Blog Archive by month: August 2009
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 Wed. 05. August 2009, 12:47
Filed under: patch, magePatch 3.2 - Call of the Crusade went live in the US yesterday, and today here in Europe.
For our guild this poses some problems right away, as we didn't manage to clear heroic Ulduar yet (Yogg-Saron has been killed in non-heroic Ulduar, but we have yet to bring him/her down in heroic mode). We haven't done a single hard mode encounter yet, and Algalon is probably going to join the league of skipped bosses such as Kil-Jaeden.
I'm wondering what we're doing on our scheduled raid tonight, whether it's going to be Ulduar (what I personally hope, I don't want the place to stay uncleared until we outgear it) or the new Argent Coliseum instances (5, 10, 25 men).
The profession changes are also very welcome, in fact I kicked Herbalism for Enchanting (cost me 2 days and ~8k gold to powerlevel it) so I can get the upgraded ring enchants. Alchemy has some new recipies for the new epic gems, and a new Flaks ( Flask of the North) to compensate for the boni other professions have. The flask itself is everlasting, and its effect remains for 2h. Of course it doesn't stack with other flasks, but that's what we have have Mixology for (increased effect of flasks).
I'm also eagerly looking forward to play the new battleground, Isle of Conquest.
As I've planned to do more PvP, it means that I had to give up one of my raiding specs (Arcane and Fire/TTW). Leaving Arcane behind was kind of hard for me, as I learned to love that spec almost as much as Frost back in its glory days, but under the aspect that Blizzard is rather forcing us to spec Fire, I didn't have much of a choice. My two specs are now Fire/TTW (20/51/0) for PvE, and Frost/TTW (20/0/51) for PvP.
Mage spell and talent changes:
3.2 brings mana cost reductions, mainly to compensate for the Replenishment nerf. Frost mages will be happy to get a mortal strike like effect with Permafrost, and Fire mages will squeal with glee when sprinkling Living Bombs on multiple opponents.
- Arcane Blast: Mana cost reduced by 12%.
Nice change, too bad it only affects AB and not also Arcane Missiles and Arcane Barrage. Arcane is still going to have a hard time, as it's quite obvious that Blizzard wants us raiding mages to spec into Fire (see 4xT8 and T9 set boni).
- Frost Bolt, Cone of Cold, Frost Ward, Ice Armor, Frost Armor, Frost Nova, Ice Lance, and Ice Barrier: The mana cost on these spells has been reduced by approximately 15%.
Long overdue change for PvP.
- Invisibility: Can no longer be interrupted by a hostile action or damage done during the 3-second Fade time, however an invisible mage is still vulnerable to Stun and Silence effects.
Invisibility is now a granted thread dump, random boss damage effects will no longer break the fade, and we can even continue nuking during the fade time.
- Mirror Image: Images will no longer trigger the death sound when their time expires.
- Empowered Fire: In addition to its existing effects, this talent now also grants a 33/67/100% chance to regain 2% of base mana each time the Ignite talent deals damage.
This change looks like it could provide a solid mana regeneration, I've yet to test how much MP/5 this will yield on average.
- Empowered Frostbolt: Instead of increasing critical strike chance by 2/4%, this talent now reduces the cast time of Frostbolt by 0.1/0.2 seconds.
0.2 sec less cast time is 2.5/(2.5-0.2)-1 = 8.7% haste, that's nice for PvP and compensates well for the 4% less crit.
- Permafrost: In addition to its existing effects, this talent now also causes the mage's Chill effects to red)-uce healing received by the victim by 7/13/20%.
That's an effect similar to the warrior's mortal strike, only with 20% less healing, but at least spammable (mortal strike: 50%, 6sec cooldown). I find it already nigh impossible to kill a well geared healer in PvP, so that effect could help me in this regard.
Mage Tier 9 set:
- Tier 9 Set: (10 normal, ilvl 232 ):
Conqueror's Sunstrider's Regalia
- Tier 9 Set: (10 heroic / 25 normal, ilvl 245 ):
Triumphant Sunstrider's Regalia
- Tier 9 Set: (25 heroic, ilvl 258 ):
Totally Triumphant Sunstrider's Regalia
- 2 pieces: Increases the armor you gain from Ice Armor by 20%, the mana regeneration you gain from Mage Armor by 10%, and converts an additional 15% of your spirit into critical strike rating when Molten Armor is active.
- 4 pieces: Increases the critical strike chance of your Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Blast spells by 5%.
PvE wise, the 2xT9 bonus will raise your spirit-to-critrating conversion from 55% to 70%. If you have, let's say, 600 spirit, the additional 15% is 90 crit rating, or ~2% crit (45.91 crit rating = 1% crit). Not too bad.
Ice Armor and Mage Armor are used in PvP situations exclusively, where running around in 2p T9 is debateable.
The 4xT9 bonus also gives more crit, thus Fireball and Frostfire Bolt specs profit the most. Arcane doesn't scale that well with crit, or even poorly compared to fire if we take the Hot Streak talent into account.
So all in all, mages can save a little mana this patch due to the talent changes, and I can't help but claim that Blizzard has given up on making all talent trees viable for PvP and PvE somehow. Fire will completely fill the PvE nice, kicking Arcane overboard, whereas Frost will continue to be the PvP tree. Makes me wonder if there's any place left for arcane...
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.