Friday, July 25, 2008
What neat little tricks did it provide?
There were dots. Lots of dots.
There were nice debuffs that upped my fire damage (courtesy of scorch)
When the target hit 20% health, my damage output against them increased by some 20% I believe it was.
My attack cycle against trash was generally:
Occasionally I chucked a scorch in there for the debuff or if I didnt have time to get off a fireball before the mob died. I popped my +damage trinket and Combustion whenever they were cooled.
The first thing I notice with this is that:
a) I burn through a LOT of mana. I can use half a mana bar fighting a single trash mob. The rotation does not allow any of what I will call for clarity, Whiteout time. (Time outside the 5s rule that allows improved mana regen.) I get some nice mana returns with the amount of crits that were applied (25% crit rate for fire) though.
b) Agrro! I only use Iceblock to block out spells that I dont want to be hit by, or for when the tank dies in my arcane spec - in fire, I was using it everytime I got a big crit to keep the aggro on the tank till my aggro dropped below his. Invisibility was also used in abundance.
This had a two fold effect, firstly I would not be doing damage when waiting to drop below the tank on Omen and second I used the cooldown so it was not available in an emergency.
Another point to note is that my primary attack school (fire) was about 6% hit rating under the cap, whereas in arcane I was 25 +spellhit in excess of the cap. (All according to http://be.imba.hu )
Finally, despite spending some 4 hours experimenting with my shot rotation whilst we tried to clear kara trash, prince (who went down first try with 9 players) and netherspite (trash respawned when we were learning him so called it a night.) my DPS only averaged about 550. This is in boss fights with 5 stacks of scorch, and a hefty period under the 20% health margain... As arcane this DPS average was about 750.
I had a late night discussion with the tank and another guild mage who is not playing at the moment - and got some good feedback from them.
According to the tank, I scared him. Often. He reported my DPS as we went, and he also noticed that whilst before I was never on his Omen - I was always up there with him now. That extra threat and risk of screwing up for the drop in DPS... hmm.
The other mage agreed, back to arcane for me!
One thing that made me giggle though was that whilst my arcane spec averages some 750DPS, when fighting arcane immune mobs my dps dropped to 450... This is not a far punt from the 550 I was pulling as a constant fire damage dps. Yikes!
Oh - and I tried some dailys as fire... OMG eww! Those infernals just outside the village on quel'danas... immune to fire. And all my other spells would be interrupted - I had to run, almost every time...
I will wrap up this post now with one last thing I noticed. In my research of a fire spec - I looked at the spell rotation that is recommended for builds similar to my arcane.
Apparently its AB-->AB-->AB-->AM-->Scorch and repeat.
My shot rotation is AB-->AM-->Fireblast-->AM--> and repeat - throwing in my POM pyro whenever it was cooled down for a free 4-7k damage. Im going to give the Arcane Blastx3 shot rotation a try, but I get the feeling that it will be significantly less mana efficient than my rotation, and wont put out as much DPS. (+45% arcane missile damage is one of my talents)
I currently get something along the lines of:
AB = 2.5k
AM = 750x3 1200x2
FB = 3k
Clearcast proc (crit rating goes from about 30% to about 55%)
AM = 750x1 1200x4
the cycle takes
5s >enter whiteout for cycle restart for a tick of high mana regen. (usually enough for a couple of free ABs) - especially if the arcane missiles is mana-free.
The replacement cycle I expect:
AB = 2.5k
AB = 2.5k
AB = 2.5K
AM = 750x1 1200x2
scorch = 750
Time for cycle: (note im not sure about the AB reduced timings)
5s (enter whiteout)
1.5s then repeat.
Ill ignore the mana consumption for this, but that dps estimation means that
initial cycle = 14 second for 15,700 damage (1121/second damage on average)
replacement cycle = 12.5s (approx) for 13,800 damage (1104/second on average)
Humm - with the theorycrafting it would appear to do about the same DPS - but there is less whiteout time (including less chance of a Clearcast on an arcane missiles which guarantees some mana regen) The second and third arcane blasts proably equal the same mana as an arcane Missiles - I like the fireblast more than scorch.
