Friday, March 18, 2011

Hints for Valonia and Theralion 10

I walked into the 2 dragons fight cold. I had read the strat, but most strats make no sense to me and tell me nothing that is really useful (one of the reasons I write my own).

The main thing I walked away from this fight knowing, is that this is not a DPS race, it is a survivability fight. Stay alive and you will easily beat the enrage timer.  As usual, you can go find strats and videos on the web if you are so inclined.

So here are some things that helped me stay alive and healing during that fight:
Pink dragon
spread out - don't stand too near someone so when blue poop hits you on the head, it doesn't splash the sides of the bowl too much and splash the person next to you.

Run in under the tail for black out
. Black out is really obvious to see on a person. DBM puts a skull on the persons head and they are glowing blue. STAY UNDER THE FRICKEN TAIL until the dispeller says GO! because if you don't, then the damage will make the healers very unhappy. (ETA replace "Under the tail" with "gathering spot of the RLs choice")

If you are the dispeller - be super fast and call out quick.

Smashy smashy. This dragon doesn't seem to be too bad.


Don't stand in the poop.
If you DO stand in the poop and you end up in a weird twilight world, haul your arse to the portal on the side and GTFO ASAP! Avoid the glowing balls.

Blue dragon:
Melee group stack under the tail.

OK here's the tricks:
Purple arrow
If you have a purple arrow on your head, run to melee. Melee will be under the tail, if they are not, that's their bad. No matter if you have an x on your head too. (see rules for x on head below)
IF YOU HAVE HOTS OR DOTS AND AN x... I am not 100% sure if each tick causes an explosion, I think it might... so be careful of that.

X on your head
If you have an x on your head, and you are stuck in melee (ie you are a rogue or something or have a purple arrow on your head) DO NOTHING. No autohits, no nothing. Stand there and /dance or something till it goes away

Otherwise, x on head GTFO! get away from anyone get out get away and continue doing what you normally do.

Why x and v?

x does aoe when you "do things" like heal or hit shit.
v drops poop from on high and you need to share the love.

Get this bit right, and not standing in the blue flamey bits on the ground is easy!

When the pink dragon gets annoyed
at some point, the pink dragon will start flaming 1/3 of the room. Designate a spotter (we found that dead people make great spotters) to tell the raid where the flames are going to be. At the point, it doesn't matter about DPS at all, just get out of the poop on the ground. Seriously, just concentrate on not standing in the bad and getting back to the pink dragon on the ground.

And it back to pink dragon again.

I found, the most important thing I could do in this fight was stay alive, and as a healer, emergency spot healing the raid to save idiots who stood in the poop *cough* like myself. Sometimes they died, but that actually turned into an advantage because it isnt a DPS race.

Hope that helps people wrap their brains around things - it has clarified things a bit for me.

I think the real trick is getting the inny and outey bits right (x and v) and having a good spotter for the 1/3 flamey bits, and also remembering that it is NOT a DPS race, you gotta stay alive.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Magmaw alternative coming

There is another way of dealing with the adds in Magmaw - when I have opportunity to look at the ins and outs (and gotchas) for doing it the alternative way, I will pop up a Magmaw Part II post :)

Cheers to ratshag for reminding me!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Magmaw 10

Well, this expansion, strats are going to come a fair bit slower as I am with a much more casual raiding guild.  But, I am still going to be writing up everything I can - and this one is about MAGMAW!

First up, Magmaw is a giant worm that doesn't move.  He has a ginormous hit box, so hunters, be really careful when dealing with the small amount of trash leading up to him.  One misclick and you pull the boss and everyone starts wondering why people are dying.  It's funny the first time....

Anyway, for some reason people say that Magmaw has 2 phases - I personally find that terminology confusing, so I wont use it.  It's not really 2 phases at all.  But you will see what I mean when I get to it.  Also, I will do a TL:DR at the end which summarises the fight in about 3-4 sentences.

Magmaw is a gear check.  It has high but predictable damage output, and it is to some extent a DPS race.

Magmaw can do a few things when he is free to wiggle around and you set up your raid team positioning accordingly.

Shopping list:
1-2 tanks (our team goes with 2, but 1 would also work if you are confident with your skills),
3 healers
5-6 DPS - at least 1 ranged

The positioning is as follows:
Tank is on one side of Magmaw, everyone else (except the one ranged I mentioned) is "behind" Magmaw on the other side.  Get as close to the giant worm as you can but don't fall off the edge!!! This, while funny even the 7th time, leads to wipes!  The one lone ranged (usually a hunter for obvious reasons, two if you have two hunters) hangs out in range of heals, but at "ranged".  There is a bit of broken floor in the middle, hanging around that is a good visual marker.

