Posts Tagged ‘VoA’

Ah, glorious Vault of Archavon (or VoA), how you amuse me! 

Okay, maybe VoA doesn’t amuse me so, but sometimes the people in it do. 

For those who avoid PvP (and live underneath an Azerothian rock), VoA is the raid you get as a reward for winning the world battleground known as Wintergrasp.  So, if you have happened to participate in the WG battle that happens approximately every 2.5 hours, you will notice the VoA callouts immediately after a victory (both in WG and Dalaran).  

[1. General] [PlayerName] LFG VoA 10/25!!!1!  (And anything of the ilk.) 

You are also likely aware of fact that VoA bosses drop some high end PvP gear and tier gear.  Toravon drops potential hands or legs in Tier 10, Koralon drops hands/legs in Tier 9, and so on for Emalon and Archavon.  The iLevel loot also matches up with the raid size, so 25-man VoA drops 25-man equivalent gear.  Which also means that if you run both 10 and 25, you get potentially two swings at the bat for some phat lewtz and some extra Emblems of Frost

Depending on the time and day, I enjoy duking it out in Wintergrasp and following it up with hopping into a VoA.  Now, the biggest downside of every VoA run is that you’re in a PuG.  As such, they can often be a little unpredictable.  This latest venture into VoA was just that, because the completely unexpected did occur to me. 


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A Quick Shout-Out

Just wanted to put a quick shout-out to the “Chaotic Exiles” on Kael’thas.

One of their members, Jiina, had tagged along for some of our Naxx runs nearly a year ago. Every now and then we’d /wave to each other around Dalaran or in Wintergrasp.

Well, she was nice enough to invite Darth as the fifth DPS for an ICC run Tuesday night.  We got Marrowgar down to 112k when he enraged (fight time – 10:29!) and we were no more.  No other attempts were that close.

They were nice enough to take me along for a second attempt last night, even though they could have filled that spot with a guild mate.  Very kind to extend that courtesy, really.  Anyway, we never did get that four-headed jerkhole down, unfortunately.  But we did get to take out Toravon, the new boss in the Vault of Archavon.  WOOT!  (Those orbs are annnoooooying!)

So yeah, again, thanks for bringing me along, especially on the second night when you could have easily switched me out for a guild mate!

It was a lot of fun!
(And now I’ve got some ideers to try for when our guild goes for it!)

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This blog got called out as having some Druid tankey goodness to it.  I’ve brought it up a couple of times, but haven’t gotten into it that much.  Now that it’s been brought up, I feel obliged to talk about my Druid tank.  No pressure!

So, I’ll start it off with some old thoughts and work it into my renewed focus:

Since patch 3.3 dropped, the biggest and shiniest feature would probably be the new LFG (LFD) tool.  And I would have to agree – it’s a very good, efficient way of getting groups.  I like it a lot.


Given the amount of blog posts that are going on out there, it seems that this wonderful tool has also made it evident that WoW is full of more asshats than initially anticipated.  (Penny Arcade did an amusing NSFW comic on this anomaly.)  And you’d think with this many people complaining about asshattery, eventually the problem will subside.  Well, it’s a new shiny still, so we can only  hope it will get better.

Anyway, a little while ago I wrote a blurb on how I was hesitant taking Naturalregis in to see Koralon; the latest resident of the Vault of Archavon.  The fact remains, I’m still hesitant about taking my tank into PUGs.  Even into 5-mans using the LFD tool.  This time, though, it’s not so much that I worry about lacking gear.  (Have a look here or here – yes my expertise is low – what of it?!)  What I’m aprehensive about is what I may lack in a few other areas.  Here’s a quick list about what I worry about:

  • Being able to keep aggro over the T9 + EoT gear dps’ers
  • Being able to keep aggro over the dps that attacks whomever they want out of the group
  • I don’t chain pull; I do pull more mobs than I used to, but I still don’t go all nuts over it
  • I don’t rush-tank; which often goes hand-in-hand with chain pulling
  • I actually mark my intended kill order; this also makes asshats more impatient

So, basically I like my dungeon experience to be a little more calculated than brute force, regardless of how easy the latter may be accomplished.  This may make me boring, but whatever.  Sure, there is some fun in chaos, but I prefer a clean, steady path to completing things.  In the long run, it probably saves more time rather than take longer.

That being said, it’s time I overcome this hesitation.  There are some things to be learned from the chaotic approach and hopefully I can figure out a thing or two about tanking better.  Such as better use of my growl and fairie fire on mobs, etc, etc.

Another one of the things that I should be doing is helping out my guild by getting some better gear.  Again, it’s not all that poor, but there’s still room to improve.  And using the armour and miscellaneous gear lists that BBB posted, I can actually break it down and pick gear that will be relatively quick (and easy) for me to get.  (For the record, I’m going to focus on getting the EoT trinket first and then work towards the head, chest, hands, and legs T9 bits and pieces.)

Now, all I have to do is stop being a big sissy and stop shying away from those PUGs.  For me, it’s always better to run with guildies, but that can’t always happen.  And there’s always going to be a rotten apple in the bunch, but I’ll just have to roll with the punches.  And considering the short wait time for tanks, I should have no problems reaching my goals.

Do any of you have any thoughts on the matter?  Any other experiences to share while tanking out there?  Will I get kicked from a group when I let the mage, who initiated the pull, die?

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Gear, LFM and the Loot Piñata

My main character is a mage. My main character is also a druid.

See, I’ve found this particular (im)balance with WoW since just prior to WotLK being released. I started this game with my mage and leveled my druid to help meet guild function. And it was clear that if our guild wanted to do 10-man dungeons together, my druid would be needed for that. Plenty of DPS and healers, but we needed another tank without sacrificing a healer. And I was happy to do it: I liked playing my druid and tanking was pretty fun (and I suck at healing).

The downside about this is that the character I started with wouldn’t be able to get into any raids. He would miss out on gear and such opportunities. That was, until a lot of people were pugging the content.

The most common to be pugged was VoA. After battling it out for control of Wintergrasp, most people would PUG that instance. So, I was able to get into that with both my characters. PUG with Darth and the guild with Natural.

Then after awhile, Naxx was starting to get PUGs. So every so often I would be able to get into that instance with Darth. I had learned all the fights from the guild runs while using Natural, so it was an easy transition.

Then there was the Ulduar patch. Suddenly the majority of guilds had packed up and left Naxx to get through Ulduar. Our guild, as we raid only when we can, didn’t really make that next jump. We had only cleared Naxx once and most of us could use some extra gear, so we didn’t move onto that just yet. And as I didn’t know the fights, Darth didn’t join up into any Ulduar PUGs either.

But for Emalon, the new boss in VoA, most people still had to PUG that. So, I tried pugging that with both toons, only to find success with my mage. I wasn’t quite sure why… it could have purely been raid composition. It could have been awful healers. But I unfortunately started to think that my druid wasn’t ready for it.

And now we’re even further along, with ToC-10 and Koralon in VoA, and my druid hasn’t seen any of it. But I’m quite happy to wait and progress when the guild is ready. But for Darth, well, he’s downed Koralon 10 and 25 several times. He’s got the only 2 pieces of T9.25 you can get from Koralon, now affectionately known as “The Loot Piñata”.

So, that’s got me thinking about something I sure most already suspected: Carrying a DPS character seems to be easier than carrying a tank. This isn’t to downplay the importance of DPS in a raid, but moreso to say that gear on a tank is a bit more critical to the survival of the raid.

For example, if the minimum dps to beat a boss is 2000. If one person is down to 1800, they’re likely to be carried by two people with 2100 and have no one care. Should a tank need to mitigate 2000 damage and can only mitigate 1800, the whole thing could potentially end up in a wipe. (Yes, I’m fully aware that this is an extremely simplified example and tanks can be carried somewhat by amazing healers. Just work with me, folks!)

So, it’s because of this that I think I hesitate to try to PUG VoA with Natural when I normally do on Darth. Because if he’s a little short on gear, it can probably slide by unnoticed. (Ironically, Darth actually has mostly better gear than Natural because of those VoA runs). Now, if my tank is a little short, then I’ve given everyone a lovely repair bill. It may not be the right way to think, but that’s kind of where I’m at.

Again, I’m happy to progress with the guild and do Ulduar and ToC content with them. We work great as a team and have a great time doing so. But it would be nice to be able to hop into a VoA now and then to maybe get some free candy from busting Koralon open.

Anyway… what sort of thoughts do you have on this? Is gear more important for a tank? Can tanks be carried easier than I think?

Or am I just over thinking it?

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