Has it really been that long since I've written anything on here? That's pretty deplorable, to be honest. Anyways, here's the highlights of my activity since "Rycharde the Undying" happened - let's try to catch up:
The last few weeks of 3.0: Nothing too exciting here. OS+1 on 25s, OS+1 on 10s, and oh-so-close to OS+2 on 10s (dropped both drakes with boss @ 70% on our best attempt). EoE25 also joined the pile. There were a few other cute achievements along the way, but no new titles, and no OS+3 attempts to even let us think about having a pretty proto-drake.
Patch 3.1, week 1: FLV25 == Loot Train, end of story. Everything after that has thus far faceplanted. Not a bad thing, honestly, because it means there's an actual challenge in this game now with the added bonus of a Loot Train to open the doors. After the run that demoralized / terrified many of my fellow raiders, we worked up enough to take on Uld10. Razor and XT-002 joined FLV10 in the pile of dead things.
Patch 3.1, week 2: More FLV25 demolish, and even less work on other content in the instance. The DPS raiders were not coming close to the necessary DPS to bring Razor out of the air before the enrage. XT's reinstated trash then denied us with 20min on our raid clock, so we called the run. Back in 10's, we got all three bosses down again (in 2 hours, much better than the ~8hrs last week), and spent an hour banging heads against Ignis. 2% was our standing record, and I sure wish now that I had been hitting the boss more while OTing the other constructs. We would've had him, but time was against us again; we only got the one night that week.
Tanking News: Dual-specs are the best thing ever. I love having a full mitigation spec and a full threat spec available at the drop of a hat. I can mitigation-spec to take 3 of XT-002's punches in sequence before I need a heal, and I can hop to threat-spec to produce 2.5k DPS on Razorscale. I've also been reading up on the power of the new, Unrelenting Assault build. I'm not terribly excited about it, as I don't want to lose the AoE potential of my current Threat spec (my mitigation spec just isn't quite as impressive). However, if the time comes when my Mitigation spec is outdated (Ulduar on Farm), then I may well choose to "update" my current threat spec to my mitigation spec, and employ UA as my new, single-target threat spec. This is a ways off, though - I'm more concerned with actually dropping a boss at the moment.
Tanking difficulty in general has taken a serious leap forwards. XT-002 excluded, all of the opening bosses require substantial movement, awareness, and responsiveness from the tanks - especially the Off-Tanks. I'm really excited about this, honestly. I almost feel lazy when I just stand still and spam buttons on bosses (Maex, Patch, Loatheb, Gluth, KT, Sarth, etc.). At least when MTing XT-002, I have to spam sunders onto the heart to amplify the incoming DPS - the old health pool and enrage timer were far harder to handle.
Overall, I'm thrilled to have a new difficulty level. Once again, being good at my class may actually be a distinguishing feature (assuming I'm any good these days... time to learn all over again). No more faceroll tanking makes me happy.
Off-raid content: I finally made the decision to change guilds, as I search for a more dedicated raiding team in this game. For those keeping track, I was a member of Comitatus, and have now switched to Dis Pater. I've gobbled up the new content, read every post on the website's forums, and started staring curiously at the DKP system that everyone talks about so much. Apparently, it's the qualifier for whether or not you're a hardcore raiding guild. I doubt that true, but earning a "currency" for attending and participating seems to be pretty awesome to me.
Looking Ahead: I'm excited to get back into updating this blog. I'll try to keep information coming about tanking experiences, both in and out of Ulduar. I'm also looking into connecting the Warrior Tanking Compendium to this blog. I'm still working out the details, but I'd love to have that link on the sidebar.
I'm also excited to get into Ulduar with a set of dedicated raiders. Moreover, I'm excited to have fun while raiding again. These first two weeks have been hard. This wasn't because the content is hard, but because my fellow raiders didn't want a challenge. Wiping on new and exciting bosses just doesn't entice them as it entices me. Raiding certainly isn't enticing when the lower performers are substantially below the minimums for the raid. I want this content to be hard, but I want to know that my fellow raiders are on the level, too, ready to learn and practice and reap the rewards of a real challenge (easy raiding leads me to do boring Undying runs, and no one wants that). Hopefully, this will be the case in Dis Pater.
Ulduar Week 3, here I come!