Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

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Rallying Cry: A Mistake or Needed Cooldown?

February 25, 2011

With the 4.1 PTR now live we are able to see the newest changes to each of the classes.  There are changes to three of the 4 tanking classes.  However, the druid changes are basically buffs to their TPS abilities since they were so obviously overnerfed in a hotfix recently.  The Paladin changes deserve their own post.  So that leaves the Warrior Changes.  One Warrior Change in particular… Rallying Cry.

 

Rallying Cry
3 min cooldown

Temporarily grants you and all party or raid members within 30 yards 20% of maximum health for 10 sec.
After the effect expires, the health is lost.
(Shares a cooldown with Last Stand.)

On its face this ability is a boon for all specs of Warrior.  This solves our balance issues with Protection Paladins and their Divine Guardian.  This gives us a raid cooldown that is actually good and useful.  That is until we look at the fine print.  That “Shares a cooldown with Last Stand” part of the description.  Ahhh and there is the rub.  What are the ramifications of this?

1) Why does Rallying Cry share Last Stand’s cooldown?

By making these abilities share a cooldown Blizzard has solved one problem while causing another.  There is a reason why Divine Guardian also has fine print in its description.  Divine Guardian does NOT effect the casting Paladin.  Why?  For one reason and one reason only, because the developers did not want to give Paladins yet another cooldown they could use while tanking.

These abilities were designed to be used as raid cooldowns and not as personal cooldowns.  Thus by linking the cooldowns will force the cooldown to not be used as a personal tanking cooldown.

2) How does the linking effect Last Stand?

Unfortunately, this will cause other complications based on the overall design of this ability.  By linking these two cooldowns creates a paradigm where tanking warriors are now forced to make a decision between using one of their two tanking cooldowns and saving it to benefit the raid at a set point in an encounter.  Thus, for a good chunk of the more difficult encounters where a raid cooldown may be called for Warrior tanks will now be without a cooldown they would normally have.

3) What are the ramifications for Fury and Arms?

What of the other warriors inside your raid?  While Arms Warriors are not a spec that are often brought to raids for their stellar dps, fury warriors are.  Warrior damage is high and raids are bringing the “player” and not the “class”.  After this change will warriors be brought for their class?

We had similar circumstances back in Wrath of the Lich King.  Back then, all Paladins had access to Divine Guardian.  Paladins of all three specs were being brought to raids because of this.  Retribution Paladins in particular were being brought because of this.  Divine Guardian was so powerful that when the trees were redesigned the ability was given only to tanks.  Tanks and healers have a place to protect the raid.  Limiting and healing damage to the raid is their pervue.  The DPS pervue is to do damage and keep themselves alive.

I am not going to say that Rallying Cry will be to Warriors what Heroism/Bloodlust was to Shaman.  I will however say, that the ability will shift raid makeups considerably across the board.  Where there were once 1 DPS warrior in a 25 man raid, there will now be 2-3.  Where there were no warriors in a 10man group, there will be 1.

Raid cooldowns should remain in the hands of the Tanks and the Healers.

4) How do we fix this ability to be what Warrior tanks need?

First off, do we as warrior tanks need a raid cooldown?  Part of me wants to say, “No we do not.”  While the other part of me see’s Divine Guardian and says “They have one, I want one!”  What it really comes down to, will Protection Warriors be chosen more over Paladins if they had a similar raid cooldown?  I can’t help but to agree that they would.  Yet, that being said, is it a necessary addition to the game?

Personally, I am going to go with the “No we do not” sentiment.  However, it seems like we are getting this no matter if we like it or not.  So how do we make this ability workable within the Protection Warrior toolkit?

The easiest solution is perhaps the best solution.  Divine Guardian has fine print, just copy it and paste it into the Last Stand talent.  Create extra wording to the talent changing Rallying Cry from effecting the warrior if cast by him and preventing Last Stand and Rallying Cry from being up at the same time no matter who cast what.

Yes, it would be better if Rallying Cry was flat out attached to Last Stand’s Talent.  One talent to grant both abilities within the Protection tree.  Thus making it a Protection only ability.

5) What are the PvP ramifications?

I do not PvP regularly, but I can see some real issues within organized PvP.  Rallying Cry during an Arena Match could turn the tide.  Rallying Cry during a Tol Barad could do the same.  Giving upwards of 40 people 20% extra health will be as strong or stronger than a well-timed Time Warp/Heroism/Bloodlust.  Is Blizzard thinking everything as through as we’d like?

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Bear Run… Part Deux

December 18, 2008

For the Alliance!

murlocdualOur guild’s raid week has been continually condensing itself down into fewer days.  The last 2 weeks we have had 3 day weeks instead of four.  Last night we came to a crossroads as to condense ourselves into a mere 2 days for all 25 man raid content, or do something fun.

We chose the fun.

Racing against a Trade Channel PuG, we circumnavigated Azeroth leaving death in our wake.  We laid siege to each of the 4 Horde leaders like they were nothing.

