Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sindragosa and Lich King

Went to Vegas, came back and didn't really feel like playing WoW therefore didnt feel like blogging about it, plus have some uni crap to catch up with. Excuses out of the way, here are a couple videos.

It's amazing the quality between how crap our first time kills are and our subsequent farming kills.

Monday, 8 February 2010

How To: Love is in the Air

The Valentines event, Love is in the Air, started last night at midnight. I just so happened to be in Ironforge at the time to realise that it had begun and immediately flew to Shadowfang Keep to check the new boss out. Seeing as how most event bosses are generally really easy to kill, we tried it out as a trio. Turns out they were pretty easy! As for the loot:

Times thrice.

After the event boss we did a daily heroic - which was Azjol Nerub - and found we were randomly getting Lovely Charms. It was only when the warrior thunderclapped the small adds just before the drop after Hadronox did I realise that: 1) Killing blows were required and 2) They had to be a non-grey level. So knowing this, the best places to farm would be instances where there were quick kill quick respawn mobs like the Stratholme zombies or areas where you control a vehicle or use bombs to mow down hordes of enemies like the bombing run quests in TBC. I opted to farm the Lovely Charms in Ulduar:

This technique may end up being hotfixed, but it's doubtful, due to the many ways of exploiting it. Some people do bombing run quests in Icecrown, or even running over the bone guards in the Battle Before the Citadel daily. But the fastest is just spamming fireballs in Ulduar. These Lovely Charms convert into Lovely Charm Bracelets, which are then traded for the Love Token currency. In order to complete the meta achievement, you will need:

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose: Solo either Old Kingdom or Utgarde Keep normal until the San'layn.
Dangerous Love: Just complete the questline, gain 5 Love Tokens as well.
Nation of Adoration: 4 Lovely Charm Bracelets (Also gain 20 Love Tokens in the process)
Shafted!: 10 Silver Shafted Arrow: 10 Love Tokens
The Rocket's Pink Glare: 10 Love Rockets: 10 Love Tokens
Be Mine!: 1-3 Bag of Heart Candies: 2-6 Love Tokens
Sweet Tooth, Lonely?: 1-2 Box of Chocolates: 10-20 Love Tokens
Flirt With Disaster, Fistful of Love: 15 Handful of Rose Petals: 6 Love Tokens
I Pitied The Fool: 5 Love Fool: 50 Love Tokens
Lonely?: 1 Romantic Picnic Basket: 10 Love Tokens
Flirt With Disaster: 1 Perfume: 1 Love Token

In total, 113 Love Tokens. Considering Nation of Adoration and Dangerous Love, thats 92 extra Lovely Charm Bracelets that are needed to be converted to Love Tokens to complete everything. It's not hard, just time consuming! I did it all within a few hours:

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Icecrown Unlocked

At Nibuca's whim, I updated Raider101's Shadow Priest Guide. It was pretty outdated before, having not been updated since August, so I brought it up to how it is currently. I am never confident in the stuff I write - otherwise I would be a teacher - but it gives people the general idea of how to begin and if you want to be up to date, then follow the EJ Shadowpriest discussion.

With the Icecrown Citadel fully unlocked, you can now gain 83 Badges of Frost a week. That's around 3.6 Primordial Saronite, so the price may go down with supply increasing. Heres the breakdown:

ICC10 (2/Boss) + Sister Svala: 25
ICC25 (2/Boss) + Sister Svala: 25
ICC10 Weekly Quest: 5
ICC25 Weekly Quest: 5
Weekly Raid: 5
7x Daily Random Heroic: 14
VoA10: 2
VoA25: 2

I watched some Lich King streams on MMOChampion last night, and that fight looks tough! Seems very difficult for a 10man guild like ours to do, but we'll try and give it our best shot, tonight!

