Gearing strategy.

I was going to write something here about gearing strategy for (Paladin) Tanks. Looking back at the rough outline I had written makes me glad I never posted it.

Over the past 6 months I became a tank, gathered gear, stumbled through and learned a thing or two. One of the things that was eluding me was a total overview of gearing strategy. In effect all this time I had one set of gear which served me for all purposes. Then, today, I read this guide on Maintankadin and learned so much. A lot of things are a lot clearer now and I know I’ll be carrying a lot more gear around in the future.

Any tank, of any level of gear or skill, should read this. Many thanks to Wrathy for this excellent piece of writing. Here’s the guide!


Freya Hard Mode!

While other might very well be counting attempts in Heroic ToC, we made a 10 man last night and headed into Ulduar to work on some hardmodes. We raid quite casually (by some standards) so there’s quite a few we’ve never done. We started with Heartbreaker on XT-002 and did it in one go, with lots of breathing room. We sped ahead and took out Kologarn, earning Rubble and Roll. Auriaya was next where we also picked up Nine Lives.

Then the main course, Freya with all three adds. Our raid leader for the hard modes wouldn’t hear anything of trying it with one or two adds. Hard modes or bust. Our first few attempts really showed that this is still just that, a hard mode. A few wipes later we showed some improvement but we still had massive trouble dealing with the Detonating lashers. There’s a lot of (raid) damage flying around. Just the normal waves of adds can be difficult enough on Freya, the added damage and chaos, while still having to take out trees etc. was putting quite a strain on us.

After about an hour things were looking up, we were controlling the adds better and people weren’t randomly dying anymore. We had an attempt where we reached the final phase but with quite a few dead it didn’t work out. The next attempt, it did. We beat it with a minute left on the enrage timer. Another seal closer to Algalon and another achievement closer to a Drake.


ToC 25 clear!

The DPS requirement for Anub’arak is quite tight (at least for my guild.) Last night, after a few attempts we downed the bug-turned-death knight literally as his enrage was kicking in. He turned red and then died. Interestingly we have now cleared ToC 10 and 25, but still haven’t killed Yogg-Saron on either 10 or 25.

Last nights raid the continued on to get the first three bosses in Ulduar 25, we managed ‘Quick Shave’ on Razorscale even though quite a few people switched to alts. Our hard mode team will be playing on Mondays from now on, so hopefully I’ll be able to tell you about some new achievements on Tuesday.


Onyxia and Progress!

Last night raid was a good one, but it also highlighted some problems for us. First we went to check out the new Onyxia 25 man. A guild group had already cleared the 10 man version (I missed out as I logged on slightly too late.) It felt really weird walking down that old, familiar hallway and actually needing the 25 raiders to take down the dragon trash, especially as I’d been soloing this just a few weeks ago. I raided Onyxia when it still required 40 raiders. I played Horde then too, and a Hunter at that.

Of course I’d seen Onyxia from the tank’s perspective when we took her down for old times sake, but never with more than 4-5 people. I must say it was quite an experience to hold this massive black dragon in place while the rest of my raid took her down. It’s not tuned to be very difficult so we only needed the one attempt to bring her down. We didn’t get any achievements but I think we’ll try for those next time.

On we went to Trial of the Crusader. Earlier this week we beat the Faction Champions for the first time so we extended the raid and took down the Twin Valkyries without too much hassle. A very fun fight and especially nice if you’ve played Ikaruga (although /yelling Ikaaaruuugaaa got me some strange looks from guildies.)

The last boss however gave us some trouble, or at least some food for thought. We had a few wipes as the raid learned the mechanics. Our strategy did need some tweaking as the requirements are quite a bit harsher than the 10 man version. We made changes to the offtank/add positioning and we adjusted strategy for dealing with the small adds during underground phase. In the end we just seemed to lack the dps to take everything out before the enrage timer, to which we wiped three times. Perhaps this was due to it being quite late in the evening already, we’ll see that this evening when we go at it fresh. I think we can also just offtank the big adds for longer and let the raid damage the boss more, then take out the adds when he goes underground.

Happy note: I got my second T9.25 piece yesterday and thus the first bonus. I must say the ‘nerf’ to Paladin threat is hardly noticeable, After only 1 or two rotation I was very far ahead of dps, possibly less ahead, but not enough of a difference to be a problem in anyway. For 3.2.2 I tuned my spec slightly to maintain the cooldown I had on Hammer of Justice, due to some changes in cooldown reduction. Also the changes to Touched by the Light seemed to result in me having more spell power rather than less.


Servers down, no Kodo

Well my server had a severe outage yesterday (it was down from 17:00 till nearly 22:00) so we weren’t able to continue our TotGC 25 raid.

As it’s Brewfest (and I’ve not done much of the festivals this year, in fact I’ve only done one,) I have been trying to obtain a Brewfest Kodo. On Sunday we put together a group of 5 and did the fight a total of 8 times, switching in alts. Last night I teamed up with my wife and we did the fight twice together. I summoned it and it was me and her Enhancement Shaman, then she switched to her shadow Priest. No Kodo.


Of the Nightfall and Factions Champions

Recently we’ve had a group from our guild attempt 10man hard modes together. We’ve accomplished quite a few things already. We cleared an Ignis speed kill, we did Iron council, Steelbreaker last and Heartbreaker. Recently we took that group and tried to apply it to Obsidian Sanctum with three drakes up. We had some very serious attempts, one coming as close as 7500 health remaining on Sartharion. That attempt was, I think, at 1 o’clock in the morning so we decided to leave it there. It was clear we could do it and knew we would another day.

Since then, several guilds groups have actually achieved it and some guildies have managed it in pick-up groups. One guild group cleared it again last weekend. I was on my shaman (now level 54 btw) so missed out. Then, on Saturday a Rogue from my guild set about putting a group together. He managed to recruit a few people from a strong guild on my server which gave us quite the edge. We cleared OS + 3, earning the achievement and title for me and 4 or 5 others, one of which my wife, who also took home the black drake. After Chef this was the title I most wanted so I’m hapy to have got it, at last.

Last night we had a normal scheduled guild run. The plan was to make 2 or 3 10man groups for trial of the crusader. However we lacked enough people for three groups and we were quite short on tanks. We decided on 25 man trial instead. The first two bosses were cleared quite quickly, nothing noticeable there, accept maybe for severely overpriced tokens for tier nine gear ;)

The third boss has been our nemesis in trial, as we had thrown ourselves at it a few times without much success. Even in 10man we struggle with this boss as it simply requires a different style of play from everyone. However our first few attempts looked promising so we kept at it. I think in all it took about 6 or 7 attempts but we did do it. Another guild first :D

We had a few goes at the Twins, but I think the 25 version needs a bit of tweaking our tactics to get it done. More tonight!


3.2.2 Threat

Back from holiday, let’s talk upcoming changes in 3.2.2.

Basically, changes to threat. Righteous Fury gets a smaller percentage of threat generated. This lowers the extra threat by 10% (note that this is bonus threat being lowered, a number I’ve seen on a forum suggests this lowers overall treat by about 5%) I’m not really worried about this. Back when I started out tanking raids for my current guild I sometimes had trouble pushing out enough threat to stay ahead of our mages but I can’t remember that happening since I got my first few upgrades.

Touched by the Light currently provides some spell power gain based on stamina. So… what some clever Arena Paladin healers did was stack a truckload of stamina and actually healed using a protection spec. The extra spell power from TbtL was enough to make it worthwhile. TbtL is being changed to provide extra spell power based on Strength instead, which is something not present on healer plate. Quick calculations show that unless you’re a staminamaniac you won’t lose too much spell power and therefore not too much threat either.

Lastly, Hammer of the Righteous (which I now always hear in the voice of the second boss in ToC) is being changed from holy to physical damage but has had its threat raised so it does more or less the same amount of threat.

So threat is being lowered, which to me appears to be correct as threat wasn’t really a problem. If it’s really bad I can always change my glove enchant to the 2% threat one.

In the meantime I’ve also levelled my shammie to 50, pretty good fun.