This is the second part of a soloing guide targeted at protection warriors. It focuses on raid and dungeon bosses that we can solo and that are either fun or drop valuable things such as rare mounts or pets. You can also read the first part of this guide, and I have at least one more part in writing – which will take us to Molten Core and maybe somewhere else. ;)
Since the 3.2.2 patch changed the old instance into an anniversary level 80 raid, it’s pretty obvious she can’t be soloed right now. I would still advise you to find a group for her and try to get two items which are absolutely awesome for soloing other bosses.
The trinkets in question are [Purified Shard of the Flame] (and its 25-man counterpart of the Shiny variety, which gives slightly more HP5 – you could get both for even better effect) and the [Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman] you can get as a reward for turning in the new Head of Onyxia quest. Of course, the Shard is part of a caster set, so be mindful and please don’t take it from a caster that would like to complete it. Fortunately my raid group had no issues when I told them I want it for soloing, since the only other roll was a shadow priest that maybe wanted it for PvP. :)
Worn together, that’s a decent boost in avoidance and, what’s important to us here, 611 HP5. This means you will regen 244 health every 2 seconds, because that’s how HP5 works. Unfortunately it doesn’t show at all in the combat log, so you have to believe me when I say so. To compare it to a glyphed Bloodthirst – it heals me for about 1600 health, over about 6 seconds. Unglyphed would have about the same regen value.
What it means is that on my gear level (ToC-10 stuff with some emblem and crafted pieces) I no longer need to change my spec for soloing most of the bosses, including Attumen the Huntsman in Karazhan. As said before, with a normal protection spec you are going to kill them before they kill you, and the steady health regen is really helpful.
Attumen, High Priest Thekal and Bloodlord Mandokir, we meet once again.
The first part of the guide was written when my warrior had much inferior gear than he has now – being mostly stuff from heroics and some entry raid epics. That was also before the emblems dropping in heroics changed from Heroism to Conquest.
With all the new gear, it becomes possible to kill these bosses with a standard Protection tanking spec. Having Devastate, Shockwave, Damage Shield and Sword and Board availaible means you’re simply going to try (and should be quite successful at it) killing them faster than they can kill you.
Even the raptor packs before Mandokir are not really a problem – sure, they stack their dot, but with over 30k health it’s gonna take a while before it kills you. It will deal about 1k damage per 3 seconds after it stacks high enough though, so don’t forget to bring some sort of food with you.
Equipped with the health regen trinkets I’ve tried my luck in getting the Phoenix Hatchling pet and another mount drop. First run was on normal difficulty to try and see how it goes.
Trash mobs weren’t really an issue anymore – the multitude of stuns and interrupts makes it pretty easy to deal with them. Remember to also use the Magic Dampening Field that the Sunblade Mage Guards are putting down to your advantage – your HP5 doesn’t care about it, but it reduces incoming magic damage by half, which can still be handy.
Before engaging the first boss, aggro all the adds and kill them – if you just engage the boss, they will join the fight as well. Selin Fireheart himself is easy – just ignore the crystals and keep beating on him. Remember that he can use Drain Life, so be sure to interrupt it as soon as he starts channeling it.
Vexallus, the second boss is right after Selin (well, after a bunch of wyrmlings which you can simply pull all and AoE down). On the normal mode he’s not really an issue – just dps him down, killing the appearing sparks with Devastates, as they can’t be damaged by any AoE. You will get low on health here due to the fight mechanics – just use Last Stand with Enraged Regen and continue dpsing the boss/sparks.
Next set of trash packs is a bit harder – more annoying casters, so keep your Spell Reflect up, use the Dampening Fields and just kill them. Remember that you can skip half of the first room and everything around Delrissa – they won’t join the fight unless you get feared into a pack.
Priestess Delrissa is a simple fight for a level 80, so I won’t write much about it – just look on the enemies, if it has a mana bar it probably does nasty things, so it needs to die first. If you made it so far, you probably won’t have any problems with them. After her it’s only one more trash pack before you meet a real zombie!
