Apr 21, 2009

The Gimp is back

Zero points for guessing what the post title references, especially if you peeked at the picture above. :)

I'm still around, mostly busy levelling the paladin trying to get him prepared to rejoin the raid crew at some point. He's just dinged 78 and entered Sholazar Basin and I hope to revisit the jungle mayhem that was Stranglethorn Vale. I've made a point of attacking any and all alliance I see regardless of level and gear and seeing the stuff he can pull off both in instances and in pvp has made me more sure than ever that I've made a good choice in choosing to bench my Warrior for now.

The timing could also not have been better for levelling an alt with the introduction of Dual Speccing, normal instance runs have been dead on my server but being able to switch specs greatly improve the chances of getting something going. More on that in a later post.

I had to mug and rob old Vads to get all the flying training purchased last evening, so it was real nice to see he's found a new occupation in Grizzly Hills, doing something he should be good at, taking punches from Vrykul. :)

In other news, I didn't manage to pay my initial ISP bill on time after I moved and they were surprisingly quick to lower my bandwidth, so I've been levelling in jerkovision playing at 200-500ms since level 73. Its pretty shocking I'm still able to rape almost any alliance I see out in the wild considering its normal these days to have 1-5 sec delays on my abilities, and as mentioned above I do play rather agressively PVP-wise. I got my salary today though so regular latency, here I come. :)

To date I've had three fights I couldn't manage, one was at 72 in Borean Thundra when a 80 Boomkin wanted to play cat and mouse (to my defence I got him to 30% after a res with my bubble on cooldown. Also despite the gross level difference he never attacked me unless I had pulled a mob or three, flying comfortably overhead waiting for me to do something), another was a 80 elemental shaman in naxx25 gear that was called in to help after I ran over a guildmate of his a few times, and finally I had a hard time against a well played frost mage at my own level no less, who knew how to outlast my bursts etc and finally got me down on our third encounter, kudos to him for that.

PVE-wise I'm having fun as well, done a lot of instances both as healer and DPS and I see a lot of potential. At level 71 I started passing a few of the DPS'ers I've had to endure in heroics on my tank and more recently at 77-78 I've started matching and passing a few DPS'ers in level 80 10-mans.

I had forgotten how fun healing can be, also.

While I would love to try raiding in these roles though there is a big possibility I'll be forced into picking up tanking again, I'm hearing on a daily basis from the guild that there is a lack of tanks. Which is somewhat amusing since there really isnt, they're out there. But granted, they're not all 100% ilvl213+ geared. If I see raid after raid failing on the tanking role though I will try to do something about it, I like the guys too much not to. :)

There's a lot more I'd like to cover but it wont all fit into one post, so expect another post a few days covering my take on Dual Specs, 3.1 changes now that we've seen them in action, and other random issues. :)

Peace outside!

Apr 4, 2009

I fart in your general direction.

Now that I have your full attention (see what I did there?), the topic for today's post will be the fine art of taunting, with a solid dash of whine thrown in for good measure.

Taunts then! A vital tool for warrior tanks in all shapes and sizes, choice words of aggravation are constantly thrown at our enemies to make them emo rage on us instead of for example the squishy looking healer they were just chewing into. Some poor mobs have taken so much verbal abuse over the years that they have learned to turn a deaf ear to such insults but for the most part, taunts work well.

In most cases PVE at least, but over the years many a warrior including myself have wished for the ability to have some use in pvp as well besides being able to force pets to switch targets for a second. It has fallen on deaf developer ears though, until the introduction of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Which as we all know made non-Death Knights endangered species in large part I suspect to their awesome spell, Death Grip. Other than the very cool "Come here!" factor, it has a number of uses, first and foremost being the Death Knight taunt ability. It is also by far the most effective tool they can use for getting casters included in the rain of AoE. Or out of if, when used by the less intelligent Death Knights. They can also burn it should a spell need to be interrupted.

All in all its a darn cool ability, but remember the mention of wishing taunt had a PVP use? Death Knights get that too, in fact it has more uses than you can shake a stick at. It is nothing short of incredibly powerful for forcing enemies repositioning. They have a healer in the back? No problem, drag him right into your own group for instant gibbage. Your priest friend getting sodomised by a rogue? No problem, just pull him off. Stuck in a frost nova with the mage loading up a pyroblast? We'll have none of that, force him back in your reach and interrupt that spell of hurt while you're at it.

So, am I angry they have such an awesome ability while warrior Taunt does nothing at all whatsoever in PVP ? Actually, no. While it is a very versatile ability, it has a significantly longer cooldown than our taunts, forcing them to think a bit about when best to use it. And Death Knights don't have Charge, Intercept and Intervene of course, so I understand that they need this to close range quickly on targets in PVP.

All fine and dandy then, at least until recent game patches got Paladins also a taunt ability and God knows they needed one, their old 3 target of friendly target taunt was awkward and awful in use.

So in 3.0.8 I think it was, Paladins got Hand of Reckoning. Now, look at the tooltip on that ability. Notice that puny 1 damage? That is PVP utility, basically taking the good old warrior Taunt, and improving it by adding instant interrupt and caster pushback at a very low mana cost.

Basically, what Warriors have been asking for the last few years. I was so surprised when I was doing AB on my new Paladin alt Vanor and found out I could use that for example to prevent base captures in Arathi Basin. It surely doesnt spell doom, but it does have a PVP use.

The ability also has shorter cooldown than it takes to take a flag in AB or EotS, so there's nothing to stop paladins from plinking someone trying to tag something while they're dealing with other players or healing a bit for as long as they feel like it.

And it pisses me off! First because it is something Warriors have requested for so long, only to be ignored and given to Paladins instead (I am still happy you guys got your regular taunt for PVE though). Second, this is far from the first time something like this has happened and it brings to my mind just how milked dry the Warrior class is. Pretty much all abilities that have some use have been passed around to various classes or their pets.

They even get improved in the process! Hunters get Aimed Shot with MS debuff, except theirs is ranged of course. Paladins got Divine Storm, Whirlwind plus heals. All tank classes have their varieties of Last Stand and Shield Wall, the last tricks Warrior tanks had up their sleeves that gave us an edge in survivability on bosses.

And I'm not against the tanking classes being even in performance, but having given out those Warriors are actually the WORST tanks around. Lets see what we got.

Single target threat? Nope.
Aoe threat? No sir. Thunder Clap and Shockwave may take snap aggro but watch the other tanks peel them off in one tick of their aoe abilities! Gosh they're so neat!
Survivability? Think again, our Druid has max stamina+avoidance on all gear since he is crit immune from spending 3 talent points.
Good tank DPS? Don't be ridiculous!
Raid utility then, I mean come on we have Commanding Shout!? Sorry mate, Fury Warrior handling that since paladins got better buffs than his Battle Shout. Look... just get on the short bus, I think one of our rogues saved you a seat in the back.


On the whole, is there anything at all which is unique to the Warrior class anymore except Commanding Shout and a melee attack that has a cast time(how cool is that!), and having a large amount of our abilities including debuffs of various kinds ?

Someone, cheer me up! :S