If you’re making a new raiding guild, that’s completely fine with me. After all, this is a game for everyone, so one more guild is not a problem. But, if you’re going to talk to random guilded people, like the person in the screenshot below, you’re just doing it wrong.
A lot of the features mentioned in the 3.3 patch notes was focused at low level players – changing some mobs from aggressive to neutral, dual wielding (and two daggers) for rogues from the start, and all the other similar things the endgame players usually don’t care about at all. Since now I have a low level character, I can test it out, and that’s what I’ve done while leveling my new shaman.
There are two biggest features of the recent patch for a low level. First one is the new map and quest interface. You notice it right away, when you open the full zone map. It shows your quests in that zone and offers markings, so if a quest item drops in some area, that place will be marked with blue color on the map.
Some of the players might say, “meh, a copy of Questhelper”, and they will probably have a good point there – Blizzard is known for taking ideas from popular addons and making their own versions of them. Usually the builtin versions are simpler and lack advanced features, but they are good enough if you don’t need any extra stuff.
I’ve never once used the Outfitter’s automatic changing of gear depending on stance, so why would I want to have an addon that does the same thing as the Blizzard Equipment Manager, and can also do a number of other things I don’t care about. It’s the same deal with the ingame quest interface and Questhelper. The game already has a quest interface, why would I want an extra addon that does the same thing (and takes a lot of memory at the same time)? So I can have an arrow showing me where to go? No thanks, that’s why we have a map in this game, and now that it shows almost exactly where to go, it’s even less needed to have anything extra or even look at Wowhead.
That being said, knowing where to quest is very helpful, and some of the quests can be very vague. That’s where I usually open Wowhead and check the quest out, or I just remember how I did it on my other characters, as I have a few of Alliance chars on level 80 already. With my shaman though, I can’t really do this – I have no idea at all where should I go next or where the quests are supposed to be done, so I have to rely on either Wowhead or now, the ingame quest interface.
So far it works very well, and the only quests I have to still look up on Wowhead are the dungeon ones, as the old world instances still don’t have any maps for them. If I had a wish that I could pass on the developers to work on, it would be exactly that – you can still easily get yourself lost inside an old world instance. Maps, like the ones the Northrend instances have, would be very helpful.
I’ve already mentioned last week about the new LFG system, and how cool it is on level 80, but for a new player, it’s even better. While I was leveling my druid, I think I haven’t been in an instance once until Hellfire Peninsula, but with Misaka, I can get a group in a few minutes, even for the instances I’d never run otherwise like Stockades.
Not only it provides me with a change from all the questing, but it also gives nice experience, even though I don’t have any heirloom items on her. Without any extra dungeon quests, I can gain a level by just doing two instances, and even with the size of the old dungeon, it usually takes less time than questing. Dungeon quests speed it up a lot, especially if there are a few for the instance – doing a full set of these can grant you another half a level worth of experience points. And in the meantime I can of course quest normally, and don’t have to sit in Undercity and wait for people – the new LFG teleports me from wherever I currently am, right to the start of the dungeon, and puts me back into where I was after. It’s not a big issue in Northrend, but in the old world, where the instance can be on a completely other continent or in a similarly annoying place, like Gnomeregan and Stockades, it’s just a blessing.
Of course there are also the rewards for doing random dungeons. Since I’m not doing level 80 heroics yet, I don’t get emblems – instead I get a bag with a random blue item inside for each random dungeon I finish. The items are sometimes useless – for example you can, and most likely will, get a neckpiece with strength for a caster – but sometimes it’s something you will definitely use, and they’re usually better than the green quest rewards.
I’m leveling another Horde character. Meet Misaka, the level 30 elemental shaman. This time I will probably finish the leveling fast though, possibly in the next week or two, as she actually has quite a good reason to exist. After all, she’s not just a random alt I’ve made out of boredom, but a member of on Arathor-EU.
What is Undergeared? You might already know, if you read our GM’s introductory post on his blog. If you didn’t, here’s a short explanation – the greedy goblin Gevlon is teaming up with a bunch of players to clear every raiding content in the game. On normal level of difficulty, but all in blue quality gear.
Sounds interesting enough? Add one more thing to this – most of the characters are either fresh rerolls or non-raiding alts. The most advanced raiding achievement we now feature is killing Flame Leviathan one of the transfered level 80 hunters has. Obviously none of us has an excellent knowledge of his class. This is a big disadvantage to the previous Blue Ulduar run, as that one was done with a group of serious raiders that were playing the same classes they did Ulduar hardmodes with. Here, you can’t really know if the people are skilled or not, at least not until we start getting to 80.
