Where’s the Cow Been? A Brief Cata Update

Hey, folks.

Well, it’s been a whirlwind of leveling, heroics, and rep grinding since Cata went live. It really should be a whirlwind of PvPing too but I can’t seem to wedge that in just yet.

Level 85 was reached after a nonstop 25-hour questing session with Ailinea… barely missed server first Warrior 85 too.

So, a quick rundown of my experience thus far in Cata…

Initial impressions of Prot Warrior at 85 were very poor. I felt very flimsy and seemed to die on trash a lot, even trash with half the pull CCed. Then I realized that most of the issue was with undergeared healers and CCers who weren’t use to, well, CCing. The one thing I wasn’t having a problem with was threat, and with Blood and Thunder I was usually topping the DPS meter on any pull where I held 3 mobs at once.

When you have no issue at all with threat, and your healers aren’t geared yet, what do you do? You drop threat talents for survival talents, that’s what. I did exactly that, and suddenly heroics were a lot easier. They also got easier when I started making sure I had a decent amount of CC to go around, and once everyone got use to using all the CC available to their class. We have resto druids healing, hibernating, and rooting. It’s great. I haven’t ask our hunters to both trap and wyvern sting two different things yet, but believe me I intend to.

As folks have geared up and shaken the Wrath fuzz from their heads, heroics (and tanking) has gotten easier and easier. I’m not sure I’d drop my survivability talents just yet, but if I had to swap to pick up more threat, I don’t think it would be an issue.

One thing I can say for both tanks and healers… just because the random dungeon finder says you can do heroics, doesn’t mean you should. If you’re kicking around with more than a couple of pieces of gear under 333 iLevel, then please do everyone a favor and farm normals first. DPS can get away with doing heroics as soon as the game lets them. Tanks and healers really can’t, unless it’s a barely geared tank carried by a geared healer or vice-versa.

In relatively short order, heroics turned from frustration to a great deal of fun. The challenge is fantastic. The problems persist in some boss fights where lack of a particular ability is debilitating. For example, the croc in Lost City without a poison cleans is doable, but remarkably harder. The worm in Stonecore is also much harder without an efficient AOE to kill the shard spawns. Hunters excel at it, and having two Hunters makes it entirely trivial, but Mages burn nearly their entire mana pool just dealing with a few waves of the crystal shards. I’m really not sure how you’d do the fight without any ranged AOE at all. Something to look into in the inevitable event that it happens.

Oh, and by the way… if you aren’t making extensive use of heroic leap, you really should be. Trapping behind ground hazards? Leap. Throngus jumped on someone in the mace phase and now your kite’s cut off? Leap to safety. It’s amazing.

I’ll work up an updated tanking guide for folks soon, and I also plan to do a series of heroic boss strategies, since most of the ones I’ve found leave out rather vital information. Over all, Cata’s been a lot of fun so far and I look forward to the start of T11 raiding for my guild in January.

So how’s your first couple of weeks been?

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~ by Udiyvli on 12/22/2010.

2 Responses to “Where’s the Cow Been? A Brief Cata Update”

  1. I’m actually a high-geared tank pushing almost 350 iLevel, and I’ve been running guild runs with my guildies. Whenever I run with them, I almost never wipe, but when I pug… It’s just an absolute mess. Healers can’t heal, DPS can’t let me grab aggro. I think Cata’s going to be all about cooperation, and knowing what to CC, what to interrupt, but so far, I have truly experienced a challenge. Running Baradin Hold and miraculously getting the T11 Warrior tanking legs to drop, was simply put, amazing. I’ve yet to run BWD or Throne of the Four Winds, as I’m still in progress of getting my guildies geared, but as soon as we get it going, I’m sure it’ll be enchanting.

    • We’ll be taking on our first guild raid tonight actually, but I’m unsure how many of the 85s signed up are actually geared for it 😄 Eh, if it ends up being a 10 it’ll be 25s sooner or later. It’s nice to see 30+ signups though.

      Just completed the Heroic 5-man drake achievements last night… it’s been a lot of fun, really. Some good chalenges, but nothing that felt cheap (like Less-rabi). I feel you on the pug thing though. I flat refuse to pug… maybe as a DPS when I level an alt, but not as a tank. I’ve promised the guild to pug once as a healer in an 85 heroic on my Priest and record my frothing outrage, but that’ll probably be the only pug for me.

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