Playing Bane (my Warrior) today made me appreciate how easy farming is with a plate class, particularly one with some kind of self heal.

Love is in the Air requires you to collect Lovely Charms this year, from mobs that would earn you XP. So I set out to find a good farming spot, and found a great location at The Lost Lands in Sholazar where Bonescythe Ravagers spawn every 10 seconds or so in an infinite procession.

I plonked Bane down in mid pond and proceeded to destroy everything that spawned, with Miks scrolling an endless stream of ‘misses’ for the mobs. I kept this up, non stop, for about 45mins, popping Enraged Regeneration when required. This netted the 120 Charms required for the Achievement and sundry other goods in the process. I could barely loot fast enough to keep up.

On my leather wearing Rogue this would have required pulling one or two out of the way, dropping them, eating, repeat. Slow work.

Since then I’ve read of some better spots to farm – BBB seems to have found the pick so far – but it was a good reminder of the virtual unstoppability of a plate clad Tauren.

The other side

I’ve unretired my 80 Rogue Stroeb, freed her from Black Tabby stalking to have a crack at random LFD. I’ve never been a pugger, I think mainly because I find the idea of pugging and tanking terrifying and stressful – not exactly what you’re looking for in a game!

Stroeb was my first toon, and played a lot of level 70 endgame content but I haven’t played her at all at 80. I did a quick refresher of the current vogue for Rogues, promptly ignored the max-dps route of Mutliate builds to stick with the familiar Combat Swords, applied poisons and queued up in my quest greens and crafted blues for a normal mode random dungeon.

And quickly realised LFD is indeed great.

The very first random to come up was Trial of the Crusader. I immediately had a sinking feeling – I haven’t ever been here on any toon, have no idea what to do, panic! But then I realised I just needed to /assist the tank, pop Tricks of Trade on them, and away we go. Luckily I had done some jousting with Bane so knew the start of the fight, and the rest followed. Or, I followed the tank.

It was very refreshing to not be leading, to not have to know what comes next, and to not have to worry about picking up straying mobs. On the other hand it was a whole new challenge to remember that it was my job to maximise my DPS whilst managing threat generation, how to dump agro when I mismanaged it, getting my rotation right, managing my own health bars rather than relying on a healer, and realising that I really can’t afford to get hit even once (or, ahem, stand in the purple pools of ultimate damage).

And most interestingly, it made me realise that seeing it from the other side is a great way to learn the new dungeons so that when I was tanking it, I’d know what to expect. I’ve run the (fantastic) new Icecrown 5 mans on normal mode now a few times, and am starting to see what the tank tactics are and feel confident that I could run them with the Guild. Good stuff, and an unexpected bonus result of getting Stroeb back in the swing of things.

Oh and the epic drops don’t hurt either.

Please welcome to the stage

Stranglethorn ValeI guess it’s worth introducing my WoW characters, to give a feel for who and what I’ll be talking about.

You’ll note that they’re all melee or ranged DPS. I’ve never managed to successfully play a magic based class, be it in D&D or a long history of PC based RPGs. Something felt right about standing back, waving my hands about, and hoping something would happen. I wanted to be in there, doing something physical. In the immortal words of Michael Moorcock, “Treasures are not won by care and forethought but by swift slaying and reckless attack.”

My (currently idle) main is Banehammer, a Tauren Warrior. The reason he’s idle is complicated, but mainly due to a great sundering in Real Life, which meant a large group of us parked our mains and rerolled. But Bane is my main guy, I love him, so he currently noodles about completing the seasonal achivements, doing his Fishing dailies, and I’m considering getting him a Netherwing Drake, easily the most beautiful mount in the game.

The toon seeing the most action is Archammer, Bane’s younger brother, this time a Tauren Druid. He’s the Guild Leader of the Kezan Cartel, which is populated by the rerollers mentioned above. Inspired by the coming Cataclysm, we’re rolling through the old content dungeon by dungeon, and Arc is one of two tanks in the group.

Also spending her time idly in Silverpine Forest farming Black Tabby’s is Stroeb, Undead Rogue and the first toon I levelled to 70. She’s a Kara vet, I loved playing her too, and only switched away once it became clear our guild needed a tank. She’s more honourary than anything at this stage, but I still admire her backstabbing skills.

Rounding out the semi-active list is Auarra, Tauren Hunter. The first thing I ever rolled was actually a Dwarven Hunter, which I loved (largely due to the epic WoW cinematic and a history of Dwarven DnD characters) until I realised that The Alliance were a bunch of flag waving bores. So a Tauren Hunter was the natural replacement, though I’m struggling to get motivated to move her through Outland. And when I’m feeling nostalgic, I have been known to roll up a Dwarf and enjoy that snowy start for a few hours…

So there you have the toons, and a small history, so you’ll know who I’m talking about.