Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And I'm still trembling

Short Version: Holy f'ing Dog Sht! I f'ing main tanked f'ing Heigan, having no f'ing idea what the f i was doing. And I f'ing did it! 12 hours later and my hands haven't stopped trembling yet. Major kudos go out to our friendly Ret Paladin disguised as Holy who kept us alive after her co-healer illustrated his lack of dancing prowess rather early in the fight.

Medium Version: Fresh off of tanking my first heroic, me and my alt-guildies were pumped up with confidence and ready to take on the world. So we filled in a PuG raid for Naxx-10 with full intentions of having the PuG DK main tank and me fill in the holes.

Upon discovering that the DK was...shall we say...challenged at following directions? Yeah, lets sum it all up and call it that. Upon said discovery, our little baby bear suddenly became the Go To Girl.

And Holy Sht, what a rush!

Long Version:

You've got a raid scheduled for tonight, but your team managed to clear out all the content in four or five hours earlier in the week leaving nothing for tonight's raid.

Ahhh, so that's what alts are for.

On to the heroics.

Tanking her first Heroic

Violet Hold. Sure, I know, not the toughest instance in the world, but we're new here, so bear (get it?) with us as we learn to tank.

Not a whole lot of fuss here, other than that I was totally undergeared and underskilled tank and our healer is undergeared but overskilled, while the DPS is made up of a collection of hardcore pro tank doing DPS to allow me to learn to tank, and a few alts of varying gear level.

And wouldn't you know it, we kicked its ass!

Noob mistakes galore, but we squeaked through and had a blast. Its always fun to learn new things along side with other people who laugh with you through the inevitable sloppy execution, ignorance of class abilities, fat fingers, untrained reflexes, and general lack of refinement.

Reflections on Tanking Ability

1) Was able to put out respectable single-target threat. Will benefit by tightening up the timing on refreshing lacerate and that other DoT (mangle?), I was likely wasting rage renewing them too soon out of fear of letting my 5-stack of lacerates drop off.

2) When a pack of mobs was under control, I was able to hold aggro on all of them via positioning my fat bear ass so that my swipes and glyphed mauls would hit all the mobs.

3) Total crap picking up a pack of incoming mobs. I tried FFF one, charge another, and then start swiping, and different variants of that cycle. Definitely need work here, and luckily will be saved by the bell that is 360 degree non-targeted swipe that's coming in a week or two. But still need work.

4) Health and survivability was reasonable. I can only really measure this via feedback from my healer, and he said there was no issue, and he's the type of person who'd tell you if you fail, so that's all that needs to be said about that.

Personally, I blame the DPS for #3, because its always more fun to point the finger elsewhere, and we all hate huntards :-) Focus fire. If you pull aggro, run TOWARDS the tank. But I digress, this is about my tanking, the DPS did just fine, so I should segue into a #4 about improving my communication skills to inform the team that I need their help in bringing mobs to me because I'm a noob.

And why not go for the Big Show

Fast forward through two more heroics during which I was DPS'ing as a kitty.

And a guildie asks if anybody wants to try out an alt/pug naxx-10.

Well, no time like the present, I suppose.

PuG a Death Knight who is supposed to be serving as main tank.

Begin the first pull, I'm nervous as balls. All these other people counting on me to keep the damn mobs off of them. And me having the whopping experience of about 7 or 8 dungeon runs tanked, with a single heroic thrown in there.

Trash is fine, even had to whip out a few improvisational moves to correct some sloppy multi-pulls. In my DPS world of Hunting, I have new respect for when a tank says "we're pulling these guys back".

Yadda yadda yadda, we're up to Anubrikan.

DK is on Anub, I'm on adds.

When its time to kite Anub, the DK didn't respond to the continuous, endless pleas from the Raid Leader to kite him. So he just stood there. So the fight was...interesting. But I did my job, took care of the adds, not knowing what to do, I dragged the adds away from the boss into the middle of the room. And threw a litle DPS on Anub when no adds were present.

All in all, a kill is a kill is a kill.

Is when I become Main Tank

RL wants the MT to be a bit more responsive to instructions, so we change assignments a bit.

Ahh, the bear is up front now! Time for some fun.

Lady Farina or whatever the hell her name is. To be honest, every single one of us forgot the "proper" way to kill her, we've been OP and just AoE'ing her down on our mains for so long. I'll admit that I was lying face down in the dirt at the end, died around 4%. Mr. DK did great job picking her up and the team finished her off. I cried for a little while.

Maexxena. A little uglier, however we did one-shot her. I died nearly immediately upon her enrage or whatever it is that she does at 30%. Me thinks I need to use more of the barkskin / survival instincts / frenzied regen stuff at this point. I was mentally ready to , but I was insta-gibbed so fast I didn't have a chance to trigger all of them.

Noth. Suck it! No fuss here. Easy because he doesnt blink/aggro wipe in 10-man, but still interesting to try to pick up all the adds during the teleport phase.

Heigan. TL;DR. Separate post. For the sake of this post, lets just say it was pretty f'ing cool.

Loatheb. Loatheb was fun because you just stand there and pour out the single-target threat. Didn't have survivability issues, no threat issues, pure win.

Mongoose is my new best friend

Got some new staff from the run.

Got my third mongoose enchant in three days.

Loot karma theory remains true, if you want to upgrade it, polish it and the loot will drop.

Confidence Boost

After clearing those two wings, it was bed time, so we called it quits.

I had no idea what to expect coming in to tank my first raid.

I could care less whether our success was because Blizz made raiding too easy or whatever. This was one of the most memorable raid nights I've ever had.

There's tons of room for improvement on both trash and bosses. There's tons of gear I should seek out to make life a little easier.

But the night showed that with the help of my team, I can hang in there and get the job done in a role that's so unlike ranged dps that its practically a different game.

And on the lighter side, hopefully the confidence boost to my tanking ego will ease the pressure to collect a backup set of healing gear, because all the multiple pieces is starting to make my head spin. I'm sure all you veteran hybrids are lmyao to hear that.

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