Ulduar finally gets some Unhinged loving from me

dragonsteel-faceplateLatest news just in, our motley crew took me in with them to Ulduar 10m.

There was much success with Flame Leviathan (tank toys), Ignis (great fight for positioning), Razorscale (who pissed me off because of her damn wings), XT-002 (painful because of the voice), and Kologarn (discovered we needed two tanks…) all downed in night one.

We returned the next night and killed Observer Auriaya (the crazy cat lady) and the Iron Council (who were tough but so much awesome fun). I hope to see more dead bosses in the near future.

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Old Tier gear and when to upgrade

Blessing of Kings wrote a good quick post on when to replace gear. It got me thinking that…

  • I’ll be breaking my 4xT7.5 set when I have at least 2, probably the 4 set of t8 or t8.5. Before then the bonus is just not worth it for Death Knights from what I’ve read.
  • A factor in that choice, but kind of an aside is a look at the Ulduar gear, and its mostly not impressive for Death Knights. Some of the weapons look great, but I really don’t like seeing Haste and Armour Pen on my gear. Pointless.
  • That said, I think we can get good use of the new and old Tier/gear items before the boss encounters, by using them to create special-sets.

I don’t need to be at the same hit cap on Trash as dps, especially if we’re talking about Heroic trash rather than Raiding trash. Or having an avoidance set for tanking as well as HP set. Those items, and even the old items we replaced with t7/7.5 can still be darn useful.

Tonight I’ll be creating a few strange/exotic sets. Maybe even one built for running low level toons through low instances too that costs less to repair, and has tons and tons of AP and Crit. I have a crappy crafted PvP set that is just filling up my bank, maybe thats the core of my “who cares” set.

This all goes back to being a Paladin and having a few Tank sets and some off-sets on the go at once. I didn’t miss those days, but then I kind of like the idea of getting more use from old-ish gear. Like recycling and re-use to help save pixels/bits and reduce digital pollution?

Nah, bullshit I know. Your thoughts? (have a read and comment at BoK too please)

Death Knight DPS spec change

dk-symbolA few posts ago I told folks that I’d be going Blood for dps in PvE in 3.1. And after a few runs it is just not fun, not my cup of tea. I find Blood dps messy, too opportunistic, and the rotations are intolerant of lag, and intolerant of interruptions. And that aint good.

I initially chose Blood as it was close to the diseaseless spec that I was using before that, but with or without DRW, UB, or any other combo – it just feels scattered. So my Blood vs Unholy choice comes out a strong Unholy.

My lag sits anywhere from ms 500 to 800, and in 10 and especially 25 man raids that means the UI is chugging to keep up, and my abilities do not fire with a sharp snap. Instead they tend to get queued, and sometimes fire and sometimes just disappear. The paranoid part of my brain says that Blizzard may have changed the way abilities get loaded to be even more optimised for great connections, but I have absolutely no proof of that. It just feels that way.

So now I’ve spec’ed back to Unholy for dps. Its odd, but Unholy dps feels good. I leveled as Unholy and the spec feels somewhat like what I have always expected. Like comming home. Unholy also seems more forgiving of lag, and the kind folks at EJ say that Unholy is also more forgiving of bad gear. Well my gear is good (thank you very much), and Unholy feels solid. Very very solid.

Key to my appreciation of the Unholy tree is:

  • the Improved Presence, where I can get the speed buff from Unholy while in Blood Presence. Almost all fights I see now have an advantage to having increased speed. 15% might not be much compared to Cats, but it counts.
  • Permanent ghoul, which costs nothing to summon and dismiss with the Glyph. That is a must have, and wonderful for Instance runs. I need to find a mod that tells me when my Ghoul is almost dead, so I can heal it, or wipe it for extar HP. (any ideas folks?)
  • Bone Armour gives a dps buff and slight help with inbound damage.
  • Disease spreading for AoE is stronger and Pestilance + UB is very strong AoE. Grated it blows a heap of runes really quickly, but thats the point. Unload a lot of AoE attacks early and then ping a target while the runes refresh.

