Archive for January 2008

Boss Tactics: Maiden of Virtue

January 30, 2008

This fight is optional, you don’t have to do it unless you want to get Keanna’s Log for the quest and even then you don’t actually have to do the boss to get to it, just some difficult trash pulls. The hallway leading up to Maiden has 3 rooms on the left side; you’ll need to hug the right wall as you move down to avoid the trash in the rooms. The middle room (with the Lions outside the door) has the Log in it. If you don’t want to deal with the trash, wait for a soft reset (30 mins after leaving the instance) all the trash associated with a boss will despawn if the boss has been downed. To get the Log all you need is a buddy. Get another person to form a raid group with you (open your Social tab, default key is “O”,  go to the Raid tab and at the top is a button “Convert To Raid”) they don’t even have to go into the instance you just have to be in a raid to get through the instance portal. Go in there after a soft reset and loot your Log!

Encounter Mechanics

 maiden-pre-fight-small.jpg

Maiden is a single phase fight with a couple of abilities. She is a Pally and does an AOE called Holy Ground (like a Pally’s Consecrate), and is therefore hard on melee. She casts Holy Light (just like a Priest’s Holy Light but Fire damage) on a random raid member; this must be dispelled immediately as it will kill very fast. She casts Holy Wrath, a chain spell (again on a random raid member) that will chain to nearby raid members, increasing damage each time it chains. Deadly Boss Mods will tell you if you are too close (you do have DBM right?).  Every 30 secs she stuns everyone for 12 secs (Repentance). Damage will pop you out of the Repentance so this isn’t an issue for tanks and melee because of the Holy Ground. I’m sure you can see the issue here; healers are stunned. The best way to deal with this is to have a Pally cast Blessing of Sacrifice right before she casts Repentance. This will share all incoming damage and pop the Pally out of the repentance to continue healing the tank. If there is no Pally, one healer needs to put himself into the Holy Ground just before Repentance so he will be broken out (or the tank can move Maiden to the healer), move back, and continue healing. As a side note, she won’t cast the Holy Fire or the Chain during Repentance.

The usual strategy is to have all ranged pick a pillar and stand in front of it (you can also each stand between 2 pillars, doesn’t matter, just have everyone do the same thing).  You will be spaced well enough to avoid the chains and when Maiden is tanked in the middle of the platform you will be outside of the Holy Ground. Melee stand just at the edge of range in a triangular or square pattern to avoid the chain. We also have our melee run out and bandage periodically to lighten the load on the healers. If you can keep the tank alive through Repentance and dispel the Holy Fire quickly it should be an easy win.

Key Players

As I’ve mentioned, this fight is much easier with a Healadin for Blessing of Sacrifice. A Shaman dropping a Grounding Totem will help with dispelling the Holy Fire. The only requirement is to have 2 players with the ability to dispel the Holy Fire. The players directly across the circle from you will not be in range for dispelling so you need to position your 2 dispellers 180 degrees apart (I have read that if everyone comes up the steps just a little, everyone will be in range and out of the Holy Ground but I have never been able to make it work, I still recommend at least 2 Dispellers placed 180 degrees apart)

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

The main thing to note here is to make sure to refresh your DOT’s before Repentance. Even if you are overlapping them, it’s better to maintain the DPS on the boss while you are stunned. I’ve never tried this, but aparently if a Priest casts SW:D during the .5 second cast of Repentance the knockback will break you out of Repentance since it occurs after the global cooldown.  It would require some fancy timing, but a neat trick and no harm done if it doesn’t work.  Since you have the ability to dispel Holy Fire, you may need to do so to help out if a healer goes down or if your group doesn’t have enough that are able. Raid utility comes before personal DPS output!

