Still Around

I still exist, and I’m still having adventures in WoW on my rogue.

In 2012, I had a baby. A sick baby who required a lot of care. Needless to say, this has taken over most of my free time.

In Pandaria, I stopped raiding except for LFR groups. I am still friends with some of my Cata raider buddies. Ironically, I’m actually a member of the most progressed guild I’ve ever been a member of with friend status only along with my husband.

We don’t watch television, and we’ve learned that a quick PVP match or LFR is a fun way to hang out when we need to be quiet after the little guy has gone to bed.

These days, I work on pet battles or mounts I don’t have. I still go to the occasional flex raid when I want a taste of the olden days. I’ve remembered that being casual casual can be fun, too. Also, Ordos has been kind to me. I’ve managed to acquire a significant amount of 559 Warforged gear.

A huge change is I am now playing Horde side. Shadowbunny still exists. I left her Alliance. My new Horde main is Undead, and it has been great fun to see the other side of the story especially with the current storyline.

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Rogue Raiding

I saw that a visitor today found me by searching for how to play a rogue on Beth’tilac. While I’m far from the cutting edge of progression, I’ll share some of my insight and resources used.

Your role as a rogue in any raid is going to be determined by your group’s makeup and the strat your leadership chooses to run with. As a dps class, your focus is always going to be:

1. Staying Alive.

2. Performing any utility assignment you’ve received (i.e. kicking)

3. DPS..DPS..DPS

So we’ll start with living. To survive a fight you need to know how to anticipate the mechanics of the fight you’ll be participating in. Research. Watch vids. KNOW what is going to be happening. Once you’re in the instance, LOOK, LISTEN, & MOVE.

Melee is movement. It’s a dance. You want to maximize your time on target and stay out of the bad stuff. Rarely will you have the Baleroc or Patchwerk type fights where you’re just standing still going through a dps rotation.

For boss mod info, my preferred mod is DBM (www.deadlybossmods.com). However, other options like DXE (Deus Ex Encounters) are also popular. Choose the one that works best for you.

For DPS maximization and fight mechanics, I keep an eye on the Rogue threads over at EJ (www.elitistjerks.com) and I’ve recently become a fan of the vodka guy’s L2R (learn2raid videos) on youtube. Shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com is the new rogue tool for gear optimization. It can replace all those unwieldy spreadsheets.

My guild group is currently 4/7 Firelands on 10 Normal. We’re raiding 6 hours a week. The 4.2 mechanics thread at EJ has some good basic rogue tips: http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t123899-cataclysm_4_2_x_raid_mechanics/.

Shannox

For this run, I’m usually the solo melee. I stick with the tank on the boss while our ranged dps takes care of killing rageface as well as dispelling any facerages.  We leave immolation traps up around the boss, but I disarm the crystal prison traps around Shannox IF and only IF there are other ones available further out for the Riplimb tank’s use. This fight is mostly a tank and spank for me while avoiding any traps in my area. At 35%, I switch off Shannox and help burn down Riplimb then we push Shannox to 30% and execute him. We pop hero at 25%, and I burn a Tol’Vir potion.

Beth’tilac

For the spider lady on 10 man 1 DPS is sent up to her web along with 1 tank and 1 healer. I was tagged in our group for web duty. The key is getting your group to bring down 3 spinners quickly. We have the tank up first, followed closely by the healer, and then I take the 3rd web rope. You only get ropes from taunting or dpsing down the Spinner spiders. This mechanic is key because you need your tank and 1 DPS to get Beth’tilac to 80% in three web phases. This will ensure that you have enough time to kill her before you run out of time, healer mana, and hope.

While on the web, you have to watch out for the central hole, burning meteor patches, and Beth’tilac’s smoldering devestation cooldown. We drop back down through the center with 5 secs left to her cast. Damage while up on her web is pretty minimal if you don’t stand in the fire. I use feint on cooldown to assist my healer, but my health never is an issue.

If your raid can get a good rhythm for bringing down the spinners and killing the adds that spawn down below, Beth’tilac should be a simple and fun kill.

Lord Rhyolith

Here’s where things start to heat up. Rhyolith is a melee player nightmare. You have a boss the size of your screen, magma flow to stay out of, constant eruption damage, and adds that give off a pulsing damage circle. Oh, and you’ll probably be tagged for steering the monstrosity. Your job will be to manage dps on the boss’ legs to keep him running around his platform and not running into the magma moat. If he drinks the punch, your raid is dead. You facilitate this by using the steering bar that will pop up when the boss is engaged. In addition to keeping him on the island, you’ll need to run him over the active volcanoes that spawn. 2 to 3 volcanoes spawn at random locations on the island after each time Rhyolith does a concussive stomp. Feint and Cloak both work to mitigate or ignore the damage of this encounter. Also, you never want to be close to the edge with your back to the magma on a stomp as the knockback effect can throw you in for a massive hit. After the volcano stomps have removed all of Rhyolith’s armor, he’ll go into his tank/spank phase. Pop hero and stab your heart out.