The Death Knight is akin to a plate wearing Warlock, and unholy with perma Ghoul is as close as you get. It means that once again I switch my stats around a bit for more hit and AP rather than Crit (being as spell damage is from AP and spell hit). But hey, what raider does not regularly drop 100g a week in gems, patches, and enchants?

Performance wise I can’t tell you, yet. I think I’ve dropped a small amount of single target dps to gain a shit load of AoE capacity. If I get my rotations rolling and get lucky I don’t have to refresh diseases which means much more dps. If the Gargoyle was out at the same time, I think I’d be smashing mobs left and right.

And I can’t wait to see. Watch this space.

WoW Lo-Fi mode for Resting

lowfi-dragonOdd thought spun around in my head as a result of seeing another “wow on a handheld” post. Handhelds for Warcraft seem like a gimmick to me, and basically pointless. The screen res alone should be enough of a signal to say stop it, and unless Blizzard themselves craetes a special client with:

(a) different controls, (b) different graphics engine, and (c) probably different perspective on the game – it won’t fly.

However Blizzard could develop a “resting low-fi” option for walking through high lag/latency/population areas so that the game does not stutter.

ie. Whenever in a “rest” area the game dynamically drops spell details, character skin, animations down to a really basic level. That way we can move through high pop areas without delay, and the auto-gimp mode would not affect questing, pvp, or raiding.

I know of people on 56k (poor souls) or throttled bandwidth who can’t log in to Dalaran; without an immediate disconnect. I also know from personal experience that running Vent + WoW on 64k in 25m is an immediate fail and disconnect. But then I’d expect that given the amount of information that each player’s game is sending to each other.

Just another random thought.

WoW Pod – Player housing in RL

Hows this for an odd concept: a WoW Pod where you play wow.

The WOW Pod is an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WOW (World of Warcraft) player that provides and anticipates all life needs. Inside, the gamer finds him/herself comfortable seated in front of the computer screen with easy-to-reach water, pre-packaged food, and a toilet conveniently placed underneath his/her custom-built throne.

Talk about taking immersion to the next level. So impressive, but so wrong at the same time. I love it. No way in hell I’d ever buy one, but 10 points for style.

wow-pod

What does this tell us about the creators?

- might have too much time

- might love the game, a lot

- have a sense of humour

- you can never go too far

- parody and truth are borderline

I wonder if they have a subscription / rental option where the design is still tailored to your toon.

And they refill the goodies, clean up the crap (literally?), so you can game longer, stronger, harder than ever?

Found via wow insider, and one of the commenters actually said this:

But apparently they bothered to plumb in a toilet, suggesting we all play with our pants around our ankles. Strikes me as a gimmick rather than well thought out.

Um, dude this is real….totaly….for sure….no parody here….never satire….

Patch notes 3.1.1 thoughts

I’m sure every wow player is aware that 3.1.1 is being deployed across the realms tonight, and there are a flurry of updates, and a few fixes applies over the last few days. Mainly downward adjustments to Ulduar, but a few class changes too. The weather report version might be: A mostly fine and sunny patch, occasional slight nerf, with light QQ, and moderate wind in some areas.

Some thoughts:

  1. Firstly we get our talent points back again. Cool, especially for folks who were still mucking about with a few different specs. Comes at a handy time and I’ll take the opportunity to muck about with spec again. Any free respec is worth considering a tinker.
  2. The scaling down of content in Ulduar is sure to make most of the community happy, but some angry. Some guilds are having trouble (mine), others are making slow-ish progress, and a few are tearing the place apart. Kudos to ‘em. If the tiny percentage of players who already think this instance is too easy are upset, I hope I don’t hear them in a lift or on the street. I’ll slap them as its just too early to say anything definitively. If its too easy for you then you get to fountain dance in T8.5 before everyone else. Grats.
  3. DKs get a 50% reduction in the maximum amount of damage blocked by Anti-Magic Shell (was 100% health, now 50%). This feels like a pvp adjustment that is a touch too wide, but what ever. Maybe DK tanking was too easy for spell damage too? Pfft. I can’t say that the change is class breaking and can’t say that it will shut any folks up about DKs being over powered. Its the player, not the class. It was and will still be a damn fine ability.
  4. DK also get a Death Strike change which feels nurf-ish, but again not the end of the world.

