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4.2: Return to Fotm…er Form; oh, and T12!

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Some potentially sexy buffs are coming elemental shaman’s way:

May 10 4.2 PTR notes:

– Lava Flows now grants a 30/60/90% haste buff when a Flame Shock effect is dispelled, up from 10/20/30%.

– Thunderstorm now reduces the movement speed of players it knocks back by 40% for 5 seconds.

– Unleash Elements is now in the Nature school, and thus can no longer be used if a shaman’s Nature school has been locked out.

– The 4-piece Elemental shaman PvP set bonus (Gladiator’s Thunderfist set) has been redesigned. It now causes Lightning Shield to generate an extra charge, rather than consuming one, when it is triggered by receiving damage, up to a maximum of 3 (9 with the Rolling Thunder talent).

– Lightning Shield and Water Shield can no longer be dispelled.

– Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving.

The main concern amongst the pvp community now is our mana (in)efficiency, which may or may not be resolved by the Unleashed Lightning glyph, since it will allow us to cast more lightning bolts. There’s also the manner of a defensive cd; yes, we can glyph EM, but what other class would have to use their dps cooldown in order to reduce damage they are taking? Only idea I can scrape off the top of my head at the moment would be to re-introduce Astral Shift, but have it be an ele-only defensive cd of some flavor.

As OP as some of these changes look on paper…well, they’re needed. Ele is extremely vulnerable in pvp due to the fact that 90% of our damage occurs when we plant our feet and turret spells into enemies…which happens for all of 1 second tops against half decent pvpers. Any time my friends and I encounter an ele shaman, I’m yelling at them to simply tunnel the shaman, which results in said shaman being dead fairly quickly.

Amongst the raiding community, there seems to be a large amount of “meh” regarding these changes, namely the new glyph. I’m honestly surprised at the lack of enthusiasm about a solution to one of our biggest weaknesses (damage while moving). Oh, boo hoo, we have to debate over which glyph to swap at this point…and on that note, who’s to say they don’t simply make our current LB glyph do exactly what this new one does, then bake in the 4% damage increase by default, or if we’re incredibly lucky, they bake it in as a 5-6% increase. I don’t expect this to happen, but all of this is on PTR, and things there are subject to change, such as the new legendary staff, as shown here.

Needless to say, I’m hoping these changes make it through PTR intact (at the very least) and to live. Speaking of PTR, our T12 has made it’s debut, and I’ll go ahead and say we are 12 for 12 in terms of having reasonably decent looking tier sets:

Shaman T12 on males

Shaman T12 on females

Preview video courtesy of MMO-Champion:

Derp.

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Been a while since I could take the time to even touch this page. Fair amount of activity, but just a lack of time to get anything meaningful posted:

12/12 in normal content, FINALLY: Nearly 2 months (from around the time of my last post until now) ago we started on Nefarian. Not a difficult encounter, although for 90% of our attempts, I was resto due to a dearth of healers. Finally, last week we had enough healers I was able to dps, and equipped with my Reverberation talent I alone could lock down one of the P2 adds, thus allowing our other dpsers to go all out on their targets without worrying with interrupts (thus proving that dps shaman are king for this instance of interrupts). Up until last week, our attempts were constantly marred by disconnect after disconnect…and it wasn’t always the same people. Even folks with amazingly good hardware (myself included) would randomly get dropped out, only to come back dead (or worse, alive just before Onyxia respawned, resulting in more dead people if said person couldn’t take a dive in the lava fast enough). Last week, though, we finally overcame all of the garbage disconnects, excuses, and whatnot and made a corpse of Nefarian (again). Video of our first kill can be found here. Shadow priest POV. Also for whatever reason, Al’akir seems 100x easier on 10 man compared to 25.

Flirting with “FOTM”: If you’re looking for yours truly in the above video…look closer to the ground. That’s right, I was a goblin in that video. Feeling a bit bored, I checked out goblin animations and racials and decided to give it a go. Couple of days later, I started noticing a racial I was missing that was really starting to annoy me: Hardiness. Doesn’t sound like much, but I found myself in at least half a dozen instances of “if that stun wore off half a second sooner I could’ve gotten a heal off…” in the 3 days I was a good ol’ gobbie. That, plus I simply flat out started missing being an orc, heh. In fact, the experience has convinced me I should probably convert some of my alts to what I dub “the supreme Horde race”…but that’s an expensive endeavor. Cheaper than a weekend out on the town, I suppose, heh. I refer to goblin as FOTM because nearly half the Horde shaman on my server have race changed to goblin…and the whole feeling of “jumping on the bandwagon” had my skin crawling.

