Thursday, March 1, 2012

Challenge of the Six

Much has happened in my WoWverse since my last post. Not the least being my guild has gone its separate ways. At least until MoP. It was very dramatic disbanding at first, but those of us that stuck around until the end had a couple of good discussions (and way, way too many Titanic references).
I'll still be playing WoW, just not 12 hours a week. Hm...maybe I should make another shaman...

As for the Six Challenge, I was tagged by Gladly of The Ready Check. Almost all the pictures I've taken are on my external HD. Which I am too lazy to go find and attach. Thus, all I have is the 6th image in my WoW Screenshot folder. Without further ado:
This, my children, is what happens when you and another player manage to hop on drakes at the exact same time in the BC Durnholde dungeon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Now with pants! (sort of)

Finally found a transmog I like. I love the shoulders of this tier, but - as I've made clear - I hate kilts. Dresses. Skirts. So I mixed n' match to make it work for me.
Head, Wrist, Hands, and Shoulders: Tier 13
Chest, Waist, Boots: Hunters' look-alike from BC dungeons
Pants: Mail Combat Leggings (green drop in Scarlet Monastery)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project in Progress

I'm working on figuring out Shamans in the game. Who are they. What are they. Real-life work has been pretty busy these past few weeks though, but I'm hoping to get a more finalized piece up this weekend.

Progress Shot:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blog Azeroth: 1/15/12 - 1/21/12

With a new year its a good time to reflect on the past and things that might of been overlooked.
We're actually in the place we were before with the introduction of the ICC 5 mans and the End Time both serving the same goals. How did Blizzard handle it differently? How did the community?
A few thoughts:
Its become expected to look at videos and groups abuse those who don't before venturing into the new content. Did Blizzard tune the encounters expecting that? Should they?
Last rollout the dungeons were introduced with an air similar to the Troll dungeons 'this will be hard but worth it'. This rollout was far more 'go and have fun' did that change how people approached the design and going into the fights?

Confession: I didn't read the prompt very well before I started writing my post. I look at this more as comparing the 5-man, three dungeon sets against each other. These dungeon sets both serve to setup the final boss battle, while at the same time trying to give non-raiders a part in the final storyline. I'm treating this more as a review of all six, what worked and what didn't. Warning: This is a long post.

Forge of Souls
Setting: The giant gear running below you, plus the metal/wire walkways, do a good job of setting the industrial feel. If your graphics are on low though it all blends into one brown smudge. Had to turn them up a bit to get the full feel.
Bronjahm: I completely forgot this guy existed. But once I engaged him I remember the fight. You have to stand in center to avoid his whirlwind on the outside. I remember this was annoying in WotLK because you would almost always die if you got feared into the outside and the healer wasn’t on their toes. It was the constant battle of “don’t stand in stupid” vs “but you don’t understand, I got feared into stupid!” …meanwhile the afk lock was standing in the stupid.
Devourer of Souls: Well don’t you look friendly, and you shoot hyperbeam, joy. I remember that, for some reason, no one in LFD could avoid the beam, or the ghosts. I forgot about mirrored souls, the spell that reflects dmg back to you, and almost killed myself while soloing the boss.
I don’t really feel any attachment to the bosses. They both only show up in this dungeon. They’re just part of the big bad death machine the Lich King has going. Nothing special.
You zone in and ask Jaina, “What would you have of me my lady?”
Jaina: “Thank the Light for seeing you here safely! We have much work to do if we are to defeat the Lich King and put an end to the Scourge. Our allies within the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade have broken through the front gate of Icecrown and are attempting to establish a foothold within the citadel. Their success hinges upon what we discover within these cursed halls. Although our mission is fraught with peril, we must persevere! With the attention of the Lich King drawn towards the front gate, we will be working our way through the side in search of information that will enable us to defeat the Scourge once and for all. King Varian’s SI:7 agents have gathered information about a private sanctum of the Lich King’s deep within a place called the Halls of Reflection. We will carve a path through this wretched place and find a way to end the Halls. I sense powerful magic hidden away within those halls Magic that could be the key to destroying the Scourge! Make haste, champions! I will prepare the troops to fall in behind you."
So we’re after something that can help us take down the Lich King. With Jaina leading. What could possibly go wrong?
Bonus: Oh hey look… a floating skull, what’s that – OH GOD IT JUST ONE SHOT THE HEALER!

