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The power of the WoW Credit Card

June 17th, 2009 Comments off

Not only have I not paid for WoW in over a year and have a year of potential time banked, the credit card has bridged the social gap, breaking the ice at the local Gamestop.  I was paying for my copy of Ghostbusters with the WoW CC when they started asking about it.  I told the the story of how long I have had it, how I got it, how I keep the time balance so high.  Tip: Use the checks the CC company sends you to pay a big bill you would normally pay off, then just send the CC company the check destined for that service, e.g. Rent, Car Payment, Cable, etc.  We eventually got to classes played and progress in Ulduar.  They are 9.  The two clerks play rogues, so we got to talking on the rolls of the rogue in two fights, Assembly of Iron and Thorim.  I told them about the importance of the Throwing Specialization and Feint in those fights.  They were unaware of the interrupt for 3 secs on Fan of Knives.  This allows the movement of Stormcaller in Assembly easier and gives you a better chance to interrupt the heal in the arena on Thorim.  The big thing they learned was about Feint level 8.  They were unaware of the bonus that reduces 50% AoE damage.   They thought it was just a threat reduction tool.  This got me thinking, how many other people played through Wrath unaware of talent and ability changes in 3.X.  I for one, I am an example of this.  If you look at my statistics, you will see that the deadliest boss in Wrath is Keristrasza.  This is because on heroic, I did not know that the paladin ability Divine Protection was changed in Wrath.  In old WoW, it made the paladin invincible, however they could not attack.  In Wrath, it became a survivability cool down, reducing our incoming damage by 50%.  I was getting demolished at the start of her Enrage, I had no way to mitigate the increased incoming damge.  We finally got her down by timing a few heals.  Shortly after this I was doing some reading and saw that Divine Protection was changed.  My healer was grateful of this, he thought it was punishment up until then.   Before this Divine Protection had not been on my bar since I trained Divine Shield.  With all of this being said, you should go back and review your spells  and abilities.  You might find that one gem that increases your DPS/HPS or helps out your healers.  I know the game has been out in this new state for 6 months, however my conversation today proves that some people are still unaware of the changes that were made to some abilities and talents in Wrath.  All of this because I paid with my WoW Credit Card…go figure.

And we are at four

May 22nd, 2009 Comments off

We progressed last night.  Moved on to Kologarn and Razorscale.  Bringing us to a total of four bosses in Ulduar.

Loot

Flame Leviathan: Flamewatch Armgaurds, Combustion Bracers

XT-002: Treacherous Shoulderpads, Plasma Foil

Kologarn: Sabatons of the Iron Watcher, Stoneguard

Razorscale: Bracers of the Smothering Inferno, Eye of the Broodmother

Our Stratagies:

Group makeup for both kills: DPS: Rogue, Ret Paladin, 2xHunters, Boomkin.  Healers: Holy Priest, Holy Paladin, Resto Druid.  Tanks: 2xProt Paladin.

Kologarn:

Well the nerf helped us greatly here.  Before the nerf we had a problem where the off-tank would get eye-beamed while picking up the rubble, while the main tank had 2 stacks of Crunch Armor.  This caused for many an issue with our best attempt at approximately 40% health.  Then an unfortunate string of events would occur.  With the patch, the duration of the debuff had been significantly reduced.  This made the encounter much easier on the tanks.  We were not as frantic getting from all of the rubble, while juggling crunch armors and dealing with the rubbles, while trying to avoid Petrifying Breath.  We went with the common strategy with a twist.  All melee stacked up near the main tank, targeting the right arm.  The main tank and off tank focused on the body.  Both of us are Paladins, so the majority of our attacks are AoE and hit all three targets.  We would torch the arm, at approximately 10% on the right arm, the off-tank would go where the rubble would spawn.  We would AoE the rubble, then come back and focus on the body.  The main tank would never leave the body.  All of the ranged were stacked and spread out in front of of Kologarn in the middle of the room.  Leaving plenty of  room to kite the Focused Eyebeams.  If someone, including melee, was targeted with the eye beams, they would bolt for the side walls, then kite them around the back of the room.  We kept an eye on the left arm, when it got to 20% or so, we hammered it down if the right arm was up.  We just repeated this process.  It took 4 tries, mainly some juggling of eye beams and rubble.  The main tank did use one of the three survivability buttons to help healers during the crunch armor.  The tank has Repelling Charge, Valor Medal of the First War, and Divine Protection as survivability cool downs.  These were not needed, however they do help during a crunch armor when a healer is Stone Griped.   We know it was after a nerf, although it still made us extremely happy.  We only carry two tanks on our raids, so we are limited to the options prior to that.  With three, this fight would have been cake.

