Posts Tagged ‘Gear



05
Mar
10

Gear for Tanking Hard Modes

Gear is not everything…

Since I am so obsessed with gear, and its designed applications for different encounters and situations, I may go a bit overboard with the use of gear sets. I talk a great deal about how you should tailor the gear that you wear to the encounter which you are about to tank. This is a great philosophy for progression encounters, because it shows not only that you understand what is about to happen, but you are trying to maximize your survival. This is important when pushing the envelope of your progression, because a tank death is very very hard to recover from, but what you may not see is the healing stress that you cause from wearing the wrong gear, which adversely effects the rest of the raid healing.

All that sounds perfect, and will more than likely be the case for the top guilds in the world, but what about the rest of the guilds? Tengen over at Firstandtengen wrote a very nice post about the recent buff that Blizzard added to ICC. In his Price of Pride post, he outlines the internal conflict over this 5% buff and whether or not the people who are still killing bosses should feel like they should turn off the buff. I threw a comment up on his blog to relay my thoughts on the buff, and I will share them with you as well.

The thing to remember about the buff is that, while it is there and it is enflating your dps, there is really no reason that you should not use it if you still have bosses to kill.

The difference between the first few 100 guilds and the rest is quite substantial. You have to remember that top 100-200 guilds clear content in the previous tier of gear. The buff is the same as being a few weeks behind. The relative gain in raid dps/healing/ tank survival increases every week with the introduction of gear.

Think of the buff as that perfect week of gear dropping for you.

Now this comes from the perspective of a tank on the very precipice of that cliff between raiding in previous tier gear and current tier gear. When we killed Lich King, I had one more piece of 264 gear than the MT of Vodka did when they got their LK kill, however we did it two weeks later so our raid as a whole was more geared.

It is easy to say Gear isn’t everything if you have all the gear

I wanted to share a story with you today to show you that if you are a guild who is behind on progression in comparison to the best in the world, and you think that your roadblock is gear, you may be mistaken.

Aside: While I am aware of Gevlon’s experiments, and although they are intriguing, his perspective does not align with mine when it comes to people and this game.

A few nights ago, our 10 man group stepped into ICC 10 with the goal of knocking out every hard mode and any leftover achievements we could do on hard modes for our drakes. Our main competition from the alliance side, Crisis got theirs very early on and we feel that its time to push some hard modes so they are not the only ones with shiny new toys. Now I do not want to denounce what Crisis did, they are a great guild who out of no where snagged a top 20 world wide ranking in 10 mans and a US second Drake, if any of you happen to stop by, a congratulations is well deserved.

When we walked into the upper spire of the instance, I always swap back to my AoE spec and threat gear. This is just because of the amount of trash that is there and the fact that it is an AoE fest. Nothing says tanking is fun like 12k dps on trash. Soon enough, we found ourselves face to face with Festergut, and the Instance was set to Hard Mode. I will agree with some of the elite out there that once you understand the new mechanics of the fight, Festergut is quite easy to kill. However, that does not discount the fact that he hits like a truck.

The ready check came back, and I pulled the boss. About 10 seconds into the fight, I noticed that he was hitting a lot harder than usual, and my health was dipping quite a bit lower. It took a few more seconds to kick in that it should of because of the beer I had been drinking, but I was still in my threat set. That means I was about 5000 armor and 6000 health down. That is a very, very big difference when it comes to tank survival during the third inhale. The hidden bonus for me was my numbers were larger than life when i hit 9 stacks, dropped Righteous Fury, Salved myself, and went to town on the boss. I am happy to report that no one said a thing about my ease of healing, and the boss was one shot.

Reflection on gear and encounters

While I would never recommend to a tank who is new to this encounter to nerf themselves by that much (almost 10k effective health), it doesn’t mean that you need to be very geared to do this fight. A lot of people, myself included, thought that the 10 man version of ICC was a bit overturned for players in strict 10 man guilds. However, after that experience, I would say that this is a misconception. While I understand that my healers and dps were still geared to the teeth, it is important to note that I never got into AD range, and was able to manage the damage with properly timed cool downs.

I hope that people who are in the position of progression, struggling on a fight in ICC, understand that gear is not everything, and in fact it is a very small part of the contribution to your overall success. The more gear you have, the easier the encounters get, however they are doable in what ever you are wearing currently, you just have to play effectively.

