Part One: Summary of the Night
Part Two: First Impression of Warrior Skills/Talents
Really the only word. Possibly to the point of uninteresting. Read on...
We cleared BT in under three hours. Three hours, and probably could have done it an hour shorter if we hadn't taken so long to realize our full potential, and swapped people less.
Najentus died in 1:46, before even doing tidal shield a second time.
Supremus died in ~3:00, after a single kite phase.
Akama died in 50 seconds.
Teron took ~2:00 min.
Bloodboil died in the middle of his second Fel Rage.
RoS didn't finish her first enrage, and had over 1:30 left in P2 when we pushed it to P3.
Shaz and Council were faster, but had no exciting landmarks.
Illidan was one-shot. He did shadow demons twice, the whole time.
All the trash was AoE'ed down. We did 3+ Supremus pulls at a time. Akama was done in two long pulls. Everything that was remotely close got done together, and with minimal tank damage, and tons of threat everywhere and on everything. And the efficiency of AoEing, combined with the 30% less health, made it just fly.
Now - for as exciting as this all sounds - it just felt too easy by the end. It felt like a run-through, and we aren't even rocking Sunwell Gear (yet). I had fun flexing my new skills (more later), but by the end, nothing was really challenging. Our healers were board to tears - since we were taking far less damage, and the fights were so short that their healing was a shadow of what it once was.
I consider myself as having taken a low threat spec. No Impale, Cruelty, AttT, Puncture - and I still out-threated everyone on single targets. By a large margin. In avoidance gear. I had to try at some points, so I get the impression that threat talents will just reduce the margin of effort needed.
Shield Block: I macro'ed this into Shield Slam, by the end of the night. I didn't need the on-demand protection, and the extra threat/damage was nice.
Vigilance: This was fun. I had DPS asking for it specifically, and it was pretty big in maintaining the large lead I had. I also tried to remember to stick it on people that were subject to large amounts of damage for its damage reduction component - Bloodboil's Fel Rage targets, and Illidan's Shadow Barrage Target.
Warbringer: The mobility was nice. The pace of the night was so fast, that I really liked being able to charge around - like when I intercepted the feral druid that was headed towards the next pull, then charged his target - that was fun to see in action.
Sword and Board: This was a general fun talent, and made secondary aggro a breeze. I'll take some time to get the sound/animation completely down in my head so that its automatic, but I see that in the future.
Shockwave: Between this and Thunderclap, I could tank most any sized group. My only complaint, was that there were times I got lazy while waiting for the cooldown to come up, and could have spent more time tab-targeting around.
I still want to get some more experience with talents before I make final judgement, though.
I felt as effective at AoE tanking as our paladin. It was hard to tell without my fully configured scrolling combat text, but I think I tanked the bulk of pre-Shaz trash. Typically two AoE groups, a Pain/Pleasure Pack, and some servants - all together.
In Summary: I can't wait for Wrath, but its now more urgent. We now have power well above the content available, and need some content designed with it in mind. I really hope that raiding continues with its scheduled course until the expansion, though, and that people don't get disinterested.