Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Skadi Dodi, he kills mah Party

He causes trouble, he kills everybody.

Heroic Pinnacle Sucks. We got stuck at Skadi last night, 5-6 wipes on him, before we decided that we needed to exploit him to beat him.

Spoilers to Follow.

Let me give out the basics of the Skadi fight:

He flies up in the air and is only able to be targeted by harpoons which spawn on 1 mob, every other wave (so, 1 in 4 mobs) that spawn and run towards the party every 20 seconds or so. Once the harpoons hit him 6-8 times, he will land, and you have to fight him. What this means you need to go through 13-16 waves of additional mobs before you can get him to come down.

The gauntlet that spawns is 14 mobs + 2 more every 20 seconds. The harpoons that you need to reach are at the far end of the hallway, so you need to go through those 14 additional mobs as well.

What are the problems with this encounter?
1) As a tank, its impossible for me to get and hold aggro.
Thunderclap isn't good enough to keep aggro off the healer who's having to constantly heal me because I'm tanking 6 mobs at once (to try to make headway into this gauntlet). Here's how it went: I am tanking 4 mobs, 2 more adds come running up, 1 is a harpooner, they both aggro on the healer, I thunderclap, I get netted, the harpooner than stands 5 yards from me and attacks the healer.

2) To farm all the harpoons (without resetting) takes a minimum of 4 minutes of me taking damage and of DPSers DPSing constantly, not getting out of combat. Yeah. That means out of mana time is coming. That's before you even engage the 400k hp boss!
Math Warning

The heroic mobs have about 30k hps each, so, 14*30 + 16*30 (for the harpoons) = 30*30 = 900,000 hp. So you're asking your dps to do 1.3 million damage without going oom. Without your healer going oom. Your 3 dps. Crazy.

3) If you bring single target dpsers, they are all but useless. No offense to you Rogues and Elemental shaman out there, but I'd hate to try that without at least 2 aoe-ers, the mobs just wouldn't be dying quick enough at non-over geared dps levels.

A bit about our group: Boomkin, Mage, Rogue, Warrior (me) and a Priest healer. All the DPS were running 1200-1500 dps.

So, what do you do instead of running the gauntlet?

Well, you exploit it.

You farm the harpoons one run, then reset the boss. Then you run past where he spawns, to where the initial gauntlet mobs start out, and restart the event. Promptly tanking all 14 mobs at once, and aoeing them down. Then you just shoot the harpoons at the boss when he's in range, Killing the adds as best as you can, and wait for him to land.

Yeah. You kill the boss by resetting him.

After another couple unlucky wipes (he resisted taunt, and smooshed the healer) we ended up calling it a night.

We are heroic geared as a group, but that gauntlet is ridiculous. Mobs that constantly net, and don't allow a tank to get/hold aggro are insane. Especially when they are constantly spawning.

A boss that requires you to farm his gauntlet, then reset him, then run past him so you don't have to run the gauntlet (you just have to tank 12 mobs at once).... ridiculous.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pos's Pug Tips

Five simple rules I try to follow when I'm pugging:

1) Introduce myself. Let people know I'm awesome, and I'm a tank.
2) Ask to be leader of the group, and give a kill order/assignments to CC in the group (ie: Sheep will be moon, Mr Mageguy)
3) Pace. Pace is important. Probably the most important thing you can do as a tank. Make sure people aren't waiting constantly with full mana, and make sure you aren't pulling when everyone is at 20%.
4) Be nice. Be patient. Explain boss fights well, don't assume everyone knows every mechanic. I will ask if I've forgotten anything, because, well, sometimes even I am not perfect.
5) Make friends with good healers. Love them. Lots.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm bad at healing....

So, I'm a druid.


A NELF Dr00d, who loves to go boomkin and KABLOOEY stuff. Like crazy.

I've always found that if I really try to get good at something in game, I can pull it off (well, except for melee dpsing, I just can't get myself to really try to get good at that... wow, what a sentence)

I've become good at tanking, and I was as solid a caster DPSer as my guild had pre-expansion -- even when I ran affliction instead of Destro.

But healing... I just can't get. I am going to keep giving it a try, but thus far, unless my tank is way overgeared, boss fights have been a scramble. Admittedly... well, I'm not resto spec'd. I'm pure Boomkin. I need to go more of a hybrid build and try this out.

My biggest problem?

I forget to heal myself. Yep.

Splat goes the dr00d!

Anyway, any helpful tips, addons, builds are more than welcome!

No, I won't be going full-tree. I want to be able to heal and still dps when I solo (which is most of the time).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tag... I'm it?

Well, there's this thing... going around... where I'm supposed to comment on my commenters... on my blog.

I haven't had many, it always surprises me when I get randoms posting on here, and I love it.

I suppose I need more informative posts to get people interested. Aside from my guildmates, my first commenter was Frijona over at Blog of Corruption

Anyway... pants off dance off.

Pos = 80, ready for heroics, and just lost his last level 70 purple when I bought a new belt off the AH. The one with frost resistance. I couldn't pass up an extra 1k hps after gemming any longer.

Abs is closing in on 75, and loving aoe grinding. At the rate I'm playing him, he may be 80 before even hitting Dragonblight. All I do is log on and fill instance groups to dps :)

Andro is 70, just hangin out and will start leveling soon enough. I don't know if I'll stay boomkin or go hybrid spec so I can heal instances...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick Warlocking thoughts...

I spec'd into Felguard/Siphon Life for leveling purposes. Everyone laughs at me, but I am great at casting my 3 instants and running around in circles staying at full health killing 8 mobs at once while felguard puts out 250 dps and kills them off.

Its the most fun I have grinding levels. I used to do it with Felhunter or Succubus, but with Felguard its even more teh awesome.

I've had people come up, stop, watch me, and send me tells afterward "Uh, how are you not dying?"

When you're regening health a tick and you're good at running in circles so you don't get constantly beat by melee, you really have a good bit of survivability.

The one place where this spec doesn't shine is vs large amounts of casters (but what Warlock spec does shine against 3+ casters?)

Against lower level mobs (I'm 72, now, I'm talking 68-69 mobs), I only use Siphon Life and Corruption.

Keeping soul link up also helps a lot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Things to know....

I love Halls of Lightning. Its simply a beautiful zone. You should pull to the right there, not the left when you come in, so if people want to take the short cut out, they can, without dying -- although killing two paladins... totally awesome.

Dear DPS,
I know you love to top the damage meters, but really, let me hit the mob first. I'm the tank. Having to blow my taunt every pull isn't exactly nice for me.

Dear Warlocks,
I know you love to cast Seed of Corruption. I love casting it too. You need to cast it on multiple mobs. Not just chain cast it on the Skull. I'm sorry to say, thats why you keep getting aggro, I can't do 12k worth of aggro on 4 mobs in 10 seconds. I'm sorry. It doesn't make me a bad tank. It makes you a bad warlock for doing 0 damage to the primary target.

Dear Healers,
Don't cast your big heal on me before I hit shockwave. Please. Thunderclap + Shockwave and I should have enough threat to keep the mobs off you. I'm running at 25k health, so even at 50% I have as much health as you do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Personal Update....

Personal update:

About to ding 80. I've put off instancing for a bit, and pounded out quests like mad. I went Titans Grip for about 5 hours. Died more times in 5 hours than I did in the previous 3 levels (not including instance wipes... of course). More than 3 mobs and I was dead, pretty much. As Prot, if I can't get at least 3 mobs its not worth it to me.

Engineering is now 425 or so. Really want to cap that, and get my new goggles, and my new tanking gun. Gotta spend time flying and mining... like crazy.

Smelting titansteel is netting me 100-200g pure profit every day (above the cost of mats) and since I'm farming the mats, its a pure 400g per day. I do need to save up 3 bars I think, though, for my gun.

And soloing elites? Not happening as TG. I was getting owned by elites 6 levels below me... where as Prot, I can solo most up to 1 or 2 levels under me (without blowing cool downs, pots, etc)

Things I need to personally improve upon:
-Using Heroic Strike more - more and more while I aoe tank in instances I end up rage capping myself
-Using the enrage -> health thing more often when soloing
-Figuring out when its okay for my dps to aoe (I usually say, 2nd thunder clap and I have aggro locked in), and when its not. Its a tough balancing act when you have a ret-pally (massive single target dps) and a mage (massive aoe threat) to keep enough threat on both the main target and the group of mobs.
-Keeping my shouts up. I always suck at this.
-Putting vigilance up on someone in instances

I should ding tonight. There will also be a post about what gear to go after to hit the defense cap (540 defense skill is needed, which I believe is 688 defense value). Gotta get uncrittable. I figure I'm gonna research it, may as well post it for you all to enjoy! ;)

Also, with block value being valuable now, defense is also a much more viable mitigation stat.

Okay, any instance guide you would like written up next?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The shortening of instances....

Is it just me, or are the instances shorter than they used to be?

The Nexus is the longest one I've encountered so far and its still very easily runnable in under an hour without pushing too hard. Heck, they even have a mechanism during one wing that makes you keep moving (the little flowers respawning)

Personally, I love it. I love being able to log on, find a group, get to the instance, and run it in under an hour.

Trash is less important. Its not as torturous, as unforgiving as it was in places like Shattered Halls, Shadow Labs and Steam Vaults -- if your tank didn't know how or where to pull it was royally difficult.

I don't find that to be the case this time. And... I am enjoying it much more. Its made things more social for me, and less stressful as a tank.

Admittedly, I'm still over geared, I wonder what its like for the less-geared tanking population....

So... Positive or negative?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cannonball Charge

Its amazing how awesome I can be sometimes.

You see, yesterday, I decided to take a few friends into The Nexus for their first trip there, and decided it would be, well, awesome.

And it was. Especially right before we killed the 2nd boss, and I convinced everyone to jump off the ledge and into nothingness!



Yes. High comedy.

I also ran The Old Kingdom for the first time, and that zone was simply amazing. Unbelieveably gorgeous. ... not to mention what might be the greatest boss fight of all time.

I won't spoil it here... but, just go there. Trust me!

My favorite part, is I haven't read spoilers on the instances I've run. Learning the fights on the fly is much more fun for me personally.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wilford Brimely Nation


I don't care. I'm making it a thing.

I'm already halfway through Honored with the WBN, and and I'm looking forward to getting my penguin pet.

