Wednesday, July 22, 2009


One of the most challenging and fun fights in Ulduar is that of Mimiron. This fight has four phases, meaning 4 wipefests, 1 per each phase during the learning period. We always wiped in phase 1 during our first day and it was always because of a lapse in my part :P. Tunnel vision gets to me when I keep my finger on the ready for Mimiron's Plasma Blast. I would then fail to run away on time once he starts casting his Shock Blast. Tunnel-visioned-tank + Shock Blast = dead tank = wipe = angry mob :P... It may be a case of nerves when dealing with new content (or just me trying to make excuses lol). Anyway, the next day we were all filled with energy and raid morale was pretty high. We spent the last few hours studying Mimiron videos and familiarizing ourselves with each phase of the fight. I threw my shield and started the fight.

Phase 1... Melee encircles Leviathan MKII (MKII).. MKII sprays land mines.. melee adjusts positions to search for land mine openings.. DBM warns incoming Plasma Blast.. I hit bubble wall, my life dips and rises.. MKII glows white signaling a Shock Blast.. I ran away from MKII so does the other melee members, we ran back.. same cycle happens (got Pain Suppresion on the second Plasma Blast and used glyphed Salvation + lock candy + pots on the third) then MKII retreats away.

Mimiron then deploys a robot called VX-001 (VX) and Phase 2 follows. During this phase, all melee should stay at the back of VX to avoid his gattling gun while range DPS and healers will position themselves away from VX and stack into groups. No tank is needed in this fight. Just avoid getting hit and burn away.

Phase 2... Melee stands at VX's back and moves together with VX while he slowly rotates his body. VX launches Rocket Strike, ranged DPS and healers ran away from the red dot on the floor.. VX spins and fires some Laser Barrage while DPS moved away from his front.. DPS burns down VX and phase 2 ends.

After seeing his creation burned down, Mimiron launches his other robot, the Aerial Command Unit and phase 3 begins...

Phase 3... A ranged DPS tanked the Aerial Command Unit while the rest burned down adds.. Assault bots were summoned, I picked them up and marked them as priority targets.. All DPS, except the one tanking the boss, burned down the Assault bot.. A melee DPS looted the Assault bot and picked up a Magnetic Core.. He ran towards the base of the Command Unit and used the Magnetic Core.. The Command Unit drops down to the floor and all DPS burned it down.. Command Unit flies back up.. Bomb bots emerged and some ranged DPS burned them down. With only 20k hp, the Bomb bots didn't have a chance.. Same process was repeated until the Aerial Command Unit was destroyed.

By this time, Mimiron assembles the three robot units. Form feet and legs (Leviathan MKII), form arms and body (VX-001), and I'll form the head (Aerial Command Unit)... Then there stood V-07-TR-0N (courtesy of Voltron). Apparently, the last three phases were just a test for Mimiron's ultimate creation. And Phase 4 began. The bots maintained some of their abilities from the previous phases. MKII (legs) still casts Shock Blast and still throws proximity mines. VX (body) still launches Rocket Strikes and still does Laser Barrage while the Aerial Command Unit (head) still throws some Plasma Balls.

Phase 4... I ran to the center to pick up V-07-TR-0N. Ranged DPS focused on the head while melee DPS were split between the body and legs. CD's were popped as we went all-out. We carefully checked each part's health since the only way to destroy V-07-TR-0N is to bring down its parts together.. After seeing that the head was way ahead of the other parts, the ranged DPS switched to target the one who still had the highest hp (body). Head - 12%, body - 15%, legs - 10%.. Excitement rose as the boss' hp dropped some more.. Head - 5%, body - 6%, legs - 6%.. I kept tabbing (switching targets) and pushed every button that lit up on my action bars. I used Avenging Wrath and mashed away my keyboard :P. Then Ding! an achievement window popped up "The Keepers of Ulduar".

Wohooo! We were screaming (nerd scream? :P) at vent, very happy that finally we were able to defeat Mimiron. I clicked on Mimiron to check our loot. "You received Overcharged Capacitor.", "You received Saronite Bar x 5.", "You received.. "... And there goes Mimiron's body :O. What about the screenshot? :(

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Siege the front!

