Blog Articles by keyword: raiding
by Tachyon on Sun. 20. November 2011, 11:45
Filed under: cataclysm, guide, strategy, deathwing, dragon soul, raiding
Welcome to the 2nd part of the Dragon Soul raid tactics. If you've missed the first part (Siege of Wyrmrest Temple), you might want to read that first for tactics on Morchock, Warlord Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping and Hagara the Stormbinder.
This fight is a tank-and-spank fight, where especially healers and tanks have to deal with the increasing damage done by this boss. The buffs granted by the dragon aspects (crystals, only one can be active on each player) grants the healers more healing power.
Tanks gain a buff from Thrall, reducing defensive cooldowns by 50% and increasing the duration of defensive abilities by 100%.
The dragon aspects will summon crystals behind the raid in regular intervals. Those are meant to be used by the healers, every healer can have one (and only one) buff for the entire duration of the fight.
- Red crystal (Alexstrazsa): increases healing done by 100%
- Green crystal (Ysera): causes all healing done to be duplicated and distributed evenly amongst the raid
- Blue crystal (Kalecgos): reduces mana cost by 75%, and haste by 100%.
The fight takes place on two realms: normal and twilight. Players get a bar with a spell button for Heroic Will in the lower center of the screen, which will allow to escape them from the twilight realm for 5sec, butrenders them unable to do anything until they're back in the twilight realm. Some addons may cause problems by obscuring the bar with the special button, so better make a macro for that:
All players gain a Timeloop buff by Nozdormu, which prevents death once (instead of dying, you'll lose the buff and your health is filled up).
- Boss explodes if he's not killed within 6 minutes, so it's also a DPS race (also because his damage increases steadily during the fight)
- Hour of Twilight: tanks stay in twilight realm and use defensive cooldowns to survive this, all other players escape to the normal realm.
- Fading Light: Ultraxion applies this debuff to 1(10)/ 3(25) players. You need to leave the twilight realm using Heroic Will ~2 seconds before the buff expires, otherwise the explosion will kill you.
Also known as: Lootship. The fight starts with waves of two meele attackers and drakes, which need to be killed, before in phase 2 Blackhorn and his drake Goriona enter the fight.
- Kill adds (Sappers need to die quickly), casters focus on the drakes
- Twilight Onslaught: large swirly patches on ship the ship, this is where Goronia's next attack hits. Enough players need to stand in them to soak up the damage (otherwise the damage hits the ship, and if you lose the ship you're dead).
- Phase 2: Kill Blackhorn and Goriona (drake, will eventually fly away), casters and healers need to stand at least 10y away because of disrupting roar
- Twilight Flames: Goriona casts purple (non-swirly) void zones on the deck of the ship, don't stand in them as they deal massive damage
Spine of Deathwing
After defeating Blackhorn and talking to the NPC on the Lootship, you get ported to the back of Deathwing, where the fight immediately begins.
Be warned: this fight can get quite chaotic, make sure everyone on the raids knows exactly what to do.
- Kill one of the four Corruption Tentacles. Each killed tentacle leaves an open wound on Deathwing, from which adds (large Hideous Amalgamations and small Corrupted Bloods) will spawn.
- Killing Corrupted Bloods near an Amalgamation give it an Absorbed Blood buff. Bring the Amalgamation low, but don't kill it before it has 9 stacks of absorbed blood. Once the Amalgamation has 9 stacks, it will do heavy AoE damage, so meele should step aside and let the ranged classes kill it.
- The Amalgamation will cast Nuclear Blast upon its death, which pries open an elementium plate and exposes a Burning Tendron within. Nuke and kill it quickly before it finishes casting Seal Armor Breach. Once it is dead, another armor plate is removed, exposing two additional Corruption Tentacles.
- Kill the next Corruption to spawn another Amalgamation, and proceed as with the first one.
- The fight is won after 3 Burning Tendrons are killed.
Madness of Deathwing
The final fight against Deathwing takes place at the Maelstrom. There are four platforms around it where players can stand, and each platform is supported by one of the dragon aspects. The platforms are, from left to right:
- RED (Alexstrazsa, presence: +20% health)
- YELLOW (Nozdormu, presence: +20% haste)
- GREEN (Ysera, presence: +20% healing done)
- BLUE (Kalecgos, presence: +20% damage done)
The recommended platform order is Green->Yellow->Red->Blue. This lets you profit from the +20% dmg buff the longest, and you only have to deal with the Blistering Tentacles on the last platform.
On each platform:
- Attack tentacle
- Switch to Mutated Corruption as soon as it appears
- When Elementium Bolt is cast, target and kill it quickly. Step away from its impact location, as damage you take is lower the further away you stand. Use the 'Dream' ability before it impacts (until you've done Ysera's platform). A '/target Elementium Bolt' macro is recommended.
- Kill small adds (Blistering Tentacles, Regenerative Bloods)
- When the Mutated Corruption is slain, switch back to the tentacle and kill it (if you don't kill it fast enough, Deathwing's Cataclysm spell will wipe your raid)
- After killing the tentacle, proceed to the next platform
Each platform gets a litte harder, as you lose the support of a dragon aspect once you've done his or her platform. The Elementium Bolt is really fast after you've done Nozdormu's platform, so be careful to step outside its impact location immediately when it's cast. After Alexstrszas' platform, you've got to kill the Blistering Tentacles by yourself (this has top priority, failing to kill them fast enough is a common wipe cause), and depending on your setup you might want to use bloodlust/heroism/timewarp here. The Blistering Tentacles spawn when the platform tentacle is at 75%/50%/25% health. On the PTR it seemed like the Blistering Tentacles are immune to AoE damage, so you might want to focus kill them.
After the 4 platforms, go back to the first (where you started), and attack Deathwing. Adds will also spawn also in this phase, kill the first add waves but remember to focus on killing Deathwing quickly (tanking and ignoring the last waves), this phase is a pure DPS race.
by Tachyon on Fri. 18. November 2011, 20:43
Filed under: cataclysm, guide, strategy, deathwing, dragon soul, raiding
The Public Test Realm offers a good occasion to get a sneek preview of the upcoming raid dungeons. In patch 4.3, we get three new 5men dungones, and a new raid dungeon called Dragon Soul, where we finally face Deathwing himself.
Patch 4.3 also offers a new PUG-feature for raid instances, with slightly downgraded difficulty and loot: Looking for Raid. Players can participate in LFR multiple times a week, but only roll for loot the first time a boss is beaten. Nevertheless, the LFR invite pops up really fast (only 2 tanks needed per 25men raid, so it's way faster than LFG) and it's a hell of a lot of fun to do for casual raiders and twinks.
Now that I've done Dragon Soul (normal and LFR) almost daily over the last two weeks, I decided to sum up the strategies and tactics we have established and tested successfully, in the hope to help you get through the instance without worries.
The Dragon Soul entrance lies the Caverns of Time in Tanasris (as do the 5men instances, by the way). Once you enter you stand in front of Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight, ready to face the first boss after about three trash packs.
Morchock is the first and one of the easiest encounters, to the point where you could consider him 'freeloot'.
- Positioning: huddle up behind Boss (so the Stomp damage splits between all Players)
- Crystal Orb: Morchock summons a red crystal that explodes after 12 seconds. The 3/8 Players standing nearest to the crystal get connected to it with a yellow line, and need to run quickly to the crystal to soak up the damage (damage is larger the further you stand away from the crystal, the line turns blue if you stand close enought)
- Spikes: when the spikes arrive, take cover behind them from Black Ooze that follows shortly after (black stuff that floats on the ground). Casters should position themselves between two spikes so they can continue casting during Black Ooze.
- Another stomp will follow after the ooze goes away, don't return too early or you might get killed by the stomp (unless you're in LFR difficulty)
Tank turns boss away from the raid (Psychic Drain cone AoE, 30° angle).
Make two camps: one ranged, one meele, and mark them with symbols.
- Focused Anger stacks on tank as boss attacks, reduces healing received
- Void of the Unmaking: The Void Orb travels outside, and can be reflected by players. When the void touches the boss, it gets consumed and resets the Focused Anger stacks, but the boss will do a Black Blood AoE for a short time, dealing heavy damage to all players (so huddle up in your camp to make it easier for the healers). During that phase, players also deal more damage, depending on how many times the void was reflected.
- Obviously you want to reflect the void a few times to benefit from the damage buff, but not too often because you need to reset the Focused Anger debuff on the tank. The void travels outside, so the first reflection has to be done by a member of the ranged camp. The next reflect is then done by the meele camp, and so on.
- 5 reflections is a good number to start with: Ranged(1) -> Meele(2) -> Ranged(3) -> Meele(4) -> Ranged(5) -> Meele step aside and tank turns the boss in the way of the void orb so it gets consumed.
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
You need only one tank, as the Void Bolt debuff (reduced healing on the tank, stacks) resets when you kill a globule.
- Boss summons 3 out of 6 possible globues (randomly).Kill one globule, the one that's most threatening (you can't kill more than one, after you killed the first, the other two will fuse, rendering them immune to all damage, which means the boss will gain two effects).
