I'm a dedicated WoW player who play several alts, but I focus mainly on my Warlock. Since I have a lot of characters, on this site it's easiest that I'm simply known as Saga.
I'm a raider, guild officer and altoholic who loves chasing after new mounts and pets.
This site is where I ramble about my adventures and thoughts as I continue playing WoW.
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Monthly Archives: September 2010
For anyone thinking about being a tank in a raiding guild there are a few traits that I think you need to have to be a good tank. I’ve tried every role in a raid environment; I’ve been a dps, a healer and in the last few tiers of Wrath a tank. Out of all the roles I’ve had I’ve found tanking to be the most demanding.
I’m not trying to lessen the importance of the other roles (because I think we all know that if you lack any of the main aspects; healing, tanking or dps – your group will fail), but tanking is the one that is the least forgiving when it comes to mistakes.
Not everyone can be a good tank, nor can everyone be a good healer or good dps, but since this topic is about tanks I’m focusing on what I think you need to be a good tank.
A Certain Level of Insanity
After all, you have to enjoy being punched in the face repeatedly. You also have to be the first person charging into groups of aggressive mobs that want nothing more than to kill you all. Not to mention the willingness to take on all the stress and responsibility that it actually is to be a raid tank.
Tanking is a stressful job. If you’re someone who’s not easily stressed – that would be helpful. Being a tank means doing a lot of things at once. Anyone who thinks that tanking is just about standing in front of a boss and taking the hits is sorely mistaken. I’m sure it can be stressful to raid for any role, but I find tanking to be the most stressful.
I think what it boils down to is the fact that if you make a mistake as a dps, most likely all that happens is that you lose a bit of dps and can pick back up again. Worst case; you die, but your team mates can go on. As a healer, you might miss a heal or dispel – but hopefully one of the other healers can make up for it. When you’re tanking, you’re most likely the only one doing your specific job and if you make a mistake the odds are that the raid wipes.
While awareness is important for anyone in a raid (don’t stand in the stupid!) a tank has to be more aware than most others. You’re not just responsible for yourself, but it’s also your job to make sure that nothing gets loose to kick in the healers’ faces.
While you’re tanking and are responsible for making sure you put out as much threat as possible you also have to make sure you’re moving if the fight requires it, that you’re ready to pick up stray adds/accidentally pulled mobs and that you’re ready to snap back aggro if someone overaggroes (please don’t) or something else unexpected happens.
You have to know all of the mechanics of the fight so that you know how to react in every event.
You have to be content to for the most part be staring into bosses bellies, crotches, legs or other various bodyparts. The role of the tank is not necessarily the role of the person who gets to see the awesome design of the instance, you’re most likely going to be too busy having a big boss or a billion adds filling your screen. And if not, you’re most likely looking around you frantically trying to see the next bad thing that will jump at the raid before it sees you to really appreciate your surroundings.
Sometimes, it’s actually nice to walk around a little after the instance has been cleared. It allows you to look at things you probably didn’t have the time to look at during the actual raid. This may be a suggestion that works for any role.
Cooldowns & Abilities
You need to know what tools you have available to you and when to use them. For a warrior this means knowing who to put Vigilance on (it’s not necessarily the highest dps/threat person), when to use which cooldown and possibly helping with stuns in some fights with Concussion Blow or Shockwave.
To summarise, being a tank is a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress. However, it also comes with a feeling of immense satisfaction when you do a good job. A good tank can keep the raid together and progressing, and when you kill that boss that you’ve been working on for a long period of time the feeling of accomplishment is your biggest reward.
What would you think are some key things to being successful at your role? I’d love to hear the take of a healer/dps or even other tanks
As I’m sure no one has escaped to notice the Brewfest has started. There are no changes from 2009 so if you completed your achievements before there is nothing new for you to do. However, if you didn’t have enough tickets to get the pet or clothing that you might want last year, you can always do that.
There is also no grinding for the mounts anymore, but you only get one chance per day (which is nice in a way). Instead of the mounts dropping from Coren Direbrew directly you get a daily dungeon quest similar to your regular random heroic, only you queue for Coren directly. You’ll get a “bag” (more like a mug of ale) which contains 2 emblems of frost and a chance of any of the rare items (including the Ram and Kodo).
I’ve been doing the boss once each day on all of my alts, and so far I got 3 rams (!) on three characters. At least two of them I’m considering for my main in Cataclysm – so I’m happy to have it on them. Now I just keep hoping for the Kodo.
