Friday, July 30, 2010

What a difference a Day Makes and Other Trivialities

So I went crazy last night and gemmed myself up. (And got enchants for my new items) I picked up the Emblem of Conquest tank belt, and won an actual tanking neck in ToC (H)

The net result? (sorry for the periods, but blogspot hates lots of spaces)

Agi ............139...........129
Sta............ 2112.........2758
Hit .............323.......... 323
Expert.......189........... 132

That took 8 new Stam gems plus a couple stam enchants.

In other news, we had an interesting Pit of Saron run last night. One guildie tanked, and three others of us DPSed. We had to PuG/LFG our healer.

We zoned in and groaned a little. None of us are huge PoS fans. We look for, and find our healer; a Priest.

With a 3190 gear score.

We were on vent where we commented on this, and we all agreed "give her a chance, but MAN that's really low gear for this run"

And we ran with it.

On a couple of the trash groups heading towards Garfrost, we had a couple semi-close calls, and the healer was practically OOM after each pull. (and the tank was being careful not to pull too much)

Just for caution's sake, I pulled Exorcism off my actionbar and replaced it with Flash of Light an instant cast heal. (I do this for Threat from Above, and it just puts FoL into my rotation, which makes for an easy solo)

We work our way to Garfrost, let everyone mana up, and start the fight. Fortunately we had Vent, because it saved our butts.

About halfway into the fight, our tank calls out "Oh shit, the healer's down! Guess we're gonna wipe."

One of our other DPS was down as well.

I called out "Ok, I'll pull back a bit and heal." If not for vent, I would have probably missed it, or would have noticed too late.

Anyhow, with a mana pot, Lay on Hands for the tank, a bunch of flash of lights and a bunch of Holy Lights, we dropped Garfrost. It was a VERY satisfying boss kill.

The sad thing about it was the healer simply wasn't up to the fight. I would really like to know how LFG put her in there. It wasn't fair to her, and it wasn't really fair to the rest of the group either.

We chatted with her a bit and she agreed to drop group. She was still on the "drop group and you get shit on" timer, so we kicked her to save her that trouble. That was not a fun vote. :( I know folks bash the whole gearscore mentality, and that "it's the player, not the gear", but there are times when you simply do NOT have the gear to handle the content, regardless of how good you are. I think she was "good enough" (though not great) if she had adequate gear. And since I was the only one in the group that REALLY over-geared the place, we couldn't carry her.

So, we re queued and got a Pally healer, this time with 3900 GS. We all cringed a bit, but it went well enough after that. She/he knew their class and spec, and had enough gear.

Well, except for the wipe on Ick & Crick. The pally was all "You guys all got one shotted. I didn't have time to heal..." trying not to get bitched at.

My response was "I didn't avoid the poison nova. You can't heal through that. Not a healer issue" and another guildie said basically the same. (I'm not sure what the deal was, but a couple of us had problems in that fight with not seeing any DBM notification. I'm not sure DBM was wonky, or what, and I *do* keep my game sound quiet, so I never saw/heard the cues)

The rest of the run went pretty easily. We took the ramp slowly, "pwned" Tryrannus and got our Frosties.

An interesting night.

Oh, and just in case you aren't a regular reader of the Pink Pigtail Inn, you HAVE to go over there and read TODAY'S POST. It's a great blog, and today's post (written by Tam from Righteous Orbs) is simply comedic genius. Truly!

Oh, and in the spirit of "Gnomenclature" I offer two comedic gnome gnames for anyone to run with:

"Gnomdacratch" (pronounced "nom da crotch") He's a gnome who was bitten by a Worgen, and got better. Mostly. He still has an unhealthy habit that shows up during melee combat...

And for our Russian gnome aficionados "Gnomenklatura". He's a Belf born in a Gnome's body, and he's making everyone around him pay for the indignity. Just remember; he's better than you are.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Multiple Tanking Sets? DON'T BRING ME DOWN!!!!!

