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. 🙂
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…
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 😛
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.
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.
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.”
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
So early on twitter Disco Priest said she would love to see a blog that had real places compared to wow screenshots. Me being the sucker for punishment that I am… Have taken on this challenge! I love stuff like this, so behold my readers.. The Fat Furry tank gives you…
First picture is of Sedona Red rocks desert. Not an exact picture, but I’m currently doing this in bed from my phone. I’m really excited now, as I will be visiting Sedona when I travel to the states in May! So this post is short but sweet. Over time I will post more of these… I’m actually really enjoying it! For the time being, thank your healers, cheer your DPS, and feed your tanks! 🙂
“To ask why we fight, is to ask why the leaves fall… it is in their nature” – Chen Stormstout.
So I spent the last ten or so minutes before I went to bed last night, re-watching all the WoW cinematics. I still love them all. The Monologue that runs behind the Wrath of the Lich King trailer, spoken by Terenas Menathil, always makes me shiver. Blizzard do have a flair for the dramatic when it comes to cinematics. And Deathwings little spiel in his cinematic was just fantabulous!
“Pain… Agony… My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps. The world heaves with my torment, it’s retched kingdoms quake beneath my rage. But at last, the whole of Azeroth will break, and all will burn beneath the shadow of my wings.”
However, I found that Chen Stormstouts words in the Mists of Pandaria cinematic release to be very inspiring. I still remember the first time I saw the camera pan up over the top of Chen, and sweep over the valley in the Jade Forrest, revealing the landscape. I got goosebumps!! (damn straight, and I aint afraid to admit it haha!) I love WoW lore, I love new areas, and I love exploring. The landscape in Mists still has me pausing to take screenshots when I see certain things, or find things that I haven’t found before. And that’s part of the reason I love this game so much. You can sink hours of time into the things you’re “supposed” to do, but slow down sometimes, take a ride on your flying mount, and just look around. It’s. Beautiful.
So anyway, enough of the fluff! Hehe fluff…
I finally finally hit exalted with the Shado-Pan this week. I got a bit lax with my dailies at one point and really steered away from doing them. In the back of my mind there’s a tiny little panda version of myself dancing around laughing and poking me with a polearm saying “If you’d just done them all, you’d be finished with them!” and I keep throwing beer scented bamboo at it to make it go away!
Regardless of my laziness, it felt good to hit exalted. Got myself some cool armored tigers that my alts can ride around on and look all important and such! Even though every man and his dog on my server has them already! I do like the feeling of accomplishment when I hit exalted with a faction. When I feel like dailies are sucking my soul out, I just remind myself of rep grinding in vanilla, and having to collect things for the argent dawn, and run Stratholme ALOT to raise that rep. I never did finish. Dailies are a nice way to rep grind, sort of. I just wish that there was some way that blizzard could tool it so that the mobs you kill for the dailies grant you rep. Although then people would pick them up and just keep their in quest log while they farmed rep I suppose, so that would be out of the question. I often speculate on these things, and then realize later on that someone, somewhere, would find some way to exploit it. I do not envy Blizzard their job, that’s for sure.
The other bonus of hitting exalted… my replica shado-pan hat! I’ve never been so excited for an item before in my life. I hearthed back to the Shrine, and went straight to the Transmogrifier and got all up in that hat! I feel like a ninja panda now. Although how a fat panda can be stealthy is BEYOND me!
Look at me in my ninja hat and riding my armored tiger!! WOO!!!
On a side note, my raid team did it’s last turn in Mogu’Shan Vaults, and we will now be spending our nights in Heart of Fear. Hopefully not beating our faces against Blade Lord Ta’yak for much longer! This is the current fight that I find I’m having issues with. I don’t know whether to stack a little bit more stamina. But once again, that would mean sacrificing some of my avoidance stats. And I don’t feel as though I’m being hit hard, like I was in Will of the Emperor. Last week I missed a cool down on an overlap of overwhelming strike and got insta-killed. Never a fun moment. In my defense… no… wait… I have nothing. It was purely my fault. I admitted that, and we moved on. We got him to 7%… stupid whirlwinds. The raid damage that’s pumped out during the run up and down that hall is ridiculous. The tornadoes are stupid too! On my screen, I’ll have missed one completely, be a good distance away when I start shifting for the next one, and get caught in the previous one that I thought I’d avoided! It’s very frustrating. Not that my tanking dps really has that much benefit on that last phase, but every little bit helps. It’s all learning though!
So hopefully this week, being fresh into HoF, without having spent any time in MSV, will have us focused and we’ll get things done! I love downing new bosses…
Fat Furry Tank… OUT!
Remember, feed your furry tanks… they like it. 😉
Guild Drama. Most of us have seen it, most of us have been part of it, and a lot of us have had to fix it.
But what do you do when most of your guild is sectioned into smaller groups. It’s like high school all over again.
Currently our guild is suffering from “The officers do nothing and don’t help us, but I’m not going to talk to them about it, I’m going to talk to all my friends, who aren’t officers and then expect something to magically happen!”
As an officer, what do I do in this situation? People are assuming that we don’t care. And for some reason are not approaching us when they need help with, well, anything!
I’m currently trying to push the use of our guild website a little bit more, as I find it a more structured environment than FaceBook, for this kind of thing. However it’s always the same people frequenting the forums. There are literally 5 of us, out of a guild of about 250+ members, that are currently talking about the steps to take to fix this lack of communication within our guild.
