09 September 2008

Tanking Heroic Underbog

Alamein's education as a tank continues. We ran heroic Underbog last night. I think UB is my favorite Coilfang instance. I like the brighter lighting and the pleasant nature-driven ambiance. There's also a good variety of mobs to fight.

Our participants were just about the same as with our Slave Pens run, except that healing services were provided by our Discipline priest Sedem.

The run went pretty well. We had one or two wipes and quite a few other deaths. However we never got to a point where we were beating our heads on a wall and we were able to finish it. It did take a few hours -- probably 3 I guess. My reaction speed and focus went down later on, and we had a few really messy pulls towards the end. But with another feral Druid, and three other groupmates wearing a good chunk of PvP gear, we were able to get through it. It was surprising how often we were able to finish fights with 1 or 2 players down -- even the tank or the healer on a few occasions.

I don't think I learned any major new tanking techniques, though I did hone my existing skills quite a bit. I got better at establishing threat on multi-mob pulls, especially with tab-targeting. However I was frustrated a few times with tab-cycles that didn't get me the mobs I wanted. I also learned (once again) that when in doubt, slow down and wait to pull. It's easy to try to hurry up -- both to conserve rage and to start a pull at a convenient time (because of patrols). But if I hurry, bad things often happen.

I was much better at timing taunts this time through. In particular I was happy to make good use of Challenging Roar a few times. Those long-cooldown abilities are tough to learn since you can't really practice them. But it really helped for some of the worst pulls -- even if it killed me once or twice. Similarly, I had good use of Frenzied Regeneration a couple times -- though once I also popped it too late. I also got much better at using Demo Roar and Feral Faerie Fire on a regular basis. Still to do, though, is to work on my use of Feral Charge and Bash. I don't rotate those in when needed well enough.

I was really happy with my tanking on Hungarfen. I was able to tank him around in a big circle to avoid the worst of the mushrooms. By contrast, Gahz'an was a bit of a dog's breakfast and it took two wipes for me to get it right. The tough part there was the positioning. Consensus was to fight on the bridge, and I didn't do a good job at keeping his tail out of the way. I think next time I'll use the platform instead.

Musel'ek was a tough fight, and I died fairly early while the group was burning down Claw. But we were able to finish the fight anyway. We did have a painful bug on the fight though, when Claw's knockback knocked Mattoo behind some mushrooms near the wall. He just couldn't get out -- even after the fight was over. And finally the Black Stalker was no problem.

So overall a good run, and solid for my education. I'm now at 79 badges, getting close to my 100-badge goal. The only question is how I should spend them. I've been planning to buy the [Grovewalker's Leggings], but now that I'm tanking, I'm tempted to buy a tanking item instead, perhaps the [Tameless Breeches]. In the end though I think I'll choose the healing pants... because they'll also be very good Balance pants in WotLK, and that's how I plan to level up.

No comments: