Saturday, 19 January 2008

Pre-Kara Tanking Gear

Friday's post reminded me that I promised I'd set out the tanking gear that I built up and where I got it from. Same rules apply to this list as applied to my DPS list:

  • I'm a care-bear so PvP is out

  • I hate farming the same instance for a rare drop so the focus is on quest and crafted items

  • Badge items aren't covered because at this stage you're getting geared so you can go and farm some badges
Stylin' Purple Hat - A 360 skill leatherworking recipe that drops from Blackheart the Inciter in Shadow Lab. It can normally be picked up quite cheaply from the AH if you can't find a crafter. Best tanking chant for it is Glyph of the Defender (Revered with Keepers of Time) but that's not easy to get without repeated runs in Caverns of Time. Glyph of Ferocity (Revered with Cenarion Expedition) is an easier substitute.


Necklace of the Deep is a great tanking neck with nice dollops of agi and stam and two (count 'em) gem slots. The only thing that stops this being ideal is that the slots are red when you really want to put be using stam gems. But hey, it's a BoE jewelcrafting item that doesn't need rep so easily attainable.


Shoulders are actually a pain if I stick to my rules about quests and crafted only. The best I could come up with was Living Grove Shoulderpads from the quest Protecting Our Own in Blades Edge. Do yourself a favour instead and pick up some Demon Hide Spaulders from the AH - they're a pretty common BoE drop from a number of places so you can normally get them quite cheap. Chant them with your Scryer/Aldor tanking chant and away you go.

For my cloak I took the Cloak of the Valiant Defender from the Ar'kelos the Guardian quest in Netherstorm. This is a bit of a tricky choice though because the Core of Ar'kelos is also a nice DPS trinket. If you prefer to take the trinket then Cloak of Eternity is a tailor-crafted BoE that is a pretty fair alternative. Enchant with +12 agi.

Here we get to the no-brainer Heavy Clefthoof Vest. Leatherworking vendor recipe from our friends at the Cenarion Expedition (Honored). I put +6 all stats on it.

Umberhowl's Collar from the Cipher of Damnation quest line in Shadowmoon Valley has a great lump of armour on it as well as some valuable strength for threat generation on top of the usual stam and agi. +12 stam is probably the best enchant but, at this stage, +12 defense is a viable alternative if you need the additional defense to get crit proof.

Verdant Gloves is from another group quest line in Shadowmoon Valley (Akama's Promise) and has nice dollops of armour, strength, agi and stam. Enchanted with another +15 agi these gloves will last you until you get the drop from Curator.


Manimal's Cinch is actually from a pre-quest so you should pick it up while working on Umberhowl's Collar. Don't let the fact that it's green fool you - this baby is better than many purples.

Legs and Feet
I've rolled these two in together because they are the remaining items of the Strength of the Clefthoof set. All the recipes are vendored from our Cenarion Expedition buddies. Chant the legs with the matching Clefthide Leg Armor and your favourite boot chant (I chose +12 stam) and you've got a solid tanking set that will last you a good while.


Wind Trader's Band is a good tanking ring from a soloable quest in Netherstorm (Dealing with the Overseer). Ring of the Stonebark is another decent ring from another solo quest, this time in Blades Edge (Exorcising the Trees).


One easy one here and one expensive one. The easy one is Mark of Tyranny. Yes, you are seeing correctly, that reward from a UBRS quest to kill Drakki. If you don't believe me, go check Emmerald's lists - this baby is better than a lot of lvl 70 instance drops.

The other one is Badge of Tenacity. There are two ways to get this: be incredibly lucky and have the Depleted Badge drop for you while doing dailies in Blades Edge; be incredibly efficient and buy it from the AH. Depending on your server, this will cost you around 900g but I have never regretted it.


Don't spend a lot of time worrying about this one. Idol of Terror for 20 badges will be an easy buy after a few trips to Karazhan. Idol of the Wild from the early quest in Hellfire Peninsula will be more than adequate.


