Archive for the ‘Raids’ Category

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Gear Upgrades NOMNOMNOM

April 6, 2009

I posted on Friday that I had applied to join another guild. <Naxxramas Bin Collection> started out as a group of friends coming back to the game after an absence. We’ve all done different things, some of us have switched classes and now we are all at different stages with what we want from the game.

On Saturday I got the invite to join <Inner Circle> as a non-raider to allow time for me to get the gear I would need to start raiding without being a drag on the rest of the group. They’ve all been a stand-up bunch so far and I’d have been happy to hit up anything of a 10-man variety rather than getting thrown to the wolves in a 25-man progression environment. So, how did my WoW weekend progress?

Over the past couple of weekends I’ve experienced some success in terms of getting some massive upgrades and doing some pretty awesome things. This weekend continued that trend, since applying to the new guild I started to focus on only running those places that would bring me closer to achieving the required standards for making a raider out of me. After all, I was still in a green chestpiece and both my trinkets were also greens, I was missing various enchantments on pieces of gear which may have given the impression that I wasn’t too serious or dedicated to the task at hand. Despite only getting around 3 hours play time on Sunday I actually managed to achieve EVERY single thing that I set out to do at the weekend. I’d like to give a shout out to those new guildmates who helped this happen.

To start out with I grabbed a belt buckle and threw a +16 hit gem in it. I spent Saturday doing an OS 10 man, Violet Hold, Halls of Stone and Nexus Heroics. I got nothing other than badges from all the instances except for the Nexus, where I picked up the +55 hit rating trinket. OK, it’s not really designed to be used with my class/spec but my primary stat is +hit until capped. I spent a lot of the day questing to get some money back in the coffers and also managed to ding Exalted with Alliance Expedition and Revered with Alliance Vanguard. That evening I got invited in one of the guild’s Naxx 10 alt runs, this would be my first time in the place and was still running with sub-optimal gear. I’d done the PUG raids in the previous week but this was something else, my performance here would mean something as these were my new guildies and I still needed to learn all these fights.

Around 4 hours later the whole place lay dead, we had one wipe on Gothik and one on Kel’thuzad when an over enthusiastic Fel Puppy decided to go make friends with some abominations. I had a personal brain fart on Thaddeus which saw me dead for most the fight, I’m still learning though and although I died once at the very first Heigan dance I got combat ressed and stayed alive through the rest of it quite happily. We even managed to get the “Hundred Club” achievement on Sapphiron because we totally forgot about Frost resists. All in all it was a lot of fun and at the end of it I’d made some lovely gold as well as grabbing a new Shield, Cloak, Ring and my T7 chest. The following day I grabbed enchants for all the pieces that were missing them (except for my shoulders) and gemmed what needed gemming to get my hit rating up as well as keep the Chaotic Skyflare meta-gem in my hat active. Overall it was a great night for me, I got to see the content I was after and it helped to eliminate a lot of my gearing issues and I now have the 2-piece bonus active from my T7. Equipping that chest saw me get the “Superior” achievement too.

Sunday left me with wanting to replace that final trinket or get a +hit neck, there is one available from badges (I grabbed the Mirror of Truth with badges from the Naxx run) and one from 25-man Sartharion. I queued up for the Obsidian Sanctum and grabbed the daily Heroic. I ended up going to Nexus after misreading which dragon to kill for the daily. I got some more badges and then sat in Violet Hold later on.

Now at this point I’m going to raise something up. I have done quite a few heroics and the ones I am running at the moment are mainly PuGs. I’ve not really had any bad experiences with them either, I was obviously lucky. I started the Violet Hold alongside a Death Knight tank, Affliction Lock, Hunter DPS warrior and a Holy Paladin. I’ve run this thing so many times now I can probably do it in my sleep. So we begin, I do my normal drop of Wrath of Air totem and then run into the portal and drop a Magma totem to help AoE the adds. It wasn’t long before I noticed that things were taking a long time to kill, never mind we were doing OK with very little overlap on the portals towards the first boss. Luckily we got Chaos Watcher which is an easy tank and spank and we downed him without much of an issue. Second wave starts and boss is Ichoron and he is getting released as we are still on the last 10% of the previous portal guardian. We wipe on the boss after no-one seems to worry about killing the little elementals.