Elemental PVP, oh how I hate thee…: I’ve been moonlighting as resto for PVP for a fair amount of Cata so far. Elemental feels so pathetic for pvp right now that it’s simply frustrating to play. Quit my 2’s team in a fit of rage after losing several games in a row where I felt I could literally do nothing. Despite how frustrating ele PVP is, running around as resto right now reminds me of how god mode it once was late in BC (only surpassed by resto druids, but what didn’t they surpass then?). Rejoined the team, took some chill pills (simply a figure of speech; no drugs were taken during the queueing of arena) and just deal with it for now. Yes, I’m playing ele in 2s…fortunately my friend is a shadow priest, who has a fair amount of CC and peeling capability, which an ele MUST have if they want to do anything in arena now. The one game I went resto with my friend, we won…but it was a 20 minute ordeal vs an affliction lock/resto druid team. We’re not exactly patient with arena; we want games done in 5 mins or less, heh.

ARGH SO CLOSE: In the past 2 months I would slave away on weekends for various Call To Arms for BGs I needed achievements from, and now I stand 1 achievement away from the Battlemaster title I’ve coveted ever since seeing it in game: Arathi Basin Perfection. The infuriating part is I have this achievement on 2 of my alts, and I’m over 150 recorded AB victories on my shaman without a perfect win. I still say it’s a matter of when, not if…but damn, it’s irritating. Repeated efforts to form an organized group for it have fallen through due to folks not being online. Even without Battlemaster, I’ve managed to eek over the 12k achievement point mark, which felt pretty cool. Not sure if I’ll get to 13k, though! 😛

All for now…I’ll try to be a bit more prompt with updating this in the future, though, perhaps my once-a-week-or-two shenanigans, which I think is fair.

4.0.6 Elemental Shaman cliff notes

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Tremor Totem: Basically becomes a 6 second aoe fear ward on a 1 min CD.
Purge: Effectively cut in half.
Spiritwalker’s Grace: 50% duration increase, from 10 to 15 seconds
Lava Burst: 10% damage increase
Earthquake: 10% damage increase on top of benefitting from Clearcasting
Rolling Thunder: Charges are now generated by Lightning Overload procced LBs and CLs.
Hex: PVP duration down to 8 seconds, glyph reduces CD by 10 seconds instead of 15

Several pvp-oriented nerfs that were more aimed at our other specs, but still hurt nonetheless. The buffs we’re getting are fairly nice, but my main concern at this point is mobile dps. I find myself moving around quite a bit on most of these encounters, and being the turret casters that we are, it hurts dps fairly bad.

From a pvp perspective, the most annoying thing I run into is going OOM…and that’s without doing any off healing or using earthquake (which is borderline useless, but I like it for knocking people down in smoke bombs). Couple of arena games I was in last night had me hitting lava burst or LB keys and nothing happened…looked up and was like “wtf, I’m OOM”. I thought I read somewhere that Blizzard didn’t care to have caster DPS worrying about going OOM and that it’s more for healers to worry with.

It’s ok, though, because I’ll be able to see my Elementium Stormshield on my back and I’ll no longer look like I’m the ball sack of my mount whenever I use my Volcanic Stone Drake. O.o

Happy Holidays :)

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

May be another 2 weeks or so before I get back around to posting, being that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are upon us now. That said, it’s a dreadfully slow day at work, so I thought I’d drop some more observations and thoughts here.

I haven’t done much of anything in terms of raiding since my last post here. That said, based on experiences in heroics, I’m looking forward to raiding, whether it’s as elemental or resto (and now that most of our healing core is at 85 and farming heroics with the rest of us, I’ll most likely be back to my old elemental self).

