It's time to grapple the big fish, or something.

Alright, so, I'm back with my first big installment. I'll bet all of my millions of readers were angry that I had a big post about Being Back and then no followup--I'm here to correct this.

Note: Here was a giant aoe guide. I decided I can't do it with just text. In the future I'll have a video guide with voiceovers.

Right now I'm going to tell you some things:
1) Stay ahead of your group. Be the first to hit the mob. Once you're way ahead in threat and the mob is nearing death (around 20-30% or so), switch to the next target. This also applies to physically being in front of the group--if an accidental body pull occurs, it's much more salvageable if the tank pulled.
2) Get the most out of AoE abilities! This seems like a no-brainer, but I see tanks use shockwave and hit two of their four targets. I see tanks pull a mob from far away and thunder clap too early. I see tanks use Heroic Strike instead of Cleave. THIS IS FOOLISH. Don't do it.
3) Getting threat requires threat stats. Another no brainer. I wrote an extensive guide on threat, including enchants and gems for it. USE 'EM. I know tanks are all about "lawl stam stackin is the only way" and group leaders go "we're gonna let this terrible druid tank be MT because he has 2k more hp than you", but don't fall for the traps! Good guilds understand that stam stacking isn't everything! Gem for expertise and hit if you need to hit the caps!
4) Proc your procs smartly. Don't use shield block and then shockwave and concussion blow and demo shout and thunder clap. That's 4 of your 6 GCD's wasted. If you use shield block, you can toss out at least 2 shield slams. The moment you use shield block, hit slam, and then use revenge and devastate to proc sword and board--it's a free slam with double damage!

I'm going to expand on numbers 1 and 4 in text, not in video. I've already written about #3 at length. #2 will be covered when I make a video aoe guide.
Tomorrow I'm covering number 1. Don't expect a couple pages--instead I'll do a few paragraphs.

I think I'm adjusting the format so I'll have several small posts a week, and one big post every week or so. The AoE guide will be a big post. When I get my DK to tanking, that will be a big post. Talking about procs will be a small post.




Alright. My last post? August 22nd, 2009. That was four months ago to the day.

I was struck down by disease this past week, and with nothing better to do, and a still-running subscription, yours truly started playing WoW again.

I started doing random heroics for gear, and met a recount-topping death knight who liked my style and was on my server. Now, I'm in enzo, which is four regulars who know each other IRL, some of their less-regular friends IRL, and me, the only person who they don't know the name of. It's interesting, but I mesh well enough provided they speak little about real-world events.

I went from ulduar-10 gear (a range of ilevel 200-226, mostly 219) to mostly 232+ gear. We're talking going from just getting 2 pieces of t8 to 4 piece t9 (including ilevel 245 legs, not just badge stuff) with some good offpieces. We're talking "whoo I just broke 30k hp" to 34k in one week. 26k hp to 30k probably took me six months if not more.
We're talking "worried about my hp on some heroic trash pulls" to "I can tank every heroic except Halls of Reflection (and the last boss of Pit of Saron) with my eyes closed"

Now, I was always ambivalent on the issue of "welfare epics". In some cases, it allows people with good gear to get into guilds and raids, while still learning their class. This issue is compounded by the whole gearscore phenomenon, which I think is disgusting--because I firmly believe in the "bring the player" philosophy. I can tank WAY better than someone who's never tanked but has a character with a higher gearscore, and I'm sure that there are warriors with inferior gear that can outtank me.
However, in other cases, it allows people who stopped playing for four months to get back on track quite quickly. It allows skilled alts to get competitive. And, in an ironic twist, it totally destroys the gearscore phenomenon.
You see, when the WoW community released Gearscore (even though welfare epics were already around) they planned on culling the weak for pugs. Yet, I still see pugs with ungeared people--I was in an Ony-25 where some DK had more than one green and no epics. And in all raiding guilds, gearscore is still used as an epeen measurement, but as far as applications go, nobody cares. If I submit my application to a guild, they'll say "oh boy, he can fail his way through heroics repeatedly and got lucky in some pugs". The good news, though, is that the same panel of judges will say the same thing about ANOTHER applicant--and maybe it'll be true. This requires guilds to actually pay attention to the performance of applicants, more than ever before.
Which means that guilds start caring about "bringing the player", not the empty shell of gear with a brainless gibbon inside. Which is good for me, cause my gear is still merely alright--I'm not tanking ICC anytime soon, but ToC? Sure!

And, on that same note, though the argument against welfare epics is that "but then you're homogenizing the playerbase", it falls apart when you realize that now the playerbase is required to separate the good from the bad by themselves. "Good tank/bad tank" is not about "38k hp versus 30k hp" (something I have been kicked out of groups for, even today), it's actually about Good Tank Versus Bad Tank. This is important. This is new. This is awesome.



Hey guys. This will be more informal than my other posts cause I'm workin quick watching the 3v3 finale.

Cataclysm got announced, and I'm excited for it, and I know I am foaming at the mouth because we get to revisit Azeroth and put in better quests and phased zones and Ragnaros is available again. I like the new races, the new professions, and the new guild leveling system, and the Path of the Titans thing, from what I've read on and (check both of those out--tankspot's got an awesome system that lets them blog live from the floor without you having to refresh like you do for

I am going to theorize on stuff.

DEFENSE IS GONE. All tanks will have talents like druids do that reduce crit chance. This is good news, because it makes it easier for new tanks to get in on the game. It also means that the increases to avoidance that defense gives (+.04% block/dodge/parry) are gone, so I'm thinking that overall, avoidance will be improved for tanks (like how druids have incredibly high dodge to compensate for no parries or blocks and dk's have a lot of parry to compensate for no blocks)

Basically the definition of a tank is "one who is good at taking hits (and keeping others from taking hits)". These hits are normal or magical damage. The arcane breath on Maly is about 20-25k magic damage, which will kill your average mage. In cataclysm, this won't kill your average mage, because the mage will have the same hp as the tank (probably like, 40k at level 85).
The other type of damage is normal damage. Patchwerk hits for around 15-20k on a tank, after armor reduction. Otherwise, he'd hit for like 60k. A mage would get hit for 50k, can't block/dodge/parry

Because of the hp homogenization, the major difference in the survivability is avoidance and armor now--so I'm thinking that we'll go back to normal damage being the damage-of-choice for bosses. Either a lot of fast attacks so avoidance shines, or hard hitting slow attacks so the armor reduction shines. I think maybe they'll increase the armor cap/make it easier to attain. I know I've got about 66% or so mitigation; 2/3rds normal damage knocked off from a hit.
If blue changed the armor cap to capping at 90% instead of 75%, and made someone in my gear be able to knock off 3/4s of a hit instead of 2/3rds, that would mean they could have bosses hit harder (before mitigation. taking that into account, it'd be the same) and be more damaging to those with less % armor reduction, creating that big difference between tanks and mages.

