Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let the raiding begin

Sunday we put together our first raid as a guild. Being as none of us have raided together in over a month, and truth be told- we have never raided in this setup (I'm dpsing as hunter, a warrior dps is now a healer, a few other random changes). I hope it all goes well enough but I'm expecting a few growing pains.

My goals for our first day is go beat up on the TB boss, then get a first kill on at least one of the raid bosses. I'm certain that if people show up prepared we'll have enough skill and gear to take down at least one. I know one of our tanks is already fully decked in all that he needs from heroics, I've only got a 333 trinket (but it's Tia's Grace which is damn near BiS even in it's reg version) and a 333 bow (which if I can't get the BRC or VP weapons to drop, I'll just craft the engi one) and I'm set from heroics. I know a few of our other dps and heals are approaching this as well and I'm thinking that we're going to walk into raids more than "geared."

I've found that this normally happens to my groups- I'll put off raiding the first instances for an extra week or two to allow people to gear up, and my people end up being more than prepared and we all laugh about how we could have been in there a week or two earlier. I did this with Kara (I was fully epic'd from heroics and badges before- it felt unnecessary) and again in Naxx. In the end, I suppose this is a much better plan than just wiping needlessly.

Anyway- the goal this week will be to assist as best as possible the few people gearing up still and preparing by getting everyone to become familiar with strats and bosses before we step in the door. I want to be able to pull a boss less than 5 minutes after looking at him for the first time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hunter DPS-ing Cataclysm, with STYLE

The hunter is getting pretty jacked as of late. Made my engi goggles, got my epic ring from the ER, looking to upgrade trinkets to 346, legs, and shoulder and I'm all there and above. I leveled as MM, and have DPS'd heroics in a MM spec as well as the Surv one I'm running right now. I've heard that BM is behind in pure damage (to a point where getting BL for a non-BL group isn't even worth it) and I haven't even tried it out. BM's simple priority rotation just isn't my cup of tea.

MM does decent enough damage, and the burst potential is definately there. After you ramp up and pop racial+rapid fire, a chimera, readiness another chimera and burn through a second rapid fire I was usually around 16k. Surv can also do this, but that's happening when you are critting and procing a LnL which can possibly be RNG (If you are not trapping). Surv overall in heroics is much better as the AoE is leaps and bounds ahead, while also being higher overall damage on any boss fight, as MM comes back to earth after its 2 CD's are blown. Also, Surv get's an additional CC method (which is nice in that even in a great guild run I'm usually the only one CC'ing and I'll get both off with ease, and they are staggered in length). There is not a Heroic trash pull that isn't easier with effective use of CC of some sort, and I use my hunter utility as much as possible.

This brings me to my next point- the reason why I'm better than my other two dps counterparts in our 5man. Let's say we are all doing ~12-13k depending on the fight, CC'ing as much as we need to, and not being bad. What separates me out from them? I have MD, I have a tranq, I have a taunt, I have two slows, I've got a blind (in scatter shot) and I use them as much as possible. Scatter shot is harder to find times for, but I've been known to scatter healers who are marked as our secondary kill target so they don't get a heal off while we burn down the first target. Tranq should be used any time possible. If you can tranq it off, then you probably should be. I run most heroics with my good buddy who is a rogue and there are things I can tranq off and things he can't shiv. If he can get it easily and isn't moving around a lot- he usually does. If he's dodging fire and ground slams and such, I take over fully even though it's a larger dps loss for me. It's easy to work this out and my dps loss is made up for the fact the healer uses less mana and we move as a group faster. MD is used every fight, sometimes multiple times. No longer does transferred threat stay there forever, so I don't usually use it mid fight unless adds are running around, but every trash pull, every time. Why wouldn't you!? Slowing mobs is VERY useful. If you have a pull where you healer is going to get aggro and your tank is trying to round things up, slow them down for him! Your tank will love you as it becomes so much easier to grab everything and build threat if it isn't running, but walking.

