Instant 90?

I’ve not bought the expansion yet, but I’m planning to. One of the decisions I have to make once I do is what to do with my “free” instant level 90. My main server is full, and all characters are level 85+, so using it for any of them seems like a terrible waste. So I’m going to have to start somewhere new…

Most of my friends in WoW have either stopped playing, or are in my guild on my main server. So I’ll have to find somewhere new, or put it on the server where my last friend is playing. (I already have a character there, but I guess another isn’t a bad thing.) This is probably what I’ll end up doing, unless someone has a nice guild somewhere on an EU server that wants social members?!

The second decision will have to be… Which class do I pick??

I already have one of every class in the game at level 85+. So it’s going to be a duplicate in any case. Unless someone is looking for something specific, I’m leaning towards a female Pandaren Warrior. I enjoy Warrior tanking, something I did a lot of in WotLK, and I think the female Pandaren has awesome melee animations.

"I already look awesome, and I'm only level 15!"

“I already look awesome, and I’m only level 15!”

Posted in Random Ramblings | 2 Comments

Tanking 101

Edit: Updated the Taunting and Threat section.

A friend of mine returned to the game recently and has been leveling a few classes. She asked me about tanking and if it’s difficult or not, and how she would know how to do it. So I thought I’d write a quick and easy guide to the basics of tanking. As with any guide of mine, it’s not the be all, end all guide – just a few basic pointers to get you started.

The Very Basics

  • Be a class that’s actually a tank!
  • Be in the tank spec of said class (while at lower levels some classes may be able to tank anyway, it’s not recommended to someone new to tanking, and it does make things more difficult).
    - Druid: Guardian
    - Paladin: Protection
    - Warrior: Protection
    - Monk: Brewmaster
    - Death Knight: Blood

Pulling

You want to be the person pulling at every time, both for trash and bosses. It helps you with initial threat (keeping the mobs attacking you), and building your vengeance which will assist in further threat. When doing 5 man instances, you may find yourself with people who aren’t content to let the tank pull, and sadly there’s not much to do about it. If you ask them politely not to do it, and they still do, you just have to try to do your best anyway. (Fortunately at lower levels, this isn’t something you need to worry too much about, since often they won’t die due to the instances being fairly easy.)

When pulling, if it’s a trash pack with one Elite mob and several non-elites, you’re usually best off focusing your attacks on the Elite – since it’s the one that would do the most damage if it got loose and attacked others. With several Elites, you will want to distribute your threat equally. Some classes have an easy time with this, having abilities that strike all targets, while other classes have some abilities that hit a limited amount of targets (often 3). If you have such abilities, you will probably want to tab target/switch targets within the group every now and then to make sure you build enough threat on everything.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that you’re best off not pulling using only Taunt, but quickly follow it up with something that does some damage. On boss fights especially you may want to use a damage cooldown at the pull to make sure you put out enough threat, since your dpsers are likely to be hitting their own damage cooldowns and may be doing a lot of threat at the pull. (I’m looking at you Warriors!)

Taunting and Threat

Threat is basically the level of aggro a mob has towards players, and as the tank – you want them to hate you the most. Generating threat is done through dealing damage to the mob, and healing (which is why mobs who aren’t attacked by anyone likes to run to the healers). As a tank your damage does more threat than a regular dps (five times as much), and so in general you should have no difficulty holding aggro.

If you lose aggro, or you need a mob to switch their aggro from someone else to you, you can use the Taunt ability. Taunt will force a mob to attack you for 3 seconds, and it grants you a level of threat equal to that of the player who had aggro when you taunted.

It’s worth noting that Taunt has a diminishing return, and every taunt within 15 seconds will have a reduced time of attacking you. If too many taunts are done in that window the mob will essentially become immune.

After taunting, for 3 seconds, your abilities will generate 200% more threat. There is no point in using any threat building/damage abilities before taunting, since you will be given the other person’s threat anyway. Instead, taunt and then use your damage/threat abilities, which will generate 200% extra threat at this point, and should give you a good lead on threat.