The other thing I can think of is armor now can somewhat reduce magic damage, so an arcane breath from Maly would hit a mage for 25k of his 30k and hit me for 20k of my 30k. It might be like, 75% armor mitigation = 20% magic reduce, but I think that'd be fair.

Edit: I've heard that it's less drastic than I think. instead of a fresh 80 mage having 9k, he'll have 15k, and a good mage will have 20k instead of 15k.

This makes block worse on trash but better on bosses. maybe you can make block work on magic too, so warriors and pallies have a chance to block a % off magic attacks and then give druids and dks the armor=magic reduction thing. that'd get rid of some class homogenization.

That's all right now. Hype out.


Threat--a guide

This is a combination of a "Hard and Fast" guide and a fairly in-depth guide. I won't go to Elitistjerks levels, or even some of the more advanced tankspot guides (though I draw on them as a source and I recommend that you all read them) but it will cover more than the very basics.

What is threat? Threat is a measure that the game uses to tell who the mob will attack. If you have high threat on an enemy, the mob will attack you. If you are highest on the "Threat list" and the mob is attacking you, you "Have aggro".

Threat is a bit of a fickle stat, though:
How does it work?
Why is it that a dps class does three times the damage but I still maintain aggro?
What abilities generate a lot of threat?
How can I improve it?

To start, 1 point of damage = 1 point of threat. 2 points of healing = 1 point of threat. This is before ALL modifiers, and the modifiers are so significant, that it should really be taken with a grain of salt.

Additionally, global threat is divided between all targets, direct threat only increases threat levels on specific targets. Now, by "all targets", I mean all targets in combat. If a healer heals, it won't increase the threat on the mobs standing around at the far end of the hall. It WILL increase the healer's threat on all targets in combat with the group, but not by much. You see, if (say) a priest gets off a 10k heal and there are 5 mobs, consider it like this:

10000/5 = 2000 per mob
.5 threat per point of healing,
2000/2 = 1000 threat per mob.

If the priest has Silent Resolve, then multiply that number by .8, so the priest will generate 800 threat on all 5 mobs in combat--which really, is not much at ALL, when you consider these numbers:

I, as a warrior, Thunderclap these 5 mobs for (say) 500 damage each. No crits, no variance for simplicity. Because damage is direct threat, I gain 500 threat on each mob, which is not enough to take them off the priest healer. He dies. Or does he? Answer: No, because I didn't gain *just* 500 threat. I got a lot more due to threat modifiers.
According to, the threat modifier on Defensive Stance is 2.0735, and the modifier on Thunder Clap is 1.85. This means, 500 damage done...

500 x 1.85 (TC's inherent modifier) = 925 threat
925 x 2.0735 (Defensive Stance's inherent modifier) ~ 1918 threat
Which puts me well ahead of the healer. The mobs attack me, the day is saved.

Many tanking abilities have inherent threat modifiers or additions. For example, Shield Slam causes an extra 770 threat in addition to the threat from the damage done (then multiplied by Defensive Stance). A druid's faerie fire, even though it does no damage, causes an innate 638 threat (which, if in Bear Form, is multiplied by 2.0735). A paladin's Righteous Fury increases threat from Holy spells (their main way of getting threat--Consecrate, etc) by 90%. A death knight's Frost Presence has the same modifier as Warrior's Defensive stance, as does a druid's Bear Form.

*Remember: Abilities that are AoE, such as Thunderclap, Consecrate, and Howling Blast: They do damage, which means they deal direct threat. BUT: Some abilities such as Demoralizing Shout ALSO do direct threat (unlike Battle Shout--which does generate a bit of global threat) even though they have no damage component.

"But there's this one Warlock, right? He does wayyyyy more damage than me, and even accounting for my threat modifier, he should out-threat me. As a matter of fact, if I look at my threat meter addon, he DOES out-threat me!"
-Guy Learning About Threat
This is because Blizzard has cleverly put in another stopgap between those DPSing and those tanking (but which can make your job slightly more difficult). Mobs need a little extra push to actually switch targets. By a little extra push, I mean your Bladestorming Arms Warrior friend has to generate 10% more threat than the target the mob is currently attacking for the mob to actually attack him.
If you've put out 10,000 threat and he's just put out 10,900: you are In The Clear.
This is even more noticable with ranged classes. If the above Warlock is out of melee range, he must do 130% of your threat for the mob to attack him (and he should Soulshatter).

So real quickly, what have we learned?
  1. Damage puts out more threat than healing (So hit 'em hard and hit 'em fast and they won't kill the guy keeping you alive.)
  2. Global threat is divided evenly between in-combat targets, wheras direct threat is not. (So, again, do a lot of damage--which is always direct threat--and know what generates the most threat.)
  3. Threat modifiers change the game entirely. (You might be doing half the damage of that Frostfire Mage, but you're doing at least double threat, and with talents he's generating only 60% of his damage as threat.)
  4. If within melee range, other people need to pass 110% of your threat to get aggro. Ranged allies need to pass 130% (Keep the mobs far away from your ranged friends, and if Bloodlust/Heroism gives them a huge boost in damage, don't worry too much.)

So now we've answered the first three of our four questions, which leaves "How can I improve my threat?". I've got a few answers for that one, because it's a multi-layered issue.

  • Tank with the right "buffs"--be it the proper stance (Frost Presence/Defensive Stance), form (Bear), or with the right abilities up (Righteous Fury)
  • Stack +Hit (gem for it, enchant for it, and gear for it)
  • Stack +Expertise (gem, enchant, gear)
  • Know the abilities that put out huge amounts of threat.
    From a warrior perspective, don't Devastate if Shield Slam or Revenge are on cooldown, for example.
>>>As a note, don't put hit or expertise on everything--in the sense that if you're sacrificing massive amounts of stamina by putting red expertise gems into a blue socket, or enchanting your boots with Icewalker for hit instead of +22 stamina. These stats are additions, AFTER you are fairly well satisfied with your defensive pool (health, armor, avoidance).
>>>Some things, though (such as Titanium Weapon Chain and Sorthalis, Hammer of the Watchers) are things you want regardless (The weapon being BiS until you pass Ulduar-25 hardmodes, and TWC being my enchant of choice)

Now, I'm going to go into the relevant stats more--that is, Hit and Expertise. What do they do?

Hit is related to, well, how often you hit something. In Wrath of the Lich King, you need 8% hit (or 263 hit rating) to hit a raid boss 100% of the time with an attack. You will never get a "Miss", just dodges and parries. Most importantly, all of your "yellow" attacks (abilities that use rage/mana/runes/runic power, that make yellow damage numbers instead of white, and usually generate extra threat) will land. A missed 3k shield slam means about 7.5k missed threat.