Lor’themar Theron –

Defacto leader of the blood elves now that Kael’thas has shown his true colors.  Lor’themar is the weakest of the 4 Horde leadership.  While he is the only leader to have more than 1 guardian, both Halduron Brightwing and Grand Magistar Rommath are rather weak.  Rommath is a lame Magistar and hardly (if ever) casts anything.

Lor’themar and his guardians are the easiest of the four.  His court and city guards are actually 5 levels lower than those of the other cities, being only 75.  Ride right up to the door, training any and all guards you get, and AOE the cityguards down.  They have ~12-15k health total and are easily dispatched.

Lady Sylvanas –

The newly reminted and sexy as hell Sylvanas is still a pushover.  Her room however is full of a few more guardians and Battleground NPCs so they make her a little more difficult as the Battleground Master NPC’s are a heck of lot more hearty than the level 80 city guards that will arrive to protect her.  Unlike Lor’themar and Thrall, she has no secondary boss near her to deal with.

Tip to anyone that attempts her.  She vanishes, give her a raid mark.  She dissapears and drops threat at an extreme rate at times.  Having a mark on her will allow you to find her a lot easier and get the encounter done and get back out of Undercity.

Thrall –

Logistically the most difficult task of the four.  Where in Silvermoon City and Undercity, you probably did not have many players add, Thrall almost always will have players trying to thwart your advance.  This is made worse with Winterveil being an Orgrimmar centered event.  You WILL get horde.  Use whatever methodology you see fit to stop them.  Typhoon and Blastwave spam at the door will do you well to a point, but having specific group set aside to kill people works as well.

Or you could do what we did, and had all of our mages just spam aoe and offtanks solo the healers.  (Holy Priest vs Prot Warrior = dead holy priest.)

The biggest issue with Thrall is not Thrall himself.  It is not even the PvP element of the encounter.  It is Vol’jin.  Unlike the guardians of Lor’themar, Vol’jin is a serious threat to your raid.  He will cast an AoE Hex periodically.  So if you value your raid, not only have offtanks standing by.  But have a druid tank.  Multiple tanks using PvP trinkets or Every Man also will work well here.

Thrall himself is a push over.  He does not have near the power he does inside the Mount Hyjal raid.  He will periodcally cast Chain Lightning.  This has an extremely long cast time and really is no threat to your raid regardless.

Cairne Bloodhoof –

Cairne can knock you off Thunder Bluff.

That is basically the fight.  Cairne is located near a building, tank him inside it.  Put your back to a wall.  He is the hardest hitting of the 4 bosses.  If you can deal with the bursty damage on your tank and handle the periodic threat drops, you will survive to throw some steak on the BBQ.

Again, he is also easy to isolate from incoming players because of the size of his door and the ease at which a pair of mages or moonkin can knock people back from it.

Closing Notes –

Some interesting things to note about doing these.

1) It is possible to get phased into the Siege of Undercity questline when entering the city via the sewers.  This is a real inconvenience.  However, you will get credit for killing Sylvanas even if you are phased.

2) The quickest route from Undercity to Orgrimmar is to hop on the Blimp.  However, the guards will attack.  Also note that Orgrimmar Blimp tower guards both use nets and have a ranged attack that knocks you down.  This includes knocking you off your mount.  Using vehicles here such as Grand Mammoths and Choppers is a great use here.

Doing this was about the most fun I have had in a while.  Beating out the PuG group that was trying made it a little bit more fun, I must admit.  Waving at them gathering at the sewers as we left made me smile a little deep inside.  I know am I bad or what?

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Mystical Dragon In The Sky…

December 12, 2008

alex

We have been working hard at moving forward in progress as a guild since we resumed 25 man raiding.  We have no hit the penultimate achievement that Wrath has to give us.  Malygos is dead.

We lost 2 people during the fight early, yet both were resurrected.  We managed to keep everyone alive and after 3 hours of attempts get her down.  While we are definitely not the first, we have finally achieved a feeling of accomplishment in Wrath raiding. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Naxxramas — Complete

December 4, 2008

After last week’s 10 man clear of Naxxramas, we decided to start up 25 man raiding.  We were a little rusty.  We had some … ummm… how do I put this?  Attention issues versus Thaddius at the end of our raid time.  So we came back tonight and finished off the instance with about 30 minutes to spare. 

saph In 7 total raid hours, alot of “I got a phone call”, “brb, bathroom” and “I gotta change a diaper” downtime and we got the instance fully cleared.  Not a land speed record by any means.  Yet, we are happy.  Next stop Sartharion for our second crack at him in his 25 man version.  This time with drakes up.  Then on to Malygos for the real test.

