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Showing posts from September, 2009

Ice Crown Citadel Announced

Blizzard has released the first tidbits of information about the final patch of Wrath of the Lich King, 3.3 also known as Ice Crown Citadel. Let me give you a sampling from the Under Developement site: Icecrown Citadel will feature a massive five-player dungeon sprawling across three wings of the citadel's foundation. While the Lich King's attention is focused on the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade ripping through the front gates, players will be tested as they assist Jaina Proudmoore (Alliance) and Sylvanas Windrunner (Horde) in infiltrating the citadel through an alternate entrance. An epic quest line will present adventurers with the task of weakening Icecrown Citadel's forces, requiring that players defeat the challenges in each dungeon wing before venturing into the next one. Normal and Heroic versions of the dungeon will be accessible to players, although each wing will be considered a separate instance; therefore, on Heroic difficulty, each wing

The Impossible Matrix

When Lead Developer Ghostcrawler was fielding questions from Death Knights concerning the viability of dual wielding, he made an interesting statement: Part of our goal with the death knight was not to have a tanking or PvP tree, and we feel we’ve been pretty successful with that. However, adding dual-wield to that matrix just gives us an impossible task, because then you need to have the Blood dual-wield tank spec and the Frost two-hander PvP spec and so on. We think in this case our only option is to remove some player choice in order to provide a real choice in other areas. Death Knights already have more options to balance than any class. They have 6 possible specs whereas all other classes have only 3. Adding Dual wield options to every Death Knight spec would give 12 possible specs. It does make me wonder where the line is for the impossible matrix. How many specs are too many balance. If you remember back to early incarnations of WoW, each class had a spec for a certain

You Killed Jarraxxus, Eredar Lord of the Burning Legion

Thursday we returned to Heroic ToC10 where we had been making some slow progress. The first week we got past the Beast, but wiped on Jaraxxus at about 80%. The following week, we got him down to about 65%. Our best attempt the week after had been a 25% wipe. This week we had our first one shot of the Beasts and I scored some sexy bracers. Jarraxxus has got to be one of the most frantic fights I've ever tanked. We put Boston on Jarraxxus and I handle add control. Our first test is whether or not we get the portal down with just one Maiden spawning. Two usually meant a wipe. Then the Infernals came out. You might say the whole fight kicks it up a notch. The first infernal spawned at pretty much the same moment as the volcano. Usually a Judgment and a Shield slap got it pretty good. Then the next Infernal, I used Hand of Reckoning. For the third Infernal, all I had left was Righteous Defense. I had to hope the Infernal wasn't targeting Boston or I'd get Jarraxxus taunted a

Finally Facing The Brood Mother

This week opened up with revisiting the Brood Mother, Onyxia herself. Onyxia was something of a demarcation point for my WoW career. As I may have mentioned before I hit Level 60 about 6 months before Burning Crusade was to come out. I was in a Leveling Guild. I had done the whole quest chain through BRD. The parade through Stormwind to confront Lady Prestor, aka Onyxia, was one of the signature moments in the game for my Paladin. I wanted to face her, in her lair, and now I would. It was much harder to catch up during that time in the game than it would be now. Guilds were also much more stringent on their applicants. A gear check was mandatory and often they would require a run through a 5 man to trial you. The cutting edge guilds were running Naxx40. They wanted applicants in AQ40 and BWL gear. Of course the guilds running AQ40 and BWL, wanted you to have all your Molten Core gear. Nobody wanted to run 'old' instances just to get you geared up to their level, but there

Command Me

I would think this would go almost without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway. The opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. They are based on my personal experiences in game as well as research done by various sites, but influenced to the greatest degree by the posters on Maintankadin. Where there is math and other factual supporting evidence, I'll do my best to cite it. 3.2.2 hit yesterday. I could certainly feel the threat nerf, but it's not like I'm suddenly behind now. I'm much more in line with my DK co-Tank, and still have very little trouble holding threat off most DPS. There's a really well geared Mage and Hunter in our group who can really push it early on in fights if they don't Feign/Invisibility. They were pulling in the same situation pre-patch as well, so I doubt the patch was the reason. I'm also really happy to report that our Healers reported little to no difference in healing me. The nerf to AD was hardly noticeabl