- Kill order: Purple > Green > Yellow/Blue
- Cobalt ( Blue): Spawns a void sphere, which drains your mana, and returns it to all targets within 18y if you kill it. Not very threatening, but annoying for your healers and casters
- Crimson ( Red): Huddle up, massive AoE dmg that has to be healed through, use heal cooldowns
- Glowing ( Yellow): Boss attacks faster (60%), abilities used twice as often
- Dark ( Black): Summons adds that fixate players, AoE kill them quickly
- Acidic ( Green): Acid splash damage to single players, spread out (at least 4y away from other players)
- Shadowed ( Purple): Every 5th heal or absorbtion effect causes a heavy explosion in the raid (so stop healing during deep corruption). This is the most dangerous effect here, so killing this globule has top priority. Healers should be aware that the same effect occurs when you fight them as trash.
Hagara the Stormbinder
Hagara has alternating phases (normal, frost, normal, lightning, normal, and so on).
- Ice Lance: deals damage to a player (Beam), has to be healed through (mild damage). Other players have to stay away from the beams (especially where they intersect). Players with beams on them walk away from the other players a bit, towards the source of the beam.
- Ice Tombs: Trap players, have to be killed
- Focused Assault: channeled, deals heavy damage, but tank can just walk out of it.
- Boss is immune during this phase
- Ice Wave: 4 ice waves, spread apart in an 90° angle, rotate around the boss (clockwise), and must be avoided. They grow from the center to the perimeter before they start rotating, make sure you position yourself between two of them before it's to late.
- Run clockwise around the boss, stay away from the impact locations where ice meteors will rain down (blue area on ground)
- 4 Binding crystals (~totems, on N/E/S/W) that have to be killed to remove the boss' shield, so she can be interrupted to end this phase
- Frost Flake needs to be dispelled (leaves behind a frost trap that must be avoided)
- Crystal Conductors which have to be energized to end this phase
- 1 (LFR difficulty)/2 adds spawn, kill them on crystal conductors (on opposite ends of the platform) to energize 2 crystal conductors. Players standing nearby will get hit by an ongoing chain lightning, players have to reposition in a way the chain lightning passes through them into passive crystal conductors to activate them and end the lightning phase.
As this is my favourite boss in the first part of Dragon Soul, I made a video I'd like to share with you, hope you like it (watch it on Youtube for FullHD)
Coming up next: tactics to the 2nd part of Dragon Soul, with Ultraxion, Warmaster Blackhorn, Spine and Madness of Deathwing.
by Tachyon on Fri. 12. November 2010, 11:20
Filed under: addon, cataclysm, raidingThe latest Cataclysm beta build includes new visuals for raid markers. Instead of just a floating icon billboard, the markers are now visualized with glowing columns and the icon hovering up and down.
Apparently the markers can now also be set as ground target, might help a lot in coordinating raid positions. We used smoke flares for that purpose in the Sindragos fight, good to finally see built-in support for that, especially when raid addons can set the markers. I hope the markers can still be set on individual targets, I would miss that.
by Tachyon on Sun. 29. August 2010, 23:34
Filed under: icecrown, raiding, achievement, mount
Hell yes! I'm sitting on my first 310% speed mount, and I'm loving it!
We reached the (infamous) 11/12 ICC 25 HC state by end of July, and started doing the achievements for the Glory of the Icecrown Raider meta achievement. Our raid leader, Xester, does an excellent job (thanks dude!) tracking the achievement progress for our raid members, so all raid member gets a chance to obtain the mount.
Now only two bosses remain before we can claim to have the raid content clear: the Lich King in 25 HC, and Halion the Twilight Destroyer in 25 HC. As we're doing the meta achievement right now for half of the raid nights, we decided to attempt Halion first. Hope we manage to slay them both before the Cataclysm, that would be the first time I have the content clear when the next expansion hits.
No news from the theorycrafting/simulation front though, as I still have no beta key, and even then the talents and spell mechanics seem to change on a weekly base, it's way to early to conclude something; all we can do is wait for the 4.0 patch, and enjoy our last months of Northrend raiding.
by Tachyon on Wed. 14. April 2010, 02:20
Filed under: fire, guide, raiding, spec, talents, featuredFirst and foremost, Fire was always my least favourite mage tree. Deep in my heart, I still am a Frost mage (/curses Blizzard for completely ruining it as a raid spec), and have fun raiding with an Arcane spec.
But as my guild is stuck in progress at the Lich King, I had to take desperate measures to optimize my contribution to this particular fight. In other words:
I'm raiding with fire and flames at the moment.
According to Kamigami Tools, Fire is now (since 3.3.3.) up to par with Arcane on some ICC 25 fights (especially Professor Putricide and Sindragosa), and even outperforms Arcane on the Lich King fight (and some other fights in heroic ICC too).
This quick and dirty written guide aims at experienced players who want (or have to) give Fire a try. I suggest reading my Arcane Mage Guide also, as all the stuff I don't mention here (gems, enchants, gear planning, faster casting) are mentioned there.
first mage participating in the heroic ICC Lich King kill only differs by one point, so I think there's not much room to negotiate
Endgame Fire Raiding Spec:
As a fire mage, you have no talents to increase your hit rating. If you assume that you have 3% hit from raid buffs, you need to get the missing 14% (or 13% if spacegoats are in your raid) from your gear. That's 367 hit rating, which should not be hard to get.
Stats priority (updated!)
Hit Rating (until cap) > Crit Rating > Spell Power > Haste > Spirit > Int
Spell Priority System
Fire doesn't use dynamic rotations like Arcane. There's not even a fixed rotation, but rather you will decide what spell to use next using a priority system:
- Priority 1: Keep Improved Scorch up
Improved Scorch lasts 30 seconds, and increases the spell crit chance on the target by 5% for all casters. Warlocks' Improved Shadow Bolt has the same effect, and doesn't stack with Improved Scorch, so if warlocks in your raid have Shadow Bolt in their rotation, you can forget about applying the Scorch debuff.
- Priority 2: Keep Living Bomb up
Living bomb does great damage on your target, especially when other targets get hit by the splash damage at the end. Remember that the huge damage comes at the end, so when your target is likely to die within 12 seconds, it's not worth (re-)appying it.
- Priority 3: Use your Hot Streak procs
Hot Streak procs allow you to cast instant Pyros after two subsequent nonperiodic crits with fire spells. The biggest issue here is Ingite Munching, which causes the system to forget to bank the ignite of one spell if two fire spells crit more or less simultanousely. If you have at least two pieces of the Tier10 set, consuming the Hot Streak proc will give your 5 seconds of +12% spell haste (of which 1 global cooldown is wasted, at least 1 second), this makes it worth using at least when the haste buff isn't up. The pyros are mana consuming, if you ever run into mana problems you may want to use the instant pyros less often.
- Priority 4: Fireball chaincasting
If you use TellMeWhen, you might want to watch for following procs/debuffs/cooldowns:
- Hot Streak: Buff, Player, When present, Timer
- Improved Scorch: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer
- Living Bomb: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer, only if cast by self
- Ignite: Debuff, Target, When present, Timer, only if cast by self
- Combustion: Cooldown, Spell or Ability, When usable, Timer
This macro lets you cast Living Bomb on the target under your mouse pointer, or if nothing there, on your selected target. Very handy to apply Living Bomb on multiple units without having to lose your current target!
#showtooltip Living Bomb
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,exists,nodead] Living Bomb; Living Bomb
Keeping up Living Bomb on multiple targets isn't that easy, but fortunately there's a nice little addon that helps here:
Living Bomb Tracker shows a little tooltip when hovering with your mouse cursor over a target, showing whether Living Bomb is applied and how much time is left ticking before you can reapply it.
Ignite is a core mechanic you are expected to understand if you raid with fire.
Whenever one of your fire spells crits, it will do 40% of that damage as DoT (Damage over Time). On a single crit, there will be two Ingite ticks, the first after 2sec, the second after 4sec, both doing 20% of the direct damage component of the spell that crit. If other spell crits happen when there's still Ignite damage to tick, the new Ingite damage is added to the amount that is left to tick, and the timer starts anew to tick after 2/4 seconds.
Example 1: Single crit
t=0sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=2sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=4sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (the rest), Ignite debuff expires on the target.
Example 2: Multiple crits
t=0sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=2sec, Ignite ticks for 200 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=2.5 sec, Pyro crits for 1500 damage. 600 damage (40%) is added to the bank. Ignite timer is reset
t=4.5sec, Ignite ticks for 400 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=5sec, Fireball crits for 1200 damage. 480 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=6sec, Fireball crits for 1000 damage. 400 damage (40%) is added to the Ignite bank.
t=8sec, Ignite ticks for 640 damage (half of what's on the bank)
t=10sec, Ignite ticks for 640 damage (the rest), Ignite debuff expires on the target.
This effect of banking Ignite damage is called 'Rolling Ignites'. Back in the classic days, there was only one Ignite bank per unit, so fire mages all added to the same pool. If their crit chance or number was high enough, Ignites could roll for a very long time, increasing the size of the ticks and causing aggro problems to the fire mage which caused the last crit. In vanilla WoW, once Ignite was applied it ticked every 2 seconds until it expired. The damage of the first tick was not substracted, but instead each tick was meant to do half of the banked damage. If rolling ignites occurred, the new Ignite damage was banked to the initial damage and the tick timer was reset to 2, so any damage from the first tick could tick again. This bug caused the banked damage to grow to massive dimensions sometimes, and was a hidden damage boost of fire mages. That had been fixed with patch 2.0, giving each player its own ignite bank slot, substracting any damage ticks and resetting the timer when a new crit occured.
What this means for you: be aware that not all your damage is unloaded directly, and subsequent crits can delay the dot damage (theoretically ad infinitum). Any Ignite damage still banked when your target dies is lost, this is part of the reason fire specs are atrocious for levelling or any target that doesn't live long enough (such as the Ice Spheres in the Lich King fight).