Edit: Messed up maths, will edit later !!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Wait of the Lich King

As the last week until the Arthas update, and the subsequent Heroic modes, this week was the ideal time to attempt some Icecrown Citadel raid achievements required for the Frostwyrm meta achievement. For the 10man raiders among us, we should have a few just from beating the encounters correctly - Boned and I've Gone and Made a Mess for example. And according to WoWProgress more than half of the listed people have those achievements. The others require more work.

Most guilds aiming to collect achievements should be able to get Flu Shot Shortage and Once Bitten, Twice Shy without much effort. The hardest I've found so far are Full House and Dances with Oozes.

We made pretty reasonable progress on the former, as coordinating the required adds in phase one went pretty well on our last attempt. Our tactic was to bring Deathwhisper to 100k mana while collecting the three uncommon types, then aiming to bring her to phase 2 as soon as the next adds were called. Trying to kill Deathwhisper with those five adds are another matter however! The three main things required for successful phase 2 are: High DPS, Crowd Control and Interrupts. It will take a bit more work to get this down pat.

Rotface is much the same, we spread out so that the small adds couldn't merge and also to mitigate the damage. The small adds also vomit out a slime patch in the direction they were facing which skewed up our positions a bit. Overall our main tactic was just to nuke down Rotface as fast as possible, but our best tries had us down to 500k hp remaining with a couple people still alive. Rotface, along with Deathwhisper, will probably require better gear before successful attempts.

Along with the next update we will inevitably see the Arthas cinematic leaked shortly after. I've never been that fussed about spoilers so I can't wait to see it as soon as it comes out, but I also definitely won't be skipping it the first time we kill him either. Wrathgate is a treat to watch everytime the chain is completed, and after so many weeks of battling through the citadel, I suspect the Arthas cinematic will be much the same.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Crimson Hall Cleared!

We didn't get too far into Bloodwing on Wednesday, due to the Blood Princes doing damage that were practically unhealable by the two main healers and yours truly the offspec healer, with some stating that they were doing more damage than was experienced in the 25man version of the fight. Needless to say we felt that there would be a quick fix later in the week like Rotface, and we got it!

Nothing remarkable about the Blood Prince fight aside from a lot of damage being dealt across the raid, and with the positional awareness required at the same time it led to.. more damage being done than should've been done. We screwed up the last leg of the fight and finished with three people barely remaining.

Blood Queen in contrast felt like a really easy fight to get used to. The positional awareness was simple and the raidmods did their job at marking who had what. We spent the first few tries with me healing and made pretty decent headway into the encounter, before we realised we had more than enough damage to meet the enrage requirements. So they made me go mainspec damage.

The theory was that with Essence of the Blood Queen I would be able to do enough healing for the ranged group and let the healers concentrate on the melee. It didn't go perfectly executed but they managed without my healing and we were able to kill her relatively quickly. So now we wait for the Frostwing.. Wing.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Plagueworks Cleared!

Week 2 of Plagueworks and we managed to do the entire instance in a day, which sets us up nicely for the new wing next week. Thanks to a combination of a guildy's tactics writeup and yesterdays teething tries, we had a good idea of how to do it beforehand. So today it only took us a single wipe before we downed Putricide. It's a relatively long fight and requires a lot of movement and coordination, but ultimately fun! And not because of the Futurama references either. Some screenshots of the kills from tonight:

Professor Putricide
Professor Putricide is a pretty unique fight in that it seems to currently be the only fight that assassination rogues are not completely owning the meters with. In fact, the ability to do damage from multiple targets and doing this from range makes us a pretty useful class for this fight! It's fun to be given a chance to shine.

I also compared Cookiee, who has been pretty high on the meters, with myself. 36% haste compared with the 28% that I have is the only thing that really seems to stick out. Right now I'm aiming straight for the helm and gloves to complete 4set bonus, after that it's badge cloak or buying saronite for the crafted legs.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Err.. Rotface got nerfed quite a bit..