Baleroc

The fight that our class is made for. The only crazy mechanic here is the Shards of Torment. These crystals will spawn and must be soaked by dps players in a rotation. Our team uses 4 players. It’s a good idea to chose classes that have either a self-healing or some kind of damage mitigation. I soak the 1st shard to 12 stacks using Feint halfway through while continuing to maximize dps, Shadowpriest takes the next 12. Our shard despawns and another shard spawns. Our Hunter takes 12, and the our Warlock takes the final 12. Rinse, repeat until that boss dies and be glad your aren’t a tank or healer. 🙂

There endeth my FL knowledge. I’m heading on family vacation for a week, but I hope to see some Alysrazor soon. Be sure to watch actual raid guides to get some better insight into these fights. Good luck and HAPPY Raiding!

Rage of the Firelands Week 1: Trash and Shannox

My first adventure in the new tier of raiding was the Saturday after release. After a two month raid break at the end of Tier 11, the six of us still interested in raiding from our original team were starting to feel the raiding bug again.

The trash in Firelands is actually pretty fun. Thank goodness because there is a lot of it. On our first night with a couple PUGs from trade (we actually recruited an old raidmate that night searching for a home), we saw the strength trinket, caster staff, and a crossbow. Loot is great, but it was fun to be running with the guys again.

On Sunday, we ventured in on our first main raid. We brought along a Pally to replace our friend who gained a new work schedule during our break. After a good trash clear and 4 attempts, we managed to down Shannox. (Yay new dagger!) Beth’tilac didn’t drop in our first two attempts, but we were at the end of our allotted 3 hours.

Not too shabby a return for a half new team. I’m looking forward to week two starting tonight!

 

Happy Raiding!

Intermission

Word on the street with a lot of raiding guilds this month seems to be that things are on a downturn. Think U.S. housing market 2009.

I know our current 10 man team is having trouble with the desire to push on to 4.2. We took a vote and decided that taking a complete break until the Firelands would probably spell disaster as far as a solid team is concerned. So we’ve opted to chug a long. We dropped our raid night down to one night a week, cut out our alt run, and elected to not worry about clearing heroic modes.

These decisions may not seem like a big deal, but coming from a group of former top 50 hardcore raiders going casual isn’t always easy. The main group has been raiding together in one form or another since Molten Core. The rest of us were added to the gang during Sunwell progression.

Is it us or the game? We probably do fit the “aging gamer” model. We’ve all been playing since the first year of launch. We’ve moved from being carefree college gamers to mid-20’s to 30’s professionals. I’m not sure that WoW in it’s “glory days” would hold our attention in the same way it did in 2004.  Also, we’re unwilling to run the 10 + 30% bench that would be required. We have 10 people. It’s all or nothing baby.

A few things that for me would make the game a bit more playable:

1. Shorter heroics – I don’t care if the hardcores think I’m bad. I don’t want to spend 2-3 hours in a pug heroic instance. It’s not fun, it’s tedious. Plus, I’m unwilling to make the time.

2. Tol Barad – If this zone was anything remotely like Wintergrasp, I’d probably log on for a game a day.

3. 10 man Heroic Difficulty – We can clear 12/12 normal tier 11 in 1.5 to 2 hours. With half drunk people. On all but Halfus, we were running into solid walls on our heroic attempts. About a month ago, we checked to see how many guilds had cleared Heroic 10 man worldwide it was around 30 mostly Asian. In the US, that achievement dropped to 3. Uh yeah. We can read the writing on that wall.

In the interim, I’ve played through some Star Trek Online, reduced my 5K completion time by about 3 mins, and enjoyed some spring bonfire cookouts. Win. Win. For me anyway. Whether or not Blizzard will continue receiving subscription dollars from me when SWTOR comes out, remains unknown.

Rogue Raid Buffs

Yes, you read the title right. Rogue raid BUFFS. I’m astonished at the number of posts, tweets, trade chat complaints I see that believe rogues still don’t contribute anything but damage to raid groups.

The days of rogues providing nothing more than some serious single target damage per second are long gone.

Following the “bring the player, not the class/spec” mentality of WoW WotLK raiding, all buffs are mirrored or similar to what other classes can provide.

