Tuesday, January 27

The End of Wrath

I forgot to wish everyone a happy Lunar Fest... so... Happy Lunar Festival! Good luck on getting the Elder title, as well, if you're inclined to go for it. I'm thinkin' I don't want to be know as "elder" anything... :)

I don't really spend a bunch of time writing terribly serious stuff for this blog. That last post was intentionally tongue-n-cheek, for example. Jumping off stuff isn't exactly new in WoW. (Although base jumping in Storm Peaks is a ton of fun, and a lot harder than you'd think. Jump from the Temple of Storms into the Engine of the Makers. Then do it again and survive. Without a Mage or Priest or Pally handy. Tricky. Haven't figured it out yet, but I will.) There are, however, a few things that have been bugging me.

And this really did start out as a post about those things, too. In my wandering, befuddled mind, however, I ended up with something completely different than what I set out to write. What I set out for was a lengthy and rambling dissertation on "casual" vs. "hardcore" players and "Wrath is too easy" QQ nonsense. Saved all that and if it comes out somewhat coherent (ha!) I might actually post it.

Bottom line, though? I love Wrath. I think Blizzard has made something that is just genius. I don't think it's too hard, or too easy. I don't care if you crunch numbers all day to get five more points of DPS, or if you spend most of your online time dancing naked on a mailbox. Good for you, either way. I think Blizzard has taken a huge step forward in the development of WoW and, if they stay the course, it will just get better and better for a lot more players.

That doesn't mean there aren't flaws. I absolute despise Alchemist Finkelstein. Not terribly thrilled about Scourge being allowed into the Argent Crusade to begin with, but I suppose it's effective to have 'em. But that guy really pisses me off. And he smells like Hairy Herring Heads. Blah. And I will NOT thrust Hodir's spear, and when I finally get my shoulders he can polish his own damn helmet. Gah!

Thinking about how, or even if, WoW is too easy, and thinking about the differences between self proclaimed "hardcore" and "causal" players, got me to thinking about what Blizzard is going to do next to make it even better. There are some very real problems in the game that Blizzard needs to address, but they are definitely making progress on focusing less on mechanics and more on giving great, interactive experiences. If I'm right (what are the chances?), Wrath's new bits just set up a whole slew of things yet to come.

That, in turn, got me thinking about how WotLK should finish. There's still plenty of middle. I'll leave that alone for now and skip to the end. No spoilers here... I'm making this up.

Here's how Wrath ends, the way I envision it:

Icecrown Citadel opens up in a series of realm events. Blizz has done this before, at Sunwell, on a smaller quest level scale. For Icecrown they take realm progression and phased questing and instancing to a whole new level. Let's say, for instance, Icecrown's got two 5-team normal and heroic mode dungeons and a massive, high difficulty 10 and 25 man raid against Arthas. Specifics aren't terribly important here, just the concept. But...

The "hardcore casuals" are busy unlocking some major events running the 5-mans. And the "casual casuals" are questing, grinding, gathering resources and such to open up more and more of Icecrown, both with bigger and bigger rewards for each accomplishment.

The raid doesn't kill Arthas. They just break him. He becomes separated from the Lich entity and the raid kills what's left. Arthas, in the confusion of the final battle with the demonic Lich leftovers, escapes.

At a certain point, after the Lich King's raid defeat, and after all else has been accomplished, a quest chain is opened for the entire realm.

Opening the final quest chain, and the final conclusion to Arthas' story, can't be done by some guild locking themselves into a Raid for a few weeks. It also can't be done by a few guilds grinding out daily after daily. It has to be multifaceted and require a huge amount of effort on the part of a large portion of the realm's population.

At the end?

What I don't want to see is 99% of a realm having to watch some uber-guild run through a raid and watch Arthas fall over in some hokey death animation on YouTube. Lame.

At the end of all the effort, the quest opens and Arthas is alone and on the run. After all the pain and suffering and loss, it's you who is sent to track him down and finish it. It's you that has been part of each event, it's you that's been there from the beginning, and it's you that has the best overall picture of what's been taking place. Thanks to the raid and the efforts of the realm to open Icecrown, Arthas is free of the Lich King but pretty much a broken shell. Regrets tear at him. His past deeds have caught up with him and now he doesn't have madness and demonic evil to hide behind. He faces his past and pays dearly for it. And then you take him, one on one. It should be a wicked hard fight. Not scripted. No buffs. Just you vs. one of the best Paladins that ever lived. You win. Arthas falls at your feet, finally defeated, having paid dearly for his crimes against Azeroth.