With spirits still high from defeating Heroic Malygos (25-man), the guid decided to take on Ulduar. A short break was announced for everyone to repair, restack reagents and turn in the quest from Malygos (for those who had the quest). I was one of the lucky few who won the loot [Heroic Key to the Focusing Iris] from Sapphiron. I flew over to Wyrmrest Temple and got my shiny [Nexus War Campion Beads] :D.

Once inside Ulduar, vehicle assignments were given and vehicle abilities familiarized. Most of the raid already new the fight from the 10-man version so the explanations did not take that long. Everyone equipped their highest ilvl gears then hopped on to their respective vehicles. I drove one of the Salvaged Siege Engines.

A readycheck was made... Then it was time to siege the front...

Destination? Proceeding...
Down the first plank we rode (I was careful not to use Steam Rush on this plank. I already fell one too many times in the 10-man version because of this bug >.<) as choppers zoomed by leaving behind some tar to slow down the approaching enemy dwarves. Demolishers lit up these tars while Siege Engines rammed down dwarf towers. With the whole area cleared and Towers destroyed, we regrouped before Flame Leviathan (Levi). This fight is all about avoiding damage by kiting the boss around the room and interrupting his channeled AOE spell (Flame Vents). We started with the Siege engines and Demolishers spread apart. While Levi is chasing one vehicle, the other Siege engines should stay close to him for Flame Vent interrupts and some dps through Rams. Five seconds before he starts to change targets (DBM announces this), all vehicles close to him should start running away. If you are being chased, immediately hit Steam Rush (if you are Siege) or Inreased Speed (when he starts catching up) if you are the passenger of a Salvaged Demolisher. Levi has a Gathering Speed buff which slowly increases his movement speed for 5% per stack up to 20 stacks. Our strategy was to launch 4 Demolisher passengers into Levi once the stacks reach 10. These passengers are responsible for destroying the turrets found on top of Levi. Once these turrets are destroyed, Levi gets stunned and takes a lot more damage. This should be the time when Demolishers go all out and hurl their Pyrite Barrels. Choppers should also be dropping tars below Levi were it gets ignited by Demolishers for more damage. After he gets out of the stun, just rinse and repeat.

We got him on our third try. On our first two tries, our Demolishers got beaten up. Bad timing I guess, Levi targeted them just after they launched their passengers. With no one to use Increased Speed, they didn't last long :(.

The raid cheered as the last of Flame Leviathan's body parts crumbled to the ground. After the dust had settled I knelt to inspect the loot. There on the ground lay the most beautiful sword I have ever seen in my entire tanking life. And I said that based on its stats, not physical appearance (this sword looked much like a giant toothpick :P). Without wasting any second I grabbed the [Titanguard] (for about 300+ GP >.<). I was lucky that I had the highest EPGP ratio, lucky that Kel didn't drop the [Last Laugh] in our Naxx25 run about an hour ago :).

Monday, June 8, 2009

"UNTHINKABLE! The mortals will destroy..."

Sunday night, a night full of win.

It started with the raid finishing off Kel Thuzad in heroic mode Naxxramas (We failed to defeat him the night before due to a mix of bad luck and people falling asleep on their keyboards :P). Sadly, [Last Laugh] didn't drop (I was hoarding EP points for this weapon) which turned up to be a blessing in disguise (will be explained in the next article). While everyone was still fresh, we proceeded to the Eye of Eternity for a round 2 battle against the Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight (Malygos).

"None but the blue dragonflight are welcome here! Perhaps this is the work of Alexstrasza? Well then, she has sent you to your deaths. "

With the taste of victory still fresh from Malygos' mouth, he proudly flies above us as we were buffing ourselves up preparing for battle. After a quick readycheck, we engaged...

Phase 1 proceeded normally, sparks stacked, Malygos kited, salving rogue, salving anyone on second threat list (except offtank), me popping bubble wall when life was threateningly low, etc... Phase 2 was quite shaky, dps went all out while tank was positioning inside a bubble, aggro lost, me popping wings, rogue down, druid b'rezzes rogue, me casting Bubble then Divine Sacrifice, me tanking the floor (forgot that I just popped my wings within the last 30secs, booo) , druid b'rezzes me (druids are OP), adds went down, raid stacking on me outside the inner circle, platform breaks, phase 2 ends.

