The Horde raiders from Lockdown showing off their Rusted Proto-Drakes from completing the 10-man version of Glory of the Ulduar Raider. Cool mounts, they make me really jealous. Grats to the Hordies for getting them!
Blizzard’s tech staff finally resolved the problems with some European Battle.net accounts being unable to login on the PTR realms, so I’ve been able to poke around some stuff. Found a few changes that weren’t mentioned at all in the notes as well, and some of them are pretty cool.
Quite a few of these. The most important is that quest turn-in locations and objectives are now marked on the World Map. This is a pretty good change – saves some alt-tabbing to Wowhead or installing Lightheaded or whatever addon you like to use. I didn’t make a screenshot of that, because it’s most likely all over the WoW.com and other blogs.
The raid difficulty and dungeon difficulty are finally separated. Dungeon menu is the same as it is now, and the raid one is set up for the new 4 different lockouts.
Another nice things is you can now enable stat comparison and item levels on Blizzard’s tooltips. Quite useful and while it lacks RatingBuster’s math abilities and configuration, it makes choosing an upgrade easier. And showing item levels is a welcome change these days when vehicles and stuff scale with our gear.
You can see here that it doesn’t care about the gems in the sockets or enchants, it only shows the stats that are on the gear. You need to enable it in the Options, so if someone’s really used to RatingBuster, you can still use it without the tooltips being absurdly large.
The last piece in this category is made for Druids. I guess it won’t be that useful if you changed your unit frames, but it might help if not.
Equipment Manager fixes
The Equipment Manager has gone through some fixes as well. First of all, if you click on a partial set, you will now see what slots are ignored. This is awesome change, as it makes it a lot easier to edit the set – right now on live realms you have to ignore everything again by yourself.
This is my partial fishing set. The yellow arrows are clickable and they’re showing things you can put in this slot, just as if you’d mouse over the item with Alt pressed now (it still works as well). As you can see on the right, the set tooltips are now a bit more useful (with red text if an item is missing).
New World Events
Of course, the Pilgrim’s Bounty is the biggest one. It’s set a week after Hallow’s End, from November 8th till 14th. Also Hallow’s End ends two days earlier and there’s a new Day of the Dead instead, with one achievement for it.
The biggest thing would be of course the long-awaited Northrend Children’s Week. There’s an Orphan Matron in Dalaran, and you can choose to take care of either a little Wolvar pup or an Oracle hatchling. Just as with the old orphans, they give some travelling quests, and after that you get a pet in the mail.
Unfortunately you have to choose which one you want, so I did the quests again on my other character to see the Wolvar pet. He’s quite cute I must say, and the Wolvar orphan’s quests are more fun than the Gorloc’s.
Both new orphans also count for the achievements such as Home Alone. I hope Blizzard will not make us wait till next year to get them, that would be a real shame. Also I wonder if we’re going to be able to choose one of the two orphans like it’s now on the PTR, or if we have to have a specific faction reputation with either the Oracles or the Frenzyheart.
The main place of the patch, so it obviously got a lot of changes. Apart from the most obvious ones, such as the completed Colliseum with the instances (not working yet), there’s a bunch of other changes. There’s now a lot more rewards for Crusader Seals, and some new dailies if you’re exalted with the Silver Covenant (and are a champion of at least one city) or have the Crusader title.
The new dailies aren’t very hard, and award 5 extra seals if you do all of them. You don’t get any Champion Purses though. They have also changed the champion dailies a bit – the one with 15 Scourge is now about 15 Cultists (easy enough, they’re all over the place and very near the Tournament grounds), and the Battle Before the Citadel one now requires to kill 3 Commanders.
There’s also a bunch of new rewards for the Seals. I’m pretty sure everyone heard about the upgraded Argent Squire (with bank, vendor and a mailbox) and the new mounts, but there’s also a new pet availaible from the Silver Covenant quartermaster – the Shimmering Wyrmling. Oh, and I’m now officially really jealous of the Horde’s new Sunreaver Dragonhawk. It looks nothing like the dragonhawks you get for 100 mounts achievement – it’s a lot bigger and very awesome.