These guys have to be my favorite part of Wrath so far (aside from the two instances I've run...) Closing in on 74, about time to check out new places!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Nexus (Now With Spoilers)

Hidden away in the Coldarra, on the western edge of Borean Tundra, The Nexus is the 2nd instance in Northrend. I've only run it a couple of times now, and I think we were still overgeared for it and didn't bother with CC, aside from the first boss.

The theme of the route that I've taken both times, is "To the left, To the Left" Just stay left and you'll head around in a circle and get all the bosses down, get all your quests done, and get some uber loots our Kara/Badge geared pally healer got 2 upgrades I believe.

I'll spare you the major trash details on this one, aside from a few minor things... There are lots more healers in this instance than in Utgarde. Deal with them first, it will make your life easier. There's a book on the ground you can pick up to complete a quest en route.

Now, onto the First Boss.

The first boss, is one of those annoying mages. Her main attack is a small aoe Firebomb, which can be pretty annoying if you brought along more than 1 melee dps (and your healer is a Paladin). Then she tosses you around in the air, you will come back into melee range while she's tossing you around, so be spamming that Shield Slam button (or Devastate, or whatever else you may want to use).

Moving onto the second boss, within the trash you'll want to kill the Vortex's first when they are in your pulls.

Once you get to the second boss, the same thing applies, every 25% (I think) health he'll spawn a vortex, dps needs to switch over and kill it (not sit there pounding on the immune-to-damage boss like the Rogue in my first group did). Once the vortex is down, go back to the boss.

This is also where you complete one of the quests for the Nexus, so find the clicky item in your inventory and click it!

Moving onto the 3rd boss....

This trash the others are the dryads in the 3-4 pulls - they like to cast Tranquility, which should be interrupted asap. The big Tree's (which complete the 3rd quest here) hit hard. Really hard. Think Bog Lords in heroic Underbog. The little flower guys, they respawn every 90 seconds until the 3rd boss is down, so move quickly, and tell your casters to drink where you just killed, not 30 yards behind you.

The 3rd boss is a gigantic big huge rock guy. Kill him. Enjoy. Splat. Just don't stand on his wonderful little mountains he spawns all over, because they will shoot you way up in the air and you'll take a bunch of damage. (Think Ahune) No fun for anyone.

Once he's down, head due south (notice, you're all the way on the north end of the instance now), and you'll have 2 or 3 pulls before you're back in the middle of the zone.

Walk to the center and you'll see the dragon there. Kill the pat that's wandering around her, and you're onto the final fight.

She is a movement fight, to the point where if you stand still you get a damaging debuff that stacks. So, its shoot, move, shoot, move... for everyone in the party. Yes, even you Mr Hunter.

Cleanse is huge in this fight, as people get trapped in ice chains which does a lot of damage as well as applying the debuff.

I tend to kite her in a circle around the middle platform, so her head is always facing outward a bit, that leaves the space in the middle for the ranged to go and move around in, as well as a smaller circle for the melee to stay and beat on her (her tail also does a swipe, so they want to be on the side of her)

EDIT: I learned something new about her. You can JUMP to clear the debuff. So, yes, fire up some House of Pain, and Jump Around between your casts/actions/swings.

And that, my friends... is the Nexus! Anyone else have any tips? Ideas? Love?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Utgarde Keep -- Spoiler Filled Guide

So, this is my own personal Utgarde Keep guide. I'm sure there will be other guides, and I'm sure you can find the info elsewhere, but hopefully, I can help you out and get you ready for the Keep.

First and foremost, my initial impressions: I love the spacing of the instance. This relies less on pulling skill and more on group skill. You won't get too many mobs unless you try to get too many mobs. The instance in itself is absolutely beautiful. Just gorgeous. I cannot say this enough. Blizz has hit a home run with Wrath. Its better than I could've imagined.

Now, there's two quests you can complete in Utgarde, which are very easy to get. There's a guy just north of town on a small hill who tells you to go meet up with a guy just outside the instance, who gives you two easy quests to complete. Don't worry if everyone in your group has the Weapons quest, there's plenty throughout the instance, enough for all 5 of you to get 5 weapons each.

Onto the guide...

The first room is a large circular room, where the mobs come in packs of 3 or 4. Personally, I decided to down the casters first, and go with no CC. If you do choose to CC, the casters are probably the best target. The annoyances tanking these initial packs are caused mostly by the spear throwers. They love to stand just out of melee range and toss spears at you. Not a big deal, until they start throwing spears at the healer or the warlock. What I did was charge the caster, then walk the mobs over to the spear thrower, thunderclap, and shockwave. Worked very well, and after that, our aoe crew could open up at will.

The second set of mobs are the proto drakes and their trainers. These drakes have a pretty nasty frontal-cone aoe, so don't pull them next to your healer and ranged and aim them that way (unless, of course, you love torturing your healers....) I had issues with seeing the trainers as they sort of were eaten up by the Drake's model, and the drake's have a really small hit box for something so big.

Then you come to the room with the first boss. Things you don't want to do here?

Charge one of the 5 mobs in the room (which includes the boss). You can pull the 4 separately, deal with them, and then engage the first boss.... which I didn't do the first time, because I was just marking and rolling along, talking about how much I enjoyed the instance and it didn't really register in my head that the named was a boss....

The first boss is an interesting one. She periodically summons mummies to beat on everyone, they have very low hitpoints, and for me, a quick thunderclap and they were glued to me and beat themselves dead on my damage shield. The other thing the boss did was entomb one player in an ice block (similar to Demon Chains from Illhoof). To combat this, our ranged would switch over, and if it was our healer, I would charge the ice tomb and hit it a few times (shield slam is nice here), and then go back to the boss.

Moving forward from the first boss, there was a set of undeads tell your casters to hold back, because the little geists can make quick work of a clothie, even though they hardly have any hitpoints.

Keep on rolling through more 4-5 pulls and you'll soon be upon the second boss. This might be my new favorite fight, and as a warrior you can really make it a lot easier on your group.

Now, what happens? The two mobs need to die within a few seconds of each other, or else they will rez and you need to start all over (think Romulo and Julianne, you Kara vets). I had my groups beat down the melee mob to about 25% or so, and then switch over to the caster (I was tab targetting to interrupt the caster from casting while we beat the melee down). Burn the caster down, and the melee should've beaten himself almost dead on your damage shield, and finish him off. Baddabing, baddaboom... phat lewtz.

(Wow this is getting long)

More trash, of the same variety, eventually you get to one new mob, a Drake with a mounted rider (reminded me of the Bears in Zul'aman) just before the last boss.

The last boss is... well... a challenge if you aren't Kara geared (at least). He has a few skills: A spell called Smash, which does 6-7k on plate to anyone within melee range (run out Rogues, Ret paladins, fury warriors, save your healers the mana), and an aoe silence (so have your last stand and shield wall ready, just in case). Once he dies, he ressurcets to an undead zombified version of himself, and proceeds to beat you down with even more of a can of whoopass. He has two aoe's which get stronger (3-4k with a big range, and 8-9k for those in melee range).

So, this is a healer fight, love them, hug them, squeeze them if you survive it.

Posting this now, will (hopefully) add pictures, and corrections later on today!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Five Spoiler Free Wrath Impressions

1) Being Alliance, I decided Howling Fjord was the place for me. Why? the 9,000 people waiting for the Stormwind boat made my decision for me.

2) Everything feels epic. Big. Beautiful. Amazing.

3) There's a gnome named McGoyver. I laughed. I got excited. I love it. I've taken his flight 3 times just to take it.

4) Training = expensive but not needing green upgrades makes it way easier to make money back, all those quest rewards sell well.

5) I created a DK. He's a gnome. I was disappointed in the movie intro for them, but, I'm excited to complete the quests. Thats where the story seems to be told.

I'm excited to check out the instances. Tonight. A full on Utgarde guide will be coming tomorrow. Also, soon, I'll be taking some time to revamp the blog a bit and add a blog roll, hit counter, and other such nonsense.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A brief foray into RL

Yesterday was Veterans day, here in the US. A day to celebrate and honor those who served and are currently serving our Armed Forces. It has a bigger meaning for me than it does for many, as my late grandfather served in WWII and was a POW in Germany. I will spare the details of what he did, but, he lost his right arm when their bomber was shot down.

He lived a relatively normal life, even without his dominant hand. I can only really remember one thing he could never do; every day, he'd come stand next to Grandma, and have her button his cuff on his left arm.

I just wanted to say thank you, to those who have protected and served our country, you do more than most of us will ever know.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Warsong Gulching.... as a Prot Warrior

Now, I'm not exaggerating here, on my battle group, the Horde wins 90% of all WSG matches. I had to get 30 WSG marks to get the pretty pvp mount (which was my 50th, to get my amazingly awesome white Wyvern), and to get the first 10, it took 10 matches, to get the next 10, it took 6 matches, and it only took 4 matches to get the 3rd set of 10.

What changed? Well, I'd like to think I changed a bit, and I helped a lot. Also, having 2 druids who were awesome flag carriers helped a lot too.

How did my playstyle evolved? Well, I went from being a flag carrier, to being on defense, to finally finding my niche as a flag-carrier escort.

I did that well, and I only got better at it.

Really, a druid is the optimal flag carrier, due to forms, sprint, and all around survivability. A paladin helping out along side is amazing as well. I really think, a prot warrior is the 3rd in a trio that can really help run the flag effectively.


Hamstring. Stuns. Interrupts. Both Charge and Intercept. Shockwave.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge PVPer on my Warrior, but once I started flag-protecting in WSG, the flag carriers actually got captures more often than they normally did. I made it my goal to keep people off of our FC. Charge and Intercepting to keep up, using them as stuns to keep any melee off the FC (trying to pop a hamstring on them as you get close as well). If you get lots of people surrounding the FC, switching to battle stance, charging, and Thunder clapping followed by step-step-step, turn around and then Shockwaving everyone can give the FC plenty of time to get away.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Warrior Tanking (part 2)

Things that are tough to get used to?

Taunt now has a range. 20 yards or some such. Its nice. Very nice. Its also very tough to get used to at first. I no longer have to run around to collect a mob that goes off after the healer (or the Warlock or the Boomkin)

How does this change things? A quick target, taunt, then retarget the main mob, and as soon as the taunted mob gets to you, switch back to it, shield slam or revenge, and continue on.

It makes life much easier as a warrior. I love it.

Onto the New Charge.

Usable in and out of combat with the right talents. I love it. I cannot express how useful this is while instancing (and pvping, but thats for my next post). So, two mobs charge for the healer? Taunt number one... pause half a second, then charge the 2nd mob, and devastate/shieldslam/revenge or whatever you want to do to pull its aggro back.

