Archive for June, 2010

Kael’Thas 52 – Vallen 1

52 ain’t bad considering it too me 132 tries to get Anzu.

Final Score: Kael’Thas 52 – Vallen 1

Next up, Attumen or Baron, choices choices…


Heroic Lich King 10 – DEAD


Yes, one word sums it up, finally after exactly 3 months since we unlocked heroic Lich King and about 1.5 months of truly working on this encounter we finally (and I really do mean finally) completed this unbelievably challenging encounter. This is by far the most intense fight I’ve ever experienced in 10 man and Blizzard truly has done a fantastic job at making something that really pushes the boundaries of its players. I can’t even begin to imagine how players dealt with this encounter without X% buffs. I believe the first kill was at 5% which is just ridiculous. True cudos to those who were able to do it earlier but in my mind, even with a kill at 20% buff there is absolutely no shame in that. I thought it would be fun to list out all the different ways we wiped in the progress of learning this encounter:

  • Death by Infest (I love you disc priests)
  • Death by Shadow Trap
  • Death by Shadow Trap because warlock’s in demon form don’t say “Shadow Trap on Me”
  • Death by incorrect transfer of necrotic plague due to Shadow Traps causing clumping of adds/players resulting in too many adds up during transition
  • Death by double enraged Shambling Horror
  • Death by Raging Spirit Shockwave via aggro pull
  • Death by Defile
  • Death by Valk grabbing tank healer
  • Death by Valk grabbing infest healer
  • Death by Valk drop due to Defile dropped in melee range
  • Death by Spirit Bombs in Frostmourne Room
  • Death by Wicked Spirits in Frostmourne Room (yay for boomkins)
  • Death by Vile Spirits not being soaked correctly due to incorrect positioning
  • Death by tank mismanagement of cooldowns for Soul Reaper
  • Death by tank moving in the wrong direction into Vile Spirits after teleport out of Frostmourne Room
  • Death by clumping on a defile after teleport out of Frostmourne Room
  • Death by disc priest falling off the platform at 4% because hes tunneling raid frames

I’m sure there are more things that caused wipes but these are the ones that stuck out in my mind. How many total attempts did we use total? I have no flipping idea. About 5-6 weeks of work and using anywhere between 10-25 attempts a week so you do the math, definitely not a small amount. The worst part of this fight is the duration of the fight. A kill can take anywhere between 15-20 minutes and that’s a very very VERY long time for many things to go wrong. You can pull off a perfect attempt for 15 minutes and then one person will make a small mistake and you’ll have to start from scratch. Or you could be playing flawlessly and RNG just smacks you in the face (example: disc priest getting grabbed by valks) It’s truly not an easy task for 10 people to play flawlessly for that long of a time period or for RNG not to throw something nasty your way.

Above and beyond the challenges of the fight itself, as I mentioned before we experienced a lot of turnover in our 10 man group. No drama, no fights just life catching up with people. In the timeframe between when we killed LK to LK heroic we had plenty of struggles to get the right people on that have the drive and motivation to get it done week in and week out. Just to name a few things:

  • Only 5 people from our LK10 kill made it to our LK10 heroic kill
  • Of the 5 remaining, one switched classes from dps to healing
  • Of the 5 remaining, one switched from dps to healing (for heroic lich king)
  • Only 3 people remained on the same class, spec throughout the whole LK10 heroic experience
  • Aside from the 5 who have been here for every kill, we used 11 people (at least more than one week) during from start to kill
  • Of the 11, one switched from dps to tanking

I truly believe that our 10 man group is top notch and although we wished the kill had come a lot sooner than it did, a US 217th is pretty awesome in my books. Now hopefully we can enjoy a nice long break before Halion & Ruby Sanctum.

Grats Daybreak!

Druid Cataclysm Preview Up

Its been pretty stagnant lately around the blogosphere as there isn’t too much to talk about and also due to the massive amount of burnout of a lot of ppl. While the expansion is quite a ways away still, I can definitely feel the general vibe of the game’s population has already hit the pre expansion blues. Sad but true, I’m still enjoying the game a lot and I guess that’s what counts.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m not really interested in talking about Alpha material (which has been out there) mostly because I’m not a fan of talking about things that most likely will change in the near future. That being said, the wait is over as Blizzard has shared talent previews with sites like MMO-Champion and World of Raids. There are some pretty freakin cool new talents/updated talents which will make for some pretty interesting changes to feral dps mechanics.