Now, you might've noticed that I said your attacks might STILL be parried or dodged. That's where expertise comes in. Every point of expertise (aka every 8.2 points of expertise rating) reduces the enemy chance to Dodge and Parry your attacks by 0.25%. If you have 19 expertise, then that's 4.75% less of the time that you will be dodged and parried--which means you'll successfully land a blow roughly 9.5% more often!
Why roughly? Because there is a cap on how much an enemy dodges and parries. Raid bosses dodge 6.5% of the time and parry 14% of the time--so yes, you'd hit 9.5% more often.

BUT, if you had 29 expertise, then you'd reduce their chances by 7.25% each--passing the dodge cap (reduced to 0, not -0.75) so you'd hit 13.75% more often.

Therefore: Good threat requires use of proper tanking abilities and good gear. This isn't to say that you cannot generate threat without high +hit and +expertise. You definitely can (but not missing on your attacks does help a lot).

Well, Blizzard has a built-in threat meter, but in my opinion it's fairly low quality.
Omen is a threat mod with the following features:
  • Omen tracks everything threat related from fight to fight. This means not just your threat on the mob you're fighting. It means everyone's threat on every mob in the current fight, so you can target switch without worrying.
  • It tracks what percent of your threat people are at (If you're offtanking at 93k threat and a dps is at 78k and the main tank is at 117k, next to their names it will say "DPS X: 83%" and "MAIN TANK Y: 126%), so you can tell if DPS are passing the 110/130 threshold.
  • It tells you what your (and other people's) Threat Per Second is (In a 10man environment I'd say I'm around 5.5k, with vigilance on a high dps it's more like 6.5k+)
Thanks for reading my Threat Guide

PS: For further reading, I recommend the following guides on
Death Knight Threat Values A quick look at the threat modifiers for Death Knight abilities.
Paladin Threat Values A swift glance at the threat modifiers on Paladin moves.
Warrior Threat Values An expedient examination of the threat modifiers on Warrior techniques.
There is no Druid threat value list on Tankspot :(
Gearing For Threat A handy guide (more warrior-oriented, but valuble for all classes) that covers Hit/Expertise as well as Strength and Shield Block Value.


Blame it on the t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tank

Sing the above title when listening to Jamie Foxx's "Blame it on the Alcohol" and it will all make sense.

Now, I ran a Heroic HoL today. We had two wipes--not even on the last boss. In the first FIFTEEN MINUTES. Literally, we were going great, beat the first boss with his +35% damage boost up for the achievement, and cruised through the mass-of-slags before Volkhan.

Or so I thought. I tanked him up on the landing above the staircase, between the two packs of elites, like I had an easy dozen times before. Somehow, both packs of elite adds had been pulled. I can usually handle such a situation, and my group mates did admirably. I used Challenging Shout, rounded them up, and used Shockwave, which had just come off cooldown. The rogue used Tricks of the Trade on me and Fan of Knives, giving me loads of threat. Yet we still died.

Then, on a pull of 3 elites, a patrol of 2 also pulled. I taunted one and used Heroic Throw on the other, but it still went after the healer, who somehow had enough healing aggro to outdo the Heroic Throw. He died. Did I have other options? Maybe. I do believe that Charge was on cooldown, and I know Intervene was. I didn't use them. I expected him to heal himself, however. His HP wasn't dropping that fast. He's a mail-wearer with a shield and a moderately sized healthpool. I would expect a mage to drop that quickly, not a resto shaman.

So why did he die? He was well-geared, so it wasn't that. He was... moderately skilled, so it wasn't that.

He died because he was typing "i have aggro"--and I guess he wasn't that fast a typer.

Then I got a really annoying situation of this resto shaman trying to lead the group by saying really obvious things "pull that pack" while I'm charging into it, or "mob" as I've already taunted it towards me. Not to mention the OTHER shaman, elemental, literally did blame me for the issues involved. Both shamans were in the same guild, and spent the whole time talking about how they hated that people had come from another guild (incidentally, my old guild which disbanded) and had taken raid spots (specifically the raid spot of the Resto Shaman)

Now here is the opportunity I have to go on a rant about how my people were more skilled than their people and that it's concieted to spend a straight 5 minutes between bosses talking about how awesome your dps is (5.2k)* and how you always get 4th on the meters.

I won't, though. Instead I will tell all of you this:

PuGs are not fun. They are not fun to heal, they probably are not really fun to DPS. They are definitely unenjoyable to tank. WHY IS THIS?
  • A) You've got jack to talk about. Unless you're in the same guild as someone else, whereas then you can just make the other 3 members of the group incredibly bored.
  • B) It's a roulette wheel. You're taking a big chance whenever you tank one. You COULD BE LUCKY and get the rogue that knows when to Tricks you on an AoE pull and does a solid 3000-3500dps. You could be unlucky and get the annoying Elemental Shaman that talks trash about your old guildmates and complains that you're a bad tank (but still pulls a respectable 2.5k dps. You could also be lucky enough to get the retadin that doesn't say a single word the whole time (but is obviously a fresh 80 and therefore does less damage than the tank). There could be much much worse though (I've been top damage and dps by a pretty wide margin before)
  • C) If someone elses sucks, it's impossibly difficult to get them to improve without coming off as a jerk.
  • D) If you mess up: the group will
    1) Hold a grudge
    2) Threaten to leave the group (or say "You will never tank for me again"**)
    3) Probably die, because you cannot really rely on them to succeed like you can your guildmates or good friends.

Now: At the start of the instance, around the time of the first boss, I was about 95% sure the whole group hated me because I didn't want to be a jerk and refute the claims made against me.

Then: By the time Loken was dead at my feet, they knew I was good and the heals were bad.
Because I said that we could heal through the 14k lightning nova. I figured a shaman's chain heal would be very effective--and I've done it with a shaman healer before, among many other healers. It's my strategy of choice, actually.
But everyone died. First both shaman--which meant it was just me and 2 dps. Then the retadin. Finally the rogue died to the aura that Loken has (it does damage based on how far away from him you are, and you have to be far away to avoid the nova).
THUS: I was the only one standing, and Loken was at 20%--about 100k hp.
I must give the shaman props though, for after I had used my cooldowns and loken still had about 30k hitpoints left, he used his self-resurrection and gave me some solid heals.. before dying. I would have preferred him to heal himself up first, but whatever. It gave me the boost I needed to kill the boss.

But after the deed was done and we all agreed that what had transpired was an amusing combination of Epic Fail and Badassery, the rogue whispered to me "scrub heals". He knew that it wasn't my fault--he knew that I was a skilled tank.
Additionally, I learned a bit (on how to solo bosses, on how to deal with annoying people, how to handle less-than-ideal healing) from the experience***.

