Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cataclysm Designed for 10 mans?!

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)
If you think you and your guildmates have what it takes to make invaluable beta testers, take a stab at our Cataclysm Beta -- Guild Contest. All you need to do is tell us in a short essay why you and nine of your guildmates should be in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test. We’ll be picking 100 winning submissions each week for five weeks, for a total of 5,000 beta keys at stake!

For World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’re looking for a healthy handful of guilds to join us in the beta test process. If you think your guild would supply the perfect candidates for testing the limits of Cataclysm's content and systems, tell us why!

4. Entry in the contest.
Beginning on the Commencement Date, you can enter the Contest by emailing a short essay (50 to 250 words) elaborating on why the World of Warcraft guild that the entrant is the guild master of should take part in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Test to blizzardcontest@blizzard.com. Your submission must be in English, and must be between 50 and 250 words in length to be considered for the Contest. You are limited to one (1) entry in the Contest. Any entries or submissions which depict or glorify overly graphic, lewd, obscene, vulgar or profane behavior, or which utilize lewd, obscene vulgar or profane language, either as part of the submission or as the name of the submission, will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

All you have to do is send an email to blizzardcontest@blizzard.com containing a short essay between 50 and 250 words explaining why we should bring you and nine of your guild mates on-board. We’ll be picking 100 winning submissions from eligible participants each week for five weeks beginning Monday, June 7th through Monday, July 12th.

Before entering the contest, be sure to read the full contest rules for details and eligibility.

Ok, when I first read this I threw my arms up in the air in joy that they're giving guilds with intent on really affecting beta content since you wont be doing it with random people. Organized and experienced people, with one another, that will do the encounters together and blizzard can get a good handle on how they want to tweak an encounter. Then after reading it again, it seems that Blizzard or the WoW authorities are pushing more and more for 10 mans to be the main focus in this next expansion. This is something I completely disagree with in the fact that Since the ORIGINAL beta, larger raid groups have been the focus, even their best go around with instanced PvP (rather than open world) was a 40 man (alterac valley). Atleast that's my opinion on instanced PvP. There was a lot more strategy in the original AV back in lvl60 WoW.

I've been against having the same raid for 10/25 man since the beginning of wrath. Now I wont lie that 10 mans are a benefit to the community or that some of the encounters on 10 man have been very fun, but they were also very spec dependent. Go look at some of the first Sarth 3d kills or some of the Algalon 10 kills or Lich King 10 (heroic) kills. It seemed like you needed a holy paladin for everyone of those kills. I know LK has been done with Resto Druid, Disc Priest, but I don't know if anyone has killed that without a disc priest in the raid. Basically saying that Resto shamans get the short end of the stick here in all three of those encounters none of the early kills were done with Resto Shamans, but as anyone would tell you, you couldn't do Shamanwell, err Sunwell without resto shamans. Resto shamans are very good in 25 man settings. I feel as though some classes/specs will be pushed aside from guilds because of this change.

Thankfully we're boomkins and well we're basically the ultimate Spell DPS buffer. We bring most of the caster buffs to raids already so this wouldn't really hurt our spec, but there are others that will fade away, IE shamans in full. As of right now its the one class that is hurting in pretty much 2/3 of its specs and the one spec that is holding it up seems to be not necessary for 10 mans, resto. Elemental gets trumped by us and dp from Demo locks and both of those specs do more damage than ele shamans. and Frost dk's and marks hunters take care of the Enhance buffs. Also frost dk's and hunters do more damage than enhance shamans. I know cataclysm is a couple of months away (according to my pre-ordered copy its release date is 11/11/10) so I'm going to hold my breathe on this, but all fingers seem to be pointing to 10 mans being the focus in Cata.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Remote AH (testing)

Sadly I don't have any of my 80's on a server with this availabilty but I do have an alt from one of my original servers. Its quite an interesting tool. I don't see a real use to this add-on though unless you're an avid Auction House user/player. I've never been one to really be all about AH use. I mean yeah I know how to make gold on this game, but unless you're out there to buy things I deem unnecessary to raiding or advancement to raiding, there is no need for more than 20-30k gold. Which also is attainable through other such things I.E dailies and getting lucky with some rolls/drops.