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If there's anything you think should be added, drop me a note in the comments. Now go and RELEASE THE BURNING KRAKEN!
by Tachyon on Thu. 15. October 2009, 01:15
Filed under: raiding, itemsToday's raid evening came with a little distraction: my 10 years old cousine is visiting with us this week and decided that watching me raid in WoW was more interesting than watching TV with my wife.
Throughout the whole evening she was very courious about all the things going on and what this and that person or class or raid mob did, so I was double-tasking my way through ToC 25, Vault of Archavon 25 and Onyxia 25, trying not to mess up and pay attention to the raid while listening to and answering her questions carefully at the same time. Needless to say I was too distracted to even attempt to talk to my guildies on Ventrillo, as I was explaining the class roles and stuff going on in the encounters to my cousine (who told me how fascinating she finds the hair styles of the priestesses and female warlocks, and look at that cute little imp!, while I did my best nodding and agreeing to what she said while trying to dodge the white and black spheres on Twin Val'kyrs and to not to mess up my DPS completely).
Yet she must have brought an aura of good luck, as on that evening not only Reign of the Dead (finally!), Skyweaver Vestments and Sandals of the Mourning Widow dropped for me, but I also won Reins of the Grand Black War Mammoth out of sheer luck (to be honest, I even was so distracted that I didn't even know what I've rolled for, I only rolled because everyone else did, but don't tell my guildies, *gg*).
If painting a bull's eye on your forehead with selfluminent neon markers and signaling 'hit me' dual wielding neon tubes in a Battleground doesn't do the job, try THIS! Perfect for sneaking up (the way glaciers do, but more in regards to the size than the speed). What's missing is two buttons on the mammoth handle, one for a big horn (HOOOOOONK!) and the other for the two ejector seats to deal with the stowaways.
By the way, after the raid I let my cousine create a character (blood elf priestess she chose) so she could play with the hair styles and do some starter quests before going to bed.
Now that I have Reign of the Dead, I'm puzzled on what to chose as second trinket, and can't decide between the Abyssal Rune (iLvl 200, 84 Haste Rating, 25% proc chance to get 590 spellpower for 10 sec, 45 sec internal cooldown) and the Talisman of Resurgence (iLvl 245, 128 intellect, on use: 599 spellpower for 20 sec, 2 min cooldown).
With the Abyssal Rune I'm now on 835 haste rating (25.47% haste, with talents: 31.47%) at 2686 spellpower selfbuffed.
Holy highspeed, Batman!
What combination would you take? Any advice?
by Tachyon on Thu. 27. August 2009, 23:12
Filed under: raiding, progress, guildJust a quick update on our raiding progress: whilst we had some problem getting the raids together and move efficiently through Ulduar in 3.1 (due to many members leaving and new members joining the guild), we're progressing actually very well in Trial of the Crusader (or 'the new ini', as everyone calls it in lack of a better name).
Yesterday we managed to cut through all 4 boss encounters that have been activated so far: Northrend Beasts, Lord Jaraxxus, Faction Champions (which gave us some headache in the beginning) and the Twin Val'kyrs within an hour or so in the 25 men version, and after that also in the 10 man version.
Being able to clear it twice on a single evening is quite nice and left us some time to concentrate on killing Yogg-Saron, which we actually managed for the first time this very evening:
Yes, we're late on killing him/her, but it feels relieving to finally have Ulduar clear (not speaking of Algalon, though)
by Tachyon on Mon. 03. August 2009, 12:52
Filed under: raiding, alchemy
Flasking isn't checked that rigorously anymore in our raid, and when it is there are always some voices, of one warlock in particular, that claim that taking Flasks wouldn't be necessary on farm content. I have to admit he's basically right, especially when considering that he's a very talented player and excellent DPSer, but from a team perspective I think he's wrong.
The flasks boost your stats (Spellpower for casters or healers, Attack Power for meele DPS, Mana Regeneration for healers and Health for tanks) only marginally.
Raidbuffed I'm somewhere in the regions of 2500 spell power, and the Flask of the Frost Wyrm adds 125 on top of that, which is only 5% (the ratio used to be higher in vanilla WoW or Burning Crusade).
Flasks add a save margin
Does this make or break an encounter? It honestly shouldn't, and the cases where it does are rather rare (basically any <5% wipe). But that's only the DPS side, don't forget that healers and tanks also use flasks, and that can avoid wipes too on some occasions. Consider the flasks as a save margin between your raid and all the random mess that can (and will) happen when not everything works out optimally.
The warlock I mentioned is one of our top DPSers, in fact his DPS is high enough to support the raid in any non-hardmode encounter without having to take a flask. But what he often forgets is that we're a team, and the top DPS players have to compensate for the underperforming DPSers (who do half of his DPS sometimes) as well. The stong support the weak and help them to become better, that should be the maxime of any team.
Flasks may not make or break encouters, but what they do is add a faster pace to your raid. If you tear through trash and farm bosses faster, it yields you more time for the bosses that aren't on farm yet.
Concentration & Commitment
The strongest benefit of flasking is, if you ask me, the psychological component.
Flasks cost money. On one raid evening, easily about a hundred gold. Taking a flask is therefore also a commitment to spend the flasked time productively, to not to go afk all the time and leave your raid waiting, to get ready quickly before each pull and even more so after each wipe. It can add the determination to bring down bosses and trash mobs fast and spend you raiding time as productive as you can.
Too bad that Fish Feasts were introduced, as having to eat your own buff food before each try served more of a reminder to do it right next time.
All in all, your raid probably doesn't need flasks, but they can save time and help you focus on efficiency. Given that you can easily farm the costs of a raid (flasks and repair costs) with a few daily quests (the Argent Tournament ones are completed in half an hour and net ~133g), not taking a flask should be out of discussion if you're dedicated to raiding.
by Tachyon on Sat. 18. April 2009, 14:05
Filed under: raiding, ulduarAfter having defeated the Flame Leviathan, Razorscale and the XT-002 Deconstructor, we tried our luck at Ignis the Furnace Master.
He's definitely one of the harder early bosses in 10man Ulduar, and same can be said about the trash packs that guard his entrance, who wiped us quite a lot.
Dealing with his Iron Construct adds and melting them in the scorched areas is quite challenging, as it takes 20 stacks of the fire debuff to melt a construct. The stack is increased every second the add is exposed to fire, and decrease every second outside.
We ended up with too many constructs in every try, and only in the last try we were able to melt and shatter two of them. Finally we postponed the boss and moved on to another one:
He's huge and likes to scare poor raiders by suddenly popping out from behind the riff he's standing in, really, I almost spilled my coffee when he popped out of nothing and from one second to the other filled the entire 26'' of my screen.
Kologarn has two arms (seriously!). The special thing here is that both of them can be targeted individually. His right arm (that's the one you see on the left as you're facing him) likes to pick a random raid member and squash him until you do a certain amout of damage to the arm. Once the arm falls off, little adds will spawn that have to be killed. His other arm (the left one you see on the right, well, you see with the degree of confusion we had to deal when discussing the tactic on VT) just swings and deals a little damage, nothing to worry about.
The tricky thing about Kologarn is his nasty Eye Beam, but I'm sure we will be able to deal with it a little better next time.
We finally managed to kill him in a rather chaotic fight, but see for yourselves:
by Tachyon on Fri. 17. April 2009, 17:35
Filed under: Ulduar, Raiding, XT-002Wednesday was patch day, and I quickly got ready for raiding (decided on my specs and bought my glyphs in advance). The entire server (EU-Destromath) was heavily populated, so it was quite laggy for the entire evening.
We first headed into heroic Ulduar, and soon we were cruising on our demolishers, tanks and choppers to devastate hordes of trash mobs. Just as all trash was cleared, the server decided it was a good time to take a nap and left us hanging in the instance for over half an hour. Loggin out was impossible, so all that was left for us was to CTRL-F4 our laggy backs out. The server crashed zone by zone, and it took quite a while for it to come up again.
The first boss, Flame Leviathan, fell in the first attempt. We then went on to Razorscale, where we made a few attempts util the servers crashed again.
Yesterday we built 2 groups for normal mode Ulduar, but decided to try to kill Emalon the Stone Keeper (or Stone Watcher? whatever.) in Lake Wintergrasp first. The boss wasn't as easy as it looked like, and the group didn't seem to be focussed enough to bring down the enraging adds in time, so *boom* and *boom* again we wiped like flees. At 9 pm we gave up and went to Ulduar.
First boss lay in the first try, no big deal. Razorscale was also doable after we adjusted our tactic a few times (stay back, split in two camps, iterrupt the adds that cast chain lightning, and sheep them when the dragon is pulled down).
The last boss we tried was XT-002 Deconstructor. Soon we realized that it wasn't easy killing a boss with 6M HP in 6 min when we had to move often (bombs!) and with 3 interrupt phases where we had to deal with the adds.
It turned out that we misinterpreted the tactic (we only read that killing the heart enters hard mode, but didn't think of just damaging it without killing it at first).
After adjusting the tactic, we brougth it down to 6% and killed it in the next attempt.
I happened to made a video of our XT-002 kill just for the fun of it, so enjoy
All in all, my first impression of Uludar is that it's well tuned and well designed, and it's definitely one of my favourite instances in the game (it kind of reminds me of AQ20 with its vast open areas, I'm already curious what awaits us with the next bosses).
by Tachyon on Thu. 16. April 2009, 13:17
Filed under: ulduar, raiding
Gratz to Ensidia for being the first guild to defeat Yogg-Saron, the end boss in the new Ulduar raid instance.