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25
Feb
10

Threat Gear Breakdown

To follow up on the post which I wrote yesterday and add to it, I wanted to discuss our threat set, what I wear for that specific set, and a few modifications I make based on what I am tanking. Once again, I want to reiterate that the theory behind this set is universal, and may be applied to any level tank with any gear available to you , however for my example, I will be showing you what I wear based off of the gear which has dropped for me. Gear sets are going to be different for each person because each person has different options available to them.

The purpose of your threat set is two fold, to pump out as much damage as possible and to ensure snap and sustained threat for the duration of a fight. We achieve this by becoming hit capped, stacking expertise, and ensuring that we have as much attack power and crit as possible. In addition to that, we have to have a weapon which leverages our abilities to for the best outcome. The reasoning behind this is outlined by Theck on MainTankadin in his TPS thread, and reiterated in my weapon analysis post.

As I mentioned above, I make a few modifications to this set based off of what I am tanking. If it is a heroic, or trash in a raid, I replace my stamina trinket to enhance my gear set. If I am tanking a boss in ICC, I keep the stamina trinket to increase my survival and ease of healing. It is important to not lose sight of the fact that you are a tank first and foremost, and must gear yourself to survive the encounter and mitigate a significant amount of damage. You also must maintain the defense minimum and have a respectable health pool and armor.

Before I show you exactly what I wear as my threat set, I wanted to reiterate what was said in my gearing guide regarding threat sets. A Threat set is…

A set that is centered around maximum threat output while maintaining the ability to be a feasible tank. A threat set is used for three things, any trash that can not squash you like a bug, farmed bosses where your dps can let loose on auto pilot, and hard modes with time limits. The focal point of developing a threat set is your ability to produce the maximum amount of threat per second, and in turn damage per second, so that you can kill the boss in a set amount of time….

…start to look at your other priorities: 263 hit rating and 26 expertise. While you can stack as much strength and crit as you want, if you are missing the boss, you are not producing any threat. Your ability to land a successful hit is paramount to this set, and as such your first goal is to achieve 8% hit or 263 hit rating. Expertise will further your goal of landing hits, and you can stack this as much as you like once you have hit the soft cap of 26 expertise.

Once you have taken care of your first three stats, you can stack Strength, … and even … crit.

Now that we have gone over the theory, we can get into the specifics. Below are the screen shots to my threat set, and the link to the wowhead profile is here.

And, a recap of the basics of the set:

The basics of a threat set –
540 Defense
263 Hit Rating (no more than this, its wasted Itemization)
26 Expertise Minimum
3100 Block Value (no more than this, its wasted Itemization)
Stack Strength, Expertise, and Crit

The Gems and Enchants Specific to a Threat Set –
Hit Gems until you are at 263
Strength/Stam Gems
Agility/Stam Gems
Armsman or Agility to Gloves
Icewalker to Boots
Accuracy to Weapon

When to wear this set

As I touched on earlier, this set is specifically designed for maximum dps and threat out put, and does not stress survival as much as may be necessary for ICC bosses. I wear this set for all trash mobs in ICC, and heroics. For the lower spire bosses, and the non attempt counter bosses in the upper spire I swap out the Vengeance of the Forsaken for a stamina trinket and am good to go. Normally this set is something  that makes tanking quite fun. The numbers which come out of this set can make you giggle, because there is nothing quite like seeing 12k HoTR Crits on four mobs.

Special Considerations Sets

There are two more modified sets which I wear in ICC for different fights, and will swap out trinkets, rings, cloaks, and necks if I want to modify my stats to accommodate for any given encounter. The first specific set which I use for Sindragosa is my frost resist set. This set replaces five pieces of gear to boost you up to 485 frost resist, while maintaining the defense cap. I use my complete effective health set which was outlined yesterday, and incorporate four pieces of frost resist which are available from Blacksmiths and Jewelcrafters. I found that once I replaced four pieces of gear, I was under the defense cap, so I put my Ony trinket back on to push me over the top.

The second special set that I wear is a max armor set for blood queen. The concepts and mechanics of the fight make armor a very powerful mechanic for the Main tank. All damage which the main tank takes is transferred over to the off tank. So, any time you mitigate the amount of damage taken, it has a doubling effect. To do this, I only swap out my trinkets on my Effective Health set, to use the Glyph of Indomitability and the Unidentifiable organ. This boosts my armor up to just over 40k while maintaining respectable statistics.

