Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Post 83, in which Gweryc grows up and gets a job.

I asked guildmates to talk me out of it. Before then, I was talking myself out of it. Although I'm on a regular PvP server now, I even considered the roleplaying implications. But it's time to face reality: Engineering really is not a viable PvE profession.

This +300-page monster thread on the official forums covers a gamut of opinions regarding Engineering. Some engineers doggedly persist in their profession, to cries of "Tinker Pride!" Others decry the whole profession as an unmitigated failure. Blue poster Bornakk insists that Blizzard feels Engineering "work[s] out compared to what other classes have for the time being." Meaning if you're not happy with engineering now, you should hold no hope of things improving for you.

WoW Insider wondered why, if this profession is inferior to every other, so many engineers are specifically threatening to take up Jewelcrafting. I think the biggest reason is because many engineers are also miners, and would prefer to level up one new trade skill that pairs with mining instead of a new production skill in addition to a new gathering skill. Another part of it may be that Jewelcrafting, with its rich array of BoP trinkets, feels more like what Engineering should have been in the first place.

For my part -- and especially as a tank -- I can no longer pretend that the myriad stamina gains from being a jewelcrafter begin to compare to being able to toss a frag bomb. Aside from Hyjal Summit, I can't remember the last time I'd have preferred a parachute cloak to a +225 armor enchant. (And even then, the goal was not to suck with your Tears of the Goddess, not to have Engineering save you.) I can't even use the Reticulated Armor Webbing, because it's limited to plate.

I loved Engineering, mostly because it was fun, and in part because it enabled me to do things I couldn't have done otherwise, like ranged pulls and powerful misdirects. But the hard truth is, the profitability and utility of jewelcrafting far exceed what I can presently eke out of Engineering.

And so begins another grind. Sigh. 269 JC and rising...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

PvP happened. (And ding 73)

It's rather peaceful in Howling Fjord compared to Borean Tundra. Fewer players around means fewer gankers. Even so, it's not uncommon to find a level 80 death knight ready to kill you for fun.

Why is it always a death knight?

At any rate, every death knight ganker seems to have the same boring strategy: find a lowbie that won't pose a threat, cast Death Grip from max range, and faceroll the keyboard to victory. But predictability lends itself to exploitation. The instant I saw an 80 dk hovering where he should not have been I knew what was coming, and poised one finger over my Freezing Trap button. With my enemy temporarily immobilized, I hit Aspect of the Cheetah and sprinted into the middle of the Alliance NPC cannoneers outside Westguard Keep, who were more than happy to help me out. Last I saw of the valiant Ebon Knight "Iraqicrmpie", he was running half-dead towards a cliff. Thanks, Ely, I owe you one.


Even Auden has gone over to the dark side, rolling a DK on Gweryc's new server. Her death knight, however, likes squirrels and children and pretty flowers, so I agreed to help her out in Scholomance. Pet tanking is so very, very different from tanking in first-person. I actually did better when I stood back and watched the fight, treating my bear Artuir like a remote-controlled toy rather than trying to engage enemies concurrently. I came away from the experience with a short shopping list:
  • Patch 3.1. I need Thunderstomp on my bear. Now.
  • Level 80, so I have all my neat tanking talents.
  • Something to assign raid markers easily and quickly.
  • Something better than Omen to alert me when a raid member is stealing aggro, possibly...
  • Grid, configured for Intervene/Taunt instead of healing.
I'm seriously thinking about using a different hotbar for main tanking than soloing, with just my pet attacks macroed to it. I remain surprised by just how much easier it is to coordinate pet tanking when you're 30 yards away, versus all up in some boss crotch.

I'm going to browse the tanking sections of a couple addon sites and see if there's anything I can abuse for my own ends. I'll let you know if I find anything indispensible.