Elemental DPS seems like it will be fine, least to me. One thing I have started to notice as my gear has improved, though, is that Lava Burst isn’t the “burst” that it used to be. Lightning Bolt crits are now hitting almost as hard as my LvB crits, but I think there’s several factors in play; for one, LB will be getting the majority of Clearcasting charges, which on top of cooldowns amplify it a lot. Also, we have to remember that in most cases LvB is guaranteed to be a crit, whereas LB may crit 20-25% of the time. To think “omg LvB barely crits harder than LB so it sucks” would be ridiculous, since LvB gives us the benefit of consistently having CC charges up. This is especially critical since mana usage has gone up significantly; I have had some points where I ran OOM. That brings me to another point…

What meta gem should we be using? Well, once I crafted my engineering goggles, I immediately dropped a chaotic shadowspirit in the meta slot, and gemmed accordingly. Int/spirit or int/hit (depending on how the gem market was at the time) gems in red, blue sockets with mastery/hit, and yellows with just haste. However, after getting pretty much all the gemmable gear I would need going into raiding (barring BoE epics I’m 1-2 items away from being BiS pre-raiding), I swapped my meta to the Int/+2% mana meta, and went back to our old way of gemming: Int in red, int/spi in blue, int/haste in yellow. I do not have conclusive evidence that my DPS has increased, but going by seat-of-the-pants feel, it seems like I’m doing more dps now. Added benefits include a mana pool that increased by almost 8k…this may not seem like a big deal, but I noticed I went from having mana trouble in long fights to cruising through fights retaining most all of my mana barring occasions I had to use Earthquake (which is going to destroy the mana pool no matter what, heh). The meta swap also lets my eng goggles double dip, and by that I mean that I get to use them in my resto set now.

On the resto front, I’ve been throughly enjoying the challenge that we call the new healing model. Hopefully healing won’t return to where it was in late WotLK, where (for heroics at least) I could basically /afk my way through heroics, or if I was feeling really risky I would queue as a healer and instead be in full elemental gear/spec and would DPS…and if I REALLY wanted to be snarky, I would ask the group why the healer was top dps, heh. I only pulled that snarky card if someone in the group was being a douche, though. Now, for the new healing model, I find that I’m mostly using Riptide and Healing Wave, since they are by far the most mana efficient of our spells. Greater Healing Wave comes into play if someone’s trickling down low on health, and combined with our mastery, it provides a considerable chunk of health restored in most cases; nowhere near the levels of throughput we had in WotLK, but we’re not supposed to have such throughput. Healing Surge has taken the place of Chain Heal as our “Oh S***” button, namely when a DPS’s health spikes down, or if the tank starts to take a dive on HP. As for CH…it’s nowhere near the super power it once was. This is probably the biggest change I’ve had to cope with, because like many shaman I had engrained in my brain that “when in doubt, chain heal”. This doesn’t work well anymore, because in a couple of cases I had that thought occur to me, cast a CH, then someone would die. However…couple CH with our new Healing Rain and we’re capable of some absurd amounts of multi-target healing. Again, it’s nothing like what we had before where a CH would basically heal up 3-4 people virtually all their HP, but it’s still a potent combination. HR allows us to smooth out damage done on a group of folks (such as the melee + tank clump on most all boss fights) while healing other targets…it’s a shaman form of Beacon of Light, I suppose.

I also got back into my PVP groove, starting with Tol Barad…and for once I’m going to say “What the fuck, Blizz?” TB is perhaps the biggest PVP blunder they’ve ever introduced in this game, even more so than the countless revamps of AV (should’ve left it alone IMO). For those who have not tried TB, there are 3 bases and 3 towers. The attacking team has to capture all 3 bases in order to win; they can destroy the 3 towers to buy themselves more time if needed. The defending team technically does not have to hold a single base; so long as one of the 3 bases is in the grey and the time expires, the defense wins. This relegates TB to being nothing more than zerg vs. zerg, with the defense being heavily favored. The simplest solution to this would be to require that 2 of the 3 bases be held to win, whether the O or D is holding them. This gives the D more reason to try and defend the towers, and would discourage both sides from running around with one giant zerg. Couple the TB blunder with the MMR/conquest point bugs that cropped up and you have a lot of aggravated PVPers. On top of that, random BG queues are still pretty awful, and it doesn’t help that more often than not I end up in a group that’s…well, bad, to put it nicely. One positive note, though: You can get all of your conquest points for a week by winning 5 arena matches, which when you have next to no rating is pretty easy to accomplish. This is a big saving grace for us Horde here in the US, since we often have to wait 15-20 minutes to get into a random BG. Granted, it’s gonna take about 4 months to get all of my vicious pvp gear at this rate, but it took about that long in BC for my warrior to get full S2 gear, so it’s not that big a deal. Oh, and that time can be reduced simply by increasing one’s rating, whether it’s in arena or in rated BGs.