Little tweaks to the core sets you build, based off of encounter mechanics, will make you a great tank from a gearing perspective. Understanding what is being thrown your way and manipulating your ability to combat that is powerful. Good luck on your gear selection and equipment set ups…

24
Feb
10

Effective Health Gear Breakdown

In response to a request I got, I wanted to take today to discuss gear sets. While I have long since wrapped up the posts on gear set theory, how to select the gear, gems and enchants, and when to use them here and here, I have never provided the specific gear which I use for any of these sets. The reasoning behind this is that each person has different gear to work with, and different chances at obtaining said gear. Also, the benefit of being general is that you can apply this theory to someone who is just getting gear via the emblems, and decked out in T9.232 and someone who has full 264 gear.

I wanted to start with the progression set, the set which strives for the most effective health possible, and will boost your stamina and armor up to the 44th floor while dropping your hit down to the basement. The concepts of the effective health set are simple and finite: Gear for as much survival as possible, ensuring that you can take the biggest hits possible and survive. To cheat and quote myself from my gearing post:

A set that is centered around the theory of effective health, and it’s main purpose is to ensure that you can take the most amount of damage possible with out heals or avoidance. Most of the population that come to Maintankadin understands the concept of effective health, however for the purpose of a complete guide, effective health:

“…is basically a measurement of how much raw damage a creature has to deal to kill you. It is a measurement of Armor and it’s relation to Stamina… Effective Health is the measurement of how much breathing room your healers have to keep you alive assuming all other factors fail — assuming you do not avoid or block attacks or have a mana shield active. Effective Health is important for tanking heavy hitting creatures because of Murphy’s Law — if you can have long strings of not Dodging an attack, it will definitely happen. Raid tanking, ultimately, is about stability”. – Ciderhelm

With that being said, Below is the compilation of my Effective Health gear set. I want to clarify up front that this set is the one which stresses overall effective health, so it is a stamina stacking set, and does not necessarily give you the most effective health for any given fight. I also have an armor set which buffs up to almost 42k armor pre pot. Here is the wowhead profile and below are screenshots to view for stats. The profiler looks a little off because of the fact that I have more armor than that by  a significant margin, and not that much health.

Now that you can see exactly what I wear for my max stamina effective health set, you can understand the correlation between the theory behind my gear sets, which I have listed below, and the application based off of the gear we have at our disposal in ICC.

The Basics of an Effective Health Set –
540 defense
Stack Stamina
Stack Armor
Stack Expertise
Shield Block Value (to a much lesser extent)

The Gems and Enchants Specific to an Effective Health Set –
Gem for Stamina
Enchant for Stamina
Armor to Cloak
Armor to Gloves (Alternate)
Mongoose to Weapon
Blood Draining to Weapon (Alternate)

I made some minor modifications to this based off of data which has been proven to be false with in the past few weeks in the theorycrafting community, namely that expertise can be considered a damage reducing ability in ICC. While Expertise does reduce the chance to parry, and as a result parry haste, it has been estabilished that parry hasting is not turned on for the vast majority of bosses in ICC.

As for the gearing, what you see is what you get when applying this theory to the gear which drops out of ICC. Now it goes with out saying that there may be upgrades to quite a few of the slots which I filled with non optimal gear, however I would like to reiterate that your gear sets are limited to the drops you can acquire, so you have to make do with what you have.

When do I wear this set?

I wanted to close the post by giving some perspective on when I wear this particular set. Now you have to understand that this is what I consider my general progression set, and I will wear this for first kills of ANY boss, or until it is identified that another gear set will better suit the encounter. Currently I wear this gear set in ICC 25 man for Festergut, Putricide, and Lich King. For the most part, the other fights are no longer considered progression, or have other sets which will benefit more based off of encounter mechanics.  In ICC 10 I wear this for every hard mode which we have killed in the past two weeks, and for Lich King on Normal.

I will hopefully follow up this post with one in which I outline what I wear for my Threat set, as well as the special consideration sets for Sindragosa and Blood Queen.

29
Jan
10

Best in Slot? It depends…

Between all the stuff going on I have been neglecting the blog quite a bit lately. The now 20 page thread on armor versus stamina over at MainTankadin is hard to keep up with, and when you get behind you have about an hour of reading at the least to catch up. Also our guild has been having some issues which have occupied a lot of my time. For once it is not attendance, but given the circumstances and attitudes of the past week, I think I may welcome the 20 raider Wednesdays to the 35 players and drama now. Honestly with all of the discussion about armor versus stamina, it is hard to think about anything else to blog about, however I will not indulge in more of that banter, the discussion has been beaten to death in my opinion.

