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Archive for May, 2011

Remember yesterday when I said I had a goal of 75 points of enchant a week using a method of AH + some farming…. I need to rethink my plan. So yesterday I actually logged on, did quite a bit of farming and managed to get myself to 355 enchant, a 40 pts raise. I had also farmed my two stacks of fish in time for tonight raid so I was pretty happy with myself. So being at 355 I can start enchanting using Wotlk mats and my initial plan went right out the window…

See, a stack of infinite dust goes for over 200g on my server. Most of the cheapest enchants to level with requires that particular dust. I did some math and for the next 100 points of skills I’m looking at an average of 60g per skill point wich will increase to about 180g per skill point toward the end. I counted about 9000g worth of enchanting mats to get me into Cata range….

My wallet cannot survive that.

With the AH out of the picture I figured I would be farming instances but soloing a woltk instance is still a 30-45 minutes trip for an average of two to three greens. All in all, I would get about 1 skill point per instance run, less toward the end. I counted about 60 to 70 hours of farming… at my current rate that’s easily two months…

A solution?

The biggest point of frustration in farming instances is that no drop is guaranteed. I have done entire runs before without a single green drop. Thinking that and the time required for an instance clear, I’m wondering if quests could be the way to go? I leveled my Dk horde side and I suppose there could be quite a few quests left over Alliance side.  At 10 minutes top to finish one I have a guaranteed green most of the time and there’s always drops possible. So far this is looking like my best option.

Also, I was thinking getting all the cloth I could and bribe a tailor to make me some cheap greens. Should help alot to overcome the rough patches.

So that’s my plan for now… if any of you have suggestions I’d be glad for the ideas.

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I’ve been an awful guildie lately, showing up only to raid, not farming much if at all, not maxing out enchanting like I said I would when I picked it up… for the raid…. On all counts, I’ve been slacking a lot lately. Of course I have ten thousands excuses. Some of them are more valid than others (job, not burning out) and some are just lame (I’d rather play Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean).  So, I need a plan to rekindle my motivation to do the extra jobs!

The goals

So here’s what I need to do. First, I need to max out enchanting. I considered at first farming because prices are just crazy for enchanting mats but farming the mats in instances isn’t exactly easy either and requires quite a  bit of time. So my plan will be to finish a level of enchanting (375,450, 525) every week using whatever means necessary. Wich should mean doing a hybrid method where I buy some mats and farms the rest. Not sure how this is going to play out when I get to the current tier but if I can get to at least 450 within two weeks that will be a huge step forward.

My second goal is to do something for the guild and right now the best thing I can contribute to is Lavascale fish. So for that part I’ll try to give two stacks a week to help out the feasts.

Motivation

Knowing myself, I need some hard motivation to get there. I work better with deadlines and threats. No raiding would be an efficient threat but with our current raid set up it may end up hurting the others more than it would hurt me. So instead, I will be counting on the effers to crotch punch me,  create new ranks for my laziness and do whatever evil schemes they can think off to make me feel bad. I need to get this stuff done and over with!

Now if you guys have any more crazy ideas to get oneself motivated, I’m all ears.

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This post has been last updated on July 14th 2011.

Want to tank the Troll heroics? Want to know the dirty tricks of tanking them so you can blame the dps for failure? Well you’ve come to the right place! So here’s in bullet point form, the quick and dirty lowdown of ZG and ZA bosses. And because tanks are really awesome, we won’t even deign name the bosses properly (or it could be because I’m lazy and don’t want to spend the day researching names).

Zul’ Gurub!

Snake Boss

  • Tank him at the foot of the stair, a few feet away from them. Try to imagine a small rectangle in front of the stairs about as wide as the stairs. This area is maze free and its the safest place to tank the boss in.
  • Snake man form equals breath weapon. Move through him and behind him when that happens. The boss should not move beside turning to face you. Stay in the tanking rectangle.
  • Try interrupting him when possible.
  • When he goes up the stairs, run out of the maze and come back when he’s done with his poison thingie

Mandokkir

  • Easy boss, tank and spank in the center. Careful to not bring him to the edges if mobs are still around the arena
  • Stay out of bad on the ground
  • Try to snare, slow the raptor. Dps him too to pick up the dps slack.

Edge of Madness

  • Use your head! Don’t stand in bad, interrupt and just show a bit of skill.

Panther boss

  • Pull the small panthers 4 at a time. You need to get over the panther killing fast or the healer will run out of mana and the party of health. Use all your tricks to aggro the panters. AoE tanking is king here. This is a race against time.
  • Use defensive cooldowns on waves 2,3 and 4
  • Leave someone else to interrupt tears on panther boss if possible, you’ll have your hands full the with the small ones.
  • Move behind the boss on the blood waves

Cauldron boss

  • Tank the boss close to the green cauldron
  • Go pick up the zombies when they spawn and use the red cauldron.
  • Big blue troll add is the dps job to handle.  Do watch out if the focus on you.
  • Whenever the boss starts casting his fire wave ability move to the side. He locks his position at the begining of the cast, leaving you ample time to move away. While tanking him, face him away from other group members so they don’t get caught in a flame wave.

