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Late Night Blue Posts, DLST, Consortium Bags

November 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Holy & Protection Paladin Thoughts

We are concerned that Holy and Protection may have lost too much dps as “collateral damage” from the Ret nerfs. It is something we’re working on now, though I do believe Holy dps is still a lot better than it was in BC. Healers will always level more slowly than dps specs since using your abilities may keep you alive but doesn’t always kill stuff faster. (source)

Healing Gear and Spell Power

There are still pieces which are more appropriate for one class or spec than another. Some of the changes we made, such as spell power, will blur the lines slightly more. Our goal with that was more to help say an undergeared paladin get healing gear or an undergeared warlock be able to benefit from the “healing” cloth rather than just sharding it.

I’ve played a priest enough (I’ve played every class) to know that it can be frustrating when a paladin wants to roll on a piece of cloth, but most of the time the raid leaders I have run with tend to let the cloth-wearers get first dibs. I agree that there is a big social aspect to loot distribution. To some extent, that is by design. (source)

11-Point Protection Talent Thoughts

We’re not sure if we’re going to do this or not. If we do it (make an 11-point Prot talent that is attractive to Ret) it would be for these reasons:

– It would be cooler if the talent was something fun for Prot and not something they “need” to tank.
– In our experience, Ret paladins who PvP often go down into Prot anyway to get Imp Hammer of Justice.
– I suggested we might offer Ret more PvP utility since we are stripping some of the burst damage, so PvE Retadins might not want this ability anyway.
– We wouldn’t want this talent to be something Prot would never get and Ret would always get. If anything we need to err on the side of something Prot definitely wants. (source)

Day Light Savings Time

Don’t forget that day light savings time comes to an end tonight. So at 2:00 a.m. on 11/1/08 you’ll want to set your clocks back 1 hour if you live a location that adheres to DLST.

Consortium Gem Bags

One final reminder, it’s the 1st of the month so don’t forget to pick up your consortium gem bag for this month from the NPC out in nagrand.

Death Knight Racial Guide

September 23, 2008 by · 13 Comments 

The new death knight hero class is the only class which can be created with any race. This will lend itself to a wide range of variablity in the class, particularly based upon your unique racial abilities and traits. So what is the best knight death race? Well, it’s a very difficult question. There are many factors must go into answering this question based upon what you want to do with your death knight.

Do you want to focus on PvE and raiding? PvP and Arena? or a combination of the two? Knowing what you want to do with your DK will help you make the most informed decision for your death knight’s race. Let’s start with the horde races.

Best Race for Death Knight?

note: non-combat abilities such as +profession skills, underwater breathing, etc. were not considered for this analysis. Also, make sure you check out the alliance and horde racial abilities and traits guide for the updated list of racials.

Best Horde Death Knight Race

Orc Racials:

  1. Blood Fury – Excellent ability for both PvP and PvE death knights.
  2. Hardiness – A solid ability for PvP, fairly useless in PvE. Not quite as good as it once was, but still worth the mention.
  3. Command - Another bonus for the class, which benefits from it’s undead summoning. Will have great value in both PvP and most PvE encounters.
  4. Axe Specialization – Great if you’re using axes, so long as there are high end 2 handed axes available this will be another bonus to the class.

All in all orc receives solid bonuses which help augment the death knight’s natural abilities. A very solid choice for PvP and PvE.

Tauren Racials:

  1. War Stomp – A very nice ability, personally I think this is more for healers than death knights though. That said, it’s still a solid ability and will be beneficial for both PvP and PvE.
  2. Endurance – It’s yet to be determined exactly how this will be scaling, but on what I’ve seen and read it will be a nice HP boost, but not as crucial as it once was.
  3. Cultivation - Fairly pointless, no real application in both PvP or PvE. Don’t choose your death knight because of cultivation.
  4. Nature Resistance – Solid 2% nature resist, good for both PvP and PvE.

Overall just not that impressive. Hardcore tank death knights may opt for Tauren anyway as endurance does have the potential be significant. We won’t really know for sure until we see how it scales at level 80. The other racials are decent at best.