It should be a massive and pretty involved chain to complete. Every single player on the realm gets to do this quest. All of 'em. Everyone gets to see the end.

You keep the hard part. Massive, complex raids that require a ton of time and effort to complete. You keep the middle. Tough, but mostly PuGable, 5-mans and group quests that anyone with a enough social skills to get a group together can do. You keep the basics. The shorter quests, normal 5-mans, daily quests and resource gathering that anyone with 30-minutes to spare can do. Everyone can, and must, contribute before anyone see's the end.

There's no item drop for the final Arthas quest. No gold for a turn in. No special vanity title or pet. Maybe a small "I killed Arthas" Achievement. It's all about getting to see the end.

It won't make everyone happy. But it'll make the vast majority of players excited and feel included in their favorite pastime, in a way that's never been done before. It would be wicked fun.

Blizzard might be the only game company in existence these days that could actually weave all that together into something that is fun and engaging.

It wouldn't play out exactly like that, of course. It could probably work several ways in the end. Arthas redeemed? Lich King escapes? There's plenty of semi-lame shocker endings Blizz could do, but they've been pretty faithful to the idea that, in the end, the players win and the bad guy eats it. I don't think changing that course would be a good idea at this point. It would mess up the tone of the game.

Blizzard does, however, have all the tools they need in game now to pull something like this off. The can create an amazing experience that every player can enjoy just by actually playing the game. See also, Wrathgate quest chain! I honestly can't see why they wouldn't do something like this now.

I wanna fight Arthas, even if I don't get to fight the Lich King. I wanna know first hand what happens. I wanna see the end. I'll wager there's somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million other players that feel the same.


Sunday, January 25

The Hottest New Sport in Azeroth

And now for something completely silly. Actually had a pretty serious post planned for today, but not in the mood right now. Maybe later. Okay who am I kiddin'. Probably not, but we'll see... No pics or vids for this one yet, but might update it later on.

Today I want talk about the hottest new sport in Azeroth: Northrend Cliff Diving!

K, not hot yet, but I'm predicting it will be HUGE!

One thing Northrend gave us was a big dependable body of water to fly over. This is important because you get to experience free fall from insane heights without having to be a Mage or a Priest. And now that those classes can share their floaty goodness with the rest of us, things for Cliff Divers just got WAY better.

My guild leader, Voldar, and I are always jumping off things. We also can't resist a cave. If there's a cave, we're in there. Oh, and Ogres. There's just something really funny about dead Ogres. Dunno. Oh yah, jumping off things... Anyhoo...

So awhile back we'd just kicked the crap out of Day of the Worgan, three times, and we're flying back toward the coast of Grizzly Hills. Suddenly he goes out of sight. I can see his dot is right on top of me, but it's up so high I can't see his bird any more. A moment later he comes screamin' by me, droping like a stone, and laughing and waving. Then Sploosh into the water.

And I'm thinkin'... now that IS COOL!

So up I go, dismount, and plunge to uncertain doom. And the view is spectacular. Free fall IS the way to enjoy the splendid vistas of Northrend, sans a big bird butt in your face.

That's fun about two times. Okay, three times. Then I forgot about it untill...

I'm running around doing quests in Stormpeaks on account I like 'em (amazing zone!) and I need the golds. That Titansteel helm for Prot Warriors is wicked hotness. It shall be mine.

Stormpeaks has these amazing and majestic views. Okay most of Northrend is like that, but the scale in Stormpeaks is huge and full of pure, stark beauty. Lately, I'm solo kicking the crap out of elite quest bosses. Have been for a while now, which is really neat. I did the troll boss (forget his name and too tired to look it up) in Zul Drak solo with the big kitty at the end of the Animal Gods chain. That's actually a good fight for a Prot Warrior. You stay alive until the kitty shows up. Then do as much damage to the boss as possible. When you eventually eat it, the kitty will keep the boss going. Corpse run back as quick as possible (it's not far), rez and heal/buff up. By then the kitty will be about done. You pick up the boss and finish him off. Three people, my ass. :)

Wandered again, sorry...

