Archive for the 'World of Warcraft' Category

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Blog Azeroth Secret Santa ’10: Heroic Consumables

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Today’s post is brought to you by the annual Blog Azeroth Secret Santa blogger exchange!  This year I was given this great post by my Twitter friend, Dechion.  He’s got some great stuff over at his blog, Dechion’s Place, so check it out once you’ve finished enjoying this piece of work!

And have a happy Winter’s Veil!


Lately I have noticed an interesting trend in the new Cataclysm instances, they are a bit harder than those in Wrath. Certainly more fun, but harder.

Actually, they aren’t that much harder, it’s simply that we all got kind of used to being grossly over geared and smashing Wrath heroics like we were soloing Wailing Caverns.

In honor of the fact that we must actually prepare for these new heroics almost like we are preparing for a 5 man raid, todays guest post is devoted to a sorely neglected topic.

Consumables.

No, I am not talking about making sure the guild cook brings along a stack or two of feasts, or that if you need a certain rating they don’t provide bringing your own chow.

I am not going to go into what assorted potions, flasks, and elixirs you should carry with you. Nor am I going to get into what scrolls, dusts of disappearance, or other reagents you need to bring.

I am not even talking about repairing your gear and making sure you have food for your pet.

All of that varies by class, gear, and role. Since my gear is weak, my role is whatever the LFD throws at me, and I have been told repeatedly that I have no class, I will not get into that.

I am talking about real consumables. Things you must have on hand well before the loading screen even pops up. Hearthing out to go hit up a vendor in the middle of a run is one thing, but you won’t be able to restock on these without logging.

I am of course talking about consumables for your real life avatar.

You know, that person that pokes buttons and makes internet dragons die?

One that needs at least as much attention as the avatar in the game.

Now I have found that every different class and spec will have their own recommended consumables, and even then there is much room for debate from player to player.

For instance if I am healing with my Druid I know I need at least 2 Diet Mountain Dew on standby. If I have not been to the vendor recently I may have to settle for Diet Pepsi.

Also note that if this will be a pug I will be needing to have a red bull on standby and will also be grabbing some rum to mix with the soda.

Mmmm, Pug. It tastes like… frustration.

Speaking of mixing, it occurs to me that beer is like a flask in that nothing really mixes well with it. Hard stuff is more like an elixir in that you can have it and a soda going at the same time, and you can mix and match.

Not really an important point, but one that occurred to me while writing.

Now if I plan to be out dungeoneering for a while I may just want a little something to snack on in between pulls. (Your tank is letting you pause and drink right?) I’m not exactly planning to pull a Cartman and call for more Hotpockets while I am playing, I just want to have something on hand in case I get the munchies.

Nachos are pretty much out of the question because I don’t want cheese on the mouse, the same goes even more for Cheetos and to a lesser extent Doritos’s. Anything of the chip family really, with the possible exceptions of pretzels or Chex Mix is a bad idea.

Lately however I have just been keeping a bowl of celery sticks there with me.

Yeah, call me a health nut, I don’t care. I still put peanut butter on my celery to help counteract some of the “good for me”.

If I am on my Hunter instead of the Druid and I plan on doing lots of trapping (huzzah, I missed trapping). I find that I lean more towards Diet Pepsi and 5 hour energy shots for the evening, not so much on the rum.

I wonder what that says about my thoughts on healing…

On a side note, Red bull and five hour energy shots don’t appear to be on a shared cooldown, but once again I digress.

Anyhow, next time you are planning your raid night, or even an evening of heroics, remember to pick up consumables for you RL avatar before you sit down, things will go much smoother.

Speaking of which, I need to stop on the way home for some red bull and chex mix……

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Skinner’s Lament

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I’ve always been a skinner/leatherworker.  It always just seemed like the right set of professions for my Hunter. But Cataclysm is not making this combination very easy.  There just seems to be no good place to farm Savage Leather in this expansion.

In Wrath of the Lich King we had the gorillas in Sholazar Basin and the rhinos and worms in Storm Peaks.  In Burning Crusade we had the wealth of beasts that was Nagrand.  In Vanilla we had… well who the heck can remember that far back?!

When I think of Cataclysm mob types, I think of all variety of elementals, Twilight’s Hammer cultists, and dragons.  Elementals and humanoids cannot be skinned. Dragonkin can indeed be skinned, but in my attempts to find the perfect farming grounds I’ve discovered they give me a Blackened Dragonscale almost half the time, and I don’t want those.  I want leather.

There was one great place – the packs of Stone Bats in Deepholm.  2 Multi-shots could bring down all 8 or 9 mobs who would always yield 1 Savage Leather each.  Unfortunately, they hotfixed this yesterday and those mobs can’t be skinned anymore!

