Monday, December 28, 2009

Oops I did it again

Is it just me or did Freya get kinda hot over the course of the expansion?

When I first fired up WoW I knew exactly what class I wanted to play. I wanted to be a druid. I wanted to be the class in the game that could do everything. Artorin was my main from the moment I started playing right up to the end of Burning Crusade. During this time I came to realize that while druids could indeed do everything... there were some classes that just did it better and that I enjoyed playing more.

The result of course was my druid being on the back burner and only now, more then a year later, he has finally hit level 80. Being able to find groups quickly as a healer is what really drove me to finish off those last few levels. I really enjoy healing and the changes that I originally protested (mainly nourish) I've come to love. Yesterday my druid hit 80 around 5:00 PM. I then spent the next 7 hours going from regular runs to heroic runs. I leveled entirely in my BC epics from tier 4 and 5 content and only at 80 started replacing gear. All I have left to replace is a trinket and my gear will be all 200 up. He has the emblem of triumph idol and enough emblems to pick up the tier 9 shoulders.

I'm kinda sad now though... I like being able to say I have 8 80's! For some reason 9 80's just doesn't have the same ring :(

Now to level my deathtard to 80... I still have a good 7 days left of my holiday it could happen!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A tale of two pugs

It is no surprise I'm sure that I am still running heroics like crazy trying to gear up. Like all of you I've experienced absolutely terrible players and incredibly skilled players. Then there are simply the uninformed.

What I present to you today is the tale of a dungeon experience I had while on my druid Artorin. The last few days I've been trying to queue atleast once for the dungeon daily on my now 78 druid. The 2 emblems of triumph and 33k xp is nothing to sneeze at when you are working your way to 80. Artorin is still very well geared from Burning Crusade and going as a tree I find I have a lot of time to sit and observe what other players are doing.

In this case we had Ezili and Vaeled (names changed slightly since). Ezili was from another server and was our protection paladin tank. She used blessing of wisdom and seal of wisdom, as well as having 70 points in the protection tree. Vaeled was of course... a death knight from my very own server. He was an unholy speced DK who put 15 points into blood instead of shadow, skipped out of necrosis and didn't have gargolye talented. He also had 3 unspent talent points and never once summoned his ghoul.

I first mentioned something to the DK who was actively using death and decay before the mobs got to the tank in addition to not using pestilience... at all (except I saw him use it once on a single target pull). I asked him if he realized he had 3 unspent talent points. His response was "yeh lol I lvled so fast i didn't have time"....

You didn't have time to push a button 3 times to alocate 3 talent points??? Seriously? Oh yes... he was serious. He also linked the damage meter after nearly every pull when I commented that the tank was beating all of them in dps. He also took more damage during the brann bronzebeard fight then the tank did by standing in the fire whenever humanly possible. Which of course he said was because it was normal and that I would heal him...

On the flip side of this terribad DK was our tank the protection paladin. Before one of the pulls I mentioned to her that she should try blessing of sanctuary and seal of vengeance, then use divine plea before pulls to keep up her mana. What happened next? She listened! She had to dig through her spell book a bit to find the abilities I mentioned but find them she did. Before the end of the instance she was doing 400 more dps, totally destroying all the rest of the group, and had no mana issues while having 10% more str, stam, and 3% damage reduction.

After we killed the last boss she thanked me for giving her advice. She told me that it was another group that pointed out that she should be using seal and blessing of wisdom... probably because she was drinking between pulls and slowing them down. After about 30 mins of talking I told her that she queue for another dungeon and I would go a long so that we could continue talking. She queued us up... and we got halls of stone again... this time though she never had any mana issues or threat issues. She was also a little easier to heal, which isn't saying much because she was damn easy to heal in the first place. I never dipped below 80% mana on any of the trash pulls and proudly refused some mana biscuits from the mage.

During this second run she hit 80 and we began talking about gear options and getting ready for heroics. All in all we spent about 3 hours doing dungeon runs and talking. I gave her my e-mail address so that she could ask questions since we were on different servers. I really hope she doesn't get discouraged while gearing up for heroics because despite her lack of knowledge she was a very skilled player. I gave her the link to maintankadin and I hope she takes a look or at least keeps in contact with me.

