Yakra take this sigil from me
I can't use it anymore
It's getting dark too dark to see
Feels like I'm knockin' on Algalon's door
I think I'm getting into this longer format, weekly posting bit, where I go over the week's experiences and things learned/noticed.
Starting off the week! Thursday was back to Ulduar 10. We made do with the early trash bosses, got a repeat IC Hard Mode, and started on Hodir. It was both awesome, and disappointing.
We didn't have much trouble with the achievement. Two Healers (Druid/Paladin), One Tank, Three Melee (Arms Warrior, Ret Paladin, Enh Shaman), Four Ranged (Two Elemental Shaman, Warlock, Hunter). Not a particularly well synergized group, but we made the most of the buffs, and got it done. I really was just disappointed with my DPS contribution. I'd like to credit it to having to do sunders, commanding shout, and demo shout - but that shouldn't have hurt my DPS as much as it did. I guess that all the other physical DPS was getting the bonus of the singed buff in some form or another (from shaman/paladin spell damage), but I felt like I wasn't pulling my weight.
Yakra, why are you worried about pulling your weight as DPS? Your a tank!
I think the future of warrior tanks, particularly in ten mans and hard modes, includes the necessity of being flexible. We could not hope to do Hodir Hard mode with two tanks, and fights like Vezax don't benefit from having more then one. If your group wants to get these challenges done, and you don't have the luxury of a huge roster on the sidelines (a rarity in ten mans), then the ability to do two different roles well is huge. Add to that the superiority of some tanks in some situations (Paladins on Hodir, DKs of Vezax), and you'll almost certainly serve your raid better in some situations, by standing on the other side of the boss.
So following that night, I crunched gear even more, made some big emblem of conquest purchaces, and got a bunch more scarlet rubies and had em cut up.
Skipping ahead some, Vezax for the week provided me an awesome opportunity. We had pulled in another DPS warrior to replace someone who wasn't feeling well. I set it so that neither of us was responsible for interrupting - giving me an awesome opportunity to compare recount between the two of us. Arms has alot of proc based attack opportunities, and priorities matter (IE, What should you do, when rend has fallen off, MS is up, Taste for Blood Proced, Sudden Death Procced, and Bladestorm comes off cooldown? - oh and where do you fit in sunders, and should you risk clipping into another cooldown by slamming off excess rage?)
What did we do the same? Nearly the same amount of Slams (26 vs 28).
What was different? I prioritized Mortal Strike big time. I had more Overpowers, and less Executes. I either used Bladestorm once less, or he got an iceblock included in one of his. I had higher Rend uptime (contributing to the increase in Overpowers).
What can I do different? Well, I doubt I use execute properly in the sub-20% stage. I tend to mash it regardless of if Sudden Death proc'ed or not, which can steal all my rage - looking into better usage of it will help me. I also make rend my #1 priority when it needs to go up, but I'm thinking possibly I need to let it go momentarily, to deal with currently available procs and cooldowns.
Stepping away from Ulduar momentarily - I decided to get my Argent Dawn rep going. I had heard of a trick for speeding to Baron Rivendare, used by Mount-Hopeful players, and decided to give it a shot (getting both Rep, and a shot at a rare mount, is my kind of farming). Check the timer on the 45min duration debuff that you get when you start UD Strath.
It has 42 min left on it. Entry-to-Baron time was ~3 min.
The trick has to do with (what I'll presume to be) an Easter egg left/put in by programmers. Certain "trapped" boxes in the instance,when used twice, despawn gates/doors . This lets players skip the three minibosses in the beginning, (and more importantly) the Ramstien/Abomb event outside of the Slaughterhouse. Along the way, I kill the Spider Boss and Magistrate, for the bonus Corrupters Scourgestones (totalling 3 for each run).
In the end, you get 200 rep for each optional boss (50 for kill, 50 for scourgestone turn in, 100 for the argent dawn token use), 250 for baron (including stone), and 300 bonus for doing baron in under 45min. Barring any named mobs you kill by accident, I was getting 950 Rep a run... that is, until I maxed out my instances for the hour.
And then Sunday, back to Ulduar. We knocked, and we knocked, and we knocked heads some more on Freya. Freya+3 really is just an all around harder version. Damage is higher. Damage requirements are tighter, there is more to not stand in, and more targets to quickly switch to and kill.
Our MVP, if I had to name one, was our hunter (Moneyx) - the only ranged DPS by the end of the night, who not only dealt with all the trees and iron rooted people out side of melee range, but kited snaplashers and ran aspect of the wild on ancient conservator phases. And did 4k+ DPS.
Freya+3 puts us close to the Rusted Protodrake. Closer then I had originally thought that I'd get. The last three are the big ones - Mimiron Hard, Vexax Hard, and Yogg+1 (I don't count Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare, because that could get finished at a moment's notice - we're just doing it bit by bit each week). And once we get Mimiron, we unlock the chance to work on Algalon for an hour a week.
As an aside - our group made huge strides towards Champion of Ulduar. After Freya, we rocked Vezax with no deaths - a first, but one we expected sooner then later. The big surprise, was absolutely nailing it with a one-shot Yogg with no deaths.
That was the final pieces needed by our Hunter (who had run with a different ten man one week), to complete it. He's the first Champion of Ulduar that I know, and we were all amazingly excited that we got it. The majority of us are like me, needing just a clean Mimiron and
The design of this achievement is so amazingly superior to T7's Immortal, that I don't have words to describe it. If you recall, LOKI missed Heroic Glory of the Raider (T7) by only Immortal. We has weeks of minor mistakes / lag / disconnects that kept us from the achievement. If it had been designed like this one, we would have been riding Proto-Drakes a long time ago.