That's it.  Stay with that as best you can.  Tank keeps the attention of the boss,  the DPS/Healer group don't stand in the poop and the ranged dude also doesn't stand in any poop.

What poop is there?
Well, there are several kinds of poop.  There is Ignition, which is fairly obvious as half the room catches on fire.  If it is the half that the DPS/Healer group is on, they need to get out of it asap, then move back when it is over.

There is another kind of unavoidable poop that the healers simply have to heal through.  You will see it because everyone's health bars will start plummeting.  But most everyone is grouped up, right?  AoE heals are fantastic here and make that part of the fight almost trivial when done right.

One is especially for the ranged guy.  Every... oh 30s or so, Magmaw will cast something called Pillar of Flame at someone at ranged (and if there is no ranged, then it will be in melee which is bad).  It's like the steam geysers in Valithria from ICC.  You have 4s to get out of the poop on the ground before you get launched into the air.

From the ground of this event, a whole stack of adds will appear - Lava Parasites.  Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES must these little critters be allowed to a) live or b) hit anyone.  I can't stress this enough.  When they are out, they are the number 1 DPS priority, no matter what else is happening.  I mean it.

So, now these adds need to be CCed - slowed, trapped, ice bolted... and more especially, kited.  See why I recommended a hunter be at ranged?  Whoever is at ranged needs to kite these suckers around, not get hit, and not die.  Also, they need to keep enough threat on them all that the DPS in melee are not pulling off the kiter.  Every class has something they can do - go research what you can do to help slow or kill these adds.  I mean everyone, pallies and rogues included.  It is vitally important that these bugs die. 

If they touch you, this is what happens: they decide you are a great host for their babies, and stab your stomach and infect you (read the tool tip, it's worth it!), you then get so sick you chuck more parasites everywhere.  I mean, seriously awesome stuff, but kind of fatal to your existence and the existence of the raid.  This pretty much causes a wipe.

OK got all that?
Not too bad - it's pretty much, don't stand in the poop, kite and kill the bugs. 

"The Next Phase"
At some point Magmaw will emote something about exposing his pincers (always a bad idea for the boss to do) which, conveniently, will then EAT THE DAMN TANK.  Yes, Magmaw will bend over and chomp on the tank.  This debuff is visible on most raid frames - healers, time to focus on the tank.  In 30s the tank will irrevocably die so healers, don't worry if your tank suddenly carks it.  It just means the DPS are not doing their job.

Huh? What Job?
2 DPS need to be allocated the job of jumping on Magmaw's head.  When he bends over to chomp on the tank, a little vehicle arrow will appear when you mouse over him.  One at a time, you can jump up on his head, but beware that vehicle icon is not available for long, so you have to be quick.

Once up, your action bar will have a thing to do, which is use constricting chains to tie his head to the spike in the middle there.  OK DPS, this is where you need to talk on vent or something.  You BOTH have to get your chains on at the same time.  If only one gets done, then Magmaw will rip free and well, you have to go again, and since you only have 30s till the tank dies, you really only get one shot at this.  The animation that goes along with chaining Magmaw is not short, so talk, and time it together.

Magmaw also likes to headbutt the raid at this point often stunning people.  Not a lot you can do about that except wear it.  I mean, you can probably dodge away, but I don't believe it is worth bothering with.

Let's assume you got it right, and Magmaw is tied to the spike.  The target will now change to exposed  something or other - be sure that you are DPSing the right thing!  Because, while Magmaw is chained down, you are doing double damage.  Also, there is zero healing required at this time, so healers, you will need to use this tome to regenerate mana however you do it.

CAVEAT: If there are parasites up - no matter what happens, they are a DPS target priority.  The only 2 people excused from dealing with parasites are the DPS jumping on Magmaw's head.  Even then, they need to get their job done asap and get back onto the parasites.

Eventually, Magmaw will break free, and we are back to dealing with him as usual. This is where my group uses a second tank to ease the pain of the being munched on debuff.  But if you are confident, you can use the same tank.

Threat Dump!
DPS - be very careful of threat - there is a aggro dump when Magmaw is chained (I think it is at that point) and it CAN turn around and snot you for about 120k on cloth if the tank it not quick enough on the taunt.  Possibly not enough to kill you, but it will give the healers the scare of their lives.