Troll Racials:

  1. Berserking - Will be a huge benefit for PvE death knights, particularly those who are tanking. Since you’ll always have life spiking up and down you can get a full 30% attack speed increase.
  2. Regeneration - Since death knight’s won’t have much health regeneration to begin with this racial is fairly useless.
  3. Beast Slaying – Is amazing for dungeons that have lots of beasts, namely bosses that are beasts. Also nice for PvP vs. hunter pets and druids in animal forms. This talent is very underestimated.
  4. Throwing Specialization – Pointless as death knights cannot wield throwing weapons.
  5. Bow Specialization – Pointless as death knights cannot wield bows.
  6. The VooDoo Shuffle – Great for PvP due to the importance of snare application and breaking, also should be beneficial to some degree in PvE. Will be dependent on the encounter.

I really like the idea of the berserking as a tank death knight, and of course it’s going to be great in PvP. Certainly in the running for best PvE tank. When you add beast slaying, berserking, voodoo shuffle on top of amazingly good hair cuts it’s not hard not to choose them!

Undead Racials:

  1. Will of the Forsaken – Always crucial for PvP, not so much in PvE.
  2. Cannibalize - A very solid ability, but more of a grinding / utility type of racial as opposed to an actual combat racial. Once again, more of a PvP ability.
  3. Undeadwater Breathing – No real combat application, don’t choose your death knight based on this.
  4. Shadow Resistance – A nice addition, but very minor, especially as it’s only 1% compared to the other resistances which are all 2%.

Overall I feel undead will be better suited to PvP players who are very concerned about being fear. Traditionally, undead racials have been the end all be all for PvP, but after the wotf nerf in addition to the other “meh” racial abilities, I don’t think undead are all that great.

Blood Elf Racials:

  1. Mana Tap – Solid PvP talent, minimal PvE application.
  2. Arcane Torrent – Great racial ability for both PvP and PvE.
  3. Arcane Affinity – Non-combat talent, don’t choose your death knight based on +10 enchanting skill. It’s just not worth it.
  4. Magic Resistance – 2% for all spells is pretty big, certainly makes up for arcane affinity.

Overall pretty solid here as well, a nice mix of PvP and PvE utility.

Best Death Knight Race for Horde Conclusions

  • PvP Pick: Orc / Undead
  • PvE Pick: Troll / Tauren (tank)
  • All Around Pick: Orc
  • My Preference: Troll

Perhaps I’m a little biased since I play a troll, but just based on the talent changes…well, trolls are looking pretty damn amazing. If we just compare troll / orc to the other races there’s not really much to mention. All tauren really have is the war stomp, as endurance is quite negligable after the change.

If we look at undead all we’re really considering is will of the forsaken, which is still great for PvP, but the other racials just don’t cut it for me. Blood elves are in a similar boat. Overall I feel orc is the best overall package. All 4 racials are work to directly increase damage / survivability, where as the other racials are mixed / indirrect / non-combat at best.

Personally I’d still opt for the troll, due to my natural affinity for the race in addition to their recent racial improvements and multi-faceted PvP and PvE application.

Best Alliance Death Knight Race

Dwarf Racials:

  1. Stoneform – More of a PvP talent, but also very nice during raids and other PvE encounters.
  2. Gun Specialization – irrelevant, death knights cannot use guns.
  3. Frost Resistance – A nice 2% resistance, solid for both PvP and PvE.
  4. Find Treasure - pretty pointless as it’s a non-combat talent, do not choose your death knight based on this.
  5. Mace Specialization – like any specialization, it’s great if you’re using the weapons for which you have bonus expertise for. Solid for both PvP and PvE purposes.

Quite frankly not all that great. If you have a 2h mace and do nothing but PvP against frost mages you might could make a case, but I’m not impressed by the racials here.

Gnome Racials:

  1. Escape Artist - amazing for PvP, especially now that it can no longer be resisted. Solid for many PvE encounters as well.
  2. Expansive Mind – pointless as death knights gain nothing from intellect
  3. Arcane Resistance – Like any of the resistances, this will be a solid trait for both PvP and PvE.
  4. Engineering Specialist - non-combat trait, don’t choose your race based on this.

