Old Stuff

This is a page for old, outdated stuff. I don’t like to delete things, but I do like a tidy blog. These pages are not updated, so links and pictures may not work.


Originally published in 2011
I run a lot of dungeons. I love the LFD tool. In Wrath, I encountered a few fail groups, but dungeons were so easy, we could muscle our way through; I can power through 20 minutes of fail. But Cata heroics are difficult. One mistake and we wipe. Dungeon runs are long: even the shortest dungeons take 30 minutes in pugs. This leads to some very “interesting” situations. I try not to instigate or antagonize, but I will stand up for myself. I don’t mind low dps or n00bs, I do mind people who stand in bad and don’t ask for help. These stories are all true. I paraphrase, but the gist of the quotes is accurate. All names have been removed.

Lest you think I’m perfect and this is to glorify my epic awesome winning, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes and wipe groups on occasion. Apologize, run back, do not repeat mistake, win.

INDEX

Healer leaves midway through boss in Deadmines
Healer thinks dying to Reaper boss is “intense”
Trouble with Beauty
Intragroup animosity #1
“And that is why I don’t skip trash.”
Lowest dps quits because group doesn’t have enough dps
I fail at tanking #1
Why people should be nice in pugs #1
Epic fail GB is epic fail
Healer can’t/won’t admit failure
Friends don’t let friends play for them
A long, slow SFK
Intragroup animosity #1
Glitchy GB
/Assist fail
Individual responsibility is lost on some people
Loot bug nearly kills me (via dastardly guildies)
I watch a mage die
A hunter who truly abhors melee’ing
What is Spanish for “Pack”?

***

Deadmines on tank. Three of us from Elune, me, healer, and dps warrior. The healer is from a high-end raiding guild. We plow through, AoE’ing everything, no deaths. Two pulls before the second boss, the healer links his mace. “Look at what I got tonight!” Twas a raid drop. I thought about it for a moment, “It’s 8:30pm on a raid night. He got that from a raid tonight. Why is he here? Oh well. Maybe he subbed in for one fight and got lucky. Moving on with life.” We get to the goblin boss, everything is going smoothly when I notice my health below 50%. The healer kept me above 75% for the entire run. Two seconds later, I see a message saying, “Someone from your party has left. Would you like to find a replacement?” Yup, the healer dropped group. I popped cooldowns, we got a replacement in quick, nobody died. I put that person on ignore and lost a ton of respect for his guild. Dropping a group without a word mid-fight is a douche move. To do it with two people from your server in the group is mind-boggling. We know your guild. We will see you around. Wait one minute for the fight to end before excusing yourself and nobody will care if you leave. Epic fucking flaming bag o’ douche move.

***

Deadmines on tank. A little rough but not bad. We get to the reaper boss. After telling the hunter that, no, the melee dps’er should be in the reaper, we clear the trash. Two of us run back to the ramp before the boss awakens. The others facepull the boss. Taunt, take boss up the ramp, let’s do this. Everything is fine until the boss targets the healer for Harvest. The healer doesn’t move, takes Harvest in the face, dies. We get the boss down to sub-5% before I run out of cooldowns. As we’re running back, the healer says, “Wow! That was intense!” “Uh, have you done the fight before?” “No.” *Sigh* “Okay, here’s how…” No deaths on that fight, no more wipes on the rest of the fights.

***

BRC on hunter. I join two pulls before Corla. A bit of a rough run as the pally tank can’t hold aggro even with Misdirects; we dps’ers take turns pulling off the tank. We get to Beauty. I mark Spot with a square. Before I finish typing “I’ll keep square trapped here [in the entrance to Beauty’s cave]. Tank boss in middle of room.”, the rogue saps Spot then the tank HoR’s both adds and boss. We wipe. I live; FD+Mass Rez ftw. Healer leaves. New healer in. I type out the strat as we rebuff. New healer says, “Screw that. Ignore adds, kill boss.” “We tried that. It didn’t work. We’re doing it my way this time.” I mark Spot with square, drop trap, say “Pulling”, fire Arcane Shot, un-target add, watch Spot get trapped, and scream in real life as the dps warrior breaks the trap. The tank, healer, and rogue were already in the middle of the room. The warrior waited for the add to be trapped before breaking it with a bleed, so I couldn’t retrap it. We managed to kill the boss. The warrior “apologized”: “Sorry. I didn’t see the trap.”

***

Grim Batol on tank. Hunter pulls the first pack of elites without MD. I taunt off him. Annoying, but whatever. Healer says after the fight, “Stupid dps don’t get heals.” Hunter makes some sort of bad retort. I mark targets on the first 5-pull for cc. Neither Sap nor trap goes off. Fine. I grab all five, pop cooldowns, we live. After the drake flight, we start on the trash. Hunter pulls again without MD. “If you’re gonna pull, use MD please.” “I am using MD.” “No, you’re not.” We continue clearing trash. Now, I’m a slow tank especially in pugs. I check my healer’s mana, I like using cc, and, most of all, I hate wiping. So I ignore dps that say “gogogo!” When the healer says, “I heal raid bosses, go faster”, I pay attention…except when the healer in question has no Cata raid achievements, no raid gear, and is having a hard time keeping me alive. I’m not the best geared tank, but my resto druid wife’s resto shaman alt can keep me alive just fine. When I told the healer I’ll go at the pace that I like because you can’t keep me alive, the DK asks (politely, in his defense) to be nice to his wife. And then the hunter whispers me, “Wanna votekick the healer? I’ll vote yes.” The run had devolved into the healer on my ass to go faster, the hunter thinking I’m on his side, the DK pissed I besmirched his wife’s reputation as a good healer, and the fifth member quietly munching popcorn. No wipes, just…ugh.

***

Lost City on tank. An uneven run: people cc and know the fights, but die to standing on exploding traps on first boss and not running to me (the tank) on second. No wipes, just not clean kills. We cross the bridge to the area with the last two bosses. Facing the bridge is a 4-pack that I always kill. I mark one to trap and get ready to tank. The dps’ers (all from the same guild) say, “Hug the wall and ignore those guys.” I shrug, avoid the pack, and meet up with the dps’ers at the start of the alley (with the non-elite fruit-chucking Tol’vir.) The healer, who was lagging behind, gets a bit too close and facepulls. This wouldn’t be so bad except I had just pulled the pat in the alley. Cooldown time! Oh, and just for good measure, we pulled the four lined up against the wall, too. We all lived. Win. “And that is why I don’t skip trash.” Okay, I do skip trash (like the four against the wall), but only packs that are easy to skip.

***

ZG on tank. There was lots of fail in this group (including by me), but my favorite was after the fourth wipe on Jin’Do. The lowest dps in the group says, “Not enough dps” and drops. We get a raid-geared hunter as a replacement. I’ll take that switch.

Epilogue: We still didn’t have enough dps nor were people doing the right things. After 10 attempts, the group broke up.

***

Vortex Pinnacle on tank. The 6-pack that pats under the protective triangle. We cc two, I grab the rest and drag them to the nearest corner. I put my back against the wall. Not the big wall, the half-wall. Mob knocks me back over said half-wall. I go bright red as the group wipes while I spin my way to safety.

***

GB on my tank. Zone in to the third boss. First thought, “DPS isn’t killing adds.” We buff, I say “Please kill flame adds”, in we go. Yup, as I feared, dps was ignoring the adds. Well, not ignoring, just not prioritizing and kiting. Didn’t help that I, the tank, was top dps. Release, run back, “Ignore boss, kill adds. Use slows—concussive shot, hamstring, etc.” Second attempt was better, but one of the dps died and the other two couldn’t down the adds themselves. I help as much as I can, but I got this mob dragging me down (get it?!) Release, run back, repeat. Fifth attempt, boss dies. /cheer. On to Erudax. I assign the warrior and spriest to the right add, myself and the hunter to the left add. We struggle and almost get him. Run back, try again. I look at the hunter’s shot selection. In a 3-minute fight, she fired 12 Steadys and 3 Chimeras. Ugh. I whisper, “What’s your rotation?” “Hunters, Serpent, arcane, steady, aimed, chimera when I can.” “Er, you need more steady and chim. Try serpent at start, chim, spam steady, aimed on proc.” “Ok, I’ll try.” We switched the spriest and hunter, boss goes down without too much trouble. Loot distributed and party disbands before I have a chance to finish my conversation with the hunter. So I rolled a level one on her server.

I don’t normally server-stalk people, but something wasn’t making sense. She had good gear including a couple epics, gems and enchants looked good, spec was solid. Yet her rotation was…not ideal. It was as if she read the first two pages of a three-page how-to-dps-as-a-hunter guide. Conversation went something like this.

Me: Hi. It’s the tank from the GB run. My main is a hunter, so I thought I might offer some hints.
Me: I don’t mean to be annoying. Just trying to help.
Her: It’s okay. I know my dps is low. I have a hard time switching targets because my left hand is paralyzed.
Me: oh.
Me: Sorry to hear that.

Instantly, I was very glad I had been nice to her (and to the group as a whole.)

We chatted for a bit about various improvements: bind Steady to mouse wheel, perhaps find a right-handed gaming keyboard (like my G11 except with the function keys on the right), try SV (because you can do decent dps spamming Cobra with Explosive thrown in and ignoring BA.) We left with both of us getting something out of the conversation. She improved her dps (at least I assume/hope so), and I resolved to be nice to all pugs based solely on dps.

Epilogue: This was a C2A run, so I got my goodie bag, sent it to Lyraat, and switched characters to open my reward. 81g and a cat carrier. Decent amount of gold, but another cat I already—wait, I don’t have this cat? “Black Tabby Cat”. According to wowhead, it is a zone-drop with a 1-in-10,000 drop rate that was unavailable to Alliance pre-Cata. Whoa. Karma smiles upon me?

***

GB on tank. Resto druid, dps warrior, hunter, warlock, and me the tankadin. Warning sign #1: non-elite troggs in the “foyer” take 30 seconds to die. Warning sign #2: trash mobs are at 50% after bombing run and the first pack doesn’t have a single mob dead. First and second bosses die without any problems, trash is a bit dodgy at times but no deaths.

We get to the third boss. I say, “Kill adds. Win.” Nobody says anything else, so “inc” and I pull. First add dies quick, yay. Second add focuses the warlock, who walks backwards into the trash pack on the way to the last boss. I grab the trash and we kill the trash, but wipe to the boss. Okay, shit happens. Release, run back. Attempt #2. “Please kill adds.” My request is partially filled. I try to help as much as possible, but 1. my dps is not great, 2. I don’t have a slow, and 3. (as mentioned in a previous entry) I’ve got a dragon on my ass. We wipe. Attempt #3, same story. Attempt #4, adds are killed, we win.

The clear to Erudax was uneventful. He, however, was quite eventful. I could go into excruciating detail on every attempt, but I’ll opt for the short version.

Attempt 1: Hunter on right add, warrior and warlock on left. I help on right add. Neither is slowed, we wipe.

Attempts 2-5: Hunter on right add, warrior and warlock on left. I help on left add. Right add is slowed, but left is not. We wipe.

I’ll take credit for one of those wipes. I saw the hunter’s health dropping low, so I went to BoP him and I fat-fingered my bubble. Aggro dropped onto the warlock, he went squish, oops.

Warlock leaves. Mage comes in.

Attempts 6-8: Hunter on right add, warrior and mage on left. I help on left add. Right add is slowed, but left is not. We wipe.

Warrior leaves. Another warrior comes in.

Attempts 9-12: Hunter on right add, warrior and mage on left. I help on left add. Right add is slowed, but left is not. We wipe. Oh, and warrior dies to Shadow Gale multiple times.

Druid, hunter, and warrior leave. I pop out of instance to repair. Another resto druid, hunter, and warrior come in. The hunter, oddly enough, is a guildie on an alt. Completely random. I’ve never been grouped with guildie in a LFD before, not when solo queuing.

Attempt 13: Hunter on right add, warrior and mage on left. I help on left add. Right add is slowed, but left is not. We wipe. Oh, and warrior dies to Shadow Gale multiple times; gogo wasted brez.

As we’re running back, the warrior asks, “How do you not die in the black stuff?” If my guildie wasn’t in the group, I would have torn the person a new asshole. Instead, I simply said, “Stack on me. There’s a small whirlpool that’s safe.”

Attempts 14: Hunter on right add, warrior and mage on left. I help on left add. Right add is slowed, but left is not. We wipe. Oh, and warrior dies to Shadow Gale again.

Right-click on warrior’s icon, select vote to kick, reason = “Learn the fight on normal. Don’t waste our time”, vote passes, get new dps’er (rogue). Had I not already watched two other warriors fail to Shadow Gale, had I not wasted over 90 minutes trying to down this boss, had we more wiggle room to accommodate less-than-average dps’ers, I might have been nicer. As it was, sorry, I can’t suffer any more fail tonight.

Attempt 15: Hunter on right add, rogue and mage on left. I help on left add for the first set of adds, then switch to the right add for subsequent add phases. Both adds are slowed. We win.

Yes. It truly was that bad. My two repair bills were 78g and 28g. Aside from low dps and failure to use basic utility abilities, I was frustrated because we got the boss down below 5% on multiple attempts. But every time we did, adds came out and things broke down.

Erudax is an incredibly frustrating boss for me personally when I tank. On my hunter, cakesauce. My add doesn’t get anywhere close to the eggs; Conc Shot and Frost Trap ftw. But my pally doesn’t have a slow. I can only dps the adds, I can’t slow them. It hurts.

Epilogue: I leave the dungeon and walk away from the computer. I let the dogs out, tuck my wife into bed, grab a snack, head back to basement. Since I didn’t have any interesting archeology projects and random bg’s on my hunter is an exercise in masochism, I queued for another dungeon on my tank. Throne of Tides. We nuked it in under 15 minutes. Faith in pugs increased. Another queue. Shadowfang Keep. Blitzfest. Faith in pugs restored. Apparently, I got all the fail puggers in my GB run.

***

BRC on tank. Zone in to the second boss, Corla. Mage takes the left beam, resto druid on the right beam, DK on the middle. We get the boss below 50% when the healer’s add evolves. I pick it up and start chaining cooldowns, dropping to sub-5% more than once. We survive, I breathe and try to slow my pounding heart. The conversation that follows went something like this…

Rogue: And you were giving other people shit for failing.
Healer: Did anyone die?
Me: Only because I blew every cooldown I had.
Rogue: You failed. Your add evolved.
Healer: Did we wipe?
Rogue: That’s not the point.
Healer: No? Then shut the fuck up.
Healer: You don’t want to fuck with me, bitch.

We clear trash without incident (although I got quite low on the two big adds.) We get to Karsh’s room and I grab one of the flame adds. It dies and I’m about to grab the second when…

Rogue: Wait. I need to eat.
Rogue: Nevermind. I don’t have any food.
Rogue: The healer is being immature and not healing me.
Healer: That’s right, bitch. I don’t heal fucktards.
Healer: I told you, you don’t want to mess with me.
Healer: You’re a worthless piece of trash.

Right-click on healer’s icon, select vote to kick, reason = “You’re the one who failed”, vote passes, get new healer, clear dungeon without further incident.

***

Throne of Tides on tank. The group forms, but the healer does not zone into the instance for a couple minutes. He comes in, we buff, and clear the first hallway. He then says, “I’m going afk. My friend will play for me.” Vote kicked.

***

SFK on tank. It’s two pairs of guildies and me. We clear to the first boss. I ask if anyone wants to do the achievement. One person says, “This is my first heroic.” “Okay, no achievement today!” We down the boss after a record slow time. One pair of guildies leave. Replacements are found (another pair of guildies, this pair from my server), we continue. I realize why the pair left: I’m top dps as the tank even on bosses. Because the dps is so low and the healer is below average, I’m blowing cooldowns on trash; LoH ftw. Someone asks if we can try Springdale (the third, optional boss). I say, “We’ll try him once, then we’ll skip.” We clear the trash in the room and are eating+drinking when I see the healer’s shadowfiend bolt for the boss. *Sigh*. We wipe, “That’s our attempt!”, and skip the boss. More slow clearing. We wipe once and nearly wipe a second time on the third boss because the healer doesn’t understand green = move, red = don’t move. Head to last boss, to whom we wipe three times before the second original pair of guildies leave. Mr. 4k Dps and Mr. 6k Dps are replaced by Mr. 13k Dps and Mr. 12k Dps. One-shot, get satchel, leave.

***

Lost City on tank. I zone in at High Prophet Bairm. Healer and mage are guildies, hunter and ret pally are from random servers. Before I buff, the hunter says, “Lirrat, votekick [the mage]. He’s afk.” I move my cursor to the mage’s icon when I notice that he’s dying away from the group. The hunter then says, “I told you that you’d aggro that pack! That was DEFINITELY not me!” My hand moves away from the mage’s icon. The mage dies. The hunter says, “Pull the boss. We don’t need him. He’s low dps.” I don’t move. The healer runs back to rez, but the mage releases. As we’re waiting, I inspect the hunter. As we’re clearing a patrol, I say, “Gee, [hunter], I didn’t expect such a talkative dps to be in unenchanted, ungemmed PvP gear.” “Yeah, well, at least I don’t play this awake.” Yeah, well, I have no idea wtf that means either. We downed both bosses without any more comments from the latest addition to my ignore list.

Epilogue: He was right, the mage was low dps. But, as my wife once said, “Pot, kettle, black” (inside joke, don’t ask.) I out-dps’ed both the mage and the hunter on the third boss. The hunter bested me on Siamat, but I still beat the mage.

***

GB on tank. This has nothing to do with the group, which was solid. Clean, easy run to the third boss. On the first pull, the first add spawns at the very edge of the platform, targets me, and bugs out. Evades, normal+damageable, evades, normal+damageable, repeat ad infinitum. We ignore the add and continue on the boss, who we get to 60% when the buggy add explodes on the healer and we wipe. On the second attempt, everything goes fine until the boss drops Seeping Twilight, Devouring Flames, and an add on top of us simultaneously. Instant wipe. Two abilities simultaneously are manageable, normal. Three? No chance and certainly not with the add spawning on top of us. Third attempt went smoothly.

Epilogue: As proof of how solid this group was: We got the achievement on the last boss even though one of the dps’ers lagged out and died in the first Shadow Nova. Fight took about 5 minutes, but those adds were locked down.

***

Throne of Tides on tank. We clear to the squid elevator. Cat druid refuses to attack my target on multi-mob packs. Elevator descends, the 5K dps rogue doesn’t jump to get on, gets left behind. I pull the first pack in the gauntlet. As a refresher, the gauntlet has three 2-mob packs: warrior/warrior, warrior/healer, and healer/healer. First two packs go down easy. On the double healer pack, I run in and attack the healer on the right. I stand on the healer. The cat druid Pounces and single-targets the healer on the left. I stop interrupting my mob and let the druid tank the other healer, picking up the murlocs as they run past. The druid marks his target with a skull. I continue to not help on his target. Rogue finally returns and I interrupt my target to get the show going. Afterwards, the rogue says, “We weren’t targeting the healer.” “They’re both healers.” “Oh.” I know I was being a dick, but stupid dps needs to learn to not be stupid. Tanks aren’t responsible for enabling idiots to continue bad habits. After the druid didn’t attack my target on the next pull, I asked, “Is there a cat druid talent that increases dps on targets that are not being tanked?” The druid linked Fury Swipes and apologized. Sarcasm failed to penetrate the druid’s massive skull.

We cleared to Neptulon without further problem. Phase 1 goes smooth. Phase 2, the druid attacks the mobs I’m kiting. I say, “Don’t attack the beasts. Kill the sappers.” He doesn’t listen. Don’t know whether he was trying to intentionally wipe the group or didn’t know not to hit the adds. Either way, he failed and failed hard. The hunter dies, no big loss. Two of the sappers die, the 5K dps rogue is working on the last sapper by himself, I’m kiting six beasts, the druid pulls a beast and dies. The rogue gets the last sapper down and we shift into phase 3. I kill the beasts and we work on Ozumat. Healer keeps us up as long as possible, but succumbs after going oom. The rogue dies soon after. I chain cooldowns and drop Ozumat from 25%-0% on my own. Whew. Loot chest, leave without rezzing. I know, another dick move. But I wasn’t in a charitable mood.

***

Vortex Pinnacle on tank. This was about an hour after the above Throne of Tides run, so that should give you some idea of my mindset and feelings towards dps (though I did a clean Lost City run in between.) Last boss of a (mostly) clean run. First attempt, all of us get hit by Static Cling. The holy priest healer doesn’t dispel and three of us die. Group wipes. As we’re running back, the warlock slams the priest for not cleansing. I defend the priest by saying it’s everyone’s personal responsibility to try to avoid it, the dispel is a backup in case we mis-time our jumps (which is what happened to me.) Warlock continues to bitch about how the priest should have cleansed us. Whatever. Second attempt, priest misses first Static Cling, doesn’t dispel (says “I knot dispel boss root!”), dies. We hold out as long as possible, but eventually succumb. Not that the dps helped by killing the adds because, shit, that would mean less dps on the boss. Never mind that the adds are what killed us in the end, not the boss. As we’re running back, the healer gets votekicked. The votekick passed before I could move my cursor to the dialog box. New healer comes in, boss dies, collect loot, leave.

The healer wasn’t the greatest, but the dps was worse. Lazy dps expecting the healer to cover their asses can DIAF. Just because you can break 10K doesn’t mean you get to slam the healer for your mistakes. I can break 20K while avoiding Static Cling and killing adds. It’s called personal responsibility. Stop being lazy, whiny dps, man the fuck up, and pay attention or admit when you suck and die.

***

SFK on tank. An all-guildie-plus-pug-tank run, and I’m the pug tank. Smooth run until the courtyard. I try to loot a corpse but, instead of looting, I get stuck bent over even after I walk away from the corpse. Jumping, attacking, nothing works. We clear the courtyard and I quickly “/console relodui” without telling anyone. I’m back in after 10 seconds…which apparently was far too long for this group as I come back with three mobs on my face; yay MD! The reloadui didn’t help as I was still bent over. I can still do everything, just my animations are bonked. I grab the cooks and take a lot of damage, so I suspect my perma-looting posture is the cause; getting crit cause I’m sitting is not good. We clear the dining room and I ask for a moment to reload my UI again. Like last time, it didn’t fix it. I run back to the courtyard to see if I can loot the corpse that caused the bug. Gone. Bah. I run back in time to hear the hunter yell, “ALL CLEAR.” Thanks, d-bag. Pull boss, kill boss. I run out and ask for another moment while Ivar’s script plays. I close out of WoW entirely, load it up, get back in, and, yup, they had pulled while I was reloading WoW. At least I’m not bent over any more. No deaths, just unpleasant. Fully upright, I chain-pulled the rest of the instance.

I felt bad for the healer. The mage was main, heroic raid geared, 9/13 HM. The hunter and rogue were alts with heroic dungeon gear and a couple normal raid pieces. The priest, though, seemed like an undergeared casual. I don’t need a lot of healing most of the time, but the priest was spamming heals and almost constantly oom. If his fellow guildies weren’t such impatient dicks, the run would have been easier for him.

***

BRC on tank. First boss. I do my standard pull: Divine Please, “incoming”, run in, judge, pop Avenging Wrath and Shield of the Righteous. I judge the boss, pop AW, but, before I could hit him with my shield, “Losing Threat” appears on my screen and I’m not top of Omen. The boss has the mage targeted. I spin around, but miss with my shield (3% hit ftl) as the mage runs away from me, futilely kiting the boss. He doesn’t hit iceblock, just runs away and gets pounded in the face. He dies, boss turns to me, we kill him.

Mage: No taunt or MD?!
Me: By the way, stupid dps who pull aggro don’t get taunts. Wait before unleashing next time.
Mage: Ever heard of a crit?
Me: Ever heard of a miss?

A dick move, I guess, but why should I cover for his multiple failings?

  1. He didn’t wait for me to establish aggro.
  2. He didn’t run to the tank when he pulled off me.
  3. He didn’t iceblock when the boss got to him.

And the hunter failed, too, by not MD’ing to me.

Epilogue: The mage did not pull aggro on the rest of the run. The hunter failed to move out of the beam on Corla, which resulted in a wipe. But he kited the last boss well enough.

***

Stonecore on tank. Hunter, boomkin, dps warrior, resto druid, and me the tankadin. I inspect the hunter, who is decently geared for a pug (mix of heroic blues and ZA/ZG epics) but does not have a melee weapon equipped. I whisper him, “Do you have a melee weapon?” No response. Whatever. We have a little trouble with the first couple of pulls because I’m still not accustomed to tanking with aggro-free traps; I never said I was perfect. The healer worried me: he used Tranquility and tree form on trash even though only the boomkin (who Starfired targets mobs I hadn’t hit yet) and I needed heals. Can’t keep Lifebloom on more than one person? Whatever.

First boss was a wipe. The healer died on phase 2, but not to the expected. He avoided Corborus, but didn’t heal himself for 10 seconds and died to four little adds. I pick up as many as I can, but I must avoid Corborus, too. Run to me, not away. Whatever. He leaves mid-fight, new healer arrives but not before two dps die to idontknowandidontcare. We wipe, run back, kill Corborus, and clear the instance.

Before each boss pull, I inspect the hunter. At no time did he have a melee weapon equipped. I don’t know what’s worse: a hunter who didn’t equip a melee weapon or the fact that he topped the meters by a significant margin. On bosses and overall, he was top dps (10K), I was second, with the boomkin and warrior far below me.

***

VP on tank. Four players from Quel’Thalas, a Latin American server, and me, who doesn’t speak Spanish. Uneventful run until the last boss. Asaad puts his electric triangle down and I try to run to it, but I can barely move. I don’t have Static Cling, but I’m dazed. WTF…Oh shit. One of the hunters has Aspect of the Pack on. The hunter doesn’t know English, so me yelling “PACK!” did not improve the situation. We wipe, run back, I learn a new phrase, we kill boss.


Originally published 12 March 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, The Lich King, Preparation and Phase 1
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

The Lich King, Preparation and Phase 1

Type: Epic, Required

Trash: None or the entire instance, depending on your point of view :D

Boss Strat

Because of the intricacy and complexity of this fight, I’m tackling only one phase at a time. I will include pictures and diagrams. I won’t spoil the details of the lore, but I will note things that are relevant to the encounter, which might ruin some of the surprise. Deal :D

Preparation

Raid composition:

10-man = 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 dps
25-man = 2 tanks, 6-7 healers, 17-18 dps

A warrior tank is preferred for stuns on adds, but not necessary. Rogues—1 on 10-man, 3 on 25-man—are desirable: stuns in Phase 3, misdirects in all phases. Hunters are very helpful, and no, I’m not saying that because I am a hunter. Tranq Shot and Misdirection relieve stress on tanks and healers. A healer who can cleanse disease is mandatory; no stacking resto druids. Discipline priests are fantastic as shields are very beneficial. Warlocks, in addition to doing very solid damage, can make life easy in Phase 3.

Understanding the abilities:

Much of this fight revolves around understanding the LK’s various, plentiful, and decimating abilities. I highly recommend everyone read wowwiki and wowhead. Everyone—yes, including you, dps—needs to know and understand all of the LK’s abilities. Sure, knowing them on every fight helps, but let’s be honest: how many dps who aren’t raid leaders or have healer/tank alts know every boss’s abilities inside and out? Learn them for this fight.

I’ll do this for each phase. And yes, I’m quoting from wowwiki.

Phase 1 Abilities

Infest = Deals 6,598 to 7,402 Shadow damage to all enemy players within 50,000 yards. In addition, the targets will take increasing Shadow damage per second. This effect is removed when the target has more than 90% health. 2 sec cast. 9,425 to 10,575 on 25-player. = This is why disc priests are so valuable. With shields up on everyone, Infest hits, does nothing, and bounces off. Considering the tanks are getting hit for 40k, less healing required on the raid is a good thing.
Summon Drudge Ghouls = Summons 3 Drudge Ghouls = Necrotic Plague batteries. The off-tank should pick them up. They don’t hit hard, but they cause the LK to dance and wiggle, which makes the main tank’s job more difficult. Plus, they charge Necrotic Plague, which kills the Horrors faster.
Summon Shambling Horrors = Summons a Shambling Horror = Must be off-tanked. They have an enrage that should be dispelled. The enrage won’t kill the tank, but it will hurt. A lot.
Necrotic Plague = Infests the target with a deadly plague, causing 50,000 Shadow damage every 5 seconds for 15 seconds. If the target dies while afflicted or the effect ends, this effect will gain an additional stack and jump to a nearby unit. If this effect is dispelled, it will lose a stack and jump to a nearby unit. Whenever this effect jumps, the Lich King’s power will increase. Instant. Disease. 100,000/5 on 25-player. = This is phase 1. While scary, Necrotic Plague is easy to manage provided everyone is looking for it.
Plague Siphon = Increases the Lich King’s physical damage dealt by 2%. Stack increases each time Necrotic Plague jumps. 30 sec duration. Stacks to 500. = The Lich King hits harder. Ouch. This makes the achievement actually difficult and not “do it right and get 10 achievements points.”