Achievements galore

Last night we went into ICC 10 man and decided that since we had a great group we would knock out all of the achievements. Unfortunately we decided this after we passed up Lady Deathwhisper, so I have one more to go on the available content.

I was surprised at how easy they were. We were plowing through the instance one shotting everything that was trivial and taking a few attempts here and there to understand some modified strats for the achievements. What it came down to is that we still wiped on blood princes more than any of the other fights. Queen was a one shot, dances with oozes on putricide was a one shot, Rotface was the only other boss where we needed a few attempts to get dances with oozes.

Best in Slot dogma

In light of the long thread that started early in the week, which has morphed from a flame thread to a very important piece of our communities theorycraft, I wanted to talk about the concept of best in slot when applied to tanks. For a few months now on MainTankadin, there have been many threads and posts regarding the 3.3 Best in Slot lists. All of these have contained the question “when are we going to see your BiS List?” Well I believe that we have gotten to the heart of the matter to why you have not seen one yet. If we have learned anything from this 20 page thread, it is that there are a lot of different variables which we must take into account when trying to gear ourselves for a fight.

I used an analogy regarding Theck’s great work on Total Effective Health (TEH), and I believe that it can not be said enough with regards to gear selections and making generalizations about best in slot gear. The analogy says that

A hammer is an amazing invention that changed the way in which we perform construction but you should never use a hammer to put a screw in a board….

While this is a bit anecdotal, it proves a point regarding Theck’s work. You have to understand the purpose of the tool and use it only when it is applicable. The same goes for general gearing philosophies and gear sets. An extreme example of this lies in the passively unhittable set, aka the Anub’arak Hard Mode gear set. While it is powerful when tanking 4 adds during the Anub’arak encounter, you would not want to wear it to any encounter in ICC. The same holds true to a lesser extent for any of your other gear sets (if you have them), or your coveted BiS gear.

The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter. I am going to repeat that statement, bold it and italicize it because it is just as important as understanding what gear to wear to be a good tank, why there is a defense minimum, and what stats you should prioritize. The gear on your back is only as good as the knowledge you use to apply said gear to a specific encounter.

Before you walk into an instance, as a member of your main tanking core, you should understand what each boss does, what your raid will need to be doing, and what you can do to make the rest of your raid’s job easier. Once you have understood all of this, you can then tailor a gear set to help you ensure either maximum survival, maximum threat, or a balance of each depending on the fight, and its ease of completion with in your guild.

26
Jan
10

Armor and Egos

The internet is full of egos

I wanted to discuss something that I tested with quite a bit of success this weekend, however there was a thread up on MainTankadin which bothered me enough that I need to address it prior to continuing on. Most of the contributors to MainTankadin are very civil and reasonable people who like to discuss tank gearing, mechanics, and philosophies based off the the scientific method, e.g. I have a theory, I test said theory, and I provide data to support conclusions surrounding said theory. Well this past weekend we had a new member from the warrior community, JamesVZ who decided that numbers, facts, and data are not necessary to prove a point.

This person claims that if you have been tanking for 5+ years, that stamina sucks, armor is king, and all of the theories on gearing and stat prioritization that Theck has worked so hard on are false, and that Theck is just posting lots of numbers to stroke his internet ego. Well I was two pages into the discussion before MT went down and I have yet to see a single shred of a legitimate argument from the original poster. His arguments are full of heresy and lacking any sort of data driven conclusions. He furthermore does not understand the concepts for which the new Total Effective Health formula and concept should be applied.

In the end, he comes off as pompous and egotistical, as well as uneducated as he has based his accusations on less than all the facts, and has yet to back them up with evidence to counter our general beliefs on gearing. While I assume that 90% of everyone who reads this has been to MainTankadin and contributed in one form or another, I feel that it should be emphasized that these arguments are quite baseless and childish in that they simply seem to be for the fact that the poster wants to yell at the wind.

Blood Queen and Armor

Unfortunately I wanted to talk about how awesome armor is for particular fights, but this dilettante seems to have overshadowed my thoughts on this subject. I was thinking about Blood Queen and the best way to mitigate incoming damage for both myself, and the damage I do to the off tank, and it occured to me that either avoidance or armor would be the best course of action.