Changes in my personal tanking style, thus far:
I'm doing way more AOE tanking, much less CCing, and as a result, Thunderclap and Shockwave are both a major part of my arsenal. Heroic Strike is being used a lot more, due to the glyphs (+10 rage and a free HS after devastate). Other than that, not much has changed.

I lost a lot of Defense with the patch (went from 510ish to about 472... I still don't know exactly how).

Anyway, thats all for now. T-minus 8 days.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Warrior Tanking in 3.0 (part 1)

Okay, so you have some new skills, some new abilities, and some old ones (Thunderclap & Taunt) have gotten buffed, big time. Threat has been revamped as well.

The big question is, what does this mean?

First off, as a warrior, you can now AOE tank, and you can AOE tank WELL. Really, really friggin well. Warlocks cackling with glee well. Now, the question is, how do you open up against mobs to get maximum threat for that AOE to open up early?

Here's my (current) aoe threat rotation:
1) Bloodrage
2) Charge
3) Thunderclap
4) step backwards to organize the mobs & shield block
5) Shockwave
6) Shieldslam the primary target
7) Thunderclap

The mobs should be glued to you after that. Obviously, there are some exceptions to that rule. Just do your tab devastates, revenges, heroic strikes, and hit T-clap whenever its up.

Now, the major issues with this?
-Druid trees: I love them... but they are slow. Mom-taking-you-shopping slow.*
Make sure they are standing up next to you before you charge, else, they will be waddling up to heal you (because you charged out of range) and you might go splat. Okay, so that goes for all your healers, but you get the idea.

-Charging the correct mob: Be aware of which mobs are casters and which mobs are melee. Its easier to move a melee than a caster so if there's 2 melee and a caster, try to charge the caster. Oh, hey, and don't worry about the melee running up to you if you get within their aggro range before you can charge... you do know you can charge in combat now, right? ;)

Part 2 will be on single targets, and getting used to the new taunt and charge.

Questions? Comments?

*Mom-taking-you-shopping slow is the pace at which, when you're 13, your mother picks out clothes with you simply wanting to get the jeans, put them in the cart and leave. Its a sunny Saturday, and you want to be outside, but, there's now 17 pairs of jeans to try on. Its summer. You don't even need jeans.

Warlocking in 3.0

Now, I'm a warlock at heart. I love it. I love the idea of it. I loved it pre-level-60, and I loved rampaging and questing with my Fel Guard between 60 and 70. I loved going SL/SL and arena-ing. I loved running around with instant corruption, curse of agony and siphon life and dotting every mob I could find while running dailies and having not worrying about dying.

Right now? I'm feeling very lackadaisical towards my Warlock. No spec jumps out at me. No 51 point talent jumps out and says "I WANT THAT"....

Demon form... while it has the 'cool' factor, completely worthless in instances and pvp. Great for solo aoe farming, but.... really, what warlock does that?

Haunt is a good idea. I like the premise.... but... the way boss fights are now, at 70, its useless. Everything dies in under a minute, cycling 4-5 dots just isn't viable. Obviously this will change as things go forward, and I see myself leveling 51 point affliction and the rest in Demo (for soul link) and running around with a Fel Hunter most of the time.

I was hoping non-felguard pets might be usable. Let me rephrase. I was hoping non-felguard pets might be useful.

As it is, right now, Succubus is used for CC in instances. Felhunter might get used in raids now - but its still gonna die, cuz no healer will heal it and we can't kill our dps to channel a spell for 10 seconds to heal it up, because the pet ain't worth that.

Not that I'm bitter that the hunter pet heal is an instant cast hot or anything.

Big Blue? Useless without a bugged 51 point demonology talent. Tiny Green? Mana battery. Sure, he might be able to nuke a bit if you go destro, but he still has about 7 hit points and will splat as soon as any aoe goes off.

Maybe things will change as I level. Maybe arena-ing as a destro lock with instant seduce will change things for me. Who knows, really.... right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tanking, DPSing, and Titans Whiffing in Kara

So.... basically... we ran Karazhan on Saturday night. The bosses were going down in under 2 minutes for the most part, and we didn't even have our A-team there for the most part. We had one wipe, on Shade (of course) and other than that, the night ran smooth as can be.

I began the night running as fury with Titans Grip. Now, I have better-than-entry-level gear for Karazhan. In my fury set, I'm over 1700 AP unbuffed, with 300 armor ignored and 40 expertise. What am I missing that you need for a titans grip build?

Hit rating. Admittedly, I was running with two blue 2 handers, no purples, but every other piece of my fury set is purple (aside from a ring).

After opera, I respecced back to prot, and ran around still dpsing in my fury gear, but as prot spec. I did more dps. Not just a little more. I jumped from 400 to 500 dps. Do I think Titans grip is broken? No, not at all. It just takes a different approach to gearing than I've taken for my DPS set in the past. I always had enough hit rating to keep me in rage. No more, no less. With Titans Grip, I would need WAY more hit rating to keep me in rage. To have my specials not miss.

Now, as for tanking?

Ohmigosh. Its FUN now. I mean, it was fun before, to tank that single big mean boss and yell at the DPS to stop DPSing because I only did 600 TPS in my full-evasion boss suit -- Yes, I have a threat set and a boss set -- Well, all of a sudden, here I am pulling AOE groups, tanking 4 mobs at once (heck, 10 mobs at once!) and watching the mages cackle with glee as they unload their aoe's.

Boss fights went from toeing that threat line on a boss like Prince, to the DPS just unloading and showing what they've got. Gruul, for example, was never really a threat issue as there's so much time where people aren't DPSing.

Instead of it being me constantly watching omen, and worrying about who was doing what and generating too much threat... it became me tanking. Worrying about positioning. Where to move the mob.

It was fun!

Plus, as an offtank, I finally felt like I could "hold my own" by adding a bit of DPS when needed.

So, 3 more posts on the horizon, which do you want first?
1) Warlocking
2) Tanking in instances
3) Prot Talent Review

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sorry, I have none...

Alleria was down all last night so I didn't get to play at all.


Maybe tonight I'll get to do inscription, get a haircut, and re-talentize my characters.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Patch, Big Changes

Over at WoW Insider, the "Care and Handling of Warriors" (sorry, can't look it up for a link at work) has a great writeup on the changes of the warrior trees.

I'm supremely excited for the changes to the Prot tree.

I plan to play around with different specs, different builds, and all in all see how much I can make Kikidas giggle aoe tanking mobs.

Charge will be usable IN ALL STANCES! Amazing. That in itself makes being a tank that much better. Instead of starting a multi mob fight with 20 rage from bloodrage, you can get up to about 40 with a bloodrage+charge. HUGE difference.

Crushing Blows: Gone. Amazing. Its being changed from +3 levels to +4 levels, so bosses will no longer crush... as long as you're 70.

Strength is becoming much more important. Instead of 20:1 for block rating its becoming 2:1. Mind you, I'm still not sure if block rating will be useless or not for Warriors. I need to do more reading on that subject.

I've done *some* reading, but I am going to pick my points without much of a guide. Some defense will be lost with the re-distribution of points due to the gear changes in the patch (mostly due to Paladins tanking mechanics being changed). I am letting the patch decide if I save up for a 150 badge 2h weapon for Titans grip or if I get the 100 badge chest piece.

More to come on Warriors and Warlocks on Wednesday morning... (After testing Tuesday night)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yes, I know Whirlwind does more damage...

A slight rant....

I'm a warrior. I'm a tank. You're a warrior, you're dps. Now, you'd think, you'd have at least a very basic idea of how *my* threat generation works. Sadly, this hasn't seemed to be the case in my experience with DPS warriors.

1) My job, as a warrior tank, is in this order:
- Save the healers by keeping my threat on all targets above the healers
- Keep my threat above the DPS's on the current kill target (skull, then X guys, c'mon)
- Keep my threat above the DPS's on _all_ targets

Now, mind you, that 3rd one, I hardly ever worry about. I'm not an aoe tank (although, that may change a tad during wrath), I can hold aggro on 4+ mobs as long as the dps is smart.

I'm not an idiot for you getting aggro on 2 mobs when you decide to sweeping strikes, cleave, and Whirlwind. Its not my job to keep that much threat on 4 mobs. Its my job to keep enough threat on 4 mobs so the healer doesn't get smooshed.

So, please, all you DPS warriors (and Rogues for that matter) stop using those multi-mob targets while I'm tanking.

"Lrn2tank" is not a proper response when I let you die on the 4th pull after I told you 3 times to stop doing that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't you know you're ridin' with the (Lich) King?

So, there's a few things I want to do in the next 6 weeks before Wrath hits us like a brick wall.

1) Get my druid to 60, (54.5 at the moment... 55 tomorrow, hopefully) and max out his herbalism and Alechmy. Abs will be taking up inscription and Androgynist will become my potion maker.

2) Sell off my primals, All of them. Gone. Poof.... aside from maybe the primal fires I can use to get engineering up once the expansion comes out (for Khorium cores)

3) Decide what I'm buying with all of Pos's badges. I'm almost to 100 now, the question is, do I buy the chest? Do I buy a weapon? Suggestions?

4) Decide upon a Death Knight name. Yes, he'll be a gnome. Yes, he'll be a he. Right now, I'm thinking.... Kablammo but *someone* has issues with that.

5) Lead s'more raids. I had a bit of burnout, and RL busyness solved it. I'm ready for more so long as my guildies are ready for it too.

So, while waiting for Wrath....

KoU decided to friggin DESTROY ZA.

We reserve Sunday nights for 2-hour (ie: less stressful) progression runs. In a guild as small as ours, Zul'Aman is progression for our 10 man crew.

Well, we fielded an amazing 10-man squad, and rolled into Zul'Aman.

We downed the Bear and the Eagle and ended up with 6 minutes remaining on the timer (16 after eagle died) and easily picked up two chests. (Hooray!) Then, we rolled on to Jan'Alai, and took him down on the third try, on our smoothest kill of him yet. We made one simple change to our strategy (wait to aoe the second platform of dragonhawks until after he shoots firey balls of doom) and, we owned him.

We'd done all that in just an hour and a half, so we decided to give the Lynx boss a shot.

Well, thats all it took. One try. One shot. Our healers were awesome, our DPS was great killing the totems, and our Mage... well, he basically solo'd the whole thing.

He ran over 1200 dps on the fight. 1200!!!! Without AOE!