Over the last two days, I managed to pick up the two tanking items I was saving for over the last couple weeks. (and for once, I logged off with my Tank gear equipped, so I can actually look at it in an easier to see place)

What I got were:

Saronite Sword Breakers (wrist)


Boots of Kingly Upheaval (feet)

(actually, I got them in the reverse order, which caused me a bit of an arrythmia. My old boots had defense, the new ones don't - EEK! Fortunately, the new wrists do, and my old wrists didn't)

If you click on the picture above (a screen cap of my equipment from you will notice that I am missing 3 gems and 3 enchants (well, I'm a blacksmith, so it's actually 4 gems and 2 enchants, but eh...)

And yes, it's on my brand new items. Given what I know, I am mulling things over.






Anyhow, there are 3-4 MAJOR stats for pally tanks: (and are important for other tanks, just the numbers vary)

  • Defense (prevents bosses from get crits on you - Capped at 535 or 540. I've heard both)

  • Hit (lets you not miss, which helps immensely with threat. Melee capped at 230 for a Drae Pally)

  • Expertise (helps reduce/eliminate parries, blocks and misses on the boss - 26 is soft cap, 54 is hard cap )

  • Stamina = Health

If you look at my stats above, you will see:

I am one point below def cap (or 4 points over) Regardless, a single gem swap will fix that. (yes, there are 4 blue items on me, and I have two rare gems on that blue belt :P I never wanted to invest an epic gem on a blue item, to increase defense by 4 points)

  • I am hit capped

  • I have 189 Expertise points which is roughly 24 rating.

  • I have 27k unbuffed

Clearly, I am not "all the way there" yet.

What is kind of scary is that, at a 4,700 Gear score (whatI have now) I am considered "ok, but rough" for doing ICC 10, which would say I significantly over-gear Naxx and Ulduar, yet I would need to gem for even MORE expertise to hit soft cap, which would limit me to only 2 more stamina gems, and not that much more health...

Back in the Naxx/Uld days, how the f**k did tanks get by with that low of health, barely being hit & def capped, and no WAY were they expertise capped?!?!?

Yes, I know they would have multiple sets of armor:

  • one for EH (effective health, which is basically stamina and armor)

  • one for avoidance (there are also stats for dodge parry and block, which I'm not even going to touch here)

  • one for threat

  • and maybe one or two or three with various resists (nature, shadow, fire, etc)

So, you could optimize one set with mega stamina and armor, while perhaps being below def cap, or hit cap or expertise cap, and have another set with defense, parry, dodge, and another with hit, expertise and strength boosts.

But wait, I *ALREADY* have 3 sets of armor - DPS, Tank and PvP. SO no, I'm not going to have multiple tank sets. Not only because of bag space, but also because I simply can't afford to buy (or farm for) multiple sets of gear.

So, I'm going to try to make a single "best of all worlds" Tank set and live with it.

As it stands I desperately need 3 new tanking pieces:


(remember how I keep stressing that you should use wow-heroes/etc to check your gear occasionally? This is what happens when I don't can't easily check my tank gear)

I could also use a couple new rings, but eh, it is what it is. The bummer is that PvP gear is useless for tanking gear. It can work well for DPS, but not so much for tanks...

I t hink I'll just fix my one Def gem, add one expertise gem, and push everything else into health/stamina.

Unless anyone reading this hasa better/wiser suggestion?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Viva Li Vida Azeroth - But I'm Still Lost

Just like the HAL 9000 is a "one off" from IBM (subtract 1 from each letter, and IBM becomes HAL) that 2001 a Space Odyssey made, WoW took the +1 approach for Lost. (and I assume that Lost's writers were, in turn, making another homage by using the number 42)

Anyhow, I was farming for some saronite and a bunch of crystallized earth last night when I ran across something strange. It wasn't the hatch I saw, but it was the little box with numbers in it that I noticed as I (evidently) moved my mouse around. It took a second to "re-find" the spot on the screen that caused the pop up, a moment to fly down and see the hatch.

The smile, however, was pretty much instantaneous.

I'm not the biggest fan of Lost, and haven't watched it since early season 2, but I can still apprecieate the reference. As I sat smiling last night, I tried to recall any other pop-culture references I've noticed in-game. I know there are a ton, but this is the only one I can remember seeing and noticing without being prompted or reading about it.