Much like dwarves, pretty bad. With the exception of escape artist every racial ability is either “meh” or not used at all.

Human Racials:

  1. Perception - Some PvP application, not nearly as good as the old perception.
  2. The Human Spirit - death knight’s have no real spirit application.
  3. Diplomacy - non-combat, do not base your racial choice on this ability.
  4. Sword Specialization – Great if you are using swords, worthless if not.
  5. Mace Specialization – Great if you are using maces, worthless if not.
  6. Every man for himself - Awesome for PvP as it allows you to use another trinket, also solid for many PvE encounters.

So far the best of any alliance race. Having the double weapon specialization at least gives you some leeway as to your weapon selection. Once again nothing all that stellar though.

Night Elf Racials:

  1. Shadowmeld - Not crucial, very minor PvP application for death knights. Some PvE application for DPS death knights.
  2. Quickness - Solid for PvP and PvE.
  3. Wisp Spirit – Pointless, do not choose your race based on this.
  4. Nature Resistance – Solid for PvP and PvE.

No useable racials, quite frankly pretty bad. Quickness and Nature resistance are nice additions, but considering they are really more situational uses at best…these are pretty bad.

Draenei Racials:

  1. Gift of the Naaru – Excellent ability for PvP and solid for PvE as well, especially now that it scales with AP / spell power.
  2. Heroic Presence – Solid 1%, nothing major but certainly a nice addition.
  3. Gemcutting – non-combat, do not choose your race based on this.
  4. Shadow Resistance – Of all the resistances shadow is the one to have, especially since it’s a 2% compared to the undead’s 1%.

Overall, draenie is pretty solid. The gift of the naaru is pretty huge in my opinion, you toss some nice passive resistance and +hit on top of that you’ve got a pretty solid package.

Best Death Knight Race for Alliance Conclusions

  • PvP Pick: Human
  • PvE Pick: Human / Draenei
  • All Around Pick: Human
  • My Preference: Human

Looking at the alliance racials for the death knight…well quite frankly they all just suck. Besides escape artist, stoneform, and gift of the naaru there really isn’t much worth mentioning. The other racial abilities are cenetered around passive or non-combat traits which aren’t going to really make or break your character. I strongly feel humans will make the best all around death knight.

You’ve got weapon specialization on both maces and swords, the novelty of diplomacy, perception…and to top it all off you’ve got the real clencher for me, every man for himself. This is huge, particuarlly for PvP. For PvE it’s not as big of a deal, hence why I’ve listed draenei as another option. Heroic pressence and gift are very nice, but when compared to the human’s weapon specs and free trinket I think the 2 races come up pretty even.

Rogue / Warlock vs. Priest / Rogue 2v2 Arena Strategy

August 10, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

rogue warlock 2v2 strategyRogue / Warlock vs. Priest / Rogue 2v2 is a very difficult match up for you to win simply due to the nature of the priest’s spells. As a rogue / warlock 2v2 team you have a few main objectives you must achieve in order to win the match.

  • Crowd control and lock down (both on healers and DPS)
  • Minimize damage taken (this is usually no problem if you achieve point number 1)
  • Force the other team into situations where misusing a trinket will cost them the game

Achieving these goals is no easy task, especially if the priest / rogue team have undead players on there team. Ideally you want to sap the rogue and immediately open on the priest. This allows you maximum time to apply all DoTs and have strong damage before the fight has even begun.

If the rogue trinkets the sap you should immediately blind him and stay on the priest. Following the blind you can hit him with a back to back fears followed by the vanish sap. Of course this is an absolute ideal scenario, as with any double DPS team things can quickly go wrong. But, if you’re able to pull off this type of well timed CC you have virtually assured yourself the win.

If you are unable to sap the rogue you have a few options.

  1. Wait for stealth buffs to come up and force them to engage your warlock. This gives your rogue maximum time to find and sap the opposing rogue, allowing for the best possible opener.
  2. If your rogue is unable to find the rogue / if the opposing rogue jumps the warlock you’ll have no choice but to open up on the rogue yourself. At this point the rogue’s gear choices will really come into effect.