I brought Abs to this party (After respeccing from SL/SL to Destro for the run) and kablammo'd my way into awesomeness.

I was only threat capped on the Bear boss, and thats because I shattered too soon -- should've waited, so I could've gone all out for the last 60% instead of toeing the line the whole time.

That, really, was my only real screw up. (self pat on the back)

Our crew consisted of two priests and a paladin healing, a druid and paladin tanking, and dpsing were an Elemental Shaman, frost Mage, Warlock (me!), a Rogue (who seemed to die a lot.... silly Gobblez) and a BM hunter.

Suddenly, I got infinitely more excited about Wrath.

Go figure.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The things people notice...

So, I had an odd experience in the workplace today.

I'm sitting, working on my laptop, running simulators, and doing 8 different things at once... but every time I have to go enter data on the laptop my hands fall to the traditional 'right hand on mouse, left hand over wasd' where I keep my hands while I play.

My boss walks by, chuckles, and then asks what game I play.

Sometimes, its the little things people notice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Arena, 3v3's

PvPing as SL/SL:

Holy cow, its like I'm a tank. Seriously. I've been running 3-man arena's with a Frost Mage/Holy Paladin two nights every two weeks (that way we only have to respec back and forth once - run on Monday & Tuesday night). We've been running for about a month, and after the initial drop to about 1300, we've gotten progressively better. We broke 1400 again this past week, and I'm feeling good about our chances to keep moving up in the world.

Now, our gear has gotten a little bit better, and thats made us better pvpers, but, what's made us handle fights better and deal with the quick hectic scrum that is Arena's is simply better communication.

I let our Mage call out the burn target (and his sheep target, so I don't dot it) then, we collectively hope that they try to kill the warlock. Why? Because I can take one heck of a beating. Seriously. It helps that we have the uber paladin healer to keep us alive.

My job in the arena's? Fear like crazy, dots on everything (unless the Mage calls a sheep target), and just run around in circles while trying to stay inside healing range of the paladin.

I'm not a great pvp-er, I'll admit that. I'm decent. I can hold my own vs most people 1vs1. I'm not aware enough, nor do I have enough macro's to properly use my felhunter. I haven't found a use for any of the other pets yet (I've thought about trying a succubus and having her seduce... but she dies SO quickly its not worth it).

So, I'm coming to you, my faithful readers, for pvp advice, blogs to read, addons you may suggest....

I just spent badges on a set of pvp boots, as there are no more badge upgrades for Abs on the PvE side. I got the Arena chest and the 8000 honor trinket, now I'm down to the two pvp blues to replace. I decided to go with two pieces of Dreadweave and two pieces of Felweave to get the 70 resil bonus instead of the -0.2 sec off of Fear.

Anyway, enough ramblings.... FEEDBACK! Please!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gruul Down... Mags next.

KoU led its first run into Gruuls. We one shotted High King and Gruul and went onto Mags. We got him to 31% when a missed click wiped the raid.

Stupid clickers.

We'll get him next week... I hope ;)

Gnometastic's Tips to Leading a Raid

Now, I have much more experience leading 10 man raids than I do leading 25 mans. I am not sure where this post will go, but... here goes nothing.

I led my first 25 man run on Wednesday. We defeated High King and we took down Gruul without incident (well, okay, we almost wiped on Gruul but he died, so it counts!).
My guildmates performed amazingly as always, and they made rule number one easy to follow.

Rule 1) Don't be afraid to tell people to shut up on Vent/Teamspeak. You're the raid leader, you need to give instructions, healing assignments, misdirect assignments... Chatty Kathy needs to be able to be quiet for 10 minutes and listen so that people who haven't been there or people who don't know their own specific assignments.

Rule 2) Trash pulls must go quickly.
Everyone doesn't need 5 paladin buffs to kill trash. You don't need everyone at full mana. Some pulls, maybe so, TK Pulls for example, are not very forgiving (the 5 pulls near Void Reaver for example), but still, keep moving, don't wait, explain the next pull while people mana up and rez the dead.

Rule 3) Don't be afraid to tell people if they are messing up. Its your raid, but its not just your time. You're taking 50 hours of peoples time for a 2 hour raid. Don't let one screw up mess it up for everyone by doing stupid crap. Tell them what they're doing wrong. If they refuse to listen or have the "lolz I knowz better den youz" attitude, kick them.

Rule 4) Required addons, chat programs. Everyone. And I mean everyone has to have Omen. Paladins should have Pally Power. Everyone must have Ventrilo. An easy way to check if people are paying attention and/or in vent is to simply say "If you can hear me say this, please, click NO." and do a /readycheck

Rule 5) Stay positive. Tell people when they've done well. Wipes will happen, just don't let them frustrate you too much... the first two times at least. That 4th wipe on Shade always sucks....

Thats it. 5 easy rules. What did I miss?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Loving my guild...

Well, as of last night, Knights of Utopia has made it to 4/6 in Zul'Aman.

We took down Jan'Alai for the first time, with everyone managing to avoid the firey balls of doom we downed him.

Our strategy was brought to us by Owaru, who tanked 8.7 million birds at once on each side so we cleared all of them in 2 spawns of the trolls, while I tanked Jan'alai on the other platform.

A week earlier we downed Halazzi. That puts us at 4/6 in ZA.

4 months ago our guild changed leadership, and had the core raiding crew gutted.

Since then, its been nothing but successes for us. I'm glad to be a part of my guild, and glad to be a raid leader. We have fun, we joke around, we do things we shouldn't be able to do.

A guild that hasn't even touched Gruul's or Mag's as a whole shouldn't be 4/6 in ZA.

So, although this is just a fluff post. I'm happy. I'm proud. I'm loving it.

Also, we're hitting Gruul's for the first time in 10 days. Wednesday the 10th. Who wants in? :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Warlocking as 0/40/21 (Demonologist)

So, I thought, between my bi-weekly pvp respec's (we run monday night, then tuesday night to avoid respeccing every week - just once every 2 weeks).
So, I tried a new build. I wanted to try raiding with a Succubus, instead of a dark-pacting imp.
First off, for instancing... I LOVE the super-long seduces that the succi has. It makes me so much more effective as a CC.
Secondly, the succubus has no health. I mean, she goes down faster than a freshman on prom night, so I'm still figuring how to work my magic on aoe mobs.
I wasn't getting threat capped too often, and my casting rotation included basically, just immolate, CoE and shadowbolts.
In my first raid with her, running Karazhan, I topped 1100 DPS for the course of the raid.
Trash doesn't matter. I know. So let me go over the boss fights...

Attumen: Easy Peasy. Just send in the pet, and nuke away. This was the only time I got threat capped on a boss during the entire raid, I used my soul shatter while they were still split (and he was at 70%) out of habit, and then didn't have it to use once they joined.

Moroes: I sick'd the little lady on Moroes the entire time. She got killed, though, due to the whirl winding warrior, out of habit I resummoned my imp (duh, I don't have darkpact anymore) when he vanished, and then let impy nuke himself oom once I realized my folly.

Maiden: Summoned the imp for the -20% threat, let him nuke and cast both Immolate and Corruption and shadowbolted in between.

Opera (Big Bad Wolf) Had the pet on him the entire time and nuked away. She never died, I never was made to run (I don't think), I watched my threat very carefully (popped Shatter early), and keeled him good.

Curator: Soaked the bolts, put the lady on him the entire fight, she died early due to Flare damage. So, I was low on dps compared to normal, but I rocked anyway.

Illhoof: Sacrificed the pet, for the extra shadow damage because with the imps I doubt she would've lived long, and did my explodie thing.

Shade of Aran: Tried to keep the pet up this fight, but once she got targetted, she was dead. Fought the rest of the fight without a pet.

Chess: Lost the pet. But I was king for a day!

Prince: Tried to keep her up and I did pretty well for awhile, but she bit it to a shadow nova about 30% of the way in. I resummoned, and then kept her next to me the rest of the fight

Netherspite: Kept her up and on him the entire time, til she got killed because I didn't move her to the wall during the banish phase. Yep.

My initial thoughts:
Succubus is great on trash that doesn't cast aoe's.
Any boss that aoe's or targets randomly and she's dead. Might as well just sacrifice the pet.
What's the point of even having a warlock pet at 70? Yeah, I know. PVP, right?

So, anyone... tips? Suggestions? Don't tell me to go Destro. I am bored when I'm Destro. I won't go felguard either, I like Ruin too much. Back to affliction? I'll play more when I (hopefully) get to go to Kara this weekend. Even if I have to start my own run!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Being a better tank (part 2)

Now, what you're asking is... how do you go from being inexperienced to experienced?
Well, here's how Pos did it:
Number 1. I instanced. Like crazy. The more you do something (usually) the better you get at it. Some things, not so much... like... Dhark kicking casters. He's as bad at it now as before he learned the 'kick' skill.

Back on topic. Instance. Learn your own nuances. Get into a routine for how you pull and how you hold aggro. As you get better geared (and your guildies and friends get better geared) you will need less healing, so you need to focus less on the non-primary targets. Tanking 3 mobs with Pos, its shield slam the primary, revenge the primary, devastate target 2, and devastate target 3. Rinse, repeat. After 3-4 devastates on each one they should be glued to me and not charge a healer.

A quick example of a personal nuance: I will always shoot the last mob that will be killed (and initially tanked) on a pull. So if I'm tanking three, I shoot the 3rd one to die, target the second, devastate, then target the primary kill and shield slam. As long as my healer doesn't heal me early, it gives me enough aggro to get an initial devastate back onto that 3rd mob (followed by a thunderclap). Usually, this is followed by a taunt on the first mob as Kikidas is cackling gleefully about pulling aggro.

The best way to practice tanking multiples as a warrior? Run a lower level instance. So, you're 66, go run Ramparts. You're newly 70? Mana Tombs is calling you.
Try running with no CC (that means crowd control, not Sabathia), see what you learn, and what you have to work on. Being overgeared and/or over leveled will mean you need less heals and your group won't wipe.. but it also means a lot less rage, so learn to mark quick and chain pull (full circle, look at that)

Questions? Comments?

Being a better tank (part 1)

One thing people have to get used to when they become a new tank is that you're sort of forced into the group leader role. Having once been a new tank myself, I can sort of tell those who aren't that experienced with the role. Key signs being:
Not wanting to mark (Although, admitting this can be the sign of a good tank too, oddly), not wanting to tank more than one mob at a time, marking, but not explaining which mark is which (don't assume, people).

