Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perfect Resource

I was sitting in English class today, bored, and so my mind started to wander and i bet you can imagine the topic that i started thinking about. I assume that many of you had the very same thing happen today.

Anyway, I started to think about my hunter and how focus has changed the way he plays significantly and how i am not sure that i like the way it plays. My mind then wandered to how the different resources affect the way all the different classes play and i came to a realization:

Energy is the perfect resource.

Think about it. When you play a class with energy, you are never starved for your resource and you are never swimming in too much of it. Sure, you can hit 0 energy but you know that you wait for a couple seconds and you will have enough energy for another attack. You can also be full on energy, but you can only do 2-3 consecutive attacks without running out of energy and having to wait again. and when you are running around killing monsters you can watch as your energy comes back instead of watching your rage tick away or the water in your bags disappear.

You could flip my argument and say that you are always starved for energy but i would disagree. When i think of being starved, I think of being without my resource for a long period of time when i should be hitting something. When you run out of energy, you are given a small portion of time in which to pause and look at your surroundings, plan your next move, and then use it. I never feel that when i am out of energy, I am not doing anything.

Blizzard has stated that they dont want classes to be GCD capped and always be hitting a button. The moderate regen that energy has seems to remove that GCD cap while at the same time making it so you always have that next ability incoming. There are talents that give you instant energy or make things cost no energy and they add the unpredictability to the rotation. Combo points, which are perfectly tied to energy also make the rotation and the game play less predictable.

It seems to me that energy is the only resource system that is immune to starvation and excess just by its nature (or is easily tuned that way). It seems to me that mana using classes are always in excess. They always have way more mana than they need. That is, until they run out, then they are completely starved for mana and they must resort to potions or CD's in order to get more mana. Yes, the good players will conserve mana well and will be able to go for a very long time, but not indefinitely; However, when you are casting a spell for 250 mana and you have 35k mana, you have an excess.

Rage seems to have the largest swings between having too much and having too little. Because rage is tied to hitting things or being hit by things, it is preone to very steep swings between 0 and 100. The new rage system has improved this, but a bad string of misses, dodges or parries can gimp your rage income. Yes you can become hit capped and soft capped for expertise for a dps class and you will not get these really low points but then you may get the really high rage situations that led to inflated dps in wrath. But there is always that situation where you hit the wrong button and drop really low again.

Focus, oh focus. The redheaded step-child of resources imo. I always feel like i am starved for focus when i play my hunter. The regen is not high enough on purpose so that you must use steady shot in order to get that focus back up. This has led me, in my short time playing my hunter after 4.0.1, to always be thinking, "ah crap i need to SS again." I think it sucks. You may disagree with me, you may love focus, but i always feel like i need more in order to develop any sort of rotation or priority.

I think energy and combo points allows for the most interesting and dynamic rotations or priorities in the game thanks to its unpredictable nature and its almost perfect regen rate/ability cost ratio. But what do you think?

The Shattering So Far

So i haven't had a ton of time to play around on my characters lately but i have managed to play some stuff on my shaman in the 49-54 bracket.

I started off with a run of ZF and then moved on to do Stratholm. I gotta say that i really like how all your quests are at the beginning of the instance now, it really cleans up the process for getting the quests. It basically allows you to knock out all of your quests in one go and not have to worry about losing a potential upgrade because you were not doing quests in the same area. I know some people probably feel some nostalgia for the old "run around and get my instance quests" mentality but i am glad to see it go. It makes sense to me to have all your quests at the beginning of the instance since it allows all players to grab the quests and lets all the players see them. I would not be surprised if a lot of the effort that went into making the instance quests got wasted because people were too lazy to run around and get them (I know i was).

There is also the newer, more stream-lined instance layouts that are there now. I know some of the old world instances like strath and mara used to basically be giant mazes, if you have ever tried finding the entrance to mara...not fun. I was farming the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire in strath on my druid and i got lost a couple times, even though the route there was pretty direct. If you have ever run strath and have a general idea of how you used to unlock baron, then the run is a lot easier to figure out and I never found myself wondering what to do.

Lowbie instances actually have bosses now. I know its hard to believe but yes, you can actually tell when you are fighting a boss. It could be because the instances are higher level ( i will let you know my thoughts on the lower levels when cata drops) but the instances felt a lot more epic than before. Trash generally seemed harder and bosses didnt seem like trash with a little extra health and cool ability that sometimes didnt get used. The bosses no longer die in about the same time as a trash pack and it really allows those classes the dont have the best aoe but have good single target to shine. I found myself actually having to react a little bit to some of the bosses abilities in order to stay alive, as well as occasionally healing myself or others to help the healer out. I would say that i thoroughly enjoyed doing low level instances again.

The second thing i did was work my way through ungoro crater. I have always like ungoro, it felt like it flowed well and was kind of interesting. It didnt really seem to have a concrete conclusion but I didnt care because the zone felt like it worked. I think the new layout for the zone is better than the old one. All the quests seem to flow a lot better between the different areas. There was actually a resolution to the plot with the crystal pylons that never used to make sense and I was actually laughing out loud while doing the Maximillian of Northshire quest line. Overall i would say that i am very impressed with the leveling and instances in cata.

But what about you guys? What do you think of the new instance design? Or the new quest design? And have you come across any funny quests that you think i should check out first when i get some more time?

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Surgery

I have been wanting to post this for a while now, but i was like "no, they dont want to read about that." But then i realized that it is pretty interesting and that this is my blog and i can do w/e i want with it and so i am going to write a little about it. Maybe i will add pictures.

I just want to start off by saying that i'm sorry i havent done anything with the blog in a few days, but i am really busy with school right now.