But for people that are "players" on the Auction House, this is a great way to maximize your profits and such. Especially if you are unable to actually be in-game. This is also a great way to keep using the AH while you're on vacation or some other reason to keep you away from the computer. Although don't expect to be really bringing in the massive amounts of gold you used to because with this addition to the wow universe there will be more and more people able to utilize the auction house at random times, so those steals of Lichbloom or Cardinal rubies that you can find for like 70 g for the ruby or 15g for the stack of Lichbloom after you raid, might not be there because of other people being able to access the auction house. I also wonder if you'll be able to actually be able to access the AH if you're in game but not at an AH, I.E in an instance and be able to use the remote AH from your phone and deal with it that way.

I do have to say bravo to blizzard for being able to implement something that can keep players around more. It is nice that people who would get turned off because the weren't able to make money and were broke in this game to utilize the AH and make tons of gold.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Heroic 10 man LK


Quite possibly the funnest 10 man fight since Sarth 3d's with 213/226 gear level items. AKA naxx level. This took a lot of coordination and many many many nights. I think we spent 3 weeks basically of attempts on it until we got a kill from it.

What we did: We ran a group makeup of Prot pally, Prot warrior, Holy Pally, Disc priest and your basic ranged cleave group. Ele shaman, Boomkin, Arc Mage, Afflic lock, Spriest and MM hunter.

My glyph setup was actually Starfall, Insect Swarm and Moonfire for this fight.

Phase 1: BLOODLUST at the start. We stacked on top each other with the two tanks seperate. Basically we just started at the throne and dropped shadow traps in a circle until 70% and transition. Pally on LK, Warrior on shamblers. Shambler tank was in front and the LK tank was behind him basically 25 yards so he could easily move around if there was shadow trap on the shambler tank.
Transition. (basically the exact same on 10 man) Since our warrior was on the shamblers (1 was still up during the transition) Prot pally grabbed first 2 Raging Spirits. MD on the second one from the hunter and the warrior grabbed the 3rd for the transition after endless winter.

Phase 2: Basic phase two, we finished burning the raging spirit. MAKE SURE your hunter is MD'n on cooldown on the LK tank. We had a lot of threat issues, ever other class except for myself had a threat reduction, i did get 2 salves during this phase. I used starfall on cooldown during this phase and i saved typhoon for when the valk(s) were first dropping in because its a cleave for us. Yay dps!! *note* The valkyrs drop at 50% so we could actually stop dps'n around 52/53% because of the 3 dot classes able to do that extra 3% giving us extra time on LK. We had 4 valkyrs come down and on the 4th we followed it out to the edge because we basically transitioned after/during its duration.
Transition. Pally grabbed first 2 ragings and warrior next 2. Again MD's on the 1st and 3rd valkyrs. Since the 2nd and 4ths ones should already be up allowing tanks to initially put threat up. With our dps and the 15% buff we were able to have the third raging by the time we entered our first frostmourne stage.

Phase 3: We continued to burn the raging spirits because of the 15% buff. (at the time of the 5%/10% you weren't able to do this and kill all four raging spirits and most kills left the 4th one up) Here comes the important part for any boomkins out there. MAKE SURE YOUR STARFALL IS UP DURING THIS PHASE. When he sends everyone into frostmourne, wait around 5/6 seconds and pop starfall. I also used typhoon (i had it unglyphed so i could knock back) here to push spirits back. *note do this relatively early in the room so its up for the vile spirits outside* We killed the first set of vile spirits and soaked the rest. We killed the first set because we ran 1 spriest and we weren't going to have our holy pally soak, and we had that raging spirit up so our warrior couldn't soak. The warrior always soaked first coming out of the frostmourne room giving our spriest as much time on the boss as possible. After that its basically a rinse and repeat on these things. We had our bloodlust up again after our second frostmourne room and we used it then. You should bloodlust after a frostmourne room to give it maximum uptime for DPS on the LK. When either we were slowing moving or viles weren't going correctly i used typhoon to knock them back and we could then soak off the new positions. Also its viable for 1 ranged to soak 1 or two viles (it was on me because I was able to barkskin).