Final boss (where Hakkar used to be)

  • Phase 1, stay out of bubble except on cast of his madness spell wich boost his strikes. You want to be in the bubble while he’s buffed. Wait for the buff to fall off of him before moving out of bubble.
  • Phase 2, go pick up adds while dps deal with spirits
  • Ask the healer to follow you around and keep him clear of spirits. The dps are on their own
  • Stay out of purple bad on the ground

Zul’ Aman!

Eagle boss

  • Tank the boss dead center.
  • When it starts raining get ready to move under the cloud.
  • Save cooldowns for when the healer takes an eagle ride.
  • AoE abilities are great to help reduce brown eagle numbers.
  • Try to slow, snare and deathgrip the white eagle when able to.

Bear boss

  • Tank and spank fight, enjoy!

Dragonhawk boss

  • Tank the boss in the center as much as possible. He should face away from the rest of the group at all times
  • You’ll have to pick adds. Ask the healer and the ranged dps to stand on the opposite side of where the adds are coming from. If adds come from the left, you should be in the center and ranged should be on the right. This way, the adds have to come through you to get to the tasty healers.
  • Bust out your mad AoE tanking skills! This will get a bit crazy
  • Use cooldowns when the adds start piling
  • Use a top down view to see clearly the fire orbs, don’t stand in them.

Lynx boss

  • Keep the boss out of healing totems range
  • Help dps the corrupted lightning totems
  • No matter wich lynx add strategy is employed, try to taunt it and keep aggro on it as much as possible.

Voodoo boss

  • CC the adds, if not tank them until they are killed.
  • Tank the boss in the center.
  • Use your head to avoid his various abilities. Interrupts, stay out of bad, etc…

Final boss

  • Bear = Tank and spank
  • Eagle= Stay out and away from tornadoes as much as you can
  • Dragonhawk= fire is bad, don’t stand in it
  • Lynx= Taunt back the boss after he jumps on another player. Wait until the hit lands before taunting back or you’ll waste your taunt.

Hope you guys enjoyed!

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Road to the Firelands

Slowly and steadily, the Firelands are coming to WoW. With Ragnaros being the big baddy again, this feels to me like a return to the source, back when I started playing and I was in awe of the big raiders with a few purples on them. For a long time, Rag had this aura of wonder and mystery around him and I couldn’t wait to get to him.

Eff is starting to look good to tackle the new content too. Most of us are in full epics if not very close to it and by the time it comes out I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to jump right in. I expect yet again a brutal jump in difficulty as was the case for most of Cata (normal to Hero in the early days was not exactly an easy transition) but that’s the way the game goes so again, not too worried.

So that’s what going on in my little corner of the world, stuck between two piles of work and a raging inferno close by while I dream of escaping to even more fire. Hope you all have a nice week, I need to go back to fighting the work monster.

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This post has been last updated on July 14th 2011.

Note: When I’m talking about having two main specs I’m talking mainly about specs which covers two different roles like tank, healer and dps. While the following still hold true for someone having two healing specs for example, the difficulties encountered are much less when it comes to gear.

Mostly everyone who plays WoW now has a main spec and an off spec. You have that main spec that you excel at and you have the offspec to mess around with when you want a change of pace or you bring it when your guild is really desperate to fill a critical role. But there’s some of us, who play both spec to their full potential and will switch role at the drop of a hat. In essence, we have two main specs and no offspecs. This primer is here to answer some of the questions you may have about the play style and help you out with the biggest issue of the style, gear.

Why do it?

Two main specs is twice the gear, twice the rotations, twice the knowledge and twice a lot of others things. Not only is it a lot more work to maintain two specs in their top operating conditions but you’re also slowing down your progress on both specs. Just because you’re trying to be twice as useful doesn’t mean twice the gear drops or that you’ll get double the gear from your guild.

Some do it out of necessity like I did when I stumbled into the play style. In Wotlk we had to pug often and one of our tanks had flaky attendance. When he showed up I was dps and when not I was tanking which usually meant I was tank every other week. This became a strong selling point when I applied to a hardcore guild who was looking for a dps with a strong tank offspec. Being able to both dps and tank meant my spot was pretty much assured in the hardcore guild which bring us to the second reason for doing dual mainspec, being indispensable.

A player with two working specs who is actually skilled at both specs is incredibly valuable to a raid. Not only is it easier to include him in the raid since you can use both his specs at anytime depending on the specifics of the fight. If he’s your offtank you can switch him to dps when the boss requires only a single tank and get a real dps and not a tank’s offspec which does about the same dps as his tank spec anyway.

Finally, going dual main specs helps keep things fresh and interesting. This is why I’m still doing it even though I don’t really need to with Eff. Seeing a boss from a new angle can make him really interesting again even if you’ve killed it 10 times before.