So i am getting a major reconstructive jaw surgery on Dec 15th in order to fix a major over-bite and to close the gap in my teeth. As it stands, i can not eat tomato slices unless they are in large sandwiches, pizza without the toppings all sliding off, or pretty much anything that is remotely flat. I am getting both upper and lower jaw surgery, or maxillary and mandibular osteotomies. Basically they are going to lengthen my bottom jaw and shorten, and move my top jaw. Now because i am bored i am going to do some MS paint pictures (or i would have if it didnt make me look like a rat, lets try something else).

So this is essentially what it will look like after it is done i believe. keep in mind that i am no surgeon and that this is all information i have gleaned from appointments i have been to.

Top Jaw:
The surgery for the top jaw entails cutting a small wedge out in order to make the jaw shorter. After they will move the detached top jaw put it against the remainder of the top jaw, and then slide it forward slightly and then pin it in place.

Bottom Jaw:
For the bottom jaw surgery they will have to make a cut to each side of the mandible. There will be a cut in the same place on each jaw. The cut will be vertical and will start near the back of the mandible. They will cut outwards till they are about halfway through my jaw, then they will switch directions and cut down the length of my jaw and finally they will switch directions and continue to cut out wards. once they complete that cut the jaw will be in 3 pieces and they will slide the lower portion forward and then pin it in place with a metal plate. This is the more interesting part in my opinion.

So you can see why i may be out of it for a while. I will be spending at least one night in the hospital, probably two nights before i can go home. My mouth will be tied shut with extremely strong elastics for 6-8 weeks and I will be on an entirely liquid diet for that time (Maybe ill make a list of Jeys fav. liquid meals for you all). The recovery time is about 3 months before i am allowed to do anything physical and then who knows how long after that.

I am extremely excited for it but i am just starting to realize how big of a undertaking this surgery is. I am curious to see how it changes my appearance (hopefully for the better). So there you have it. If you have any questions i will be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge and i will be doing more WoW related posts and hopefully a low level feral leveling guide when i have more time, which will probably have to wait till after my surgery. So there you go, now when i make a vague reference to my surgery you will know what i am talking about.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When I'm Right...

So just less than 2 weeks ago I posted THIS about how Gamon was becoming level 85 and I forsaw people forming up to kill him.

Well i was logged in for about 2 min before i saw someone yelling in org that Gamon was alive and about 30 sec later i saw him being kited around org and being nuked down. He doesnt appear to get DR's on slows so he was just being kited around while people attacked him. Every once and a while someone would pull off the kiter and Gamon would turn around and one or two shot them and then turn back to the kiter and keep going. I saw him die about 3 times in the half hour i was running all over org. This was not any major prophesy that i made but i think it shows you that you cant break a 6 year habit of killing a level 12 neutral npc by simply making him a level 85 elite with 2mil health.

Oh, and i have only been inside Org and ZF but so far i am very impressed. Can't wait to see the 80-85 zones, especially deepholm.

It's a Matter of Character

I am just going to assume that not everyone who reads this plays a druid based upon the fact that i haven't really been writing that many druid only topics lately. So i have a question for anyone reading this. What character are you gonna be playing when the expansion goes live on Dec 7th? Are you staying with your same character or are you switching to a different class? Are you taking this opportunity to transfer servers, or factions, or both? Is your first character that hits 80 going to be an old one or one that you are starting when the servers go live today? And what will be your first alt

Me? I am sticking with my Druid, I will probably level him tank specced and do some instances with my guildies. Gonna hit 85 and tear through some instances so that i can get into heroics as soon as I have the time. my next character i want to level will probably be my Goblin Rogue or my Belf Hunter.

Also, what is the first thing you are going to do when the servers go live to day? I know ill be checking out Peacebloom vs Ghouls if i have the time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Patch 4.0.3a

So mmo-champion is saying that the new patch will be dropping tomorrow and i felt like there were a couple things to go over before that happens.

First off, obviously this will completely change the old world so you will have some alt leveling to do if you want. I know that I will be leveling my shaman who is just about 50, to 60 if i can find the time. This means that for any of you who don't have a druid...get on that.

You will be getting access to the new race/class combinations for the expansion so you will be able to roll your tauren paladin or blood elf warrior if you want. That being said, anyone who rolls a troll druid, you are a bad person. I don't know why but i just have a serious issue with trolls, they just don't look right.

There are going to be some class changes going in with this expansion that you have to look forward to. Your health will drop, your swipe damage will drop, your LotP heal will be reduced and your brutal impact debuff will be less potent. Aren't things looking up? On the plus side, if you are ever in cat form you will not have to target something before you can swipe.

None of these nerfs seem too bad tbh though. We will make it.

If you you are a Druid, Paladin, Priest or Shaman your talents will be reset. this leaves us with a free respec going into cata that we can use to get ready. I dont know how many of you used the last reset as your "lets get ready with a cata spec" reset but this patch is close enough that i would advise you to just spec for cata this time around. The last reset i went for the (I think) optimal build so that i could do better in my raid. This time, no chance.

That being may be wondering what the spec you should be going for is. well have no fear because I am here. This will be the bear spec only because there are more knowledgeable people out there that can give you a cat one. If you really want me to take a stab at it i will but i am far less comfortable making decisions about cat than bear.

So here we have the bear spec that you should be pushing for at 85 that will be your general raiding spec for tanking:
This will cover all your needs for tanking. The one point in stampede can really be put wherever you want but that will be where i am leaving it. This is the spec you should be working towards as you level from 80 to 85.