OOH! The Shop Smart, Shop "S" Mart achie. (I loved Army of Darkness)

Even all of the ones I've read about, off-hand, I can only remember the Stargate SG-1 reference, where all/most of the folks in SI-7 have names mimicing,/derived from the SG-1 characters. (they used an anagram for Teal'c)

Or, I guess "Good news, everyone!" would also count.

After thinking about it, I googled for WoW Pop Culture references, and (of course) there's a ton. In case you were wondering, here's the wowwiki link LINK

If you want to take a moment to read them, I'm sure a bunch of them will "click" and bring a smile to your face.

I hope that this type of humor, thoughtfulness and such continues in Cataclysm. As much as I, and others, rage about Blizzard, it's still seems that the lunatics are still in control of at least SOME areas, and I would hate to lose that...

[EDIT] - sorry for the fubar formatting - that's what happens when I write it "native" and not in the html screen *stupd stupid stupid*

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dawning of Aquarius, and Reality.

I didn't get a chance to raid with the guild this weekend, even though I was briefly in the raid. Too many melee, and all that. I ended up in a whisped conversation with a friend afterward. And one of the topics was on the possibility of this guild ever seeing (or defeating) the Lich King.

This person's feeling was that no way, no where, no how was it going to happen. Sadly, I agree.

In my 10-mans, there are usually only 2 of us putting out "good" DPS numbers. Even with the 25% buff, it's STILL a race to kill Festergut before the enrage. We've failed because a single 4k DPS person died. At this point with gear and buffs, that's a bit disheartening.

Tanking is usually goood enough, and healing can be iffy.

A large portion of this, is that the guild rotates folks in & out of the raids week to week. Partly this is intentional (we are, afterall, mainly a social guild, and we want everyone to participate) and part of it is just some folks can't raid every day/week we are scheduled (I missed 2 weeks, due to camping and visiting family) And overall, this doesn't bug me much.

Until I read about other bloggers making it to Sindy, etc whilest in a PuG.

It's not that others can do well in a PuG that makes my shoulders slump. It's that we can't do well in a complete Guild run that is depressing.

What happens to cause us to fail?

(I should say that we can usually make ot past Fester in 10 man, though not always. I have seen Putricide once)

  • We rotate our team, and usually have at least one person that has never seen this content before. And even though we don't swap toons mid-run (unless someone can't make it the second day) it still means our team's composition is ALWAYS changing, and usually has folks that are still fairly new to the fights.

  • The fact that most of our players are not at all hardcore, and are not uber-geared has an effect. Pungent Blight is a nasty nasty thing when your tanks have less than 40k health (buffed), and your healers can't each push out 10k heals/second.

  • While great gear isn't necessary, it helps overcome less than perfect gear/spec/rotation that most folks have. (I am lumping myself in there)

  • To put this in perspective, in the last 10 man I ran (20% buff) I was doing 7,500 DPS. A slightly lower geared Warlock (I'm at 5,600 GS and she's at 5,400 GS) was the only person at that level. Depending on the fight, we would swap #1 in DPS.

  • We do have a couple others that can dish out the DPS, but I rarely run with them, so the rest of the DPS starts getting a tad low.

  • We have new tanks that take a while to learn the swap, or are a little squishy.

  • We have people standing in the bad. (either new, not paying attention/whatever)

  • We have folks not using appropriate add-ons.

If you combine all this, even a 30% buff will be tough to progress with.

Earlier, I had thought the weekday group was doing a lot better (they have actually beaten Putricide) but it turns out that isn't the case. The only real advantage they have is that they will often run 3+ days a week.

Part of me would like to take the 10 best players in our guild, and take a few weeks to see how far we can progress. The problem is that would severely hurt the chances for the other team to do much of anything. Not to mention that there's no guarantee that we could get all 10 to show up each and every day for multiple weeks. Again, this is a social guild, and real life takes priority

On a side note, I had an offer (actually, nearly a beg) for me to tank ICC 10 man for Kattastrophe's guild, in an alt run. As much as part of me wanted to go, I had to beg off.