Now, you get to slap poor Kael’thas Sunstrider around. This is not as easy as it seems, but it’s mostly annoying. Be sure to kill the Phoenixes and their eggs when they spawn, avoid the Flamestrike Kael does once in a while, and keep dpsing.
After you get him to 50% health, he will start doing Gravity Lapse. If you get to this part of the fight, you have already won, as he stops doing anything else. There isn’t much you can do to him in this phase – just avoid the floating spheres, and when it ends, immediately charge the boss and do some damage. Repeat until he finally dies.
Magisters’ Terrace, heroic mode
Before entering, make sure that you’ve done the attunement quest in the normal mode of the instance. It just requires you to clear it once and loot Kael’thas’ head, so it’s not a big issue at all.
Up to Vexallus, nothing really changes from normal mode. Be aware that the trash casters can and will kill you if you’re not careful and quick enough, or pull too many of them at once. Selin Fireheart is still a pushover, he just has more health.
Vexallus is the first real challenge here. He has more health and will spawn two sparks instead of one – so you will stack the overload debuff twice as fast. The way I did it, I killed first 4 sparks and then popped all the cooldowns and tried to finish the boss before he and his arcane friends finish me. It was a successful tactic, but I ended with about 400 health out of 34k, so it might require a few tries to get some lucky Shield Slam crits.
The fight with Priestess Delrissa doesn’t change much when doing it on heroic mode – she and her adds hit for a bit more and heal for a bit more, but it’s still quite easy.
Kael’Thas is even more annoying than on normal mode. If it takes you too long to get him to second phase, he will cast a 10k shield on himself and start casting Pyroblast, which still does about 40k damage. He will also throw around a crazy amount of Fireballs, each taking about 4.5k of your health if they happen to hit you. None of this damage can be partially resisted by fire resistance, so forget about taking your MC gear and trying to do it slowly – it just won’t work.
What you should do instead, is ignore everything that happens around you (even the Phoenix that will spawn during the fight – leave it after you get to the second phase, as its damage is really low), keep Spell Reflect up, interrupt the Fireballs when the reflect is on cooldown, and hope that you can do enough damage to push him below 50% before he does the Pyroblast. If you manage to do that, you will probably win, unless you fail badly on the Gravity Lapse and dodging the spheres.
Good luck with the rare drops, and what’s most important – have fun while taking revenge on this annoying instance!
…does it mean I can as well?
Not really a full-featured guide this time, this is rather a collection of tips and tricks our guild put together while doing our ToGC-10 runs.
Of course in this post I’m going to assume that the reader is fully familiar with normal Trial of the Crusader tactics, because the basics of the fight are the same. But since you have to clear the instance before even starting the heroic mode, it should not be a problem, right?
There is also a second part of this guide, talking about the next two encounters – Faction Champions and the Val’kyr Twins.
So, let’s get started.
The main difference in this fight is that all beasts now have a set timer that they will enter the arena. This means your raid needs to have enough DPS to clear each phase in about 2:30, and this means that absolutely nobody can die. If you can kill Gormok, you are probably good enough to go at least up to Twin Val’kyr, as the two next encounters are a bit easier.
Gormok the Impaler.
- The tank with higher HP starts tanking, gets the first Impales and the last which hurt a lot. Gormok cannot be disarmed on heroic mode, so your tanks class does not matter much.
- Turn the boss around, so that the melee dps group will be near the center and the tanks with their backs to the wall. He does not cleave or anything, but it makes it easier with the Snobolds.
- Always taunt after the other tank gets two debuffs. Timing doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t fail (and even with 3 stacks you can still make it), because your current debuff will drop off a second before the new one gets applied. Announce your taunts on vent or you might not get heals. :P
- Do not taunt if you don’t have to. Taunting after two debuffs is already very close to hitting the diminishing returns on taunt and messing things up, taunting any more often will make the boss immune to taunt for sure. Been there, done that.