The second best place, which I’m sure they will hotfix eventually, is Lost City of Tol’vir.  Right when you enter the instance, you’ll find two packs of tigers on either side of the door, hanging out with one elite mob.  Burn down the elite and you’re guaranteed to get at least 2 leather for each of the 5 tigers, yielding 20+ savage leather per run, and 100+ leather before you run into the “Too many instances” error.

Maybe you’ve found a better location, but it seems wrong to me that the best place to gather pure leather is inside an instance!

Come on Blizzard, where’s the skinner love?

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Checklist for Raid Readiness in Cataclysm

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

So, are you ready to start raiding in Cataclysm?

Even though we are a pretty small, solid, 10-man raid guild, I still thought it would be good to publish a checklist of requirements we would like a raiders to reach before we start our first week of raiding (first week of January).  It’s mostly to help some people prioritize their goals and so, frankly, we have something to point to if someone doesn’t know why they weren’t invited.

I wanted to share it here in case you are looking for some help in setting your own or your guild’s goals.

It’s a rather easy set of goals to achieve, but every point has a justification.  It also isn’t class specific – after all, knowing what enchants and stats are important to your class is ALWAYS a requirement!

  • Average Item Level 340+: I know gear isn’t everything.  But it isn’t nothing, either.  This can easily be achieved by having mostly heroics gear and maybe a rep/crafted item or two.
  • All gear enchanted: Even I have had to force myself to get over my old, stubborn, Wrath mentality of “I won’t enchant Blues!”
  • All slots gemmed: This includes one of those crazy expensive Meta gems, with its requirements met.
  • Best possible head enchant: That means Revered with the reputation appropriate for your class/spec.
  • Best possible shoulder enchant: That means Exalted with Therazane.
  • Both Primary Professions at 500+: This might seem like an odd requirement… professions don’t have that much to do with raiding performance, but they have a lot to do with your ability and willingness to contribute to the guild.  That’s a team attribute that we value highly. Each profession also provides unique bonuses to a character, which everyone should be looking to utilize.
  • First Aid at 475+: Healing isn’t just for healers!  First aid is extremely easy to level and can allow the healer to focus on more important things than repairing you after you accidentally stood in the stupid.  This is most important for DPS, but healers themselves and tanks should still take advantage of it to relieve healer mana issues.

Not everyone will agree on these requirements, or you may have additional requirements of your own (please share them in the comments!)

And of course, the list of what makes you ready for each individual raid night is a different list completely! (repaired, flasks, buff food, strategies, etc.)

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Huntering as Survival: Impressions

Monday, December 20th, 2010

It was a rough start, but after nearly a week, I think I’ve decided to stick with Survival.  Not only are the DPS numbers much sexier, but to be honest, the rotation just feels smoother. Which is a little funny because why I didn’t enjoy Survival over MM (back in the mana days) was because it felt clunky.

But of course, there are things I certainly miss!  Marked for Death was great for a lazy hunter like me.  Readiness is something I used incredibly often – and not just so I can Rapid Fire twice in a fight.  Trap didn’t take or broke early?  Readiness, re-trap!  Interrupt heavy fight?  Readiness makes sure I’ll have Silencing Shot when I need it!  And, most importantly… a second feign death has saved me many a repair bill!

But Wyvern Sting is extremely useful – being able to shoot a trap and sleep a mob at the start of a fight really takes a lot of strain off the group.  And since almost everything can be trapped or slept, there’s no need to worry about what to do if they aren’t humanoid/undead/elemental/demons.  Protip: Wyvern Sting also works as an interrupt on mobs that are sleepable!

I’ve found that the rotation of MM and SV are almost the same – MM you should always use 2 back-to-back Steadies, and in SV I find I almost always use 2 back-to-back Cobras.  But the significantly shorter cooldown on Explosive Shot (6 sec) compared to Chimera Shot (10, 9 with glyph) is what makes the difference to me.  10 seconds is a really long time, especially if some add just popped up that needs to be burned… you may not even be able to use your “big” shot before it goes down.

So for now, I will be keeping MM as my back up mainly for when we’re short on interrupts, and I’ll be sticking with Survival for my main spec.  As always, I recommend giving all the specs a shot once in a while rather than declaring yourself a “Marksman only!” or whatever.  Things change, and you never know which you really prefer until you’ve tried!

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Giving Survival Another Shot

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Ever since I switched from Beast Mastery to Marksmanship mid-Wrath, I have never looked back.  I enjoyed the complexity of the shot priority and it seemed to all flow very well.  But Cataclysm has changed things.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying MM anymore, but overall I think I’m still trying to get used to the whole focus-management aspect of things.  My timing is often off by a bit, or I get distracted and forget to use Chimera, and it’s having a pretty adverse affect on my dps and my sanity.

So tonight I’m going to give Survival a try.  I tried it once way back, and I did not enjoy it nearly as much as MM… but I feel like there’s no better time to try it than when I’m having issues with my rotation as it is!