OK maybe more than 3-4 sentences...
  • One ranged for kiting parasites (priority kill targets), hunter best.
  • Rest group up "behind" Magmaw.
  • Don't stand in the poop.
  • 2 DPS jump up asap, coordinate chain activation (30s Max time for this).
  • Burn Magmaw (parasites die first).
  • EEEP! Aggro Dump!!!
  • Rinse, repeat.
  • Collect bad RNG loots.
Good Hunting - that's most of it.  I know I skipped some things, but they really are irrelevant to know about.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mana vs Concentration pots

So, while deliberating the ins and outs of paladin healing this week with my guildies (mostly, my paladin partner in crime, Siha) we came to a bit of a realisation:  I was mana potting, she was conc potting.

What exactly is the difference?

Mana pots give you a one shot 10k (approx) hit of mana.
Conc pots mean you stay put for up to 10s and gain back up to 22K mana (more if you are an alchemist - which I am not, so I dont know the details of the buff there).

Here is a bit of an analysis I popped on our forums trying to figure out which was better (slightly edited for a couple of errors I made and were pointed out to me):
So, 10s of silence with a concentation pot gives a guaranteed 22k mana. But you cant do anything else. For 10s.


A mana pot (quick 10k) plus hitting the boss. Seems like the proc rate of insight is about 30-40% per successful melee hit giving around 937 mana, with a judgement doing about 3.5k, but also leaving you free to heal or do other things.

So in 10s a mana pot (10k instant) plus 2 judges (7k) plus 5 (ish) hits with a proc rate of about 2 of them returning mana puts you about 2 k behind a conc potion, without having to be immobile for 10s (ie you can WoG or HS or anything else at the same time)


I think it is situational. Clearly, Magmaw favours conc pots (probably bracketed by judgements to maximise regen) but I suspect other fights might favour the mana pot.
Siha added that coinciding DP with a conc pot would really throw you back up in the mana stakes, and I said while that is a good idea, (I mean it really IS a good idea, and one of which I should have thought), it didn't change the math because both mana pots and conc pots could be coincided with DP.

So people - what have you experienced? When is it a good time to mana pot? when is it good to conc pot?

Friday, February 18, 2011

One boss in BWD gawn

So, we killed magmaw on our first 10man adventure into raiding on wednesday night.  In typical raiding style, it went down on the last pull of the night!

I drew a lot of conclusions from that raid, and I need to do a couple more before I write up some advice on how to kill magmaw (there are a couple of very straight forward things you need to do to win) but also, on holy paladin healing.  There were two of us in the raid - and we are both very competent pally healers, with VERY different styles.  Looking at the recount summaries made me guffaw in amusement.  The other holy pally was using Divine Light as her go to spell, and pumping out the HPS.  She probably has a good 8-10 gear points on me.  Me?  Well, I was using every trick in the book to squeeze as much as I could out of what I had!  I used literally everything, except Light of Dawn, which I am not a fan of as a spell.

Today, I am hoping to go through the parses and see how much mana I generated compared to the other holy pally, and see if that is where I was lacking.  I strongly suspect it is.  I was experimenting with flasks and food, and I was trying the int flasks - I suspect until my gear picks up, I might need the spirit flask.

Here's a screen shot of the kill attempt and my spell usage (Yes I know they don't fit on my actual blog, just click them and they will take you to a page with just the image.  RSS feed readers... you will have no idea what I am talking about!)

As you can see, I was very evenly using every trick at my disposal.  I was keeping shock on CD as much as I could (which, honestly, probably wasn't enough).  Here is the other holy pally:
As you can see, she was pumping out the DLs hard as her go to spell.  I simply do not have the mana, or regen to keep that up as much as she did.

Then the money shot - why I need to up my spirit:
Guess where Brang ran short on mana completely and utterly and was running on fumes?  Yes, I was the light pink line.  This really rams home to me that my attribute distribution on my gear is not ideal, and I am a bit short when it comes to being 10man raid ready.  Not a LOT short, just a little bit.

Remember that list I put up a couple of weeks a go with the self gearing information?  Yeah, well I'm still wearing that list.  It's not the best list, but as you can see above, it is really just about raid ready, or at least very close to it.  I am near to replacing my crafted helm with the JP badge helm and that might make a bit of difference for monday, we will see!  Unfortunately, I don't have another holy pally to compare myself to in that raid. 

But, I think I acquitted myself quite well, I kept pace on the whole, considering my gear level. I didn't die too much, I didn't stand in the fire, and on the whole, the tanks didn't get omnomnomed to death.

