Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mists on the horizon

Firstly, the Legendary dudes stole part of my blog name for a show they're doing called "After Dark!" This makes me unreasonably and unbearably despondent. Sad enough to use an emoticon. :-(

Moving on.

This week was the final Dragon Soul run for me. I got to tank heroic Madness one last time, and now it's just a clear run towards Pandaria and the raids waiting for us on those distant, misty shores. The two hour clears of Heroic Dragon Soul were almost getting to be fun, but I'll be happy not to step into that place for a long, long time.

Unlike Wrath of the Lich King, my sets are all kinds of all over the place, distributed between three specs and while all of them are very well geared, none of them are complete. The side-effect of raiding with 3 specs, I suppose. And given my luck with loot, I went the entire expansion - the entire expansion (some 20+ Madness kills in normal or heroic mode) without seeing a single Souldrinker. Bravo, Dragon Soul, you have gotten one over me after all. You win this round, RNG.

Also, no heroic mounts, not from Ragnaros, not from Dragon Soul, not from Alysrazor... I've seen maybe 12 rare mounts in total drop from the bosses in all of Cataclysm and didn't win any. So it goes. I'm not too disappointed, though a Ragnaros mount would have been nice.

I don't have too many regrets about Cataclysm, but I'm just eager to put it behind me and look towards Mists, especially now that I'm trying to settle (again) into my new role, getting excited about tanking. After prepping for Retribution for a couple of months, it's a bit of a gear change, but I'm happier in this role than any other by far, and the weight of a shield on my arm is far more comfortable than the feel of a great heavy axe in my hands.

But the changes to tanking in general and the Protection Paladin toolbox in particular have been significant and I'm still getting used to them. We have a large number of keybinds and being a support class, it's well deserved. There are a tons of buttons we must necessarily have close at hand at all time. This is taking some tricky maneuvering of binds, add-ons, and re-training my hand and muscle-memory a bit, while trying to incorporate a ton of auras to track what ElvUI was doing for me, till it slowed my laptop to a crawl and had to be ejected. So now I'm stuck making my own UI, more or less, from SUF, Bartender and Weak Auras. Maybe that's worth throwing up here to help anyone making their own Tanking UI.

In a shocking bit of news for nobody, Tanking 25s is pretty different from 10s. The amount of specific information I had in 10s is missing (the smaller number of people meant that I could specifically call out to people for specific buffs or help) though that could just be me being new to the guild (not really, I've been here for over a month already.) Point being that I got myself killed a couple of times because I didn't exactly know who to call on for help - I'll need to make sure I correct that.

The other thing is that now I'm getting exposed to the new Vengeance mechanic  and its never-ending climb to the stratosphere thanks to the removal of any cap. Do you know how much AP you get after eating an Impale? A ton. Like, six-figures of a ton. Holy shit. I have a feeling if I was tighter and better with my rotation I'd be wrecking meters left and right. But not all bosses are going to hit like that - and besides, it just makes tank swaps a nightmare. Maybe some kind of macro is necessary.

/cancelaura Righteous Fury
/cast Hand of Salvation
/dance

In more sad news, the removal of Righteous Defense is such a handicap that I didn't even realize it until I saw two or three adds peeling off and, as I'm want to do, I switched targets and my ring-finger spammed my ages-old RD macro-bind and the adds just continued on their merry way. It was a sad moment, and I paused to mourn the passing of an old friend whilst the loose adds gored on the bodies of my companions.

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