It is truly rare these days to find someone willing to listen to advice and learn. I'm proud to have been able to help someone. But the real pride lies on the person who is able to listen and take advice instead of wallowing in self ignorance.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gear sort of does matter...

Gevlon over at Greedy Goblin has been on a crusade recently against the belief that you need x gear for x content. Don't get me wrong I certainly agree that skill>gear but I've also seen my share of cock blocks when it comes to raiding to understand that being undergeared is a problem.

He is forging a raiding guild based off the mild success he had with his Blue Ulduar run where he geared up his hardcore raiding buddies with item level 200 or lower blue gear. They managed to clear all of Ulduar with this gear and now he believes that he can clear all content both 10 and 25 normal modes with this kind of gear. Frankly I think he will fail miserably.

Beating Ulduar 10 that was designed to be beaten by people coming out of Naxx 10 in heroic gear that is of = stat level with epic gear from Naxx 10... doesn't make me believe he is somehow going to be able to beat content tuned to 213 (uld 25) 219 (ToC 10) and 226 (ToC 25). I'm sure he will fail and then blame it on the other raiders not pulling through. After all nothing can be his fault right?

Now the meat of this post is about Wednesday night. I was on my warrior tank and had just finished doing the random heroic when kobeck logged on to his druid Averlexis. We chatted a bit and decided to screw around farming for the Battered Hilt from Pit of Saron trash. We picked up Phired on his DK and after clearing the trash out I suggested we should knock out the weekly raid. Our servers weekly raid happened to be Sartharion. Well were jokingly going to try and 3 man Sarth but I realized we only had about 21 mins till our 10 man ICC raid was supposed to start.

So we grabbed Errweyho, one of the healers in our 25's, who brought his rogue. So here we were 4 alts getting ready to tackle Sartharion and his evil drake minions.

The trash packs were pretty tough with one tank one healer and 2 dps but we managed to pull through and one by one the other drakes fell.

We cleared all the trash and drakes without a single death and stood face to face with Sartharion herself. The fight was on and it was a truly epic fight. Dodging flame walls left and right, picking up adds, and doing as much damage as we could and then at 20% everything went to hell. Phired went down pulling the adds off of Kobeck and I managed to pick them up after just long enough for Errweyho to finish him off.

Now here is where the gear comes in... don't get me wrong I really enjoyed this fight and it was a real challenge. But the fact of the matter is... we were able to pull this off because of gear. While these are our alts they are fairly well geared in uld 10-toc 10 gear. Each with several pieces of tier 9. Errweyho and phired both pulled off over 5k dps on Sarth putting our overall raid dps at around 12k.

You have to remember that this content was tier 7 content. Designed with 2 tanks 5 dps at around 1500 each and 3 healers. Of course you didn't need that exact comp but the fact remains that our 2 dps equaled the 5-6 dps that were required. Tanks at that level were lucky to have 33k hps fully buffed and that is what my warrior sits on without buffs. Kobeck had the mana regen and spell power to heal all 4 of us through the incoming add damage and random fire ball strikes.

Was this an awesome accomplishment? To me it was... but it wasn't as hard as it seems. Could we have pulled this same feat off a year ago? I very highly doubt it.

Nonetheless it was great fun and maybe next time we will try it with just 3 :D

Raiding ICC as frost?

I’ve been raiding as arcane since my mage first hit 80 and I really do enjoy the spec. However, I seem to be having issues keeping up in ICC. From what I can tell the issue is largely due to the fights requiring a lot of target switching and movement. The combination leads to an unfriendly environment to a spec that is entirely based on cd management. Both arcane and ttw/fireball specs way heavily on the fact that the target you are attacking will be slowed. Generally this is the case as every tank has a attack speed debuff that is applied to the target.

But what happens when you switch targets?

Marrowhatshisface does an ability called stormpike graveyard which impales 1 target in 10 and 2 targets in 25. The impales have 38k health in 10 man and need to be burned down as the person gripped takes a lot of damage. This forces me to interrupt my arcane rotation to attack and break out the person rooted. If they are near by this is as easy as targeting and going on with my next nuke… but often you have to move to get in range of the target since not everyone groups up after the whirlwind. The impale also will not have any slowing effects on it so I lose 12% base damage right from the start. Additionally this can mess with using cd’s and lead to you critting the impale that has 4k health left with an 18k arcane blast wasting damage.

