So I’m a little late!

Hello again my precious readers!

It goes against everything I’ve read, but I am none the less going to apologise for my lengthy absence. I’ve been sick, my kid’s been sick, and the guild has been filled with drama! DRAMA LLAMA!!

Today I am not going to focus on the drama though. Maybe… I never quite know where my fingers and mind are going to lead me when I begin to type. 

Firstly, I’m just going to say that I am endlessly excited for patch 5.4, especially after watching the release trailer. I can honestly say that I will be glad to kick Throne of Thunder in the butt and be free of it!

Between my daughter and myself being sick, I fell behind in aspects of LFR gearing/Legendary quest chain. That being said, I had gotten everything I could from LFR regarding gear anyhow, I was literally turning up for raid nights and that was it. Everything has settled down again and I’m back in the groove. Thankfully enough, Blizzard’s RnG gods seemed to note this, and decided that last week they were going to give me 10 secrets, which meant I have already gotten my meta gem!

Now I have to get titan stones ugh. 

Our normal 10 man raid team has progressed extremely well since I last posted. I realised my last post regarding a boss was horridon. Ha that seems like eons ago! We are currently ramming our head against…

wait for it…

it’s coming…

here it is…

Lei Shen!!! Ermagherd! That’s right. We are up to the last boss of Throne of Thunder and I couldn’t be happier. Well I could… he could be dead. But I digress. We progressed fairly well on him this Sunday just gone by. With one strat we got him to 8% Unfortunately for reasons not quite known, we changed the strat on Monday night, and couldn’t get past the second intermission. So it was a bit of a down week for us. However things can only improve, and we now know what we have to do. Now we just have to implement it. 

I will do a more detailed post tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know what has been going on!

Don’t forget to feed your tanks! They like food!

Righteous Raid Leaders.

Hello all! I’m back from my over seas adventuring and have walked straight into some more drama!

The life of a guild officer. 

Currently our guild has two 10 man raid teams running, it has been this way since Cataclysm, there always seems to be one team that runs into quite a lot of issues with regards to retaining members. The issue this time is of a different ilk all together. 

From my personal experience as a raid leader, the role is to research fights, make the calls during the fight, keep every body cool if tensions start to get out of hand, and to talk to people if they seem to be having trouble with regards to gearing/gemming/chanting/reforging.

I do not believe that it is a raid leaders job to point fingers and publicly (via guild forums) tell each member of their raid team what they are doing wrong according to his opinions. 

This is the issue we have run into. A Righteous Raid leader (RRL). He seems to think that his way of playing is all that matters, and as such has gone to the forums and highlighted each person problem withing a public medium. 

The raid leader of my team, will talk to you privately, and talk through the decisions you’ve made before flat out telling you they’re wrong. A raid leader does better by listening to their raiders and their reasons for picking the gear and enhancements of said gear before picking them apart. 

As such we have a great team, and one team that is not in a very good position. And to top it off, said RRL has now issued an ultimatum (after putting the team on hiatus for 2 weeks) saying that if these people don’t change to what he believes is the correct way to do things, he will leave. Keep in mind he is asking casual raiders, to do what hardcore raiders do. According to him “Not having the time or gold” to have the money or do the dailies to get the money to pay for the expensive weapon enchants or gear upgrades is not good enough. If your raiders are having trouble with current content, then back step. It’s not an admittance of failure, it’s listening and knowing your raid team well enough to know that they’re not ready. 

The whole point of our guild is to foster a fun, happy environment to be in. If you have a raid spot, you should feel comfortable in that spot, and not fear the constant reprisal from your Raid leader. I’ve hard core raided, I know what it feels like to spend every minute of every day trying to better your gear just so you can hold onto your spot and not get removed from the raid team. 

I’m not quite sure what myself and the other officers are going to do about this, nor am I sure how we would approach it, however it can’t continue on like this.

Anyhow, it’s good to be back! Hope you’ve all been well! :)

~Fat Furry Tank

Random ramblings from this week!!

To start off this week, I’d like to say…
Thank you!!!
550 views on my blog, needless to say, this is very exciting for me. I hope you are all enjoying what you are reading :) if you ever have and questions, please feel free to ask away.

So I was perusing Blog Azeroth and came across a shared topic that really took my fancy.

Suggested by Effy (go check out the blog!!!) It was regarding an introduction for your character if you were on and RP realm. This is my introduction for my panda!! Tell me what you think.