Well, Deathping died this evening, so I got bored. It started with an easter egg thread on the General forums, where I found the first two. I knew about the hidden warlock class description, but I didn’t know about the tooltips when you mouse over the header pictures on the site. I’ve started browsing around, and found a lot more of these. Some of them are quite amusing, so I’ve decided to share. No spoilers though, you have to click and see for yourself.
- Classes main page – the red dragon and the warlock “Type” line.
- All the original races have tooltips on their pages: Dwarves, Tauren, Night Elves, Humans, Orcs and Gnomes have the best ones, the other two also have some, but not that good. Draenei and Blood Elves got nothing unfortunately.
- Cenarion Circle, Cenarion Expedition and Keepers of Time – these three does not require a comment really, do they.
- The Consortium and Scryers and Aldor – quite good as well.
- Lower City – each kid has one, read from left to right.
- Argent Dawn, Zandalar Tribe, Kurenai, Timbermaw and Sporeggar have some as well, but they’re not that good, so no links.
- Reputation main page – there are two screenshots on the right side – notice the name of the Tauren character in them, and the emote on the second one.
- Battlegrounds main page – Face of the Orc on the left, then of the Elf on the right, awesome. :)
- Eye of the Storm – head of the Tauren.
- World guide main pages – the poor cow lost in Gnomeregan :)
- STV Fishing Tournament – Gnomes, read from right to left for a change.
- Pirate’s Day – this one is not on the header, but on the Blood Elf on the right.
- Darkmoon Faire – does it really need a comment? Also the subpages have tooltips on the characters in the contents, check them out as well.
- Hallow’s End, Midsummer, Love is in the Air and Lunar Festival also got some tooltips, but nothing special.
- Be nice guide – the Tauren and the Human on the right side.
- Getting started guide – all images on the right, the bottom two are the best though.
- Death system – images on the right as well.
- Exploring the Map – a classic on the image.
- Combat Pets – again both of the images on the right. Made me laugh.
- Food and Drink – the Tauren guy.
- Dressing Room – this one has a very amusing header and a tooltip on the top right character. The other two have tooltips with their gear that gives that look, pretty cool as well.
- Resting – the sleeping Gnome has a tooltip, but it’s pretty boring. The sleeping Orc’s one is much much better.
- Dancing – header again.
- Game Guide – on the header and on most of the thumbnails. Some are pretty awesome.
- Boxes (but also as a header on other pages) – above and a bit to the left of the gryphon.
- Parties – enlarge the first screenshot (the one with greed/need thumbnail) and read the conversation.
- Voice Chat – another tooltip that made me really laugh, on the Blood Elf female.
- Honor System – long tooltip on the header. Other pvp pages also have a header tooltip, but it’s not very interesting.
- Outdoor PvP – very amusing header once again, one of the better ones. Also, the comment under the Silithus map thumbnail, doesn’t that remind you of anything?
- Player Stories – header image again. The rest of Community section has a nice tooltip as well.
- Parental Controls – another header image tooltip.
- WoW Credits – the last line.
And that should be all. Know anything that I’ve missed? You liked some more than the other? Let me know in the comments!
Well, Midsummer Festival meta is fortunately finished on my achievement-hungry rogue, all that’s left is to run around with some alts grabbing whatever fires they can find – it’s a really nice chunk of gold or experience and all it requires is some travel.
Of course I haven’t got any of the pets yet – I’m missing over 200 blossoms for that, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to get them, since something apparently went wrong with resetting the yearly quests. Fortunately Blizzard is working on a fix, according to this post on the support forums. Hopefully they will just reset the quests, though with the fires counting for the 3000 quests achievement it might be a little tricky.
I’d like to also point you in the direction of the Postcards from Azeroth – a blog full of… postcards. Well, screenshots that look like them, actually. Very nice screenshots, I must say – they remind me that this game is quite full of interesting scenery. I only wish I could download some of them in some higher resolutions, as I would definitely use them as the laptop’s wallpaper. On the other hand, it’s a nice effect of them being small, I like them either way. :)
So, there comes the time again when the PTR is very close and the next content patch notes are being released. This time I’ve spent some quality time reading all the whining on the EU WoW forums. Pretty amusing I must say. I won’t copy the whole notes here, as you can find them pretty much anywhere now, but I’ll keep to some more interesting points.
- After much quiet contemplation, rogues now possess the ability to learn how to use one-handed axes.
- Sword Specialization: This talent is now called Hack and Slash and applies to axes as well as swords.
There are axes in my Sword Spec! Sounds like Blizzard’s plan to make me use more weapons, which sounds pretty nice. About the ridiculousness of a stealthy thief using axes, well, Combat specced rogues aren’t very stealthy anyway. We carry maces and swords already, so who cares. More options are never bad. Not many changes otherwise though (one Shadow Dance that I skipped ’cause I’m totally not interested in that tree anyway) – guess the class is more or less fine now.
- A Brew-FAST Mount: A new Feat of Strength achievement for acquiring any epic Brewfest mount.
- Have Keg, Will Travel: Now requires either a Brewfest mount or using Brewfest Hops to transform yours into one.
Yay for Brewfest change! This means I’ll be getting my Violet Proto-drake after all, without the need for two weeks of BRD grinding. I’ve never seen the mount drop last year despite doing the encounter a lot of times, and I’d be very angry (but not very surprised) if I won’t see it this year as well. That change of course doesn’t make the Violet drake much easier to get – it still requires a lot of commitment.
Emblem System Changes
- Both the 10 and 25 player instances of the Crusaders’ Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
- Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
- The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
- The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
- New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.
And this is the single most controversial change in the patch notes, and it makes the most interesting posts on the forums to read. I fully support this change – it will make my alts happy with means to get better gear, it will make new players happy with means to get better gear faster (without the need to endlessly farm Naxx-10/Naxx-25 and always being few steps behind), and most importantly it will make guilds happy to recruit geared raiders more easily without the need to either poach them from other progressed guilds or to drag them through old content for too long.
Wednesday, yay! Weekly maintenance and what’s most important – clearing of the raid lockouts. What that exactly means is that I can run the Vault of Archavon on all three of my level 80 characters.
So I was doing mostly that for a while – I’ve succesfully tanked the 10-man on my Warrior, even though he hasn’t even been to Naxx yet. I can do that fine – the old Archavon is really not a problem, and on Emalon I try to stick to the boss himself, as he doesn’t hit for that much. I think I should be able to tank the 25-man as well, since I should get more raid buffs there, but I haven’t tried yet. Of course nothing useful dropped – some stuff for warlocks and paladins, which we had none in the group.
I also did a 25-man on the rogue, which resulted in upgrading my T8 legs to the 25-man variety, but that group was a lot more organised, since it was run by our resident guildie hunter Rosmarinus as usual. He does the pugs the right way, making sure that there’s enough tanks and healers and then getting it filled with dps. We don’t usually ask for the achievements though, at least I don’t think he does – what we do is just looking at the Recount meter for the two new adds before Emalon and replacing people that aren’t performing well enough. I think it’s a better way to do it rather than simply checking the linked achievement, but it also requires a bit more work.
Next was healing the 10-man on my Druid. That went quite well as well and I was invited into the group even though I didn’t have the achievement for Emalon. Healing the two bosses wasn’t hard as well. I didn’t got any useful drop unfortunately, but at least now I will have a bit easier time getting into another group next time with my new achievement. :)
I also took Sheven for a random Obsidian Sanctum 25-man pug that was being advertised in the trade channel. We got through the drakes with no problems, but when we got to Sartharion himself, things kinda went downhill. The main tank placed him in a totally wrong place, so the adds and the tail were all over the place. Shortly after the start, the add tank died, and half of the raid followed shortly after.
