Saturday, March 28, 2009

Northrend Dungeon Master

Last night, to get Boon the Northrend Heroic Dungeonmaster Achievement, we went into Heroic Halls of Lightning and Heroic Oculus.

I came as Keiji, The Awesome.

Sitting at a little over 27k health and 27.5k armor unbuffed, with 35% dodge/parry and now with Lichborne, I felt supremely confident that we would pwn Loken and Eregos.

We started with Loken and he did go down like a pansy. That's right. Pansy.

Oh, Lightning Nova? HAVE SOME ANTI-MAGIC SHIELD, bish. Ditto with Ionar, oh, gonna do some static charge thing to me? Uhnuh, I don't think so. BAM.

We got the three achievements for heroic Halls of Lightning: Lightning Struck, Shatter Resistant and Timely Death. Boon died to the slag because he somehow misplaced his bubble. That's right. A paladin. Misplacing his bubble. So sad, so sad.

Then we moved onto Oculus. We didn't do any of the achievements.

We had some... issues. People hopping on their drakes, not waiting for those of us who haven't been there as frequently, and riding off into the wild blue yonder... and getting lots of aggro from the pesky elites flying around. We wound up dying more to trash flappy elites than we did to Eregos. And we did die. A lot.

And on the Mage, when the tank has to kite him out of his frost bombs? Yeah, ranged DPS opening up and grabbing aggro meant that he was constantly frost bombing the healer instead of the tank.

I can see why a lot of people do not like Oculus (and Malygos), because it has nothing to do with your skill as your chosen class, or your gear on your chosen class. To some extent, this is a GOOD thing, you don't have to be uber-elite to down Eregos or Malygos necessarily, just have experience in how to handle your drake and you can have as many DPS or healers or tanks that you want, regardless of what classes you really took in there.

We did finally get Eregos down. I was tanking on a Ruby Drake. Some of it was me learning the best way to use Evasive Maneuvers and Martyr and ... so frustrating. Boon was healing on an Emerald Drake and our three DPS were DPSing on Amber Drakes.

Getting the DPS to realize that doing whatever damage they did with the stacking whatever on the boss was better if more of them were doing it, where it could stack to 10 times? We had one DPS doing 15k damage for the fight, and the other two doing 6k. I kept going, "Whatever DPS 1 is doing, can DPS 2 and 3 do it also?"

I have no idea what it was, other than going in there as Keiji last night, I've been in the Oculus a grand total of ONCE.

But we succeeded and to my surprise, I also earned Northrend Dungeonmaster. Regular, not Heroic. I still need to whomp three heroics, of which I can't remember which ones they are, other than H.AN. *whimper*

Now I'm working on getting badges, badges and more badges to try to work towards getting the chest upgrade for Keiji. And I'll keep trying to run VoA 10/25 to maybe see if the Watcher will treat me as kindly as he treated Kikidas the other day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Scourge Chat Log

Thank you to Nibuca for posting this link!

Apparently, the person who wrote this does not play the game. Used WoWWiki for all his information. And doesn't know KT has a cat.

It's a little long to read, but I literally laughed out loud. Read it. Read it now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ridiculously Lucky

I (as Kikidas) had been in an OS25, which was an odd run in and of itself because the DK leader tried to not invite other DK's (or melee... curious that, dontchathink?) because of the DK tier token shares it with rogues, druids and mages.

Yet he had like, 5 mages. Go fig.

Anyway, so I finish the OS25 (getting nothing, lesigh), and I'm in Dalaran when the shout comes out that they need reinforcements!

I sigh to myself and note that I need an upgraded headpiece and appppparently, the Titan-forged Hood of Dominance is the one to get if you can get it. And to get it, you need 40 marks of Wintergrasp.

So I go do my duty and "help" take Wintergrasp.

And I see someone call out in LFG that they're forming a VoA25.

And I ask if I can join. And I'm in. And somehow, I'm given assistant. And we fill the raid up. I try for balance, so I didn't invite more than 3 DK's (despite the zillion and ten who wanted in the raid), tried to keep it at 3 mages and hunters, but we wound up with 4 and 4. A few rogues, a few druids, a few warriors, some priests, one pally, a few shaman... but no other warlocks even asked to come in (seriously, no one asked!). So I'm the only warlock.

And the Watcher goes down. And Seraphelia looks at the loot and says, "Damn it, three warlock pieces."

