I'm pleased to start this series by interviewing my long time friend and former Guildie, Zenhawk of the guild <Achievement> on Mannoroth-US.
Join us after the jump for a conversation with one of your fellow Citizens of Azeroth!
So Zenhawk, three questions to start: How long have you been playing? What is your raiding experience? What role is your favorite?
3 years in February. I've raided almost all of Wrath when the raids were current content (save Naxxramas). I was a part of competitive guilds in 10 and 25 man raids as a healer (Resto Druid and Holy Paladin). When Cataclysm hit, I switched to my Druid tank. I progressed through the beginning Cataclysm raids (BWD, Throne, BoT) as a 10 man guild's offtank. I took a break from the game when Firelands came out, and came back to the game when Dragon Soul came out. I was with a 10 man heroic progression guild for a while, but I transferred to a 25 man heroic guild to be with friends. As of now, I'm with that same guild as the guild's mistweaver monk.
Tanks are traditionally seen as a group’s leaders, what are your thoughts on that?
I generally agree with that statement. When a raid boss situation is under control, tanks have more time to look around and prepare for a situation that may be occurring soon. Tanks are also seen as natural leaders in 5 man groups (as they are the ones initially attacking the mobs), so it makes sense that it would transfer to a larger scale group.
What are your thoughts on the MoP expansion so far?
Mists is a brilliantly well done expansion. I found myself excited for it a couple of weeks before the release, and it was well deserved. The storyline from 85-90 (on both horde and alliance side) is brilliantly well done. The quests make you feel more involved. And the challenge from 88-90 is taxing, as it should be. The real fun begins when you hit 90. There is so much to do, you have no real idea on where to start. Pet battles, a mass amount of new achievements, dailies, and other things make sure that you're not bored with the game for a while. I feel like the daily grind can be very taxing after a while. I earned the 1000 daily quest complete achievement 3 weeks after my monk hit level 90. My recommendation with the daily quests: have someone else to do them with. My girlfriend and I have done dailies together since we both were 90, and it has been a much less painful process. The raids are brilliantly well done as well. The bosses are intensive across all spectrums, and require your raid to be on top of your game 99% of the time.
What are your thoughts on MoP raiding?
Compared to the other expansions, I feel like the bosses are more original. As stated before, the bosses have tighter enrage timers and more healing and tank intensive phases. Cataclysm had more bosses with slacking timers and were more laid back compared to some of the fights in the expansion. Compared to Wrath, I would say the challenges that some of the hard modes brought bring a similar thrill to what I'm feeling now. Struggling to meet enrage timers, popping all defensive cool downs just to get through 15 seconds of a fight, and doing what you can to restore mana however you could. It's a thrill progressing through these bosses and even more when you slay them for the first (or even subsequent) time(s).
What was your early MoP heroic dungeon experience like?
Doing it as a guild group made it much less taxing compared to Cataclysm. The heroics from MoP felt much like Wrath. I was able to be geared up fairly quick within just a couple of days of hitting 90. The only heroic that I felt was painful was Shado-Pan monastery. Other than that, it was a general breeze preparing for raids. If you want a real challenge however, go to challenge modes. I feel like those are the true heroics.
What's your favorite part of WoW? What is it that keeps you coming back?
The fact that there's so much to do. Currently, the achievements are what are keeping me going with the game. I've been working hard to earn as many "Nerd Points" as I possibly can on my characters, just because it is a sense of personal accomplishment when I'm working on something as taxing as doing 1 task for 10 of these achievement points. If I had to pick something else, it would be the introduction of new content. Being able to explore and do all the new things with a new expansion (or even a major patch) is very intriguing.
What are your thoughts on Mistweaver healing?
In some instances, very powerful. In some instances, very gimmicky. MW Monks are very strong as a raid wide healer with their Renewing Mists and Uplift. There are some fights when 1, even 2 MW Monks are essential to a successful raid boss kill. The part that feels extremely gimmicky is the Gift of The Serpent/Eminence. It requires too much effort for not enough efficient healing. In most aspects, it feels like a strong healing class, just needs some reworking.
1, Do some research on what class/role you would want to do both as you level, and as level 90. 2, Find some friends to play with along the way, whether it be in real life, or people to level up with you that you meet during your escapades. 3, Have fun! The leveling process can be just as much fun as all of the end game content this game has to offer.
Zenhawk, thanks for your time! You're still one of my favorite Citizens of Azeroth.
For anyone interested in Heroic 25-man Raiding, check out <Achievement> on Mannoroth-US.