The Journey Begins…Glory of the Raider

This video is credited to Tankspot.com. Tankspot has contributed some amazing videos to assist guilds in learning the Tier 7 and Tier 8 raid instances available in Wrath of the Lich King.

I just watched this one today. If you haven’t seen raid content, this video gives a nice summary of the story of the expansion up to Ulduar release. It details the guild’s fights leading up to the receipt of their Proto Drakes for the Glory of the Raider achievement.

Glory of the Raider

Hope you enjoy as much as I did, and big thanks to Ciderhelm and the Tankspot.com team.

Side note on General Vezax changes – From Blue “As a side-effect of this change, in 25-player mode in particular, he will also cast Searing Flames slightly more often” – Yeah, exactly 5 secs after every kick is definitely more often. The Rogue community thanks you. 😛

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Hints at Icecrown Citadel

In the midst of a post on “tanking niches,” Blizzard developer Ghostcrawler threw out a hint about what could possibly await us in the final raid instance of the Wrath expansion:

“players have visions of the DK who parks outside of Icecrown until boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big)”

Full post can be viewed here:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19110293530&sid=1&pageNo=7#127

Thirty-one? Good Grief. Sarcasm or serious? I guess we’ll find out. It’s possible more information on Icecrown Citadel as well as the future expansion will come out at next week’s Blizzcon in Anaheim, CA.

My guild immediately launched into speculation on what the 31 bosses could possibly be. Our raid leader wins the guessing game with the following submission:

“Arthas cannot be launched, please try again later.”

Enjoy your adventures!

I’m working on a Wrath banner, not using paint…I swear!

Rogue Q&A and a Patch Day!

The most burning questions in every rogue’s heart have been…sorta, kinda…answered!

The Rogue question and answer session with chatty developer Greg Street, aka Ghostcrawler, is now available in our main class forums.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19045815077&sid=1

Some highlights:

1. Blizzard’s theory on Rogues and the new 1-handed axe usage introduced in Patch 3.2

Rogues are supposed to be the masters of melee weaponry and there’s extensive support in classical literature for brigand/swashbuckler/lightly armored warrior types using axes (pen and paper RPGs, pirates, Native Americans with tomahawks, gladiators). If a rogue would pick up a broken bottle to use as a weapon (the infamous Barman Shanker) it seems likely they’d use a good axe. As a result, shamans and death knights should see more axes in the game overall. (Though remember, the 3.2 patch largely focused on the new Isle of Conquest BG, so we don’t have a ton of new raid bosses to itemize. That will change in 3.3.)”

2. The current state of Rogue PvE damage (as we’re told L2P sort of, lol)

“In dungeons they’re absolutely right — one of the disadvantages of scaling so well in a raid scenario is that you need to start at a lower baseline. They’re better than they used to be for dungeons due to a mostly reliable Sap, but they’re still not great compared to a caster or melee hybrid. In a raid they’re great, and the problem exists between the chair and the keyboard if they’re not contributing damage effectively in that scenario.

3. The infamous need for a fix to the Vanish ability.

“No, Vanish isn’t working properly and breaks when you breathe on the rogue funny. There are two problems with fixing it. One is that technically it’s just not easy. We would need to change the ways spells are resolved on the server side. Now that is something we can do, but the outcome would be taking a powerful ability and making it more powerful. We need to solve the frustration part of the ability, but not also greatly buff rogue survivability or damage potential when doing it. The solution we like the most is something like Vanish puts you in stealth for 1 second minimum no matter what else happens.”

4. A theory on possible changes to the basic class design (This one makes me worry about an incoming kidney shot, cheap shot, gouge nerf. I don’t want to be a tank, that’s what my warrior alt is for.  :P)

“The current rogue design could be described as fragile, but rarely takes damage, since it’s possible to apply so much crowd control. Chaining crowd control and countering crowd control is a huge part of PvP that’s fun for a lot of players and we don’t want to remove that. On the other hand, we often run into problems with the rogue where we can’t diminish or change the DR on crowd control because then the rogue just takes damage and dies. An alternative model is a slightly more tanky rogue than can survive more damage (perhaps only when cooldowns are up or something), but can’t keep someone locked down so long. Also note that this would improve the rogue level-up experience as well. It’s effective and occasionally fun but can get pretty slow and tedious to have to approach every opponent from within stealth. Sometimes you just want to stab a relatively non-challenging mob to death and move on.”

Read and enjoy while in it’s entirety at the link posted above while Patch 3.2 is downloading today. I would like to reiterate how thankful I am that my guild does not schedule raids on Tuesdays. I do wish I’d taken up that 500g bet that a Resto Shaman friend was willing to put up during last night’s raid that the patch would arrive today though.

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. 🙂