I laugh, certain he's jesting. But he says he isn't. And I nearly kill myself in the Watchers cloud o' gas trying to see... oh frabjabulous day... he isn't kidding.

Valorous Plagueheart Robe, Valorous Plagueheart Leggings and Deadly Gladiator's Felweave Trousers all dropped. And they start the rolls and someone politely points out (it wasn't me, either!) that there's only one warlock. And he asks if I want all of it...

I say, "Oh that would be kind of you, thank you."... okay, what I really said was "YES! :D :D :D"

I am ridiculously, undeservedly lucky.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I laugh at thee!

To my illustrious guild leader, who died in Grobb's cloud 'o poison after the boss was down, I salute you!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Minor Updates

  • Respecced Keiji slightly to play around with Lichborne. It's on a 3 minute cooldown, so probably one of those 'ut oh' buttons for boss fights or large pulls.
  • Kikomi has tired feet and can't wait for level 30. I forgot how frustrating it is to run around without a mount.
  • Kieya is a sad neglected panda-hunter. Hopefully this weekend when we aren't raiding, she'll actually get the attention she was promised.
  • None of the bosses in the Nexus are exactly affliction warlock friendly, with the exception of the whirly commander. Let's see... mage boss... splits into three and twirls you around in the air, letting all your dots drop off. Energy boss... becomes immune and spawns little portals you need to switch to and destroy, letting all your dots drop off. Rock boss... puts up a spell shield (how unfair is that?), letting all your dots drop off. Keristraza... requires you to be jumping up and down, which makes casting anything with a cast time longer than 1 second so much fun.
  • Blue-swirly-zones-of-death on OS+1/2 is actually harder to see than one would think, especially when you're either the healer and thus not looking at anything but who needs the next heal, or an offtank surrounded by tons of mobs, or a pack of DPS who are all gamboling about atop one another.
  • Still no excuse for dying on the individual drake pulls to the blue-swirly-zones-of-death.
  • I will always laugh at people who die after the Watcher dies in VoA because they go to loot and stand in his little cloud 'o doom.
  • Likewise, I think I'll always laugh at people who die after Grobbulus dies in Naxx because they go to loot and stand in his little cloud 'o poison.
  • I will not laugh at people who kill other people after Thaddius in Naxx because that's just really obnoxious.
  • I forgot how tedious leveling a healing priest really is. Shield, SWP, wand, wand, wand, Shield, SWP, wand, wand, wand... ad nauseum!
  • People who sell green quality gems on the AH for less than 80 silver drive me nuts. They vendor for 50s. Your AH deposit, time spent, and AH cut would probably mean that everytime one doesn't sell, you're losing money, and even when one does, you're not really making much profit.
  • People who sell green quality perfect cut gems for as much as, if not more than, the blue quality cut of the same type. Seriously people.
  • People who undercut the price of a gem by more than 1-2 silver... need to be shot. People who do this by several GOLD need to be drawn and quartered. Whomever dropped the price of Runed Scarlet Rubies on Alleria to 80g, when they were selling at 125g... we're coming after you.
  • Okay, so some of that wasn't really an update, so sue me. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Off Topic: Goodbye Tom, I never really knew you...

My grandfather, Thomas Milny, died today.

When my father was a little boy, Tom left, for a variety of reasons. None of which mattered to a little boy without a father and subjected to a series of abusive step-fathers.

When my brother was born, 20-someodd years later, my grandfather tentatively tried to get in touch with his son. My father, having just had his first child, looked down at his little baby and said to himself... I would never have left.

Tom went off the radar again.

A few years ago, he came back by sending a letter to my father. He tried very hard to become a part of our lives. My father visited him. He sent me lots of books and movies. I've never been one to talk on the phone much, and he would call and talk for ... h.o.u.r.s.

I would say, "Tom, I have to go to work/school/dinner..." and still be on the phone 20 minutes later trying to get off the phone.

It also was a rather one-sided conversation. Maybe all those years of not having us built up inside and he had to say everything, anything, that came to his head. So I stopped picking up the phone. I'll call him once in a blue moon, or answer the phone occasionally. But I ... don't even call my parents or the grandparents that I grew up with and loving often. Talking on the phone to a man I had never met, and who had a claim on my love and my life because he fathered my father, was low on my list, especially when that conversation could very well go into the 3 hour range.

I feel guilty about that.

