Monthly Archives: March 2011

Chimaeron write up is up!

Hi all,

Added a Chimaeron write up with video to the Encounters page.  Go check it out!

V


More Progress on Cho’Gall

Affectionately named Chog, Cho’Gall is beginning to feel the finality of death approaching (at least until the next reset).  Last night saw what I would consider our best raiding night of the year take place.

After a lacklustre Wednesday night in which we still managed to clear to Cho’Gall, we decided to start in BWD.  What happened was a complete turnaround from the night before.  We had a simply perfect run through BWD, 1-shotting bosses willy nilly and even getting some useable drops in the process.  What irritated me however was that both the Warrior tank and I had just bought our tier legs with valour points and of course Atramedes took this as his cue to drop the first piece of plate tanking loot we have seen in a long time; his tanking legs…

Way to go Atramedes… idiot.

We briefly debated after clearing 4/5 BWD in just over an hour as to where we would head to next.  Head to Throne of the Four Winds for our first look at Conclave or stick with some more attempts at Chog?  In the end Chog won out so we all trekked over to Bastion.

The trash leading up to Chog was nice and dropped the epic tanking rifle – our first useable trash drop in a while.

After some niggly attempts the night before in which we struggled to even get to the third add, we made some refinements to our strategy and fired up the encounter, first go: 24%, best go: 11.5%.

HUGE improvement!  He is not far away now.

So what did we improve?  First we identified our primary problems.  They were 3-fold:  we were getting hit by way too many Corrupting Crashes and were not breaking people out of worship anywhere near fast enough.  We also put in place a better way to manage the bloods.

  1. Move out of Corrupting Crash:  By asking people to concentrate on this, we cut the number of hits from Corrupting Crash drastically.  Wednesday night we were looking at 30 hits in 3 minutes.  Last night it was down to 5 in 6 minutes – big difference.  Less damage on the raid, less corruption on the raid; you have to be serious about this ability to get Chog down.  It also helped when we turned on the option in DBM to display a warning when someone near you is being targeted for Corrupting Crash.
  2. Worship:  All credit goes to our intrepid raid leader for finding a fantastic solution to this problem.  The problem is that by not breaking people out of worship fast, Chog gets a 10% damage buff per second a raid member is worshipping him and that person is unable to do their job be it dps or heals.  As well, if for example a fear is used to break worship, that raid member is then feared for the full duration unless dispelled.  With the cost of dispelling having jumped severely from Wrath to Cata, this is not a practical solution.

Our raid leader came up with this macro as the answer to all our worship problems:

#showtooltip Interrupt Spell

/stopcasting

/cast [@raid1,harm][@raid2,harm][@raid3,harm][@raid4,harm][@raid5,harm][@raid6,harm][@raid7,harm][@raid8,harm][@raid9,harm][@raid10,harm] Interrupt Spell

Where you substitute Interrupt Spell with your class interrupt.  Anything instant cast with a low actual interrupt time is ideal.  We found our best option was a Shaman’s Wind Shear.  Basically how it works is that it goes through the raid members and looks to see if they are hostile to you.  If they are it casts your interrupt, if not it moves to the next raider on the list and so on.  The slot raid1 is whoever is in the top position on your social>raid tab.   You will always be in the raid10 slot, so the positions will be slightly different for each person.

It works a treat.  Assign that to a button you can just push (I map it to Q) and just hit it straight after each worship cast and hey presto, problem gone.  Try it out, it makes your life so much easier.

4.  The Bloods:  As you are probably aware, the bloods come in increasing numbers after each add.  The first will spawn 4, the second will spawn an additional 4 with each subsequent add spawning an additional 4 bloods.  You don’t want to be pushing more that 3 sets if you can help it (dps levels permitting) as this quickly become unmanageable.

We made some great improvements to overall dps by putting in place a solid strategy to deal with the bloods.  There is no point have your entire ranged group switching the to first lot of bloods.  It is simply unnecessary.  Instead we assigned to people (a mage and a hunter) to be on each set and added an extra ranged with each new set (i.e. 2 ranged on the first, 3 on the second and 4 on the third).  This left our top dps continually pushing Chog towards that magical 25% mark.