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

Either a Priest or a Druid should be assigned to Raid healing.  Keep HOT’s on the Melee, but ask them to run out and Bandage if the HOT’s aren’t keeping them up.  There are several ways to aid in Dispelling Holy Fire.  There are a couple of addons that will show you who has a dispellable debuff, the one I use is SmartDebuff.  Most UI’s and Raid Frames will have an option to show who has a dispellable debuff, I use XPerl and anyone with a Disease or Magic will flash red (and most UI mods will have options for notifing you of dispellable debuffs).  Deadly Boss Mods will also flash on your screen who has it.  Your main job in this fight is to make sure no one dies from the Holy Fire.  Dispell it and get them at least close to topped off incase they get Holy Fire twice in a row.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

This fight is a healer check. Moroes gets a little hectic when you get lots of Garrotes but Maiden is the real gut check for your healers. Holy Fire must be dispelled very quickly and Maiden is the first boss to hit reasonably hard and you have to deal with the Holy Ground on top of that. Your MT healer has to be on the ball to make sure they don’t get stunned by the Repentance, or all of your healers have to make sure the MT has fresh applications of ALL available HOT’s right before Repentance just in case the assigned healer doesn’t make it into the Consecration to come out of the Repentance.

SuperCoolPoints

One of my favorite lines from this movie:

“Spartan! ”

“Yes, Milady?”

“Come back with your shield, or on it. ”

“Yes, Milady.”

Vladvin: OP’ed Kara

January 30, 2008

We ran just about the strangest Kara ever last night.  1 Prot Pally, 2 Ret Pallys, 1 Holy Pally (yep 4 of those Blood Elf fools), 2 Resto Shammys, 1 BM Hunter, 1 Warlock, 1 Mage (who got replaced by another BM hunter after Shade). and yours truly.  The only person who was on level for the raid was the Holy Pally, hence the OP’ed comment!  It was an interesting night, most of these players are very skilled and we just tore through everything.  One tank for the entire run.  The leader asked one of the Ret Pally’s to throw on a Shield a couple of times to off-tank and she flatly said no…  I’m Ret.  Let me say that this was all in good humor, we all raid with eachother 4 nights a week; Kara is where we go to farm for badges and let off some steam.  The Prot Pally had never tanked in Kara before and did the whole thing flawlessly.  It was a blast!  We only had one wipe when the Holy Pally moved in the Flame Wreath…  nuff said.  We actually survived a Polymorph after that and got him down to 1% with nothing left but the Ret Pallys, me and the Hunter; no interrupts so he took us down quickly.  Everything else was fairly smooth.

And my stupid Handwraps of Flowing Thought didn’t drop… again…

Maiden strategty later today or tomorow.  Then probably Nightbane after that.

Galadria: Shared Topic #1

January 28, 2008

Shia, who writes Banana Shoulders, over at Blog Azeroth had the great idea for shared blog topics.  The first sugested topic was

What do you enjoy about the class you play the most?

First and formost I love playing Galadria because she is so very pretty!  Primal Mooncloth is gorgeous and it just looks fabulous on the NE model.  I know, I know…  hey, I’m a girl…  I’m allowed to think like that!

For a more serious look at this topic, I’ll give you a little history.  My husband and I started playing WoW because a couple of friends played.  He had thought about starting over Christmas but never got around to buying the game and when he went back to work after the holidays found out that several of his co-workers played WoW.  We bought the game gave it the good-old 10 day trial.  I originally wanted to play a Hunter; the idea of having a pet was very appealing to me.  However, as he usually does, Mr. Galadria stole my idea and said he wanted to be a Hunter; if I said that too I’d just be copying…  Druid was my second choice; shape-shifing sounded really cool too.  Since our friends played Alliance, I had to be a NE and Mr. Galadria rolled NE too.  After playing a little and reading a little and talking a lot, we decide that we need a healer…  look at that, I play a class that can be a healer!  Then I made the mistake of listening to some forum trolls that said Druids would be mediocre at anything they tried to do because they’re hybrids, and guess what Priests are the best healers…  Druid abandoned, Priest rolled.  Eventhough the reasons were crappy, I still think the move to a Priest was better for me.  I love having a spell for absoutley ANY situation.  I need a heal, Binding Heal on tank and heal both of us.  Entire group needs a heal, Prayer of Healing.  Bad tank and I’m having aggro problems, cast Frisbee every time the cooldown is up.  Mage AOE’ing and pulling lots of aggro, Shield, Renew and spam Flash Heal.  If we’ll be stationary, throw out a Lightwell and let people heal themselves.  I get to heal after I’ve died for cryin’-out-loud!  There is a tool in my toolbox for any situation.

In short, why do I enjoy playing a Priest?  Versatility.  I can do just about anything!

