After a much needed long vacation from work and obligations, I am getting ready to get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately blizzard was not as nice to me and dropped 3.3, making me log on every day for the heroic daily, apparently I got coal from them this year. Either way, the holidays have come and gone, and as we start a new year, and a new decade, its time to take a look back to see where we have been so we can understand where it is we want to go…
I know I am a bit late on the survey, but I thought it would be nice to toss my hat in the ring so to speak with my thoughts on the 2009 year…
1. What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Crazy as it may seem, 2009 was the first time I have ever been a Paladin tank. I have spent a long time in end game guilds in this game, casually pushing the envelope, however for Vanilla I was a warrior tank and for TBC, I was a holy paladin. While I am not new to tanking end game progression encounters, and I am not new to pushing the envelope of very very difficult encounters, this is the first time I did it as a paladin and a tank.
In addition to respecing my paladin as a tank, I reassumed a leadership role in my guild as an officer (I was an officer as the warrior MT in my Vanilla Guild), started a blog (this one!), and became an avid theorycrafter and daily poster on MainTankadin.
2. What was your favorite new place that you visited?
Contrary to most peoples opinions, I loved the concepts which were employed in Trial of the Grand Crusade. Our guild has always prided ourselves on quality over quantity. While tons of hard core guilds around the world began to implode because of the attempt counters, we were loving every minute of it. The added challenge of having a limit on the number of attempts added an extra level of difficulty.
I also have to say that Heroic 25 man Anub’arak was by far the most fun, challenging, and rewarding encounter to learn to tank. Assembling the unhittable set, learning the camera angles to pull the mobs, and getting used to having to tank and interrupt the mobs was something that I will always look back on with fond (if not frustrated) memories.
3. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I have been fortunate enough to see most of the content when it was progression, and get the gear and opportunities that I wanted. The thing that I would love to have in 2010 that we had trouble with in 2009 is attendance for our 25 man raids. As successful as our guild has been, and as talented as we are, our attendance is our single largest factor to our “slower” progression. Anub took us under 100 attempts, yet it took us months, because we didn’t have the people to clear the instance on multiple days. I dont think that 3 days of raiding is too much to ask for the caliber of raiding that we provide, but apparently some of our raiders do.
4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
So many to choose from, yet only one should be the greatest achievement. Part of me wants to say Anub’arak, as it was a stressful encounter and a steep learning curve for me, however that fight was not about tanking, as much as it was about healing in P3. I think that the thing that stands out the most for me is the resiliency of my guild. We stood by and watched as guild after guild imploded, lost raiders, lost leadership, and either vanished into thin air or server transferred off. Our guild has been around for five years, and been a top PvE guild on our server the entire time. We have survived many leadership changes, member losses, and encounter road blocks, and all the while we are still alive, kicking, and doing things better (with respect to quality over quantity) than anyone else on the server.
5. What was your biggest failure?
Recruiting a consistent, reliable, and talented tank that appreciates the role of Main Tank as much as I do. Since I hit 80 on my paladin and started tanking in this expansion pack, I have tanked alongside 6 different warriors, 2 different paladins, 2 deathknights, and 4 druids, and I am the only consistent one. As the tank officer, I have tried my best to get a suitable replacement for a few of our great tanks that had to hang it up for real life, and I have yet to do so. Most of the tanks that I have had the pleasure of raiding with were ok at best. On three different occasions I had to educate tanks on their class. There is something wrong when a Paladin is telling a Warrior how to play their class, or a DK why they need more expertise.
6. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I think I have been the most excited about the gear sets in Icecrown Citadel. The thought of having a threat set, an effective health set, and an avoidance set which all come from different sets of core gear is really exciting to me. Currently, I have tons of different trinkets, rings, necks, and a smaller subset of gear that is gemmed and enchanted differently for these three roles, but in ICC, blizzard has finally stepped up and given us gear for the specific facets of tanking. There is Hit and Expertise gear, there is bonus armor gear, and there is pure avoidance gear. I love it!
7. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stand around in Dalaran and wait for a full raid. As I had mentioned earlier, our guild was plagued with poor attendance from key roles throughout the year. It was partially due to a small raid roster, and partially due to the fact that we have some people that take the concept of casual hard core to the limit. It is really frustrating as an officer when you have 15 to 20 really dedicated, and really talented raiders whispering you asking why we cant raid, or why we are not recruiting more people to fill these spots. Well we have recruited more, we have filled the spots, and we hope that coming off of the 2009 holiday season, we can hit ICC like a freight train.
8. What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?
I don’t listen to any podcasts, and I dont really know why, I just have not gotten into them. As for blogs, my blog role is long and distinguished (top gun anyone?), but my favorites are by far the talented and consistent musings of…
9. Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.
I think one of the most important things that I learned this year, and it is something that has helped me mature as a tank, a member of the paladin community, and a theorycrafter is that you have to share your opinions and knowledge in order to mature as a player. I find that I have become a much better player as a result of becoming a contributor to MainTankadin and this blog. As I began to share my opinions, and as a result educating the community, I have learned so much more. This learning has been augmented by the discussions I have had with the other tanks in the community. The more you discuss your opinions and philosophies, the more you grow and learn how to better yourself.
Happy New Years to everyone out there, I hope it is a great year for each and every person that this reaches…