Introductions are always hard, especially when you're about do something ludicrously arrogant like presenting yourself as an expert on something. Still, it's better to do something all the way then it is to tenderfoot it, so here goes. I'm Matt Rossi, and I'll be writing about warriors for WoW Insider. I've played two to 70, have another to 68, a Draenei I'm letting rest at 51 for now and another who I left on an RP server at about 60. Basically, I love warriors, always have. Every time I play my pally or shammy alts, I keep muttering but where's my charge gone in my best Johnny Depp lamenting the loss of his rum voice. Warriors have had their ups and their downs... who can forget when we lost all rage on a missed execute? But I've played since my wife brought her copy of the game to move in with me, and all that time warriors have usually been my mains.
I wanted this first column to break the ice a little, so instead of writing a deep treatise on tanking basics, or the merits and drawbacks of various tanking specs, or how playing another class can help your tanking, or the mythology that's built up in players from other classes about how amazingly awesome plate armor is in game, I decided today would be a good time to humiliate myself in public with one of the biggest screw-ups I've made as a warrior. This way, we can all laugh at what a cretin I am together! Since I'm sure I'm going to post something that will convince you of that sooner or later anyway.
This story is about the very first time I got to tank a major boss, back when level 60 was endgame. I'd always been a DPS warrior for the guild I was in, down to having been awarded the Eye of Sulfuras when it dropped. As a result, I'd recently changed my FR set of armor to use the mace instead of my trusty Draconian Deflector, because who wouldn't? Anyway, upon going to the bank in IF, I used my wardrobe addon (good old reliable, not especially flashy ItemRack) to equip my FR set to make sure it was all there, and then switched to my PvP set for a little fun before heading to Duskwallow.
Some of you already see where this is going, huh?
Anyway, there I was in Duskwallow, getting ready to run Onyxia's lair. We'd done this run often. So often, that in order to make it interesting, the officers decided that we'd have two 20 man runs that would race each other to see who could kill her first. It was in this way that I suddenly discovered myself nominated to tank the second Ony run, and found myself staring the dragon herself in the face minutes later. I hit the key to switch my tanking set on only to discover that most of my tanking set wasn't there.
I'd left it in the bank. Specifically, when I used my wardrobe addon, it had treated my bank as if it was my inventory, and as a result it had put the sets I was cycling through into the bank. I didn't have my Deflector. In fact, I didn't have any shield at all. This is one of my only complaints about that addon, but ultimately it was my own fault, right? Don't answer that, I get enough grief for it already.
That's how I ended up tanking Onyxia in my PvP set with a two hand weapon in a 20 man raid. Amazingly, the healers kept me alive. Not amazingly, I got made fun of on teamspeak. In fact, I was known from this point on as "cheesey poof" because, as one of the paladins put it, I liked to tank things with my big Cheeto hammer.
The most embarrassing moment of Matt's life as a warrior was actually at level 40 when he realized that Sunder Armor won't work if a target has had Expose Armor applied first. He continues to start sweating madly every time a rogue asks in party or on vent if it's okay to use it.