Vladvin: Working on Kael Part 2

January 28, 2008

After clearing SSC on Wed and Thurs, then the first 3 bosses in TK on Sat, we spent all day on Kael yesterday.  We are now firmly into Phase 4.  We got Phase 1 down last week but couldn’t figure out the DPS on the weapons.  This week we replaced a healer with another DPS (6 healers instead of 7) and we made sure raid consumables were used; our RL decided not to make flasks/food mandatory last week on the Kael attempts, his decision… whatevs.  I really felt the difference in the DPS, everything in Phase 1 and 2 felt really squishy.  Here’s a rundown of our stragety as we have it nailed down (all right/left references are with your back to the doors, facing the platform Kael and the others are standing on):

  • Phase 1, The Darkener: he has a Big Bad Wolf-like mechanic.  Whoever he has his “Gaze” on tries to run him around the perimeter of the room and we try to get him to die towards the back in the middle.
  • Phase 1, Sanguinar:  warrior tank picks him up near the front and walks him back to the right, ending up near the right door.  Warrior tank is almose necessary for stance-dancing to avoid the fear.  Since I was the only Priest, I had to put a Fear Ward up while the tank was running him back since she can’t stance-dance and run at the same time.
  • Phase 1, Caster Chick (I can’t remember her name):  ‘Lock tanked at the very back, between the doors, hunter misdirects to the ‘Lock and raid waits for at least 10k threat before opening up.  We had 3 or 4 tanks outside of the blast range, but inside Conflagration range to eat up the Conflagrations and all ranged outside that (30 yards so no MF on her)
  • Phase 1, Engineer: Warrior tanked just to the left of the platform, pay attention to who gets the stun debuff, if one of the tanks for the next phase gets it stop DPS and wait until it fades so all tanks are available to pick up weapons.
  • Phase 2: Hunter tank on Bow it is killed first by ranged.  Warrior tank on Staff and Mace, melee on Mace interrupting heals and Staff is killed by range second.  Pally tank on Daggers, Sword and Shield.  Bear tank on Axe.  We used a combination of AOE and focused fire.  We had 3 warlocks spamming Seed and everyone else followed a kill order; Bow, Staff, Dagger, Sword, Shield for ranged and Mace, Dagger, Sword, Shield for Melee.  With the bear tank keeping the Axe in AOE range to catch the Seeds but not close enough to hurt anyone it was down to about 30% and we kill it in Phase 3.  I talked to the RL about it and I’m going to start on the Staff or the Daggers and ignore what the other ranged do.  A SPriest needs a single target to blast away at for a while to be a good mana battery (not to your party, they like everything they can get, but to mana-battery yourself is quite dificult).
  • Phase 3:  For the most part, all the weapons except the Axe and the Shield are down when Phase 3 starts.  I have to make sure that the tank on Sanguinar has a Fear Ward at the begining.  Melee goes to the Engineer and ranged kill The Darkener, then Caster Chick, then Sanguinar.  Like the weapons, I’m sticking to Sanguinar the whole time.
  • Phase 4:  Pally tank picks up Kael, Bear tanks the Phoenixes.  Melee on Kael and ranged on Phoenix Eggs except to take down shield.  Warrior tank with a Dagger to Intercept/Hamstring MC’ed players.  Again, I’m on Kael the whole time.

We spent a lot of time saying “Wow, we’re in the next phase… what do we do now?” then wipe.  I think that’s inevitable with a complex fight like this one.  Each Phase is so different and the transitions are the hard part.  You can have a plan for each phase but your raid will never remember instructions for 5 phases until they see each of them.  You get Phase 1 mastered and Phase 2 goes all chaotic and wipes you, “Ok, next time tanks get to X position and pick up Y mob; DPS go do Z”  Once you get that, Phase 3 will wipe you.  Then figure out how to transition into Phase 3 and so on, until you get to the end of the fight.  You have to take progression fights one step at a time!

As a side note… expect a lot of repair $$ for progression content.  We worked on Kael from 4:15 until 8:45 (I think) when the servers died and I spent about 40g on repairs… and I wear cloth!

