Healer to Tank Transition

“If the tanks succeed, then victory follows.”
Heinz Guderian

Healer to Tank Transition

I’m still thinking about it. A lot.

Having healed since WotLK, I’m pretty good. My fingers know what to do without thought. Habit places me to avoid damage or even to soak damage. Changing talents per circumstance is obvious. And, finally, at this stage of the game, I can anticipate ahead what will happen.

I’m pouring AP into my tanking weapon to get the 3/3/3 on the Crucible. Having heroic gear, I know that I’ll be sturdy even if I don’t know what is going on. I have the tanking pantheon trinket and I think I might have a stat stick. I’ll set aside Legendary stuff for later once and if I commit.

Tanking is a leadership role. I can hear my insecure voices in my head but I have to counter that with the awareness that I’ve been promoted to supervisory roles in every job in real life. One concern as a leader is that I don’t want to be a dick. Perception can be everything!

One odd thought is that in tanking there is no competition. At least that I can see. No one is bragging on numbers. I looked at our raid logs and the two tanks had wildly different dps numbers.

I do have to be prepared to be kicked. As a healer, I’ve only been kicked twice; once when the tank was not in tank spec and everyone blamed me and once when I complained about a player’s dps numbers in a dungeon and had not realized that it was a guild group. As a tank, I can get kicked on a whim.

Getting kicked hurts my soul. Again, drawing on real life, I have put my designs out there for hundreds upon hundreds of shows; I know that the work stands for itself and if you don’t like a design does not mean that you don’t like me. If I get kicked for performance or even a whim, I personally do not suck as a gamer or as a human being.

Playing pvp pet battles, I can honestly see myself advance. I know how to anticipate or what to look for at the start. I have almost zero tanking experience, it could take months to get to the point where my fingers go where they are needed and to react to something with style and panache.

Another thought is that the trade off with me tanking is my voice. To focus on being a tank, I can’t be that chatty guy I usually am. In this I wonder if I’d be benefiting the raid team in the big picture. My ego says that they need my abundant personality!

I’ve learned that my guild can be totally dismissive of my concerns. I don’t know if that is good or bad. I said that I was worried about the number of buttons to push and they blew it off as no big deal. But it is to me a big deal. Setting up a new spec and placing the buttons where they are the best in front of muscle memory is crucial in my eyes. With good preparation, I am less likely to fail but nonetheless I know I have to get into the water and swim even if it looks like splashing to start.

So, I’m working on it without having done much. My intention is to try to tank a LFR next week or the week after. I know the fights and I’d be beefy. I don’t want to do dungeons because I am lost in the Court of Stars and Kara and the Arcway and the Seat of the Triumvirate has me baffled.

So: that is where I’m at. I am worrying over it and reading up on it. I miss the tanking blogs of the past and have been reduced to guides with no personal reflections on the experience.

It could be a lot of fun.



BfA: Early Professions

Ah, potential customer.
Goblin NPC

BfA: Early Professions

I was reading a post over at Aliandras in WoW on BfA Profession Mats. This author takes us through the various mats that we’ll be needing for our professions. Obviously this is from the Alpha and subject to change. A good posting.

What I don’t see is a Blood of Sargeras type of material. Something that is soul bound and had greatly hampered our progress in Legion. Sure it is early but one can hope that there is not a one single mat that everything revolves around.

As a goblin, I’ll want to herb up early and sell on the AH for beaucoup gold. In Legion, we had five herbs early on, then a sixth from Argus plus a World Quest mat in Felwort. From Aliandras posting, I see seven herbs right from the start, so that is much more gathering especially the range needed for specific flasks that I see in the screenshot. It suggests seven zones to pick flowers in, but we’ll find out.

Of course, my herbalist is a Druid. My expectations is a glove enchant to pick faster. And, I find the Sky Golem way too noisy to peacefully pick flowers in an open field. I’ve always used the WoW-professions site to give me a map of good picking paths too.

In Legion, consumables made all the gold. Enchants and gems, for sure but much more the potions and flasks. I’ll be focusing on Alchemy early on with a close eye on Engineering to see if my raiding main needs anything there.

I’ll up my Enchanter to line up with the first raid drop so serve the sudden increase of gear across the realm.

