Archive for July, 2009

3.2 Mounts & Pets

MMO-Champion just made a fantastic summary of all the new mounts and pets coming in 3.2

3.2 Mount Summary

3.2 Pet Summary

Personally I’m looking forward to collecting all the raptors! Right now I’m busy writing a final 3.2 kitty kat summary post which will be done in the next day or two. Stay tuned for that!

Pimp Your Squire!

With 3.2 there are many changes to the Argent Tournament grounds. The biggest being of course The Crusaders’ Colliseum which is the new content in the patch. However there are also lots of really neat doodads to pimp your druid out. Blizzard has been kind enough to make a summary post.

Argent Tournament Rewards in 3.2 (Source)

Assuming you are eligible for all of the new dailies being added to the Argent Tournament — meaning you have championed all primary factions and reached exalted with them as well as with the Argent Crusade and Silver Covenant/Sunreavers — and plan on doing Trial of the Champion, the 5-player Crusaders’ Coliseum dungeon on Heroic mode, the maximum number of Champion’s Seals you can obtain in a single day will be 15 after patch 3.2 hits, not including any lucky Champion’s Seal drops in the Champion’s Purse.

Here is a breakdown of the costs of some of the Argent Tournament rewards in 3.2:

Argent Crusader’s Tabard: 50 seals
Argent Pony Bridle (for your squire): 150 seals

Bind-on-Account chest pieces: 60 seals
Bind-on-Account weapons: 60-95 seals
Bind-on-Account trinkets: 75 seals
Argent Warhorse/Argent Charger (epic ground mounts): 100 seals
Quel’dorei Steed/Sunreaver Hawkstrider (epic ground mounts): 100 seals
Silver Covenant Hippogryph/Sunreaver Dragonhawk (epic flying mounts): 150 seals
Shimmering Wyrmling (pet): 40 seals

Personally my favorites and first on the list will be the Argent Crusader’s Tabard and Argent Pony Bridle. The tabard has the amazingly convenient function of teleporting you to the tournament grounds which is great not only for doing dailies but also for getting you back to Northrend when your Hearthstone is down. This is a great supplement to the Blessed Medallion of Karabor which teleports you back to Outlands. However, the squire upgrade is by far the best addition to the tournament. This allows you to summon your Bank, a Vendor or a Mailbox once every four hours. This is a poor mans version of Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth (only missing component is the ability to repair). 150 Champion’s Seals is a lot less expensive than 20,000 gold!

The total count to get all these wonderful doodads (excluding mounts and pets) will be 200 Champion’s Seals or 14 days of dailies. This assumes that you already are a Crusader at the start of 3.2 and you have 0 seals to your name to start.  Hopefully, you’ve been a busy bee (like myself! I’m at 150 seals!) and been doing the dailies as often as possible, that will help to reduce the amount of time it will take to collect everything. For those who haven’t started any of the Argent Tournament quests or dailies, you can begin the ardous journey here.

Here are some videos of the tabard and pony:

Pimp Your Druid: Soloing Bloodlord Mandokir

This is the second installment of my Pimp Your Druid series of posts. This will focus on Bloodlord Mandokir and how to solo him for your very own Swift Razzashi Raptor from Zul`Gurub. The difficulty of this is more challenging than soloing Anzu but it is still manageable with any level of gear.

Prerequisite

  • The only firm requirement for this is that you must be in a raid to enter Zul`Gurub. Find a free friend and create a raid.
  • While you don’t have to be level 80, it definitely helps to make things easier and faster

What gear do I need?

  • Personally, I wear as much stam as possible, with no buffs aside from Mark of the Wild and Thorns
  • If you are worried about your gear, try entering battlegrounds to get some buffs/food first, before starting your run

Getting There/Clearing Trash

  • As this is a level 60 instance, you can literally mount up and run past everything.
  • You will need to clear one trash pack, this is the pack of raptors to the right of Bloodlord’s tower.

How to Solo Bloodlord Mandokir

First and foremost, when facing Bloodlord, there is a raptor pack to the right of his tower. Clear this trash pack, this is vital to the strategy and will be explained later.

Once you kill the Vilebranch Speaker (at the bottom of the stairs), Bloodlord will engage you automatically. At the start of the fight, you will have to deal with both Bloodlord and his raptor Orghan. It is advisable to kill Orghan first to minimize the overall amount of damage in the long run. When Orghan dies, Bloodlord will enrage and gain Frenzy which will increase his attack speed by 65% and increases damage by 50 for 1 min and 50 seconds. At this point you should pop your cooldowns to minimize the damage taken. BarkskinDemoralizing RoarFrenzied Regeneration are all things that you should be using and on cooldown for the remainder of the fight. Throughout the fight, Bloodlord will also cast Threatening Gaze which puts a 2s timer on you. If you are using abilities at the end of the 2s timer, he will Charge you. While you can stand stationary and avoid the charge, if your gear is not as good as you’d like it to be, you may way to consider this. I personally don’t do this and push through the extra damage.

The fight presents two main problems for druids, which are fears and damage. Both can be managed by doing the following:

  • Fear – This can be really messy, especially with all the trash in Bloodlord’s room. Rather than clearing all the trash, you can use his tower to fight Bloodlord. When Bloodlord is engaged, move him and fight him at the top of his tower. This way when he fears, instead of being feared in a random direction, it will force you to be feared down his staircase. After the fear, move yourself back to the top of the tower and repeat throughout the fight. This will ensure that no extra trash will be pulled into the fight.
Tanking at the top of the stairs, forces fears down the stairs

Tanking at the top of the stairs, forces fears down the stairs. No Extra Trash!

  • Damage – Bloodlord does a lot of damage (even at lv 80). It is probably possible to not require heals if you’re in bear spec and bear gear with buffs and consumables. However I’ve never tried it that way as I do this in stam gear + cat spec + no buffs. For those who don’t have the gear or don’t want to respec, you can do the following to heal yourself. At the top of the tower, when you are getting low (If I fall below 40% I make the move), jump from the tower to the left side (facing the staircase) into the open space that was created by killing the raptor pack. Due to pathing, Bloodlord will be forced to run down the stairs and around to the back of he tower to engage you. During this time, you can easily case off multiple heals to bring yourself back up in health. Once you’ve topped yourself off, shift back to bear form and take Bloodlord back up to the top of the stairs.
Off in the corner where the raptor pack was, heal here and run him back up to the top of the stairs

Off in the corner where the raptor pack was, heal here and run him back up to the top of the stairs

So there you have it! Unfortunately Zul`Gurub is on a 3 day raid timer, so you won’t be able to do this everyday. However keep at it and soon you’ll be the proud owner of a Raptor like me! Stayed tuned for installment 3 which will be Pimp Your Druid: High Priest Thekal to obtain a Swift Zulian Tiger

Rawr!

Rawr!

Wowarmory to iPhone

Not particularly relevant kitties but as I just ordered an iPhone and thats quite relevant to me! I can’t wait to try this out (once it arrives since it’s on backorder grrrr). Best of all, it’s FREE, good job Blizzard! Now if only they could come up with an iPhone WOW client, that would be fantastic :)

Quote from: Blizzard (Source)
Ever wanted to check your raid schedule, look up a piece of PvP gear, or concoct a new talent spec while on the go? The new World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app for iPhone and iPod touch lets you access the official Armory database from anywhere you have a mobile connection, and features much of the same functionality as the Armory website (www.wowarmory.com), including:

* Search for and view any character, item, guild, or Arena team in World of Warcraft.
* Seamlessly import your own character, guild, and Arena team profiles.
* Access your in-game calendar of events.
* View achievement-point leaderboards.
* Plan out talent specs using the fully functional talent calculator.

The World of Warcraft Mobile Armory is available now as a free download from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

For more information, visit www.wowarmory.com/iphone.xml.

I love the smell of lobster in the morning

Whenever I see General Vezax I can’t help but think of Red Lobster. It’s like he picked himself up off the cutting board and ran into Ulduar to avenge all his fallen brothers of the sea. His hardmode, I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning is probably one of the more challenging achievements in the instance as a whole. However for melee this is probably one of the most boring ones to complete as well as our role is a straight dps race.

General Vezax Hard Mode – I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning

This hardmode is activated by ignoring (not killing) Saronite Vapours which are the only source of mana regeneration. Essentially the toughest job in this fight belongs to the healers who are forced to heal the entire fight with the mana pool they have. Once 8 Saronite Vapours have been ignored, they will merge and create a Saronite Animus. During this time, a Saronite Barrier will be cast on General Vezax which reduces 99% of damage done to him. While the Saronite Animus is activate it will cast Profoud Darkness causing significant damage to the raid as well. In other words, the Saronite Animus needs to be killed as soon as possible to remove the shield so you can kill General before your healers run out of mana.

Naturally all other abilities of General Vezax remain active throughout the fight and while the Animus is spawned as well. These abilities need to be managed accordingly:

  • Shadow Crash – Shoots a shadow missile towards a random target (preferring ranged), inflicting 11,310 to 12,690 Shadow damage to the target and anyone in 10 yd radius. A dark puddle spawns under the area of impact, increasing magical damage by 100%, decreasing casting speed by 100%, healing done and mana cost by 75%.
  • Mark of the Faceless – Applies a Mark of the Faceless to a random raid member (preferring ranged), causing them to drain 5,000 hit points every 1 second, for 10 seconds, from other nearby players. The health drained heals Vezax.
  • Searing Flames -Inflicts 13,875 to 16,125 Fire damage to everybody in the room, and reduces their armor by 75%. Can be interrupted.
  • Surge of Darkness – Increases Vezax’s damage by 100%, but decreases his movement speed by 55%, for 10 seconds. Cast every 60-70 seconds.

General Strategy

We tried this in two different ways, each have their pros and cons. Depending on your raid makeup one may be more beneficial to your group than the other but both are viable options.

  • Strategy 1: Use one tank, 3 healers and 6 dps. This will help to burn General down significantly faster which should result in a very low help Gen when the Animus spawns. Kill the Animus quickly and then burn the last few % remaining on Gen. The downside of this is your single tank will need to tank both Gen and Animus during this phase which requires a lot more focused healing on the single tank vs spreading healing across two. As well, having both Gen and Animus tanked on top of each other makes it difficult for ranged to see where Shadow Crash is going to land. We started with this strategy but switched due to the added difficulty of managing Shadow Crash.
  • Strategy 2: Use two tanks, 3 healers, 5 dps. Same as above except the secondary tank will pickup the Animus during that phase. The benefit is less healing focused on one tank and also the ability to position the Animus in a way that will make it easier for ranged to see the Shadow Crash landing. We moved to this strategy and felt this was the easier way. Naturally the downside is a Gen with a lot more health which means this puts a lot more pressure on your healers to manage their mana for an extended period of time.

In addition to the general strategy we used the following setup to help us

  • Healing wise, we had a Resto Shammy, Disc Priest and a Resto Druid. Other setups are possible as well but a disc priest is extremely beneficial for this encounter and a resto druid Omen of Clarity healing is fantastic as well. (Yay free heals!)
  • Having a melee heavy group (which we do) simplifies the fight significantly. Not having to dodge Shadow Crash turns this fight into a straight dps burn. The downside of this naturally is you cannot utilize the benefit of Shadow Crash puddles to increase dps.
  • A minimum of three raid members must be at ranged to manage the Shadow Crashes (preferably ranged dps). All other melee/healers should be right on his Lobster tail to minimize any Shadow Crash failure and provide a little bit of melee damage as well, every little bit helps!
  • Setup a movement path for Shadow Crash, if you get hit, there should be a designated path to exit (left, right, back etc)
  • If someone dies to a Shadow Crash during the Animus Spawn, have a backup that is ready to move out into ranged to take their place. If this does not happen General will Shadow Crash someone within melee and essentially cause a wipe. It is absolutely imperative that someone have good reaction speed to make this adjustment if required.

Kitty Tips

  • Berserk early so that it will be up again while the animus is spawned.
  • Don’t interrupt if you don’t have to, interrupting screws with our dps mechanics way too much and shouldn’t be done unless there is no other option.
  • This is strictly a dps race that has no change in mechanics for a kitty. While other people in your raid have to deal with additional mechanics you are free to continue like normal.  This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways, maximize your dps to the best of your abilities!

genhardmode

First Look: Algalon

Last night we put in our first hour of attempts into Algalon. Once we got past the “ohhs” and “ahhs” of the momentus occasion and the multitude of screenshots, we got to work.

The fight itself (which I’ll discuss once he’s dead) is very mechanical and purely based on execution. I really wish (something I discussed previously here) they didn’t make the hard mode boss “hard” due to the fact that you have a one hour timer. If you can learn to execute the transitions of the fight, it wouldn’t take you very long to make the kill. I would have much preferred a fight that was so complex and challenging that you could ram your head into the wall for hours upon hours and not kill him. That is what makes something hard, not a timer!

With time against us, we rushed through as many attempts as we could. After a solid hour of attempts and one minute left on our timer we decided to go back in and go for another attempt. While we don’t have enough time to make the kill before he departs, perhaps he won’t disappear if you engaged him right? WRONG! midway through our attempt he went passive and decided he was done playing with us (lol)

Algalon the Observer’s Ascend to the Heavens hits Vallen for 6910 Arcane.(712748 Overkill)

Overall a fun first day, our best attempts so far range in the 65% area after the first big bang but the healing definitely needs to get worked out as he is smashing our poor tanks into oblivion. :(

Getting ready to unlock Algalon

Getting ready to unlock Algalon

Blood Elf Raid?

Blood Elf Raid?

The four keeper sigils unlocking Algalon's door

The four keeper sigils unlocking Algalon's door

"Stand back, mortals. I am not here to fight you."

"Stand back, mortals. I am not here to fight you."

Nightlight in the Darkness

Continuing with my series of hard mode posts, today I’d like to discuss Yogg Saron’s hard mode, One Light in the Darkness. One light naturally meaning keeping 1 keeper up out of the 4. This is not the hardest possible hardmode for Yogg Saron which is actually 0 keepers up, but for the meta achievement only YS+1 is required. However, YS+0 was recently acccomplished by Stars a China guild playing on Taiwan servers. If you’d like to read up on how they did it, the article is here up on MMO-Champion.

Yogg Saron Hard Mode – One Light in the Darkness

To successfully accomplish this achievement you need to activate Thorim while keeping Freya/Mimiron and Thorim inactive.

General Strategy/Kitty Tips

Essentially this fight is no different than if you were to do this fight with 4 keepers up. The different really being execution and efficiency in which you perform the fight. The only essential buff is Titanic Storm to kill Immortal Guardians. Without this, you would get overwhelmed and inevitiably wipe. You might think that Freya is necessary for sanity, but the faster you get through each phase, the less important sanity becomes.

  • Burn through the brain phase as fast as possible, the more dps you can do, the more likely you can get through phase 2 in 1 transition. We weren’t able to (in 1 brain phase) but we were still to make the kill so it is possible to survive through more than one brain phase without sanity wells. Icecrown vision is ideal for a quick brain phase if you’re lucky!
  • Watch your sanity! You should never get into a situation where you’d go insane pre phase 3. Once in phase 3 if you’re low and you’re dps’ing YS, switch to dps’ing Immortals (with your back facing YS). Have someone who has higher sanity to switch with you.
  • Berserk as soon as you get into the brain, you want to get down to 30% as fast as possible. Your berserk may be up again in phase 3 but regardless it’s more important to get out of Phase 2 which eats a lot of your sanity.

Considering Yogg Saron is the last boss in the instance (excluding Algalon) you’d think the hard mode for this encounter would be significantly harder but really I would rank this near the difficulty of Heartbreaker. Remember, this fight is no different than YS+4, execute efficienctly and it’s a walk in the park.

yshardmode


I’m Retired!

As of 04/04/2011, I have officially retired from WOW. This blog will remain as a archived resource for those who know that CAT DRUID IS 4 FITE!

About Me

A blog for the ramblings and thoughts of Vallen, a full time raiding cat druid from Auchindoun-US with a passion for raiding & achievements. An avid wow player since 2004.

For any questions or concerns contact me via comments or e-mail

Achievement Points
12250
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Mount
Amani War Bear
Shirt
Master Builder's Shirt
Title
Commander
Tabard
Tabard of the Lightbringer

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