Archive for the ‘Strategy Planning’ Category

Getting Grid Ready for Crusader’s Coliseum Week 4 – Twin Valkyrs   2 comments

For three weeks we have been challenged by new content in the Crusader’s Coliseum.  As we approach week 4, it is time to start thinking about how to prepare for our newest challenge:  The Twin Valkyrs.  This fight looks to be quite interesting and fun, and I am looking forward to it very much!

Spiritus over at tank spot has again done an analysis of how he thinks the encounter is going to work.  There is also a very good video of the 10 man version embeded in his link that is work watching.  I have also uncovered this video of the encounter that is worth a viewing.

Getting GRID Ready

There are a few abilities that should be considered bring added to GRID to assist with tracking what is happening with the encounter (please keep in mind that at this point, this is mostly speculation, and that you may need to update or make changes based on your own experiences with the encounter):

  • Touch of Darkness – Will cause damage to the affected player and those around him (speculated) under the effect of Light Essence.
    • Light Essence will absorb light essence and deal bonus damage to dark targets.
      • You may want to track this so that you know who may potentially be taking extra damage from Touch of Darkness.  This may end up being information overload, however, and you may not want to see all this information.
  • Touch of Light – Will cause damage to the affected player and those around him (speculated) under the effect of Dark Essence.
    • Dark Essence – Will absorb Dark Damage and deal bonus damage to light targets.
      • Like the Light Essence, you may want to track this so that you know who may potentially be taking extra damage from Touch of Light.  This may end up being information overload, however, and you may not want to see all this information.
  • Twin Spike– I am not entirely certain if this will be a debuff on the tank, or a buff on the mob.  I will be adding it to my GRID on the first night just to be safe, as if it is a debuff on the tank, it will be important to know.  However, I do suspect that this will be a buff to the mob.
  • Empowered Darkness and Empowered Light – You may want to consider adding these to Grid to know who has what debuffs, although it looks like players are visually marked on their characters to reflect this.  I suspect that it will be more information than you need to see in your UI, and I will probably not be adding it to my GRID…however if I do, I will add it as a corner box.

A Few Notes of Import for Healers

There looks to be a few things that healers are going to want to be aware of throughout the course of the encounter, as extra healing will be required:

  • Power of the Twins – This buff will increase the damage dealt by 30% and allow the twins to dual wield for 15 seconds.
    • What this means as a healer is that your tank will not only be getting hit harder, but with more frequency.  You will want to make sure that you are aware of this buff so that you can boost the healing that you are doing to your tank.  You may also want to rotate tank/healer cooldowns for this.
  • Dark Vortex and Light Vortex – Will cause ~6000 damage every second for 5 seconds
    • The raid should be “attuning” themselves to avoid this damage, however healers should be ready to heal if a tick or so of this gets to anyone in the raid.
  • Surge of Darkness and Surge of Light – Will cause 1500 damage every 2 seconds to dark/light enemies.
    • While most of this should be mitigated via interrupts (I think!), be ready for someone to be slow and need some extra healing.
  • Unleashed Dark and Unleashed Light –  Will cause ~13000 damage to enemies within 8 yeards.
    • Tanks and healers may want to rotate cooldowns for this as it happens.  Raid healers should be ready to top off the melee after this ability is used.
  • Twin Spike – Will cause 100% weapon damage and increase damage taken by 20% for 15 seconds.
    • Another ability that healers will want to be aware of, and perhaps use cooldowns to help make healing a bit easier.

I hope that this is helpful for everyone that is facing this encounter over the next few days.  I will update this post with any changes, thoughts or suggestions that I have after I have some first hand experience 🙂

Have Fun and Good Luck!

