A-Tankin’ We Will Go
About a week ago, I finally unlocked my Death Knight, thanks to a 11,800 XP quest run from one building in Orgrimmar to the bank for a turn in. Not too spectacular an achievement, that last quest was, except that one of my Add-ons was set up to skip “unnecessary text”, and therefore would jump to my bank bags before I could request to turn in the quest, and since this was a default setting (and therefore unknown to me), it took me a bit to turn in the quest. I really feel like I earned those XPs.
So, now on to becoming a Death Knight. My impressions of the opening quests were good – entertaining, not always intuitive (Gotta watch for button changes during quests!), but fun and fresh, nonetheless. Less of a “go here, kill these, collect that, and return” to the quests, and a lot more “blow this up with a cannon” or “ride this dragon and destroy some ballistae and hordes of troops” stuff. Very fun, indeed.
Further, I finally found a guild – Lords of the Underworld – thanks to my new friend and guildmaster Bypolar (Lv. 79 Mage), and her horde of alts. It’s been a blast ever since, and I’m having a great time playing around on Arhys (dy Lutez), my Death Knight. (Props also should be given to Lois McMaster Bujold for providing me a terrific name for my Death Knight from a fantastic book – Paladin of Souls. I hope to return to Chalion soon!)
However, with new progress comes new tasks to learn. Despite the fact that I have mainly soloed and DPSed my way up to 55 on my Shaman, Taoren (who is boosting guildies and collecting dust, mostly – I’ll have to work on that), I have volunteered to become the guild’s regular tank.
Why the sudden change? Because, apparently, we don’t have a regular tank. Lots of DPS and much of that cloth, it seems, at the high end – the guild ran some upper-end instances last week, with groups of 4 and 5, all cloth DPS, no healers and no tanks, and while they completed the instances, much death was had by all. As a Death Knight, I can’t heal, but I can tank, so I’m taking it upon myself to become Guild Tank. (I have a feeling that Taoren is going to end up a Restoration Shaman in the end, but with dual-spec coming up, that might not be TOO bad… We’ll see.)
So now, it’s all about armor, damage mitigation, learning threat control, and how to read my screen quickly enough to ensure my mates aren’t getting their cloth-wearing butts kicked. (Not that these cloth DPSs are a bad thing, they burn down real fast, but they also get burned down real fast.) I’m learning that there are a great many tools in the DK tank’s arsenal, but the shoutout has to go out to Death and Decay, the key to AoE tanking for DKs.
This will be a learning experience, for sure. I’ve already respecced into a delightful Unholy tanking spec, with a dash of Blood and Frost for additional damage mitigation. I just installed Omen, one of the standards in threat management Add-on power, and will be using it for the first time tonight. I finished a very successful run on Scarlet Monastery last night, and without any screw-ups and deaths to Trystine (32 rogue), who I was running through the instance. I’ll be boosting more in the upcoming days, just to get my rotation down, and to see if I can at least keep my charges alive. I’m reading, reading lots of material on how to tank, and specifically how to tank as a Death Knight – my main source is The Scourge, a great Death Knight Unholy Tank website. And I’m learning a few things about playing this game – how to read the screen when so much is going on, how to work in a group setting, and how not to panic when the situation gets FUBARed. Next will be how to do some of this in the BattleGrounds (shudder).
And I’m still trying to figure out how to divide my time between my two characters… especially since it seems the guild would benefit from having them both leveled up. I have a feeling that one might be the hardest to do.
My 2 yen,
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