Lady deathwhisper is even worse… because generally as ranged dps you are working on burning down the mana shield… and the boss isn’t being tanked which means no slowing effect and 12% less damage. Saurfang for the most part isn’t a big deal as the adds are generally being slowed by some kind of kiting effect… but all of these things makes me wonder if I wouldn’t be better served raiding as frost for these fights.

Last night after ICC we went to knock out sartharion who we had for the weekly raid thing. I decided to go as frost and managed to pull 6.2k dps largely without breaking a sweat. As arcane for the entire night I couldn’t break 5k dps. This is extremely frustrating because I did more dps in ToC then in ICC. Now I know that on sarth I can do over 6k easily on sarth as arcane… but the fact that I did over 6k as frost… really makes me think that using frost in ICC may not be a bad idea.

I mean with frost TTW is going to be up nearly 100% of the time as frostbolt slows… so every time I target switch I won’t lose 12%. I can fight the entirety of Deathwhisper with that 12% increased damage that I would be missing as fire or arcane. On Saurfang… well I could drop the frostbolt glyph for ice barrier and my frostbolt would make an AMAZING kiting tool. Heck the 20% healing reduction may be helpful too if mortal strike debuffs fall off. For all these fights ice barrier would help ease the healing load on me because I'm usually the squishiest member of the raid.

I also bring replenishment so our SV hunter can go MM and a nice 5% crit buff which would help other casters in addition to our frost DK. I mean I know in a 25 man environment I would be crazy not to go arcane… but in our 10 mans… if frost is around 10% less damage then arcane… but arcane relies on a 12% buff that isn’t there… does that mean frost comes out ahead?

What do you all think? Am I crazy? I think I’m gonna try it next week and see how things go. Oh and 23k deep freeze crits are pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big update and Halls of SUCKSTOBEAWARRIOR

First I want to apologize for my lack of posts lately. See I love blogging… but I love WoW more then blogging. So when I get home and sit at my computer I want to play more then blog. Before 3.3 it wasn’t such a huge deal… but now? I have SOOO much I want to do that finding time to actually blog is a bit hard.

I did have a few posts that I started writing but some events in game made that irrelevant. Like I had a post about how my arena team was at 1700 and we were going to push to 1800 the night before the patch… only one of our teammate had finals so it never happened. In fact in the week since the patch I’ve only done a hand full of bg’s and no arena. Well obviously if I haven’t been doing PvP I’ve been doing PvE.

The new LFG tool may be my most favorite feature added to WoW. Now I’ll admit that the queue time for dps can be a bit of a pain, but it still beats spending 20 mins in lfg channel and having to coordinate getting a group together. I mean heck… you don’t have to ask your guild for help now! For some that may be an issue… but for me it’s a sigh of relief. I don’t feel burdened to help gear everyone else up when I have my own toons to gear up.


As I mentioned in my previous post one of my big goals was gearing up my lock and rogue. Well the process is going fairly well… though not as fast as I would like because everything I need on my lock… drops for my rogue and vice versa. I’m not even kidding either. I think I’ve ran forge of souls probably 17 times now… 6 of those of been on my lock. I’ve seen Seethe the awesome spell power sword drop 10 times out of 11 on my other toons. I’ve seen it once on my lock and some stupid mage rolled need and won even though he had a staff out of ToC 10 that was better.

Forge of souls seems to be the big place that I need to hit for gear. The dagger and sword that drop off the last boss are awesome for my rogue and lock, in addition the kick ass trinket from there would be great for my rogue and hunter. If I could get the damn axe to drop off the first boss for my shaman I would be in great shape… instead my rogue has 3 of them but only one dagger. So maybe I’m limiting myself a bit doing Forge of Souls every day on at least 2 toons… and I still have 3 that haven’t gone through the questline. I’ve seen the battered hilt drop once… and didn’t win the roll.

