Death Knight Redux

Since so many of you offered suggestions and advice on gearing my sons Death Knight, I feel I owe you an update.

I’d been saving Blood Spirits and Living Steel with the intention of having the 496 Blacksmithing crafted gear made for him someday.

Before worrying about that though, we asked him what he’d like to do last night. Watch a movie? Play some Minecraft? TV? Tablet games? Toys?

“Maybe if you and mommy aren’t busy, run some scenarios?”

Okay, plan. Sure, we can do that.

If we can find a couple more folks willing to join us, would you rather do scenarios, or heroics?


Okay, let the call go forth!

Gooseigaly, who was such a powerful healing presence on our ICC achievement runs volunteered to come along, so we’d only be looking for a pug tank. Shouldn’t be too bad, Cassie does very nice DPS on her Shaman and even on my Warlock I’m doing about 65k in Heroics. Alex won’t be doing so well, but he’s gearing up, what do you expect? We can take up the slack.

No problem. Right?


Scarlet Monastery. You’d think it would be a lot of fun. Alex never saw it while doing normal groups and leveling, so it will be fresh. And it has lots of fun stuff, like the hounds turning on the houndmaster, then tearing on down the path. And buckets of chow to throw for them. He should like that.

One minute into the run, the tank announces that my son should be ashamed for only doing 15k DPS in a heroic.

Just, fucking sigh, man.

I need to make an in-game /p facepalm macro. I swear to fucking Mylune and all the little bunny rabbits that I do.

I am actually getting grumpier as I get older (I know this comes as a shock to most of you) and so I told him that the DK was my son, and the rest of us were all in a group together to help him get some gear to improve, so we were there to pick up the slack. No need to worry.

It went downhill from there.

Really, I’m not going to dwell on it. The tank was a bully, and yet pulled the victim card at the same time. Oh yes, he was being a dick, but it was only because he knew we were going to kick him, so he got his retaliation in on us in advance.

So when a blue plate chest dropped on the first boss, and he already had it, the reason he rolled need and took it was because he knew we were going to kick him. And the reason his health plummeted in his ungemmed, unenchanted mixed blues and greens was because Goose wasn’t healing him out of vindictiveness, not because he was squishy as hell and standing in the middle of the bad with his back to hounds who didn’t have to deal with parries, blocks or dodges and could gnaw on his boxers without distraction.

You get where I’m going with this.

Cassie announced to me in vent that she was glad to be reminded so forcefully of why she’s just about quit WoW already, and said she was out of there. Fuck him. I wholeheartedly agreed.

I let Goose know we were dropping, and he stayed in a bit while Cassie, Alex and I waited out the 5 minutes left on our deserter timer.

Deserter. Talk about a name meant to shame. Allow me to suggest a better name is the “Prick Penalty“.

You weren’t willing to deal with the prick? You have to deal with the penalty.

Probably NSFW. (Not Safe For WoW).

No worries, you all know my position when it comes to dealing with abuse. Nobody has to take that shit, nobody should ever feel they SHOULD take that shit, ever. If you’re in an abusive situation, fuck them, let them live with their own nasty selves and stew, ain’t my responsibility to take it. Nor is it the responsibility of my wife or son.

And it sure as hell isn’t on our shoulders to feel guilty for leaving a group with someone that’s going to act that way.

Anyway. We sent the call out looking for a tank again, but it was friends on Horde side night, so instead of playing instance roulette, we decided to do scenarios instead, and waved a fond farewell to Goose.

The scenario was Monkey Island. It went great.

Cassie defended the beach while Alex manned the cannon (and I’m sure placed bombs) and I ran around using my boozehunter knowledge to grab all the beer and bring it back fast. Worked like a charm.

I know where the booze is to be found.

That was fast, fun and unrewarding. Still no loots for Alex.

Then Serendipity whispered me to see if we were still looking for a tank. She had one… but she was DPS, did we have a healer?

