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Blizzkhaaaaaa-wait I did this joke already

I can’t believe the last time I posted was a year ago, but here I am, back and better than ever.

Well, back at least.

As I sit here with my guildies watching Blizzcon again, I’m reminded of where I was a year ago. At the time, things were pretty exciting. We were making good progression on Siege of Orgrimmar, and thing were looking like they would never change. That, of course, means a lot of things have changed. After months and months of beating our heads against Heroic Siege, our guild decided to take a break. Warlords of Draenor was just a nebulous thing of the future, and a lot of us were starting to get on each others’ nerves. We felt like we’d been raiding Siege forever, and frankly speaking it wasn’t even particularly interesting or fun content. To have been left at the end of a pretty amazing expansion (but let’s be honest, I started in Mists so I don’t really have anything to compare it to) was really quite sad.

Our raid leader finally called it and said “Alright, we’re taking a break until Warlords. We’ll still put together some pick-up raids, but nothing formal.” At the time, I was convinced that everyone would be back once Warlords was released, but I was so very mistaken. I realized that without WoW in my life, other parts of my life crept in and took its place. I was soon just as busy as I had been when I was raiding two nights out of the week, and it seemed like other people were having the same sort of experience. Our raid leader moved to another state, and got a new job. Our other main healer and the other tank moved on to another server and another guild. We all kept saying he’d be back, but in the back of our minds, it was always a bit of a question mark. Our rogue said in no uncertain terms that he would not be coming back, and that work and lack of interest in content were the cause.

Now, we’re sitting on the cusp of starting up raid again, and the entire landscape has changed. I’ll still be tanking, and I’ll still be playing a paladin, but one of our healers, and frankly a pillar of our raid team, has decided to stay with the guild that he was moved to, along with my co-tank. It’s unsure whether or not our shadow priest will be returning to raiding with us, as well. One of our mages has been completely incomunicado and continues to be, and it’s unsure whether he’ll be back. Our other mage has expressed concern that he’s only returning to raiding because he doesn’t want to be left out. I’ve expressed before that our raid team was something of a family, helping each other to weather certain trials and tribulations in their lives. Blizzcon last year was an extreme example of this close-ness. We all traveled from around the country to meet up and hang out and watch Blizzcon together, talking about the future of the guild and the future of our raid team. This year, however, has been completely different. Perhaps it’s the lack of any new news, but there seemed to be considerably less interest in what was going on on the screen, and lurking in the back of it all has been the knowledge that some of the folks there, despite being at Blizzcon with us, would not be raiding with us any more.

All of this boils down to this point: Warlords was just too long in coming. From a company perspective, you would expect that Blizzard would want to keep their audience hooked to the game, but it just became completely obvious that I would need to unsub from the game, at least for a bit, and focus my attention elsewhere. To those of you that continued to raid through Siege, I tip my hat to you. As someone who is really in the game for the endgame PvE content, I just found myself without anything to do in the game. There was no doubt in my mind that I would return with Warlords, but perhaps that’s just because of my raid team. If I didn’t love them as much as I do, I probably wouldn’t have returned either. I just would have lost the interest.




It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything here because life has a tendency to be hectic and get in the way of things that would rather be done. Since the last time I wrote here, we’ve toppled the new would-be empire of the Thunder King and gone on to discover the treachery of Garrosh and have begun our assault on the “True” Horde he has created with the power of Y’Shaarj.

Overall, I’ve been quite happy with this patch and its content. It’s been a long time coming, but has been wonderfully foreshadowed throughout the entirety of the expansion. It’s also wonderfully satisfying to finally get rid of that proud asshole, which is a testament to the writers’ ability to make me care so much about a fictional character.

Our raid has hit a few small snags in the form of people missing raid for various real life reasons, and also for a major one: Blizzcon and a meet up. Some of our raid got together in real life, flying from all over the US to meet up and watch Blizzcon coverage and ooh and aah at the announcements, and what a crazy bunch of announcements it was.