Taunt gives you 3 seconds of the boss/mob’s undivided attention, but if you do nothing – you will lose the aggro again, since the person you taunted off of will still have the same level of threat as you (possibly more if they continued attacking and you didn’t do anything). This means that taunting something that you have no way of reaching (maybe it’s out of melee range and you have no ranged abilities), since the odds are that if it can’t reach you in the 3 seconds you have aggro, it will turn right back around and attack whoever it was when you taunted.

Tank Switching/Taunt Switching

There are fights out there that require two tanks and a switch between the two. (In fact, majority of raid fights work like this). You need to make sure that you know when to taunt (often when the other tank reaches a certain number of debuffs or following a certain boss ability), and then use it at the correct time. Following your taunt, always use your high damage/threat building abilities to make sure your threat puts you above the other tank (or they will have the boss back after the 3 seconds).

When the other tank is taunting off you, if they’re not getting a high enough threat lead (you can use an addon like Omen Threatmeter to see exactly how much threat either of you have), you may want to hold off on using your highest threat building moves, or if needed even stop attacking completely for a couple of seconds. With the addition of the 200% threat buff after taunting though, this shouldn’t be needed most of the time.

Positioning

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding positioning of bosses. You’ll generally want to face them away from the raid since a lot of them have cleave type abilities that are done in a frontal cone. It also helps the melee dps since they will want to attack from behind the boss. If it’s a dragon type boss, you’ll want to angle it slightly sideways since in addition to a frontal cone attack, they also generally have a tail lash attack – so no one should be stood behind them.

The most important thing for you to remember when it comes to positioning; never have your back towards a boss (mob) that is attacking you. When turning your back towards a mob, you cannot dodge, parry or block any attacks. This means that you will be taking a burst of damage while your back is turned. It’s a waste of your healers mana to have them heal you extra, but not only that – if you get an unlucky streak of attacks it might even kill you.

If you need to move a mob, you should strafe left or right. This will keep your side towards the boss (meaning you still dodge, parry and block) and it doesn’t slow your movement speed (like backpedaling would).

Cooldowns

Know your class’ cooldowns and when to use it. Knowing the mechanics of the fight helps with this, since you will know which of the boss’ abilities you will need to cooldown for. Try to cycle through your cooldowns, and don’t use them all at once. You often have one survival cooldown that’s on a shorter cooldown (30s to 1 minute), which is often worth using as often as possible.

Posted in Tips | 8 Comments

New UI Graphics

For a long time I was running with a purple UI, partly because it’s my favourite colour, and partly because – hey, Warlock colour! But since I’m now playing my Paladin a lot, I decided that she needed her own UI. (Démonique gets to keep her purple goodness of course.)

I use an addon called Btex to add bottom textures, and it’s quite easy to make your own textures for it. I decided to go for something golden-ish for the Paladin.

Paladin Bottom Texture

Paladin Bottom Texture

I think it turned out rather nicely, and my Paladin doesn’t feel as much of a second choice after the Warlock since she now has her own texture. Been considering making new ones – one for each class, but might be a slight overkill!

 

Warlock Bottom Texture

Warlock Bottom Texture (I use this)

 

Warlock Bottom Texture (other version)

Warlock Bottom Texture (other version)

Paladin UI in game

Paladin UI in game

Warlock UI in game

Warlock UI in game

If you’re interested in the addon Btex, you can download it here.

If you want to use any of my bottom textures, feel free to grab them. Depending on your resolution, you may need to edit the width in Btex (in-game) to put the map in the correct place. On mine I have to make it 490 to get the map where I want it (default is 512).

Download Links
Warlock2 (Map right side)
Warlock1 (Map middle)
Paladin

Posted in UI/Addons | 2 Comments

Guild Poaching

We recently had one of our raiders leave us for another guild. Nothing new there, it happens to every guild now and then – especially one that’s not at the upper ends of the raiding scale. You’ll find yourself as the stepping stone for someone gearing up to get into the guilds further ahead. I can deal with that, it’s just how things work. (And to be fair, we’ve had very little of it the past couple of years.)