Cassie was glad to bow out to make room, she had her fill of groups with the tank from the first one. Goose was gone, so we went in, three DPS and a tank, taking a chance on a pug healer.

Turned out the tank, a Paladin, was just starting out, had gear even worse than Alex, and hadn’t done the Mogu’shan Palace heroic before so he didn’t know his way around yet.

I didn’t care, Alex and I aren’t looking to set any land speed records here, we’re just doing a heroic. And you have to start somewhere, and do an instance for the first time sometime.

The tank was refreshingly skilled. He had the classic, old school style. He used crowd control. He pulled mobs using line of sight and physically controlled the positioning and facing so as to let AoE effects go off without breaking the CC.

Basically, the tank was calm, considerate, and went at a measured pace using talent on loan from God.

A classic example of having all the skills, and just needing to get some more gear.

So, the big question.

How did our pug healer handle having one insane high-DPS Warlock (proportionately speaking, that is) that persisted in pulling aggro and acting like a nutjob, a Rogue that marked and sapped targets, a tank in blues and greens that took his time carefully making each pull the classic way, and a Death Knight doing, ahem 20k DPS?

healer was a fucking champion. Not a single word of complaint, not a SINGLE fucking word of complaint at the pace. No bitching, no sulky lack of heals, nothing like that at all.

He (or she) offered a few suggestions, healed like a pro, moved around with us like a member of the team in long standing, and only asked if we could maybe pull the last boss back to the doorway to help make their healing smoother, which we were happy to do.

Let me repeat that. The healer ASKED if we would, and gave a reason why they’d like us to do it that way. No pissy demands, or pouting like they were lowering themselves to deal with us idiots.

Now, I’m sure the healer would have liked a faster run, or higher DPS in the group overall, or a tank that didn’t require so much work to keep alive.

But they played the game with what they had, did an outstanding job of it, remained cheerful and really left me wishing they were on my server so I could add them to my casual realm friends list, just to give them the occasional “Hey, wanna do something?” shout.

You know, like we used to be able to do before the cross-realm choice became “Hey, can I add you to my Battletag list so I can see everything you do on every character you have on every server, and even on other games like Diablo and Starcraft?”

This too might surprise you, but I don’t actually ever say that in a run, no matter how great the other person was. Developing an in-game friendship is one thing, renting an apartment together is a bit much for a ‘next step’ after meeting them.

Anyway. The end result was the entire night was spent playing as a family, Alex had fun, Cassie got disgusted, I got irritated, Goose got a single boss kill, and we got to meet a great tank, play with Serendipity, and have fun with a rocking pug healer to take the foul taste of the earlier run off our palates.

Also, Alex didn’t win a goddamn thing to help his gear iLevel.

Kiss my ass.

There is this really handy feature on Ask Mr Robot that I use for my alts, now that LFR is gated behind average iLevels.

If you load your character, you’ll see on the right side panel a bunch of stats for your equipped gear. Including ilevel.

What is helpful is, you can change an item and save it, and the results will show up on that panel… including your new ilevel with that piece of gear equipped.

If you pay for a subscription with Ask Mr Robot you’ll be able to see what is in your bags as well, and compute best equipped gear based on all your combined stuffs, but I don’t have a subscription yet.

You don’t need a subscription to call up a character, choose a different chest piece from the list, save it and see how that would affect your average iLevel.

And that’s what I did late last night. I loaded Ask Mr Robot, and asked, “What would happen if I got the rest of the Blood Spirits and Living Steel and made Alex the 496 chest and gloves?”

Boom, 459.

“Okay, so where can I get the last point. Trinket is the worst item, but I can’t replace that without a Darkmoon Card, or a lucky drop. Fuck random pugs, what else.”

“He had a 446 ring. What if I made him a second 450?” No.

Hmmm. He’s got enough Justice Points for a 458 item. “What would, say, replacing the ring with a 458 do?”

iLevel 460 exactly.

