Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heroics: Take Two

After the initial hatred caused by the annoygin difficulty of pugging Heroics, I took a little time away from instances. I worked on my dailies, gaining rep and a bit on my professions. I got my engineering to 525 on Darraxus and got my Druid Rootmender to 81.

I have also been making gobs of gold off of glyphs. Buy herbs cheap, make glyphs and profit.

Then I decided to give Heroics another shot. And they went better overall. They weren't perfect, but they were tolerable at the least.

So far I have gone to two different Heroics. The first was Heroic SFK. We only downed the first boss, which doesnt sound great, but it was the only one we atempted before I had to leave for RL obligations.

The first boss in SFK is apparently the most difficult of the bosses in there. He casts a lot of spells which need to be interrupted. It takes a lot of awareness to get it down properly. He takes everyone down to 1 percent health and casts a heal spell. It heals everyone in the party and him. You have to let it heal you a bit, but you also have to make sure he doesnt get healed all the way up to full. Everything he casts is interruptable. We wiped probably 5-6 times before we got him down. We ended up with me interruptin his pain and suffering spell and a Shaman in the party interrupting everything else. Thanks to good awareness on the attempt we took him down, I was able to interrupt his self heal before it went off when I realized that the Shaman had used his interrupt about 1 second before the cast came.

The other instance I did was the Throne of Tides. The first boss was an incredible pain at first. I think it took us about 8 tries to get her down. On about 6 of the tries, the DK in part got killed in a geyser. The other problems came when one of the caster adds wasnt CCed and used chain lighting to kick our face in. There were also a couple of slow interrupts on the shockwave spell she casts that does a crapload of damage.

Once we got everything in place, it went pretty well. Stay out of stuff, control the adds, profit.

The second boss took us two tries and was quite easy. Kite him around the room. Pew pew and stay out of the bad. Profit.

The Third boss took two tries, but we would have gotten it in one had we gotten out of the first phase on the first attempt. The first phase is massive amounts of damage coming fast and furious. You want to interrupt his lava burst as often as possible. Once he is rescued from the brain controller guy, it is easy from there. When he posseses another player, take the player down to 50 percent health. Then beat on the brain dude some more.

The last boss, I ended up leaving after about 6 attempts. It wasnt incredibly complicated. DPS burn caster and Murlocks adds in phase one while I kite big dude. DPS burn channelers in phase two while I kite the big dudes.

We only got to the final phase once, and certainly would have beaten the encounter if not for one thing. Nobody could figure out to look up and target the Giant Squid dude. Two attempts after that, I had to go.

The unfortunate thing is that these instances are going to take you a couple of hours it seems unless everything goes perfectly.

The good thing is that they are completely doable if people pay attention and are patient. I ran with the same group for the entire instance despite all of the wipes. That was not even counting the couple of wipes that we had on trash.

Overall, they are still quite hard, but they are doable. They are also fun in a challenging kind of way. Unfortunately, that fun starts to wane after about 2-3 hours in the same instance.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Welcome Back!

One of my best friends is bag in the blogosphere. Go give him a shout!


Happy Hollidays!

Best wishes to all of you bloggers and blog readers out there. May you get something you want.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love the smell of expansion money in the morning

New Expansion Money

There is always money to be made in a new expansion. Especially right at the beginning when you have people power leveling their professions. You can make thousands and thousands of gold off of gathered materials.

Usually this dies down a bit. Then it seems like prices tank. Remember that the market goes in cycles. It is up and down all of the time.

Ore goes up, Ore goes down. Same with herbs and other materials.

One thing I have noticed is that superior quality gems seem to be very cheap at the moment. This probably has something to do with the sheer number of Jewelcrafters leveling their profession. My guess is that the market will go back up when all of the AH dumping JCers are maxed.

You get tons of people leveling a profession with the idea of getting it to the max level for whatever goodies it brings. There are many less that are actually in it for the money. Once the market clears out a bit, you will find the true worth of items.

I am still going to ole reliable. Inscription. I have often times found very cheap herbs on the AH. I turn these into glyphs and make a very tidy profit. Everyone was saying that this expansion would kill inscription because of the added slots. Not true at all. I have been making as much gold as I ever did outside of my days of posting 1000 plus glyphs. I usually have no more than 200 up at a time and make several thousand a day.