I get to the part of the harpies quest where I gotta kill the matriarch. And I'm thinking I'm all big and bad and solo'ing quest bosses left and right, no worries. I fly up there and start beating on her, and before long... I'm in the graveyard. WTF? See, she has the freezy thing that does massive damage, plus the nice hard hits coming in while you're frozen. And being frozen is a Very Bad Thing for a Warrior. No dodge, no block, no parry. Just sit and take it. It hurts bad.

So I figure I just need to get the self healing and mitigation down in the right sequence. So I rez and get ready to have another go.

Oh, there's a guy at Frost Hold who sells beer. Grab some of the Snowfall Lager. This is relevent I promise.

So me and harpie beeotch go at it again. I last a little longer, but she's down to half and I'm out of cooldowns, pots, and self heals. So I do the most reasonable thing I can think of. I turn and jump off the cliff.

Then it's a mad scrable to get my bags open and down a tasty, refreshing Snowfall Lager on my way down. And it worked!

The next 30 seconds are this wonderful free fall from hundreds of feet in the air into the village below, filled with the splendor of Stormpeaks laid out below me. Freakin' Awesomesauce!

As I finished off the Bran quests last night (brothers reunited and seperated by fate again... another win in the quest department for Blizz. /cry), I kept an eye out for other potential cliff diving opportunities. There's the absolutely dizzying cliffs off the coast where those Earthen are. And that big Maker's hole in the Steppes. ("I dived the Maker's Hole!" T-shirts will be available soon.)

I predict, with Snowfall Lager available, that Stormpeaks will be the ultimate hot spot in Azerothian Cliff Diving. But I'm already thinking of other places. Voldar and Violet are both mages... they already port and provide food, no reason they can't go along as a floaty buff. hee hee. I can think of few in Kalimdor that would be wicked. Have to work on making a list. I'll remember to remember location names (or at least not be so lazy and look them up).

Told ya it was just silliness today.

But fun silliness. Try it. :)


PS Dear Blizzard, we need a diving animation. Thanks.

Sunday, January 18

Sockwave for Dum Dums

"I [heart] Shockwave." That's what the bumper stickers on the back of most Warrior tank's proto-drakes read.

Shockwave is such a simple ability that you'd think it doesn't really need a lot of explanation. Push the button, pile on the Win. Like everything else for Warriors in a WotLK-world, though, using an ability well is another matter entirely. It's a straightforward talent, but I'll ramble on about it with my experiencing way more than necessary, anyhow.

Standard dingy redheaded warrior disclaimer applies: All just in my limited experience. Throw in corrections, suggestions and soft, but appropriate flames where necessary. :)

At first I was disappointed with Shockwave 'cause it didn't have the visual effect I was expecting. I was looking for ground shaking, rolling terrain forced out in an awesome wave of destruction before the Warrior. Instead we got a pop and a dust cloud. I kept looking around for the spot were Wile E Coyote landed. K, so the FX need a little work. But the effect itself?

Pure Wargasm.

Shockwave blasts forth in a cone in front of the Warrior for ten yards causing a pile of damage and threat to anything caught in it and stunning the crap out of 'em for four seconds.

That's it. Pretty simple. There's a few fine points to that description, though.

First, the damage is based on Attack Power. More AP is better for this ability, obviously. But... I read recently (don't remember where) that, for Warriors, Strength is a better stack. I'm guessin' that this is because you get two points of AP for each point of STR, as opposed to a straight up +AP from items with that stat. So, for example, +50 AP is +50 AP, whereas +50 STR is 100 more AP. Strength also increases the amount of damage you can Block, so you get double duty from that stat. +AP gear isn't gonna hurt, of course, but if it's a choice between more +STR or more +AP, you go with the Strength. Which stacks a big pile of Awesomesauce on abilities like Shockwave.

That's about all the maths I'm inclined to do.

Second, the stun is awesome but it is only four seconds. And it doesn't work on bosses. Using the time the stun gives you is terribly important. We'll get into that below.

Third, the cone is a bit tricky and it only has a ten yard range. Which is ten yards more than we had prior to Wrath, of course. It is a cone, though, so the area it affects is greatest the further away the mob is, and less the closer the mob is. (The effect itself, by the way, is the same regardless of where the mob is inside the cone.)