Fine, done and done.

Bought what I didn’t have, Venoym volunteered to craft the items, I flew the Death Knight out and bought the JP ring, and bam. Fucking done.

It ain’t enchanted or gemmed yet, and he doesn’t have a Key to run the Trove for Elder Charms, but I’m sure that will be taken care of by this weekend, and the next time he wants to run something, the option will be to run Mogu’shan Vaults LFR with my Warlock along for the ride.

I could almost thank that pug tank from my first run. If he hadn’t shown just how MISERABLE a heroic run could be with an asshat in the group, I wouldn’t have been so inspired to just cut bait and get it done.

Almost. But, um, no. Fuck him.

26 thoughts on “Death Knight Redux

  1. *chuckle* Bear, you are one of the people I’d happily tank for. At the moment I stay away from WoW because the dailies broke me, except for running with/for people I know and like. If you know it ahead of time shoot me an e-mail. I never have a problem with people asking for help, as long as they understand that you are not always available. So just ask πŸ™‚

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT


  2. I just got the Looking for Many! achieve last night on my main…a level 90 character that raided in DS and was created about 2 years ago. I have horrible anxiety about dealing with strangers and doing dungeons because I really do not want to get yelled at, and then I worry about doing them with guild members because I’m rusty and I don’t want to let them down. It’s a catch-22, so I usually just go off and do stuff on my own or run scenarios with a few people I know don’t mind my lack of skills.

    If only there was a way to be queued for patient/understanding groups. That would be awesome. πŸ™‚


    • About the same here. I’ve quit doing random stuff entirely, just because every single time I do I get one or another sort of prick that just makes it miserable. I get paid to deal with that kind of bozo at work, why would I want to do it when I’m supposed to be doing something entertaining?

      On the occasions I’ve gotten into a group with people new in their role, as long as they’re trying I have no problem with it. I’ve given up things I could use just because they needed them more, and were polite about it. Once spent an entire night on my healer running normal dungeons with a tank with lower gear (Not bad for the normals, but not sufficient for heroics) just to help him get geared up, because he was polite, didn’t fill every message with textgibberish and while he needed practice, he was doing pretty well.


    • Wow, that touches a chord, you are so right. I too do not LIKE running with strangers… and I rarely if ever ask if guildies want to do things, because everyone always seems very active and engaged with their own things.

      I have several people on my battletag friends list, but I almost never have people ask if I want to do something with them, and that’s a catch-22 as well, because I am super busy on multiple characters too, so on those rare occasions when someone DOES ask me if I have some time free, often I don’t right then.

      Ask Ursi how that goes. Ask someone if they want to do something and if you’re told no often enough, well, you stop asking because wtf, right?

      I can offer that you friend me with your battletag, but I’ll have to look up what mine is first lol. Just remember, if you whisper me saying you would like a few more to do a run, you have to promise not to think you’re bothering me if I say I can’t right then.


      • Not replying directly to you, BBB, since I’m horde and we haven’t run together (though i did talk to you once on my baby priest) – but this, in general, is what I run into as well – and I wanted to reiterate.

        If I ask you (general you) if you’d like to run heroics or a scenario or LFR, and you tell me know – and I go ahead and queue up for them, I’m not disrespecting you, I’m simply on a different schedule, and will be more than happy to group up once I’m done if you’re available.

        Please don’t hate me because I’m not waiting around for 20 minutes twiddling my thumbs while you finish mining or pet battling or soloing something for transmog. Likewise, I’m not hating you for doing those things in the first place.

        It still astonishes me how self-centered people can be when everything isn’t dropped RIGHT NOW to go do something – if it isn’t on the calendar, it isn’t a priority.