I check out the DPS meter from Recount that is the only thing I keep running to make sure I’m doing my job. The tank is pushing out 1200DPS and is holding aggro nicely, the Paladin is right at the bottom as he is healing, however, our Hunter DPS warrior and Warlock are doing sub 1000DPS, the Warlock is under 900 and the hunter DPS Warrior isn’t much better… I’d heard of things like this but had never ever seen it in my life. Now I know there can be gear deficits, I had a lot of new stuff and was pushing out around 2400DPS, good stuff on my part. We restarted the instance but I thought I’d keep quiet and see if we could do it, after all, it was only the other two DPS that seemed to not quite be up to it. fair play to them all though, second time through we defeated all the bosses. Sure the other DPS were very low down on their DPS (I watched the Warlock stand in the middle of the room for 10+ seconds at a time between moving to new portals) but we managed to finish the instance and complete the daily. Bingo on 25 badges, bingo on getting the new +hit neck I needed.

My other goal I’ll come to later when I review the to-do list.

Before logging for the night I went to Ironforge and swapped one of my gems from a +8 hit & +12 Stam  to a pure +16 hit, I am now hitcapped!

(Updated as there was no Hunter in this group, it was my favourite class ever the DPS warrior. I checked Recount last night and I did a whopping 47.5% of the groups damage throughout the instance.)

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Gief Moar Raidz!

April 3, 2009

VoA 10 and 25man are now completed, nothing dropped of value for my beloved Shaman.

I am currently in the process of applying to a new guild so we’ll see how that goes.

Expect to see the Shaman Vs Priest part 2 next week as well as an update on how my to-do list is progressing.

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A Night of Achievement

April 1, 2009

Achievements, love them or hate them, I don’t think they are going anywhere and Lekktra is picking them up by the bucketload at the moment.

After BRK’s shock announcement of his retirement from WoW I stood back and looked at how much time I’m spending in the game. I asked my wife last night is she felt if her or our relationship was suffering because of my game time, she said it wasn’t and we set out that I’ll get a clip round the ear if things get out of hand. It’s also confirmed that this isn’t an April fools, it’s sad that one of the best WoW blogs out there is retiring but, to be honest, there is no better reason to be doing what he is doing than the reason he is doing it. I’ll give props to him for his blog and being one of the main inspirations for me starting my own little corner of the interwebz.

Last night saw Lekktra return to the world of PvP, thought I’d run some Arathi Basin before dinner, first match we won 2000 to 0 inside of six minutes, two more achievements there which saw me pass the total I’d amassed with Bo. I also got myself into an Obsidian Sanctum 25man and picked up the epic leather shoulders which finally replace the Heirloom item I’ve been wearing since level 49, they’ve certainly been put through their paces and can be passed on to whatever character comes along next. They have a +30 stam enchant on them so would be fantastic for a real low level character. I also splashed out yet more cash on picking up the Icewalker enchant for my boots and a +50 spellpower for my Nexus mace. I could link all the items but work bans all the really cool sites during the day when I write these posts. I came to realise at the close of my play time last night that I am pretty well geared to start raiding, quite a few enchantments lying around and the only green gear I have is my chest and two trinkets and I’m trying to save badges to deal with the chest first. After doing the raid there was an hour left till Wintergrasp so I went and ran Maraudon just to grab the achievement and get another dungeon ticked off my list (only BRD and Dire Maul remain). Went and did Wintergrasp, did the quests as a part of it which bagged me some cash and some more shards. To round off the night I joined a group for Heroic CoS, just as I’d joined them I got an invite to run Vault of Archaevon, that raid is high on my list of things I want to do, but as I’d just joined the Caverns of Time group I couldn’t be an ass and leave them searching again after I’d already said I’d do it.

We went off and finished it although we had one wipe, I already have the drake so am not too bothered about doing more timed runs but it’s always nice to try and push yourself. I finished having done over 2100dps so I consider that I am getting to a decent level now in terms of my damage output.

Over the course of the night then I got achievements for 2 things in Arathi Basin, 1 in Warsong Gulch (which I deserted for the OS raid), 1 for finishing off the Princess in Mara and 2 from OS itself (one for downing heroic Sartharion and one for my first “epic” emblem). Overall another good night’s play. Tonight I’ll be out so no playing for me as I make myself take a break in the middle of the week for a night, I’m also just waiting to see what my Oracle egg drops. I got lucky with Rivendare’s Deathcharger dropping quick and I’m hoping for a repeat to get the green Proto-drake. I’m happy enough with my Bronze Drake but would really love a Proto because I think they just look really cool.

