Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First Week of MoP Raiding

The rush of facing down a brand-new boss for the first time with shield in hand is an absolute joy and I'm so glad I'm back in the tanking seat. I can say I pulled the first boss in the first raid of MoP as a tank, and the raid killed him. Well. That alone would be enough, but thanks to the overzealous Seal of Truth damage and stacking Censure 100% of the time with a healthy bit of cleave thrown into the mix, and an uncapped Vengeance stack I... topped the damage meters by a fair 2%. And, well, while that would also usually be enough to make me more than happy, I even managed to rank fairly high for Protection Paladin damage on World of Logs.

The DPS QQ was particularly delicious. Here's a video of the kill.

I also used my Charm of Good Fortune and received the tanking belt, along with the Amulet the boss was kind enough to cough up, and along we went, happily clearing trash.

The second boss, Feng, is more dangerous, and challenging, but we made very good progress regardless, getting the first phase and then the second cleared up only to get repeatedly demolished in Phase 3 for two nights, but we came back on Friday, split into 2 groups of 10s because we were missing some people, and thanks to some tanking tier pants from the Sha of Anger, there was another dead boss and the tanking bracers. Ignore my aborted-pull there, I was spectacularly tired by that point.

With the dim possibility of a fourth night this week, I ground out the Valor for the tanking ring from Golden Lotus and we killed him after only about an hour of work, collected my boots, and then, we had some words with the Spirit Kings and left after a brief night, promising to come back tonight to extract vengeance.

Did I mention my exceptional good luck with gear this week? Well, perhaps it'll be a consolation to know that I'm still using 450 iLevel quest-reward mace as I've had no luck with weapon drops, as I predicted.


And may I just shake the hands of whoever designed these bosses? Thank you, designers, for making fights where tanks do more than just eat damage as meat-shields. While Stone Guard might not be brain surgery, it is engaging to have 3 tanks coordinate positioning, proximity, and add-shuffling pretty much continuously through the fight. Feng actually gives both tanks unique abilities that have to used at crucial moments to mitigate the damage and redirect his abilities back onto him. Spiritbinder isn't nearly as thrilling, but our ability to push big, big numbers in the Spirit Zone can be a big help. Spirit Kings is like every Council fight on crack; just so much juggling and fun, but it might be a single-tank fight, I don't know. I'm finding it hard to understand why you'd bring two tanks to this, even in 25 mode, except for the security. The movement and awareness heavy fight makes me realize why I love council fights that build up in complexity as the fight goes on and the abilities pile up.

One of the things that I keep having to remind myself is that we're doing this in dungeon blues and in some cases, a few quest greens. A few of us barely scraped past the 440 iLevel requirement for Heroic dungeons before stepping in to kill these bosses - and we're having some success with it.

What can I say? The week was fantastic, with everyone contributing, pooling resources, and having a really patient and professional attitude about progression (we probably wiped at least 30 times, if not more, on Feng alone) more or less for 2 nights straight.

I'm super excited to go back tonight - this is the most fun I've had in terms of really engaged, heads-down, nose to the grindstone, raiding in a long time.

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