Incoming…Patch 3.2

With the background downloader active and a retail version of the patch on the PTR, it looks like 3.2 will be hitting soon if not this Tuesday then in the next week or two.

A few of the changes I’m interested to see, a few worry me..

1. Sword specialization changed to Hack ‘n Slash for Rogues allowing them to use one-handed axes.

Why not? This change is to the combat tree. Rogues already use maces, so this goes in hand with the master of all things one-handed that is the combat rogue. In my mind, rogues will always mean the cloak and dagger master of stealth, but the change is definitely interesting.

2. Wintergrasp will now be a queued battleground instead of community generated raids.

I understand the logistical reasoning for this change, but it saddens me. Wintergrasp returned a bit of that old days world PvP feeling to the game.

3. Four different raid lockouts for the new Argent Collesium raids.

Four??!! Seriously? I’m willing to say it if I’m wrong, but this feels like a bit of overkill.

Not to mention a myriad of changes to mounts, professions, etc.

Places to read the patch notes abound. I’m just glad my guild doesn’t schedule raids on Tuesdays anymore.

Happy Raiding!

Alt Raiding

I hit 80 with my Holy Priest alt on Sunday. Yesterday I ran my first heroics, and today I ran my first Heroic Naxxramas. I’m extremely lucky to be in a guild where we do an alt run weekly.

Some observations on healing vs melee

1. It’s harder than I thought it would be to watch hp boxes, and my own environment.

2. From a ranged class perspective, you can truly see the whole fight from a better vantage point than staring at a boss butt.

3. The alt priest is good for me. I get to learn some new play, and see the same old fights from a new perspective.

4. On a speed Naxx run, it’s hard to watch what gear you should roll on while raid healing the next pulls after a boss down. A gear list and knowing what you’re looking for is a total necessity.

5. Circle of Healing, Renew, Prayer of Healing, PW:S and Prayer of Mending are a few of my most favorite things.

I had a blast, and I’m very thankful to my guildmate who puts this run together and leads it. Especially since he let a new healer with no helm enchant (Wyrmrest and Kirin Tor rep are only sitting at honored lol) come along.

Tonight it’s back to the rogue, but I think I already have a greater appreciation for what mitigating and being aware of the damage I’m taking means for the raid’s healers. It’ll make me a better raider and team mate, so that’s definitely a win.

Favorite Part of Raiding

My guild has set Assembly of Iron hardmode as our progression target for this week. We had a night of very solid attempts on Thursday, and as we head into our last raid night for the week we’re all looking forward to a kill.

This weekend during our off time showcased my favorite part of the raid game. Our strat thread and the ideas and strat-crafting and cleanup.

How can we prevent tank instant deaths? What’s the most efficient way to manage the Static debuff. If our raid dps (RDPS) is this, what do we need to kill the boss in two tank death cycles?

Lots of great ideas to tighten up our already good strategy, and tonight we’ll put in action.

But the community that’s built around the strategizing…that’s the fun part.

Raiding Challenges….Consumables

One of the challenges for raid leadership is ensuring that your team is using all options available to them to maximize the output of their character for the raid team to meet its progression goals.

If you’re lucky, you’ve managed to recruit a group of people that share a similar goal set and playstyle so you don’t have to spend have the raid night reminding everyone to check their buffs, pop a flask, use potions or food.

Farming needs for these items are drastically reduced in the current WotLK raid game when compared to previous raids such as Sunwell Plateau or The Black Temple. A well-used healing, mana, haste, or spellpower potion can mean the difference in a 1% wipe or a kill. Do it for your team!

Happy raiding. 🙂

WotLK Raiding Observations….the Ulduar Edition

Here we are trooping ever closer to the midpoint of the Wrath expansion. Tier 7 instances have come and been farmed (to death), and Tier 8 is well on it’s way to full completion. Tier 9 promises some interesting fights as we head into the Argent Collieseum.