Our taunt. You may say "Tur! Why on earth would you ever use a taunt in a group! You would kill yourself!" This may USUALLY be true, and when I'm tanking if someone starts taunting my stuff I usually get real mad- BUT if you know what you are doing you can do some SERIOUS help here.

Case 1. The tank death.
-Tank died? OH NOES!? What to do what to do! Generally our Boomkin has more threat than me (which is good) and things go running for him. If it's a big ugly I usually get as much space between the boomer and me, and when he's about to smash his face in I taunt and keep running. I throw up a slow (if he can be slowed) and dude keeps running at me for the length of the taunt. Note- while running at me he probably isn't hurting anyone, allowing your healer to catch up or take a break. When my taunt wears off he runs back to the boomkin and I taunt again when he's close. I ping pong them around until they are all dead.

Case 2. The Tank is getting low on life.
-Tank getting hit REALLY hard and has a lot of mobs on him? Taunt the biggest one if the tank has sufficient threat, let him get near and FD. This allows the tank a few precious seconds of not getting hit, and any healer will tell you that now 3-6 hits from the harder hitting melee mobs will give that tank time to get his life back up. Be careful on this one, you can die if your FD is resisted and you are too close.

Case 3. Adds.
-In a lot of fights we don't have our tank even deal with adds. We have enough dps to burn them down fast enough and the only real problem is they aggroing on the healer. Taunting them to you allows your healer to heal you instead of getting pushed back while trying to heal himself. And you are in mail as opposed to his cloth/leather/spirit plate.

On top of this, I've bought time for druid tanks to battle res, reposition mobs, and countless other useful things. Once you start using your utility buttons other than just straight dpsing, you become a more complete hunter. Also, make sure you are communicating each of these uses to your group. The worst thing ever is when you try to taunt a mob from your tank to let him take less damage and he taunts back and dies. If you talk it out, people will usually understand.

Happy hunting!

I swore against it.

I leveled my DK (Rash) to 80 as my 3rd toon to get there. I had it as a farming mule. Herb/Mine. When I got it there I wanted to get decent enough gear during wrath's waning times so that he's got decent gear for leveling up in. I then realized I hated the rune system and didn't enjoy playing it. DK done.

Yesterday I sat down to level my priest as shadow. For some reason I just wasn't enjoying questing and decided I'd try tanking an instance on my DK. I have to admit, as much as I'm upset about it- I enjoy it! I ended up 2% away from 82 and a whole ton more tank gear on Rashlen. I'm thinking this may be my second 85 and it really isn't all that bad in that it's a dual farmer and will help provide some much needed gold (I've burned through ~20k so far since Cata's ship) and I've been altogether too lazy to develop a new market in the AH yet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cataclysm Heroic 5 mans

Well, my guild has ran every heroic 5man there is to offer. Only one boss actually gave us second pause- as none of us knew what to do- the last boss of Grim Batol. Once we realized we needed to burn adds at all costs the fight was fairly simple. 3 wipes and done. I've personally ran all the heroics but stonecore and throne. I have yet to find why they would be "Hard." I can however concur that with a random pug they could become extremely difficult.

Twice now, I've had healers in our guild complain that healing is horrible. Twice now, I've had healers remark that when your group CC's every trash with as much as possible healing trash doesn't feel harder than bosses and feels like it should. In a group with my hunter, a spriest, boomkin, and shaman healer we usually throw out (for the standard 5 trash pack pull) a trap, MC, and hex if he can get it off. I throw down my CC in under 2 seconds of standing in front of the trash, the healer hex's the moment he sees my trap go up, and the priest does the same. We have a blast doing it and it goes MUCH faster than attempting to AoE crap down. Currently it's stupid trying to use AoE when you can do more damage with single target dps. I'm pretty much amp'd for raiding to start again as I do not forsee us having too much trouble with much of the regular modes.