The single, biggest sign of an inexperienced tank?
Taking way too long between pulls.

Now, if you don't know the instance so you don't want to mark... Say so upfront. If someone has a problem running with you being inexperienced (unless, say, its heroic MrT or something), then screw them you don't want them in your group anyway.
I shouldn't really be saying that, I've been known to pull out of groups from time to time as Pos, simply because I have had too many times where I've farmed repair bills in heroics. I pulled out of one on Sunday. Heroic MrT was the daily, and we had a 4 some, but it was resetting in an hour... so we decided to try to get to the second boss (a good goal, y'know).
When no one listened to my targetting, and nothing got cc'd on the first pull, I left. When you say, "Moon = sheep. Square = trap, kill the imp first, then move to skull then x" It should be clear that I don't mean "Shoot X with multishot right away, and nuke skull with a pom pyroblast leave moon unsheeped and don't trap square and let the imp kill the priest" Right? I mean... c'mon.

Learn to mark. No, I don't even mean learn which mobs to kill first and which to have CC'd, but learn that melee mobs are for hunters to trap. Caster mobs are to be sheeped or sapped. learn to Line of sight pull. Use corners. Distance (yes, sometimes shooting and executing a Boon maneuver is a good choice).
What I mean by learning to mark is... SET HOTKEYS TO MARK. I have the marks mapped to my numpad, 1-8 with 0 being the clear button. The faster you can mark mobs the sooner everyone can target, the sooner the hunter can lay their first trap, the sooner you can pull.
A slow instance run can be as much due to screw ups (or simply being undergeared), as due to not marking quickly and taking too long between pulls.
Which is another tip, keep things moving. If your dps and healer aren't drinking right after you leave combat, well, then they are ready for another pull. If they aren't, thats their fault... but be careful doing too many chain pulls, you can make certain people's heads explode.
(to be continued....)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fury = Sleepy

So, I went fury last night, and DPS'd in a heroic instance.

Holy crap that was boring.

With CC and such, I wasn't able to Whirlwind hardly at all, so basically I melee'd white damage, and hit my bloodthirst cooldown whenever it was up.

Now, I put out about 400 dps, which is pathetic, and I feel as though I should be doing way, way more than that given that I'm in about half purple DPS warrior gear and have 2 90 dps weapons - I even filled my leftover tanking spots with +str greens from the AH, not ideal, but still.

I don't know, maybe I'm doing something wrong. I was at 1300 AP unbuffed, and yes, I'm using heroic strike when I'm over 50 rage, but I felt very rage starved most fights. I read the forums, the builds, the suggestions over at and came up with something I thought I would enjoy.

I do enjoy it, for farming or questing, but in instances... I could fall asleep. Which I did. Twice.

More power to the Furies (not furries) who can do it well, but pushing one button and casting a shout every two minutes and offering no utility what so ever made me feel really pointless in a 5 man.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The C word....

No, not that one. The one Joe Morgan always uses. Consistency. That's what I'm loving from my current crew. This week, we brought in a couple new people to Kara, and a couple new people to ZA. Grancoso off tanked and backup healed Kara (and did awesome in both roles) and Janril brought her priesty healing ways, and Wizo brought his Shadowy preistyness.

The Kara run was smooth, we only had 5 wipes. The problem was, they were all on Shade and Prince (the two longest runs back possible in Kara) so the run ran a little bit long.

We did well, 3 new people, 2 of whom had never been past Curator (I think) and Wizo had never been in there, period.

Two new maces for our priests, and an epic dps battle between the two Mages and the Warlock. Of course, the Warlock won... but, Abs is way better geared than both of those mages. Can't wait for them to catch up. Seriously.

We didn't go after Netherspite, as it was really late (Midnight Server) and it was just... time to call it.

Sunday was ZA. We had the first chest. I mean, we wtfpwned and had it. Locked up.

Until... the two tanks decided to not stack on each other and Pos ate an 11k hit which was supposed to be swiped between two people :)

Yes, even the Gnometastic one screws up from time to time.

We got him down on the 3rd try, the second try, Owaru died due to the bears aoe silence, and our paladin healer being a total incompetent... at least, that's what I thought.

Then, onto Akil'zon.

We one shotted the gauntlet for the first time, and we got Akil'zon down on the 3rd attempt. The sound trick is amazingly helpful and collapses went smooth. The first wipe was my fault (Again...) because I ran through the Eagle bastard instead of backing up to the collapse spot and ate two crushing blows as a result (get hit in the back, you can get crushed) I forgot he crushes, some of the bosses in ZA don't.

Second wipe, we lost a healer who got lightninigninged twice in a row very early, but we still got him down to 10%. Had we not lost a second healer to the same thing at 20% we would've won.

Third time was a charm, and Pos got another DPS item. Hooray? DPS plate chest piece. I think they really want me to go Fury.

Almost as bad as Karazhan wants Kathe to go TREE.

On another note, Androgynist the Druid hit level 24. I'm still debating... to 70 or not to 70. I don't know that I have the desire to push that hard.

Until next time... something to ponder....

Should KoU start leading pug runs for Sunwell trash? :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass

3 guild firsts in 2 days. Friday night, we ran Karazhan, and after getting started a little late, we snagged Neshura (for half the run, then Wolfinme replaced her, gallantly), and dragged Siiro along, who's becoming more and more uber every run we make.

We had Kathe doing an awesome job main tanking, and we brought in Morphos (and his damn accent) to offtank/kitty dps. Boon and Shougeki healed, and were blessed with the presence of a pugged shadowpriest named Katsue, who was awesome.

Leghumper provided massive frostie DPS and Harikin casted seemingly random mage spells all night long.

Rounding out the 10-some was a terrible warlock named Absitively.

We rolled. We had 1 wipe on Shade, due to someone accidentally moving on flame wreath, and 1 wipe on Netherspite, because I neglected to tell the tanks and Boon to stay out during the banish phase - which caused our DPS to get 1-shotted as soon as he unbanished.

I think, Spite, from now on, will be on farm. Having both a Warlock and a Shadow Priest really helped, as neither of us required much healing tanking the blue beam, and there was no dps-blue-beam swapping.

Next time I'll work a bit more on ranged positioning so we can run to the windows easier.

Having the Druids swap red/green beam tanking also was huge.

Sunday, was Zul'Aman. Our typical 2 hour progression run. We once again procured the services of Katsue, and we rolled in with Pos and Owaru tanking, Boon, Yorkshire and Kiljara doing the healing. Leghumper, Neshura, Wolfinme, and Gobblez being our other 4 DPS.

We took down the Bear, in record KoU time. We got the first chest for the first time EVAR!

Then, we went on to Akil'zon. After 1 wipe on the gauntlet, we went onto him.

First time, we lost people due to the Storm, and not getting collapsed in time.

The second time, we had everyone turn off their sounds, except for Ambient. Turn their sound up. Turn their ambient up.
You can hear the storm coming in then. (Thanks, Nesh!!)

We didn't miss a single collapse. We lost two dps unluckily early. Which sucked, but... we got down to his enrage timer.

3rd time. He went down. Another KoU first. Leghumper got a new ring, he was jazzed about.

A ring with a slot in it. Amazing.

Party on guys.

And, if you're interested, here's the WWS from the run...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A case of the rambles...

Casual Raiding.

So, we're doing it. As a guild, we're pulling off casual raiding. Our guild had a major hemorrhage a couple months back, but we've stabilized, picked up a few awesome people, and we're just cruising along.

We've broken into ZA, the first boss is on farm. Obviously, he's just the first boss, but for a guild that struggles to field 10 during any given week, that's a pretty big deal.

Our fearless raid leader wants to open up recruiting. I think he has a plan to do it, but I think he wants it to be perfect before he tells us about it.

You hear me, Byouki... its time to start brain storming. COLLECTIVELY!

Honestly, the best recruits come from pugs. We picked up an awesome druid (who's gone MIA... but... that happens), we run with good people and we invite them along for our ride.

I need to start pugging more. Breaking up my 5-some that I always run with. I love running with them, but, maybe, if we split up, we can meet more people. Have more fun.

We ran with a warlock the other day, he said he had a blast.

I get tells from other people I've run with, from other guilds, asking me to bring my chars to tank, to run raids. If these raids need more people, they'll ask me if guildies want to come. I am glad for that.

I've gotten some people into places they wouldn't have seen otherwise as a result.

Heck, I've gotten into places I otherwise wouldn't have. I got Abs into BT to do trash last week. Then Pos into Sunwell to do trash the same day.

Yep. I've tanked Sunwell.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Epic Fail

That's what happened in Karazhan on Saturday night.

For the first time since I started this blog-thing (way back in April) a KoU run didn't down Prince.

1 run a week for 4 months, and we'd done it every time in about 4 hours, give or take.

Wow. I'm a pretty awesome raid leader. Eh? :)

Anyway... we didn't get Illhoof down, we couldn't get Shade down... our Melee dps, while great at interrupting spells, were collectively terrible at getting out of Arcane explosion.

We lost 2 of them the first time, and 3 of them the second time. Benefit of being a gnome? Escape artist on that fight can save you if you get a late jump. Click it. Run fast.

Oh, and when the elementals are up, go ahead, intercept the one near the wall, it will get you there quicker.

We had to pug 5 people for the run, so I wouldn't really call it a KoU run, but... yeah.

The KoUers were solid as always, I was helping out a new Warlock get her feet wet raiding as well. We picked up a solid mage too. The other 3 puggers... were all kind of.... hmm. meh. The off tank warrior went and respec'd dps halfway through the raid (I said it was okay) and ended up doing less dps than when he was tanking. The rogue was doing decent trash damage, but terrible boss damage, and... well... died a lot.

And, cupcakes.

I learned something new, though.

Having two warriors and not an extra off healer on Shade, sucks.... yep. Sucks.

Big time.


If I do that type of run again, I will bring a 3rd healer.

One positive thing?

I made Owaru be ready to bring 3 different characters. Again.


Monday, July 21, 2008

So close... yet so far...


So close to getting that first chest. We were a minute to a minute and a half off of getting him down in time.

Just needed a teensy bit more DPS, or a death-free run. We never wiped, but we had 4 or 5 deaths on the trash pulls.

So close.

Then, Ravensfire DC'd before we started the second boss and we called it.

We went to do Heroic MrT. Magisters Terrace.

Pos had just run it recently, and I twisted the arm of my guildies, and we took Gobblez, Kikidas, Tasogare and Boon along with Pos tanking.