Phase 1 Strategy

The Lich King does not aggro, so feel free to wander about. The frozen throne is very cool. Lore lovers, take a look above the Lich King. Yes, you can fall off the edge. Be careful.

Talk to Tirion to start the fight. The fight does not begin for about 45 seconds after speaking with Tirion; enjoy the lore. Finish buffing, run a food+flask check, get into position, focus. Once he iceblocks Tirion (spoiler!), he aggros and runs to the nearest player. Misdirect the LK to the main tank. The Lich King stops to cast various spells, so let the tank position him before unloading. Phase 1 is not a dps race. Steady damage is fine.

Click the pictures to see positions for Phase 1: diagram and hunter point of view (note: the diagram is more illustrative, the point of view shows how confusing this can be)

The main tank – off-tank – ranged triangle needs to be fairly small so ranged+healers and melee can run to the adds in 3 seconds. The Lich King can be tanked anywhere. We prefer near the fault line (see Phase 2). This position gives us a few extra seconds to move back near the edge of the platform as the Lich King runs to the middle during the transition into Phase 2.

About 10 seconds into the fight, Lich King will summon Drudge Ghouls. A rogue can FoK+ToTT these to the off-tank; in addition to misdirecting the adds, FoK will hit the Lich King, increasing the off-tank’s threat on him. Very handy if the main tank dies. About 15 seconds into the fight, Lich King will summon a Shambling Horror. It climbs out of the ground to the left of the Lich King. Hunter MD + off-tank taunt = no horror in raid. The horror must be tanked facing away from the raid because of his Shockwave, a frontal cone interrupt.

The Lich King casts Infest on a strict timer. Watch for it. Prepare for it. “Shields!” </Capt. Sulu impression>

Run to the adds (the yellow “X” on the diagram) when you get Necrotic Plague. And by “run”, I mean, “STOP EVERYTHING AND MOVE!” Everyone should have a Power Aura for Necrotic Plague. Mine is bright yellow. Necrotic Plague needs to be dispelled as soon the person is in position next to the adds. If it hops to the tank—it shouldn’t, but it can happen—dispel it immediately.

But why give it to the adds if the Lich King hits harder? Because Necrotic Plague kills the adds for you. If you don’t pass the plague to the adds, you will have to kill them yourselves. Although the fight is not a strict dps race, pumping out an extra 5-10 million damage will push your raid over the enrage timer at the end of the fight.

Slow and steady on this phase. No need to rush.

When the Lich King hits 70% health, he will stop attacking and run to the middle. Once there, he starts casting Remorseless Winter. Everyone must move to the edge of the platform. Adds will still be up; bring them over to the edge, too.

Phase 2 inc! :D

Summary

  1. Fight starts when you talk with Tirion
  2. (45 seconds later)
  3. Lich King aggros and is MD’ed to main tank
  4. Lich King casts Infest
  5. Lich King summons little adds, who are MD’ed and/or ToTT’ed to off-tank
  6. Lich King summons Shambling Horror, who is MD’ed and/or ToTT’ed to off-tank
  7. DPSDPSDPS
  8. Lich King casts Necrotic Plague on random player, who runs to the adds, is dispelled, and runs back
  9. Adds slowly die due to Necrotic Plague
  10. Repeat steps 4-8 until Lich King hits 70% health
  11. Phase 2 beings

Hunter Specifics

Yay! Utility!

MD’s a-plenty in this phase. On the pull, the horrors, during the fight…MD should always be on cooldown. Our main tanks have trouble with threat in this phase—probably due to rogues ToTT’ing the adds to the off-tank instead of pumping threat into the main tank—so I MD whenever I’m able.

Enraged add = Tranq Shot. I recommend a focus macro because you can setup a Power Aura to flash when the focused Horror enrages (the ability is called, shockingly, “Enrage”.) A mouseover macro works, too, but be careful you don’t tranq shot someone else’s Horror.

Mouseover macro = /cast [@mouseover,harm][harm] Tranquilizing Shot
Focus macro = /cast [@focus] Tranquilizing Shot

TIP! When you get Necrotic Plague, run over then Disengage back once it’s dispelled.

Steady damage here. Pop cooldowns, but watch threat. No need to be a hero in this phase.

Commentary

This is the easy phase. Get the positioning correct, handle Necrotic Plague, practice the transition into Phase 2.

Any and all comments are welcome on this. I’m not master of this fight (yet… :D).

Also, I skipped the loot and heroic changes sections. Loot will come at the end. Heroic changes…Ya, can’t find any information on them whatsoever. The few guilds who have seen Lich King hard mode are not sharing the details.


Originally published 13 March 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, The Lich King, Phases 2 and 4
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

The Lich King, Phases 2 and 4

Yes, I know I said I would tackle one phase at a time. But since Phases 2 and 4 are essentially the same, I put them together.

(Skipping the usual stuff, going straight for the goodies)

Phases 2 and 4 Abilities

  • Remorseless Winter = Inflicts 9,425 to 10,575 Frost damage every second to players within 45 yards. = Everyone move to the edge.
  • Pain and Suffering = Inflicts 4,713 to 5,287 Shadow damage to enemies in a frontal cone, as well as an additional 800 Shadow damage every 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. = This is tricky. More on it below. In short, P&S is a narrow cone damage attack, so players must spread out horizontally, not away from the Lich King.
  • Summon Ice Sphere = Summons 1 Ice Sphere. = Annoying balls of ice that explode and knock people off the platform are annoying.
  • Raging Spirit = Summons 1 Raging Spirit. Used 3 times in Phase 2, 4 times in Phase 4 = What? You thought the tanks and dps got a break?
  • Quake = Causes the outermost ring of the Frozen Throne platform to collapse. = This signals the end of Phases 2 and 4.

Phase 2 Strategy

Phase 2 lasts for one minute and begins when the Lich King starts channeling Remorseless Winter. Although a recovery phase, wipes can easily happen here. Positioning is key.

Everyone needs to move to the outer ring of the platform to avoid Remorseless Winter. Any adds still up from Phase 1 should be off-tanked away from the rest of the raid.

Click the pictures to see positions for Phases 2: diagram and hunter point of view.

A moment about the hunter point of view picture. I like this picture because you can see everything that happens in this phase. All the positions are shown: off-tank, main tank+melee+add pile, ranged and healers. Pain and Suffering is shown as is someone (me!) who is just outside the narrow cone. The orbs, though off-screen, make an appearance via the light-blue line coming out my right side.

Basically, the off-tank is at the north, a ranged is in between the off-tank+adds and melee+adds+main tank piles. South of the big pile are the rest of the ranged and the healers.

Every 20 seconds in Phase 2 and every 15 seconds in Phase 4, the Lich King casts Raging Spirit on a random player. That player runs to the main tank and faces away from the Lich King. After 10 seconds, an added pops out in front of the person, knocking them over. These need to be picked up by the main tank and faced away from the raid. Their frontal cone ability silences (bad) and damages (very bad). Kill them.

Meanwhile, the Lich King spawns Frozen Orbs. They meander from him towards their target. They have little health (6k on 10-man, 12k on 25-man) and they don’t do much damage. They explode if someone—their target or another player, doesn’t matter (though pets are immune)—gets within 3 yards of them. The explosion doesn’t hurt, just knocks you off the platform. Dead. Unable to be rezzed. Game over. Ranged needs to kill them. Because of the spread of the group, one ranged needs to be north of the melee pile to cover the entire group.

About Pain and Suffering: Normally, frontal cone abilities mean “Stay the fuck away”. However, you cannot outrange P&S, you can only avoid it. Avoiding means increasing the angle between you and the people around you relative to the Lich King. Look at the Phase 2 diagram. The circled healer is the target of P&S (follow the black line from the Lich King if you don’t see the circle.) The purple lines show the narrow cone of P&S. The person behind the circled healer is affected by P&S as well even though he is farther from the Lich King than the targeted person. Healers outside the purple lines are not affected even if they are closer to the Lich King. You can see this in the picture of Phase 2: the melee pile is getting hammered by P&S (and they will, nothing they can do about it), but I am not because I’m outside the cone.

After one minute, the Lich King stops channeling Remorseless Winter and begins casting Quake. It’s quite noticeable. Move in lest you fall to your death. Keep tanking the Raging Spirits. Remember, they still cast Soul Shriek, so keep them faced away from the raid.

Phase 3 inc! :D

Phase 4 Strategy

Phase 4 is Phase 2 but with more feeling. Another Raging Spirit spawns and more orbs spawn. Now is the time in the fight when we pop Heroism/Bloodlust. You do not want any more adds than necessary going into Phase 5.

Phase 5 inc! :D

Summary

  1. Lich King begins casting Remorseless Winter.
  2. Everyone runs to the edge of the platform to their designated positions.
  3. Someone is marked as the Raging Spirit person.
  4. Marked person runs to the main tank, faces away from the raid, and births a Raging Spirit.
  5. Raging Spirit is picked up and killed.
  6. Orbs spawn. Ranged kills them.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until minute is up.
  8. Lich King stops Remorseless Winter and beings casting Quake.
  9. Edge of platform breaks up, raid runs into middle.
  10. Being Phase 3 or 5.

Hunter Specifics

If there are Shambling Horrors up from Phase 1, Tranq Shot when they enrage.

We’re on orb duty. Instant, high-damage attacks + low-health, ranged adds = Our burden to bear. If you’re on orb duty and do zero damage to the Raging Spirits but kill all the orbs, you’re doing it right.

TIP! Save instant casts—Aimed, Explosive, Chimaera, Arcane—for the orbs. Use Steady Shot on the Raging Spirits.

The Lich King will spawn an orb just before he switches from Remorseless Winter to Quake. Kill it quick. If you need a second or two, warn people on vent that an orb is still up.

Misdirect Raging Spirits as much as possible. Melee will be on top of the adds as they spawn. The adds do not aggro immediately; about a 2-second delay. One Aimed Shot MD will save a life (ironic that the shot that halves healing on the target can save lives :D)

With 3/3 Hawk Eye, you can hit the Lich King without getting hit by Remorseless Winter. Not that you should–Raging Spirits are more important than the Lich King–but you can.

Commentary

Again, positioning. These are the second- and third-easiest phases. Handle the adds and you’ll be okay.


Originally published 13 March 2010

Hunter How-To: ICC, The Lich King, Phase 3
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

The Lich King, Phase 3

Cause he’s the Lich King

Phase 3 Abilities

  • Infest = Deals 6,598 to 7,402 Shadow damage to all enemy players within 50,000 yards. In addition, the targets will take increasing Shadow damage per second. This effect is removed when the target has more than 90% health. 2 sec cast. 9,425 to 10,575 on 25-player. = This is why disc priests are so valuable. With shields up on everyone, Infest hits, does nothing, and bounces off. Considering the tanks are getting hit for 40k, less healing required on the raid is a good thing.
  • Soul Reaper = Inflicts 50% weapon damage as Shadowstrike damage and causes 50,000 (25-man 60,000) Shadow Damage after 5 seconds. Used on the current tank. = A nasty ability that requires either cooldowns or coordination between tanks.
  • Defile = Inflicts 3,000 Shadow damage to all players in the targeted area. Every time a player takes damage from this, Defile’s damage and area increase. = See below.
  • Summon Val’kyr Shadowguard = Calls a Val’kyr Shadowguard which attempts to pick up a player and drop them off the edge of Icecrown Citadel. = See below.

Phase 3 Strategy

Phase 2 ends when the Lich King casts Quake. Everyone must get off the edge to avoid falling to an inglorious death. A Raging Spirit will likely be up. Bring it to Tirion, kill it before working on the Lich King.

Phase 3 initial positioning

In-game pic of initial positioning

About 10 seconds after ending Quake, the Lich King will summon Val’kyr, 3 on 25-man and 1 on 10-man.

About the Val’kyr: The Valks are half of what makes Phase 3 the most difficult phase of the encounter. They are summoned, target 3 random players (NOT the tanks), pick them up, carry them towards the nearest edge, and drop the players off and out of the fight. Players dropped are removed from the fight entirely; they cannot be battle rezzed, use a soulstone, or reincarnate. Taken players take damage, a big initial hit then minor damage as the Valks fly; very healable, more to keep the healers on their toes than to kill the players. Also, they do not fly down altogether. They appear, then swoop down one at a time. Animation takes about 5 seconds total.

Handling the Val’kyr: The Valks can be slowed and stunned, but not rooted or snared. They must be killed before they go beyond the edge of the platform. They continue flying beyond the edge: out a few yards and then up. If one flies past the edge, the person carried is dead. Stop dps’ing and healing, move on. Boss mods will assign raid symbols to each Val’kyr: triangle, diamond, and circle. First, assign a rogue to each symbol for stun duty. Then divide the DPS equally between the symbols; if 18 DPS = 6 on each, if 17 = 6 on two, 5 on the third. Obviously, assign people before the fight begins. Nobody—NOBODY—should stun the Valks other than the rogues due to diminishing returns on the stuns. For times when you don’t have three rogues (you don’t have 3 rogues in your raid, one or more of the rogues got picked up, dead rogues, etc.), have someone else stun the loose Valk(s) and tell all DPS to kill that Valk(s). Rogues should have crippling poison on a third weapon and should weapon-swap at the start of Phase 3. Two stuns—one early, one late—are ideal. One big stun late is acceptable provided that DPS has been working on the Valk already. Don’t stun too close to the edge. You don’t want Valks stunned beyond the edge nor do you want to free players and watch them take an awkward and fatal step backwards.

Positioning the Val’kyr: Almost as important as stunning and slowing the Valks is positioning the Valks. Melee, ranged, and healers (everyone but the tanks) needs to stand in a tight clump just off-center. The Valks fly to the edge closest to the player they pick up. Thus, everyone needs to be as close to the center of the platform as possible, but NOT in the exact center. Stand slightly off-center. If the melee+healer+ranged pile is in the center, the Valks may fly in opposite directions. If one person is an inch to the east of the exact center and another person is an inch to the west of the exact center, if both are picked up, their Valks will fly in opposite directions. That’s bad, yo. The main tank should put the Lich King in the center, everyone else stand behind the Lich King and thus off-center. Which direction the Lich King faces depends on where the Defiles are (more on defile below.) Group up so there is a clear, Defile-free path between the clump and the edge. Tricky, yes, but this fight is hard if you hadn’t noticed.

Pile in center = Valks go to different places = BAD

Pile too big = Valks go to different places = BAD

Raid spread out = Valks go wherever = BAD

Valks grouped up, Defile out = Perfect

What you want to see: tightly grouped Valks and Defile nowhere in sight

Once the Valks pick up their targets and fly away, ranged and healers should spread out as Defile is often very soon afterwards. Melee sticks with the Val’kyr, tanks can keep the Lich King in the middle.

How this plays out:

  1. Lich King summons Val’kyr.
  2. Val’kyr appear and select targets.
  3. Val’kyr pick up targets and fly towards nearest edge.
  4. Rogues stun and slow their assigned Val’kyr after they start flying. DPS burns down their assigned Val’kyr.
  5. Val’kyr survive first stun, resume flying towards edge. DPS continues burning.
  6. Rogues stun their assigned Val’kyr no less than one yard from the edge.
  7. Val’kyr dies.
  8. Everyone gets back on the Lich King.

On all the Phase 3 diagrams, there is a pink dot on the northwest arrow. That is the warlock location. Locks are uniquely awesome in this fight. Unlike everyone else, warlocks should stand away from the group. You want Valks to pick them up. When locks are selected, everyone should ignore that Val’kyr. No, I don’t wish harm on my warlock companions. They are doing the raid a great service by being out there. How? Because they can use Demonic Teleport after they are dropped. Yup, Demonic Teleport nullifies one of the Valks. That’s pure win sauce. Because they can use Demonic Teleport, they can stand away from the group, which means they can drop Defile away from the group. Win squared.

If you are selected, relax. There is nothing you can do. Let your teammates rescue you. Once your Val’kyr is dead, fall, orient yourself, then move. The worst thing you can do is panic and run off the edge. Even if you think you’ve been carried away, relax. Don’t panic.

TIP! Don’t Disengage prematurely. Flinging yourself off the edge is bad, yo! I would never do such a—ok, I did.

Shortly after the first set of Val’kyr absconds with raid members, the Lich King casts Defile.

Every boss has an ability, an unique mechanic that all raiders must learn in order to defeat the boss. Call them cockblocks, pug breakers, whatever, they make encounters different and interesting. Gruul had Shatter, Magtheridon had cubes, Vashj had Tainted Cores, Kael had legendary weapons, Illidan had the Twin Blades of Azzinoth, Kil’Jaeden had [nobody knows cause only 10 guilds ever saw him], Malygos had player drakes, Sartharion had enemy drakes, Kel’Thuzad had whogivesafuck, Yogg had Insanity, Anub’Arak had leeching swarm. The Lich King has Defile.

“Defile = Inflicts 3,000 Shadow damage to all players in the targeted area. Every time a player takes damage from this, Defile’s damage and area increase.”

Simple.

And yet, your raid will spend thousands of gold on repairs because of Defile. Attempts will go from perfect to abject failure because of Defile. I short-shifted Defile when I said “The Valks are half of what makes Phase 3 the most difficult phase of the encounter.” No, Defile is three-quarters of what makes Phase 3 the most difficult phase of the encounter. The Val’kyr are adds. Many fights have adds that must be killed. Defile is unique, insidious, treacherous. You will wipe the raid because you fucked up Defile. You will dump Defile in a bad spot, forcing the raid to adjust on the fly. You will fail on Defile. Accept this. Practice. Be ready.

About Defile: The Lich King targets a random player—anyone, including tanks—and casts Defile, a 1.5 second uninterruptable cast. Three seconds later, the targeted person deposits Defile where he is. The initial Defile sludge pool has a 7-yard radius (approximate). Every tick of damage increases its diameter by 3 yards. The targeted player will take a tick of damage even if running out of the Defile as soon as it drops. Thus, all Defiles will have no less than a 10-yard radius. After 30 seconds, the Defile pool despawns.

Not too bad.

However, if two people take damage from the Defile, the pool’s radius increases to 13 yards with the first tick of damage; three yards for each of the two ticks of damage. If three people…Fuck this.

Yay for graphs!

Have I ever mentioned my undying love for Excel?

This graph shows the size of Defile based on how many people are in Defile at a time. Dark blue diamonds show the size of Defile if 1 player is in Defile, pink squares are 2 players (the targeted person and someone standing next to him), yellow triangles are 3 players, turquoise circles show the size of Defile if 2 people take the initial hit but one person takes the remaining hits (the targeted person and someone standing near who is able to get out quickly), and the purple diamonds are 3 people take initial hit but only two people take remaining hits. The line shows the location of the targeted player if he is running immediately upon dropping Defile. The location data set has a line because the player is running continuously: his location is being updated by the server all the time. The Defile size data sets are points because Defile grows in discretely: from 7 yards to 10 yards instantly, not over time. The server processes the Defile damage (and thus its size increase) once every second. Thus, the player is safe when his line passes the previous plot point. For example, one player in Defile escapes Defile in 1.4 seconds.

In chart form:
1 Player = 1.4s until out of Defile = 1 tick of Defile
2 Players = 2.8s = 2 ticks
3 Players = NEVER = Infinite*
2 initial, 1 after 1 tick = 2.33s = 2 ticks
3 initial, 2 after 1 tick = 4.9s = 4 ticks

*Okay, true: Defile does not grow to infinite size nor does it stay up forever. However, 3 people who start in the middle of Defile will max Defile quickly and not escape it for at least 8 seconds. Because Defile increases damage as it increases in size, those 3 players are dead without major heals. For all intents and purposes, they will not escape Defile and will take an infinite number of ticks.

Defile does not grow to infinite size. A maxed-out Defile puddle covers about 80% of the platform. Usually, a maxed-out Defile will wipe the raid. If people are careful, you can avoid the maxed Defile and continue the fight.

No matter how large a Defile pool is, the despawn timer is the same: 30 seconds. There will never be more than two Defile pools up concurrently.

Handling Defile: Everyone must have an updated boss mod. I think I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. DBM, BigWigs, DXE. Download and install. Not only are the timers crucial for this fight, but the functions are also important. All boss mods have an option to yell when you are targeted with Defile. Turn this on. When targeted with Defile, run away from the group, drop the tar puddle, run back. Do not stop. Defile is not cleansable, dispellable, removable, it’s on a timer, just put it as far from the group as possible. Once you have dropped Defile, keep running until out of the black.

You need to know when and where the Valks are at all times so you can run out of Defile in the correct direction. A general guideline:

IF Valks are out, run to your designated location, either near to them to dps or spread out to heal = Get back into fight.
IF Valks are soon, drop Defile, spin around, and run back to the group = You do not want to be far from the group when the Valks spawn. They could target you and fly beyond the edge before anyone could stun.

Do not keyboard turn. Do not back up. Do not fat-finger your walk key.

Do strafe. Do continue running through the Defile. Do know where you are and where you need to be.

And please, do not drop Defile here…

If you see someone near you get Defile, GTFO. Run away from that person, or, if clumped for the Valks, don’t move and let that person run away. I know this sounds obvious, but people are lemmings. They see someone running away and figure they need to run away, too. Resist that urge.

Here is the setup for Phase 3. Where to put Defile?

Where, oh where, should De-file go!

BAD!!! = Based on the location of the melee+healers+ranged pile, the Val’kyr will fly directly over this Defile. Melee will have to run around the Defile, which is lost dps or even a lost stun.
Bad! = Could be worse, quite manageable, but the pool is not positioned well. A Defile in the circle limits the raid. That Defile blocks off a big chunk of the room. People can’t run out in that direction, tanks need to be careful of where they’re going, it’s just not a good Defile placement.
Good! = While still in the circle, this Defile pool is away from the group and not obstructing the path of the Val’kyr.
Very Good! = These are ideal placements for Defile. Away from the group, out of the Valk path, perfect.

How this plays out:

  1. Lich King targets someone and casts Defile.
  2. Targeted player has 3 seconds to run away from group and out of the way of the Val’kyr.
  3. Defile goes sploosh.
  4. Player runs back into position, with the position determined by the status of the Val’kyr.

Putting everything toget—Oh wait. Almost forgot about Soul Reaper.

And tanks thought they could relax. Soul Reaper will kill tanks if they’re not paying attention. In the Phase 3 diagrams, one tank is on the Lich King and another is a few yards away. That’s for Soul Reaper.

How this plays out:

  1. Lich King casts Soul Reaper.
  2. Off-tank taunts.
  3. Lich King walks towards off-tank.
  4. Before the Lich King reaches the off-tank, the main tank taunts the Lich King back.

Easy, yes, but in the middle of the encounter, it can be tricky.

Putting everything together:

  1. Lich King stops channeling Remorseless Winter and casts Quake.
  2. Everyone runs away from edge while killing any remaining frozen orbs.
  3. Main tank picks up the Lich King and tanks him in the middle of the now-smaller platform. Off-tank takes the Raging Spirit(s) over by Tirion. Melee follows off-tank. Ranged and healers clump up behind Lich King, slightly to the right of the center of the platform.
  4. DPS on Raging Spirit until there are 3 seconds before Val’kyr are summoned.
  5. Melee joins ranged and healers. Off-tank continues to tank Raging Spirit if it’s alive; if not, prepare for Soul Reaper.
  6. Lich King summons Val’kyr.
  7. Val’kyr appear and select targets.
  8. Val’kyr pick up targets and fly towards nearest edge.
  9. Lich King casts Infest (same as in Phase 1, I figured I didn’t need to talk about it again).
  10. Everyone spreads out as much as possible. Rogues stun Val’kyr.
  11. Lich King targets someone and casts Defile.
  12. Targeted player has 3 seconds to run away from group and out of the way of the Val’kyr.
  13. Defile goes sploosh.
  14. Lich King casts Soul Reaper. Off-tank taunts.
  15. Player targeted with Defile gets back into position. Continue dps on Val’kyr.
  16. Lich King walks towards off-tank. Before the Lich King reaches the off-tank, the main tank taunts the Lich King back.
  17. When Val’kyr get close to edge, stun again.
  18. Kill Val’kyr. Lich King targets someone and casts Defile.
  19. Targeted player has 3 seconds to run away from group and out of the way of the Val’kyr.
  20. DPS attacks Lich King.
  21. Defile goes sploosh.
  22. Player targeted with Defile gets back into position.
  23. Repeat steps 6-22 until Lich King reaches 42%.

At about 42%, the main tank drags the Lich King to the edge of the platform. Ranged and healers should spread out along the edge. Ignore Valks, burn the Lich King. Once he hits 40%, he will run to the middle, rebuild the outer edge of the platform, and begin casting Remorseless Winter. Thus ends Phase 3 and begins Phase 4. All players run to the edge to avoid Remorseless Winter. Any Val’kyr alive will drop their passengers down in the same location. However, since the edge of the platform has been rebuilt, the passengers fall to their safety. Nice.

Doesn’t seem all that bad. Well, that’s cause I forgot to mention that Defile and Summon Val’kyr are on different but similar timers. There are about 10 seconds between the first Summon Val’kyr cast and the first Defile cast. Quite manageable. There are about three seconds between the second casts of each. That’s what wipes raids, that’s why this Phase is insane. Phase 3 would not be so bad if the abilities were as easy as clump-spread-clump-spread. In reality, the pattern is more clump-spread-run function(IF: Valks next = clump; IF: Defile next = spread)-run function-run function-run function-etc. This is why timers are crucial for this fight. If someone runs out of a Defile towards the edge five seconds before Val’kyr land, they better hope they don’t get picked up by Valks cause they’re going to get dropped off the side. If you clump up when Defile is next, better hope that the targeted person can move out of the clump quick lest it wipes the raid.

I should also mention that handling Defiles and Valks is more important than burning the Lich King. All dps needs to be on the Valks. The faster they die, the more time on the Lich King, the sooner Phase 3 ends. And Defile, well, can’t dps when dead.

A quick note on tanking: keep the Lich King in the center of the platform as much as possible. Coordinate with a caller (raid leader or designated assistant with a loud voice) to keep the Lich King facing away from the next set of Val’kyr’s paths will be.

Hunter Specifics

Disengage is awesome. If you aren’t comfortable using Disengage whenever it’s up, run some battlegrounds and practice. However, Disengage can be dangerous in this phase.

First, Disengage will not save you if dropped from a Valk. Not consistently, that is. You can Disengage to safety if dropped, but not consistently enough to advise it as standard operating procedure. If you get dropped, sure, try Disengage. If you reach safety, you win. (note: I’ve never done it) If you don’t, well, you’re dead anyway. No harm in trying.

Second, do not rely on Disengage to place Defiles correctly. Disengage is one big jump backwards. WoW servers process and display jumps differently. I hit jump. I see my character leap and land. The server, however, thinks I haven’t moved until I land, at which time it processes my new location. That’s why you should always run out of badness, be it Defile, fire, poison pools, ice patches, Consecrates, any ground-based AoE. If you jump, the server thinks you have not moved until you land. That half-second in the air could be the difference between life and death. Disengage, being a big jump, is processed similarly. Example: In PvP, if you Disengage from a melee who’s in your face, your shots do not become instantly available even though your character appears to be far away from your attacker. Works the same with Defile. You can place Defile away from the group when targeted if you Disengage immediately. Any hesitation, though, and you will put Defile somewhere in the middle of your Disengage flight path or, worse, close to the pile. If you’re not comfortable Disengaging, just run out.

TIP! Turn on target-of-target. That way, if you see the Lich King target you, you can hit Disengage a second early, drop Defile, and get back into position quickly.

Leave your pet on the Lich King. I know I said “All dps needs to be on the Valks.” However, the travel time between the Lich King and the Valks means your pet will hit the Valks maybe three times before it’s dead or flies beyond the edge. Keep it on the Lich King.

Speaking of dots, be sure to keep up your dots on the Lich King. I like to refresh Serpent Sting as the Valks arrive even if there’s 15 seconds left on the current Sting. More uptime on the Lich King = more damage = get out of Phase 3 sooner while still keeping to my responsibilities.

Speaking of Val’kyr, having a tight grouping when the Valks are summoned is more important than continuing to dps. Being two yards closer might be the difference between having your Valk killed and being killed by your Valk.

Pets do not increase Defile.

Although the Valks need to be slowed and do trigger traps, do not drop Frost Traps. As this picture shows, Frost Traps are displayed above Defile pools. That’s bad, yo. Drop Snake Traps and use Concussive Shot instead. BM and MM hunters can use Explosive Traps (we SV’ers can’t due to Black Arrow).

See! Frost Traps can wipe raids!

Commentary

I may have belabored the discussions of the abilities, but I want people to understand these abilities. I want people to be prepared for Defile, for Val’kyr, and, most of all, I want people to be prepared for wiping to these abilities over and over again. This is the hardest phase of the encounter. These two abilities are what make this phase so difficult.

Once you can get through Phase 3 regularly, a kill will happen. Phase 4 is Phase 2 with another add, and Phase 5 is as much about mental toughness and perseverance as it is about skill. Conquer Phase 3, conquer the encounter.


