Monday, 30 August 2010

The scars that Wrath has left on the face of Azeroth.

As I said before, Mouse and I have recently been levelling a pair of alts before, well, new mains really. (A quick “Woo and yay” to them, as they have now ventured into the cold north’s of Northrend.) There was something that we really started to notice while running the TBC dungeons, and that was, the general state of tanks.

Tanks have been spoilt by wrath, and the nature of how heroics are run these days. No matter the instance, it usually comes down to the same tactic. Charge into a group of mobs and hit your AoE attacks, and let the DPS pick them off one by one. This is fine for heroics at 80, as it’s a viable tactic. It means pretty much anyone can pick up a either a sword and shield, a high stamina two-hander or just their own two paws, and be a fairly effective tank as long as you can out aggro the DPS.

In the TBC dungeons though, this behaviour just doesn’t cut the mustard, and so many times I found myself resting my head firmly in my palms as I watched them try to just zerg their way through the content.
A fine example, would be the instance “Blood Furnace”. Now, as I stated before, during the TBC days, I used to play as a protadin, and Mouse as a holy priest. We had that place down to a fine art. Every pull I knew off by heart. The packs that required you to nip into the small alcoves at the side to get out of LoS, so that their casters don’t pull any of the many patrols, and the pulls that only had a window of one or two seconds in which you could pull them without chain pulling the entire room.

But I watched as tank after tank was left dumbfounded by the instance. Wondering why they died from pulling an extra pack. It wasn’t their fault though, how could it be, they are the invincible tank, they can stand up to anything and come out smelling of roses. Each time, it was clearly the healers fault, or at least, that’s what they thought.

It’s not like I remained silent about it either, each time, Mouse and I tried to explain to the tank about how these dungeons were different from what they were used to. About how they had to take it at a steady pace, and call out for CC if needed. They were informed that you can’t just go into these packs with a gun-ho method. There are mobs here that will just kill the entire melee group in an instant, if not kited around properly by the tank.

From what I’ve seen of the cataclysm beta so far, it looks like those days are coming to an end. Blizzard stated that they wanted to make dungeons and instances a challenge again, that you should just be able to mindlessly AoE your way through trash, and from what I’ve seen so far, this does seem to be the case.

Have a quick look at this Stonecore run that was posted by Totalbiscuit.

Look! Trash where you have to target certain mobs, Pulls that start with CC, and massive amounts of punishment for acting like an idiot! It’s fantastic to see these sort of mechanics back in the game. Yes! I did just say “CC”, crowd control, the controlling of mobs to stop them killing the party in an angry fashion.

Roll on the cataclysm, and teach these lazy punks a thing or two about tanking again. If you have an issue with anything that has been stated in this post, then you need to have a think about why you do. It’s not that the instances are “hard”, on normal mode; blood furnace isn’t hard at all. If you take it at the pace it was intended, you can breeze through the place. It just means you have to you your brain for once.
Oh, which brings me onto what class I’m going to roll in Cata. As I sated before, I was going to originally roll as a Goblin rogue. But after seeing this behaviour, it really made me want to tank again. And even though shammies are getting a taunt in Cata (which I can only expect to mean that we can expect to see both sahmmies and hunters becoming the default kiters in Cata), I can hardly tank with my little moo-cow.
So naturally, I’m going to pick a tanking class for cata, and with it being the cataclysm, I may as well pick the new class to the Tauren. That’s right, in cata I will be... A warrior!


Actually, given that I linked one of his videos in here, I would like to take this chance to highly recommend Totalbiscuit’s videos and podcasts. I’ve been listening to him for over 5 years now, back when he was doing Blue plz and Epic on WoW-radio, and with age, he’s really come a long way in terms of WoW commentary. Just don’t expect to agree with everything he says, nor expect to hear much about “your class” unless your class is a mage, well,a troll mage to be specific.

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