Beta: Drunk Tanking and More

Drunk tanking:

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’m not big on tanking. I do it occasionally on my paladin, mostly for Call to Arms satchels and the amusement that comes from my Captain America shield, and I’ve dabbled in blood tanking on my rarely played death knight, but it’s always been my least favourite role.

Dance, cow, dance!So when it comes to monks and the Mists of Pandaria beta, brewmaster spec wasn’t really on my radar. I was far more interested in the DPS and healer specs, as those are roles I know I enjoy.

But still, what’s the point of playing a beta if you’re not going to experiment with crap you’d never normally do? So I figured I might as well give drunk tanking a try.

I have since tanked instances at both low and high levels, and I have to say that it is stupidly, ridiculously fun.

Yeah, I can’t believe I said that. I enjoyed tanking. Not only that, it completely blows the other two specs out of the water in the fun department — at least for me.

You see, tanking is all about control, but I never feel like I have control when I’m tanking on my paladin or DK.Both classes are highly limited by cooldowns or resources, and I feel my abilities are never there when I need them. They also have fairly poor mobility, so I always end up running back to the healer (in slow motion, seemingly) after a bad pull, struggling to reach an enemy to hit with hammer of the righteous because avenger’s shield is on CD again.

My smashed panda in the Mists of Pandaria betaI’m sure a more skilled player than I knows how to avoid these issues, but I feel very helpless when I’m tanking.

Unless I’m a brewmaster. Brewmasters aren’t often limited by CDs, and although they’re a little chi-starved right now, you can still use your energy abilities, so I find resources are not as big an issue as they are for, say, death knights.

Roll makes for incredible mobility, so I’m always where I need to be, and if by some miracle I’m not, my main area of effect threat builder, dizzying haze, is ranged and almost infinitely spammable, so I can always regain control no matter how crazy things get — and trust me, they did get crazy. That room before Ozruk in the Stonecore… *Shudder.*

And then there’s clash — an ability that combines a warrior’s charge, and DK’s death grip, and a Tauren’s war stomp stun. Oh, clash, how I love thee. I foresee many a “Come at me, bro!” macro.

I don’t feel helpless when I tank as a brewmaster. I feel in control. I feel like the kung fu master I am. I feel like a badass.

Plus, you can’t deny the aesthetic appeal of killing people by smashing them in the face with kegs of booze.

Of course, beta is beta:

That’s not to say brewmaster tanking is perfect right now. It’s beta; nothing’s finished.

This characte is actually a lowbie Undead(This character is actually a level twenty male Undead monk. Seriously. Beta’s fun, eh?)

Mainly, survivability is a huge issue right now. Brewmasters are all active mitigation and no passive mitigation. Basically, if you don’t have shuffle up (an ability that costs half your chi and only lasts five seconds), you end up as a smear on the boss’s boot.

I’m sure my healers hated me.

Even with all that stress, though, I’ve never had so much fun as a tank. Shockingly, brewmaster may end up as my monk’s main spec when Mists of Pandaria goes live.

In other news:

I haven’t done that much else in the beta as of late. When you’re avoiding the new continent, there’s not a whole lot to do, and I’m struggling to get my live warlock to 85 before Diablo 3 distracts me.

However, demonology warlocks got an overhaul recently, so I had to try that. I was greatly relieved to find that the spec has been largely fixed. There’s more than one button worth pushing in metamorphasis now, we’re back to multiple DoTs, and it feels like playing a warlock again.

My warlock stylin' and profilin' with dark apotheosis in the Mists of Pandaria betaWhat was once a trainwreck is now probably the most enjoyable warlock spec in the beta right now. The issues that remain are largely just a matter of tuning: demonic fury fades too fast, soulfire costs too much mana, chaos wave costs way too much fury, etc.

It’s also probably the most visually spectacular spec in… ever. Between dropping enormous black meteors on people, unleashing tempests of hellfire, the ridiculously badass new soulfire, the army of imps following you around, Illidan form, the shadowbolt glyph, and the new demon models, every aspect of the spec is a feast for the eyes. Not to mention dark apotheosis…

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7 thoughts on “Beta: Drunk Tanking and More

  1. Heh, yes, smashing people in the face with kegs of booze sounds brilliant! Like you, I had no real intention of trying Brewmaster, but I think you just may have changed my mind 🙂

    I’m glad to hear that warlocks are getting some loving! My poor warlock has sat neglected and unloved since she hit 85. She performs dismally. I put it down to operator error though. I’ve had some great coaches, but none could help me!

    • I wouldn’t feel bad if you struggle as a warlock. You practically need three hands to handle the live rotations — demo and destro, anyway. Can’t really speak to affliction. I do okay, but I leveled slow, so I’ve had a great deal of practice.

      Beta demo, though, is a thing of beauty. Or it will be once resource costs are straightened out. It’s just complex enough to be engaging, but much more user-friendly than live, and being able to pop meta whenever you want is awesome.

      • You know, that is exactly how I felt. Like I needed an extra hand. Even with all the macros I had, I still felt stunted, and it showed. My under-geared three button combat rogue could do better than her, which depressed me. I’m very much looking forward to checking out the new and improved demo! Thank you for the post 🙂

      • On the plus side, I’ve become a much better player from having a warlock. I’ve learned so much about the power of macros…

        Also, how on Earth do you play combat with only three buttons?

      • Sinister Strike, Slice ‘n’ Dice, Eviscerate. I suppose I did underestimate how many buttons I actually press as a Combat Rogue! My Warlock skills are so sub-par that even with just those three buttons, the rogue would still probably perform better. Sadness.

      • Aye. No doubt some Killing Spree and Adrenaline Rush would help too! Lesson learned, I will not over-simplify again 🙂

        *wanders off to stab some things*

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