I have one small achievement left to do on my Warlock – I just need 200 tickets to join the club and I’ll be all set. I want to get an additional 100 tickets though for the pet, since I love pets.
How has Brewfest treated you? Are you still waiting for a mount or two to drop? Did you complete all achievements?
Ok, this is hands down the most boring zone post-Cataclysm so far. It’s changes absolutely nothing. I’m not joking, there’s no streamlining of the quests, no new quests, no removed quests – it’s exactly the same. There is no sign of there having been a cataclysmic event in this part of the world at all.
This of course means that this will be a very short article, and hey – it’s weekend, so I think that’s fine. I could have skipped writing it I guess, but I wanted to write at least a little bit about every race’s starting zone.
So, anyway.. please say hi to the Draenei Warrior; Sachla.
Okay, so.. Azuremyst Isle. Yep, it’s exactly the same as before. Apparently the Draenei haven’t heard of the Cataclysm yet. I don’t know if it’s because they’re supposedly part of the TBC-era and I know Outland isn’t changing – but they’re still on Azeroth and that has changed. So to be quite honest I find it a little bit odd that there’s no sign of any changes at all.
The only discernible difference in the zone is the addition of the Target Dummies that every starting zone has now.
So, what about the post-Cataclysm warrior? Well, first off I felt very weak and like I was taking a lot more damage than I’m used to – but maybe I’m just remembering my old warrior leveling days with rose-coloured goggles on. Other than that, you start at level 1 with the new ability Strike, which has a cooldown. At level 3 you get Charge, and at level 5 you get Victory Rush. Note though that Victory rush has changed and now heals you – something that I think can be very useful for a low level warrior.
Anyway, that was all the info I had on Draeneis. Enjoy your weekend!
I wanted to test the gnome zone since I know theirs have had quite a few changes, but there’s a bug which makes you unable to finish a quest at level 2 already – and you can’t get any further quests without completing it, so for now my poor little gnome is stuck. So I’ve continued on with the other alliance races, next up being human.
In the spirit of picking the new class/race combinations I know I should have been a human hunter, but quite honestly I think the human shooting animation looks horrible so I couldn’t stand it. So therefore, please say hello to the human warlock; Démonique!
As you start out as a human there are a few changes to the zone, mainly in the NPCs. There’s a stand in front of you where people can sign up to help protect the lands against Blackrock Orcs since most of the military has been sent off to war by now. Every able bodied man and woman is needed, and that’s where you come in!
King Varian Wrynn is even there holding a speech – or standing around thinking to look inspiring, I don’t know – but I couldn’t get a screenshot of him before he vanished in thin air. I guess he had more pressing things to do than to stick around and chat to a nosy warlock. Oh well.
Since the military is off doing.. military things.. I’m not quite sure why there’s an entire troop standing outside the church doing nothing to help with the Blackrock Orcs.. but I’m sure there’s a reason. Maybe they’re learning to.. stand.. or something.
As you may have figured out, the Defias Brotherhood has left, instead the vineyard has been over-run by Blackrock Orcs. Apparently the Cataclysm made them come down for a snack of grapes. As one orc told me.. “The grapes were TASTY!” Then he died, from an immolate in the face. But at least he got to enjoy the grapes first.
Before we go off and fight the orcs though we have to do the old quests (yep, they’re still there) where we start the kobold genocide that will continue through our travels of the world. We also kill some wolves, you know.. the old stuff that was there before Cataclysm and apparently still is.
Anyway, once we’re done lowering the amount of kobolds in the world we finally get to the good stuff. The woman who used to have us collect grapes now hands us a.. wait for it.. fire extinguisher! How cool is that? So we head on over to the vineyard where we get to melt some orc faces (I’m sure there was a quest for it, but I’d do it just for fun too) and put out fires. Nothing can stand up against the might of a warlock.. with water..
We also get to kill the big, bad orc that’s apparently behind this mess as well. I didn’t know they had the brains for such things, but I guess the biggest orc = the boss orc and so we kill the biggest orc and win. Easy as pie.
This actually felt like one of the quickest zones to level through, and you get a new piece of equipment from just about every other quest it feels like. So far this is the zone that for me has felt the quickest and in a way the most fun (not counting worgen of course) of the old zones. I still have gnomes to go though, and horde. so let’s see who wins in the end.