Pit of Saron
Setting: Something big is brewing here. Sure, that feeling is slightly degraded by the fact that all groups quickly figured out that if you hug the wall (thereby reducing the bigness of the area by half) it’s way faster. Still, the creepy eye of Saron (Yes, Mr. Tolkien? Copyright what now?) was a nice touch, as were the different levels – you slowly worked your way up to the final boss both figuratively and literally.
Forgemaster Garfrost: You couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy when you killed him. I mean, he would take dying over losing? He’s got a harsh master. Of course…your sympathy might be a little checked by the fact that no one can stand behind the boulder long enough to drop their debuff stacks and live.
Ick & Krick: Ahh poison nova + pursuit. Guaranteed to kill a pug every time. I do wonder if Jaina would have killed the gnome Tryannus hadn’t beaten her to it. I doubt it. Sadly.
Scourgelord Tryannus: There’s a Scourgelord? Why haven’t we seen him before? Oh well, now that we’ve made it through your tunnel (the priest only died twice), time to die! Except, no, no! Bad rogue! Stop hitting the boss you moron, you’re healing him!
Hey look Coliseum champions running bravely to face Tryannus. You go guys – oh, oh, man, that sucks for them. Bye champions. Guess Jaina is going to be waiting for those reinforcements longer than she thought. And then she kills the corrupted champions, just like that. So she still thinks Arthas can be saved, but she kills a dozen champions without a second thought? I call shenanigans. Or at least weak character development.
The purpose of the pit is just to make it through to the Halls of Reflection. We free some Alliance slaves and make our own reinforcements, stopping by the Forgemaster for some weapons (pried from his cold, dead hands).
Tryanus is the last obstacle between us and the Halls. The freed Alliance slaves start giving a heartfelt and moving speech after his defeat. The first time I heard it I knew immediately they were screwed. No one gets to monologue that long without being killed. It’s a rule of literature, I mean think of Shakespeare. Ten minute speech means you’re getting killed off in the next scene.
Hope you’re happy Jaina. After Rimefang kills them all she goes, “I… I could not save them. Damn you, Arthas! DAMN YOU!” Excellent. Now she is riled up and hates the guy. We might get out of this alive.
Bonus: When you actually do kill Sindy (if you ever did. Took my guild forever, we weren’t really raiders back then) it’s a nice bit of revenge. You keep casting magic buffet and wiping the raid? Fine. I’ll just keep murdering Rimefang. Take that! And that!

Halls of Reflection
Setting: Walk in and all eyes are drawn towards Frostmourne. And the chase scene happens above the Pit of Saron – I think. Also, how many thrones does Arthas need? Seems excessive. Though, when Arthas appears and says, “So you wish to commune with the dead?” it is probably one of the best voiced lines in WoW.
Falwic and Marywn: 10 waves. You know, I’m not sure I can solo this. [10 minutes later], OK, I can. Barely. Thank You Heroism. Oh gauntlet. You were not a happy fight back in the day. I don’t think I’ve ever run a dungeon that has as many drop/adds as this fight does. You would always spawn in on wave like 4/10. With three people dead. Kind of like LFR today…
Frostsworn General: A mini-boss really. I just remember that if you kited him back to the first room you could defeat him before your evil doppelgangers made it to the group.
Wrath of the Lich King: Wait, really? This fight is named after the expansion? Cool. Ok – we’ll just sneak by you Jania. Try to keep him frozen would OH GOD HE’S COMING AFTER US. RUN. RUN FASTER!!
Seriously, that slow walk still creeps me out. I’m pretty sure I had a mini-heart attack the first time I did this dungeon. I thought was going to die. The Lich King was going to catch me. And I was going to die. Brilliant plan Jania, you just had to see if he had some humanity left in him. I guess it’s some consolation Slyvanas did the right thing and went straight to trying to end him, and she still had to run. So at least Horde players get to experience the heart attack as well.
Oh hey, there was a cut scene here? I never knew that, the group always skipped it. You tell her Uther. Tell her that there is nothing good left in the Lich King. And then the silly girl doesn’t listen. The fact that I feel it OK to type silly girl says it all. Jaina is still lovestruck, over a murder. Great.
Then Uther tells us there must always be a Lich King. It’s cool Uther – we’re from the future, we know Bolivar steps up and delivers. Wait – why are you saying the last bit of ARthas is holding back the scourge. No, you’ve just humanized him. Can you see the gleam in Jaina’s eyes? Damn it Uther.
I know it’s good to have redemption stories, but I think this got a bit overdone on the Alliance side. Arthas is gone. Even if he’s in there somewhere, his existence or lack thereof has nothing to do with the fact that the LK has killed hundreds, and will kill hundreds more. Jaina held on too long, and it made me not like her. Which is a shame, because at this point the coolest female in the Alliance is now pirate lady. Well at least until Moria came along. It’s clear at this point, that Arthas is a Big Bad. Heck, he chose this path, he knew, at least on some level what he was getting into. So no – no more of this, maybe there’s something to save. I wish Morgain had handed us a secret quest. One that said, follow Jania in, and if you see the opportunity, kill the Lich King as best you can. Even better, if Jaina had tried to do it herself on seeing there is nothing good left in Arthas. That would have redeemed her slightly.