Phase 3 was a disaster, the first two attempts failed pretty badly. Everyone was flying everywhere, like overly excited flies hovering over an overturned trash bin. Static fields were scattered and heals were out of range... We regrouped and reviewed what happened. To minimize the chaos, our raid leader told us not to move after stacking together outside the inner circle since the mounts will automatically fly to Malygos' eye level. So this we did and the result was great, heals were within range and static fields were easily avoided. We encircled Malygos in a counterclockwise direction, the raid moved as one. Fire debuffs stacked as high as 16, the poor dragon had no chance.

"UNTHINKABLE! The mortals will destroy..."

The raid erupted to cheers as Malygos went down. Vent was full of wooot's and weeee's. We lost only one member during the fight, it was epic.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Argent Tournament - Jousting 101

Patch 3.1.0 gave us the new world event called Argent Tournament. In this event, players are given the right to represent each faction's major cities by completing several daily quests. Once you've completed these quests and after becoming exalted to these cities you get the title "Crusader" (which is a very fitting title for a paladin).

However, two of these new quests [The Grand Melee] and [At The Enemy's Gates] (4 including the champion quests which opens up once you become a champion in one of the cities) requires you to fight players on mounts which may be quite frustrating for beginners. I myself also had a hard time trying to joust (fighting on mounts with a lance) from the start. I kept getting owned by other players in duels as I tried to master this new way of fighting. I then tried challenging the NPC's at the Argent Tournament Grounds and found them a lot easier than dueling players. They follow a certain predictable pattern during the fight which you can use to your advantage. Below are some of the basic steps for winning a joust against NPC's:
  1. Before starting the fight, stack up to 3 shield charges (ability 4 of the mount) by pressing ability 4, three times.
  2. Talk to the NPC, then hit thrust (ability 1 of the mount) the moment he becomes attackable. The damage may not be that huge but still every hit counts :P.
  3. After thrusting, stay where you are and let the NPC walk a few yards. Watch your shield breaker icon (ability 2 of the mount). The number is red when you cannot use the ability (target too close or too far) and white when it can be used. Wait until the number turns white then hit him with a shield breaker.
  4. The shield breaker knocks away one of his shields, immediately run towards him and spam thrust (ability 1 of the mount). Always stay close to him to stop him from charging or throwing a shield breaker. At this point you will be exchanging hits for a few seconds with him receiving more damage because of the missing shield charge.
  5. The NPC will then back away from you to prepare for a charge. What you should do is run opposite his direction while watching your charge icon (ability 3 of the mount). Once the icon's number turns white, hit it and your mount will go charging towards him. Your mount will still move fast after the hit, use this momentum to position yourself back close to him and fire a shield breaker if you can. Refresh shield (ability 4 of the mount) when in melee range, there may be a chance that he will also hit you with a shield breaker or even a charge. This also prevents your shield from falling off.
  6. Repeat step 4 until victorious.

The above steps will assure you of a win, however the fight will be a long one. After several fights, I got bored and made up a new technique for a much faster win. Below are my improvised jousting techniques for a speedy battle. The first three steps are just like the basic technique (above). The variation starts at step 4.

  1. Before starting the fight, stack up to 3 shield charges (ability 4 of the mount) by pressing ability 4, three times.
  2. Talk to the NPC, then hit thrust (ability 1 of the mount) the moment he becomes attackable. The damage may not be that huge but still every hit counts :P.
  3. After thrusting, stay where you are and let the NPC walk a few yards. Watch your shield breaker icon (ability 2 of the mount). The number is red when you cannot use the ability (target too close or too far) and white when it can be used. Wait until the number turns white then hit him with a shield breaker.
  4. Run towards the NPC and hit thrust (ability 1 of the mount) two times.
  5. Strafe left (or right, depending on the area of battle. Run towards the open field.). The NPC will follow you, just keep strafing. Watch the shield breaker icon and hit it once the number turns white.
  6. Check his shield status. If he still has some shield charges up, repeat step 5.
  7. Once his shield is gone, strafe again but this time watch the charge icon instead. Hit it when the number turns white (make sure that you're facing him while hitting the charge button. You can do this by holding the strafe button, jump then move mouse to face him.). Immediately press thrust (spam 1 while charging) once your charge hit the NPC. You can sneak some additional damage this way.
  8. Use the addtional momentum to go back within melee range then fire a couple of thrusts.
  9. Repeat step 5 until victorious.

