Friday, June 26, 2009

Next Generation Emblems

The next 3.2 patch continues to raise a lot of emotion and debate about its new features and most notably, changes. I have already given my personal and quite hot opinion on the changes to my favorite class, the death knights. If you wish to read on it, check the article Latest on Death Knights. This time, I am going to briefly touch on the changes to the emblem system, as it has generated a lot of discussion in my own guild.

The main conclusion was that the patch is very much an update for the benefit of casual players and I have to agree. This is true especially when you read the blue post on the emblem system. In simplest terms, the various emblems become mostly worthless. The only emblem that continues to have significance, is the emblem of conquest. To accompany this, Blizzard is releasing a new emblem, called Emblem of Triumph.

Any instance that now drops emblems of heroism or valor, will in the future drop emblems of conquest instead. Emblems of triumph will be available from the daily dungeon quests, both heroic and normal, and from the new instances in the upcoming Crusaders' Coliseum. Exactly what you can buy with the new EoT, nobody knows but all and all, this is a welcome update.

To me, the idea of having 3-4 different emblems is not practical by any stretch of the imagination. It creates a long road of progression, where people have to climb through all three to get to the latest gear and content. While many point out that we all had to do it, it is not quite that simple.

Yes, for anyone in a quality raiding guild, getting through the ladder is not a big issue but it is most difficult for players inhabiting the casual guilds. We have to remember, not all of us play this game like a second job and some just cannot keep up with the demands of a hard core raiding guild. Instead, they will be stuck doing the same instances over and over again, trying to get the emblems and gear to advance into the next tier and usually will be sabotaged by rest of their guild. After all, progression is a team effort and many casual guild will never advance beyond Naxx10 and perhaps Eye of Eternity.

True, it is not very fair to those who actually made that journey but life is not always fair and I would point out, the game has changed quite a bit since WotLK first came out. Those who started progression then, had it, in my eyes, easier than those who are only now getting into the raid scene and playing catch up.

In the end, I feel advanced players are only complaining about this because they feel casual gamers are getting off easy, preferring if they would be put through the same hoops as themselves when they made their progression. But me, I still continue to support my matra that the more people that experience all the content, the better. It does not burst any of my bubbles that someone will less game time gets through the same content as I did.

And also, I would remind everyone, the gear that you can get with emblems barely touches the surface of what you need to successfully navigate encounters like the last bosses of ulduar. It will still require as much dedication, practice and skill to finish them off.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fire and Steel

There are few items in the whole of Northrend that are as hard to farm and acquire, insufficient quantities, as Eternal Fire and Relics of Ulduar. However, both play a pivotal role in the current game, and after personally spending a lot of time working out the best ways to get and use them, I figured was time to bring this to everyone.

All the eternal elements are very useful for crafting, but I believe there are three that stand out the most; shadow, earth, and fire. Most notably, they are the ingredients to titansteel bars, which are used extensively in level 80 armor pieces. The first two are however a lot more common than fire because you repeatedly receive them from ore mining and various other actions. Eternal Fire is different, for myself have only found two spots that have a decent drop rate.

Both cases involve simply killing fiery revenants, so it is all fairly straight forward. The first location is a small canyon, east of Dun Niffelem, which is the same place you will complete the Hot and Cold quest, for the Sons of Hodir faction. The downside of this spot is that the drop rate is a bit irritating and to get just Crystallized Fire for one Eternal Fire can sometimes be frustrating. However, the revenants spawn reasonably fast.

Second spot is in Wintergrasp, at the very south-east corner, beyond the Flamewatch Tower. The drop rate is much better here than it is in the Storm Peaks, though however, the respawn time is less user-friendly. Usually I simply run it through once and leave again, with enough pieces for one full piece of Eternal Fire.

For the relics of ulduar, the hunt is a lot simpler. They have a chance to drop from nearly every creature you kill in the Storm Peaks, with various rates of course. The best place I have found, is a small cave just north-west from Frosthold. The cave is full of iron dwarves, all with a quick respawn timer and high drop rate for the relics. At level 80 you can pretty much plow through the cave nonstop and in just half an hour, pick few dozen relics.