No DUH: Crusade vs SotP

I see a good many Tankadins running around with strange builds. I ran a VoA recently with another Tankadin who had not taken Anticipation or Deflection. Hello? I'm also seeing a number of Tankadin with Seals of the Pure in their build. This is actually a bit more understandable since it buffs our primary seal, Seal of Vengeance (Corruption). But it might not be a great place to spend your talent points. It's another one of those 'it depends' types of answers. So let's examine Seals of the Pure versus going deeper in Ret. Well how deep in Ret are you already? In my humble opinoin, you should already be at least 12 points into Ret for Vindication. Vindication reduces the attack power of the Boss attacking you by 548 at Level 80. This is the exact same AP reduction given by Improved Demoralizing Shout, and Improved Demoralizing Roar. I consider Vindication to be nearly as required as Judgments of the Just. It's a noticable decrease in the amount of damage y

Weapon Enchant

So you've just gotten a shiny new weapon. Of course, like any good Tankadin, you want to get a weapon enchant on that bad boy. Let's take a look at your options. We'll discount cosmetic factors like the glow effect. Tanks aren't looking for style points, they want to survive. Now you can can survive, in style , but you are probably going to be a Dwarf. Accuracy - Increase crit and hit rating by 25. Blade Ward - Chance to increase parry(up to about 2%) and damage on parry as well, up to 5 stacks. I think. Blood Draining - Leech health from target and chance to give about 2000 health when below 35%. Exceptional Agility - Increase agility by 26 Mongoose - Chance to get 120 Agi (about 1.2% dodge and 1.8% crit( and increase weapon speed. One of these things is not like the other If you want your weapon enchant to enhance your threat generation, you've made your job of selecting an enchant much easier. Accuracy is hands down the best threat enchant for a Ta

969 Keybinds

Crofe over at Crofe's Corner has an interesting article up on keybinding the 969 rotation. Head over and give it a look see. http://crofescorner.blogspot. com/2009/09/my-mind-just- exploded.html

Special Announcement: A Thousand Generations

So last Friday, I let you know that I’d be making a special announcement today. Well here it is. I’ve been very excited over the summer to follow the development of a new MMORPG called The Old Republic as it was demoed at the various conventions like Penny Arcade Expo and Electronic Entertain Expo. It’s being made by LucasArts/BioWare and published by EA. I have wanted, on a couple of occasions, to blog about the new game. I never did, other than a small post when I first heard about the game. I don't feel it's appropiate for me to talk about TOR in this space, and let me explain why. Now this is my site and I can and have talked about just about whatever I've wanted to in the past. I fully expect Blizzard and Bioware to have an intense competition for subscribers once TOR is Live. This site is linked directly off the main Blizzard site. I didn’t feel it would appropriate for someone to follow that link off of Blizzard's site and then discover a blog basically advertisi

Shaman Versus Druid

This is a post talking about my next alt to 80. My highest Horde is level 51. I've never seen Outland or Northrend from the Horde perspective, and I'd like to see the other side before Cataclysm comes out. This is not a post asking what I should level up. I've taken my own advice and leveled up both of these classes to the 30s. Now I need to decide which one I take up next. Basically, I've made a list of Pros and Cons about each class. What I'd like to see if you have anything you think I should add to the list. I've taken some of the comments and added them to my list. Shaman Pros Versitale (Ranged DPS, Melee DPS, Heal) Dual Weild (apparently only melee) Windfury Interupt - 25 yards and off the global cooldown, 6 sec cd Bloodlust/Heroism Can use Shields, and shields look cool Cons Lost 4 bag spaces to Totems (apparently goes away at 30) Limited instant casts Heals not much mobility for resto/elemental totems can be great or annoying depend

Comment About Comments

I received a comment on one of my posts that made use of name calling and vulgarity. Just so you so, starting right now, if you use name calling and vulgarity in your comments, they won't be published. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me, and I try encourage thoughtful discussion in my comments. You never know, I just might learn something. But using vulgarity or name calling will not promote thoughtful discussion, and those comments will not be published in the future.

Danielsan, You Must Learn Balance

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This is NOT a post about Druids. Today I wanted to address a question I get in my email from time to time. Here’s an example: I notice from your profile that you are a father. Can you tell me how you balance your time between being online with your characters and being a Dad and spending time with your wife? I can see the dangers of getting really hooked on the game and not spending time with the other things that are important. So here’s Honorshammer’s advice on balancing WoW and your family. Don’t. Don’t even try. There shouldn’t be anything close to balance between your family and WoW. Set Time Aside For Your Family I don’t know if you remember, but one of my problems when I was trying to find a guild was my inability to play on Wednesday night. For most raiding guilds, Wednesday is a prime raiding night. Wednesday is a night that I set aside to spend time with my wife. Usually we just hang out and watch TV. Our favorite show to watch is Mythbusters. Sometimes we just we p

You Face Jaraxxus!