RSS Feeds

January 25, 2008

I finally got around to setting up Feedburner.  The address for the feed is:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheLightAndTheDark

I moved a few things around on the side-bar, thanks for the tip from Matticus on the Blog Azeroth Forums

Edit:  I figured out the Comments feed and got it set up this morning!

http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsForTheLightAndTheDark

Galadria: New WoW Forum

January 24, 2008

Look at me, I so sneaky!  Managed to write a relevant title to talk about the new Blog Azeroth without putting the word “blog” in the title so my work firewall won’t block it!

I’m following in the footsteps of many WoW bloggers out there, but it’s still worth mentioning.  Blog Azeroth was set up by Phaelia and Valena to provide a place for all of us bloggers to share ideas, questions, musings, and rantings with eachother.  If you write a blog or are thinking about it go check it out.  The thread to introduce  your blog I think will be a great place to generate readership.  I think the best way to increase traffic is through eachothers blogs and this is a sure way to introduce yourself to established blogers.

Great idea Phae and Valena, thanks for setting this up!!

Boss Tactics: Moroes

January 24, 2008

The next boss after Attumen is Moroes.  After you go up the stairs becareful of the single mobs that patrol the perimeter of the room.  The entire room doesn’t need to be pulled, just enough to get you into Moroes’ room on the left. 

Encounter Mechanics

moroes-and-adds-small.jpg

Moroes is a single phase fight with 4 adds.  There are several ways to deal with the adds. They can be Shackled for the length of the fight; I recommend one target for each Priest in the raid (even if they are healers). A Rogue can Evasion tank and 2 can do it without ever taking damage. A skilled hunter can chain-trap for the length of the fight (and even kill one on their own). A Warlock can chain fear, but it’s best if that target is picked up and burned down. Lastly they can be off-tanked, which I recommend for one of them.

  • Baroness Dorothea Millstipe (Diamond, we trapped her and she mana burned the hunter on this run, 2nd kill) – Shadow Priest (Mana Burn, Mind Flay, SW:P) – She is the most dangerous of the adds because of the Mana Burn; it will take most of your mana bar.  She is a clothie and dies quickly.  WoWWiki says she doesn’t need a tank, but I prefer to have her tanked to avoid the mana burn.  She is also a prime target for Evasion tanking by a Rogue since she dies quickly.
  • Lady Catriona Von-Indi – Holy Priest (Greater Heal, PW:S, Dispell Magic, Holy Fire) – Also a clothie and dies quickly.  Be sure to have someone interrupt her heals and burn down.  Since she is a caster and a healer I don’t recommend using any CC since the first thing she is likley to do is heal Moroes or another add.  Burn her down and move on.
  • Lady Keira Berrybuck (Skull) – Holy Paladin (Holy Light, Cleanse, Divine Shield, Blessing of Might) – Since she wears plate she will take a while to kill.  Any form of CC will work, she is an excellent target for Shackle.
  • Baron Rafe Dreuger – Retribution Paladin (Hammer of Justice, Cleanse) – He also takes a while to kill and isn’t very dangerous so is a good target for CC.  He will stun his main target so it is important to keep a close watch on him.  He tends to stun and run after a healer so it is important to keep his CC active at all timies.
  • Lord Robin Daris (Star, my Shackle, however I don’t recommend that for an unexpirenced group) – Arms Warrior (Mortal Strike, Whirlwind) – This guy hits hard and because of the MS needs to be killed.  If you have him, he should be 1st or 2nd in the kill order and tanked or chain-trapped and then tanked and killed.
  • Lord Crispin Ference (circle, off-tanked and 3rd kill) – Protection Warrior (Disarm, Shield Bash, Shield Wall) – He doesn’t hit very hard but has high HP and armor.  He is a good choice for an off-tank to use to help generate rage to mantain aggro on Moroes.

(The examples from our run don’t match my recomendations.  Most of the people on the run were in T4 and T5, this was a badge run to get us all Fire Resist gear, and to gear up an up-and-commung hunter.  I do sugest you stick with my recomendations if you are new to the encounter to make things go smoother)

I am most often assigned one of the Pally’s to Shackle, as I mentioned be extra careful with Dreuger as he will stun you and run for a healer.  If we are using a Rogue for evasion tanking, one of the Priests is the best choice.  Either of the warriors make good targets for traping or off-tanking.  Daris however should be killed to avoid the Mortal Strike, Ference is excellent for a “rage battery” for your 0ff-tank.