Originally published 13 March 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, The Lich King, Phase 5 and The End
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

The Lich King, Phase 5 and The End

Cause he’s the Lich King

Phase 3 Abilities

  • Soul Reaper = Inflicts 50% weapon damage as Shadowstrike damage and causes 50,000 (25-man 60,000) Shadow Damage after 5 seconds. Used on the current tank. = A nasty ability that requires either cooldowns or coordination between tanks.
  • Defile = Inflicts 3,000 Shadow damage to all players in the targeted area. Every time a player takes damage from this, Defile’s damage and area increase. = Same ability as Phase 3’s Defile, but much less problematic. See below.
  • Harvest Soul — Inflicts 7,500 (25-man 15,000) Shadow damage every second for 6 seconds. If the target is still alive after the channel is over, their soul will be transferred to Frostmourne.
  • Harvest Soul — Damage Increased by 200% for 15 seconds. If the Harvest Soul target dies the Lich King will gain this buff.
  • Vile Spirits — Summons 10 Vile Spirits that become active after 30 seconds. These will cast Spirit Burst when they become active doing 14,138 to 15,862 Shadow damage to players within 5 yards.
  • Fury of Frostmourne — Deals 1,000,000 Shadow damage to all enemies.

Spirit Warden

  • Soul Rip = Deals increasing Shadow damage per second for 8 seconds. Interruptable. Magic dispellable. = See below.
  • Dark Hunger = Heals the caster for half of any damage dealt. Always active. = Aimed Shot ftw!

Terenas Menethil

  • Light’s Favor = Heals the caster for 5000 every second and increases damage dealt proportional to health. Always active. = Long live the King.

Phase 5 Strategy

After one minute, the Lich King stops casting Remorseless Winter and begins casting Quake. Move in, kill any remaining orbs, drag Raging Spirit(s) on to platform, other tank picks up the Lich King. Sound familiar?

And we deviate. Ranged and healers should spread out, all dps pound the Raging Spirit(s). You will have one, maybe two Raging Spirits alive going in to Phase 5. This is why you use Hero/BL in Phase 4: fewer Raging Spirits up means less tank damage, less dps spent on them in Phase 5, and thus, more time on the Lich King.

Phase 5 initial positioning. One tank has LK, other has Raging Spirits.

Once the Raging Spirit(s) is/are dead, melee should get on the Lich King, ranged prepare for Vile Spirits.

After about 15 seconds, the Lich King summons ten Vile Spirits. They appear above his head as purple ghosts. They float above him for about 5 seconds before aggroing to someone. If they are not attacked, the spirits will head towards a healer. If they get within five yards of a player, they explode, doing AoE damage to everyone around them. They must be kited and killed; slows and snares ftw.

Floating purple ghosts of death.

Another view.

Vile Spirits are adds that go boom. Ten adds, each with 200k health (60k on 10-man), they need to die. Ranged will be working on them the entire phase. Any downtime can be spent on the Lich King, but unless your raid stacks ranged, don’t expect much downtime.

When Vile Spirits appear, the tank should move the Lich King away from his current location. Move around the ring of the platform, or, if Defile puddles prevent this, through the middle to the other side of the platform. Healers need to be cognizant of Vile Spirits as they will aggro to healers. Run away and don’t stop healing.

Vile Spirits spawning in the middle of the fight.

Repositioning thereafter. Player circled is going to die.

Oh yeah, Defile. Defiles on melee or tanks are still unpleasant, but since the ranged and healers are spread out, Defiles on them are not nearly as bad as they are in Phase 3. Same ability, but because there are no Valks, the painful synergy between them and Defile is gone. If handled properly—and, if you made it to Phase 5, you should be very adept at handling Defiles—they do not impact Phase 5’s outcome. Drop Defiles near the edge of the platform, and, if possible, avoid dropping them on the compass point opposite of Tirion.

Once every 30-45 seconds, the Lich King will cast Harvest Soul on someone. That person takes a huge amount of damage—15k per second on 25-man—and must be healed. If the person dies, the Lich King gains 200% damage for 15 seconds. That’s bad, yo. If the person survives, he is ported inside Frostmourne. There, King Terenas Menethil (Arthas’s father) fights against a Spirit Warden.

Your job inside Frostmourne is to help Terenas defeat the Spirit Warden. Terenas does damage proportional to his health: more health = more damage. The Spirit Warden heals himself for as much damage as he deals. His damage increases significantly with each stack of Soul Rip, a channeled, interruptible, dispellable magic ability. Everyone should have an interrupt and/or dispel prepped for this encounter. Here are basic strats for each player type:

Tank = Taunt the Spirit Warden off Terenas, interrupt Soul Rip, dps.
Healer = Heal Terenas, dispel and/or interrupt Soul Rip
DPS = Kill the Spirit Warden, interrupt Soul Rip

If you or Terenas dies, the Lich King gains 200% damage for 15 seconds. That’s bad, yo. If the Spirit Warden is killed, Terenas heals you to full before porting you back to the action. You are deposited on the compass point opposite from Tirion. Thus, try not to drop Defile pools in that area.

[Aside: On our first 25-man Lich King kill, one of our tanks disconnected on that point. Naturally, he got Defile, dropped it, and it grew to max size. We were able to handle it—BoP ftw—until our raid leader came out of Frostmourne. He was lost, angry, and armed. Loads of heals kept him alive. Thank goodness we downed him on that attempt :D]

That’s it.

Ya, a lot easier than Phase 3.

Putting everything together:

  1. Lich King stops channeling Remorseless Winter and casts Quake.
  2. Everyone runs away from edge while killing any remaining frozen orbs.
  3. Main tank picks up the Lich King and tanks him in the middle of the now-smaller platform. Off-tank takes the Raging Spirit(s) over by Tirion. Melee follows off-tank. Ranged and healers spread out around the platform.
  4. DPS on Raging Spirit(s). Kill them before switching targets.
  5. Lich King summons Vile Spirits.
  6. Ranged kite+kill Vile Spirits as tank moves Lich King away from where he summoned Vile Spirits. Melee focus on Lich King. Healers stay spread out and heal, kiting Vile Spirits if they aggro any.
  7. Lich casts Harvest Soul on random player.
  8. Player lives and enters Frostmourne or dies and Lich King enrages.
  9. Lich King targets someone and casts Defile.
  10. Targeted player has 3 seconds to move to the edge of the platform.
  11. Defile goes sploosh.
  12. Lich King casts Soul Reaper. Off-tank taunts.
  13. Repeat steps 5-12 until Lich King reaches 15% or one minute until enrage, whichever comes first.
  14. Burn Lich King to 10%
  15. Profit.

Burn at 15% or one minute until enrage. Stop dps’ing the Vile Spirits—continue to kite and move away from them—and focus on the Lich King. Why one minute? Because if you’re that far away from 10%, you’ll need all 60 seconds (plus the enrage; see below) to get him down.

At 10%*, the Lich King casts Fury of Frostmourne and wipes the raid. Game over. Thanks for trying!

Seriously, you’ve won.

After 45 second of roleplay (I won’t spoil it), the raid is resurrected and gets to play Lich King pinata: whack the bitch and sweet lewtz fall out. You do not need to do anything during this phase, but unless you like waiting an hour for loot, I recommend helping fate.

*It’s not actually 10%. More like 9.5%. We’ve gotten him down to 8.5% as dots tick even after he wipes the raid. Keep pounding him until he casts Fury of Frostmourne.

Enrage: The Lich King has a “medium-hard” enrage. After 15 minutes, he enrages and runs around hitting people for about 900% of normal damage. Thus, your raid has about 30 seconds after the enrage to get him to 10%. Ways to avoid the enrage:

  • Keep everyone alive for the entire time = More people up begets more damage, which begets more dps. If you’re hitting the enrage timer with all 25 people up for the entire fight, you’re doing it (mostly) right.
  • More practice = More practice begets more fluid transitions, faster target switches, and thus, more dps. You’ll see the most dramatic results in Phase 3, where fast Valk kills leads to more time (i.e. dps) on the Lich King.
  • One ranged on Lich King full time in Phase 5 = If your raid is a skewed towards ranged, have one ranged stay on the Lich King for all of Phase 5. We did this on our first 10-man kill. Hunters are a good choice because we have weak AoE (Multi-Shot ftw?) and we’re the only ranged that benefits from melee buffs. But any ranged will help.
  • Swap a healer for a dps = A very risky strategy, but, if your healers are capable, bring in a dps for a healer. I would only attempt this if your raid is not dying and are hitting the enrage with 5-10% left (Lich King at 15-20%, that is).
  • Early Heroism/Bloodlust = Popping Hero/BL in Phase 1 will give the raid a second Hero/BL later in the fight. I think it’s better to save it for Phase 4 as the additional add can be troublesome. If used at the immediate start of the fight, you might have it ready for Phase 4. Maybe. Probably Exhaustion/Sated will wear off early in Phase 5. A second Hero/BL is more dps. Yet one, well-timed Hero/BL can be more beneficial to a raid than two Hero/BL’s. It’s an option.
  • Have a hunter go 3/3 Hawk Eye and sit on the Lich King in Phases 2 and 4 = I don’t recommend this. The Raging Spirits need to be killed quickly, the dps loss speccing in to 3/3 Hawk Eye is huge, and the amount of damage done to the Lich King is negligible. However, it can be done. Not the best solution, but a solution nonetheless.

Hunter Specifics

Hit the Vile Spirits as soon as they are targetable. Blast them early and often. Deterrence does not mitigate damage from exploding Vile Spirits.

For most of the fight, I have my pet on passive. For Phase 5, aggressive. Go Howlsalot! Go!

Frost Traps, Concussive Shot, and Distracting Shot should be deployed on the Vile Spirits. Kite+kill, and get them off healers.

Soul Rip can be interrupted by…
BM = Intimidation
MM = Silencing Shot
SV = NOTHING!!
All = Distracting Shot

Because the debuff is applied to Terenas, a friendly mob, we cannot dispel it with Tranq Shot. The Spirit Warden is immune to traps and Wyvern Sting. MM hunters should save Silencing Shot for Soul Rip, then back to normal shot macro thereafter. BM hunters can hit Intimidation. Everyone can hit Distracting Shot then Feign Death. That should break the channel (I have not confirmed this yet, but reliable sources say you can.) SV, we have nothing specific, so save cooldowns and prep Distracting Shot.

If the Lich King enrages, Distracting Shot+Disengage+Deterrence+Feign Death then pop any dps cooldowns you have leftover and pray. Taunting the boss forces him to run to you, which delays him from pounding melee. Disengage makes him move even further. Deterrence blocks his attacks. And FD drops aggro (make sure Deterrence is still spinning as you hit FD lest he kills you as you “die”.) That’s an extra 10 seconds you can give the raid. That’s a chance to be a hero.

Commentary

Phase 5 is often a one-shot. It’s the homestretch: hold the raid together, survive, stay on target, keep plugging, and…and…and…Victory Wipe!

Perseverance. Remain focused. Remember your duties. Do not relent until dead.

Hard Mode Changes

From wowhead.com:

Heroic: All three phases are affected by the Heroic difficulty. During phase 1 the Lich King will gain an ability called Shadow Trap. Dealing with it is similar to dealing with Defile – the targeted player needs to get away from everybody else, as the Shadow Trap that he or she will spawn after ~3 seconds will cause everybody standing in it to be knocked off the platform. During phase 2, the Val’kyrs will not die. Instead, when their health reaches 1, they will drop their targets and fly above the raid, not attackable. They will occasionally drain health from the raid, healing themselves, and finally drop down again to pick more players (they will not descend at the same time another set of Val’kyrs is about to spawn). This adds a burn element to the phase, because dealing with more than 2-3 sets of Shadowguards is close to impossible. And finally during phase 3, Harvest Soul will become raid-wide. Instead of one player, the entire raid will be sent inside Frostmourne. There, instead of Terenas fighting the Spirit Warden, they will see a lot of Wicked Spirits (adds with very low health), that float above the floor. If they reach the ground, dead or alive, they do some AoE damage. You want to kill them all, as their “alive” AoE damage is much higher than the one they do as mere corpses. When all the Spirits are dead, Terenas will restore the players’ souls and send them back to fight the Lich King. Watch out for Defile when you get out, as you will all be stacked around the boss.

I cried a little when I read that.

Don’t ask, I don’t know what to do either. I’ve not yet seen the fight. I just put it in here to give everyone a glimpse of the pain that awaits :D

Achievements [Achievements required for meta in bold]

Bane of the Fallen King = Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel in 10-player Heroic mode. = Good luck!
Been Waiting a Long Time for This = Allow Necrotic Plague to stack to 30 before defeating the Lich King. = Ignore what I originally wrote. Do Phase 1 like normal. When the first plague goes out, that person runs away from everything–the group, adds, Lich King–and has the plague dispelled. The second person to get Necrotic Plague dumps the plague on the adds. Everyone thereafter drops the plague away from everything. Once the Lich King reaches 75%, stop all dps. Stop. Pull pets, stop dots, cease damaging the Lich King entirely. Wait. Once the plague gets to about 20 stacks, it will start one-shotting all adds, including the Shambling Horrors. The add tank needs to be ready to run over to any new adds that spawn, and MD’s are definitely a-go. The Lich King tank is going to take a massive amount of damage; healers, be prepared. This whole process extends Phase 1 by about 3.5-4 minutes (the “waiting a long time” part of the achievement title). If your dps isn’t burning, you’ll probably hit the enrage timer. Be ready to ignore the Vile Spirits in Phase 5 earlier. Oh, and assign someone to watch the stacks of Necrotic Plague.
Neck-Deep in Vile = Kill every Vile Spirit that spawns before it explodes and then defeat the Lich King. = Stack ranged, kite and kill. Move the Lich King away as soon as the adds spawn. Note: this achievement is required for the 25-man meta, NOT the 10-man meta.
The Frozen Throne = Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. = Natch.
The Light of Dawn = Defeat the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel in 25-player Heroic mode. = Good luck!

Hunter Loot

I put heroic loot here more to tempt people than anything else. Currently (8 April 2010), 56 guilds in the world have killed the Lich King-10 on hard mode, and only one, Paragon, has conquered him on 25-man. Thank goodness for the 35% buff! :D

10-man
Windrunner’s Heartseeker | Heroic
Pugius, Fist of Defiance | Heroic
Tainted Twig of Nordrassil | Heroic

25-man
Fal’inrush, Defender of Quel’thalas | Heroic
Havok’s Call, Blade of Lordaeron Kings | Heroic
Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General | Heroic
Heaven’s Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies | Heroic

Comments
Crixus – 2010/10/30 at 4:55 am
Didn’t see any way to contact you. I just wanted to say that back in May I saw your LK guide series when I was tackling 10-man normal LK. It was very informative for me, and the diagrams and screenshots were helpful. I downed him in about 2 nights of attempts (short story is after the first night of attempts my guild fell apart and a few weeks later I found a new guild and we downed LK the first night I ran with them). Almost half a year later I am now attempting 10-man HM LK and I find myself coming back to this guide to refresh my memory. My only goal is to down him before Cata is released, so wish me luck!
julia – 2010/07/22 at 10:16 pm
not sure rogues are the best source of stuns for the valks
there is ramp time to a kidney shot while they are building combo points on their target. where as a pally stun is instant, rogues can still be used for slow with crippling poison, but i personally would only use your rogue as a source of stun if ya raid make up is lacking any other more efficient options
troutrooper – 2010/07/23 at 1:13 am | In reply to julia.
Rogue stuns are the best. Yes, they have a ramp up time. But the stuns are the longest and reliable. Pally stuns are a great backup. Time to stun is not as important as the length of the stun. Any class that can slow should.


Originally published 23 February 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, Sindragosa
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

Sindragosa

Type: Survival fight, Required

Trash: Oh there’s trash. Good trash.

After you descend from Valithria’s room, you enter a circular room. Once in the middle, the doors close. Spiders then drop from the ceiling. “Oh look! AoE trash. Boring.” Gather them up in the middle, AoE, win. Once the big spiders are dead—the little spiders do not stop spawning until everyone is out of the room—vyrkul appear. “Oh look! AoE trash. Boring.” Gather them up in the middle, AoE, lose.

Lose?!

That’s right. These vyrkul are cunning, devious. Just when you thought it was safe to AoE, they get ya. They cast a un-dispellable frost nova on the raid then summon a whirlwinding sword that blasts everyone in melee range of it. Thus, when the first wave of spiders are dead, spread out. Takes a little longer than straight AoE’ing, but much faster than wiping. Oh, there’s another wave of spiders once the vyrkul are dead. Second verse, same as the first.

Outside, there are two packs of vrykul handlers and frostling whelps. AoE. Enjoy the three types of bugged, dead whelps: the elevator whelp corpses, the flying corpses, and the ha-ha-I-died-out-of-lootable-range corpses.

Rimefang and Spinestalker await. Take out Rimefang first; Spinestalker fears and you don’t want to take on both simultaneously. Spiney and Rimey both do frontal frost cones so they should be tanked facing away from the raid. Rimey flies up into the air and fires frost on the ground. The frost spreads beyond the blue circles, so don’t stand near the circles. Spiney, as mentioned, fears. Easy.

Once both Rimey and Spiney are dead, Sindragosa aggros. You have about 15 seconds before she stomps over to you, so rez people quickly. And no, you cannot outrange the scream that aggros Sindragosa.

Boss Strat

Sindragosa is a three-phase fight. She’s a dragon, so cleaves and tail swipes are go. In short, she’s Sapphiron hard mode.

Quick note on composition: 3 tanks are required for 25-man. 6 healers are preferred, but the fight is doable with 7 provided the dps stays alive.

Phase 1: Tank&Spank

Sindragosa lands and runs towards the raid. Tank picks her up and orients her parallel to the stairs. We have her head facing the wall on the right, but left-facing works, too. Entire raid—except main tank and hunters—stack on her right front foot. MT is, obviously, at her head. Hunters stand at near max range; bottom of stairs is our usual hangout.

About 45 seconds into the fight, she will pull the entire raid into her (Icy Grip). Run out because she then casts an AoE blast (Blistering Cold) that will one-shot you.

Easy.

Too easy…

Sindragosa has two abilities, one for casters and one for melee, that turn this into a survival fight:

Permeating Chill, which leads to Chilled to the Bone = melee attacks against Sindragosa have a chance at applying a stack of Chilled to the Bone, which deals 1k damage every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. Stacks to 99.

Unchained Magic, which begets Instability = spell casts apply a stack of Instability, which deals 2k damage per stack after 8 seconds. Stacks to 99. Luckily, this is a targeted ability, not a raid-wide debuff like Permeating Chill.

Ouch.

While this makes everyone else cry (healers in particular), we hunters don’t have to worry too much about these abilities. We don’t get Instability, only Chilled to the Bone. The highest I ever got my stack to was 6 and that was after Heroism and RF. If you get above 8 or whatever stack your raid leader says is the max, stop dps. This is going to be more of an issue for MM and BM hunters due to Hero/BL-RF-Readiness-RF chains.

Oh, almost forgot: Sindragosa also has a raid-wide Frost Aura that hits everyone for 4.5k damage every 3 seconds. Nice.

So phase 1 (and phase 3, more on that later) is about managing your stack of the debuff. Healers and fast-hitting melee are going to have problems.

Phase 2: Air phase

After about a minute, Sindragosa flies up, up, and away. The entire raid goes halfway up the stairs. The dragoness targets 5 people (2 in 10-man) at random and marks them as Frost Beacons. The targeted people run to the bottom of the stairs and spread out, 8 yards away from each other. After 10 seconds, they freeze and become trapped in Ice Tombs. Every 10 seconds thereafter, she fires a Frost Bomb somewhere in the room, which must be line-of-sighted by the Ice Tombs. However, those trapped in the Ice Tombs must be broken out otherwise they die as she lands (or before if they had low health when frozen.)

The strategy here is to make a line of Ice Tombs, then break the Ice Tombs from the outsides in.

Far Left – Near Left – Middle – Near Right – Far Right

Split the raid in half: half start on the Far Left Ice Tomb, other half works on the Far Right Ice Tomb. Break those out first, then the left group works on the Near Left Ice Tomb and the right group shatters the Near Right Ice Tomb. Finally, all on the Middle.

While breaking the Ice Tombs, you must watch for Frost Bombs. One should not kill you, but two without heals will. To LoS the bombs, stand as close to the Ice Tombs as possible. Hunters, you too; more on that below. The bombs land in random places throughout the room. 80% of the bombs will land “harmlessly” (if you’re tomb-hugging) in the open. The other 20% will force you to move. She will drop bombs on tombs or even on the stairs. Move.

Oh, and if it wasn’t clear, move to another Ice Tomb once an Ice Tomb is broken.

Ice Tombs must be separated by at least 8 yards because the Ice Tomb does 16k damage to the trapped player and this will hit anyone within 8 yards when the person is entombed. Also, anyone within 8 yards will entombed in their own Ice Tomb; more tombs is bad, yo.

After four Frost Bombs, she lands and Phase 1 begins again.

This phase is a mini dps check: if you can’t break the Ice Tombs before those trapped inside die, you don’t have the dps to down her before she enrages.

Phase 3: Survival

Phases 1 and 2 alternate until you get her down to 35%. She then stays grounded for the remainder of the fight.

This is the entire fight. Phases 1 and 2 are easy. Phase 3 is separates the wheat from the chaff.

Phase 3 is the same as Phase 1 with another debuffing ability: Mystic Buffet. Unlike Instability or Chilled to the Bone, which are based on casts and attacks, respectively, Mystic Buffet is a timed “pulse” that increases magic damage taken by 15%. And yes, it stacks to 99 (not that you’ll live that long.) You cannot outrange MB, you cannot cloak or bubble off MB, you cannot dispel MB. You can only hide behind an Ice Tomb, LoS her, and wait til MB falls off. Everyone will need to drop their MB stacks, including tanks. Healers and tanks must have a rotation: tanks must have a taunt rotation, healers must have a healing rotation.

Yes, Ice Tombs. She continues to mark people as Frost Beacons, one every 15 seconds. This is why clumping up is so important. When someone is marked, the player runs to the designated location. We have two locations: bottom of the stairs on the right and on the left. The first Frost Beacon goes right, the second goes left, and so on. Tombs should be about 12 yards from the clump to avoid entombing everyone. Also, if a tomb is placed too close to Sindragosa, you will not be able to LoS her. And yes, you still need to break the Ice Tombs.

Phase 3 plays out like this:
Everyone is clumped up on her front right foot except the main tank and the hunters.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Continue DPS
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Someone is marked as a Frost Beacon.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Frost Beacon runs to the right and turns into an Ice Tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Most of the raid run behind Ice Tomb and slowly break the tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Someone is marked as a Frost Beacon.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Frost Beacon runs to the left and turns into an Ice Tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Tank 2 taunts Sindragosa, tank 1 runs with most of the raid behind the Ice Tomb and all slowly break the tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Someone is marked as a Frost Beacon.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Frost Beacon runs to the left and turns into an Ice Tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Tank 3 taunts Sindragosa, tank 2 runs with most of the raid behind the Ice Tomb and all slowly break the tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Someone is marked as a Frost Beacon.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Frost Beacon runs to the left and turns into an Ice Tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.
Tank 1 taunts Sindragosa, tank 3 runs with most of the raid behind the Ice Tomb and all slowly break the tomb.
Sindragosa puts out a stack of Mystic Buffet.

Rinse, repeat.

“Most of the raid” = not everyone will hide behind the Ice Tomb every time. As Sindragosa will be LoS, so will the tank. If all the healers run over to dump their Mystic Buffet stacks, no one will be in LoS of the tank, and thus, tank death. Whee. Yes, this means that a few people will have unavoidably high stacks of MB. That’s manageable. The entire raid having high stacks is not manageable.

If the tank gets Frost Beacon, wipe it. This should not happen, but it does. Don’t waste time. Die. Try again.

Like Phase 1, she will cast Icy Grip on the raid in Phase 3. This is a good test of LoS: if you are behind an Ice Tomb and get pulled in, you’re LoS’ing her and thus your stack will not drop.

Patience is required. This is not—NOT!—a burn phase. DPS as much as you can in between hiding behind tombs, but watch your Instability/Chilled to the Bone stacks. Do whatever you need to do to stay alive: health pots, healthstones, stop dps’ing to drop stacks, GotN, even bandages. As the old saying goes, ya can’t dps while dead. Our rogues, for example, do not dps her in Phase 3 because they hit so fast and thus build up dangerous stacks of Chilled to the Bone.

(Aside: we got our first 25-man Sindragosa kill on Sunday night. That afternoon, a bunch of guildies were chatting about how DPS’ers never need to bandage on boss fights anymore, how first aid is nigh useless. That night, I bandaged myself a couple times :D)

If you get her to sub-3% health, turn on the burn. She has an enrage. Pick your death: go out swinging and die to debuffs or continue the patient method and die to the enrage. Sub-3%? I’m burning. Under 1 minute remaining? I’m burning. Otherwise, slow and steady.

When to use Heroism/Bloodlust

As soon as Sunders are up. That is the safest, fullest burn time of the fight. People will get high stacks of Instability/Chilled to the Bone, but that’s okay at this point. Fewer Phase 1’s and 2’s mean more time in Phase 3, which means you don’t have to rush the hard part of the fight.

Hunter Specifics

You can Disengage out of the Icy Grip. If you hit Disengage while in mid-air, you drop, which is a little disorienting. As soon as you land, hit Aspect of the Pack. Damage from her aura or Instability/Chilled to the Bone does not trigger AotP’s daze. Just remember to switch back to AotDH.

TIP! DBM and BigWigs have fairly accurate timers for when she switches to Phase 2. One second before she takes off, fire whatever instant you have available. Then reapply Serpent Sting or another instant if you fired Chimaera. Sindragosa takes damage while in the air.

Call your pet back to you when she transitions to Phase 2. It will despawn if you don’t. Not a big deal, just annoying.

For the Ice Tombs: you must be as close to the Ice Tombs as possible, but you do not need to be on the tomb you are targeting. For example, if you’re working on the Far Left Ice Tomb, stand as close as possible to the Near Left Ice Tomb. Boo ya. You can also stand on the Middle or Near Right Ice Tomb and still hit the Far Left Ice Tomb. Vice versa, of course: switch left and right…you get the idea.

TIP! If you are marked as a Frost Beacon in Phase 2, pop Viper. You can’t do anything active in the Ice Tomb, but you can passively regen mana.

Hunters need to be cognizant of their distance to the Frost Beacons in Phase 3. Just because we’re away from the group does not mean we’re always safe from the Ice Tombs.

She is a long fight. You will be able to cast two CotW’s (for SV hunters, that means two RF’s, too). Pop one right at the beginning and the second when convenient. As SV, I pair up CotW and RF, so I hit my burn macro at the beginning and just before Phase 3 because I don’t want to get my Chilled to the Bone stacks too high going into Phase 3. Whatever you do, don’t waste the second CotW.

Commentary

This is a challenging fight, no doubt. Lana’thel is handling the bites, Putricide is handling the adds in Phase 2 and tank taunt rotation in Phase 3, Sindragosa is handling Phase 3. I don’t normally link so many boss abilities, but knowing and understanding Sindragosa’s abilities are crucial to this fight. Some fights, not so much. This fight, requisite. I like

Heroic Changes

[Unknown. Will update when hard modes are released.]

Achievements (those related to the meta are in bold)

The Frostwing Hall = Kill her.
The Frostwing Hall (Heroic) = Kill her on hard mode.
All You Can Eat = Drop the first iceblock as close to the tanks as possible. Do not break the iceblock until the tanks have cleared their stacks. Drop the second iceblock by her midsection. Make sure the tanks have cleared their stacks before breaking the iceblocks. And be honest: if you get 6 stacks, say so as soon as possible so the raid can wipe and not kill her accidentally. Go slow; your patience will be rewarded.

Hunter Loot

10-man (Normal | Heroic)
Splintershard | Heroic version
Wyrmwing Treads | Heroic version
Rimetooth Pendant | Heroic version

25-man (Normal | Heroic)
Sindragosa’s Cruel Claw | Heroic version
Tier token | Heroic version

Comments
1. Sinius – April 18, 2010
Nice guide =)
But I wonder those ice bloks in phase 3, how much damage do they do on hunter? Couse they do some instant damage.
–troutrooper – April 18, 2010
The ice blocks themselves do initial damage to the targeted person then does 8% of health every second to that person. With HoTs, you should survive for 12-15 seconds, plenty of time to get broken out.
2. truemaveric – April 19, 2010
Lol how did u bandage urself if she’s doing frost dmg every 3 sec looool
–troutrooper – April 20, 2010
Carefully and quickly.
I didn’t get the full healing from the bandages, just a tick or two to last me until a healer could get to me. In a survival fight, any healing helps. Don’t rely on bandages, but don’t forget them either.
3. Arc – May 18, 2010
Quick correction: Rimefang should be taken first. Spinestalker Fears.
–troutrooper – May 18, 2010
Thanks
4. Dizco – June 4, 2010
when we kill her where do we go? south and down the elevator or back north and right? The wowhead maps are not very descriptive.
Should i expect bad trash after and b4 LK?
Thanks,
Diz
–troutrooper – June 5, 2010
The portal is the fastest way back down. You can take the elevator, too. As for trash, the valks that circle the big room respawn every two hours; they are tied to the LK. That’s the only trash that will respawn once you’ve cleared all three wings.