As I’m sure most of you have already read on MMO-Champion and other similar websites, the game is going to be seeing some very drastic changes to the core mechanics of the game. Specifically, the hit, expertise, dodge, and parry secondary stats will be removed from the game. When this was announced, there was a collective sigh of relief from the gathered members of my raid team. We’ve often said and felt that the idea of hit and expertise was a bit silly as a secondary stat because nobody attempting end content wasn’t reaching their hit and expertise caps. Every class is required to hit these caps to make sure they’re doing the maximum amount of DPS, which means the stats are nearly meaningless and are only there as a form of upkeep on your character. It means fifteen minutes after every raid playing the reforge mini game, or relying on an add-on or website to know what the proper stat weights are and to apply them appropriately. Just like the old talent system, this is just something everyone is doing anyways, so it isn’t fun to be given a false “choice.”

Especially important for me and my kind is the removal of the parry and dodge secondary stats. A little while ago I wrote about how I felt regarding protection paladins and the parry/dodge vs haste debate, stating that there really wasn’t much to debate about. Haste was unequivocally better than parry/dodge, and more importantly also more fun. Well, this last raid tier we saw Blizzard finally coming around to our way of thinking. They put Haste on our tier gear and allowed us to roll Haste gear for our spec through personal loot rolls. The biggest problem that is to be had with parry and dodge, even besides the fact that it’s a survivability gain for pallies to stack Haste, is that it’s boring. Parry and dodge, by themselves, is a boring way to mitigate damage. It requires tanks to be no more than a beating post for the boss, standing there and smacking the boss occasionally to keep aggro. Of course, I’m not advocating the days when holding aggro was a chore for tanks, but it seems like the passiveness of these stats are leftovers of a bygone era. The most fun fights for a Paladin tank this expansion were ones where we needed to be smart about our active mitigation rather than hitting it every time we had three holy power *ahem*Horridon*ahem*. It’s made life more engaging for tanks to need to be aware of big hits and using their mitigation to compensate, thus increasing our level of fun, or at least what I think of as fun.

At the time, I had thought that the best way to fix this problem was to have the stats interact with our active mitigation better. This was done to mixed success with our Grand Crusader ability, which now only has a chance to proc on parry and dodge. However, the survivability boost from Haste still greatly overshadowed parry and dodge and rather than making people want to stack parry and dodge even a little bit, the only effect the change had was to make paladins slightly less upset about having parry and dodge on their gear that they couldn’t get rid of (the tier pants still have parry on them). Never in my wildest dreams, though, had I dared to believe that Blizzard would remove parry and dodge altogether. Instead, everyone is going to have some innate dodge and parry stat, but for the most part, tanks will be receiving armor on their gear. Of course, this is such a drastic change to tank itemization that it’s going to be difficult to predict how it will affect us. Considering druids already have so much armor, they’re likely to see an overhaul. Hopefully, Blizzard learns from the pitfalls and traps of parry/dodge and will make the stat more interactive with each class’s active mitigation. On the surface, armor is a very boring state, giving flat damage reduction on physical damage. If this continues to be the case, then they might as well have kept parry and dodge. At least that procced a holy power generator. If they make armor a more active stat, I think this change will prove to be a positive one that makes tanking considerably more fun and interesting.

Most drastic of the changes announced at Blizzcon, though, was the removal of reforging. This was definitely something that I did not see coming. There had been a lot of chatter about problems with needing to reforge after every new piece of gear that drops, and that was a true statement. However, this change feels like Blizzard taking an unnecessarily large sledgehammer to the problem. The removal of hit/expertise and parry/dodge were more than enough to fix this problem, as that was the majority of what people were reforging for. Without those stats, reforging creates a new environment where people only reforge when they’ve gotten gear that isn’t perfectly itemized for them, but are unlikely to see a better piece of gear drop until later into the tier, or for pure DPS classes that respec for certain fights and may not have the resources to fully gear multiple specs with drastically different stat weights. The biggest problem lies in haste breakpoints, which a lot of classes have. Without the ability to reforge, these breakpoints are going to be nearly impossible to reach without a considerable amount of waste. You either have them or you don’t, but there’s no way for people to reach these breakpoints without wasting stat points that might be more useful in another stat. Without a drastic change in how Haste works in conjunction with DOTs, this is definitely going to be an issue. The removal of hit/expertise/parry/dodge was a change that gave players more freedom. You don’t need to reach seemingly arbitrary caps before investing in other secondary stats (and there’s a distinction between reaching hit/exp caps and hitting breakpoints. The nature of breakpoints make it possible to have multiple, and over the course of a tier it is possible to reach higher breakpoints. This is not the case with hit/exp, as they cap at a flat 7.5% despite gear giving players more and more hit and expertise as the tier continues. At the beginning of an expansion, every gear will likely be reforged to hit and expertise, while at the end of an expansion, even after reforging everything away from hit, many ranged DPS classes are still extremely over hit capped). Instead, you can immediately concentrate on making sure that your gear fits your stat weights, then get back right into the action. The removal of reforging altogether, however, is a change that limits players’ ability to customize their play style. There’s no way to try out having a little bit more haste to make high movements fights easier. There’s no way to just hit your haste breakpoint then place the rest of your stat points into more useful stats. This change limits players’ options, and that is not a positive route of change.