Begin by selling materials for gold. Herbs, Fish, Mining ore, Leather and Cloth.
Focus on Alchemy to get raid goods and dungeon goods to play the darn game.
Leveling cooking for the buff foods, focusing on my own stat need and a group buff food.
Keep a wary eye on the date of the first raid.

Will the crafting professions like Blacksmithing and Leatherworking have an outlet to make repeatable goods to sell and serve the community?

Big Red Raygun

Picard: Maximum setting. If you had fired, you’d have vaporized me.
Lily: It’s my first ray gun.
— Star Trek: First Contact

Big Red Raygun

This is a toy that drops of Dr. Weavil on an island off of Dustwallow Marsh in Kalimdor.

The island is well protected. One catch is that to be able to see Dr. Weavil and the buildings and such, it has to be in the right phase; before the bombing of Theramore. When you fly over Duskwallow Marsh, you will see a talk bubble; this is the NPC who will turn back time.

Typically, this island is of interest to hunters who can tame some very cool looking spiders who have tank treads for legs. The key to unlock the cages holding the spiders drops from Dr. Weavil and the mechanical dog in the same building.

Wowhead states that the drop rate for the Big Red Raygun at 3%. To counter this low drop rate, we went on a farming grind with five players. Swimming to the dock after being shot down, our hunter had a tracking ability to guide us around the hidden land mines that can kill. Even approaching this island is treacherous because the good Dr. Weavil has anti-aircraft artillery.

There are several buildings and you want the one with several stories. The good doctor seemed to spawn about every five minutes upstairs. The toy is tradable, so someone who has the toy can trade it to a party member. These toys sell on the Auction House as well. Our party of five got three toys in about two hours!

The loot from the trash mobs is cans of oil, as I recall. You can splash this on your pet and it will be oily and icky.

The toy itself is kinda fun. On a ten minute cool down, you can make your pet, your battle pet and I think even your bodyguard(?) big and red for ten seconds. Some might say “ho hum” but it is something to do as we tick time until the next expansion.

Maybe not the best choice, but here is Stardust with the pet biscuit and the big red raygun effect:

My Planning for BfA

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
Gloria Steinem

My Planning for BfA

I can see August 14th down the corridor. I do plan to continue to raid in the next expansion and, at this moment, plan on continuing with my Druid. I like being a druid and connected to the earth with the support of Elune.

Friends are hard to find. Planning to play and work with a friend for two years is a big thing. My current thought is that I’d like a partner so we can both tank in a raid, then I’d switch to heals when we dungeon run. This way I could build up a dual spec character who is geared for situations. Or, I could tank a dungeon and my buddy could dps; plenty of ways to play.

For Legion, I was very cautious about dungeons and mythic plus because, seriously, I don’t want to burn out on a game that I enjoy. The design model is repeatedly running the same dungeons: constantly. And, I realize that it is inevitable and unavoidable for BfA.

Healing has been great. I like that we are playing a completely different game than everyone else with small concern over what the enemy is doing. Late in this expansion, I realize that I don’t know where to go in a dungeon; I’ve always simply followed the tank and healed. There is a ton of visual clutter that comes with healing, especially a huge addon that puts the party members right in my face to click on with different spells.

I don’t know if I’ll ever play DPS again. Waiting for a queue is unbearable. If they could fix it so that no one waits more than five minutes for a LFR or Dungeon, then I’d happily play a damage dealer character. If you haven’t noticed, in Legion healers are cheap. Shop the group finder for a raid and there is a serious bulge in the healers, again; waiting to play can be frustrating.

I asked my guild master for thoughts. There is the thought that I’d take it too hard if I fail the group. Dying as a deeps or as the third healer is almost expected, dying as a tank is a wipe. I’m a sensitive guy!

But, if I am changing my course (and I may not), then learning to tank is something to do now.

Do you think that dual speccing will be too time consuming?

Feat. Jademist Dancer: PvP Pet Battle Team

“Teamwork is a strategic decision.”
Patrick Lencioni

Feat. Jademist Dancer: PvP Pet Battle Team

This is a devious, almost sneaky strategy featuring the Jademist Dancer. The idea is to slowly take down the opponent’s entire team and then finish them off.