This week, being plagued by sickness and other mishaps ourselves, we mustered up a short half-raid after Plagueworks 10 was bug-fixed (or nerfed, depending on your views). We ended with Rotface and Festergut cleared, and used up a couple tries on Professor Putricide. This time we decided to do Festergut first. He seemed pretty easy, not that I noticed since I died almost as soon as the fight started, but it seemed like they had it under control.. I think. Anyway we one-shot him and that's what counts!

After few tries into Rotface a member had to leave our near-midnight raid so we drafted up a casual member of our guild.. who unfortunately disconnected just after we started and spent the remainder of the time eating dirt, but his spirit was with us. As for the fight, let's just say that the % health deduction hotfix earlier this week seemed to help quite a lot! We didn't really see much chaos with the oozes, which were the key part to the fight. Everyone seemed to have it under control and the the oozes didn't have trouble merging compared to Wednesday's attempts, which we'll chalk it down to patchday lag. Aside from the occasional movement there isn't all that much to the fight bar the numbers:

Fight lasted 4 minute 23 seconds, which was probably quicker than our attempts on Wednesday. I also did pretty average DPS for that fight, definitely could've done better given proper DOT management but hey - tomorrow is the start of another week!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Raiding Shadowpriest 3.3 Guide: Part 2

Raiding Shadowpriest DPS utilises roughly five core spells for DPS. In order of uptime priority, they are:

Vampiric Touch
Devouring Plague
Shadow Word: Pain
Mind Blast
Mind Flay

My personal opener, since it requires on equip effect procs (Black Magic): MF VT MB DP SW:P

Try to make sure VT is up before MB for Replenishment uptime. Start casting VT when there is about 1.5s left (adjusting for haste).

Some people use Shadow Word: Death in their rotation; I prefer to save mine for movement situations.

MF is a filler spell that has damage ticks at about 50%, 75% and 100% during the channelling. So always make sure you have casted halfway before clipping the spell if you need to. MF also provides a stack of Shadow Weaving every tick. This also applies to the Muradin's Spyglass trinket (unfortunately only provides a single stack per cast for Illustration of the Dragon Soul and Eye of the Broodmother).

DP's instant cast component is very powerful, especially with heroism where you can almost keep casting it, waiting for the first tick and casting it again. This is probably only something you can do with T8 2set bonus though.

Hard refreshing SW:P through recasting it (as opposed to MF's soft refreshing it) can be useful when:
- You possess a crit buff through Potion of Wild Magic and/or Nevermelting Ice Crystal.
- You have a Rune of Power/Malygos Spark damage buff.
- Your current SW:P wasn't casted with 5 stack Shadow Weaving.

Hard refreshing SW:P doesn't have any affect on:
- You gain spellpower buffs. It adjusts automatically.
- Any boss weakened/debuff states.

During Heroism: Leave out MB from rotation, be sure to cast VT/DP as soon as it starts and just before it ends to get full benefit from the haste. Otherwise make use of any potions and MF the day away.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Remembering Wrath Release

Casting my mind back to November I was in an inbetween stage between playing orc warrior and human priest, both had good guilds and bunch of friends but I stuck with the people I knew longer, although it didn't matter much since I would be quitting the game for the next 6-7 months after the first week!

I had bought the Collector's Edition and it arrived the previous day so I knew I would be one of the first people to arrive in Northrend, just as I would be the first to enter Outland the couple of years prior to Wrath's release. However unlike TBC release where Outlands became available immediately after midnight, Northrend came up much earlier, and at around 10-ish a bunch of us were in Borean getting our Grand Master tradeskills and doing the early starting quests. We did Nexus a few times, a guildmate getting realm first skinner shortly afterwards with the amount of dragon mobs to skin. I tried my hand at trying to get realm first fishing but trying to do it in higher levelled Northrend waters wasn't the best of ideas and someone got it way before I was anywhere close.

Anyway, due to the horrible timing of Wrath release and having to deal with work and school at the same time, and not taking part in the all nighter levelling race my guildmates were having overall made me kinda detached from the whole Wrath experience. I gradually stopped playing at 73 and continued after 3.1 came out. In hindsight it did save me from what seemed like the worst period of Wrath, the black hole of post-Naxx pre-Ulduar, and I didn't have to deal with fighting for quest mobs!

