Tagged: Mists of Pandaria

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!!

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Exalted you say?

“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!

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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. 😉

Here we go again!

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

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Fluffballs, Scenarios and Emperors!

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!

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My inspiration for doing this achievement came from one of the people I follow on Twitter. Martiean! Go forth and follow him on Twitter, and watch his videos on youtube!

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

Plate to leather…

So you’ve finished Cataclysm as a prot warrior. Patch 5.0 made your soul cry, because you forgot to read patch notes, and had no idea why suddenly shield block wasn’t working straight off the bat and you’re running into a boss fight with no instant mitigation. (I know, I know.. BAD prot warrior.) you’ve also spent a lot of time Offtanking as a Blood DK for your guilds other raiding team and have been enjoying that more than your warrior.

So what do you do?

Now the important question is upon you. Which team do you raid for in Mists of Pandaria, and which online persona are you intending on using? The weeks leading up to the release of “Panda Land” are filled with stress, to the point where you are pulling your Worgen hair out and becoming some strange… hairless, allergen friendly creature of peoples nightmares. You were always going to tank, that’s a given, but which class. Especially since you have the means to have them all.

But no, you don’t go the easy route. You don’t take your already level 85 character and do the new content. You bite the bullet, grab some heirlooms, and start at level 1 again.

And the next thing you know, you’re an overweight, stomach jiggling, black and white furred, mohawked panda with a moustache. By level 20 you realise “Oh my, this is the class for me… where have you been all my WoW life?!” and settle in to level.

I mean come on… who doesn’t enjoy throwing beer all over mobs and then setting them on fire. FIRE!!! Mmm burnies…

With every new ability your enjoyment of the class grows. Although you’re still a bit creeped out by the fact that your stomach jiggles whenever you move.  You turn into some possessed levelling machine, knowing your deadline to be ready for raiding. You level so quickly, that one of your guildies makes a macro to gratz you because she can’t be bothered typing everytime you yell “Ding!!! *smashes face into keyboard*” in guild chat.

So you level your way to 88… and then bam. You get stuck in a rut. 88-89 feels crazy slow, you feel like your eyes are melting out of your skull with every quest you hand in, and your xp bar doesn’t move. Your guildies encourage you, and you push through and then BAM!! You hit that magic number 90!

And Ta Da!! Here I am. A level 90 Brewmaster Monk. It is to this date my favorite class.

The transition from a plate wearing prot warrior to a leather wearing monk has been an interesting experience. Even now, I’m changing things around in raid bosses to better up my mitigation for certain fights. This first post is mainly an introduction to the wacky mind that is me. The further into this blog I get, the more information regarding my gameplay and the rotations, cooldowns, talents and glyphs I use will be covered. The adventures of dungeon running with friends, including the wipes we have from being overconfident, to the first time we got our asses kicked in a challenge mode dungeon.

Until then fellow Azerothians, quest well, may the gold flow and don’t forget to pat your tanks!

~The Fat Furry Tank