What? I like alliteration. Don't judge me.
My patch-day-jitters were ill-founded, and though I still hold on to some trepidation, things seem stable for the time being. I think we have - more or less - a steady group at this point with only one or two floater spots and I hope to fill them in soon. We even picked up a new Hunter on Tuesday night. Anyway. Enough of that - let's talk about how the last couple of days have been.
After two nights of using Holy Shield - I'm still getting used to having an extra cool-down. Trying to figure out when to use it is interesting, I keep expecting to use 3 Holy Power immediately to keep Holy Shield rolling, but of course, I don't need to. Using it as a mini-cool-down every 30 seconds is fine, but I keep finding myself wishing I had it up again right after I use it and the cushion drops after 10 seconds. I'm going to need a lot more practice before I'm comfortable with this little bastard.
Right now, I suppose I'm happy to have it rather than just loosing 10% damage from blocks, which Blizzard could easily have done and called it a day.
TIER 11 in 4.2:
I wanted to do one last run-through of Tier 11 and grab a few items to slot in those blues, and boy howdy, the nerfs are something. The most common comment from healers? "I'm bored", and "I'm swapping to DPS." I'm pretty sure everything can be two-healed with a steady and solid group (except maybe Nef) and pretty much any mistakes you are making can be covered by three healing everything and just blunt-DPSing through the mechanics. We were breaking prior kill records by a minute to two all over the place. Though I suppose it's now tuned to people in blues and a few epics rather than a team with an average iLevel nearing 359.
We finished all of Bastion of Twilight in a little under an hour and all of Blackwing Descent in a little over one hour. The only wipe we had was on Nefarian when there was a miscommunication in Phase 2. Anyway. If you've been waiting for Tier 11 - now is your time!
The raid itself is... well, not lovely, but it looks epic, and the layout is well-designed, I'm not quite sure how big it all is, but it feels roughly the size of Stormwind, maybe a bit larger. It's on par with Molten Core, AQ 40, Black Temple, and Hyjal anyway, in terms of sheer space. The amount of trash is also a pretty shocking sight to take in at first, even after BoT's trash-filled rooms. And it's fun trash - for the most part you can just pull, AoE tank and burn it down, and when we did use CC it made the trash stupidly easy. The Hellhounds are the only except, and treating them like the kitties from Ulduar's Crazy Cat Lady helped.
It took us about two hours to clear up to Shannox without really pulling aggressively with a couple of wipes, and we did a pull or two wondering why taunts were not working (hint: they're taunt-immune) before we lost a healer and with the 2-hour trash re-spawn looming we had to run out and reset. Only later did I find out the Shannox trash was on a 4-hours lock out. Cest la vie.
We pulled much more aggressively and got all the way up Beth'tilac in about 30 minutes, which was much more reasonable. A few pulls went into Beth but we had trouble figuring out DPS balance between Drones, Spiderlings and Spinners, and with raid-time looming and people being tired, we just killed some more trash to get everyone up to Friendly with the Avengers of Hyjal so that they could pick up cloaks.
Aside from rep, there were some trash drops. My co-tank picked up the Scales of Life trinket from trash, and I picked up the Tanking boots pattern for my Blacksmith so I'll be crafting those once I get my hands on some Living Ember. By the way, the tanking cloak from Avengers reputation vendor is terrible for Paladins with Parry and Hit. Ugh. The quest reward is significantly better with Dodge and Mastery. I have both enchanted and am swapping them to see which I like better - the higher stat budget, or the purely better stats.
This is our three-night raid week so we will go back in tonight and I'm hoping we can kill one of the two bosses we saw last night which will give us a head-start for next week. I'll report back with details once I've hammered some out - likely after next weeks raid.
Good luck out there!