Getting Grid Ready for Week 3 Crusader’s Coliseum – Faction Champions   4 comments

Oh boy!  This one is a doosey!  You hate PvP?  You hated that third boss in Magister’s Terrace?  That will be your tough luck, unfortunately!  The third boss in the Crusader’s Coliseum appears to be a flat out arena event, in which you must use your team prowess to beat the other team.  There really isn’t a lot you can do to prepare for this, other than to think of a general strategy (i.e. Kill/CC healers first), and be ready to deal with any of the combinations that you are confronted with, as you will never receive the same combination two weeks in a row.  Each guild will need to find their stride and what works best for them.  We will probably run 7 healers (as that is what we took for Jaraxxus), and try to heal through the DPS while we take out the healers.  One key thing that will be extremely important is teamwork, and making sure that everyone works on their assigned target.

I did find a couple of videos on the Faction Champions encounter, but they will be of limited help in preparing for tomorrow.  However, they are still worth taking a look at to see what happens during the fight.  The video in the second link shows the champions encounter towards the end of the video.

I will be focusing on the Horde NPCs, as I am a horde player, however the alliance do have their own set of mirrored NPCs as well.  Both sets of NPCs can be found here.  (Per my edit at the bottom, the NPCs listed currently are the ones that the alliance will face.  The Horde will face the mirrored alliance ones).

The Horde NPCs are as follows:

  • Death Knight –  Gorgrim Shadowcleave
  • Druid (Moon Chicken)  – Birna Stormhoof
  • Druid (Healer)  – Erin misthoof
  • Hunter Ruh’kah – with lion
  • Mage  – Ginselle Blightslinger
  • Paladin (healer) – Liandra Suncaller
  • Paladin (ret) – Malithas Brightblade
  • Priest (healer)  – Caiphus the Stern
  • Priest (shadow)  – Vivienne Blackwhisper
  • Rogue – Maz’dinah
  • Shaman (caster) – Thrakgar
  • Shaman (melee) – Broln Stouthorn 
  • Warlock – Harkzog – with felhunter
  • Warrior – Narrhok Steelbreaker

These NPCs appear to have all of the abilities that we have as players, and they use them.  They appear to be able to be contained by CC, however it would also be prudent to assume that they are equally effected by diminishing returns.  Tanks from the PTR have reported that they are “un-tankable”, meaning that they do not have a set agro table, however if their AI is similar to that in Magister’s Terrace, all of the pets are tauntable and tankable.  This is not confirmed, however, and everyone should give it a try as you are first matched up!

Also note that the NPCswill use all of the abilities given to them.  So yes, that healer that you are working down will likely receive a Hand of Protection as his life gets low.  That shadow priest may use dispersion to mitigate some of the damage she’s taking.  The shaman will bloodlust (it must be removed immediately!  Purge, Mass Dispel, Spell Steal).  The mage will sheep, and the warlock will likely banish.  You need to think outside of the box and be ready for anything.

So…the title says “Getting Grid Ready” for this mess.  Well, how in the heck are you supposed to do that?!?!  Easy!  Make sure that you have any and all debuffs set up to make sure you can see what is going on.  Some people may find it easier to use colors for all of this rather than raid icons, so that they only have to worry about “magic” “disease” “curse” etc.  However, it is going to be important that you are aware of how your team mates are afflicted!  Here is a non-exclusive list of potential maladies that I was able to think to add, I have highlighted some of what I feel may be the more important ones:

Ice Nova
Hammer of Justice
Ice Trap

Entangling Roots
Psychic Scream
Any Kind of Poison
Flame Shock
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield
Sacred Shield

Curse of Tongues
Any kind of Disease

If you can think of anything that I have forgotten, or have any additional thoughts or ideas, please do not hesitate to let me know!  Remember to think unconventionally and creatively to deal with this encounter!

Good Luck Everyone and Have Fun!

edit!  So…I am a total noob (what else is new?) and the faction champions listed above are indeed the “Horde” champions.  What I failed, in grand fashion, to realize is that those are the champions that the alliance will be challenged with, not the horde 🙂  I will update the alliance champions to my list tomorrow!