By putting our best CC on the adds from the start (frost trap and Mage goodness) we had that extra bit of control.  Sure sometimes you can get RNG’d and have both of them worshipped (it happened and we wiped) but by and large it works pretty well.

After those improvements and a stern word about being raid aware and to think about positioning (stay on the centre line where possible!) we were reliably getting Chog to 25% ish.  Now that we are at that stage, with some more practice on the eye stalks (go go Army of the Dead), we have a real chance of getting him down in the not too distant future.

Let me know if those tips work for you, and be sure to let me know of any tips you have – I want that sucker and his two heads dead!

Once we get him, I will also post some thoughts on Blood DK tanking.  When to use what cooldown, etc.

Till next time,

V

 


Encounter write ups

Just a quick one.

I have started to put together some encounter write ups using the strategies we use in my guild; Labyrinth of Lost Souls.

The first one is now up!  Funnily enough it’s Magmaw.

Check it out, hopefully it contains some tips you can use to help you refine your current approach.  On the flip side, if you know of any additional tricks, post a comment and let me know!

You can find the write ups using the menu option at the top of the site, or you can go straight to the Magmaw writeup there using this link: LoLS Magmaw Strat.

Enjoy!

V


Raiding Progress

My guild, Labyrinth of Lost Souls is a 10 man organised progression guild.  We are not hardcore in the sense that we only raid 2 nights a week for 3 hours at a time.  But we are organised.  We expect our raiders to be good players, know fights and come prepared.

Recently we have had to make the decision to put in a progression raiding team where possible over a more inclusive approach in order to push us to that point where we can bring in new raiders whilst still confidently downing fights.  Rotating your team every week is a sure fire way to continue wiping on those early bosses, instead it pays to establish a primary team initially and then bring in new people once you have enough experienced raiders to get you through.

On last night’s evidence, we have passed that point for 3/4 BoT and 4/5 BWD.  With our main raid tank off on a holiday work conference, needs dictated we bring in another tank.  The guild bear tank very capably stepped into the breach and after only seeing most of the fights twice did exceptionally well.  We also brought in a relatively new melee and ranged dps.  It is important to note that these are not players new to raiding.  They were with us through Wrath, so they are capable players who know their class.

For the first time last night, we one-shot Atramedes!  Whilst a fun fight, it only takes 1 person to run sonic breath through the ranged… so I was stoked to get that particular monkey off our back so easily.

Last night also marked the first time I have lead the raid for the entire week, so a shout out to my excellent guildies who made that job pretty easy by being awesome!

We had some great attempts on Cho’Gall again, working hard on perfecting a strategy to handle the blood spawns.  We are now getting through the first 2 adds with no trouble.  DPS and CC on the adds was good and Cho’Gall was receiving adequate attention as well.  Where we still need some work is the 3rd add spawn.  At our current DPS levels we are looking at pushing him over the magical 25% mark with either the 4th add alive or after dealing with the 4th add’s bloods.  So some more work to be done there.

Thanks go to our Shadow Priest, for spending some time since last week working through our strategy and coming up with some impressive ideas to help out.

Soon we will drop in at the Throne of the Four Winds and check Conclave off our list, but we are sticking with Cho’Gall for the moment.

V


4 MMOs to get excited about

Gaming isn’t all about WoW for me.  For example: I’m currently working my way through Dragon Age: Awakenings.  I also just ordered Dragon Age 2 from some ebay store in India for $33.50.  So much awesome!

Just today I jumped into some multiplayer Call of Duty: Black Ops and dived into some Civilization V.  Heh, I even downloaded a mod for Civ IV which totally replaces everything to play out a Dune theme (check it out: Dune Wars).

So as a gamer, not just a World of Warcraft subscriber, I like to keep watch for what is up and coming.  Games like Diablo III; so many hours of my life were spent playing Diablo II, I’m drooling at the thought of being able to wade back into what is hopefully still a gritty loot filled world of endless creatures to destroy by fire and by sword (all of course in search of those confounded set items!).