This is why PuGs are probably the best thing you can do to improve yourself as a tank. The daily heroic switches up every day. You might have to deal with the stationary-party (such as Violet Hold and Trial of the Champion), or you might have plenty of movement. You'll experience dozens of bosses with dozens of group compositions--and that means you can learn class strengths. PuGs are the best learning experience afforded to tanks because even if you're single-tanking a boss, the insanely good healers you have might cover for your lack of talent. The hunters and rogues with Misdirect and Tricks of the Trade might nullify your low threat generation. Even more so, if you're the offtank, the main tank can usually just cover you without even really realizing.

So here are some reasons why you should RUN PUGS:
  1. A tank is more effective if he knows when to call for bloodlust, or army of the dead, or knowing which classes (Warriors--ugh) generate loads of threat with no way to get rid of it. PuGs provide exposure to all the different classes, all the different compositions, and put YOU in the leadership position to call for it, exactly like a raid leader.

  2. A tank with a bad healer will learn how to stay more self-sufficient. I *aggressively* use lifeblood, endless healing potion, and enraged regeneration. I use shield wall at least once per boss fight, to spare the load on the healer.

  3. A tank with shoddy dps will learn how to maximize their own dps, using recklessness or retaliation to cover for the inability of the groupmates. It's altruistic, yes, and some might say "You should just tell them to shape the heck up or get better dps", but once you've passed through these trial-by-fires, you'll always be able to do more damage. When you're in a very talented group, it becomes more of a contributing factor instead of a key factor, and makes achievements (like Volazj's Quick Demise or Gotta Go!) easier.

  4. A tank that lucks into a group with insane dps will sink or swim: learn how to improve threat generation, or just revert to spamming taunt. Of course, threat is tied directly to damage done, but if you know when to call for Misdirect or Tricks (during a bloodlust is ideal), or to call for a Hunter's Feign Death, you'll be fine. That's not even mentioning vigilance: you'll learn which classes to do that to (Warriors. ugh. warriors)

  5. Exposure to guilds. The two shamans, like I mentioned, are in a guild where some of my old friends are in. I might just get in that guild (if I wanted to) because they now know that I'm a good tank (at least, I hope they do--and I hope the rest of their guild isn't like them). I've definitely gotten offers to tank (or even main tank) for guilds. Right now I'm satisfied just cruising, and running raids with friends that need tanks (and some of those friends I met through pugs). I do have my eye on one guild--when it's raiding corps gets set in stone, Hype R. Iom will be their MT. I wouldn't have that opportunity if one of their officers didn't do chain heroics with me one day.

So regardless of the pain, if you run pugs and learn from them, good things will happen. You'll become a better tank, and people will know it, and people will say "Hey you wanna do hardmodes on Ulduar-10 with us?".


I'm going to be a jerk and rant a bit, with the asteriks.

*Okay so this shaman got 5.2k dps in 25-man Ulduar. I don't know what elemental shaman dps is really like, and I assume it's pretty good, but suffice to say when I was doing hardmode ulduar last night, I was running with a warlock, a cat druid, a mage, and a paladin who all were doing 4-5k (ON TEN MAN!--and 2 hunters that were both doing 3.5-4.5) . Funnily enough, it's these exact people from my old guild that took the raid spots of the Annoying Resto Shaman.
I honestly do believe that the warlock that I mentioned is the best warlock (horde-side, at least) on the server. Not only does he do tops dps, he is one of the only casters I know that consistently run out of the fire. Most get tunnel vision and just hit their dps buttons--and then die. And yeah, maybe they do better dps-wise than him, but he gets higher overall because he lived the whole fight.

**LIKE I CARE. I don't. I don't care if I don't tank for you again. There's three or four thousand people on the horde side of my server... which is actually one of the lowest population servers. If you quit the group when you find out I'm tanking, then so be it. We'll find another dps.
====>That's actually another good thing about PuG tanking. You've always got a fresh start. You don't have a guild telling you "Well, you did poorly on Yogg last night so we're benching you in favor of Nubcake McNooblet"

***I'll admit, because I've done PuGs a billion times before, I didn't learn THAT much. But if it's a first time, yes you will learn a lot. I learned a bit though. Specifically group leadership, actually. I had to subtly take the reins back in hand once the shaman tried to establish control.

Silly self-righteous asterik'd ranting over.

Hope to see you the next time


Pandering to the Casuals: On Raiding.

"Welfare epics. Morons and slackers being in full Ulduar gear. Back in the day, you were ready for Molten Core if you were wearing good blues. If you were in half epics you had respect. If you were fully purple, you were a god of war. I know that Kungen, main tank of the world-renowned guild Ensidia, still makes money just by sitting in Orgrimmar. People will swarm him and trade him gold. He can make thousands an hour. Because he's pro. Because they know he's better than they are. Because he is hardcore and can do the fights.

Nowadays, who knows. Anyone can do those fights. Any loser can get fully naxx geared within a few weeks of being level 80 if they just join some raids. Ugh. Blizzard is pandering to the casuals and getting rid of hardcore raiding."

People who honestly believe things like the fictional quote above are stupid. OK? I've said it. It's facts. It was, perhaps, true before 3.1, when Naxx-25 was easily doable with a pickup group, and anyone could fairly easily achieve best-in-slot gear--a time when really you were only impressive if you had done Sarth+3.

Sarth+3 was difficult, but it was not necessary to do it with three drakes up. In fact, it was puggable like nobody's business. Only the best of the best did it with three drakes up.

Hardmodes are how guilds define themselves in Wrath. Many, many guilds have killed Sartharion, but with three drakes up? That's much more difficult. Only a select few have done so.
But every raider has SEEN Sartharion, if not with 3 drakes up. Thus, the content is exposed. It's possible to do things many, many ways--which means variety, which keeps things interesting. I, personally, have not done Sarth+3, but I have done Sartharion and think that with 3 up he'd be very interesting.

This is part of Blizzard's new and overwhelming philosophy to show everyONE everyTHING. Naxx is well-regarded as one of the best raid dungeons Blizzard has created. When it was released in 2006, only a small fraction of the population had seen it--I was not one of them. And yes, I would have enjoyed doing it when it was difficult, required 40 people, and intense strategies, but I am glad that I HAVE seen it at level 80, and that I can now properly imagine the difficulty of the fights.

The best example I can think of for this is Flame Leviathan. You see FL PuGs everywhere, because ten (heck, five) fresh 80s can beat it--with zero towers up, or just one.

Tonight I did FL+4, or attempted it. I was on the chopper. It was hectic. Not only were there two or three kinds of fire to not-stand in (Thorim's beams, Hodir's Beams, Mimiron's Fire), there were some powerful adds and some simply crazy outgoing damage. We wiped three, maybe four times, and we just wanted to Get It Done so we one-shot FL+2.