I got a letter from him the other month, telling me that there is no excuse for not talking or writing. That he understands that he's coming into our life late but that he wants to be there, now.

I wrote him a letter after I got that, and included in it pictures of myself and my husband. I sent it a month ago.

Tom was having a series of small heart attacks that he experienced as a series of intermittent arm pain. He went into the hospital for a quad-bypass. Surgery went well. He was supposed to go home tomorrow.

Something happened, I don't know what because my parents aren't sure what.

He'll be cremated and my dad thinks his half-brother (whom we only just discovered existed) may send him some of the ashes.

I find myself oddly numb. I think there's no real grief because to me, he wasn't ... real. I never met him. Never hugged him or kissed him on the cheek. He was never more to me than a voice on the phone.

Instead, I feel regret for the things that could have been, should have been. He could have been so much more. Like potential joy suddenly gone, with only the faintest of whispers that it could have been there.

I could have done more to get to know him. But I didn't. I feel guilt for that, though everyone I know says that I really shouldn't. He wasn't apart of our lives, by his own choice. And then when he suddenly decides to become part of our lives, we're supposed to open up our hearts and just accept him?

Granted, we do that with our family. No one told me I have to love my grandparents, those I grew up with. I just do. Despite their idiosyncracies and problems, I love them.

The potential to really love Tom was there.

It never truly blossomed.

I feel sad that he is gone. That the potential for me to know my grandfather is gone. That the man, who undoubtedly did have a lot of things to say, stories to tell, wisdom to pass on, now won't have a chance to.

I may yet cry over his death, when it truly hits. But it's like being told a stranger you knew only in passing died. I feel guilty for not feeling more grief, yet... he was only blood, not really family.


Goodbye Tom. It was nice to have known you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I have a problem...

I have a new alt. Yes. It's true.

My leveling addiction has branched to new heights.

I have a level 15 shadow priest in another server. (Sorry Alleria, your character list isn't big enough for me... I need more. But you're still my main squeeze baby. I'll be home for dinner.)

I was leveling Kiljara and I thought to myself... I've just leveled 4 characters through this content. And I'm enjoying the HELL out of leveling my reset hunter. I can't level my mage because she's linked to some characters. I can't level my hunter because she's also linked to some characters. I need another lowbie to break the Northrend Leveling Routine. And I just can't do another reset, I don't think my heart could take the strain.

I had a level 6 draenei shaman on Malygos, a character I made with the intention of writing a leveling guide. Hahahahaha. Oh, how silly I was. A large undertaking like that, for a person who procrastinates as much as I do? HAHAHAHAHA. *wipes away tears of mirth*

Anyway, I logged her in and ran around as her and was fulfilled. And then when I got my first talent point, I said to myself... I've never been shadow.

I play her at work, when I know I'm going to be interrupted periodically with various things to do, because playing one of my higher alts in Northrend with periodic unavoidable interruptions leads to high repair bills.

I play her when I log into Alleria and there's no one on in my guild or I have no desire to spend an hour trying to find a group for Heroic Drak'Tharon Keep or Heroic Gundrak with Keiji.

The other nice thing is that since she's on a server with no high level alts to help her out, I'm starting over. I have to skrimp and save my coppers to buy skills. I have to debate whether I can afford to upgrade to the 8 slot bag. (That's 2 more slots than the 6 slot bag, would that be worth it?... Yes.)

I have to get the mats to level my alchemy and cooking and first aid myself. I can't run to the AH and buy the best cheap greens that gold can buy for my level. I can't have an alt make me gear.


I do have a problem. But it's a problem I can live with.

So, anyone out there with tips for a nub shadowpriest? :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


As many of you know, I have an unholy tank. I've been fiddling with rotations and methods to try to get blade barrier to stay up, my bone shield to stay intact and be the best tank I can be.

One of the problems I'd encounter is that by the time my initial posted rotation went through, it would be several seconds into the fight with the boss whacking on me before I could get blade barrier going. So I've twiddled a little bit and managed to get blade barrier activated a little earlier than I had before.

New rotation...

Bone Shield (I try to activate this well before the pull, so the cooldown is hopefully close to being done by the time I'm pulling. So if it does fall off mid-fight, I can reapply instantly.)
Death and Decay(1B1F1U) where I plan on standing.
Icy Touch(1F) as the boss is incoming.
Blood Strike(1B) (Blade Barrier, yay!) when the boss (or main elite mob) arrives.
Plague Strike(1U).
Blood Tap.
Blood Boil(1B).
Somewhere in there, if I have enough runic power (and I will usually), Unholy Blight.
Then Scourge Strike/Blood Strike, etc.

