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...

Monday, May 18, 2009


One of the few things that makes life inside Azeroth exciting are the achievements. They either measure how good your current gear is, how good the player is or how smart you play the game. Some even require a good 5-man team composition in order to achieve, one achievement that comes in to mind is Less-Rabi where you need to prevent Moorabi (a boss in Gundrak) from transforming into a mammoth. For this achievement, classes with lots of short-cd interrupts are very much needed (think rogues). An elemental shaman with 5 of 5 reverberation spec is usually very helpful as well since his cooldown for earth shock would coincide with Moorabi's recast time for transformation which is 5 seconds after each interrupt (I think at below 50% of his life). Many would surely agree that this is currently the hardest heroic-dungeon achievement, actually I myself haven't completed this achievement yet >.>. From hereon, I will be showing you some of the achievements that we have completed and how we managed to pull it off. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dee Pee Ess

Lately I have been trying to build my retribution set by rolling on offspec pieces in our Naxx runs and buying BOE items in the auction house (AH). Everytime a plate dps item drops I cross my fingers hoping that my fellow plate-wearing DPSer's will pass on the main roll so that I may have a chance in the offspec roll. On our last visit to heroic Naxx I managed to snag a T7.5 shoulder for my offspec retribution set :D. And now with 64 emblems of valor, I can now buy a new bracer ([Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress]) to replace my trusted [Vengeance Bindings].

However, not all my dps-gear-hunting adventures went according to plan. I failed to get the best DPS trinket [Darkmoon Card: Greatness] (which has a whopping 114.00 DPS value according to MaxDPS). This trinket is acquired by turning in a [Nobles Deck] to a certain NPC during the Darkmoon Faire event. Unluckily for me, I failed to assemble the deck on time since I lack 4 more cards. These cards were sold in AH for about 1000 gold each (expensive due to the fact that it was the last day for Darkmoon Faire) and buying them would result in me living on scraps in the next few weeks T~T. Guess I'll just wait for the next faire then >.>.