Posted August 17, 2009 by Beruthiel in Crusader's Coliseum, Grid, PvP, Raiding, Strategy Planning

How Matticus Saved My Sanity (aka Helpful Info on Northrend Beasts!)   5 comments

You all remember my panic from yesterday, right?  Well, since the patch hit today, I’ve decided to embrace it and take the bull by the horns.  I started searching for anything and everything that I could find regarding the first encounter in the coliseum, in my attempt to prepare for my raid to face the Northrend Beasts tomorrow night.  (If the servers are stable, I imagine Monolab will go into the 10 man for some exploration tonight).

I read through all of their abilities many times and started making notes on potential ways to deal with them, adding questions I had on what I read, and different things that might be worth attempting.  There is a surprisingly small amount of information on the encounters currently available, which makes the strategy planning part of the raid kinda fun, but puts my OCD self very much on edge.

And then I found this (spoiler warning, don’t click if you don’t wanna know).  If you have not discovered it yet, I would whole heartedly recommend trekking over and giving it a once over.  There is some wonderful information available, with healing advice, to give you a jumping point on the encounter, as well as a video of the encounter (which is rare!).  I certainly will be sharing it with our raiders before tomorrow night!

Dear Matticus, if you make it over to my small corner of the world, I would like to say thank you so much for putting the time and effort into putting the write up together.  You have no idea how much calmer I feel after having read your thoughts (and realizing that I was spot on in some of my thinking, and not so spot on in others!).

Good Luck Everyone as you enter the Coliseum!!!

The 3.2 Blues   2 comments

*queue raunchy blues riff to play in the background*

I’m not ready.  No, really.  I’m so not ready.

I’ve hardly kept up with the patch notes.  I know there are some big changes.  And frankly, I’m just about scared shitless.

Do you think if I close my eyes, stomp my feet, and scream really loudly in a huge tatrum Blizzard will hold off?  No?  Damn.

This is a very difficult position for me to be in, as I have a bit of an OCD nature about me.  I literally live by the moto “be prepared”.  I arrive at the airport 2 hours early, I map out all my destinations before a trip even though I own GPS.  And with the patch beating down our door, I’m a bit freaked out.  I haven’t read a ton about the coliseum, which is problematic because I’m going to be responsible for a raid that starts in there!  I’m fairly certain that I have now entered that “panic” mode.  You know the one I’m talking about!  The chug as much caffeine as possible (sorry, there was no such thing as “Red Bull” in my college days!) while cramming every last bit of information you can until you pass out trying to prepare for that big test/presentation/whatever!

Ok…it is what it is.  I’ve got to deal with it.  I’m going to take a deep breath and forge ahead, no matter how much I don’t feel ready to do so.

In that vein, I thought I’d put together a real basic bit of survivor’s guide for the un-prepared (like me!).

  • As always update your mods early, and often.  This will be especially true for bar mods with this patch, as there is going to be a fundamental bar mod change, as the result of the Shaman totems.  I always make a list of what I’m using, so I don’t forget something.  I also put a patch specific folder in the folder that I download my add-ons in, so I know I’m installing the proper version.
  • If you are a druid, firgure out what feral forms you would like to have, and what fur/hair color you will need to obtain those looks.
  • If possible, try not to schedule a raid on “patch day”.  There will be a myriad of issues that have to be dealt with by all players, and likely server instability.  It is probably worth your time, and sanity, not to raid on patch day!
  • Prepare as best you can for the Coliseum.  Remember, they are only releasing one boss a week, and you cannot progress to the hard modes until you have cleared all 5 bosses in their normal versions.  The first set of bosses that you will be confronted with are the Northrend Beasts.  Here is a list of the potential beasts that you may confront, along with their abilities.
    • Remember, with only one boss a week for the first 5 weeks, along with limited tries on the hard mode bosses, there is likely to still be plenty of time to continue working through Ulduar.  Collect those last few shards, and finish out those hard modes!
  • Stock up on your argent daily tokens!  There are new toys coming out with the patch!
  • Get ready for epic gems!  Stock up on Titanium ore to prospect, gems and eternals for transmutes, or get some PvP action in for honor.  Of course, if you have deep pockets, you can always just purchase gems from the AH, but expect them to be pricey the first few weeks after the patch goes live.
    • As a side note, if you are a JC, make sure you’ve stocked up on plenty of tokens to purchase the patterns to cut epic gems!
  • Be sure that your enchanting supplies are in stock!  New gear will mean new enchants!
  • Get your wishlists out and start editing them.  Know who drops what, and what is an upgrade for you.
    • As a side note, keep in mind that MP5 is going up in value.

