Friday, May 22, 2009

Doing Things the "Real" Way

Since I have two 80s and I'm active in both raids and arena, I'm generally pretty busy when I'm on WoW. I rarely log on and have a night where I'm thinking "Wow, I have nothing to do." I'm still trying to finish my Icecrown quests with my paladin, and I've been at it for a couple months now. The Argent Tournament? I'm finally a champion of Thunder Bluff, but hardly an exalted one, and I only have a day's worth of tokens to put towards the non-combat pets I want.

My guild does 25-man Ulduar 3 nights a week, an optional 10-man Ulduar potentially 2 nights a week, and then we often have a PvP night in somewhere (in addition to the night or two that my arena teams play). There's usually something going on with this guild if a person wants to keep busy.

When I'm on I'm usually raiding, and then after raiding, I do a few dailies, and that comprises my night (except for the arena nights, in which case replace raiding with arena). I might get into a PvP night if it's on a weekend, but if it's Wednesday then I'm usually taking my one offline night a week from WoW.

Sometimes a person wants a break though, not from WoW in general, but from guild responsibilities, to have a little quiet time, and I typically find it in one of the alts I have scattered on other servers, and that brings me to the topic of this post.

The other day I logged on to a level 34 warrior alt I have. She's a fierce one, being a troll who dares to wear one of the non-pretty female troll faces and a head full of dreads. Yep, perfect for a fury warrior of the Horde. I've been itching to dps an instance with her ever since one of my guildies spoke to me about his fondness for the fury spec, and at level 34 Scarlet Monastery was right up my alley.

Except, predictably, there were only dps and healers in LFG. Well, I wanted to run something, and dammit, if I would have to tank, so be it.

We cleaned out SM Graveyard without breaking a sweat. Then we decided to try SM Library.

It might just be me, but I have "fond" memories of wiping in SM Library. The respawn rate is terrific (in the worst way possible) so that a wipe in the later half almost guarantees respawns at the start. Now only that, but the mobs run and like to bring back their friends, and there's that awful patio chamber near the beginning with LOS issues, ranged mobs, and their scarlet hound pets. This is a popular leveling instance, but there are so many ways things can go wrong. I've wiped multiple times on various alts running with appropriately leveled groups, but despite that, it's a fun instance and I have a certain fondness for it.

And there was an important difference this time. I was the tank.

The dps was not that good (I was second on dps even though I was tanking in defensive stance), one of the two shadow priests even got lost trying to find the way from SM GY to SM Lib (clearly a new player), the dps never focus-fired a target, and the mage who was #1 dps liked to AoE just a little too much and then Frost Nova the mobs just far enough apart from each other that my Thunderclap wouldn't necessarily hit all of them.

But despite that, I liked it. I tab-targeted through the mobs, watching Omen like a hawk to see which needed more threat. I Thunderclapped every opportunity, I applied Sunders and Revenge liberally to the mobs most in need of threat, Heroic Strike if I had the rage to spare. I watched my group's portraits to see if anyone lit up red to show they'd pulled threat, and then I'd Taunt off them.

Nothing's a good test of one's mettle quite like dealing a group that is just this side of sloppy. Besides, it was SM Library. It was potentially difficult, we did have runners who brought back their friends (what I wouldn't give for Hamstring in defensive stance), and there was one fine moment when I was tanking five mobs at once and had to blow my Shield Wall in order to make sure my healer could pull me through, but you know?

It was fun. There was only one death, the 29 priest had accidentally body pulled a mob before I could save him, and it ended up a fine run overall.

Because the dungeon was SM Library there wasn't that much risk. It was dangerous, sure, but people don't have crazy repair bills yet and it's nice playing in an environment where there's that kind of leeway. If people pulled aggro it wasn't going to be a two-shot on a clothie, and yet there's still enough going on that I can be proud of doing things like LOS pulling and tanking multiple mobs at once.

A lot of raiders like cruising straight to end-game on their alts, but I get the most enjoyment from the leveling process by doing things the real way. This is now my fifth character that has run though SM Library with an at-level group, and she probably won't be the last.

Side Note: Though it was fun holding aggro over a bunch of uncoordinated puggers, I still have yet to dps an instance on my fury warrior. I want to try out Berserker Stance!


Klepsacovic said...

All those LoS issues in the courtyard are your friend. Shoot one of the beastmasters and move to the side and they'll come to you.

As for the lack of berserker stance, have you tried tanking in it? It's not too hard to hold aggro when you do twice as much damage as anyone else and it keeps your healer from getting bored. :P

Alts sure are fun as an escape. I share your love of SM. Sadly, people don't seem to do instances as much while leveling.

Hana said...

Yeah, LOS is great in SM Lib if you take advantage of it. When your party is making the mobs LOS you it's a little annoying though. -_-

I have not tried tanking in berserker stance haha... It sounds like something I'd do if I was with a bunch of guildies, but I'd be afraid that my pug healer would be snoozing somewhere next to the keyboard. :)