ALT TAB – Forget about Wang!

ALT TAB is gonna be my occasional post to talk about my alts a bit.

Today, I got news from Grisen – once my main, now my main alt, the only one I actually leveled all the way to 80 on Hydraxis so far.

She’s an undead Warrior, Arms/Prot dual specced, and still a bit unexperienced in Wrath raids. But she’s got an attitude, and she’s cocky. I guess all tanks gotta be a bit like that since they like to be the center of any mob’s attention. And they like getting beaten, so that’s definitely not normal, right?

Grisen likes to tank yeah, but she rather do it with suitable gear for the job. So she’s been dpsing her way to some upgrades. She did a few Naxx runs so far and she got a few pieces of gear, mostly tanking stuff, but some dps pieces also. She used to run around with those pieces unenchanted and with crappy gems on them, but she decided to buff up her gear, so she doesn’t have to be carried anymore.

She’s got a nice tanking set now, more than enough to tank Naxx for sure – but some pug leaders still think she can’t handle that, and she got turned down as a tank once or twice in the past few weeks. These scrubs always worry about her health, like that’s the only tanking stat out there. I was able to push it up to 26.5k unbuffed, but some people still think that’s low for Naxx. What they don’t realize is that she has a lot of other issues, a lot more critical than her health. She’s got very little hit rating and expertise, and that worries me a lot more, because her threat generation against geared dps might be not enough in some fights. I haven’t seen a whole lot of misses/dodges/parries, and I have managed to keep aggro, but I still worry about that – certainly more than what my health pool looks like.

Anyway, it’s been hard getting her to do stuff on off-nights. Unemployed doesn’t run Naxx anymore, so I’m left with finding pug runs. And Hydraxis just sucks in that department. It’s a medium population realm, but the pugging scene is just a nightmare. It’s not that they are terrible, and you wipe a lot, or don’t get anywhere – they’re just so hard to find. It’s really hard to see any groups forming, LFG channels are in complete silence all the time. You might find something in Trade if you hang out in a major city all night, but that that’s also pretty rare. Scheduled pugs? Maybe one, or two…

I truly blame that on the progression design they have in Wrath. You don’t need to go through all the steps that used to get you ready for raids. Most people hit 80 and head to Naxx. Some at least grab some crafted pieces, but others just go on blues they picked up along the way – or they are still walking around with their BC epics. There’s no gearing process involved, no running level 80 dungeons, to be ready for heroics, then farming those a bit before being ready to raid.

If you only do 10 mans, you can keep running heroics for upgrades, as you go through Naxx, since they have the same item level. But if you’re into 25 mans, and you can be brought along for one or two runs, you’ll have much better pieces than what you could have picked up in heroics. So a lot of people feel like they’re wasting their time on heroics. Naxx being too easy just encourages this – if you have a good group, you can certainly bring a bunch of undergeared players and still go through the whole place without a lot of trouble.

If you’re a new player, getting to 80 for the first time, you might go through the regular path – but as an alt, you can ask your guild to put up with you in a few runs and grab a full set in no time. That’s what Grisen did when Unemployed was still running Naxx, before 3.1. She got into a few runs and got the pieces no one wanted. But now, we’re full time in Ulduar, and Naxx and heroics are just ghost towns on weekends.

So she’s stuck with some Naxx 25 gear, a couple pieces from Naxx 10, a few high level blues – and some BC epics from the good old times. Yeah, both her tanking trinkets suck (my luck in Halls of Lightning doesn’t help with that) and she still has T4 shoulders in her dps set.

The new emblem system might help with that. I do hope heroics and Naxx might see a bit more action as the rewards will be a lot better. If that happens, Grisen will be spending a lot more time doing those.

But this week something completely out of the ordinary happened. We didn’t have enough people for our Thursday run, so Pils decided we were just gonna head into Uld 10. Most people preferred just taking the night off, but we were able to get a full group together. I would be dpsing with Wang, but I thought it might be a much better idea to bring Grisen in – since our only plate tank probably wouldn’t need anything. We weren’t going for any hard modes, so I could do ok with her as dps. And I know how Tiger loves an Arms warrior for Trauma.

So she went into Ulduar for the first time. I’ve done all the fights as melee dps, so that helped – I knew what I was doing for sure. And she did pretty ok. I managed to not be the last one on the meters all the time, just most of the time. And of course the top dpsers like Pils were far above me. But I wasn’t getting completely carried through like a dead weight.

I even got to tank! Well, first I wiped the whole group on Auriaya, because Tiger asked me to tank that fight because I could stance dance out of the fear and interrupt her a lot easier than her or Doom, our DK tank. But I didn’t understand that at first, I thought she only asked me to stance dance and interrupt, but as dps… And that’s what I did – and we got through half the fight without a tank. Yeah, she went kitty, I was still Arms, and Doom was on the adds. Somehow we managed to get her to 50%, but we wiped of course.

We went in again, this time with me in tank gear and prot spec, and I tanked her just fine – stance dancing, interrupting, all that jazz. I did go down on the last few seconds of the fight, because of a badly placed void zone right under the raid, so the healers couldn’t keep me up while we all tried to move away. But they finished her off, and I got myself nice tanking gloves. It was pretty fun to tank again in a real raid. I got some upgrades and some confidence that I could be doing that, even with subpar gear. Of course I had great healers to keep me from dying. And I bet they had a lot more work than usual to do that. Good job guys! Errr, thanks?

Tanking is pretty gear dependant. More than any other role in a raid. Of course there are healing gear checks, and some damage races that rely on your healers and dps more, but every fight is a gear check for a tank. So I still want to work on my set, and I’m not gonna pretend I can just head into Ulduar, but I know for sure I can handle Naxx. If only pug leaders weren’t so dumb to understand that gear and stats are not everything.

I hope I get more chances to raid with Grisen.

Spending some time on an alt recharges my batteries for a new raid week on Wang.

OK, time to alt tab back.

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~ by Wangari on July 11, 2009.

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