Here is my team; Benax, Drafty and the Jademist Dancer


We open with Drafty in the second slot. This is to let the other guy think that we are reacting to his team, we are not. Open with Cyclone with lasts five rounds and bounces around their team.


Switch immediately to the Jademist Dancer and cast Acid Rain. It deals some damage and also boosts aquatic damage spells.


Switch to Benax. I’ve used lots of pets in this slot, you want some aquatic damage spells and you want to survive a few rounds so the Cyclone can do it’s damage. Cast Bubble.


Then Swarm of Flies.


Then Water Jet which should be boosted by the Acid Rain.


Swap to Drafty, you want that Cyclone up again. Decide if you need to cast Autumn Breeze too. You probably do.


Swap to Jademist Dancer and cast Rain Dance and Acid Rain.


Swap to Benax, it is time to start sacrificing your pets. Bubble if you can, otherwise Water Jet as many times as you can.

Swap to Drafty and heal or Cyclone or the other one, until the venerable Drafty dies.

Jademist Dancer will enter the battle. Scroll up to the team and you will see a S/S on this pet, which means that it will very likely always go first. Hopefully the Acid Raid is still up. You will Steam Vent.


The Jademist Dancer is the only pet in the game with Steam Vent. It hits like a truck. You, hopefully, will one-shot the front guy, when the second comes up and you go first, finish him off and then the third comes and you finish him off; one, two, three.

This is a nasty little fighting team with almost a surprise ending. I should mention the irony that two of this team’s pets are Elementals which ignore weather effects. Yep, plenty can go wrong but I’ve used this team often enough to mention the satisfaction of ending a fight this way.

Enjoy! And may all your hits … be crits.

Favorite PvP Pet Battle Team

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
General George S. Patton

Favorite PvP Pet Battle Team

I’d have to say that this is my “current” favorite team. I have several saved in Rematch because you can face the same opponent over and over. This team is meant to go in order, the first one up stays there until he dies; then the next and then the final.


This is a pesky little murloc. If you are going first, then open with Clobber to stun your foe. Then Bubble and you’ve negated their first three turns unless they are doing weather or back line attacks. Then Fish Slap because it will make you laugh. Use Clobber and Bubble off cool down and enjoy slapping with a fish.

Zephyrian Prince
I like this guy because he also sets up the next guy. Open with Call Lightning. Then use Slicing Wind which may hit once, twice or three times. With the extra damage from the lightning weather, this is a satisfying attack. When you are low on health, try resetting the weather.

Lil Bling
You saw it coming, right? Start with Extra Plating, then Make it Rain and then Inflation. The combination of coins falling and the stampede effect with lightning can finish the fight.


Obviously you can face forced pet swaps, a control of the weather battle and a crab with a shell who might negate all of your bling; but maybe not! Having a plan for your team in advance is what makes the pet battles fun.


First Kills and Loot

“I care. I care about it all. It takes too much energy not to care.”
Lorraine Hansberry

First Kills and Looting

I think that the first kill on a raid boss or dungeon boss should give us gear. It won’t keep us from coming back and would reward us for that first difficult task. We have all experienced raid runs where we don’t get anything or don’t get an upgrade. Farming for tmog pieces is a part of the game and we could use some small relief.

This late in the expansion, our team has yet to down Coven and Aggramar. They are tough fights and the Coven has some RNG that can drive you nuts. Downing that boss for the first time will be very satisfying. Still, the reward will probably be 39 gold.

I think that the first kill should be more rewarding.

I was doing Bears Behaving Badly. My amped-up hunter was blowing through those poor bears. I stopped to loot even though there is nothing, nothing at all, that I could want. My mission board gave me 2000 gold and the 2 gold off of one bear felt unnecessary.

Even with AoE looting, I begin to question whether we should bother to stop and collect. I’d rather do some dedicated farming for Fatty Bear Steak and collect big stacks than shuffle small amounts and sift through my bags after every event.

I’m still looting because skinners can not skin if the loot is left on the dead mob. This should change (maybe it has changed and I don’t know) so skinners do not have to rely on me to pick up some worthless broken ring. Like a sense of duty to be a good gamer, I guess?

The days of earning gold by looting everything as an avenue are mostly gone. We get gold from many other ways including the kill, not the loot.

So … are you still looting? I am but am questioning it a lot.