Originally published 5 February 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, Blood Queen Lana’thel
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

Blood Queen Lana’thel

Type: Gear check for DPS, Required

Trash: A few packs. Tacticians are rogues and should be single-targeted down. They can do everything in combat that a rogue can do stealthed (as well as what rogues can do in combat). The liches have a fun ability called Lich Slap. Doesn’t do much. Tacticians -> Blood Knights -> liches -> Archmages. Once the Tacticians are down, AoE time.

Boss Strat

First, Lana’thel has 14.2mil health in 10-man, 59.4mil health in 25-man and a 5 minute 30 second enrage timer. Let that roll around in your head for a moment. In comparison, Yogg-Saron has 44mil health on 25-man and a 15 minute enrage timer, and Putricide has 42mil health and a 10 minute enrage timer.

The key to this fight is controlling the Essence of the Blood Queen, aka the vampire buff. This buff will increase the player’s damage by 100%, threat by 100%, and the player heals himself for 10% of the damage done. About 30 seconds into the fight, she will target someone high on threat, but not the two tanks. The buff lasts for one minute (75 seconds on 10-man). Once the minute is up, the person must–MUST–bite an unbitten person within 10 seconds. You cannot use any other ability; your controls are reduced to one ability, keybound to “1”. If you do not bite someone in those 10 seconds, you will be mind controlled. Now two people have the buff. After another minute, each of them have to bite an unbitten person, spreading the buff even further.

Yay for exponential growth!

For 25-man…
Start: 0 vampires
30s: 1
1m 30s: 2
2m 30s: 4
3m 30s: 8
4m 30s: 16
5m 30s: wipe

For 10-man…
Start: 0 vampires
30s: 1
1m 45s: 2
3m: 4
4m 15s: 8
5m 30s: wipe

She has a hard enrage at 5 minutes 30 seconds. (Note: like her fellow end-of-wing boss, Putricide, she has three different enrage mechanics. Mind control, raid damage, and timed enrage. However, unlike Putricide, the only one to be concerned about is the timer.) That means your raid needs to hit 43k dps on 10-man and 180k dps on 25-man. With 2 tanks and 2 healers in 10-man, each dps’er needs to break 6.5k dps; with 2 tanks and 6 healers in 25-man, each dps’er needs to break 10k dps.

Ya. Severe dps requirements. To meet them, you must control the debuff. Although the first bite is somewhat random, every bite thereafter should be organized. Divide the raid into two groups of melee and two groups of ranged. We do ranged in groups 1 and 2, melee in 3 and 4, tanks and most of the healers in 5 (the remaining healers get put wherever, dps needs to know if they have a healer in their group to avoid any accidental bites). We spread the bite to the opposite dps type first, then to the opposite groups, then within each group. Each group has a primary bite-ee, someone who, after the first bite, gets bit first. Obviously the primary bite-ee in the group with the person who gets bit by Lana’thel is ignored. Let’s say a melee in group 3 gets the first bite. When he needs to bite, he will bite the primary bite-ee in either group 1 or 2; doesn’t matter, let’s say he bites group 2’s primary bite-ee. When he (and the person he bit) needs to bite again, he will bite the primary bite-ee in group 4; the group 2 bite-ee bites the primary bite-ee in group 1. Now someone in all four dps groups has been bitten. Hereafter, all bites will be intra-group.

In 10-man, this is not as necessary. Organization helps, certainly, but don’t fret if you just call your next bite over vent. You will need to bite 2 non-dps in 10-man. Tanks are preferable because of the damage increase; threat should not be an issue by the last bite.

Simply…
First bite: Lana’thel bites someone at random
Second bite: Give to other dps type = melee bites ranged, ranged bites melee
Third bite: Give to other group of same dps type = melee bites other melee group, ranged bites other ranged group
Fourth bite and fifth bites: Give to people within group

Because the bite-ee is doing less damage than the vampire, the bite-ee runs to the bite-er, not the other way around. Bite-ee’s stand in front of the bite-er. The bite-er calls out on vent when he has 10 seconds left on his vampire buff, the bite-ee gets in front of him, buff expires, bite-er bites bite-ee, now-bitten bite-ee runs back to position. The vampire needs to target his bite-ee, press “1” once (do NOT spam), then get back to dps’ing as soon as possible.

Be ready to bite. Your target should be in position before the bite, you should be ready to hit “1” and return to dps’ing. Do not miss your bite. Even one vampire mind controlled is a wipe, especially if its one of the first bitten.

If you can control the bites and maintain high dps, you will down Lana’thel.

And now, the rest of the fight…

Lana’thel has two phases.

Phase 1: Tank&Spank. Tank her at the bottom of the stairs, two melee groups (one on either side), two ranged groups (one on either side), healers in the middle. You need two tanks due to her Blood Mirror ability, which deals 100% of the damage she does to the main tank to the offtank as shadow damage. Ranged and healers need to be at least 6 yards apart to avoid splash damage from Lana’thel’s blood bolts. Every 20-30 seconds, she will cast Pact of the Darkfallen on three random players (2 in 10-man). The targeted players will deal damage to themselves and to nearby allies until they are within 5 yards of each other. Easy: those with the debuff run to the middle of the room, meet with the other targeted players, wait a second for the buff to vanish, run back. Every 45 seconds, she will cast Swarming Shadows on someone. It’s a longer lasting Legion Flames. Run to the edge of the room, drop shadowflameythingy, run back.

Phase 2: Air phase and fear. Twice during the fight (once on 10-man), she will fly to the middle of the room and cast fear on everyone. The fear is a magic effect and should be mass dispelled; fear ward a priest. If you have multiple priests in the raid, fear ward as many vampires as you. Ten seconds after the fear, she will spam the raid with blood bolts. You must spread out. Use the entire room. And don’t stop dps’ing. Melee, break out your ranged attacks and keep on her. Every tick of damage counts.

Phase 2 is the troublesome phase because of the fear. If people aren’t careful, they will die due to blood bolts. Range finders work, yo. If you have to stop dps for 5 seconds to stay alive and get back into position, stop dps and get back into position.

As much as this is a dps fest, healers will be taxed, too. Raid damage is high, and, although fewer people will need heals as the fight progresses, they will need bigger heals. Lana’thel’s raid-wide damage increases with each vampire. The vampires are healing themselves, but hurting everyone else.

When to use Heroism/Bloodlust

As soon as the fifth bite goes out, hit Hero/BL. You want to use it with the most vampires up.

Hunter Specifics

DPS.

Do NOT Disengage to the center of the room when you get Pact of the Darkfallen. Disengage back to your spot once the debuff is gone. Aside from possibly overshooting your fellow Pact’d players, you lose dps. You’re facing Lana’thel as you run in, which means you can keep firing. When you run out, just turn, hit Disengage, and you never have to turn your back to her.

DPS.

TIP! Deterrence works on her enrage. You won’t live long after she goes beserk, but those 3-5 seconds might mean the difference between a wipe and an epic kill. The dots remain on her until there’s no one left on her threat table, and the dots can do 100-250k dps.

DPS.

Use personal cooldowns as soon as you get bitten. Not a huge deal for SV, but MM (RF) and BM (TBW) should be using cooldowns as much as possible while a vampire.

DPS.

You may be asked to MD to a dps’er to help persuade Lana’thel to bite that person.

DPS.

Commentary

You either have the gear or you don’t. If you’ve got good healers, you may be able to use 5. Maybe. If you can’t down her with 18 dps, go farm more. Use Festergut as a base: if your raid cannot average 7k dps on Festergut, you’re going to have a very difficult time with Lana’thel (and Putricide).

Heroic Changes

Lana’thel has more health and does more raid-wide damage. Not complicated, just puts more strain on DPS.

Achievements (those related to the meta are in bold)

The Crimson Hall = Kill her.
The Crimson Hall (Heroic) = Kill her on hard mode.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy = Kill her as a vampire and as a mortal, thus requiring you to kill her twice = A great achievement for hybrids with two gear sets, but most people are going to struggle, especially the top pure dps’ers. Not complicated, just annoying.

Hunter Loot

10-man (Normal | Heroic)
Stakethrower | Heroic version
Seal of the Twilight Queen | Heroic version

25-man (Normal | Heroic)
Bloodfall | Heroic version
Tier token | Heroic version


Originally published 7 January 2010
Hunter how-to: ICC, Lord Marrowgar
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Icecrown Citadel.

Lord Marrowgar

Type: Tank&Spank, Required

Trash: Lots

Yay for trash! And real trash, too. Okay, it’s still AoE-able, but it at least provides a nice little warmup before the boss. Remember to use line of sight! Have rogues looking for the traps on the ground. When sprung, the giant skeletons entombed in the walls come to life (one per trap.) Turn them away from the raid as they cleave. You don’t have to kill the giant skeletons, but rep is nice.

Boss Strat

Marrowgar has two phases.

Phase 1: Tank&Spank. He requires at least two tanks because he does a saber lash; three is preferred, we get by with 2 real tanks and 1 plate dps’er in tank gear. Tank him near the back of the room (i.e. away from the door.) Ranged should spread out to minimize the number effected by each Coldflame, which is a slow-moving, targeted, straight-line flame. However, ranged cannot spread out too much because of Bone Spike, which requires all dps to turn and kill the spike.

TIP! Let the tanks engage and turn Marrowgar away from door before running in. We’ve had a couple overeager dps’ers get saber lashed in the face as they ran in: “The MT is ahead of me. I’m fine–DEAD?!”

Phase 2: Run away! Well, spread out at least. Marrowgar pops whirlwind, targets a player, and meanders over to the player. Once he reaches the player, he drops a Coldflame that goes out in an X. He targets another 3 players (4 total). After the fourth Coldflame is dropped, he drops aggro and goes back to phase 1. DPS should stop attacking after the third player is targeted. Bone Storm is on a timer, not based on the boss’s health.

That’s the fight. Rinse, repeat.

When to use Heroism/Bloodlust

Whenever, preferably once a 5 stack of Sunder Armor is up. Because of Bone Spike, timing will never be perfect.

Hunter Specifics

Marrowgar has a huge hit box, small room, and requires people to stay near each other. Thus, range is an issue.

Have MD ready for the aggro drop at the end of phase 2.

TIP! Deterrence works on Bone Storm, so you don’t have to move when targeted.

Commentary

I don’t like this fight. I think Marrowgar’s model is sweet, and his vocals are funny. But the constant moving out of Coldflames, the interruptions by and target-swapping to Bone Spikes, his gigantic hit box, and mindlessly easy mode make for a hunter unfriendly fight. But that’s just me. He’s easy. If you can down Anub on normal ToC, you can kill Marrowgar.

Heroic Changes

Marrowgar casts Bone Spike Graveyard during Phase 2 and there’s more Coldflamey stuff in both phases (as well as the standard “more health, more damage”). Free people, avoid fire, win.

Achievements (those related to the meta are in bold)

Hunter Loot

10-man (Normal | Heroic)
Bone Warden’s Splitter | Heroic version
Linked Scourge Vertebrae | Heroic version

25-man (Normal | Heroic)
Band of the Bone Colossus | Heroic version
Snowserpent Mail Helm | Heroic version


Originally published 7 December 2009
Hunter how-to: ToC, Twin Val’kyrs
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Crusader’s Coliseum.

Twin Val’kyrs

Type: Coordination, Required

Trash: None

Boss Strat

Note: This guide is based on our guild’s hardmode strat. Twin Valks is kind of unique in that there is not a “best practices” strat (at least none that I’ve read.) Every guild does this fight differently. Door strat, fire resist strat, portal tank strat, divided room strat (the one described below), every raider for himself strat, there are many general strats and every guild modifies the one that works best for them. Try a few, tweak the one that seems best for your raid, practice, practice, practice.

The basic mechanics of this fight are:

  1. If you have no color, you deal normal damage to and take normal damage from both light and dark.
  2. If you have a color, you deal double damage to and take double damage from the opposite color while doing half damage to and taking zero damage from the same color.

Although the math says it shouldn’t matter if you have a color or not, take a color. I’ll explain why later.

When you bring the twins into the room, you’ll see 4 portals, two light and two dark. If you click on one, you’ll turn that color.

Fjola Lightbane = light = “light” damage, which is actually fire damage
Eydis Darkbane = dark = “dark” damage, which is actually shadow damage

Being twins, they share a health pool. They also share abilities:
Vortex = Raid-wide exploding damage. On normal, 3 pulses will kill you; on heroic, 1, maybe 2 if you’re at full health. Remember the “take a color” comment? This is why. You cannot survive this without massive heals or switching colors to the color of the vortex.
Twin’s Pact, aka shield = Priest bubble+heal. One of the twins bubbles and begins casting a heal that will heal both for 50% of their total health (i.e. if cast at 30% health, they go back up to 80%.) The bubble must be popped and the heal interrupted.

Each twin casts each ability, so there’s a light vortex and a dark vortex, a light shield and a dark shield. They cycle randomly through all four before repeating an ability; you can predict what the fourth ability will be, but the fifth is completely random as the cycle resets. A mini logic puzzle in the middle of a fight.

First ability: Dark Vortex
Second ability: Dark Shield
Third ability: Light Shield
Fourth ability…(can you guess?)…Light Vortex!

First ability: Light Shield
Second ability: Dark Vortex
Third ability: Light Vortex
Fourth ability…(can you guess?)… Dark Shield
Fifth ability…Random!

This cycling allows us to prep for the last ability, and, more specifically, the second shield.

For the vortex, make sure you are the same color as the vortex. This means you must switch colors if you’re not: e.g. you’re light, dark vortex incoming, you switch to dark, vortex cast, vortex end, switch back to light.

For the first shield, everyone blows personal cooldowns–trinkets, abilities, etc–and hammers the shield. Do not switch colors, just burn regardless of the shield’s color. “But I’m using my cooldowns and only doing half damage!” Deal with it. After the first shield is down, we have two melee switch colors to opposite the second shield’s color. For example, if we get the dark shield first (compared to the other shield, not the its order), we have two light melee go dark since we know the second shield will be light. For the third shield, if there is one (i.e. the fifth ability cast), we use Heroism (Bloodlust for ya hordies.) For the fourth shield…well, it’s usually a wipe if you get a fourth shield (or any ability by now, which would be at least the sixth ability), but pop cooldowns and burn the non-shielded Val’kyr.

And now, the rest of the fight…

The other half of the fight are the orbs, balls, clouds, powder puffs, whatever you call them. Around the back walls, light and dark orbs spawn throughout the fight. They spawn, then float in random directions; random, but straight lines that obey geometry (think the bouncing icon screensaver.) Light orbs do light (which is fire) damage, dark orbs do dark (which is shadow) damage when they are touched. Of course, the damage is absorbed if you’re the same color as the orb touched; the damage is doubled if you’re the opposite color as the orb touched. The tricky part about the damage is that it’s actually an small AoE burst. Everyone within a 5 yard radius of the orb will take light/dark damage. Thus, you cannot simply plie everyone on top of each other and expect to survive.

Oh, I almost forgot: opposite orbs each hit for about 15k on heroic. Get hit by two simultaneously and only your repair vendor will be happy. And yes, that’s 15k per person, not 15k divided among the number of people nearby.

You do, however, want to hit orbs of your color. Each same color orb hit increases your light (or dark) counter. When you hit 100, you get Empowered Light (or Dark), which increases your damage dealt by 100% for 15 seconds. Orbs increase your counter between 5 and 15 points. Opposite orbs do not decrease your counter.

In short, same orbs very good, opposite orbs very bad.

But how do you handle separate the good from the bad? Assign people to filter the bad from the good. Soakers, orb/ball eaters, nomnomers are key to this strat. They go opposite of the group they’re near and gladly gobble the orbs that would otherwise kill those near them. Soaking is unnecessary on normal mode, requisite on heroic. As a soaker, let me say that your dps and sanity will suffer until you learn the nuances of soaking. Practice is the only way to get better. Take a night (or three) and practice soaking. Have everyone strip and don’t dps the boss, just practice soaking. Strafe, loop around, defensive-cooldown-and-pray, just remember that your job is to catch the right orbs so that those nearby can catch the right orbs, too. Put away Recount, ignore dps, soak first then kill.

This diagram shows our raid’s positioning for H-TV. Fairly self-explanatory. In brief, divide raid into equal parts light and dark per type: half the tanks, half the melee, half the healers, and half the ranged go light, the other halves go dark. The oddball will be a healer as we run with 7 healers for this fight. No worries. If you have more than 6 ranged, put a ranged in the melee (hunters can go in the melee, they just need to stand at minimum range from the boss.) If you have fewer than 6, recruit assign a healer to soak duty; resto druids, because they have instant casts, are fantastic at soaking.

Important notes:

  1. Soakers should never–NEVER cross the dividing line. Badness happens if you cross that line. For vortexes and Touch of Light/Dark, run to the portal on your side of the room.
  2. Soakers should stay a few yards away from the melee group if possible. If a dark orb gets too close to the light melee, they’re going to get hit anyway, so don’t run up and out of position to save them. They might get a couple light orbs immediately after the dark orb hits, rendering you dead.
  3. Orient your camera such that you’re looking straight down on your character. This is the best angle to see how close you are to orbs.
  4. Stamina gear helps but is not necessary. iLvl 245 and higher gear has quite a lot of stamina on it, so you don’t need to break out the dps-sapping PvP suit. If you have a PvE spec with naturally higher stamina and/or decreased damage taken–e.g. SV–go with it (by “naturally higher”, I mean, you would take the health/stam-boosting talents in that spec for PvE normally, not a “I’m gimping my dps for PvP survivability” spec.)
  5. Watch for mass orb spawn. The orbs will spawn en masse once every 45-60 seconds. Be ready for it and move. Think of the mass spawning as another of the twins’ abilities.

The fight plays out like this…

  1. Call the Twins in.
  2. Divide the raid in twain.
  3. Everyone takes their assigned color and gets into position (or close to it.)
  4. Pull and move to positions.
  5. Soakers soak and dps/heal, rest of dps dps’s.
  6. “Ability in 10!” warning; everyone prep.
  7. IF shield –> all dps pop offensive cooldowns, target shielded twin, and burn. Afterwards, have two melee switch colors.
    IF vortex –> all who are the opposite color run to portal, switch color, run to original color portal, wait until vortex is over, switch back to original color, go back to original position.
  8. Rinse, repeat.

Oh, I forgot to mention the pulsing raid-wide damage. Every 2 seconds, the twins hit the raid for about 4k, both light and dark. Thus, when you hit an opposite orb, the damage is exacerbated by the twins’ pulses. If you’re not paying attention when you hit an opposite orb, you could get a tick of the pulse immediately after and drop to near-death. If healers aren’t on the ball, especially with soaker health, expect deaths.

I really like our strat (and no, I didn’t come up with it.) There are other strats. Here’s a short version of them.

Door strat: This is a gimmick strat with the gimmick being that orbs spawn outside the doorway. Thus, if everyone piles into the doorway in which you enter the coliseum, you’re safe from the orbs. the soakers protect the raid from the orbs that wander over. Switch shields as necessary, heal through vortexes and touches. Ya, gimmicky. Man up and learn the fight.

Resist strat: Two people–one light with a shadow-resist set and one dark with a fire-resist set–run around the outside of the room, eating orbs. Everyone else burns. And yes, these are the BC resist sets. You don’t have to use two people; if only one, have them use a shadow-resist set as the stats on the SR set are better than the FR set. Bear druids are great for this job because the sets have low stamina compared to Wrath items. Everyone still needs to pay attention as some orbs will get through. Overall, not a bad strat, but still a little gimmicky.

Hunter Specifics

Learn how to soak because chances are, you will be soaking. “But my 133t deepz!” Suck it, soaker. Even sitting on the boss, you can’t beat the melee, who can hit both valks simultaneously. Plus, because we have a minimum range, we can’t stand right on top of the melee, so we can create problems with soakers and melee and…badness. Besides, nobody cares about your dps if you don’t down the boss.

If you’re not assigned to soaking, this does not mean you can put blinders on and just dps. You must still avoid opposite-colored orbs, you must still pay attention to the people around you, you must still switch targets and colors as needed.

Take AotC/P and Disengage off your taskbar. Cheetah/Pack are useless because of the pulsing damage. Disengage will kill you as you fling yourself backwards and through a half dozen orbs.

TIP! Deterrence works on the vortexes. Watch the cast bar and pop Deterrence just as vortex is popped. Vortex and Deterrence have exactly the same duration. Win. This allows you to continue soaking.

TIP! Deterrence does NOT work on the orbs.

Some prefer MM for this fight because of the number of instants. Some prefer SV because the extra health is great for soaking. No one prefers BM. Already trailing MM and SV on damage, BM gets whammied on TV. MM and SV pets account for about 15% of the hunter’s overall damage, BM pets are around 45%; 85% of MM and SV hunter damage comes from the hunter, 55% for BM hunters. However, only the hunter’s damage is doubled due to the aura, not the pet’s. Thus, MM and SV hunters do about 185% damage whereas BM hunters do about 155%. That’s a huge discrepancy. Sorry, animal lovers, ya gotta switch.

If you’re really skilled, you can Serpent Sting both valks. Ya, I’m not that good and I’m a soaker, I can’t switch-SrS-switch constantly without my brain failing at something.

Multi-Shot v. Aimed. Go with Aimed. I know, two bosses, right next to each other, perfect for Multi-Shot. But the numbers don’t pan out. Going through logs, average Aimed hits are much higher than average Multi hits. Edit: You can use Multi-Shot if you’re MM, but avoid it if SV. Noxious Stings + Black Arrow = single-target with Aimed is far better than Multi-Shot.

Heroic Changes

[Not applicable since this entire strat is based on the heroic version.]

Hunter Loot

[Note: the linked Alliance version is normal mode, Horde is heroic. The stats are the same between factions, normal versions are less awesome than the heroic versions]

10-man (Alliance | Horde)
Diplomat | Widebarrel Flintlock
Reckoning | Edge of Agony

25-man (Alliance | Horde)
Sabatons of Ruthless Judgement | Greaves of Ruthless Judgement
Lupine Longstaff | Twin’s Pact
Death’s Verdict | Death’s Choice


Originally published 7 November 2009
Hunter how-to: ToC, Lord Jaraxxus
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Crusader’s Coliseum.

Lord Jaraxxus

jararxuss1

Type: Tank & Spank, Required

Trash: None

Boss Strat

Jaraxxus does a lot, but everything is very manageable.

When he breaks free of the trifling gnome’s control, he will aggro to the person standing nearest to him. If he hits anyone other than the tank, don’t rez their dumb ass. Ranged and healers should be spread around the room evenly. 10-man, use half the room; 25-man, one big circle. Groups of two spread 10 yards apart from other groups and the melee. All ranged need to be in range of at least 3 healers. Tank him in the middle.

After about 10 seconds, he opens a Nether Portal, which will spawn a Mistress of Pain. Off-tank picks up the Mistress and brings her into melee range. Burn. After a few seconds, she will target someone randomly, run to them, pick them up, leap into the air, and spinning pile driver them across the room. Then she’ll reaggro to the tank; she does not drop aggro. The pile driver hurts, so heal the target to full before she leaps. Also, she casts an AoE silence, so for the healers’ sake, kill her quick.

One minute later, Jaraxxus spawns an Infernal Volcano, which will spawn 4 Felflame Infernals. They have a pulsing aura that does damage, so ranged need to take them out. They die quick. If they get close, move away.

TIP: Jaraxxus always spawns portals and volcanoes on his right side (the hand without the staff). Use this for positioning.

One minute later, Jaraxxus spawns another Nether Portal, or two minutes after the first Nether Portal. One minute later, he spawns an Infernal Volcano, or two minutes after the first Infernal Volcano. And so on.

During all this, Jaraxxus casts several other abilities:
* Nether Power: Increases his damage dramatically, must be interuppted.
* Fel Lightning: The reason the ranged and healers spread out. Heal through it.
* Legion Flames: A 10-second debuff that turns the target into a humanoid napalm drip. Every second after the first, the target puts down a fire patch that does…well, it’s fire damage, don’t stand in the fire. Ranged and healers need to run to the wall and back. Melee should say on vent “[Person] has Legion Flame!”, then run straight to the wall. The tank must move Jaraxxus away if a melee gets Legion Flame.
* Incinerate Flesh: Absorbs all healing for 12 seconds or until a threshold of healing absorbed is reached. If the threshold is not reached in 12 seconds, the person will cast a raid-wiping aoe. Healers must heal the target to the threshold: 30000 for 10-man normal, 40000 for 10-man heroic, 60000 for 25-man, 85000 for 25-man heroic. Do NOT run when you have Incinerate Flesh (unless you have to, e.g. an infernal is nearby.) DPS and tanks should turn announcements for Incinerate Flesh off.

Although Incinerate Flesh will basically wipe the raid (you can survive it, but when 20 out of 25 are dead, just wipe it), Legion Flame disrupts the raid more because it requires everyone to pay attention. Melee gets debuff, Jaraxxus moves, ranged moves to stay in range.

TIP: You can run through the flame patches dropped by Legion Flame. Patch-space-patch-space = if you need to, run in between the patches.

TIP: You can, if you’re good, drop all the flame patches on top of each other, making one big flame patch. You will do this and die if you’re inattentive and don’t run when you’ve got the debuff.

Putting this altogether…

Tank Jaraxxus in the middle.
Mistress of Pain spawns, kill her.
When she’s dead, back to Jaraxxus.
Felflame Infernals spawn, kill them.
Back to Jaraxxus.
Heal Incinerate Flesh targets.
Run out if targeted with Legion Flames.
Interrupt Nether Power.
Rinse. Repeat.

Stay calm and you’ll down him.

Hunter Specifics

Stand and burn, not much else. The infernals get to be annoying because they will zoom out of range. Let the ranged on the other side of the room deal with them and target another infernal or Jaraxxus. Be aware of what debuff you have–run when you have Legion Flames, do not run when you have Incinerate Flesh–and dps.

Heroic Changes

He hits harder and has more life (duh.) The big changes are that the Nether Portals and Infernal Volcanoes spawn Mistresses of Pain and Felflame Infernals, respectively, until they are killed. All DPS must switch to them as soon as they appear. Blow cooldowns on the Nether Portals because having more than one Mistress is bad: the silence from two Mistresses can wipe the raid. Having an extra infernal (a fifth) is annoying but not terrible. Remember that the portals and volcanoes spawn 2 minutes after the first. Pop trinkets on the first portal and they’ll be up for the second portal.

Make a simple macro to switch targets faster:

/tar Nether Portal
/tar Infernal Volcano
/petattack

Oddly enough, both times that I’ve gotten the 360 Pain Spike achievement (10- and 25-man), I got it on heroic because the portal spawned when Jaraxxus was below 3% and we just nuked him rather than deal with the adds.

Hunter Loot

[Note: the linked Alliance version is normal mode, Horde is heroic. The stats are the same between factions, normal versions are less awesome than the heroic versions]

10-man (Alliance | Horde)
Sentinel Scouting Greaves | Warsong Poacher’s Greaves
Planestalker Signet | Planestalker Band

25-man (Alliance | Horde)
Lionhead Slasher | Blood Fury
Talonstrike | Death’s Head Crossbow
Charge of the Demon Lord| Charge of the Eredar


Originally published 17 October 2009.
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Crusader’s Coliseum.

Northrend Beasts

NB

Type: Gear check, Required

Trash: None

Boss Strat

This is a three-phase fight. Phase 1 = Gormok and his snobolds. Phase 2 = Acidmaw and Dreadscale, the twin jormungars. Phase 3 = Icehowl.

Phase 1: Gormok

After a rather lengthy intro, Gormok clomps into the room. Tank him by the gate he comes out of, facing him towards the gate. He hits hard and applies a stacking debuff. Tanks need to taunt off each other and healers need to be ready to switch healing targets. The snobolds on his back throw fire bombs at the ranged, so stay 10 yards away from each other.

After 40 seconds or so, a snobold will jump on to someone. That person needs to run (you will get dazed, just keep moving) to the melee. All dps should switch to the snobold as it incapacitates the target. Use non-AoE, multi-target-affecting attacks (e.g. Multi-Shot and Chain Lightning) to hit both the snobold and Gormok. You must have the snobold targeted in order for these attacks to damage it. Additional snobolds will appear in 20 second increments; four total will spawn. If the snobold’ed person dies, the snobold will hop back on to Gormok then jump onto someone else. Thus, you’ll have to kill more snobolds, which is bad.

Once the snobolds are dead, focus-burn Gormok. As the snobolds throw the fire bombs, once they’re dead, no more fire bombs.

Hunter Specifics

Keep Serpent Sting up on all snobolds and Gormok. To make life easier…

/tar snobo
/petattack
/cast Multi-Shot

I add /tar Gormok to the end of the macro, but that’s just so I can quickly check how long my Serpent Sting has left on Gormok.

