Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Best Week Ever

My wife likes to watch “The Best Week Ever” on TV. I’m not even sure what network it is on, but after sitting next to her for enough episodes (typically with me in Wow fishing or farming), I’ve got the gist. So, without further ado…

QUAICHE… You are having the BEST WEEK EVER!”

Why? I went from bring reasonably well geared as a Bear tank to almost as good as I can possibly be (until we’re clearing Naxx-25 every week) in just a few days.

Given the changes that happened to feral druids this week, it might seem odd that this is the week I got so much stuff, but sometimes that is just how things work in this game.

The goodness started for me on Monday. Some time during the day I got wind of the pending 3.0.8 patch. It may have been in one of the IRC channels on Freenode or maybe I caught it on WorldOfRaids. I can’t remember.

I had already made my Durable Nerubhide Cape the previous day “just to have in the bank”, so that slot was now up to par. But my neck, rings and trinkets were about to get the nerf bat, so over lunch I ditched work and logged into the game to see what I could do.

Chalol, one of my officers, was in-game (it was MLK day so he was home from work). His JC can make Titanium Earthguard Chain and Titanium Earthguard Ring, both excellent pieces when gemmed right, so I had him make those up for me. 3.0.8 wasn’t here yet though, so in the bank they went next to my new cloak.

That night I ran my obligatory Heroic Drak’Tharon to make another attempt at the Keystone Great-Ring. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve killed that skele-dragon at the end, but that is my cross to bear. I will have that ring dammit!

On Tuesday the rumors were confirmed. 3.0.8 was here and along with it a new version of Rawr (2.1.7). I started comparing my other pieces while downloading patch over lunch. I had been going back and forth on the T7.10 chest and gloves for a while now, but the way the stats all started lining up, I got more Mitigation and Survival by making the switch so once the patch was installed and Dragonblight was back up, I headed over to the vendor and spent 140 Emblems of Heroism getting my Heroes' Dreamwalker Raiments and Heroes' Dreamwalker Handgrips. That is 5 pieces upgraded in three days.


I had already purchased my Valor Medal of the First War weeks ago, and used it for certain fights, but now it clearly overpowered the Badge of Tenacity so I made that swap permanent and put the Badge in the band for old times’ take.

At this point I was ready for Naxx-10 that night. I was raid leader and one of our two tanks that night and I felt pretty good about my numbers.

Naxx went well. We had a good fun group. We didn’t rush and had an occasional “oops” wipe, but were able to take down everything we faced. Anub was straightforward—we do him without kiting on 10-man and just burn fast. On Grand Widow Faerlina (a fight I enjoy), the Boots of the Worshipper dropped. Since there were no other ferals in the raid, it was mine. Sweet! Maexxna followed and also went down.

After Arachnid, we went on to the Plague wing. Noth was a breeze, as expected, then we marched over to Heigan. Heigan is an easy fight in 10-man. You learn the dance and do it. The dance is simple, look where the fire is about to be. Once it pops up, move to where it just was. Rinse, repeat.

But nothing is ever so simple. Slowly, we lost raid member after raid member. A few here because the tank was holding Heigan too close to the platform which messes up the healers. And we got the disease on a bunch of people too, which can be bad when the healers are dealing with 300% cast times.

Eventually Heigan is at 30% and everyone is dead but the pally tank, a shaman healer and a warlock.

“Should I DI Mack?” asked the tank.

“Hell no,” I said. “Kill him.”

I hate to give up on a fight that can be won. And I know Heigan can be won with a healer and tank and a DPSer. So it took a while, but these three folks burned him down steadily but surely. It was a wonderful thing to behold. Great job guys.

In our guild we joke that Naxx-10 doesn’t actually have any feral tanking gear, so I expected very little as I looted the body. Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw Staff of the Plague Beast and Cuffs of Dark Shadows. Again… no other ferals in the raid (and no rogues) and since both were upgrades for me, they were mine! WOW!

Now we’re up to 7 pieces in 3 days. Amazing.

Of course, that night I ran yet another Drak’Tharon run to get my ring but of course it didn’t drop. Bah! That thing doesn’t exist.

Wednesday I logged in late after hanging out with my wife in front of the tube. Started to put together my Drak’Tharon team but got high jacked for a quick Vault of Archavon 10-man run. The mage PvP piece and T7 Shaman pieces dropped. The former got taken but the latter got melted. Oh well.

Off to Drak’Tharon for another attempt at my ring. I have to again thank all these folks who keep running that same place over and over with me. I could do that place in my sleep and Kendal, often our healer on these runs, has geared up quite well, so we walked right through as usual.

We do the stupid skele-dragon again, nothing new there. Go to loot… and…

MY RING! Finally, I could replace the Ring of Earthen Might with the Keystone Great Ring.

That is a total of 8 epic quality upgrades (9 if you include the trinket I bought earlier) in just four days.

Here’s my final gear list and stats as of last night (exported from Rawr):


Savage Gladiator's Dragonhide Helm


Titanium Earthguard Chain


Trollwoven Spaulders


Heroes' Dreamwalker Raiments


Trollwoven Girdle


Gored Hide Legguards


Boots of the Worshiper


Cuffs of Dark Shadows


Heroes' Dreamwalker Handgrips


Titanium Earthguard Ring


Keystone Great-Ring


Valor Medal of the First War


Essence of Gossamer


Durable Nerubhide Cape


Staff of the Plague Beast


Idol of Terror


Tabard of the Wyrmrest Accord


Black Swashbuckler's Shirt


Regal Twilight Opal













Dodge Rating:


Defense Rating:










Avoidance PreDR:


Avoidance PostDR:


Total Mitigation:


Damage Taken:


Chance to be Crit:


Overall Points:


Mitigation Points:


Survival Points:


Threat Points:



QUAICHE… You are having the BEST WEEK EVER!”

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