Overall, a lot of the announcements made at Blizzcon were extremely exciting. Garrisons sound like a really fun way to pass some time in the game, as well as feel like I could still gain something in game while being away from the game. I hope that Blizzard implements Garrison management through the Blizzard Mobile Armory, as one of the Q&A folks asked, though I won’t be holding my breath (the Armory has always felt like a really powerful tool that just doesn’t get enough love). The new character models look beautiful and I’m excited to see the animation of my new cow. The quality of life changes to bags, heirlooms, and toys are phenomenal and I wish they could implement those immediately. The promise from Ghostcrawler that there won’t be any dailies makes me giddy as a schoolgirl on the first day of classes. More than anything, though, I’m excited about the removal or unnecessary stats and look forward to seeing how they affect gameplay (and I expect the effect to be a positive one), and I’m not at all excited about the removal of reforging and expect it to be re-added to the game within a few patches. But who knows, maybe Blizzard will abandon the removal of reforging before the expansion comes out and this whole thing will be a moot point. That’s right, get onto the WoW forums and scream bloody murder about the removal of reforging. Only you can prevent forest fires, and everyone’s voice has power, so make sure you say something to affect change or no one will know it’s a problem.

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A Brave New World

Wednesday night was a particularly exciting night for me and the guild (and this is going to be a long post, so bear with me). During the day, while I was at work and desperately trying not to have to deal with the work that I needed to do, I found myself prowling around on WoW sites. This naturally meant that I visited WoWhead, where I was greeted with a wonderful surprise: 50% off server transfers! My guild had been talking, for a while, about server transferring. At one point, Tortheldrin-US was ranked 4th lowest population server in the game, but that was before two raiding guilds left the server, leaving <Arrested Development> as the last raiding guild around.

We had pretty much always intended to server transfer, but there were quite a few things that were getting in our way. One was a lack of money to do so for certain people. Server transferring is an expensive affair, especially when moving from a low population to high population server. On a server as low population as Tortheldrin, it almost felt necessary to have alts with every profession. Omnialias, my main, was a blacksmith/miner, but I could never rely on the ability to run to the auction house and buy the gem or enchant that I needed, so I leveled alts to do that. At the end of the day, I had 4 alts that I would have wanted to transfer with my main should a server transfer happen, which totals 125 dollars. That’s 125 dollars that I would not have had to spend if I had just chosen to go to a different server, which leads into second reason we hadn’t transferred.

There were many in the guild that were disinclined to server transfer on principle, that principle being that Blizzard didn’t deserve our transfer money. Some of us felt that the imbalance in server populations was something that Blizzard could have and should have fixed, so why in the world would be giving money to Blizzard for their screw ups? This has been a major sticking point for my guild, in fact, because it is an issue of principle, and some people have had more issue with breaking these principles than others. <Arrested Development>’s main raiders are more like a family than just a group of people that raid, and so the idea that one of us would not transfer with us should we decide to do so was just unthinkable.

With those issues in mind, however, it was becoming almost unbearable on Tortheldrin. The auction house was dead, and I mean dead. I could very rarely find any gems that I needed, and 80-90% of the items I was trying to sell expired over and over again. Our guild leader was becoming fed up with not being able to buy materials for pots and flasks and other things we use on a regular basis. Finally, she said that we would begin to really consider server transferring around the time that 5.4 would be dropping, which seemed reasonable. We could finish out the tier and start fresh on a new server. However, that was not what the Fates had in mind for us.