Sorry it took me so long to write again, been busy with work and raiding and not having much time for anything else with my other RL obligations. Anywho hope this helps anyone that is pushing for this kill in their guild/10 man raiding group. If you have any questions comments leave'm here and I'll be glad to fill you in on the finer details.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How to Min/Max through Glyphs

As a dps class we care about one thing... DPS! That much is obvious. But to be honest how far do we really want to go and get as much as we want. This is where Min/Max comes in. Despite professions, gems and enchants there are other ways to min/max your dps. Gems, enchants and professions everyone talks about. I'm going to talk about glyphs and rotation, on a fight by fight for "Hardmode/heroic" Icecrown for 10 and 25 mans, yes there is a difference.

For purpose's I'll be talking about certain glyphs. Starfall, Moonfire, Starfire, Typhoon, Insect Swarm, Focus

Lord Marrowgar
Glyphs - Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Typhoon (minor). Why these? Considering your going to switch targets often. I like the choice of Moonfire because knowing when bonespikes are coming thanks to our lovely boss mods, I'll reapply both moonfire and Insect swarm to keep my dots up and my Idol up. And since i'm keeping up moonfire its a higher DPS to have that glyph'd. Starfire, with glyph of moonfire it kind of comes hand in hand. Starfall is pretty much a basic glyph and its cooldown being up especially with it being up basically every other bonespike is a extra dps, again try and precast it. And if you truly want to min max your damage during this, cast Mark of the Wild and hopefully get your 2pc to proc. Now why typhoon. Well you don't need the knock back, but it brings up an increased range (width) to it. So you might be able to hit that one bonespike thats out of range.

Lady Deathwhisper
Glyphs - Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Typhoon (minor) again. I have pretty much the same reasoning for Moonfire, starfire and starfall as in the Lord Marrowgar encounter. I've thought about using focus here instead of the Starfire glyph, because Starfall can break CC's during mind controls, so decreasing its radius could be a benefit. But it doing extra damage when you group all the adds up in p1 it provides and extra punch. My guild brings all the adds and attempts to stack them all up on Lady Deathwhisper for cleaves and such (exactly like Anub). Thats also the reason I glyph typhoon for it. You're going use typhoon its a can do some nice spike damage and it can give you a NG proc for you if you're going to hurricane.

Glyphs - I haven't really found a negative point for any of the standard moonkin glyphs, Moonfire, Starfire, Insect Swarm, Starfall, Focus. So whatever you are using for Lady Deathwhisper you might as well keep it.

Glyphs - Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall. MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT GLYPHED FOR TYPHOON. The pushback is extremely usefull as you push into heroic mode. Again try and time starfalls to come out as the beast. I mean don't use it on cooldown use it before or just as the beasts come out its a way to increase you're dps. I usually reapply both dots (just like in marrowgar) before the beasts come out pop my keybind to Mark of the Wild and then starfall and typhoon as soon as the beasts come out and then go to town.

Plaguewing Bosses
I'm going to cover them all in one swoop, although the fight mechanics aren't the same there is similarity to the glyphs you should be using to get as much dps as possible.

Pretty much use what I have as a standard glyph make up of Moonfire, Starfire and Starfall. I do glyph typhoon because of the heavy movement associated with all of these fights in heroic mode. Again during movement or just before reapplying your two DoTs try and use mark of the wild to get Clearcasting (Omen of Doom) to proc.

Rotface is an exception. I would say you can use Focus Insect Swarm and Starfall for the maximum DPS setup since there isn't target switching and you can limit your movement. Again this applies to you have complete comfort with knowledge of the encounter.


Blood Prince Council.
Glyphs - Moonfire, Starfire, Insect Swarm/Focus. Why no starfall? Well considering that the dark nucleus are floating everywhere I try to make it easier for our Keleseth tank to keep them by not using starfall on cooldown. Or if you glyph Focus you can just use it when he's on the other side of the room. Again I try and refrain from using my typhoon for the same purposes(until you know its clear) but again this fight trys and limits your movement so typhoon shouldn't be used as often anyway.

Blood Queen Lanathel.
Glyphs - FOR MAXIMUM DPS (depending where you stand) the Glyphs you should use are Insect Swarm, Focus, Starfall. They provide the highest DPS throughput in any fight techniquelly. If you are able to stand within 20 yards of BQL, I would suggest using these three glyphs. Again if you are not able to I'd use Moonfire Starfire Starfall, because that provides a higher dps than Insect swarm and either Moonfire or Starfire.