A shell of its former self:

Naxxramas is just plain not what it used to be.  Ok, let me preface this with admitting that I was not playing the game long enough before TBC came out to have experienced 40 man raiding of Naxx.  The farthest I really got to see preTBC was the entry to BWL.  I did however, have the pleasure of taking Mihli into Naxx post TBC for several weeks between the levels of 58-63.  She managed to walk out of there with the best named weapon in the game “Claymore of Unholy Might

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I can honestly say that Naxxramas 10 and 25 are both shells of their former selves.  These are true entry level raids.  So much so that several wings have been cleared by complete PUGs.  I would not be surprised if a PUG has not cleared the entirety of both the 10 and 25 man versions somewhere in the world.  The instances are that easy in the early going.

The most difficult fight in Naxx is now Four Horsemen.  Not because they hit hard, or because you need 8 tanks, or the strategy is difficult to grasp.  It is challenging because of the logistics and communication involved in defeating the encounter.  People talking can be a tricky thing to pull of sometimes.

Spider Wing-

Anub’Rekhan used to be difficult.  Now you can fairly easily keep the tank up through locust swarm without any kiting.  Grand Widow, is actually more of a logistic challenge in the 10 man version than the 25.  A theme that is repeated throughout the instance, including the pinata that Maexxna has become.

Plague Wing-

Noth used to be harder.  At least in the 25 man he blinks around and drops aggro like his old self.  Its too bad this mechanic is subpar in the days of all tanks having 20 yard taunts.  “Oh my god he blinked… taunt.  Problem solved!”   Heigan is only a challenge to the movement impaired.  Hell his pre-gauntlet is no longer a gauntlet and his aggro radius is so small you can almost walk right up to him and poke him with a stick before he aggros.  A far cry from what once was.  Loatheb … have I used the word Pinata already?  (To be fair, Loatheb can be tricky on the 10 man if you do not have a priest.  Between PoH and CoH they can almost solo heal the raid.  The other healers just have more difficulty with the fight mechanics.)

Construct Wing-

Patchwerk is the first boss that is actually difficult in the 25 man.  I would not call him a real challenge in the 10 man if you have 2 geared tanks and healers with an ounce of skill you will win.  The 25 man version hits so hard that after tanking him you walk funny for an hour.  Grobbulus is all about not being dumb with poison.  Gluth is a bit more of a challenge, but not to tank or heal him.  Just to make sure he doesn’t get a feeding.  Thaddius is a stupidity check.

Death Knight Wing-

Razuvious, not much of a challenge, Gothik… someone told me from the Beta that he was actually difficult.  They lied.  As I said before the Horsemen are a logistical challenge.  Yet they are still much easier than before.  No more lingering ghosts marking people…  Just plain makes it that much easier.

Frostwyrm Lair-

Not much has changed from Saph and Kel though.  The only difference I can remember is  that Kel doesn’t Mind Control in the 10 man version.  In the 25 man version he MC’s 2 people at a time with a VERY long cooldown on the ability.

Do not get me wrong here.  The instance itself is a heck of a lot of fun.  Just for us rolling through it in our first 2 raid nights, just makes me think a little.  I wish it was more of a challenge.  Thank god for Malygos.

llThe Loot:

Four items per boss… four!.  Makes the instance kind of feel like more of a Pinata than it should be.  I do have to question a little as Blizzard had said there were continue to be 3 tokens per tier drop and while Gluth can drop 2 random pieces, those 2 do not make up for the fact that the others only drop 2.

I managed to get lucky and pick up the Last Laugh tonight.  This axe is so far above any other tanking weapon its beyond words.

Only problem is that I was forced to drop Mongoose on it.  It is really sad that Blizzard did not think carefully enough to give us some real end game tanking enchants in the expansion.  Greater Potency’s 50 attack power would be interesting.  The 26 agility enchant may be intriguing as well.  But why not a neo-crusader style enchant.  Or god forbid, a 25+ strength enchant.  Blizzard, we do not want AP, give us our strength enchant!  (While you are at it, give us a new and easier to obtain stamina to bracers enchant.)

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Have you been raiding?

November 11, 2008

With Wrath of the Lich King incoming in less than 2 days are you raiding?

The reality of raiding in the shadow of the expansion is a bit of an interesting idea from a conceptual point of view.  Do you raid for gear that will be used basically for leveling purposes only?  Do you raid to see the content before its completely “last expansion”?  Or do you just take a break, rest, relax, get prepared for Wrath or even go out and fish, cook, quest, pvp, dungeonmaster your way to more achievements while you have the “free” time?  My guild has been in Sunwell as of late, but officially called raiding activities last Wednesday.

In have been bored to tears.  I have ended up sitting around for hours a day, every day not knowing what to do with myself.  Do I have fun? Well yeah.  I enjoy sitting around talking with friends, doing the occasional dungeon and helping people do quests for their loremaster achievements, or just plain hang out in Arath Basin continually using more of my G.N.E.R.D.S. trying to get my protection paladin her Hallowed title weeks late.

That was until . . .

kj-entry

Pug Raiding …

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