  • While I *am* def capped, I am not hit capped, so my threat gen is hampered.

  • I have 29,000 health, self buffed, and only 37k fully 10 man buffed.

  • My tank GS is about 4,400.

  • Doing the pre-Marrowgar trash is a cat-herding fest, which I am NOT good at.

  • Everyone was playing alts, which meant that there was nobody uber-geared to help pick up my (or anyone else's) slack.
Based on my own lacking, plus (the assumed) lacking of the rest of the group, I just didn't feel like beating my head against a wall for 2-3 hours. (plus, there are a couple members of that guild that I REALLY do not like, and at least one of them was in the group)

In another day or 2, I will have some better gear (one more piece of primordial saronite, and I will have ICC boots!) I will also have to see if I can get a set of ToC wrists, which aren't TOO expensive (especially with all my frozen orbs)

So, instead of the ICC group, 4 other guildies & I did a fun-run-mount-run. We did Magister's Terrace, The Ravenlord run and Zul'Gurub. None of the mounts dropped, but still fun.

Oh, and on a final note, Kattastrophe got her Cata Beta invite, and has been playing it a fair amount. I may "see if I can get her to play a pally" (eh-hem) and possibly get a feel for the new Pally mechanics. I don't want to know ANYTHING about the new areas, redesigned areas, or any of that, but getting a chance to "see it being played" (wink wink) as a REt-Pal will be worht a quick check-out.

She has been playing a Goblin Rogue (the Worgen have been disabled for some reason) so I have been trying to avoid watching (and listening) to what has been happening on her screen. ONe slight spoiler: Goblins have a TON of vehicle related quests. (ok, a few, which is still a bunch, for WoW)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Get Down with the Sickness - Optimize your Ret DPS

A few weeks ago, a guildie asked me my spell rotation and all that. Alas, it's too much to type out in whisps, so I had to point him to this blog first, and then...

I eventually wrote a longish post on our forums (that, as far as I can tell, nobody read) but I thought I would bring it over here, since it's appropriate and reasonably helpful (or so I hope)

To whit:

As I’m sure most folks know, there isn’t any “real” rotation for Ret pallies. It’s “First Come First Served” aka “FCFS”. This just means using whichever spell is available, as they come off cooldown.

Where it gets complicated is in what are referred to as “clashes”. This is where two spells are ready at the same time. Figuring out which spell to use (prioritize) can make a big difference.

Without looking at gear and set bonuses (T-10 stuff especially) the “standard” order of priority for Ret spells is as follows:

#1 - Hammer of Wrath (HoW) – note – this is only used once target is below 20% health
#2 - Judgement of Wisdom/Light (Jud)
#3 - Crusdader Strike (CS)
#4 - Divine Storm (DS)
#5 - Consecration (Con)
#6 - Exorcism (Ex)
#7 – Holy Wrath (HW)

I used this rotation until very recently.

Now, once you start getting higher gear, and different set bonuses, it gets REALLY complicated. Each spell uses a slightly different set of numbers (stats/abilities like STR) to determine damage done, and each of those abilities changes with better gear, and each of THOSE is weighted differently by each ability.

Like I said- complicated.

I do not, and have never attempted to theorycraft the perfect rotation, so I am left trying to figure it out by brute force. This means either running a lot of raid and keeping track (and hoping the situations are close enough to compare)

Or using Test Dummies.

Test Dummies are far from ideal, but the one thing they do VERY well is to give you absolutely reproducible circumstances. I will do this for testing spell rotations and also for testing out new /different gear combinations. Here’s how I do it.

1 – Go to Darnassus. (I do not know the equivalent for Horde) The test dummies there are the least used, and you will have the least chance of having to wait or deal with jerks. (they are just east/before the large Colonnade as you enter the city from the “wilds”, as opposed to entering from the flight path)

2 – Reset Recount (or Skada or whichever DPS meter you use) If you don’t have at least one meter to keep track, you won’t be able to do this.