From experience, though, I can say that if the mob is one pinky-toe outside that area, there's a better than even chance that they won't stun. OTH, sometimes you're pretty sure the mob is outside the cone, and it stuns anyway. The whole effect may need a little tuning. For tanks, though, ya gotta get 'em in the cone. If this were an Arms ability, we'd take the "chance" with a sigh and a shrug and carry on. Protection Warriors, though, like sure things. If a Prot pushes a button, it better happen... or someone's gonna die.

Because of that, Shockwave takes a bit more practice than would first be apparent. With a pile of elite mobs running at you, pop it too soon and you'll miss the whole bunch. Pop it too late and you'll miss half of 'em. Either way is an ouch. So, practice to get the feel of it. In most cases, you need to know when to hit Shockwave automatically. Muscle reflex, as it were. For me, thinking too much messes everything up. (Shaddup.)

* Shockwave and Thunderclap go hand and hand. Most Prot Warriors I've read or talked to agree it's Shockwave first, then Thunderclap. I'll go with that to an extent, but with a warning that it doesn't always work out that way. When the monsters are coming from different directions and you need to grab aggro fast, there's plenty of times where you'll Thunderclap first, to get their attention, line 'em up and then Shockwave. Course, if you set up your pull properly it shouldn't be an issue, but (especially if you've got someone shooting AoE too early) it's definitely a situation that comes up often enough.

* Shockwave is a cone. Can I say that enough? Probably. If the mobs aren't in it, letting it rip will just make a messy dust cloud and get dirt all over your pretty armor. Gah!

* When mobs are rushing at you, hitting them with Shockwave will stop them dead in their tracks. Okay, so this is where planning is actually necessary. Make sure the mobs are where you want them before you stop them. Sometimes you'll have to wait for the poky last mob to catch up with it's fellows before you blast 'em. Patience is a tanking virtue.

* Standard caster cautions apply with this one. If it isn't in range, it isn't gonna generate any threat on that target. Beware.

* You should, in most cases, use Shockwave all the time. Even in the middle of a fight. Four seconds of not getting hit is... well. Just put it in your rotation. It's ready every 20 seconds. This isn't a save it for when you need it ability. This is a blast the crap out of 'em as often as possible ability.

* At the same time, if it's available, it makes a handy "Awshit" button, as well. While there's certainly others you're most likely to use (Taunt, Challenging Shout, Intimidating Shout, Shield Wall, Intervene) depending on the situation, because this one becomes automatic it can save your bacon in a pinch. Pile O' Mobs too close and you're taking too much damage? Pivot left, Shockwave, and take two or three out of the equation for a moment. Mob breaking for your healer? Build more threat on him and stun him stupid with a pile o' dust. It's not much, but it a) generates a pile of threat, and b) buys a moment for everyone to get their heads on straight.

* It's even a finishing move. The damage is very strong on this ability, particularly if your AP is up and boosted. Shockwave the last of that mob's health off, watch him fall over dead, and stun the second one behind him at the same time. Then introduce your shield to his face. Now mob number two is stunned, hurt and obsessed with you. Nice.

* While questing/running dailies I use Shockwave constantly. Pull a big pile, shockwave 'em, and start tearing 'em apart. Between Shockwave, Concussion Blow, Improved Revenge, Demoralizing Shout, Thunderclap, Spell Reflect and Shield Block, your health bar will barely move. It's lovely to be nearly invincible.

* While the stun doesn't work on dungeon bosses, it still does a healthy (well, not so much for the boss) dose of damage and generates plenty of threat. This isn't terribly handy in a tank 'n spank, you'll probably be busy using other abilities, but it's wonderful on bosses with annoying adds. Pivot, Shockwave, pivot, back to boss. Rinse and repeat.

* Since it's AP based, guess what you'll wanna have up at all times? Yup, Battle Shout. Great reason to take a DPS Warrior along with you. :)

Shockwave is just an awesome and essential Prot Warrior tool. Learn to love it and will love you. And it'll help keep your head on your shoulders, as well. Now that's love.


Monday, January 12

Bladestorm for Dum Dums

With a proper nod to the excellent Dummies series from Wiley publishing. :) I actually got a few emails about the Vigilance for Dums Dums post... I mean, it's not the first email I've gotten about an entry, but it's the first time I've gotten multiple emails and comments on a single subject. So I thought I'd do another on two of my favorite abilities: Bladestorm (this post) and Shockwave (next post). Next time I'll pick a more obscure talent or ability, but I love these two... So, these two are together not for any practical reason, but simply out of talent love.