- Cooldowns usage (at least for protection warriors): first time you have aggro, Shield Block will be enough, he doesn’t hit that hard then to waste a cooldown. Second time, Shield Block and dodge trinket. Third time, Last Stand + Enraged Regeneration. You shouldn’t need a fourth time if you’re an offtank, but if you do, Shield Wall. If you get to the fifth time somehow, the worms will be already there and you will die anyway.
- Cooldowns usage on 25-man is a bit different as there are three tanks there, but similar enough. First tank does not need to use anything special, second one can use some minor cooldowns like Shield Block and a dodge trinket, third tank needs to use one of their stronger ones (for warriors that would be LS + ER), because at that point Gormok will probably already have 3 stacks of the damage increasing buff. The next round of tanking is Shield Wall and asking for external cooldowns if you don’t have any of your own.
- For any other tanks – whatever works for your cooldowns, but I can assure that you will need something after Gormok gets 3 stacks of his buff.
- Kill Snobolds, because the faster you kill them, the less fires you get. If you get a snobold on you, run and stand right on top of the melee group. They will have to change their target from the boss, because the Snobolds are immune to AoE (such as Whirlwind or Divine Storm) if you’re not targetting them. The tank that’s not tanking Gormok at the moment can help with that, at least I usually throw a few devastates/revenges when I can, just don’t forget you will have to taunt. :)
- Don’t ever bubble or iceblock the Snobold away – it will go back to the boss, and later to another person, increasing the buff stacks on the boss yet again.
- You shouldn’t need Heroism for this part, but as you’re learning, it might be useful. If Dreadscale is entering with Gormok on about 200k HP (of course on 10-man), you’re good.
- Using Amplify Magic on both tanks helps here a lot with healing, as there is not a lot of magic damage being thrown at them. Just make sure they know to click it off (or use /cancelaura macro) before they start with the other phases.
Acidmaw and Dreadscale
- For the Dreadscale tank: at first you’ll be the only one with a fire debuff. From the start, aggro the worm and run away with it to the right side of the room. Then turn it and kite it slowly towards the other tank. That way you will make some room without the poison cloud for people to run to you. Don’t kite the worm away from the Acidmaw tank, it’s bad and will lead to a wipe.
- Don’t forget to cancel Amplify Magic if you were using it on Gormok.
- Using Heroism in this phase helps, especially right after the Acidmaw tank gets some aggro. The faster Acidmaw dies, the better this phase goes.
- Dreadscale’s Enrage is not a big issue, normally you shouldn’t waste anything on it other than Shield Block once in a while and a dodge trinket if it’s off cd after Gormok already (remember that the extra dodge is of no use on Icehowl since Ferocious Butt stuns you and you can’t dodge anyway).
- No speed buff after Massive Crash, so be awake and run away. If you have a hunter, you might make him change his aspect for faster running, but it should not be needed.
- A little trick that helped me and our priest to do it properly – when Icehowl is jumping to the center, position yourself at a point of one of the little stars (not the big NESW ones). If you do that, you will be thrown to the middle of the wall between two pillars, and it’s a lot easier to strafe away from the boss as you don’t have to lose time navigating around a pillar or a doorway. It might sound silly, but it really helps.
- Ferocious Butt kinda hurts – he usually does it after he comes out of the stun, but not only then. I saved my cooldowns for that, better safe than sorry.
- Healers NEED to heal people that got frozen, and people NEED to properly spread around the boss, especially healers. The Arctic Breath on heroic does 30k damage (20k on normal), so it WILL kill most people. This was the reason of us losing the dps in this phase, and the enrage timer is pretty tight.
- I tend to tank Icehowl on the side of the wall wherever he hits it, or at the doorway where he enters, and not drag him back to center. This makes it a lot easier for melee dps to stay on him, and saves time.
First of all, check out the following screenshot, as it makes it much easier to explain.
- Tank him on the wall under one of the Alliance shields, this way you only get portals on the sides of him and not 360 degrees around like you would have him tanked in the center. Dps and healers spread out in pairs in a half-circle from one column on the wall to the other. A good raid positioning is key on this fight.
- If you get targetted by Legion Flames, run away from the raid and then back. If a melee dps gets them, run to one of the columns and back, it should be enough. Remember that you have two seconds before the flames start damaging you, so if you start running as soon as you get the DBM warning, you should not take much damage or none at all.
- Nether Portal and Infernal Volcano that spawn adds NEED to be nuked ASAP. If you let them spawn more than one Mistress of Pain, you might as well wipe. ALL availaible DPS must immediately switch to the portal, including melees – the portals/volcanoes have 189k HP (again, 10-man version) and need to die in about 10-13 seconds.
- While nuking the Portal, be aware that you shouldn’t accidentaly aggro a Mistress of Pain if you’re not a tank. They hurt.
- Mistress of Pain does more damage and have an additional ability - Mistress’ Kiss. Read the tooltip and act accordingly – if you only have one school of casts and no instants you’re screwed, sorry. ;) This debuff can’t be dispelled in any way, and it will silence all your spell schools if you have more than one, so you just have to wait.
- Nether Power stacks need to be spellstolen/dispelled/shield slammed immediately, unless there is a Nether Portal or a Volcano at the same time – in that case nuking the portal is much more important.
- Incinerate Flesh needs more spam healing to take it off, and Burning Inferno almost kills you. Don’t let that happen.
- If you get an infernal coming your way (they do that all the time, turn into a ball and fly to a random person), run the hell away from it, as it will kill you with its hellfire AoE (interruptable).
And that will be it for now. On our last tries, my guild stopped at Twin Val’kyr, so I will update this post when we progress further. We’ve killed some more and we’re now working on getting Anub’Arak down. The second part of this guide explains more about the Faction Champions and the Twin Val’kyr – check it out as well!
What does a programmer do when he has to do a repetetive, annoying task that’s quite time-consuming? The answer is simple – he writes his own little tool to do the work for him.
That’s exactly how angry_RaidInviter started.
Back in the middle of the summer, I’ve started leading our 10-man raids more, and with that I got a few additional annoyances – inviting 9 other people, making it a raid group of a right size, not forgetting to turn master looter on… At the same time I’ve seen our guild master having exactly the same issues with leading our 25-mans, but on a larger scale. Especially figuring out who are we missing, by manually comparing the phpRaider approvals with the actual raid, was a pain in the ass. Fortunately we can use addons… if only there would be one like that. Well now there is. :]
First thing you need to know about writing addons is of course a knowledge of Lua, or at least some sort of scripting language. As I come from writing stuff in Perl, PHP and Ruby, Lua was not really a problem. After all, once you learn to code, you can pick up any language pretty fast, as the basics are mostly the same everywhere. And if needed, Lua has a nice resource in form of Lua 5.1 Reference Manual, as well as quite a lot of WoWWiki pages (Lua functions is a good place to start).
The real challenge here comes in form of Ace3 and it’s “documentation”. I use quote marks because all of the good information is very well hidden, and unfortunately the general type of help one can get from the Ace community seems to be “look how others do it”. Of course, there’s nothing wrong in looking at existing code and figuring out how it works from that, but it’s not really something a completely new person wants to see. In the end, I had to do it anyway – figuring out how to properly do the options panel for example was one such thing. The documentation for AceConfig only has one most basic example, so I’ve looked through quite a few addons to see how they do it.
Of course I don’t mean that the Ace3 set of libraries is not helpful – even with the annoyances, it’s much easier to use it instead of doing it all by yourself.
In the end, the month I’ve spent on making was quite fun, even if it will be ever only useful to me and my guild master. Of course, there is a good chance it can be useful for someone else, which is the reason why I’ve uploaded it to WoWInterface for all to download.