A Busy Weekend

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Mondays are always a challenge.  I realize that is the understatement of the year but there is just something extra heinous about trying to revive your week day routines after happily nuking them from orbit over the course of Friday and Saturday night.  Sunday night is always the roughest night of the week to get to sleep, because my body is not quite ready to relinquish the last vestiges of true freedom.  Similarly since giving up the whole weekend blogging thing for lent….  or whatever I did to actually give it up…  rebooting that process each Monday morning is an equal challenge.  This morning for example I have logged in to “check on” several things, all the while happily avoiding actually sitting down to put thought on paper or at least virtual paper.  This weekend was an odd one, but a good one.  It started off Friday night with House Stalwart my guild throwing together an impromptu raid into the Emerald Nightmare.  We did not really have a lot of time, since it was literally thrown together over the course of that evening, but we did manage to go in and one shot the first boss.  From there we started work on the spider boss, but given its moving parts I am wondering if that was the best choice.  In truth ALL of the next bosses seem to have their own madness going on and with it a challenge or two that will force us to shift and adjust to the fight.  We managed to get spider to phase two, which isn’t much of a challenge but at least I can claim it was progress.

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Another thing we attempted this weekend was our very first Mythic+ dungeon… because well Grace and I had keys burning a hole in our pockets.  However after attempt number one, I think we are going to wait to do number two… until we know the dungeons better.  Mythic Plus Halls of Valor… also happened to be the very first Halls of Valor Mythic run for most of us.  As a result we were less than efficient at a number of the fights and failed to get the timer.  That said given the number of wipes we had I think we did fairly well in that our timer ran out around the time we crossed the glowing bridge of nonsense.  So while we failed… we at least failed in style?  The truth is all of us just need a lot more normal mythic runs before we start burning any more keys.  None of us have any of the magical legendary drops that our UI tells us we can currently equip one of….  but I hear they absolutely maybe sometimes sorta drop in mythics.  We were maybe unprepared given that we were also dragging Ashgar into his first mythic ever…  and we went for a timed one.  The truth is I think we just wanted to know what the challenge looked like so we could prepare for it.  I know personally I find it hard to wrap my head around what is needed until I have failed for a bit at doing something.  Similarly we had to fail at the spider boss for me to be able to wrap my head around the videos that I will ultimately watch before we make another attempt on Wednesday.

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Finally I made a significant push on Exeter my Paladin, who is now 108 and about halfway through it.  Not shockingly I ended up dropping Retribution around 102 and have been leveling as a Protection Paladin the rest of the way.  This has allowed me to do things like tank for friends when they need to run lower level instances.  We pulled together an Eye of Azshara for Thalen over the weekend… and I happened to need it as well.  Now I have several more dungeons waiting in the wings for me to do that I may or may not wait for friends to get to as well.  Now that I am so close to 110 I sort of want to push across the finish line so I can start doing world quests and such on this character too.  Similarly I want to get in some Coren Direbrew runs for trinkets before those things go away.  So at a minimum I am probably going to finish out the rest of 108 because 109 allows me to start queuing.  I still think that is a major missed opportunity, in that they should have allowed the Direbrew event to scale with players.  At this moment I have finished Azsuna and Highmountain and have just trudged through the faction bullshit in Stormheim.  The first part of that zone feels so unlike the rest of this expansion, I can only hope in the future they are going to realize that this game feels so much better when you give us an interesting place to explore with its own story… and quit trying to force everything into a dated red versus blue narrative.

Re-Learning Tankadin

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Pretty Cow

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One of the frustrations of playing Horde side is that as a boosted level 100 character, I am lacking a backlog of awesome gear to use for transmogging purposes.  I mean afterall the true “end game” of World of Warcraft is looking fabulous.  As a result my down time has been spent running a bunch of older raids so that I can have something in my void storage worth transmogging.  Yesterday I finally completed my set of Tier 10 heroic armor from Icecrown, and while I don’t really have a belt that matches it perfectly yet… I am thinking it works pretty well.  I am not sure why but I have always loved the “plate dress” look that a few of the sets have, and Judgement is probably my favorite set period.  The thing is…  a paladin running around in full judgement at this point is somewhat cliche’d so instead I started chasing either the tier 8 set from Ulduar or tier 10 from Icecrown.  The problem with Ulduar is that I have run it numerous times and have yet to get the correct arm piece to drop, leaving me with a glaring hole in my armor.  Similarly frustrating is that the Tier 8 set does not seem to have a belt that matches it terribly well.  The positive about playing a Cow/Worgen/Draenei is that the boot slot doesn’t matter quite so much since there are hooves/paws in the way.

As far as the weapon I really like this spear I picked up in Ulduar, the only problem there is that I just don’t care for the polearm animation.  I need to sort out a better two handed sword that matches this set… and honestly I think they are going to similarly come from Ulduar as well.  I remember there being some pretty cool blades from there as well.  There were cool swords in Alliance Crusader’s Coliseum, but unfortunately all of the horde variants are big axes.  I have this very specific style that I am going for with the MooCowAdin… which is polished and civilized.  Essentially I am going for the traditional Paladin vibe, not a tribal version of a Paladin.  The only thing I wish I had is a better pair of goggles, but alas this character is not an Engineer but instead a Blacksmith.  I figured Blacksmith would simply be more useful in the long run, since creating your own gear is pretty great.  It is my hope that by Legion I have managed to catch up his tradeskills to the point where I can actually create useful stuff.

The Deep End

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Yesterday did not go exactly as planned, and we wound up going out shopping again in the afternoon.  The positive however is that I got Indian food…  which is always a good thing.  The negative is that I once again missed the Star Wars pen and paper game, and most of the Horde side raid in World of Warcraft.  I had been working on gearing to be a viable tank, and when we decided more healing was needed…  I said I was able.  The problem being… that not only have I not tanked in a really long time…  I have not tanked as a Paladin in an even longer time.  Part of me questions my  pushing the Paladin up, when I could have gone with a tank I was much more familiar with like the Deathknight or the Warrior.  But in part the Paladin was so that I would have access to dps, tanking and healing in one character… and I figured it might be cool to get some more tanking as one of the other classes under my belt.  Druid was also a possibility but honestly… I suck at healing with HoTs and after being so damned used to the Warrior…  playing a druid tank feels like a really trimmed down version of it.  Similarly… cat dps feels like a really confusing version of a rogue…  so honestly I think I made the right call as far as multi-function classes goes.

The challenge is that I did not join the raid until Kilrogg which seems to be one of the more complicated fights.  The person I was replacing… was the person who normally tanked the main boss so it was very much a sink or swim situation.  I had two big problems…  firstly holding aggro off our feral druid was a challenge… and one that I was largely failing.  Druids have always had the highest aggro, so holding off of them is a challenge in the best of situations.  The complicating factor here is the fact that in order to survive I had to keep from getting stacks of this debuff, and the ability that allows me to do that…  is essentially my highest threat attack.  So I would have to hold it in reserve just to make sure I had it available at all possible times and then hit it when the attack was incoming because the immunity only lasted three seconds.  This ability was essentially both a shield slam and an avoidance buff, and normally when I am tanking something I am spamming it every time it is available.  We survived only because Obi is overpowered and managed to solo tank the boss down after I died.  On Gorefiend however I was feeling much more in my element, and I think did a far more palatable job of tanking.  Nothing like being thrown into the lions den to sort out how to play a class!