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? :)