My motivation for reducing damage was so that the healers could focus on the raid as much as possible, as it is a very healing intensive fight. After looking at our parses from the 25 man attempts, I decided that the amount of damage that was coming in would better be mitigated by armor. I set up a gear set of my best effective health gear, and then swapped out what I had to wear the Cataclysmic Chest, Guantlets of the Kraken, Pillars of Might, Unidentifiable Organ, and Glyph of Indomitability. I was buffed to the teeth with bonus armor, and still sitting in a comfortable position with respect to my health pool.

If you look at this parse where we wiped (yeah we sucked last Tuesday), you can see that the average hit size I took was 22k.

Now if you look at the damage from a fight with a different gear set, one that increased the amount of armor by ~7k, I took an average of 18k damage. These are unmitigated hits. Most hits had absorbs and blocks added to them. There was a relative damage decrease of 19%. That is quite siginficant. Now once you incorporate those numbers into the fact that you have actually reduced incoming damage by 6k and not just 3k, it becomes much more obvious that armor is a very powerful stat for this boss.

While this is only one instance of the application of armor and its relative benefits, it is a powerful one. As we double our benefits based off of blood mirror, this is a perfect example of a fight where armor is extremely powerful. This will however, not translate into armor being king on other fights. In conclusion, if you understand the mechanics of the fight and tailor a gear set to augment your ability to perform to the best of your ability during said fight, you will be a better tank and a better player as a result. There is no end all be all for gear, each encounter will have different mechanics which will make that BiS set better or worse.

Oh and don’t be a douche, it is really just not worth it, rise above antagonistic pre pubescent teens who feel they need to exert a force for which they do not have.

22
Jan
10

Icecrown Gear Set Analysis

Why cant we define a BiS List

I should send Theck some cookies for continually giving me great topics for discussion on this blog. Yesterday he did a great analysis of the different options for each gear slot and broke down some great gear sets. The problem we as a community have faced is that there really is not one best in slot list. While some of our newer contributors are trying to compile lists and get posts stickied, they all fall short of Theck in their analysis because of one thing, there is too much gear. What I mean by this is that blizzard has graced us with three different pieces for almost every slot, and each piece is tailored to a specific purpose, threat, avoidance, or effective health.

My habit with Thecks posts is to read the conclusions first, as he loves to write more than me, and then read the main body of work, so I will provide you with his conclusions first, which I completely agree with….

The EH enthusiast – T10 Helm/Shoulders, Cat/Kraken/Pillars for massive Armor. The off-set shoulders can be subbed in if you don’t want the set bonus.

The Stam enthusiast – T10 Helm/Chest, Boneguard/Taldaram/LostHope. Unconcerned with armor, they pick up the 18 stam bonuses while trading as little avoidance as possible. Possible variant is T10 Helm/Chest + Boneguard/Taldaram/Pillars if they care about armor a little bit.

The Avoidance Lover – T10 Helm/Shoulders/Chest/Legs, Taldaram’s gloves. Gives you the highest avoidance possible along with the 4-piece bonus.

The Tightrope Walker – T10 Helm/Chest + Boneguard/Kraken/Pillars. This guy likes balance, and makes the most efficient ratio trades for armor (Kraken/Pillars)

This is the TLDR version of his analysis, but I think it is important to know why we got to this conclusion, and not just what pieces of gear you should pick up. I honestly think this is valuable information when it comes to gearing choices and the selection of how to spend this months most precious commodity, an Emblem of Frost.

Our options and choices

Since Blizzard was generous enough to give us three different pieces of gear for almost every slot, they have made it very hard for those people in the community who love the concept of a BiS gear list to create or find one. The fact that we have a significant amount of gear which is very specialized makes the assignment of Best in Slot a very difficult one. With that being said, the specialization of gear has allowed us to create close to BiS lists for specific functions. In previous tiers, you had a few options for rings, cloaks, necks, and a few pieces of gear, to craft your Effective Health set or your Avoidance set, however now we have a piece for almost every slot.

I wanted to focus on our progression set, because that is what most of us will be wearing for a majority of the encounters in the next few months. As the final wing opens up, and the Lich King’s defeat unlocks hard modes, we will need to focus on gearing for a few tank check encounters. What this means is that we need to increase our ability to take unmitigated damage, and mitigate the rest. There are bonus armor pieces galore, and a few pieces that offer ungodly amounts of stamina on them, which we will want to focus on when compiling this set. As you can see in Theck’s suggestions for the EH lover, we can squeeze a lot of bonus armor out of two badge pieces and a crafted piece. This means that these pieces of gear are available to everyone and we do not have to worry about the rng of loot dropping off of a specific boss.