You can defeat the NPC in less than a minute using the above steps so there's no need to worry about your shield wearing off. You may also lose a few shield charges along the way, however your enemy will go down quick so there's no need to refresh your shield charges. If you haven't mastered the above steps yet, just play safe and refresh shields whenever you can :P.

Note: Your mount action bars may vary depending on the UI you are using. In this article, I am referring to Blizzard's default UI.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Alexstrasza! Another of your brood falls! "

Last night we (the guild) had our first glance of Malygos in 25-man mode Eye of Eternity. We weren't able to kill him but managed to bring him down to around 700k life. This is quite good for a first time though. There are still a lot of things we need to learn from this fight especially in phase 3.

I was assigned to main-tank the fight so I slapped on my semi-stam gear (only changed one of my trinkets [Essence of Gossamer] so that I can still maintain a high aggro during phase 1) which put my health at around 38.5k raid-buffed. This is more than enough since I trust my healers to keep me alive during the encounter :P (we have strong cadre of healers :D).

Phase 1:
While someone clicked the orb I fired up Sacred Shield, Divine Plea (glyphed), Holy Shield, popped my wings then threw my frisbee to Malygos. I changed my spell rotation a bit for maximum threat generation while always running around positioning Malygos. I skipped using Holy Shield once in a while since his melee swings are slow making the threat generated from it quite insignificant (like I said, I trust my healers :P) and instead I used Shield of Righteousness every time I could. Exorcism is also quite handy for threat generation now that it can hit non-undead creatures. Phase 1 was similar to the 10-man version, Power Sparks spawn at same intervals and Vortex duration was still the same. Their only difference would be an increase in damage dealt and Malygos now does his Arcane Breath ability right after a Vortex (I didn't notice this during the fight, maybe I was too busy trying to determine the location of the sparks). Two veteran Death Knights were assigned for spark positioning, gripping them to the center to stack the buffs. For additional threat, I sneak in a shield slam when he starts to cast vortex while standing on top of the stacked sparks.

Phase 2:
At 50% of Malygos' life, he starts to fly away and summon adds. During this phase, we had another tank help in holding the Nexus Lords while the rest burned down the marked adds. When one of the adds die they drop their hover disk. Our highest melee DPS then rides the disk to engage the flying Scions of Eternity. One by one raid members (melee) climbed over the fallen disks and attacked the Scions. After killing all the adds on the ground (Nexus Lords) I threw out some raid heals and fired Exorcism/Avenger's Shield to the nearest Scion. I managed to ride on a hover disk (all melee DPS are already on a disk) and even got the achievement Heroic: Denyin' the Scion :D.

Phase 3:
After all the adds are killed, Malygos destroys the platform where the raid is standing on. Everyone falls down... fortunately the Red Dragonflight arrives and catches everyone on the raid. Each member now controls a dragon (drake) mount and phase 3 starts. Some drakes (may be 3 or 4) were assigned for healing while the rest were DPS.

The drake has the following *abilities:
  1. Flame Spike - 10 energy (adds one combo point, costs )
  2. Engulf in Flames - 50 energy (consumes combo points)
  3. Revivify - 10 energy (builds combo points)
  4. Life Burst - 50 energy (consumes combo points)
  5. Flame shield - 25 energy (requires combo points on your target; consumes them)
  6. Sprint (30 second cooldown)
* from stratfu

DPS drakes will be doing a 1-1-2 spell rotation while healers will target themselves and do a 3-3-3-3-3-4 rotation. During this phase, Malygos has an ability Surge of Power which targets 3 random players and deals a large amount of damage every 0.5 seconds for 5 seconds. The targeted drake should then use his shield (spell 5) to minimize the damage taken. This is usually the part where most members die. Either they weren't able to accumulate enough combopoints / energy to cast the spell or they just didn't notice it. We always reach Malygos' enrage phase, the Engulf in Flames stack just wasn't high enough. They completely fall off when using the shield, especially when Malygos targets a member more than twice in a row.

