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I’m back

August 19, 2010 4 comments

It’s been a long time since I last added to my blog. This has been due to a mixture of real life and in-game issues.

  • The GM of Insidious quit playing WoW
  • I became GM of Insidious
  • I disbanded Insidious
  • I formed Illegal Ninja Pirates with 2 other former Insidious guildies
  • Lots of drama ensued which I plan on blogging about. So stay tuned.
  • I left Illegal Ninja Pirates
  • I reformed Insidious and became the GM and Raid Leader
  • We recruited a lot of new fantastic guildies
  • We started a new website
  • We started a new guild Facebook page
  • We killed the Lich King
  • We killed Halion
  • I separated from my wife
  • I moved house
  • I was finally able to put my house up for sale last week once my ex finally agreed
  • I found a new wonderful woman to share my life with
  • and I started planning a move interstate

As you can see it’s been a rather eventful period of time. But I’ve decided it’s time to get back into the swing of things. I’m spending 3 nights away with my girlfriend this weekend but starting next week I’ll be back into the swing of things.

I have lots of ideas so stay tuned.

Ram out!

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Categories: Personal

Pally Tanks nerfed, DK Tanks buffed

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Breaking news.

Based on player reports and confirmed by Ghostcrawler, Blizzard has implemented a hotfix that:

  • Reduces the health of Paladin Tanks by 4%; and
  • Increases the health of Death Knights in Frost Presence by an additional 2%.

We are still waiting for the official announcement from Blizzard.

UPDATE: Official announcement from Blizzard

We are making some adjustments to tank survivability based on what we’re seeing in Icecrown Citadel. We feel this is particularly important in preparation for upcoming Heroic attempts. This is tricky and occasionally subjective, so we might very well make more adjustments as we get even more data.

Paladin:

  • Sacred Duty now provides 2 / 4% Stamina, down from 4 / 8% Stamina. The cooldown advantages of the talent remain unchanged.

Death Knight:

  • Frost Presence now provides 8% Stamina, up from 6% Stamina.
  • Icebound Fortitude now provides 30% base damage reduction, up from 20% damage reduction. For a geared tank with high defense, this translates to 50% damage reduction, up from 40%.

It’s important to note that we aren’t trying to single out paladins here. We like the tank balance of warriors and druids at the moment, and we have a larger sample size of warrior tanks that we can compare. Another solution would have been to buff warriors, death knights and druids and then increase boss damage accordingly. Obviously, that would have been a much larger change with greater risks and a longer delay.

Though Ardent Defender is always a possible target for changes, we like that this talent provides such a distinction between warriors and paladins. Rather than have all the tanks have the same health, armor, avoidance and cooldowns, we’d rather have four unique tanking classes rather than just superficial or artistic differences. Yes, that design is harder to balance, but we think class distinction is ultimately more interesting, which is better for the long term health of the game. The goal remains to have all four tanks be viable for any encounter, assuming sufficient gear and skill, and any differences in performance on individual encounters to be minor. “Minor” is obviously a subjective term.

Please note that the death knight change will result in a small survivability increase in PvP, which we think is appropriate. We chose it partially with that in mind.

Categories: Hotfix Tags: , ,

Guide to completing the Icecrown Citadel Weekly Raid Quests

February 4, 2010 Leave a comment

These quests are specific to the Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon and do not correspond with the standard random raid weekly quest offered in Dalaran.

One of five quests will be randomly available each week in both 10- and 25-player versions of the dungeon. This means each player has the opportunity to complete two Icecrown Citadel raid weekly quests each week if the dungeon is run in both versions, however, these quests have to be completed within the raid version (10- or 25-player) in which they are offered.

If a player obtains one of these quests but does not complete it that week, the quest will automatically be removed from the player’s Quest Log the next time Lord Marrowgar is defeated under a new raid ID, or when zoning into an instance with a new raid ID where Lord Marrowgar has already been defeated. This only applies if the random raid weekly offered when the player enters a fresh Icecrown Citadel raid instance happens to be different from the one already in his or her Quest Log. Players can otherwise simultaneously have both the 10- and 25-player raid weekly quests in their Quest Logs and complete either of them at any time during the week in their respective raid versions. The quests given each week in 10- and 25-player versions of Icecrown Citadel will be randomly determined once Lord Morrowgar is killed, or once a player zones into an instance where Lord Morrowgar has already been killed.