Blizzard has made a bunch of notes to identify what is still in the works and what is finished. Fortunately, the feral tree seems almost complete. There are no NYI/PH talents and only one TBR talent in Feral Instinct. So its a pretty good indication of how things will look in the future.  Below is the legend of footnotes of in progress talents:

  • NYI: Not Yet Implemented, talent has yet to be fully built
  • PH: Place Holder
  • TBR: To be Re-designed, or to be removed
  • NNF: Name Not Final, will be re-named

Its important to note that the change summary does not sync up 100% with the talent calculator that MMO generated so, for the purpose of analysis I’m basing my information on the talent tree post vs the talent calculator. Ok, lets get started on analyzing whats in store for kitty dps in cataclysm.

New Talents

[Tier 1] Blessing of the Grove (2 points) – Increases the healing done by your Rejuvenation by 2/4%, the direct damage of your Moonfire by 3/6% and the damage done by your Claw and Shred by 2/4%.

The one new update for ferals in the Restoration Tree. Great new talent to give 4% added dps to Shred. A nice passive increase and naturally a must have.

[Tier 3] Improved Feral Charge [NNF] (2 points) – Increases your melee haste by 15/30% after you use Feral Charge (Bear) for 8 seconds, and Ravage will temporarly not require stealth for 3/6 seconds after you use Feral Charge (Cat).

This is a pretty interesting talent, after reading it a few times and looking at what else was changed I’m going to say this is a PVP focused talent. In PVE it would be pretty situational depending on the boss and whether there is any mobility to utilize a charge. For example, Rotface would be a good example of a mobility fight that could utilitze a charge whereas a fight like Saurfang has no situations where you would charge. I’m also thinking that the 15% haste from a bear charge is more advantageous than a ravage in a cat charge so there might be some shifting of forms. Looks like some added complexity to push kitty dps to the next level.

[Tier 4] Fury Swipes (3 points) – When you auto-attack while in Cat Form or Bear Form, you have a 4/8/12% chance to gain an extra auto-attack on the same target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

The breakdown of rogue dps vs feral dps is pretty different in that white damage is much higher for rogues than for druids. This talent looks like something to bridge the two classes closer together and yet again another passive dps boost (cool!). The even cooler part of this talent is not only does it increase white damage, but it also increase the # of auto attacks which will generate more OOC procs which will lead to more free shreds, which will lead to more combo points for other specials like Rip.

[Tier 6] Endless Carnage (2 points) – Increases the duration of your Rake by 3/6 seconds and your Savage Roar and Pulverize by 3/6 seconds.

One of the bigger issues with Rake these days is the quick duration that it has and how it falls off very quickly. This will increase the duration from 9s to 15s. To give some perspective on the increase in duration, 4pt10 provided a 3s boost so this is twice as long.

[Tier 9] Primal Madness [NNF] (2 points) – Tiger’s Fury and Berserk also increases your maximum energy by 6/12 during its duration, and your Enrage and Berserk abilities instantly generates 0/12 Rage.

112 energy pool during TF and Berserk? Do I really need to explain why this is good?

[Tier 10] Nom Nom Nom [NNF] (2 points) – When you Ferocious Bite a target at or below 25% health, you have a 50/100% chance to instantly refresh the duration of your Rip on the target.

FINALLY, druids have an execute ability! The neat thing about this is not only is it an execute but it basically changes your whole sub 25% “rotation” and how you approach feral dps. Being able to keep rip up at all times and dumping combo points through FB will pretty interesting. Also I vote for Nom Nom Nom as the finalized talent name.

Changes to Existing Talents

[Tier 1] Sharpened Claws (2 points) – Icreases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear), and Maul abilities by 10/20%.

Previously was an increase in crit by 6% and now an increase in overall damage by 20%

[Tier 2] Shredding Attacks (2 points) – Reduces the energy cost of your Shred ability by 5/10 and the rage cost of your Lacerate ability by 1/2.

Previously was a decrease in energy cost by 18 and now is a decrease by 10. While the overall cost of Shred seems to be going up, recall above that Fury Swipes somewhat compensates by added OOC procs for free Shreds (or at least I hope that’s the intent).