End Time
 Setting: You zone in and are immediately aware of Deathwing’s impaled form, drooping over Wrymrest. Nozdormu is waiting for you expectantly on the ledge, his historian helper waiting nervously behind him. Below him are the seething remains of Azeroth’s last great battle, the battle we lost.
Bosses: The maddened remains of some of the faction leaders are awesome. Downside is that they’re random. I always get Baine. I never get Tryande.
Baine: Simple fight, except that people never remember to throw the totem back at him. I like the melee buff from the lava though, so I can’t complian.
Slyvanas: KILL THE GHOUL! NO NOT THAT GHOUL THE OTHER ONE! Nevermind, we died. Let’s try this again shall we?
Jaina: This encounter has now become, how stealthy can the feral druid, the rogue, or the nimble ghost wolf shammy be? A.k.a. collect all the shards without killing a single add. Except for the ones where Jaina spawns, guess we have to kill those.
Tryande: Marco! Polo! Marco! Pol-GIANT PACK OF TIGERS!
Murozond: Killing Murzond (aka Bad Normy) is neat, especially because it’s the only fight I’ve ever been able to spam heroism for. Not so good when someone is running the hourglass who had no idea what to do.
Storyline: The main quest is that you’ve got to stop whoever is blocking Nozdormu from accessing the Well of Eternity Timeline. Hint: it’s himself. Which he knows. But he doesn’t let you in on that little secret. I wonder how shocking that is. “Yay we beat the boss! Nozdorum – why you no celebrate?” Nozdormu: “yay, I get to witness my demise over and over and over and over and did that hunter just roll on a spirit dagger?! ARGH!”
The side-quest is helping to chronicle the madness of those that are ‘alive.’ You do this by absorbing some spirit gunk from whichever of the two bosses you defeat. I guess it’s good to have this stuff to study, but how dangerous is it to hold onto corrupted time gunk?
Bonus: Gave Tyrande a new character model. Finally.

Well of Eternity
 Setting: Why is everything so green? Green demons. Green plants. I mean props for giving everything a jewel tone, really sets the whole imperial elves thing up, but I’m too used to all red, all the time Firelands. What is this other color?
Bosses: I don’t like the fights in Well of Eternity, but I think that’s a result of tanking them a lot on my rusty and under-geared tank.
Peroth'arn: This demon is easy – though people kept complaining I should let myself get caught by the eyes. I’m sorry, if you can’t run away from green glowy balls you go ahead and die.
Queen Azshara: Azshara’s adds are annoying to control. Both caster. Plus worrying about directing DPS to the hand as soon as it goes up. If you have an overgeared DPS, it goes fine as the adds die quickly. If not, chaos ensues.
Mannoroth: This fight is just long, and I could never figure out how many of the adds people actually expected me to tank. Illidian’s buff is nice though. Once you get that it’s just thunderclap your way to victory. For DPS the whole last fight is pretty boring.
Storyline: We're sneaking (not very sneakily) into the Well in order to steal the Dragonsoul, since there's no whole version of the weapon in current time. Somehow this translates into very openly taking down some bad guys.
There were a lot of lore figures in this one. OMG THERE IS ILLIDIAN! Except…I didn’t play during BC, so my reaction was more “oh look, the dude with glaives. One of two jerky brothers. Yay.” I don’t like Malfurion or Illidian. Mostly because I hate how Tyrande goes all wimpy second-fiddle the minute they show up.
Azshara was what I was expecting for might queen ruler of everything. Condescendingly polite ways of saying “go kill yourself.” It’s too bad we didn’t see her as more insane. Quietly whispering sweet nothings to Saregras perhaps. Or randomly murdering an aide. Something.
Bonus: Riding the dragons down through the well. Sure everyone skips it now, but it was a pretty awesome cut scene. Also: for putting something that happened in the books into the game.

Hour of Twilight
Setting: Tramping around Northrend again is fun. I started in WotLK, and spent a lot of time running around Dragonblight (I wanted my red dragon mount!), so having the whole dungeon set here is a nice look back. It makes Northrend feel relevant again, if only for a moment. It really feels like your transporting something important to Wrymrest. The only downside is that Thrall has the world’s slowest ghostwolf form. And he has to cast it! No glyph for you World Shaman?
Arcurion: Random elemental. Ooo so scary. Though, as a shaman, should I be worried that a lot of elementals don’t like Thrall? Or mortals?
Asira Dawnslayer: I was super excited to see Ms. Assassin. I mean this is the lady Therazane warned us about. Something I exclaimed happily to my PUG upon first seeing her, and was met with uncaring silence: “OMG it’s ASARIA. REVENGE IS MINE”. Fine. I’ll be excited for all of you. This fight requires you to both move the boss from bad stuff, while standing in good stuff. Much like patting your head while rubbing your tummy…results may vary.
Archbishop Benedictus (a.k.a. the Twilight Prophet): Almost solo-able as long as you don’t stand in the path of the slow moving wave. His betrayal seems a little sudden, and it’d be more fun if Varian were there to punch him in the face or something. Now there’s just going to be the rumor that Thrall killed Stormwind’s Archbishop. That can’t go over well.
Storyline: Come Thrall! I will protect you! …if you could just move a tad bit faster? Maybe? And who decided the dragons should meet us in a pit. A pit filled with assassins. Why do we insist on going farther into the pit? Shouldn’t they meet us up – aw man. Look what you did Thrall. You got the dragon killed. I bet Alexstrazza hates you now. And now we’re flying, annnnd now we’re crashing. Fight our way to the temple and Wait? I thought we had decided he wasn’t going to be evil. And now he is. I’m confused. Blizzard, why you confuse me?
I traveled to the Cathedral of Light to see if they noticed his absence. A good Bishop Farthing informs me that Benedictus has been called on a mission to help at Wrymrest. Upon informing Farthing that his leader has lost his marbles, he laughs me off and tells me to return again when I stop spreading lies. He also tells me that the prospect of Benedictus becoming the Twilight Prophet is as crazy as Bolvar Foredragon becoming the Lich King.
Haha. Imagine that.
Bonus: Satisfaction of knowing you’re a better shaman than Thrall because your ghost wolf is insta-cast.

Looking at Everything Together
Overall I think the DS dungeon set brought back more familiar characters, and did a better job with visuals. The ICC Dungeons make the Citadel feel HUGE on the inside. But it’s not reflected on the outside. Whereas DS dungeons scale appropriately with places we can get to outside of them. Northrend is the same size in the dungeons and outside. ICC is not.
I think End Tie and Well of Eternity are definitely better than Forge and Pit of Saron. Blizzard clearly learned something between the last expansion and this. Hour of Twilight is good too…but I think I like Halls slightly better because of the physical response I had to the Lich King fight. I was legitimately freaked out by him.
Still, it’s the DS dungeons integrated you more into the story. And they brought back familiar characters. It’s more satisfying to kill Asira Dawnslayer (she won’t get away this time!) then some random boss you’ve never met before.
I hope Blizzard continues and embellishes this trend in Mists of Pandaria. I get way more enjoyment out of going up against a bad guy I’ve been interacting with for an entire zone. WotLK did a great job of making the players interact with the Lich King, but at the expense of a lot of other bosses. (Except for Drakuru, that guy’s questlines were awesome.) Cataclysm did better in that you saw plenty of Deathwing, but you also saw a lot of the smaller bads. You were more emotionally invested in the outcomes of the dungeons.
The ICC dungeons felt more like you were following Jaina on a hopeless sidequest. The Dragonsoul dungeons made you feel like you were directly helping the raiders, even if you couldn’t raid yourself.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The next playable race: Dragons?

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the ending cinematic for Cataclysm don’t…OK, no. There’s a statute of limitation on these things. It’s freely available to watch in-game. SPOILERS AHOY!
The Dragon Aspects are mortal now. This raises a lot of questions:
Do they still have any powers?
How mortal is mortal?
What will they do next?

I’m thinking that yes, these guys can still put up quite a fight. I mean they have been around for thousands of years. Surely they’ve all mastered some ‘mortal’ skills like magic or druidism. The probably now have the life expectancy of elves or draenei or something. Still going to be around a long, long time.

There’s a lot of interesting lore questions that depend on how much power the dragonflights retain. Can the Bronze Dragonflight still watch over the timeways, albeit with more limited power? Yrsera is probably a pretty good druid, does her flight start integrating with the folks up in Moonglade?

Do the flights remain neutral in the upcoming Alliance vs. Horde extravaganza expected in MoP?

If they don’t…could we get the point where we have dragons as a playable option? The flights, now mortal, find themselves without a clear purpose for the first time in their existence. Maybe some members go Alliance, some Horde. Individually based, much like what is happening for the Pandrens.
Each flight represents a different class:
Red = Warrior
Green = Druid
Blue = Mage
Bronze = Priest
Black = Warlock
Dragon palyers can choose from any race, and remain in that race during combat (albeit with weird eye colors and possible dragon horns). The only exception is when flying. Instead of mounts they get to transform into their dragon form.

Of course, this allows for all the “I’m a half-elf, half-dragon, half-orc Princess, who has to marry King Varian and Thrall, while at the same time saving the universe with my magical love powers!” characters to be that much closer to actually existing…but is it a risk I’m willing to take to fly around a dragon? Maybe…

Sunday, January 15, 2012

General Zon'ozz Guide

 Start with the boss facing the ranged so that the ball spawns in their direction. After it spawns the trick is to pass it back and forth between the ranged group and the melee group. On the 5th hit the ball must hit the boss or the damage the boss is duking out will start to become unbearable. As big as the bos sis he has an annoyingly small hitbox. To ensure that the ball hits the boss and not you, your pet, your last lingering sneeze molecule, melee run through the boss and keep attacking on the opposite side at max range. If you’re still having problems with the ball hitting someone, have melee run through and keep running, only turning around once the boss has connected with the ball.

Once Zon’ozz eats the ball, everyone should stack. This is a good time for heroism. Pop shamanistic rage to help out the heals, then wolves and start handing out the good DPS. Once the burn phase is over, it’s back to playing pong. 5 hits and it’s back to the burn phase.
If you get the debuff Blinding Shadows, make sure you’re not near the ball. It won’t affect the back and forth, but it could kill you if the debuff blows up the same time the ball hits you. A nicely (read: lucky) timed Stoneclaw shield might save you.
Also, don't stand in front of the boss. Bad things happen. 

Loot: Tier Gloves, and the usual ring/trinket suspects.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yor'Sahj Guide

Yor'sahj is a basic tank and spank. Stand behind and whack away. The catch is that he summons 3 slimes forth from the lights that are at the edge of his area. Each slime has a different ability that, upon merging with him, will be given to the boss. To win this fight you need to know which slime to kill and what to do about the ones that live.

TL;DR Always kill purple. After that, kill priority is green > yellow > blue > black > red.

And now, the long explanation:
There are seven slimes that can be summoned. The boss will summon three at a time. You must kill one and leave the other two up (as once you kill one, the others become immune to attack). Sort of like Halfus, Yor’sahj’s abilities depend on which slimes you don’t kill. The abilities each slime grants are as follows:
  • Purple – Stacking debuff that will kill you if you receive too many heals.
  • Green – Does AOE damage to the raid based on player distance to each other. Closer than 4 yards means death.
  • Yellow – Decreases the bosses attack/cast time by 100%. He now does everything twice as fast.
  • Blue – Depletes all caster’s mana. Stolen mana is returned upon death of the mana void add that spawns.
  • Black – summons numerous adds that must be AOE’d down.
  • Red – Does AOE damage that increases the more spread out the raid is.
The slimes fall into 3 categories, and so their kill order should be based on what your raid has the most trouble coping with.
  1. Healing Limited (Purple, Blue) – These slimes prevent heals from working effectively.
  2. Heavy Raid Damage (Green, Yellow, Red) – These slimes greatly increase the amount of damage your raid is taking.
  3. Fast DPS Required (Black, Blue) – These slimes require the players to stop tunneling the boss and instead focus on killing adds.
I still stand by the “Always Kill Purple First” rule. The only exception to this would be if purple, red, and green came out at the same time. I have never seen this happen and believe (w/o solid evidence) that this never will happen – at least in normal.

My kill priority: purple > green > yellow > blue > black > red is explained as thus:
  • Purple = death incarnate
  • Green = we’re too lazy to turn on range check and spread out properly
  • Yellow = double attacks hurt a lot, no fun for heals. Use shamanistic rage on this one.
  • Blue = There’s nothing more dangerous summoned? Oh, ok then. I guess we can let the mages have mana too.
  • Black = Always up, since something gets killed before it. AOEing adds is no trouble for us, and the warrior wants an excuse to use his Whirlwind/Bladestorm macro
  • Red = Drop stoneclaw. DPSDPSDPSDPS
Loot: Ring and Trinket (zone drops), Tier Legs

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Morchok Guide

Setup: Morchok does heavy damage to the two closest players, so the tanks should be together in front, while everyone else in the raid is stacked together at max melee range. This ensures that every can get AOE heals/protection for stomps, while avoiding the chance that you eat an overpowered stomp meant for a tank.

Abilities to watch out for: 
1) Stomp - Every couple seconds Morchok will stomp the ground. This deals heavy damage spread across all players in range. Thus why we all stack. Glyphed stoneclaw is nice for stomp, as is shamanistic rage when it's up. Timing these two abilities becomes a lot more important in heroic mode. For now, just use them for every stomp they're up.

2) Resonating Crystal - In 25 man, seven people must be standing next to the crystal when it explodes. The crystal will spawn in random locations and attach tendrils to seven players. Depending on how far you are from the crystal, the tendril, and your screen, will be different colors. Red = too far/dead, yellow = you'll probably live but you'll waste a healers mana, blue = close/good.  Usually ranged and heals take care of this part, but be prepared to run out just in case things get screwy.

3) Black Blood of the Earth - after certain intervals Morchok will pull you all to him and start casting black blood. He will also drop pills around the outside. The goal is, as sooon as you can, shift into ghostwolf and run behind the pillars. Make sure you're a yard or two behind them so that the pooling blood doesn't catch you (as it's hit radius is wonky and sometimes goes through pillars. If you stand just right you can cast ranged attacks while safe from the blood. Ranged attack priority: Unleash Elements, Lava Bolt, spam lightning bolt. Yes, go find that lava bolt spell hidden in the elemental pages of your spellbook, dust it off, and click it. We're not very good casters though, I usually get only 4 to 5 hits off before the phase is over.

That's it. Morchok will go through one or two more blood phases. As long as you're stacked for stomp, the crystal is handled, and you don't stand in black stuff, you've got this down.

Swag: Ring (zone drop*), Trinket (zone drop), and badly itemized crit/haste gloves that you should only grab if you're wearing 359 gloves or you really want to piss of the hunters.
*Zone drop = these items drop from multiple bosses in Dragonsoul.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How I feel about Wednesday Nights

Mage logged on and said "It's beginning to look a lot like 10 man" in the tone of "It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas" and I had to finish it for him.

