Role-playing a Tauren

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Last night I was able to attend one of the first major guild RP events since I joined up. It was a ceremony honoring summer, and the Tauren moon goddess Mu’sha (Elune). There were sixteen members of the guild present, and we gathered at a Tauren medicine circle atop a mountain in the Barrens.

A shaman elder of the tribe gave everyone stone bowls of herbs to burn, and the attendees walked three times around the circle, then knelt down to each offer their prayer to Mu’sha.

Khadon, who did not grow up among Tauren and did not even know who Mu’sha was, offered simply a prayer to learn the ways of being a Tauren, and to have the strength to protect and aid his new family. Afterwards he and a few others who were equally ignorant of Tauren traditions remained for a little lesson on the gods.

Khadon learned of the Earthmother, and of Mu’sha the moon and An’she the sun. Tauren belief considers the sun and moon to be the eyes of the Earthmother, and are brother and sister. He learned that most Tauren such as druids worship Mu’sha, while the priest/paladin (Sunwalker) Tauren worship An’she, and all worship the Earthmother.

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It was a nice event, and also blessedly short as it didn’t start until 10PM, and 11 or 12 is when I try to go to bed. But it concluded before then.

It was a fun event, and I enjoyed attended. I realized a few things with Khadon however. He comes off as childish and almost silly, so I want to fix that, make him more gruff and serious. I don’t want him to end up being the class clown, or the comic relief of the group that for the most part seems to be a relatively serious guild. I also don’t want him to be a walking cliche so I don’t want to go too far in the gruff brawler archetype.

Prior to the event I spent a good chunk of time taking the advice of someone on the forums to help tweak my user interface to be a better tank.  I got several addons.

Here is my UI out of combat:

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I love a minimal UI when I am questing, I really like immersion. I like to almost RP through quests. I’ll do things like walk beside NPCs while they walk and talk, or kneel before them if they are especially impressive such as someone Khadon would respect as an elder or chieftain. It’s just little things like that I enjoy, to help me feel like I am part of the story.  The image below shows the immersion addon I got that removes the normal quest box and replaces it with what’s below.

Above you can see that when out of combat I have just my chat box so I can see my guild Mooing at people who log in, my minimap so I can see where I am going and quest objectives, and my various quests on the side, though that’s hidden in the picture above I can expand it.

The bottom panel shows the spec I am in and the loot I am in, as well as the durability of my armor, and my amount of order hall resources.  On the right it shows my FPS (look at that almost 100 FPS on max settings, I love my new PC! My latency, which was pretty good last night, the time, and my gold.

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The immersion addon is great, I really like it. I actually made it much bigger than the normal settings, so if you’re looking at that and thinking you hate it, it’s normally a bit smaller, and you can edit where it pops up and such fairly easily. It can come in at the side like games like Elder Scrolls tend to do, or be at the bottom.

My screen I play on is massive, and so a lot of text tends to be pretty small. I try not to lean too close so I make the text a bit bigger on my stuff then most people probably do. Especially with post-lasik eyeballs that seem to get tired quickly, staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day then going home to stare at another screen for the next 6…making the text bigger gives my eyeballs some much needed rest.

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Above is my in-combat UI. You can see how it comes alive when I enter combat. It actually pops up whenever I target someone, or I go into combat or do a few other things, allowing it to be there when I need it and disappear when I don’t.

As a tank there actually isn’t a lot of abilities I need, I just need to know when to use them. I had tried tanking and found it hard to keep track of everything I had to do. If I am on point, I’m supposed to keep Moonfire DoTs up on as many things as possible. That takes a back seat to my other two responsibilities however, which is holding aggro, and mitigating incoming damage.

With a healer, mitigating damage is just making it easier on the healer, so takes a slightly lower rank in importance to holding aggro. But I still need to know when to do everything. I need to use my 4 major damaging abilities to generate threat. Swipe just does damage to everyone around me. It doesn’t cost rage, or generate rage, but it doesn’t do much else. It’s my filler. Mangle and Thrash generate rage, and Thrash adds a DoT bleed effect that also increases the damage of Mangle. So using Mangle on cooldown is my top priority followed very closely by using Thrash to keep the DoT up. When Moonfire procs I use that, and it also casts moonfire on a different target. And sometimes a passive ability procs and resets the cooldown on Mangle, so I use that instantly if that happens.

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All that generates thread and should hold aggro. If it doesn’t I can growl, and I’ve got that keybound to a mouseover macro so I can just mouseover the enemy I’m losing threat on and grab it back. The health bar over the targets head (and addon called KuiNamePlates) helps my with that, it changes colors based on threat. If it’s green I’ve got the aggro, if it’s yellow I am losing it, and I believe red is if I’ve lost it.

After that damage mitigation is done preemptively for the most part, which is a struggle. DeadlyBossMods helps by telling me when stuff is happening but I need to learn myself what that stuff is. For example it might tell me the boss is casting Cyclone, but I need to know if Cyclone is magic damage or physical damage, if it will be a lot of damage or a little, etc.  I’ve got a few abilities I need to use depending on what kind of damage is incoming.

So part of my job as a tank is to learn what mechanics each boss has and how to deal with them. The fact that normal dungeons (what I can do right now) are almost too easy is both a curse and a blessing. Because they are so easy there isn’t much fear of screwing up, and I can relax a bit and just practice. But it also makes things like keeping moonfire up on as many targets as possible, and holding aggro, and everything else not even really relevant. I could just run through spamming swipe and we’d be pretty much fine.

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For now I am going to focus on getting Khadon to max level and completing all the solo content. Get my artifact weapon leveled up, etc. I can actually get pretty sweet gear from doing world quests and broken shores stuff and things, so I can work on getting almost overgeared for just standard heroics and Looking for Raid (LFR, the lowest raid tear that is from what I understand laughably easy) and use those to practice my skills even further and get better gear.

My guild, despite being an RP guild, does run some mythic dungeons and normal raids, so it is entirely possible that I could get in on that once I’m leveled up and geared up.

I’ve still got some tweaks to do with my UI, change a few things here and there, but I’m pretty happy with it, and it’s helped me improve my skills already just by making things more clear and easy to follow and not so hectic.  I’m really looking forward to digging in and getting some actual progression done.

And of course to do some more RP!

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