Bah, Ill try it - and report back if it makes any noticeable difference. I apologise for any headaches, but take no responsibility in your choice to read through the tangle of theorising above :p
Thursday, July 24, 2008
It was a fun weekend, albheit a bit hectic and tiring. I pranced around in a kilt for some 15 hours, I spent 22 hours behind the wheel travelling there and back, and I seen a lot of friends. Tiring but worth it!
So... back to WOW.
Last night I was pulled in for another Kara run, which we almost cleared in one sitting! We quit just after chess to do Prince tomorrow and possible have a jab at Zuluman, Im not really looking forward to this, but it should be interesting!
After being poked last night for my spec, I am considering trying out fire. I got a coulpe of drops that upped my +spellhit, which I had capped for arcane anyway - so I can probably get away with dropping the talents in arcane and going for fire.
The reasons I like Arcane are as follows:
- Mana management. So many talents focus on increasing your pool and your regen. Careful deliery of spells and abuse of clearcast brings great returns to your mana pool.
- Tools: Presence of Mind, Empowered spells, huge damage boosts to my Arcane Missiles, and crit bonus for clearcast spells.
- Sustained damage output: Other than the empowered POMPYRO and empowered stream of spells I put out every 3 minutes, I can maintain a pretty decent damage rate (Arcane Missiles hitting for about 750 a time and critting for some 1200 a quarter of the time is pretty nice, and sustained.)
- Bad-gear compensation: I have pretty low PVE stats (+spellhit) but +10% from talents means that I am at least still getting the hits in.
- Aggro management: I have a huge aggro reduction through talents, that allows me to go all out very quickly.
Comparing my mage to another mage in the guild (now an ex-member) they hade MUCH better gear, and were full fire spec. I had better +damage, better +spellhit, better +crit, a bigger mana pool, a bigger health pool and higher resists... And they died ALL the time from getting aggro. They were pure fire. The other player was (13) young and probably not as efficient with their gaming (Theorycrafting FTW) but the difference was almost exclusively down to spec.
Ill take a look at fire and see what I can come up with anyway... But other than having nice DOTs, and being more useful against arcane immune mobs in sections of Kara... I dont think Im going to see a marked improvement - and if it is, dying to get it makes it counter-productive.
I dont run out of mana unless i try to go max DPS, i generate very little aggro (a rogue i am out DPSing can hold the aggro against me.) and i have lots of toys... Lets see what my opinions of fire are shall we ;) Not been fire since 51...
Saturday, July 19, 2008
To summarise its a post about addiction to World of Warcraft and how it is never discussed. I thought I would pick up on this and give my 2cents.
Addiction to WOW is something that is actually on my mind quite a lot. I am fortunate enough to play WOW with my wife, and my mother, brother in law and a number of friends. We recently made a big move a long way from them so we dont see them often - so the social aspect of it is a strong attraction.
Over the course of WOWs lifetime, I have probably taken about half a dozen holidays. I quite often get playing WOW so much that it interferes with real life things, but I am lucky enough that I know to step back, and often I just end the sub for a few months and take a needed break, get my shit together, and take care of RL stuff.
Nowadays, I have other responsibilties - I am the sole "bread winner" in a household now and I have a child, a wife and a fluffy 3-legged hyperactive alsation x huskie to look after and spend my time with. I think I am currently playing way too much, but it is after the babies bedtime - and it is with my wife... I really dont know what level of addiction to put this at. I guess I must be addicted though, because I get grumpy and withdrawal symptoms when I cant find the time to login because I need to do other things. At the same time, I can leave the location of a PC for days on end, know I cant log in - and be absolutely fine. I often wonder how things would be if I couldnt put things in perspective on occasion, and a lot of people cant...
Anyway, Im not sure where I was going with this post, I just thought it would be an interesting topic to put my thoughts down in text on.
I have more, may add later, but I need to go - wedding to organise and attend! (Best man dutites eh!)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Dang! gotta wait until I come home from work :( forgot the servers will be down for a while.
I like the low level cheap mounts. My priest is currently 37 - I have not needed a mount yet (all fedex quests on griffons, or down instances - or mob kill quests in STV in a confined area.) but I will buy it as soon as I get on - just because I can!