If the rogue is wearing a large amount of tier 6 you should remain on his. Especially if you’ve already successfully secured the opener. The warlock should do what he can to position himself away from the rogue (out of LoS of Shadowstep if at all possible). At this point it really comes down to your crowd control. Keep the rogue locked down as much as possible and start the fear train on the priest.

If you’ve got enough pressure on the rogue at this point you’re in great shape. The priest will likely blow his trinket, at which point we can blind / vanish / sap combo the priest and finish off the rogue. In the event the rogue isn’t dead by the end of this CC train your fear will be off diminishing returns so you can simply start the fear combo up again and repeat the process.

I really view this matchup with 2 basic opening goals.

  1. You sap the rogue and bomb the priest
  2. You force the rogue to open on your lock and bomb the rogue

However, I would like to remind everyone there is no absolute strategy here that must be followed. If the rogue just isn’t dropping don’t be afraid pull a switch on the priest. Sometimes the sudden change in target can be enough to through the priest off his game and put him in a position where your team can gain the upper hand. Your crowd control and rotations are going to be more or less the same regardless of your actual target selection. It’s far more important to react quickly to the changing game.

Can’t get enough warlock / rogue 2v2 strategy? Check out the complete guide here! Rogue / Warlock 2v2 Arena Strategy.

40 Rogue Alterac Valley Super Raid Video!

August 10, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Well, in my continual effort to do ridiculous things on Friday night in World of Warcraft I decided to organize the very first 40 man rogue raid on Alterac Valley. The raid went better than I could have ever imagined. It took about 40 minutes to find enough rogues to fill the slots, but once we had Smolderthorn’s finest together we rolled out for glory.

While there was some initial doubt amongst the ranks that we could actually win without any healers, these fears were immediately put to rest. We successfully played 2 AVs as a group and won both! Make sure to check out the video below for the hilarious exploits!

High Quality Download

Music:

  • Rhapsody – Dawn of Victory

Mods:

  • Ace3
  • AG Unit Frames
  • OmniCC
  • Quartz
  • Preform AV Enabler
  • SCT

Zul’Aman Bear Boss Strategy

July 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

bear boss strategyNalorakk is the first boss of Zul’Aman and is known as the bear avatar of the dungeon. While it is the first encounter it is by no means an easy fight. More than anything is encounter requires both very attentive tanks and healers with quick reaction.

Bear Boss Strategy

Nalorakk has two forms, troll and bear. These two forms will alternate throughout the fight and require a separate tank for each stage. For simplicity purposes let’s go through all of the attacks you’ll be dealing with in each stage.

Troll Form

Brutal Swipe – This is a physical damage attack that deals 28,500-31,500 in a 180 degree cone in front of the boss. Now obviously this would be too much damage for even the best geared tanks, so it’s of utmost importance that both tanks stand on top of each other. This will split the damage between the tanks, making it a manageable amount for your healers to handle

Surge – The bear boss will charge a target, knocking them back and doing 3,700 to 4,300 damage. Nalorakk periodically will use this ability, typically on the ranged classes standing furthest away from him. For this reason it’s important healers stand between tanks and ranged DPS, so they can continue to heal without interruption.

Mangle – Causes all bleed effects to do 100% damage for 60 seconds. Only a factor between transitions, not much you can do it avoid this. If a tank gets mangled they should make certain to call it out in raid chat or on your voice communication server. This way healers can increase healing on that target in the event he gets hit by a lacerating slash or rend flesh.

Bear Form

Lacerating Slash – Causes the target to bleed for 1735 damage, ticks ever 2 seconds for a duration of 18 seconds.

Rend Flesh – Deals 5,525 to 7,475 physical damage and also applies a 2335 damage bleed, the bleed ticks every 1 second for 5 seconds. As I mentioned above, you need to be very aware of both of these bleed attacks. If you take a mangle and a bleed immediately after you’re going to be feeling it. Informing your healers immediately of these debuffs is crucial.