If just a single mob...
Bone Shield.
Death and Decay where I plan on standing.
Icy Touch. Blood Strike. Plague Strike. Then Scourge Strike whenever I can, Blood Strike to keep Blade Barrier up (and keep them Death Runes coming). Reapply Icy Touch and Plague Strike if they fall off the boss. Somewhere in there, Unholy Blight.

Anyone else have a different rotation?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The New K

The results of the poll said that 3 people wanted me to reset Kava the rogue, 2 people wanted me to reset Keyami the warrior and only 1 person wanted me to reset Kiya the hunter.

Since the one person voting for Kiya the hunter was me, I declare Kiya the winner... or in this case, the loser.

There are a few reasons I picked Kiya.
One, I don't want to compete for plate drops with the new Boon for DPS.
Two, I already have two tanks that are leveling, I don't want to relevel a third, at least not right now.
Three, I can't be a draenei rogue, and I wanted to be a draenei.
Four, with all the changes that have gone into hunter that I haven't really looked into much since I hit 70 so very long ago, I feel that restarting her from the beginning will give me a much better understanding of the new changes.
Five, no one else in our 'group' will be wearing mail, it's all MINE!

I guess that's more than a few.

So I logged in Kiya. Sold all her stuff that was sellable. Mailed all her stuff that was mailable. Logged out of the game and typed that one fatal, final word.


Say hello to Kieya the Draenei Hunter.

(And I figure, even if Boon STOPS leveling, the way he is wont to do... I can still solo her.)

I however, STILL consider myself as having 10 characters over level 60 and 9 over level 70. Resetting her does not take away my achievement, damnit! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Minigames? In WoW? I MUST TRY THESE!

The concept of playing a game within a game is causing me to go crosseyed! (Oh no, I've gone crosseyed!)

Yet, I have found two! Bejeweled and Chess.

I... must... play... more games!

In other news, Boon posted a wonderful post about the hazards of losing yourself in the game to the point where you lose sight of what (may or may not have) brought you to the game in the first place. And he posted a link to a pretty amazing YouTube video.

Personally, I think his post was designed to try to make me reset one of my characters before he hits the requisite level 30. His tricks will not work on me.

However, I did manage to trick his level 1 paladin alt into going to Theramore. *giggle*

Unholy DK Tweaks

I was having real issues sticking to my own posted rotation!

If I cast DnD, I'd wind up short a rune to do Pestilence & Blood Boil. And with ret pallies and mages and whirlwinding warriors, sinking aggro on all them mobs early is crucial to avoid mass hysteria (on my part, I hate having to try to figure out which mob is not attacking me so I can taunt it back to myself, and on the healer's part as they try to keep me and some squishy person alive). Unholy Blight does help a bit with that, but not enough.

Then I realized... duh. I have Blood Tap (and a new minor glyph to consider). Since that epiphany, I've been able to DnD, Icy Touch, Plague Touch, Pestilence, Blood Tap, Blood Boil, Unholy Blight and go! (And need to consider Empower Rune Weapon and see where I can/may need to fit that in.)

Keeping Bone Shield up is harder than it seems. I need moar parry and dodge. Some fights it seems to stay up forever, and other fights within two seconds it's done for.

Keeping mobs in front of me is sometimes an issue, especially if I have to maneuver around to grab something else. Can't parry attacks coming from behind, so that just mows through Bone Shield.

And sometimes you just laugh and laugh when some boss does a magic attack that your Anti-Magic Shell noshes upon.

Thus far my tanking experiences have included: UP (getting away from Skadi is a p.i.t.a.), Heroic CoS, Heroic UK, GD, VoA-10, OS-10, HoL and Heroic VH.

Only once did I have someone say, "Unholy tank? Does that actually work?" To which I said, "Yes."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Proof that DK takes skill!

The debate on the merits of DK floods the internet at the moment! Are they overpowered? A monkey can play one and still push 2k DPS! They take no skill! They're the new 'flavor of the week'! On and on and on.