I learned a few things during this fight and hopefully will be put to good use during the next encounter.
  1. For phase2, it is much faster if the ranged DPS focus on the flying Scions right from the start while the melee DPS handle those on the ground. If no Scion is within range, ranged DPS can then help killing the ground adds.
  2. For phase 3, DPS spell rotation should be 1, 1, 1, 2 or even 1, 1, 1, 1, 2. The debuff time for Engulf in Flames is dependent on the number of combopoints used up. The more 1's you use, the more combopoints is generated and thus the debuff will not fall off so fast giving you enough time to use your shield (when being focused with Surge of Power) and not worry about your debuff on Malygos falling off.
Even though we failed to kill Malygos, I am still quite happy about the progress we have made so far. I did not even expect we were going to reach phase 3. The guild has become stronger as members continually get gear upgrades from our Naxx25 runs. I am however quite annoyed that until today, these words still keep echoing inside my mind... "Alexstrasza! Another of your brood falls! "...

Friday, May 22, 2009

How to Grasp Wintergrasp [Alliance]

I had been a tankadin my entire WoW life (started at BC era) even when I leveled from 70-80 :O. After the dual-spec option came out I finally tried the retribution tree and now... I love to clobber mobs and players on the head (inside WoW of course :P). I was surprised how fast I could kill mobs, with a swing or two they go down. Questing has been so much easier resulting in me doing about 15 dailies per day. When I run out of dailies I go to battlegrounds and bash players there. I then started joining Wintergrasp (WG) events and now I got hooked to it that I join WG every chance I get. I even installed an addon to announce if WG is starting.

Having been in a number of battles, I managed to create a list of things to DO and NOT DO in order to win a game.

Wintergrasp defense:
1. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT attack the West Workshop at the beginning of the battle. You're wondering why not? Firstly, the Horde spawns from the west and they usually come in "hordes" at the beginning of a battle. We don't want to get outnumbered now would we? Secondly, the horde will get a lot of kills at the start of the battle thus resulting in a vehicle rush. They will easily max out their rank and a LOT of siege engines will be coming our way which would surely result to a very epic FAIL.
2. Man the cannons on the west. These cannons are pretty deadly especially if aimed well.
3. Stay within the fortress or outside the fortress within cannon range. The fortress has a pretty solid defense, use this to your advantage. This would shed off a good 5 minutes or more from the counter while the horde desperately look for kills to raise their ranks and be able to purchase siege engines.
4. Assign a group (5 players will do) to destroy the horde towers and capture horde workshops. Do not waste manpower by sending a large group to destroy towers, let the rest help in defending the fortress. The most effective path to take would be from taking East workshop then attacking South-East tower, South tower then South-West tower. Destroying and capturing Horde workshops in between the towers helps as well. There is also a trick where you cut off the Hordes Vehicle supply by taking West Workshop when most hordes have already gotten in the fortress.

Wintergrasp offense:
1. Let some melee classes capture the east workshop while all ranged classes attack the fortress and start taking out the cannons. Take the cannons out as early as possible. They have low HP so this would not be much of a hassle. If you have a few ranged classes (which I doubt), get catapults early on to help destroy the cannons.
2. After maxing your rank, run back to the workshop and start creating siege engines. Don't be greedy by creating just one for yourself but create lots of siege engines so that many can benefit from it. If you do this, start announcing to the raid (or in /1) that you are creating siege engines and specify which workshop you are making them.
3. As much as possible, do not attack with siege engines when you are alone. Look for gunners or better yet, wait for the other players to get on the other siege engines then attack together. Attacking with a single vehicle is pretty much a suicide. They can easily spot you and focus fire could bring the vehicle down pretty quick.
4. When attacking with vehicles, attack the fortress from the north east side (see map here). This side has lesser cannons (if cannons were not destroyed earlier on) and as an added bonus, inside you can find a horde workshop. Destroy the workshop to help minimize the number of vehicles the horde will be creating.
5. If the fight drags on, assign people to defend the towers (or at least slow down their destruction).