Unlike Eternal Fire, the relics are not used used for crafting, but to gain reputation with the Sons of Hodir faction. The faction is a bane to many people, primarily because they do not have a tabard that you can wear in heroics, but instead you have to simply acquire their reputation through tedious daily quests. So the ability to farm hundreds of relics, much like runecloth for the racial factions, is a pretty important shortcut.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Latest on Death Knights

By now, I think we should stop being surprised that death knights are being nerfed again, but every time they just come at us with new bewildering changes. I apologize if I seem cranky this time around but despite my efforts to try keep up a positive state of mind, I am slowly losing faith in our game designers. Since their inception death knights have been getting the boot in every patch so far and you have to wonder, are they ever going to stop nerfing the class.

The most bewildering aspect is that they are soon running out justifications for all the nerfs, as the changes take more and more ridiculous forms. Emboldened by the positive changes that we are being promised in the Crusader's Coliseum (see Tournament Review) I went out and looked up the new PTR notes to see just what is in store.

The first that nearly popped my eyes out of their sockets was the nerfing of frost presence. In the next patch, instead of a 10% health boost, we are only getting a 6% stamina increase, and I reserve the right to use the word "only" because frankly a 6% stamina increase is pants on head retarded. To outline what this actually means, lets have a show and tell.

In Durithim's proper tank gear and spec, he has an average 26 300 health without frost presence. Once I put it on, it rises to a healthy ~29 000. This is a good starting point for raids like 25-man Naxxramas. However, with a meager 6% stamina bonus that health drops to ~27 400. That is a 1.6k difference. This gets further bewildering when taking a look at other plate tanks, for whom I see no such nerf and remembering that the last big patch actually brought us a raid instance that is all about taking huge amounts of damage.

Second but surely not lesser of two evils, is the nerf of Frost Strike; which can now not only be parried, blocked, and dodged, it also deals 5% less damage than before. Icebound Fortitude's cool down has doubled and Toughness provides a one-third less armor than before. So no, life as a death knight tank is sure not going to get boring in the future. If anything our performance will only continue to drop if Blizzard goes on, incapable of restraining itself.

Tournament Review

Blizzard has once again graced us with a small sneak peak at some of the new content from the coming patches. The latest is a more detailed description of what the completed Crusader's Coliseum, promised to come out in the upcoming 3.2 Patch, something many of us tournament grinders have been waiting a long time for. These include the following:

"New epic 10- and 25-player raid dungeon with five encounters, with each encounter being unlocked one week at a time."

"New 5-player dungeon with three encounters that will include Champion’s Seals as each one is defeated."

"A more intuitive structure for harder encounters. This raid dungeon will have four different versions: 10-player, 25-player, 10-player Heroic, and 25-player Heroic, with each one using a separate lockout."

"New tier of armor and weapons that are modeled with Alliance- or Horde-specific themes."
There is nothing like cheering your players with a new coming up raid dungeon, however where in the difficulty scale will it be? My hope is that not above Ulduar the least, since though lots of people have been doing Ulduar, it is still a fresh raid dungeon for a lot of raiders. Another dungeon that holds challenges on the difficulty to Ulduar is much more desirable in my mind, rather than upping the encounters once again.

Anyone remembering playing some of the many Star Wars games? The common theme in the jedi games was always to give the player an option to be either good or bad, thus having two possible endings for the game. My first reaction to the "more intuitive structure for harder encounters" was a pleasing smile, but having now mulled the thought I am not so sure anymore. Like in the old Star Wars games, all this really does is forces you to complete the same content more than once - in fact, four times this time.

Aye, it is a nice thought that we have two versions, 10- and 25-man so the more casual guilds can go with the easier content but it is soon going too far. Anyone who has played 25-man Naxxramas knows that the encounters have only few aspects in difference to the 10-man versions and if the same paradigm continues here, all Blizzard is doing is making us complete the same instance four times.

Just so this review does not seem too harsh, let me finish by saying I am still pleased by the update and excited for its release. The idea that we will be getting new gear with special, new looks is especially welcome. It is hard to describe the disappointment in starting your death knight from level 55 with good looking pieces, only to end up in level 80 with identical pieces, and this pattern repeats throughout the WotLK content.

So for this piece of news, Blizzard takes the points home I think.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Addon: Parrot

Another addon spotlight I felt was worthy of a special mention; Parrot. A nice addon that does not so much improve your game play or produce any vital function, but rather affects how the game data flows on your screen. Most of the time I can never really out useful info from anything but my combat log and anyone who has had a peek, probably, agrees that it is not exactly user-friendly.