Deafening Roar – This ability will deal 1235 to 1365 to all members of your raid. Additionally, it also casts a 2 second silence on your raid. This is the major make or break point for the healers in your raid. Granted, 2 seconds is quite short, if a tank isn’t properly HoT’d up and is taking large amounts of damage they could easily die. The bear boss will roar twice during his bear phase, be aware of this and plan ahead.

Bear Boss Tanking Strategy

In order to properly tank the bear boss you will need two tanks, one of each of Nalorakk’s two phases. While any tanking class is capable of doing either phase it is preferential not to have a protection paladin tank the bear phase. This is due to the deafening roar ability, which will silence the paladin, preventing him from using his most potent threat producing abilities.

The most important aspect of this encounter revolves around the tanks maintaining proper positioning. If both tanks are not standing in front of the bear boss during a brutal swipe then the damage will not be split, likely killing the tank in one shot.

General Bear Boss Mechanics

The only other major point you’ll want to be aware of is the engage timer. Nalorakk will enrage after 10 minutes, that said, the only way you’d hit this timer is if your damage dealers were severely lacking. Just maintain the raid’s focus, settle in, and get done what has to be done.

Now, enough boring mechanics…onto the loot!

Bear Boss Loot

Badge of Justice (Drops 100% of the time, everyone in the raid gets one)
Fury
Fury of the Ursine
Bladeangel’s Money belt
Jungle stompers
Robes of Heavenly Purpose
Pauldrons of Primal Fury
Mask of Introspection
Formula: Enchant Weapon – Executioner

Aldor vs. Scryer Comparison Guide

June 30, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

aldor vs. scryer reputation guideOne of the first major decisions you’ll have to make after entering the Outlands is your choice of the Aldor or Scryer faction. The various items, enchantments, quests, and other rewards will play a huge factor in your choice. And believe me, it’s important you choose correctly the first time.

So let’s get right down to it. There are many rewards available from each faction, for this comparison I am going to detail all of the big hitters from each faction.

Aldor Shoulder Enchants:
Greater Inscription of Warding
Greater Inscription of Vengeance
Greater Inscription of Faith
Greater Inscription of Discipline

Scryer Shoulder Enchants:
Greater Inscription of the Blade
Greater Inscription of the Knight
Greater Inscription of the Oracle
Greater Inscription of the Orb

Now, statistically speaking the shoulder enchants provide the same benefit. For this one it really comes down to personal preference. In all honesty I think most players make a much bigger deal about the shoulder enchant differences than can really be made.

Shattered Sun Offensive Rewards:
Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen
Shattered Sun Pendant of Might
Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve
Shattered Sun Pendant of Restoration

While all of these necklaces are better than many blue rewards, the big hitters are for healers, specifically aldor. The proc on restoration neck provides a direct heal on your current target for just over 600…good, yes, but for aldor it gives a +220 healing buff for 10 seconds. From a PvE perspective this is simply amazing, and I’d argue it’s the best neck outside of Sunwell loot.

If you’re a healer this neck is reason enough to choose Aldor, and generally speaking the Aldor procs are superior to the Scryers. As all of the aldor procs provide buffs (the scyrer provide instant procs), meaning the aldor procs scale much better with gear.

Scryer Tailoring Pattern Rewards:
Mystical Spellthread
Runic Spellthread

Aldor Tailoring Pattern Rewards:
Silver Spellthread
Golden Spellthread

This may or may not be a deal breaker for you. As aldor you’ve got the better healing leg enchants, as scryer you’ve got the superior damage. Once again, I wouldn’t determine your reputation choice based on tailoring patterns alone, but they will play a factor in your decision.

Aldor vs. Scryer Reputation Rewards Comparison:
Obviously I haven’t listed off every single item available from each of these respective factions. The above items I have listed are the ones that I consider to the biggest factors in your decision. While many of the other rewards and items will have short term influence on your decision the above items will be long lasting.

If you’re looking for additional information on the items available from each reputation or how to most efficiently level each faction check out these other helpful guides.

Scryer Reputation Guide
Aldor Reputation Guide

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