What I seem to think is the major culprit of the hostility towards the officers is the raiding. It’s something I’m yet to bring up in as many words, because I don’t particularly see that stirring the pot has any benefit to any one. However what do we do? In cataclysm, I was the raid leader of the second raid team, one that cycled through members constantly, for many different reasons, weren’t progressing fast enough, people’s internet connections making it hell for the rest of us, personal issues flowing into the raid environment, and non-committal from a lot of my raiders.
The other raid team had a steady roster that cleared content every week. When there are two ten man raid teams, this seems to be something that happens quite often.
Currently we have 1 steady raid team, it just happens to be the one that I’m a part of (after making a decision at the end of cataclysm to give up raid leading and go back to main tanking). This team consists of people who work their asses off in the short time we have to raid (casual/social guild) and clear at a nice pace.
However the second raid team that started before us, pushed hard and fast, and fell apart. They had a big raid group blow out in december, and nothing has happened since. Then there was suddenly a third group of people around December as well, that wanted to start a third raid team. At this point you’re probably wondering why we’re not running 25mans, instead of three 10 mans.
The reason for this is that currently, we can’t even field two full 10 mans. And for some reason the majority of the guild seem to think this is the officers fault.
But my question is, how can the officers help you build your raid team back up, if even when asked, you don’t tell us what you need to fill your ranks?
How can the officers help with anything, if we’re never made aware that there are problems?
I’m at a loss. And the forum post is just the same five people going round and round in circles.
My question is to you fellow bloggers, if you’ve ever experience these issues, or any similar, let me know! I’d be interested in seeing how other people deal with the issues that surround guilds! Otherwise I might just have to climb up a tree and be in permanent /facepalm
If you ever find yourself bored on a Saturday, this is one of the easiest Achievements to get. All it requires is to run these specific Scenarios on a Saturday. You don’t even have to do them all in one Saturday!
It’s a lot of fun, and quite an amusing title to go with it!
Onto the Monk stuff!
One of the first things that I came upon very quickly in my quest to better myself as a Brewmaster Monk tank happened within the first 40 or so levels. I found myself scrounging around for gear that had dodge on it, channeling my days as a bear tank. Mind you, I hadn’t tanked as a bear since SSC in the Burning Crusade days. But my mind was telling me “Dodge is important for a tank, your warrior uses it, your DK uses it, your bear used to use it” So when I came upon the realisation after much theory crafting, that the stat priority for a Monk tank doesn’t even INVOLVE dodge (it all comes passively from your agility of course) my brain kinda twitched and I puzzled over it for some time.
It wasn’t until level 90 that I realise the need for the stat priority that a Brewmaster monk uses.
Stamina > Agility > Expertise (15%) > Melee Hit (7.5%) > Crit >= Haste > Parry > Dodge > Mastery
The necessity for Crit and Haste is easily explained, once you understand the mechanics of a brewmaster monk. Elusive brew is one of our BIGGEST physical mitigations. Elusive brew stacks are created by critical WHITE hits. So normal crit hits, not special ability hits. So the need for Crit strike, is upped by the need to have these stacks at our disposal when we have large incoming damage.
A perfect example of this is the last boss of Mogu’Shan vaults, The Will of the Emperor. The titanic constructs that get summoned hit the tanks like trucks, even if they’re managed to dodge the devastating strikes. This appears to be the case, because of the amount of time they don’t spend hitting the tank, doing the previously mentioned devastating strikes. I was finding that I was getting hit really hard, the the detriment of my healers. I changed some talents around, taking Dampen Harm over Diffuse Magic and taking out Glyph of Guard to get the physical damage absorb back, after needing the magic absorb for the previous boss Elegon. But of course this wasn’t enough. This is where haste and crit take part. Whilst the boss is doing his devastating combo, as a brewmaster tank you must hit the boss. It is imperative that you keep Shuffle up for your added parry bonus, regardless of the boss you are fighting. This comes from using blackout kick, and is an essential part of your rotation.
With the haste and the crit that you should have reforged into, you would by the end of devastating combo have about 9 stacks of elusive brew. You should throw in a tiger palm, which with your Brewmaster training will give you power guard. Upon completion of devastating combo, you should throw up your guard, hit the boss a few more times, and by this stage you should have 15 stacks of elusive brew, which you then use, to mitigate the large incoming hits from the boss, before you rinse and repeat during the next devastating combo.
Dampen Harm is used if you miss one of the devastating combo’s, to help your healers deal with the massive incoming damage, from the armour debuff you take if you get hit by the boss.
Fortifying brew is best saved for Titan Gas.
A monk tank has less “Oh shit buttons” than most classes, but can make up for that by absorbing a lot of damage with our guard ability. I find I take less damage than my paladin offtank, purely become of my absorbs. I have less armor than her, yes, but I absorb and dodge a lot more hits than she does. She can take large smacks to the face and laugh it off, I would get squished!
The key to playing a Brewmaster monk is knowing when to use what, and how effective that will be in a given situation.
If you have any questions regarding Brewmaster tanking, please don’t hesitate to ask me on twitter!
Have fun, feed your tanks and thank your healers! 🙂
~The Fat Furry Tank