        Wow, that ended up more ranty than I expected… hrmm.. well, thanks for letting me get that off my chest πŸ™‚


      • I’ve actually been levelling a monk with a guildy, letting him tank us through dungeons, and that’s been a lot of fun. A monk in heirlooms does ridiculous damage, and I know him well enough that if I mess up and pull something extra because I’m still struggling with Flying Serpent Kick, I’m 99% certain there’s ridiculous laughter on his end of the computer. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

        I wouldn’t mind being battletag friends, although I’m reasonably sure that our schedules would rarely sync up. Just having that extra option would be quite nice. πŸ™‚


      • That sounds like fun!

        I have stopped playing my monk at level 20. I have no time for alts right now, and I still have it in mind to wait until I get can the fist weapon heirlooms from the Brawlers Guild before I pick him up again.

        I might also need to figure out a good transmog to GO with those fist weapon heirlooms, too. πŸ™‚


  3. Hi Bear.

    This will probably be an unusual question. I’m a long time reader / lurker — I’m pretty sure that I first discovered your blog while you were extolling the virtues of the . In the years since, I’ve had some delightful years in Outland and Northrend but was ultimately chased away to other games during the Cataclysm expansion. I remained a reader here though and your writings about exploits in MoP drew me back to Azeroth.

    Currently I’m finishing up the Wrath content on my Mist-walking Monk, and regrettably I still have the misery of the Cataclysm ahead. If there is a hurdle to making a full return levels 80-85 will be it. A LOT has changed since I was last at the level cap, which incidentally was circa the death of Arthas, and it has been great reading some thoughts about gearing at 90 — especially hitting the breakpoints for the various LFR content. The last two posts about Alex have been particularly enlightening… which makes me wonder what else I need to know.

    You mention “a Key to run the Trove for Elder Charms”so I looked that up.. but what else should a relative “newbie” should be thinking about doing at end game to get the most out of LFR? . This might be a lot to ask, so I will not be offended in any way if you think I’m being presumptuous, but if you find you have the time and inclination, would you have any interest doing the throwback advice post about all the things going on at 90 that someone relatively detached from the WoW community might want to look into? (And perhaps there isn’t enough content there for a whole post, which is fine too…)

    Thanks for continuing to publish.



  4. Im pretty easy going when I tank. I dont have dps meters so thats never a problem. Im all about – if you stay alive, dont sit in the crap thats burning/eating/about to explode on the floor then no problem. Usually I do it with friends who either pick up the slack… we do sometimes “worry” about the pug healers and I usually get the message “youre healing me next! from the tank”…

    Anyways, you do have a Druid who can tank. Tanking on druids is fun. How about returning to your druid and tanking? …


    • I have actually picked up my druid a few more times, and I still don’t enjoy it. I don’t know if I’m simply stuck in the past and can’t adapt, but I don’t like the feel, it’s not fun. It’s miserable, and the contrast between how it feels now compared the the unmitigated (snicker) joy I had before on my Druid makes it worse.

      Believe me when I say I don’t like not playing my ‘real’ main.


  5. It does my heart good to hear of players who are willing to have patience, with players like myself. Maybe someday I’ll gain the courage to run dungeons and raids with other players. It can just get so ugly and folks get so frustrated. For now, I’m just happy to run my husband and his alts through Wailing Caverns using my forever under geared toon lol!


  6. Man, sorry I missed the call out for tanks. By the time I’d noticed it, you’d moved on. 😦

    Anywho, if you find yourself in need again, holler if I’m on as always, I’ve got a very solidly geared Blood DK that I use to roll heroics for JP. Gotta upgrade heirlooms for alts. πŸ™‚


  7. LFD is used by an increasing number of people that look to buck up their own low self-esteem/poor play by attempting to focus the group’s wrath on someone else, and if they can’t sway the rest of the group to their side the claws REALLY come out. I was never the subject of the vitriol, but tired of always having to defend some poor SOB who may have been under par, or who made some honest mistake – even when stuff was dying, the asshats would want to stop and review who wasn’t up to snuff. When MoP released, I skipped LFD entirely and geared up only by reputation, crafting, and valor from scenarios and dailies, then jumped straight into LFR, skipping LFD entirely (LFR has its fair share of clowns, but usually only if there’s a wipe). Hell, my mage is at 485 never having seen the inside of any MoP 5-man.