Valithra Dreamwalker
Glyphs - Focus, Starfall, Insect swarm. Because of the high AoE and lots of target switching, I find it usefull to maximixe your AoE here. Also a suggestion. Do not glyph typhoon on this fight because you are able to daze the Supressors, giving your healers more time on dreamwalker without their debuffs up.

Glyphs - Focus, Starfall, Insect swarm. Since these are the highest single target DPS glyphs, you should probably use them. But there is a bit of an Issue in P3 if you're using these glyphs. Because of your increased starfall damage you may prematurely break a block or force other dps to break a block early not allowing tanks/healers/other dps to clear stacks of mystic buffet. Again its your personal choice and I'd talk to your raid leader, or if you guys are attempting her, rotate and see what is good for you and your guild.

Lich King - Starfall and NOT TYPHOON are the only necessities I see for this fight. So DO NOT use typhoon in p1 unless you want to get yelled at by tanks/raid leader/ officers. The Daze affect is a HUGE benefit for Valkyrs and for Vile Spirits in phases 2/3 (I don't count transitions as phases). Its a personal choice again with a lot of target switching Focus could be huge. Especially for the AoE in p3. But again your raid might require of you to NOT glyph for insect swarm for the 3% hit debuff it applies to targets, small dps to you but could be a huge benefit to your tank not taking that extra melee swing.

All of these are for 25 man Ice Crown Citadel.

For any changes in 10 mans. You can probably switch any Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall setups to Insect Swarm, Focus, Starfall. Since there is more room you're able to stand closer to the boss. There are also less adds though on any fight with Adds. So that might affect your choices. But there are ways to increase your dps on a fight by fight. Don't be afraid to try something different. Experiment with your class its one of the few ways you'll be able to help yourself out. And one comment on Lady Deathwhisper on 10 man. I try and stay close to or within melee range so I can go to cat form and Cower if necessary to drop threat. We don't have a threat reduction talent for druids except that one. I have had to do this multiple times so be wary.

Anyway I hope you found this somewhat useful. Give me a comment about if you feel differently.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Blog

After reading so many other blogs, rev's, graylo's, and many other druid blogs and I figured that I could be doing this so here I am writing my first blog. I guess I should try and figure out what to talk about. So I'm basically just going to give you a little bit about my knowledge of being A) a balance druid. B) A caster. C) An experienced wow player.

A) I've currently been playing a balance druid since the release of patch 3.0. Of course dabbling with being a bear and a tree and even a cat when my guild required it. But since the release of patch 3.0 I've been a die-hard Moonkin. I fell in love with the playstyle and when they released twisting eclipse's it made it even better. I have gotten the meta achievements for 10 man wrath (Naxx/os/maly). Ulduar 10/ ulduar 25 (if we ever do yogg-1 again and i'm there) and ICC 10 with almost all of my ICC25 achievements done. I currently am the boomkin for Dawn Of Valor on Spinebreaker, currently ranked 99th in the US in terms of ICC25 progression and 84th according to ICC25 achievements.

B) I've played a caster class in raiding since joining World of Warcraft in 2005. Starting off with a gnome warlock. And raiding through MC/AQ20/most of 40/ ZG/ BWL/ Ony. When Burning crusade came around I decided to switch factions and change classes, rerolled a Troll Mage. Killing everything upto and including Illidan (2 weeks after the release of Sunwell). I had to stop raiding a few weeks after that illidan kill for real life reasons. Decided to level up my druid because I decided I wanted to tank/heal. So at the end of BC I was MT'n for a 10 man guild doing ZA timed runs and pugging BT/MH with another guild. But again when 3.0 was released I went back to my roots as a caster.

C) As you can see in section B. I've played wow and experienced pretty much everything you can with raiding in this game. I currently love theorycrafting on new bosses and different ways to do encounters IE achievements/hardmodes. I participated in server first kills of OS 3d 10, quite possibly the hardest fight at available gear level until hitting Heroic Lich King and feeling so feeble. I attempted two weeks straight of Yogg-0 attempts. Having to miss one night due to my work schedule changing I missed out on Death's Demise. But I'm determined to get my Light of Dawn and Bane of the Fallen King as server firsts.

Anyway this is my first post on my blog. I should be posting every couple days so feel free to check back in.