Friday night Kitai hit 80. WooHoo!
In the weeks that I have been leveling her I have been gathering gear for her so that when I hit 80 I wouldn’t be laughed out of LFD as I made my early attempts at tanking heroics. Like most problems in life and WoW, you can solve them by throwing a little money their way. And so I threw a little money and crafted myself the starting tank gear, and while I was at it, made myself a couple of “treats”, being the two 245 crafted items. (P.S. Screw titansteel. No, really. What a huge pain in the patooty that every last single item for plate wearers takes massive amount of titanstell!). I had also made sure that every day that I played Kitai I did they daily dungeon, which at level 70 starts awarding 2 emblems of triumph. In those 10 levels, I had managed to collect enough emblems to buy one of the 30 emblems items at 80.
I was very close to 80 going into the weekend, and so I knew my goal would be to hit 80. Friday night when I got home, I was halfway there, so I hunkered down to finish it out…only to be distracted when Brade got home and asked ‘want to go out for dinner”. So few hours, and a couple of peachbellinis later, I was back at home, a little giddy, and ready to get down to business. I was sooooo close!
Brade was sleepy and headed to bed early, but I was on a mission. 80 or bust! I was starting to get sooooo sleepy, but that little leveling bar was so close to full! Just a few more quests, I can do it! And sure enough, 5 quest turn ins later I had succeeded and immediately logged. I was tired! Training could wait for the morning.
The Best Saturday Ever!
What followed the next day is what I am going to proclaim right now as probably some of the most fun I have ever had in WoW. Better than killing bosses, better than raiding, better than…well almost everything!
I woke up that morning groggy (damn peachbellinis!), but the puppy was licking my face (my weekend alarm clock) and it was quite clear she felt that I needed to get out of bed. Of course, as soon as the fog cleared and I remembered that my little warrior had hit 80 last night I was on my feet like a flash! I logged in and responsibly took care of my daily on Beru, knowing that I didn’t want to forget about it. I also needed to go buy heirloom shoulder/helm enchants with Beru anyhow, so might as well just knock out the chores before I got distracted.
Once that was done with, it was onto the warrior. I needed to train and I had done all that wonderful shopping so that she had pretty shinies just waiting for her to equip them. So off I went to Orgrimar. I trained up, equipped, gemmed, and enchanted all my new shiny gear and then headed off to ICC to grab my T9 shoulders that I had saved all those daily badges to acquire. After I was in my new “dress” I looked at my stats and almost broke out into “I feel Pretty”. I was not only sitting pretty with 560ish defense, but I had a respectable amount of health to boot! I was moving form the minors to the majors! Look out, here I come!
I bravely asked in guild chat “does anyone need their daily heroic, I am about to queue for one”…and was greeted with silence. Welp…alright, I thought, I don’t need you all anyhow! And I hit the queue button. BAM! Insta queue. Full PuG, BRING IT ON. I entered the zone (it was UK or ToC, I think), and found that I was largely with similarly geared people…and not one person said anything about the gimp tank that had just entered their group. Away we went, and before I knew it we were staring down the last boss. And just like that, I had completed my very first heroic.
Before I queued again, I again asked in guild chat “anyone need their daily, I’m about to queue” and was again met with silence, so I queued up and completed another dungeon without event. As the morning wore on, so did my achievement spam. Before I queued each time, I asked in guild chat if anyone needed their daily…and finally someone bit (p.s. I <3 you Lash!). I mean hell, why not? Clearly I’m making it through them if the achievement spam was any indication! And once one person bit, it cascaded. I went from full PuG to full guild just like that.
I will admit that I was more nervous tanking for my guildmates than I was for random PuGs. If I completely screwed up in a PuG, so be it…but with a guild mate, it is someone that I know I will see every day. In a way, I kind of liked the learning anonymity of the PuGs. I did do respectably well with my guild mates as I tanked my way through the dungeons, struggling with threat with some of our mains who always just had a laugh as I apologized. And soon enough, a group of four of us on our alts started just chain running randoms, just picking up whoever wanted to go with us, or a PuG if no one else wanted to go. The amount of fun that we had is almost indescribable…and it was just heroics that we had all seen hundreds of times. But it didn’t matter we spent literally hours just running dungeons!