Each quest will reward 350 rep, gold and a Sack of Frosty Treasures. Each sack will contain:

  • 5 Emblems of Frost
  • Gold
  • You also have a chance to find an Uncut Epic Gem or ilevel 264 BoE

The quests by location are as follows:

Lower Spire

  • Deprogramming
  • Securing the Ramparts

Plagueworks

  • Residue Rendezvous

Crimson Halls

  • Blood Quickening

Frostwing Halls

  • Respite for a Tormented Soul

Now onto the details for obtaining and completing the quests:

Deprogramming

Quest Giver: Rogue named Infiltrator Minchar outside of Lady Deathwhisper’s chamber (Oratory of the Damned)

Objective: Darnavan is a warrior that has been brainwashed by Lady Deathwhisper. Defeat Lady Deathwhisper while ensuring that Darnavan survives

Darnavan spawns in place of one of the fanatics during the Lady Deathwisper encounter. He has 160k health in 10-man (250k in 25-man).

He is immune to crowd control (eg. mind controlled, polymorph, ice trap, any hunter traps), but he can be tanked, kited or snared (eg. Entangling Roots, Chains of Ice).

Apart from auto-attack he uses 4 abilities:

  1. Whirlwind
  2. Mortal Strike – 50% less healing
  3. Overpower
  4. Sunder Armor (20% is my understanding)

Your options are:

  • Tank him to the side with a hunter or lock pet (or any plate wearer really but DPS will suffer)
  • Kited around by a Druid, DK or tank

You need to keep him alive, so limit damage done and assign a healer to heal him. Druid HoT’s work well to keep him up.

Securing the Ramparts

Quest Giver: After killing Lady Deathwhisper and taking the elevator platform up to the ramparts, an NPC will request your help.

Objective: Slay the Rotting Frost Giant

Keep moving around the Ramparts clearing trash until you see a large Frost Giant patrolling the back of the spire (northern corner).

Split into pairs, with each pair more than 10 yards apart. Every 20seconds the Frost Giant will cast Death Plague on a random player.

Death Plague will do 8,000 nature damage after 15 seconds and infect all players within 8 yards. If it is unable to spread to another player it will kill its host.

The Frost Giant also has a knockback ability that will knock everyone back 20yards.

Return to the quest giver to hand in the quest and receive your reward.

Residue Rendezvous

Quest Giver: After killing Saurfang, you will meet Alchemist Adrianna after moving further into the citadel.

Objective: Become infected by both a Green Residue from Rotface and an Orange Residue from Festergut. While infected with both residues, at least one player from the raid must speak with Alchemist Adrianna in order for everyone in the group to receive credit.

  • The Orange Blight debuff is obtained from Gaseus Blight during the Festergut fight
  • The Green Bligh debuff is obtained from Rotface by taking one tick of slime spray

Both debuffs must still be active when handing in the quest (30min duration). Dying will remove the debuff. However, you only need one person in the raid to get both debuffs for the entire raid to receive credit when handing it in.

If you can’t down Rotface (or Festergut), you can still complete this quest as follows:

  1. Kill Festergut (or wait till hunter receives debuff, wipe, except hunter who feigns death)
  2. Pull Rotface as normal
  3. Wait for hunter to receive debuff
  4. Everyone else wipes, except hunter who feigns death
  5. Hunter hands in quest after Rotface has de-spawned

Alternatively you just need someone to stay alive for the completion of both fights.

Note: Kill both Stinky and Precious before doing either of the bosses. You can’t get quest once either boss has been started.

Blood Quickening

Quest Giver: Outside the Crimson Halls, Alrin the Agile will request your help to rescue Infiltrator Minchar.

Objective: Rescue Infiltrator Minchar before he is executed.

Infiltrator Minchar is located in the room with the Blood Queen.

