A bloody good night Tanking

Our Wednesday raiders typically smash Mogu’shan Vaults in a reliable and solid way. Much of the gear now goes to offsets or to DE and frustratingly a few of the team still await those few gear drops that will snugly fit them out. Last night I joined them for the MV clear, but due to the silly season we were a few characters/roles short. That meant some characters needed to switch roles around, which adds risk and can frustrate.

elegon-discs

To facilitate the first 3x boss kills before one of our regular tanks could join us – I became the off-Tank for the first three fights. I was bloody nervous being Blood spec. Now that I can look back some cool things happened:

(a) It was challenging and fun. Fun because I saw these fights in a totally new light, and didn’t feel that I made more than a few silly mistakes which cost us. I love seeing new content, and changing roles really does change the fights significantly.

I loved the Petrify mechanic in the Three Puppies Fight and think it is a very clever idea. I hate it as a Melee dps as the mobs move around, but I love it as a Tank as the fight becomes about correct taunting, positioning the bosses, awareness of bad on the floor, and control of cool-downs. It is better as Tank than melee dps.

Trash in MV is “be aware” and “use common sense” rather than disastrously punishing and that makes sense. Yes, some hit hard/often (especially if you’re missing significant amounts of requisite Tank stats because you’re using high level Dps gear) but use of cool-downs and not being an ass made this viable.

I didn’t understand the tricky-button-thing for Feng and likely didn’t use it properly ever. It smells like a gimmick to me, or rather a good idea executed using a gimmick button, anyway I need to see and do that fight more to learn what/how.

The poncy dress wearing Troll Shaman Boss was cool, switching based upon being pulled into the Spirit realm means we have a reason to be there – and the task of smashing the special Tank mob is plain enough to be straight forward. Much more than that it seemed I was just hitting and swinging. I’m OK with that.

(b) While actually Tanking nothing really awesome dropped, but some Tank gear did drop when I was back in Dps mode, which I snaffled for my Tank set (a great 489 Ring, and a dps Helm I can re-purpose for Tanking). Offspec gearing looks to be a higher need if I Tank again, so I’ll amp up the priority.

(c) I’d like to see the later 3 bosses in Tank mode too. Elegon’s taunt-switch sounds like something I think I’ve done before and having the positioning and stacking buffs keeps us honest.

I have no idea how to execute the Emperor’s New Dance mechanic for the Will of the Emperor fight, but will be willing to learn (link)

ps. We did have a few funny screw-ups along the way, but I have not yet made character assassination demands from the Priest involved yet; just waiting while I ponder how much gold those screenshots are worth to stay hidden. Your secret is safe Sir, for now.

Happy Killing

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Garalon 10 Man Normal Guild Kill

I had the pleasure of smashing Garalon last night in Heart of Fear, playing 10 man Normal mode with the guild. Here is the kill screenie I took with the other Insidious folks.

garalon-guild-kill-mini

The wonderful thing about last night was the fact that we stayed at it, and it was one of the classic kills.

We all survived to kill him, and then all died just after the boss (he enraged, but we killed him in 7:05m), we kept at it beyond the official end time of the raid (which caused much aggro and enraging offline), and many folks were tempted to change strat after each attempt (which evoked in me the “shut up and pull” twitch).

Our top DPS did 105k dps (this particular Warrior is a dps bamix, just insert squishies), with the next three characters doing 90k or higher as well; with all dps having 97-98% up time on the boss. For a fight where you switch targets that is pretty healthy!

On a DK note – my self healing abilities did about 2% healing (or approx 1,526,635 health) which shows just how important self healing abilities are in that fight. On the early attempts I was not self healing as much, as it is a Dps loss to use some of the more efficient heals, but in combination with damage resistance cool-downs (Icebound Fort, you’re a wonderful toy) I think the extra effort really helps keep everyone alive. The less healing I need the more healing that somebody else takes.

The counter to that was the 7.1 million Health healing that I needed over the fight, which was about average across the team (massive crush in the logs fusks the ratios, so has to be ignored)

For Raid Progression it makes us MV 6/6, and 3/6 in HoF – and 20th on the server (although 18th if you go 10 man strict – how ever the bloody hell logic). Apparently the next boss is far easier, or so the raid lead promises.

When he’s not dead due to how awesome our raiders are the big fat bug looks like something out of a sci-fi film.

garalon

Happy Killing

Ps. The comment about changing stats wasn’t a snarky shot at anyone in the team, it’s my own OCD.

Head Down Bump Up

I’m DHBU at the moment covering for one of my PMs who is on two weeks leave, and my wife started working again this week, and all sorts of real life junk…which gets in the way of a good gaming session.