This time it was a bit different though. This raider didn’t go out and look for another guild, but another guild looked them up. Told them how they were much further ahead than us (not a lie), and what they could offer that we could not. While all of this is true, I will admit that I find the practice of approaching members of other guilds a bit icky. It’s one thing if they come to you, but to actually chat them up; poaching them… It’s not something I think a respectable guild should do.

Obviously, a raider has to allow themselves to be poached in the first place. So I’m not saying that someone who’s poached wouldn’t have left you eventually anyway. There’s just something about actually approaching another guild’s members that doesn’t sit right with me. I’d never do it myself, even if I desperately needed new members. At most we’ve approached other low-attendance guilds with questions about teaming up to get raids going.

I don’t think this particular guild have problems with attendance though, they seem to be doing fairly well on their progress. And even if they were having attendance problems, I still don’t think it’s a fair thing to approach players already in guilds (unless they contact them first). There are so many ways to find recruits; forums, general chat, recruitment sites…

What’s your experience with poaching? Does your guild do it? Are you against it? I’m interested to hear what other people think about the subject.

Posted in Guild | 11 Comments

Siege of Orgrimmar Tanking Cheat Sheet (Part 3+4)

This is the second part of my basic tanking cheat sheet for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Part one can be found here.

Do note, that these are not full tactics! It’s the bare minimum for you to know what you’re going to do as the tank. It might help as a reminder to people who are forgetful, like I am, or as a quick guide if you want to try your hand at tanking in LFR.

The Underhold

Malkorok

- Tank the boss in the middle of the room where he stands when you engage. Move around him as he casts his frontal cone attack, Arcing Smash.
- Taunt off the other tank at 15 stacks of Fatal Strike. (Less if you notice the other tank taking too much damage, as long as your own has worn off.)
- Stay out of the areas where Arcing Smash has hit so that you don’t get killed when he does Breath of Y’shaarj.
- There’s no healing except for during the intermission, only a shield the healers put on you. Help out by using self-heals (to buff your shield) and cycling through your own cooldowns.

Spoils of Pandaria

Raid is split into two groups, one on each side and you’ll be the sole tank on your side. Your job is to pick up and tank, well, everything. There are boxes, and you open them to spawn adds.
- Start with opening the two boxes that have green marks – it will buff your healers once those adds are defeated.
- Open the two biggest boxes, but not at the same time. Open the second one as the first one is about to die. If you’re not taking a lot of damage, feel free to open some small ones while killing the big.
- Continue on and open medium/small boxes as needed. As many as you can without getting overrun.
- Drag mobs out of void zones and similar on the floor since they usually either buff or heal them.
- The Kor’thik Warcallers could potentially hurt if they become Enraged depending on your gear. If they hurt a lot, kite them during enrage.

Thok the Bloodthirsty

- Tank him so that the raid can stand on his side, or they’ll get hit by breath or tail swipe.
- Taunt off the other tank at the following stacks: Roar – 3, Acid Breath – 2, Freezing Breath – 4, Scorching Breath – 2
- If not tanking, stand to the side together with the raid or you’ll get the stacks as well since it’s a frontal attack.
- During the phase shift, stay away from the boss. Taunt the jailor that appears, kill it – loot key and open one of the cages along the sides of the room.

Downfall

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

- Taunt switch the boss and the adds (automated shredder) that appear. If you kill the shredders quickly enough, you can do the taunt switch whenever a shredder is dead.
- One tank start on the boss, and when the first shredder appears, have the second tank taunt the boss. That way you start on the shredder with some stacks (which makes you do more damage to it).
- Keep the shredder in the big saw blades as much as possible for extra damage to it. Move away when it does Death from Above.
- Move out from the areas where the explosions will occur for Shockwave Missile. Should be easy since it’s shown clearly on the ground where it will appear.