If you get a snobold, run to the melee. Yes, I know, you’re useless. Suffer. Drop traps, cast Volley, GotN someone if Draenei, be ready to Disengage as soon as your snobold dies.

Heroic changes

Gormok hits like a freight train and cannot be disarmed. The snobolds must be downed quickly. Keep dots on Gormok, but focus the snobolds. Don’t be afraid to pop heroism on Gormok. The more time you have between him and the worms, the better.

Phase 2: Twin Jormungars, Acidmaw and Dreadscale

Three minutes after talking to Barrett, Acidmaw and Dreadscale come out. They don’t care if you’ve downed Gormok or not, they’re coming like it or not. Dreadscale slithers into the coliseum while Acidmaw burrows up out of the ground. Acidmaw won’t move from his first location while Dreadscale will. They cannot be tanked near each other as Acidmaw drops an acid cloud (ala Grobbulus). Because of this, melee should stay on Dreadscale and ranged on Acidmaw. Tanks need to pick up their targets quickly as both jormungars will start firing acid spit/flame breath as soon as they become targetable. Always face the worms away from the raid.

Once per “up” (explanation incoming), Acidmaw will hit a random person with Paralytic Toxin and anyone in a 8-yard radius while Dreadscale does the same with Burning Bile. Those with the toxin will slow down until paralyzed. The toxin can only be cleansed by those with Burning Bile; the fire debuff ticks, heal through it. Thus, those with the toxin need to run to someone with Burning Bile. Call out over vent who has the toxin debuff so those with the bile can find them easier. Yes, the tanks can and do get hit with the toxin and bile. If the Acidmaw tank gets the toxin and the Dreadscale tank is the only one with the bile, Intervene plus healer cooldowns, or wait until the worms submerge and quickly cleanse.

By “up”, I refer to the worms being up. After a minute of being up, the worms dive underground, then burrow up out. They then switch: Acidmaw moves around while Dreadscale is stuck in the ground.

Two different strategies:
1. Burn Acidmaw, then Dreadscale. Yes, Dreadscale will enrage, but we find his enrage is less painful than Acidmaw’s poison clouds + debuff.
2. Take ‘em both out. DPS burns the moving worm, Dreadscale first then Acidmaw and so on.

Positioning is very important for this fight. Before the pull, we position ourselves for this phase (for Gormok, hit /range and stay spread out; for Icehowl, spread out). Range dps should pair up and be 10 yards apart from other pairs. Divide the melee into two groups, one on Dreadscale, one on Acidmaw. Or just spread apart as much as possible on Acidmaw. Healers should sprinkle themselves around the room. Stay spread out to avoid spreading the debuffs.

Hunter Specifics

Stay alive. Tis easy to pull aggro especially at the beginning and if the Acidmaw tank gets the toxin. Use Disengage to get across the Coliseum if you get the toxin. Just be aware of your surroundings–the acid cloud, where the worms are burrowing, debuffs–and you should be okay.

Heroic Changes

The toxin hits hard and fast; expect to be paralyzed unless near someone with Burning Bile when you get the toxin. Those with Burning Bile should be looking for those with the toxin.

Phase 3: Icehowl

Six minutes after talking with Barrett, Icehowl comes in.

Tank&Spank. Tank him in the middle. His Ice Breath will freeze half the raid for a few seconds, so spread out. Stay out of melee range as he does a melee-range AoE knockdown. Melee can avoid it if you move to max range; Icehowl has a huge hitbox.

Every 45 seconds or so, he’ll jump up and knock the entire raid back to the wall. This will stun everyone for 5 seconds. Then, Icehowl emotes, “Icehowl targets X!” He scoots back, then charges that person. That person and everyone nearby must move out of Icehowl’s charge. While stunned, move your camera left or right to see where’s Icehowl is headed, then turn left or right and move as soon as the stun wears off. If he hits the wall, he’s stunned for 10 seconds and takes double damage. If he hits someone, that person is killed and Icehowl enrages. Tranq Shot will remove the enrage. Rinse and repeat until dead.

Note: for reasons unknown, Icehowl will do a “quick slam”. He’ll knock everyone back to the wall, target someone, but he will not scoot back before charging. It’s unavoidable, seemingly random, and a cheap trick by Blizzard as it often wipes the raid; several dead raiders – one increased damage phase = good luck!

Hunter Specifics

Be ready to Tranq Shot. Save cooldowns for when the big guy is stunned. Stay at 15 yards away because Icehowl will do knockdown.

Tip: Pop Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack as soon as the stun wears off. The extra run speed will give you a couple extra steps, which makes a huge difference. If popping Pack, let people know ahead of time.

Heroic Changes

You do not get a speed boost when you’re knocked back to the wall. No big deal. Find his target, move away from his target if close, move toward if on the other side of the room.

Tip: Tranq Shot works on heroic. I’ve done it.

Hunter Loot

[Note: the linked Alliance version is normal mode, Horde is heroic. The stats are the same between factions, normal versions are less awesome than the heroic versions]

10-man (Alliance | Horde)
Armbands of the Northern Stalker | Bracers of the Northern Stalker
Collar of Ceaseless Torment | Collar of Unending Torment

25-man (Alliance | Horde)
Steel Bladebreaker | Stygian Bladebreaker
Drape of the Untamed Predator | Cloak of the Untamed Predator
Breastplate of Cruel Intent | Cuirass of Cruel Intent


Originally published 7 Nov 2009
Hunter how-to: ToC, Faction Champions
For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of the Crusader’s Coliseum.

Faction Champions

factionchamps

Type: PvP, Required

Trash: None

Boss Strat

Faction Champs is a PvP-style fight. Mobs do not have an aggro table per se, but rather focus players. All mobs have a 5-minute PvP trinket, they cast Hero/BL, they kite, cc, disarm, silence. They act like players do in PvP. And every fight is different because the classes and specs of the mobs is random.

There are 3 basic strats to this fight:

1. Kill healers first, dps second.
2. Kill dps first, healers second.
3. Kill all at the same time.

We’ll ignore #3 as the achievement is quite difficult.

Why #1? Healers increase the effective health of all mobs by at least 50%. Mobs are alive longer, which lengthens the fight, which increases the chances of a wipe.

Why #2? Dps can lay down some serious pain on your healers, which shortens the fight (read: wipe.)

We go with #1. Burn the healers, lock down the dps.

This is PvP. What works there, works here. Sheeps, cyclones, sleeps, rogue lockdowns, hamstrings, frost traps, disarms, sunders, demoralizing shout, fears, dispells (offensive and defensive), death grips, get ready to use anything and everything. Single-target burns only. PvP gear helps, but isn’t necessary.

They will assist-chain; that is, they will single-target burn. That’s why cc is important: one dps’er is annoying, two or more means someone in the raid is dead or dying. We recently had a bad comp with a brutal melee train: enhance shaman, rogue, DK, warrior (along with a resto druid, holy priest, holy pally, hunter, lock, and spriest). Only be dividing the ranged and healers into two groups (one north, one south) and keeping the middle of the arena covered in frost did we succeed. Took us an hour, previous 3 weeks were one-shots.

Priority order from highest to lowest:
Druid (Heal)
Shaman (Heal/Caster)
Shaman (Melee)
Paladin (Heal)
Warlock
Priest (Heal)
Warrior
Hunter
Rogue
Death knight
Paladin (Retribution)
Druid (Caster)
Mage
Priest (Shadow)

Shamans can be troublesome. Chain Heal sucks and getting chained by the enhance shaman sucks a ton. The warlock is doubly dangerous: Hellfire sucks and the felhunter can make life hell for casters. Melee can cause problems real fast, so get them down. Casters do more cc than damage, which is a good thing because if they did more damage, the fight would be nigh impossible; Starfire + Arcane Barrage + Mind Sear = “Look ma! I exploded!”

Rogue Saps are useful at the start, but be careful. Unsapped mobs + alive rogues > sapped mobs + dead rogues. You don’t have to risk your rogues if you don’t want to.

We use Death Grip (or two, if we have the DKs) to pull our first target away from their group. That way, their melee doesn’t turn around an unload on our melee.

Hunter Specifics

Stay alive.

Playing defensively is more important–yes, MORE important–than topping the damage meters. Nobody cares what your dps is if you can’t down the boss. One HoT dispelled prevents more healing than any single shot we have. One mob slowed prevents more damage than the damage of any single shot we have. Granted, we don’t have as many defensive abilities as other classes, but we can use what we have.

Frost Traps > Freezing Traps. Slowing mobs means healers can run away from dps’ers. My wife the resto druid yells at me for more frost. Save a healer, save the raid. Freezing Traps break too easily and only effect one mob at a time. Turn the coliseum floor white, make it look like Winter Veil.

Stay alive.

Put Tranquilizing Shot into your rotation. You can dispell HoTs, Hero/BL, and other buffs. If nothing else, use it on their healers.

Intimidation, Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting are great for interrupts. Wyvern Sting is also good for emergency cc.

Use Deterrence and Disengage as needed.

Keep your pet on passive. If you have multiple hunters in the raid, stick your pets on the enemy pets.

Stay alive.

Your raid leader should call out each target. Do not dps any other target.

Did I mention that you need to stay alive? Watch yourself. Stop dps and do something–move, Deterrence, silence, interrupt, pop a healthstone/potion/GotN, something–to stay alive. Repetition improves retention: Nobody cares what your dps is if you can’t down the boss. Stay alive.

Heroic Changes

More health and more damage. Anything more than that and this fight becomes nigh impossible. Be thankful there isn’t anything more than that :D

Hunter Loot

[Note: the linked Alliance version is normal mode, Horde is heroic. The stats are the same between factions, normal versions are less awesome than the heroic versions]

10-man (Alliance | Horde)
Helm of the Silver Ranger | Sunreaver Ranger’s Helm

25-man (Alliance | Horde)
Bracers of the Untold Massacre | Bracers of the Silent Massacre
Ring of Callous Aggression | Band of Callous Aggression


Originally published 13 May 2009. Was a periodically-updated page.

As the class changes, so do my requests for changes. These range from the mundane to the critical. Just things I’d like to see changed/fixed/reworked/tweaked to hunters. No order other than when I thought of them. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments on how else to improve our awesome class.

  • Eliminate or quantify pet happiness

This has annoyed me for a long time. There is a hidden pet happiness meter buried in WoW; why else would the tooltip for Dismiss Pet say “Dismissing pet decreases its happiness by 50 points.” What points? Where? I want to see a bar that shows exactly how happy my pet is. Knowing exactly how much happiness my pet has at all times allows me to feed and/or heal it to reach the desired level of happiness. Too many times, my pet’s happiness has decreased from green to yellow, then dies and goes to red. Had I known he was about to drop, I would have thrown him a heal and thus, thanks to Glyph of Mend Pet, increased his happiness. And, yes, I know, I could feed my pet every five minutes. I didn’t get rid of my quiver to replace it with a doggie bag, thanks. This impacts my damage. If I know my pet’s happiness, I can swap out a point from Bloodthirsty and put that into a talent that adds dps (like Shark Attack). Not a huge difference, but an increase nonetheless.

So much of WoW is quantitative, yet this is qualitative. I don’t mind that it’s incorporated into the game (tis good for roleplaying and adding a little punishment to letting your pet die). I do mind that it feels capricious (“I fed you two minutes ago when you were green and you’re back to yellow?!” “I haven’t fed or healed you while I’ve been fishing here for eight hours, yet you’re still green?”) and “beta-ish” (that is, it feels like legacy programming that they haven’t touched since beta).

  • Improve the defense rating of mail armor

I wear the second-best armor yet I get cut down like a clothie? I don’t want to tank, but I do want to take a few more hits than my wife, the leather-wearer. Since they nerfed our dodge and haven’t buffed mail, we’ve lost quite a bit of passive damage mitigation. Plus, mail isn’t cheap to repair. If I’m going to pay for the “privilege” of wearing mail, make it more powerful than rogue leather gear with intellect.

  • Continue equalizing pet damage

Sometimes, my inner romantic pops his softy head out.

I like the pet types. Some tank, some attack, some regen my mana. That’s cool, variety is fun. But for raiding purposes, I can only use those who attack, and preferably the ones who attack the best. And that has changed over time: ZG bats in Classic, ravagers and wind serpents in BC, scorpids, then raptors, now wolves. I want my pet to be my friend, my long-term companion; got a problem with that? Take it up with Snarsalot. Instead, we raiders are forced to take the Pet of the Month if we want to min/max. Might as well set up a loaner pet program. By equalizing pet damage within the Ferocity tree, I can find a pet I want to keep long-term (I’m liking SheDevil, she’s been tearing up Naxx and Ulduar quite nicely).

CHANGED! All pets now have +5% damage, defense, and health. Whee. Blizzard has mentioned that pets will undergo further changes in Cataclysm, that (perhaps) we pick the pet talent trees for each pet, that talent trees are not set in stone.

  • Slim down pet talent trees

Currently, the pet talent trees have lots of great talents, so many in fact that I have to choose: survivability, dps, utility? Look at the Ferocity tree. I have 16 talent points. 3 go to Avoidance. 3 go to Spiked Collar. 3 go to Spider’s Bite. 1 goes to Call of the Wild. 1 to Boar’s Speed. 1 to Bloodthirsty. That’s 12 spent before I even start. I could go pure dps, but without Avoidance and Boar’s Speed, my pet dies way too quickly. I could survivability, but I might as well grab Snarley the Tanking Pet. And that’s just the Ferocity tree.

A quick fix would be to give all pets Avoidance as a standard ability, merge Dash/Dive and Charge/Swoop into one talent, and increase the scaling of Hunter-to-Pet stamina. To keep pets from destroying the damage meters, take away a talent point and/or reduce some of the scaling.

CHANGED! Avoidance is innate! Yay! Culling the Herd is a nice 3% bump, too.

  • Improve the talents at the bottom of the MM tree

All the trees have their weak spots, but the bottom of the MM tree–where the money talents should be–is the suck. Wild Quiver, Imp Steady Shot, Silencing Shot, and Rapid Recuperation. Meh, epic fail, meh, and fail. WQ is a decent talent, but 3 points? Should be 1, maybe 2. I don’t know why WQ is another attack. Just make it a proc: next attack does +X% damage. ISS is the worst talent hunters have. To quote: ” Your Steady Shot hits have a 15% chance to increase the damage done by your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot by 15%, and reduce the mana cost of your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot by 20%.” 15% (which is about 1 in 7) was a fairly decent proc rate when all we did was spam SS. However, now that SS is used as filler and MM has the most attacks of any spec, ISS is worthless. Coordinating ISS procs with Chimera Shots, which would be ideal, means not firing anything while waiting for CS to come off cd. Waiting = not dpsing. And, to get the 15% proc rate, you need to put 3 points into it. Yup. Fail. I don’t know how to fix ISS. This might be a good spot for a pet synergy-type talent. Silencing Shot is a good talent. Being stuck down at the bottom of the MM tree is not. Move it up. Rapid Recuperation was needed in 3.0. With the buff to Efficiency and mana cost reduction to CS, its now not that great. I don’t have mana issues any more (well, not nearly as bad as I used to). A talent down here should either be utility (was useful) or a dps upgrade (definitely not).

  • Improve our AoE (i.e. Volley) via strengthening Barrage and Imp Barrage

When Wrath came out, Volley ruled. When 3.0.8 came out, Volley failed. I like being the best single-target dps class, but I wouldn’t mind a buff to Volley.

  • Better pet synergy in MM and SV

MM has Go for the Throat, SV has Hunter vs. Wild. That’s it. For a class so intimately tied to our pets, we don’t have much to do with them nor they with us outside of BM. Maybe a talent that increases the pet’s threat when MD is cast on it; MM. Or perhaps a talent that allows pets to attack trapped mobs without breaking cc; SV. Just thinking aloud here.

In BC, threat was immediately shunted to the target. In Wrath, there is a delay. One second, but that one second has killed me before. Instead of the boss lumbering directly to the tank, the boss takes a step or two in my direction. I don’t know what coding change ocurred, but it needs to be reversed. Taunts are instant threat grabs. Why not misdirects?

CHANGED! With MD’s change in 3.3, this is not an issue any more. To be honest, this was more annoying than an actual issue (read: PEBKAC :D)

NEVERMIND! Nope. I was wrong. There still is a slight delay before threat is transferred. Not much, but enough to make Sindragosa target me.

  • Revive Pet should detect if the pet is dead when casting begins, not at the end (and thus after the mana is spent)

A minor gripe, but one that’s cropped up since 3.1. Before, if I tried to rez my despawned pet, I would immediately get the error message “Pet is not dead.” Blow the whistle, move on. Now, however, I have to complete my cast before the error message comes up. There goes 9 seconds and a ton of mana. Gone. Wasted. I know, I could try calling my pet first. I usually do. The times I don’t, though, this new error really sucks.

CHANGED! When Blizzard fixed the Call Stabled Pet bug, it seems they fixed this annoyance, too.

Something bad happens: someone pulls another pack, for example. First instinct is to pop MD. However, due to the double GCD delay–1.5 seconds for the previous ability, 1.5 for MD–we can’t MD for 3 seconds. Auto Shot might kick in a little sooner, but everything else is a 3-second wait. We could do more heroic acts if we didn’t have to wait 3 seconds to do anything. Plus, for boss fights, we could macro MD in. Rogues love Tricks of the Trade; +15% damage for 6 seconds = win. Hunters love MD…at the beginning of the fight. Thereafter, we’re using a GCD for utility, which lowers dps. I MD early and often. All hunters would MD more if I didn’t have to waste a GCD doing so.

Convenience factor here. I would cast MD on every trash pull in heroics and more often on boss fights if the cooldown began when I cast it. As it is–cooldown begins after the first shot is fired or the timer expires, whichever comes first–I don’t use MD on heroic trash pulls because I want to save it for the boss, and, if I mis-time casting it on the tank before pulling a boss (e.g. raid leader says go, I cast MD, then someone says wait), the tank gets screwed on aggro. Would be nice.


Originally published 3 June 2009

For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of Ulduar.

Flame Leviathan

Type
Personal Survival, Required

Trash
The trash here isn’t just trash. Like Sartharion, the trash determines how hard the encounter will be. You want easy mode? Talk to Brann. You want medium mode? Talk to the Lorekeeper of Norgannon and leave one tower up; Thorim is best. You want hard mode? Leave two up; Thorim and Mimiron. You want harder mode? Leave three up; Thorim, Mimiron, and Freya. You want hardest mode? Leave all four up. However, if you’ve never done FL before, take out at least three towers. One tower up isn’t so bad, anything more is risking a wipe-fest if you’re new to the encounter. Skill helps as it does in all fights, but gear really helps. For example, I use my T7 helm (iLvl 213) but I also have the Blue Aspect Helm (iLvl 226).* Swapping out my T7 helm for the Blue Aspect Helm gives my chopper an extra 10k health.

TIP! Always leave at least 1 tower up when doing FL on 10-man (once you’re familiar with the fight, of course) as he’ll drop 2 Emblems of Conquest instead of Emblems of Valor.

The gauntlet is simple enough. There are big guys, bigger guys, helicopters, spiderlepergnomey things, and lots of little guys. Mow them all down. There are also Storm Beacons in the middle of the room. Destroy them to stop the little guys from respawning. Take this time to learn how your vehicle works. Press the buttons, watch what happens, whee! Practice here.

TIP! Before pulling the trash in front of FL’s gate, repair. Then pull only the right side. Down them. Repair again. Pull the left side. Down them. Boss will enter. That extra repair may not seem like much, but every little bit helps especially for chopper drivers.

Before we work on the boss, quick run down on the duties of each person in the encounter and how difficult each job is.
Siege Engine Driver – Interrupts Flame Vents with Electroshock = Easiest
Siege Engine Passenger – DPS, casts shield on Siege Engine when asked, shoots pyrite barrels down = Easy
Demolisher Driver – Launches passenger onto FL, DPS = Hardest
Demolisher Passenger – Loads self into launcher, destroys turrets on boss, prays the Choppers are nearby when tossed off FL, DPS = Medium
Chopper – Drops tar in front of FL, retrieves passengers, dies = Hard

Guides will say that the Siege Engine Driver is the kiter. Ha! FL is “bugged” in that it will target either Siege Engines or Demolishers with “equal” likelihood. That, too, is bullshit. Both Siege Engine and Demolisher drivers will be kiting, and, in our experience, Demolishers are targeted far more than Siege Engines. Between kiting and launching their passengers, Demolisher drivers have the hardest job. Put your best players in them. Choppers don’t have much to do–drop tar, retrieve passengers, hide in corner, die–but they require skilled, aware drivers. Every unnecessary hit speeds their nigh-inevitable death. All drivers need to watch where they’re going, Chopper drivers make one or two mistakes and they die. If they die, thrown Demolisher passengers will also die after they’re tossed off FL. Two deaths for one idiot mistake. Lovely. We try to keep our Demolisher passengers on FL as much as possible in order to activate as many Circuit Overloads as possible with one passenger staying on their Demolisher as a backup. The backup gets thrown if another passenger dies and DPS’s while waiting. Because they need to DPS both melee and ranged targets, casters (mages, boomkins, locks, spriests, ele shamans) are ideal. Hunters, sorry, this won’t be your shining moment. When we were learning the fight on 10-man, our spriest and I were the throwees. He missed FL and died. I took down his turret in 10 seconds. I took down my turret in 10 seconds and 1 minute. Siege Engines have it easy. The drivers stay close to FL and interrupt Flame Vents, the passengers DPS and cast shield when their Siege Engine is targeted. Note that drivers should NOT use Steam Rush because 1. being too close to FL is bad (Battering Ram sucks as do Flame Vents) and 2. the driver needs to always have enough energy to cast Electroshock because interrupting Flame Vents is the primary task.

Boss Strat
Step 1. Put on your highest iLvl gear. Stats do NOT matter, just iLvl. If you don’t know your gear’s iLvl, download a gear-related addon (I use Auctioneer) or check the armory or wowhead.com. A quick check is to compare armor amounts (gear) or dps (weapons). Usually but not always, the higher the armor/dps, the higher the iLvl. This only works on gear of the same armor class obviously.

TIP! Instead of sharding high iLvl items, give them to class that can use the item even if they shouldn’t just for this fight. For example, a holy pally has no business wielding a Betrayer of Humanity, but if the pally doesn’t have a iLvl 226 item and the axe would be sharded, give the pally Betrayer just for this fight. Every little bit of health helps.

We’re going to assume normal mode (no towers remaining). Once the trash immediately in front of FL’s gate is dead, there is a 10 second break. Use this time to spread out. Choppers can lay down tar in the middle if they want. Demolisher passengers should load themselves into their launcher. FL enters then it targets someone. The targeted vehicle will kite along the edge of the room. Passengers should be launched as soon as possible. If the targeted vehicle is a Demolisher, launch the backup passenger instead; better to throw someone else and not take damage than throwing the passenger and getting walloped by FL. Choppers need to lay tar down in between the targeted vehicle and FL. Drop the tar where FL is going to be, not where it is. DPS’ers need to ignite the tar, all tar, keep those fires burning. Once on FL, the thrown passengers need to DPS the turrets down fast to initiate Overload Circuit. Once overloaded, the passengers will be flung off and FL takes four times the damage. Pour it on. Drop tar underneath and ignite it. Fire pyrite barrels. Burn him down.

TIP! Have the Demolisher passengers bring out a non-combat pet. The pet will follow the passenger as he falls down after being tossed off FL following a Circuit Overload. This helps the Choppers find them. Pinging the map and calling out on vent help, too. This is another way.

FL puts himself back together after about 10 seconds. Choppers return passengers to Demolishers. Passengers load themselves, rinse, repeat. With practice, you will only need 2 Overload Circuits on normal.

If you’re feeling adventurous on your first visit to Ulduar and left Thorim’s tower up, FL will have 25% more health and do 25% more damage plus there will be columns of energy to avoid during the fight. It’s not too bad, just requires a little more awareness and another Overload Circuit. Do not leave any more towers up until you get some gear from Ulduar unless you are prepared for some serious wiping.

TIP! Demolishers and Siege Engines have two passenger spots. If your vehicle is about to die, get into someone else’s vehicle, preferably a Demolisher. That way, you don’t die and can contribute to the fight. Win. Win.

Hunter specifics
Do not get thrown onto FL. Leave that to dps’ers who are equally capable doing damage at ranged and melee, i.e. the casters. I got nothing else as class does not matter in any other phase of this fight.

Razorscale

Type
DPS race, Optional

Trash
None

Boss Strat
Phase 1: Gather the adds and AoE nuke
Phase 1a: Burn Razorscale
Phase 2: Burn Razorscale

That’s the fight. Okay, a little more.

Phase 1: Mole machines will appear. Out pop 3 types of adds, only one of which is important. Dark Rune Sentinels, big Vrykul guys, will appear about every other cycle. They need to be tanked away from the AoE nuke zone and single-targeted down by ranged due to their nasty Whirlwind. If you have the DPS, you can tank them with everyone else. We just prefer to be cautious. The adds give us something to do while the harpoon launchers are being fixed. Once three of the four are fixed, we send a rogue back to activate them. We wait on the fourth until all adds are clear, then everyone rushes over to the center of the circle and burn Razorscale.

I should mention the two fireballs. The multi-colored fireball hits for about 9k and cannot be dodged. Say “Ow!”, get healed, move on with life. The blue fireball is napalm. Move. The napalm will land where you were when it was cast, so if you’re targeted, move.

TIP! We have someone run around as a “napalm decoy” on 25-man. She stands in the circle away from the group and gets the napalm blasts so the rest of the group doesn’t have to worry about them (as much). Don’t bother doing this on 10-man.

Phase 1a: Blow cooldowns including Heroism now. You have 15 seconds every time she’s brought down to pump in the DPS. Because of her enrage timer, you need to DPS her to 50% in no more than 3 downings. Thus, you have at most–AT MOST–45 seconds to do about 6.5 million damage (heroic; about 1.75 on normal), which is 144445 DPS for the group or (assuming 20 DPS’ers) 7200 DPS per person. Yeah, blow cooldowns. Because there is no raid damage during this phase, healers should top everyone off then do whatever damage they can to Razorscale.

TIP! Razorscale can be targeted in mid-air, so as she’s being brought down, fire away. You can apply Hunter’s Mark after just one harpoon has been fired.

Phase 2: Once down to 50%, Razorscale is permanently grounded. Tanks must kite her around the circle. They must also taunt off each other due to the Fuse Armor debuff. Because of Flame Buffet and her enrage, you must kill her quickly. I would say you have about 2 minutes before the tanks die, so the math becomes: 6.5 million damage in 2 minutes = 54167 group DPS = 3000 DPS per person (only 17 DPS’ers). Quite manageable without cooldowns.

Hunter Specifics
Phase 1: We have one hunter assigned to do nothing but MD the Sentinel to the designated Sentinel tank. Since I’m lazy and hate spamming Volley, that’s usually me. All hunters should burn down the Sentinel. He goes down quick.
Phase 1a: Unload. RF, CotW, trinkets, whatever you got, use it. Be smart (as you should be in any fight). First time she lands, use your trinket and let Heroism take RF’s place. Second time, use your trinket (assuming a 2 minute trinket cooldown) and RF. Third time, just your trinket as that’s all you should need to get her down permanently.
Phase 2: BUG ALERT! Feign Death does NOT work. MD a tank, any tank, they all need threat and watch your threat closely. MD early and as often as you can. You’ll probably be within 5-10% of the MT’s threat. Enjoy the thrill that is riding the MT’s ass on threat. Do not stop DPS’ing unless you’re going to pull. I’ve saved fights by pulling when the last of our tanks died, popping Disengage and Deterrence, then sacrificing myself so the healers had enough to time to brez, buff, and heal the MT. Had I stopped, the threat would have gone to someone else–our spriest, DPS warrior, or enhance shaman–who can’t emergency tank. Deterrence, turning Hunters into tanks since 3.0.

Ignis the Furnace Master

Type
Tank & Spank, Optional

Trash
Three types of mobs. First are the giant fire dudes at the top of the ramp. They need to be tanked at least 30 yards away from each other. Simple. Second are the fire cyclones. They send out a whirlwind that targets a player and does considerable damage. If the whirlwind is coming anywhere close to you, move. Third are the rock guys. Nothing special.

Boss Strat
Ignis is a moving tank and spank. One phase, nothing special. Some strats suggest tanking him in a rectangular path with his Scorch patches in the corners. We found that to be too spread out. We tank him in a triangle with the point in the middle of the room and the two other points halfway between the middle and the pool (either one, doesn’t matter), one of the left and the other on the right. Our death knights and a ranged DPS (we use a hunter and/or a mage) stand at the edge of the pool. The pool group is responsible for picking up and shattering the brittle Iron Constructs. The rest of the raid stands “inside” the Scorch patch triangle.

MD to tank. Ignis lumbers over, drops first Scorch patch. Tank moves him to the middle of the room. Iron Construct comes out. An offtank tanks the Construct in the Scorch patch until it becomes molten. Death knight Death Grips the molten Iron Construct into the pool. Iron Construct becomes brittle. Hunter or mage shatters the brittle Construct. Ignis loses buff. Rinse, repeat.