But, like all gamers who at some point have been bitten by the MMO bug, whether it be fantasy, sci-fi or something else, I retain and will probably always retain a love of the massively multiplayer online genre.

I have searched the interweb to bring you 4 MMOs that if you read this blog you a) probably already know about and b) am just as excited about some or all of them as I am.  If you perchance haven’t come across any of these 4 before, then enjoy sampling the delectable delights of what is heading our way in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

In no particular order:

Number 1 – Guild Wars 2



If that trailerish type clip doesnt wet your appetite then I’m not sure what will.  For a fantasy MMO, this looks amazing.  If the character progression and quest system they talk about in the clip is actually in-game and functional then I will be one happy MMOer.  Everything from the art direction (if you haven’t, check out the wallpapers on concept art on the offical website via the link in the title!) through to the dynamic player driven environment may just freshen up my somewhat stale current MMO experience. 

 There are plently of other trailers and videos out there for Guild Wars 2 to check out.  Continuing on from the original Guild Wars, this is set to be free-to-play.  Official release date has been set at 2 November 2011.

Number 2 – Star Wars: The Old Republic

I couldn’t go past this one.  If you could make awesome in trailer form, this would be it.  Of course there are lots of other videos for SWTOR out there that are also great but in my opinion, this is the best I’ve seen to date.  Star Wars is the ultimate in sci-fi game material.  Others, such as Dune have spawned games but none have been as widely successful as Star Wars.  Of course this isn’t the first Star Wars MMO we have seen, Galaxies started well and is still going, but according to many players, went downhill after SOE took over.  Now BioWare, thats a different story. 

I’m looking forward to SWTOR for a number of reasons.  Firstly: it’s Star Wars.  I never played Galaxies, so this will be my first.  Secondly: Lightsabers.  I, like the other 98% of the population who pickup this game will probably play a class that uses one of the fancy glowing swords.  Thirdly:  Bioware has marketed this as very strongly story driven.  I enjoyed the book quests in LOTRO, so if this has anything like that level of epic storyline to it, I will like it. 

I love feeling as though my actions and quests are actually part of something monumentus, not just a meaningless chore that has no real lasting effect on the game world.  I for one, am hoping that BioWare deliver.  Currently set to release in the Spring (Autumn in Aus) of 2011.

Number 3 – The Secret World

Mmmm, Templars and Illuminati (and Dragons)…  Funcom are the makers of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, which I didn’t mind.  It had some novel ideas that drew me in for a good while.  To date, that is still the only MMO collectors addition I have bought. 

So Funcom have some street cred when it comes to making MMOs.  Where I am excited about this is their stated desire to give complete freedom to the player on how to play their character.  No levels, no classes.  If done properly, this could be fantastic. 

The different setting is also attractive, as I have been playing fantasy MMOs for a good number of years now.  Whilst this looks to have some fantasy elements to it, the combination with modern day settings and secret societies could provide that much needed, often looked for but seldom found, sea change.  Sign me up for some Templar action.  One to keep a close watch on. Possible release date of late 2011 through into 2012.

Number 4 – Firefall

Cell shading.  Love it.  This game looks like it will be a ton of fun to play.  Ever since the failed Tabula Rasa, for which I beta tested, I have had a hankering to play a shooter type MMO.  I know SWTOR will have it as well, but Firefall looks like Tribes crossed with Jet Set Radio Future (kudos if you know that one) interbred with Borderlands but in MMO form.  Quite a heady mix, but one that could be very amusing.  Big plus is that it is currently set to be free-to-play.  Possible release in late 2011.

So there you have it,  4 MMOs that have caught my eye.  This is by no means a complete list of MMOs that are coming in the near future so please do not treat it as such.

If you are like me, please remember to mop up after you have salivated over your keyboard from watching these trailers.

Please feel free to leave to a comment below.  Which of these are you most looking forward to?  Is there one you think I have missed?  Tuna Sandwich?

Till next time,

V


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