Just need to finish off the last 70 or so shards now so I can also bag me a mammoth, choosing what mount to ride is becoming increasingly difficult and that situation doesn’t seem to be going to change anytime soon!

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For the Horde….

March 30, 2009

..or maybe the Alliance, it’s just that the exclamation sounds much better on the other side of the Azeroth warring faction divide. Therein lies a big clue as to what I accomplished over the weekend, but let’s start at the beginning shall we.

Over the last week I really didn’t get to do much WoWing at all, I just about managed to run the Oracles dailies and still fail miserably at trying to finish “A Simple Re-quest” I know the methodology just seem to get stuck with irregular play times. I’ve been speaking to Roop and Steller and they are both rather indifferent about WoW at the moment, they are good RL friends and will continue to be so, our bonds are not purely there because of this game, also I’ve been pretty much the only person online from the guild during the days I’ve been around. OK I’ll admit I wasn’t on really from Monday to Wednesday and Saturday my parents came round for dinner so I played a little in the morning but otherwise spent the day cleaning and prepping the house for mother-level scrutineering. Still, Thursday, Friday and Sunday were very, very quiet in our guild chat. I am still happy to keep on playing, we started a discussion last Monday about what to do with the guild and our people, we have friends in another guild that is much larger than ours but I’m not going to repost everything, I’ll skip all the waffle and get on with how I did against my goals.

I said late last week that I probably should get the tradeskills going, so, did I manage to max out mining or engineering? No, not even close, I think I did four gathers of Mithril the whole weekend…. I did however spend a good bit of time clearing more of Howling Fjord to increase my gold reserves. I was speaking to one of my friends who plays in the other guild mentioned above when I was at the store on Friday after work doing my shopping (he works there) and was explaining my thoughts about guilds and raiding etc… He gave some sage advice and on Friday night after taking two of our baby Paladins through some Auchindoun instances I got into a PuG for 10-man Obsidian Sanctum. I looked up the wrong loot table in Atlas-loot so until we got to the end I didn’t really have any idea what was going to drop and as this was a PuG raid wasn’t sure if it’d actually work. I’m also committing the cardinal sin of not being hit-capped, still having some green gear and having virtually no enchants. Still, it’s a PuG and no-one was questioning my gear or anything. Around 40 minutes later Sartharion was dead, it took a while to complete the group and get everyone there, but once we did it was a smooth run and I think only two people died through the whole thing and that was to the drakes. My first Wrath raid was a roaring success, I came 3rd on the damage charts (pretty respectable I think considering how many enhancements I consider myself to be missing) and got my T7 gloves and the 22-slot bag. I was very happy and thought the whole encounter was actually really good fun.

I spent some time later on re-gemming as I had a new slot to fill and slapped a +16 hit in the gloves slot, I’ve popped a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond in my meta slot and re-jigged some of the other gems to activate it while still maintaining +hit and am now seeing some juicy over 9k Lava Burst crits and I still have plenty of gear to come and enchantments to add to boost my Spellpower even further. Friday was a good  night!

Saturday didn’t really do much and I’ve found a problem with one of my graphics cards, I’m lucky (or mad) enough to be running SLi so kind of have an in-built spare so the one failing hasn’t really caused any issues and the performance difference in WoW is nothing. If I fire up Dead Space or Dawn of War 2 I might start to notice though.

Sunday, well, it took me most of the afternoon to diagnose the graphics issue but once I was back up and running I did a run through Gun’drak to clear some quests out of my log. After dinner I was wondering what to do with myself when the LFG channel started off with invites to a “For the Alliance” event. Normally these only start really late at night when I don’t have the time to do it, but this was nice and early so I bit the bullet (again, no other guildies on) and signed up. It took a while to fill up the 40 people but eventually we were all camped at Zul’aman ready to hit Silvermoon first. Maybe someone fraps’d it, I don’t know and I didn’t take any screenshots either but I have to say that it is probably one of the most epic events I have ever participated in. Shockingly (taste the sarcasm) the Blood Elf city of Cyb0rmo… sorry, Silvermoon was deserted of actual players. We ran straight into the throne room, AOE’d all the city guards that had followed us and then spanked the Blood Elf leader good and proper. From there we legged it through the sewers of Undercity to our next target. Sylvanas died to our onslaught and only a couple of brave Hordies decided to try and save the Banshee queen.

