Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wrath of the Lusty Kodiak?

Since I'm still leveling to 80, I'm focused more on how I'll be tanking endgame content in patch 3.1. As you've likely heard, gorillas will be losing their signature ability Thunderstomp. Instead it will be merged into the Tenacity tree, where any tanking pet can pick it up. As bears already have Swipe, it seems to me that bears are going to be the overall best choice for multi-target tanking, as well as being a nice tank pet in general. So that's what I've gone with, a brown bear named Artuir.

Hm, says you. A tanking pet? Wasn't Gweryc the one tanking before? Yes, but sadly, that was before. The Lich King took the survival tree out back and beat it with the ugly stick to the point that there's no hope of looking to it for melee. There's entirely too many wasted points over there to get to the good stuff. All I'm left with is Beast Mastery. That's the point where I had to ask myself, what can I do as a beast master that still offers value? I can't dps competitively, I can't heal, I can't CC or decurse or anything niche. But hey, I can still tank. I just have to serve as an intermediary for the pet, I guess, as he fills the role of tank instead of Gweryc himself.

That said, I've got to gear different and think different. (Yes, I own a Mac.) Where I was using TankPoints before to increase my personal survivability, I'm now looking at gear in terms of Effective Health. EH is calculated using armor and stamina, both of which -- unlike defense, parry, etc -- are stats that scale toward my pet. The greater my own EH, the more damage Artuir will be able to soak up.

I'm a little worried about his threat generation, though. If I gear exclusively for survivability I won't raise my RAP, meaning I won't be contributing to Artuir's own AP, which in turn boosts the threat from his Growls. The TankPoints implementation of EH also includes Agility, so I may follow a rule of thumb that I itemize according to the gear with the highest level of EH that also includes Agility.

As I set about my new life as beast master, I can at least say I'm in good company. Big Red Rhino has been covering tenacity pets as tanks for quite a while now. Hopefully I'll have a new accomplishment to add to their Feats page one day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did you think... we had forgotten?

Hail, fellow adventurers.

My apologies for the months-long absence. As some of you may have deduced from my last (and now deleted) blog post -- the one with the emo German poetry -- real life got a little hairy for a while there. I do prefer that this space be about Gweryc the character more than Gweryc's player, but since I've gotten a number of emails and blog comments wondering if I had died, I'll fill you all in on some of the major highlights before finally getting back to business.

Relationship Stuff:
  • I was in a very serious relationship for a while. Then I wasn't. Epic fail. Believe me, you don't want to know the details. Suffice to say, it was a lot weirder than playing a melee hunter.
  • However, I am now happily engaged to a different and superior woman. Epic win!
  • Some of you might know of my fiancee. She used to run a little webcomic called "Hammer of Grammar." I love you, Auden.
  • We are expecting our first child.
  • The child is anticipated to emerge a human female. Her character class is still unknown, but I'm hoping for a tank.
  • We are not naming her after anything in Warcraft. ...Probably.
Personal Stuff:
  • I thought I was going to be fired. But I wasn't.
  • I thought I was going to be fired. But I wasn't.
  • I thought I was going to be fired. But I wasn't. (God, that's stressful.)
  • In other words, I had a major attack of crazy. After years of suffering depression and anxiety, I finally reached a breaking point where I was willing to take medication. I'm doing a lot better now, both personally and professionally.
Warcraft Stuff:
  • My paladin friend Lochrann from my old raiding guild on Anvilmar -- the one where I tanked Kara, TK, etc -- no longer plays his paladin. This is in part because he no longer works with me at our old job, and instead bought a bar.
  • With Lochrann gone from our raiding guild, my "Friends and Family" rank wasn't really true anymore, so I resigned from the guild.
  • Lacking a guild to support Gweryc, I had little drive to play him. This was about the point where he went into deep storage.
  • Instead, because I can't resist Doin It Rong, I rolled a smite priest and power-leveled him to 80 in a mere couple of weeks. This was the point where I finally burned out on Warcraft.
  • Months went by, and unexpectedly, I -- specifically, Gweryc -- was invited to join a new guild as a Naxx tank. This guild is comprised largely of people I know in real-life, from where I work. A day or two ago, Gweryc made the transfer from Anvilmar to Lightning's Blade, beginning the long climb to 80. Why long? Well, in part because Lightning's Blade is a PvP server. Ouch.
  • Then it turns out that there's a Horde guild that frequents Lochrann's bar. No joke. Guess what server they play on? And guess where Lochrann's rerolled Horde? Yes, it's Lightning's Blade. So his old office is the Alliance and his bar is the Horde, packed onto the same PvP server. Ultimate lulz.

Random Stuff:

  • I'm about to launch another blog, TradeQuarter, containing computer-generated daily stock tips, whose origins can be traced directly back to my love of the WoW auction house. I'd never have imagined a video game having that much of an impact on my life.

Well, then! With all the drama out of the way, this blog is ready to get back on track. Gweryc is again alive and well, as am I. The landscape of hunter tanking has changed completely since I was in Karazhan, but I'm prepared. More on that in the next post.