When I saw the announcement about a discount on server transfers, I immediately messaged some of my guildies. I logged onto WoW and was immediately greeted by a message from my guild leader about the transfer situation. “We’ll talk about it after the raid tonight,” she said, but her tone was, basically, “Yeah, we’re doing this.” Raid, that night, was another beast, altogether, and just added to the excitement of the night. I’m a fairly new WoW player, and to highlight this fact, before that night I had a total of three Heroic boss pulls. Tonight, though, was going to really, truly pop my Heroic cherry. We walked into the raid with the expectation of trying to down Heroic Jin’Rokh. Usually, we’ll walk into a new fight and spend about ten to fifteen minutes talking about the boss and the mechanics, but for whatever reason, that night we just pulled the boss straight out of the gate. Our first pull saw us wipe right at the first Lightning Storm, which made us feel pretty good about the new mechanics. This was also the first night I began recording and streaming our raid (check out the Videos page for the kill video). In what seemed like a decent number of pulls, we were regularly getting Jin’Rokh down to 30% health. Then, at one point, we made it to the fourth Lightning Storm and I realized this was going to be it. We all pushed our DPS as hard as we could, I toggled off Righteous Fury and blew my offensive cooldowns, and died just as Jin’Rokh hit the ground. And to top it all off, I got the Heroic Thunderforged version of my chest piece. My BIS, bar none.

Later that night we spoke about server transferring and everyone seemed to agree that it was time to get off the server. The discount as well as our first Heroic kill of the expansion seemed to us like a sign that it was time to get out of the kiddy pool and join the real world. However, such changes do not come without negative setbacks, and ours came in the form of losing our warlock. He had been the leading voice regarding not transferring on principle, and we knew going into this that it was going to be difficult to convince him. Once all of the server transfer decisions came through, our warlock told us that, after evaluating the amount of time and money he spends on WoW compared to the amount of enjoyment he gets out of it, it’s not worth it for him to continue. He had, in the past, also expressed his wishes to quit WoW, but he had stuck around because he enjoyed raiding with us, however with this server transfer it seemed like the proper time for him to call it quits.

All in all, though, it’s an exciting time for <Arrested Development>. We’ll be changing our guild name (which hasn’t yet been decided) and we’ll be moving to Mal’Ganis, going from one of the lowest population Horde servers to the highest population Horde server. Although we’re losing a dear friend, raider and <AD> family member, we’ll hopefully gain more wonderful experiences on this new server of ours. It’s a brave new world.

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Forward Momentum

creature_darkanimusSunday night was something of a wonder to me. The raid team I’m with is the only raid team I’ve ever been with. I’ve only raided in a laid back and relaxed environment, and so it’s difficult for me to judge the speed and ability of our raid to clear progression compared to a more serious group. That being said, despite members of our raid saying that we’re not good, I feel like our raid is damn good considering the amount of time we spend on content. Two nights a week, 8 hours a week, is not a lot of time to clear content (especially in Throne Thunder’s marathon 12 boss format). That being said, Sunday night was something else.

We’d been fighting hard to finish off all of our farm each week on Wednesdays, and the further we got into Throne of Thunder, the more difficult it was becoming to finish all of the farm bosses on Wednesday so we could spend all of Sunday night on progression. This is especially the case since we began subbing out main raiders for backups on bosses that people had completely farmed out so that we could gear up our subs. So far, though, we’d been able to manage it (though sometimes by the skin of our teeth). On Wednesday we finished off the last boss before progression (Primordius) a mere ten minutes before the end of the night, which poised us nicely for an entire night of Dark Animus fun.

Or so I thought! Turns out the work we’d done on Dark Animus the week before had gotten us to a damn good place, and with a few (hefty) tweaks to our strategy, we downed Dark Animus after a couple warmup pulls like it was nothing. That got us pretty pumped, so we moved on to Iron Qon. The entire time, we joked around and poked fun at raid members, thinking that Iron Qon was going to be the meat of our evening.

Or so we thought! After the first pull, it was evident that Iron Qon wasn’t going to be all that challenging. Lo and behold, we two shot Iron Qon. For the tanks, this boss was incredibly simple. Swap when Impaled. Don’t stand in lines. Easy-peasy. I highly recommend that any tank that is running TellMeWhen or WeakAuras (and everyone should run one of those two add-ons. The information you can get from those frames is just amazing) should just go through and create a frame for every stacking debuff that forces a tank swap. I have one frame set up that tracks those debuffs on Mega, the other tank, which lists on the frame how long the debuff still has and how many stacks. Thanks to this one frame, our tank swaps have been smooth as butter and fights like Iron Qon and Council of Elders are just so much easier. After two-shotting that boss, we were a little shocked. Clearly, Twin Consorts was going to be the meat of the evening then.