Yet FL+2 still dropped hardmode loot! Pandering to the casuals! FL+2 is very very easy for any group who's done FL and is not a primordial fish-beast. High ilevel epics for something that any old PuG can do? I'm cancelling my account.

Oh wait. I remember now. I remember that I'm not doing that. Because even though I got some hardmode items (well, technically the enchanter got em--none of us needed Twirling Blades) and the achievement for FL+2, I did NOT get what I actually wanted. Orbit-uary is required for Glory of the Ulduar Raider, and my 310% speed Rusted Proto-Drake. If you skip FL+4, you won't get the achievement. Therefore, the escalating nature of the rewards system is actually well balanced (The only weakness, I think, is that FL+3 only drops a single conquest badge more than FL+2, nor does it count for Glory of the Ulduar Raider)

And like I say, anyone that believes that Blizzard is dumbing down content and making it easier for people to do things... well, have they done Yogg+0? Every top end raiding guild I've read about, such as Fusion, has said that it's a well-tuned encounter that is entirely doable but requires incredible coordination and skill--as did Sarth+3, as does Algalon, and to a lesser degree: FL+4. A pickup group, even a skilled pickup group with vent, cannot immediately one-shot FL+4. We probably could have done it in another few attempts, but we wanted to speed on by to do Razorscale/Ignis/Deconstructor. Neither can ANY pickup group do Yogg+0, and very rarely Yogg+4.

Which amounts to the genius of Ulduar. I hope that Icecrown's 31 bosses have multiple levels of difficulty--two or three of them, at least. I'm okay with having a Super Easy Intro Boss or two with no harder modes, and I'm also okay with one or two Only Hard Mode bosses--such as Algalon. Overall though, I'd prefer that most of them have a variety of difficulties such as Freya, Yogg-Saron, Flame Leviathan, and Sartharion. I'll also take "Activated" Hardmodes that significantly alter the fight, such as Thorim, Mimiron, and XT-002. I think that Ignis' hardmode (Kill him in <4>

Next time I'll either talk about leveling, or general tanking strategy, or maybe glyphs, or possibly 4.0, or more on my Glory of the Ulduar Raider runs, or even professions. I don't really know.

Thanks for reading,

PS: I've decided that this idea of "I'm going to do EXACTLY THIS tomorrow" doesn't work, because writing these few paragraphs above killed me when I realized there wasn't much to write. Or maybe I had a more cohesive thought process two or three days ago when I thought I wanted to write this. I'm not sure. But I have to write what I'm passionate about at the moment of writing or else I get this post above, which I don't think was that great. Whatever. We'll see--but I WILL write something tomorrow.



Achievement Runs!

Over the past few days, a few new friends and I have been doing achievement runs. Our group composition has been me--Protection Warrior, with Arms dps offspec; Survival Hunter; Blood DK, with unholy tank offspec; Boomkin, with resto offspec; and Resto Shaman, with Elemental offspec. We're all pretty skilled players, and between that and easy-to-get ilevel 226 gear (I acquired Gauntlets of the Royal Watch for 28 badges just yesterday), we've been able to roll through the achievements with minimal issues.

But now, I'll cover the ones that have been most difficult for us.

Special note: If I had a word count limit, this would have to be split up into multiple sections. I don't, so it's gonna be one long post. I've noticed that my posts have all increased in length. The first one was about 900 words, the second was about 1200... this will be big)
(EDIT: 2700 words whoo new record!)


Make It Count - Yeah, no. We attempted the instance with 5 ambers. But no. Just... no. I'll get back to you once we practice the instance more. I think a "normal" composition of 2 ambers, 2 rubies, and 1 emerald would make this a lot simpler. I think 5 ambers has potential once we get the fights down, though.

Old Kingdom:

Respect Your Elders - Okay this one was fairly difficult. The wowhead comments said something about kiting him far away, but then that you can't do that because he gets a +500% damage buff when you take him out of his room. Additionally, I was under the impression that the aura was LoS-based. So, this is what we did:

The DK went to his tank offspec. I tanked the boss where he stood, and the DK pulled the guardians into the field area that we entered from, and then around the corner. Thus, the healer stood on the stairs and was able to heal both me and the DK, even though there was a wall between his mob and mine.
The aura, you see, is not based on Line of Sight but on DISTANCE. And it's a long distance indeed. SO, we did the following (positioning in italics):

In the process of fighting your through trash to the boss, you go down a fairly large flight of stairs into a field area. Going down the stairs, there is an alcove area between staircase and wall off to the right. This is where you tank the boss--and make sure none of your dps attacks him while you're moving him from his starting point to this corner! The boss will NOT enrage when you pull him here (I'm not sure where he does enrage, actually)
The DK tanked the guardians where they spawned, a bit less than 80 yards away. The healer stood equidistant between us, able to heal us both with long-range spells.
However, adds spawn under the effects of the immunity aura, and therefore are untankable--and therefore attack the healer. SO, about midway through the fight the DK popped a cooldown or two and the shaman ran over to where I was. The adds lost the invulnerability aura and the DPS let loose a quick hurricane/volley, and the shaman went back to his original spot.
We had a bit of a mishap where an add escaped the DK, who had to run over to me, deathgrip, and run back to the spawning area--but overall it was very clean and easy.

I believe our time was [1 minute, 37 seconds] according to deadly boss mods.

Volunteer Work
- This is much much simpler to explain. Right before the pull, I used an Indestructible Potion, then went as normal. When she goes airborne, we all just sit around, top each other off, easy times. Then, as she landed and began to attack with +200% damage, I popped Shield Wall (40% damage reduction). Not too hard. Second time she went up and down again, I used Last Stand (+30% hp). Third time, I used Enraged Regeneration (30% HP HoT), Lifeblood (herbalist self-HoT for a few thousand) and also a runic healing potion. GG.
I do have a few notes, though:
1) I didn't know this until the fight actually commenced: She creates a lightning-disc-thing below people's feet randomly. This IS affected by her +200% damage enrage, so it can do quite a boatload. Obviously, DPS shouldn't stand in the fire, but she did it under the DK meleeing her, and we both got hit. The healer was freaking out at the damage I was taking, so he went into Heal-The-Tank overdrive. The DK died. Luckily, we battlerezzed him the next time the boss went Airborne.
Remember that it's not just dps that has to stand out of the fire.
2) I called for bloodlust when she was at 95% or so, thinking "might as well". It wasn't a smart idea. She went up at about 75% (ie 5 seconds later) and we lost a good 20 seconds off of the buff. I recommend using it the third time she enrages, when the tank is out of cooldowns, so the healer has 30% faster heals and the dps can burn her faster (IF you need it at all. I'm 100% sure we could have done it without bloodlust just as easily. Like I say, we could only dps with it for about 15 seconds)