Our raid group fired up Heroic Trial of the Crusader Monday night. Northrend Beasts were difficult as always. A couple of times we actually got to Icehowl, only to have someone in the raid get hit and Icehowl would enrage and start hitting tanks. The most tense moment for me personally is right after the Dreadscale comes up from submerge. It's an aggro wipe, but you can't target him until he's all the way up. A little bit of lag is all it takes for the big worm to kill one of your raid members seemingly before you could do anything about it. But the important thing is we got them down. Next up we faced Lord Jarraxxus. I'm beginning to hate this guy as much as I did Malcheezar back in the day. First problem we were having was I was losing a melee to the Sisters of Pain. Whirlwind is a huge part of our DPS Warriors rotation and we are trying to get the portals down as fast as we can because 2 Sisters up usually spells disaster. Sometimes his whirlwind hits the Sister

Tankadins Hit Again

Ardent Defender: This talent now reduces damage taken below 35% health by 7/13/20% instead of 10/20/30%. Ardent Defender finally got the hit that many had been expecting. It was slipped into the patch notes on Sunday. On Wednesday, Ghostcrawler had posted: I understand that a lot of players who post here think that paladin tanks are in that situation now and DK tanks are in the reverse situation where they struggle with a lot of fights. But they are not in that situation, at least not yet, because we don't see the widespread swapping. That suggests that perhaps the advantages concluded from theorycrafting aren't so massive that tank swapping conveys a huge advantage. It could very well change over time to get that way, but it hasn't happened yet. We've been talking about potential DK buffs for 3.2.2 and we even know how we would nerf Ardent Defender when and if we think* it has gotten out of control. So between Wednesday and Sunday, Ardent Defender got out of ha

Special Announcement

I've got a special announce coming on next Friday.

3.2.2 Threat Nerfed

Patch 3.2.2 Notes: Hammer of the Righteous: The damage from this ability is now considered physical instead of Holy. The threat generated by the ability has been increased such that it will continue to do approximately the same threat it did when it was Holy damage. http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/threa%20...%209172&sid=1 The key idea to understand about Paladin threat generation is, it's gotta be Holy. Our tank stance is a buff called Righteous Fury. It provides our base damage reduction and increases threat generated by HOLY damage by 90% (soon to be 80% in Patch 3.2.2). With Hammer of the Righteous (HotR) now being physical, Paladins will generate zero threat from it outside of the base hit. Today, Hammer of the Righteous hits for 500 Holy damage. Threat generated: 950 PTR before the HotR change: 500 Holy Damage. Threat generated: 900 PTR after the HotR change: 500 Physical Damage. Threat generated 500. It would actually hit for less than 500 because of Armor,

I'm Not Who I Was (Part III)

I didn't realize some of the consequences of my move to Hordeside. Have you ever heard the phrase 'driving out of habit'? You are driving merrily along with the intention of going to a friend's house and suddenly you notice you've taken the exit for your office. You were 'driving out of habit'. I've done quite a bit of that in the first few days that I've been Hordeside. I've walked myself into the Alliance portal room in Dalaran, and into the Alliance tent out at the Argent Tournament. Somehow those guys just aren't as happy to see me as they used to be. Speaking of the Argent Tournament, that was probably the largest and most heartbreaking suprise. All my Argent Tournament progress had been reset. I was back as an Aspirant. I still had my Argent Pony, and my Champion Seals. But I had lost my Crusader Title, and my 'of Exodar' didn't become 'of Silvermoon'. In addition, I lose many of the questing achievements I g

I'm Not Who I Was (Part Deux)

This is the song that inspired my last blog title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpOLyR8MwiA . It's by Brandon Heath. The question on everyone's mind is 'Why?' Why switch to Horde, why now? The answer is pretty simple. I followed my Raid Leader and my Team. The Developers really threw us a curve ball when they released Faction Changes well before anyone thought they would be available. My guild leader, Ellevis called for a meeting Thursday night right before our raid. Ellevis had spoken to each of us individually about switching to Horde, but that was when we figured it would be as part of the next expansion. Now we were looking at facing the decision much sooner. Basically, Ellevis wanted to find out if anyone had a big problem with switching now that the service was open. The responses ran the gamut from people who would have already switched if not for the raid that night to people who were less than enthusiastic about the move. What was my response going to