Ignis crotch-pockets someone at random. Healers need to heal through 50k damage. Not hard. Enjoy the haste buff that follows. Also, Flame Jets will silence you if you’re casting when Flame Jets occurs. Easy to avoid.

Hunter specifics
I like to hide out at the corner of the pool. I’m (usually) still in range of Ignis at all time, but I’m not getting any of the Shatter Aoe damage; Hawkeye is very nice. If you’re assigned to shatter the Iron Constructs, go MM. When the Construct becomes molten, slap Hunter’s Mark and Serpent Sting on it, then finish with Chimaera. Should be enough for a 5k crit. Remember, you need to hit them with 5k in one hit, not 5k total. Boring, easy boss once the pool party gets coordinated.

Hunters need not worry about Flame Jets as it locks you out of casting spells from whatever school you were casting when you were interrupted by Flame Jets. Since our attacks are classified as melee, they do not have a school and thus we are immune from being silenced by Flame Jets.

Do not Feign Death while in the slag pot. I did on an attempt. Aggro was not dropped, but, due to some weird bug, I could not use FD again until I died. Kept saying “Spell not ready yet”. Reloadui didn’t work. Restarting WoW didn’t work. Dying did. Of course, I managed to live from that point all the until the end of Iron Council. Ugh. If you’re in the pot, pop Viper and relax.

TIP! If your other instant shots are on cooldown and you’re in the air because of Flame Jets, reapply Serpent Sting. When you land, you don’t have to waste a cooldown on it for another 20 seconds.

XT-002 Deconstructor

Type
Tank & Spank, Required

Trash
Two groups of mobs. The ones to worry about are the mechanognomes. Trap one, burn the other down, AoE the rest, come back for the trapped one. Repeat on other side.

Boss strat
XT switches between 2 phases at set intervals. Phase 1 switches to Phase 2 when XT reaches 75%, 50%, and 25% health. Tank XT on either the left or right side of the room between the trash heaps in the corner. Ranged should group about 10 yards behind boss; for those who remember Solarian, yeah, it’s like that.

Phase 1: Three abilities. Searing Light and Gravity Bomb = move 20 yards away from group until debuff expires. Tympanic Tantrum = painful raid-wide aoe and slow, heal through. Slow and steady during this phase.

Phase 2: Burn time. At the aforementioned health marks, XT needs a rest and drops his heart. All damage done to the heart is doubled on XT: a hit of 5000 on the heart becomes 10000 on XT. Think of the heart as XT with a “damage increased by 100%” debuff. Blow all cooldowns. We usually pop Heroism on the second heart phase (50% XT health left), but it doesn’t matter which heart phase so long as you pop it on a heart phase and not on a boss phase.

Also during phase 2, adds will appear from the scrap heaps on the other side of the room. Pummelers should be off-tanked away from the group, repair bots must–MUST–be killed, bomb bots can be killed or not. Repair bots will heal XT (think Gluth). They are plentiful but die quick. Once the heart retracts back into the body, clean up the adds and get back on the boss.

Hard mode is activated by killing the heart. If you don’t want hard mode, reign in your dps when the heart gets down to 10% health. Don’t worry, the heart’s health resets to full when it retracts into the body. Oh, and no, you cannot skip heart phases. On our last 10-man run, we got the boss down to 45% after the first heart phase. XT went back to phase 1 for about 5 seconds then back into a heart phase. After the second heart phase, he was under 20%. Same thing: 5 seconds of phase 1, back into phase 2. Our adds guys were a bit overwhelmed near the end, but they did their job.

Hunter specifics
For us, this fight is all about timing your cooldowns. I stop casting Black Arrow when the boss is at 80% so I have it ready for the heart phase. Like every fight, ask when Heroism will be used so you can time your trinket. Since this is a very fast fight, I time my cooldowns thusly:
Heart phase 1: trinket and RF
Heart phase 2: Heroism
Heart phase 3: trinket
That way, I’m always “powered up” for the heart phases.

TIP! If adds are still up going into a heart phase, trap dance. As XT is switching phases, run over to an add, drop a Frost Trap, run back, enjoy the LnL proc.

Although Ulduar is an expansive, immense, and epic instance, don’t be intimidated by the first four bosses. They require a bit of practice, but if you’ve cleared Naxx several times, they’ll drop quick.

*For those curious why I use an item that is inherently worse, it’s the set bonus: the helm and my T7 shoulders give my pet an extra 5% damage. The Blue Aspect Helm is a DPS increase over the T7 helm by itself, but not when paired with the shoulders. And I can’t use other T7 pieces because I have the T8 chest (BiS) and hands (second BiS) and BiS legs. And once I get the T8 helm and shoulders, the T7 gets replaced. As nice as the Blue Aspect Helm is, tier bonuses are much better. Remember, kids, iLvl isn’t everything. I love the increased DPS, but I don’t love having spent a bunch of dkp on the Blue Aspect Helm just to ditch it in the bank.


Originally published 23 June 2009

For hunters mainly, for everyone else who has yet to experience the epic fun of Ulduar.

Kologarn

Type: Tank & Spank, Required
Hard Mode: None

Trash

The hallway trash is reminiscent of Tempest Keep’s hallway trash. CC is required, but if something breaks, wiping is not a foregone conclusion. The first group, which waits just outside the portal room, consists of a melee, chain lightning caster, and a big guy. The melee and caster can and should be cc’ed. Kill the big guys, kill the melee, kill casters. Second group just has a couple big guys who cast fire runes underneath random raid members. Move.

You’ve reached an intersection. Up the stairs facing you is Kologarn. Down the left hallway is Iron Council. To the right, Algalon. In between the bosses are two pats and a group of adds like the first hallway group. The patrolling big guys can be ignored. If you kill Kologarn then come back for IC the next day, they’ll despawn. The pat in the middle of the room is not optional. Wait until the big guys move away and bring the group into the room. You can cc them in place and not aggro the pats.

Boss Strat

Kologarn is a fast fight. He doesn’t have much health, doesn’t do much, a nice loot pinata. Besides his size, you’ll notice that his arms are independently targetable. They do different things. Right Arm grabs 1 (10-man) or 3 (25-man) people and squeezes them until they’ve taken a set amount of damage or the Arm has taken a set amount of damage. Left Arm smacks the whole raid for 9-12k. Kologarn himself fires lasers from his eyes. And if nobody is in melee range of the body, he’ll cast Petrifying Breath, which wipes the raid. Damage done to his arms does not instantly damage Kologarn. Once an arm is completely destroyed, Kologarn loses health equal to the arm’s total health. So if you do zero damage to Kologarn and all damage to an arm (I’m not saying you should, just trying to explain how the mechanic works), he’ll stay at full health then drop 2.3 million health as soon as the arm drops.

Easy. Tank Kologarn, all DPS on Right Arm. Heal through the grip. Once Arm is down, DPS switches to Kologarn except for AoE’ers, who take down the off-tanked Rubble adds. Tanks switch as needed. Right Arm respawns, DPS switches to it. Rinse, repeat. That’s the fight.

You can take out the Left Arm, but it’s not necessary. If he’s under 2.3 million and the Left Arm is close to death, kill the Arm. Otherwise, ignore it.

Ranged and healers spread out along the back, melee position themselves so their attacks hit both the Right Arm and Kologarn. The gap allows for melee to back out and run around when targeted by the eye beam while still in sight of the healers. Ranged can go leave the room to avoid the eye beams. Oh, and melee needs to remember that, yes, you can fall into the pit, and, no, you cannot be rezzed from there.

Hunter Specifics

Avoid the eye beams. Disengage when targeted. DPS the designated target.

TIP! Multi-shot works wonders here…Sorry, that’s all I got. This fight is stupid easy. You should have Kologarn down within five attempts.

Hunter Loot

10-man:
Shawl of the Shattered Giant = Lots of juicy hit. A very nice cloak.
Spire of Withered Dreams = Good staff. Not ideally itemized–BM and MM would rather crit instead of haste, SV would rather more Agi than AP–but very solid.

25-man:
Giant’s Bane = Giant’s Bane or Siren’s Cry? Six one way, half a dozen the other, as the saying goes. Grab it.
Malice = For those rocking one-handers, a very nice sword. I could see some SV’ers dual-wielding this.
Wrathstone = Step up from Loatheb’s Shadow. Grab it.

Assembly of Iron, aka Iron Council

Type: Endurance, Optional
Hard Modes: Kill Molgeim last, kill Steelbreaker last

Trash

If you’ve cleared to Kologarn, you’ve cleared most of it. The pat you ignored must be dealt with now. He puts out a white orb that does massive damage damage to all nearby (similar to Sartharion’s trash’s fire sphere thingy). Move. Big guys in the hall are identical to the other hall’s big guys; move from the fire rune.

Boss Strat

We’re going to do this on easy mode, which is Steelbreaker dies first, then Runemaster Molgeim, then Stormcaller Brundir.

The bosses:

  • Stonebreaker (the huge one): hits very hard, Fusion Punch hits even harder and applies a debuff that must be dispelled immediately.
  • Molgeim (the Vyrkul): casts runes around the room that affect both the mobs and the raid. Move mobs (especially Stonebreaker) out of and get into runes of power, move out of runes of death, spellsteal or dispell runic shields. A light hitter, one tank can handle him and Brundir easily.
  • Brundir (the dwarf): annoying. Doesn’t really listen to his aggro table as he’s a caster. Overload means run out. Lightning Whirl and Chain Lightning need to be interrupted; if you only have 1 interrupt, use it on Lightning Whirl.

Healers, this fight lasts a good 10 minutes. Lots of raid damage with timeable big damage spikes. Just keep those hots rolling. If you have a high mana regen gear set, now’s the time for it.

Tank the bosses away from each other to minimize raid damage. Besides, this is not Illidari Council: their health pool is NOT shared, when one dies, the surviving mob(s) regain full health. Thus, AoE damage is useless here. Single-target all the way through. We have Stonebreaker near the front of the room, Molgeim in the middle and off to either the left or right, Brundir goes in the back. We assign at least two interrupters to ensure Brundir doesn’t get his attacks off. Lightning Whirl will wipe the raid if he’s in a rune of power (he casts this once one of his brothers die). DPS goes after Stonebreaker hard. It’s an endurance fight, so shorten it however you can. Heroism on Stonebreaker when a rune of power is cast on the big lug. Move him just outside the rune, all dps jump into rune, cast Hero, pop trinkets, burn. Use the Hero+runes now because once Stonebreaker dies, Molgeim will cast runes of death, which have a nasty habit of being centered on a rune of power.

TIP! Baby Spice shrinks Stonebreaker, making him easier to position.

TIP! Ranged can look for runes of power that are not directly under Steelbreaker for more damage.

Once Stonebreaker dies, Molgeim and Brundir gain new powers (ala Karathress). Molgeim now casts rune of death in addition to his other runes and Brundir casts Lightning Whirl. DPS switches to Molgeim. Easy tank and spank. Just move out of runes of death and keeping dps’ing. Brundir should be interrupted as before.

TIP! Unlike other ground AoE graphics, the rune graphics define a near-exact edge for the rune’s effect. One step away from a rune of death’s edge is all you need to take to avoid the effect. So if a rune of death partially overlaps a rune of power, you can still get the rune of power’s buff.

Once Molgeim dies, Brundir gains a final new power. About once per minute, he will raise into the air, cast Lightning Tendrils, target someone, and float towards that person. Everyone beneath him in a 10-yard radius will get hit by the effect. After five seconds, he switches targets. After 30 seconds, he lands and wipes aggro. That last bit is important. The Lightning Tendrils are easy to avoid–run to the wall, if you are targeted, run to the center–but the aggro dump is often forgotten in the excitement of “we are almost done with this interminable encounter”. Wait until the tanks have him and then resume burning.

TIP! Brundir can still damaged while he’s flying around. Ranged should reapply dots during his flight.

Hunter Specifics

Not much for us here. Don’t be afraid to pop Viper, Aspect or Sting, to gain some mana back. If your group lacks a ret pally, mana gets to be a problem fairly quickly.

Check your ammo/arrow supply before the fight. If you are under 1000 rounds/arrows, get more before the fight. This is a 10-minute fight. You will fire at least 400 shots in this fight. BM hunters might even be upwards of 600. Don’t be a huntard. Check your supply before the fight and get more if needed.

Hunter Loot
10-man normal
Circlet of True Sight = Very nice helm with lots of hit.
Rune-Etched Nightblade = Not enough AP to warrant picking it up even for dual wielding.

10-man Hard
Loop of the Agile = One of the best rings in the game. Grab it.
Perilous Bite = Excellent one-hander. Pair it with The Masticator for a very sweet set.
The Masticator = See above.

25-man normal
Drape of the Lithe = Cloaks are hard to come by. Grab this gem if you can.
Iron-Studded Mantle = Very good shoulders. Since T8.5 shoulders drop from Yogg, grab these.
Rune Edge = One of the best weapons in the game for hunters and dps warriors, ret pallies, and DKs. Grab it if you can.

25-man heroic
Fang of Oblivion = A little low on Agi/AP combination considering there are better two-handers available on normal modes than this paired with any other one-hander.
Greaves of Swift Vengeance = Excellent boots. Grab them.

Auriaya

Type: Pull, Semi-Required
Hard Mode: None

Trash

You don’t have to do both trash pulls before you pull Auriaya, but it’s highly recommended. The big stone dudes should be pulled away from each other, but not too far; 30 yards is plenty. Too close, and the dps won’t have time to kill the sparks they send to each other. Too far, and they get a buff that will one-shot their tanks. DPS needs to kill the sparks that comes out as they buff the mobs ala Malygos’s sparks. And the mobs need to die at about the same time because when one dies, the other enrages. An alternate strategy is to tank the mobs together, split the dps and burn, ignoring the sparks’ increased damaged. Simpler but your healers need to be on the ball.

Why “semi-required”? Because you could down all 4 watchers without downing her if your raid was careful about entering the Watchers’ zones. However, just kill her. There’s no achievement for killing the watchers but not her (although there should be).

Boss Strat

It’s all about the pull. Auriaya’s Sanctum Sentries (2 on 10-man, 4 on 25-man) will pounce and one-shot anyone, tanks included. Thus, a standard pull is impossible. To prevent pouncing, the raid needs to be out of line of sight of the sentries or within 10 yards of the targeted sentry. Easy enough. However, the sentries have a stacking buff that increases their damage if they’re near another sentry. Thus, an AoE burn is impossible. The sentries need to be tanked and killed one by one. One tank can hold two, or Auriaya and a sentry. Three sentries is too much for all but the best-geared tanks.

To pull, we aggro the boss, pull the sentries and Auriaya around a corner. We use an alcove between the wall and stairs on both sides of the platform; for reference, these alcoves have a vase-like thing in the back. You can also use the pillar next to the stairs, but we had trouble with the sentries pouncing through the wall. Once pulled, the off-tanks grab their sentries and move away from the group while the dps burns the main tank’s sentries (MT gets 2). Once the MT’s sentries are down, the off-tanks bring their sentries in to be killed one by one. Auriaya generously gives us about 1 minute to burn the sentries down before summoning her Feral Defender, but she will cast her Terrifying Screech before a minute is up. The fear will cause some problems with pouncing; do what you can.

We’ve found four ways of pulling. From best to worst…
1. Pally bubble. Paladin walks down the ramp with bubble on, boss aggroes, pally runs back to group.
2. DK tank’s Death and Decay. DK puts D&D down at the bottom of the stairs and runs back. He’ll aggro everything, but he pops a cooldown as the other tanks pull adds off him.
3. Hunter trap. Like D&D, a hunter puts a trap down at the bottom of the stairs and runs back to the group. When the adds come, hunter pops Deterrence as the tanks pull off.
4. Pally’s Consecrate. This is tricky because of the short duration of Consecrate. Pally has to place and time Consecrate just right so that 1. it doesn’t run out before Auriaya aggros, 2. the pally has time to get back around the corner, and 3. it ticks when she’s on it.

Some strats recommend shaman totems, but because shamans do not have an invulnerable-type ability, they might die at the pull. Bad. If you don’t have a pally, DK, or hunter in your group, you could try a rogue popping Evasion or a tank using Last Stand and Shield Wall.

As soon as the sentries are in range, hunters and rogues must use Misdirection and Tricks of the Trade, respectively. The tanks won’t have much threat on their targets and the dps cannot hold back. Healers must be prepared to blow their healing cooldowns here, tanks must be prepared to blow their cooldowns; Auriaya does not have any cooldown-requiring, massive burst damage abilities, so blow them early.

Once the sentries are dead, on to the rest of the fight.

Unlike nearly every other boss in the game, Auriaya must be tanked facing the raid due to her Sonic Screech. Sentinel Blast is painful; interrupt it. Terrifying Screech fears. She also summons a Feral Defender, who is benign except when someone is 10 yards away or further. The defender will pounce that person, then pounce someone in the group. So group up in front of her. Finally, she brings out little AoE-able kittens. Bomb them quickly and go back to boss.

TIP! Stand a couple yards behind the group and a couple yards off to the side. That way, you’ll 1. avoid getting pounced by the Feral Defender, 2. be out of melee range, and 3. be within Sonic Screech’s cone.

This part of the fight is easy. Just keep grouped up in front of the boss, move back into position quickly after each fear, and avoid the void zones left by the dead Feral Defender. No, the defender does not need to be killed (unless you’re going for the achievement); it will die on its own due to the AoE on the kittens. We usually call out when the defender is under 10% health so people are aware. Then, when it dies, we move the boss to the other side of the platform. Getting feared into a void zone is bad.

Hunter Specifics

For the pull, use Immolation Trap. One mob will have aggro on you rather than all mobs. Snake Trap is okay, but the damage will be nil and they might kill the snakes then return to their patrol route. Frost and Freeze Traps are for cc, not damage. And be ready with Deterrence. Fire MDs as soon as your target is in sight and/or Deterrence is over.

This fight as a whole is tough simply because of positioning. Auriaya does not stay in one place for very long, so much of the fight is rotating to stay in front of her. Don’t expect to top the damage meters on this fight.

Hunter Loot
10-man
Ironaya’s Discarded Mantle = The 10-man version of the Iron-Studded Mantle. Great for 10-man teams.

25-man
Siren’s Cry = Giant’s Bane or Siren’s Cry? Six one way, half a dozen the other, as the saying goes. Grab it.

These three bosses are easy. Kologarn is, in my opinion, the easiest boss in Ulduar with Iron Council second easiest. Heck, Iron Council’s medium mode–leaving Runemaster for last–only requires awareness and some decent AoE. Auriaya is a pain. Expect a few wipes as your tanks learn the pull. After a couple weeks, a decently-geared group should be able to blitz FL, XT, Kolo, and Auriaya in a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time for the Keepers…


Originally published 15 May 2009, updated on 7 November 2009 and 23 March 2010

Always a popular topic. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do have some tips and guidelines for people who find themselves routinely strapped for gold.

[Note: This is NOT a guide for hitting the gold cap. There are other guides--far better than this one--written for those who want to have more gold than Ghostcrawler.]

A little bit about my character’s cash flow: it’s pretty good. I’ve made several big purchases throughout my time in WoW, such as: epic flying skill (5k gold), Barrel-Blade Longrifle (3.2k; as the sacrificial SV hunter in BC, this was a huge upgrade over my Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix), half of my wife’s epic flying skill (2.5k gold; birthday present), every rare BC jewelcrafting recipe (at least 5k gold), several of the dropped Wrath JC recipes (about 5k gold), a Kirin Tor ring (8k gold), Grand Ice Mammoth (8k gold), a red drake (1.6k gold), and, my biggest purchase ever, a Mekgineer’s Chopper (12.5k gold). This is all while being a fairly hardcore raider (which requires weekly consumable, respeccing, and repair expenses) and while working a standard 40-hour-per-week real life job (which prevents me from farming gold 24/7); I have about 1-1.5 hours per day to do dailies, farm, and grab the occasional achievement before I’m call to something else. I realize this sounds like a cheesy TV infomercial, but truly, anyone can make money in WoW without devoting half your waking hours to getting gold.

Three basic guidelines for making gold

1. Be patient.

Rome wasn’t built in a day nor did it become the greatest empire of the ancient world in a day. Patience, young Gordon Gekko. The path to riches in WoW is long.

2. Don’t spend needlessly.

Repairs, raid consumables, training, and travel are necessary; the taxes Blizzard imposes on our characters. Other than those expenditures, you can easily avoid spending money. Simple. Oh, and don’t die, and if you do, avoid spirit healer rezzes if at all possible. Dying is expensive.

3. Have a plan.

Have a goal, an idea what you want to do with your gold. If you want more gold just to have more gold, to have a nice, healthy bankroll to feel comfortable doing what you want to do in WoW, figure out how much gold that is (2k? 3k? 15k?) and work towards it. For me, I set my sights on big ticket items (see above), determine the costs, aim for about 500-1000g above the cost (my base bankroll comfort level), and spend. Gold is a means to an end for me, not an end in and of itself. Why do you want gold?

Part I: Low Level Gold Getting

One of the worst things about being a lowbie is gold, or lack thereof. You don’t have to slog through levelling with barely enough gold to pay for repairs and gryff flights.

1. Take two gathering professions

The idea of being a blacksmith making huge swords or an enchanter imbuing magic into armor might be your sole reason for playing WoW, but I would suggest holding off on that. Take two gathering professions instead; Mining, Herbalism, or Skinning, pick two. Gathering professions are pure money. No capital costs other than labor (yours) means 100% profit. Okay, fine, you have to buy a mining pick, skinning knife, and the training, but those are inconsequential compared to the profit. And, if you pick them up at level 10 and gather ores, skins, and herbs as you quest, you will level those skills as you level your character. Easy money. Mining, not jewelcrafting, is how I earned enough money to pay for my first mount.

Why not a crafting profession? They’re money sinks at the low levels. Most of the sub-400 skill level items made are of little value to players–even to the crafter–and the ones that are valuable are made by every crafter of that profession; the profit margin is slim to none. Tis more profitable to hold off on picking up a crafting profession until level 80 then power-levelling it.

2. Do not buy gear

I realize that saying don’t buy gear in a MMO where gear accounts for a huge portion of one’s success is tantamount to blasphemy. However, lowbie gear is ignorable. Every five levels or so, you have an entire new wardrobe. Why waste money on gear you’re going to replace in a couple of weeks? In addition, quest rewards and dropped greens will provide all the gear you need. If you do require an upgrade (e.g. you’re a lvl 50 hunter but you’ve got a lvl 25 bow), look for quests that reward upgrade for that item or find an instance boss that drops an upgrade for that slot. Saving early means being able to splurge later. Get to level 80 then worry about blues and purples. Until then, you’ll be fine in greens. All I ask is that you equip greens with the proper stats; I’ll take a lowbie hunter in full greens who stacks agility over a hunter sporting blues with strength.

3. Buy the biggest bags you can afford

I know I said don’t spend needlessly. This is a need. The larger your bags, the more you can carry, and thus the less you have to toss out and the less often you have to stop questing/farming and return to a vendor. For those under level 70, the 14-slot runecloth bags are great: good size and (usually) reasonably priced. At 70, start picking up 18- or even 20-slot bags. Level 80s shouldn’t use anything less than 20-slotters. Four 14-slot bags plus your backpack gives you 68 slots, more than plenty when questing. Grab bigger bags if you can, but don’t spend too much on them; ask a high-level tailor in your guild if he can make a bag or two for ya.

Bank slots are also important. Buy the first three bank bag slots as soon as you can. They’re cheap and will add 42 slots to store stuff (assuming you put runecloth bags in those slots). The other slots are 25g apiece, but worth the investment if you’ve got the cash. I use three of my bank bag slots for craft bags, which hold specific mats. I use a jewelcrafting, mining, and enchanting bag. These are larger than the largest regular bag, so if you plan on storing some of your gathered ores, herbs, or skins for later, these are a great investment.

Why the enchanting bag when I’m not an enchanter? Because I have lots of enchanting mats saved up from disenchanted items in there for when I need enchants for new gear. Also, the enchanting bags hold eternals. Between enchanting mats and eternals, I keep my enchanting bag full.

Bank alts are very handy as well. Create a character, run to the nearest capital city, park character there. You can mail your alt anything that isn’t soulbound. Many people use bank alts as auctioneers, sending their lowbie everything they want to sell on the AH. When stuff sells, they simply mail money back to their mains. If you want to use the mail system as storage, bank alts are the perfect person to send stuff to because you can’t ninja stuff from yourself :D I didn’t pick up a bank alt until late in Burning Crusade, but then again, I’m slow to adapt sometimes. Thus, I don’t think of bank alts as being a huge need until you’ve accumulated a bunch of stuff, which happens after you’ve played for a while.

4. Vendor, AH, or disenchant

Essentially, throw away as little as you possibly can. 1c is better than 0c.

Empty your bags every day before leaving town. Heck, empty your bags as often as possible. Got a bunch of random gray items? Vendor them. Got some items you want keep? Mail them to yourself (or bank alt). Got some greens that don’t sell for much either at the vendor or on the AH? Send them to your friendly guild enchanter to be disenchanted. Do not throw anything away if you can avoid doing so. There are items that cannot be sold to a vendor or put on the AH that must be thrown away; breaks my heart whenever I have to type “DELETE” into that dialogue box. Everything else, sell.

A quick word on disenchanting. Disenchanting mats are always big sellers on the AH. There are always people needing mats to level up their disenchanting, to have their items enchanted. Often, the mats from disenchanting will sell on the AH for more than the original item would have sold for on the AH or at the vendor. This is especially true of wrist, waist, and hand armor slot items, which are cheap but disenchant into the same dusts and shards are “bigger” pieces of gear. Some items, though, vendor for more: two-handed weapons and ranged weapons are, for me at least, always vendored; vendors will pay at least 10g for a lvl 70+ green staff, for example. I would disenchant starting with lvl 58 items and save the disenchant mats from lvl 70+ items. Everything else, vendor or AH.

5. Cloth

All cloth that drops–linen, wool, silk, mageweave, felcloth, runecloth, netherweave, frostweave–is valuable in one form or another. For money-making purposes, you have three options: vendor, AH, or turn into bandages then vendor. The first, vendor the plain cloth, is the quickest but least profitable. Don’t if you can avoid it. If your bags are full to the brim and your first aid skill is up-to-date, turn those stacks of cloth into bandages. Heavy bandages (e.g. heavy runecloth bandages) take 2 pieces of cloth, so you can carry twice as much cloth if you convert them into bandages. Vendoring the bandages is better than vendoring the cloth: as quick but more profitable. A good second option if the AH market for that type of cloth is massively underpriced. Yes, the AH is where all cloth should go. Tailors eat up cloth like there’s no tomorrow, rich and lazy rep grinders buy dozens of stacks at a time; there’s always a demand for cloth. Mageweave and runecloth are great sellers: mageweave because it’s a fairly rare drop and runecloth because of the rep. Play the AH smartly though. The cloth market does not have a huge profit margin, so when someone floods the market, prices can drop precipitiously. Turn the cloth into bandages and vendor the bandages when that happens.

Part II: High Level Gold Getting

This is targeted for lvl 80’s, but anyone 70+ can use it. The basic rules apply.

1. Dailies

The best way to make gold at level 80. It’s not the fastest way to make gold, but it’s the best. Period. Safe, legal, guaranteed. The only restriction is the 25-dailies-per-day limit, which only the most dedicated of daily do’ers are going to brush up against everyday. Blizzard wants, begs us to do dailies. In BC, dailies were fairly onerous; I’ll never get back the twelve hours I spent waiting for escort to spawn. But in Wrath, there are dailies everywhere. Everywhere. No waiting, just grab the daily and do it.

Why dailies? The gold, of course. An average of 12g per daily, you can get 300g per day doing nothing but dailies. Sure, you can get 300g per day doing other stuff, stuff that won’t take two hours to finish. But those other things won’t net you rep, ancilliary items of various worth, tokens for other goodies, loot cash, achievements, vendor trash, stuff for the AH. Dailies also are varied enough these days that if you tire of one, you can pick up another daily that requires you to do something completely different. And, of course, there is nothing we Pavlovian MMO players love more than the magic golden ? when we’ve completed a quest.

300g per day in quest rewards alone, or 2100g per week. Two and a half weeks, and you’ve got your epic flying mount. Nice. You might even get it sooner considering all the stuff you’ll gather along the way.

I use dailies as the standard against which I measure all means of money making. In 2 hours, can I make more than 300g by doing something else? Because in 2 hours, I can complete 25 dailies. Most of the time, no, I cannot. There are exceptions, which I’ll talk about.

2. Questing

If you quested your way to level 80, you probably noticed your bank account was suddenly thriving. Questing in Northrend is not only fun- and lore-filled, but profitable. It only gets better at level 80, when the experience points earned magically become gold. Each quest in Northrend gives between 9g-13g and many reward items, too. Sweet. Clearing each zone nets you about 1000g. Figuring the average player quested in half of the eight Northrend zones with quests, that’s 4k gold waiting to be plundered. And if you’re already geared in at least heroic-quality gear, you can vendor or disenchant all the reward items for another 500g. All while enjoying the wonderful, robust storylines of Northrend. Sweet.