Parrot lets you customize what data you see on your screen, anything from combat data, critical strikes, professions, and cool downs. It is surprisingly versatile and importantly, provides a way to change how the data flows on your screen; letting you set fonts, change size, and rolls them in nice arcs around your character, instead over it where it often is just in the way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Show and Tell

Greetings my readers. I do apologize for the lack of updates but it has been quite a ride, almost since the beginning of last week. A lot has happened and many changes have occurred. The most, probably in our guild at Performance but now it seems to finally have settled and we can be on our merry way, to continue our progression in 25-man content.

On a very personal front, a slew of achievements have come my way, several which have been long due to be honest. We started from 10-man Naxxramas and after plowing the first four quarters of the instance with practiced ease, we were ready to take on Sapphiron. Not surprisingly, it took us only one wipe to get the hang of it and after that the undead dragon proved a small challenge.

Kel'thuzad was refreshingly a much bigger challenge, though only technically as he goes through the various phases. In fact, by my observation bosses with are often ones that require more practice to bring effectively down and the lich sure gave us a run for our money. But in the end, after mastering adds and positions, was time to finally lay the creature to rest.

Of course, 10-man is not the only place we have done fabulous progress now. As a guild, Performance, we have completed both of the first quarters, arachnid and plague with little difficulty, although for some of us it was a first time. Military evades us with the lack of priests for Razuvius but Construct was easy picking until we met Thaddius.

Last but not least, Sartharion fell infront of the firing line during a short excursion, after a long night in 25-man Naxxramas. We only had 20 members left but to our surprise, few of us hardly noticed until Heroic: Less is More flashed on our screens. Have to admit, we felt pretty after by that time.

I believe that is enough of show and tell for the day. Next stop, if I had to take a guess, pressing deeper into 25-man Naxxramas and taking on Sartharion with drakes this time. Heck, who wouldn't like a chance to roll for the Reins of the Twilight Drake ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tier Debunked

It is probably no surprise to anyone that along the way, as I have been writing about loot, the subject has been a matter debate and discussion in our local guild on the Blade's Edge realm. New rules are hashed and changes are in the air. As usual, it generates hot feelings on both sides as we try to find good compromises in our methods.

During the subject I have discovered something I did not personally expect, but have seen signs about. Has anyone ever noticed why, while reading Elitistjerks or just inspecting players you admire, why so many do not actually wear much Tier gear? I am of course talking mainly about 7 and 7.5 now.

Well children, the fact seems to be that the much coveted Tier pieces are not truly that much better than the other pieces you find along side them. I brought this up in my guild the other morning and was shocked that from our small morning crew, three total raised their hands and gave direct examples where a non-tier piece of at least as good as a Tier piece they had or gotten possession of.

For me, I only donned my new Tier 7 shoulders because they looked awesome. After enchants and gems, the only benefit there was the increase of attack power by 11. For confirmation, both shoulders were drops from naxx10. However, it is true that tier 7 gives the added benefit of granting set bonuses but if you look at them carefully, they are not that great, and certainly do not merit farming for the pieces until judgment day.

Truthfully, if your guild is able to do the progression, by the time you get your 3rd or 4th set piece, you will already have out-geared naxx10 and getting naxx25 pieces, or even Ulduar if rest of your bunch are up for it.

Personally, this makes me disappointed because the whole hype around the Tier gear is that they should outclass anything else in the game. People are trampling each other on raids, especially pugs, to get the Tier pieces and do not even realize that they are not as great as lead to believe. Most of the time you will accomplish a much better balanced stats by combining just one or two tier pieces with some other drops from various runs.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Loot is Progression

I must admit, when I wrote my Loot Matters article, I could not foresee the amount of feedback it would generate, ranging from simple "hellz yeah dude" to "you greedy munchin." Though, for better or worse, only means I have way more readers than I expected and on that note alone, think this subject deserves some extra reviewing.

First, let me make this very clear; wanting to win loot is not being greedy. There is a very healthy line, easy to see from a mile away, of what is healthy progression and what is just being people selfish and greedy. Expecting the best loot, or even any loot, on every raid is not realistic but to get it at least one in a few weeks is good for you. Note that I used the word "progression" because I believe there is two types of progressions in this game.