We still had the main tank alive as well as some healers and dps though, so I quickly combat ressed the unlucky prot warrior and we just killed the big dragon with half of the raid admiring the floor. Fun times, and what’s even better I’ve won the T7.5 gloves token. It’s a bit funny, since when I joined the raid, I was joking in the guild chat about how there is a half of the raid that will roll for that – and it almost was. I rolled the highest from about 8 or 10 people, so I guess the little bit of complaining helped me win the favors of RNG against all these other Death Knights. ;)
Then there was our guild run into Ulduar. At first it seemed like we won’t have enough people to do it, but after a bit of poking around we had 10 raiders ready at the Expedition Camp. One of them was my poor healing druid, not really sure that he would do well, but ready to help anyway…
It was a very enjoyable evening for me. I got to see the fights from a completely different perspective, and it’s very scary and very fun at the same time. We killed all the bosses in the first area and also managed to do Kologarn, with most time spent on him and Ignis. Out of the run I got a bunch of Valor badges, which is never bad, and I got an epic belt to replace my old pre-raid [Belt of Vivacity] – no cloth wearers wanted the [Conductive Cord] that dropped from XT-002, so I could finally replace that, and a bit of lost armor is not really a concern in PvE.
Ignis was very annoying – as a rogue it’s an extremely easy fight, you just stick to the boss and do whatever damage you can do to him. Healing that fight was not so easy – especially in the beginning, where I wasn’t really used to dodging the Flame Jets locking all my spells for 8 seconds, which usually resulted in someone dying. After a while I got better at this and on our killing try we only had one death due to getting both the Slag Pot and Flame Jets at once – my dots weren’t enough to keep our potted rogue up, and we didn’t have any priests to help out with the shield or a Renew.
Kologarn was a bit easier for me though – I was really scared that I would fail horribly on the Eye Beams, as I never needed to dodge them anyway, but it was quite easy to see and dodge them. We did have a few wipes – a few due to healing problems, such as when our MT healer got beams on her and the other two of us weren’t fast enough to switch healing to the tank, but in the end we killed him.
So, fun day and very fun evening. Looking forward for more of that now that I’ve tried something different than stabbing the titan constructs in the back. :]
This article is part of a series of Ulduar guides that focus on rogues and other melee classes. You can find the links to the other guides in the introduction post.
This guide is not a general strategy guide for the encounter. While you may find some overview, it’s only here so the melee classes know what is going on. If you need a full strategy guide, you can check out Tankspot’s Project Marmot, as they have lots of awesome strategy videos.
Of course, if you have any comments (including, but not limited to different strategies and differences from 10 to 25-man versions), feel free to use the comment form below and post them. I’m only a dwarf and I can make mistakes.
Also, feel free to repost this to your guild’s forums if you find the guide useful, just be sure that you abide to the Creative Commons license and provide my name as an author and a link to my site.
A bit of quite interesting information from Blizzard appeared today on the European WoW forums and website. The Bosstiary – an interactive map of Ulduar with bits of information on the various bosses we can encounter there.
It’s nothing major, shocking or gamebreaking, but at least it confirms two things: Razorscale is in fact Thorim’s mount Veranus (which was speculated since the PTR, but I believe it never was officially said) and XT-002 is male rather than female (the child’s voice didn’t make it easy). :]
I certainly hope they will continue to make these type of maps for other instances. While I’m not an extremely knowledgable person when it comes to Warcraft lore, I still like it – so I do appreciate things like that.
A bit unexpected screenshot, but since it was added in patch 3.1 I believe not a lot of people wandered there…
Do you remember the Arcane Tomes turn-in that we used to do in the Burning Crusade? The NPC that wanted them said that the Scryers need them for their library. It seems they have finished it now – there’s a bunch of bookcases on the Scryers Tier that act like various profession trainers up to Master level (there’s also Cooking, Fishing and First Aid in the back row).
And the best part of it is the NPC – Loremaster Skosiris, named after one of the co-founders of Wowhead. As with other NPC based on players, I think it’s a very appropriate and nice move from Blizzard.
So here it is, the blog post in which I rant about random things… First of all, I was planning to write a longer story about tanking in a pugs and not, but it turned out I didn’t have much bad things happen during the weekend, so I only have one little tidbit there. The rest of the post went to completely other direction though, but I think I needed to get this off my chest.
So, here it goes. The Death Knights, I now hate them even more. Especially ones that repeatedly use their damned Army of the Dead 5 seconds after I pull a boss. I swear, next time I see anyone doing that it will be one warning followed by a group kick. There’s not many things more annoying than a swarm of ghouls taunting the boss off me in random directions – turning him on other players and possibly making them take damage from whatever he can do to his front. And a lot of the bosses anywhere are quite deadly when you’re standing directly in front of them.
Not to mention that I need rage to tank the boss and get any threat. I get rage by hitting things and by being hit by them – so if you taunt it off me in any way, I will just assume you want to tank it. You know it will most likely go for you after the ghouls are dead, right? And me taunting the boss off a dps depends on if I want to do it, right?
Anyway, back to the main topic. Last week we finally got some preview screenshots of the new Druid forms, and I can’t believe how freaking annoying the WoW players are. The moment they are announced, there’s a bunch of threads in the forums explaining how the new models suck, and how the players are disappointed with them. Seriously, it seems like some of them imagined some really weird things and are disappointed when the real ones doesn’t meet their expectations.
Showing armor? On a freaking animal? How do you imagine this being done? The Moonkin form has hands and is a humanoid, so it can wield the weapons (the Tree of Life should as well, and I have no idea why it doesn’t) – and what exactly do they expect for the bear or a cat to do with a polearm he’s using? Or with an armor which is made for a humanoid, not for a bear? I doubt the players have a good idea for doing this thing, and I doubt even more if they have any idea of the work involved with showing off the armor.
So to the other thing that’s been bothering me lately, the Ulduar encounter fixes – or the “nerfs”, how most of the people seem to call them. Most of the changes are really fixes, and I’m perfectly fine with the fixes. For example, lets look at what was announced recently for the Mimiron encounter – a stun of the lower part in phase 4 while he does Laser Barrage (so that the middle part would not turn onto a tank), few second activation timer on the mines (again helping the tank and the melees) and the rockets will be less likely to target players in melee range (again helping the tank to avoid it as it’s pretty hidden by the boss itself – see a pattern here?).
Will it simplify the fight so that every “casual” (I hate when this word is used in a derogative manner, and it is used as that almost everywhere – but that might be a different subject for another week) can get carried for their purples? Of course not. You still have to deal with all of the abilities in all the phases – the changes just make one phase out of four more managable for your tank. And believe me, you do want to keep your main tank as sane as possible. He wouldn’t be your main tank anyway if he would be perfectly sane anyway, so a little help can’t hurt there. ;)
The fixes of course have met with remarks on the forums here and there – I won’t bother with listing them, since basically most could be replaced by “Mimiron was fine, l2play” and noone would notice. So if the fight is not very annoying for the tank (and in some less extent to the melees), it’s now worthless and suddenly not fun anymore? Does it go from being the “best tuned encounter in Ulduar” to “casual purplefest”? Seriously, sometimes I don’t really want to know the other things these people consider “fun”…
Of course I do know that as with every place that have a place for people to post something, most of the posts will be done by people unhappy with things. That’s almost always true, ’cause people that are fine don’t see a reason to post anything. But it makes the players as a whole seem like a band of elitist bastards that can’t be satisfied by anything. What’s worse, they seem to spread that ideas to the people that happen to read them, since there’s almost nothing positive to be read.
A shame, really.
Side note: yes it’s 10 after midnight, meaning I’m late. Sorry, there was a giant squid man called Vezax that had to be killed.