    We have since made another hotfix to just change the way the healing works completely. It now heals 5% of the death knight’s health per disease on the target, up to a max of 15%. This should allow Frost and Unholy to benefit from Death Strike healing while letting Blood benefit from extra Death Strike damage. The tooltip will not reflect this change until we can patch the client.

  5. This note is wonderful: “Katherine Lee should no longer be attackable in Dalaran, meanies.” Just what I like about wow, this made me laugh. And also made me wonder who could be bothered.
  6. If the rumoured WG exploit is real, then I hope they fix it now too. Either side being able to cheat is nothing to brag about, or take advantage of.

Go read the rest at MMO Champion.

Patch 3.1 spec for Shadow Priest

priest_iconThere is not a huge list of talent changes for the Shadow Priests in 3.1, which means that the standard choices remain almost unaffected. I will not be initially buying dual spec, as I have to save up the cash. So when I have a 2nd spec to worry about I’ll post that. I’m thinking a heavy Disc build, but will have to see what the community thinks of the Holy changes.

My Shadow Priest is wearing crappy gear, and in no way represents the typical gear level, stats, or itemisation needs. Thus if you are well geared you will want to consider some serious changes. This spec is more for a Shadow Priest who is still getting to, or just questing at 80.

DPS: 14/0/57 Shadow with Inner Focus and no Shadow Affinity

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Patch 3.1 spec for Death Knight

Update: As we’re well beyond patch 3.1, this spec advice needs to be reviewed and updated. I recommend jumping on EJ and browsing through their posts on the build you like. IMHO Currently Unholy 2H seems the solid top damage, slightly above Blood 2H.

The jury is still out on the absolute winners, and almost every spec option (1h vs 2h, blood vs frost vs unholy) is viable.

dk-symbolHere comes patch 3.1, and everyone is checking the web for patch notes and spec updates. For me this means choosing two specs for my Death Knight. I will be considering my DPS role to be my primary role, but now will be looking for Tanking opportunities too.

Death Knight specs are all stolen 100% from Skeleton Jack (note: SkelJ has basically stopped posting).

DPS: 50/0/21 which chooses Unholy Blight (UB) over Dancing Rune Weapon (DRW).

DPS notes:

  • This is for PvE DPS, not PvP.
  • I have not been enjoying the DRW of late, as some fights I don’t think I get the full benefit of it unless you’re standing still just pinging abilities. UB is used more often which I think gives it more versatility. I certainly liked UB when I was Unholy.
  • UB is also better for AoE than DRW, and I get frustrated when I get outpaced by Warriors using Whirlwind and all the other AoE heavy classes (Mages, Warlocks, etc). Some fights as DPS you’re standing in the middle of the hell storm of mobs, so UB takes full advantage.
  • I love Hysteria and the Improved Blood Aura in my current blood spec, so the choice between Unholy DPS and Blood DPS was easy.
  • With the Death Strike glyph, I’ll have to remember to keep 25 Runic Power around as much as possible.

Tank: 12/51/8 which is a pretty standard Frost Tank spec.

Tank notes:

  • It makes the most sense to me that Frost would be strong for Tanking, from a roleplaying perspective, and I made the choice of which tree to use basically because of this.
  • I could drop 2-H-Weapon in the Blood tree, and grab some other stuff. Acclimation in Frost, Butchery in Blood for the extra RP (I’m a RP whore), or Lichborne for the oh-shit factor. Not sure, but happy to see how this plays initially. But I do like hitting mobs with a huge 2H weapon.

General

  • I read almost everything on EJ, Deathknight.info, wowinsider, and the first few pages of Google searches, and could not find any information that was even close to what SJ has put together. Even if he is wrong by a few talent points here and there, its still the best post on DK specs I’ve seen. Kudos.