Earthwarden is the one to go for which is a good combined weapon for both tanking and dps. If the rep grind might take a while, though, check AH for Braxxis' Staff of Slumber. Like the Demon Hide Spaulders, it's a world drop that seems common enough to keep prices down. I got mine for 30g. Whichever staff you end up with +35 agi is the only chant really worth it.


Gem for as much stam as you can without sacrificing crit-proof. Solid Star of Elune wherever you can squeeze them in around +defense gems.


With this gear you should be around 23,000 in armour, crit-proof and around 12,000 unbuffed health. That's quite good enough to start tanking Karazhan. Enjoy it!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Kitty's First Raid

Back to talking about my kitty after the last post 's diversion to my priest 8-)

The guild had their usual "casual" run to Karazhan last night and I signed up and got a place. The casual run is mainly for alts or progressing guild members so that they can get geared up and have fun, so it's a bit more light hearted than our speed runs which I posted about last time. Having said that, 1 or 2 of the core raiding team normally tag along for the fun.

I got another shining moment on one of the big trash pulls before Attumen. We totally missed the pull and our two main healers died in pretty short order so I popped out and combat rez'd one of them and started to help out with healing. Problem was the rez'd healer was having to do so much healing on the two tanks that she got aggro again and pretty soon it was back to me trying to keep the remaining tank alive virtually OOM. Needless to say, the remaining tank went down.... so I popped a mana pot, shifted into cuddle-bear and ended up tanking the last remaining mob. Nasty when those moments happen but always nice to know that you have options.

For the majority of the time I was dps, but I was asked to OT on one of the bigger pulls and to hold one of Moroes buddies since we only had the one priest for a shackle. Karazhan is not ideal for a kitty since undead don't bleed... meh... but it did give me a chance to rack up some nice numbers on the Ferocious Bite crits... yay... I just love those numbers over 3,000 8-)

At this point I have to give credit to our MT Awar. The man is a god! He gets snap aggro so fast and builds threat so quickly I almost gave up looking at the threatmeter because it didn't matter. Hail to the master.

Drop wise I was blessed. Curator dropped the right gloves and the only other guildy who needed passed to me (big hugs and catnip to Thornrage) so I'm now the proud owner of a pair of
Gauntlets of Malorne. I also popped rep to Friendly and picked up the tanking ring so my armour is now just over the 25,500 mark without buffs/pots. I have dropped a little defense rating though so will have to swap back one of my stam gems for a defense one.

As this is only my first tier piece I'm stuck with keeping my dps gloves (
Fel Leather Gloves) until I get the second for the 2-piece bonus.

Finally, I did OK on the meters. I was 3rd behind one of our core raiding rouges and a very promising lock despie the fact that I was tanking and healing for some of the time.

All in all, a satisfying first raid for kitty. Extra catnip last night!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Shock and Awe

I know this is a blog for my kitty, but today I'm writing about a guild run I went on yesterday with my priest. Don't like that? Tough it's my blog 8-)

Now, I haven't had a stable internet connection for the past couple of months so my raiding activity has been very low. In the meantime, the guild has got Kara to farm status but, as always, there are still those drops that... well don't. So, as well as a "casual" run to Karazhan they also do a weekly "speed run". There are no formal rules about who can go on which run but, if you want to go on a speed run, you're expected to know the bosses and keep up the pace.

The reason for the title of this blog is that I went on my first real speed run yesterday afternoon. Three and half hours later we've killed every boss except Maiden and Attumen and I have 19 badges in my bags from 9 boss kills. A quick bit of math and that's clear the trash and kill a boss every 23 minutes; it's actually a little faster than that if you allow for wipes and mishaps but not a lot since there weren't many of either of those.
  1. Moroes
  2. Opera (Big Bad Wolf)
  3. Curator
  4. Chess
  5. Aran
  6. Nightbane
  7. Netherspite
  8. Illhoof
  9. Prince

Now, fine, some of you guys out there may read this and say "It took you that long, pfft" but to me this was a revelation. The skill, co-ordination and sheer attitude of these speed raiders was just fantastic to experience.