Moroes, like a good little Rogue, has a few tricks up his sleeve. He will periodically vanish then return to the tank (read no aggro wipe), putting a Garrote on a random party member. This debuff is a 5 min DOT that ticks for 1,000 every 3 seconds. A Pally bubble or Blessing of Protection, Dwarf Stoneform, and Mage Iceblock are the only ways to remove it.  It can be healed through, a Renew from a Priest and HOT from a Druid will usually do the trick. He will periodically Gouge the MT and move to the next person on the aggro list. If you have your OT take the one of the Warriors he will have a constant source of rage (or mana regen for a Pally) to maintain 2nd on Moroes aggro table.

The basic strategy is to use CC where available for the adds and burn down whichever ones that need to be, then all DPS on Moroes. If this fight drags out for too long it can get hairy for the healers to keep up with several Garrotes. It is very important to be below the OT in this fight because Moroes will 1-shot anyone but a tank if he goes anywhere else after Gouging the MT. When Moroes goes down you can either finish off the adds or run out of the room and reset them (it appears that Blizzard may have stealth-patched this, we were not able to reset Moroes after an accidental pull last night, hopefully it was a bug and he is still a boss you can reset).  Once Moroes goes down, the Garrotes go away.

Key Players

As usual, there aren’t any requirements for this fight. Priests make it very easy. Other than that, you just need 2-3 forms of CC; Rogues, Hunters, Warlocks, Priests, and Off Tanks. You can get away with 2 CC if your OT can handle 2.

Shadow Priest Specifics

I’d recommend being grouped with healers (as opposed to mana using DPS’ers) to help out if the fight goes long. Since aggro can be very touchy, I don’t like to keep VE up unless I see that it’s getting tough for the healers.

The main thing to be aware of is your Shackle target. When the tank cocks his gun to pull Moroes (you have a macro right?), start casting, your target should end up around position #1 on the picture (I want you to be able to see the picture, so I’ve left it big and this is a thumbnail, click for the larger immage).

moroes-pre-fight-from-left.jpg

Move to #2 and keep an eye on your range indicator to make sure you’re in range, but far enough away to have some reaction time. Shackle will break early, expect it. I refresh my Shackle about every 15 secs and it usually only gets loose once or twice. Once you get settled, keep your DPS on Moroes and pan your camera so you can see your Shackle target (again a thumbnail).

moroes-showing-camera-angle.jpg

A few things to notice from this picture.  My shackle (in the green circle) is on the stairs and I am at max range from him (other green circle) yet still in range for Moroes.  In the red box underneath my party on the left side, you will see that I have my target set as my focus so I can use a macro for casting Shackle and not have to switch targets from my DPS target.  Also, what I mentioned in the previous paragraps, my camera is looking in the direction of my Shackle, not Moroes (he’s under the big Hunters Mark on the left)

Holy Priest Specifics

The same things mentioned for the Shadow Priest about Shackle, apply to a Holy Priest.  Use a Focus macro and keep your Shackle in your field of vision. 

In my (Galadria’s) opinion, Heal Priests are best for Off Tank and raid healing in this encounter.  Throw Renew and Prayer of Mending around like they’re candy.  Flash Heal if a little extra is needed.  A Lightwell is unfortunatley not practical.  The most likley source for damage is the Garrote and it will cancel the HOT that a Light well applies, only allowing half (at most) of it’s healing.   

This fight can be mana intensive for healers so you need to manage your cooldowns carefuly.  Save your Shaodwfiend for immediatley after a Vanish to ensure that Moroes doesn’t Vanish while your Shadowfiend is still around.  If you can time it properly, you can get anywhere from 5-15 seconds outside the 5-second rule during a Vanish and regen some mana.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

Moroes will test your raids coordination and planning. Tanking Moroes is not especially difficult and the healing isn’t either if the fight doesn’t go on for too long. The CC needs to be assigned appropriately (no Shackle for Millstipe since she will mana burn you into oblivion for example) and each player assigned to CC an add has to keep track of his target and make sure not to let it kill him or anyone else. All the DPS has to focus fire the adds down quickly so you have time to get Moroes down before you are overtaken by Garrotes. It can be quite hectic until you master the fight. Good communication (and no panicking!) is key.

SuperCoolPoints

“Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, ‘Aaaaaaah?’ “