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September 17, 2012

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!


From → Bear, WoW

  1. I think Wild Charge changes icon depending on the form you’re in, but I’m not sure. When I logged my druid after the patch, I was also trying hard to remember which ability went where and oh god why did they remove my thorns?

    I haven’t tried out the Guardian spec, I’m not sure I will either, unless I get pressured into tanking.

  2. Thanks, I’ll have to check Wild Charge again. I was certainly expecting the same rainbow of creatures, and got the Cata-style Feral Charge icon while in bear form. It would be preferable if the spellbook icon matched the talent icon, and that only one button was necessary for all the different forms. It wouldn’t work on my current action bar setup anyway.

    If you do go bear, the best guide out there is

    Personally, I’m completely lost on my rogue that I abandoned somewhere in Cata.

  3. Hey there! Addon author of Tidy Plates: Threat Plates!

    Please double check that you have the debuff widget enabled and that you’re using the correct filtering method!

    If you’ve re-installed the addon from Curse it can’t sometimes delete your saved variables and remove your previous settings.

    The debuff widget is not enabled by default.

  4. Ah, thank you so much! That widget became a significant portion of my playstyle.

    And, thank you for your brilliant add-on. It brings the necessary information that the default UI just doesn’t provide – I can’t tank without it. I’ve never had threat issues on what I’m specifically targeting, it’s always group members attacking the wrong mob, which the default UI doesn’t give you any information about. With Threat Plates, it’s obvious that I need to pick up that mob.

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. I like Wild charge! I put it on the bar that doesn’t change when you shift forms (I’m sure there is a word for that!), and the button icon changes with each form I take so if I want to wild charge in any form I just know where it is. I love it. It’s great for PvP though, not so useful in PvE. Though I have used it once in a raid to jump to an ally (platform jumping on Madness) just to try it out but the second it takes for me to think about it and click/hit it takes too long than me just running I think. I don’t mind the scenario, it’s like a casual quest you can do together.

  6. Wild Charge is useful in PvE – at least, it is to me as a bear. I use it as an opener on trash mobs – I can zoom ahead of my party and round them up before any over-zealous DPS starts pulling aggro. These days I know threat is much less of a concern, but at this point it’s a habit.

    I tried taking the 15% speed increase, and that wasn’t enough to let me feel like I was getting ahead of the party.

    Thanks for the explanation of how the icon changes but that I don’t have to map a multitude of the same skill!

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