It went pretty smooth. 2 wipes on the second boss. 1 wipe on the 3rd boss. And I think we took Kael down on our first try (if I remember right)

Not a single trash wipe.

Also, the last pull before Kael, which used to be 6 mobs, and a huge pain... is now only 5, and no different from 10 other pulls in the instance.

Pos got a new axe, which he'll break out if he ever goes fury (and when I dual wield now...)

I hope to run it lots.... as there's two trinkets Pos wants from the 3rd boss. Both the expertise trinket and the signet of kael'thas.


I wonder where there's a purple ring Pos can get...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I don't have a main anymore...

It used to be, I had a main. It was a Shaman. Level 60. Geared in greens & blues. Matoskah, I was enhancement, and waded in with my totems and beat stuff down.

Then came Tulu. Tulu was a troll mage. He, to put it simply, rocked.

Leveled fast, aoe style, uber pwning all the mobs. The best was whooping up the slow green guys pre-Mauradon nerf. 5 levels, averaging 4hrs/level. Mind you, this was before quest experience got the huge bump :)

Tulu was purpled out, at 60, mostly bwl gear, with bits from MC still. Then came the expansion. I was busy, fell behind in rep grinds, and couldn't keep up with my guildies who were running heroics, and Karazhan. I took a very long hiatus from the game then (about a year).

Came back, new server, and found my mid-30's Warlock. Gnome. Absitively. Started leveling. Leveled mad-crazy-fast.

About level 63, I pugged with a really bossy druid tank in Slave Pens. Plus a shaman healer. Plus a really sketchy hunter.

Joined their guild. Got ran through the mount quest. I was shocked how nice these guys were being to me. It was awesome.

Leveled to 70. Busted. my. butt.
Started running Kara. Loved it. Got Abs almost as geared as I could. Now he's a tad better geared. Simply, he's awesome.

Decided I wanted an alt. Posolutely began to be leveled. Shot up to 60 faster than Boon shoots with a dwarf paladin.

Started tanking. Loved it. Practiced. Read. Instanced. Hit 70, barely having quested in Nagrand.

Blued out. Started collecting purples. Started tanking heroics. Ran SSO dailies like crazy (thanks Tasogare).

Started tanking Kara. Started running with Gruuls/Mags pugs. Suddenly, all in purples (well... aside from 1 ring, and 1 trinket...).

Now, I'm the main tank for our guild. Sort of. There's an uber pally who is also our main tank. :)

So here I am, reading about Wrath of the Lich King, and I have no idea which char I will take to 80 first. Which I will want to instance with. I'm even leveling a druid up now, for a healer. I don't know if I'll make it to 70 with him or not (the spriest experiment is on hold... for a little while), but we'll see.

Then when wrath comes out, there will be a 3rd gnome added into the mix. Yes. I will be making a Death Knight. I'm still debating on the name.

Any suggestions?

I keep thinking... bring... pink haired gnome female named Splendiferous. I don't know if I can do it though.

Maybe... Geronignome?

Ha. Terrible.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"I don't know what hit me, but it one shotted me."

The words of a pug paladin healer when Pos was leveling up in Mana Tombs.

This was on a 3 pull, Pos was practicing holding aggro on multi's, I was 68 or 69, and well overgeared for the instance.

I know none of the mobs killed him.

How do I know? Pos had Divine Intervention on.

Yep. He killed himself.

I tried to explain what happened to the pally (this was like the 3rd pull in the instance), only to find out, on the final boss, that the pally had no idea what Divine Intervention does.

So, yep. We wiped twice.

Both times because the healer cast Divine Intervention on the main tank, while everyone was alive.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Offtanking in Karazhan

An offtanks (aka, newbie warrior's) guide to Karazhan

I'm posting this, moreso for my own refernece, while its still relatively fresh in my mind (Pos's first Kara run was less than 3 months ago, still).

First things first.

Minimum requirements?

490 defense. This makes you uncrittable. Its kind of a big deal. Like Ron Burgandy.
Now, obviously, that is warrior specific, other classes have their own minimums.
The realization of how important keeping sheild block up is.
A solid set of threat gear, and knowledge of what the best threat rotation is for trash and bosses.
Really, the rotation is easy...

Shield slam, revenge, devastate, devastate.

Personally, I have macro's for all 3 of those skills that look like this:
/cast Revenge
/cast Shield Block

So even if I forget to hit my shield block hotkey, it will be hit on the next 1.5 second cooldown.

Those are your highest threat-per-rage abilities. To burn off excess rage, use heroic strike. If you're rage starved, don't be afraid to use shield bash. It amazed me how few warriors know about this rotation.

Thunderclap is awesome. 20%. It slows the bosses attacks by 20%. It takes the prince fight from a royal pain in the rear, of randomly taking a crushing blow, to a cakewalk where you never take one... sometimes it takes longer than it should for this to set in to a gnome warriors head.

Trash doesn't really need it, but most of the bosses (Shade being one exception), you should keep this up. Especially if you're the only warrior, and especially if you aren't tanking!

Yes, you may do a little bit less DPS, but, if you're prot you're only doing like 12 dps anyway.

A basic knowledge of what you'll be expected to do (and thats why I'm here, writing this).

Trash pulls: Entirely up to your raid on what they want you to do. As a warrior who runs a lot with a paladin tank, I let him tank 2 or 3, have my target be the first one down, then pull one off of the pally for the 3rd target to die.

As an OT, it can vary if your mob dies first or second, a lot of times, it will be second, because then you'll have enough threat for the DPS to go full boar into your mob.

Other times, your mob will die first, as it puts out a ton of damage and no one wants you to die or the healers to run oom.

So just be heads up.

Tricky fights as a first timer?

1) Attumen. You'll probably be getting the job of picking up Attumen when he spawns, this is when Midnight is at 95%. Pick him up, quick. Thunderclap, as you can keep it on both Attumen and Midnight. Once they join, you're on Sunder & Tclap duty the rest of the way.

2) Moroes: You may have to tank one of the adds, but your biggest goal is to try to stay second on the threat list because he stuns the MT once in awhile and you want to hope he will just attack you right away then, not someone else.

3) Maiden: All you'll do here is DPS or offheal. Once again, TClap, devestate, Demo shout.

3a) Pulls before Opera: there's 5 mobs which will iceblock whomever is highest on the threat list, so you'll want to stay second on the list. As a main tank, if someone is a bit undergeared or having problems generating that threat (ie a paladin), I will let them pull, and I'll be the second one on the list. Up to your raid how they handle it.

4) Opera: Depending on which boss it is, you'll be in charge of either tanking one of Romulo or Juliane, kiting Tin Man, or just screwing around on big bad wolf.

(And around to the back door we go)

5) Nighbane: Thunderclap and demo shout, keep sunders up. Stay out of charred earth, and melee from between his legs. Air phase, help keep the skeletons under control as best as you can.

6) Curator: You'll be asked to help DPS down the flares, just melee away and have fun.

7) Illhoof: You'll be asked to tank the little wonderful Demon named Kil'rek. He's a pushover. Doesn't hit much harder than a normal trash mob. Enjoy it. Tank him. Let your group kill him. Watch your warlock cackle with glee as they run about 2k dps exploding stuff.

8) Shade of Aran: No aggro table here, so go berserker stance, and make sure you have pummel up. You'll be tasked with interrupting one type of spell (either Frostbolts or Fireballs) so stay on top of that and help your crew keep his mana above his health.

9) Netherspite: Beams. Fun. When I run it, I try to have the tanks tank the red beam followed by the green beam alternately. Its a tough fight, due to the coordination needed, but do a bit of reading and it should make sense.

10) Chess: Move a pawn, so the king and conjuror can get out.

11) Prince: Melee. Don't die. Keep thunderclap up as best as you can. If you don't die, you're better than 87.2% of melee on this fight.

Well, that's a brief summary. Post comments, questions, anything else you may have. I hope it made sense.

I came from being a DPSer who hardly paid attention to fights (seriously... I didn't know about Curator's hateful bolts until I was asked to be the bolt soaker guy on my 10th trip to Kara or so) to being an offtank to then a main tank.

Monday, July 7, 2008

ZA.... my bane.

So close, yet so far...

We downed the bear boss again, 1 badge, 1 loot... plate healing helm, which went to our pally tank for offset, as our pally healer didn't need it. Then, we decided to go to the Lynx boss, instead of Akilzon. We freed the troll, and let a few people get +15 stam gems for finishing that quest, and then we rolled on over to the Lynx. We made 4.25 attempts at him (really... the first one doesn't count, as Pos was down within 20 seconds of the fight starting).

Our second attempt was the best, we got him down to 25%, but we'd lost a DPS early, and another later, and our healers eventually got drained of mana, and couldn't keep the tanks up.

I'm honestly not sure if we can do these fights yet. We're close, I think myself and Owaru are there, and ready. I think our DPS is close to being ready, and I think our healers are ready. The problem is, we're all just barely ready, and when 10 people are like that, it makes it really tough and everything must go flawlessly for us to beat an encounter.

Do I think we can do it? Yes, I truly do, and I'm glad people aren't getting frustrated, and I'm glad we are learning the encounters.

I feel as though we have the squad, but we aren't quite getting there... and I feel as though that makes it my fault.

Admittedly, I don't know the pulls as well as I should. I'm terrible at keeping my shouts up as a warrior. I've finally been working a lot harder at keeping thunderclap and demo shout up on the bosses.

Pos got a belt upgrade. I don't know if it was the belt, or the belt + boots combo, but my threat generation has been crazy now. I'm sure our hunters MD's help a ton (I don't even ask for them anymore, they just happen), but I'm doing about 600+ tps, which means with Salv, I easily out distance anyone doing under 800 dps (who has salv...).

Getting there. Slowly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some things are just worth it....

Sometimes, you go on vacation, and your characters end up without their hearthstone, and only wearing a dress in Orgrimmar.

Kara and ZA

Kara & ZA

So, we ran them again. Kara on Saturday, ZA on Sunday. Times were good. We tried Nightbane on Saturday, despite not having a hunter and not having a paladin tank. We did very well, all things considered. Since Owaru and Nesh had people randomly show up at their house, we ended up having to pug a healer and a DPS.... well, actually, 2 dps, as Wolf had to bail as well.

Picked up a shadow priest (Exorcist - great name) who was awesome, a Rogue who was cool (Dakston), and a healy Druid named Vinxx, who I'm pretty sure is insane.

Vinxx ended up joining the guild, that very night and seems a good fit for KoU.

Well, we ran the first 4 bosses smoothly, without a wipe, I believe. Although Jerkfase kept dying. I honestly have no idea how he dies so much. I really and truly don't. Thats two runs in a row where he had a few random deaths.

We went to the back door then, and ran right for Nightbane. Time to try him. Paladin tank for the skeletons? Nope. Hunter to MD Nightbane when he lands? Nope. Oh, what the heck, lets try it anyway.

So we did.

We failed, got him to 24% though, which was pretty good considering we had pretty much the worst possible makeup to try him.

The best part? When our druid battle rezzed Jerkfase, and Nightbane just decided to... well... run away from me, and go plunk him. Yep. He died. Twice, within 30 seconds. High comedy (at least, for Antiplatty).

So we rolled on the rest of the way, up until Prince, where we wiped once. Mostly due to whomever was tanking him being stupid and forgetting to keep Thunderclap up during phase 2 and then eating a crushing blow as a result.

I wonder who that was?

*whistles innocently*

So, along came Sunday.


We're gonna roll and try to get the Bear boss. Get him quick. Get the first chest.

We roll in, a solid 10-some. We were short 1 DPS going in, as Antiplatty wasn't feeling well, but the amazing Yelena happened to log on at the perfect time (plus we were short a mage!!).

We head to the Bear boss. We are cruising. I mean. Rolling. Fast. We get to the last pull before the Bear boss, and my mobs go down, then suddenly people start dropping. People are on the wrong target. Healers die. So close. We wipe. We run back in, but the damage is done. The bear has won.

Well, sort of. We went back and whooped him up.

Pos got new boots.

We went onto the Eagle boss, wiped once getting to him (stupid gauntlet, silly warlock went explodie, then splat).

So we get to the Eagle boss.

We wipe. We wipe. We get him to 18%, we collapse. We wait. He doesn't call storm. We wait. We wait. Finally, at 14% he casts storm. We wipe, as we'd been standing on top of each other for 45 seconds.

I'm gonna read up more on strats, and try to figure out what to do.

Just... randomness wiped us. We had him.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Zul Aman: Initial Excursion

Well. For the first time, I led a raid that I knew going in would wipe multiple times. I was a bit nervous about it. I went over the fights again and again (even though I'd done them a bunch of times already), and got all set up to roll.

I brought Abs in, because I totally screwed up and managed to get Pos saved to ZA the day before. I blame Blizz. The timer went from 12 hours to reset to 2 days overnight. Needless to say, I was a bit peeved on that one. Kathe filled in awesomely, as always.

I had a friend of mine, a Healadin, come in for heals. She'd been interested in joining KoU so I figured, what a good way to get her to meet the group. I told her it was progression. I told her we'd run 2 hours. Well, 1/3rd of the way through, after our 2nd wipe on the last pull before Nalorakk, she sent me a tell "If we wipe again, I'm leaving" well, we didn't wipe again, and she left anyway, as soon as we downed the first boss without a word.

I wasn't exactly happy. Although, I kept it to myself. I won't be grouping with her again anytime soon.

Anyway, our crew.... Owaru and Kathe as tanks. Two of the best healers ever in Boon and Orzag (although one of them has an ego problem, and one is as humble as.... umm.... who's really humble?) DPSers: Absitively, Ravensfire, Neshura, Wolfinme, Harikin.

We only had real problems with the last pull before the bear boss (Owaru kept dying, I blame Boon) once we had it down, and I seduced, we were alright. We one shotted Nalorakk, with one awesome move by Owaru, who bubbled with Kathe's taunt was resisted.

Just... <3 his mad skills.

Ravensfire got a new belt (yeah, maybe I'll link it eventually), but I'm lazy and I'm tired tonight... and K wants more posts.

Then, we ran the gauntlet. I completely messed up my explanations to people on what to kill and such, I don't think I was quite clear enough.

We got to the top our first attempt, but just got overwhelmed as a couple people (myself the aoe-er included) went down.

Second time, I tried to give out new orders, but, yeah. I sucked at that too.

Third time, I got everything right, and we kicked ass. It felt smooooooooooth

Then we tried the Eagle boss.
We got him to 54%, but our DPS was a bit on the low side (3 money DPSers were there, 2 of our Kara ready but-not-kara-Geared dpsers were there at that point)

We pulled Kathe out of tanking, and made her heal. In retrospect we might've brought in Kikidas instead, but we didn't plan ahead for that.

3 wipes, and we ran out of time on the boss, and the gauntlet respawned and we called it.

It was a good learning experience. I'm excited for our next run.

I plan to go for the first timed chest from the first boss. Which loot is amazing!

Friday, June 20, 2008

All time top 5 wipes....

New job, new training, less wow... so, I'm blogging..

I was reading through old posts by my favorite tankadin (Owaru) and I read about his 5 worst wipes.
Well...I do like all time, top 5 lists, so, I figured I would post one of my own.
Now, these may or may not have been my own fault.. they are just the 5 best that I remember.

5) BWL - First Boss
A quick explanation for the uninformed we were doing Razorgore, this fight is part of one of the level 60 40-man raid zones. It was, needless to say, a heck of a lot of fun, but also a royal pain in the rear. A fight, unlike most, that you could lose on, even when very much over geared. My guild was doing forays into Naxx at the time (I wasn't attuned, being a late-to-get-60er, didn't have AD rep), we were, way over geared for the first boss. So, the pull came. As dps, I was assigned to kill caster spawns in one of the corners and sheep if needed. Then, things started happening. Our kiter died. Our secondary kiter died. We couldn't figure out what was going on. We had a trio of healers that was nutorious (due to RL constraints) for getting there exactly at raid time, no earlier. This night was no exception. They log on, get invited, zone in, we pull less than a minute later.
Until 3 of our 10 healers spoke up after the pull... and wipe... "Um, guys, we thought you were around the corner, we were talking in /heal channel.... we're not in the same raid instance as you."

The lesson? Sometimes, it isn't the healers fault he didn't heal you.

4) The Intentional Wipe
Sometimes, when I'm with friends, I goof around. I screw around. I mess around. I do silly things. While we're talking on vent, and certian people are talking smack, sometimes I don't talk smack back... I just... well... get everyone killed.
A really good place to do this is normal Slabs. See, with a group thats used to running heroics, and cruising through them, its hard to get killed in normal slabs. I happened to be running with a Pally tank and another warlock, (for anonymity's sake, lets call them K. Iltic and T. Iandrah) and we were in the room before the 2nd boss (the 5-6 mob pull rooms). Well, the pally wanted no CC. He was going on and on about how easy it was doing normal speed runs and how he'd never die... (our Priest, wonderful Orzag, was keeping him up, like a champ) So, while the pally was tanking the first pull (the medusa looking chick) I whispered Orzag "I think he needs to die" Orzag said "Not on my watch!" "Close your eyes, or... run to the zone then"
At which point, I ran out, cast curse of shadows on the mobs on either side of the door, sent my pet to attack a 3rd pack, and then ran for the zone... right across the paladins consecrate. Giving him a /say PAYBACK! as I ran by (see #1 for what the payback is from)
Yes. I am. Awesome.
The lesson? Bubble Hearth can't save you when you just used your bubble.

3) Agony in Heroic Slabs
The scene: Pos tanking. Kiljara was there healing. I'm pretty sure Owaru was there in some form or another (maybe he replaced Dhark?) We'd pugged a rogue. Opalure. Pugged another DPS, I believe.
We went along fairly well. Pos is a good tank, he can handle heroics no problem and multi-tank mobs, no problem.
We got to Murmur. Murmur on heroic is a royal pain. We wiped the first time, because 2 of our DPS died on the first Sonic Boom.
We wiped the second time because 2 of our dps died on the first Sonic Boom.
We wiped the 3rd time, because 2 of our dps died on the first Sonic Boom.
(sending a pattern yet?)

The Rogue died. Every time. EVERY TIME. On the first sonic boom. One of our DPS left (not the Rogue). We replaced him with an ex guildie hunter. Solid guy.
He came in. Kept dying, first or second Sonic Boom. The Rogue was becoming very abraisive to our suggestions on how to avoid getting killed. Refused to change. "What I'm doing should work, because it should work" was his attitude. That just reminded me of our old raid leader.
I refuse to boot people from pugs, especially on the last boss of a daily. So, we kept trying.
Finally, on the 7th or 8th try, Kiljara, Tasogare and I managed to knock off the last few (8... so... 1/5th of his life) percent by ourselves.
I haven't gone back to heroic slabs since. F you Murmur.

The Lesson? There really are some DPS worse than Dhark.

2) Karazhan Chaos. Lots of wipes in Kara, lots of things have happened. Still, the biggest WTF moment I've ever experienced came in a pug. We were buffing outside of Shade's room, when suddenly, ALL of the spell shades showed up. Like 20 of them. And whooped us all.
Now, apparently, this is a (link) known bug, but, still. It sucked. Royally. I mean. Really. Longest run back for a bug wipe ever.

The Lesson? It happens. What, shit? Sometimes.

1) The Punting (sounds like a bad horror movie, doesn't it?... yes, I've trademarked it)
The scene: Heroic Blood Furnace. Just before the 2nd boss.
I'm pretty sure we are clearing the room out to get to the (hellish) second boss. Bad pull. 6 mobs instead of 3. We run. Its not far to the zone. Abs, being the good gnome he is, pauses, and casts aoe fear to get the mobs off the Paladin. We run. Mobs are still beating on the Paladin. We're running down the stairs, right near the zone....
Paladin bubbles.

What do the mobs do? They switch to the loyal, amazing, wonderful gnome warlock. Now, those warrior mobs, they do a big knockback. When you're running down the stairs... .its a really big... flying... knockback. Abs got punted down the stairs to his death. They punted the gnome.

The lesson? Never, ever, ever trust a Paladin.

Lan Parties and (more) Pugs

Since my HD died, and I've been crazy busy, I haven't been online really, since Monday. I wanted to do a quick recap. Saturday, we were supposed to do Kara, 7 people signed up, we knew we had 2 more, no problem. We can roll on through and snag one pugger.

Well, I agreed to jam w/ some friends, at their place, and run the raid from their place. I ended up having a blast... except... no one logged on. It was a bit crazy. 5 of the 9 didn't log on, so, we weren't gonna pug with 4 people :)

We ran heroic Shattered hell insead. It was the daily. It was a pain. All in all... it sucked... but we finished it. Yet, it was one of my best experinces to date in Warcraft. I'd never been sitting next to the people I'm playing with before. That in itself, was a total blast. I can see how playing Quake at LAN parties was so much fun for my friends back in the day.