The US guilds got a head start yesterday (10 bosses in Ulduar down at the time the 3.1 patch went live on the EU realms ), but Ensidia among other EU guilds managed to catch up this night. Seing more than 5 guilds doing attempts on the Ulduar end boss simultaniously was very entertaining, and I almost(!) felt sorry for the poor chaps banging their heads against the encounter.
I also wondered how long it would take them to find out if the boss was even killable at all (reminded me of C'thun in AQ40), and if not, to cancel the raid and get some sleep.
But in the end all ended well, and Ensidia (formerly known as 25th November, formerly known as Nihilum comprised of former members of Nihilum and Curse) can claim yet another world first content clear (though they skipped the optional bosses such as Algalon, so there's still some content left).
by Tachyon on Fri. 20. February 2009, 00:22
Filed under: arcane, spec, raiding, dps, patch, theorycraftingIn part 2 of this series, we introduced the theorycrafting basics to calculate the average DPS for the single target arcane spells, as well as the DPM. Now let's look into possible spell rotations.
The arcane spec allows to dynamically tweak the DPS/DPM depending on how many subsequent Arcane Blasts are cast.
The Arcane Blast debuff
Remember that Arcane Blast applies a stackable debuff (up to 3 times), which increases the damage of the next arcane spell by 15% (18% with the Arcane Blast glyph) per stack, but also increases the mana cost of the next Arcane Blast by 200%.
Casting Arcane Missiles or Arcane Barrage will consume that buff and thus reset the stack. Note also that those spells will profit from the increased damage, but will not get a mana penalty.
- Arcane Blast, 1 stack: increases damage by 18%, next AB costs 3x its base mana
- Arcane Blast, 2 stacks: increases damage by 36%, next AB costs 5x its base mana
- Arcane Blast, 3 stacks: increases damage by 54%, next AB costs 7x its base mana
Being to lazy to do all the calculations in a spreadsheet, I wrote a small simulation program in Java instead. Here's the outcome:
DPS/DPM for arcane cast sequences
(AB = Arcane Blast, ABxN = N subsequent AB casts (max. 3 stacks), ABarr = Arcane Barrage, AM = Arcane Missiles, MBarr = AM cast on Missile Barrage)
A first approach towards a new cast sequence
According to these results, you get the highest DPS cycle when using Missile Barrage procs as early as possible. Arcane Missiles however should never be cast without Missile Barrage procs, the DPS is just not competitive without it.
So my first approach (RotationTachyon)was following:
- Cast AM when MBarr procs, no mater how many stacks of AB you have
- Otherwise cast AB, stack maximally to 3, then use ABarr if MBarr didn't proc
RotationTachyon: 3279.46 DPS, 9.58 DPM
Then I wanted to compare this to the classic rotation:
- Cast AB until you have 3 stacks
- Cast AM if MBarr procced, otherwise cast ABarr
To my surprise, the classic rotation still had slightly more DPS. This is confusing, as the rotation involved less MBarr procs than the first rotation. I'd have expected to see higher DPS when using more of the high DPS sequences, but obviously that was not the case. To explain this effect, it's crucial to know how to calculate the DPS/DPM of mixed rotations.
Spell rotation: DPS/DPM of mixed cast sequences
The best cast sequence above, ABx0,Mbarr is only sustained for a very short time, so it contributes less to the overall DPS than other rotations which have a longer run time.
The total DPS contribution of a cast sequence is therefore to be weighted by the length of the sequence, the DPS during that lenght, and the probability you are casting it.
DPS := sum(DPS[i]*t[i]*p[i]) / sum(t[i]*p[i])
where DPS[i] is the DPS of Sequencei, t[i] is the cast time of Sequencei, and p is the probability (or percentage of times) we use Sequencei.
To determine the probabilities, the simulation comes to aid again. Results:
ABx3, ABarr 46.5139%
ABx1, MBarr 18.0682%
ABx2, MBarr 14.4659%
ABx3, MBarr 11.6308%
ABx0, MBarr 9.3213%
ABx3, MBarr: 53.5976%
ABx3, ABarr: 46.4024%
The calculated weighted DPS matches the results of the simulated DPS, so you can take that formula along with the probabilities as given fact for your own theorycrafting calculations.
In conclusion, the best approach is to use the longest cast sequences that give you good DPS without wasting too much mana, as they often contribute more to the effective DPS than short cast sequences with slightly higher DPS.
Generic pattern of arcane rotations
Basically, every arcane rotation follows the same pattern:
- If Missile Barrage procced, use it after at least A subsequent Arcane Blast casts
- If Missile Barrage didn't proc after B subsequent Arcane Blast casts, cast Arcane Barrage instead
There are two paramenters in there, A and B. My suggested rotation was A=0,B=3, while the classic rotation is A=3,B=3.
Using the simulation, I calculated the DPS and DPM for the configurations A=0..6, B=0..6, and here's the result:
In the table above, I grayed out every rotation for which there is a better (more DPS and more DPM) alternative rotation in the table. The remaining rotations have either better DPS or better DPM than any other rotation in the table.
To put the result in a more relative context, let's take the classic rotation (A=3, B=3) as a base (100%) and compare the relative differences:
Again, the grayed out rotations are to be avoided since there is a better alternative rotation with higher DPS and DPM.
The blue colored rotations are the ones with higher DPS, and the green colored rotations have a higher DPM ratio that the classic rotation. The red ones have less DPS and less DPM, so they should be avoided at any cost.
As a comparison, that's what you get with chain-spamming Arcane Blasts: 3549.58 DPS, 4.46 DPM.
Looks like the optimal path is to use the Missile Barrage proc only with the maximum Arcane Blast (3) stack, and to cast at least one Arcane Blast before using Arcane Barrage. The more subsequent Arcane Blast casts you can afford to wait hoping for a Missile Barrage proc, the higher the DPS, but the lower the DPM.
This path is always efficient, because there is no other alternative path that would yield more DPS for a higher DPM ratio.
So here's my recommended rotation:
- If Missile Barrage procced, use it only with a full Arcane Blast (3) stack
- Otherwise keep casting Arcane Blast, hoping for a Missile Barrage proc. Use Arcane Barrage to reset your stack as soon as you think you're using too much mana.
- If Missile Barrage procced, use it not before having stacked the Arcane Blast debuff to 2-3
- Cast no more than 3 subsequent Arcane Blasts. Reset the stack with Arcane Barrage if Missile Barrage don't procs.
That's all folks, I hope my calculations aren't too far off, and remember that your mileage may vary, as always
by Tachyon on Wed. 18. February 2009, 00:57
Filed under: arcane, spec, raiding, dps, patch, theorycrafting
- Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles and Arcane Barrage for single-target damage
- PoM-Flamestrike and Blizzard for AoE (Area of Effect) damage
A good arcane talent spec that gets the optimum out the damage capabilities will put 3 points in fire (for Incineration, as it affects Arcane Blast), at least 11 points in frost to get Icy Veins and the rest in the arcane tree.
Personally I prefer to have 12 points in frost for more AoE damage (3/3 Ice Shards), so my recommended spec is something like this:
56/3/12 Arcane Raid Spec.
Some mages recommend more pushback protection by adding 3-4 points into Arcane Stability, but it's really hard to ditch some points there as it usually hurts other good talents.
Manly from Elitist Jerks even suggests a spec without Slow, and he's right for raiding as you really don't need the talent there, but boy I wouldn't run around without it outside a raid instance, so I'd rather sacrifice that points elsewhere, if at all.
I won't go into details for AoE damage in this article, as with the rotation above (and preferrable Arcane Power), it's straightforward to do massive(!) damage to multiple targets. So let's focus on the single target spells instead.
Arcane Blast - Rank 4
8% of base mana (261 Mana at lvl 80), 30 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
Blasts the target with energy, dealing 1185 to 1377 Arcane damage. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the damage of all Arcane spells is increased by 15% and mana cost of Arcane Blast is increased by 200%. Effect stacks up to 3 times and lasts 10 sec or until any Arcane damage spell except Arcane Blast is cast.
Glyph of Arcane Blast: Increases the damage from your Arcane Blast buff by 3%. This makes the arcane blast debuff increase the damage by 3% per stack, so it's +18%, +36% and +54% for 1-3 stacks. That glyph is really recommended.
Spell Power Coefficient: 2.5/3.5+0.09 = 80.429%
The coefficient is scaled to the cast time (2.5sec), plus gets 9% from Arcane Empowerment (3/3).
Crit Multiplier (with 4xT7 + CSD): 1+(((1.5*1.03)-1)*(1+0.5+0.05)) = 1.84475
This includes the CSD meta gem (3%), the Spell Power talent (50%), the 4xT7 set bonus (5%). Without the 4xT7 bonus, it would be 1.8175, so it's not much of a difference. The CSD ( Chaotic Skyflare Diamond or Chaotic Skyfire Diamond) however is not negotiable, you're just expected to have it, no way round!
Arcane Missiles - Rank 13
31% of base mana (1013 Mana at lvl 80), 30 yd range, Channeled (5 bolts in 5 sec)
Launches Arcane Missiles at the enemy, causing 360-361 Arcane damage every 1 sec for 5 sec.
Spell Power Coefficient: 5/3.5+0.45 = 187.857%
The coefficient is scaled to the full channel time (5sec), plus gets 45% from Arcane Empowerment (3/3).