Making money off of professions is not for everyone. A lot of people just do it for a little bit of extra cash. For some it is a WoW lifestyle.

Speaking of Jewelcrafting, I made some nice gold off of a few blue items I made randomly. I sold two rings for around 600 gold each.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cool the Engines

Sometimes, you just need to cool down. That has been the case with me recently when it comes to running Heroics in Cataclysm. I had to take a step away from them so that I would still enjoy playing the game.

The good thing is that this is a fresh expansion and there was plenty of stuff to do. I have been doing a variety of things that have helped me cool off a bit and will give me the motivation to try Heroics again soon.

First thing is Archaeology. So far I have gotten a bunch of crap, but I know that there are treasures out there. One of my friends has already completed five rare ones including a fossil raptor mount and non combat pet. Something that makes a bunch of dwarf chicks with swords dance. A Mechanognome pet and something that makes a shade of himself. It is pretty easy and a nice way to kill some time while you chat on vent with your buddies.

Second thing I have been working on is my professions a bit. I have been doing some work on my Insciption and Jewelcrafting while gathering other materials for my Engineering.

The third thing has been rep grinding. I have been doing Therazane and Wildhammer Dailies to go along with a few regular instances for additional rep and gear. Dailies are quick and easy and make a decent distraction.

The last thing I have been doing is what I have always done. Build a giant pile of gold. I have been selling all kinds of miscellaneous things I have crafted as well as some of the archaeology pieces. I have also been keeping up with my Glyph Making. They are selling at very good prices on my server and I pull in 1.5-3k a day with very minimal work.

Sometimes you just need to see the other things that are enjoyable to you. I will be ready for Heroics again.....soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tank Club

Cataclysm has changed tanking a bit. Face roll is no longer allowed. You can still AOE tank just fine, but the amount of damage you take is nearly unmanageable. You need to be well prepared and use the tools that you have available. And yes, DPS are tools....in more ways than one :P

Rule number one of Tank Club: Mark your targets. Marking your targets is amazingly easy. I bound the symbols to my number keys for quick marking. It also makes it easy to mark on the fly. Make sure that your DPS knows what each mark means. Skull is first kill, X is second, Sheep the moon, Sap the Star etc. etc. If the DPS knows what the marks are there for, they are a lot less likely to CC something that you don't want CCed.

Rule number two of Tank Club: Take advantage of the CC that you have available. Ask the DPS to use it. If they refuse, then just boot them. If they are not willing to help you be successful, they don't need to be there. The best forms of CC are the ones that last. One of my favorites is Mind Control. You can have a Priest Mind control a mob and have it work on killing another mob. This is essentially a double CC method.

Rule number three of Tank Club: Don't break the CC. The CC is important. It makes it easier for everyone involved. Don't break it unless you mean to. Be careful with your AOE. Make sure to pull the other mobs back so that you are not in danger of breaking the CC before the duration is up or you are ready for it.

Rule number 4 of Tank Club: You have cooldowns, use them. As a tank, you receive a nice number of defensive cooldowns. I use shield block whenever it is up. I use my shield wall or last stand when it looks like the healer is having some problems. Be proactive with your cooldowns. Shield wall is not a 30 minute cooldown like it was back in the day. Don't be afraid to use it on tough trash pulls. Also for Warrior's spell reflect is a thing of beauty. You take no damage, and your enemy does. Use it every chance you can against caster mobs.

Rule number 5 of Tank Club: Interrupt. This doesn't just go for tanks. This goes for DPS as well. Interrupts are very important and will not cause a substantial loss of DPS. Interrupting can even make the fights go by that much faster. If nobody is interrupting the heals, then it is going to take a long time to finish the fight and there is a greater likelyhood of a wipe. Stuns are nice. When your target is stunned, it does no damage. That could be considered a defensive cooldown in itself.

Rule number 6 of Tank Club: Kill the Caster first. The casters are often times the biggest pains. They don't like to come to you and they easily aggro on your healer if you don't get a good handle on them from the get go. They may be healing or they may be shadow bolting your face off. Either way is not good, especially as armor does not mitigate spell damage. If you are a warrior and specced into gag order, Heroic Throw is perfect for pulling them. Or you could use the next rule......

