Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not one, but TWO.. Val'kyr?

I thought I'd hate raidleading, I really did.

To be fair, one large part of it didn't exactly tickle my fancy; the bit where you tell people to sit out. That's never fun. However, bossing people around during a fight is just, you know, awesome. It's almost like having 24 Belfips that you need to micro-manage. The first time I didn't think much of it, but yesterday I realized I was starting to enjoy it.

We stepped back into the Crusaders' Coliseum again last night for the new boss: The Twin Val'kyr, Fjola Lightbane and Edyis Darkbane. It's probably my favourite fight so far in the new raid. The mechanics are interesting, and it's a very technical fight, which means you're not just standing there pushing the same four buttons. I love it.

It's very tough to explain the tactics without having you see it for yourself, but I'll do my best. There's four portals, two light and two dark. Right clicking either will give you either a Light Essence buff, or a Dark Essence one respectively. With the Light Essence, you deal increased damage to dark targets (Edyis Darkbane) and less damage to light targets (Fjola Lightbane). You also absorb light damage done by Fjola. The Dark Essence does the opposite.

Apart from the portals, there will also be little orbs of concentrated light and dark floating around. Collecting the dark orbs with the Dark Essence buff gives you stacks of a Powering Up buff. Once you reach 100 stacks you start dealing 100% more damage, however collecting any light orbs with the Dark Essence buff blows them up, dealing damage to people in a small radius. Again, the opposite happens for people with Light Essence.

It all sounds easy so far, split the raid into the two essences, collect and avoid orbs, and pewpew. Fortunately, it's not just that. Every 45 seconds they use an ability which requires all the raid to think on its feet and react accordingly.

The first is an aoe pulse, dealing light or dark damage every couple of seconds. The raid needs to see which of the twins is casting it, and change their Essence accordingly. If Fjola Lightbane is casting it, for example, you switch to Light Essence.

The second ability is a massive heal. It's interruptible, sure, but you need to crack the shield first. Depending on which twin has the shield the raid again needs to change their essence to maximize damage and break the shield, which takes 250k damage to get rid of.

Some little tips from what I've seen:

Even though the twins share their health pool, you still need to split the raid, mainly for the shield. It takes a couple of seconds to switch essence and get in range of the twin, so you want to balance out the dps.

You're best of staying next to a portal of your opposite essence, so that you don't need to run too much to change if needed.

Healers don't really need an essence except for the aoe pusle ability. They can, instead, take the essence opposite of what the rest of their group is and help get rid of the opposite essence orbs.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Warlocks in Cataclysm.. instant fear what?

So I've been tuning in to the live stream, and I see they decided to bring up warlocks first in the class panel.

Soul shards are GONE.. from bags!

Instead we're gonna have three soul shards on cooldown per battle, which seems pretty neat. They're gonna be part of our interface, much like the death knight runes, but they only refresh out of combat.

These shards are gonna be used for a single, 30 second cooldown ability that's off the GCD. All other spells that had a soul shard cost no longer need a shard. Once you use this, currently dubbed 'Soul Burn' spell it will power up your next spell. These are the spells it affects so far:

Fear - Makes it instant
Death Coil - Longer horror time, and a larger heal
Summoning - Instant
Soul Fire - Instant
Searing Pain - Next three will crit

These look very neat, and will definitely make soul shards fun. I'm definitely looking forward to whatever comes out from the class panels.

With regards to itemization, they've also made some rather drastic changes. For one, spellpower is gone. Instead, intellect will provide spellpower, along with mana of course. We also won't be needing spirit anymore, which in a way I wasn't too happy about. I enjoy juggling many different stats.

That's all I've heard for warlocks so far. I'll stay tuned tomorrow and post anything new I hear.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Belfip keeps getting in the way!

It's come to my attention that some readers running on smaller resolutions are having some clipping issues with Belfip in the top left. Most notable of these are people that check their bloglines from their Blackbird or Iphone. I'll work a bit on the layout this weekend and try and get some stuff sorted. Apologies for any inconvenience Belfip may have caused, he's never been a good imp.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The raptor hunt

So far 3.2 has given us some awesome new stuff, the largest obviously being the new raid. However there's something else in the latest patch that few people seem to have noticed; the new raptor pets.

Sure not everyone is a pet collector, but I enjoy the company of a little anything when soloing, especially something that randomly darts off into the distance, or leaps towards you with a ferocious battle shriek.

The patch has introduced eight of these awesome pets, of which so far I've obtained six. Even as I'm typing this post the seventh raptor is eluding me. Here are some screenshots of the ones I've gotten so far, along with where you can get them.