My next problem is going to be that I hate the elekks... Im going to have to nip to the N.E start area and get myself some rep from quests. I think that I am revered with Darnassus thanks to the new rep gains since rolling the character. I am also a bit pissed about that though, becaus I dont the N.E start area with my gnome rogue and ive been running around doing the missed quests, handing in hundreds of gold of runecloth... and im still only just reverred... I hate his mechano-strider :( I only forgive him for riding that mechanical cock because hes an engineer.
Man, can I rant.
Anyway, theres patch notes all over - enjoy!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Anyway, my mage - Velkairiwyth - is an Arcane fire mage (Arcane mage with PomPyro. 48/13/0)
My primary attacks come from either Arcane blast, Arcane Missiles, scorch and fire blast.
My normal attack rotation is Arcane Blast (by the time its cast the aggro is secured to the tank.) Arcane missiles, fire blast, arcane missiles - and carry on fireblasting when it has cooled down. This is a pretty good rotation for DPS but when it comes to Mana - it rapidly deminishes.
I modified it slightly - once i start arcane missiling - i stick to arcane missiles and occasionally chuck out an arcane blast or scorch or ice lance for a low mana, decent damage shot at proccing clearcast. When I get a clearcast proc - I use Arcane Missiles - by the time this has finished casting the 5 second rule timer is up and you are racking mana up. If Clearcast procs on an arcane missiles this means that your about to start gaining mana before you even start casting the free arcane missiles - giving you longer mana regen time. Follow the free spell up with an arcane blast or some other spell that consumes the mana AFTER being cast, this gives a couple more seconds regen.
Abusing clearcast like this resulted in me finishing a lot of fights with 90% mana. (I had mana stream totem + mage armour on - as well as the arcane hybernation talent for 30% mana regen whilst casting.)
Keys to mana regen that I find work boil down to these:
* Cast Arcane Missiles on a clearcast. (Or Blizzard if you like - this is an even longer spell, and is even more free mana expenditure for your clearcast.)
* Follow the arcane missiles with a timed spell (Arcane blast, scorch, fireball etc.)
* Use Mage armour - if you can afford to drop the dps of molten armour - (ice armour is pointless... you go splat if your careless enough to pull aggro) and considering your going for a mana efficient approach - you clearly aint short on dps in the group.
My DPS was not fantastic - 670 when fighting normally, and 630 when i go for the mana efficient approach. Being a 3-minute mage I can get some good burst damage (easily hitting 2k/sec dps when i burn the cooldowns) for this drop in DPS the sustainability is great :)
And of course - this technique works even when doing burst DPS - get a clearcast? cast a big-mana spell and follow it up with a spell with a cast time.
It is a bit fernickety though... if you have talents and mage armour on then your already getting 60% mana regen in combat anyway... but that extra 40% for 4-10 seconds is quite a chunk of mana...
Thanks to this idea goes to... one of the contributors to either Epic Dolls or Elunes Grace podcast - the host or guest was talking about priest abilities that when combined can result in a nice free-spell duration where your regenerating your mana. I must dig it out and post it for a priest tips post...
If you heavily into endgame content – I have been introduced to a couple of fantastic equipment check sites. These sites basically check your character in the Armory and make checks against requirements for various end game raid instances or heroics, and tell you where you can expect to work, where upgrades can be found, and any areas of twinking your character has not received (e.g enchants, mismatched gems etc.)
The first of these is www.be.imba.hu – I have used this one to check various characters – both my own, and other peoples.
The second of these sites is http://www.wow-heroes.com (Found this one on posted up on Big Bear Butt blogger’s blog.) I have not personally checked this site yet (I am trusting him this much :p)
On a separate note – if you are interested in playing with the new WOTLK talent trees, they can be found at http://www.wowhead.com
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I dont have much experience playing a Paladin, or indeed - playing with a paladin. Its a class I am curious about trying but have never found the time or inspiration to do so, so I am going to link some info that may be useful.
http://www.wowpodcast.com/ - Their latest blog is a Paladin guide. Im listening to it as I type this and it sounds pretty useful. It discusses specs for levelling, as well as specs for end game and the kind of stats that you must aspire to - 480 defence to be uncrittable for instance. (ow!)
TenTonHammer - Paladin guide. I have not had the chance to check this over but TTH usually provides a pretty good read for each class.
Our group consisted of:
The guilds main tank (19k HP - hes one tough sum'bitch)
The guilds main feral druid (Was in Kitty form unless off-tanking was required)
A very well geared rogue
Me (Mage in Gear acceptable for heroics + Kara, but not yet optimised)
Amma (The wife - Resto-druid - healer for the run. Getting better and better gear by the day, but still a bit undergeared.)
The run was not a difficult one - The trash fell in droves, Amma kept everyone up comfortably - there were a couple of stray deaths (one mob bypassed the tank and squished our healer, and another I pulled aggro playing around with my abilities to see how hard it was, and critted a few too many times with empowered POM pyro, flireblast and arcane missiles...)
The first boss went down - no challenge. I failed at sheeping the add due to boss knockback when the tank pulled a bit too quickly, but the rogue picked it up and we nailed the adds quickly before taking down the big guy.
The run up to the second boss was quick and smooth - bar one whipe because of confusion with leaving one of the groups, and Amma body pulled.
The second boss proved a bit of a toughy. The second fellhound he realeased made a beeline for the healer - and the feral droo picked it up but killed Amma with a debuff - wipe. Second try was pretty much the same - but better. Third try we got him down. JUST. The rogue was the last man standing and on half-health.
The final boss... Oh the joy this one brought.
Ammas laptop locked up for a few seconds and she autorun into the two gaurds before the final boss, triggering the event befor we were all ready - we done well though, took thme down, and then nuked down the rider - the MT picking up the Dragon just before he could get to us. We nuked away but both the feral droo and the MT were being hit by the fire, and Amma OOM'd - it was a close fight but we wiped.
On the corpse run we realised we done the whole run with Amma having +724 healing, and me +854 spell damage, and fairly low +hit. We decided that we didnt have a chance, but since were going back in would have one last blast at the final boss.
Battle begins: I open with a sheep and we take down the first guard. We go to start on the sheeped one and the second one respawns - so we nuke him down whist I resheep the first to keep him away. We then take on the sheeped one, and the second guard respawns again... Amma is down to half mana at this point, and has to innervate herself before the rider dismounts. We nuke him down in short succession, and start on the dragon. Its a healing nightmare for amma - fire flying everywhere as we get feared - shes OOM again, takes a mana pot, I keep nuking, the rogue keeps punching, the druid and tank keep fighting away - I call for the druids innervate but its too late - the dragon kills amma and the feral druid simultaneously. Crap! Its gonna be a wipe. 20% health on the boss, the tank goes down. The rogue is tanking... Bam Bam Bam my arcane missiles fly in, I POM pyro, fireblast, keep missiling, the rogue is tearing the dragons tits out with his claws and we do it! No tank, no healer we DPS that armoured fireball down.
The chest drops all Plate...
Bollox! No upgrade to get Ammas stats up. It was a fantastic run though. After we done this I learned a bit about the progression of the other guys in the group (They could easily and have - participated in SSC, BT, MHJ.) - They started off by getting between 1000 and 1400 Badges of Justice each for gear ups and progressed with friends through some of the tougher raids... I think me and Amma have a long run ahead of us... Everyone agrees that the healing was impressive considering the +heal. I have seen Amma pull off th impossible before - she was resto right up until the release of TBC, was balance to 70 then decided feral was the way to go until the guild struggled to get healers for a Kara run and she respecced and the gear hunt begins. I think she is going to be a fantastic addition to the guild, I just wish I was more useful. Im a not particularly fantastically geared DPS class - there are dozens better geared than me, so I have a long road to make myself noticed... But I like a challenge!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
- Mage - I have a 70 mage, and this has been my main character since 4am on the release date of World of Warcraft.
- Rogue - I have a 70 rogue, who I have played pretty much in a fixed group from 1-60 pre TBC, and have started playing him again as entertainment when I dont want to focus on my alts or my mage.
- Hunters - aka - the Huntard. A very easy class to play, a tricky one to master. If people actively seek you out for groups, then you probably know how to abuse many of their abilities effectively, and kudos to you for that. My highest is 41 (I have 2 of this level.)
- Druids - One of my favourite classes - I have not played to a particularly high level - although my wife has one as her main and has done the lot, so by proxy I know some tricks.
- Warrior - A tough class to play, a tougher class to master - but a brilliant one none the less. I have a warrior twink, and have spent many an hour researching their skills, lets see what I can come up with!