3 – I will make a choice to go in unbuffed (ie, just using one blessing, no food, pots, etc) or I will go in fully buffed. Ideally this means you will use all the food, potion and scroll buffs you can get, plus (ideally) Kings and/or Sanctuary. Kings is easy if you buy the drums, but if there are any guildies on, you can ask for them

4 – Put on your Seal of choice. For single target I use Vengeance, and for multiples I use Command. Either way, just apply it once, and it will work for you for the next 30 minutes. Casting them more often does nothing.

5 – Stand a ways behind the test dummy (dummies can dodge and block from the front!) far enough that you don’t start to auto attack.

6 – Select/click the target, move close in, and start your rotation.

7 - Keep going for at least 60 seconds. The longer the better.

8 – When you are done, move away from the test dummy (I run forward) and click to unselect the dummy, and wait a second or two so that Consecrate and any other DoTs have time to wear off.

9 – Record the overall DPS number somewhere.

10 – Bring up the specific damage done page and look at the order in which each spell/ability does damage and write the order down as well.

11 – Mana up, and make sure all your CDs are ready, make sure that no procs are still in effect (Vengeance is the big one that stays for a while) and make sure that you are still buffed exactly the same.

12 – Repeat steps 5-11 two more times, taking notes of all the relevant info. (overall DPS, most damaging spells, etc)

13 – Review the order of spell damage (what was highest, etc - see my screen cap at the bottom) Are they in the same order as before, or at least close? (or at least if two abilities are within a couple 0.1% or so) If they are close, move on to step 14. If not, repeat until you get repeatable results.

14 – Adjust your spell rotation (for me this means adjusting my action bar) such that the most damaging spell is at the top of the priority, with the next highest ability being next, and so on. (or if you are trying different gear combos, switch your gear)

15 – Repeat steps 5-12 with the new spell rotation/gear set, whatever.

16 – Compare the results between the two sets of data. Did the new rotation help? If so, review your DPS by spell/ability again. Are they still in the same order, or did things change? If they are pretty much the same, you’re done. But if there is a big change, you should probably try changing things up using the new order.

Now, a couple things to keep in mind that will, of course, make things more difficult.

- Test dummies are not real mobs, in a real raid, etc, so your results will never match exactly what happens in your raids. Try to remember to compare things after you have just finished a “real” fight. One thing to remember is that some fights are not good ones to use for evaluation (saurfang, because of the no/minimal AoE used, or any fight where you end up running/moving a lot and not attacking)

- Watch your mana and/or health, and take note of where your Judgment of Wis/Light is in your rotation. In any Boss fight, the Judgement assignments should be:

1 Paladin – Judge Wisdom
2 Paladins – One each judging Wisdom and Light
3+ Pallies – One each judging Wisdom and Light

With this in mind…

I know that I can actually boost my DPS by using the following rotation/priority:

1 – Hammer of Wrath
2 – Consecrate
3 – Divine Storm
4 – Crusader Strike
5 – Judgement of Wisdom
6 – Exorcism
7 – Holy Wrath

But there’s a problem: I will run out of mana after ~3-4 minutes, even with using Divine Plea.

Not only that, but EVERYONE in the raid suffer from reduced mana, since it gives mana back to everyone in the raid. So, if I am the only Paladin, or am one of two Pallies, that isn’t good enough.
So, even though it is a net loss of DPS, I still keep Judgement of Wisdom as my main priority (if you ignore HoW) As of now, my rotation looks like this:

1 – Hammer of Wrath
2 – Judgement of Wisdom
3 – Consecrate
4 – Divine Storm
5 – Crusader Strike
6 – Exorcism
7 – Holy Wrath

If I am in a group with 3+ Paladins, it would probably be safe to go to my “best” priority, but swapping action bars for an occasional fight isn’t worth it. (however, I *DO* have one actionbar version set up for the Saurfang fight, with my AoEs moved out of the way)

Side note -

Did you know you have 2 “easy access” action bars? The first one is the one you always see. However, if you hold down the [shift] key, and use the scroll wheel on your mouse, you should see an extra, empty set of bars. This is the one I use for Saurfang. If you also notice, you will see that if you keep scrolling, you will see your other bars (side, bottom, etc) cycle through as you scroll the wheel.

