Monday, March 2, 2009

Wait, You Want Me To Do What?

Due to inclement weather in the southeastern United States on Sunday night, the 20-man Naxxramas that was planned turned into a 19-man. We started on the Death Knight quarter, cleared up to Four Horsemen, and then *poof*, one of the raid members lost power and was stuck sitting in the dark. No biggie, right? Anything you can do with 20 you can do with 19.

The disconnected member was the main tank.

When it was determined that he wasn't coming back online, I had a mini-panic attack in my head, since I was the only other tank-specced member of the raid. I had just been upgraded from first off-tank to main tank, which is a whole different ballgame when it comes to Naxxramas.

I've never kited Anub'Rehkan during Carrion Swarm!
I've never dragged Grobbulus around the room!
I've never timed my cooldowns for Maexxna's enrage!
I've never tanked Grand Widow Faerlina!
I've never main-tanked Patchwerk or Loatheb!

Yea, you can cross "never" off of all of those. Talk about a trial by fire.

Here's what happened in my head:
"So, yea, uh, Cathmor? I know this is your first clear of Naxx-25, and you're still in mostly 10-man tanking gear, and you've never main-tanked the entire instance on either raid difficulty, but, um, you're going to have to go ahead and be the man from here on out. Good luck! You're going to need it..."

I've been part of a tanking duo in Naxx-10, so I knew all the fights generally from a tank perspective, I've just never been in the driver's seat for some, and I'd never set foot in Naxx-25 as protection spec aside from a few wipes to Patchwerk as part of an ill-fated PUG I constructed.

Final result? 7 epics ninja'ed (not really, I paid DKP for them) - mostly tanking upgrades, enough Valor tokens acquired to buy Valorous legs, and everything but Thaddius, Sapphiron, and Kel'Thuzad was killed. We ran out of time, otherwise we would have cleared the entire thing.

Missing 6 people, mostly DPS, with various relatively undergeared alts mixed in to the raid really puts a dent in overal raid damage output - we got hosed by the enrage timer on Thaddius at the end of the night despite no one dying.

However, hooray for tons of gear upgrades! I now have 4 pieces of tier 7 in my ret set, so I can give first-hand observations on the differences in skill cycles between t7 and non-t7. That is, whenever I finally spec back to retribution... which won't be tonight, since I need to finish tanking the rest of that Naxx.

Tanking is a lot more fun nowadays than it was in Burning Crusade. There's more interactivity, since there's more buttons to push. In BC, it was just Holy Shield, Judgement, Consecration, repeat, with an Avenger's Shield thrown in every once in a while. Now, I have something to push every single GCD, and even additional buttons to consider that I simply don't have the time to use. That's above and beyond positioning the boss and using defensive oh-sh*t abilities like Divine Protection or a trinket.

Speaking of oh-sh*t abilities, I want another one. Lay on Hands doesn't prevent, absorb, or avoid damage, it just heals me to full. Right now, if I anticipate trouble coming, I can either pre-emptively Divine Protection myself, or use an on-use trinket. Lay on Hands and Ardent Defender don't kick in until I'm all ready in dire straights.

Anyway, back to the daily grind. I gots work to do so that I can go to class, then eat dinner, then tank the rest of Naxx, and then sleep.


Anonymous said...

Nice, Josh! Grats on downing those bosses on your first "Trial by Fire" attempt as Tank Paladin!

- Aenur of Hydraxis

Stoico said...

Good work, m8.
I myself is gathering tank gear as my Ret gear is close to complete. And if not before I will try my way as prot paladin when dualspecc hits in.
Sometimes its good just to dive in, and you sure did and made the paladin community proud it seems. Once again good work.

Anonymous said...

Grats! I eagerly await your thoughts on 4pc T7 Ret gear! I have STILL never seen the T7.5 chest token drop.

I ran Naxx25 with my guild this week for a change, and we one-shotted all bosses, despite a few close calls. Upgrades for me are getting hard to come by, but I finally saw the CS Libram and grabbed that.