Now, I will be the first one to say that with a DK, it is possible to put out really nice numbers with little effort. Really, you just have to not be a total screw-up on your rotation and you'll do just fine, right? Right! Which is not to say there are some REALLY talented DK's out there. Those people are scary. You do not want to meet them in a dark alley.

Tanking is a little different, since tanking doesn't just require 'push x, then y'.

But DPS, DPS of all colors and flavors have long been held to be the 'easiest' of the three roles available.

Now, for story-time!

I was on Keiji, looking over her gear, figuring out what I wanted to aim for next. I had just gotten the Seal of the Pantheon out of HoL, so I was finally done with that place on regular runs.

Someone in Dalaran asked: 'Need tank, PST'. (Grammar and spelling have been edited for clarity. Go ahead and take the worst stereotype imaginable, and you'll be close.)

I ask, "For what?"

I then get an invite. Curious, I accept. And I ask again, "For what?"

I'm told, 'regular Violet Hold! We have 2 80's and it should go fast!'

I look and we have an 80 resto druid, an 80 mage, a 77 boomie and a 76 DK.

I still have to do VH on Keiji for the achievement, so I figure, why not. I go wandering on in. As I'm standing there, curious, I look over at the other DK and inspect him.

He was wearing mixed gear, some defense, some dps, some unsocketed, some socketed. He was mostly Blood with a few points in Frost. Okay, I can see it, if a defense piece drops that is better in all ways (except the defense...) to what you're wearing... you'll take it. And maybe he just hasn't had time to buy the cheap 2g gems to socket his gear.

And then he whispers me, "Can I have gold? I have 19g and I can't afford to repair."

K: "No, you can't have gold. I just spent lots of gold on my gear."

DK: "Ok."

DK to Group: Is it okay that I take all the loot drops? I need gold.

K to Group: No, you can't. We all get a share at loot.

Resto Druid to K: I already gave him 10g because he asked!

K to Resto Druid: He hit me up for gold too.

DK to Group: Can I have all the frostweave?

K to Group: No. If people want to give you theirs, they can. But I need money too.

DK: But you can do 80 dailies! I can't!

K: So? You can do lots of quests.

The group gets started. I'm barreling along, practicing my rotation, keeping blade barrier up and seeing how much uptime I could get on my bone shield. And the DK asks if anyone has a damage meter.

Curious, I look at my recount. The numbers?
#1 Mage: 2-3k
#2 Boomie: 1-2k
#3 Keiji: 9-1.5k
#4 DK: 500

Yes. 500.

The DK goes on about how great this group is! Woo yeah! And I notice that he keeps switching from Blood, to Frost, to Unholy auras. Annoying when he leaves it on Frost and I have to blow a taunt getting initial mob aggro because he runs up with his improved distance Icy Touch and whacks the mob first. Whatever.

The resto druid gives me a whisper, "I'm bored. Can I DPS?"

I say, "Sure.".

After the second boss down, the Boomie laughingly says that he just respecced to Boomie and didn't have the best gear and was hoping that his DPS was doing okay!

The DK says, "Yeah, you're doing alright."

The Boomie had also had never been in VH before and wondered what the little red crystal things were for.

DK: Don't touch those! They're for the last boss.

K: Uh. Actually they're usually for those bosses like the water dude with all the little adds. The last boss, you're better off just DPSing on her.

DK: Ok.

Last boss pops.
DK: HIT THE CRYSTALS! *runs around like a spaz and activates all the crystals*

K: Just DPS the boss.

Overall recount... the DK was #5 (#4 was the resto druid). On Cyanigosa, he was also #5, behind the Resto Druid.

The saddest part of all of this? His name started with a K. :(

The moral of the story? Even facerolling monkeys do better DPS as a DK, proof positive that being a DK does in fact take SOME skill!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Unholy Tanking: The Basics according to K

Naturally, there are guides out there all over the place about how to tank with a DK, even with an Unholy DK.

Lots of guides on what particular aspect of the unholy tree you should or should not keep. Do you keep your ghoul? Do you get morbidity? What about AMZ? Or do you just stick with Magic Suppression?

You could do a search on the internet and find a zillion and ten different specs and people clamoring as to why their spec works the best.

Let's go over the basics though, shall we?

One of the key components of an unholy tank is Bone Shield. This ability is on a 1 minute cooldown and comes with a base of 4 bones. Glyphed and you have 6 bones.

While this shield is active, we take 20% less damage and do 2% more damage. The more damage stuff is why Unholy DPS keep it up, even though they hopefully aren't taking damage, but the 20% reduction is what we're after.

Frost is considered "the" tank spec for Death Knights because it contains a lot of really nice damage mitigation abilities. Of which I care nothing for, since I'm not Frost. Go somewhere else to read about why a lot of DK tanks are Frost.

We unholy DK's however, we love our Bone Shield. The more we parry, the longer Bone Shield sticks around. The ideal is you want to pop your shield so it's cooled down before you even go in to touch a boss.

With the idea that Bone Shield is our baby and we want to preserve as much of it as we can until the next cooldown, a high dodge and parry becomes not just 'well, duh' abilities for us, it becomes essential for us to try to keep our dodge and parry as high as possible so when we do get hit, we take 20% less damage.

Because of that, one of the 'basic' abilities is Blade Barrier. The hard part for us is keeping those runes on cooldown. The DPS version of our rotation is heavy on Scourge Strikes. The tank version of our rotation is initially heavy on Blood Strike. We want to have Blade Barrier go off as soon as possible, and we want to KEEP those runes on cooldown as best we can to keep the barrier up, especially if our shield goes bye bye.

One of the things that will swiftly make your shield go away is if a mob gets behind you. You can't parry attacks coming at your ass, if you recall.

With our lack of physical shields, it's also imperative to take Toughness in the first tier of Frost.

And then it seems a no-brainer to also take Anticipation in the first tier of Unholy.

Now, these three are the 'basic' abilities that most DK tanks are recommended to start with. Given that our only way of avoiding incoming damage is armor, dodge and parry... it seems sensible (thank you Blizzard) that all three talents are in the first tier of the trees.

Each particular brand of tank, Frost, Blood and Unholy, have their own particular ideas about how to mitigate damage and what they should spec in. I'm only talking about Unholy here. I have not played a Frost or Blood DeathKnight and I won't entertain the idea that I can tell one how to play anymore than I'd feel comfortable trying to tell a Destruction or Demonology warlock how to play.

In my opinion... whatever spec you pick, whatever talents you take, if you can live through most things with your average healer, then you're doing something right. Some things may just make that easier than others. As Unholy, you've already decided to not go the 'usual' tanking route of Frost, Blood, or Frost/Blood hybrid.

My current rotation is opening up with Death and Decay (1B1F1U), Icy Touch (1F), Plague Strike (1U) and then Pestilence (1B)... and then Blood Boil (1B) / Blood Strike (1B) as soon as a rune goes off cooldown. The nice thing about Pestilence + Blood Boil is that it helps sink the aggro of all the things you may be tanking onto you.

As soon as you have the runic power for it, hit Unholy Blight, the other keystone ability that Unholy Tanks chortle over. It costs 40 Runic Power, so it isn't something that we can often hit right away. However, just like the Pestilence/BloodBoil combo, this is another handy trick that we can use to AoE tank (and do lots of damage, nummy nummy damage).

Some arguable no-no's:

  • Corpse Explosion: While it sounds really nice as another way of sinking aggro on multiple mobs, you'll probably not have the runic power to spare, keeping up Unholy Blight as you will be.
  • Desecration: This one is very arguable, often DPS will open up before you've had a chance to really sink your initial AoE aggro in, and if you put points into Desecration, the mobs may not run off so quickly before you can get it back. DPS usually only put about 3 points into this ability, but if you take it for tanking, you may consider 5/5 to guarantee your first Plague Strike will kick this puppy into gear.
  • Blood-Caked Blade: Reports of this is that it has a separate miss/hit/parry attack than your actual melee attack, so each swing has two chances for you to get parried. We've discussed the parry issue before.
  • Outbreak: Another argued ability. Plague Strike still does a good deal of damage, especially if you have the Glyph for it, and we've already discussed Blood Boil. But is it really needed for tanking? (I have it, personally.)
  • Master of Ghouls: A lot of Unholy Tanks will give up their pet. I'm of two minds on it just yet. Right now, he's gone. That may change if I feel that having my pet out for extra damage will be more beneficial than having to worry about keeping my pet alive. Having one available for Death Pact is a BIIIIG bonus in my head.

Some arguable yes please!