One last note.

If I am in an “easy” fight, where all I need to do is hit the boss, I will be careful and take my time getting every cast/spell in the proper order.

However, if I am in a more “head’s up” fight, where I need to pay a lot of attention (have a lot of raid awareness) I will “drum” my spells. (I've shown you that short Youtube vid a couple times now)

The drumming requires that I have my spells arranged in proper order on my action bar: (this is a screen cap from some testing) I have my left pinkie on #6, and just drum 6789 6789 6789 6789 6789 6789 6789 quickly and repeatedly. I will manually look for HoW and Exorcism to become available, and hit them as they come up.

Oh, and don't forget that Holy Wrath will do AoE damage to mobs as well (not just the undead, which it will often stun) so it can add an extra 2-3%, if you are interested.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Security Alert - no song title here...

Well, best to quote it from the horse's mouth:

Symantec says it has unearthed a server hosting the credentials of 44 million
stolen gaming accounts -- and one of the most surprising aspects of it is that
the accounts were being validated by a Trojan distributed to compromised


Symantec Link

This means that 44 million gaming accounts have had their information hacked, and a trojan is being used to see which stuff is valid/real/usable.

Please, please PLEASE! be careful which websites you surf, where you put your personal information, and make certain you are using up-to-date anti-viral software.


I am still (slowly) working on my talent stuff, and some other posts, but real life has intruded (I'm now working on a resume) and also, with all the beta talent tree info out there, my post is seeming more than a day late & a dollar short.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Glass Cannon with a Heart of Glass

A little while back, my guild was wasting time around a raid (can't remember if it was just before, or just after a raid) and a few of us were meandering around the Dal Sewers.

While I will run the occasional BG (Wintergrasp in particular) I VERY rarely duel. However, a guild mage, and a guild warrior (among others) were bashing each others' heads in

I swapped over to my PvP gear, and went at it with the Fury Warrior. I won by about >< that much. (he was in PvE gear, so he hit like a truck, but had no resilience) and then went up against the mage.


He was dead after not THAT long of a fight, and I was still well over half health.

I swapped gear, and let my cooldowns cool off, and the mage & I went back at it. He pretty much 3-shot me.

Granted, I did NOT use my stuns as well as I could have, but I hardly had a chance to get near him to even use them. In the first fight, I could be a bit sloppy, and survive long enough to get close to him. The second time around, not so much. Ouch. I was dead and he still had 90% health (or there abouts)

And by the way, Seal of Justice is pretty dang useful, especially against a caster. It gives me 3 extra stuns (though they are short and kind of random) which helps interrupt AND gets me 2-3 extra attacks.

But yeah, the mage & I were both shocked at how much of a difference my gear sets made. (and it was a big difference)

I also think that he wasn't "ready" for a Ret during the first fight, so I had an easier fight the first time. I was able to get in close, break LoS by running through him, etc. Whereas the second fight, he maintained a good distance and wasn't even really even threatened. Gear was one part, but he also fought better the second time.

As it stands, I have ~850 resilience in my set: LINK

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Start me Up! (it's from the old Windows commercial)

Dear Blizzard,

I know in your heart of hearts, that you want nothing more than to protect us from our trollish selves and to ensure we have the most social experience possible.

I know with absolute certainty that you have our best interests at heart with your proposed changes to WoW with respect to RealID. I would never for a second believe the lies that you are only in it for the money, and that your customers are simply there to be bilked.

But, let's say, for the sake of argument, that none of the above is true, and that you are only in it for the money, and customers be damned.

I mean, is there possibly a way for a large, multinational software corporation to have a massive online gaming experience, with strong social interactions built in? (oh, like AOL instant messenger, faceboook, twitter)

Could this exist with reduced trolling in the forums, linkage to a specific customer account with ban abilities and strong parental controls, yet still allow folks to have a user chosen ID and strong privacy protection?

Hmmmm... I wonder... is such a thing possible?

Nah, fuck it. Who am I to try to imagine such aa crazy, "out there", implausible idea?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time, Time Time... What has Become of Me?