Despite not having the motivation to level I managed to get my mage guildmate to portal me to Dalaran, where I spent my time trying to get the coin achievements. I didn't do too bad and was only two gold coins away from the meta achievement by the time I fully quit! It would save time for my Salty title which I got the first couple weeks after reaching 80. Here's to hoping for a nice relaxing summer release of Cataclysm where I don't have to deal with upcoming exams!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Making a Turkey out of the New Wing!

We didn't make much progress past Saurfang last night, partly due to undergeared people, partly due to how we went in almost completely blind on Rotface and spent 2-3 hours slapping away at him. I suspect the main reason was underestimating how hard everything was after the Trial of the Crusader loot pinata and the relatively forgiving first wing.

Rotface has several gimmicks which can take out a raid pretty quickly, and the one we need to get a hang of is the ooze management. As the fight drags on the more diseases he applies to people, not completely sure if it's a soft-enrage timer or a %-health thing. If its the former then the whole thing is a DPS and idiot check which can be dealt with buffs and more gear, the latter then it means we need to accelerate the damage towards the end. Our best attempt last night was 2%, and it felt like we were bruteforcing it with myself as the third healer and didn't feel like it was under control. Our next attempt will be on Monday, which gives us more time to see more detailed tactics hopefully.

Currently 28 badges away from my next tier piece, the shoulders. After I get that I can wear my robe as well for the 2 pc T10 bonus. I also got Icecrown Spire Sandals which were socketed with Reckless Ametrine and Runed Cardinal Ruby. I will lose my one of my meta requirement blue gems when I replace the robe so I will regem for the bonus on those.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Catching Up

I've been a bit lazy these past couple months, but here's a brief update of how I fared since the release of 3.3:

- Levelled a warrior to 80 and did some casual raiding with Goon Squad. T10 warrior pieces look awesome on orcs.

- Racechanged priest to Draenei. They're cute and extra hit is kinda nice.

- Did new 5 man instances as soon as they came out, gotten Battered Hilt on first day of running and completed it subsequently. I also bought the Kirin Tor ring from scratch, which was a costly 9500 or so gold to upgrade to ilvl 251.

- Got Thaumaturge's Crackling Cowl and Muradin's Spyglass from ICC10.

- Bought T10.251 chest with my frost emblems. Can't wear it yet though, not until I get shoulders for the set bonus. Those pieces replace my spirit T9.245 pieces.

- Begun Loremaster on a whim. Northrend Loremaster I got shortly after 80, and just yesterday I got Outlands Loremaster. All thats left is Azeroth which will be a lot more painful without flying mount.

Still got much more things to do, finalize pieces of what I want from ICC10, make a video of ICC10, and the shadowpriest guide which will be abut doling out damage. In great quantity.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Raiding Shadowpriest 3.3 Guide: Part 1

This guide is something I've been writing for past few days, and is intended to give you a rough overview of raiding as a shadowpriest. I'm pretty casual as far as raiding goes, but nonetheless I hope this guide proves to be useful no matter if you are a healer looking for an offspec or an up and coming shadowpriest.

Why be a shadowpriest?

What I love most about being a shadowpriest is Vampiric Embrace, the ability to steadily heal my group in the raid through damage. It allows me to take a lot more risks and be a rebel, standing in fire, whirlwind, fire, orbs and fire. If we underestimate the damage then we have Dispersion to fall back on. It's pretty stupid to like a class for the ability to play bad, but it's funny on fights like Twin Val'kyr to see everyone manically running around trying to dodge orbs, sometimes dying, while I am able to more damage through not having to move and healing myself for more at the same time. We're not immortal, but we're not pushovers.

Unfortunately we will always have some deficit to our class, known as the 'Hybrid Tax', that makes us inferior to pure damage dealing classes. We put in more effort than others only to get less in return. But if you are looking for a class that can stand on it's own two feet in raids, Shadowpriests are it.