Paragons of the Klaxxi

They will become active with three at the start, and then a new one becomes active any time one dies. So you will always have three active paragons, until the end when there are no more to become active. Starting set will be Rik’kal, Skeer and Hisek.
- Let one tank taunt Rik’kal and one Skeer. You can’t taunt switch these because they do a debuff that makes you take more damage from the other.
- If you’ve tanked Xaril, you cannot tank Kil’ruk when he comes down (last one) because of a debuff that makes you take more damage.
- If tanking Korven, use cooldowns when he is about to cast Shield Bash, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Vicious Assault).
- If tanking Kil’ruk use cooldowns when he’s about to use Gouge, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Mutilate).

Garrosh Hellscream

- In Phase 1, have one tank take Garrosh and the other tank all of the adds. Tank it all in the middle of the big circle on the floor, but move out when the big iron star comes through the room (in LFR there may not be one since they may choose to kill all engineers).
- Transition phase; one tank go left and one right, kill all adds. Attack Garrosh (no need for tanking, just stay out of his frontal cone). If Terrace transition, just run forward and kill all the adds in front of Garrosh.
- Phase 2; taunt switch Garrosh on 3 stacks. Move out during Whirling Corruption if you’re not tanking right then. Help kill adds, silence mind controlled people.
- Phase 3; the same as phase 2, just everything hitting harder and the whirling weapons can’t be killed so you may have to move the boss to clear areas of the room rather than staying in the middle.

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The Definition of Free

At Blizzcon I was quite excited about the expansion, and I still am about a lot of the aspects – even if it looks as if we will still be waiting a sweet while for it to go live. (Beta soon, please?) The announcement about the free boost of one character to level 90 didn’t bother me, since I figured it’s something that can be nice for friends coming back to catch up, and not something I particularly need myself. And hey, it was free… So who cares, right?

Then this week the pre-sale of the expansion became available. And they’ve tagged €10 onto the price compared to previous expansions. All other expansions have, to my recollection, cost about the same when first released. Which makes sense considering that we already pay a monthly subscription fee. So it seems a bit odd to me that they say that we’ll get a free boost of one character to level 90, and then increase the price of the expansion. In what world is that free?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that €10 isn’t a huge amount for the average gamer. It’s the principle of saying that they’re giving us something free, then increasing the base price so that they can say it’s free – but in a way still charge us for it.

Since I don’t need the character boost, and I am actually quite strapped for cash as someone chronically ill – can I have a version without the boost for the original price? Since it’s obviously not as free as first advertised.

Sorry about the ranting, but it does bother me when companies do things like this. It’s like when stores raise the prices for a couple of months so that they can have “super saver discounts” during their sale – but are basically just selling the stuff at the original price.

If you don’t believe me about the increased cost, I checked my transaction history from when I bought MoP.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

Regular MoP

Regular MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Posted in Random Ramblings | 2 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day


A little Warlock Valentine’s for you all…

valentine

 

I wish everyone luck trying to get their hands on the Love Rocket in game as well. I’m trying every day since it started, and still no luck. Anyone else out there being lucky?

Posted in Random Ramblings | 2 Comments

“Chill. It’s LFR.”

Something that really bothers me when I do LFR is the cavalier approach by some people who join. While, yes, LFR is a lot easier than normal, and even flex – but it still requires some amount of attention and a basic level of people filling the role they queued for.

Today I went into LFR, and another member called out a healer who was dps specced. The “healer” of course went with the typical approach of “Chill. It’s LFR”, and then went on to boast about probably doing more dps than everyone else anyway.

Now, while his dps may have been good (it was average, not nearly in the top.. but decent enough for a LFR), the point is not how much dps you’re managing to pull. The point is that you queued as a healer (most likely for the quicker queue time), and then decided not to fill that role. While it may very well be possible to complete a LFR with a healer less, it means that said person is making the assumption that no one else has his or her attitude.

What if all of the queued healers felt that they wanted to dps? We’d be left with a raid with 1-2 healers or possibly none. Because no one wants to take the longer queue that a dps need. And I mean, it’s only LFR. So, chill.

