18 September 2010

Shattered Halls

During my usual nightly reading, I happened to wander over to the Armory to look through my achievements lists. I've been trying to solo many of the older dungeons and instances I didn't do way back when. There is an underlying method to this madness though. Only a small part involves just seeing game content I missed, the larger part has to do with beginning to learn my off-spec feral bear tank.

The over-all plan isn't really set in stone, since I am making efforts to learn as much as possible on my own, within my playstyle. Perhaps not the best approach since there really is a ton of information available across the nets on how to be a good/great tank. And yes, I have read much of it for it will have it's usefulness over time. But reading 'how to' and actually 'doing' whatever, remains two very different worlds.

My approach for now is to just let Sol jump into the instance with his main balance spec. After all, it is the stronger spec atm and he does handle it fairly well enough. Sol don't do any pre-fight research on these instances since he is level-capped and most likely able to just walk through them anyway. He takes his time in doing so though, making sure he does total clears, no missed trash or skipping about. Everything and every mob has it's value in knowledge gained. He always does multiple mob pulls and works the crowd for the experience. Getting to know who all comes along with the initial target pull and what is needed to keep the crowd in a decent AoE zone placement so he don't inadvertantly pull a bunch more. Which has happened a time or two :)

Then there's the learning part of how to bring the casters into the crowd so the AoE reaches them as well. This usually involves moving the crowd to them. Casters are so reluctant towards movement. ( I can't imagine why) Kind of a strange thing here...first he pulls the crowd towards him to seperate them from additional mobs. But then he may have to take the crowd back closer to the wayward casters. So additional care is needed in the decision of wheather or not to include all or part of the casters, maybe let one or two wait until the main crowd is down. Which means, he has to be able to take damage from them. Just something else to keep in mind when considering how his bear will deal with these situations.

I think my point here is, in having Sol boomkin the instance first, this is my way of researching the fight and developing some stratagies. He gets to know the layout of the instance and the trash progression towards each boss. He learns about zones which are safe to openly nuke in, and where he needs to be extra aware of possible adds. He gets a feel for each boss and their abilities. He also learns when his magic spells are about worthless. (thank Elune for shapeshift!)

All this brings Sol back to the post title, Shattered Halls. You may have been wondering how that fit in. Well, yesterday Sol did the quest line for the key to the Halls, and of coarse, jumped right in. What a mess that turned out to be! Very different from all the other instances he's solo'ed. Sol actually bit the dusty floor several times, ok, maybe 8 or 10 times, lost count. Stubborn though, kept at it until completed, and forked over the 50 gold for repairs. Sol did really enjoy the instance though. Lots of different trash abilities, mobs a bit closer knit to each other along with other surprise packages. Each death he endured brung about several minutes of comptemplation of how to proceed. It would seem to Sol that Shattered Halls required much more thought than any of the other instances he's done. This is all good. He will use this as a personal benchmark when he actually starts tanking for a group. It'll be a while yet, but as far as I can see, Outland isn't overly affected from the Cataclysm, rather stable. So when he's ready for groups, Shattered Halls will serve the purpose quite nicely.

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