  • Virulence: Surprisingly, Unholy DK's have a higher hit cap than you'd imagine. You say to yourself, well, unless you're dual wielding, it's 9%, right? ... sort of. We actually do quite a bit of magic damage and so our magic hit cap is actually 17%, right up there with the casters.
  • Magic Supression: A shield that will eat a bunch of magic damage? Yes plz.
  • Ebon Plaguebringer: Makes them suseptible to magic and does more damage for diseases, basically a party debuff. It makes your casters give you kisses.
  • Improved Icy Touch: This is a Frost ability, but some Unholy tanks will take the option for it.
  • Bladed Armor: Yum, attack power! Some people pass this over in favor of the following.
  • Two-Handed Weapon Specialization: More dmg! More dmg! Some people pass this over in favor of the previous.
  • Ravenous Dead: Anything that increases our strength can't be bad, even if we don't have a pet all the time!
  • Shadow of Death: While we may or may not have a pet out, again increasing strength and stamina is good!
  • I'll toss Master of Ghouls down here too, because I'm honestly not sure if it's a 'not worth it', or a 'worth it'. I'm leaning towards worth it and thinking I can drop a point in Outbreak to get it again.

Other basics: 540 is the defense you're looking for to be uncrittable to mobs three levels higher than you. 535 is the recommended 'minimum' for tanking heroics, though a lot of tanks go in there with less as they work on their gear.

Where to find defense gear is another problem! We don't have shields, which usually stack some defense and health onto them. Instead, we have to deal with drops or crafted gear. You can easily hit uncrittable (or very very close to it) and close to 19k health with the crafted Tempered Saronite gear plus crafted Daunting gear, the Stoneguard Band (crafted JC) and of course, Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle. A good easy cloak to get is the Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions from Honored-Wyrmrest. Toss on some enchants onto those pieces, practice your rotations and keeping blade barrier active and voila, insta-tank!

In terms of what stats to stack, obviously stamina is an important one, but please do NOT overlook Strength. 25% of our strength is added to our parry rating. Naturally, hit and expertise are important too, but becoming uncrittable and maintaining a high parry and dodge rating should be what you focus on first.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And Keiji makes 4...

With a valiant push, Keiji has hit level 80. With regret, I respecced to say bye bye to Hammermouth, Limbbreaker, Gutchewer, Eyedirt and all the ghouls who have come before.

And then I stepped into regular Halls of Lightning with my crafted defense gear and four companions, Vaalena the priest, Sorakos the unholy deathknight, Seraphelia the blood deathknight and Vialora the retribution paladin...

And I held aggro. And I did well. Yay for Unholy Tank! It's fun. :) I just need to time my rune cooldowns better, a few times I pulled and couldn't do plaguestrike because I didn't have any runes available. That's the one downside I see to being a DK tank... our pulling timetable has to be more measured than another's because of our reliance on runes for some of our abilities.

In other news, I was having a discussion about parry before and what it means.
I have always maintained that DPS stays behind the boss so the boss can't parry. If the boss parries, his swing timer is reset/shortened, causing increased damage to the tank.

The same holds true for us tanks. If we parry, our swing timer gets reset, resulting in increased output from us.

The debate was... if I parry, does the boss' swing-timer reset. I maintain that it does not, because that is not how parry works. The opposite (my) side of the argument is that when I parry, MY swing timer resets. Likewise, when the boss parries me, HIS swing timer resets.

'A successful parry nullifies the attack (for the attacker it is like a miss) and reduces the swing timer of the defender.'

'When you parry an attack, the remaining time on your current swing is reduced by 40% of your weapon speed, unless this would result in a reduction to less than 20% of your swing time remaining.'

This is why expertise is important not just for DPS to avoid those pesky dodges, but also for tanks.

'While tanks like to profit from this effect, melee damage dealers should attack from behind whenever possible, both to increase their own damage and to avoid causing unneeded damage to the tank through the enemy's parries.'

Tanks need 9%-12% expertise to reduce/not get parried by a raid boss. (I can't seem to find any hard source that gives one particular number, but most seem to agree that it's somewhere between 11-12%) Any of you DPS up there in front of the boss, getting parried and resetting his swing timer so that he hits me faster... not gonna be happy with you!

So, parry is a very nice push for us tanks who hold aggro in part through damage, as it resets my swing timer. And with a big slow two-hander, this is awesome. Yes please, make my swing timer faster on my big ass weapon! Thanks!

So... now Boon asked if I wanted to level my mage a little bit. YES PLEASE! :D