Razorscale:

This was only our second attempt at her.  The first try after we downed Flame Leviathan, we tried 4 or 5 times with no success.  There was a better understanding for the fight.  We went in last night and one-shot her.  The strategy was simple, we split into 2 groups.  Each group had a hunter and a prot paladin.  We then split DPS and had the boomkin cover both sides.  Healers tried staying toward the center to cover both sides.  We stacked in these two groups on the back on the ledge, with DPS/Tank combo stacked on each side.  We had a hunter start the fight and run back to position.  The thanks then would try to grab the mobs as the spawned.  There were DPS’d down nice and quick.  Kill order was Dark Rune Watchers, then Dark Rune Guardians.  With the exception when Dark Rune Sentinels spawned, a tank would pick him up and all ranged DPS would down him ASAP.  Then switch back to the regular adds.  Part of the key here is the Dwarfs you are helping will tank a few of the adds if you cannot pick them all of.  Once the second harpoon was ready a hunter would run up and shoot Razorscale out of the sky.  All DPS would switch to Razorscale and hit her hard and fast.  The tanks and healers would stay in the back finishing up the adds.  If the adds were finished off the tanks would go in and assist in the DPS.  We repeated this 3 times until 50% then she was grounded permanently.  During this phase we tried to move constantly to avoid Devouring Flame.  At which point both tanks got in front of her and started kiting her around the circle.  We taunted every two stacks of Fuse Armor.  Just to be on the safe side.  After a bit she was dead.  We did lose the Boomkin, luckily our Tree was fast and got a battle rez in and we were able to finish her off.
It was a great progression night.  Two new bosses down.  Our raiding A-Team seems to have been reinvigorated by this.  We went and got beat up by Ignis for a few tries.  We are working out some ideas.  Right now the constructs seem to be our sticking point.  We may have the Ret Pally swap into his Prot Spec and set, then have a rotoation on the constructs to give them under control.  This fight seems more like a marathon then a sprint for our DPS at the moment.  We will try again on Sunday.  Wish us luck.  If anyone has some ideas, feel free to let me know.

Ah Well, what’s done is done

May 1st, 2009 Comments off

After the debacle the other night we went in and one shot Flame Leviathan last night.  The strategy worked almost flawlessly.  We did loss one person, in the demolisher.

We moved along to Razorscale.  The fury and rate in which the adds come made it difficult.  After 5 or so attempts we moved on.  We tried a few strats.  I think it was just some timing and trying new things.  Once we get it down, it will be much much better.

We then hit up XT-002.  This went really well. We wiped on the first try as the healers were learning damage.  We lost some DPS right away, however still came close to finishing him.  We used the strategy of moving him to  the right side of the room, between the two junk piles.  What this did was eliminated the spawns from those sides, making the managing of adds very easy.  We used 3 healers (priest, druid, paladin), 2 tanks, 2 rogues, 2 hunters, and a warlock.  We lost no one on the second attempt.

These two simple successes have completely brought the group back together.  All of the bad feelings from the other night were eliminated.  We moved on and poked around a little bit, had some fun.  We had one moment where almost everyone lost it in hysterical tears.  There is nothing funnier then hearing a few guys shriek like little girls over vent when a boss pops up and freaks them out.