On a warlock note we of course start with the imp already at level 1 (but I think that’s already on live) and Shadowbolt as our only spell. At level 3 we get Immolate though and at level 4 Corruption. Once we hit level 5 we get Life Tap. I swear by level 5 I felt like the little powerhouse a warlock is already. I think at level 5 this is the class that has had the most abilities so far.
Oh, and get this. We get a WAND from a quest! This is awesome news for all casters. Any time I’ve leveled a caster I can’t remember getting a wand unless I made one with enchanting or was lucky enough to get one from Deadmines, so getting a wand already by level 5 felt like.. Christmas come early.
To show how much equipment was given in those first 5 levels, check out my snazzy new outfit at level 5 and compare it to the starting one. I promise you everything is new and shiny.
In an attempt to try all of the starting zones in the new world post-cataclysm it was now time for the Dwarves. Since I’m trying the new class combinations at the same time, of course I had to pick myself a Dwarf Shaman. So, please let me introduce you to Beiara, the Stout and Proud.
First off, like the night elf zone the dwarf starting area doesn’t physically look any different to before – however unlike the former the dwarves have some new quests whereas the night elves’ quests were virtually all the same as before. Some of the quests you will recognise from before, but there’s also some new ones since the focus of the zone has changed somewhat.
The troggs that were previously wandering around the zone rather aimlessly are now attacking the dwarves. It seems that they didn’t understand the concept of an earthquake but believes that the world shaking was the dwarves trying to attack them, so they’re not upset and doing their best to take down as many dwarves as they can. The dwarves have retreated into their base and you’re tasked to help them stave off the offenders and find supplies for the people waiting inside.
Obviously, being dwarves the first thing you’re sent off to get the people in lock-down inside Anvilmar is.. eh.. beer. Cause you know, what’s an emergency without a solid drink, right? Screw provisions, at least for now, and get beer. Got it!
There’s a bug where female dwarf shamans didn’t get a Hearthstone in their bags, which was a little bit annoying – but I guess that’s what bug reports are for. The male ones did (I had to check), but whoever coded it forgot to give one to the females. How unfair..
I liked a quest where you have to get artifacts from the troggs. Mainly because it’s a little bit different to your normal kill-loot quest since the troggs get really angry when you attack them and actually throw the artifact at you. Obviously being in combat you still have to kill them (unless you wanna spend some wasted time running away), and if you kill them too quickly they won’t have time to throw them (but no worries, then you can still loot it). It was just fun to see some variation to the quest.
After that a lot of the quests are the same as before. Finding the three items for the gnome and killing trolls. It’s been more streamlined though so there’s a lot less running between the caves, the little camp and Anvilmar. The quests flow a lot better, for sure.
Once the zone is finished and you’re heading off to walk through the tunnels to Thelsamar you never get that far because the earthquakes made the tunnel collapse. Fortunately for you there’s a gnome pilot who can take you across on his helicopter! Yay!
To conclude, the dwarf zone hasn’t changed physically but has definitely changed a bit when it comes to the questing – and in my opinion for the better. The dwarf shaman feels a little bit more interesting since you now get Primal Strike at level 3, so it’s not all lightning bolts at lower level, but you can feel a bit like an enhancement shaman if you want to.
I’m working my way through all of the starting areas for every race in WoW to see how they’ve changed in Cataclysm. If you want no spoilers at all I suggest you don’t read – but I won’t be giving any major lore spoilers.
Next in line after my Worgen I had intented to start the Goblin experience, but my Goblin is stuck on a quest she can’t complete and hence I’ve had to abandon her for the time being. So I’ve skipped ahead to the Night Elves. While at it, I figured I’d try the new Night Elf class; Mage. So, here I’m introducing you to my new Night Elf Mage, Meganira.
As various sites have already mentioned the introduction cinematics for the races all have a new voice over-lay with updated information, so also for the Night Elves. As you start your new Night Elf though I have to admit that Teldrassil is pretty much untouched by the cataclysm. Maybe it’s because it’s a huge tree, I don’t know – but I was still a little bit disappointed that it didn’t even seem to have lost a branch somewhere (unless I’ve completely missed it).
The biggest difference really is the fact that, you know, you can now be a Night Elf Mage.
What they have done is stream-lined the quests, which I’m a big fan of and I’m glad that they did it. There’s a lot less running back and forth to first talk to this person and that, only to finally get a quest to actually do something. Most of the quests are the same as before, though the quest givers may have changed location slightly (very slightly). The one big difference being a new quest which will award you your first 6-slot bag.
