I didn’t write a post at all in February, oh I attempted too, but I didn’t really have anything to say. Actually that’s not true, I had a lot to say but nothing I wanted to post. The guild I’d started just before Mists launched was in trouble, I desperately wanted to stay playing with my friends, but 5 people didn’t make a raid team, and trying and failing to recruit, and pug, and make progress, was killing me. We were going nowhere fast and I didn’t see a solution. I just wanted to play with my friends and for all of us to be happy, but it was looking like a pipedream. This was what was consuming me, when it came to the game this was all I could think about. I stopped doing pretty much everything else, but trying to raid, and worrying about the roster. My anxieties about it might have made words flow, but they didn’t make readable posts. Thankfully this problem is now in the past.
All five of us have joined another guild, this guild has sort of consumed my guild and another one, so three become one and hopefully that one will be all the stronger for it. I know people from both, have raided with these guys in the past, they are extremely nice and I’m really positive about the potential for the future. We get to stay together and we get to raid, and this is all in time for 5.2.
Looking back at T14
I’ve read some posts about looking back at T14 and I thought about writing one of my own. The only problem is I’ve only seen half of the encounters on normal, so it’s not much of a post-analysis. However, so long as it’s understood that I can only talk about Mogu’shan Vaults and 3/6 in Heart of Fear then I think I can say one or two things. I raided T11 when T12 came out, T12 when it was current but mostly post-nerf and then T13 properly from beginning to end. I’ve of course killed everything in all the other raids but not at level so I can’t make any proper comparisons. Well I did run ICC once before the end of wrath, and also Naxx, but I don’t remember it very well so I don’t count it. That’s my background here so fight by fight:
– Stone Guard
The first fight of the tier and I have fond memories of this. I’m a tank and this is a very tank dependant fight. I’d been a healer in T13 and a fair few of the new team I’d raided with then, I’m sure they were left wondering if the switch was a good idea. It took me a while to get the hang of this fight, and it was a little frustrating knowing it was my screwing up that was causing the wipes. However, it was also a good feeling because I knew that when I got it right, then they would be going down. These were early days for the guild, good days before we ran into all the roster trouble. There was so much potential, and hope, that the guild would thrive, that it was intoxicating. Consequently I have a fondness for this fight that has nothing to do with the actual fight itself. Looking at the fight though it was a strong opening entry, a lot more complex than Morchok that’s for sure. I liked that we wiped for a while on this. One shotting Morchok first ever time we were there, that really had no satisfaction to it.
Score: 4/5 as it was a good fight but the RNG element on the abilities was a pain. It meant some kills were a lot easier than others.
– Feng the Accursed
This is another good fight in a good group. However, my memory of this fight is tinged by the times that we pugged it, and people weren’t paying attention. If you have to tell people when to move, and when to stack, and it still makes little difference, it’s frustrating. That being said I liked the two extra abilities, though I usually had the reversal rather than the shield. When I had my usual co-tank it went well, and I reversed other abilities as well which increased my dps and helped him go down. I did like this fight, and being able to sneakily get achievements for people solo, is another plus point. It works on the same old tired taunt mechanic, but the extra abilities add a twist here which breathes a little new life into it.
Score: 4/5 as it was a pretty interesting fight, with 3 clearly defined phases, and some extra things for the tanks to worry about rather than just the usual taunt trading.
– Gara’jal the Spiritbinder
This fight was a nightmare for me, as a raid leader, before I discovered the addon. This addon automatically noted roles and who had voodoo doll and announced who needed to go into the spirit world. Once that was sorted it was really a question of practice, for the dps and healers, to clear out the spirit world, and keep everyone alive. As with all fights, but almost this one especially, with better gear it made it a lot easier. For tanks, this fight is practically tank and spank, and aside from trying to squeeze out as much dps as possible there really isn’t much to this fight. So personally it’s a fight that doesn’t do much for me.
Score: 3/5 likely from a pure tanking perspective. As dps it’s a little more fun, especially with the buff from the spirit world. It’s an ok fight, nothing wrong with it but nothing dramatically awesome about it either.
– Spirit Kings
We killed this and Gara’jal for the first time in one night. The first time we killed this boss it really only took a few attempts. The next time we wiped for hours, as rng on the order of the bosses just screwed us up. After a while they fixed the order and now this fight is a lot more straightforward. The ease of the first kill, and the fact that it’s a solo tank fight, means that it’ll never be a favourite of mine. However, there’s a lot to keep track of and, as the tank, you are responsible for moving the bosses around appropriately to keep out of the way of flanking orders. You also need to make sure not to die while doing it, especially on the first boss, with his cone attack. It’s pretty straightfoward though, nothing to get excited about.
Score: 3/5 again it’s a perfectly average fight so it can’t give it a bad score, but it’s not one that I’d look forward to either.