As you approach the large, leather clad figure, dark eyes fall on you. Beneath the animalistic features lies something more. The eyes glint with mischief as the figure shifts, revealing his face from beneath his hat, showing a large toothy grin surrounded by dirt tinged fur. A Pandaren. He grunts softly, adjusting the keg of ale slung over his shoulder, the leather armour creaking, straining against taut muscle, hidden beneath a body covered in thick fur. Its obvious, he is a Brewmaster.

I haven’t RP’d at all on WoW. I have often thought about it given how often I used to RP with my sister and online in the days on MSN cartoons, I guess im just never sure where one should start. Time to start researching.

This week has ended pretty well. My WoW weeks generally end on Monday nights in Australia after our raid finishes. Especially considering that for us, it also valor and LFR reset night. We finally downed Horridon, which was a fantastic buzz!!! Very proud of the teams all round effort, now onto council of elders, which we had a few attempts at tonight. I’m pretty sure it won’t take us that long to get these guys down, but now we have another week before raid. Thats the part that sucks about only raiding twice a week. So long between raids *grabby hands* but regardless, we got Horridon. Ahhh it felt so good. One the loot side of things, as you know, I didn’t have that much luck. Made all the more frustrating by our ridiculously lucky boomkin. Her LFR runs always net her at least two pieces of gear, without needing bonus rolls. Haha luck of the draw, I know but it can get a bit disheartening after a while. But we endure!! Lol.

The other thing this week… valor cap. I capped my 1000 valor, which is all well and good, but finished up on 2135 VP total. Just shy of 2250 for my 522 leg piece!!!! So that was a bit of a kicker too. But other than that this week has been good. Been fooling around on my DK a little bit, just as dps this time around. Unholy to be precise. I’ve also started working a little bit harder on my storm breaker achievement. But that’s not smooth sailing either. But all these things take time. The other amazing thing that happened for me this week was my acquisition of a primal dinosaur egg!!! It hatched yesterday and I got the black raptor mount. If you are yet to see a pandaren riding a raptor… go find one. Almost as funny as a panda riding a swift lovebird. Great for a laugh. I may not look as imposing as most on a mount, but I amuse people which is just as fun!!!

So tomorrow I will be gathering those last few VP, getting myself some legs and going through the daily motions again.
For now I’m off to the land of nod. Goodnight all!! Pat the pandas… most of us are harmless ;)
~The Fat Furry Tank

Stami…NAH!

We are still on Horridon. We’ve progressed to the fourth door twice now, but the third door with the Frozen Warlords is still messy. The issue of my health dropping, and taking a lot of spike damage from the Mortal Strikes was brought to my attention. I looked at my stats and wondered to myself “How?” How could I fix it? How was it happening? What was I doing wrong. Couple that with a bad week in real life and I was at a low point. What could I do? I already veer away from Ask Mr Robot as his stat weights are different to what I use (I cap Expertise and hit regardless of what he says.) 

So this drove me to mmo-champion, where I got a significant amount of help! People were very willing to give me criticism, and suggest areas in my rotation and stat priority that I could improve on/change. The crux of the issue was, however, that I was stacking far too much Stamina. 

Now, I’ll explain to you all why I was stacking stamina. My raid leader/healers. Now that I have regemmed/forged and enchanted, without raid buffs I am about 470k HP… almost 200k below my Paladin offtank. When this issue first arose, we were doing Will of the Emperor and I was getting blown to pieces, so I stacked a bit more stamina. However, now that I have a much greater understanding of the way my class works/mitigates damage, I no longer have the need for that much health, however I was always urged to get more because I was so much lower than my offtank. 

Of course the thing is… we as Monk tanks are always going to be low on health in comparison to other tanking classes. It’s the nature of the way we are. The way I like to explain it to people is we are not a high mitigation tank, we are first and foremost… an avoidance tank. Stat priorities of haste and crit being at the forefront of our spec. Haste for quicker energy regen and attack speed, more attacks = more gifts of the ox to heal yourself. The more crit we have the more white hit crits we get which means more stacks of elusive brew. However, the only thing that healers and my raid leader seem to see at one point or another is their perception of my lack of health. 

But I digress, I changed everything around, and we went in to do horridon. It was after these changes that we made it through to the fourth door. I also have to note that I was pulled up by an mmo post that asked if I was falling into the trap of dps’ing as opposed to tanking, and it’s true. On horridon, I solely tank adds (pally offtank can solo tank horridon becuase of Hand of Protection) so of course, the instant we had all the adds together, I was just using Keg Smash, SCK, and BoF… I was forgetting black out kick, and rushing jade wind, at a crucial time of high damage. Because I was so focussed on getting the adds down. 