You have 20 minutes (30 minutes in 25-man) from when you first enter the wing to clear all trash, down the Blood Princes and pull Blood Queen Lanathel to succeed on this quest. You don’t actually need to kill the Queen to complete quest.

Respite for a Tormented Soul

Quest Giver: After you free Valithria Dreamwalker she will offer you a quest and provide each player with a Pulsating Life Crystal.

Objective: Use the Life Crystals to preserve Sindragosa’s Essence.

Members of the raid who use these crystals on Sindragosa when she is below 20% health will slowly stack on her the Life Infusion debuff.

It requires someone to stand in LoS of Sindragosa for 30 seconds (channelled spell) during the 3rd phase of the fight.

Reaching 30 stacks (10-player) or 75 stacks (25-player) of Life Infusion before she dies will provide the frost wyrm with an aura of Soul Preservation. If your group manages to give Sindragosa this aura before killing her, a quest item can be obtained from her remains to complete Valithria’s task.

Please leave any comments or suggestions in the comments below.

Categories: Quests, Raiding Tags: , , , ,

Strategy – Deathbringer Saurfang (10-man)

February 4, 2010 1 comment

I’m slowly writing and adding the strategies for each fight in ICC. You can find the complete list under Tactics > Deathbringer Saurfang (10-man). Also don’t forget the Quick Reference guide for the Lower Spire.

Deathbringer Saurfang is the final boss for the Lower Spire wing with 8,785,000 health on 10-man.

The way to win this fight is to stop Saurfang from receiving Blood Power (BP) by mitigating his abilities and controlling the Blood Beasts.

Abilities
Blood Power – Increases Saurfang’s damage and size by 1% for each point of Blood Power he has.

Boiling Blood – Cast on a random target. Inflicts 5000 physical damage every 3 seconds for 24 seconds. Saurfang receives 1 BP per tick or 8 BP over the full 24 second duration.

Blood Nova – Inflicts 7,600 to 8,400 Physical damage to a random target and all players within 12 yards. Saurfang receives 2 BP per player hit. As long as you have 3 players out of melee range, Blood Nova will only target a ranged player.

Frenzy – Increases Saurfang’s attack speed by 30% and size by 20%. Used when Saurfang reaches 30% health.

Call Blood Beasts – Summons 2 Blood Beasts every 30 seconds. Saurfang will receive 3 BP for every melee hit. Blood Beasts have 95% resistance to AoE effects and 70% resistance to diseases.

Rune of Blood – Cast on current target. Saurfang’s melee attacks against this target will leech 5,100 to 6,900 health from them and heal Saurfang for 10 times that amount. Lasts 20 seconds. 1 BP is gained per successful melee hit by Deathbringer.

Mark of the Fallen Champion – Cast when Saurfang reaches 100 Blood Power. Causes Saurfang’s melee attacks to hit the marked target (+4,275 to 4,725 additional damage) as well as the tank. If a marked player dies while the mark is up, Saurfang heals for 5% of his maximum health (439,250). 1 BP is gained whenever the marked target receives damage from Saurfang.

This is a one phase encounter.

How to tank it

Tank Saurfang where he spawns at the top of the steps.

Tanks need to stack as much avoidance as they can for this fight. If the tank is missed then no damage or BP is received. If the tanks have an avoidance gear set I would highly suggest wearing it over a mitigation/stamina set.

Avoid using multi-target abilities (eg. Consecrate, Heart Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Divine Storm) during the Blood Beast spawn window. Normal AoE effects are fine as the Blood Beasts have 95% resistance.

Taunt off the current tank when he/she receives the Rune of Blood as follows:
(1) Tank 1 pulls
(2) Saurfang casts Rune of Blood on Tank 1
(3) Tank 2 taunts & tanks Saurfang for duration of Rune of Blood (20s)
(4) Saurfang casts Rune of Blood on Tank 2
(5) Tank 1 taunts… rinse and repeat

Use defensive cooldowns, healing potions, lock candy when he casts Frenzy at 30%

How to Melee DPS it
Melee DPS stack behind Saurfang for the entire fight and maximise DPS. The only issue would be if your raid is melee stacked and you don’t have enough ranged to down the Blood Beasts.

