Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

In the Brainstorm of Good and Evil
comment 4 Written by on February 26, 2009 – 5:52 am

I really enjoyed this post from Going Bearfoot (hat tip to Ila and Panzercow)! I started to leave a comment, and then it got WAY too long, so I figured I’d just make a blog post instead!

I have some issue with the definitions that Bearfoot uses of Good and Evil. If “good” doesn’t need a reason – is it then not “good” to defend your family against someone trying to do them harm? If not, then “doing good” becomes “being a doormat” – because obviously fighting is done for a reason. The quote is nice – but it doesn’t approach the hard questions of ethics with nearly enough flexibility/complexity.

Nitpicky little arguments aside, there are times that you can paint both sides with the “evil” brush, and no faction has a stronghold on “good”. Even the peace-loving Tauren are focused on revenge against the Centaur. Lying down and playing dead doesn’t make “good” any more than defending one’s homeland makes “evil” (Vengeance may be bad, but is it wrong to take back something someone has stolen from you?).

Obviously, it’s a MUCH bigger question.

Plus at this point, the Alliance/Horde war is approaching Hatfield/McCoy proportions, and in those situations I don’t think anyone is right.

Is Thrall a more noble leader than Varian Wrynn? Probably (I definitely think so). He’s also a more noble leader than Garrosh Hellscream, the hot-headed leader of Horde forces in Northrend. Fortunately, a leader does not the entire faction make, or we’d get to judge the factions on the actions of Staghelm/Wrynn and Sylvanas/Garrosh instead of keeping Tyrande/Magni and Thrall/Cairne in the mix. I’d venture to say that there are both “good” and “evil” elements of both Factions (Plz to have Bolvar back, kthx?), especially with the growing influence of the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon Blade – and their cooperation with both factions.

And nobody has a stronghold on Evil except Sargeras.

3.1 and Other Stuff
comment Comments Off Written by on February 25, 2009 – 11:48 am

You won’t find patch notes here.  Nor will you find new glyphs here.  It is *way* too early, this stuff just hit the PTR, and will likely be there for at least a month, given all the testing that needs to go into Ulduar. When it gets closer and might feasibly be more realistic, then I may touch on some stuff, but for now?

It’s not worth the energy getting worked up about changes that are so far from being final (esp with all the RL stuff I have to get worked up about!). Check out MMO-Champion if you really want more infos!

In other news, Ciderhelm, whose tanking videos are fantastic and have been a great resource for TRI on a few fights (especially Malygos) has created an overview cinematic for WotLK entitled Glory of the Raider.  It’s quite wonderful, and not at all tanking-specific – though I highly suggest that if you’re in any way involved in healing a tank, you have some idea what that tank should be/is doing on the boss fights!

You can catch it there at the Glory of the Raider link, or over here on youtube.

Cat Herding in Naxx25: Deathknight Things
comment 7 Written by on February 25, 2009 – 11:34 am

This is the fourth in a series of posts on how to arrange your healers in Naxxramas 25.

I’d highly suggest reading up on Herding Cats in general, especially if you’re filling in for heal lead and aren’t usually the one with the job.

Otherwise, this is just a quick guide to how and why I arrange our healers the way I have been – which isn’t to say that it’s the end-all, be-all of healing assignments for Naxx! Just how things have worked for us.  Most fights I’m going to assume six healers, though some I’ll recommend an off-spec/hybrid healer to help out (or possibly picking up a seventh healer), and you can almost always safely substitute classes.

Yes, Naxx25 has been done with only two healers, but I’d venture to guess that those raids are experienced and not just starting out, and those new ones are the raids that this guide is primarily written for (’cause if you’ve got the place on farm, you don’t need my piddly advice on how to set up your healers!).

This is not, in fact, a raid-wide, boss killing strategy – if you want one of those, I recommend looking at www.wowhead.com, www.wowwiki.com, and www.bosskillers.com!

Deathknight Wing Boss the First: Instructor Razuvius

  • Main Tanks: The MT’s in this fight are Razuvius’ students, mind controlled by two priests. You probably won’t need to heal them, unless the transitioning goes wrong.
  • Offtank: One healer (or maybe two, if you’ve got them) – tanking Razuvius OTHER students, and keeping broken MC’s from nuking the raid.
  • Raid: Everyone else.  Watch out for people that get the Knife Throw debuff

This fight is pretty straightforward for healers, and unless things go to the nether in a handbasket, usually isn’t overly stressful.  If you have an extra paladin around, they can bomb heal the mind controlled tanks, but it’s only necessary if your transitions aren’t working well.

Deathknight Wing Boss the Second: Gothik the Harvester

  • Live Side (Left): Two to three healers
  • Dead Side (Right): Three healers (favoring paladins and strong raid healers)

Healing “Dead side” is usually more stressful and involves more AOE healing, though Paladins can contribute to the healing both through Holy Wrath stuns and general undead DPS.  Once the doors open, have the healers on the side where he’s currently standing stick to the tank, the rest raid heal.

Deathknight Wing Boss(es) the Third: Four Horsemen

In the Front!

  • Left Corner (Thane): Two healers – one AOE and one Single Target
  • Right Corner (Rivendare): Two healers

This is a *tank* assignment, more than a *boss* assignment – the tanks will be swapping the bosses back and forth, but you will always be on the same general side of the room.  Thane’s going to Meteor, so if your tank has Thane, be sure to stand right on top of him, to avoid getting blown up (the Meteor is like the one in the Arcatraz trash, the more people it hits, the less damage each person takes).