Except of course you can’t really complete LFR with too few healers. Most people who do LFR are most likely there because they need gear, so they may not be awesomely geared and aren’t hitting 100k hps. So having too few healers will cause issues. But chill. It’s just LFR.

I’m not arguing that it’s not possible. But it makes things a lot more difficult. And I’ll be honest, when I do LFR I want things to be as quick and smooth as possible. So… If you want the quicker queue that a healer gets… Heal.

Posted in Random Ramblings | 5 Comments

Hearthstone Beta Key Giveaway

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a second beta key for Hearthstone, Blizzard’s new game. It’s a lot of fun, and something I really am enjoying playing! I especially look forward to being able to play it from my phone when I’m in waiting rooms, bored and similar situations.

In any case, I have this spare beta key – and it seems there are still people out there who are interested in getting one. The most fair way to give it must be to just do a simple giveaway, using a random number generator.

If you want to enter, just leave a comment to this post! That’s it. No need to follow in Twitter, favourite me, retweet me or anything. (Heck, I barely spend time on Twitter.. you’d be bored out of your minds!) For me to be able to contact you, please fill out the e-mail field. If it’s left blank I have no way of sending you your key! Either leave your e-mail in the field when making the comment, or your Twitter tag in the comment itself. The e-mail of course being preferable since only I can see it.

I don’t want the contest to go on forever – so it’s going to be a short one. I will draw a winner in 24 hours. That would be tomorrow, Friday 6 December at 5pm CET. (I believe that is 11am EST or 8am PST.)

Good luck to everyone who’s entering!

hearthstone

 

TL;DR
How: Write a comment to this post, leave your e-mail address in the required field!
When: Contest ends Friday 6 December 5pm CET (11am EST/8am PST)

Edit: The winner has been e-mailed. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Posted in News | 82 Comments

Siege of Orgrimmar Tanking Cheat Sheet (Part 1+2)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve switched to tanking for my guild on my Paladin. We were having a lot of issues finding a second tank that stuck around, and so I kept having to jump on an alt to tank. In the end, I felt that it was just easier to become a tank full time, since I don’t have the time (or energy) to maintain a decent gear level on both my Warlock and a tank. So for now, I’m tanking.

I’m actually quite enjoying tanking. When I first started this blog in Wrath of the Lich King I was tanking for my guild as a Warrior (after having switched to it from my Warlock around Ulduar for the very same reasons that I’m switching now.. maybe I should just give up and always be a tank?). I’ve played every tanking class in the game at one point or another, and it’s a play style that I really enjoy.

However, I have the memory of a goldfish. So when it comes to tactics, I always struggle to remember the small details. Like, do I taunt on three stacks or four? To make things easier for myself, I tend to make a little cheat sheet, where I keep the basics that I need to know for each fight. In case anyone else could find some use in it, I figured I’d post it here as well (with some added notes of course to make it readable by anyone but me!).

Do note, that these are not full tactics! It’s the bare minimum for you to know what you’re going to do as the tank. It might help as a reminder to people who are forgetful, like I am, or as a quick guide if you want to try your hand at tanking in LFR.

Vale of Eternal Sorrows

Immerseus

Stationary boss, don’t run through him – it will hurt you and knock you back!
- Tank the boss facing away from the raid, but make sure that the tanks don’t stand on top of each other since his debuff is put on people in his frontal cone.
- Taunt off the other tank when they get the Corrosive Blast debuff. (And again, make sure not to stand on top of them since then you’ll have it too!)
- In the transition, help kill/stun the little blobs.

The Fallen Protectors

Three bosses; only He Softfoot and Rook Stonetoe need to be tanked. Sun Tenderheart will stay in the middle of the room and cast spells at random raid members.
- If tanking He; move him to the side away from raid. Turn your back to him when he casts Gouge. Move out of poison on ground.
- If tanking Rook; tank him facing away from the raid.
- Pick up Embodied Misery, Gloom, Sorrow when they spawn.
- When Sun casts Dark Meditation, He’s tank can safely go into the bubble for less damage, but He’s should stay out due to the cleave.