Volazj's Quick Demise
- Really, not so difficult. We used several tricks to get ahead.
The first one: Have everyone stack up tightly, so when Insanity is cast, the adds all appear within melee range. Thus, you can volley/shockwave/hurricane them down very quickly (unless the hunter uses Deterrence, which was annoying)
The second one: Bloodlust at 70%. He starts to cast the first insanity at 66%, and it's about a 5 second cast. We took him down to ~45% before we went into our little dreamworlds, with a good 30 seconds left on Lust. We finished the first insanity in about 15 seconds, brought him down to 33%, he started casting--and we got him to about 20% before the second insanity took hold.
The third one: When the DK entered his first Insanity, he used army of the dead. This killed his adds with superlative speed. Remember, when you break out of your insanity you can help others break out of their own. Therefore, while I was finishing off the Shaman and the DK, both of them were suddenly overwhelmed with a swarm ghouls that popped out of nowhere.
The fourth one: Spell Reflect his mind flay. According to wowhead, it ticks on him for something like 18k per hit. I tried to do this, but alas... Spell Reflect's effect lasts 5 seconds while the cooldown is 10, and if you try to Spell Reflect midway through the channeling, nothing happens. He only Mind Flayed two times, and SR was on cooldown the first, and I was late the second.

However, the fourth one was not really needed. His Quick Demise was carried out about a minute and thirty seconds into the fight.


Watch Him Die
- This one can be a toughie. It requires strong dps, heals, and tanking. I attempted this in mostly ilevel 200 epics a while back, and it failed miserably. Now, with mostly 219-226 gear, it was much simpler. I've heard strategies with 2 tanks, but I think that reduces overall dps by a bit too much. Here's what we did:

Slow and steady wins the race. First, we pulled the leftmost boss+adds. Killed the two adds, did nothing to the boss. Then, we went after the middle group, knocked down the two adds. Went on further, got the rightmost group, killed the adds.
NOW, I pulled the boss. Three or four seconds to give me aggro, then Bloodlust, cooldowns, the whole shebang. He died fairly quickly. I THINK the mini-bosses despawn on the death of the main guy, but I'm not 100% sure.
Here are some keys to the fight:

1) Face the bosses away from the group so they don't get hit by the cone of poison.
1a) A druid with abolish poison on the tank trivializes that aspect of the fight. Also a paladin with Cleanse, a Totem of Cleansing, etc.
2) Dps priorities are on the webwraps, at all times. If a tank gets wrapped, it's probably a wipe. If a healer gets wrapped, it's a wipe. If a dps gets wrapped, it's likely a wipe due to the nature of this dps race.

3) Like on "Volunteer Work" (Or Mimiron Phase 1) Chaining cooldowns is the way of the future. Shield Wall, followed by Last Stand, then Enraged Regeneration + Trinket... and then you pray and/or envy Death Knights.

If you can do this, you know that you've got good tanking ability, strong heals, and great dps.

Hadronox Denied
- I only know how to do this with a hunter. I suppose it's doable without, but then deaths may ensue. I have some theories on how to do it without the reset strategy, which I'll talk about after we go over the way that I did it.
After you kill the first boss, you encounter a bridge over a web. Below, on the web, is a small group, led by an "Anub'ar Crusher".
What you want to do is have the group just chill, up on the bridge. Have your hunter run down, aggro the pack, and Feign Death. Everything will despawn.
Now, everyone needs to run down onto the web. There is a tunnel off to one side leading further down (the tunnel to the hole to Anub'Arak himself). Enter this tunnel, and go into the room at the bottom. Look up. Above you, through the web, you should see the Anub'Ar Crusher group respawn. More importantly, you will see Hadronox respawn. Then, fight her as normal. No problem.
When she dies, some adds might run down the tunnel you entered through. They are not elite, so just aoe them down.
NOTE: I'm sure this (exact method) can be done without a hunter, but whoever goes down there has to die. If they've got itemrack (or use blizzard's built-in one), they should take off their gear before they run down so they'll have no durability damage, then hit the button for that specific gearset to put it all back on. Conversely, they could just suffer the durability damage.
HYPOTHETICAL WAY OF DOING THIS ACHIEVEMENT: Kill the Crusher, as normal. Kill the next two Crusher groups, as normal--but do all of this quickly. Run down the tunnel and just pull the boss, who will probably have a ton of adds attacking her. AoE down the adds, and then just have a dps (preferably a ranged dps) kill the adds as they come out of their holes at the top of the staircases.

The Nexus

Chaos Theory:
This achievement was very hectic. What we did was very, very rough, so here I'm putting down some mild improvements. We got it down the first time, but we didn't REALLY know the strategies involved. All we knew was "Don't kill rifts" and someone mentioned "Stand over 15 yards behind the tank when he goes invulnerable".
Preparation: You must clear out the platform before his, and also the land area north of that lower platform. You need room to kite him.
The fight: As normal, pull and dps the boss. He does arcane damage and spawns Chaotic Rifts. At 75/50/25% he will go invulnerable for 45 seconds and Charge Chaotic Rifts, which spams lightning on the group.
75%, First Invulnerability: The whole group runs down to the platform below. The tank stands at the top of the ramp to Anomalus' platform (still within LoS of the healer, but close to the boss). The adds that spawn from the Chaotic Rifts most likely will not aggro the tank, and they'll just stand on the upper platform, floating around. Lightning will strike the closest member to Anomalus (the tank) quickly and constantly for about 500 damage a tick. If any group member gets within 15 yards of the tank, they'll get hit by lightning too--as will anyone within 15 yards of that group member, and so on and so forth.
When the invulnerability fades, Anomalus will go to attack the tank, who will tank him on the lower platform. Again, this is as normal--EXCEPT when anomalus goes to attack, so will the adds that have been spawned (10 or so of them). They are non-elite, so aoe them down. Then bring Anomalus down to 50%. (Note: We didn't aoe down those adds. I just picked them up while the group stayed on Anomalus. This came back to bite us later).
50%, Second Invulnerability: The whole group runs down to the land below, and only you will stand up on the top of the ramp. Nobody but you should be hit by chain lightning, and adds shouldn't aggro you (if they do, DPS is free to aoe them down from range).
When the invulnerability fades, MORE mobs will come with him. Kill them, kill him.
25%, Last Invulnerability: Anomalus is gonna be at the bottom of the ramp to the lower platform, you'll be standing near-ish him, the rest of the team >15 yards away.
When it fades, there will be more adds. Just go for Anomalus, then mop up the adds.

You might wipe during this achievement--we did...

Now, my group did a shoddy way of not really pulling him far from platform to platform to land, and not really killing the adds. So, after the last invulnerability, there were about 30-40 mobs attacking every single person, AND to top it off, we didn't clear the trash north of the platforms, so there was a chaotic rift BEHIND us, spawning mobs (you cannot kill chaotic rifts, even if they were not spawned by Anomalus). But we got it, even though the healer (and then very rapidly the dps and myself) all died in succession. I was the last alive before he died and as he did, I did. The cheers in vent were awesome.