At 80, if you are planning on working  towards this you will probably want to take this spec:
Natural shapeshifter is not the best choice but it will allow you to move into the third tier as soon as you hit level 81. You can start off with points in perseverance and then move to master shapeshifter or go the other way. I would suggest going with perseverance first because i think damage will be quite high when tanking dungeons. If you are having issues with threat though, you may want to grab master shapeshifter on your next level as it is basically a 4% threat increase (not exactly but roughly). The last point you have left over after that can be put wherever you want, i chose stampede but if you have somewhere else that you would want to put it then go for it.

So there is your specs for 85 and 80. You could choose to go with the better spec for right now and put two points into stampede instead of natural shapeshifter but the difference is negligible so i would just go with the one i posted with it being so close.

All that being said, have fun in your newly shattered Azeroth!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

ToGC and the Pre-Expansion Lul

This is getting a little annoying not having enough people to do the raids we want but I guess with about 2 weeks left before Cata I can understand why people don't want to come for H LK and beat their head against the wall. And you know what? Im fine with that. What i really find annoying is the people who just dont show up and dont  tell anyone. If you dont want to come because you are soaking your feet in the bathtub, im fine with that, just tell somebody. I know, I know, its just a game, and i would agree if you said that; however, if you join a raid group those people are expecting you to show up. I dont care why you dont want to show up, as long as you tell someone. I may make some jokes about you if you are whipped or playing cricket with your mother, but I wont care all that much.

I just think that if you were on a sports team, you wouldn't stay on the team very long if simply just decided to not go to some games without letting anyone know. It is not exactly the same situation as raiding but really, how hard is it to get a hold of someone and say that you wont be able to make it. Most guilds have a forum you can post on, my guild leader has his cellphone number available to people, and it is really easy to send an in-game mail.

You may feel otherwise but i think that just because you dont have to personally man up to the situation, doesnt mean that you should do something that would be really frowned upon in real life. I think a lot of this problem stems from how easy WotLK is. Wrath has enabled people who probably need to do more challenging heroics, to simply blow through them and get relatively good gear. The learning curve is not steep enough for new players at the moment. I am not trying to be elitist and say, "casuals shouldnt be able to raid," but i think that raising the barrier to entry would do a lot of good for the general state of raiding. This is why i am optimistic that the new stance on heroics will be good.

Having the ability to be able to raid by putting in less effort is a good thing. During Vanilla and BC, I think they lost a lot of good potential raiders because you had to do so much front end work before you could get into raids. I never got into raiding before WotLK because I just didnt have the time to get all that gear, gems, and enchants.

That was quite the tangent to what i wanted to talk about. Anyways, so we didnt raid ICC on Wednesday because we didnt have the people for it, so we decided to do 10 man ToGC and get the mount that drops when you have 50 attempts left. That was actually a lot of fun. Our gear trivialized a lot of it and it was pretty easy, but it was a lot of fun.

Our raid leader still insisted upon marking the faction champs and explaining the fights in detail, even though during the first fight we only got 4 stacks of the bleed, the worms only burrowed once and Icehowl only charged once. Me and our rogue had a lot of fun listening to "You Face Jaraxxus" to get us in the mood for some ToGC action. When we actually faced Jaraxxus we got one portal and one volcano and blew him apart but i couldnt get that song out of my head. Faction champs is a joke now with our increased health and damage. Valks was originally a really cool idea but it was never really that hard on 10 man in my opinion. anub'arak was pretty easy until P3 when he almost killed me because he was melee'ing me at the same time his aura was ticking for about 10k a second.

Overall it was pretty fun. Good light hearted time. There werent really an big challenges despite our GM saying that "Icehowl still hits hard guys" and then having him hot me for penuts. While i wish we had done our ICC i had a good time and i would do it again.

And if you are wondering about the mount, i had the highest roll with 91...until the pug rolled 100 :(

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It was just brought to my attention that some of you may not be commenting because you dont want to have to create a blogspot profile in order to comment.

I have rectified this situation.

As of a min ago you can now post as an anonymous user without having to input any information. You have to do one of those hard to read word verifications but that is relatively painless. If you plan on leaving multiple posts on the website make sure to throw your name at the bottom of your comment so i can link them to each other or if you just want me to have a name behind the comment.

I didnt test it, but i think you can also post a comment by putting in a name and an associated URL to go with it.

I hope that helps push some of you over the commenting fence and get you involved more.

Now i have to do some homework. Have a good day

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Before I started this blog I thought it would be cool to help people out by doing some YouTube videos about some of the raids (tankspot style). I kinda stopped doing that after ToC when I had to reformat my hard drive and I lost Fraps and my video editing software. But I have been working to get set-up for Cataclysm so that I can push out some videos when the expansion drops. The first ones may or may not have voice-overs because I am getting jaw surgery on Dec 15 and am getting my jaw wired shut and my face will be swollen and I may not be able to talk but that is irrelevant.

I plan on releasing videos showing the instances, including strategies for the instance bosses as well as all the mechanics changes from regular to heroic. When I get to raiding I will start working on bigger videos for those with similar information. But I would also like to hear from you. What would you like some videos on (strategy, guides or otherwise)?

20k Gold

No, I don't have 20k gold. I don't have the time to play the auction house. But...

Our core raiders just finished up running a guy through ICC to get his 10 man drake. He paid us 20k to get it and it took 2 weeks to get everything but Orb Whisperer. We finished up and got Orb Whisperer yesterday and pulled in the full amount from him. I think I made a little over 2k gold from the whole thing and overall i would say it was worth it. It did not really feel like we were carrying him, just that he was tagging along to get the achievements.

It wasn't too bad but i dont really want to do any of the achievements anymore. Except maybe the Lich king one for one of our recruits who says he will give us 20k for that one ahieve. We are planning on just extending the lockout and working on H Lich King until Cata.

