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.