[Tier 2] Feral Instinct [TBR] (3 points) – Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.

TBR means To be re-done, so just take note that this will change.

[Tier 5] Predatory Strikes (2 points) – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ravage by 50/25% at or above 90% health, and your finishing moves have a 10/20% chance per combo point to make your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 seconds become an instant cast spell.

Previously increased AP to Kitties by 150% of your level and added 20% AP to your weapon. Seems like a pretty big loss in AP in exchange for a situational talent that is more than likely a PVP talent.To extend my thoughts on Imp Feral Charge (above), again this seems purely like a PVP talent. Clearly no benefit from a PVE perspective but I could be wrong.

*Thx to Darksend for the correction

[Tier 6] Survival of the Fittest (3 points) – Reduces the chance you’ll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and increases the contribution from cloth and leather items in Bear Form and Dire Bear Form by 11/22/33%.

Previously increased all attributes by 6%, and now that aspect has been removed so SOTF has now turned into purely a Bear talent and is optional.

[Tier 10] Rend and Tear (5 points) – Increases damage done by your Maul and Shred attacks on bleeding targets by 4/8/12/16/20%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Ferocious Bite ability on bleeding targets by 5/10%.

Previously increased Freocious Bite by 25% and now has been reduced to 10%.

Rarren’s Thoughts

  1. New Talent Spec: While I have a pretty good idea of how the new tree will look, I’m not going to bother posting yet until the talents are completely finalized. No point in putting up specs that wont be relevant. It is probably safe to say that we’re looking at a 0/58/18 spec.
  2. Passive DPS Increase: Increased white damage, rake, mangle, shreds and longer rakes are all things that will improve your dps without having to change anything in your current play style. This looks to be part of the solution to assist more casual players to make kitty more forgiving.
  3. Removal of DPS Increases: Higher Shred energy cost, -6% stats, removal of 10% crit will decrease dps but I’ve go to hope/believe that the above increases from point #2 will compensate.
  4. JOHN FUCKING MADDEN: To counteract the greater forgiveness, Blizzard has added a bunch of new talents to increase the difficulty of feral mechanics to appease those of us who want it to stay challenging and exciting. Greater focus on OOC Shred procs, utilizing imp bear charges for 15% haste and maximizing our new Nom Nom Nom execute will be awesome and I’m very much looking forward to it. JFM JFM JFM!!!

Heroic Lich King 10 Update: 26% best attempt but ran out of attempts, Bane of the Fallen King inc next week.

Topics of the Week #4

Short and sweet but this week’s grab bag will have a lot of screenshots so I hope you all enjoy!

Tabard of the Lightbringer

Last week, we finally got our first Shadowmourne which went to one of our warriors Romyna, big big grats to a well deserving person. As discussed in a previous post, when you kill LK with a SM, there is a quest that provides you with 5 unique flavor items. Unfortunately it is a one time drop and thus makes them extremely rare. Most guilds just give the items to the SM owner, but Romyna was nice enough to distribute the items to fellow guildies. I was the lucky recipient of Tabard of the Lighbringer which is an oh so sexy tabard that basically makes you super shiney for 5 minutes. The cool thing (for druids) is that it persists in all forms and through any and all transformation items you may have.

Here are a few screenies of me having some fun.

Congrats Romyna!

Tabard in action + Double Legendaries

Super Simian Sphere + Time-Lost Figurine

Heroic Lich King (10 Player)

It’s been over two months since we unlocked heroic LK in 10 man but its been a struggle since then. While struggling on difficult content is nothing I have an issue with, its more the fact that we struggle due to consistency issues. Part of our success up until Arthas can be attributed to having the same 10 people day in and day out from when ICC was released. Since then we’ve unfortunately lost/dropped 3-4 folks to RL commitments and our group has become a revolving door of swapping players who don’t have the same dedication or drive to get this bad boy down.

That being said, our philosophy has always been to do what we can with the time we have allotted. This inevitably results in us wasting majority of our attempts each week. Yesterday was our first attempt at Arthas at 20% (we skipped last week) and we’ve made a lot of progress. Hoping to get this down and close off on this chapter of WOTLK soon.

Arthas says hello!

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
Flying Mount
Mimiron's Head
Amani War Bear
Master Builder's Shirt
Tabard of the Lightbringer

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