  8. I love healing on my priest – I’m exactly like that healer you pugged. Never complain (in game – my walls probably bleed with the profanity about squishy / imperceptive tanks) or grouse about lack of speed or dps. I prefer the cautious tank to the balls to the wall pull everything and hope the healer can keep up (I can, but as I’ve grown older, I find them less thrilling and more annoying).

    Then there are the certain heroics you know someone in the group is going to fail – avoiding trash in the Shado-Pan Monastery or Standing in the whirlwind in Scarlet.

    Should probably make a drinking game out of it – that’d be hilarious.


    • Yeah, I deal with groups much the same way when I’m healing. I don’t tend to check the gear lvl or the HPs of my tanks unless they seem particularly squishy, and then it’s only so I know how much I have to compensate. I don’t care about the speed of the run, as long as we get it done, and I’m fine with explaining things to people who haven’t been there before.


      • Thank you for being cool. ^,^

        As long as everyone is trying, and being polite about it, I am happy to work with whatever people with which the group ends up. Maybe we should start a “friends of BB” network, for good natured folks willing to run with each other and be positive! ^,^ That would be fun, but I have no idea how to organize such a creature.

        On a similar note, on my server (draenor) there is a facebook social page that networks folks. I’ve seen people group up through that for both regs and heroics, when they couldn’t deal with the pug messes any more.


  9. That is certainly a mixed bag evening. Asshats are definately not to be tolerated. Bleh! Glad that Alex is up to 460 though. Whoot! Do you send out the call for folks interested in runs via the battletag announcement? Or whispers?

    Just curious, since if I’m on (on any alt–I hop around a lot) and guildies/allies haven’t scheduled anything, I’m willing to run in a full friendly heroic any role. I just don’t run as heals or tank in heroic pugs, because of example #1 you gave up above. If it isn’t fun, I don’t wanna!! So I think I’ve done them only as dps, and a couple as heals for guildies. Willing to tank if folks want to throw tips at me. Just got tired of pugs being pug-ugly instead of pug-cute. ><

    I know that folks can cross realm group for non current raids, regs, and heroics; can they do it for scenerios? Can folks queue up as a cross realm group for the lower gated LFRs? If this is possible, I think a few guildies are going to do that server time early evening and I'm going heals. If your family are on and want to go.


  10. Ouch. That tank seems like he was totally the pot calling the kettle black! ‘Idjutness’, badly geared himself and he has the stones to whine about another members’ DPS? A-frakkin-mazing. Or not, this -is- WoW PUGGing, unfortunately (what in the heck can we do to make this whole PUG thing work better?).

    I’m glad you got the bearling’s gear ilvl up, but you might need more than 1 week’s worth of runs in MV to be able to hop around the Heart of Fear and the Terrace. I’m still game to tank or heal or DPS or whatever with you and/or the family just about any time you see me online and need me [all toons start with ‘Gore’, we chatted for a moment last night].

    Happy hunting!



  11. I don’t really want to bring this up, but couldn’t you have just kicked the first tank instead of dropping? I didn’t see any mention of trying, which I would have thought would have been the first response to an asshole pug.


    • Didn’t try, it’s my understanding the kick system doesn’t let a premade group of four kick the fifth.

      Possibly wrong, I don’t kick people. Not for years.


      • I’m very much a rehabilitated kick-happy LFG/LFR runner myself, so if I read it right, I think I’ve come around to your position on this. For me, it was about setting aside my ego (vote kick this asshat!) and just getting along with what I want to do, which is play well in a good group. This has caused me to eat a lot of Deserter buffs as a result, but I don’t care. There’s always herbs in my bags that need milling anyway.


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