Utgarde Pinnacle:

Lodi Dodi We Loves the Skadi AND My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time

These complement each other very well, so we completed (and therefore I will explain) them together.

This event is a good one, and fairly easy (especially with good aoe). Our method involved a reset.

First, we did the event as normal, up to a point. We ran down the hall, aggroed the mobs, etc. Two of our folks were assigned to grab 3 harpoons each. When that happened, we ran back down the hall from whence we came, back into the Trophy Room.

The moment the mobs chasing us despawned, we ran BACK to the end of the Skadi Hall, by the harpoon launchers. Skadi respawns but does not aggro when we're this far behind him, so the DK ran to pick him up. Thirty or so mobs spawned but were dispatched with Shockwave, Volley, and a Hurricane from the druid (who got 5500 dps that fight!). Once Grauf, the protodrake, got within range, the two dps launched their harpoons. Skadi landed and I picked him up, while telling the DPS to take down the remaining add or two.

Almost immediately upon landing, though, Skadi did his devastating whirlwind. DISARMING SOLVES THIS (be it a rogue's dismantle, a warrior's disarm, or that one shadow priest ability, and whatever other disarms there might be)
Additionally, while he chases a random target with his whirlwind, remember that it slows him down to about 50% run speed, and that you can taunt him. Thus, if he attacks the Hunter, I can taunt him away so he just attacks my plate-covered self.

The shaman used bloodlust the moment Skadi dropped the ground, and we polished him off quickly. Overall, these two achievements are easy--the hardest part is the moment he takes flight, when many mobs pour out of the hall stacked up on each other. A pally or dk with aoe threat trivializes that aspect (as well as a druid spamming swipe). For warriors, however, the best bet is to use Vigilance on the top AoE dps, and shockwave as early as possible (so it comes off cooldown as early as possible).


Well! There you have it! A mountain of achievements--here's hoping you all get Glory of the Hero and a shiny red protodrake!

Tomorrow: Ulduar and how I hope Blizzard keeps with the style of it.



Daily Quests--how to make them more FUN!

Preface: We all know daily quests. In Burning Crusade, daily quests were the thing to do. The cap was twenty-five a day, and I hit that near cap every day. Why? Well, I would do thirteen or so on the Isle of Quel'Danas (at first for an insane 3000+ rep a day, then for an insane 120+ gold a day), then another four or five for Skyguard Rep, trying for an Aether Ray--then another five or six doing Netherwing dailies trying to get a netherdrake (that was hell, so I quit when I got my Aether Ray. I finally got a netherdrake about a month ago).

Blizzard cut down on daily quests in Wrath. The two Sholozar Basin factions, Oracles and Frenzyheart, only have 3 a day, granting ~1700 rep. The Tuskarr have 3 a day, granting 1500 rep.

But now they're making a bit of a comeback. In the Crusader's Camp, not only do we have people like me (too lazy to have done all the Home City factions in 3.1, 3 days left till Crusader title) doing their four dailies for City/Sunreaver rep--we've also got people doing 4 dailies from the Argent Crusade (again, rewarding sunreaver rep), and for those that are Exalted with Sunreavers, another few.

I don't like these quests very much. They aren't that fun. Jousting has always been clunky to me, and I do it 4 quests a day. It's slow. I cast shield breaker, and about a full second after they take damage do their shields fall off. That doesn't mean it's difficult. It's dangerously easy. It's not challenging, just boring.

Boring is a very, very bad thing for the most popular MMORPG ever.

==========Now, on with the show!==========

I was doing these disliked daily quests, executing my nifty little circuit which involves using my normal weapon for "Cultists=>Threat=>Converted Heroes", then switching to a lance and doing "Both Corprethar Quests=>Champions=>Valiants".
It's fairly efficient. Goes in a big circle, only swaps weapons once, and it's not frustrating or anything. Just dull.

The only problem with this circuit of "equip weapon for first three, use lance for last four" is that damned quest where you get a special sword for your City-Faction Champion, which requires you to scramble around Northrend. It's an annoying quest, or rather an annoying set of quests, and I came to realize I would actually be significantly less annoyed if there was LESS variation so I could plan a single circuit.
Then I realized... less is fine and all, but what if there was MORE?

What if there was more variation?
What I mean is, I know that my first stop is either Grizzly Hills to kiss frogs, the dam by Dalaran to get Winter Hyacinths, or Lord Everblaze to get an Everburning Ember. If there were ten options, including one that's in Icecrown, and therefore fast to complete, I'd be more immersed (there are only 3 Blades Fit For A Champion in all of Northrend?) and have more fun doing it!

Better yet, if there was more variation in the entire circuit. IE, for the "Kill XX scourge". It used to be ANY scourge, now it's either 10 converted heroes or 15 cultists of the damned, depending on whether it's a City-Faction questgiver or an Argent Crusade quest giver, respectively.
If both those questgivers, City-faction and Argent Crusade, rotated in a pool of (say) "15 vrykul; 10 converted heroes; 15 cultists; 5 frost wyrms; 20 of any scourge; 10 nerubians", I'd be more intrigued.
Or if "Threat From Above" drew from a pool of "Giant Frostwyrm + Cultists; Big Crypt Lord; Pair of Necromancers; Thaddius-Type-Zombie; Huge Gargoyle" as the named elites. Heck, I can even think of the abilities on all those mobs off the top of my head.

When I think about it, I would prefer even more variation. That would be hugely more interesting. I hear Icecrown Citadel, the raid, is gonna have at least 31 bosses (Compared to ulduar's 14 or naxx's 15 or Crusader Colliseum's 5) which makes it the largest raid in the game by a VAST amount. In fact, it's such a vast amount that Blizzard created a raid-extension feature in 3.2 so it'll get heavy use in 3.3: Icecrown Citadel, because only a few Top-50 guilds will be able to clear out the thing in JUST ONE WEEK.

I think it's genius. Hardcore raiders will have months to butt their heads against this content without Blizzard having to put up artifical blocks like they're doing with the Colliseum and what they did with Sunwell. My biggest hope is that the bosses follow a gentle curve upwards in difficulty, similar to what Ulduar does (the Seige being puggable, the Keepers being difficult, Yogg being VERY difficult, and Algalon being one of the hardest in the game) so that
=>Casuals will see some of the earlier content up to maybe 1/3 of the way through (10 bosses),
=>Middling-level people we see the harder content up to maybe 3/4s of the way through (20-odd bosses)
=>Hardcore people will see it it all.