Key points about shadowpriest.

- Provides Replenishment through Vampiric Touch and Mind Blast. Same as Retribution Paladins, Frost Mage, Survival Hunter and Destruction Warlock.
- With 3/3 Misery, a deep shadow talent, gives entire raid an extra 3% spell hit. Same as Balance Druids.
- Constantly heals yourself for 25% of your damage done, 5% to party members, through Vampiric Embrace. A Paladin's Judgement of Light is similar on a smaller scale, but benefits the whole raid.
- Shadowform provides 15% less damage. Also, the talented cooldown ability Dispersion temporarily reduces damage by 90%.

Gearing a shadowpriest.

It used to be simple, reach spellhit and stack spell power. Shadowpriests get a decent amount of hit through talents Shadow Reach and Misery, requiring 289 hit with both talents to hit the cap, 263 if you're a cute draenei to boot (<3 racechange). You still want to keep gearing for more spellpower, but that comes with a penalty in terms of gear itemisation - you gain more from multiple stats rather than one stat.

Thankfully haste is thrown into the fray due to patch 3.3, and is weighed up very close to spellpower, with Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague ticking faster with more haste. Affliction Warlocks, our closest cousins to the DOT-oriented playstyle, have the same buff with Corruption. Haste is beautiful, but it changes things around a bit. With the Black Magic enchant on a one handed weapon you have to keep an eye on your Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch when it procs. If you don't refresh them while it has procced, then you lose the real benefit of the haste.

Spirit is calculated into spellpower through Twisted Faith (increases spellpower by 20% of total spirit) and Improved Spirit Tap (increases Spirit by 10%) talents and Glyph of Shadow (increases spellpower by 30% of spirit when critting with non DOTs). Thats 50% of our spirit, which also gets an extra 10% increase. Moonkins and Warlocks also get 30% as spellpower while Mages get 55% as crit rating. When both proc on my self-buffed priest I gain around 220 spellpower. There is no spirit on any of the T10 pieces, nor do the set bonuses provide crit buffs to spells which proc Shadowy Insight like T9 gave 5% crit to Mind Flay. As far as 3.3 looks, we will be spending 5 talent points and a glyph for an increasingly diminutive gain in spell power. That 220 bonus spellpower will end up at 140 spellpower with full T10 and a couple of spirit pieces.

Ultimately, priority for gearing is, with values from shadowpriest.com:

Hit = 1.88 (0 after cap)
SP = 1.00
Haste = 0.98
Crit = 0.76
Spi = 0.59
Int = 0.22

If you're switching from holy or levelling pieces with shadow, a good mix of crit and spirit will give you uptime on Glyph of Shadow and some decent spellpower to compensate. But ultimately go for spellpower and haste pieces for good, consistant damage. You can afford to go for gem bonuses with red/yellow requirements thanks to Reckless Ametrine, which is rated close to Runed Cardinal Ruby. Note that you should spend Heroism badges on the Ametrine and Honor on Cardinal Rubies, as the rubies are more expensive with badges.

Shadowpriest Glyph and Talents

My Talents and Glyphs

Damage (which includes Hit) are top priority talents for shadow, and we get a lot of them. Along the way we will get some utility talents, some more useful than others but all ultimately situational. There isn't really a right or wrong, the Shadow tree is pretty good as talent trees go. But within that tree there are many mana conservation and regeneration talents, which can be sacrificed for less interruptions or constant self healing.

Glyph-wise it's the same principle; Damage before Utility. Patch 3.3 turned Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain into one of less importance, making Glyph of Shadow and Mind Flay the chief damage dealing glyphs. Glyph of Shadow Word: Death is also a damage dealing glyph but it's situational requirement of 35% or less health for 10% damage buff means it is useless for the first 65%. It is a prime choice for the mana regen utility of either Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain or Glyph of Dispersion. The latter comes with a shield wall like ability and is my chosen third glyph.