In the Back!

  • Zeliek (henceforth “Ziggy”) – One healer, or One Healer and a DPS Hybrid
  • Blaumeaux (henceforth “Blammo”) – One healer, or One Healer and a DPS Hybrid (don’t stand in shadow pancakes)

These should be single target healers (paladin, disc priest preferred), and they will be healing an offtank/plate DPS in tank gear. Both Ziggy and Blammo have proximity aggro – they’ll shoot at whoever is closest to them, so make sure to stand farther away than your tank! If your healers are strongly geared, one healer per offtank should be enough – paladins have this particularly nice with Beacon, since you’ll take damage from the marks.  Once you get three-four marks, the offtank/healer pairs should switch to the other side.

*****

Hopefully your group will be successful on your march through heroic Naxxramas!  Good luck, have fun, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!

Wipe it Down
comment 6 Written by on February 24, 2009 – 9:17 am

Archimonde. Ragnaros. Magtheridon (pre nerf). Vaelestrasz. Gurtogg Bloodboil. Lady Vashj. Nefarian. Illidan Stormrage. Four Horsemen (pre 2.0). Kael’thas Sunstrider.

When you hear people talk about old bosses, the ones they had trouble with in previous incarnations of the raid scene, there are a few names that just seem to keep showing up in the list. Every raid has had their stumbling blocks – but there are a few fights in the game that just come with wipe nights – nights devoted entirely to learning a fight (sometimes multiple nights).

Signing up for raids on these weeks means knowing that you may not get loot that night, that you probably won’t make any money, that you’ll have repair bills, go through a lot of reagents rebuffing, and use a lot of consumables (a relative oddity in Wrath of the Lich King, since large areas of Naxxramas are accessible to most 25 and 10 man raids).

You’ll also work hard, get frustrated, die on experiments, and force yourself to pick it up one more time and move on.

But it’s not all bad.

Wipe nights, progression nights, and learning nights can be fun, they can have a sense of humor, and they can be times that bring a raid closer together as a group.  Working on something that’s truly hard forces people to be on top of things, to become better at their class (even if only from a situational awareness standpoint), to try new ideas, suggest stuff, think outside the box, and ultimately be a better, more cohesive raid.

Keeping up raid morale is a difficult and squirrely task, since each raid has a different climate and attitude. But there are a few things you can do to help keep things stable for yourself as you’re entering into a tough night:

  • Use wipe friendly consumables – even though elixir combinations are often more beneficial, flasks are a good idea simply from a cost standpoint, and you don’t have to worry about them!
  • Keep yourself comfortable – get up and stretch if you need to, have a tasty beverage on hand,
  • Utilize raid breaks fully – they’re breaks, and the idea is for you to take one. Don’t sit at the computer and putter around for 5 minutes. Get up and get a breath of air, walk around, take a potty break – you’ll come back feeling refreshed and less like you want to pound on your keyboard.
  • Get into the right mindset – be patient, admit to your mistakes, and foster an environment of “lets learn this” as opposed to “you are all stupid numbnuts for (whatever)”.  Sometimes it’s necessary to be firm, but that’s (the rather difficult) job of the raid leader, who has to balance morale with effectiveness. Unless that’s you, calling people out in vent isn’t likely to solve anything, and can be extremely detrimental.
  • Be engaged in the right places – pay attention to what’s going on around you, and use your raid appropriate communication skills to transmit that info to the people that need to know.  Don’t hold the raid up for silly things, but don’t gloss over potentially important information either, particularly if it’s something that more than one person (you) or role (the DPS) can benefit from.
  • When the wipe is called – wipe it down. This is the only time when it’s appropriate to intentionally stand in a fire, stand in the cleave, run behind a dragon, or go take a lava/slime bath. Die quickly, find out if there will be rezzes, release, run back, and start over.  Don’t waste everyone’s time.
  • Have fun – laughing about craziness is a good way to diffuse a potentially tense situation. Did the boss just do something really peculiar and now you’re all dead on the floor wondering WTF? It’s alright to put a little humor in, even if it’s just in your class/role chat channel.

Obviously all of this is easier if your group actually is making forward progress and things seem to be getting better, but even if they’re not (which happens, every group has off nights), keeping your own mentality in a good place is a huge help in the face of a really nasty bossthing that is enjoying raidsnax.

Sartharion +3 Drakes is our current Bossthing. Ulduar will likely have a few.  Malygos can be one, as can Kel’Thuzad or Sapphiron or Thaddius. It doesn’t matter who the Bossthing is, or what his abilities are – every raid has strengths and weaknesses. Just keep it together, don’t forget to laugh, and remember that no matter how serious this raiding business can get, it’s pushing your group to be better as a whole, to learn and react as a team, and to be better prepared for the craziness that awaits on the other side of the next instance releases.

So good luck, have fun, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

Riders of Lordaeron

September 7, 2013 – 9:02 am

“Light sent me ye when I needed ye afore – an’ now again when I need ye. I canna ask fir more than tha’.” She sighed and slung the shield back across her shoulders. “It’s… Light. Been awhile hasna it? …

Dark Rider of Lordaeron (Part 4)

September 6, 2013 – 2:02 pm

She blinked, but did not drop either of her shields. “Aye, though I’ve been Caltrains fir th’ last near three years. Canna say I’ve any memory ay ye.”

“Yeh’ve far moar’n yeh realize,” he replied evenly, his grip tightening on …

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