I remember when people were paying good one to just kill the Lich King on regular and now you have to get people the whole drake, what is the world coming to?

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Plans for this Blog

I have been thinking about this for a while now, as to what I want this blog to be. I have some definite ideas but if i never put them down then you will not have a clear idea of what I am looking for from this blog. So here are some things that I have come up with as to the direction I want things to go.

I love doing posts that require some research. I love the process of looking up things that will help other players and putting them all into one place so that you can see them easily (such as my CC basics post). That being said, these posts require a fair amount of time to create and as I am in school right now, and am finding myself rather busy lately these are not going to appear super often. For this reason i will try and keep the blog going with "filler" posts; posts you may or may not care about but are there to give you something to read if you like but also keep the blog going.

I will try to keep coming up with ideas for bigger posts that you would like to see but if you have a topic that you want me to cover then by all means leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and I will look into into it.

I love doing guides. They are lots of fun to do research on and if they are good they can be very helpful. I like writing about tanking and dpsing and if you really wanted me to I could probably muddle my way through a healing guide. I have linked my YouTube channel in a previous post and I am all set up to start doing video guides on dungeons and raids and anything else I feel like when the expansion launches. I have been told that I have a voice that is wonderful to listen to so, yes, I will narrate them if I feel inclined. I will make a link to every video in a blog post as well as throw it in the side bar (coming soon). 

My "filler" posts will simply be anything that i feel like writing about. They may be about my last raid, a recent achievement, something from my real life or simply something dumb that i thought up 

I really want to get to a point where I can get reader submissions for things that they want to see in a post or video so that I don't have to come up with all the ideas.

Page Views and Comments
I would just like to get this out of the way first. I don't care about page views. Yes, i will admit that i was fishing for a link from BBB so that i could get some page views because 140 in 5 months is not very promising, but now that I have what i consider a solid amount of views per day (and that isn't that many) I can focus on delivering what people actually want. I would rather have 20 comments a day than 2000 views an hour with no-one commenting. Page views are for bragging, comments are useful.

I love responding to reader comments. If your comment was simply an insult I would still respond, I would probably respond in kind, but i would respond nonetheless. Every day that i check the blog I check to see if there are any new comments of any kind. There i a function that allows me to see all the comments on the blog and if my name is not at the top of that list then I will go and respond to that comment. As it stands right now I plan on responding to every comment, or group of comments, that I get. 

I love helping people. Be it in-game or in an e-mail I will often help anyone that asks about feral tanking or dps. In my guild I come across as harsh to bad players and I often surprise my guild members when I start helping them if they ask, and being completely cordial. The thing about this is, that I am not very forgiving of people that simply do not know their class. On the other hand if you don't know your class and you actually are trying to get better or become more informed I will be very happy to help. Ignorance is not bliss, Ignorance is laziness. But if you want to know something but don't want to do the research then let me know and I will look into it for you.

Contact Me
If you want to get a hold of me there are 3 easy ways to go about doing that. If you want immediate help just head on over to Darkspear-US server, make a horde Character and see if Jey, Jeh or Kruks is on. You can also talk to anyone in Berserk guild and see if I am on an alt. If you can get a hold of me in-game, just let me know that you were reading my blog and I will be glad to help you with your character even if he is not on the same server. The best times to talk to me are probably on mon-wed at around 6:30 to 7:30 server time, I am not sure what time zone that is in the US though. 

The second way to get my attention is by leaving a comment. I check comments more often than I check e-mail so this a better way to get a hold of me, but at the same time, this is a public forum and you may or may not want your question displayed publicly, so either contact me in game or...

Send me an e-mail. I check this 2-3 times a week just in case (or at least I will now) so if the question is not time sensitive you can send me an e-mail and I will get back to you with an answer or at least a reply that i am looking into it

I am going to put all my contact info in the side bar that I am creating right after I post this. Also, don't worry about asking a dumb or simple question because other people may also want to know the answer.

I don't want this to simply be me ranting on and on about stuff you don't care about. I started this blog to do some ranting but also to improve my writing by getting some practice and as a way to help the community and fill some gaps in the feral blog sphere. If you leave me a question and I am not just about to finish a post I will try to prioritize your question above mine. Also, if you correct me on something that I make a whopper of a mistake on or you contribute to the blog with a question you will get some credit too (if you don't want your name in the blog, just let me know). 

I hope this helps you realize what I want this blog to be and where I want it to go from here so leave a comment with your comments and let me know what you want.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CC post updated

I would just like to say that i am really sorry that this took so long but i have updated the CC basics post.

It now contains a section on silences and some more pretty pictures for the Priest- Mind Control and Shackle Undead abilities that were sent to me by tufva.

So go check it out and as always leave any feedback.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Run Along Now...

Three posts in one day, arent you unlucky. I have just had a lot of small things to say.

I have a confession:
I, Jey, Druid of Darkspear, am a compulsive run-on sentence creator.

And i always have been. If you have read any of my posts i probably have a run-on or two, and pretty much any comment i write contains a massive run-on sentence that i hit the "Post Comment" button too fast to catch it (upon revision, I have found this sentence to be a run-on). I know i have a problem...but guess what? It probably aint gonna change. It something is really unclear i will change it or clarify (if it is a comment) it but I will still have run-on sentences and that is just a little quirk you will have to get used to. On the plus side, my English Class in university has made me a lot better at punctuating, so they may diminish.

That is all.

New Raid Boss?

Just so everyone knows I am working on another bigger post but i am a little busy so i am doing these smaller posts in the mean time.