The best part is, when you factor hard modes into it (espeically multiple-level hardmodes such as Sarth, Freya, Flame Leviathan, and Yogg), this will be a huge expanse of content.
=>Casual-level raiders might see ten bosses and one of them downed on hardmode (obviously the first, very puggable boss, like Flame Leviathan)
=>Middling-level raiders might see 25 of the bosses and maybe 5-10 of those downed hardmode.
=>Hardcore raiders will see 31 of the bosses and most of them (say 20) downed on hardmode, and 5 of them downed on "semi-hardmode" (ie freya with two adds, yogg+2, FL+3)
=>The 1337357 0|= 7|-|3 1337 * (Ensidia, Premonition, Stars, Fusion, etc) will have all 31 downed on their hardest modes (Such as Yogg+0, which when last I checked, less than 20 guilds worldwide had killed)

You think I'm on some crazy tangent, right? WRONG. I'll talk about the above two paragraphs with more detail related to raiding later. Right now, I'm talking about daily quests.

See, I think this giant variety in bosses, be it the variety of 31 bosses, or the variety of being able to fight Flame Leviathan a ton of different ways (4 ways of fighting FL+1 alone) is genius, and Blizzard obviously agrees--they're creating it like that, after all!

So Blizzard, I ask you from the bottom of my heart:
I know it's a fair chunk of work to do this, making each daily draw from a pool. But a pool of three or four--even two--different quests per daily would be so refreshing. The evidence shows that you, as a company, enjoy doing this, having a variety of things to do (be it multiple tactics on a boss with multiple levels of difficulty, or dual-specs for more flexible raiding compoistions, to these 3 rotating get-the-sword quests in Icecrown). It keeps the players coming back and reinforces the idea (that you seem to subscribe to) of "The Game Starts At The Level Cap". So, in patch 3.3, I would love it if the next set of three or four dailies each give you multiple options, every day. It reduces the monotony, and would be excellent.


PS: *Leetest of the Leet.
PPS: Next post, which will probably be tomorrow/day after, I'll talk in more detail about my thoughts on Ulduar and how it's pretty much the best design for a raid ever.


3.2 For Prot Warriors

Buffed. That's all I can say. I've gone from doing 1200-1500dps on heroics to 1600-2000. This is about a four hundred damage-per-second increase, which is about +33%. That is a HUGE boost (Can you imagine if a 6k dps rogue got a patch that bumped him up to 8k without any change of gear or talents or playstyle?)

1)There has been an increase in AP gained from Armored to the Teeth (which increases the damage and therefore threat of TC, Shockwave, Conc Blow, Devastate, Heroic Strike, Revenge... you get the idea) from 180-Armor-per-Attack-Power to 108-ApAP, which doesn't sound like a whole lot--it adds up to about 70 ap if you have 25,000 armor. 70 ap is only five dps (14 ap = one damage per second), which (with a weapon like my Legacy of Thunder) equals eight and a half damage extra on a swing. It's about +28 a swing with a slow weapon like Broken Promise (more on that particular tank weapon later).
This does not appear to be huge at first blush, admittedly--but that's okay, because trust me, it adds up, and I believe it does contribute (significantly) to my dps increase.
2) Devastate's damage has been doubled.
Now, back in Burning Crusade, *the* warrior rotation was Shield Slam->Revenge->Devastate->Devastate ad infinitum. If this change was implemented BC it would be a glorious boost. Now, though, Devastate is the "GCD filler you want to use to proc sword and board"--but that doesn't mean it's unused. Warriors use it on every single boss, at least five times per boss (3 if you've glyphed for it) to keep 5 stacks of sunder on the target.
Also note that unlike Heroic Strike, it's an instant attack. If you've ever played a melee dps class, you know that slow weapons benefit the most from instant attacks.
This is where Broken Promise comes back into play--the slowest tank weapon in Wrath, I do believe. Because of it's lack of Heroic Striking potential (seeing as my Legacy of Thunder attacks 50% faster, which means up to 50% more heroic strikes) Broken Promise was regarded fairly lowly--below Slayer of the Lifeless from naxx-10 and Red Sword of Courage from Utgarde Pinnacle (two items with a lower ilevel and therefore technically less powerful).
NO MORE. My devastates now do more damage than my heroic strikes. With Broken Promise my heroic strikes hit for about 1300, my devastates for about 1400 (but I can use Devastate almost twice as fast) up from 700. With Legacy of Thunder, HS is about 1100 and Devastate is 1200 or so.
Does this mean that I'm going to drop my Legacy of Thunder and pick up Broken Promise again? Actually, no. I've done some experimentation, and though I feel Broken Promise is better for AoE-tanking-devastate-spam situations, Legacy of Thunder allows me to Heroic Strike more often on bosses--not for the threat per se, but because it's a much more effective rage dump, and wasting rage is bad news.
3) Gaining rage from block/dodge/parry!
Warriors are the class most tied to gear. This is a fact, an irrefutable truth. Blizzard has admitted it multiple times--they've called dps warriors the most difficult spec to scale properly. An undergeared dps warrior is bound to do miniscule damage, wheras one decked in best-in-slot gear is guarenteed to be a raging god of destruction.
It's a double-edged sword though, for tanks. An undergeared prot warrior won't generate much threat, won't take many hits (which is why gear requirements for tanks are much more demanding than for dps--a fresh 80 cannot tank naxx-25). Worse, though, is when a tank is OVERgeared. This was a significant issue at the end of BC, when items from Sunwell had massive amounts of dodge rating on them. This was because IN the Sunwell instance, there was an aura that reduced your chance to dodge by a flat 20%. If you were a Black-Temple geared tank with 30% dodge, it'd drop down to 10% in Sunwell.
However, these Sunwell geared tanks with 40% dodge (outside of the raid itself) had an issue when they tried to run other things. They were bordering on unhittable. 44% dodge and 22% parry means you will not be hit a full two-thirds of the time.
Which means you only get one-third of the potential hits, the possible rage. Which means you can only use one-third of your potential threat generating attacks. Which means you are only generating one-third of the possible rage. The dps pulls aggro, the raid wipes. GG.

BUT IT'S ALL CHANGED NOW. Admittedly, a 20k hit will give you around 60 rage, wheras if you dodge it you'll only get 5. But 5 is infinitely better than 0. You will still have at least enough rage to do your normal rotations (minus the Heroic Strikes) which means you will be able to generate enough threat to stay ahead of the game.

It's funny, I really can't even tell you guys the potential that this has like I did with the Devastate change. Suffice it to say, this is a vastly powerful and crucial change as Protection Warriors get up to the higher tiers of content, because those higher tiers of content will mean better gear with more avoidance, which is now no longer an issue.

Suffice it to say, Patch 3.2 is one of the most important patches to Warrior tanks since... well, 3.0.3, which ALSO was a massive increase to our dps (and therefore tps)

Thank you all for reading,

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