In Warcraft the absolute highlight of the month so far was last night getting a new sword upgrade (finally) from Elegon, which replaced my crappy item level 463 weapon – Starshatter. It’s a great looking toy. It might get transmogged to an older style Death Knight weapon soon, as they look even better.

Screenshots and happy rants will follow soon, for now though – I’m a happy lad.

I cannot help but love an almost 1200 raw dps upgrade, plus the additional stats.


Happy Killing.

Quicktip – Use wowprogress to look for guild hoppers

WoW Progress tells you a lot about a player, when it can get reasonable data. It will show you how many guilds they have been in, which might give an indication of their character.

When you have players come and go through guilds which affects the balance, spotting those players who are always entering and leaving on whims is handy so that they never enter in the first place. Apart from checking The Armory and other tools to check their character’s current setup, the character history can help.

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Where do you stand within the Gearing community?

Today I ponder my item level. Non-gear junkies might look away?

There is a way (well many ways from different websites and many methods) to know how you are gearing for PvE by comparison to others, in guild, on server, and in general. Fundamentally this is a score based from the item level of the gear your character is wearing. I like using Wow-Heroes ranks to check gear and enchantments. It is a bit less math-y than some tools, and covers good recommendations to improvements.

Aside – ranking of position, and gear scores are essentially epeen malarkey, and only worth something to the owner, or if used “properly”. Wrath’s short romance and break-up with GearScore was a very interesting time in WoW, and one that could be a set of blog-posts unto themselves. As a tool for drawing quasi-intelligent conclusions the websites like wow heroes give us that opportunity. It considers

  • real value of all items (not just their item level)
  • all gems (their value and quality)
  • all enchants (their value and quality)
  • also gives a small penalty for using a resilience (PvP) items according to benefits from the useful stats from that item

What that tells me is that the GS is a useful measure of how advanced a character’s gear is, giving a plausible ceiling value and range for the character’s performance. The game also uses something similar when considering if a character is ready for Heroic dungeons and raids, although the algorithm in game appears to be less fussy and far more forgiving of offspec gear and bad choices.

Use any of the sites you like, understanding none are better than the other in the long run, unless you’ve a particular need.

So: I know that Mortigen’s dps gear is scored as 6663 from Wow Heroes, which ranks around 6-7ish in guild, and ~264th on the Nagrand server. That is also approx 10th on the server for Dps Death Knights.

While I’m proud I’m also a bit surprised and put off.

I play 3 nights a week and should be far lower in the rankings. It seems that something is not 100% in the ranks as presented. Perhaps this is the players who are ranked because it is what the servers can find on the players, or those players have had their data refreshed recently, and others have not. I imagine that all the high geared players would be ranked to a close approximate as they’d care and want to know, but then that itself is a huge assumption.

Then I checked Wow Progress (another tool, focused more on what the charterer has done, as well as what gear) and saw more humbling figures. They have my Death Knight’s Gear-Score (not the same math rules for the numbers) as 10550, which sits as 1024th on the realm and 83rd for Death Knights. That sounded more in line with what I expected.

But then I updated the Wow Progress tool, fetching the latest data. It altered to 10618, making Realm overall 712, and DK 49th. Fark, for a casual scrub that’s ok. It’s not even close to mid 200s on the server, but then that always sounded like a bunked number.

Finally for the sake of being particular I checked what Mr Robot had, and my very old score was 80602 from around 18 October (again the ranking on each site mean totally different things, they do not correlate). Then when updated today it rose to 84569.

I see also that almost all the higher geared DKs are using Frost, which matches what I’ve seen around and means I’ll likely switch soon to test it out too. The actual position is variable because of things like the rating given to different enchants or gear; and what gear a character is logged out wearing. eg. Sometimes I log-out in my Tanking set and fall down 25+ positions as it is poorly setup and not configured correctly.

Overall – odd. Something is not quite right…

My first guild raid and a boss kill

Insidious first kill of the Four Kings in Mogu'shan Vaults

Sunday I joined the Insidious regulars for a set of attempts on the Four Kings encounter (aka Spirit Kings) in Mogu’shan vaults, and we killed him. Yup, that’s me in the middle of the screen doing a Guild first boss kill.

Now to be humble, I have no idea of actually how I performed other than to say I stayed alive and didn’t wipe us, and the World of Logs might show me running in fire for all I can tell – but the four stinky old spirits were vanquished successfully.

I am darn excited to have done it.

In the nick of time

The raiders in Insidious were fighting bosses down to the wire before MoP and a space appeared so I nabbed it. It meant that I got to see the Heroic Ragnaros kill and Heroic Deathwing kills while the content was current – just in the nick of time.

I thought some pictures might be good too. Thank you to Insidious.

I should have screenshotted his legs