Also, after juggling several options for a second profession after dropping Leatherworking (since it would cost me a small fortune to buy all the mats I would’ve needed to level it), I opted for Alchemy and became a Potion Master. This has paid off nicely because I can now sell Truegold cooldowns or Living Elements cooldowns. I was aided in this endeavor by my druid alt, who has herbalism and inscription. Put it simply, a tauren druid cannot be beaten when it comes to herbing, period. The tauren Cultivation racial makes the cast time for herb gathering half a second, which has allowed me to snipe herbs from others charging the same herb node as I on many occasions. If I’m not thrilled with Engineering come next content patch, I may very well drop it in favor of picking up herbing on my shaman so that I’m never stuck without a way to level professions unless I bust out an alt. Besides, herbalism now provides a haste CD that maths out to be an average of 80 haste, so it’s pretty baller when compared to mining and skinning. Mining gets on my nerves at this point because everyone, their brother, and their mother is out mining ore. Were I playing in morning times like some of my friends, it probably wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m generally having to play during prime time, so that’s out of the question. Oh, and leveling alchemy from 1-525 cost me about 1/10th the amount it took to get Engineering from 450-525…so for any up and coming raiders undecided on what professions to pick up to help them with raiding, you can always count on herbalism and alchemy to be of solid use, no matter what class/spec you play. Oh, and it can make you some gold, too…that’s always a plus.

Well, it’s approaching the hour I get to leave the office, so happy holidays to those who have read this far, and those who don’t even know this blog exists. 😛

4.0.1 First Impressions

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

So the process of shaking off the rust is ongoing, and so far it’s going quite well. First order of the day was to sort my UI out, which after loading my addons I commonly use (I had wiped WoW off my PC completely, so all of this was from scratch) it created a mess on my screen. I don’t run a whole lot of UI mods; biggest 2 I’ve stuck with over the years are X-Perl unit frames and CTmod.

After tinkering with UI mods for what seemed an eternity, I went over my spec. This is what I have so far: http://wowtal.com/#k=lGLRZt1.a6q.shaman. At 85 it will resemble this: http://wowtal.com/#k=l1klEQBw.a6q.shaman.

I view the spec as a balance between pve and pvp; I can adjust my playstyle around changing glyphs rather than changing specs. That is one thing I love about the whole new glyph/talent setup. Sadly, the one thing I miss desperately is Ancestral Swiftness; can’t wait to get to 83 so that I have that maxed out once again. PVPing without it makes me feel naked. Another equally-as-big loss for pvp was Ancestral Shift; this is doubly noticable due to the ungodly dps increase amongst most everyone with the 4.0 patch.

Anywho, back to my talent set up. I’m sure it’s bound to garner some strange looks, namely due to having Earth’s Grasp and (eventually) Totemic Reach. As of now, I’m having zero mana problems so long as I’m not spamming Earthquake. Earth’s Grasp is a more pvp-oriented talent, but I’m pretty certain I will encounter times when having a root/snare effect will come in handy in pve situations. I could opt to toss the points in Totemic Reach elsewhere, but I figure the extra range for a tremor totem pulse or earthbind snare could come in handy. Ancestral Resolve is looking mighty fine, as well as Reverberation…and if mana is a problem at 85, I can pick up Convection. To think we didn’t have much in choice with the new talent system, heh; I see each of these as viable options with the last 2 points. There are other combinations available, too, that would require the loss of Earth’s Grasp, but they are still options nonetheless. I would be hard pressed to choose such options, but I’m not the be-all-end-all of elemental shaman, either.

