Friday, April 18, 2008

Two Tanks. . . This is Madness!

So, a couple days I posted about the tank shortage that seems to exist in my guild (and on the server, as well, though that may just be the "Tanks don't generally PuG" phenomenon). Well, far be it from me to just be part of the problem. I'm now also one of those level 70 tank ALTS that I spoke so much about. Yep, thats right, last night Jasminne dinged her last ding (until WotLK anyhow), and is my newest level 70 character. And additionally, despite my levelling her with the intent of her becoming my healing alt, recent developments are making it very likely that she will remain prot for a long time to come.

Why the change of heart, you might ask? Well, it wasn't actually that I fell in love with paladin tanking (though I have to admit its fun, if a bit too easy at times). Nor was it that I decided I dislike healing (though I would still kinda prefer to have a resto druid over a holy paladin, I just didn't feel like levelling a second druid). The change of plans stems entirely from guild events. Prophecy once had four raid-ready paladins (maybe not four at once, but at least three). One, a high ranking member of the guild, got burned out on the game and left. Might be back someday, but I kind of doubt it at this point. Another, a personal friend of mine, had her computer blow up on her a couple months back, and she probably wont be able to afford another until Wrath comes out. A third we hired as a raiding paladin, but ultimately had to demote them because they couldn't come to raids often enough, and a couple weeks ago they quit entirely. And number four, who for a while now had been our primary prot paladin, had to leave because our raid times and his availability just didn't match up, and raiding with us was causing a huge strain on his life.

No big deal, right? We still have prot warriors and feral druids, and both of those classes can tank just fine. . . well, not exactly. You see, while Tier 4 content can legitimately be tanked fully by any of the three tanking classes, higher end content doesn't share that distinction (or would that be a lack of distinction? Meh.) The most commonly cited examples are Illidan and Reliquary of Souls, both of which put bears at a severe disadvantage due to our lacking shield block and spell reflect to deal with those bosses' special abilities. Kael'thas often makes that list too (Any bear who has been oneshotted by Magisters' Terrace's version of Kael on heroic knows about his deadly pyroblasts. . . he does it three times in a row in the "real" fight IIRC.)

But in addition to bear-unfriendly fights, there are a number of fights that practically REQUIRE a prot paladin to tank. Morogrim Tidewalker and High Astromancer Solarian. On top of that, Mount Hyjal is pretty much build around the assumption that every raid has at least one prot paladin in it, and while not required, Zul'Aman is also much, much easier with a paladin tank. So whats a guild to do when they're in this content (Yes, we're peeking into Mt. Hyjal these days, and have downed Rage Winterchill a couple of times now), but suddenly have no prot paladins to tank these fights?

Well, actually, the first thing we did was to have our guildmistress' Enhancement Shaman boyfriend switch mains from the shaman to his paladin, and then had the entire guild come together to gear the hell out of him. It's truly amazing what a group of people can do in short order when they set their mind to it, one week into the switch we had him tanking Hyjal waves. He's really doing a great job. . . but I have this thing about not hinging a guild's success on a single person. I, and a few others, really wanted to see us have at least two capable prot paladins, the second being more of a backup plan should the one we have not be able to come for whatever reason.

And what can I say, I'm a sucker for a challenge. While I'm not going to get geared up NEARLY as quickly as the other paladin was, I fully plan to make Jasminne that backup paladin. In fact, I have two distinct advantages over our current paladin tank: I have a lot of raid tanking experience under my belt already, and I have no need to gear Jasminne up to be a raid MAIN tank, as I already have a character fully able to fill that role. Crushing blows? Don't care. Paladin T4? Hell yeah, I'll tank in that!

. . . Oh God, what have I gotten myself into . . .


Razorbax said...

We are also a little tank short at the moment. Our Main Tank, Zej has decided to roll another Tank, this time a Pally. Here is the catch. He is doing it on a second account and will be able Dual Box Tank.......

Anonymous said...

Prot Paladins are super OP for Hyjal and for Felmyst, in Sunwell. We also have a prot paladin tanking the Flames of Azzinoth on Illidan, and that usually goes well.

More power to you, dude. I couldn't bear (LOL GET IT) to make my paladin alt another tank.

Runycat said...

Oops. Yeah, the anonymous comment was me.

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO - I have a Prot Pally as well. That's hillarious.

Oh, we 1-shotted the first 3 bosses in Hyjal last night and I got the Pillar of Feroicty. I now have all 3 main Bear tanking weapons. Oh, what to do, what to do?

Kalon said...

My first toon was a prot pally. I can see the love. They're about as diametrically opposed in everything as possible, but they're both oppressed tanking classes. Maybe that's the appeal.

Passed entirely on the Pillar on our first Anetheron kill. I don't want anything to do with it.

Sabtree said...

Hey, at least it's a better longshot than me getting Jahcobi up 22 levels and then geared anytime soon. :D

I have a request for a posting theme!

In peering at the new badge gear now that we have the anvil, I can't help but notice that it has -no- defense capability on the chest or the tanking ring, the former of which has tons of Agi, and the latter of which has dodge instead. What's the tradeoff point between Agi and Dodge versus Defense?


Anonymous said...

Sabtree - IMHO the new badge gear blows for Feral tanks for that very reason. I mean, you could use PvP gear to make up the difference with resilience, but I honestly prefer the added avoidance of Defense. I'm sticking with my T4x2, T5x2 mix until I get some Thunderheart goodnes. (We downed 1st boss in BT and 1st 3 in Hyjal, so I'm on my way.)

Kalon said...

It's really not that hard to get a ton of avoidance/dodge while swapping resilience gear out. My current set has the following:
1 T5 (legs, which will be replaced with badge loot)
3xT4 (shoulders will be replaced with T5)
Badge gloves
Badge boots
Badge ring
Vindicator's Dragonhide Bracers

I use def enchants on the chest, wrist and cloak. I use the gladiator helm enchant. Between all that I have no defense-specific gear, have 16.5k health unbuffed as a bear and 40% dodge unbuffed as a bear.

Agility is far better than defense as it increases both threat and avoidance. Dodge is not as great but still pretty decent. One piece of pvp gear is not so bad, and the pvp bracers are both cheap and well-itemized, only losing out on armor.

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