I think I'll definitely have to run the whole lan party thing again with them when we have a for-sure Kara raid set up.

Abs ended up pugging Kara with a random group.... Well, it was a bit rediculous. 20 badges (didn't kill Nighbane) in just over 2.5 hours. It took our 5-some almost that long to finish Heroic Shattered Halls.

One of the DPS was running under 700. He was the enhancement shaman who wouldn't get on vent, and died on every boss fight in every way you could as a melee. Not running out during Prince... or during Shade's arcane explosions. Everyone was actually glad when he died there... as he wouldn't kill us with Flame wreath.

2 healers, 1 pally tank, 1 fury war with a shield, 6 other dps. Abs was 2nd from the bottom. It made me really appreciate how well some pugs can work... and how terrible others can be... and how 70's can be way over geared for Kara.

The guy running it was solid, knew the fights and trusted people not to mess up.

As a comparison: the two pug raids Pos joined. 1 on Mags, one on Gruuls, both run by the same mage... we'll call him... T.Toes, wait, that's too obvious, we can go with Tipp T. It was a "Hi, invite me" type of raid, no one was geared, half the people didn't know the fights, and... yeah. When NONE of the DPSers are putting out enough DPS for Kara, you're not gonna do well. I left after the 3rd wipe on Mags. After the first to High King in Gruuls. It was.. well... pathetic.

There were at least 3 Channelers still up each time Mag spawned, only 2 dpsers were doing over 500 DPS. 500! Thats what a 70 in all blues puts out. Only 2 others were doing over 450. As I said as I left, "If you're running Mags with DPS that couldn't handle Kara, you aren't gonna down Mags"

Sigh. Oh well. Hopefully I can run tomorrow with Resolve.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Server Crashes, Karazhan and Pugs

With Alleria once again hiccuping (hooray!) and me not being able to get my last 15 badges for new pants for Pos, I'm just gonna type up another post.

Yes. I'm awesome. I am posting all the time now. Soon, I'll be posting even more than K.

We ran Kara yesterday, it was good... K and I tanked. Boon healed. Jerkfase came and picked up with us and healed.
Strange things happened though. The priest kept dying. I don't know how, or why, but he kept dying. 3 or 4 times just on the way to Attunmen. I'd never seen that before. I couldn't figure out what was going on or why he was dying.

It wasn't to the Chargers, either.

The run took just under 4 hours. We wiped once on Opera (Oz) and twice on Shade. Those 3 wipes added almost an extra hour to the raid.

Today, I joined a 'guild Kara run' on Abs. Well, 2 hours in, with no wipes, we downed Maiden.

I left after that. It was agonizing. We sat there for 15 minutes after Attunmen died while they tried to decide loot. I tried to speed things up. They had a 17khp unbuffed uber warrior tank there. He tried to speed things up. Everything just plodded. People weren't drinking. People weren't listening. No one was moving with the tank. All because the 'raid leader' really had no clue what he was doing. I watched a priest run around in circles on Maiden, trying to decurse people. Everyone was on the step, I told him he should be on the step too, but he insisted on running around in circles.

I had my 5 badges, Abs went and bought his 100 boj robe. Got a Great Lionseye to put in it.

Yep. Thats all I've got for today. We'll see if K can come up with some fancy links now that I've tried to teach her how...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Being a Raid Leader...

First off... like the new logo? Been playing with Photoshop and wow-model-viewer lately.

I've become my guild's raid leader. Admittedly, we aren't running much new content, just Kara as of right now, with a push to go into ZA on the horizon.

I haven't had many problems being a leader, now, maybe thats because of how I am. Maybe its because our guild is so small, there's no drama. Maybe its because we've only run trivial content.

Every raid, I am a bit nervous. Every raid, I try to delegate certain responsibilities: If I'm tanking, I won't master loot. That's a DPS's job. I'll mark, pull, and go over basic reminders for boss fights.

If I'm DPSing, I leave the marking to the tanks, I play loot master, and I try to keep the raid moving... "Everyone but me, go start the next trash pulls while we figure out loot"

I'm especially nervous now about ZA. I'm worried that this group of people, who's used to rolling through Kara will get frustrated when we try to pull off a 'progression' type of run.

I think I can keep it together, though. What I'm most worried about it getting talked over. Getting 87 different suggestions on strategies. I'm worried I'll have to lay the hammer down. "This is how I want it done, so lets do it that way."

I'm a dynamic person and up for suggestions, but, sometimes, they just aren't viable. a 2-healer approach for Netherspite has to be different than a 3-healer one.

I get to see, soon hopefully, how well our guild can perform with progression fights.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Future Gear Goals, Badge Things I want:

So, both Abs and Pos have a lot of badges.

85 and 65 respectively. Now the question comes, what do I do with them?

With Abs, the choice is relatively easy. He's saving up 100 badges for the uber new badge chest piece.

After that, he'll save up for new gloves and new boots.

So, he's short, 165 badges.

Future gear goals: As Abs has given up on ever getting a t4 chest... the goals now slide to what we may be able to complete and what I may be able to pug.

Drops off of Void Reaver (helm and t5 shoulders) are within Abs's reach, as are a few drops from ZA.

Pos, on the other hand.... well... I have no idea. I'm going to start knocking things off the BoJ pick list over at, but I'm not sure what order to go in. Right now I'm debating if I go for the (current) belt, or the (current) legs first.

Suggestions are welcome. I'm leaning towards the belt.

As for Pos's future gear goals, I'm clueless. Really. I have started to look and hunt for upgrades, but other than the BP off of Nightbane I haven't seen many readily available pieces.

I'm just bad at looking, I suppose. Go go gadget... Badge of Justice maker!

Pos's slots & gear:

Helm: Freaking Uber.
Neck: Very nice from SSO
Shoulders: Blue, but very good (There's a tiny upgrade in Heroic Sethekk halls, but I hate that place)
Cloak: Pretty nice, especially for threat. Badge vendor has a couple upgrades.
BP: Mentioned.
Bracers: Badge Vendor, great for threat.
Gloves: Off of Maiden, equivalent to t4.
Belt: Mentioned.
Pants: Mentioned.
Boots: Kara random drop. Battlescar Boots from Chess would be nice.
Rings: Are pretty gosh darned good, but once again: badges.
Trinkets: I don't see upgrading these anytime soon.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Epics, Mounts, Dailies, Kara

So, I've been playing a lot lately, job hunting has left me with way too much free time, and not nearly enough money, so WoW has become my time-waster of choice.

I wanted to comment on a few things (assorted K-style ramblings to follow):

I love purples. Abs is almost totally out of blues now, just his breastplate remains, and that is only 14 badges from being taken care of. 164 badges from being out of things to buy from the Badge vendor. Sounds like a lot, right? well, thats 2 months if all I run is Kara.

Pos... I don't even know. I don't even know where his upgrades are going to come from anymore. I suppose I should start looking for that. What to get. Where to go. What heroics may be upgrades. I got burned out on him shortly after I hit 70. I pushed pretty hard to get his gear up to par and get him not only Kara ready, but, to be a good tank as well. I see too many bad ones out there.

Mounts. Abs got an epic mount. I cannot stress this enough to anyone who debates this. I did it wrong. Get your epic mount FIRST before you get gear. Abs blew a TON of money on gear, Spellstrike Hood and Pants, Belt of Blasting, gear for Pos. I should've bought my mount first. The amount of time it saves you running dailies, farming mats, whatever it may be is unbelievable.

Dailies. I love them, and I loathe them. The SSO dailies took Pos 3x as long to do as Abs. At least. Its kind of sad. Pos is still sitting with quests not even began in Blades Edge Mountians, SMV and Netherstorm. I mean, he hasn't really began any quests in those zones at all.

Soon, I'm gonna respec him fury and get all those quests done within a couple weeks. Can't beat the rep, right?

Karazhan. I get the feeling some of the guild is getting burned out on Kara. They want a change of pace. They want to see something new. ZA is on the horizon. Okay, its beyond the horizon flying at us as fast as reavers

I'm worried my friends are worried I'm going to get poached by another guild as I've been trying to run ZA whenever I see a guild pugging it... plus I've made some good friends with the Got Milk crew, and they are a really fun bunch. Reminds me a LOT of KoU. I've learned a lot from them. Heck, I think KoU, without prompting, can get the first chest our first run in ZA. Just have to get people to realize that its gonna be a wipe fest our first time in there. For sure.


I think we can get past the first 2 bosses, maybe past the 3rd.

We'll see.

So, guys, its coming. Maybe this week.

Read up on the strats....

Monday, May 12, 2008

The hiatus is over...

I got my steak, so I have to start posting again.

First things first, we just ran Kara again on Friday night. It went very, very well. It was Pos's first time as a tank through the whole instance.

We went Attumen to Prince down in just over 3 hours, skipping only Illhoof (no warlock). My fellow tank was Owaru, and we only ran into problems when I noob-bulled a pat before Opera, and when I was tanking Prince during phase 2, I went down twice.

The 3rd time was a charm, though, and we took him down.

Then we went to try Netherspite. After the first couple of tries, we got the strategy down (its a tough one to do without ever having seen it)

We had him to 18% but the untimely death of Orzag the Uber cost us.

We then had respawns and decided to call it, as we were past the 4 hour mark at that time.

Things I learned:

Offtank/tank synergy is a big deal. If you're the tank or offtank, your job is not only to hold aggro, its to mark, to prepare, and to keep the raid moving through trash.

Your job is NOT to dps. Your 180 dps means diddly poop on trash mobs. Take that 15 seconds and go mark the next group. Why? So as soon as the current target dies (after a quick check on healer mana - dps mana doesn't matter, no matter how much they whine) you can then pull the next group and keep the raid moving. 30 seconds here, and a minute there turns a 3 hour run into a 4 hour run.

I think that is the biggest difference between our current runs and our old regime runs.

Setting a DPSer to be the loot master, also another plus. When you down a boss, everyone but the loot master heads to the next spot. By making it a non-tank and non-healer, we can just roll on.

I felt like I did a good job. Like things went smoothly. The usual suspects praised me, but, I think they would do that if we wiped 87 times on Attumen, because, they are my good friends.

Next step? Netherspite and Nightbane.

We may need a 2-run week to do that, perhaps, next weekend we'll give it a go.

One night for a clear, one night for a learning process (and flasks for everyone!)