Lamentaclysm

Let us all bow our heads in silence in remembrance of the uniqueness of the Death Knight. No other class could tank and dps within the same tree and come Cataclysm, no class will ever again. I can understand the retcon on the DK design given how many headaches their balancing issues have caused, it’s just a shame that it had to come to this. Yet, I’ll attempt to be positive about this and embrace the decision to go with a dedicated tanking tree.

There’s only one issue, with this change my preferred dps tree is now a tanking tree and my preferred tanking tree is now a dps tree. My DK’s world has been turned upside down and torn asunder! When I do return from my WoW-hiatus I have a couple of decisions to make: Do I learn to tank in blood now or later? Then once I figure that out, do I switch to unholy dps or remain blood until Cataclysm? I’m not a big fan of frost dps, so post-cataclysm it appears that unholy will be my only option for dps. @.@;

Anyhoo, I did promise to be positive so let’s look at the bright side of having a dedicated tanking tree. No longer will I have to lust over great tanking talents in blood and unholy, they’ll all be in the blood tree. I’m sure the frost tanking talents will have to go through some “re-flavoring” to fit in the blood theme which will be interesting. Having a dedicated tanking tree will also benefit healers as no longer will there be 3 different flavors of DK tanks; they’ll have a better idea of what to expect with a DK tank.

We’ll also have less confusion on how to setup our tanking builds with not being of two minds in our talent selection. For some reason it was always odd that I would have to dump lots of points into pure dps talents to get deep enough to pick up pure tanking talents in the frost tree. There’s only one issue that remains with the presences … will blood presence become the tanking presence? Or will Blizzard rename them to be in line with warrior stances, just with a death knight flavor?

So many questions, so little answers.

Add in the change to the rune system and there’s a lot to digest all at once. It’s almost causing me perpetual indigestion. I’m sure things will shake down and all will be well for the Knights of the Ebon Blade, but for now it’s a little hard to see the forest through the trees. I have faith that it’ll all work out and if things do end up out-of-wack, it’ll get fixed at some point.¬†Wrath has been a roller-coaster for DKs and for once I think the devs will finally get the class balanced in Cataclysm.

Now where’s our monk? I’d love to have a cloth-wearing hybrid class that can heal, tank, or dps.

Contemplation

Despite Darksiders pulling me away from Azeroth I still have lots of ideas for my Azerothian exploits. You see, my rogue is nearing the “ceiling” of the gear he can obtain without stepping into a 10/25 man raid and I’ve found myself wondering what should I do when he gets there. I still have my DK to work on as his gear is need of a lot of work, but do I go full-time tank with two tanking builds; one for AoE pulls, one for boss pulls? Or do I keep him how he is with a dps build and a utilitarian tanking build?

The biggest benefit of going full-time tank would be the fact that I’d be able to focus on one style of gear to obtain. It would also cut down on trips to the runeforge to switch the enchant on his Quel’delar. I would also be forcing myself to stick to one role on my DK and not allow me to “cheat” by running heroics as DPS. I want to tank with my DK and I want to do so at a high level of proficiency and the best way to accomplish that is immersing myself in the role. I’m just a little gun-shy about it.

I’ve seen my fair share of bad tanks over the past couple of weeks and I don’t want want to be that guy. You know that guy right? The tank that forgets to put their threat generation aura/ability on? Or the tank that doesn’t bother to pull properly and pulls two or more groups? Or even the tank that charges in and stays put, forcing the melee dps to go through the mobs putting them in harms way, or worse yet forcing them into the position of potentially pulling a patrol or secondary group. Yah, there are definitely some delicate snowflakes out there.

While I’m not that terribad at tanking, I still have a lot to learn about DK tanking. Learning by doing seems to be pretty successful for me, so I just need to get past my anxiety and do it. I won’t be a great tank at first, but I shouldn’t expect myself to be perfect. Hell, even after 5 years of playing my rogue I’m still improving with him. Having a patient friend healing my DK would definitely make the process a lot easier as it is definitely harder to feel confident with a pugged healer.

Anyways, let’s move on.

There’s been another idea that has been gaining momentum and I feel like I’m on the cusp of entertaining it: leveling a toon exclusively through the dungeon finder tool. There were a lot of instances that I never completed at-level back in vanilla and TBC and I would like to see them before any potential cataclysmic changes. I’ve been meaning to level a shaman for a long time but haven’t found the motivation to quest grind through old world content. While I would have to go as a healer, doing so would also satisfy my desire of having a healer amongst my toons.