We don't have the "real" hoverboards, but clothing HAS become rather sloppy and baggy.

Yes, today is the day the Doc Brown wanted to arrive in the future, via the movie "Back to the Future". (Marty ended upin 1955 instead, but still)

Twenty... Five... years... ago...

Yikes. I was in highschool at the time.

In WoW?


Balth got a nice DPS necklace off Lady Deathwhisper's corpse, and is now in completely PvE gear. Nary a drop of resilience on him.


I needed one more lousy pet for my 75 pet achievement, and I learned that there is a pet floating skull pet available from one of the vendors in the sewers (in the poison vendor room)

The weekly 10 man in ICC got cancelled, so me and 4 other guildies started working on our "Glory of the Hero" achievement. We ran 4 different heroics, and completed 6 achies. (I already had 4 of them, so I only got "Abuse the Ooze", and "Watch Him Die", both of which were rather tough.

A couple pointers to anyone trying these:

Watch Him Die - Defeat Krik'thir the Gatewatcher in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty while Watcher Gashra, Watcher Narji, and Watcher Silthik are still alive.

First, we tried Zerging twice (came close, but not quite)

Our second tactic was to have me (as OT) pull everything, then have the main tank pull Krik, and then have me survive the rest. Ah, not so much. We tried it twice with slight variations, and either I couldn't maintain SELECTIVE aggro, or I simply couldn't survive long enough.

Third tactic was to have the MT pull each group one at a time, and then have me taunt the watchers off, one at a time, as the rest of the group killed the remaining adds. THEN have me hold (and survive) the three watchers while they burned Krik. I think this would have worked if we had tried it a second time. It was elegant, tactical and cool. We failed the one attempt, and didn't try it again.

The last tactic was just back to zerging. We just burned him down. I ended up getting eaten by the adds (my consecrate & divine storm pulled them all on to me, instead of the others, which was actually a good thing) and we dropped the bad boy.

Abuse the Ooze - Defeat Sjonnir the Ironshaper in the Halls of Stone on Heroic Difficulty and kill 5 Iron Sludges during the encounter. The "funny" thing is that I had never seen any oozes before we tried it (neither had anyone else) which caused our first wipe.

What we didn't know was that the oozes don't spawn until Sjonnir drops to <40% Once we knew that, we adjuested our tactics, and that was that. It took two more times to get the mechanics right, and we got this one. Not hard, per se, but not easy, either...

Experienced Drake Rider (defeat Malygos while riding each color drake) I have done amber & ruby, but not emerald. I have recently done some Coldarra quests, so that I can now do the "Aces High" daily quest (ride drake and kill 5 drakes) so I have a *slightly* better feel for the green drake, but that will be tough. I think the best bet for this would be for us to run a "Amber Void", with 3 tanks (Ruby) and 2 Emerald (one of which would be me) which would give me some leeway to learn how to actualy fight on the green.

Emerald & Ruby Void - Actually, if I can convince guildies to just run 5 ambers, this won't be *that* hard. It just takes a little cordination. We *almost* had it in a PuG a while back, but some weird stuff happened and we went "back to normal". Between this one run, and an amber void, we could get all three voids for guildies in only 2 runs.

Zombiefest - The only hard part is collecting enough zombies without killing them. Killing 500 in one minute would be easy, if you could find them. 100 is only difficult because of collecting them.

Better Off Dred - Not hard (I don't think) but we just need to take it slowly enough that 6 of those drakkari dudes have time to spawn.

Chaos Theory - I'm not sure. Could be easy. I think it's just a healer fight, but not sure.

Incredible Hulk - Kill a Scourge Hulk with Svala's dropping sword. Shouldn't be *too* hard, as long as you can position the Hulk in the correct place AND get him to 8-10% health before the sword drops.

Less-Rabi - Ugh. I've been in two groups that tried a few attempts to get this. Trying to interrupt that third transformation is basically blind luck, and we haven't been lucky.

Another alternative would be to delay the 1st two interrupts for as long as possible, POSSIBLY allowing the group to burn him down before the third one even has a chance to start. You need a LOT of DPS. If you can get a mage to spellsteal (8 second delay) then 20k DPS *could* do it.