Just remember! As long as your group moves as a cohesive team you will succeed. When you begin to think and act as a bunch of individuals put together in a group you will most likely face difficulty. This game doesn't require much skill, and the most important of that is being a team player.

Paladin, kinda gone?

My friend has played wow on and off from beta until now. Since then he's sold his account twice. After the first time he sold his account, he went and made a new one. After the second time he sold his account, he found out when he wanted to come back to the game that the guy he sold his account to never changed the email (this was before bnet changes), password, or anything else. He ended up using this account the 3rd time he came back.

That was up until a few days ago- when that guy decided to take that account back (as by this time the bnet account matched his name, not my friends').

This was kind of amusing to me as I had originally told him to transfer his toons off that account for his own security, but even that would have been complicated as the names would have had to match. What happened though was he was all of a sudden without an account and without the time required to level from 1-80, let alone 80-85 in a reasonable period of time.

Enter Turiel. My paladin. He leads my guild in achievement points, as the GM, and has more mounts, pets, and titles you can shake a stick at. A full character, my main forever. How do I retire a main when I know that I'll always feel obligated to complete achievements (Long strange trip anyone?), get him gear, and keep him up to date? I realized with the swap to the much better fit for me now hunter, the perfect opportunity has landed in my lap to achieve this. I made another bnet account, he purchased all the games, paid for a transfer of my paladin over, and now he has another account (RAF'd from my original one) and my paladin. I'm able to now go to our raids with both my paladin AND my hunter- at the same time. What better way for me to retire my paladin than to make sure it'll stay active in my own raid guild at the hands of my friend?? Perfect I dare say. (plus, if he ever quits the game the account is actually under my control, so the paladin is never really too far away!)

That being said I know I'll continue to discuss healing in general as well as my hunter's awesome skills.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cata first look

Cataclysm, huh?

Logged in (took like 12 years to do so), trained flying, went to the breadcrumb for Vash and went on my way! Vash to me wasn't as fun right away, but it really ramped up fast. There is that lul where you start helping out Budd stop being an undead person and you are hunting sharks and such, but it is kind of amusing nonetheless. Also, Budd cracks me up because of remembering him from ZA (I think it's the same Budd).

The whole underwater thing I'm not a super huge fan of- I've been out of town playing on a terrible six year old laptop I have, and let me tell you- when you can't see very far it is a lot harder to navigate the depths... especially finding caves can get very tough. After a little while I can spatially map everything in my head and I get a feel in 3D where things land not just on the X/Y-Axis I'm used to, but incorporating the Z as well. I also realize if I was on my 1 year old computer I have at home I'll be a much happier camper as well.

Also, being a hunter underwater presents it's own difficulties as well due to not getting too close and the depth perception I have in this game without visual reference points all the time helping me see how close I am to something. I really liked Malygos and the vehicle mechanic used there, but I would quickly hate it if it was used frequently. Swimming was fun with Kael'thas in MgT as well, but in each instance these mechanics were used infrequently. In Vash it's fine for questing, but if I had to do this for a raid I'd probably kill myself out of frustration.

All in all I'm loving this zone but have only spent a couple hours total. This weekend I'll totally geek out on it.

Hopefully ya'll are loving it up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cata Ships, QQ.

Cata shipped this morning while I was sleeping in a hotel away on work for a week. I brought with a personal laptop that has wow installed on it- but when I'm away on work I generally work... all week. I work, eat, sleep, and work out.

I'm not trying to say poor me, because I'll have time to play it later, but the inner child in me wants to go dig though my parent's closet in November to find my Christmas presents NOW. Hell, I'll probably be happier to be able to sit down this weekend and power through stuff, and I'll probably take it at a more leisurely pace as well.

Also, there is a benefit to not trying to fight teeth and claw with everyone else during those first few hours- I don't have to deal with as much server failure and fighting for quest mobs being tagged like mad. I had it in wrath, and as fun as it was (because it was) I just don't necessarily NEED it.

If you have time for it I hope you are enjoying it!