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…
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!
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 😛
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
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