If you haven’t stepped foot in Northrend yet and want to maximize your gold earning potential, don’t quest. That’s right, eschew questing for dungeon crawling. You can level from 68 to 80 by running instances. I’m not saying you won’t get massively bored doing so, but you will pick up some decent gear and you will have a continent’s worth of quests to farm once you reach 80. Eight zones, 1000g/zone, 8k gold at least.

This also works in Outlands, but not nearly to the same degree. You’re probably looking at about 500g per zone, seven questable zones, 3500g. A decent amount. However, this does not apply to quests in Azeroth. My thorough search of Azeroth quests has turned up only a couple lvl 60 instance and raid quests that reward more than 1g. All other quests reward at most 75s. Not worth it, unless you’re working on Loremaster.

3. Auctioneering the House

Playing the AH is fastest way to make lots of gold. But, like playing the stock market, you need to know what you’re doing. Some, like the Greedy Goblin (who’s blog inspired me to write this guide) play the AH religiously, seeking to earn more money than they could possibly spend. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Let me say this again: if you want to play the WoW Auction House, you need to know what you’re doing. Just installing Auctioneer and trying to buy low and sell high is not going to make you rich.

I am not an AH player. I’m starting to dabble in it a bit. The most I ever did was buy BC epic gems, cut them, and resell for profit. I could make 1000g a day doing that…before the market collapsed and the cut gems started selling for less than the uncut gems. So I’m not going to lecture on this topic. Go read the blogs of those who play the AH and win.

I will offer up a few tips.

  • Don’t attempt this without a sufficient bankroll. When I was buying-cutting-selling, I had about 3k gold when I started. But I needed every copper some days. The uncut gems would cost around 500g, so if I bought five at once, I was scraping the barrel until they sold.
  • Lots of little to moderate profits equal lots o’ profit. Big ticket items may be sexy wins, but a smart AH player will make 5-10g on dozens, hundreds of auctions per day. I may have made 200g per gem, 5 gems per day at the market’s height. Greedy Goblin makes 10g on 200 auctions per day, every day.
  • Pick something you know. I know gems; I am, have been, and will be a JC. That’s my market. Find something you know–cloth, enchanting mats, glyphs, recipes, BoE epics, etc.–and own it.
  • Don’t play Mr. Bigshot Tycoon. Trying to monopolize your market by buying everything regardless of price then reselling it for 2-3 times normal asking price will ruin you. Flat out bankrupt you. Flooding a market with underpriced goods is also a bad tactic because you lose profit.
  • Keep an eye on the future. Greedy Goblin says he made 27k on glyphs in the first two days of 3.1. I made a few thousand at the beginning of 2.4 buying-cutting-selling epic gems. Being aware of future changes can radically change your profit margin.
  • Be patient and resilient. A general rule that applies here. There will be days when you make only enough to cover your expenses, and there will be days when nothing sells and you’re sitting in Ironforge because you can’t raid because you don’t have enough to cover repairs. These days come. If they come frequently, perhaps you should take a break from the AH for a while. If they come once in a great while, you’re doing it right. If they never come, I don’t want to roll against you on gear ever.

Once you are good at playing the AH, 300g in 2 hours will be an off-day for you. However, unlike the guaranteed 300g from dailies, there is a risk that you might lose money playing the AH. That’s why this is not #1 or even #2.

4. Professions

Can’t talk about the marketplace without discussing products. Professions are a great way to earn gold. Certainly, the gathering professions at lvl 80 are profitable as high-end crafters need mats as much, if not more than low-end crafters. Herbalism, at least on my server, is stupid money: between the increase in the percentage of people on the server who raid, the change to flasks, and Inscription, herbalists can make obscene amounts of gold. Miners and skinners make less but are still faring well.

Gathering professions are nice, but let’s be honest: the crafting professions are the real professions. “Value Additive Functions” might be a better term than professions as they take raw materials and turn them into something that sells for more than the sum of the cost of materials. This is why bread is more expensive than flour, water, and yeast combined. Granted, not all crafted items sell for more than the sum of their parts. That’s where being a savvy craftsman helps. Go to the AH and find the crafted items that sell for more than the cost of materials. Jewelcrafting, going back to my crafting profession, is straight-forward: I search the AH for “Scarley Ruby”, for example, and up pops both the cut and uncut versions of the gem. Buy the uncut at, say, 70g, cut it, auction it for 75g. I just made 5g profit over the uncut gem.

Some professions are more profitable than others. Jewelcrafting is a cash cow at the upper end, but expect to spend at least 500g training up to 420, the level required to cut Wrath rare gems. Enchanting is profitable because (nearly) every green, blue, and purple is disenchantable. Buy ‘em cheap from the AH, disenchant, sell. Alchemy is so-so. Elixir-spec is very profitable because we raiders quaff a lot of elixirs and flasks. Potion-spec and transmute-spec aren’t so hot, at least on my server. Potion-spec took a major hit with the changes to potions in Wrath. Transmutes just aren’t popular, a niche market. Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring all suffer from having few profitable recipes. Exploit those recipes as much as possible. You can make some nice BoP gear for yourself from the armor-making professions provided that you can use the gear; there is a reason I’ve never seen a leatherworking Priest. So instead of buying gear, you save yourself some money by making it yourself. Inscription is decent. Expect boom (“I made a Nobles card!”) and bust (“I made myself sad by making a non-Nobles card…”) cycles, with steady gold from glyphs. Engineers can earn a good living making arrows and bullets, and, when they get the cash, hogs or choppers.

However, your server’s economy may be vastly different. Your server may have 1000 jewelcrafters on it and only two potion-specced Alchemists, or 1000 leatherworkers but only five scribes. Compare the profit margins of various crafted items before choosing a profession. Unless you’re in a hardcore raiding guild that requires specific professions for the profession’s buffs or in a hardcore roleplaying guild that requires you to pick professions based on race and class, don’t worry about buffs. All professions provide buffs that are useful to all classes and specs. Some buffs may benefit certain classes more. Pick the most profitable and roll.

As for the secondary professions–Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid–I recommend you max out all three, but do not expect them to be profitable. First aid is a skill that everyone should know. It’s easy: save up a bunch of cloth, make bandages, grab next cloth, make more bandages, repeat. Tis good to have a stack on hand while questing. Plus, if the AH prices are depressed, turn your low-level cloth into heavy (type)cloth bandages and vendor them. Quick cash. Cooking can be decently profitable. Mats can be farmed, Northrend Spices can be farmed (via dailies) or bought from AH; zero invested means 100% profit (less if you buy the spices). Sweet. Some even trade the spices themselves, which is a profitable endeavour as the mats are free if you do the Northrend cooking dailies. Fishing can be profitable if you fish (verb) the right fish (noun). Check your AH to see which fish sell for the most. However, fishing is a slow process. Takes a long time to level up, and, even when levelled, fishing is not for the impatient.

5. Farming

Ol’ skool, pre-BC method of gold getting, farming is slow but active. By farming, I mean, gathering mats that do not require a profession to gather. Find a mat that sells well on the AH, figure out who/what drops the mat, grab weapon and killkillkill. The most commonly farmed mats are eternals. They sell quite well on the AH, and all can be farmed; why else would we war for Wintergrasp other than for the chance to farm? Cloth at any level is a good AH seller (as previously mentioned). Green and blue items sell well, but make sure that they sell for more than their disenchant mats do.

World event achievements provide great gold-getting opportunities as people will buy instead of farm. Figure out what people will need the week before, farm the mats, sell during the world events at nigh-illegal prices (hey, price gouging is not against the ToS or EULA :D). Small eggs, for example, sell well for a low-level item (about 30-50s each), but when cakes are needed for achievements, they double and sometimes triple in price. Farm a few stacks, sell exorbitantly, profit.

And, of course, there is straight gold farming. Northrend mobs drop an average of 25s (either in cash or grays). Four mobs = 1g, not bad. Perhaps not the most efficient or fastest method of gold-getting, but if you enjoy slaying the minions of the Lich King and earning gold, have at it!

Here’s a quick tip I discovered while working on my polar bear mount: Dissolved soul essences, which drop from Nascent Val’kyrs floating about in Storm Peaks, vendor for 65s and have a 100% drop rate. Yes, that’s right: 65s per mob. A Naxx-geared lvl 80 can burn through them with little trouble.

6. Instances

First, soloing low-level instances. Good money can be made. Mobs drop a respectable amount of gold (about 20s each from lvl 60 instance mobs), lots of cloth and greens, and the bosses always drop blues (which, being BoP and me not being an enchanter, get vendored). I usually make 30-50g running level 60 instances. Not bad, though one can run BRD only so many times. Level 70 instances, especially the heroics, are tough to solo and are not good for the cash flow. I recommend avoiding them. Remember, profit equals revenue minus cost. If you have to spend 25g on repairs and get 30g from the instance, you made a mere 5g.

If you are going to run a low-level instance, advertise for a low-level partner. “Running Scholo and Strat, 5g for full clear.” Less profitable, but even the greedy help the needy from time to time.

Low-level raids can be fairly profitable. Onyxia can be soloed or two-manned and drops a nice bit o’ gold. Magtheridon requires at least 5 lvl 80’s, but you need not worry about clicking, so the encounter is a tank+spank. Gruul requires 5, too, so do him first then Mags. Other than those raids, stick to 5-mans as the payouts aren’t great compared to the time required to do them.

Next, level 80 instances. I’m joking. Don’t bother.

Last, raid dungeons. Normally, raiding is a money-sink: between consumables, repairs, time, repairs, reagents, repairs, and repairs, raiding is expensive. Mobs drop a fair bit o’ gold, but it’s divided between 10 or 25 people. But note that the bosses drop the same amount of gold on 10-mans as they do on 25-mans. Naxx and Ulduar 10-man bosses drop an average of 15g per person. A full Naxx clear on 10-man nets around 225g, and that’s just from bosses. Very nice, very nice indeed. Sarth and Malygos, too, drop some decent coin. For the adventurous and well-geared, try running 25-man Naxx and Sarth with 12-15 people. Same amount of gold drops, but divided between fewer people. We cleared Sarth with no drakes up with 9 people easily, the hard part was the trash. Have some fun and earn some gold; win-win!

7. Miscellany

Dueling. If you’re geared and skilled in 1v1 PvP, throw down the guantlet and make some gold. “Dueling all challengers! You win, you get 5g; you lose, you pay 2g!” Not recommended for hunters :D

The oldest profession. When all else fails, sell your body. Not recommended for males of any race or dwarf females.

Do stuff. Go do something, anything. Sitting around in the trade channel all day won’t fill your wallet. Go out, explore, look for treasure chests, loot food crates, just go do something. The more you do, the more gold you’ll have.

TL;DR

  1. Be patient
  2. Don’t spend needlessly
  3. Have a plan

First published 31 August 2009, revised 17 September 2009 and 26 March 2010
blizEvery now and then, the staff at Blizzard show a little emotion in their Official Forum posts. Sometimes their sense of humor jumps out. Other times, their frustration with the players is revealed. On occasion, they simply layeth the smack down on morons.

Below are some of the memorable quotes posted by da Blues. If you have others that you would like me to link, leave a comment with a link to the blue quote and I’ll post it.

[Note: I did not change any blue text. When a blue poster quoted something, I deleted only the carriage returns to shorten the length of this page.]

Eyonix

You many have seen the TV commercial featuring some epic grocery store PvP action, and it’s now available for online viewing as a Web-exclusive version.

I was once involved in some epic grocery store PvP action. Day before Thanksgiving. Packed store. That last can of cranberry jelly was mine, old ladies with walkers be damned!

Ghostcrawler

Classes like shamans or hunters who have never been able to be the best in anything read stuff like that and just conclude that warriors have such a sense of entitlement.

Yeah! Take that warriors!…I just made myself sad.

Eyonix

Amazing. You have nothing to do now that people that aren’t you have cleared Ulduar. [emphasis original]

Perhaps the ultimate burnage by a blue ever.

Eyonix

I’m not sure what it says about us that the one thread which remains civil (pleasant even), is one that discusses the possibility of Forsaken reproduction.

Forsaken reproduction is a serious topic and should only be discussed with the utmost delicacy and tact.

Ghostcrawler

The opposite is “Bring the class, not the player” where you leave behind a good player because you already have a hunter or whatever and some other mouthbreather brings a really essential buff. Not crazy about playing that game myself.

You should get to raid because you are good at WoW, not because your presence magically makes everyone else better.

I added this one because two days after this GC quote, I got rejected for a Naxx pug. Someone was advertising in trade “LF healers and ranged dps for Naxx. Fresh run.” I whispered him that I was interested. He said, “Too many hunters already.” I almost–ALMOST–replied, “Maybe so, but can any of them break 6000 dps?” [Note: now it's closer to 7k :D] I decided against it because I didn’t care all that much, but it is a problem. Look at my gear, look at my achievements, then tell me I won’t be an asset to your Naxx pug. Don’t deny me simply because my class is plentiful.

Crygil

Q u o t e:
“15 pages and no confirmation’s blue? Why ask me in the beginning, if you aren’t going to follow through with an answer? Thanks”
Because I don’t get into work until after 2:00pm PDT.

We haven’t decided 100% what we’re going to do with the player versus player Honor System titles at this point; it’s still an ongoing discussion. What we do know is… we do not want to completely take those titles away or make them less prestigious than they are now. We will let you know when we come to a solid decision on this.

Crygil is always entertaining. And now we know he’s a night owl. Working Oceanic hours while chillin’ on the Left Coast of the US. Nice :D

Kalgan

Q u o t e:
“Hi Kalgan, Since you seem to be on the forums now could you please address the PVP Weapon for Honor issue? I do not enjoy Arenas or Raiding. I enjoy Bgs and World Pvp. I can longer acquire a Weapon for PVP. Why should I be getting shut out from a decent weapon? Thanks.”

…because we make the assumption that since WoW was engaging enough for 80 levels of play to get to the scenario you mention that most people aren’t actually that horribly offended by doing pve content (which is arguably the core of the game).

We may need to reconsider that particular philosophy if doing heroics is indeed that unappealing to many players. Although, I’m not sure how “many” players that really is TBH… forums like these are a surprisingly poor way to actually figure out what percentage of players think what about a given issue.

This isn’t lolfunny as much as it is insightful. “…pve content (which is arguably the core of the game)” is going to annoy some hardcore PvPers, but annoys me more. Why does Blizzard make PvE nerfs to balance PvP when they admit PvE is the core of the game? I do like Kalgan’s attitude towards the official forums.

Ghostcrawler

Q u o t e: “Furthermore, BM is really not the problem. There are very few “BM only” hunters left, you have made sure of that.”

BM is actually more popular than MM among level 80s. BM is also the most popular secondary spec, though maybe it could just be to play Pokemon with Spirit Beasts.

Q u o t e: “Then you and Blizz need to apply that same logic to nerfs.”

When we do nerfs, it’s because they typically affect a lot more players than just your class. If we nerf a spec, you often have alternatives. When we fail to nerf a spec, the other guy typically does not.

Q u o t e: “How bout a timetable on when you’ll be doing SOMETHING to help out the hunter class? Lots of promises, not a lot of action. The nerfs came pretty swiftly. The buffs ought to be just as fast. “

I like Lym’s answer:

Q u o t e: “As mentioned earlier by a very admirable and intelligent poster, just because you don’t see the changes, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any being made. Would you prefer Blizzard to announce all these changes for your class, and then find problems with them and have to swap back again. When designing and implementing changes to a system or game, it’s always best not to announce changes until you’re sure they will work.”

Then alas we get to:

Q u o t e: “TLDR: Hunters can’t ever be “good” so we’re not really going to do anything too significant to give them the much needed boost to perform in arenas. Edit: Sorry for the bitterness, but after 6 seasons (7th happening with no light at the end of the tunnel) it’s pretty frustrating.”

Q u o t e: “As much as I appreciate you addressing our community; I do not at all expect to see any action from you guys in the remote future. Your track record with us is horrid.”

Q u o t e: “Which is great and all, but with you guys, it’s all talk and no action when it comes to the hunter class. We’d love to do X, Y and Z , but we don’t have any ETA on this. This is the blizzard motto. At the same time, you guys are always quick on the trigger to nerf the class when there is the slightest hint of QQ from other classes.”

Look, there is no polite way to say this, but some hunters and I are actually trying to have a conversation here. If you want to high five each other about how we’ll never fix your class and blah blah, why don’t you find somewhere else to post where we don’t have to read it? It’s not going to make us more likely to buff you and it’s just going to annoy other players. It’s only possible purpose is to make you feel better, and sadly that purpose is too narrow for such widely-read forums. Continue to post QQ and you’ll just get banned, which isn’t going to help you or your class.

These are the kind of responses that make me reluctant to post at all. Keep it in check and I’d probably be able to address your issues more frankly more often.

Wow. This is the motherlode. A post re: hunters that includes a joke, praise, admonishment, and a meltdown. Epic!

Still, I cannot agree with GC. We hunter QQ about arena because no other class is as inherently broken in arena as we are. He can get mad with the hunter community, but let’s face facts: we hunters suck in arena, and we’ve only been successful in arenas for one season only. One (1)! So most hunters eschew PvP for PvE. But then we get PvP buffs that nerf us in PvE. Who’s responsible for that? Blizzard!

Dekkar

Ghostcrawler

Q U O T E: “[The Damage Dealing forums] should be renamed to the PvP QQ forums. Honestly, this is nothing but a cesspool of PvP QQ, with little else being discussed. I come here occasionally to see if there’s anything useful (my offspec is lolret), but I always come out disappointed. “

WoW has PvE and PvP components. You don’t have to participate in both or even like the fact that the game contains both. But if you want to come into the role forums and discuss class mechanics or balance in a way that we will take seriously, you can’t just ignore half of the game.

Actually, we can.

I understand Blizzard has to walk the line between PvE and PvP, that they have to balance the game for both sides lest they ruin the game for many subscribers and lose profit. But we as players aren’t required to play both aspects of the game. That’s why the message boards devolve into pitched battles between PvP’ers and PvE’ers. Everyone wants buffs, but because most people focus on one aspect, we don’t mind asking for buffs to our aspect that happen to be nerfs to the other. Ya think us PvE hunters were thrilled when, in exchange for being able to drop multiple traps, we lost the ability to chain trap? Thanks a lot, PvPers.

I think PvPers feel the nerfs more intensely than PvEers. Believe me, I feel nerfs, too, but when I get nerfed, I have 24 others to rely upon. PvPers get nerfed and they have, at most, 4 people to buoy them. Nerf an ability in PvE = all abilities are redundant across class, someone else can pick up the slack. Nerf an ability in PvP = that class just died.

Blizzard, for all the hate they get, has done an admirable job of balancing the game. A player can focus on either PvE or PvP and not feel like they’re only playing half a game. Certainly, the game has a PvE slant, but PvE and PvP are viable endgame options. Ask people who’ve played other MMOs. Other MMOs focus on one side, allowing the other half to languish. Warhammer = PvP, LotRO = PvE, Aion = PvP, WoW = both.



Originally published…Er, routinely updated!
27 January: Which achievement are you most proud of?

Wow. Good question. (And damn, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here :D)

I have a lot of achievements; I’m an achievement junkie. 1042 and counting. Some of my most treasured achievements include…

  • 50K Honorable Kills = I slogged through many horrible battlegrounds for this.
  • Got My Mind on My Money, 50K = I was a little disappointed I didn’t get this in Wrath, but a month into Cata is still quite good.
  • Mountain o’ Mounts = I still have a hard time believing I got this. I had written it off until I looked again and realized I needed only a couple to hit 100.
  • Loremaster = I got Loremaster in May 2009 without any quest-tracking help other than Track Low-Level Quests. Prior to Wrath, I didn’t bother with low-level quests. Never did them. But when there was an achievement attached, oh yeah, I was on it.
  • Kingslayer = I knew we would down the Lich King eventually. Downing him with only the 5% buff on both 10- and 25-man was awesome. Damn proud of that.
  • Conqueror of Ulduar = This was one of those funky achievements. By the time a raid felt comfortable enough with an encounter to try to do it without a death, they were ready for hard modes and worked on those instead. We took the time to finish this achievement, which makes up for me still lacking Immortal.

Yet of all that I’ve done, I keep thinking about the one achievement I devoted more time and tears to. An achievement that infuriated me, eluded me for months. Every time I saw other people earn it, I silently gnashed my teeth. My wife would torment me with “Only took me like six attempts”. Yet back I went. Ten minutes here, an hour there, five minutes while waiting for a raid to start. The first few attempts, I figured I wouldn’t get it; “Gonna be a while. Just keep at it.” After a while, I started thinking that each attempt would be the last; “This is the one!…Nope. This is the one!…Nope.” Resignation and defeat followed; “I’m never getting this achievement.” And then, when all hope was lost, Lyraat once again took up his trusty fishing pole. “Bobber bobs…Loot…*GASP!* THE GIANT SEWER RAT IS MINE!”

Yes, I’m most proud of “I Smell a Giant Rat”. Over 2000 casts (probably close to 2500), over a year of trying (Wrath release: 13 Nov 2008, achievement earned: 4 Dec 2009), and all I have to show for it is a companion pet and 10 achievement points. No title (though it is part of the meta), no e-peen stroke-worthy gear or item (I don’t even bring out my rat; in fact, I don’t walk around with any companion pet cause, to paraphrase the immortal Ray Lewis, “I don’t have companion pets, I have for real pets”). I put more time and gold into other achievements. I worked hard even after I lost hope on other achievements. I’ve done more glamorous achievements. So why this one? Why is my Giant Sewer Rat my most beloved achievement?

Because there’s meaning behind it. Because there’s a story behind it. I remember spending hours in the Dalaran sewers, catching a mountain of grays. I remember being teased by my wife, who knows how much I love achievements, how much this achievement grated on me, and how easy it was for her to get. I remember reading El’s Angling and wowhead for hints: kill a rat just before casting, have a non-combat pet out, cast near the wall or the drain. I remember thinking I would get all the other fishing achievements first, even the hard ones like Mr. Pinchy or winning a fishing contest. I remember formulating my RNG cap post while working on this achievement, which would still be useful (even more so now considering how much more stuff we have via the expansion.) It’s the story that gives meaning to the achievement, and that’s what makes the achievement special.


30 October:
What prompted your class choice?

My wife.

When Kellwin offered me her laptop and pointed me to the character creation screen, I originally rolled a Gnome warrior. In all other RPG’s, I was melee. Casters and healers were too squishy. Just easier to grab a big sword and shield and trade blows with the enemy. Doesn’t quite work that way in WoW. I made n00b mistakes: rage was mysterious, I didn’t understand cooldowns on abilities (I would spam Escape Artist; “Why am I still slowed?!?!?”), and I chose gear based on stats (“But spirit is useful! It regens health!”). *Sigh*

After it became clear that I would need my own account, my wife suggested I roll a hunter. And the rest is history.

Perhaps a better question would be, would I roll a hunter again? Or, if I could go back in time, would I suggest to myself that I roll a hunter? To be honest, no. Part of this is being a BC Baby. I spent a good portion of BC mad at WoW because hunters were hated. We spammed one button, were denied invites to or kicked from groups, life sucked. Wrath was good to us, but not ideal. Being bulk damage means 10-mans were iffy as we brought rather weak and duplicated buffs. And any AoE fight meant a seat on the bench for us. Cataclysm would be a hunter renaissance except for focus.

It’s not that I’m ashamed of being a hunter. Far from it. I think other classes have never had to endure what we’ve endured, and I wouldn’t want to experience that again. I would tell myself to pick another class to avoid such problems.

To those thinking “nomnomnom hunter tears!”, I ask, have you ever been sat because of your class? Have you ever responded to “LF1M, need cc” and been told “I meant, not your class”? Do you look over the world-first kill screenshots and never see your class? That’s why I would tell my n00b self to roll something else.


17 September: Do you own any WoW peripherals?

I have a WoW SteelSeries mouse, which I got for x-mas from my brother-in-law. I don’t all of its functionality, but I love the “hand feel”. Lightweight, responsive, customizable, ergonomic, and it glows. I don’t know if I would pay for it myself, but then again, I can be a cheapskate.

The mouse is nice, but my keyboard rocks. I didn’t buy this one either; thanks go to the wife. While not a WoW-specific product, it bears mentioning as it was given to me for WoW and I use it predominantly for WoW. It’s a Logitech G15, an older version without the LCD screen. Awesome. What makes this keyboard awesome are the 18 keys on the left side. Macros, abilities, items, whatever I want can go there.

G1: Aimed
G2: Steady Shot macro (Steady + Kill Command)
G3: Explosive
G4: Serpent Sting
G5: Feign Death
G6: Kill Shot

G7: Black Arrow
G8: Concussive or Distracting (I swap them in and out depending on the fight. I really should make an alt+G8 keybind…)
G9: Deterrence
G10: Volley
G11: Tranq
G12: Disengage

G13: Pet attack
G14: Pet return
G15: Mend Pet macro (Mend Pet + Cower + Last Stand [for Snarlsalot, I ignore the error message when I have other pets out.])
G16: AotDH
G17: AotC
G18: AotV

Other actions—MD macros, RF + CotW macro, HM, pots, etc—are bound to the F keys. Oh, and tilda (you know, that squiggly line next to the 1 key) is Multi-Shot in my PvE spec, Scatter in my PvP spec.

Why is this so much better than a normal keyboard? I can do everything with one hand. My right hand is free to stand ready on the movement keys or the mouse. Plus, this feels more efficient than a standard keyboard. The seven keys I use most during a fight are grouped at the top in a nice 2” wide by 1” high block (with the G7 being a smidge below the block in the second grouping). Compare that to a standard keyboard, where 1-7 are in a 5”-long row. Tight, compact, sweet. Tis just a keyboard, but it improves my dps. And I don’t utilize all its functionality. I really should. Maybe for Cataclysm, I will. I have to redo everything anyway.


17 September: What is the city of your choice?

 

Alliance: Ironforge
Horde: Undercity
Neutral: Dalaran

Ironforge is awesome. Easy layout, convenient bank and AH, fishing hole, lots of bars, hunter trainer. Best Alliance city. Oh, and the statue outside rocks.

I love the flavor of Undercity. Not the stench from the slime river, but the visual flavor. When designing Undercity, Blizzard channeled their inner Tim Burton, whose visual creativity I adore. The layout is awful, but it’s one city in which I don’t mind wandering.

People complain about “Lagaran”, but I’ve never noticed much lag. Everything is close, the sewers add nice flavor, Asric and Jadaar are pure win, central location makes getting to raids quicky, can do dailies without having to leave the city, and the architecture is cool. Shattrath is a close second. The brown hurts my eyes, but it’s a good city otherwise.

Stormwind: Bland.
Darnassus: I like the architecture, but where is everything? “Craftmen’s Terrace”, “Trademen’s Terrace”…WTF is the difference? And where’s the inn?
Exodar: I love purple and the AH and bank are conveniently located, but everything else is maze.

Ogrimmar: When I was gunning for The Fishing Diplomat, I spent half the time trying to find the stairs to the upper level. “The sign points to the house…? The stairs are in the house…? Who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to put the stairs in a hou—Oh shit! MOAR GUARDZ! RUN SNARLEY! RUN!”
Silvermoon City: A bit too pretty for my taste. Only reason my little horde alt has his hearth set to Silvermoon is because it’s the only city in Azeroth with a JC trainer.
Thunder Bluff: Serene. Layout is a tad confusing, but once I figured out the bridges (note to horde civil engineers: please stop putting walkways and passages inside houses), getting around became much easier.


15 September: Are children welcome in your guild?

 

Not really. We don’t have any specific age restrictions, just an “act mature and we don’t care how old you are” policy. Yet we’re not a guild that tolerates immaturity. We’re an older guild. We’ve got a few collegians, but most of us are members of the working class. Many of us are married or in long-term relationships. Some have families. A few are old enough to have teenaged kids, and some of those kids are in the guild. We make bad jokes, yes, but we don’t tolerate immaturity. Our selection process is quite stringent. Those who aren’t mature, those who don’t fit in get weeded out quickly. And we’re okay with that.

For many of us, WoW is our virtual bar. Tis great to sidle up to the computer after a long day at work, log on, and let the guard relax. I’ve been in guilds with more open recruitment policies. There’s a reason I’m not a babysitter. WoW time is my fun time, and coddling whiny brats is not my idea of fun. So I choose to play with more mature players.

Yes, I know “age != mature”. The kids who are in the guild are mature. There are adults who we weeded out because they were not mature. On the whole, though, maturity comes with age.


4 September: Does your guild’s social reputation matter?

 

Does server rep matter?

Yes.

As a guild member, your guild’s server rep impacts you. Your first impression is often your guild tag. If your guild tag invokes a positive perception, then doors will open for you. If your guild tag conjures ugliness, then doors will shut.