The only downside to embarking on this side-project is finding the time to dedicate to it. There are a lot of console games that I’ve been meaning to play through and there are many more on the way in the very near future. Then there’s the issue of having to work to bring in money to pay the bills. That eats up a large portion of my day. If only I could clone myself to do my job, cook and clean … oh right, that didn’t work for Michael Keaton in Multiplicity. I guess I’ll just have to figure out some sort of priority system … (u.u) .zZ

Destruction

It has been awhile since I’ve blogged specifically about my in-game exploits in Azeroth so it is about time I did so. Even after close to 5 years with WoW I still find enjoyment out of the game, and it has been incredible to share that experience with my wife. Specifically I’ve taken a step back from the usual “daily” grind at max-level and gone back to the roots of the game with leveling alts.

Back when TBC came out I was certain that I was going to level a paladin to 70 and tank with her but as time passed she gathered more and more dust to the point where I didn’t give a second thought to picking back up my tankadin. Having a consistent partner to quest with has made it very desirable to dust my tankadin off, especially when that partner can pick up the slack in DPS when you’re focusing specifically on being a tank. It’s a blast to tell my wife “get ready to rain down fire” while I mount up and gather up a pack of 6-8 mobs and then watch as they keel over.

As this blog title may suggest, my wife is a warlock and recently we decided that she should try out switching from affliction to destruction. Affliction just wasn’t giving her the big numbers that she was desiring, and since I’m the tank, there really wasn’t a reason for her to not switch over to the bursty damage of destruction. Conflagrate is freaking awesome, and it’ll be even more awesome once one of my guildies gets the glyph sent to my wife’s ‘lock.

Originally my tankadin was all-out protection spec’d, but while we were questing through Stranglethorn Vale I decided I needed a little more oomph and tossed 11 points into retribution for Seal of Command. While this has delayed my Avenger’s shield, it has helped out immensely with the play-style that we occasionally exercise in burning down large groups of mobs. There was one occurrence where we were “joined” by a draenei shadowpriest riding away from the pirate cove in Tanaris and collected a large group running after us. As we approached the cave tunnel I decided “what the hell” and dropped a consecrate and tanked about 8 pirates while my wife rained fire down from the heavens on them.¬†There’s nothing more fun than doing silly stuff like that and living to tell the tale.

Currently we’re sitting just shy of level 46 and hoping to hit at least 58 before our RaF runs out. We haven’t made the most out of the RaF program as our playtime can be quite limited and considering how long it has been since I’ve actually leveled a character in our level range questing hasn’t been silky smooth. I have tried to make sure that we’ve quested through zones that will be substantially changing in Cataclysm so that my wife will be able to reflect on how Azeroth used to be.

Tanking the Rag.

Speaking off old world Azeroth, the bug to level my own ‘lock sent me on a journey to pick up the +22 INT enchant to toss on the heirloom staff. My rogue is an enchanter but he had never reached revered with the Thorium Brotherhood in order to pick up that particular enchant. Fortunately he was honored with them, but had long dropped skinning & mining so it was up to my DK to venture into Molten Core for TB farming.

In a large coincidence two of my guildies were already farming MC but were having a difficult time of it so I got an invite to come join them on my DK who happens to be a mining and skinning expert. We ended up clearing most of MC as a trio which was extremely fun. At first I was DPS’ng on my DK, but considering that I do have tanking gear on my DK, I ended up tanking the entire raid. By the time we were closing in on Ragnaros, we were joined by 6 other guildies which sped things up considerably. I’m sure we could have cleared all of MC as a trio, but it was great to get more friends in on the action and not have it drag on for hours.

By the end of the run we had acquired enough lava cores, fiery cores, dark iron ore, and core leather that even after splitting it with one of my guildmates whom was also working on TB rep I had enough to get my rogue revered with the Thorium Brotherhood. Success! I’ll be heading back into MC with my DK to continue helping my guildmate grind out TB rep although I think we’ll leave Magmadar up for lots and lots of core leather.

As an aside, leveling a lock with the heirloom shoulders, chest, and staff with +22 INT on it made leveling smooth as butter: level 10 in 2 hours!