Thank goodness for Ulduar. I’m not sure what it was about Tier 7 that made it so boring. I was excited to see Naxxramas while levelling to 80 since it’s a zone I had never really experienced. Perhaps it was my own burnout with the PvE game, but although I wasn’t raiding and farming it every week, I saw my thoughts echoed in the words of many raiders across the internets.

Ulduar seems to have the balance we all craved. The easy modes are fairly easy for the harder and hardest core progression guilds to blaze through, but the hard modes give a Sunwell level of work to be completed.

My favorite fights as a melee dps’er would have to be: (You knew a list was coming! It’s been far too long since I made one…)

1. Flame Leviathan

In all of its modes from easy with no Keeper towers up, to the Orbituary +4 tower mode this fight is an exciting, flame filled vehicle encounter. I really enjoy this fight every week. Generally I’ve been paired with a Siege Engine driver and assigned to blast Pyrite out of the sky for our Demolishers and handle the killing of Freya’s adds on hardmode. Also taken a turn at piloting a Siege and a Chopper. Chopper is my favorite. Who doesn’t love being a badass motorcycle driver? Laying down flameable tar, picking up and healing the launched ranged dps, and laying on a heal while delivering them back to their demo driver. The fight is fast paced and full of laughs. Always a great start to the raid week.

2. Hodir and The Rare Cache

Hodir is definitely a favorite. If your raid can defeat this Keeper in three minutes or less, you can discover the wonders of his “Rare Cache.” Luckily, you get to take a few NPC’s along. Mages will throw down “Toasty Fires” to save your toes from the frozen floor’s “Biting Cold” effect. (Please Note: Fight should go down in WoW raiding history as the one where standing in fires is good!) The Druids bring the power of the stars to your raid with their columns of “Starlight” increasing the haste of your attacks. Finally, the Shaman grant a buff called “Storm Power.” This shareable buff increases critical strikes by 135%. If you and your raid team can manage to avoid falling icicles and the occasional flash freeze while “Staying Buffed All Winter,” you could say that this cache is yours!

3. Mimiron

Call me a sadist. Most melee abhorr the Mimiron fight. It’s movement intensive with four phases and numerous ways to blow up or otherwise croak. This mechanized gnome keeper just wants to test out his gadgetry on your raid. No big right? Sure…if you don’t mind proximity mines, shockblasts, laser barrages, and rocket strikes. Whatever you do, don’t touch the red button in the back of the room. This will activate his hard mode and you can add some decidedly unfriendly fires to your attempt. Become a Firefighter, and the road to Algalon is sure to open to you soon!

4. Algalon

I haven’t seen this fight yet, although my guildies that are able to run 10 mans in addition to our main raids are currently working on The Observer. This boss that you unlock by defeating the four Keeper hardmodes in Ulduar is only available to your raid for 1 hour of work per week. Strategizers will shine on this fight!

I could go into the bosses I am beginning to depise, but we’ll leave that for a day when I need to unleash some angst. Until then…
Happy Raiding!

Side note – I should really upgrade the banner for Wrath! But I’m lazyish…

Identity Crisis

I tend to be firmly on the side of Blizzard in most things. Their game, their intellectual property, etc. I’m not jumping on the fan train for the recently announced pay for Faction changes, however.

I love my little gnome main with her pigtails and her name and her stealthy ways. There’s a reason we can create “alts.” Make your money, Blizzard, but can’t some things be sacred?

There are a lot of arguments that favor faction change availability especially on PvE servers which tend to be unbalanced in the Alliance’s favor, but it makes me sad this change. If you’re going to do it, at least make a “traitor” story line. The two sides are supposed to be at war after all. World of “WAR”craft. 😉

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=18031079410&sid=1

While I’m in complaint mode, the Tier 9 Rogue light bulb shoulders are also kind of annoying. I’m already AoEing like a mage with Fan of Knives, now I have to look like one. 🙂

Much Needed Break

After a relaxing and needed break, I am please to announce the return of my posting to this blog. I levelled quickly, and then took a break from the game in early December. I decided to raid casually in Tier 7 content, but with the opening of Ulduar, I found myself missing it.