Monday will be another raid instance, so we will see how that goes!  I will chat to our kiters of adds for magmaw and see if I can get a good understanding of how they controlled the adds successfully (as toward the end of the night, they really had those adds under control)  Then I will write up a NERD guide to 10man magmaw.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Short health-based update

So you all know that I had been scarce here because I was "sick".  Well, I was sick, I was nauseated all day every day and struggling to just get to work and collapsing when I got home.

But I had to wait until all the scans and tests were done to be sure that nothing was going to go wrong.  Because when you are having a baby, the last thing you want to have happen is tell people, only to have something awful happen within the first 12 weeks or have to make a difficult decision.

So, I have been very busy in RL, with christmas/New year, organising a wedding (I have my own heirloom ring now for levelling with), convincing my partn^H^H^H^H^Hhusband to play a worgen with me, and... you know... growing a human in my belly.

It takes time!

Well, I seem to be a lot less sick now, I have a lot more time to play WoW and I have actually even started healing properly and have some ideas and advice on what to do in heroics, at least.  May I say LoH is your friend, and so is holy shock.

And for the record, my very next grim batol heroic dropped my bracers.  I'm pretty happy, and raid ready!  Now, its just a matter of slowly replacing my 333 gear with 346+ for added shininess for entry level raiding.

My ret set is not changed much in the last week - but the ret update has added about 1k to my DPS (I can push 10.5k with my ilvl333 gear as opposed to pushing 9k). I got compliments from the DPS in my PUG heroic last night for what I was able to do with what I had (they were all partially raid geared, and I was keeping up, well, in the same ball park, with my quest greens!) so I was feeling on top of the world after that - still am, in fact.  Also, I held my own in the Tol Barad raid - again, pushing over the magic 10k DPS requirement.

So, this week has been successful for me.

Next week, Southern Wardens steps into 10man raiding.  Which I am looking forward to.  Should be interesting.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting ready for Heroics (and raiding to some extent) as holy with minimal luck

Since I have had little to no time for heroics (and every time I do, it takes upwards of 2 hours because there are always a few of us learning what is going on as I always go as a guild group), and RNG has been less than kind to me with regards holy gear, I have had to work on getting my gear sorted out very much on my own.

Shopping list:
About 2500 JP, about 5000 if you want to buy a helm instead of the crafted one.  Rep grinding to exalted Earthen Ring and Therazane, Honored with Ramaken by quest levelling and wearing a tabard.  Bad RNG in heroic drops.  About 5-10k gold to use.  A herber alt.  JC as a profession.

So this is what I have done thus far:

Helm - get the Stormforged Helm created by a guildie.  You can buy a helm with JPs which is better, but as you will see later, I spent my JPs on another item to cover off other, larger upgrades.

Neck - Pendant of Elemental Balance (Earthen Ring Honored)

Shoulders - Twilight-Heart Shoulderplates (Quest Reward, Traitor's Bait, Horde side, unsure of alliance equivalent in Twilight Highlands)

Back - Cloak of Ancient Wisdom (earthen ring revered)

Chest - Peacemaker's Breastplate (Earthen Ring Revered)

Wrists - Good bloody question.  Still researching my options there, and waiting for RNG to strike in Grim Batol for Bracers of Umbral Mending off Erudax

Gloves - Gloves of Curious Conscience (1650 JP)

Belt - Expensive (truegold is owie), Light Elementium Belt (crafted Epic, needs 4 hardened Elementium bars, 3 Truegold, 2 Chaos Orbs)

Legs - My second piece of luck - Greaves of the Misguided (Heroic Shadowfang Keep, Lord Godfrey)

Feet - Drystone Greaves (Ramaken - honored)

Ring - Diamant's Ring of Temperance (Therazane - revered)

Ring - Ammunae's Blessing (Ramaken - Honored)

Trinket - Figurine - Dream Owl (JC)

Trinket - Figurine - Jeweled Serpent (JC)

Mace - A bit of luck! Scepter of Power (Heroic Halls of Origination, Setesh)

Shield - Shield of the Mists (950 JP)

Relic - Tattooed Eyeball (Inscription)  This is where you will need your herber.  The ink is hideously expensive, and it takes about one stack of cataclysm herbs per ink.  If you have the money, GREAT! If not, get herbing!

It's not the BEST list of items, but it is a very fast way of getting mostly ready to kick arse and take names in heroics at least.  I suspect, it might even scrape you into almost ready for raiding with an understanding guild.

So, in the last 4 days, that is what I have done.  Gone from 277 and 264 items and a lot of quest greens, and done the above.  I hope to heal my first heroic some time this weekend (My ret gear has been far outstripping my holy gear in luck and drops and so I have been DPSing all my heroics I have been doing) so will be able to put all this to the test!