Before hand, though... why not Titan's Grip, as well? It's the end-tree talent for Fury, after all. Well, I haven't used it yet! I probably won't even try Fury for quite awhile. For several reasons, and no particular reason. Fury looks like loads of fun, and I've seen the awesome dps it can pump out. And I'm saving up two-handers as I go to give TG a little work out. But I'm likin' the tankin' right now. Next week? /shrug /smile


Whirling Dirvish of Arms Goodness

I've written about this ability, as have many people. Doing Bladestorm and watching a group of mobs fall over in a nice neat semi-circle around you is just pure Arms Warrior joy. If I were to make WoW my way, I'd give every Warrior this ability as a trainable skill. Unbalanced? Yah. Do I care? Nah. It is World of Warriorcraft, after all. :)

You can get Bladestorm at Level 60 by spec'ing 51 points into Arms. It basically performs six Whirlwind attacks back to back, one every second for six seconds. It can't be stopped and you can't do anything else... 'cept kill everything around you, that is.

Note: You can't take Improved Whirlwind and Bladestorm. That would require 80 points and ya only get 71. Yet, that is... maybe at Level 89. :)

Baldestorm makes lots of good, and a few bad, things happen...

It is a proper Whirlwind attack. So, it hits up to four targets in melee range for plain ol' weapons damage, but it ONLY hits four targets and you can't control which four. Everything that applies to a normal weapon hit with a Whirlwind attack works with Bladestorm. So crits, critcal effects, and procs all occur during these attacks.

It's not uncommon to come out of a Bladestorm with a bulging rage bar, everything bleeding all over the place, weapon proc up, Sudden Death ready, and fully Enraged. The next thing you hit is gonna be hurting... bad.

You get to unload this every 90 seconds. :)

As with most abilities post-Wrath, though, knowing when to use it is terribly important.

* Bladestorm is no good outside of melee range (about 8 yards). So forget it if you're getting hit by a caster. Intercept/Hamstring first.

* If you have aggro, be aware that each mob you're hitting has a chance to Parry the blow. This can increase the damage you take because it causes a hastened attack. Be ready 'cause your health bar is likely to drop a little faster than normal. Be well within the safety zone* when you start Bladestorm, and be prepared to heal afterward. Bladestorm as a last resort can work, but you're likely to face plant if you try it with low health. It's way better when it's set up properly and used early in the fight.

* By the same token, never, ever, ever pop Bladestorm in front of a group of mobs your tank is holding. That just piles damage on her. Lots. Bad form. Always Bladestorm with the butt side facing.

* The only way to stop Bladestorm is to kill the Warrior. It also tends to generate a pile of threat on up to four targets. You will be focused in PvP and, if you do it at the wrong time, you'll pull aggro in PvE, probably on several mobs at once. If the healer isn't expecting it... you die.

* You can run, but they can hide. The easiest way to beat Bladestorm is to move out of the way. So PvP enemies will simply run away. Improved Hamstring, or better, Piercing Howl, is required in PvP. Mages will Blink, so you gotta get 'em to burn it BEFORE Bladestorm. Rogues will try to disappear, so slap Rend on them first. Mobs are easier... they tend to die before they can get away. But some do, so stay with 'em.

* Aggro warning, again. You CAN NOT run into a mob fight and simply pop this if you're not the tank. You will pull aggro. Whirlwind can and will generate more threat than most AoE threat abilties that tanks use. Six of 'em in a row is just about a sure thing. You have to wait until the tank has had time to build up threat on everything. A solid tank can pull this off in about 6-10 seconds on 3 or 4 mobs. So, somewhere in there (watch your meter) you can cut loose.

* Use Bladestorm with other abilities as needed. Use Sweeping Strikes with it. Pop Recklessness and Bladestorm together and watch the DPS soar. This is a fun, stunning ability.

* As mentioned above, if you survive, you're going to be buffed up, pissed off, and ready to bash some heads when you come out of Bladestorm. Think Execute. ;)

* Finally, Bladestorm will break movement imparing effects on you and you can't be cc'd while it's up. Honestly, this is limited in PvP. By the time you break a Mage's Frost Nova, for example, she'll have moved well outside of range and then just kite you while you whirl around like idiot. And by idiot I mean me doing it three times in row against the same Mage and getting completely smashed. :D Most other classes have similar tricks to keep a Warrior cc'd or at range. In PvP, YOU have to set up the Bladestorm in your favor. It's not a defensive move. Timing your Charge/Intercept with Bladestorm is critical. When fightin' critters, though, it's quite effective since you can break the cc and then spin your happy way toward the tank, dealing death and destruction along the way. Fun!