I bid farewell to good friends, and was lucky to find myself in a 3 day a week, progression-oriented guild. Nine hours a week. Fast, fun and efficient.

Ulduar and new friends have been fun and exciting. Easy modes are easy. Hard modes are enjoyable to work on and accomplish. We’ve had Yogg on farm since the end of May, and have been working our way through the instances hardmodes. Completed +4 Flame Leviathan, a server second Hodir Hard Mode I Could Say That This Cache Is Rare, XT-002 Hard Heartbreaker, and Freya Knock on Wood  as our to date accomplishments.

Happy Raiding!

See Rogue. See Rogue DPS….

It’s been awhile since I did a Rogue post. As we look at the dawning of a new expansion, I present 7 Commandments set down by Aldriana, maintainer of the Rogue Gear Spreadsheet. *Disclaimer – I lay no claim to these rules other than devotee…I merely share them here.

 

Follow these rules, and you will be the crazy DPS (damage per second) machine you’ve always dreamed of being….or at least you won’t be last. 😉

 

 

Aldriana’s Seven Commandments of Rogue DPS

 

“The first step to success as a raiding rogue is to adhere to these seven commandments of rogue DPS.”

 

If you don’t, may Ravenholt have mercy on your soul.

 

1-Don’t die.

 

Yeah. You’d think that would be a given, but you’d be surprised. Surprisingly, time on target actually hitting things affects our damage.

 

2-Don’t do anything that risks wiping the raid.

 

Stay alive. Don’t take risks with stealth. Don’t pull threat. ETC….

 

3-Maximize your time on target.

 

Learn to move. Manage your aggro. And guess what…..don’t die.

 

4-Don’t let your energy cap out.

 

Energy is meant to be used. Does Slice n Dice need to be refreshed? Can you use a finisher? Rupture ticking? Don’t just mash buttons. Play.

 

5-Don’t let SnD drop.

 

SnD = Slice ‘n Dice. Increases attack speed. Absolutely the most essential button you push in a raid other than getting the combo points to keep it up. The better you are at 100% uptime of this ability, the higher your dps numbers will be.

 

6-Use one of the spreadsheets to figure out your best cycle; this will usually be the highest rupture uptime cycle that doesn’t violate rule 4 or 5.

 

Spreadsheets have been linked here a couple times. I’ll setup a side bar soon. Basically go to www.elitistjerks.com. Find the Class Mechanics forum. Search for Rogue Gear, Rogue DPS, and now the Rogue Roguecrafting spreadsheets. All are viable, and you’ll get the best results from a comparison. Must have MS Excel or Open Office to use.

 

7-Use your cooldowns

 

In the effort for SnD and Rupture uptime, don’t forget about your DPS’ other friends Adrenaline Rush, Blade Flurry, Haste Pots, Drums of Battle, Trinkets if not on use….all of these things will make good damage awesome damage. Admit it. Being awesome is why you rolled a rogue, right?

 

**Another disclaimer** – This information may become obsolete on 11/13, but I doubt it. This is not my fault. I don’t take responsibility. And I’m pretty sure the not dying one will still apply. Have fun!

11/13/08

The date’s announced. On 11/13, we’ll all be downloading and levelling.

My 70 rogue has been copied to both the PvP and PvE PTR realms for testing of Patch 3.0.2. I’m pretty excited about trying out all the talent tree adjustments since I never got a key for any beta testing.

Now, to push and work on helping the guild down KJ by 11/13. 🙂

So…when that day comes?

A rogue retired today. She did it quietly. There was no fan fare. No dramatic posts. No parades held in honor of a hero of the Alliance. Just a simple hang up of the swords, and a walk up the dusty road to Ironforge.

  

Game Over.

 

 

 

Well not quite yet, but some days it feels a bit nearer than others. How will you retire?