Learn the class, not the role

Forget specs and play styles for a moment. Being able to truly dual specs comes down to a real understanding of each and every one of your abilities and how they mesh together in different situations. Because you’re going to be switching back and forth between roles, you need to know how your abilities interacts with each of your specs. Most theorycraft is written with a specific spec in mind and goes along the lines of “You’re a fire mage, here’s what you use”. So the first reflex when going dual speccing is to learn two sets of theorycraft, one for each spec.

Ultimately, this is where you’ll end up but I found out it speeds the learning process a lot if you go about it thinking of your class as a whole instead of splitting it around specs. The real advantage though is that by doing it that way you’ll learn how to use both specs at the same time. For example, a shadow/healing priest will know wich healing spells he can use while in shadow form, when to drop out of shadowform and what do to heal. In a fight, this priest could very well go holy for 15 seconds to help the team through a heavy damage phase. Or it could be a tank finding a way to boost his dps to help during a burn phase.

Gear, the biggest roadblock

Gearing two main specs is double the gear and can be more than double the effort too. You have to maintain two set of gears at the same level as the rest of the raiders. In a progression environment where everyone is after all the gear, it gets even worse. Time of course, is the great equalizer but you may run frequently into situations where your playing catchup with your gear. Worst case scenario is that you fall so far behind on a spec that it becomes unusable.

So how do you overcome the gearing issue? If you have deep pockets and lots of time, grinding the hell out of heroics, getting all the crafted items and buying overpriced BoE will certainly help you a lot. In fact, you’re going to have to spend a lot of gold and time even if you aim for a more reasonable approach. It does take more effort to gear up two specs and there’s no way around that.

The general idea is to plan your choices and work in steps. Reputation gear should be the first priority. While grinding that rep in heroics, you’ll also get Valor points which are the key to the whole balancing aspect. You want to be playing a sort of gear “Whack-a-mole” game where you fill your biggest gear hole with Valor gear. Be smart and take into account probable drops from the content you downing. For example, if Magmaw drops your best in slot headpiece for your healer set and you farm him every week, you might want to put off buying that valor head for later and prioritize other pieces you are less likely to see. Also, Valor point might be better spent on the spec you have the most competition for in raid.

Of course, your plan to dual main spec will be impacted heavily by your raid loot policies which brings me to my next point.

Talk about your plan with your guild

When going dual main spec, especially in a raid progression oriented guild, choosing to slow down progression on two specs, needing more gear might conflict with the raid leader plan for progression or with established guild policies about alts and loot. I’ve been doing the dual main spec in a few guilds and we handled the situation differently in every guild. Some will allow you to roll as if having two main specs, some will actively help you out and others will let you fend for yourself and treat the whole situation as a normal offspec. You might even be disallowed from having two main specs and asked to focus exclusively on one spec.

So talk to your raid leader, guild leader, officers, guildies. Make it clear for everyone on what you want to do and ask for how they want to handle it. It’s hard to talk about loot in any guild without being accused of loot whoring so be tactful in how you approach the guild. Your goal here should be to prevent future loot issues that might arise, not how to get more loot. If your guild choose to  help you by giving you priority over offspec loot or to allow you to consider both specs as mains, all the better! Settle what is considered your offspec/mainspec and how it will play out in loot decisions. Often, you’ll be surprised by how accommodating guilds can be since two strong main spec are often a huge help to the raid.

Remember that is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop with that initial discussion. Over time, priorities and needs may change and you may have to reconsider your approach. Very strong competition for a class of gear might also create conflict between you and the people who have a single mainspec and may resent you from stepping on their “turf”.

There is a secret to all of this and it’s not be greedy. If you have your piece of loot for the night, let the mainspecs get the new drop even if the rules would allow you to get it. If the super tank trinket that everyone has been wanting for months drops, and tank is the spec you use less often, let the others have it. Skip on sidegrades if you can. In short, let everyone else get loot too and don’t game two specs as an excuse to get more loot. On the other hand, don’t let yourself be bullied out of loot, don’t get into a mentality where you have two offspecs. The greed rule applies both way  and you need gear too to progress. Whatever system your guild use, if you’re at the top of the list, it means you’re allowed to get something.

For the TL:DR crowd, don’t be greedy and talk with your guild and all should be fine.

And with that I hope you enjoyed this little primer!

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Semi-afk

Hello blog! /pokes with a stick

Writing this today to let you all know I’m still alive and I’m not going anywhere. I apologize for the lack of posts but things has been especially crazy for the past few months and things are not improving…

So, all of this only to say I’ll try to do better, just need to get used to blog at another time I think.

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Battle rez enthusiast!

I got a battle rez now. I have the power to bring back the dead to the land of the living whenever I want…. under a 10 minutes cooldown of course. This is so weird for me, used to play non-healers type to be able to resurrect someone, something that screams healer to me.

I’m enjoying it way too much!

I don’t know if it’s a misplaced urge to raise my army of the living dead to do my biding but I just love being able to rez people during combat. So much so in fact that I had to be called to order on it because I would spend it at the wrong moment. I promised to behave myself but I have to admit I was looking at all those dead people and my finger was itching to pop the battle rez.

Anyways.. just wanted to share my new fascination with the world. Maybe there’s a healer sleeping inside wanting to get out… who knows…

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