Special Considerations and Caveats

Theck also pointed out in his post that there are some caveats to your gearing strategies. These caveats come from the fact that the pieces that you can acquire are so full of stats such as expertise and hit that you can not just slap on all of the hit and expertise pieces because you will be WAY over the hit cap, and probably even over the expertise hard cap. With that being said, when compiling these sets there are even places where you will need to trade out some expertise or hit for a lesser piece simply because it is wasted itemization.

When comparing some of the pieces, you will notice that Theck points out that you have the ability to drop below the soft cap for expertise, and this is something you should NEVER do because of the relative gains that it will give you. It is interesting to note that some of the better pieces at the 264 item level are then eclipsed by the T10 at the 277 level. What I mean by this is that there are three pieces of T10 that are best in slot once upgraded to the 277 item level. For those of you who never think you will see hard modes, or will not see them for some time, the choices become much easier for you. For those of you who will be attempting them in the first week and believe that you can get your hand on a piece of 277 T10, it gets a bit more difficult.

Armor versus T10

To quote Theck once again –

As an interesting side note, let’s look just at Pillars and Cataclysmic. If you had to choose one of these to replace T10, Pillars is almost hands-down the better choice. It sacrifices less avoidance and gives you slightly more armor. Both pieces are roughly threat-neutral provided you’re soft-capped without either – the expertise gain from Cataclysmic offsets the STR loss, and the STR gain on Pillars offsets the expertise loss.

Cataclysmic is superior only if:

  1. You’re below the expertise soft-cap, in which case it’s threat positive, or
  2. You lose uncrittability by using Pillars

This is a very good point which shows the very dynamic nature of trying to assemble gear sets. This is an ideal example of the balancing act you have to do when selecting an item for any given slot, and your decisions ramifications on other items you may want to use. The Cataclysmic Chest and the T10 legs both have 82 expertise on them. If you have to make the decision between these two, and you lean towards the Pillars, you have just effectively lost 164 expertise.

You have to take this into consideration because if you want to go with a balanced set, where you use the T10 chest and the Pillars of Might, you will have to find your expertise other places, namely the boots and the gloves. We can use this as an example for any other combination of gear. If you decide to forgo a stat on two pieces, you have to see what it has on the effect of your overall gear set. For me, If I chose to use the EH set that theck outlined, I am going to have to wear the ToTGC bracers and Cloak (off jaraxxus), to make it to the soft cap. Now this isn’t to say that you cant do your job with a measly 16 expertise that is granted by talents and glyph, however your threat will take a dive because Expertise is the best threat stat when you are below the soft cap.

My choices

I agree with Theck on his assessment of the EH set (I would be an idiot to ever disagree with the man), and Will more than likely sport the same type of gear set for my progression Hard Mode encounters. For my personal gear selection, I will more than likely continue to hold off until I know that my gear needs an upgrade. This is because the longer I hold out, the more likely it is that I will have some other pieces drop from the bosses, such as the boots, which would change my decisions on order of acquisition.

Good luck to all of you on your gearing selections, and may the tank drops be plentiful…

20
Jan
10

Blood Prince Council and The Queen

Blizzard is just out to get us

So while I am a huge supporter of the attempt counter, blizzard had promised me that we would get 5 more attempts last night with the new wing opening up. THEY LIED! We had our usual Tuesday attendance of a crap load of people, we probably could have cleared AQ40 at level 60 with the raid we had, but we got our 25 and got the raid going. After plowing through the usual lag fest of the first four bosses, we went right to the Crimson Hall and had some fun times with the trash. I was having flash backs of Tempest Keep with all those evil blood elves.

I will come back to our Blood Pricnce Council fight, the mechanics, lessons learned, and a bit of story telling but I wanted to jump forward to the big bad girl at the end of the hall. We went up to the Queen’s room and immediately noticed something was fishy. We had an attempt counter, but it said 10 of 10. Now WTF, I thought we were going to get 5 more attempts with the new wing. We were a bit taken back by this, and we are all hoping that Blizzard fixes this ASAP so we can get some quality attempts in on the old hag. I have not seen any blue posts, and I have not heard from anyone else first hand on our sever that they are experincing the same issues, but I have asked around to a few guild leaders on our server about it. While I patiently await their responses, It is time for the Blood Princes break down.