For example, my guild has arguably the best server rep on Elune. We’re not the top PvE guild, but we’re very good; number two on the server—second only to a world top 250 guild—is pretty solid (while we raided; we stopped back in early June). More importantly, we’re good people. We’re very professional, helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. We don’t ninja loot, cause drama, troll trade chat or the server forums. My wife and I have gotten into pugs—on different occasions—solely because we wear . Our guild’s reputation has enabled us as individual guild members to join other guilds’ runs. The top guild on the server invited us to Immortal runs a while back. Another guild opened their raid to those in our guild who wanted to continue raiding after BPoV stopped raiding. This joint ICC 25-man raid finished our ICC 25-man drakes recently. They could have asked other guilds, more progressed guilds, but they chose us because they knew and liked us.

For the guild, besides the obvious “I like it when people like us”, server reputation matters. The majority of a guild’s recruits come from within the server. Yes, my wife and I have server-transferred twice, but one was moving from an Oceanic server to an American server. The other move was due to our guild exploding and not wanting to join the Alliance PvE guilds on the server: yes, we based our decision in large part to server reputation.

Back to the topic. The majority of a guild’s recruits come from within the server. The perception of your guild will determine what type of recruits apply to your guild. You can advertise your guild as being mature, fun-loving, progression-oriented. But advertising cannot overcome interactions. If your guild has ninjas, douche bags, trade chat trolls, then expect more of the same to apply no matter how you advertise.

You may not care about how others perceive you and your guild. You might be content to be the most hated guild on the server. Fine. It’s your guild. Run it however you want. I’ll throw out an anecdote. On a server I was previously on, there was a guild respected by all. They had every reason to be flaming bags o’ douche. There were an uberguild amidst a bunch of above-average guilds. They could have spent their days trolling every n00b in trade chat, lording their various mounts over us as they hovered over the Dalaran well, abusing people for not being as awesome as them. But they didn’t. In fact, they were friendly. I didn’t meet every player from Premonition, but those I met were awesome. Awesome players and awesome people. They happened to be on Sen’Jin, but their server doesn’t matter: they’d be the top guild on any server (except maybe Paragon’s, but it’d be close). They had no incentive to be nice to us or even deign to acknowledge our existence. Yet every Premo player I met was friendly and helpful. Maybe I caught them on their good days, but there was never any drama or animosity between Premo and the rest of the server. You can be a great player and a great person. You can have a great server rep and still be great players. These are not mutually exclusive.


9 July: How much of your time played is really played?

 

At least 75%. I value my WoW time. I’m an achievement whore. I’m a raider. I’m slightly ADD and have a burning need to be doing something when I’m playing.

Here’s an average evening:

  1. Log on to bank alt.
  2. Do bank alt-y schtuff.
  3. Log on to Lyraat.
  4. Check mail if I have any.
  5. Grab Dalaran dailies (JC, fishing, cooking).
  6. Do cooking and/or fishing daily (fishing if Disarmed or Jewel).
  7. Do JC daily.
  8. Fly over to Skybreaker and do Ymirheim trio of dailies (20 Vyrkuls, Ground Assault, King of the Mountain).
  9. If raid night, accept raid invite and wait impatiently.
  10. If not, see what wife and friends are up to.
  11. If we’re on our own, hop on to Lirrat and do LFG.
  12. Hop back to Lyraat and do LFG and daily battleground.
  13. Do some more dailies.
  14. Work on random achievement.
  15. Chain-run battlegrounds.
  16. Help guildies if any need/want help.
  17. Do a weekly raid if someone offers.

As you can see, “idling” is not part of my WoW activities. I only stop doing stuff while waiting for the raid to start and while traveling to places.

It’s your $14.99/month. If you prefer to run laps around Dal while chatting with guildies, have fun! If you prefer to raidlog, have fun! I need something to do lest I start doing dumb shit, like switching professions just to get the profession-only mounts (not that I would think of—okay, I probably will).


30 June: Where Were You on Your Day Off?

 

Packing. Although the timing was bad in principle (see main page), the timing was perfect for me and my wife. As mentioned on the main page, we’re leaving tonight. Server down = no temptation to play WoW = moar productivity! We dropped our dogs off at my in-laws’ house, went out to dinner with my in-laws (one nice dinner in exchange for five days of doggie day care and boarding? No brainer: YES!), packed, relaxed. I would have liked another shot at the pet, but the free night was very timely.

If we didn’t have to pack, we would have watched a movie or two, maybe popped over to our old guild’s server, read a book, played with our pups, bummed around. You know, stuff.


29 June: Grab It While You Can

 

Nothing.

First, being a Loremaster means I’ve done all the quests, which means I can’t get any of the fun items. I could grab them for Lirrat, but I can’t be arsed.

Second, I don’t have any attachment to quest items. I use them to complete quests, turn them in, move on with life. I’d rather complete the quest than carry an item around for shits and giggles.

(Not to say I don’t carry around items for shits and giggles. In fact, I have an entire shits and giggles outfit I carry with me all the time. I should get a screenshot of it at some point.)

Third, bag space, or lack thereof. Between raid consumables, gear, gems, ore, crystallized [earth, water, air, fire, shadow], backup gear, off-spec gear, PvP gear, quirky boss drops, holiday event gear, things I’m saving for achievements, food, and a bunch of stuff I can’t remember, I don’t have bag or bank space for quest items.

So, no, there is nothing I’m rushing to get before it goes away.


28 June: What I Won’t Miss

 

  • Desolace: Go here
  • Maraudon: Go here
  • Barrens: I know some people love the Barrens, but I don’t have much love for it. Way too big a zone for the level. I’m glad they’re breaking it in two.
  • Silithus: I don’t like the plot—too science fiction-y, seems out of place in WoW (and yes, that is coming from someone who plays a space goat)—and the styling and art make me feel icky, slimy. Yuck.
  • Cross-continent quest chains: You know the ones. “Welcome to Winterspring! Now go to BRD, Tanaris, WPL, and wherever else I decide to send you for random drops off elite mobs!” Can’t get rid of those crappy quests fast enough.

27 June: Your First WoW Memory

 

My first WoW memory was not mine, but my wife’s. As mentioned earlier, she asked if I knew anything about WoW and that she wanted to try it. She started playing WoW long before I did. I remember watching her level, explore various places, make friends. Looked like fun, so after conquering Oblivion a couple times and getting access to her laptop, I rolled Flarvi.

I remember questing in Dun Morogh, getting frustrated with running everywhere (“Where is my fast travel?!”), drop rates (“Uhh, how do these wolves not have paws?”), abilities (“I click Heroic Strike, but nothing happens.”). I stuck with it because the quests were interesting and I knew the world was much bigger than this little frost hole. I gave up on Flarvi after getting jumped by 3 Dark Iron guys in Loch Modan. Just couldn’t handle that many at one time. Plus, Kellwin wanted her laptop back. So I got a laptop and my own account. She suggested rolling a hunter, I wanted a purple elephant mount…Lyraat was born!


26 June: An Earnest Letter
Two things leap to mind…

 

  • Giant Sewer Rat. My wife got it on her sixth cast, I stopped counting after 2000. I had given up. I was fishing in the sewers for Jewel of the Sewers daily and *BAM!* finally got it.
  • Higher Learning. Still need two books. I refuse to camp them. Just can’t be arsed.

I think the RNG should be capped. I’ve mentioned this before. In short, each item has a maximum. Take the rat. Say it has a 0.1% chance to drop = it should drop once in 1000 casts. Might get it on the first cast, might get it on the 723rd cast. The max is 1/(drop rate). 1/0.001 = 1000 = on the 1001st cast, the rat will always drop. RNG is part of WoW, but some things are just ridiculous.


25 June: What’s Your Story?

 

I’ve got a few ideas floating around in my head. Trying to figure out which would make for the best story. Probably something Draenei-related. We’ll see.

24 June: Things My Wife and I Have Done in WoW

No question posed today, but I’ll post anyway.

Like the author, my wife started playing WoW long before I did. I (half-)joke that encouraging her to try WoW before I did was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. She heard of WoW and asked me about it. I didn’t know much about WoW at the time. I wasn’t interested in MMOs, had never played any Warcraft game (or StarCraft; Diablo I and II were my style), and was far more excited about Oblivion than a bunch of cartoony elves, orcs, and humans. Knowing absolutely nothing about WoW, my intrepid wife installed a 10-day trial of WoW and set off to conquer Azeroth. The game struck a chord with her and she bought a full version.

Six months later, she went on a business trip and suggested I roll a character on her account. I rolled Flarvi, a gnome warrior. When she returned three days later, I told her that I needed my own laptop if we were going to remain married as we only had one computer.

Abusing the stereotype, WoW has been very good for our relationship. We spend time together, we work together (which rarely happens outside WoW), we have a shared pastime. Marital bliss ftw!


23 June: Throwing in the Towel

 

We don’t raid on Tuesdays. When looking for guilds, no Tuesday raids was a major criterion. Not only do my wife and I have real life commitments on Tuesdays, but we hate raiding on patch days. When merged to become , we switched from W-Th-Su-M to Tu-W-Th-M. Losing a day of raiding due to technical issues sucked hard. Really hard. Even small patches could knock the server out for an hour or so, throwing the raid into disarray. Addons were, of course, buggered. And lag threatened to wipe the raid at various points. No, not worth it.

My wife and I didn’t get on until 8pm. Servers came up about 8:15pm. We knocked over Ahune a couple times, then ran a bunch of battlegrounds. Done.


22 June: Holiday Boss in the Dungeon Finder is the Best Thing Ever

 

We used it last night. Nice improvement over rolling dozens of alts just for the drops.

I hope they increase the drop rates of the goodies. Or, better yet, eliminate the RNG aspect and have a points system for the drops. The abominable drop rates for world event items twist holidays from “fun and enjoyable” into “DROP YOU FUCKING [insert item required for an achievement, which is required for the meta achievement]! THIS IS ONLY MY 500th ATTEMPT ON THIS BOSS!” And now, with only 1 drop per day, if the drop rates are kept the same, a lot of people are going to cry.


21 June: What are Your Plans for the Fire Festival?

 

None. I got Flame Warden on Lyraat. I don’t try for holiday achievements on my alts; if they get a couple, cool, but if not, I don’t care.. Maybe I’ll knock over a daily or two for some quick cash, douse a fire or two if I’m in the area, but otherwise, I’m done with the world event.


20 June: Father’s Day

 

We saw the IMAX movie “Hubble 3D” and had a nice brunch. Mother- and father-in-law, brother-in-law and his fiancé, her mom and dad, wife and I.


19 June: When Your Alt Becomes Your Main

I’ve never switched mains and probably never will. Far too much time and energy invested on my hunter to even consider switching to my pally without some dire need within the guild. But since we have lots of pallies, that need won’t happen.

I haven’t met too many people who switch mains. Maybe they have in the past and I’ve never noticed/known. What I see more often is switching primary alts. Their mains remain the same, who they play when not on their main changes.


18 June: We Need More WoW Lolcats

 

Here’s one. Tis awesomewinsauce.


17 June: 6 Impossible Things

 

Here are six impossible things that would be cool to have, but I probably never will see them happen:

  • Lich King hard mode on 25-man: To be honest, I don’t desire this. He’s not on my “Must Kill Before Cata” list. I’d like to kill him, but that might be a lvl 85 achievement.
  • Mountain o’ Mounts: I have eighty-something mounts. The next twenty mounts are the exceptionally difficult-to-obtain mounts: extremely low drop rates (i.e. Rivendare’s mount) or insane skill needed (i.e. Arena mounts).
  • Insane title: Maybe if I stop raiding I’ll get it. I just don’t have the time. Or the patience. Or the burning self-hatred to even try.
  • 50 titles: I’ve got a few titles (37 in fact). The max anyone can have is 72. That includes currently unobtainable titles such as Scarab Lord, old Arena titles, and the Realm First! bullshit titles (I always hated those. As if a guild gunning for realm firsts needs more incentive or special goodies). There are 18 titles I can get before Cataclysm hits. So it’s not impossible, just very, very, very unlikely. I can see myself getting three (Immortal, Undying, and Salty) fairly easily, a couple that might happen if I push (Champion of Ulduar, Battlemaster), but everything else is beyond me.
  • Gold capped: Would be nice. I have plenty o’ gold for what I need/want to do. Barriers to me being gold capped: 1. I raid; 2. I don’t play the AH much (maybe cut some gems, buy low/sell high when I can, that’s it); 3. I don’t do dailies except when I want to; 4. I spend gold more than I save. Maybe someday I’ll go hard for the gold cap. If it becomes a feat of strength, I’ll try for it. Maybe.
  • Hero of Shattrath: I love being Aldor—I hate BE’s and Draenei ? Aldor ? win—but this would be a cool Feat of Strength to get. Plus I could then say I have every JC design in the game.

16 June: I am Hopelessly Insane

 

Hi, my name is Lyraat and I’m an end-game raiding Survival Hunter.

Seriously, what’s wrong with me?

I’m not BM. I like my pets, especially Snarley. But I don’t love them nor am I interested in a play style that involves spamming one button and macro’ing in the spec-defining cooldown.

I’m not MM. I like seeing my name at the top of the dps charts, but I don’t want to stack ArP. I love Explosive Shot, Chimera is okay. I don’t min/max just to squeeze every drop of dps I possibly can out of my gear, utility be damned.

I’m SV. I have the hardest rotation (ES, BA, SrS, Aimed, SS, with LnL procs interrupting the rotation at random times), the most unforgiving spec in terms of movement (thanks, Sniper Training!), utility that’s duplicated by others (Replenishment by retadins and spriests, cc by everyone). Heck, I have nothing to stop the Spirit Warden from wreaking havoc on Terenas in Frostmourne except dps.

I must be stupid. Or insane. Or both.

I love SV. Boo ya! :D


15 June: Cataclysmic Information

 

I’m skipping this one as I posted my thoughts on the main page.


14 June: 8,785,385

Yes, I have the magical, mysterious 8,785,385 heal cast.

Other fun stats:

  • Number of hugs: 115
  • Total waves: 394
  • Daily quests completed: 4369
  • Deaths to Hogger: 0
  • Total damage done: 8,857,666,250

13 June: Strange Habits

 

I don’t have many. Here’s what I can think of.

  • Araj the Summoner dies whenever I’m in Andorhal. Heck, sometimes when I’m in Western Plaguelands, even if I’m going in the opposite direction of Andorhal, I’ll make a detour just to punk Araj in the face. Retribution for the many deaths (okay, fewer than 5) he inflicted upon me as I was leveling.
  • I park my characters in streets, not in inns. I think this is due to me not liking enclosed spaces much. Being a Draenei—and thus, nearly scraping the ceilings of any inn I visit—I prefer to be outside when I log back in.
  • All my pets (save one) are named [something related to the animal]alot. Snarlsalot the bear, Howlsalot the wolf, Stingsalot the scorpid (retired), Flapsalot the wasp (retired), Laughsalot the hyena. The only pet not named as such is my raptor, SheDevil.

12 June: Real-Life Virtues in WoW

 

I try to be the same person in WoW as I am in real life. I’m far more social in WoW than I am in real life. I try to be as respectful, responsible, cooperative, generous, and loyal as I am in real life. I could always do better.

Respect: The question phrased by the WoW.com author is slanted more towards politeness. I’m polite, I guess. At least I think I am.

Respect, to me, involves acknowledging other people and their accomplishments, their efforts, the work they do. I’m fail when it comes to acknowledging other people’s win. I recognize when others do well, but I don’t acknowledge it. Something for me to work on.

Responsibility: I take responsibility for my actions. I will admit to my failings. I also do not mind taking on responsibilities. I trust myself more than I trust others. Not to say I’m volunteering for suicide missions, but if asked, I’ll do the grunt work required.

Taking responsibility for one’s actions is, in my mind, the mark of a good raider. We all fail at some point. Own up to it, figure out how to fix it, don’t do it again, collect loot. Blaming others for your own mistakes leads to badness. Accept your own failings and win.

Cooperation: This is a trust issue. If I trust you, I do what you ask. If not, I’ll decide for myself if I will follow. For example, if my raid leader says “Do X now!”, it’s done. But in battlegrounds, I’m not going to rush over to wherever you think I should go/be simply because some random battlegrounds player says so. I’ll consider your request first.

This is perhaps my biggest failing mainly because I don’t think it’s a failing. I’m not going to do what you tell me to do unless I think it’s worth doing or I trust you enough to know you’re not going to fuck me over. I’m not going to cooperate without a good reason.

Generosity: I’ll donate time and energy, but not gold. I don’t hand out gold. If you’re in trouble, I’ll help. Unless you’re Horde, in which case I’ll watch you suffer. Of course I help friends and guildies, that’s not the point.

Generosity, or, as the author meant it, altruism, means sacrificing something tangible and/or valuable while not receiving anything in return. And here’s where things get tricky. I have, admittedly, a low opinion of the personal worth of other WoW players. The person I save from a visit to the Spirit Healer today might be the same person who cusses me out for tanking too slowly in a LFG tomorrow (a fictional example, not an actual case). Might as well let you suffer now if you’re gonna make me suffer later. Or, my personal favorite, is saving someone and then getting immediately hated on. If I thought people were worth saving, I’d help more. I still help when I feel like playing the hero. Otherwise, y’all are on your own.

Loyalty: My worst day in WoW had nothing to do with a bad performance or losing something at the last moment. It was the day (night, actually) when my wife and I informed the officers of we were leaving. Just thinking of…Ya, moving on. I am loyal. I don’t guild hop. I’m here, y’all are stuck with me.

Rereading this post, I’d like to make a note that I’m not a flaming bag o’ douche. I’m just critical of myself. I may not be the most gregarious or likeable person, but I’m not mean (unless you’re Horde, in which case I am a douche). I support my friends, guildies, and myself. Everyone else, I’ll choose to help you if you prove yourself worth helping.


11 June: Learn Something New Every Day

I…uh, have learned how to rigorously play a video game? Is that even a skill to learn?

I’m not saying I have the answers to all of life’s problems. But I’ve been in online social groups for a long time, I’ve played video games for a long time, I’ve been a self-sufficient adult for a long time. WoW has not presented me with any life lessons that I haven’t learned before and elsewhere.

I’m not denigrating others’ experiences. If you have learned something through WoW, excellent. I’m happy for you. I’m just saying that, in my case, I haven’t learned anything of real worth.


10 June: A New Recipe for Anachronisms

 

No. No. No. No.

And more no.

Old content is old. It had its time in the sun. Deprecated. Outdated. Past its due date. Expired. Irrelevant. Fading into the mists of time.

Let old content be old. Let it pass!

Assume for a moment that the topic writer’s idea—mixing Classic and BC era potions and flasks to create new and useful pots and flasks—is implemented. Who wants to farm Classic dungeons for random reagents required for raiding consumables? No one. Yet someone will find some obscure combination of nigh-worthless pots and flasks that yields the highest dps/health/whatever consumable for raiding at lvl 85. Raiders will then be forced to trudge through old content, farming places like Mauradon or Scholomance for weeks on end. Fuck that shit.

Why can’t people let old content die?


9 June: Alt-Zheimer’s

 

I haven’t done anything “alt-zheimer-ish” yet. I sometimes wish for certain abilities on my characters: FD on my pally, a bubble for my hunter.

My first al-zheimer moment will happen on my hunter. I know—KNOW—I will dismount way up high and spam my bubble button…only to end up splatted on the ground. I love dropping from the sky and landing unharmed just to turn in a quest or mine ore. Tis awesomesauce.

One of the big reasons I chose a pally tank was that I wanted something different from my hunter. Melee v. ranged, tank v. dps, plate v. mail, pure v. hybrid, caster/melee v. caster/ranged. So the last comparison isn’t perfect, but close enough. The abilities Lyraat has are far different from the abilities Lirrat has. As important, what I’m asked to do on each character is very different. I can’t buff or DI someone on Lyr. I don’t have ranged attacks (except Exorcism) or a pet on Lirr. I can’t mix up similar abilities on either one.

For the few abilities that are similar (RF and AW, HoR and Distracting, HoW and KS), they are bound to the same keys on both characters. Hammer of Wrath and Kill Shot, for example, are both bound to “-“. My potions are bound to F7 and F8 (health and mana, respectively). This helps prevent hitting the wrong button when acting on reflex: “I need a pot–GODDAMNIT! Just DI’d myself!”

Oh, here’s something: As I was levelling, I had my Disenchant button bound to F12. Made for fast DE’ing of quest crap. When I hit 80, I replaced it with Lay of Hands cause I didn’t need DE keybound. So I’m in Dal and I’ve got a couple of random greens. Yup, you guessed it: I LoH myself as I try to DE. “Why isn’t DE working? And why does LoH have…a…oh, sonofabitch.” Ya, now Sacred Shield is bound to F12.


8 June: Dealing with Unpleasant Players

 

I’m not scared. I’ll tell you to STFU. Better bring it if you plan on being an ass. And thank goodness for /ignore. I don’t like putting people on ignore while grouped because they might say something of worth. But after the end boss is dead, /ignore and port out.


7 June: A Few of Your Favorite Things

 

Resource issue: Where do you want Blizzard to spend their efforts? The instance or the items? Easy answer for me: the instance. There are some awesome-looking items in the game, but for the vast majority of it, you don’t notice the items. I might be rocking the coolest bow in the world, but in a raid, I don’t care what it looks like, I’m focused elsewhere. I’d rather the instance was gorgeous than my gear. Also, gear gets replaced. In with the new patch, out of the outdated gear. Special items might be saved, but otherwise, it’s shard/vendor time.

Instances, however, don’t go away and we spend a very long time staring at them. Besides being relatively easy with simplistic bosses, ToC wasn’t graphically interesting. It was boring. Ulduar has intricate details across a dozen different rooms. Definitely a contributing factor in how people responded to those instances.

I will admit: I was a little disappointed in the rather uninspired ICC items. Detailed, yes, but nothing that’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. Maybe Bryntroll. I’ve not seen any other ICC worth mentioning, nothing that sticks in one’s mind. Well, DBW, perhaps, but that’s a character skin change, not an item.

Regarding where Blizzard should focus their artistic efforts in raiding, I would rank the areas as follows…

  1. Tier sets = People remember gear sets. We spend an awful lot of time trying to obtain them and walking around in them. They define our time at that level. If nothing else, our shoulders and helm should be unique, tier-defining, and somehow related to the instance at that level.
  2. Bosses = The best bosses (in terms of graphics) invoke fear, awe, epic-ness. KJ, Marrowgar, Ignis, C’Thun, Algalon, Morogrim Tidewalker, Al’ar, Reliquary of Souls. Those models last, retain their value kill after kill.
  3. Instances = The cooler-looking an instance is, the more time I want to spend in it. BT, SWP, Ulduar = win. Hyjal, SSC, ToC = fail.
  4. Items = Sweet items are nice, but, as stated above, we change gear often. I wouldn’t mind an awesome item or three in every instance for flavor’s sake. But not every item needs to be uber-looking.

Here are a few of the noteworthy items I can immediately recall…


5 June: Game notes

 

I blog about WoW, so, uh, yeah, I guess I write down my notes. Instead of a key-protected book diary, I have a password-protected web diary. I much prefer typing over handwriting.

Like any good raiding hunter, I use female dwarves and shandy spreadsheets to determine gear upgrades. That said, I will roll on a non-BiS piece to save it from being disenchanted if the item passes the eyeball test. And ya, I’m not ashamed: I will base an item’s value on iLevel. Works quite well when trying to speed-gear a shiny new level 80. I’m using a NES on my pally’s ret set because my other options are an iLvl 175 and an iLvl 145. ArP isn’t perfect for me as a retardin (and yes, I am, I suck at ret. Don’t ask, I don’t know how I suck so much either. Judge, CS, DS, Exo, AW…What am I doing wrong?), but I’ll take it over better itemized trinkets with much lower item budgets.

Wait…where was I?

Oh right. Notes and the taking of them in relation to WoW.

Other than this blog, I don’t use notes. Maybe a Post-It note if I want to remember something, but otherwise, it’s online.


4 June: When Your Gaming Gets Emotionally Charged

 

When isn’t my gaming emotionally charged?

If I’m on, I’m raiding (most likely). And raiding is intense, goal-driven, interpersonal, competitive, skill-based yet random, requires massive time investment. Ya, it gets just a little emotional.

Sure, I do fun stuff like dailies, mining, alt leveling, achievements, PvP. But the majority of my WoW time is spent in a dungeon. Even outside of raiding, WoW is often emotional. Win a tight battleground? Joy. Gank an unsuspecting Hordie? Devious smugness. Fish up the Giant Sewer Rat THAT ONLY TOOK 2000+ CASTS TO GET EVEN THOUGH YOUR WIFE GOT IT ON HER SIXTH CAST?!?!?!! *Cough* Um, relief.

People who say “It’s just a game, relax” are correct. It is just a game, a meaningless pastime in the Grand Scheme of Stuff and Things. But they’re also very, very wrong. Time + money + effort = It’s not “just a game”, it’s a passion. And by it’s very nature, a passion is emotionally charged.


3 June: I Believe I Can Fly

 

When Patch 4.0 hits (you know, the couple weeks between Wrath and Cata when everything gets nerfed, we get all the new abilities, but Cata technically hasn’t dropped yet), I’m flying over northern Dun Morogh towards Wetlands. I’ve always wanted to tour the mountains in the area. We see snippets on gryffons, but I want to explore the entire area.

Next on the list are the outdoor instances. We’ve never been able to fly over an outdoor raid because neither Outland nor Northrend have had any outdoor raids. ZA and SWP are in Eastern Kingdoms, BT had an outdoor area (Mother Shahraz’s little strip), ICC has outdoor parts, but we’ve never had a full outdoor raid instance we could fly over. So I’m heading to ZA and ZG for some flyovers.

Speaking of raid instances, Kara and the rest of Deadwind Pass will be fun to fly by and over. Spooky from the sky? Will we fly into Nightbane?

I’ll fly over everything eventually. Those will be the first places to visit.


2 June: Lil’ Timmy, Destroyer of Worlds

 

Hmm…My favorite bit-playing NPCs…

  • Hakmud = A friend of ours in our guild (/wave Kheir) started yelling at Hakmud. “Thanks, buddy! Thanks for nothing!” “What have you done for me lately, Hakmud? Nothing! So you get nothing!” Good times. Oh, and check out the fun in the comments on Hakmud’s wowhead.com page.
  • Bridenbrad
  • Araj the Summoner = I love punking Araj. Every time I’m in Western Plaguelands and he’s alive, I kill him. Every time. Fucking bitch punked me as a lowbie. Revenge, bitch, how you like it?! EXPLOSIVE SHOT CRITS YOUR FACE TIMES THREE, PUNY BITCHLICH!…*Cough* I mean, uh…Moving on.
  • Jadaar and Asric = May their hatred/friendship endure the expansions. Perhaps their animosity for each other will morph into brotherhood and eventually become a model for all Draenei and Blood Elves to follow, that through hate and abomination, Draenei and Blood Elves can coexist and cooperate. Fuck that. Keeping making us laugh, J and A. We love ya!
  • Cro Threadsong = YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED, FRUIT VENDOR!

My favorite repair peeps:

Mangorn gots the hawt location, location, location: first floor next to the bank and auction house = ez monee. Dagna also has a great location: closest repair shop to Krasus’s Landing in Dalaran. Plus she’s the repairer in the hunter shop. Win. Lissaf is an oddball. An Arakkoa who patrols in a tree in Lower City? I don’t like Arakkoa and I don’t like maneuvering in tight spaces just to repair. Why would I visit this guy? Because he was near the vial vendor, Skreah. I would grab some vials from Skreah, repair at Lassif, and be ready for the raid. And no, I’ve never written any fan fictions involving any bit players. To be honest, I’ve never written any WoW fan fics at all. Star Wars fan fics, yes, but that’s another story (pun intended).


1 June: Your City is Under Attack

 

I like defending the capital cities from the Horde. Problem is, our server doesn’t have any Horde. The last time I remember seeing the local defense channel light up in a capital city or even someone in guild saying a capital was under attack was last year. Literally. Not to say the Horde hasn’t attacked since then, but rare are their forays into Alliance cities and futile are their efforts. I think the Horde killed Magni once in my time here on Elune. Other leaders have not been harmed.

If I’m available (i.e. not raiding), I will defend. I enjoy it. Good, clean, lore-filled fun. I don’t go on the offensive much. I got my Black War Bear, I hate dealing with horribly organized pug raids, I can resist the temptation to punk Thrall and Co.

I think another incentive aside from achievement points would nudge people towards more raids on capital cities. Something tangible, something that would be noticed. Perhaps a worldwide 5% health reduction per dead/not-yet-respawned faction leader? Or maybe 1000 bonus honor for killing each faction leader each day. Possibly a weekly PvP quest for some Arena points: kill all the leaders, get 1000 Arena points. I doubt Blizzard will incentivize killing the leaders any more than they have. On unbalanced servers (like mine), the underrepresented faction might never have their leaders up for more than 4 hours per day. Dead leaders can’t begin or end quests, which hurts low-level players who can’t help defend their quest givers

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