Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"I Kick Ass for the Lord!"

So last night, a group of people I PUG with on occasion decided that it would be fun to run Scarlet Monastery...

Yes, you heard that right. Fun. "Fun" and "Scarlet Monastery" in the same sentence.

Now...having never run SM before, and having just picked up this seemingly difficult quest from the HMFIC in Undercity, I figured this was a perfect time to go see if I could complete the quest and get some better gear in the form of drops from a higher-level instance. So, I get tankboy all prepped for his run and meet up with Bob (who shall be now referred to as "the instigator" from here on out) at the summoning stone. Our party, at the start of the grind, anyway, looks like this:

Me: 33 Tank
Bobylnop: 32 Prot Pally
Ashefist: 35 Mage
Ponseexos: 28 (!) Hunter w/ Scorpid pet

In retrospect, maybe we could have used a dedicated DPS'er. Or a basic Priest to heal and let the mage go aggro. Or a tactical nuclear strike.

As it was, we went into the Graveyard portion of the instance first (SM is broken up into three sections...it's that big) and almost immediately got wiped in the first room of death (and the hardest part of that section of the instance, for my money). Respawn and try again, and we make it through...sort of...well, the Hunter did. Everyone else had to wait for Bob to come back and res the remainder of the party. After that, we waltzed through the rest of the GY area and were feeling pretty good about ourselves. A couple quick heals and we were off for part 2 of the instance, the catacombs.

To say that things went poorly is an understatement. See, the problem with SM is that the mobs RESPAWN EVERY 4 MINUTES, and part 2 of SM has a ton of mobs. We were about halfway through into something innocently-labeled as the Treasure Hall when we ran into our first group of mages and monks. I've never had a mob hit me with his fists and do 100+ damage. It didn't help that our mage, in an attempt to keep us all alive, was trying to polymorph and freeze them rather than healing, which drew mob aggro that I couldn't pull back without using cooldowns. It also didn't help that something crashed Northrend about 9 PM MST last night and was causing major lag issues across all servers. Our conversations were going something like this:

*As Pon and Ash take pissloads of holy damage before I can pull aggro back and Bob isn't moving...*
Bob: Ack. Bad lag. Sry.
Me: Heal plz.
Ash: cant out of mana
Pon (wiping): Well that sucked
Me: Bob inc to left
Bob: Not seeing them. Still lagged.
Me: Ash back off; mana pot and heal us
Ash (aiieeee): cant dead
Bob (gak!): Me too
Me (after sucking down a potion, Last Stand-ing, and Raging out Hudson-style from Aliens): well, 5 on 1...I got 3 :(
Bob: I think we need help...

After that, we called in assistance in the form of Pyraxii and Pyraxil, a hubby and wife team of a 49 Priest and 51 rogue. After that, the rest of the instance was cake and we got the keys to the vestibule. However, I think everyone was so exhausted at that point that we decided to call it a night and do the tower on Fri. Moral of the story? At low to mid 30s, you are not cool enough for SM unless you have:

1. An experienced tank, which I am not (although I am improving, there were a couple of times last night where I didn't pull back aggro using thundershock when I could have and instead concentrated on killing the mob in front of me...led to one party wipe).
2. A dedicated DPS character, such as a Ret Pally, fury Warrior, or battle-spec'd Shaman.
3. A bad-ass healer, preferably a higher-30s Priest.

On a lighter note, I did get a fist weapon and a new sword that, while it does 2 less damage than my meat cleaver from SFK, gives a better stamina boost. Which reminds me...if there's one thing I could change about being a tank, it would be our selection of armor and weapons being based solely on stamina and defense buffs. Just once, I want to go into an instance cracked out with my Haunted Blade and go berserker on everything. As it is, here's another conversation I've had recently on a few drops:

PUG Member: Hey, you want this [Random Crappy Sword of the Bear]?
Me: Depends. What's the speed?
PM: Ass.
Me: OK...damage?
PM: Nerf-like.
Me: Not exciting me so far. Any buffs?
PM: +12 Stamina.
Me: Ooh! Mine! Got anything else?
PM: How about this [Rusted & Partially Motheaten Leggings of the Platypus]? +8 Defense rating...
Me: Sold American!

In other news, about to ding 34 and need to start branching out into new areas. I have 4 completed quests to drop off, a few I want to do in 1000 needles, the warrior armor and cage match on the island quests, and then I'm going to blast everything out of my Log and go to Arathi and Desolace for some serious power-leveling. Anyone have any tips to get me into the high 30s-low 40s quickly?


ArmsandFury said...

SM runs! haha

What fun!

I tell you the god's honest truth here.

When I ran SM back in 04, I was so nub I thought I was a tank cuz I had a taunt button and did the tanking with a 2h.


Kusamoto said...

lol...Hey, I at least know to use sword and board and spam Revenge+Free HS+HS and then tshock to get the agro on me mixed in with bash and Hammerstrike to interrupt the casters. That switching stances things to get off a Charge/Rend and then switching back for shield block/demoralize/Sunder takes some real talent though. Then again, I don't use addons and haven't ever updated my keybindings, either. May have to do that tonight for one touch stance shifting.

And is it me, or are the drops in SM subpar compared to SFK, BFD, and RK?

ArmsandFury said...

It's not you. SM is mostly for casters. Even the chain stuff you get/got at lv35 is replaced by plate at 40.

Which prof did you pick up?

Kusamoto said...

I'm guessing prof=professions? Blacksmith & mining...am I misreading Warcraftonyms again?

Oh, and just relaized I got the Mage and Priest mixed up in my post...narf...brain melty

Blackthought / Deathwing said...

LOL I was wondering at the mage priest thing. I was like, “well no wonder they were wiping” they had a mage bandaging things.

I would suggest taking a full group in to all instances. Was it me or did you just have 4 people total? That 5th man really does make a difference.

SM Armory gives you some shoulders (herod or something like that) but like Arms said, the rest is for casters.

LOL @ your analysis of the tank weapon selection process. So true it’s sad :*(

Don’t worry tanking get’s more fun as you get more skills and have more to work with, and just wait till you can intercept in battle. Stand dance goes away big time. And once you get devastate and glyph to stack two sunder armors threat is really no longer an issue.

Kusamoto said...

Yeah, we only had 4..five with the pet, and Bob was doing double-duty as DPS and alternate healer. We could have really used a dedicated DPS class for that slot or another healer/DPS hybrid.

Don't get me wrong...tanking is great fun. I just can't wait for gear that is at least comparable to the stuff other classes have at this level.

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