Two cities were down, two to go (damn I wish I’d have taken screenies). Orgimmar was next, 40 Alliance charging across the plains of Durotar is a stirring sight, to really rub it into the Horde we decided to take the front entrance too, riding right past the bank and auction house to let them all know we had arrived. Thrall was easy enough but we did have some more Horde players try to come to save their Shamanic leader, needless to say that attacking a full 40 man raid group in waves of two or three was not really going to make a dent in our formation. With Thrall dead we ran out the front entrance again and proceeded to interrupt the duels being fought outside the gates. Through a battle of attrition we were wittled down and regrouped back at Theramore. With many players experiencing a MacAttack we made all speed towards burger central. For the first time ever I used my Shamanic Far Sight spell to check out the defence around Cairn, four level 80’s. We charged in and I promptly DC’d….. bugger. Logged back in to find myself dead, so I ran back, ressed and ran back to join the group, only to get ganked from behind by a Paladin. Second corpse run ensues and I am right outside the city when the raid finally downs Cairn, achievements ping and I have a Black War Bear sitting in my mailbox.

There you have it, on my hotbar I have swapped out Baron Rivendare’s Deathcharger for my Black War Bear and am a happy camper. Over the weekend I did one PvE raid and one PvP raid, all in all, although I hardly did any mining I did have a lot of fun and that is really what the game is about. I don’t know what the future holds at the moment as regards to how my friends see the game but I am having a blast.

In response to Spinks’ question here of would I pick the same class again my Shaman definitely gets a yes vote!

FOR THE ALLIANCE!!!!

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A Class Act

March 26, 2009

I recently commented on this post over at Spinksville and got a response from the man himself. Rather than take up a huge column space with another comment I thought I’d take this opportunity to make a whole post out of it to try and explain my “inconsistency” with regards to my thoughts. Spinks does a really good job of writing out objective posts backed up by solid arguments, I am probably a little too emotive in the way I perceive things, this is not meant as a bash to him at all, I have a lot of respect for his opinions but I am going to try and set out my own arguments to back up what I have written, hence needing the extra space afforded me by using a proper post of my own.

Firstly, lets look at where my objectivity comes from, what point of view gives me the experience that I will be relating. I am going to ignore my vanilla WoW experiences, I didn’t really know the game and didn’t interact a whole lot with anybody, so therefore I only have my time spent on Alliance since TBC to go off. This is the first point at which I’ll admit there maybe some failings, Spinks is on Horde, I’m over on Alliance, we all know the generally accepted argument that Horde tends to have better players than Alliance, while Alliance get most of the kiddies playing the “pretty” races. I’m not getting into that argument here and I don’t really have enough Horde experience to prove otherwise, but I do miss not being Horde!

I have two level 80 characters, Bouaza the Priest and Lekktra the Shaman, both Draenei. Bo has had a lot more playtime than Lekktra and has been a healer for pretty much her whole life, therefore I have a lot of experience of groups from the healing point of view, this is where the majority of my play experience is coming from. Lekktra has been 80 for almost two weeks now and is unashamedly DPS, this is giving me a completely different experience and viewpoint on how a group works (or doesn’t work). So, there you go, I’m not an end game tank of any level (although I did tank Prince Malchezzar once when our MT was away and I got to use his toon to get the raid to keep going, yes, we did down him too!). I have a Death Knight, a level 33 Prot Warrior and a very low level druid and Paladin, my tanking experiences are not worth mentioning, this may colour my views, just warning you.

Right, onto my argument, DPS is OK for Ret Pallies and Death Knights, the other two plate wearers, but I have a problem with DPS Warriors. I’m going to try and argue this to the best of my abilities, no offense intended to anyone, especially not if you chose a DPS warrior, this is just my opinion, yours may differ and I have no problem with that, it’s your game to play as much as it is mine.

Argument the first; RAGE!!!!!!!!

This is really probably going to turn out to be the crux of my argument when I try and think about everything. It’s the basics of the Warrior mechanics, you want to use those abilities then you’re going to need a bar full of red stuff. Remember, I’m looking at this from a healer point of view mainly. How do you get rage, well, there are talents that help you get in and you have a skill you can pop that generates some and you can charge into combat. That gets the red bar filling up, the other options are hitting stuff and getting hit in return. For a Prot Warrior he wants to be beaten around like a dogs chewtoy the more he gets pounded the more rage he has to slam his shield up some guy’s ass thus maintaining a high threat. For the DPS warrior being hit is a bad thing, ignoring stances, the DPS warrior will not have as much mitigation as the Warrior, heck, he may not even be wearing full plate so if he gets hit he’s instantly going to take more damage than the tank. Rage diminishes over time, so the Warrior needs to be in combat hitting (or being hit) for a lot of the time to maintain his ability to fire off those skills that are going to allow him to make a meaningful contribution to the group. In solo play getting hit is fine, but in a group if you’re getting hit then generally you’re doing something wrong.

I’ve been in a number of fights whereby the only person to die during the whole instance is the DPS warrior, normally getting one-shotted by bosses. Spinks may be right, I may just have come across the nublet kind of DPS warrior, but I have never seen once do anything decent in a group. As a healer you know when a DPS warrior is in the group that they are going to be taking almost as much damage as the tank (personal experience here) and every single time you have a choice over who to heal it’s going to be the tank, hence DPS warrior death. I rank one Utgarde Keep where our DPS warrior died 4 times, no-one else did, just the DPS warrior. Whether this is down to skill use I don’t know but I’ve seen many a DPS warrior challenge the tank on threat generation and once they pull it off the tank that low mitigation means they get dead quick. I put this down to them needing rage and therefore really being dependant on being up close and personal.

On the other hand we have Paladins and Death Knights. Paladins have a very good melee DPS spec as do Death Knights (in fact Death Knights can do a decent job of tanking even with a primarily DPS spec), the difference here is that Paladins run on mana and Death Knights have their Runic Power and their Runes to use. Runes have a cooldown but don’t rely on getting an axe to the face, Retribution Pallies get Replenishment to keep their mana up (and that of the group) and use that mana for their spells, which they regenerate quickly and if things go pearshaped they have their bubble or even Lay on Hands. Neither of these classes need to be in melee to generate their primary abilities.

Argument the second; heals

Blood presence DKs are getting healed as they do damage, Paladins have healing spells that allow them to keep themselves alive. Yes each group has a healer and that should allow the group to stay topped off but primarily you’re going to want to keep the tank alive first and foremost, then the healer needs to keep themselves alive, healing DPS comes in last place. I’m sure we could get into a long discussion about Warrior and Death Knight talents that allow them to provide self healing. Pots do not count, they can’t be relied upon due to the Wrath changes which limits you to 1 per fight.

Argument the third; DPS

The reason to take a DPS warrior is down to them contributing meaningful DPS to a group. I’ve heard tales of DPS warriors hitting the tops of damage meters. I’ve already espoused in previous posts that simply being at the top of a damage chart is not the be all and end all of the group. Yes, being at the top probably means you’re alive through everything so have the maximum time to hurt things. However, this doesn’t show anything regarding the possibility of the DPS warrior (and any other DPS for that matter) constantly stealing aggro off the tank to ensure his place a top the meter, the only reason he gets there is because a healer who’s on top of her game makes sure that no-one dies allowing the warrior to keep the pewpew despite things being harder for the group as the DPS dude focused purely on the fact that his name needs to be at the top.

In my experience of having DPS warriors in a group they haven’t done anywhere near the output of other DPS classes, sure dual-wielding two-handers looks cool, but if you’re throwing out crappy DPS you’re pulling your weight in the group. Again, I’m willing to admit I may have just been with bad players, but it does seem to be a trend that some of the worst players I have come across all seem to be DPS warriors… I have yet to see one make a meaningful contribution to the group.

Argument the fourth; group benefits

Death Knights fall down here too, I’m going to agree with Spinks here and be a bit inconsistent, I’m of the opinion that even though the Hero class can do DPS, I’d much rather see them tanking, yes it’s a harder job than doing DPS but still, I’ll be much happier with a DK tank than a DK DPS. In terms of group buffs their not really bringing a whole lot other than the aura. Pallies however provide blessings, auras (ok yeah, only if you’re close to them) as well as replenishment and a backup healer. I love ret pallies, sorry, that’s an emotive side of the argument here, /slapwrist. Warriors have shouts but…yeah… don’t really see them doing all that much but I’m open to a counter here due to my lack of warrior specific knowledge. This is my opinion and experience, not a definitive “thou shalt not be a DPS warrior” post.