In other news there a was a recent buff reported to have happened on the beta to a NPC that horde players know and love to kill.

Gamon was recently buffed on the beta to a level 85 elite. For those of you who dont know who Gamon is, he is a level 12 neutral npc in the inn in orgrimmar. Typically he is killed within seconds of spawning and finding him alive is pretty rare.I suggest that if you have never seen Gamon, that you go roll a low level orc or troll alt and run to org. The inn is i believe the second or third building on the right and you should go take a look for his dead body.

The screenshot on mmo-champion shows a low level player getting hit for 150k dmg which suggests that he will hit significantly hard on even a well geared 85 player early in the expansion. I am curious though if this will help Gamon's life expectancy. I forsee that with people moving to hanging out in the old cities that Org will become well populated and that it will be very common to see "Gamon is alive, need a tank and some healers" in general chat and bored level 85 players will rush over to kill Gamon.

We may not see formal raids but i predict that we will see large groups of people waiting to beat down the NPC as soon as he spawns for a while after cataclysm drops.

Piece of Cake

So on Wednesday my father opened up the e-mail to find a message from blizzard saying that our account was involved in acts the violate the terms of use agreement and that in-game items were being sold for real money.

Yes, I got hacked.

So my dad went and changed our account info and filled out the form that confirmed that we were hacked and blizzard then proceeded to reimburse all our items on all our characters. All of this happened on Wednesday while i was at school and before I got home.

I have to say that overall I was very impressed with the speed of the process and the monitoring that is put in place by blizzard. I would say that this was a relatively painless process for getting your account restored. I was able to log in to my account on the same day that it was hacked and go to my mailbox grab my gear and go to my raid an hour later.

But i was wondering, am I alone in this experience? If you have had an experience with being hacked were you impressed by the response time or not? I know blizzard used to be bad about stuff like this so also give a little info into how long ago it was.

And I will curb the comments right now:
No, I do not have an authenticator
Yes, it was dumb
No, I do not visit compromising websites
No, no one else has my account info
Yes, I plan to order an authenticator very soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That Awkward Moment

Stay with here.

You both look up and find your way blocked so move to avoid. Finding yourself in peril once again you stop to regain your hold on the situation. Both members are unable to move, for fear has taken over. Afraid to make the first move, you hold position until your courage has returned. You move, but undoubtedly the other has chosen this opportunity to move also. Again you are overloaded by the situation and again must regain your courage. You move again, and once more the other moves along with you. Frozen again. You move quickly this time, before the other has regained composure, and move past. Thus ends "The Awkward Moment."

If you haven't caught on yet i am talking about walking in a hallway. You know that moment when you are walking down the hallway and you are about to run into someone and you both move the same direction to avoid the other person. BAM!!!!! Awkward moment. I really hate that feeling. Both people know that they need to move but neither one wants to be the first to go, but without fail you both choose the same moment to move and you both stop again. This can happen 2, 3 maybe even 4 times if you are really unlucky.

This may seem really random to you but i walk a crowded hallway everyday.

I have recently (say, 2 weeks) started just going for it. Here is what i decided:

1) People often feel that this is rude to simply cut someone off. I disagree. In the event of an Awkward Moment you have both already essentially cut the other person off. When you stop, it is because you think that you will hit the other person if you continue. the other person, thinking the same thing also stops. If you continue walking instead of stopping,that other person will still have the same reaction and you will pass by unhindered.

2) Always go right. If we are going to stop the Awkward Moment from controlling our lives we must set rules of engagement. When you walk down the hallway, stairs, street you typically walk on the right hand side. This is to say you should always be on the right side of people, and so if you are going to make the move to simply carry on through with your movement then go right. If this is flipped in your country then you should probably go left.

3)Be decisive. This has to be a conscious decision and one that you don't hesitate on. If you hesitate that other person may think faster than you expect and keep going that direction causing an actual collision or a close proximity Awkward Moment and that is even worse

OK serious time over. I have been doing this for about 2 weeks and i have yet to have an Awkward Moment and it has been pretty awesome. So what do you say? Join me in this initiative to stamp out the Awkward Moment.

Oh and i have pictures from a reader for the priest section of my CC guide that i will be throwing in, probably tomorrow, along with a section about silences so go check it out and leave some feedback.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crowd Control Basics

So I think it is time for another basics post and this one should be a gooder. I am going to talk about the long lost art of the crowd control. I am putting this at the top so hopefully people read it.: I am trying to include pictures so that people can see what the CC looks like but I don’t want to just pull pictures off of wowhead because that just feels wrong; however, I don’t have all the characters at high enough level to show all the CC abilities so I am looking for a little help. If there is an ability that does not have a picture and you want to help out, you can send me a screeny at and I will give you credit for the picture. Also, try and get the picture without anything over the mob (ie UI elements) so that it is easier to tell, so if you have to hide your UI please do that. Also I found that zooming your camera in all the way gave the best quality of pictures. Oh and anyone on the beta I would really appreciate a smoke bomb picture.

For thousands of years prior to the coming of the Lich Kings Wrath there were mystical abilities that were used to ensnare and entrap, incapacitate and slow, these abilities belong to a sect of ninjas that were part of an ancient cult called “lolwarriorsnocc”. The wrath brought by the Lich King forced all these CC’s in to submission and they were not seen from for a solid 2 years. But there is an ancient prophesy that tells of the coming of the great black dragon that will free the CC’s from there submissive state. And that time is coming to pass.

Wow that was lame, but really fun to write. So anyways yeah I am doing a guide on CC for anyone who didn’t read that above or figure it out from my lame story. We haven’t really needed to do any crowd control in wrath but we still got some new abilities for pretty much every class so that all-1 classes have a CC ability. So what I am going to do in this post is outline what every class has, what it is usable on, the practical applications for it and pictures, because who doesn’t love pictures?

I am also going to do a rundown on other types of crowd control that are not abilities but instead rely on player skill, as well as the joys of marking targets for CC and how to properly do that. Also LoS pulls. So here we go.

CC AbilitiesI am going to go through this class by class and tell you a little bit about the CC, how it breaks, whether or not it is a single use ability and what spec it belongs to if it is part of a talent tree. Oh and pictures, because I like pictures. Also anything listed here is not going to be abilities that only last for like 6 sec or 8 sec unless I have a reason for adding them which I will explain in its description.

Death Knight
Chains of Ice
This ability slows the target by 60% for 8 sec this used to go down to 0 over 8 seconds but unless the tooltip is wrong, it now stays at 60% for the full 8 seconds. This is not a CC in itself but given that it slows the enemy you could use this while kiting an add in order to keep it controlled and not hitting the group. With DK’s having a taunt the kiting should be rather simple just keep it slowed and run away while taunting .

Entangling Roots
A long time ago Entangling roots could not be used inside and many druids rejoiced when you became able to use it indoors as it gave them a CC to use. Entangling roots immobilizes one target so that they cant move, but that is all that it does. It does not silence then or stop them from attacking so you want to use it on a melee add that is out of range of everyone. If you use it on an add in the group then he will hit the closest target regardless of how good your threat is unless you are also in melee range. This breaks from dmg but a little incidental aoe shouldn’t break it, so just use it on a melee and refresh.

Cyclone whips the target up into the air and immobalizes, silences, pacifies, and makes them immune to everything. It only does this for 6 seconds however and after the third cast DR will stop it from working. It is not really that reliable for CC but it has a good use while CC’ing. When you use Entangling roots too many times the mobs will go immune. With a little luck and some well timed casts you can reset the DR on entangling roots by keeping them cycloned for long enough. Oh and don’t use this on the kill target because it really ticks people off.

Hibernate puts the target beast or dragonkin to sleep for 40 sec allowing you to pretty much forget about it. This breaks as soon as the target takes dmg but it is very reliable if used on a target outside of the group. This also means that if you have a melee and a beast or dragonkin you can keep them both locked down if you are a boomer or a tree.

Freezing Trap
Welcome back freezing trap. This spell has a 20 second duration and traps the target in a block of ice which breaks on any dmg. With the 30 second CD on the ability you may be thinking that it is not very reliable, and you would be wrong. Back in the day you judged hunters on how well they could chain trap. I know hunters that were really bad at it and you would wait for 20 seconds later when you had to taunt that add back, and I know hunters that you could tell to trap a target and 4 min later (exaggeration) after the next two trash packs were dead you could walk back and grab the mob that was still in the block of ice. I would make a video and show you what it looks like but if you got HERE by Lassirra of The Hunters Mark, I am not going to imbed it so that you have to go watch it on youtube and because it is not my video and she deserves the credit. It is old but it is good. And with the adding of trap launcher it is much easier.

Wyvern Sting (Survival)
This sting out of the survival talent tree puts the target to sleep for 30 seconds with a 1 min CD. This breaks on any damage and doesn’t last for as long as the other ones because it cannot be reapplied. This target should probably be the first CC you break after the main kill target is dead as it only lasts 30 seconds which is long enough to kill the kill target and maybe an off target but not any longer.

This normally turns the target into a sheep that wanders around in a small area until it takes any damage. It lasts 50 seconds and is usually the last CC that you break as it is really reliable when the mob is far away. It can be reapplied indefinitely as long as you don’t run into DR cap. I say this is usually a sheep because some mages have polymorph-turtle or polymorph-pig or into a penguin or baby monkey if it is glyphed for that.

Slow (Arcane)
This ability comes out of the arcane tree and slows the target for 60% for 15sec. Like the Chains of Ice from the DK this will need to be accompanied by kiting in order to be affective. If you leave it alone slowed it will just walk up to someone and kill them instead of run up and kill them.

Repentance (retribution)
This ability incapacitates the target for 1 min with a 1 min CD. This means that it is refreshable on one target but not useable on more than one ( but most CC isn’t useable on more than one target ). That being said it is really reliable and is only not useable on beasts. Think of it as useable on sentient beings and you will be good.

Shackle Undead
This roots, silences and pacifies the target for 50 sec as long as it is undead. While the applications may not be as widespread as they could have been in Wrath it may be useful at some point. Thanks to Tufva for this picture.

Mind Control
Control the mind of the targeted mob for up to 1 min. This spell is more likely to break the farther away you are from the mob you are controlling but has some interesting consequences. It is only useable on humanoids and results in trading your priest for the MC’d mob. There are 2 basic ways to use this: MC one mob in a group and let the grou kill it and then resume the pull with the rest of the CC or MC the mob and resume the pull as normal using that mob to help you fight. Remember however that the priest controlling the add is indisposed so having your healer do it is a bad idea unless you are just going to let the other guys beat the one guy down and then complete the pull. Thanks to Tufva for this picture.

Sap is a very standard CC ability that incapacitates the target for 1 min as long as the target is not in combat. This ability breaks on any dmg and cannot be reapplied. This is a good way to have some fun with your rogues as they must be relatively close to their target to get a sap off. So give them the target at the back of a group against a wall with a dog with true sight in the front ( yes I have done that, and yes he did get it). This not being able to be reapplied should be one of your first CC broken and killed, but remember to have fun with it. Remember however that this CC has the advantage of not causing combat to start when it is applied to its target so that makes it useful for guaranteeing that someone is out of the fight.

Smoke Bomb (85)
I know this isn’t in the game yet and I know that rogues don’t get it till level 85 and that it is not technically a CC ability but it forces mobs to run to you instead of casting and is basically a portable LoS device. I cant get a picture yet but at 85 if I remember I will try to update it with a picture.

Hex is basically Polymorph and lasts for 1 min, has a 45sec CD, turns them into a frog, allows the target to take some damage before I guess it isn’t like polymorph all that much. This can be used on multiple targets now and can by glyphed down to a 30 sec CD although CC'ing 2 mobs isnt really possible by yourself with the CD.

Bind Elemental
So this is basically the polymorph for elementals. It lasts 50 sec, breaks on damage, and stops elementals from doing anything, so you can use this in basically the same way that you use polymorph

Frost shock/Earthbind Totem
Frost shock has a 6 second CD and slows the target by 50% for 8 sec, while also causing a high amount of threat. This combined with Earthbind Totem, which slows targets within 10 yards, allows shamans to be very strong kiters

This spell is like a 30 second Druid Cyclone that only works on demons and elementals. This can not break on damage and can only end by running out of time or by having the warlock recast banish on the same target. This is basically THE CC for demons and elementals if you have a warlock with you, and although I don’t see there being that many demons in cata there should be a ton of elementals.
Enslave Demon
This is situational as, unless it has changed, this replaces their demon but with soul shards gone now, warlock who flat refuses to do this if they are already using their banish is just being selfish. Basically it just enslaves the demon for 5 min and then when it ends the demon is released; however, the demon gets an attack and cast speed nerf. After the fight is over you can either release the demon and kill it or use it for the next pull and then release and kill it.

This causes the target to run away in fear for 20 seconds. The problem with this is that it can run into another pack of mobs and aggro them to you. This is however eliminated by the glyph of fear which causes them to cower instead of run in fear and gives the ability a 5 second CD. This means that for PvE purposes it is significantly better allowing the warlock to keep the mob locked down for a little while.

Curse of Exhaustion (Affliction)
And just when you thought that your warlock couldn’t do anything else, you realize that they are affliction and that they can slow a target by 50% for 30 sec and kite it around just like a mage or death knight.

Seduction (succubus)
Oh wait, waht was that, you mean that the demon you were going to enslave is actually a humanoid? Well have no fear because once again the warlock can handle that. Getting out his succubus and using seduction allows him to lock down an enemy humanoid for 15 seconds as long as it channels the spell. So pretty much the warlock can lock down 4 targets if it is the right mob pack. This might be even more fun than giving the rogue a crappy sap target.

And not to be outdone by warlocks the warrior is going to...well I mean he huh....what can a warrior do? Oh right...

Slows the target by 50% for 15 sec. Read the DK-chains of ice or mage-slow cause I’m not typing it out again. Also this has no noticeable effect so sorry warriors no screeny, unless you want me to just take a picture of me running.

So there you have it that is, I think the full list of CC abilities in the game but there is more than just abilities that can be used as CC. These are the CC skills, not abilities, skills. These are only partially determined by class but mostly have to do with player skill and their ability to actually execute them.

Kiting is named after a kite. The idea is that you are “attached” to your mob by the invisible threads of aggro; however the mob is never allowed to reach you, as if you were to be pulling a kite along after you ( this may or may not be true but i am going with it ). Usually kiting is done by having a move speed difference between you and your kiting targets, either they have a slow on them or you have a speed increase. If they have a speed increase or you a movement slow then you may want to try kiting a different target after you run back to your corpse. Hunters are basically able to kite anything due to having aspect of the cheetah which allows them to move faster as long as they are not getting hit, however any mob that is not immune to slow can be kited by anyone as long as you have a DK, Arcane Mage, Affliction warlock with the curse or a Warrior. That being said though, if the mob is slow moving you can kite it regardless of group comp, like the deformed fanatics on the LDW fight in ICC.

Off Tanking
Sorry clothies this one is not for you unless you are a warlock (/facepalm). This can be done with any tanking class for a short period of time if you absolutely need to. This can also be done by a hunter pet or a warlock blueberry or felguard. This is as easy as it sounds. Taunt or gain aggro on a mob and then pull him away from the group and tank him till the first target dies. This is not the same as what happens in Wrath right now where you just aoe until the mobs start attacking you and then keep going, giggling to yourself because if your healer has half a brain and your gear is good enough then you won’t die. Don’t just offtank the add because you will die. This needs to be something that you decide to do with your whole group and more specifically your tank and healer. If you are just going to pick it up there are three likely outcomes: 1) you pull it off and healer and tank don’t notice or the healer can’t keep up with the new dmg going out and you die. 2) You pull and have a good tank and immediately lose agro. 3) you pull and the tank decides that you are not worth it in which case situation 1 becomes your reality. If you just pull it off you may live but don’t count on it.

Line of Sight Pulling (LoS)
This used to be needed but pretty much never happened in wrath except to move trash in some raids. This involves pulling a target and then moving around a corner or pillar so that the enemy casters stop casting and run towards you so that you can pick them up easier. This enables you to pick everything in a confined area. This is used when the CC needed is non-existent. When you have a large amount of very weak casters that you don’t need to CC such as non-elite, but they are in the way of a patrol of strong elites so you can aoe the casters down but need them out of the way so that you don’t aggro the strong patrol because you will need to crowd control them. LoS pulls use changes in elevation, pillars, walls, corners, outcroppings and in cata possibly a rogue smoke bomb in order to cause the casters to run to you. Here are some pictures so that you know what I am talking about. I am going to pull this pack with casters in the first picture to where I am standing. I am going to pop out and hit one target then immediately tuck back behind the corner. If you do it right the mobs will be all bunched up just like in picture number 2. And thats all there is to it. Just make sure that you look for places where you can LoS.

So the commenters have spoken, and I shall respond in kind. They ask for silences and they shall have them. Silences are not directly CC in a PvE environment (imo) but they are very important to have. Silences, and by extension, inturrupts cause a caster mob to stop casting and run towards the target that has highest aggro on. These are extremely useful in situtaions when the tank wants to tank a caster but he wont move or if you are trying to stop a large damage attack or heal that you dont want to go off. There is pretty much no bad thing to inturrupt, there may be better choices but if you see a spell being cast and have presence of mind to inturrupt it, go for it. Chances are that anything that absolutely needs to be inturrupted is being watched closely by your tank or you will be told to inturrupt it. These are very valuable abilities and if you are askied to use them for a specific reason, you should. NEVER assume that someone else is going to inturrupt something important unless they expressly say that they will, and even then you should be on edge a little. This is a list of CD by class with the name(spec) Duration and CD in that order as well as any potential quirks. As always, leave a comment if i miss anything (keep in mind that these are direct silences and not things that you can inturrupt casts with or i would be looking for abilities all night).

Death Kinght
Mind Freeze-4 sec, 10 secCD
Strangulate-5 sec, 2 min CD (1 min talented in Blood)

Skull Bash-5 sec, 1 min CD (10 sec talented Feral)
Solar Beam(balance)-10 sec, 1 min CD (must be standing in solar beam to be silenced)

Silencing shot(marksmanship)-3 sec, 20 sec CD

Counterspell-8 sec, 24 sec CD (only silences that school of magic. ie.frost, fire, arcane, nature...)

Rebuke(Retrobution)-4 sec, 10 sec CD

Silence(shadow)- 5 sec, 45 sec CD

Kick-5sec, 10 sec CD

Wind Shear-2sec, 8 sec CD (only silences the school of magic that was being cast, like counterspell)

Spell Lock(felhunter)-3 sec, 24 sec CD (if used on a target while they are casting it will also lock out spells in that school of magic for 6 sec, otherwise it is simply a 3 sec silence)

Shield Bash-6 sec, 12 sec CD (must be in battle or defensive stance with a shield equipped and only silences the school of magic being cast, 3 sec CD if talented Prot)
Pummel-4 sec, 10 sec CD (must be in battle or berserker stance)
Heroic Throw-3sec, 30 sec CD (must be talented in prot for this effect)

Raid Icons
Raid icons are useful in more than just a raid and allow you to put a mark above the head of a mob that will show up on their portrait for all party and raid members when you target them. This allows you to easily mark which target you want to have CC by who as well as who is your main kill target/secondary kill target. Back when I learned to tank there was something that every tank said after looking at his group and it went something that went like this...”sap star, sheep moon, trap square. Kill order is skull, X, star, square, moon.” After that was said everyone knew what was going on and the tank would mark and pull. Knowing what to mark for what CC isn’t hard but there is something of an art to it. That caster in the back behind the mob with true sight...that is a perfect target to tell your rogue to sap. The melee in the group is good to have a hunter chain trap. Generally it is good to sheep as it is a ranged CC and allows you to pull with it and have that mob way out of the group. Generally at the start of the run you want to look and see what kind of party members you have and think about all your possible CC options. What are your CC options you ask? Really. You need to read better. After you have decided what you have then you need to remember what each one is effective against as well as its weaknesses. You don’t want to tell your warlock to banish the humanoid. Then you want to assign each CC ability, or each party member if you have more than one of each class, a raid icon. Then move to the pull. You want to look at the group that you are attacking. Generally there is going to be a mix of ranged and melee targets to CC and it is your job to know which to use which CC on. I would love to tell you that there is a best way to do this but it is personal preference at some point, just try and be predictable and consistent. There is no right or wrong way to go about assigning marks but remember that Skull is always the kill target and historically star is sap and moon is sheep which may make it easier to appeal to the older group of raiders. One last thing about this is that if you are the tank, get used to doing this. If you don’t want to then run with a guild and have someone else do it, suck it up and do it, or stop tanking because that was the tanks job back in the day and I think that that is not going to change. And for DPS and healers, in wrath there was no consequence to checking off that you would be the group leader, but with the new (old?) instance philosophy you might get made to mark things if you choose to be group leader so just make sure that you are ready for that. If you are a tank and you flat refuse to mark targets then, in my books, that is reasonable grounds to vote kick you from the group, if you don’t want to do it then ask if anyone else is comfortable, never demand the group fill a role that has, and probably always will be reserved for tanks and raid leaders. The raid icons are Skull, X, Square, Moon, Star, Circle, Diamond and Triangle

So this is everything that I have for right now. As always if you have an idea that you think will help throw it in the comments and if I add it in you will get credit. I hope this doesn’t go unnoticed because I think it is a good thing for everyone to know. Until next time, have a good one.

Hardest Boss in the Game

So we have been trying to down H LK and get our "Bane of the Fallen King" titles because they are super cool but we have been having some trouble with the hardest boss in the game, which is probably not the one you are thinking of. I actually dont know how hard H LK is because we have been losing to the attendance boss for 2 weeks now. It seems like after we got our drakes, that the people who weren't part of our original group of about 6 or 7 have just stopped showing up. This sucks. Luckily we are still able to do most of the heroics with pugs and are currently trying to get someone who is interested his drake for 20k gold which we will partially split among the regulars so I guess that is alright.

Also I am almost done with my CC basics post but i have to put it together and i have been really busy and been having internet issues so I'll try to get that out soon as i think it could become a valuable resource.