We wiped on Kologarn 3 times.  A couple guildies had to go to bed.  So we called it for the night.  We are now looking forward to continuing on Sunday night.  We have a Naxx run to get others geared.  We have a 25 man Naxx on Saturday.  So this should be a busy weekend of raiding, many of which seem to be excited about and looking forward to.

Drops for those interested

Flame Leviathan: Kinetic Ripper and Firestrider Chestguard

XT-002: Treacherous Shoulderpads (awesome animation) and Helm of Veiled Energies

Categories: 3.1, General, Raiding, Ulduar Tags:

Once again….Into the Breach!

April 14th, 2009 Comments off

A nice surprise this morning, although I had predicted it a while ago, Patch 3.1 dropped today.  This offers many new options for players, from Dual Spec, Argent Tournement, and the Ulduar Raid.

This evening I will be taking a rag tag group of explorers up to Ulduar and poke our nose in and around.  We are looking to see what the vehicle mechanic fight feels like and what we can do.  This should prove to be interesting.  Many people have been looking into this.  We have tried to keep the knowledge of the boss fights in Ulduar to a minimum to minimize knowledge and increase surprises.  We do know abilities of many of the bosses, however we are keeping strats down to a minimum.  This will make many encouters more engauging and fun, rather then trying to push buttons in the right order at the right time according to someone elses method.

I have a problem with guides, it takes away from it being a game.  I do however agree that most if not all raiders need to have the similar mind set.  Otherwise those looking for loot piñata and those looking for an adventure are on different wave lengths.  This can cause many fights and even guild breakup.  We hit up strategies if we hit a wall, where we just cannot seem to get past.

What to many of you like to do?  Learn and explore or try out known strategies?

In to the breach once again, a new adventure awaits!

Categories: 3.1, General, Officially WoW, Raiding Tags:

Ulduar Video Preview

February 25th, 2009 Comments off

Below is the youtube video of the preview with the hi-res official link below.

Ulduar Video Preview

Categories: 3.1, Officially WoW Tags: , , ,

PTR 3.1.0 – Patch Notes

February 24th, 2009 Comments off

Awesome breakdown of the 3.1 PTR.  Lot of pictures, lots of breakdowns.  Has new talent builds, however they seem slightly broken right now.  Definately worth checking out, especially for the Ulduar pictures.

Source: PTR 3.1.0 – Patch Notes

Categories: 3.1 Tags: , , ,

3.1 on PTR

February 24th, 2009 Comments off

Well 3.1 is up on the PTR.

Patch notes can be found here, courtesy of wowhead due to the fact Blizzards own notes are still stuck on 3.0.8.

Things look interesting, lots of neat new changes. A rundown of the things I am looking forward to.

  • Dual Specs – currently cost 1000 gold to set up the process
  • New Tanking Boots

    New Tanking Boots

    New Tank Belt

    New Tank Belt

Now these two pieces are not huge upgrades, but they are very nice, they add some of the much needed Def when you get into the higher tiers and the 2 sockets on the belt with the optional third from a BS makes me very happy.

I do however have to note my disappointment with Blizzard, they really dropped the ball on the PTR copy.  I ran my copy last week after many sites had stated they were open and past the erroneous opening of the copy.  So I ran my copy with two toons.  I just finished getting all updated and ready, sign on and…blank character list.  So I go back to the PTR page.  Two copies have been used and I am told I am unable to copy until the queue is not as full, try in 3 days.  Here I was thinking I was getting ahead of the curve, instead I am left out in the cold, waiting, watching, and living vicariously by others.  If my copies would have been reset, I might not be so put off with the issue, however since they took them and penalized me for it, I am a bit upset.  The problem I have stated seems to be fixed and copies are available again and my copy counter has been reset.

Pictures from mmo-champion.com

Categories: 3.1, General, Officially WoW Tags: , , ,