There are two main camps with very different rationale regarding dungeon loot etiquette – specifically in looking for dungeon (LFD) groups. These dungeons are queued up with an interface that, after a wait (much shorter for tanks and healers), dumps you in a dungeon with random players. Chances are you’ve never seen these other players before, they’re probably from a different server, and you’ll probably never see them again. Then, along with this new-found group of temporary companions, you proceed to trounce a bunch of enemies, bosses, and hopefully collect some loot. Here is where the issue comes into play. In a LFD group, the “Need” roll, or highest priority option, is limited solely by class. A Paladin in the group, regardless of the role they’ve chosen (tank, healer, or DPS), can roll need for plate tanking, dps, or healing gear (including rings/necks wither either intellect, strength, or tanking stats). The two camps of thought vary dramatically at this point. One side thinks that it’s okay to need on anything your class can use, anything at all that is an upgrade (as is allowed by the game system) while the other firmly believes that some courtesy should be shown and the player should limit their need rolls to the role they have chosen (unless the gear is not needed by the player filling the role). So which side is right and which side is a selfish, entitled, wanker?
This is the third part of a series I’m doing on my fears of tanking Cataclysm heroics. If you haven’t been following along you can read the FIRST PART and SECOND PART now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. To quickly summarize for those too lazy to go back and read the past posts, I had expressed a general hesitation in jumping into tanking the relatively serious Cataclysm heroics, particularly with unsatisfactory gear. I finally decided on an acceptable gear level for tanking a heroic: An item level of 333 and at least 130k health. This coupled with at least the cheap versions of the spec appropriate gems and enchants should put me in a place for success – as long as I don’t suck!
In a recent post I divulged my fear of tanking heroics or at least my fear of failing as a heroic/raid tank. It’s a bit relevant to today’s subject so it might be worth a read. My death knight has finally reached level 85. I immediately queued for a regular to get my daily allotment of justice points and practice tanking some more. Naturally, I got Vortex Pinnacle (it’s my new Halls of Reflection) but the run was very smooth like most of the regulars I’ve done as tank. ALL of the dps even beat my damage done on each boss fight, a first for my dk. You might be wondering, “I thought you said you’d do heroics, pansy!” Well, I will, but…my gear isn’t ready. Not even the excuse I would use previously to myself, literally, I can’t queue for heroics yet due to item level. As I recall, 329 is the item level requirement to queue for a heroic and mine is only 323. Aside from that though, I started thinking. What really is the right gear level for running a heroic as a tank? Honestly I don’t appreciate when fresh 85 tanks who barely meet the gear required to queue at all are tanking for me. Usually they’re a strain on the healer to keep up, they can’t keep threat from the DPS so either there is deaths or if the DPS tone it down, things take a long time to kill. So when is it okay to start tanking?
I have a confession to make: Tanking heroics or raids freaks me out a little. First, a little background on me. I’m a WotLK baby mostly. Although I started in TBC, I didn’t hit max level until it was 80 and didn’t do any tanking past level 45 or so. After that point my only max level toon was my Holy/Ret paladin. I’d say it took me halfway through the expansion to get my DK to level 80. The DK was blood-spec DPS (remember back when blood was DPS?). It didn’t take me too long to make the second spec – frost tanking. This spec was aimed at running heroics with its impressive AOE capabilities. Even still, it probably took me until I was geared enough to be ready to raid before I actually queued as tank for a heroic. And I got… Halls of Reflection. Actually, every new tank I got to level 80 hit halls of reflection first…and my shaman when I switched to resto. That place just loved me. I hated it though. I’m a little surprised I don’t somehow get it in cataclysm at 85.
Tanking on a frost DK in Wrath was… very easy. Surprisingly the instance went relatively smoothly that time. Frost-specs massive threat and EZ-mode area of effect damage (I’m looking at you Howling Blast) made picking up adds and holding aggro on bosses a piece of cake. When my druid hit level 80 I’d already done some regs as tank but he was mostly geared for boomkin. Again I waited until I had over 5k gearscore and 30k HP before queuing as tank. Basically identical to my experience as a frost DK. Halls of Reflection > Awesome AOE(swipe spam) > decent single target threat. I did miss having death grip to reel in those stray caster adds but it was easy enough to keep the rest of the mobs under control that the occasional ranged didn’t kill us. Finally, my warrior reached 85 and became over geared for heroics and I queued… it was sloppy. Bringing in packs of mobs (yes in Halls of Reflection, yet again) was a bit more difficult than as a frost DK or bear druid. Most of the time I was scrambling to hold aggro and keep everyone alive. I think I’m a bad warrior tank, but who knows.
Those anxiously awaiting patch 4.0.6 should be happy to know that this patch should be hitting the live servers tomorrow. This includes the redefining of how many players constitutes a “guild group”, fixes and adds to the “luck of the draw” buff, adds some balance to Tol Barad and Strand of the Ancients, makes Retributions mastery possibly their best stat, along with a plethora of other class and instance changes. This patch has seen a ton of revisions already – you can find the most current after the break – with more possible by the time it goes live. I’m pretty happy with the changes overall. We should see some class balance, random dungeon finder groups might be a little more manageable, and did I mention the buff to retribution? Continue on for the most recent patch notes (as of this posting) in their entirety.
The buff we receive for being in groups with random party members through the dungeon finder system is getting buffed, says Ghostcrawler – the leader systems designer of Wow. Each party using the dungeon finder system will see a 5% buff to health, healing and damage for each random member up to 15% increase. This should make pugs a significantly easier process, at least in terms of gear, organization, and skill needed to complete them. In the post GC also comments that the 5% buff we should have been getting already was broken and only working in some dungeons. 4.0.6 is bringing all sorts of goodies. Check the full text out after the break. (more…)
Although I don’t necessarily disagree with this change from a designer/balance standpoint, I know all my leveling toons under 60 will be very disappointed. Oddly, this hotfix is not included on the list of hotfixes that blizzard links at the bottom of their post, as of now anyway. The original text can be found HERE.
We are applying a hotfix today to all level 1-60 dungeon quests for Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms dungeons which will significantly reduce the amount of experience they award.
While dungeons should remain integral to our evolving storylines, and great places to collect gear in cooperative environments, we need to make sure each player’s questing progress remains relevant as dungeon quests are completed. In many cases we’re seeing players enter dungeons to complete quests, only to come out ahead of the leveling curve for the zones they’re in.
This change should allow players the opportunity to reap the benefits of running dungeons, while not outpacing the leveling flow from levels 1-60. At this time there are no plans for making any adjustments to dungeon quest experience for Outland, Northrend, and level 80+ Cataclysm dungeons.
You can find a list of all of the latest hotfixes here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1232869
If I were standing in front of a crowd of WoW players, instead of writing a blog, and posed the question, “Who here likes getting Halls of Reflection as a random queue with a pug?”, I’d probably hear crickets. Except maybe the one masochist of a player near the back whose cries of agreement would quickly be snuffed out by lamentations of those around him. I’ve heard of those who suffer from severe flash backs of wipes cause by people who physically are unable to understand “line of sight” or those who still believe if you just wait behind the Lich King, he’ll leave without killing you. Maybe I’m being a little over dramatic with the description, but most players, myself included, at least groan a little when they chance into one of the hardest and least pug friendly of WotLK instances.
Then here’s me. Fresh resto shaman rocking a mix of cloth/leather/mail instance drops (very few from ICC 5-mans) and a PVP shield. My gear sports sparkling green quality gems and is completely void of enchantments. Go ahead and cry ‘cheap’ all you want, but I’ll be upgrading every piece within a few hours of playing. You’d think perhaps the gods of WoW and RNG might have some pity on this noob shaman, but no. Halls of Reflection will be my very first test of healing…