One, is the typical raid progression where you down bosses and complete raid instances within your guild. The top raiding and progression guilds of a realm are often the iconic examples of this as they compete for the first kills, or at least to be among the elite who get further than say the 90% of the rest of us.

However, my personal favorite type of progression is what you do on your own. This starts when you begin to level your first character up to level 80, and then continues as you begin to tackle the harder instances, progressing to heroics and eventually raids. The thing about being level 80 is that progression can no longer be monitored by just watching the number on your character increase from day to day. Instead, you monitor the gear you have, allowing you to maybe dps better, heal the more demanding encounters, etc.

This is where gear plays the biggest role and once you begin to hit raids like Naxxramas, it becomes one of the more prominent measures of progression, and here is the point I was trying to reach with my earlier post. It is not uncommon for people to lose heart, when time after time they lose the rolls for better loot, feeling incapable of progressing their game while others are seemingly plowing ahead. This can go as far as break guilds up as people leave, hoping to have better luck in other guilds or spiking arguments within the community.

The issue is more so, I believe in smaller casual guilds, who do not have the numbers to pull their own bigger raids, like 25-man Naxxramas for example, and have to PUG to get full groups. The worst part about this being that pugs are not only unreliable, but any attempt at controlled loot distribution goes out the window.

The important thing is that during these moments, the guild is there for the each other. If to just say "where're for you mate" or even go as far as giving a piece of loot to the guild, if you won it instead of him. After all, guilds are community and raids about team work. There is no better show of solidarity than that and does wonders for the everyone's spirit.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Elder Thraznar

A lot of people keep telling me that online is not the place to make true friends, just simply buddies you see here and there, but I could not disagree more on that. It is truly possible to get to know people online and and it is possible become true friends. In fact, it is arguable that the game only becomes more enjoyable, the better you know the mates you play with.

Well, here is one of my best mates in the World of Warcraft; Tom (aka Thraznar), elderly dwarf tank and healer, for whom there is not much more left to see in the world. You might say he is the inspiration of young Durithim, as the young death knight dwarved became a servant of light and ideals of good ones more.

I first met Tom on Darkspear realm and can honestly say, I would not be here without him. There was no one person who taught me as much, of attitude, knowledge and the ways of playing World of Warcraft as he did, in the most inconspicuous small guild, the Fallen Finest. Now sadly, he is walking away from the game and though not all partings are endings, I find I will miss his presence.

Here is a fine screenshot of Elder Thraznar, in midst of Crystalsong Forests, battling crazed treants. I know there are none, nor should not be, words to keep you from leaving, so instead I now raise my blade in salute and wish you a godspeed; a good and prosperous journey wherever the road may take you.

Farewell my friend, the winds of Dun Morogh welcome you and the mighty walls of Ironforge keep you safe.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Interview: Death Knight Tanks

We have a nice update from out fellow warcraft blog, Rolling Hots: A View From the Trees. The topic is a curious one, Tank Triage: Healing Death Knights and one I had the pleasure to contribute personally. This is the first in the author's series of guides for healers, on how to heal the various tank classes, from the perspective of the tanks themselves and addressed to the healers. A slightly unorthodox all thigs considered but without a doubt useful for the healers to understand exactly how the tanks works and how do we go about our duty in the line of fire.

A very nice article and I am already excited to read the next one. Very nice work Sylly :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Warriors vs Death Knights

I have always thought about warriors as, sort of, the old school tanking class. They were very much the class of choice for tanking in the classic World of Warcraft game, before the Burning Crusade expansion. Since classes like paladins and death knights have taken over a lot of the tanking and warriors are no longer the ideal, or not at least the "true" tanks, even if many old school players would like to think so.

The relatioship between warriors and death knights is an interesting oe however. They are very much twins, their abilities being mirror images of each other, though distorted by the eddies in the lake. Just consider it for a moment, warriors have many abilities that I personally envy; charge, Disarm, and shield. In fact, they are the class of choice against heavy melee fights. For instance, disarming the orc commander, first boss of heroic Nexus makes that whole fight so much more easier, mitigating a whole bunch of damage.

Death knights on the other hand are a class, designed specifically to be the bane of spellcasters. Though, to my grief, failed in that somewhat. We use two-handers, instead of a shield, use Death Grip instead of Charge, and have powers like Strangulate that prevents a caster from using spells. Thanks to their shield, warriors mitigate more damage than death knights, but to our advantage, we put out a lot more of it.