Bladestorm, when used properly, may arguably be the most powerful Warrior ability ever. It'll leave you standing over a pile of dead bodies, smiling quietly to yourself while everyone around you gapes in awe. Morbid? Yah. Satisfying? Oh yah.


* The "safety zone" for health is a rough guess of how much damage you'll take during the Bladestorm and how much you'll need to finish the job afterward without dying. It takes a little practice cause, while it could probably be calculated out with maths, it's more of a "feel" thing. Various healing methods can extend the safety zone a bit, like popping Enraged Regeneration before Bladestorm. To keep it simple, before starting a Bladestorm, make sure you have enough health to survive it, both during and after.

Sunday, January 11

Friday Jenkins

Okay, I know it's no big deal anymore... if it ever was... but if you haven't gone for your Jenkins title, just do it. :)

Some guildies needed to make a run into LBRS, so Droughlar (our Holy Pally) and I decided to run 'em through it real quick. It'd been awhile. But it was quick. Warriorin' is great for this sort of stuff. Aggro everything, kill it, move on. Really no heals required. Arms Warriors just kill everything before it becomes a problem. Prot Warriors just barely take any damage. :D And I never got back dated for the achievement, so picked that up too. Yeah!

While you're bouncing around slaughtering LBRS, the Anadorned Seal of Acension and the related gems drop to make the Forged Seal of Acension which begets the actual Seal of Acension. Alicide, one of our Rogues, started following up on the quest chain, and Wolfrmoon, a Hunter, needed to get into UBRS to hatch some crazy scheme of getting some uber weapon. (Yes, we told him it'll be replaced by a green ten minutes after stepping into Outland, but he still wants it. I can respect that since I have a bank full of that sort of stuffs.)

Anyway, Ali starts running down the quest, and a day later she's ready to finish it off and take out Emberstrife. K. So Voldar (Frost Mage and our guild master) and I go help with that and then it's off to UBRS (sans Hunter, but we'll take him soon, I promise). And we get to thinking... Jenkins Achievement. :)

Seriously, the fight is terribly easy for two 80s and a 56 Rogue that hides in the corner for most of the mess. It took three tries. First try we just ran in Leeroy style and started killing whelps. No good, couldn't kill 'em fast enough. So, on the second try we run in different directions and start killing welps. Got about 25 before the timer ran out. Yah, I'm a dummy... it was about that time that I realized the time doesn't start until you kill a whelp.

Tip: Turn on the Achievement tracking. It'll show you how many whelps ya got and runs a timer as soon as the first one dies.

So, on the third try, he started at one end and I started at the other. We popped and aggro'd just about every egg/whelp in the
place. Then we just met in the middle and cut loose. About 8 seconds later... Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroy! Ding.

K, we grabbed WAY too many eggs. But still no problem. Between the unlimited fun of Thunderclap and Vo's massive AoE, there was a mighty big pile of dead welps.

After, we kept going through UBRS for grins. Then we popped into Blackwings Lair and died quickly. :D Granted neither of us has ever been on a 40-man raid before, so I'm pretty sure we were doing it wrong for just two of us. (Ali didn't make it much further into UBRS.) Maybe we'll read up on it a bit and go back with a few friends.

Completely silly, waste of time. :D But if you're in a tiny guild like me, and you don't get to do things together as much as you'd like, this is a fun one that takes an evening. And of course, the snazzy Jenkins title. There's that.


Sunday, January 4

Vigilance for Dum-Dums (Like Me)

Since taking up tanking (I know the picture is dps gear... shaddup), I've become obsessed with threat. Thus... I love Vigilance.

Using it properly is another matter. So here's some short thoughts based on experiences so far.

Vigilance does three things, and to me, it's a required tanking tool:

1. It reduces the target's damage by 3%. May not seem like much, but it helps out on those AoE meelee guys like DKs and Pallys.

