding | Tags: , , ,

I’ve been doing some thinking about ToC and ToGC, namely in the context of raider burnout and turn-over. I should say first though that this post is dedicated to my fellow Axiom Prot-Warrior Armann who stopped tanking recently because Heroic Strike spam gave him a serious medical condition (carpal tunnel aka “The Claw”).  His transfer to our DPS team (you can play a Death Knight with one hand, apparently) got me thinking about this.  We can pour a “40” on his shield later.  Get better soon man.

On topic, however, I’ve seen a lot of signs showing the stress of raiding is taking its toll.  Or boredom taking its toll.  I think either way you would be hard to find that many people “enthused” about the content of the current raid instance.  Some people I am sure would tell you this is because Trial of the Crusader is too easy, while others would say it is because Trial of the Grand Crusader is too hard.  I am of a slightly different opinion, which is that (as a whole) it’s too short.

I’ll start by acknowledging that I think that both the prior statements are true – ToC is too easy and ToGC is too hard, but realistically speaking I don’t think that either is to blame for the sense of malaise that I can feel in raiding right now.  The reason for that is because this whole raiding business (actually, MMOs as a whole, but that’s getting way off my point) is a social experience.  The thing that really keeps us going is not so much the experience of the content itself, but rather the experience as it is with other people.

At this point in the game (late content patch) I think most raiders are either farming for loot (ToC) or wiping trying to do things the hard way (ToGC).  Generally, we wipe for hours and hours on Heroic Northrend Beasts (not even any trash to clear to break the monotony!), whereas we’re spending maybe and hour in ToC getting upgrades and generally goofing off.  The stress to de-stress ratio is way skewed, and that is a function of the fact that the Crusader’s Coliseum is way too short.  In Ulduar (which was super long, of course) there was a definite progression of difficulty and, well, trash to fill up the extra time (And give you a break after wiping for several hours).  There were also choices of what to work on instead of being highly linear.  Hell, Molten Core was less linear than Crusader’s Coliseum, and it’s practically a model of the genre.

Sure, you might say, why don’t you just do ToC?  I think the answer can be found in the different kind of malaise we saw with at the end of content patch 3.0.x.  Just farming is as brain killing as just wiping.  I think most raiders want to be challenged (or else why would we throw ourselves at the same fight for four hours?), even if we do need to stagger it with an easier fight or trash just for our sanity.

All that brings me to the point, namely that we’re drooping (nay, dropping) because ToC and ToGC together are a 1-2 punch that practically drains your brain by design.  If it feels like 3.3 can’t hit soon enough; if your raid members are dropping faster than tanks on Gormok the Impaler; or if your tired of logging on once a week to farm for an hour then maybe this is why.

As a related note, if you are looking for a good gift for your favorite tank this holiday season, remember their heroic strike finger – a little BenGay goes a long way.



No Post Today (again)
November 16, 2009, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Apologies again, dear readers, my work is being particularly demanding on my time so I did not have time to write a post today despite my best efforts.

I will be sure to get something up for Wednesday.



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!.