So I have to keep telling myself “Just because you can do a lot of damage, doesn’t mean you should.” Because in all honesty, what’s the point of me doing 100k dps, if I die before the fight is over? If I die, it’s almost always a wipe, the adds go banans and start running over our dps and healers like they don’t even matter. So I’ve had to train myself to go back to my basic rotation, stop trying to be fancy, and just concentrate on what’s in front of me. 

What’s in front of me is usually a lot of floating health bars, green, red, yellow and white text, with intermittent spell flash warnings! It’s chaos, but the point of the Horridon fight is to make that chaos, organised. 

So we will be doing Jihn’Rok and Horridon again on Sunday and Monday, hopefully getting the fat triceratops down. I’m going to miss two weeks of raiding due to a trip, and I kinda want to see him go down before I go away! 

On a semi-related note, I still hate LFR. In fact I hate it even more since the invention/introduction of Durumu in “halls of the flesh shaper” however, my hatred of that boss, was dwarfed today by sheer and unadulterated rage towards the loot system. I have been using bonus rolls on Horridon LFR for the last however long the damn things been out, and gotten nothing. I just want the weapon, is that too much to ask? So anyway, here I am in the halls of the flesh shaper, we down Dark Animus, and what does Blizz award me…

The. One. Handed. Mace. 

What the hell am I going to do with that?! Do I look like I have another one hander to go with it? Do I look like I even use one handers at all. The only other one hander I have is the fist weapon off Spiritbinder, and it’s the LFR version. 

So here I am, in a bit of a bind. I have my polearm from the spirit kings 10m Normal, upgraded one level to 493. I have my 502 one handed mace, and my LFR fist weapon. What on earth do I do? And has ANYone got any idea what is going on with hit rating in regards to Dual Wielding? I am hit capped, but when I switch to DW it says that my normal attacks have up to a 19% chance to miss on a 93 elite boss… what the?

So now I’m going to spend a long time running Heart of Fear: The Nightmare of Shek’zeer, to see if she’ll drop her fist weapon, so that I can put my sha-touched gem in it, and see if that makes any difference to anything I’m doing currently. My grievance with this is two fold:

1) HoF LFR… *stabs eyes out*

2) Having to fork out cash for two x Weapon enchants, on weapons I may not even end up using, but need to enchants on to do any kind of comparisons on. 

Raaaaaaaargh!!

Image

Horror-din… hurr hurr

Horror-din.

So after our wonderful first night in throne of thunder, and managing to get the first boss down, we spent our second night becoming ever more frustrated as time went on. From difficult trash pulls, to a boss where none of us seem to agree upon a strategy, to me getting hit like a truck. I have never before had to use purify so much before to clear my stagger damage.

Before we go any further into the intricacies of this boss and the effect on our raid team, I just want to highlight that after taking a week off from tanking, and then stepping into a new raid/boss with a new UI is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. I mean honestly, I installed so many add-ons that don’t appear in the add-on list and require a secondary command to open that I had shit all over my screen and had no idea how to move it. I also forgot to download my stagger bar (Tao Brewmaster stagger bar… Google it!!!) So I had no real idea what point my stagger was at until the aura flashed and I freaked out, so I wasn’t managing my mitigation well, had until frames in the middle of my screen, and I had misplaced my cooldown bar. Not a very stellar start to the night for a so called main tank.

So the first few attempts we had on Horridon I had a nameplate in the middle of my screen, for the boss. It drove me to distraction, so when had our first break, I shot out to Google and tried find the offending add-on and its menu command to bring up the options. Moved it, downloaded my stagger bar and finally had some idea of what was going on. I was still taking massive hits, and my raid leaders want to kite the adds towards the next door definitely left us wondering what was going on. From all angles that I see, I don’t think our dps output is high enough. Raid leader wants to kite the adds because of quicksand, but from everything ive read, our dps should be getting things down quick enough that we shouldn’t have to be kiting to avoid the amount of quicksand that we are dealing with. Having not looked at our logs, only at recount, we had only one dps doing over 70k, the rest were 60k or below, which is not nearlyhigh enough. I think one of the issues is that the group is trying to aoe down all the adds together, which is leaving too many up. I keep trying to push for a priority on the adds, but our raid leader gets an idea in his head hes usually pretty adamant about trying it until more then one of us starts to kick up a stink about it not working.