Avoid using multi-target abilities during the Blood Beast spawn window.

How to Ranged DPS it
At all times, ranged DPS are to stay more than 12 yards apart. This will limit Saurfang to only 2 Blood Power for each Blood Nova.

Don’t let the Blood Beasts get within melee range. Kite and DPS the Blood Beasts before they have an opportunity to hit anyone. Only single-target DPS is effective.

Blood Beasts can be rooted, snared, knocked back or stunned (eg. Frost Traps, Earthbind Totems, Thunderstorm, Frost Nova, Desecration, Chains of Ice, Entangling Roots, Typhoon etc.)

Keep pets in melee range at all times

How to Heal it
Add the following debuffs to your raid frames

  • Boiling Blood
  • Rune of Blood
  • Mark of the Fallen Champion

Only use 2 healers for increased DPS.

Only one tank will be taking damage at any one time. Focus heals on whoever doesn’t have Rune of Blood.

Extra heals required for Boiling Blood. Disc Priests are uber for this encounter. Power Word: Shield will stop Saurfang from receiving any BP from Boiling Blood. Use this as often as possible on whoever receives Boiling Blood.

Top-up whoever is hit by Blood Nova.

Huge heals required on whoever has Mark of the Fallen Champion to keep them alive. Alternatively, if you have enough DPS you can let them die and just burn through the extra health.

Notes

  • The following abilities will reduce damage from Mark of the Fallen Champion – Feint, Divine Shield, Ice Block, Hand of Protection, Power Word: Shield.
  • Heroism/Blood Lust at 30% when Saurfang will Frenzy;
  • Players retain the Mark of the Fallen Champion debuff through death. Don’t Battle Rez, Soulstone or Reincarnate anyone with the mark.
Categories: Raiding Tags: , ,

Have easy emblems ruined heroics?

February 3, 2010 1 comment

World of Warcraft Philosophized recently posted an article entitled How the emblem system ruined heroics (and what can be done to save them). This article was then followed up by WoW.com in a post entitled Have emblems ruined heroics? (Hint: no).

I want to take a look at the first article and give you my reasons why I disagree with his opinion and proposal:

1. When Cataclysm is released, the heroics that are available upon the launch date with drop the same emblem as the starter 10-man raids, while the 25-man versions will drop the next tier of emblems. As patches are released, the new raids will give better emblems, but the base emblems in old heroics will not change.

2. Emblems will become bind-on-account so that raiders can use their extra emblems to gear up their alts.

3. With each raid that is released, one, two, or three new 5-mans will be released, the heroic versions of which will drop the same emblem as the 10-man version of their corresponding raid. This will allow people to gear themselves up for the current raid content without running old content.

On the surface this may sound like a good idea. However, I see a few problems:

  1. Higher geared players would be running the same 2-3 instances over and over again for emblems for themselves and their alts. That would be very boring and monotonous.
  2. Lesser geared players or players without a raiding toon would only be able to get the lesser emblems and therefore lesser gear. Gearing up would take a lot longer. There would also be less and less 80’s to run heroics with as they moved onto higher levels. Especially if alts never ran the lesser heroics.

Emblems are currently the only way for players who are new to 80 or casual players can get geared enough to do current level raiding.

I have a number of friends that are casual players, who enjoy running random heroics and the occasional PuG raid.

In the past it was difficult for them to get enough people together to run a heroic and they had no chance to get into a raid because of their gear.

Without running a raid, one of my friends is now geared enough to tank 10-man ToC and with a decent healer could tank ICC-10. He finds the emblem system to be really good for him.

For casual players the system works.

The whole point of the LFD (and current emblem) system was to make emblems easier to obtain by casual players or smaller guilds. It mixes up well geared raiders with lesser geared players so that everyone can have a fun time in the instances.

Note
For the sake of this article I am ignoring the elitest jerks out there who call you a noob if you have less than a 5k gearscore, say gogogogogo in party chat or are just jerks in general.  Unfortunately these supposed ‘hardcore raiders’ who behave like 10 year olds (actually they is an insult to 10-year olds) are always going to be around. Luckily there are not too many of them and you can put them on ignore and forget about them.