It’s beginning to look a lot like 10 man
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the guild roster
Not a hope to foster
Without raid leader and his bow

It’s beginning to look a lot like 10 man
AFKs on every screen
But the saddest sight to see
Is the mage that will be
Dressed in BC green

Raiders that number five and twenty
Is that so much to ask?
High dps and ticking hots
And lots and lots of flasks
If only we had all of this
In epic loots we would bask

It’s beginning to look a lot like 10 man
Everywhere you go
There’s a heals in Exodar
And a tank dead in Orgrimmar
But they're both seven levels too low

It’s beginning to look a lot like 10 man
Soon we’ll have to call it
And the thing that makes it suck
Is that you’ll have to sit
That’s just your luck

Raiders that number five and twenty
Is that so much to ask?
High dps and ticking hots
And lots and lots of flasks
If only we had all of this
In epic loots we would bask

It’s beginning to look a lot like 10 man
Soon we’ll have to call it
And the thing that makes it suck
Is that you’ll have to sit
That’s just your luck, just your luck

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Blog may look wonky for a few days. Playing with things to get everything better organized.

Heroic Majordomo

Heroic Majordomo Staghelm is the opposite of normal. In normal mode, the goal is to take as many cleaves as possible. The goal of heroic is to take as few as possible and stay in cat mode as long as you can.

Raid cooldowns are saved for cat phases (usually taken to 7 or 8 except for when orbs are out, in which case 4 or 5).

We would only take one cleave in scorpion phase – and only the tank would actually take the cleave. That is because we didn’t want anyone else getting damaged and losing the attack buff. There’s a couple ways to make sure the tank can live through this. We worked with a paladin tank:
  • Have the tank and a priest alternate between Guardian King and Guardian Spirit.
  • Have a shadow priest stand with the tank and use dispersion.
Obviously this will be different with warriors or druids, just need to tweak cooldowns as necessary or have the raid eat a cleave and lose DPS if absolutely necessary.

All paladins should bubble the top DPS going into a seed phase. That way the highest DPS don't have to run out/get damaged and lose buff and can keep wailing on the boss while everyone else is dealing with the debuff. 

As enhance shamans, our focus is usually on the adds. Damange cooldowns for orbs and don't forget Fire Elemental if you get more than 2 out. Also: if the raid is in a pinch, you can sacrifice yourself and eat a cleave to keep the tank alive if only lesser tank CDs are up. Reincarnate and keep going. Just hope nothing else screws up…

Heroic Baleroc

In H25-man, just as in normal, there are two crystals. Melee assigned to one, ranged to the other. You could try to assign who takes the torment-beam when, but it will almost always get screwed up as torment spreads. We ended up not assigned roles but just relying on two different vent channels to call out who was taking it real-time. Melee also had one big rule: if you weren’t tormented, stand as close to the boss as possible. If you were tormented, max melee range for you!

Don’t gravitate too much to the outside of the boss. It’s tempting to run out to the corners because you’re less likely to infect someone, but it means the shard could spawn in the corner, quickly shoving the entire raid into one corner and trapping people.

At intervals there is a linked attack (Countdown, much like Blood Queen in LK). Both linked people have to run close enough to each other to cancel the spell. Theoretically you can be close enough to drop Countdown, yet far enough to not spread Tormented, but I have never, ever seen that happen. Tormented always jumps. ALWAYS. 

Once you figure out a communication style that works for your raid, to ensure people always know who is taking the current shard, you’ve got the fight. The key is really keeping from tormented spreading needlessly.

Re: communication and vent. We had a melee channel and a ranged channel. Healers and officers put a shadow in one or the other. That way 85% of the raid could only hear what was important to their group. If melee were shouting to someone to take the crystal, ranged was free to shout the same in their channel with no interference. 

I’m going to be honest, we never did get heroic Baleroc in 25-man, only in 10-man. I think sometime after the 80th wipe we switched to 10, at which point it was like archiving a zen state and the fight became super easy. Suddenly there was all this room to move. Before, you turned your camera to the left and infected four people with tormented. Now, now you could dance the hand jive around the boss and never touch another person.
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