Crit Multiplier (with 4xT7 + CSD): 1+(((1.5*(1+0.03))-1)*(1+0.5+0.05+0.25)) = 1.981
This includes the CSD meta gem (3%), the Spell Power talent (50%), the 4xT7 set bonus (5%) and the Glyph of Arcane Missiles (25%). Without the glyph, the coefficient would be 1.84475, so the glyph increases your AM crits by 7.39%
Arcane Missiles become really nice when used on a Missile Barrage proc (20% proc chance after using Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage), reducing the cast time by 2.5sec and thus doubling the DPS for that spell.
Arcane Barrage - Rank 3
18% of base mana (588 at lvl 80), 30 yd range, Instant cast, 3 sec cooldown
Launches several missiles at the enemy target, causing 936 to 1144 Arcane damage.
Spell Power Coefficient: 2.5/3.5 = 71.429%
This may not seem high, but take into account that this is an instant cast spell. The usual coefficient for instant cast spells will be weighted by the global cooldown time in place of the cast time, so it should be 1.5/3.5 = 42.857%. That's a significant boost, so this spell will scale extremely well with spell damage (66.7% more than compareable spells such as Fire Blast).
Crit Multiplier (with 4xT7 + CSD): 1+(((1.5*1.03)-1)*(1+0.5+0.05)) = 1.84475
This includes the CSD meta gem (3%), the Spell Power (2/2) talent (50%), the 4xT7 set bonus (5%).
For the following scenario, we consider a 57/3/11 standard raid spec with 2000 spell power, 35% crit and 10% haste, hit capped (100%).
Basically we could leave out the haste as well as all talents (Spell Power etc.) or raid buffs/auras that scale the DPS proportionally, as it affects all rotations equally, and your mileage may vary anyway. For comparing the spells and rotations, that scenario suffices well, and if you need exact numbers, just replace the numbers above with whatever works better for your.
Time to start the number crunching!
The average base damage for a spell will be:
The effective cast time for a spell is the base cast time (or GCD for instant cast spells) divided by the speed multiplier from haste (1+haste). The GCD (Global Cooldown) is also affected by haste, but won't go below 1 sec. For our scenario, we take the 10% haste plus the 6% from talents (Netherwind Presence).
castTime := baseCastTime / (1 + haste)
The average damage is the base damage plus the spellpower times the coefficient, times any talents that multiply the damage (3% from Arcane Instability, +6% for ArcaneBlast with Spell Impact, and 12% in a raid scenario from Torment the Weak)
dmg(hit):= (avgBaseDmg + (spellpower * coefficient)) * multiplier
For the mana costs, we consider -3% from Arcane Focus, and -3% from Precision, but for the time being ignore any Arcane Concentration procs (just substract 10% from the average mana/sec in the end).
Here's what we get so far:
|.||Arcane Blast||Arcane Barrage||Arcane Missiles||Missile Barrage|
|Mana /w talents||245.34||552.72||952.22||952.22|
|Cast Time /w haste||2.155||1.293||4.31||2.155|
|Coefficient /w talents||80.429%||71.429%||187.857%||187.857%|
|Dmg Avg /w talents||3233.56||2542.63||5731.58||5731.58|
|+Torment the Weak||3621.59||2847.74||6419.37||6419.37|
The average critical damage per spell is just the average damage, multiplied by the crit factor (Arcane Blast gets an extra 6% crit from Incineration):
dmg(crit):= dmg(hit) * critMultiplier
|.||Arcane Blast||Arcane Barrage||Arcane Missiles||Missile Barrage|
To find out the average damage, including crits, we'll have to weight that outcomes by the hit, crit and miss probabilities.
p(crit) := critChance * (1 - p(miss))
p(hit) := (1-critChance) * (1 - p(miss))
This leads us to the average damage numbers for our scenario. Divide those by the cast time and you get the DPS, or divide it by the mana cost to get the DPM.
|.||Arcane Blast||Arcane Barrage||Arcane Missiles||Missile Barrage|
So far so good, we got the basic numbers we need to calculate our spell rotations in Part 3 of this series.
by Tachyon on Wed. 18. February 2009, 00:51
Filed under: arcane, spec, raiding, dps, patch, theorycraftingTwo weeks before, I retired my Frostfire Bolt spec and joined the happy bunch of arcane specced fellows.
I hesitated long before I finally did this step, as this means that my raid will lose yet another scorch debuffer, and will have to run without the 10% crit debuff quite often.
This is a general design flaw by Blizzard, making the arcane tree too attractive compared to the frost or fire tree, causing lots of mages to skip the 10% crit debuff talents (Improved Scorch in the fire tree, Winter's Chill in the frost tree).
Anyway, I'm now Arcane specced, and will probably stay so for the near future. Patch 3.1.0 will bring some improvements for frost, but also the dual specs, so Frost will become an option again, purely for PvP, whilst Arcane will continue to dominate as PvE spec.
The last patches brought quite some nerfs for the Arcane specs, but don't worry, most of it affected the burst damage potential only, and PvE damage stays neraly as effective as it used to be.
The latest patch (3.0.9) reduced the glyphed damage boost of the Arcane Blast debuff (from 5% to 3%), reduced the spell power coefficient of Arcane Barrage (from 3/3.5 to 2.5/3.5), but also introduced an improved Arcane Missiles glyph, which increases the critical damage of the missiles.
When reading the blogs and forums lately, there seems to be a controversy about which spell rotations are now preferred, if Arcane Missiles should be cast even without Missile Barrage, how high to stack the Arcane Blast debuff, and whether using Arcane Barrage is still viable at all.
In the end I gave up on reading recommendations, especially as most of them were based more on claims that on evidence, and did the math for myself.
So that's the whole point of this arcane article series, to guide you through the calculations and considerations towards finding the proper spell rotations for arcane raiding.
Read on in Part 2 of the "Going Arcane" series.
by Tachyon on Thu. 22. January 2009, 02:26
Filed under: raiding, naxxramas, frostfire, talentsMy last post was almost a month ago, and honestly I didn't spend much time in the game lately, due to two weeks of vacation (<3 snowboarding) and 10 days without internet connection (my provider messed up something with the invoices).
Due to my long absence, my guild completely outlevelled me in terms of raiding (content clear since beginning of January), which makes it hard for me to catch up again. My equipment is not quite ready for raiding, as usually did heroics and PvP while waiting for a chance to get stated with raiding again. 10-men Naxxramas raids happened to take place mostly during the weekend, either on Saturnday evening, or worse: on Sunday afternoons, which to me as family father of two baby kids was not a time to spare.
But finally this evening I was able to participate a 10-men Naxx raid with my guild (mostly twinks of our core raiders). It was quite a stressful evening for me, trying to read through a stack of printed WowWiki raid tactics to refresh the raid encounters I only once ever saw at lvl70, when I retro-raided classic Naxx with a PUG.
For each completed wing I got an achievement, which honestly was a little embarrassing, but comforting at the same time. I'm confident that now I cleared at least the 10-men content, I will enjoy the encounters better next time, and also be better prepared for the 25-men versions.
My equipment has also slightly improved, as I got The Soulblade, Contortion and Heroes' Frostfire Robe and -Shoulderpads. Many many thanks to my guild for making this possible, and I hope I didn't mess up too much in my first whole Naxx raid...
Now I'm at least at 1646 spellpower, hit cap, 24.5% crit and 7.8% haste selfbuffed, and I feel a little more confident to catch up with raiding seriously again. Whish me luck!
by Tachyon on Thu. 04. December 2008, 21:41
Filed under: frostbolt, glyph, raiding, frostfire, qqI'm more or less one level away from hitting lvl 80, and the more I approach the level cap the more I'm concerned about my choice of frost for raiding.
The big frost killer comes in the form of a glyph:
It adds 5% to the frostbolt damage, but takes away the snare component.
From a boss fight perspective, this is purely good, as bosses can't be snared anyway.
But at the same time it renders frostbolt completely useless in PvP and solo play, I mean seriously, who would use frostbolt anymore outside an instance if it wouldn't have the slowing effect anymore? Even for 5 men instances, it's a bad choice.
Deep Frost was my spec of choice for its superb versatility. I could use the spec for raiding and it was also good for PvP, not the best in both cases but certainly the second best option and therefore the best compromise. Of course one could decide to just not take the glyph, and deal without the 5% damage increase, but no sane raiding guild would accept such a choice from a mage. Oh, and there's of course no alternative frostbolt glyph, either take it and have a raid-only mage spec that's sub par to both Fire and Frostfire or leave it and be benched forever.
No compensation for Ghost Hit and partial resists
In The Burning Crusade, Frost was viable for raiding throughout all raid instances and could compete nicely with fire (which still did 5% more DPS, but's that was acceptable).
Then the 3.0 patch came, and fixed the Ghost Hit bug (Frostbolt gained 6% instead of 3% +hit out of 3/3 Elemental Precision) and also fixed the binary effect of Frostbolt, so it will now also be affected by partial resists (it's about 4% less damage on bosses due to level based resistance). It's good that the bugs were fixed, but if frost was balanced around the previous performance (with the bugs) and now doesn't have any compensation, this only means that we now do significant less damage that with a fire spec.
The snare tax
Frostbolt scales badly anyway, as it get's a 5% penalty on +spellpower because it has a snare effect. This snare tax also applied when the target was immune to the snare effect (bosses for example), and I assume that it will still apply when we would use the Frostbolt glyph. I assume Blizzard forgot about this, since as far as I know we don't have such a snare tax on the new Frostfire Bolt spell.
