Last night was one of those nights for me where I'm glad I logged in and played WoW instead of doing something else. You see, I have been after the Hourglass of the Unraveller for some time. It dropped once while I was in a Black Morass run but I lost on the roll for it and it had eluded me ever since. I don't usually obsess over loot like this but I think it was because I came so close to getting it before that I had become fixated. In fact, I was very casual about loot before we started gearing up for Kara and I think that in part has made me a bit fanatical about gear upgrades.
After doing my Ogri'la and Skettis daily quests with Wichita, some guildees were looking for more people for any Tempest Keep instance run. Since neither of us had anything else planned, we both joined up. However, upon joining the group, I realized we'd have one too many people and since the group really needed a healer, I stepped out of the group and now I'm very glad I did.
I put myself in queue in the LFG tool to get into a PuG BM group. I had been trying to get some PuG BM group runs because I had a hunch that I wouldn't be getting the Hourglass unless I ran BM in a PuG. I don't know why, other than the fact that a couple of other key pieces of gear I've acquired in the past had been in PuG or partial-PuG groups (Shoulderpads of Assassination, for example, dropped while I was tanking for a partial-PuG and I was the only leather wearer in the group). Anyway, the hunch certainly paid off as the Hourglass dropped and I won the roll.
I did feel kind of bad. There was a hunter in the group and he really wanted it as well. His buddy, the paladin healer, was asking if the hunter could have it, citing they had run BM 8 times now looking for it. Now, normally, I would have just passed and tried my luck again some other time. I don't like these types of confrontations - I don't want to seem greedy. However, having hunted for this for so long I told the pally that this was the only item in the instance I came for and that I had run BM like fourteen times hunting for this item. To my surprise, being in a PuG, the paladin acquiesced and simply stated, "but if you must, you must". To soften the blow for his Hunter friend, I offered to help in future runs if they happened to run them late at night, which is when my availability is higher.
I don't usually like offering my tanking services to people outside of the guild that I don't know even for a loot drop. However, I know how it feels to come so close to getting this stupid trinket and losing on the roll. Also, tanks can be hard to find - especially ones that are geared enough for BM.
When I first joined the group and made it into the instance, the pally send me a private tell asking me how much health I had. I told him that unbuffed I was at 12k and he seemed relieved, telling me their previous tank had only 9k health. Low health can be dangerous in an instance like BM. The fight with Temporus can be tricky if you're undergeared as Temporus has a MS debuff that can stack up pretty high which makes healing very tricky. As well, the fight with the last boss, Aeonus, can be dangerous for a low health tank because Aeonus has a 4 sec stun attack that hits everyone in a 50 yard radius. This means that for 4 secs your tank can't dodge, parry, or shield block and your healer can't heal him through the damage he's taking. If your tank wasn't at full health when the stun hit, Aeonus may be able to finish him off in those 4 secs.
The paladin's relief turned into shock, however, when I told him that I was sitting at 25k armor unbuffed. I could practically see his jaw drop IRL. I've got a great set of pre-kara gear and I'm proud of it. With MotW and BoK, I was sitting at 26k armor which is 71% damage reduction and above 15k health. During our fight with Aeonus, the pally sent me another tell saying I made this fight easy for them. This is probably because he didn't have to stress about keeping me at max health in case of the stun. At 71% damage reduction, Aeonus was hitting me for <1k (around 700-800ish). Even at half-health, Aeonus would have to hit me 10x to kill me so it didn't matter that my health wasn't at max when Aeonus did his Time Stop stun.
Bear druids make great tanks for a place like BM because not only do we have high health and mitigation, we also offer up good dps for a tank. And BM is a DPS test, requiring a good amount of DPS to succeed.
So, now I have the Hourglass. I went from having some pretty weak trinkets for my feral DPS around a month ago, to having some of the best. The Skyguard Silver Cross is the 3rd best DPS trinket as rated by http://www.gurgleblaster.net/emmerald/Cat_Sustained_DPS/Trinket.html and the Hourglass is 7th. However, the trinket rated 4th best only works on undead. The remaining trinkets are all only acquired from SSC or by doing BT - except 1. The Bloodlust Brooch is certainly a good trinket but it costs 41 Badges and that's going to take a while considering I just spent 25 Badges recently to upgrade my tanking ring (a very good investment).
It was kind of funny to tank an instance to get a DPS drop.
After the BM runs (we ran it twice hoping the Hourglass would drop again - it didn't), I joined in a guild SV run and again, it was a good call. We were trying to get Rhubarb some healing gear - none of which dropped, and after the last boss we decided to kill some of the Oracles out at the start of the instance because my guildees knew I was looking for the enchanting Formula: Bracer - Fortitude (thanks for the suggestion Jagdelf!). The first pull of a group of mobs with an Oracle and the formula dropped!
This is one of the things that makes Heroes Inc so great - the people. Most folk are generous and willing to help others try to get stuff they need or want and are even willing to do extra pulls after an instance in the off chance something drops. Hopefully, we can get Rhubarb some good healing drops and he can then help out with our shortage of healers.