Halls of Sucks to be a Warrior Tank

Joining the random heroic as a tank is by far the fastest means of getting into a group. In fact if you have a tank friend… get them to go with you! I don’t have the lf many or lf pug achievements on my warrior simply because I’m always bringing at least one or 2 people along with us. For the most part the groups have been pretty solid… though there have been a few exceptions. I’ve managed to pick up quite a few pieces of gear and have been having a blast. Even when I have to tank Halls of SUCKSTOBEAWARRIORTANK.

I mean seriously… talk about an instance designed to be a pita… then multiply it by the fact that you only have 2 aoe threat moves on cd’s. Spamming demoralizing shout doesn’t help much to get threat… Add in some suicidal dps and you are in for a few wipes. I’ve found my best friends for these are rogues and hunters. A misdirect followed by volley or tricks of the trade fan of knives combo gives me a good threat lead and from there I can handle anything. It wouldn’t be so bad if they all spawned in the same place… tanking them in the corner insures they all get into melee range… eventually. I find myself waiting for 2 to get into range and using thunderclap and then praying I can hold off on using shockwave till everything is in range. Sometimes it works… other times the mage and hunter stand there and eat the healer. Mages are less of a problem because I can silence them with heroic throw… but double mage groups can kiss my big blue ass.

Iced Crown Citadel

In Ulduar we would get together at my house and play Ulduar shots... every time someone would ask which teleport to use... or we wiped we would take a shot. In ToC we played Marrus shots in honor of our raid leaders long winded explanations. So with the introduction of the new raid... I declare Iced Crown shots! Crown is my favorite whiskey by far plus it works for the name sake... now I just need to figure out something good to require taking shots.

On the raiding front our 10 man group cleared up to Saurfang and then got taken down by the bosses unique ability to disconnect two of our raid members at the beginning of every fight… We will get him for sure this week.

In 25’s we just managed to get to deathwhisper… and get overrun by adds nonstop. That fight is no joke and with the terrible mix of pugs we had last week… just wasn’t happening. Hopefully things will get better. No lie we had a mage doing 1700 dps that had a ton of pieces from ToC 25 and 10. Who needs torment the weak as a fire mage? Apparantly not this guy, but he was rocking 133% mana regen… We brought in my wife on her warlock after kicking this loser and after tweaking her addons so that she could.. ya know… actually move during the fight… we promptly kicked lord marrogawarawrs ass.

That about sums it up… I need to go home now (blogging at work=/= bad I swear!) and get this up asap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ready for Icecrown? I was born ready!

Whether the patch comes out this week or next, I'm totally ready for Icecrown. Our 10 man group pretty much took this week off and I couldn't be happier to say goodbye to ToC. Still that won't stop me from raiding 25 tonight on my shaman as Enhancement.

I have to remember to include Flame shock in my rotation and pray to the loot gods that a nice slow onehanded weapon drops. Death's choice wouldn't hurt either... but if I do win the roll I would probably give it to Cassiana... since she has lost every roll since we started doing ToC. That of course brings up the whole morality of rolling on something with the intent to give it to someone else... but that's neither here nor there.

Hmm... third paragraph now and I've come to the realization that I don't have a point in writing any of this. I'm just really freaking excited about seeing Icecrown.

Lets see if I can organize this into a list of things I want to do once icecrown comes out.

1) Run the 5 man reg, and heroic on all 8 80's if for nothing else then to do the epic questline for a sweet 251 weapon... of which most of my toons are in dire need of.

2) Run the 5 man reg, and heroic another 5 million times on my rogue and warlock to get them caught up on gear and into the raid scene.

3) Run the 5 man heroic of every other instance because I'm masochistic and like pugging.

4) Run the 10 and 25 man raid on all who is currently capable (5/8 80's).

5) Get ready for the final Arena season and switch to one of my MS capable characters (rogue, warrior or hunter) for our serious 3's team.

6) Get poor old Artorin to 80 (semi motivated to do this before the patch)

7) Remind myself that I need to go to sleep, go to the bathroom, and eat. Oh and saying hi to my family now and again.

8) ???

9) Uh... phat loots?

Did I mention I'm excited about patch 3.3?