After dialing in my spec, I remembered that reforging is available now, so off I went to Org. I happened to have gathered that the hit requirements for raiding are substantially higher since I last played (from 289 to 446). Sounds daunting, but with the new spirit to hit mechanic of Elemental Precision, it’s practically a joke to get to the hit cap. Afterwards, after looking at what my Mastery is (Elemental Overload) I decided to reforge any crit rating I could spare into mastery after having reached the hit cap. Later I found that the head and shoulder enchants that featured MP5 were now spirit, so I swapped out to acquire those enchants, then I swapped my leg enchant to drop stam in favor of spirit. For a moment it almost felt sacreligious loading up my gear with spirit, being that it has been a nigh-worthless stat on shaman gear for all of 5 years, but it’s a really REALLY nice change. For those of us shaman who decide to utilize a resto spec as our second spec, we can easily get away with using some (if not all) of our elemental gear for resto; while not “ideal”, it would work sufficiently enough, I believe.

Afterwards, I spent some time at the target dummies and quickly realized I needed some manner of alert to when Fulmination and Lava Surge would occur. Fortunately, I was able to ninja some Power Auras settings from the fine folks at Totemspot to assist with that. A quick romp through a heroic showcased how ridiculous DPS has gotten with the patch, with bosses dying in the 12-13 second range consistently. Later, after winning Wintergrasp I stepped into my first raid in since logging back in, and I was actually nervous because I had no idea how much dps I would do being that I was still getting the hang of the new changes. Not only that, but a couple of friends and former guildies were in the group, so I didn’t want to faceplant in front of all of them, heh. On we proceeded to Toravon, and after making mincemeat out of him, I had one of my friends whisper me damage meters (since I was too dumb to remember to load Recount).

1. Kazgrel 13.7k

…wut? The best I had ever done on that fight pre-4.0 was 10-10.5k, and I think I had a flask on for those times whereas last night I did not. While most people will see the 13.7k and think “Hey, that’s pretty damn good”, I actually felt like I have some serious room for improvement in terms of adapting to Lava Surge procs and Fulmination. It’s exciting yet scary at the same time.

One thing that’s been made ridiculous with 4.0: The T10 4 piece bonus, aka Never-ending Flame Shock. So long as I’m on the spot picking up Lava Surge procs, my Flame SHock dot will pretty much never fall off of a target, much like how shadow priests keep their Shadow Word Pain refreshed constantly with Mind Flay (which could be changed with 4.0 now for all I know; I am not a priest expert). I almost wish the bonus would go in as a talent, or maybe (preferrably) a glyph, perhaps replacing the current Flame Shock glyph.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the changes. I’m satisfied with my shaman being my only toon at this point. Hopefully we won’t run into scaling issues come level 85 like we did when we first hit 80; I don’t think we will.

Almost Lost in The Storm: Cataclysm Talent Tree Revision

July 14, 2010 1 comment

Amidst the firestorm following last week’s Real ID fiasco (which was reversed, as you can read here), a major change coming in Cata was announced: A complete overhaul of the talent trees. Well, the changes can be found here:

http://www.wowtal.com/

Another change is how you go about acquiring and using said talent points. Once a character reaches level 10, they will be given the choice as to what spec they want to play. When they choose a spec, they will gain several new abilities and baked-in powers. Here’s elemental as an example:

Eye of The Storm – Pushback resistance for LB, CL, LvB, and Hex
Thunderstorm (yes, at level 10!)
Elemental Fury – Increases critical strike damage bonus of fire, frost, and nature spells along with searing and magma totem by 100%

The new talent design philosophy looks to be more clear. It was a year or so ago that developers stated they wanted to thin out the talent trees and remove the “boring” talents (such as all those 5-points-for-5%-crit talents so many classes had, which were considered standard for many builds). One noticable absence from the elemental tree is the old Lightning Mastery talent, which reduces the cast time of LB, CL, and LvB by half a second. I’m guessing that it will be part of the specialization system, where say at level 20 or 30 you will get this talent baked in. Or…maybe it is being removed altogether, which wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, because to compensate for lower base cast times, spell power coefficients would have to go up, which could lead to even bigger, burstier Lava Burst damage which is already a major complaint amongst the pvp community (that elemental’s burst damage is way too high). I suspect my theory that it’ll be baked in at a later level holds true, but I have no concrete evidence to prove it, or to prove otherwise (no beta invite for me, FFFFFUUUUUUUU).

The elemental tree, as it is, looks pretty straightforward, but I can see some points of possible flexibility, but they depend on how mana efficiency will be. I recall that the devs want mana management to be part of the game for healing, but for dps they want you to be able to go balls out at all times. Elemental definitely does not have mana problems (so long as you don’t fail at making sure water shield is up) at this current time, but with factoring in gear/level scaling, I won’t be surprised to find that we aren’t as mana efficient once we hit 85.

Edit: Having looked over all the trees as a whole, there’s still a lot of work to be done and questions to be answered. By all trees, I’m talking about other classes, too. Here’s hoping for the best, heh.

Another edit: Regarding the loss of Lightning Mastery, it appears to be baked into Eye of The Storm, although the tooltip does not reflect this. See this post on EJ; Tufy is playing the beta from what I gathered, so good to see that we won’t be losing out on that free haste, heh.

Achievement Hunting, Alt-itis, and Ruby Sanctum first impressions

June 30, 2010 1 comment

It’s been a busy couples of weeks on the RL front as of late, so time to catch the blog up on wow-related happenings, weee!

I can has cheese…ments?

I’ve become quite the achievement hunter as of late, and oddly enough it’s after I eclipsed the 9000 achievement points mark. I actually expected it to happen; it being that I would struggle to pass the 9000 mark (for which you get the ever-so lovely “It’s Over Nine Thousand!” feat of strength, which I link to noobs when they ask me what my gear score is). A month after acquiring said feat of strength, I now border 9500; 9495 to be exact, and I’ll tip over that scale once we make a corpse out of Halion.

The highlight of recent achievements was done with a pseudo-pug (pseudo in the fact it was mostly members of another raid guild on our server) that in 2 days cleared all of the Ulduar 25 hard mode achievements, including the Yogg +1 kill that taunted me for the past 2-3 months since the last pseudo-pug (which was more of a pug than this group) cleared all of the achievements except for Yogg +1, which we spent some 6 or so hours trying to complete. No more of that achievement festering like a wound, for now I fly the skies of Azeroth on an ironbound proto-drake, which is actually rarer than the ICC frost wyrm mounts that are starting to roll out in droves. Sadly, we could not beat Algalon with that group; our next to last attempt had him at ~5% (forgot the exact amount but it was single digits), but a LOT of people in the raid had never done the fight before. I believe that guild went back last week and got that done, though.

Speaking of frost wyrms…I’m only 3 achievements away from the bloodbathed frostbrood vanquisher, but I most likely won’t get that done this week. I’m in our hand-picked group that is working on LK hard mode, and I still need the achievement for letting necrotic plague or whatever stack to 30 (along with Full House and All You Can Eat). I should be able to coerce the guild into working those down, though. 😛

The largest chunk of the ~500 points I’ve acquired in the past month was by completing all the Midsummer achievements, which was the last of the metas needed to get the violet proto-drake. It was a bit anticlimatic, to say the least, since I got the violet a week after having acquired the ironbound…”eh, violet proto, whatever”…heh. 😛 I still think putting up with doing all that stuff over the course of a year warrants a nice shiny 310% speed flying mount. Looking forward, if I decide I want to pursue this drake on any of my alts, I’ll be able to fly around the old world when Cata arrives, so knocking this stuff out should be a LOT faster.

Now my goal is to make it to 10k achievement points before Cataclysm, but I do not think that will happen. The largest chunk of points I could acquire towards getting there would be by acquiring Battlemaster; I’m only about 2/3 of the way toward that, with a lot of Strand and AV victories between me and it, among a slew of other achievements, such as the infamous “We had it all along *cough*”, where you win a game of AB by the score of 1600-1590. Sadly, I know for fact I’ve pulled that off 2-3 times in years past, but that was well before the achievement system came into play. I could start looking for arena teams, also…but I think I’d rather stab myself in the eyes with a rusty spork than bother with arena. I thoroughly enjoy battlegrounds and Wintergrasp, but arena infuriates me to no end, mainly because you can no longer do well by grabbing your friends and jumping right in; they have to be a certain class/spec to complement you so that you can compete at a respectable level. Perhaps my full analysis/opinion on wow pvp will come to fruition in the form of a future blog post. 🙂

Alt-itis in Full Swing

Despite enjoying BGs and WG, I barely bothered with it this weekend. Instead, alt-itis was in full swing. I have acquired dual spec on every single character I have now (since I have money running out of my ears on Kaz; I have bought pretty much every “gold sink” at this point). Played my DK and hunter for the first time in several months; switched the DK from blood dps to unholy and I’ve noticed it’s a slight dps upgrade without having a good grasp on the rotation involved. I’m pretty sure I can start cranking out 1k dps consistently on him…oh, he’s level 67, btw, and half his gear is still the DK starter gear, heh. With the hunter, I have picked up Marksmanship as a second spec, along with the standard BM leveling spec. I’m thinking that MM, with it’s focus on increased direct damage and aoe, should allow me to push more dps than I currently do as BM. Also, in the event my pet were to die, I wouldn’t lose 40 some odd percent of my dps (I am making that number up, for I haven’t really paid attention to the damage breakdown to that degree).

My rogue and mage are neck and neck level wise, having just passed over the level 40 mark. They are both solid dps, but polar opposites; I can wreck single target dps on the rogue like it’s cool, but the mage wins the overall battle due to having obscene aoe. I enjoy the mage experience more, but that’s mainly due to WoTLK Syndrome, where every dungeon/raid has ended up being “zomg aoe” and mobs evaporate in a cloud of flashy colors. I have dual spec on both toons already, but with no clear direction as to what I’d do with a second spec…maybe pvp specs for each, but BG queues for horde in general are abysmal, no matter the level.

The lock and priest are stuck in the low 70s range for now; I will probably resort to leveling via quests, since I am bored to tears with Northrend dungeons since I’ve run them 1340589372618934751236495823745132 times in the past year and a half or so. They have their professions (tailoring/enchanting on the lock, herbing/alchemy on the priest) maxed out, so I have my money’s worth out of them, heh.

I am slowly converting my paladin into a full time healadin; the only problem is motivating myself to run heroics to finish off his gear…I think my summary in the previous paragraph sums that up. Druid isn’t doing much of anything since I’m burned out facerolling heroics for welfare loot; current use for him aside from making glyphs for other toons is Anzu farming; I have a deal worked out with a friend where we run each other’s mains through for Anzu using our druids. No mount so far, but I think in time we’ll both have it. 🙂

Ruby Sanctum: First Impression

Ruby Sanctum was finally opened to the public yesterday, and elements from it are quite nice to see. For one, there’s a couple of trash packs featuring Commander mobs (forget the exact name) that have to be pulled out and away from the rest, or else it provides a battle shout or whatever that increases the damage done by nearby units; the more that are stacked together, the more they get buffed. Try piling them all together and AOEing, and you’ll quickly see that your tanks are dead. Said trash packs have my seal of approval.

The mini bosses aren’t anything exciting, although the one that’s to the left when you enter can royally eff people up if tanks aren’t awake and pick up the mirror images. As for Halion…ah, Halion, you bastard. I personally feel like this is a VERY easy fight, at least on normal (I have not been in for any heroic attempts). All that fire and shit you see on the videos? It tickles. Seriously. I was quite disappointed when I stood smack dab in the middle of A FUCKING METEOR STRIKE…and it hit me for all of 15k. Hopefully on heroic that’s an instagib in heroic, heh. I mean…a giant fucking rock the size of a UPS truck just fell on my head and I’m doing just fine, thank you very much. Of course, I stood there while we purposefully dying due to a wipe being called.

So did we kill Halion? No…and of course we had a soul-crushing 2-3% wipe. So what was killing people? Positioning was one, namely when folks would transition between the realms. Folks would get gibbed by cleave going into P2 until we were like “durr, move teh dargon 2 teh wahl” or something to that degree. Biggest killer of the night, though: Big Blue Laser. In the shadow realm, there are 2 big orbs that circle the room; they resemble the shadow orbs that float around in the Blood Prince Council fight in ICC. Every 15ish seconds, there will be an emote/warning that goes out about the orbs getting shiny or something (were I to write it, it would say “HALION IZ CHARGIN HIZ LAZURZ”) then a laser beam forms between the two orbs, going across the room and rotating clockwise. Hardest job here, imo, would be for the tank; they have to keep themselves just ahead of the laser, almost parallel with it, so that us squishy folk don’t get owned by cleave, breath attack, or a tail swipe that stuns/knocks down long enough for the laser to catch up and OM NOM NOM NOOB.

That’s Halion in a nutshell, more or less. Not a very difficult fight, and I believe we’ll have it done with either tonight or some time later in the week. For now, lunch time is near, so I must go feed my face. Adios!