Norushen

- Tank switch the boss to avoid too high stacks of Self Doubt. (We usually do 3 stacks.)
- Tank the big adds that spawn (they ones that move, little ones are stationary), if you’re not tanking boss.
- If your corruption level isn’t full, soak the black orbs left behind when the big adds are spawned.
- Watch out for the big beam that moves around the room (between boss and wall).
- In LFR one tank (usually there’s not time for more) will be pulled into the “test realm”. On normal/heroic your raid leader would assign you and you’d click an orb. While in the test realm there are a few things to look out for; Titanic Smash – move out of it, frontal cone damage, Hurl Corruption – silence/interrupt it, then two attacks that you just have to use cooldowns/mitigation/heals to survive.

Sha of Pride

- Tank the boss the way he’s facing when he spawns (the raid will gather up behind him).
- Unlock the Corrupted Prison to the left of the boss by standing on one of the lit areas. (Tank who’s currently tanking should get the piece closest to the boss).
- Tank switch the moment the other tank gets Wounded Pride (or they’ll build pride). Do note that in LFR this debuff doesn’t exist, so essentially one tank can tank the entire fight. However, one person still needs to stay up front to help with the Corrupted Prison.

Gates of Retribution

Galakras

The fight will consist of several waves of mobs that need to be tanked before the boss comes. One tank needs to stay down and tank the waves, while the second tank needs to move up into the towers to tank the mini-bosses. One mini-boss per tower, and two mini-bosses that will spawn on the ground. Decide beforehand which tank goes into the towers.
- Tank the waves of mobs in the Blizzard provided by the NPCs for extra damage. Try to interrupt the heals if possible.
- The tank on the ground should pick up the named mini-bosses. Korgra (wave 3), who needs to be moved out of poison clouds that are put down, and Thranok (wave 7) who needs to be tanked facing away from the raid. He will also do an aoe move around him that it’s best to move out of.
- The tower tank needs to enter the tower after the Demolisher has been killed. This will happen twice. First for the tower on your left side, and then another Demolisher before the tower on your right. If you enter the tower before the Demolisher has been killed/destroyed you will take too much damage from its attacks and most likely die.
- In the towers, there’s a mini-boss on the top of each. Just tank them. When they do their big frontal cone type damage (they will run to the middle of the platform and do it), make sure you move behind them/away from it, or you will be knocked off the tower. Krugruk is on the left tower and does Arcing Smash. Dagryn is on the right tower and will do Muzzle Spray.
- Once Galakras itself is grounded, tank him facing away from the raid (away from the docks). The tank not currently tanking should stand to his side as to not get the debuff.
- Taunt off each other at 3 stacks of the debuff. It’s important to remember to move to the side when you get taunted off of!

Iron Juggernaut

- Face him away from the raid. If possible, try to have his back towards a wall or similar that will catch the raid members when he does his knockback.
- Tank switch at 3-4 stacks of Flame Vents. When not tanking, don’t stand in front of him, since you will get the debuff.
- When not tanking, click on the Crawler Mines to disarm them. You will take a fair bit of damage, so be prepared.

Kor’kron Dark Shaman

- Two bosses that have to be taunt switched. You will switch when Froststorm Strike reaches 5 stacks on one tank.
- Lots of AoE being put on the ground by the two bosses; keep moving the bosses out of it (try to stay together).
- When you’re tanking Earthbreaker Haromm, he will gain the ability to cast Ashen Wall later on in the fight. It puts up a very damaging, long line of elementals in front of him. Try to position it so they won’t cut through your entire raid. Then just move away.

General Nazgrim

- Taunt off on 3 stacks of Sundering Blow.
- During Defensive Stance no one should attack, but if you have Sundering Blow on you, you’re free to do so.
- When not tanking, help out the raid with the adds that spawn. Stun/Interrupt them when you can.

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