Everybody knew their job and just did it. If we got an unlucky death, somebody else knew what job needed doing and just did it.

No master looter or loot discussions. If you needed it you chose need and you were trusted to know what was a need for you and what wasn't.

No long pauses for buffs and drinking. We buffed on the run and we went into most fights at less than full mana and we still kicked serious butt.

I could get pissy that nothing on my need list dropped but that would be silly. The pleasure of experiencing a raid like this is worth more than any purple. Besides, I did actually get enough rep to upgrade my Violet Signet and enough badges to buy Wristguards of Tranquil Thought so I have no complaints.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

It's Mine all Mine...

...muhahaha! I am now the proud owner of a shiny new Earthwarden and I am a very happy kitty indeed... can you hear me purring?

One heroic Slave Pens, 3 clears of Steamvaults, 2,200g made from crafts on AH, 2,300g spent on Coilfang Armaments and a very welcome final few donations from guildies (big hugs and catnip to Jeym and Incazzato) and I made exalted in a week.

It did get me thinking, though. If I can do that, and my first char hit 70 back in February, then why aren't all of them geared out with epic crafteds and speeding around on their epic flying mounts? Now that I've got a stable connection and I'm raiding again, maybe it is time to finally get that Whitemend Hood for Ceara.

How does it play? Awesome that's how! I needed to farm a Primal Air for the enchant on my new cloak (later on that in this post).

Now normally, I would switch to my lock Kiira who does all my farming. Kiira is nowhere near raid spec, but send in the Felguard, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Immolate, Life Tap and Drain Life back to full and she can farm forever. I wanted to test out my new shinies though so I hopped on down to SMV with the kitty.

I lined up behind the first air monster, take a breath and... Tiger's Fury, Ravage, Mangle, Claw and... oh wait... he's dead. Thinking this must have been a lucky series of crits, I tried a few more. Seriously these guys were just disappearing and my Ferocious Bite was feeling very unloved.

The other thing that's nice about it is it's both a tanking and a dps stick. Up until now, I've been using Braxxis' Staff of Slumber for tanking and Fleshling Simulation Staff for dps. One less stick to chant and one more space in the bags, hooray!

I haven't tried tanking with it yet, but a couple of things are immediately obvious. The increased attack power and expertise should increase my threat per second noticeably. I mentioned in previous posts that my tank gear was OK for mitigation (around 23,000 armour, 12,500 health and 30% dodge) but was low on threat generation - I wasn't giving my dps a lot of room to play in. That should change.

The other thing is the increased defence on the Earthwarden. I'm now comfortably crit-proof at 425 and can afford to swap out some of those +defence gems for some agi and stam which should offset some of the armour loss.

New cloak

Flushed with happiness with my new stick, I decided to have another go at the Bring Me The Egg quest. On previous attempts at this I had died from the fall damage when I missed the nest and the run back from the GY (and the repair bills) were frustrating to say the least. Now, though, in my tank gear I could survive a fall so it was just a case of heal up and have another go.

Anyway, at the 7th attempt I managed to land in the nest, loot the egg and drop to the ground to wait for the birdie. Just as she's flying down, I get a /w from a hunter asking if we can party up. Thinking he wanted the quest as well, I invited him. So... birdie turns red, I grab aggro and off we go. Hmm... according to my Omen, hunter buddy doesn't seem to be creating much threat at all. Give him a bit, maybe he's making sure I have aggro locked down. Nope, he's really not doing much at all. So, I click on him to see what's up. He's attempting to tame the quest bird!

After a spell-struck moment of utter disbelief I get back to tanking the birdy through my tears of laughter. I had to pop a health potion but that was all, eminently soloable and I have a shiny new Nomad's Woven Cloak. It's only a minor upgrade but it was well worth it for the entertainment value.

As always... hugs to all.