Friday, October 26, 2007
To be honest I am a little surprised that we downed him after only two hours of making attempts. 1. After reading the strategy guides it sounded harder than it was. I think the adds sounded harder then they were. 2. We downed Tidewalker and Fathom-Lord relatively quickly this week but we had put in a lot of attempts on both on other nights. Since this was the first night we put in any attempts in on Hydross I thought it might take a little longer than it did.
Hydross was really pretty easy. I thought it would be difficult to keep DPS up at a high level because of the frequent aggro dumps and adds, but that wasn't the problem at all. In fact our biggest problem was the exact opposite. Ranged DPS has to be very careful not to pull aggro off the tank which is very easy because Hydross dump aggro every time he changes forms. Unlike other bosses, pulling aggro not only kills you but guarantees a wipe. Pulling aggro will usually cause him to change form which will summon 4 more adds. Then after he kills you he starts running around because no one has aggro on him and he change forms a few more times, summoning more adds. This is really easy to avoid though as long as DPS pays attention.
[Scarab of Displacement]
[Idol of the Crescent Goddess]
We will probably start working on Leotheras the Blind on Monday, and I must say I am excited. I may be getting a little over-optimistic but after our performance on Hydross I think we can figure Leo out quickly and get him down on Monday. The Hydross and Leo have some similar issues and our recent experience should be some help. Leo also has two phases and dumps aggro very frequently. The biggest question mark in my mind is his Inner Demon ability. During his demon phase Leo will select 3 random people and summon a demon for each of them that only that person can hit. If you do not down your Inner Demon in 30 seconds or so then you are mind controlled for the rest of the fight and you cannot get out if it. The Inner Demons are not that tough, but they could pose a problem for Healers since they are not geared for DPS.
I've also read up on the Vashj fight since we might make an attempt or two if we down Leo. I must say that fight sounds hard.
Graylo got [Malefic Mask of the Shadows] from High King for feral gear but not much improvement other than that.
Graypal hasn't done anything since the last update.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I didn't raid on Tuesday and the guild downed Lurker and Tidewalker. Lurker was a one-shot and I think they did Tidewalker in 3 shots. This is very selfish of me but I'm happy that Lurker didn't drop the belt I want.
Last night, we did Fathom-Lord and Mag, and it was a night of Last Attempts. We used the old content strategy again where we gave Mag an hour and where going to move on after that whether we downed him or not. A lot of the people in raid hadn't done Mag before so it took a few attempts to get the banish down, but the adds went pretty well all 3 or 4 attempts. In my opinion the adds are the hardest part of that fight. However, we downed him on the last attempt before we left for SSC.
The Fathom-Lord fight took a bit more, since we where still working out our strategy and positioning. Most of the strats I've read on it have you doing Hunter, Shaman, Priest, boss, but we did the Shaman first to get rid of the totems and then hunter second. The hardest part of his fight is really the first two adds. After a few attempts we figured out how to get the totems down quickly and we would get about half way through the hunter but would end up whiping due to healers dying. However, once we changed their positioning a little it was easy because the healers were able to heal each other. After the hunter the priest is cake. The tank and one Warlock got her close to 50% before the raid got to her. When we finally got to Fathom-Lord it was pretty much a tank and spank. We had to deal with the totems of course that that is easy after downing the shaman. It is probably also more stressful on the healers because the tank will take so much extra damage but there are a lot of them to heal only a few targets.
All in all it was a very good night. I need to go and read up on Hydross some more since it has been a while since I looked at those strats. With a little bit of luck we should be able to get him down this week also and maybe get a few attempts in on Leo.
[Leggings of the Vanquished Champion] - Fathom-Lord
[Leggings of the Vanquished Defender] - Fathom-Lord
[Soul-Strider Boots] - Fathom-Lord
[Chestguard of the Fallen Champion] x 2 - Magtheridon
[Magtheridon's Head] - Magtheridon
[Glaive of the Pit] - Magtheridon
[Eye of Magtheridon] - Magtheridon
I didn't get any of the loot but I did want the T5 pants and the Eye of Magtheridon. I was out rolled on the Eye and the T5 pants went to one of our main healers because it was our first set of T5 pants. It is very understand able that Healers and Tanks get gear first but It kind of sucks for me because almost every one else that wants my tier piece is a healer or a tank. Oh well, I will get it eventually.
Graylo - Raiding and Farming. Nothing special.
Graypal - Got him to about 2 bars from 54. It really pissed me off yesterday when I realized that I had destroyed a quest item I needed. It was a flare gun you need to summon a guy to turn in a quest. So, I had to go all the way to IF from Azshara and back. Luckily I was able to get a guildie to port me from Darn to IF and back. Anyway, he is now off to Felwood, and hopefully I can get someone to run me through ST soon so I can complete the Priest quest for the wand.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We also downed Gruul's last night before we did Tidewalker. We took a new approach to the old content that I really like. At the start of the raid our GM said that we are giving Gruul's 1 hour. If we don't clear it in that time, then we are headed to SSC anyway. We cut it a little close but we did it. Hopefully we can extend this practice to Mag also since there is a lot of good gear in there that even some of the guild vets need.
Anyway here are the drops:
[Ring of Sundered Souls] - Tidewalker
[Razor-Scale Battlecloak] - Tidewalker
[Girdle of the Tidal Call] - Tidewalker
[Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero] - High King
[Pauldrons of the Fallen Champion] - High King
[Maulgar's Warhelm] - High King
[Leggings of the Fallen Defender] - Gruul
[Leggings of the Fallen Champion] - Gruul
[Collar of Cho'gall] - Gruul
[Aldori Legacy Defender] - Gruul
I have to say I am getting more excited about Patch 2. 3. They keep coming out with little things that make me happy. I am also really excited about the Daily Heroic instance quests. I think this will really help me get groups to get badges and rep.
Q: Will Blizz ever give moonkin indoor roots?
A: "It's something that is possible for Wrath of the Lich King, but it's difficult to say for certain at this point. " - Eyonix, & "I've been on the campaign for quite some time." - Eyonix (source)
For those of you that don't know, Eyonix leveled a Moonkin not to long ago. At first he defended a lot of Blizzard's moonkin design choices saying that Itemization was fine and that he had no problems getting in groups even without an indoor CC. However, he went silent about his moonkin activities. Hopefully this means he is feeling some of the frustrations that Moonkin feel and has pushed him to advocate for us.
His response is very wishy washy but the fact that there was a blue response at all is great. It shows that we have an advocate. Don't get me wrong I am not one of those moonkin that wants every thing under the sun. I think our damage is good and our itemization isn't bad if you are willing to wear cloth. However, I think Moonkin have a few rough edges that could be smoothed with a few small changes. One of them is the CC issue. Having indoor roots as a high level balance talent would make us a lot more viable for 5-man instances. I should do a moonkin improvement post later.
Graylo - Just what I've posted above. Raiding and Heroics mainly. Graylo hasn't gotten any new gear in a while, but to be honest there isn't a whole lot that I want that is really available. I only need Feral and Resto gear from Kara, Gruul's lair has a belt I wouldn't mind having but I want the belt off of Lurker even more. Mag has a great trinket but we haven't done him in a while. Other than T5 gear there isn't a whole lot in SSC that I want. Its not a big deal though. I am pretty happy with my gear right now.
Graypal - Got him up to about half way through 53, and still had quite a bit of rested xp left. It was funny I started the weekend with about 3 or 4 bars left in 51. I knew I had a lot of rested xp, but when I dinged 52 I realized that Graypal had a whole level of rested xp. When I dinged 53, I had a little less than half a level of rested xp. I guess I was off for a little while. It is getting harder to level him because I can't do short trips with him. The zones I am now questing in have really long quest circuits and no Inns. Plus my guide says to keep my Hearth in Darn right now so I can't hearth back to an Inn easily. All of this means I feel like I need several hours to dedicate to him to make it worth while. I can't wait to get him to Outland.
On a positive note, I have come to some conclusions on how I will play in Outland. My original plan was to respec Holy and try and level in instances. Leaving the quests until I had max out the rep I could get from instances. The main goal of this was to learn priest healing and to make it easier to get the Heroic keys. However, I have come to enjoy shadow and I am not sure how much I would raid with Graypal no matter what spec he is. The good news is that Blizzard has taken away the concern about Heroic Keys. They will become purchaseable at Honored when patch 2.3 comes out. So no more long instance grinds just to get keys
Friday, October 19, 2007
One Step Forward: Monday we put some work into Tidewalker and got him down to 34%. A significant improvement over the last time we tried him. Needless to say we all have very high hopes for this week.
Two Steps Back: Unfortunately things haven't gone the way we hoped. It took us until Thursday to get Lurker down, which really sucks. To make matters worse we had 1% Lurker whips on both nights of trying him. A 1% whip is the most demoralizing type of wipe in my opinion. Because you know that just one mistake was the difference. I know on one of the whips I didn't manage my mana well using my first pot way to late. This resulted in me having a little down time. As a result I end up asking myself could I have done the extra 14k damage needed to down him if I had not messed up. I think I could have. Of course I wasn't the only one that messed up. There where several people that died very early in the fight. If any one of them had stayed up a minute longer we would have downed him.
One Step Forward: Then on Thursday we one shotted Lurker even though we got off to a bit of a late start due to attendance and connection issues. After Lurker we went and made a couple of attempts on Tidewalker, and things went well and we got him down to 8% on the first attempt. We have come up with a good way to deal with the adds. We have a Lock life tap and then have a pally tank heal him to get aggro. Some of the AOE could wait a little longer to start casting because some of them are still pulling aggro and dying but all in all it is going pretty well. The main thing we need to work out now is the Murlocks with the Water Globules. We all went up to Tidewalker to avoid the Globules but when we tryed to kill the murlocks they killed a few of our melee because they were frozen on top of them. Anyway it shouldn't be long now before he is down.
One thing this weeks raiding has confirmed for me is how huge the B-rez cooldown reduction is in 2.3. It seems like our first attempt was always better than the second and the only difference is that we were able to get people back up in the first attempts.
On a side note we had a bit of Guild Drama on Tuesday. I won't get into the details, but the basic issue was some prior guild drama between two relatively new members and one very new member. The strange part is that I played a part in recruiting all three people to WA, as they were all former members of FoC. However, I knew very little about the drama since it happened after FoC broke up. To make a long story short, all three people are still in the guild. They may not be entirely happy with each other but are willing to raid together and down bosses. Hopefully a little time will heal the wound.
[Grove-Bands of Remulos] - Lurker
[Libram of Absolute Truth] - Lurker
[Choker of Animalistic Fury] - Lurker
[Pattern: Boots of Natural Grace] - Trash
[Boots of Courage Unending] - Trash
Graylo - Raid, Farm, Raid, Farm. I am going to try and do some of the Hallows eve stuff though.
Graypal - Rest, Rest, Rest. He is very close to his max rested xp now so I really need to do something with him. I have been focusing on Graylo though so it has been a little tough to get time.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I said a while ago that I would do a talent analysis for Graylo and moonkin in general so I thought I would do it know. Since I will be kind of long I am putting the Toon update first.
Graylo – I didn’t play a ton over the weekend but Graylo was my main focus. I would describe my weekend play as clean up. I did a lot of farming, dailies, and completed some old quests.
On a strange note, I completed my Elixirs mastery a few weeks ago, but I have yet to get a double proc on items that I make for my self. I have made 11 Flasks of Blinding Light with no procs. On Friday night I made atleast 10 or so Adept’s Elixirs and Elixirs of Drainic Wisdom each but no procs. I have made tons of stuff for other people with tons of procs, but none for myself.
I also ran a normal Shattered Halls this weekend and I finally got the [Ivory Idol of the Moongoddess]. I have to say it is about time. Now I need to figure out which idol is best for me to use in raids.
Graypal – He didn’t get much action this weekend but I did do a few quests in Searing Gorge. Thanks to a little help from a guildie I was able to do the Overseer group quest. I remember trying that quest with Graylo when I was leveling and having a lot of trouble with it even with a lvl 60+ in the group. So her help is greatly appreciated.
This is purely a raid spec analysis. I don’t know much about PvP and some of what I say doesn’t necessarily hold true for PvP, Soloing or even 5-man instances.
Here is my current spec: Link
Here is what I think is the optimal spec for SSC raiding: Link
The differences will be explained below and the reason I am not in the optimal spec has a little to do with solo and PvP viability and a little to do with me being cheap and not wanting to respect a lot.
To optimize a moonkin you have to have points put in both the Balance and Resto trees. The feral tree doesn’t offer anything of value for raiding. I think moonkin talents fall into three categories. The first is the no-brainers. If you don’t have these talents as a raiding moonkin then you’re an idiot. The second is the “Unuseful Required” talents, and the third are the debatable/optional talents.
No Brainers – Balance talents: Starlight Wrath, Focused Starlight, Improved Moonfire, Insect Swarm, Nature’s Reach, Vengeance, Lunar Guidance, Nature’s Grace, Moonglow, Moonfury, Balance of Power, Dreamstate, Moonkin Form, Wrath of Cenarius. Resto Talents: Improved Mark of the Wild, Naturalist, Intensity
“Unuseful Required” talents – Natures Grasp, Control of Nature, & Brambles.
As you know to get to the Tier 4 talents on the balance tree you have to invest 15 points in the first three tiers. Unfortunately, in the first three tiers there are only 5 talents of any real use to a Raiding moonkin and they only use 12 points. So to get to the tier 4 talents you have to invest three points in these talents.
- Natures Grasp – It only works outdoors and if you are getting hit. Since most raids are indoors and you shouldn’t be getting hit this talent is useless for raids. It is great for PvP though.
- Control of Nature – Roots only work outdoors and Cyclone isn’t a viable CC. This talent is slightly better than Natures Grasp because Cyclone can be used in a raid, but I haven’t yet. I have this talent because it is useful in PvP and while soloing. It can also help me get of a heal if I pull agro in an instance.
- Brambles – From a raid perspective this is the best talent of the three. It improves your thorns and helps the tank generate agro. However its contribution is very small and the points would be better spent elsewhere, if it where possible.
Debatable/Optional talents: These are talents that are useful but not necessarily required for a raiding Moonkin.
- Celestial Focus - This is a great talent but is only situational useful. The stun won’t work on bosses and is unreliable. The push back resistance is great but as a caster you shouldn’t be getting hit. Most raiders give this talent up, but it is useful if you tank the Shaman in the High King fight.
- Improved Fairy Fire – A good talent that helps the raid but not the moonkin at all. The 3% chance to hit for melee is huge if they are not hit capped and you have a lot of melee in raid. It will also improve the tanks threat generation if they are not hit capped. However, as you get to higher levels of raiding more and more people are hit capped. This talent is often given up for Subtlety in the Resto tree.
- Force of Nature – Situational useful but doesn’t help a lot since most bosses have an AOE or Cleave attack that will kill the trents quickly. A lot of people keep it because it is only one point and very cool. It is also very useful in PvP and when soloing. However , it can be easily sacrificed for a more useful talent.
- Subtlety (Resto) – The need for this talent is really more dependent on your level of progression and your usual group make up. With a good tank and a paladin in the raid you generally won’t need it. I’ve made it through Kara, Gruul’s, Mag, and some of SSC without it being an issue. However, I am finding that threat becomes more of an issue with some of the higher level fights like Tidewalker and VR. Since by this point a lot of Melee are hit capped it is easy to sacrifice Improved Fairy Fire for Subtlety.
Friday, October 12, 2007
To be honest I am not all that excited about what is in the actual patch notes. From a druid perspective there are no unexpected or dramatic changes.
Selected Patch Notes:
- Cure Poison and Abolish Poison are now usable in Tree of Life Form.
- Remove Curse is now usable in Moonkin Form.
- Force of Nature: This ability will no longer automatically break stealth on victims in its casting area. Nearby stealthed characters may still be attacked if they are too close to the summoned Treants.
- Intensity (Restoration) increased to 10/20/30% mana regeneration.
- Rebirth cooldown reduced to 20 minutes, from 30 minutes.
- The best change is the increase to Intensity by far, but mana hasn't been a huge issue. However, with some of the new gear that I will talk about later this could be a big help.
- The ability to Remove Curse and Abolish Poison in forms only makes sense. Trees are healers and moonkin are a form of a mage so this change probably should have happend a long time ago.
- The Force of Nature is interesting and gives me some possibilities for PvP but I'm not sure it is that useful.
- The Rebirth Cooldown change is good, but I would have like to seen it go down to 15 minutes. The way I see it the B-Rez cooldown is to keep you from using it more than once in the same fight, which I completely agree with. The 20 minute cooldown is better but I think a 15 cooldown would make it available every attempt and still not be able to use it twice since most fights seem to have a 10 minute enrage.
- Chastise (NEW) is now available to Dwarf and Draenei priests at level 20. Chastise causes Holy damage and incapacitates the target for 2 seconds.
- Fear Ward is now available to all priests at level 20. Duration reduced to 3 minutes, cooldown increased to 3 minutes.
I don't raid with Graypal obviously, and probably won't raid him much anytime soon. So I can't really judge a lot of the Priest changes. However, I hate the change to Fear Ward. I don't mind that all priests have it, but giving it a 3 minute cooldown makes it almost useless. This means that you can't do Nightbane with anything other than a Warrior Tank unless you have 4 priests. This probably doesn't have a big affect on 25 mans because they will generally have 3 or 4 priests as least.
While I am not all that excited about the patch notes, I am very excited about the new loot from Zul'Aman and badge turn ins. Blue posts on the WoW forums have said that Moonkin itemization will be increased with patch 2.3 and I am surprised at the quality of some of the things I have seen so far. I have only seen one piece of boss loot hand it was a cloth healing chest, but the Badge of Justice loot is available. World of Raids seems to have the best list of new loot.
World of Raids didn't have any Moonkin legs in there badge loot but there were 7 other leather caster items. A couple of quick observations:
- None of the new Moonkin gear has Spirit. I think this will be ok but it makes me a little leery. This will nerf my Innervate a little if I use it on my self, but hopefully the improved Intensity will make up for the lost mana regen from spirit.
- 6 of the 7 pieces I saw had gem sockets. This is great considering how little socketable leather caster gear there is hot their now.
- If you compare the new items to my current gear, most of the new gear is better including my T4 pieces. In fact when comparing my T5 shoulders the Badge shoulders, my T5 shoulders are only slightly better.
- It will be interesting to see what these items are like when the patch goes live. To be honest I think a lot of these items are overpowered and will probably be nerfed unless they decide to buff the Tier equipment.
Idols: This is the only part of the new loot that I am not happy with. Here is the new moonkin idol.
[Idol of the Unseen Moon]: Your Moonfire ability has a chance to grant up to 140 spell damage and healing for 10 seconds. - From a Raiding stand point this is useless. I rarely use moonfire in raid and it would have to proc 100% of the time to be useful. When you compare it to other options it doesn't hold up. [Ivory Idol of the Moongoddess] give you 55 spell damage per cast of starfire. I think this will easily better than the new idol. I hope that a Zul'Aman boss drops something better or I am going to be disappointed.
Anyway, I will post more when I find more about the patch.
Graylo - The guild has made some attempts on both Fathom-Lord and Tidewalker. We are making progress but have not downed either of them. Hopefully we will get one of them soon.
Graypal - Worked with him in Searing Gorge a little and got him up to level 51.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
On a positive note we did down Lurker with some old members that had left recently but desided to come back. Here is what he dropped:
[Ancestral Ring of Conquest]
[Libram of Absolute Truth]
[Glowing Breastplate of Truth]
There isn't much to say here since I posted yesterday. Graylo raided but didn't get any drops and Graypal did a few Searing Gorge quests.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
We did get some attempts on Tidewalker and Fathomlord, but did not down either. The problem with Tidewalker seems to be the adds and timing AOE. Most of the attempts seem to go like this. Everythings is fine until earthquake. Adds come. All the mages and locks are dead. We need to come up with some way to signal the mages when it is ok to start AOE. On FathomLord the hunter pet was the issue. We had a hard time picking it up to start and it was going around killing healers. When we figured that out we had an issue with the Hunter getting heals from the Priest.
It was a little frustrating to wipe a lot but that is part of the game. We can't to kill these guys on the first night or two of trying. Hopefully we can maintain a fairly consistent group with good DPS so that we can get some new kills soon.
Graylo - Just raiding really. No new loot but I did discover the Super Rejuvenation Potion. Its not that great of a potion but it leaves only the two flasks I have yet to discover. I've also decided that I need to get the honor to get the PVP trinket. I am getting to messed up by fears and stuff in arena.
Graypal - He is up to 50 now, and I should make it to 60 just in time so that the leveling nerf comes in with patch 2.3. I guess the good news is that I have finally left the 30 - 50 range of leveling. I am so tired of those zones. I don't have as much experiance with the 50-60 zones and I am thinking of skipping ahead to Eastern and Western plaguelands because I didn't see much of them with Graylo.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
[Ancestral Ring of Conquest]
[Cord of Screaming Terrors]
[Glowing Breastplate of Truth]
I really wanted the Cord of Screaming Terrors but it went to some one else. I can't complain about it though because I have gotten a ton of other stuff since I joined the guild. The good news is that there is less competition for it now and if it drops a few more times I should get it.
After Lurker they decided to call the raid, but a lot of the people on still wanted to do something so we headed over to Gruul's. We one shotted High King and two shotted Gruul's with the wipe coming at 4%.
[Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero] x 2
[Leggings of the Fallen Defender]
[Leggings of the Fallen Hero]
[Eye of Gruul]
[Gauntlets of Martial Perfection]
Graylo - Since we didn't raid much this past week Graylo has been fairly inactive, but I did do a lot of AV over the weekend to get honor. Its funny, I hate AV as a BG because it feels to much like an easy instance without much actual PvP. However, I love all of the easy honor. I usually get at least 500 honor per run and have gotten as much as 900. AB, EtoS and WSG much for fun for me because there is a lot more PvP.
Graypal - He is now level 49. I was able to jump on a ZF run with a level 70 and got some decent drops plus some good XP. Leveling him is becoming a bit of a chore. I used a different leveling guide when I level Graylo but a lot of the quests are the same and therefore not a whole lot of fun. These late 40's levels are also a bit strange. I feel like I am very close to 70 but actually I'm not. Just getting to 60 is still quite a journey given all of the xp required. The worst part of it all is that they are reducing the time it takes to get from level 20 to level 60 in patch 2.3 by increasing the xp given from quests and reducing the xp needed to level. I think this a great change but I expect to be 60 by the time the patch comes out so it will be little if any benifit for me. I know I could put him on hold until then but I don't really want to. I guess I will just have to grin and bear it.