I built this fight up in my mind to be something really hard, a punishing, destructive fight. Really though it isn’t that bad, it requires coordination and good dps, both knowing when to push and when to back off so the phases happen at appropriate times. Wiping because the dps was too high is kinda funny but can happen with this fight. I killed this boss as dps first but I’ve subsequently killed it as a tank, both on my main and on an alt, so really it’s not the fight I made it out to be. I don’t know if that’s why I have mixed feelings about it, it’s a pretty good fight after all, but it isn’t all that.
Score: 4/5 because the skeletons are groovy and the damage can get pretty hairy, and I like having to dig deep with cds.
– Will of the Emperor
I’ve only ever killed this on normal as a tank which is probably why I love it so much. I don’t think dps would be nearly so much fun. You see tanking is usually taunt switching, picking up adds, moving bosses around and making sure you don’t die. I suppose all roles, dps and healer as well, have similar repeating mechanics which can feel stale after a while. So it’s not often that you see something completely different, a fight where the tanks basically take down the boss. I absolutely love this fight, I take it as a personal challenge to make every single combo and not get hit once. This is the only fight that I play music during (Dance Time by the Ministry of Magic) and I have so much fun.
Score: 5/5 a perfect score for a boss I aim to get a perfect score on. I could kill this boss all day as a tank as I love to ‘dance’. If all fights were like this one then it would be routine and boring, but for this it’s just awesome.
– Imperial Vizier Zor’lock
The first boss in Heart of Fear, it’s got clearly defined phases, is not bad tanking wise, but it’s a solo tank fight. Now, I shouldn’t complain about solo tank fights as I’m usually the one solo tanking them. However, I like my co-tank and so fights that just require one seem wrong some how. We are a team and this breaks the team. I like the protecting part of this, where I run into the exhale to protect my team, that appeals to the protector in me. As a tank I often find myself saying “no not them hit me, hit me” and aoe damage annoys me. The attenuation is also kinda fun, it reminds me of the tornadoes of Alysrazor. I hated them at first but once I understood them, and I never got hit, it became fun dancing around them. I don’t like the mind control part, losing control of my character is something I’ve never liked unless it’s avoidable. Thankfully as the tank I don’t get mind controlled so it’s only an aspect of the fight I have to deal with as dps, which doesn’t happen very often.
Score: 4/5 because it is a nice fight as a tank, even though it does break up the team
– Blade Lord Ta’yak
The number of times I’ve wiped pointlessly on this fight makes me loathe it, which is rather unfair for the fight. Looking at the fight on it’s own it’s not a bad fight. There’s damage for the tanks to deal with so it requires intelligent use of cooldowns. There’s also the dps requirement so tanks can’t just get hit, they have to try and squeeze their potential. However, the stacking component is one I hate as so many people can’t seem to stack when required. I understand attempting too and maybe getting the angle for his strike wrong, that seems random to me, but so many people just don’t even move or react much too late. It makes the fight so frustrating. If you go with a good group then it can be fun, but with a bad group, or a pug group, and the fights like something out of a nightmare. I think that’s my experiences talking though more than the fight actually being bad. Once my co-tank died and I took 4 overwhelming assaults in a row, not sure any tank but a paladin could do that. That was fun, timing my cds correctly, I love that sort of thing.
Score: 2/5 as I just can’t get over all my bad experiences here, the only reason it got any points is because of that time I took 4 overwhelming assaults, as that was kinda fun.
This is the furthest I’ve got in T14 at this point in time. I don’t think I can give any fight that doesn’t require a tank a high score. I mean it basically makes me irrelevant, here I have to survive soaking as retribution so I still have to ‘live’ but not as a tank, so it’s not the same. This fight took a while to get down, I was pleased that he died, but I can’t say I liked the fight. It was different and I like different, but I’m glad that most fights aren’t like this one.
Score: 2/5 begrudgingly as it makes me irrelevant in the role I most prefer.
Well I seem to have written a whole post on T14 thoughts, didn’t exactly mean to do that. That’s not a bad thing though, means I can put whatever else, all the messy thoughts that might have made it into this post, into another one, and I really do need to write more posts!
No in all seriousness T14 has had it’s ups and downs. I remember T11 as being my first introduction to proper raiding, T12 confirming that I wanted to raid and be part of an organized team, T13 was when I first joined a proper organized team and progressed in the traditional way. I will always have a soft spot for Dragon Soul as a result. However, T14 I think is where I came into my own as a raider. I made the transition from healer to tank which I much prefer, I led a raid team and I don’t think I did that badly at it, I certainly gave it everything I had. T14, for all that I’ve only seen half of it, had interesting encounters and was memorable for a lot of reasons.
I hope T15 is just as good.