We were also down our hunter, we replaced her with a rogue, not a very smart move on anyones behalf. Hopefully we have our usual roster this week, although I think that we will be down a tank, healer and dps. Thats the only issue with having three family members in your raid group, when theres a family get together we lose all three of them.

So Horridon hasn’t been stellar. I think once again our expectations of ourselves were placed bit high, especially given the easy of which we got the first boss down. All we can do now is continue to push on this boss,refine our strat and do what we do. 

Remember to give your furry tanks tickles… it keeps them happy. :)

Throne of Thundering through my raid team…

So tonight we had our first foray into ToT. I will begin by saying… What the? I’m having Sunwell flashbacks from BC. And let me just say, that’s not a good thing. I knew just from doing LFR that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but holy cow!! I am also out of my comfort zone, given that I’m filling in as a healer while we try and find a replacement for our priest, but there seems tone strange points of spike damage in odd places and times and it’d really hard to keep up with. That being said…

image

Last attempt of the night and he went down smoothly. From the sounds of things I will be back to tanking tomorrow night, but healing tonight was fun. I forget how much I miss it until I do it again. But I digress, the fights from experiencing them in LFR seem to be tuned quite high, which is nice. Trash is extremely hard, I walked down the tunnel towards the trash leading to Horridon, and I groaned, purely because of my shitty experience with LFR groups on it.

I do have a question for you other raiders out there though; we had a recurring issue with our two melee dps dying at the same time to static burst. This was remedied by getting them to stand further away from each other, the boss and the two tanks. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Our shman tried to argue that it had nothing to do with them moving apart, but when we made that change, neither of them died again… coincidence? I think not!! Haha.

But I am extremely happy. First night in ToT and we get the first boss down, thats better progress than what we did with MSV and HoF. I am still a little bummed that we never made the step into terrace, but we shall see if we need to do that as we press into ToT a bit more. With onlytwo raid nights a week our choices are generally pretty limited with what we can do and ho long we spend in each raid. We never actually finished heart of fear either. But falling behind in progression is something weve never really done. We like to at least see if we can do the current tier. If it becomes obvious our gear is lacking, then obviously we will move back into the older content again, just to give ourselves a boost, but from all reports the true test doesn’t really come until after the first three bosses in throne of thunder.

Tonight certainly tested me as a monk healer though, that’s for sure. After a couple of false starts, I finally realised that if timed correctly, I cold have renewing mist (with the aid of thunder focus tea) rolling on everyone within the raid during a thunderstorm phase, then just spam uplift to give them boosts. It also helps having a raid leader who is aware of most if the cooldowns that each class has and can call them as needed. Revival is OP… and I love it. I used it on a galleon fight the other day, 40 man + 157k healing to all raid members within sight makes for some crazy ass numbers!! I was about 20k heals behind our paladin and our druid but given that my healing is off OFF spec and only 479 ilvl, I was pleased with my efforts.

I really like the feel of the new raid as well, its dark without being… off-putting. Through my time in wow, ive come to realise that one of the things I don’t like is dark dreary zones. I avoid Zangarmarsh, searing gorge, deepholm, icecrown, and in Mists I avoided dread wastes until I had to complete it to finish off my Klaxxi rep grind. And yet, given that throne of thunder is inherently dark from the outset, it doesn’t feel that way. Its well detailed, and I found myself really appreciating the small touches. The dead/dying grass between the flagstones on the floor, thru cracked stair cases…the whole overgrown theme to the instance is very well done. Kudos to blizzard.

But in any case, we got the first boss down tonight, in relatively good time and tomorrow night we push onwards to Horridon. Come at me ya giant triceratops… I’ll be ready!!

Until next time, don’t forget to feed and water your tanks… they need nourishment to grow :P

Hordely an Alliance…

Ha.. play on words…

Recently I read a post on a blog called “Be MOP” (go forth a read this blog, it’s awesome) Regarding whether or not there can be peace on Azeroth. It brought to light some of my own feelings, especially given my faction change at the end of Wrath from Horde to Alliance (to play with friends… I miss my Taurens so much)

As I type, the war in Pandaria rages on. Horde and Alliance fighting along the beach front of Krasarang wilds, each one trying to gain as many resources as possible to aid in their war effort. This is nothing new, we have seen this before, even without the quest lines to play it out for us. I remember my first foray into Ashenvale and coming across the Warsong Lumber Camp. There were no quests here for me, but it still intrigued me. It was gritty, and filled with orc peons (haha peons…) wandering around gathering lumber. But what for?

I guess the thing that jumps to my mind is that the leader of the Horde is not a king, a prime minister, or… I dunno… a Tsar! They’re a warchief. So as far as the Horde is concerned, they’re always preparing for war, whether there be one or not. It is the essence of the Horde. To fight. The original Horde arrived in Azeroth, tainted with demon’s blood and hungry for battle. So it goes without saying that the two factions will never truly live in peace, the sins of the fathers and such.

However the tenuous relationship between the Tauren’s and the Horde is becoming more and more strained. The tauren’s are indebted to the Horde for helping them drive back the centaur and reclaim the plains of Mulgore, however when Garrosh killed Cairne, the anger and betrayal that ripped through the Tauren’s was horrific. Garrosh caused the rift to begin with, by heeding Magatha Grimtotem’s offer of ‘help’, thereby allowing her to strike the fatal blow, through Garrosh’s hands. With Cairne dead, Magatha then attacked Tauren towns and destroyed them, hoping to kill Baine at the same time.

Some may say that Garrosh atoned for that by refusing to aid Magatha in her defense of Thunder Bluff when Baine launched his assault on it to take it back, however he also did not offer any aid to Baine, even though it was Garrosh’s hand and actions that brought this upon the Tauren.

I’m getting a touch off track here.

It just seems that this expansion is not just about the war between the two factions, but also the tenuous relationships that hold them together. Everyone knows Garrosh has to go… it’s pretty much inevitable. He’s a warmongering, blood thirsty leader and as such is leading his Horde the same way that they were lead by Blackhand (although under the influence and power of Gul’dan) he wants war. He wants to own everything. He is ruthless in his onslaught, seeking out anything and everything that can aid him in his conquest of the alliance, Azeroth, and now Pandaria.

Garrosh

Then we have the Alliance. All bright n shiny! Ooooo shiny…

Even they’re having their fair share of in house arguments at this time. I have just finished my shieldwall quests and the story the evolved from those was a very engaging one. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Seeing the change in Varian, brought about in part by Anduin, has been interesting. This then follows to the change in Jaina Proudmoore. Normally so collected, and calm… the betrayal from within her own Kirin’Tor by the Sunreavers has all but left her, what appears to be, a little mad. I can’t say as much on this point as I am yet to read “Tides of War” but it’s almost like she’s finally let the anger, and rage that has been following her around since her childhood, and then early adulthood regarding Arthas/The Lich King, then the destruction of her home Theramore has gotten the better of her.

******SPOILER ALERT******

There is a questline within Shieldwall that takes you to Darnassus. It is here that you learn the Divine Bell that the Alliance (you) had found and then had spirited away, was in fact being housed and protected in the Elven City. However it has been taken. You follow Jaina on a tracking mission only to come across a portal to Dalaran. In that instance Jaina seems to snap. She realizes that people from within the Kirin’Tor (the Sunreavers) were behind the theft, and thus have been enfolded into the Horde. She goes on the warpath back in Dalaran, and sends you to kill high ranking Sunreaver’s throughout the Magic City.

All through the last part of this quest line, Jaina is disregarding everything Varian is saying to her. In essence she is operation on her own, not heeding any advice from anyone. The once stalwart, impartial Mage, she is now a woman scorned, mobilizing her Kirin’Tor against the horde. Varian is not pleased with this, he believes that everyone needs to stick together, as is the meaning of “Alliance” her parting words to him were “Don’t go soft on me Varian.”

jainavarian

I believe Varian is trying to be better, because it’s what Anduin is hoping for. Anduin doesn’t want any harm brought to Pandaria (too late little man!!) and as such, Varian is trying his hardest to protect those he loves and cares about, including his people, without resorting to the type of viciousness and brutality that Garrosh enjoys. However it’s causing a rift between him and the other governing bodies of the Alliance. There’s another quest line that involves a Sha Touched Claw (not the one from the Sha of Anger) When it is brought before the leaders of the Alliance, most of them want to study it, to try and harness it’s power to use against the Horde. Varian asks Anduin (Wait what?!) if he thinks this is a wise move. Anduin disagrees, stating that the dark sha power is too unpredictable and should be destroyed… So Varian destroys it.

In an effort to please his son, and an attempt to be less brutal, he is in turn creating tension between himself and the others. So peace on Azeroth… I don’t see it coming any time soon. I believe that if there is a tenuous peace between the Horde and Alliance, it would only be because they are too busy fighting among themselves. For this is what is happening, from my perspective, right now.

Ahh may the mists guide you…

~Fat Furry Tank