Taxing for an effect that isn't even applied is wrong on many levels.
Comparison with other glyphs
As a comparison, let's look at what glyphs are available for Fireball and Frostfire Bolt:
- Glyph of Fireball - Increases the critical strike chance of Fireball by 5%, but removes the damage over time effect.
5% more crit together with Burnout and Ignite results in about 5% more damage (depends on your current crit chance, if you have less than 30% crit on fireball it's even more). The damage loss by the removed DoT is negligible, and the increased crit change even increases the mana return from Master of Elements
- Glyph of Frostfire - Increases the initial damage dealt by Frostfire Bolt by 2% and its critical strike by 2%.
A superb glyph which boosts the base damage and the crit chance, and we all know how well this spell scales with crit.
These two glyphs are extremely nice, and none of them breaks the gameplay for the according specs. One could argue that the 5% more damage fo the frostbolt glyph boosts frost mages more than 5% crit or 2% crit/damage, but keep in mind that frostbolt spam is only the larger of two slices of a frost mage's DPS. The other, smaller slice is the DPS provided by the water elemental, for that we need a second glyph.
Working around the problem
- For PvE, either spec Fire or better Frostfire. There's currently no reason to spec frost apart from the excellent mana efficiency and the low crit chance on the beginner's gear at lvl 80.
- For PvP, stay frost, and don't get the glyph. Live with the fact that there's no valid glyph for your bread-and-butter nuke.
- For PvE/PvE: Spec frost, take the glyph in order to not to be completely screwed in DPS terms, and use Frostfire Bolt as an opener in PvP. This is very risky, as this exposes both the frost and fire tree to a counterspell. Reapplying the snare is also problematic, as soon as your opponent uses the insignia when you're already started casting a Frostbolt.
We can only wait and hope that the dual-spec feature will come more sooner than later (hopefully with patch 3.1, but that will still take some months), and that we will have two sets of glyphs then, one for each spec.
Even then, I'm afraid Frost is dead for raiding.
Are there any frost raiders left out there?
Are you PvPing and raiding with the same spec?
Do you use the Frostbolt glyph, and how much does it impact your gameplay?
by Tachyon on Wed. 22. October 2008, 00:24
Filed under: sunwell, raiding, felmystBrutallus went down last Thursday, so tonight we could attempt to beat Felmyst.
The fight is not that hard post-patch 3.0, and after a few tries we got him down.
It's not that spectacular for a raiding guild post-patch 3.0, as the bosses all have ~30% less HP than before, but to me it's relieving to get a chance to see some more bosses before the expansion, so I'm as excited as ever
In this encounter, the Improved Blizzard specs (all of the 3 mages in the raid were deep frost) came in quite handy to AoE the pulk of skeletons that spawned from the Demonic Vapor trail.
Felmyst dropped 3x the mage/rogue/druid token. We changed our loot policy to free roll, as 3 weeks before the expansion loot does no longer matter, we're equipped well enough for the few remaining BC raids with or without the drops.
I rolled a 89 and am now prowd owner of the Boots of the Tempest.
I completely missed to learn Mixology until two days ago. This new passive ability for Alchemists prolongs the duration of flasks from 2h to 4h, and also increases the effect slightly (e.g. Flask of Pure Death from +80 to +103 fire/frost/shadow spellpower). Very nice addition for raiding alchemists, I wish this came earlier.
If you're an alchemist, and did overlook Mixology just like me, go visit your profession trainer in Shattrath to learn it.
by Tachyon on Fri. 17. October 2008, 17:43
Filed under: raiding, patch, sunwell, brutallusWednesday was patch day here in Europe. The servers were burdened by a clusterfuck of returning players, all simultaneously trying to log on, resulting in realm servers switching on and off as if they were lights on an early christmas tree.
Those lucky to get in usually had a minute or two to check which addons were injured the most, to download updated versions where available once the servers dived again.
I'm blessed with a divine patience, so I kept revolving in the logon/crash cycle until I got all of my addons updated and my UI setup right again.
In the late evening, the servers became more stable, allowing me to learn the new spell ranks, build my new deep frost spec, buy the new pvp items (trinket and cloak), get myself a shave and a haircut and do a quick BG before I logged off.
Yesterday (Thursday) my guild finally picked up raiding again after more than a month of idling. The participation for the Sunwell raid was high again, everyone who could showed up to test their new builds in action, so we had to bench a few of us.
Raiding was nearly impossible due to the heavy lags and zone crashes, which caused us to wipe quite often. Sometimes when dying, the 'resurrect now?' message popped up, and it also worked: one would be resurrected on the spot, only to be ported to the graveyard on sheer minute later (usually on the next pull, especially when on sheeping duty), or worse, being steamrolled by the armada of added mobs that went berzerk in the raid. Alliance players camping the entrance, putting the unlucky lagging horde souls out of their misery, added their share to our repair bill.
We finally got to Kalecgos, where we had to assemble a Field Repair Bot 110G (nomen est omen). Now the boss had 30% less HP (leaving about a 2M left), and with the new talent builds, we faced another problem, which was doing way too much DPS on the Kalecgos compared to the damage we did on Sathrovarr (they have to die almost simultaneously, or the portals won't spawn again, resulting in a reset of the encounter). It was a little chaotic, but we finally managed to kill him.
I would have needed the bracers, as I was still one piece shy of the 4xT6 bonus, but due to bad luck no single mage T6 token dropped.
It was alredy late (11 pm), but nevertheless we headed to Brutallus to give it a try, despite being short of healers. The first try looked so promising that we decided to do a serious attempt, and managed to kill him in our second try in only 4 minutes.
My DPS was abysmal, I ended up as 7th on the damage meter, with a little over 2000 DPS. I can and must do better next time. Trying to weave Deep Freeze into my rotation on Fingers of Frost procs was pointless, getting out of mana and having to use evocation was inexcusable, and the water elemental had its usual share of resists (18%), which was surprising, as Blizzard announced that it would inherit the mage's hit rating, which obviously not the case (let's still hope for WotLK).
My fellow fire mage comrade, Ashenshogar, excelled with >2600 DPS and (to his surprise ) ended on position #1 in the DPS meter, congratulations!
This was the first time we killed Brutallus, pre-patch we only managed to get him down to 17% before he enraged. Too bad the boss despawned before I was able to make a screenshot, but my guild will hopefully post one soon on the <Dal Marok> home page. We're now excitingly looking forward to beat Felmyst and Eredar Twins, which I think we manage before the expansion comes out.
Oh, and I was given the mage token we looted from Brutallus, so I'm now finally at 4x T6, which means my Frostbolts will to 5% more damage next time.
by Tachyon on Mon. 22. September 2008, 01:30
Filed under: mage, talents, spec, raiding, wotlk, ptr, deep freeze, patchThis weekend, I did some testing on the public test realm (PTR) with patch 3.0, in order to test the new frost talents, and have some fun with Blizzard now critting (it's about time!)
On visiting the mage class trainer, I was surprised to find new spell ranks for Frostbolt, Fireball and Arcane Missiles at level 70, haven't heard of that before.
- Frostbolt rank 14: 630 to 680 Frost damage
- Fireball rank 14: 717 to 913 Fire damage + 92 Fire damage over 8sec
- Arcane Missiles rank 11: 280 Arcane damage every 1 sec for 5 sec.
Also the new battleground (Strand of the Ancients) is now in the game, though I didn't test it yet, as my addons are quite in a mess due to incompatibilites. I didn't take the time to fiddle with the UI and find out new hotkeys for most of my spells (Bartender3 wouldn't load), so I'd be handicapped for PvP anyway.
I finally decided what frost spec I'd take when 3.0 goes live. My focus is still on raid PvE, but I also took some PvP talents and included meaningful talents for a Blizzard AoE spec.
My new WoW 3.0 spec:
Improved Frostbolt - Rank 5/5
Reduces the casting time of your Frostbolt spell by 0.5 sec.
Must have talent. Reduces the Frostbolt casting time from 3 to 2.5 sec, which is a 20% DPS increase.
Ice Floes - Rank 3/3
Reduces the cooldown of your Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, Ice Block and Icy Veins spells by 20%.
Reduces the Frost Nova cooldown from 24 to 20 sec, Cone of Cold from 10 to 8 sec, Ice Block from 5 to 4 min, and Icy Veins from 3 to 2:24 min.
It's not a must have talent, the only component that makes it wanted for raiding is the reduced cooldown on Icy Veins (to maximize DPS).
Ice Shards - Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Frost spells by 100%.
Must have talent. Makes your frost spells crit for 200% of the normal damage, and with the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond metagem even for 209%.
Frostbite - Rank 3/3
Gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to freeze the target for 5 sec.
Neat for solo/PvP situations, useless for raiding (as boss mobs can't be frozen) - unless you combine it with Improved Blizzard, giving each tick of it the chance to freeze the target, which means superb AoE crit chance with Shatter.
Elemental Precision - Rank 3/3
Reduces the mana cost and increases your chance to hit with Frost and Fire spells by 3%.
Mandatory for PvE. I'm not sure whether the Elemental Precision Ghost Hit (+6% instead of +3% for Frostbolt) still applies in 3.0/WotLK, but I doubt so.
Spell hit chance is no longer capped at 99%, so for raiding situations, you need +17% hit (214 Hit Rating @ lvl70, 446 Hit Rating @ lvl 80), or +14% hit with 3/3 Elemental Precision (176 Hit Rating @ lvl70, 367 Hit Rating @ lvl 80).
Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3
Increases the damage done by your Frost spells by 6%.
Must have talent, no discussion.
Icy Veins - Rank 1/1
Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and gives you 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting. Lasts 20 sec.
Must have talent.
Improved Blizzard - Rank 2/3
Adds a chill effect to your Blizzard spell. This effect lowers the target's movement speed by 50%. Lasts 1.50 sec.
Adds a snare effect to Blizzard, making the affected targets stay longer in the spell's area. The snare allows it also to proc Frostbite, combined with shatter this will turn Blizzard into a crit galore feast!
Arctic Reach - Rank 2/2
Increases the range of your Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Deep Freeze and Blizzard spells and the radius of your Frost Nova and Cone of Cold spells by 20%.
Must have for PvE (Frostbolt) and especially for PvP (Frostnova, Cone of Cold). Too bad it only increases the range of Blizzard and not its radius.
Frost Channeling - Rank 3/3
Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 10% and reduces the threat caused by your Frost spells by 10%.
Must have for PvE, the thread reduction is vital. It's now even better than clearcast, as you get the mana reduction directly, no wasted procs.
Shatter - Rank 3/3
Increases the critical strike chance of all your spells against frozen targets by 50%.
This. Is. SPARTA! The bread and butter of a frost or elemental spec (since patch 1.12 it increases the crit chance also for non-frost spells), mother to all shatter combos, and now also useful in raids, thanks to the Fingers of Frost talent. And it now only costs 3 talent points, and no longer has a prerequisite talent.
Cold Snap - Rank 1/1
When activated, this spell finishes the cooldown on all Frost spells you recently cast.
Allows you to gain more DPS by increasing the Icy Veins and Water Elemental uptime in boss fights, and saves your back in PvP fights by resetting Ice Block / Frostnova.
Cold as Ice - Rank 2/2
Reduces the cooldown of your Cold Snap, Ice Barrier, Deep Freeze and Summon Water Elemental spells by 20%.
Indirectly increases your DPS due to the reduced Cold Snap and Water Elemental cooldown. For two points, a must have, even for PvP, as it reduces the Ice Barrier cooldown from 30 to 24 sec.
Winter's Chill - Rank 3/3
Gives your Frost damage spells a 100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which increases the chance spells will critically hit the target by 2% for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
Up to +10% crit, now for all spells. Too bad it doesn't stack with the new Improved Scorch (+10%) or Boomkin aura (+5%). Might help your fellow fire raiding comrades, as they can skip adding Scorch into their spell rotation and just gain the effect from Winter's Chill. Sideeffect in PvP: WC is an additional debuff, making it harder to remove more important ones, such as polymorph.
Shattered Barrier - Rank 2/2
Gives your Ice Barrier spell a 100% chance to freeze all enemies within 10 yds for 8 sec when it is destroyed.
I'd say this is a PvP-only ability, but an incredibly powerful one. Adds a third way to nail your opponent to the ground (besides Frostnova and Frostbite), which helps shattering or deep freezing. It's also good that the effect just freezes the opponents, but doesn't do any damage, so it won't break sheep on any target it hits.
Meele will hate you for this, as soon as they slice away your Ice Barrier, they get frozen, allowing you to gain distance again.
Ice Barrier - Rank 1/1
Instantly shields you, absorbing x damage. Lasts 1 min. While the shield holds, spells will not be interrupted.
- Rank 6 (Level 70) absorbs 1075 damage
- Rank 7 (Level 75) absorbs 2800 damage
- Rank 8 (Level 80) absorbs 3300 damage
Never leave the house without it!
Arctic Winds - Rank 5/5
Increases all Frost damage you cause by 5% and reduces the chance melee and ranged attacks will hit you by 5%.
Nice, a plain +5% dmg, take it.
Empowered Frostbolt - Rank 2/2
Increases the damage of your Frostbolt spell by an amount equal to 10% of your spell power and increases the critical strike chance by an additional 4%.
Improves scaleability by adding +10% to your spell power. The crit chance used to be 5% for rank 5 points before patch 3.0, now it's only 4% but only requires to points.
Fingers of Frost - Rank 2/2
Gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, which treats your next 2 spells cast as if the target were Frozen. Lasts 15 sec.
Now that's cool, a 15% proc which allows you to cast 2 spells that profit from shatter, even if the target can't be frozen. That's 2x Frostbolt, or 1x Frostbolt + 1x Deep Freeze with almost guaranteed crits.
Brain Freeze - Rank 2/3
Your Frost damage spells have a 10% chance to cause your next Fireball spell to be instant cast and cost no mana.
This is the most weird talent in the new frost tree. With 3/3 ranks, the proc chance is even higher, 15%. When Brain Freeze procs, you've got 15 sec time to release an instant fireball for free. Untalented fireballs won't do much damage, and only crit for 150% base dmg, but the instant cast (1.5 GDC instead of 3.5 sec casttime) evens this out. Don't expect too much DPS increase from this, the talent only shines because the fireball costs no mana, increasing your overall mana efficiency (DPM).
For PvP this is actually funny, having a little 'PoM Fireball' ready which can be cast while moving, that alone makes it worth taking it.
Might make spell rotations a little tricky, as you don't want to waist the Fingers of Frost proc on a Brain Freeze proc, so watch your procs carefully.
Summon Water Elemental - Rank 1/1
Summon a Water Elemental to fight for the caster for 45 sec.
Squirtle, friend to all frost mages. Will bite nastly rogues into the ankles while they stunlock you, helps you range-shattering with its ranged nova, and add its little share to your raid DPS. Must have.
Improved Water Elemental - Rank 3/3
Increases the duration of your Summon Water Elemental spell by 15 sec and your Water Elemental restores mana to all party or raid members within 100 yds an amount equal to 0.6% of their total mana every 5 secs.
PvE only. Increases WE uptime, and adds a little manareg to the party (for a lvl 70 mage with 10000 mana, it's 60 MP5).
Chilled to the Bone - Rank 5/5
Increases the damage caused by your Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt and Ice Lance spells by 5% and reduces the movement speed of all chilled targets by an additional 10%.
Another 5% plain damage to your main nukes, and adds an additional snare which comes handy for your Blizzard (with 2/3 Imp. Blizz., it's 60% snare).
Deep Freeze - Rank 1/1
Causes x to y Frost damage and stuns the target for 5 sec. Only usable on Frozen targets.
- Rank 1 (lvl 60): 694 to 806 Frost damage
- Rank 2 (lvl 66): 787 to 913 Frost damage
- Rank 3 (lvl 72): 1018 to 1182 Frost damage
- Rank 4 (lvl 80): 1319 to 1531 Frost damage
Stunning your target means totally incapacitating it, so you can do anything to it (paint a moustache on its face, untie its shoelaces or just nuke the living daylights out of it without breaking your CC).
Even better, the freeze effect won't be broken on the target by damage, thus you have 5 sec of shatter opportunity. The Deep Freeze cast will also be affected by shatter, and you enter the global cooldown afterwards as DF is an instant cast spell, so 3.5 sec remain to unleash another Frostbolt/Ice Lance combo, or 3x Ice Lance if you're really quick.
The damage component of Deep Freeze gains 1.5/3.5 = 42.857% of your spell power.
by Tachyon on Tue. 16. September 2008, 00:49
Filed under: wotlk, expansion, release, raiding, items, qq, dpsIn less than two months, the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion will be released, rendering the 'old' Burning Crusade content obsolete, and giving everyone a chance to start your raiding / PvP / whatsoever career anew.
Our guild is still stuck on Brutallus (we managed to take him down to 17% before the enrage phase), and I just heard that our raid leaders decided yesterday to no longer raid Black Temple / Mount Hyjal anymore but invest the remaining time to focus on Sunwell only.
Whilst I understand this decision, I has a backlash on me, as I'm still missing the fourth set item for my 4x T6 set bonus (which would give my Frostbolt / Fireball / AM a plain 5% damage bonus).
The missing item is Gloves of the Tempest whose token is dropped by Azgalor in Mount Hyjal, which I never managed to get, due to bad luck (last two times I attended a MH raid, Azgalor didn't drop any mage tokens at all), or bad circumstances (one of the MTs' alts was allowed to bid on it too last time I saw them drop, this was an exception but finally resulted in me not getting the gloves) or dropped raids (we didn't raid MH every week, for unknown reasons).
So if we refrain from raiding MH, my only chance to get the 4x T6 bonus would be to get the Bracers of the Tempest, whose token drops from Kalecgos, the first boss encounter in Sunwell. Of course the demand for the bracers is much higher than for the gloves, and Kalecgos is usually raided on Wednesday (the day I'm babysitting my two baby boys as my wife is attending her aerobic lessons), so my chances to get the 4x T6 bonus are not that good.
It's kind of a tragedy (or better: just sucks.), as without the bonus I'm missing 5% of the DPS I'd need for Brutallus to help contributing to the DPS we need to kill him.
This week's MH id has Azgalor and Archimonde still alive, but I hope but really doubt that we will visit MH tonight, on the last occasion, before we skip the instance completely.
Too bad for me, but it's the price you pay when you're in an achievement oriented guild as a casual raider.
Comforting hugs, cookies, or 'get up and fight!'-kicks are welcome, just drop them in the comments...
by Tachyon on Wed. 13. August 2008, 19:43
Filed under: raiding, loot, items, guildThe fact that so many loot distribution systems exist speaks for itself - none of them is perfect in every situation.
The general principle is:
Loot shall be distributed in the way that causes the least drama, and the highest motivation.
But does it matter who gets the loot? And who benefits how much from it?
Things that have to be considered with loot distribution:
- Loot improves your raid, making encounters more easy and allowing to progress.
- Loot is a motivational factor for the players (surely not the only factor, but let's be realistic: its probably the most important one), as it is the only way to advance a character in the endgame.
- Getting loot upgrades the players' characters. The item may be more of an upgrade to one player than to another player.
- From a raid group perspective, the item also indirectly benefits all other players, especially when the player receiving it raids often or fulfills an important role in the raid. That's why most guilds set priorities on equipping their main tank with the best gear possible.
- Item drop chances vary, and generally the best items drop more seldom.
- Alternatives have to be considered - are there some other sources for item upgrades that a player hasn't used, such as heroic badge loot, crafted items and faction rewards? One item may be more of a benefit to a player just because he was too lazy to get an upgrade from an alternative source, whilst the item may be only a small upgrade for another player who has no other way to improve his equipment than from item drops.
- Players hate random distribution. It's like working as much as your co-workers, only that each employee gets a random amount on his paycheck at the end of the month. Get more that your coworkers and you feel guilty, get less and you feel cheated.
- From a guild perspective, it's also important to keep the equipment of your raiders on a more or less equal level. If some raiders quickly outgear others, it becomes more likely that they switch to another guild when the raiding progress is not that fast.
Let's introduce some well known loot distribution systems and how they work:
Free for all lets all players pick up loot - first come, first serve. This generally distracts from playing together, as everybody will focus on ninjaing loot instead of concentrating on the fight. Diablo2 players learned to hate that system.
Round Robin assigns the loot more or less randomly to a player.
Need / Greed
This system allows the players to be fair (though does not force them to be) by letting them decide whether they need the item to upgrade their gear, or just greeding to roll for it when the other players also don't need it.
This system is best suited for pickup groups, and depends on the players making fair decisions. Loot ninjas could need on any drop, that will cause drama for sure, often resulting in a group kick for that player.
In small groups, players often discuss who should get the item that just dropped. If more than one player wants it, a manual dice roll decides who wins it.
This system can also be applied for raids, where the raid leaders or guild officers form a council to discuss who will get this item. They want to conclude on a decision that can be justified (be it that one player benefits most from the item, or be it to give credit for raid participation), but as there are so many driving factors, the decision is most often unambiguous when more than one player would deserve the item equally.
Loot council can and most probably will cause drama, at least when items are distributed that don't drop frequently. Players depend on the loot council's benevolence, that lowers their expectation and demotivates on a long term, as the efforts/rewards are not directly coupled.
For items that drop very often, such as the set tokens for T4/T5/T6 (3 types of tokens, and guaranteed 3 tokens per kill results in an average drop chance of 100% for a specific token), where set bonuses also have to be considered, this system can complement other loot system in that situation.
DKP stands for Dragon Kill Points. It requires tracking of the players participation over all raids (which means additional effort for the raid organizers), and also tracks which player got which items in the past.
Players earn DKP by rading, and can spend it to 'buy' item drops.
There are many variations on how DKP is earned and spent, so there's a whole family of DKP systems.
- Points per Raid - Each raid, be it successful or not, will reward a given amount of DKP.
- Points per Drop - This is a common practice with Zero-Sum DKP systems. If a players spends points to buy an item, the points will be distributed to all players in the raid.
- Individual adjustments in form of Bonus and Minus DKP (see the famous Onyxia Wipe) can be granted for exceptionally good or bad performance at a raid.
- Fixed Item Prices - Items cost a predefined amount of DKP. To give credit to the item's value, the item slot can be taken into consideration (weapons are generally more valuable than boots), and items could be grouped by tiers to reflect the effort the raid has to loot them (MH and BT will cost more than SSC/TK items). Some DKP tools can also calculate the item value as a function of the item slot and item level. With fixed item prices, the loot is given to the player with need with the highest DKP.
- Bidding system - Players can use their DKP to bid for items. The player with the highest bid will get the item. This system is somewhat flexible towards the item drop chance and the demand for the item; items that drop often tend to be cheaper than items that drop more seldom. Each player can decide for himself, how much of his DKP he's willing to spend for an item drop.
DKP systems are a good way to regulate the loot distribution, as this system is transparent and credits raid attendence and previously gained loot.
The Zero-Sum DKP systems tend to be rigid and have discrepancies due to rewarding attendence to farm encounters with lots of loot, and punishing attendence to progress encounters. When a raider quits the guild, the zero sum condition is violated, so it will either shift into a non-zero sum system or require normalization to adapt the DKP of all players in a way that the sum is zero again.
Non-Zero-Sum systems tend to have a postitive sum over all raiders, as bonus DKP is more frequently applied (and if, then to the whole raid) than minus DKP. This DKP inflation becomes more and more of a barrier for new guild members, who find themselves disadvantaged. For fixed-sum systems, this advantage becomes more or less permanent, and can only be countered by a normalization (just like in the Zero-Sum system).
Bidding systems are more flexible as they tend to self-regulate, and players which have more DKP also tend to spend more. DKP inflation does only happen when players get into item saturation (when they have almost anything they want). Saturation is a good indicator that a player has outgeared the current raiding progress, and should advance to harder content.
Whichever loot distribution system is used, none of them is perfect. Loot distribution can become a complicated issue, especially in raid alliances, with guest raiders and or twinks participating.
DKP and Loot Council are in my opinion best suited for raiding, but it's essential to observe where it works and where it doesn't. There's always a way to customize or mix the loot systems, but keep in mind that the simpler the system, the better. Loot distribution should be done efficiently and quickly after all, to not to annoy the mass amount of people that want to advance to the next boss instead of waiting for a neverending discussion on loot distribution.
My guild currently uses DKP with fixed amount of points per raid, but with a different DKP account for each player and raid tier (so you won't be able to purchase Sunwell items with DKP earned in MH/BT. For the class set tokens we currently use Loot Council, as we need more people with a 4x T6 bonus. Items are purchased with bidding, and it works quite well for us.
How does your guild handle the loot distribution? Share your experiences by commenting this article
DKP is the devil, by World of Matticus
Loot Distribution, by Bremm's Musings
by Tachyon on Tue. 10. June 2008, 23:30
Filed under: brutallus, raiding, sunwell, mage, dpsActually I intended to just play a few rounds of battleground PvP, and look for any groups seeking for a mage for the last couple of bosses in Zul'Aman (desperately need the trinket from Hex Lord Malacrass!), which is the usual things to do for me on half play evenings (I came online shortly before 22:00).
So I was quite surprised when recieving a whisper of Schayol in midst of a battle in Arathi Basin, if I'd feel like doing some learning tries on Brutallus. I didn't hesitate for a second, learning a new boss fight I never encountered before is always a challenge for me, although I'm convinced that my gear is yet not quite sufficient for sunwell bosses, especially for Brutallus.
Brutallus is the second boss in Sunwell Plateau (after Kalecgos). He's got 10 Mio. HP, and a Enrage-Timer of 6 minutes, which basically means that the raid has to deliver 27'777 DPS sustained to kill him before he runs havoc. Divided by the usual number of 16 DPS classes, this means that each one of them has to provide an average of 1736 DPS sustained, given that no one of them dies during the encounter. Quite a challenge, that is, so advantage of each and every DPS buff has to me made, from Destruction Potions, Flame Caps to Drums of Battle, to live up to such a high DPS score.
My mage's equipment consists of a wild mix of T6 (robe, shoulders, 2 rings), T5, heroic badge rewards, PvP items and further items of dubious origin (Karazhan, Zul'Aman, crafted BoE), not quite at the level of a T6 mage. What especially hurts is not having the 4x T6 bonus (5% increased damage for Frostbolt and Fireball), gimping my damage output compared to the other DPSers in the raid.
At the moment, I'm at 1206 spell damage, 126 spell hit rating (capped for frostbolt), 69 spell haste and a mere 187 crit rating, that's quite below the stats I think I ought to have for Brutallus.
But as the raid's main goal was not to kill the boss by hook or by crook, but rather gather a solid feeling for the encounter and learn to handle the tactic and timing, it didn't matter that much, so I enjoyed the wiping and checked how well I'd do in terms of DPS.
The entire raid DPS was very low, as we did the tries unbuffed (half of the raid at least used some flasks/elixirs/buff food to check where in the DPS spectrum they lie). The group setup wasn't ideal either (I did have a shaman in my group, but the moonkin with the tasty 5% crit aura was in the other two mages' group), and we didn't use the Destruction Potions and Drums of Battle yet, but nevertheless the DPS was to weak overall.
I managed to settle on 1650 DPS, not really bad, but there's definitely some room for improvement (4x T6 bonus missing), but at least I was among the 4-8 top DPS in the damage meters.
One point that amazed me was our warlocks' DPS, they were the only ones to make more than 2000 DPS. It's sick how they scale with gear, compared to us mages...
The low DPS wasn't really a problem at that evening, as we happened to wipe always long before reaching the enrage timer (best try was 4:30 min), so we first have to learn how not to bite the dust before the damage issues get addressed.
I assume that the raid will manage to beat Brutallus within the next 1-2 weeks; the gear is more than on a ok level for almost everyone in the raid, and once we manage to keep our damage dealers alive until the enrage and learn how to maximize our DPS, the boss shall finally fall...