Darting Hatchling
From Dart, a rare mob in the north part of Dustwallow Marsh
Randomly darts around the area when idle

Deviate Hatchling
From the raptors inside Wailing Caverns

Leaping Hatchling
From Takk the Leaper, a rare mob in the northeastern part of The Barrens
Occasionally runs off and fiercely leaps back to you

Obsidian Hatchling
From Breanni in Dalaran for 40g with faction discount

Ravasaur Hatchling
From Ravasaur Matriarch, a rare spawn in southeastern Un'Goro Crater

Razormaw Hatchling
From Razormaw Matriarch, a rare mob found in the cave in northeastern Wetlands

Now I only need two more to have all the raptor pets. One is the Gundrak Hatchling, which has a very low droprate from the raptors in Zul'Drak. I've killed about 500 so far and still nothing. The last pet is the Razzashi Hatchling, another rare drop from the raptors inside Zul'Gurub. So far I didn't manage to kill a single raptor without getting killed first, as they come in packs of ten or so. I will however go in with my Death Knight once I get the Gundrak Hatchling and farm without dying!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Wilfred

Yes you, Wilfred Fizzlebang. You really did fizzle out this time.

You're a disgrace to warlocks, and to gnomes. You enter the arena acting all high and mighty with your large ego. You tell us about the large fearsome doomguard you're going to summon, but use the wrong spell. Go back to level 60 and do the proper quests.

But you weren't done there were you? Nope. Not only did you get the spell wrong, but you couldn't even control the Eredar Lord you summoned. Honestly now, Belfip would've been a harder raid boss than Lord Jaraxxus, and I've been controlling Belfip since level 1.

On the other hand, this over sized pimple you summoned did drop some good loot for me and my friends, and for that I must thank you. At least your life wasn't a complete waste.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The UI revamp; Part 2

I've been working at at for most of the day. Some elements still resemble the package I was using, but so far I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out.

Pitbull4 was really the most annoying to configure. I preferred the simple config layout of Pitbull3 much more. I was going to use the cast bar addon itself to show target auras, but it didn't have a proper filtering system and showed stuff like Aftermath, which is useless for raiding. I ended up going with a separate addon and get it looking as close as possible to the cast bar.

Next thing I'll work on is the stuff on the sides; minimap, chat, omen.. that stuff. Did I mention recount? When I'm done with everything, I'll start the fine tuning the colours, which will probably take months.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The UI revamp

So today I decided to make a bold move. I deleted my Interface and WTF folders, and emptied the recycle bin. I will stop using UI packages and instead make my own. Starting from scratch! The two aims behind this whole thing are to stop relying on updates for the UI packages I use every patch, and to learn to properly configure addons.

The biggest challenge right now is that I want to make a UI that's gonna cater to all my alts, as well as Iriya. It also needs to be somewhat usable before my next raid. I started with a short list that I'll expand as stuff goes along to keep track of what I need.
  • Raid Leading
  • Raiding
  • Action Bars
  • Unit Frames
  • Cast Bar
  • Timers
  • OPie
  • Map
  • Buffs
  • Tooltips
  • Chat
  • Styling Addons
When taking the screenshot above I kept trying to summon Belfip using /cast summon Belfip, since I had no keybinds. It took me 5 minutes to realise why it wasn't working.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To the death knights, warriors and paladins

Please stop needing on anything that's plate and has strength on it. Tanks get upset when you take their +defense gear. Also, the trinket that increases your armour by 7000, fair enough, increases your AP by ~200, but there's one that increases your AP by 1000, and I'm sure you'd rather have that.

P.S. it also makes you look like an idiot.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not one, but two worms

So we stepped into the Coliseum today with a full raid, surprisingly, and we did eventually get the bosses down. While it wasn't difficult once we figured out the mechanics it was definitely new and exciting. Here's a quick rundown of what you're gonna be doing as a warlock in the Northrend Beasts encounter.

  • Nuke the snobolds hitching a ride on fellow member's backs.
  • Stay away from said fellow raid members.
  • Keep a 15yd distance between you and the boss.

Acidmaw and Dreadscale

Here's where things get different. These two worms both do a different type of attack; Acidmaw casts Paralytic Toxin that eventually slow you down then stuns you, while Dreadscale casts Burning Bile, which just does periodic damage. The catch is that they neutralize each other. The easier kill order is Acidmaw then Dreadscale, one gets a 50% damage done buff when the other one dies but it's not much of a problem on the normal mode.

During the first phase Dreadscale will be mobile whilst Acidmaw will be stationary. They both need to be tanked, but the mobile worm will cast his debuff on the tank, and the stationary one will cast it on random raid members. Therefore in the first phase random raid members will be getting the toxin that eventually stuns them. If this is you, you have to run to the tank tanking Dreadscale who'll have the burning bile debuff. This will neutralize the poison.

After a few minutes, both worms submerge and reappear. They swap roles in the way that now Acidmaw is mobile. This means the tank will be getting the paralysis poison. Random raid members will now be getting the burning bile debuff, who have to run it to the tank to get rid of the poison.

Rinse and repeat until they're both dead. Once Acidmaw dies all you have to do is heal through the burning bile debuff as there will be no more poisons.

Oh and stay out of the poison clouds.


Another straightforward, but still enjoyable boss. Force your tank to drag him to the middle and spread out around him. Every now and then he knocks the entire raid to the walls, looks at someone and charges at them. If it's you, you're smart enough to read this blog and know that you have to move. But anyone else is gonna get hit, and die. You could also be a nice warlock and tell people to move, then the boss crashes into the wall and gets stunned. At that point he takes 100% more damage so you can stay on top of the meters. It's a win/win however evil you decide to be.


So a certain mage in the guild who never admits how aweome I am and links recount to me when he beats be because I was busy thinking of posts for the blog finally admits it. He was having problems, disconnecting as soon as he logged in and such. Now I'll make this clear, I only helped him to stop the login spam, not because I like him. So of course, being the genius that I am solve the problem. I'll give you a warning in advance Chillout. I'm gonna be linking this post to you every chance I get.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Patch 3.2 tomorrow

So it's been confirmed that 3.2 will be applied during the downtime tomorrow, and it wasn't really a surprise after the Frenchies leaked all over the place. There aren't really any interesting warlock changes to boot, none that will change our dps rotations or whatnot. In a way I'd rather there was at least some very minor change that would leave us with something else to do. It'll probably get boring doing the same things we did in Ulduar all over again in the new raid. I actually haven't seen much of the PTR live streams, so I don't know what they're like, but I'm hoping that it won't be the same mechanics over and over again.

The most game affecting change from what I've heard is the resilience one and what it's gonna do to warlocks. I've seen various people starting to whine about how awesome we're gonna be in PvP, and it wasn't worded like that, it was more like "omg you killed me in 1v1 after I've been owning you for the past 7 months, nerf". It's definitely gonna make me try out some battlegrounds again, and by battlegrounds I mean the new Isle of Conquest.

I've been a fan of the whole vehicle combat thing since the release of Wrath. Malygos P3 was awesome. I think FL would be one of the funner bosses in Ulduar if he wasn't so easily tuned. The way they seem to have integrated ground combat with the whole vehicle thing in the IoC seems to be an act of genius and it's probably because one of the developers plays a warlock. How else would you explain it?

The first thing I'll do tomorrow is go to the Alchemy trainer and get the new transmutes, and after that try out the new 5man. We'll be doing the new raid that evening as well, seeing as Wednesdays are raid days for us. Realm Firsts will be out of reach, as I'm sure those 'awesomer' (recruit a billion players at the start of wrath and have 100 people sitting out every night. Yes I'm exaggerating but it's mostly true) guilds will be trying to log on as soon as possible. And there's probably gonna be some more photoshopped screenshots.. like anyone cares.

That's all I have to say really. To all you raiders, good luck in the Crusaders' Coliseum, I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No post today

So enjoy this picture of me dancing as a voodoo cow. With Belfip.

As a sidenote, feel free to send me an e-mail with any questions you might have and I'll gladly answer them. There's a link at the top of the side bar.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quartz hack you have to get

I guess it's time for me to impart some little secrets of mine.

If you've ever been an affliction warlock for a while you know the importance of cutting your drain soul channel at the right time to get the most out of those beautiful 15k ticks. You might think you're awesome enough to just know it off by heart when your next tick is gonna be, but let's be honest here, only I'm good enough to do that.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this fix puts vertical lines on your cast bar showing you when the next damage tick will happen. Due to server lag you can cut off the channel just a bit before that line, and nukage still happens.

Now that you know what it does, you need to know how to install it. The creator has updated the file a bit so all you have to do is unzip it into your addons folder, so without further delays, here it is.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Draenic Pale Ale

For those of you who are part of the Brew of the Month club, you're in for a treat this August. Those of you who aren't, I honestly pity you.. in an evil warlocky way. Go to your local supplier and grab a few bottles of Draenic Pale Ale. Drink them up to your heart's evil content and enjoy the ride ...hic!