This is what made me interested in taking part in it. We all like to say that “skill > gear”, here’s an excellent chance to prove it. I might not agree with Gevlon on everything he writes in his blog, but this is really something I’d like to take part in. Given that the holiday season is usually pretty slow on raiding in my guild, at the very least I’ll have something to do (and something to write about).
The guild was formed few days ago, and already has about 60 members – mostly rerolled alts of various low levels, a few new deathknights and 3 level 80′s. As the official start was supposed to be on this Saturday, I expect some more people to join then. Of course it should be obvious that not all of these characters will be raiding or even hit level 80 at all, that’s why it doesn’t really matter that there are 10 priests or 12 paladins.
It’s a pretty weird environment though – the guild chat is silent most of the time, apart from occasional class question or people looking for a group to some instance. Granted, all of this is explicitly written in the guild rules, but it still feels kind of weird to me. I don’t really miss the “gz” spam and other annoyances, but it’s really strange to open up the guild tab and see that suddenly you’re the only one playing and you haven’t even noticed when the rest went away. On the other hand, it’s not like I’m going to miss them or anything, especially that I don’t know anything about them anyway. ;)
The patch went online this week, so I’ve started to pug random dungeons for badges and achievements. Just as I was expecting earlier, the LFG tool is a great way to bring happiness to my playing time. Sure, some players are jerks, but there are also a lot of good players around.
The first day of the patch we’ve completed Occulus without any problems at all. Everyone in the group knew what they were supposed to be doing, there were no wipes, no “guys how do I damage with the dragon”, the only time someone died was at the last moments of Eregos fight, when they accidentally ate an orb explosion. A clean, fast run.
Some people are strange though. Or maybe strange is not really a good word for it. Today I went into heroic Pit of Saron to do some dpsing and get used to arms spec which I’ll use this evening in our raid. We wipe at the Forgemaster, lose a dps, then lose a tank, then a healer. Fear not, because here comes the LFG tool to the rescue! We get another pair of players – one deathknight tank, one druid healer. The tank inspects the druid and starts whining about how he’s not going to do this with this “crappy” druid.
So I check out the druid. First thing I see is that he has the Battlemaster title. Inspecting closer shows some random selection of heroics epics with some pvp parts, and a pvp resto spec. Usually neither of that is a good sign, but together with Battlemaster… Who cares. It’s one of the hardest titles to get in the game. Which means the druid should at least know what he’s doing.
Vote kick the whining deathknight, get back in tank spec and gear, grab another random DPSer, and off we go. Finished everything without any problems. Sure, there were a few deaths and a few moments when the group was close to dying, but nothing too unusual.
All in all, I like the LFG tool. Sure, sometimes it gets some jerks in my groups, and signing as a tank obviously reduces the waiting time by a lot as opposed to signing as a dps, but it’s an awesome thing anyway. Other parts of the patch are very cool as well – yesterday I was leveling my little paladin banker and the improvements to the zone map and the quest tracker are very helpful, even though I did these quests several times already. Even the Equipment Manager has been updated – it now shows which items belong to what set (making one little addon to do that no longer necessary), and it also shows which parts of the set you’re missing rather than showing a cryptic message like before.
And then there are the instances, which really deserve a post of their own.
Rather than updating the first post, I’ve decided to make a new one, because it’s easier to keep them at a right article size that way. In this part, you can find more detailed tactics for Faction Champions and Twin Val’kyr encounters.
For tips and tricks on the two previous fights, you can check the first part of this guide – it has been updated a bit since the posting.
This fight is so random. If you have the right raid setup, and the Champions spawn with an easy enough setup as well, this can be a piece of cake.
- Kill the totems. Make a macro for it, make your melees right click them, make your tanks right click them, make your resto druid moonfire them, but you need to kill the totems.
- Dispel, dispel, dispel. If you have a dispel button and a free GCD, you should probably press that very button.
- The enemy NPC’s are not tauntable at all, making it a little bit harder to control the melee ones.
- Note that you still can taunt the warlock and hunter pets – on one of the tries I’ve left one of them attacking me all the time for free rage – as a tank they don’t do a lot of damage to you, but will still run away so be sure to taunt them back.
- The most sure-fire way of killing them for us was to kill one of the healers )while keeping the two melees and the other healer under CC), then kill both melees (keeping one of them and the other healer still under CC), then finish off the other healer. At that point you’ve practically won.
- Which healer to kill first depends on what you get and what you have. There are two spots for their healers. If one of them is either a resto druid or a paladin, and the other one is a priest or a resto shaman, you should probably CC the paladin/druid and have everyone kill the other one first. If you have for example a druid and a shaman, and you don’t have a warlock to make CCing the druid very simple, you should CC the shaman instead and kill the druid first.
