Saturday, 25 October 2008

Hitting the heroics

Having got used to the new druid spec, keybound all the new abilities to something useful and checked out the changes to armour etc. I felt that if there were enough willing volunteers in the guild it was time to hit up some instances for fun (and achievements).

Fortunately the normal and heroic instance of the day was Black Morass so there were a few takers so in we went. Once the group was formed and I was given lead to mark up I duly set the difficulty to heroic and in we went and cleared the beasties the patrol around. I started the event by running towards Medivh and then swiftly moved onto the first portal. The group consisted of feral druid, enh and resto shaman, ret pally (seriously how my damage are these guys doing at the moment) and a shadow priest. So I tanked the big elite next to the portal and the pally used consecrate to pick up all the adds allowing me to swipe for more aggro.

After the 3rd portal went down with no real problem, questions were asked as to whether we were truely running this on heroic mode (in fact I had to check the settings in the difficulty menu). Everything said we were doing the right thing so we pushed on to the first boss who promptly died, saved us to the instance and dropped a badge confirming what everything else was telling us. The rest of the instance went just as smoothly and again Medivh was able to bring the Orcs to Azeroth whilst we were able to complete the quests for extra badges.

Buoyed by our success we decided to go for another one with the same group and decided on Shattered Halls. If I'd been nervous about doing BM as a heroic, I was very nervous about Shattered Halls, especially given the amount of crowd control the group didn't have. Oh yeah, roots works in doors now, and is a great way to initiate a pull providing you pick the right add. Also the change to feral faeire fire to act as a DoT (which can crit) means that you can easily break crowd control from range (our Pally was using Repentance as another form of cc) whilst mopping up the adds.

There were a few deaths along the way (including mine) but at times we were just taking the whole pulls of 5 or 6, marking the skull and then just taking down all the rest having swiped for England to keep the rest off the healer or the dps. We even managed to take down all the bosses in time for the timed event for the Trial of the Naruu.

Other than the changes for swipe, faeire fire and swipe there are some other fun things in the feral druid arsenal.
Survival Instincts - Health boost for those 'Oh S***' moments handy for trying to survive those extra few seconds should you end up with more than you can handle or the healer gets incapacitated.
Beserk - Wow, just wow. Mangle hits 3 mobs at once and has no cooldown other than the global one. Unfortunately didn't make me immune to the Death Coil of one of the bosses but does provide a chance for a massive threat lead if you use it at the start of a fight.

There's still plenty of things to get used to and remember, potions and the herbalism heal being the main ones but there's some more finesse required to the tanking in the game now and more judgement calls. Currently the fights and instances might seem a little easy but once we start hitting Northrend and the fights our new abilities are tuned for it's going to be a whole new ball game. Can't wait :)

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