As we stood in front of Twin Consorts, our healer extraordinaire, Geo, started explaining the fight. None of us had really done a lot of preparation for this boss, as none of us thought we were going to get this far, so Geo set out explaining about how the fight against the Sun Bitch and Moon Bitch was going to go. At the end of the explanation, he began explaining to our DPS how the constellation mechanic worked, and we began placing raid markers to show where the balls of light would be, however we ran out of raid markers. I helped out by putting down a shaft of moonlight from the Elder’s Moonstone, then ran around Twin Consort to drop a scarecrow in the last spot, and in doing so face-pulled the boss. I began running out of the room to try and reset the boss when Dana, the guild leader, shouted over Mumble to “just do it.” Well alright, then. I turned around, picked up the boss, and started doing my tanking thing. A few minutes into the fight, though, we realized that one of our raiders, Bojax, had put himself on follow with one of our Mages. During the discussion of the boss, he’d left to answer a phone call! At the end of the first pull, we wiped with about 40% health left on the boss with one of our raid members on follow after a face-pull, no pre-pot, and no lust. We were feeling good about this fight, too.

At the end of the night, we downed three progression bosses and had 10 pulls on Lei Shen! Going into this night, I had every intention of suggesting to the raid that we extend the lockout this week so we could spend more time on progression, but after Sunday night, when Dana called for a vote on whether to extend the lockout, my answer was a definitive “No.” And in the back of my head, I wondered if this was what it was like to be in a “good” raid team.

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The Case for Haste


Prot paladins have gone all of Mists of Pandaria without any really bad nerfs, but we should have all known that was an untenable situation. Let’s be honest: Ghostcrawler feeds on the misery of WoW players, and he’d been saving us for a good day. Back in 5.0, Theck waved his magic wand and produced numbers that showed us that haste was the way to go. However, Ghostcrawler (that dastardly bastard) caught on to what we were doing and shook his head disapprovingly. He did not approve of us tanks using DPS stats. With 5.2, Blizzard made the change to Grand Crusader such that it procced less on auto attacks and also made it proc every so often when dodging an attack. This made haste slightly less desirable, but in the end all it did was make avoidance less awful at mitigating spike damage. That being said, the extra DPS boost from the haste gear set, as well as the ability to shift our ShotR around to better fit the fight meant we still wanted haste.

Now we sit on the cusp of 5.3 and we’re looking at a ShotR nerf, which is not sitting well with me. A part of me sees this as a response to the Prot paladins still gearing haste, but it seems to me like trying to fix a problem by bludgeoning it with a hammer until it goes away. While it’s true that nerfing the shield will also nerf haste gearing, it also means that it will nerf active mitigation for paladins as a whole, which was the whole point of tanking in MoP! But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about why I like haste for paladins.

One of the biggest problems that I have heard with having your tank prioritize haste over traditional tanking stats is competing with DPS for loot. It’s strange to be fighting with your Unholy/Frost DK or Ret Pally over gear, but at the same time it’s a difficult argument to make. It’s not unimaginable to have a Frost DK and a Ret Pally in a raid competing with each other for loot. If that’s the case, what’s wrong with competing with the tank for that same piece of gear? Frankly, tanks will have to compete with each other for parry/dodge gear, so how does this matter?

Another issue I’ve heard with Prot Paladins gearing for haste is the assertion that “tanks shouldn’t be dealing that much damage.” Well, I ask why not? All through Heart of Fear and ToES there were fairly tight enrage timers, and one of the best ways to deal with that is to increase your DPS. My DK tanking partner, before I began gearing for haste, would very often compete with other DPS classes for highest damage done on the boss. Now that I’ve geared haste as well, I’ve found that I can often contribute more DPS in this manner than wearing my “DPS” spec and DPSing. This is due in large part to Vengeance. I tank with a handy-dandy little meter at the bottom of my screen that lets me know how much extra attack power I’m getting out of Vengeance, and almost every boss fight has me above 150% attack power, often closer to 300%. So is having your tank do a good chunk of DPS a bad thing? If this is really a problem, then what about the Blood DKs? Raidbots has Blood DKs considerably outperforming Prot Paladins at the 10-man Normal level and yet I see no changes on the horizon for Blood DKs.