- Next will be their melee dps. Take out the most annoying one first – their annoyance is ranked like this: rogue > warrior > paladin > shaman > deathknight. After you’ve killed them both, you have just eliminated the thing that can most likely kill you pretty fast.
- After the melees are dead, kill the other healer. After he goes down, start killing their ranged dps, again with the most annoying ones first, which will be: mage > hunter > warlock > shadow priest > boomkin.
- Did I mention killing the totems and dispelling things yet? Yes? Then I will do it again, because it is VERY important. Kill the totems and dispel things (especially the paladin bubbles).
On a side note, the Faction Champions have a strange threat mechanic that can be possibly used to tank them, but while I’ve been able to confirm that it does indeed work, it’s not that easy to use (as they were still running for the casters), so in the end we just went and killed them with normal tactics. I’m including that link though just in case someone is interested.
We’ve spent a lot of time on this encounter trying out various strategies, until we found one that works. Well, actually there is also another one that works as well, the door tanking one – but as it requires a lot of luck and nothing else, I will neither use it or recommend it. This one is easy enough.
A bit of explanation of the positioning diagram above (and yes you can click it for a larger version).
- Both tanks take a dark or light portal each, aggro the bosses and position them with their backs to the center of the room, making some space for the melees to live in.
- Melee dps should be using dark or light portals (not all the same one), and attack the right boss for the debuff they have.
- Dark and Light soakers – these two ranged DPS will each take a different debuff and attack the respective boss, while making sure they grab all the orbs of their color that are going towards the tank and melee groups. You don’t have to be too zealous in doing this, but it helps a lot for the people in the center of the room to not be spammed by random colored orbs.
- Caster DPS and healers – take a debuff and stand next to the other portal – as in, if you’re going to stand near the light portal, you take the dark debuff.
This positioning makes it easy for everyone to switch dps to the shielded Val’kyr if needed, and lessens the amount of orbs in the center. And now, off to the fight.
- There is one new mechanic in the heroic mode of this encounter, and it’s called Touch of Light/Darkness. It causes AoE damage to people around you and disappears if you change your debuff color. So go and do that. Remember that especially if you are a soaker DPS, you probably want to change back to your previous color afterwards. This ability is never cast on tanks.
- Dodge orbs if they are not in your color. This is very important, because otherwise it’s a big chunk of damage. If you are surrounded by wrong orbs, of course it’s better to run through one rather than getting exploded by all of them, but in most cases it should be easy enough to just move out of their way. Don’t finish that cast (especially if you’re a dps), just move. It’s a bit more tricky for the melees and tanks, but unfortunately they have to do it as well.
- While grabbing orbs that are in your color, please be sure that you are not doing it close to the other colored people. That’s especially important for the two soaker DPS – if there’s a light orb close to the dark tank, let the tank dodge it rather than run into it and make the tank take the completely unnecesary AoE damage.
- If one of the Val’kyr shields itself, everyone need to switch and DPS it. The shield can take more damage in heroic mode, so if you have Heroism availaible, you might want to save it for this ability. Same goes for trinkets and other DPS cooldowns.
- When one of the Val’kyr does the shield, the other one hits for a lot and really fast – this is a good time for that tank to use his defensive cooldowns and to get more healing on him.
- While switching colors for the Vortex ability, remember that you need to switch back after. Also, be careful while running to a portal – there are two of them for a reason, so don’t make everyone run to the same one and then all die because there just happened to be a few wrong colored orbs on the way. Switching a color is not a reason not to dodge orbs.
- If you get the positioning right, and then can dodge orbs like pro dodgeball players, then the fight is not that much harder than the normal mode.
And that’s it for now. Right now we are still working on Anub’Arak, so the next part will probably come soon. See you next time!
This will be a short one, but the Twin Val’kyr in our ToGC-10 are finally down. After some time of figuring out the right strategy (and then a few bad encounters with the bloody Faction Champions), we finally executed the strategy and got them down in a few tries.
No tanky loots unfortunately, but I scored a pretty sharp looking sword I can swing around. Offspec thing (won over another offspec obviously), so it probably won’t see that much use, but still I dps from time to time and it’s a very decent upgrade over my current Stormedge. And it has a nice metric ton of extra armor penetration, so even if it’s an agility based thing and not an axe, I’m happy.
I’ll make a post on Twin Val’kyr strategy this week as well, as I’m the one that does boss notes and tactics on bosses in the guild – so that’s two birds with one stone.
We also had a few tries on Anub, and made it to the third phase and around 25%, but we need some more training with placement of the Frost Spheres and kiting the boss around them. And possibly Heroism, as our resident shaman is currently afk due to real life.
Well, there’s always the next week.