- Priest - I have a few of these floating about, love em all. Great for DPS, greater for healing. As mentioned, 41 is my highest level.
- Paladin - I will skip this guide - I have not managed to play one past level 12 before getting bored. I really should, they look more and more like a fantastic class to play. Healing, AOE tanking, AOE level grinding and utility out the Wazoo.
- Shaman - Like the paladin - level 12 is the highest I have reached - I would really like to get one up, but just cant get in the groove. This is a very powerful class, at whatever form of gameplay they focus on - but they can be tough to master as they need a good handle on all the various totems and abilities they have.
Good sites I have abused in the past include:
I would gleefully recommend visiting these places to learn more.
I have played a hordie priest to 41 on Moonglade a long while ago, and I have completely forgotten just how fun (and sometimes, seemingly overpowered) shadow priests are (at least at these levels, dont flame me! :p ). At present I am only level 31. In two days she has been dragged through the stockades a few times and dinged in there and again from cashing in quests, and got boosted through Scarlet Monestary by a friend whos alt I helped boost through Ramparts. I finally caught up with the low level instancing band groups in our guild though, and the versatility of the class really shines through.
Last night me, a 34 resto shaman, 34 Fury Warrior, 40 mage and 34 Rogue took on the Library in SM. I have not had so much fun in an instance in many a month! the group makeup was almost perfect as far as flexibility and DPS goes. We even had Sheep, Sap and MC (didnt use) for controlling the crowds. And EVERYONE had some sort of snare to stop them cowards from fleeing. (Hamstring, gouge, cheap shot, crippling poison, frost bolt, frost nova, frost shock and mind flay.)
I was pretty much DPSing my way through - although later on when fighting the level 34s and 35s I was doing crappy DPS so switched places with the shaman and healed, whilst he whipped out his chain lightenings for fun. The fury warrior, whilst being a young player whos main is a mage - done a pretty good job on the tanking. He only dropped a few mobs, that usually made a bee line for the resto shammy whom I would keep alive until picked up. The mage and rogue nuked the crap out of anything that the tank had his mits on and we had a jolly good time. I have not had a run that went so swiftly or smoothly in a long time - I could easily be convinced that the pre-outland instances have had their difficulty cranked right down, but I like to think it was being in a clued up group instead of a Pug for once ;).
Very little healing was needed for the most part, the shammy nuked and I nuked and we healed those in need when required - I basically kept the shammy up if he got aggro, and the mobs would drop in seconds. Great! When healing was needed, we had it in spades. 3 of the group were Draenai - so free heals all round for one, and with 2 healers that could dish out some meaty DPS - it was there. I look forward to our soon to be assault on Uldaman.
When I first rolled this character I knew the guild was in need of healers, in particular - healers with Fear Ward. (this was not long after TBC was released, and the ability was a necessity in Molten Core runs.) I previously rolled a Dorf priest, but really didnt like him. But this Draenai - she is fantastic :)
Symbol of Hope is a great ability - like a miniature group innervate that is available every 5 minutes - at the present moment in time, it regenerates 400 mana over 15 seconds (the mana pools varied from 2500-3500, so it done little more than allow a few more heals to be fired off if we dps'd our mana out and someone pulled another group and healing was required - but other than that, not really used - but when required, it IS a lifesaver :) )
Gift of the Naruu is pretty good aswell, I think it will heal about 1/3 of our health pool - but its a fantastic hot to throw out where needed - especially from a priest as it means that I can sit out and regenerate mana for a little longer when holding back the spells to regenerate mana.
Fear Ward is now a universal ability, so not really a concern. I cant help but think if it wasnt for the symbol of hope, a humie might have been a better choice - but i was already 27 when I opted to continue trying to level a priest.
Im rambling off my intended topic here, so Ill bring this post to an end. All I can say is, I look forward to some more fun and more challenging instances with this lot. lets see if anyone can get hit to below half health at some point ;)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
It happened a long long time ago - last Wednesday in fact.
I was minding my own business beating up some squishies in Alterac Valley on my rogue when the call went out into guild chat:
"LF2M to Kara - need DPS!"
I figured... why not! And sent a whisper announcing my availability.
Well, to my surprise - I got in!
We started off pretty smoothly - My wife - who was feeding the little one before putting him to bed (Usually my job but she volunteered to take over so I could get prepared) sat on Wowwiki and gave me guidance through the first pulls and the first boss. It all went pretty well. After the first attempt on the second boss one of our DPS had to leave, so my wife hopped on with her feral druid. Rar, rar, rar 2 wipes later we downed the second boss. Things went to pot after this, it was pretty late at this point and after a couple of tries we stopped at Maiden and decided to proceed on Saturday.
At this point, you are probably thinking OMGWTFBBQ - fur realz? your first Kara run happened a year and a half after TBC release?! Well, yes it did. I had a long break between Christmas and about May where I was having to move house for a new job and adapt to living with a new member of the family, but now I am back. I play my alts way too much so this was the first time I have been available for a run.
Saturday comes, I run around on my mage prepping potions and dishing them out prior to the run, sorting out some resto gear for my wife who respecced resto earlier that day to help some guildies run through Ramparts. I bought her some damn nice leggings for 650G off the auction house and handed them over - but to my dissapointment found out that I was not selected to proceed with the run as I signed up with my rogue who was over geared. (Damn welfare epix!) Oh well, Im dissapointed but Ill get to go again, so I pop on an alt and start doing some quests. I listen in on TS as my wife runs through it healing. Lo and behold - whilst clearing trash to get to Illhoof, one of the healers has to drop - so our shadow priest comes on as her healing shammy and they need a replacement DPS. I get the summons to get my mage on to fling some damage about. Woo! I get to do this after all!
We clear the trash and get to Illhoof, after a brief description by the lok in the group of the tactics, we 1hit him. Sweet! We then proceed to Chess (Might have that order wrong, I cant remember!) - 1hit there too! then were onto Aran... This fight was tough. After a couple of wipes we figured the only way to take him down was to interrupt his casts - and a couple more tries later we won! I win a nice epic trinket
Anyhow, we truck our way up to Prince confident he will fall. (Over confident it seems) Three tries in a row the dps/heal group got separated from the tanks by elementals and we all got splatted. Time was up by this point - so we decided one more shot and we had to call it a night. (It was 1:30am and some people had to be up for work at 6... Unfortunately - although the elementals landed perfectly - lining the back walls - Prince enraged and splatted our tank before anyone could respond.)
Time up, loggoff, sleep.
There you go - my first Kara run. I apologise if it was boring :p. It was a fun run, and I look forward to helping gear come along and gear up guildies in the future!
I did learn a couple of tricks from the first run though that I shall post here:
- Illhoof - Create the macro /Target Chains - I did not do this and I couldnt target the chains to assist - and several people died repeatedly by not breaking free before dying.
- Aran - DONT interrupt his Arcane Missiles - this is what we were doing on the wipes - all this does is start him casting a new spell. Arcane Missiles is channeled and spends its mana up front - the frostbolts and fireballs however consume their mana at the end of their cast time - and those of you that raid here often may know, the key to this fight is to keep his mana as high as possible to delay or prevent his AOE sheeping.
- Chess - If your a water elemental - get close to as many other chess pieces as possible and AOE away. You do 3k damage to any opposing pieces within a squares radius - and hitting a single target is a waste.
You can call me Velk, I guess I shall start off by introducing myself. I am 25, work full time as a Reliability Engineer (Dont ask!) I am married and have a son who is almost 4 months old. Me and my wife regularly play after his bedtime hours together. I play primarily on the European server of Hellscream and my main character is a Human mage. (Waits for the boo's and chants of "Alliance scum" to die down.) I have many many many alts due to being a bit of an altoholic, who can be found on both horde side and alliance. I enjoy both factions, and play them both regularly, although all my 70s are alliance side at present - you will not find me being prejudice :)
After spending many months listening to World of Warcraft podcasts and following the Blogs of many gamers - I have decided to try my hand at my own Blog. I can't presently state how often I expect this to be updated, or indeed, what ramblings may come out from it, but I will try my best!
If you look to your left (in the blogs current format) you will see many links to various podcasts and some fantastic Blogs of other World of Warcraft gamers. I seriously recommend checking these out if you are not familiar with any of them. The list grows almost daily, and I shall keep you up to date with who I am following :)
Back to work for me.
Peace out - Velk.