I couldn’t spend my badges fast enough! I got gear upgrade after gear upgrade. I bought 3 helm enchants and meta gems over the course of two days!
Soon enough the 4 of us felt confident enough to brave the normal versions of the new 5 mans. At this point, I had dragged Brade in to come with us. And so we started in normal FoS and went through normal HoR. And after that, we decided that we were brave enough to try them on heroic! Granted…we chickened out of heroic HoR, but did the other two spectacularly! Somewhere in the course of the new heroics we decided that we were brave enough to raid.
And so we did. We finished our Heroic PoS and asked in guild chat “anyone up for a normal ToC 10″ *giggle*. And sure enough people were, and we were even lucky enough to snag up a really good healer that was keen to participate in our little adventure. We ended up pugging one spot from trade (a holy paladin), and went on our way. It started off a little bit rocky, with the other tank forgetting to enter frost presence (and we all had a good laugh), and with faction champs taking an astonishing…15ish minutes (which we also all had a good laugh at), but in the end we did do a full ToC 10 clear, and without a single wipe!
As we were leaving someone said “we should go do Ony” and I was like…OMG I have got to get out of this chair, and my hands were absolutely killing me! But with some minimal arm twisting (i.e. just one other person *ahem* mentioning Ony), I was all “well, it is a really quick fight”, and off we went! And OMG I TANKED ONY. It was a riot! (Of course it helped that our resident prot warrior was in the raid as his paladin and gave me a few pointers).
It really was some of the most fun that I have ever had in my 5 years of WoW!
The Sunday Storm
The following day proceeded in a similar fashion, except this time when I asked in guild chat if anyone needed their daily heroic, 3 people spoke up, and we entered the queue. As the instance popped up, I stared at the loading screen in absolute horror. Heroic Halls of Reflection. The only dungeon that I had purposely avoided. Fuuuuuuuuuuck.
I was very fortunate that all but one of us were from the guild and that they were a really supportive group of folks. I was also fortunate that the shaman PuG in the group was a good sport about the whole thing. We wiped twice. The first time was during wave 4, and we had to start over again. But before we pulled again, I explained to the shaman that I had only hit 80 yesterday and so I was really still learning this whole tanking business. I requested a kill order, and explained how I intended to gather everything up, in hopes that it would help. I had some wonderful support from my group, with the shaman offering to help windshear casters to bring them in, my hunter offering up crowd control and misdirects, the fury warrior in the group helping me with the casters, and the wonderful priest who kept his guardian spirit on cooldown just to keep my nub self alive.
The second wipe was in wave 9. I just ran out of life. I had been stunned by the mercenary, my healer had been ice tombed, and I was out of cooldowns to keep myself alive. I am also fairly certain that I idiotically stood in a fire nova. But…nobody complained and we went back in and did it again. I did manage to kill that poor shaman during the lich king event, in the final wave. I was focused so hard on keeping the aboms turned away from the group, I just didn’t see the small adds owning him. But we finished, and he was able to ankh once the wave was down. The 1 handed axe dropped for him from the final chest, and he was excited about it. Ultimately, I was happy that he was rewarded for his time.
The Verdict: I hate Heroic Halls of Reflection.
In the same day, I also managed to pull The Oculus in a random group. But…it went very smoothly! Although, I surely think getting both HoR and Oculus in the same day has to be some sort of omen. Hear this omen! You will not destroy my fun! I see your HoR and Oculus and raise you more dungeons! You will not stop me!
By the end of the weekend, I had acquired 4 pieces of my T9 gear (yes, I really ran that many heroics!), and a plethora of other items. But more importantly, I have acquired memories that will last much longer than any pixels on my computer. Memories that when I think back on my WoW career will flash into my mind and cause me to smile. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what MMO gaming is all about?
Oh, and I have also decided that tanking is a lot of fun! WTF…why did no one tell me about this earlier?!?! ;)