Tooth And Arrows: Cross-Faction Consideration

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I am an Alliance player. I am apparently among the minority. However, recently, I’ve become curious how the other half lives since the Cataclysm. As a result, and thanks to my fiancee’s experimentation along the same line, I’ve rolled a couple of Horde characters on the Dawnbringer server.

A Death Knight, as a bit of a bankroll for the server since I don’t have several hundred gold to spend on ease of leveling my server main, and my new obsession – my Troll Druid, Ionaria. And it would seem with my faction cross, a new place, a new start, has given me the mental drive to do something I’ve never felt able to do before. Ionaria is a Feral Combat Druid, and therefore a Bear Tank. And thus that is what she’s queuing, and has been from L15. She’s L26 now, hasn’t left Orgrimmar except for dailies that required me to head into Azshara after the eye of a stag, and a few minutes to get Joy Ride for riding the Goblin highway from one end to another. I’ve now tanked everything up through Blackfathom Deeps, I’m excited to say – without a single wipe that was my fault.

However, I’m finally starting to understand the frustration that’s been expressed by Kata and Lona when they tank. In an early group, I got a Hunter who insisted on running in ahead of me and pulling stuff. After the fourth time, I said, “Only warning you get – you pull it, you tank it.” Meaning, in short, if you choose to get ahead of me and attack something, then I am not going to come running in and take it off of you so you don’t die. After that, the Hunter hung back like a good DPS player. We finished the dungeon quickly after that.

However, my last attempt to dungeon was aborted fairly quickly. I randomed into Gnomregan for the first time. I went forward, pulled the first couple of troggs. A warlock darted past me and set his voidwalker (VOIDWALKER?! In a DUNGEON?! Please, use your freaking IMP. We need the DPS!) to pull another group of three or four troggs. He lead them back to me and I tried to take the aggro, but while a Warrior or Paladin… or even a DK, might have been able to generate that much threat on that many targets fast enough, one of the perils of Bear Tanking is that the Bear (at this level) has ONE AOE aggro generator (Swipe), and one primary single target pull (growl). I have a macro that I use for pull that triggers (Auto Attack > Growl > Faerie Fire (Feral) ), and all of those have cool downs. I couldn’t get the aggro fast enough.

I should mention now that, going INTO the dungeon, the first thing I said was, “OK, I have one rule – IF you pull it, you tank it. I’m still fairly new to Bear Taking, and I can’t pull too fast at this level.” Everyone had said OK. Then the Warlock went right past me and dragged that group into the fight.

Needless to say, there were WTFs and “What happened?!” and “damned lock!” all around. I didn’t have time to deal with a group like that – I was on a deadline as it was and had time for a quick dungeon. So I said, again, “I said, you pull it, you tank it. Congratulations – you’ve just lost your tank.” and left party.

Now, I understand this could be seen as a bit harsh… and it was. But I was frustrated. And it wasn’t until I found myself back in Orgrimmar that I laughed to myself and realized that I’d graduated into official Tank-hood. I’d left my first group out of frustration with a stupid DPSer.

I won’t really have time to game again on Ionaria until after the Summer Fire Festival has been completed on Destylae – I need the rest of the achievements for What A Long Strange Trip, and the Violet Proto-Drake. But then I’ll be going back to leveling her. It’ll be nice to have an 85 Hordie as well as an 85 Ally. I do respect the situation the Trolls are going through, and as Troll and Tauren are the only Horde races I can stand to play, my DK is Tauren. Though I tried an interesting way of creating her, per my fiancee’s suggestion.

I built her in the character creator as a druid, what she would’ve been before being reborn by the Lich King, and then hit the class change to DK. She ended up looking AWESOME. Her name is Koratana. She’s still in the DK starting zone, though. I need to get some dedicated time on her so I can get her out of there and actually PLAY her. But I like her. And I like Ionaria. And I thank Ionaria for teaching me what she has, as thanks to her I’ve reorganized Kalitri’s bear form action bar so that SHE can tank now, too.

I think that’s it for gaming updates now. Expect a write up once the title of Flame Warden is mine!!