Rule number 7 of Tank Club: Line of Sight Pull. LOS is nothing new. And it still works. If something can't see you, it can't hit you. This is perfect for getting that casting mob into range if you don't have another way.

Rule number 8 of Tank Club: Watch that PAT. Patrols are dangerous in Cataclysm. One Patrol has the potential to pull several other mobs and be the difference between a wipe and success. Make sure you are pulling back when needed and don't take on too much at one time. If a trash mob is by itself, there is a reason for it. It is gonna hit you hard. Be kind to your healer and pay attention.

Rule number 8 of Tank Club: You DO talk about Tank Club. The best sources of knowledge for tank are other tanks. Maybe a tank has a better way of doing something. Maybe they know a different strategy. There are a lot of things you can learn from other tanks. You just have to be open to it. Every tank has room for improvement. Don't be THAT GUY.

Following these rules and a little help from your friends should make your instance experience a much better one.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cataclysm and Heroic....Failures

So......Heroics are hard. And by hard, I mean unplayable. They seem to have gone back to the days of needing to get a group you are familiar with to run through it. So far, I have done a bunch of Heroics on Darraxus. And by done, I mean attempted. So far the tally is around 20-30 wipes and 1 boss downed.

Granted, I have been doing randoms. And granted, the DPS has been sucktastic for the most part. Tanking, I have been doing between 7-8k dps per instance. Some fights I have done as high as 14k. Most of the DPS is hovering around Wrath levels at 5-6 k.

It takes forever to try and kill bosses and by halfway through the fight, the healer is out of mana and we all die a slow death. One of the biggest problems is DPS still not paying attention well enough to get out of the bad. On the first boss in one of the Uldum instances, the guy drop a bunch of landmines. These landmines hurt....alot. The DPS could not seem to keep out of it. We would lose 1 or 2 DPS in the first 20 seconds of the fight. The rules for instances have changed. They are hard. Much in the way they were in BC.

DPS is not judged only on their DPS now. They should be judged more on their ability to stay alive and interrupt mobs.

There are tons of ways to CC and tons of ways to interrupt now. People just need to get used to doing it. When there is a pull, DPS should not be doing anything until solid aggro is established. It causes too much trouble with baddies running here there and everywhere smacking DPS and healers.


Seriously. Just do it. This isnt a Nike add, but you need to interrupt.

Case in point. Got into Throne of Tides. Throne of Tides have healer mobs. Sometimes two in a group. We should have CCed one from the start. Did we? No. Were they being interrupted properly? No!

We spent five minutes on a single pull because I was the only one trying to stop the heals from coming. Every class has some kinds off CC for the most part besides Warriors perhaps.

Shaman - Hex
Mage - Polymorph
Warlock - Succubus or Fear
Paladin - Repentance
Rogue - Sap and Stunlock
Deathknight - Chains of Ice
Druid - Cyclone/ Roots
Hunter - Traps

There are all kinds of viable CC. I think it is just a matter of getting used to it again.

Another problem is the not standing in things. In Wrath heroics, you could stand in things and it did not matter one bit. The healer could heal through it. That is no longer the case. The healer cant heal through anything at this point.

Cataclysm instances are a game of choices it seems. The choices are do your job the right way or suffer a horrible death.

Cake or Death?
I will take the cake please.
Sorry, we are all out of cake.
So that leaves Death?

That leaves Death. For everone who has not learned the importance of CC or interrupting casts.

So please......help out your tanks and healers. Use all of your abilities. We can no longer AOE tank everything without abandon. Give your group a chance and dont be a dunce.

Other than that, Cata has been just peachy. I love the new quests and zones. I like everything so far...except the expansion.

I don't mind increased difficulty. I do mind instances than make me not want to play at all. I know a few people who are very casual WoW players. They enjoy instances, but they aren't super duper hardcore. I fear that if they get into instances the way they currently are, they will be turned off from that aspect of the game.

Maybe I should give it some time, but I think some nerfs may be coming down the pipe.