So, death knights are against spellcasters what warriors are against melee opponents. Many have speculated that Blizzard will publish a second hero class, specifically against melee fighters, but this is why I do not believe they will, or at the very least, they definitily should not. We already have a class for that and it works beautifully. The only big complaint I have about the synergy of these classes is the limitatio of stragulate.

A warrior can disarm a various collection of both mobs and bosses. However, death knights do not enjoy the same power over casting bosses. So far, I have yet to find a single one that I could affect by using strangulate, or even Mind Freeze. They are both more PVP oriented abilities, or at least only useful against mobs. But perhaps, once Blizzard has managed to please the public's demand to nerf death knights until we're wearing hong kong made armor pieces and picks for weapons, they desire to actually do something for us, for a change.

All and all, both are solid classes and personally, when death knights first came out, during which information and details about the nuances of playing the class was scarce, looking through the tons of articles written on warriors really helped me personally. Gear is almost identical after all, aside from the shield and block stats, and the tanking techniques do not really change much from class to class, only the way you execute them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Loot Matters

I found myself pondering the subject for a couple of days and I feel I have to bring it out. For most successful raiders, at least whom I know, loot is secondary. The challenge and overcoming them on raids is what turns them on. What you also hear, spoken from the seasoned raiders to the juniors, is to stay patient. The game is about fun and if you simply keep at it, you will be rewarded by loot eventually.

First, let me state that I agree the mentioned sentiment 100%. For me, I enjoy the process of raiding. Taking on the bigger and harder encounters, challenging me to excel and do better, to learn and master my craft. However, to think that loot is completely secondary is a big mistake, because no one here can claim, with a straight face, that they don't like receiving loot. So, obviously loot does matter, but where is the line of good taste?

We all know there are people in the game who are willing to ninja and steal, horde it all for themselves if we only let them. In a way, because of those, it is one of those many touchy subjects, when you usually receive minimum the bad looks from your peers when expressing frustration of not having the luck in the rolling. However, that is hardly fair because loot does play an important role in the game of warcraft.

After all, without proper loot, you have very little business even in the easiest raids and when you lack the certain level of gear, the performance you put out will become stomped. So in my mind, a much better definition for loot is that arguably, it is not the most important part of raiding, but it is indeed a essential part and without it, eventually the process will lose its meaning.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rolling Blogs

Got around upgrading the lists and small details of the blog this morning. Characters are now finally reflected properly and the blogroll got to see some new names. I am not sure if any of you've noticed, but it is not an easy task to find good blogs these days. I have always enjoyed reading them but as time has gone forward, blogging has become more common and sadly most of the new blogs that are started, fail soon after being born.

I know my first blog did and the simple reason is, it is not as easy as it first seems. It not only takes time and effort to come up with interesting articles, but you also need an idea for your blog. In my humble opinion, that is where so many fail; they think of blogging as glorious (which granted, it can be, depending on your point of view) and neglect to select a topic or subject for their blog that they can spend hours writing about.

As a final update, most of have probably noticed that Durithim has changed guilds during the past couple of days. It has been dealt in-guild and I will not go further into it, except it is safe to say, raiding did not work us in Retribution. I am now starting over in a new guild I feel has a lot to offer and where I can make a home.

We are all saddened that our best efforts to get into proper raiding did not work out, but such is life. You win some, you lose some. Also, on the bright side, this is not the end for Retribution as it continues on as a social and leveling guild, just as it did before we started the raids. Many of the founding members are still there and it is a nice and warm place to be.

The Priest

Figured, recently had a lot ranting posts and that has just got to change. Aye, it is a personal blog but in the end I write for two reason, the pleasure of writing and the pleasure of reading. For me, a writing only becomes meaningful when someone picks it up and reads it. So, to not utterly neglect my readers I am gonna jump into one of my recent passions; playing a priest.

Specifically, I enjoy my role as a healer and in a reasonably short time I have managed to raise my priest's level a notch of 13 levels. It is a complete role reversal for me, since I am, until now, mostly used to tanking on my death knight. This gives my priest a unique perspective because many do not get to look at it from both directions. Tanks have ideas about healers, and healers have plenty of ideas about tanks, at least as far as what they would hope for them to be.