As I was playing a Mage I noticed a couple of changes to the class. First of all, Arcane Missiles is now a proc and you get it at level 3. When I got it I was a little hesitant, but it ends up being quite a bit of fun. It makes the Mage gameplay much more interactive than the old spamming of fireballs. It also introduced me to my first look of the new built-in poweraura system, and it’s pretty.
Since the zone has barely changed I don’t have much to say about it, really. There did seem to be an addition of a bunch of Wounded Sentinels around the tree in the starting area, but unless I missed it there’s no explanation to why they are wounded or any quest to aid them.
They did however add a small change when you do your quest to fill a phial with water from the Moonwell. As you reach it a Shade of the Kaldorei appears and gives you a small history lesson of your race. This then continues as you reach the other Moonwells in the line of quests, which is a nice addition.
Other than that, the Night Elf experience is very much the same way it’s always been – only now with mages!
As you reach the next town, Dolanaar, you also get your first flight path. Now, I don’t know if it’s intended or a bug – but your flight path is already connected to Darnassus, Rut’Theran Village and the new town in Darkshore. Which means a lot less running. Now, another really neat thing (in my opinion) is that when you fly to Rut’Theran you actually fly all the way down the Teldrassil tree. It’s much more cool than just going through a portal!
First off, my client no longer crashes every 2 minutes. Whether this is because I applied a fix or because there was a new patch, I don’t know. If you’re still having problems, you can try what I did – which basically was to uninstall the client and download the enUS version. For some reason the enGB version seems to be a lot more bugged and crash-happy than the enUS one. So if you’re running the GB version and still crashing a lot, give it a try with the US one.
Now, as I’m finally able to play a little longer than two minutes I decided to start my project of checking out every starter zone for all the races. I love the starting experience and I’m curious to see how it’s been changed. Since Worgens are new and shiny (well, hairy at least) I decided to start with them.
I’m not going to go into detail quest by quest or anything, there are plenty of other places that do that. I just want to give my general impression of each starting experience and how it seems.
So, introducing my now level 11 Worgen Hunter: Rhobin (and his precious side-kick.. eh.. pet.. Chuckles)
Their zone – as I’m sure you’ve heard and seen in screenshots – is lovely and dark, filled with despair. The architecture is Victorian and the men all wear top hats (okay, not all - but a large majority!). I love the women’s looks as well though and I’d love one of their hats for my own humans.
Anyway, the whole starting experience is rather pleasant – while slightly bugged in places – and the quests are a lot more diverse than what we’re used to. It’s not all go here and kill X amount of this, but there’s quite a variety. Sure, you still get quests to kill things or pick things up.. but you also get quests where you get to ride around on a horse and piss worgens off by tossing a torch at them.. or having yourself catapulted on top of a Forsaken ship. How cool is that, really?
I liked the fact that you get a bag within the first five quests, and it even auto-equips! You get another bag before level 10 as well – so by the time you’re level 10 you actually have two extra bags already.
The atmosphere is great and it follows a pretty worked-out storyline. You start out as a non-worgen helping the town out against invaders and end up becoming one yourself. Around level 10 you will get around to the quests that teach you more about the worgen heritage and history – which is pretty interesting if you’re into the lore behind things.
Around level 6-8 you get to the areas where thing are starting to phase quite obviously. You’re in a basement turning in a quest when the world literally shakes beneath your feet and as you come back outside the ocean has swallowed up the area where you were questing just a moment ago. It’s pretty neat, and I like how the phasing works – somehow it feels like it gives more life to the story.
On the whole, I really enjoyed the Worgen experience. Compared to the old starting areas from previous expansions you can tell that the game has really come a lot further with what it can do, and also putting more work into the starting areas.
Some random thoughts after playing a Worgen:
- The racial trait isn’t 1% increased damage as was originally said, it’s 1% increased critical rating
- Their casting animation when casting Hearthstone is way too.. wobbly.. while you’re standing there casting it looks like you’re about to lose your balance
- Some re-spawn rates of mobs are over the top and you’ll suddenly find yourself over-run and killed.
- Two Forms (the worgen racial that allows you to switch back to human forms) at level 10 is kind of bugged (image in gallery)
- I’m disappointed that when you use your racial sprint you’re actually doing just that, sprinting. Would have been much more cool if they’d get down on all fours to run faster instead of just normal running.
Below is a gallery of screenshots from my Worgen experience, if you click on them you’ll see them bigger with comments