1.  Savage Combat is a 4% increase to physical damage to any target you have poisoned, and is provided by a Combat Rogue. Its mirror is an Arms Warrior’s Blood Frenzy ability.

2. Master Poisoner provides 3% increased critical chance to any target you have poisoned and is provided by a Mutilate Rogue. Its mirror is provided by two other class types a Ret Paladin’s Heart of the Crusder or a Shaman’s Totem of Wrath.

3. Tricks of the Trade. The premium ability that Rogues gained in Wrath of the Lich King, in my opinion. Glyphed this ability provides a 15% damage increase by the person you target for 10 seconds, and they also receive all threat generated by you during that time frame. Similar to Hunter’s misdirect, but with many more options in its use in high end raiding or even your random dungeon group.

Side note – With the changes to Warlocks and Shaman coming out today, looks like beta for Cataclysm isn’t far behind!

Now I’m off to work more on H-ICC25. We’re currently sitting at 7/12 Hard Modes. We were unfortunate to get hit with some roster change ups after our first Lich King kill. Mostly people deciding they were at the end of their WoW time.

Happy Raiding!

The Fall of the Lich King

Yes, I have been a  lazy rogue.  My apologies. In game, the guild has devoted the majority of the last three weeks to working on the Lich King encounter. It was exciting, dynamic, and now it is DOWN. Rogueraider the Kingslayer.

 We’re fans of the last minute rally. The homerun on the last out in the bottom of the ninth. Final pull of the night, and it all just clicked into place. We had some terrible attempts in learning this boss. I’m sure the couple of weeks of learning took weeks off our raidleader’s WoW shelf life. However on this attempt, no d/c’s, defiles were better (unfortunately not perfect), and we were rewarded with a cut scene, a title, and a bag of hunter lewts (I’m serious).

 Why the delay in saving Azeroth from its evil Scourge master? Real life has settled in over our guild with all the fury of a winter blizzard or late summer hurricane. We have lost four core raiders in the past 4 weeks. Two healers (priest and pally), a melee, and a tank/melee is the tally (so far). They were all good friends, great guild members, and amazing raid team members. I’ll miss them all. 

Apparently we’re at that time in the expansion when people decide to hang up their raiding hats and retire from “hardcore” gaming. Even I took at break for the first few months of WotLK, missing out on tier 7 and switching guilds to come back for Ulduar.

 I have been extremely fortunate in finding this guild and becoming a member of the core raid team. The guild allows friends and family members which lets my non-raiding hubby see the same green chat I can. The raiding is fast and focused (most of the time), and it’s only 9 hours a week. Our officers and the members are amazing, and I just really love it.

 Anyway, enough Oscar type speech. There are some happenings for rogues in the current PTR test patch. Most of it appears to be talk of combat cycles returning to rupture priority. I wish I could claim that I’m up to date on it all, but I’m not. Check out the usual suspects StratFu, ElitistJerks, or MMOChampion for more detailed information.

 The plan for tonight is to get some PvP time in on our off night. I’m still not a Battlemaster. Then it’s another week of new trials, hard modes, and working our way toward Undead Dragon Mounts (SQUEEEALL) and the treachery of the Black Dragonflight.

Happy Raiding!

Patch 3.2.2 Goes Live

Happy Patch Day!

Patch 3.2.2 is now available for download. This patch launches the Onyxia 4 year anniversary encounter updated to level 80 as well as some class talent changes for Rogues and a few other classes. Full official patch notes can be read here.

Don’t forget to download and update your out of date addons, and enjoy the crazy that is a WoW patch day! I’m so glad that our raiding schedule is Mon/Wed/Thurs….but my arena team is supposed to play tonight. 😦

No mention of whether talent point refunds will be given due to the class changes.

A great summary of how the 3.2.2 class changes will affect the current raid game can be found over at StratFu.

Changes affecting Rogues:

-Armor Penetration Rating: The amount of armor penetration gained per point of this rating has been reduced by 12%.

Rogues

  • Envenom’s scaling has been increased from 7% to 9% of attack power per combo point.

  • Fan of Knives: The damage done by this ability has been reduced by 30%.

  • Talents

  • Assassination

  • Master Poisoner: No longer increases the Deadly Poison application rate following a successful Envenom and instead now provides a 33/66/100% chance of preventing Envenom from consuming Deadly Poison.

  • Combat

  • Throwing Specialization: This talent no longer causes Fan of Knives to interrupt spellcasting.

  • Subtlety

  • Honor Among Thieves: A 1-second cooldown is now enforced on how often a rogue can gain combo points from his party via this talent.