It is a fascinating interaction between the two as they communicate, though the relationship is not always layered with roses. Tanks can often be fairly arrogant in terms of how they expect the group's healer to perform, while neglecting all the small things that they themselves could do to make the healer's job easier; like staying in range, do not break LOS, be reasonable in your pulls, use cooldowns to mitigate damage input, etc. I recently healed through Maraudon and a persisting annoyance was the tank, first pulling a bunch of flouric creatures and then turning a corner.

He did not do this out of spite of course, but simply did not understand the job of a healer, and I know personally I have been guilty of many such prejudices. The key is to make sure you both communicate properly and educate each other to learn how to play better. A good such example, for me, was in Halls of Lightning. We wiped once on General Bjarngrim while going for the achiement, Lightning Struck.

The simple reason was, with so much incoming damage, once I had to kite him during a whirlwind, I passed beyond our healer's range and it was all it took. He advanced and tried to save the moment, but though valiant, I died. Afterwards while buffing up at the entryway, we examined what went wrong and agreed that he would have to position himself closer, since I could not avoid running around the small space I have to kite the crazy goliath.

I believe this is one of the bigger lessons of the game, to learn how to communicate because the simple fact is, no matter how awesome you are, maybe above all of your peers in finesse and skill, truth remains that no man is an island and to succeed in World of Warcraft, you need team work - and never forget, you always need the team more than it needs you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Addon: Ackis Recipe List

Although I appreciate them enormously, I rarily raise addons on pedestals. The reason is that most are subject to personal opinion, without a right or wrong choice but in this case, I decided that was appropriate. I don't know if there are addons that compare to this addons, but it is the of its kind that I have come across; Ackis Recipe List (Download).

Most players who spend a lot of time raising their professions, whether it is for interests in making gold, crafting themselves some neat gear pieces, or just for the fun of doing so, do it with a passion. If you can recognize yourself from that description, I suggest you have this addon ago.

The addon provides a nice way to help you list recipes and designs that you yet do not possess, making them easier to acquire and thus widen your field of expertise. The way it works is you open your profession window and simply hit a button. The addon then scans your recipes and provides a window of its own, listing the ones you do not yet possess. Further more, it also lets you know where to get the particular recipe, from vendors to world drops, showing in both name and map coordinates.

I used to do this by reading thottbot and wowwiki, going through long lists or recipes, locating vendors, etc. but this has been my salvation. It's quick, easy and I can actually concentrate on getting the recipes rather than locating where and if something exists.

A Day as a DPS

How many out there started playing as a DPS at the start of their gaming career in the World of Warcraft? Not all, but I am willing to wager quite a few. The reason is that the best advice most people give (me included) to new players is to start with a good DPS class, like a hunter. It is not a complicated class, easy to master, and a joy to level with so little downtime.

However, personally, I would like to abolish the standing notion, which has thus followed, that playing a DPS is by no means simple when it comes to being part of an effectively dungeon group. This is less of an issue on low levels, which is why most people do not notice it at first, but becomes more prevalent beyond level 60, and even more so at max level.

I can already hear some people bewildering, what's so hard about DPS'ing; Just shoot, hack, and loot. This could not possibly be further from the truth. Lets talk about the raid scene, so everyone understands, and when I say "raid scene" it is a misnomer because the first problem a DPS player runs into is simply trying to be worthy of joining the raid scene. As you hit level 80, most will not be able to exceed 900 or 1k as a dps in your atypical hc run and this places them in a horrible dilemma.

The gear you need either drops directly from heroic dungeons or you need to do heroic dungeons to earn the emblems that you can buy the gear with. But with an output 1k most group leaders will laugh you right out of the clubhouse and that is hardly very encouraging. This comes directly from a lot of dps players I talk with, whom all can identifying being in that position once upon a time; unappreciated and unable to join groups to gear up, thus to advance in their game.

It is also important to remember that gear and spec are only part of the solution. Once in a dungeon group you are constantly dodging AOE damage, patrolling mobs, remember your cooldowns, and also try exercise an exact rotation. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to hit your peak you can bet your bet your frostbolt there is at least one yoyo in the group who knows just how to remind you about it.

For me, good DPS is just as important as tanking and healing for the success of a group. I have learned to appreciate the pleasure of having good natured and effective hunters and mages in your group, making short work of the enemy as I hold their aggro. Most people seem to forget, especially tanks, that without them, you would be clearing trash until 4th of july before ever even catching a glimpse of a boss.