I'm Not Who I Was

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Heoric Humbling

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I logged in Tuesday night and found a pleasant surprise; I had been awarded the Challenger title. While we were getting ready to raid Trial of the Crusader, I flew up to the Tournament and did a couple of Daily Quests. With the Champion Seals from those quests, I completed a major goal and purchased the Argent Squire Reins. Now my little squire has his own little pony and can give me bank, mail, and vendor access. I like it. Tuesday was the day that Trial of the Crusader opened fully. We blasted through the first four bosses fairly quickly, but not flawlessly. After defeating the Twin Val’kyr we were treated to a visit from his Deadness, Lord Arthas. Apparently, he’s been having a grand old time watching the Argent Crusade build their building right over the Nerubian Empire, and now he’s going to throw you to the wolves so to speak. The floor breaks an you fall. Arthas was kind enough to put a pool of water under you to break your fall. Once you swim out of the water, you walk a li

Emblems of Triumph Pick Order (10 Man Raider)

When Wrath started Heroics and Naxx10 gave you level 200 gear. Naxx25 gave you level 213. Then Ulduar came out. Ulduar 10 gear was level 219, while Ulduar 25 gear was level 226. Now with Crusade out you have 3 different levels. Crusade 10 will give you level 232 gear. Crusade 10 Heroic and Crusade 25 give level 245 gear. Crusade 25 Heroic gives the best gear at level 258. The best gear from Heroic is available only after killing the last boss. The number of tokens you get will depend on how many 'tries' you had left. Crusade 10, Crusade 10 Heroic and Cruasde 25 gear are all obtained with Emblems of Triumph. Crusade 10 gear is obtained with just Emblems of Triumph. Crusade 10 Heroic / Crusade 25 gear requires more Emblems as well as a Trophy that drops off the Bosses in 25man and from the Tribute Chest in Heroic 10. A full clear of the 25 man will yeild 15 Emblems and 5 trophies, a full clear of Heroic 10 man will yeild 15 Emblems and 2 to 4 trophies. You can also obtain Embl

Where Are You At In Raiding?

I've added a poll to the website that asks the question: Where does your next progression boss reside? What I'm trying to figure out is where my readers are at in terms of raiding. Are you just getting started with Naxx? Are you still attacking Ulduar? Maybe you're in Trial of the Crusader, or have started on Heroic mode. Poll will be up for one week.

Things Didn't Work The Way I Thought They Would

I was assuming there would be Trophies of the Crusade in 10m heroic. I'm a bit disappointed that the only Trophy drops from the Crusade chest at the end of Heroic 10 man. With the release of 4 different modes to ToC, it appeared Blizzard was giving a true path to every kind of guild. You simply needed to find the level of content that fit your guild. You could be everything from a 10 man normal guild right up to a 25 man heroic guild. Each level awarded it's own gear with it's own iLevel. 10N was 232, 10H, 25N was 245 and 25H was 258. We had assumed that 10 man heroic would also be 245 since that is what all the drops are, it would make sense that the 245 tier gear was also available from 10 man Heroic. While you can debate the difficulty of the actual fights (and every guild will have a different take on the difficulty of each level), it is clear that 10H is a step up from 10N. It SHOULD award better tier gear. It SHOULD drop Trophys of the Crusade from every Boss.

Rusted Proto Drake? I'll Pass

The dilemma I'm faced with today is how to speak about an activity, but not come across as passing judgment on those who choose to participate in it. Let's see if I can accomplish that. The activity I'm talking about is the selling of Proto Drakes. Certain guilds are selling spots in their Ulduar 10 runs. They know these fights so well, and overgear them to such a degree that they can essentially 9 man all the achievements and Hard Modes needed for the Rusted Proto Drake. The 10th person pays some large amount of WoW gold, transfers to that guild's server, does the run, gets the achievements and the Drake, and transfers back home. I've heard figures up to 30,000 WoW gold. This is very similar to how guilds would sell 'Bear runs' towards the end of Burning Crusade. There was a special Amani Bear mount which could only be obtained by completing Zul'Aman in a specified amount of time. My guild came close a couple of times, but ultimately we never got it.