The last thing I want to see is tiered content similar to BC. Where if you missed a level of raiding you were basically stuck there. All the raiding guilds had moved onto the newer content and you had no way of gearing up to get there.

I like the current emblem system.

What about you?

Categories: Opinion Tags: , , ,

Frostwing Halls opens & new Icecrown Weekly Raid Quests

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Good news everyone.

Frostwing Halls is now open and you can have a crack at Valithria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and the Lich King himself, provided you can down all 4 wing bosses first.

– Deathbringer Saurfang
– Professor Putricide
– Blood-Queen Lana’thel
– Sindragosa

I’m particularly interested in the Valithria Dreamwalker fight as it is different to any of the others. It depends upon healing her while protecting her from adds.

The other point of interest is the new Icecrown Weekly Raid Quests. There are 5 of them. You will receive a different one each week from different NPC’s within the instance itself. Each quest has a 10 and 25 version. So you can do 2 of these each week.

– Blood Quickening
– Deprogramming
– Residue Rendezvous
– Respite for a Tormented Soul
– Securing the Ramparts

Your reward for successfully completing is a [Sack of Frosty Treasures]. Inside the sack is 5 Emblems of Frost and either gold, random ilevel 264 BoE, epic gem or …. [not sure yet, items are based on what people have reported as finding already].

You can also pick up an additional 2 Emblems of Frost by taking on the new boss in VoA – Toravon.

Categories: Raiding Tags: ,

Situational Awareness (Part 1)

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

If you’re like me then anything more than ‘never’ is too often and is just putting more pressure on our healers and raid leaders.

I was involved in a guild run on Sunday night where we attempted Rotface for only the 2nd time. In this fight there are a number of mechanics you need to be aware of. I have sorted them into roles.

Kiting Tank:

  • Where is the Ooze flood? Where has it been?
  • Am I out of melee range of the Big Ooze?
  • Do I have Mutated Infection?
  • Where are all the small oozes?
  • Do I need to pick up another Big Ooze?

DPS

  • Do I have Mutated infection?
  • Where do I need to kite the small ooze?
  • Will the Slime Spray hit me?
  • Unstable Ooze Explosion. Run!

Healing/Cleansing

  • Do I have Mutated infection?
  • Who has Mutated Infection?
  • Where do I need to kite the small ooze?
  • Can we dispel Mutated Infection yet?
  • Will the Slime Spray hit me?
  • Which raiders are being hit by Slime Spray/Ooze flood?
  • Unstable Ooze Explosion. Run!
  • Is the kiting tank running through Ooze flood?
  • Who needs healing?
  • Who will need healing?

On top of that there are the usual things that will apply to almost any fight:

  • What is my threat?
  • Has anything Procced?
  • Are my Cooldowns ready?
  • Class specific etc.

Main Tank

  • Stand still, press buttons and use cooldowns 😛

You could easily do a similar breakdown for each fight. But I think you get the general idea. Healers have the hardest job and deserve the best loot 🙂

Okay, that may not have been what I meant. But feel free to think it 🙂

Back on track. If we look at the breakdown we can see there are a lot of different bits and pieces we need to be aware of. This will be the same for any fight. The mechanics may differ, but every raid boss requires situational awareness.

Instead of having to go through each boss fight and list everything, I have come up with the following broad areas that should (fingers crossed) cover them all.

  • Location. Where am I standing? Do I need to move?
  • Fight mechanics. What is happening next?
  • Buffs & Debuffs
  • Incoming damage and threat
  • Cooldowns/Procs
  • Healing

How do we stay aware of these things throughout the fight?

I could tell you how I keep an eye on everything, but that doesn’t mean they will work for you. So instead of telling you what to do, I’m going to cover the fundamentals and then run through some of the more popular options and how to set them up.

I will cover each one in a separate post, starting with UI design.

If you have anything you would like to add please do so in the comments below.

Categories: Raiding Tags: