My mother tried very hard not to swear in front of me while growing up, and her usual way out of the f-word wasn’t “fudge” like most people. She’d say, “Oh, foot!” and stamp her foot when she was really frustrated or annoyed. With her southern accent, it was pretty hard to take seriously, and I usually ended up laughing.
That’s about how my first run of the new-Guardian format worked. I didn’t tank on the beta for the simple reason that I wanted to learn it with some friends, not having some PUGs typing “GOGOGO.” Overall, the new scheme isn’t that bad.
Here’s what I liked:
- I LOVED not being starved out of using all my abilities. When I first learned tanking, I had a few pulls go really, really south on me. I didn’t have aggro, and I didn’t have rage to use any of my abilities to get aggro back (I think I was trying to pull fast enough to keep the gogo’ers happy, and my taunts were on cooldown). Now, I can always hit attack buttons and get some threat back. I rarely need to use a taunt.
- I liked the fun, new talents. The self-heal cooldowns were awesome – it’s pretty easy to get arrogant enough to think you don’t need a healer.
Here’s what I’m not liking:
- Screwing around with my talents is causing my action bars all kinds of grief. I spend a lot of time thinking, “Wait, what was just there?” I need variable action buttons, that do the same tier’s action (no matter what that action is). Without it, I’m dragging things around and searching my spellbook for abilities that I can’t even remember the name of, or worse, the icon doesn’t even match the talent icon. Yes, I’m looking at you Wild Charge.
- Savage Defense isn’t really relevant on my UI. At all. I know Arielle (@riftmaker) has posted quite a few times requesting this get addressed, and I’m in complete agreement. Even on beta I had the blinking old-school Savage Defense UI aura, but it’s not on live.
- The charges to Savage Defense aren’t quite making sense. I’m using Bartender4 just so I can properly map the overwhelming amount of abilities to my action bars, as my character shifts forms. So, it could be my choice of add-ons making it harder, but… I get 3 charges. I can’t push all three at the same time, the have to be distributed across time. I need to have enough rage to use it, so sometimes the ability is greyed out. Also, there’s a cooldown on using a charge, so the icon will also do the clock-refill animation. That’s a lot going on for one small button on my UI. I’m going to need something better than that.
- I’m not quite feeling the payoff that Pulverize gave in Cata. I’m still stacking Lacerates, but I never get to spend them. I’m sure I’ll get over it eventually, but I still miss that.
- Debuffs aren’t currently showing up on enemy nameplates using Tidy Plates:Threat Plates. I relied on that to see what debuffs I needed to re-apply. I’m not sure how or why that’s gone, but I sure miss it. [ EDIT - it's a widget that I didn't have enabled, because I recently transitioned computers. See comments below.]
I got to run the Theramore scenario tonight. It wasn’t the most in-depth storytelling, I didn’t quite feel like I knew what was going on, but it wasn’t bad – it was quick, fun, and a good new area to continue to learn the new Guardian format.
While I remember the invasion of floating necropolises, and I remember the elementals attacking Orgrimmar, and helping to liberate Echo Isles for the Darkspear clan, I’m not getting that sense of awesome wonder at the start of a world event.
BUT… it’s a scenario! We never had such a thing before! We always needed a tank, a healer, and at least 3 DPS, even for a paltry holiday boss. Now, you can instantly hit group content with only 3 people, whatever their roles.
I have a very small guild. There’s 6 of us that play regularly, and a couple more (3-4) that hop on sometimes. We don’t have enough to raid. So, we do casual stuff.
Tonight? There were 3 of us online. Only 3 of us. We’d have to queue for a dungeon run, and hope a healer joined up to shorten the queue. With a scenario, we were in, in seconds. That’s really cool. I got to see new content, and not have to sit in line to do it. (At first, we only had 2 of us, and it was a 30-minute wait).
Overall, the scenario was entertaining, though not really challenging at my iLevel (390). In fact, during one run, one of my friends had to drop out. It doesn’t look like you can re-queue to pull in another person, so we finished it as a 2-man run. It was no problem with a similarly geared hunter and my druid.
As a Horde, you get a “Spoils of Theramore” container, which looks like a lockbox. Inside, you’ll find some fireworks, and maybe an item drop. I got a helmet that looks like I skinned a boomkin, which I transmogged into immediately.
You’ll also get a toy item in the mail to remember your part in what apparently has some literate Alliance folks really up at arms. I’m debating reading the book, only to know what in the world is supposedly going on.
Thanks for reading!