[A] Zombiefest!

Achievement: Zombiefest
Description: Kill 100 Risen Zombies in 1 minute in The Culling of Stratholme on Heroic Difficulty
Group Composition:
Paladin (Tank - Sarevok)
Druid (Healer - Nearwin)
Death Knight (DPS - Xzeeviera)
Rogue (DPS - Murdak)
Hunter (DPS - Buldozers)

We ran the first part of the instance normally, killing ghouls, zombies and running back and forth to each mob's spawn points. The real trick starts from the second boss Salramm the Fleshcrafter. I kited Salramm towards the Town Hall (where the rest of the group were already waiting) and brought him upstairs. We then killed the zombies that were kited along with the boss. At this point, you should keep Salramm alive for about 2 minutes or more, and hope that all the zombies from the previous path have already respawned. The dps just focused on killing the adds that Salramm keeps summoning and the healer spammed heals while I spammed different kinds of emotes to the boss (/dance, /lick, /tickle, etc.. :P). After I ran out of emotes to spam, we proceeded to kill Salramm. We waited inside the Town Hall for Arthas to arrive (it took about a minute until he got there). I then slowly went outside to talk to Arthas (careful not to pull aggro on the zombies outside) to start the next phase of the instance. Nothing special was done during this phase, just kill the mobs spawned then kill the third boss Chrono-Lord Epoch. By this time you will be led by Arthas to a secret passage through a hidden path behind one of the bookshelves. This is where the fun part begins :D.

We divided our party into two groups. Group A, consisted of Me, our healer Druid (Nearwin) and Rogue (Murdak) while the DK (Xzeeviera) and Hunter (Buldozers) made up group B. Group B's task is to go back to the first street (at the beginning of the instance) and kill all the zombies they could find. There are only about 85 zombies there (and that is if they have all successfully respawned) so we would still need 15 more zombies to successfully complete the achievement. That is where group A comes in, we are to go to the second street (next part of the instance down through the secret passage) and kill all the zombies we can manage to gather. The second street is also filled with elite mobs that is why we needed the healer.

We then went to our respective positions after everyone was prepped up, (Group A - door to second street where Arthas is standing. Remember, do NOT to talk to Arthas or else he will begin killing the mobs outside. Group B - door to first street). Remember to track this achievement (open achievement interface then check the tracking checkbox on the Zombiefest achievement) so that you will know the time left and how many more zombies needed killing. Group B signalled the start of their zombie-killing-spree then we followed suit.

We saw the zombie-counter rise as group B started gathering and killing the zombies they saw. Our group (group A) then slowly pushed our way down the second street being careful not to pull too many elite mobs. A few seconds elpased and the time-limit was almost over but yet we only killed around 85 zombies. I then ran forward to get more zombies not minding the elite ghouls and arachnids being pulled with the mobs. I held all the aggro for a few seconds then the rogue did his aoe thingy which got most of the zombies' attention. Sadly, the zombies made quick work of him (/mourn). However his death was not in vain because the aoe move took out enough zombies to beat the zombie-counter. "Woooooooooooooooot!" we wooted.

I then told group A to retreat upon seeing a large mob of undead creatures coming our way. But as luck would have it, one of the spiders entangled me with its webs... [Hand of Freedom] was on CD so I hit [Every Man for Himself] (yey humans!) instantly freeing me from the deadly webs. Alas the spider once again caught me. Feeling a bit helpless, I decided to just hold them until group B arrives. I raised my Holy Shield, put Sacred Shield up and even used Bubble Wall but my life just kept waning. A few seconds have gone by and still no heals came my way, "The druid must've died too." I thought to myself. When I looked back however I found that our dear tree friend was running away for his dear life >.> then darkness came...