Argument the fifth; a class act

Winding this up now as I realise this is somewhat of a mammoth post. Paladins are a hybrid, they currently have three valid talent specs, they can do decent DPS, can tank well and can heal well. Death Knights are a Hero class, the first one and are therefore different to the other classes, their specs are not so clear cut, however, I fall majorly on the side that they are excellent tanks and that should be their top role. However, I know that most people with one use it for DPS which I am OK with even if it jumps in the face of reason. I’ll admit to being inconsistent on this point. Warriors, well, warriors are not hybrids, their not a hero class, according to Blizzard’s design they are there to tank. Personally I’ve always viewed their DPS specs as primarily for PvP in the PvE environments warriors are tanks. So, if you wanted to do PvE DPS (I know Death Knights are recent additions to let’s ignore them as much as we can) why pick a Warrior? Is it a case of wanting to play a warrior because they sound cool and then realising that you don’t want the responsibility of effectively leading a group? If I really sit down and think about this I can’t think of any reason to pick a Warrior as a pure DPS class choice, all the other classes (ignoring Death Knight remember for all the older characters we have out there) bring something else to the party and generally do better damage with better survivability. I know there are others in my guild who think the same as me, I cannot see any compelling argument for a DPS warrior opposed to another class.

If I had a friend who played a warrior and was DPS would I bring him to the group? Well, yes I would, I still advocate bringing the player not the class but this isn’t a post based on that argument.

I’m going to stop now as I probably haven’t made this half as coherent as I probably should, hopefully I’ve kept the emotive side of things out of it and made proper points that I’ve explained well enough.

I’ll re-iterate one more time, this is my opinion only as I have experienced things. If you want to be a DPS warrior then go for it, I await the day for someone to prove me wrong and I’m not going to write someone off for the choices they make in a game. It’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, do what you do to get enjoyment out of your leisure time as long as it doesn’t involve being an ass to others.

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Save the Noob!

March 12, 2009

Props to this thread on the WoW forums, gave me a chuckle so I thought I’d copypasta it here. Please note that I did NOT write this…. enjoy.

In almost every instance in wow, you’ll have at least one noob with you who constantly gets aggro from the mobs. This noob has usually rolled a noobish class like warrior, paladin or druid, and he probably thinks he’s some kind of “tank” or something.

Obviously, you must save this noob from the dangerous mobs in the instance. This guide explains how to prevent him from being hit by the mobs, so the party can successfully complete the instance.

Part 1 – The pull

The noob will regularly be the first to aggro a group of mobs, often by using a ranged ability. Such behaviour can not be allowed, and should be stopped.

The best way to stop it is to nip it in the bud. That’s why you should always try to attack mobs before the noob does. Hit them with everything you’ve got before he gets the chance to attack. Using abilities like multi-shot, which hit multiple mobs, will make it virtually impossible for him to get aggro on all of the mobs, and your party will be save.

Should the noob get in an attack before you do, don’t worry. Abilities like fireball, charge and cheap shot can still save the day. Just be sure to hit the mobs that are running towards the noob before they reach him, and pull them as far away from him as possible. You get extra points for breaking a dangerous group of hard-hitting mobs into pieces, spreading them out across the area so the noob can not possible reach them all.

Sometimes, the noob will try to pull a caster mob. Realising he cannot possibly win a fight against a caster mob, he will move back around a corner, out of the line of sight of the caster mob. What the noob probably doesn’t know is that the caster mob will just run after him, around the corner, and start attacking him again. To prevent this from happening, you should immediately lay the smack down on the caster mob with your ranged abilities. That way, the caster mob will target you instead and stay in place, far from the noob.

Part 2 – The fight

Sometimes, the noob will manage to get aggro on a whole bunch of mobs, who will all start hitting him. Don’t worry, not all is lost just yet. You can still save the noob. The most important thing is that you start doing as much damage as you can immediately – don’t give the noob a chance to foolishly build threat on all mobs. As soon as the fight starts, use your highest-damage abilities. If the noob misses his first attack or two, chances are that you can still manage to pull aggro away from him.

