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Monday, March 22, 2010

Col tanks

There's a slight problem with trying to be a responsible tanking these days, especially when you're just starting out.  You do your best to make sure you're defense capped.  You craft epics, you do the Sons of Hodir grind, you pick up a few easy upgrades from the Argent Tournament.  You practice your AoE rotation, but don't really have any in game tools to see how much threat you're generating and if it will be enough against the DPS who are all sporting 5K + GearScores, nevermind having to deal with agro pulls because of zealous DPS or not all the mobs got caught up in your AoE threat ability.

So finally, you're geared, theoretically practiced and a bit apprehensive.  So you queue for a normal instance, hoping to get something easy to practice on.  Hello, Forge of Souls!  Well, not such a bad introduction really. There are only a few AoE groups, and only two bosses.  Col was very lucky to pick up one Lucky Old Sun.  For added effect, I had the Mongoose enchant put on it. Hmm, sparkly.

With that one positive tanking experience under his belt, he queued for another normal instance, and got The Oculus. Not quite a baptism of fire, but I'm struggling to think of a more challenging instance outside of Icecrown.  Anyway, that actually went quite well.  I was a bit apprehensive with riding the Ruby Drake for the first time, but it turned out to be not so bad.  We did have one wipe, but that was before the last boss event even started, with a bugged whelp that was trapped inside a rock.  We really should have just moved to another rock, but oh well.

After that, I decided to try my hand at a couple of heroics.  The first one to spring was the Culling of Stratholme.  I'll be glad when the intro gets cut shorter for that one.  It went pretty well, and we were able to get through quick enough for a crack at the Bronze Dragon mount (which we all passed on). 

While I had my flask up, I queued for another heroic and got Nexus.  The DPS warrior in the group offered to tank because his gear was better than mine, but I declined, saying that I'd only just started tanking and that this was good practice.  And if I messed up too badly, I'd be happy to hand tanking over.  We got through it pretty quickly, and without incident.

And with that instance run, I also scored enough Triumph badges to upgrade my shoulders.

So, why Col?  Well, I just wasn't feeling confident with Blackthorn tanking.  I'd practice my rotation in IF alot, and I was kitted as good as I was going to get without running instances.  But in the end, I needed a confidence booster.  For the moment, tanking with Col will provide that boost, and I think I will stick at it until I have a full T9 set with trinkets, rings, etc.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Blackthorns UI

This is Blackthorns UI.  I thought I'd stick it up for prosperity, and as a milestone.  Actually, the key mappings have changed a little, but the general layout is the same.
Featured in the layout is XPerl unit frames, Bartender action bars, a bunch of Fubar stuff across the top, Recount, Omen, AlphaMap, SexyMap and Wintertime, not to mention Blizzards own objectives tracker.  I normally run QuestHelper, but since my move to Aman'Thul, I've been having out of memory problem in WG, so removal of QH has helped a little.

What you cant see is Autobar on the right hand side, Gatherer and Auctioneer, and a whole bunch of smaller UI stuff, like Classtimers, Quartz, teksLoot, Cartographer and Deadly Boss Mods. 

I'm still trying to get used to the whole keyboard only thing for abilities, instead of clicking as I need them.  I find myself looking at the keyboard to make sure my fingers are over the right spot, and then not moving as well as I should be, because my fingers are preoccupied with abilities, instead of doing forward and strafe movements.  However, battlegrounds have been good practice, and I'm going to start doing daily regular instances to work through instance quests, and practice the keymappings via DPS.  I'm still not sure my tanking gear, or my familiarity with the new layout is up to scratch for actual tanking.