Three Dudes and tons of balls

Hmm, that didn’t sound right. Oh well. We cleared the trash in the BP room and proceeded to talk about each of the princes abilities. The fight itself seemed straight forward and other than it being akin to the Council fight in Black Temple, we went in blind as usual. I took Valanar and tanked him in the middle Our other tank took Taldaram and tanked him on the right side of the room facing away from the raid, while Keleseth was tanked by our resident Lock tank. The first pull was as expected, messy and full of “oh crap what was that!” lines in vent. We figured out a few things about the vortexes, balls of fire, nuclei, and spirit finger sparkles!

Honestly I don’t have much to say about this fight currently because the kill happened so fast. We had a few wipes to figure out that you had to run away from Valanar when he cast his abilities, and then on the Third pull, everything just clicked, I was tanking and dispelling like crazy, and then all of a sudden I had loot bubbles on my target. I will have to say that even though our kill was probably a bit sloppy, it was too quick to even evaluate any real difficult parts of the encounter.

I have heard from multiple sources that if you put an imp or another pet on the Kinetic orbs, you can bounce them into the Queens room and burn an attempt. We had our hunters on the orbs at all times.

The Queen and My impressions

We gave the queen a few attempts, even though our counter was bugged out, just to see if she was a pushover. Now while she was not a pushover, the fight seems fairly straight forward. The key to the fight is managing your bites and ensuring that your whole raid has stellar environmental and debuff awareness. This is not good news for the likes of CF. While we are a great guild and we power through encounters, it takes us a little while to get used to these specific mechanics. Now normally there is no reason to be of concern, however with 5 less attempts than we were expecting, it concerns us.

In the end we gave it two attempts, plus one lagged out aggro pull, and called it there. We are going back in tomorrow to kill her after getting some experience and hoping for less lag from our server. From a tanking perspective, these two fights are lackluster. They dont seem to be tank checks in any way, shape, or form. I was never below 50% health the entire night on these two bosses, and both encounters are basic tank and spanks with a small amount of movement.

Goodies for Wrathy

I have been pretty stagnant on my gear acquisition over the past 7 weeks, only picking up a few pieces over the course of our progression in ICC. There are two reasons for this. First, we are gearing up some new tanks and I have passed two sets of shoulders, a belt, chest, helm, bracers, and ring to our other tanks. Secondly and more importantly, my 258 loot is more than sufficient for the tank checks in the instance so far. I have not really come in danger of wiping the raid by dying more than a few times since the instance came out. However last night, the tank loot fell from the heavens and I was a greedy little pally. I scooped up 4 pieces for my gear sets, and I can’t wait to see where they fit in. I picked up the hit helm, the avoidance belt and gloves, and the effective health neck. While I am happy that I have the options for avoidance and threat, the neck is by far the sweetest upgrade so far.

It is difficult for me to take so much loot, but the other officers reminded me that my two off tanks have been in the guild for a few weeks at most and will get their gear in due time. The biggest problem our guild has right now is the guilt that the officers have for sitting 12 people last night for the main raid, including two tanks. We have a great roster filled with some quality players, and we want to be able to provide the experience of the main raid for everyone, however its just not in the cards when you have that many people. Luckily we have our alt raid to take the last 12 people to, where they can pick up all the gear they want.

Thoughts on my gear and Emblems of Frost

With the completion of most of the 25 man last night, I am sitting pretty in the mid 240’s with Emblems of Frost I am once again feeling the temptation to buy some gear. While I am very partial to Tier sets and the free bonuses that come along with them, more and more people are leaning towards the offset gear. There are a few pieces that I can not pass up, namely the Chest. I am working my way to transmuting 12 titansteel bars so that I can make my Pillars of Might, and I am getting less and less confident that there will be a huge brick wall of magic damage coming before the end of the instance, which is leading closer and closer to buying the bonus armor pieces.

For my progression set, I know I will wear the T10 helm, and possibly the shoulders. I know that the shoulders off the Gunship battle have more stamina, but I am a sucker for more damage. After hopping over to Chardev, I took a look at what I could do but the simulation was missing way too many peices of gear including the expertise gloves, the expertise boots, the weapons and the shields. More on that later I guess.

For all of you who are still waiting on your Queen attempts, good luck and hopefully I will have some kill shots for you tomorrow!




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