It is also important that you target a different mob than the one the noob is targeting, since that one will be the hardest to pull aggro on. Use /assist to see the noob’s target, then pick a different one yourself. If the group you are in is using marks, never, ever, attack the mob marked with a skull. Usually, the mob you will have to attack is marked with a moon or a blue square instead.

When you successfully manage to get aggro off the noob, make sure to run away from him as quickly as possible. Put some serious distance between him and you, so he doesn’t unintentionally use a taunt ability on your mob. After all, it’s your mob, not his.

In instances where mobs run away when they get low health, make sure that your party burns down the health of several mobs at once. That way, it will be nearly impossible to stop them all for the noob and the others in your party, so as they run away they will aggro more mobs, which means you will finish the instance quicker.

If you are in a team with a warrior or druid noob, keep an eye on the red bar below next to his name. The more he hits and gets hit, the fuller this bar gets. Your goal is to keep this bar as empty as possible. The emptier the bar is, the less threat the noob can generate, and the mobs will move to more appropriate targets like you and the healer instead.

If the noob is a paladin, he will have a blue bar instead. This bar will be full at the start of fights, and grow empty as the noob does foolish things. If the noob gets healed, though, it will get a bit fuller again. That’s why you should make sure you are the one taking damage instead of the noob. That way, his blue bar will go empty really quickly, and he will not be able to do any more foolish things.

Part 3 – Party etiquette

Teaming with a noob can be a frustrating experience. These noobs not only steal your aggro, they also steal the heals that you need to stay alive and do your imba dps. So, the moment you get hit, you should start reminding the healer that you need heals. Spamming “HEAL ME!!!” in party chat is a good way to do this. Even better is spamming it in raid warning. That way, it will appear right in the middle of everyone’s screen, and the healer will have no choice but to heal you instead of the noob.

It is also important to keep the noob in his proper place. The best way to do that is to repeatedly ask if anyone has damage meter installed, and ask to have it posted after every fight. Make sure to laugh at the noob and the healer if they’re below you in damage, and call them noobs. This will force them to respect your leet skillz.

In some groups, the noob will ask if you have KTM or Omen installed. If the noob does that, be sure to insult him, and tell him that only noobs need addons. If he questions you, ask another party member to post the damage meter stats, and point out how much better you are.

Of course, the real reason you’re doing instances in the first place is phat lewt. To make sure that you get the phattest lewt, make sure to loot mobs as quickly as possible, especially when you’re still in combat. That way, any greens, blues and purples will pop up on everyone’s screen while they’re still fighting, which will obscure their vision of the fight but increase their morale.

Also, make sure to roll need on everything you can possibly use, even if it doesn’t fit your class or spec or you already have better gear. You deserve it – you saved the party from the noob, so you should get first pick of any drops. It’s only logical.

Finally, and most important of all, always leave during the middle of an instance. This will make it clear to the rest of the group just how important you are. For added effect, pull some mobs right after you leave the group. The others will be in awe of your greatness.

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That’s How We (Loot) Roll

March 4, 2009

As with many MMOs Warcraft differentiates the classes not only through unique abilities and differing playstyles but also through the various equipment that they can use. This isn’t just down to the various weapons that exist either, few classes can make use of Shields but everyone wears armour. Whether it’s the paper thin kind that barely keeps the wind out, or the kind that can seemingly withstand the attentions of a hungry dragon.

For those not in the know the Priest I have uses the wafer-thin (using a Monty Python voice is perfectly acceptable) kind, although the spell Inner Fire helps to boost armour (and spellpower now as well making taking the talents to improve it very desirable). Still, taking an axe to the face hurts a squishie Priest and is not recommended, Mages and Warlocks also use this same armour. In contrast my Shaman gets to use a Shield and can wear Mail armour, only Plate armour provides more protection. Due to the way the armour proficiencies work in WoW if you can wear a particular type of armour then you can also wear every type of armour that ranks below it, armour ranks are shown below;

Cloth – least protection primarily for Casters

Leather – Not just bondage gear apparently, loved by Rogues and Druids

Mail – Shiny armour that actually affords some decent protection, find Hunters and Shamans here

Plate – Axe to the face? No problem! Death Knights, Warriors, Paladins apply within

So, as you can see my Priest has only one option on armour and my Shaman has three, Warriors, Paladins and Shamans can also take Shields which helps to boost armour and provides another set of enchant options. “Where are you going with this?” you may ask, well, I’ll tell you. Many of the classes within WoW are what is classed as Hybrids, they can perform various duties depending on Talent Spec and gear. The main Hybrid classes are the Paladin, Druid and Shaman, you could argue that Warriors and Death Knights and possibly even Priests are hybrids as well but they have pretty well defined roles that I am not going to argue about, Death Knights are a special case due to the fact they are designated a “hero class”.

