Saturday, 28 March 2009


Yes! Twilight Vanquisher Rexkicker!

Alright, after nights of continous wiping, last night was our night! Where one perfect attempt brought about the results we were looking for. In fact its more of a relief than anything else. I mean, with patch 3.1 rolling soon, I would've been pretty p*ssed working on it for weeks, coming close and not getting it. So once I get tired of hanging around Dalaran with Twilight Vanquisher, I think its back to the good old 'Chef' title.

So whats my take on the whole fight from my PoV?

Well when you engage Sarth, the raid and the boss switch places. The tank pulls the boss to the front and the raid moves to the back where the boss was standing. Being melee I go about halfway, wait until the tank picks up the boss and start my dps slowly at the side of his back right leg and . If you're directly behind the boss, you get stunned so you're just a bit to the side of him. I also pop Hand of Salvation at the start so I don't snap aggro accidentally (I've been guilty of this before and I'm never going to do it again!).

After about 30 seconds Tenebron joins the fight (the drake that spawns adds). At the start of the first flame wave, I switch dps to Tenebron which is tanked at the back of the raid. Adds will spawn from Tenebron, so we try and stack the adds on top of Tenebron for more AoE. Oh, and before I forget, turn all non-essential addons off (especially Quest Helper!) and turn your spell detail right down. It gets hella laggy from here on out. These simple changes helped me and other guildies to stop lagging out on void zones and lava waves.

By the time Shadron comes down (at about 1m 15s), our raid usually has Tenebron down to about 25%. At this stage, we pop Heroism, that way both Shadron and Tenebron (tanked by the single tank) and the adds are all together and are within AoE. I can also open up on Tenebron by spamming Hammer of Wrath to finish him off.

After Tenebron goes down, we clean up the rest of the adds and start to work Shadron. After 2 mins, Vesperon joins the fight. This is where it gets nuts. When you attack during the Vesperon 'phase', each attack deals damage to yourself. Not too bad, but when you consider that you're also taking damage from SotM, its too hard for the healers to keep you and the tanks up. Soo for Vesperon...I switch out SotM and use Seal of Command (remember that thing?). Also I judge light here, this is to help the raid out so that the heal procs help lessen the effects of the raid damage.

Once Shadron is down, congratulations the hard work is done! From here, most of the raid moves into the portals to take out both acolytes. Those raid members outside of the portals watch the countdown to the next flame wave. If the raid burns both acolytes too fast, the raid my warp back out of the portal right into a flame wave. So don't risk all your hard work and make sure you finish off the second acolyte only when its safe to shift back into the 'real world'.
After that you switch back to SotM, and dps down Vesperon and then Sarth like normal.

There you go, that strategy is what Covenant (my guild) have been trying to pull off for the past three weeks. Soooo what next? Well 'of the Nightfall' title looks interesting...

Monday, 23 March 2009


Well I dunno, we failed at 3D again so after three solid hours of wiping and another three hours last night we then stepped it down to 2D and just rolled through it easy with less than 25. I dunno, it just seems like a huge step from two to three drakes. Ah well, maybe next week, onto the real post...

Is achievementism on the rise?

Okay, its not a real word, but more and more I'm seeing achievements being used as a tool for discrimination.

The first place where I'm seeing achievementism is in trade chat. Since most of the content is 'easy', there are pug raids everywhere. So as a screen to sort out the bads, raid leaders are requiring that pugs link their achievement.

For example, if there is a pug Naxx raid, linking 'The Fall of Naxxaramus' achievement will go a long way to getting an invite. Also the better your achievement, the better your chances of getting an invite such as having 'The dedicated few' achievement. I have also been in Naxx raids where players swap out their main for an alt for certain bosses for achievements just so to make it easier to get pug raid invites in the future.

This is also going further to recruiting, where achievements are scrutinised heavily as part of the screening process. Since my guild is working on 3 drakes, new applicants would need to have cleared OS with at least 1 drake or they aren't really given a look in. Its akin to a job application, where you might take an applicant with a higher qualification, say a degree over someone with a diploma. Sure they could lie on the application, but the achievements tell the truth.

So I am a firm believer that achievements aren't 'useless', even though the points value attached to them is. At the very least, your achievements are like your resume. