Archive for May, 2009

Fall of Jewelcrafting

A major announcement was made for Jewelcrafting on the 22nd which I haven’t had a chance to address yet:

Quote from: Bornakk (Source)

In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon’s Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.

This is actually a pretty big chance which will significantly change the benefits of JC vs other professions. Lets try and break it down to how it affects raiding and kitty dps. Lets focus in only on professions that give dps boots and skip the don’t have direct bonuses (ie. Herbalism, Mining, Engineering, Tailoring)

Profession DPS Bonus Summary

Alchemy: Mixology (increased duration on flasks 2x + increased effect)

Blacksmithing: Socket Bracer, Socket Glove (Add 2 prismatic sockets)

Enchanting: Enchant Ring – Assault (+32 Attack Power x2)

Inscription: Master’s Inscription of the Axe (+104 Attack Power, +15 Crit)

Jewelcrafting: Delicate Dragon’s Eye (+27 Agil x 3)

Leatherworking: Fur Lining – Attack Power (+114 Attack Power)

Skinning: Master of Anatomy (+32 Crit)

Now that we understand the general bonuses, how does that affect kitty dps? Below are some basic kitty conversion numbers pulled from Elitist Jerks

*1 Agi = 1.18932 AP (1.308252 AP) (Cat Only)

*1 Agi = 0.0129744% (0.01427184%) Crit

*1 CritRating = 0.022% Crit


Alchemy: +64 AP from Flask of Endless Rage

Blacksmithing: 2 Sockets = + 16 agil x2 = 32 Agility or 41.86 AP + 0.46% Crit

Enchanting: 2 Ring Enchants = +32 AP x 2 = +64 AP

Inscription: Shoulders +104 AP – +40 AP (Exalted Hodir Enchant) = +64 AP

Jewelcrafting (pre nerf): 3 Pris Gems (in blue/yellow & red socket) (19+19+11 Agility) = +49 Agility or 64.1 AP +0.70% Crit

Jewelcrafting (post nerf): 3 Pris Gems (in 3 red sockets) (11 Agility)x3 = +33 Agility or 43.17 AP +0.47% Crit

Skinning: +32 Crit = 0.704% Crit

Summary?

All professions are pretty close in terms of benefit with BS and JC coming out on top. While JC was far superior before the nerf it’s been brought a little closer into alignment with the rest of the professions. It’s still the logical choice to choose but just not as apparent as before. While BS is definitely the next best option, it really doesn’t make sense for a druid to be a BS so any of the other professions seem to a better choice.

ps. In case you’re wondering why I’m Enchanting/Herbalism, the main reason behind this is me being lazy and waiting for Ulduar to see if epic gems would be released. I really should get to work and lv JC but laziness and the convenience of being able to farm my own herbs are winning the war. (epic flight form herbing ftw!) 🙂

You’re a… Heartbreaker

I originally wrote some thoughts on the XT hardmode Heartbreaker a few weeks ago. At the time in it’s original form it was quite frankly, difficult as balls. However, since then they’ve gone and nerfed it “to the ground”. I’m really not too happy that they did this, sure we got the achievement (in 1 try no less) but it doesn’t really feel like we earned it nor was it really worthy of being called a hard mode.

Quote from: Blizzard (Source)

The hit point increasing hard mode ability for XT-002 Deconstructor has been reduced to 50% in the 10 player Normal setting, and 60% in the 25 player Heroic setting. The corresponding damage increase for XT-002 has also been reduced to 15%. Life Sparks also have half of their previous hit point values.

XT-002 Deconstructor Hard Mode – Heartbreaker

  • XT-002 no longer enters heartphase (you broke his heart duh!)
  • XT-002 HP increased by 50% (5mil HP to 12.5mil HP)
  • XT-002 damage is increased by 25%
  • Gravity Bombs now drop a void zone once they expire
  • Light Bombs now spawn a Light Spark upon expiry

General Tips

  • Don’t pop heroism on 1st heart, you shouldn’t need it
  • Use 1 tank, Assault Bots that spawn can be tanked easily by a cat druid or a ret pally etc
  • Melee should try and stack on 1 foot (say right) so that if someone gets Searing Light, they can switch to the left foot and continue to dps
  • Gravity Bomb void zones should be dropped far away to avoid any accidental dmg
  • Have your casters (we had 2) kill Light Sparks, keep melee on XT

Kitty Tips

  • Berserk on your 1st heart phase, it’ll be up again before the fight is over
  • Before the heart phase begins (pre 75%) try and get a nice big 4-5 cp Savage Roar applied this will help to minimize the amount of cp’s wasted during this phase and increase your overall dmg
  • Make sure your Tiger’s Fury is up + full energy pre heart phase, dps loss pre heart phase is better than dps loss during heart phase.
  • Help your healers out, pop Barkskin/Survival Instincts when possible during Tympanic Tantrum or if shit hits the fan, shift out and drop some heals

xthardmode

Whats the point of doing this achievement? Fluxing Energy Coils 🙂

It’s about damn time

Quote from: Blizzard (Source)
In our next major content patch, druids will find a host of new textures for two major forms, cat and bear. There will be five different designs for each of these forms for the Horde and Alliance. Night elves can choose to change their cat and bear look at any time by visiting the barber shop and changing their character’s hair color, while tauren will be able to change which look they use by switching skin tones in the barber shop — a new feature for tauren in the next major content patch. Given that there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form looks, some colors and tones will overlap with these new textures. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond with the color seen in the look of each form. Some similar colors that may share a particular cat texture will not necessarily share the same bear texture.

We’d like to share with you this new art for each form and faction in four installments. So without further ado, our first preview is for the five new textures of the tauren druid bear form. We’ll also show the current form design so you can easily see the extra detail and textures of the new art. Work continues on new looks for the remaining druid forms and we hope to add them in future content patches.

Where are the cat models?! ^^

EDIT: Added Night Elf Models!

Too Much Penetration

There was a blue post made on Friday (I would have updated but I don’t blog on weekends) regarding the potential changes to Armor Penetration.

Quote from: Ghostcrawler (Source)

We are now considering capping armor penetration at 100%. Armor could no longer go negative. We’re not sure if we would do this in a hotfix or in 3.1.2. We just wanted to let anyone know who is furiously trying to acquire every armor pen item in the game.

Note that there is not a not a cap on the amount of armor that can be reduced in WoW at the moment. Also note that capping armor penetration at 100% does not mean that you can always reduce every target’s armor to 0%. The tooltip says “up to” for a reason.

Yes, we understand this stat can be a little confusing.

Whats up with this potential change? My thoughts are it’s a precautionary change to prevent all melee classes from stacking ArP and ignoring all other stats, allowing a theoretical maximum much higher than anticipated. Stacking one stat only is not something new, a prime example being pre 3.1, all kitties recall stacking str gems to maximize Savage Roar even though it didn’t really make sense (logically) from a kitty/rogue philosophical perspective. What should we be doing now? Well there’s a lot of discussion going on on the Elitist Jerk forums on what gear choices should be made going forward. The choices that need to be made are highly dependent on each individual druid. Regardless of the change, you should still aim to stack towards 100% to maximize your benefit from ArP which can be done using trinkets, gear or a combination of both. Some things that need to be considered are:

  • Are you a full time kitty or a full time bear/part time kitty? (Do you have a separate kitty set?)
  • How much ArP do you have now? How close are you to the cap (100%)? With/Without a trinket?
  • Do you have access to Hard Mode IC/Naxx to obtain the ArP trinkets? (Grim Toll, Mjolner Runestone)

Personally, I am sitting at a level of ArP that is not close enough to the cap (even with Grim toll) to make it worthwhile to gem for ArP. As such I’m still gemmed purely for agility. This may/will probably change as I continue to get more ArP gear but in the interim, I’m sitting on my current gems waiting for more gear (WRU Mjolner Runestone) and the outcome of Blizzard’s changes & the discussions of the community. The last thing you want to do is gear towards a goal before the stat is balanced.

Appease Lord Consumablars

One of the most challenging things in raiding is to find 25 competent, consistent & dedicated raiders to pull together and work towards a common goal. Contrary to popular believe, WOW is a game and not a job and to ask for everyone to be at their best always is a challenging task.

One of the most difficult things I find is ensuring that everyone is using consumables for progression nights. I completely understand that consumables are not necessary for farm nights because who doesn’t want to save some gold? But on a progression night where we’re trying to push the envelope and every little bit counts, it’s absolutely a must.

I stumbled upon an excellent addon (in my frustration in between wipes with guildies not using consumables) that actually identifies users who are not using consumables (flasks/elixirs & food buffs). Gone are the days of having to click on each user and look for buffs. This nifty addon will display in raid chat every guilty culprit who is trying to go unnoticed and fly under the radar. Worked great for us, hope it works for you

Behold! Check for Consumables

On a side note, thanks to Runy over at Unbearably HoT for the link and publicity for my fledging blog. I hope the folks that came to take a peek like what they’ve seen and will continue to read in the future. Not much to report in from the hard mode front except that we’ve been working on Freya and did complete Knock, Knock on Wood. All 3 will take a bit more work and coordination which I’ll report on once it’s complete!

Meatloaf for 25 – Yogg Saron Dead

We did it! That lumpy peice of shit is finally dead. While the 10 man version of Yogg Saron is pretty easy to tackle (if executed properly), the 25 man version is definitely a lot more challenging and requires a lot more from everyone participating. I’m proud to say that we pulled it together to finally get him down on our 2nd week of attempts and 4th night overall.

Congrats Daybreak!

Congrats Daybreak! Can you spot the Kitty Kat?

There are lot of little things that players can do to help make the kill easier. I’ll try and outline as many tips as I can below with a few feral specific tips as well. For those who are still working on YS, best of luck, it’s definitely one of my favorite fights in Ulduar & WOTLK in general. It reminds me of C’thun from the good ol days, where not only does it require strong raid dps, but there is a lot of execution required. If anyone else has tips to contribute back to me I’d love to hear them as well.

General Tips

  • P1: To minimize cloud failure, we have the raid stack at the entrance and use our 3 tanks to cycle add back and forth from the door to Sara. The only danger being bringing Guardians too low before they can hit Sara. Make sure your dps is called off (we called off at 40%) and have a few casters (with a dispeller) near the middle to finish off adds
  • P2: Group up as much as possible, no reason to spread out and it keeps all the hentai tentacles close together
  • P2: If your melee are missing portals, try and assign quadrants to move to. It seems completely logical and easy to get to your portals but this ensures you don’t have 10 melee trying to hit the same portal and potentially missing them.
  • P2: Melee need to focus fire corruptors. As you all pop out of the brain, group up and hit the same corruptors to bring them down faster. The more spread out you are, the more corruptors you have up at 30-40% throughout the whole room.
  • P3: Have your melee on the guardians, having natural AOE is a huge help to control adds. We never had more than 2 up at a time throughout the entirety of p3. We actually tried with casters on adds first but found they would fall behind too fast. Warn your ret pallies/dks to be careful not to pull guardians too early with their AOE, which happened to our ret pally on multiple occasions.

Feral Tips

  • P1: Don’t bother trying to drop huge amounts of dps on P1. I dropped a rake + 2-3cp rip at most and tried to interrupt Dark Volley to help our healers.
  • P1: At the end of phase 1/beginning of phase 2 look to see who needs your innervate. It will be up again by the time phase 3 comes around.
  • P2: The “back” of Yogg Saron’s brain is “The Tortured Champion” vision side. No matter what vision you come out of, you can put your back to this vision and you can shred to your heart’s delight.
  • P2: As you enter the brain via portals, pop your Tiger’s Fury as early as possible. This will help to ensure that it will be up again as soon as you get into the brain so you can unload.
  • P2: Pop your Berserk on the first brain transition. It will help to reduce the # of brain phases that are required (we average 3) and it will be up again by the time P3 hits.
  • P2: Always apply your dots, then reapply just before you leave the brain. We generally had anywhere between 30-45s per brain phase, so by the time you run out of time your dots will be falling off. Reapplying before you leave ensures they continue to tick until the next portal phase.
  • P3: Nothing much to say here except kill on sight!

The best news from all of this is, no more four day 25 man raid weeks! Yes that’s right, we have excess time now to focus in on hard modes in Ulduar10 which we are planning to do tonight. Look for some more reports on Freya/Mimiron soon 🙂

ps. Guess which kitty now has 4pt8 ^^

Rawr!

Rawr!

Gimme that Cache

After a relatively successful week of hard modes last week, we began our 2nd week of hard mode ulduar10 attempts.

A lot of lessons learned from last week gave us a different way to approach the instance. Instead of bashing our heads against encounters that could be made a lot easier with additional gear, we decided to attack ones that are more time/skill based rather than gear based. This week we started with Orbit-uary where the only requirement for success is to have high ilevel gear. Vehicle health/damage for this encounter scale directly based on the ilevel of your gear. So no matter how much more gear you get over time, if the ilevel is the same you’ve already maxed out. Unfortunately we didn’t make too much headway with this but we did managed to kill FL with 2 towers up. We decided to push forward rather than wasting too much time on the first boss in the instance.  Next on the chopping block? Hodir.

Hodir Hard Mode – I Could Say That Cache was Rare

  • Defeat Hodir in 3 minutes or less

This is nothing more than a timed fight, there are no additional abilities/hp/adds etc it’s just a matter of executing quickly. There are several things that must be done to ensure you have the dps/buffs to make this possible:

General Tips

  • Do it with 1 tank/2 healers/7 dps, no reason to take more than 2 healers and the extra dps slot is 100% necessary
  • Your MT needs to kite around Starlight (100% haste) light beams to maximize dps. While your casters can reach this whever they are, melee are much more dependent on your tank
  • Anyone that gets buffed with Storm Cloud (135% critical strike damage) should run through the whole raid to apply the buff to everyone in the raid
  • When Hodir Flash Freezes, your MT should kite to a nearby Snowdrift so that your melee dps can continue to attack

Kitty Tips

  • Starlight is nice but Storm Cloud is far better, that should be your priority buff to obtain
  • If you have a 5 cp rip ticking already w/o Storm Cloud reapply when you get the buff, you’ll do a lot more dmg

All of these suggestions/tips are something you should do anyways regardless of hard or easy mode as it helps to speed up the fight. In regards to difficulty it probably on par with Thorim and we actually completed this on our 2nd try. This leaves us with 2 keeper hard modes down with 2 more (Auriaya/Mimiron) before we can unlock Algalon. I think the next hard mode we will work on will most likely be Freya as that seems like the next easiest. But with 25 man taking up so much time, it’s hard to find the time to put in real attempts into 10 man hard modes. Hopefully once Yogg Saron is dead in 25 man (it better be this week dammit) we can spend 2-3 days on 10 man.

I think as this blog grows I’m going to add more discussions into hard modes/meta achievements as I find there’s really not much out there so far and we’re learning a lot of the strategies on our own. I’ll try and backtrack and discuss the previous ones we did over the next week or so.

hodirhardmode


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

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12250
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Mimiron's Head
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Amani War Bear
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Master Builder's Shirt
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Commander
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Tabard of the Lightbringer

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