So why is this change ruffling my feathers so much? Well for one thing, it’s happening in the middle of a raid tier. If it turns out that all of that haste gear we’ve been acquiring over the past few weeks turns out to be worse for us than avoidance gear, it will be happening to us at the point where many of us more casual raiders are hitting the most difficult content (well, besides Horridon, of course). We’ll be left suddenly trying desperately to regear while trying to make sure our guilds don’t falter in the progress we’ve made, all the while those that have been skeptical of our haste paradigm will no doubt be laughing at us. “Told you guys gearing haste was dumb,” they’ll say, cursing our self-esteem, causing us to miss our ShotR blocks and face-planting, wiping the raid…

The second, and in my mind far more important, reason why I’m so irritated is because forcing paladins to stop gearing haste removes one of the coolest thing about tanking as a paladin. I loved the idea of stacking haste as our mitigation stat because it was different. I loved it because it wasn’t traditional. It made the class so much more fun because it felt so dynamic, so fluid. I didn’t feel like my job was to just stand in front of the boss and hit a defensive cooldown when my life dipped below 50%. It didn’t feel like judgment and and crusader strike were just there to hold threat. Gearing haste is fun! Having a 1 second GCD is fun! Taking some big hits and being able to use ShotR knowing that you’ll have another one ready before the big dino-horn to the chest is fun! I was amazed that Paladins would be able to stack haste because suddenly the world of tanking seemed to have opened up in front of me. I started imagining a future with tank classes taking crit strike because that would proc a nice shield to help smooth damage! Or maybe a tank class that values Agility and haste, increasing the uptime of a defensive cooldown that increases your dodge… rating…

The point I’m trying to make is that there shouldn’t be anything wrong with Protection Paladins stacking haste! Stacking haste has made the tanking world more interesting, leading to engaging discussions that I’ve had about the viability of the build, and it gave us the glimmer of hope that maybe the rest of us non-DKs would some day have a fun and exciting form of active mitigation! Stacking haste has been extremely fun, and getting new gear with good haste stats have given me a certain sense of thrill that I didn’t get picking up dodge/parry gear. And let’s be honest, we’re all playing this game becuase it’s fun (and totally not some form of Stockholm Syndrome. I love Blizzard and WoW and will never leave…). So Ghostcrawler, LET US HAVE OUR FUN!

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Horrible Horridon


I’m relatively new to the game of World of Warcraft, but I did raid in the tail end of tier 14. Perhaps it’s because the rest of my raid was pretty well geared for the fights, but although we stumbled a little bit we did not have problems with downing bosses the way that we’ve had problems downing bosses in Tier 15. And by downing bosses in Tier 15, I mean downing Horridon.

At this point, as you can see from the killshots page, we’ve made it to the fight with Ji-Kun. And I have to say that none of the other bosses gave us much trouble. Horridon, though, was another beast (heh) all together. After downing Horridon, however, we spent a single night to down each of the next bosses, but Horridon took us two whole weeks of raiding. For us, that’s almost 16 hours and 58 pulls!

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love challenging fights. I love the idea of hitting a challenging fight, doing everything we can, and finally getting over that hurdle. That sense of accomplishing a task with the help and support of your teammates is the reason I got into raiding. And that is the exact problem I have with the Horridon fight.

By this point Horridon has been nerfed twice at the 10 man normal difficulty level, which says to me that when the encounter first debuted, the 10 man normal Horridon fight was overtuned for the environment. I still remember the first dozen or so pulls and thinking to myself, “How in the world am I going to hold threat on all of these adds?” We tried a number of different strategies, from two-healing to three-healing, and then back to two-healing. For the most part we stuck with having me tank Horridon and my partner tank, the impressively resilient Megavolt, held onto and dealt with the adds. In the end, the issue became having to perform nearly flawlessly in each of the aspects of the fight (shielding every Triple Puncture, interrupting adds on every door that needed interrupting, tanking Horridon in the right spot and properly learning all of the fight mechanics) that got us to our first kill.