Across those three Hybrids we can see what each can do, a Paladin has three viable specs, they can Tank, Heal or even DPS, the Druid can do four things, they can tank in bear form, melee DPS in Kitty form, do ranged DPS as a Boomkin and the Tr00d can heal. Across three specs the Shaman can do two things, DPS (melee or caster) or heal, I have no problem with this, I love Elemental and am happy to heal if needed as it is the role that Bo has filled for most of her “life”. To improve the capacity of your chosen specification you not only choose the appropriate gems, enchants and glyphs to maximise your potential but gear plays a huge role in the game. The better your gear the better you should perform, now, obviously uber gear does not an uber player make, despite what the WoW forums may have one believe. There are a few ways to get this gear too, crafting, quests, dungeon/raid loot and honour or badge vendors. There is a lot of loot out there and most of it is geared with particular classes and their roles in mind.

Now, for dungeons let’s look at the group and the possible loot distribution. There are a number of configurations but I’ll try and go with what I normally run with and build from there. Tanking we have a Death Knight who has access to Plate, Mail, Leather and Cloth but is going to focus on Plate as that gives him the stats he needs. DPS wise we can show a Paladin, Shaman and Warlock and then healing is normally Druid or Shaman. So in DPS terms we have all armour types covered, healing is Mail down to Leather. Now, due to the armour mechanics you could find that the Shaman is wearing all cloth to get a higher Spellpower to increase healing, the same with the Druid who will be in Treeform (hence the Tr00d). Retribution Paladins are still going to be in Plate but a DPS shaman could go for the same loot as the Warlock to gain +Hit and +Spellpower as those are primary stats if you’re running an Elemental spec (like me).

In any particular run you could have different classes fighting over the same piece of loot (this normally happens with weapons more than armour). In theory I could legitimately want that cloth robe that would also be an upgrade for the Warlock. I could also take spellpower leather away from a healing or Boomkin druid, again, quite legitimately. However, Lekktra is in all mail gear. I haven’t checked out the loot tables for Heroics but in terms of regular Northrend instances there isn’t a lot of kit designed purely for Shamans, I’m talking here about Mail with +Spellpower and +hit on it. When I first got to Northrend I had to take some gear that was subpar for my chosen spec just to keep up with the stats that I should be looking at, I’m not going to give up 500+ mana and some stamina when it’s a huge upgrade that drops me 10 spellpower for instance. I am sure that I could have a much higher Spellpower stat now if I decided do downgrade some of my armour and take some leather and cloth items, however, I don’t. Loot-fu hasn’t historically been good with my characters either, ask anyone in my guild and they’ll tell you I can’t win a need roll to save my life, maybe that factors into things. I don’t think I’m substandard in my performance by sticking to the Mail that I know that I am probably the only one that is going to use it. Once this progresses into Raids and I look at getting my tier sets then this issue goes away, but not everyone raids and I do see people running around in gear that affords them less protection. Maybe I’m gimping myself with this philosophy, after all, it wasn’t designed for my class if it’s not mail. The extra armour that comes from mail maybe shouldn’t factor in either, after all a competant healer should be able to keep everyone alive, but on the flip side don’t I owe something to the group to try and improve my own survivability from the start and thereby come with the “better” armour?

With Inner Fire up Bo can hit around 30% mitigation through armour, Lekktra with Mail and her shield doesn’t have any armour buff spells (other than dropping a damage reduction totem) and stops almost 50%, I know Priests have a damage shield and Discipline specced Priests can do all kinds of fun things with them but I believe that sticking purely with my mail is a good thing. I certainly wouldn’t even contemplate rolling against another class for a piece of gear that is designed more for them than me. I may be a caster just like that Boomkin, but I’ll be damned if I’ll take a swipe at that piece of Leather caster gear.

That’s just not how we (loot) roll!