2. It transfers 10% of the person's threat to you. Again with the DKs. They AoE to the point where you can't even see anything. Well, having 10% of that, plus Deep Wounds, Thunderclap, Damage Shield, and Shockwave all working at the same time is gonna generate bunches of threat on multiple mobs at once. Win.

3. Refreshes the cooldown of Taunt everytime your friend is hit. So, even if they are pulling aggro off you, you can pull the mob right back. Over and over and over... until they get the picture.

Vigilance does not go on your healer. It might go on your healer, but it's unlikely the best place... though it is the most tempting place. Most of the time, at least in Wrath 5-mans, the healer isn't going to out threat a Warrior tank. The threat they generate isn't enough to transfer well. And they rarely get hit.

Vigilance works best when it's on a party member who tends to get hit a lot and tends to generate piles of threat. So your first choice is gonna be your top melee DPSer. The benefits include getting a nice chunk of their threat, while increasing that fine line between good dps and dead dps by 10%, lowering thier damage, AND refreshing Taunt regularly so that if the healer DOES pull aggro, you aren't left hanging with a cooldown (macro Intervene>Taunt>Shield Slam>Devestate).

If you're like me, you PuG a lot (at least in partial PuGs, anyhow). So when you have macho-boy thinking he's all bad cause he can pull aggro off the tank, slap this on him. It might hurt is ego a bit, but life's not perfect. It's not an ideal solution, but as a quick fix it works. (Sneak it in during a fight. Most of the time they'll never notice.)

As a second choice, I'd pick a Lock or a Hunter with high dps. I haven't tried it, but if it'll work, sticking it on a pet or minion that keeps pulling aggro would be great, too. (Not sure if this works, but will try to confirm.) With thier big dps potential though, I go for the DK, Pally, or Hunter first.

So get your protective eye on someone. It's a great ability, easy to take when you spec, and it can make your life as a punching bag MUCH easier!


Back, A Big Gun, and Something to Hide Behind

I'm about to hit 80 and I haven't even finished Zul Drak yet. In fact, I still need to go back and do one quest in the Fjord, almost all of Tundra, a bit more in Dragonblight, all of Basin, all of Icecrown, all of Storm Peaks and haven't even stepped foot in Wintergrasp yet. Dungeon-wise I've only gotten up to Gundrak!

Sometimes I miss the days when it took a week of solid playing to level. :)

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to reputation building a little more. The new tabard, championing system looks like a great idea. And since I haven't done any of the level 80 dungeons or heroics, there'll be plenty of rep to get. Oh, and the gold. I need some g. Switching to g from xp... well, I like leveling and questing... but I like buyin' stuffs more. :)

With that in mind I made an initial shopping list for the first bits of gear I'll need. Since I'm tanking way more than dps'ing lately, I'm focusing there first. I made this list not as a final gear check, but rather what would be obtainable with limited play time available. Suggestions welcome.

For now I have Back, Ranged and Shield lists. Still working on the others... Boots seems to be in short supply. Hmmmm.

Wish List


Screeching Cape - Drops off of Erekem in regular Violet Hold. I like this dungeon, so it's do'able.

Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions - Gotta get honored with Wyrmrest Accord, but I'm thinking I'm gonna do that anyway. I've never gotten mounts beyond the basics. Now that they don't eat bag slots, though, I might start a collection. :) And the red dragon mount from these guys just sounds nifty.

Tattered Castle Drape - This would be awesome but would probably require a billion more runs through Utgarde. We'll see... Kinda tired of that one.

Cloak of Armed Strife
- If I ever get into Naxx and get lucky...

Ranged Weapons

Sawed Off Hand Cannon
- got this one today. Check!

Armor Plated Combat Shotgun - have to save golds for this one, but WoW!


Titansteel Shield Wall - I figure with all the questing I have left to do after 80, I might actually be able to afford this. Awesome.

Leeka's Shield - Who wouldn't want this. Hard to get, drops from a chest in CoT: Culling of Strath, and awesomesause.

Bulwark of the Noble Protector - Drops in Heroic Nexas. Almost ready to go there. Might as well have a nice shield for the trouble.

Royal Crest of Lordaeron - would love this. Just a beautiful shield... very Alliance looking and reminds me of the epic looking gear from original WoW. CoT: CoS chest drop again. Fat chance, but I can dream, right?

So, it's those plus quest rewards until I get into heroics proper. Should be fun!

Happy Adventuring!