So, given all of that information, here is my gripe: the fight was too difficult to have been the second fight of the tier. Many groups that I have read about have gotten past Horridon at this point only bceause they’ve farmed Jin’rokh to death, have bought all of their Revered-level gear from the Shado-pan Assault, and the fight has been nerfed twice. One of the reasons my guild has not had to spend two hours every week re-killing Horridon is because of these nerfs, otherwise I’m sure we’d still be having trouble until our ilvls had broken 508.

Part of the problem was also that Jin’rokh was too easy. My raid, which had not done any Heroic raids from tier 14, killed Jin’rokh on the first night and still had enough time to pull Horridon 11 times. By the time we’d killed Jin’rokh for the first time, we still hadn’t fully figured out all of Jin’rokh’s mechanics, although I guess we didn’t need to. This deceptively easy first boss of the raid made the colossal challenge of killing Horridon, and failing to do so, that much more punishing.

This inflated feeling of defeat combined with the boss just being overtuned, made Horridon one of the worst raiding experiences I’ve had so far. I’ve heard people calling Horridon the raid-killer and seen raid teams come apart at the seams trying and failing to kill this boss. It even got to the point, for me, where I dreaded pulling Horridon and needed to steel myself to take on this prehistoric monster. In this very fact, Blizzard has failed to create a good game. By creating an encounter that has brought dread (as opposed to fear. Fear is okay) they have failed in their goal of creating a fun and exciting encounter. That being said, I look forward to seeing the rest of tier 15 and what Blizzard has in store for <AD>.

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This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…


All good things seem to begin with a story, and this blog is much the same (though this may not be much a good thing. I guess we’ll see). In May 2012, I graduated from college and found myself with an abundance of free time that I hadn’t ever had. I’m of Chinese ethnicity, and my parents were very strict when it came to my schooling and how I spent my free time. In college I encountered the first time that I was the master of my own whims, but even then, my studies (although I hesitate to say that. I was an awful student) provided a constant press that I couldn’t get away from. After graduation, though, I would return home from work and find I had nothing better to do than to sit there and watch TV and play video games (when i wasn’t hanging out with friends).

Many of my friends had, in the days of Vanilla WoW, delved into the game, hit bedrock, languished there a while, then realized how much time the game had sucked from them and had gotten out. I watched them do just this and laughed at them for having spent so much time and money on the endeavor. I vowed I would never spend (at the time) 30 bucks every month for the same game.

Now, in my twilight years (they say it’s all downhill after 23, right?) I’ve begun to play this game that so many other people have been sucked into. My old roommate spent most of his time raiding, and I wanted to keep in touch with him. After adding to that the fact that I had all this time on my hands, and that I was finally making some money, I figured it was time to dip my toes in. My current roommate and my old roommate took advantage of the Refer a Friend program (he wanted a monk for his main after Mists of Pandaria dropped, so he wanted our bonus levels to get him to 90 as quickly as possible) and dove into the game the only way the three of us have ever dove into a video game: head first.

Now, six months down the road, I have joined my old roommate in the raiding ranks of a 10-man Normal guild. I started off leveling a Tauren Paladin tank and every time I stand there being assaulted by a mob of mobs, or every time I click my /moo macro, I find that I have absolutely no regrets about my choices up until this point. I absolutely love tanking. The feeling that the success or failure (but mostly failure) of the entire raid group falls largely on my brightly-plated shoulders fills me with both pride and a slight queasiness. The feeling of being given that responsibility, though, of not falling flat on my face despite the millions of damage coming at me is just unsurmountable. And the dungeon insta-queues are pretty nice as well.

I’ve tried playing other tanks. I played around with tanking as Death Knight and got pretty bored. I tried tanking as a monk and got confused, then bored. There’s just something about having to pay attention to the boss’s attacks and make sure that 3 second window after I’ve hit Shield of the Righteous is there to catch that incoming damage that has me raiding with my toes pointed and my heart stuck in my throat. It’s exhilarating, knowing that that shield is the only thing standing between you and death, and that not paying attention to the boss’s DBM timer even once can mean a party wipe (*cough*Horridon*coughcough*).

So here I am. A hypocrite. I once said that I would never play WoW because of the subscription fee. And yet I stand (well, sit) before you, a member of a 10N (albeit casual) guild as a main spec tank, doing my best to take the hits and dish them out just as well.

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A fine site

Paladin Dana

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