I wish everyone the best of luck as 3.2 goes live, and if anyone can think of anything that I forget, no matter how small, please (I’m begging you!), let me know 🙂

Posted August 3, 2009 by Beruthiel in Changes, Strategy Planning

Ugh…already? But I just got here!   8 comments

I figured that my colleagues have already sufficiently covered the upcoming changesthat we will be seeing with the next content patch (3.2), so there was really no need for me to touch on the topic.  Of course…other than to say the following to my dear paladins: no, the world is not ending; yes, you will still be able to heal; no, you will not always be OOM.  Wait for the PTR results before jumping off that cliff, dear friend.

OK!  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. . .I thought I’d rant a bit about something releated, but different.

Does anyone else think that patch 3.2 is coming way to fast?  I mean, I know that we’ve got 2-3 months of PTR testing ahead of us still, but I honestly feel like I just stepped into Ulduar yesterday.  I’ve barely had time to stop and breath and enjoy the instance…and we are just 2 weeks into focusing hard modes.  I feel like we are just starting to really sink our teeth into the meat of the instance, and it’s going to be a flash in the pan before we have a chance to get through it all.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hey, Watch that Shadow Crash! Thinking through General Vezax.   6 comments

The past week or so I have been living and breathing the General Vezax encounter in my mind. Our 25 man got to him last Monday night, and we just had one of “those” nights (you all know what I’m talking about, we all have them!). After a fantastic raid week, it was almost like we just ran out of steam. From bizzare multiple pulls of the boss during clearing the trash (FYI mirror image during trash clears in the room with Vezax = BAD), to just stumbling around the mechanics of the encounter.

All in all, we probably got maybe 2.5 hours worth of online attempts in on the encounter our first night…which was about 10 pulls. This fight has a number of things going against it with regards to the “learning” curve.

 First and formost is that you are up against a good bit of trash every two hours; which in itself is fine. However, this is the only boss in Ulduar so far that actually has a “run back”. There is no teleporter to take you right outside of the bosses room. And for the first time in quite awhile, we found it quicker to “recover” after a wipe then to have everyone release and run back. We set a five minute recovery benchmark, this means that everyone needs to be rezzed, buffed and ready to pull within five minutes.  Our pulls were averaging 5-7 minutes in length a peice; add another minute to that for everyone in the raid to wipe (FYI rogues, hunters and mages, just bloody well DIE already, so we can recover faster…PLEASE). That puts each attempt at roughly 10-13 minutes, which allows you approximately 4-6 pulls an hour. Read the rest of this entry »

Ulduar Week Two Thoughts   Leave a comment

We have now had our second week in Ulduar, so I thought I’d opine on what I think of the zone again!

Both our 10 and 25 man progression is now identical, both sitting at 10/14 bosses down.  I am quite pleased with this, and think that our guild has done a fantastic job not only preparing for the zone, but coming in and getting the job done.  Our 25 man raids for roughly 20 hours a week, and has really risen to the occasion with the raid time that we have! 

Our 10 man (aka Mono Lab) threw themselves mercilessly at Mimiron for about 3 hours last Saturday, and was regularly making it to phase 4, when we opted to give it a rest for a bit and do some additional off line preparation for our next run at him.  Our 25 man bested Thorim at the end of our raid last night, there were new helms and much rejoicing, and hopefully means that we will get some face time with Mimiron this coming raid week. Read the rest of this entry »