In other news

Iggy went into Scarlet Monestary at level 31 (whichever one was first, graveyard?) and the group ran it twice, then wanted to run library for a third run. I dinged level 32 in Library, but let me tell ya, a level 32 mage (let alone level 31) has a hard time hitting level 34 mobs.

We made it, even though we had a flub in the next-to-last fight. Either a mob ran in fear and aggroed the final boss, or my casts were shooting 90* left and targetting the boss. (I noticed one of my casts went sideways, but didn't notice who I actually targeted *DOH*) Regardless, we had a massive scramble at the end, and I died.

The entire final area was a bit of a miscue. We over aggroed too many mobs, and the tank couldn't keep them all in check. I had to pop iceblock, went OOM twice (I used my mana pot, mana crystal and mana regen - whatever the name is) even before the boss got pulled. So, by the time he got pulled, I was about done (and he doesn't get trapped in Ice Nova, if you are curious)

Still, it was an interesting group. For the entire set of 3 runs, I was averaging 93 DPS or thereabouts. We had a warrior tank, elem shammy, rogue, me, and another shammy. I was fighting for 2nd place in total damage with the shammy, and the warrior was WAAY up there. All of us we 30, 31 or 32. (all of us had a fair amount of heirloom on as well) It was crazy that as a group, we were pulling >300 DPS.

Rested EXP is nice.

I also levelled his Jewelcrafting up a bunch. He's now at 155 or so, and his enchanting is at 200. The last couple hours of gaming last night were running Balth around Barrens farming tin so that Iggy could prospect out the needed gems. (it was strange last night on my server, even shadowgems were selling for >1 gold each, so just buying gems wasn't really viable)

I am still working on the Talent tree post, and I have another "short" post about a reasonable way to optimize RetPal rotation. I'm not sure which will be first, but they are planned.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And it Burns, Burns, Burns... That Ring of Fire...

With some recent activity on Balth, Iggy hasn't seen as much activity, but I'm still plugging along. With the 10% added monster experience (from pole dancing) I am trying to make the most of the reamining time in Summer Festival.

He dinged 31 last night, and I've noticed that there's no real rotation, jut a couple different spell choices, and the choice I make is pretty much based on how fast I need things to happen.


Cast Pyroblast
Cast Scorch Repeatedly until almost dead
Cast Fireblast for the finisher (instant cast so speeds things up)

If the mobs are getting close, I *may* cast cone of cold

If they reach me, I will cast Frost Nova and run, rinse repeat.
If Frost Nova is on CD, I will just make sure I have mana shield up, and spam Arcane explosion til they are dead (usually against multiple mobs)

If there are 2 or more mobs, I will sheep one (if possible) then burn the other one down. If there are 3, I will often pre-emtively run TOWARDS them, Frost nova them and pick one and burn him down with scorch/fireblast ASAP.

Then if/when one or more gets close, I will arcane explosion them, blink and repeat.

In a 5 man

For tank aggroed multiple mobs:

Flame strike until I pull aggro,
Run them back to the tank,
Frost Nova them in place
Run out and spam flame strike again

For single "trash" mobs

Arcane Missile. It's the lowest DPS, but essentially starts DPSing NOW, which is good. Otherwise I will still be casting when the mob drops.


Open with a Pyroblast if there's time before the tank pulls.
Spam Scorch and one Fireblast near the end


Again, open with Pyro, if there's time
Spam Fireball. It's about identical in DPS to Scorch, but it's more mana efficient (tested this in Theramore on the dummies there)
Toss in the occasional Fireblast as it comes off CD

On single targets, I get about 60-65 DPS, and if there are more mobs, Flamestrike can get me up to 150-200 DPS.

So, if anyone has any comments on the good, bad and/or ugly of my playing this, lemme know!

Oh, one question for level 80 Firemages: I was the "victim" of my first living bomb on Balth the other night (Wintergrasp). Nobody else was around for me to damage, so I just sood there and healed/waited it out. Is it dispellable or cleansable?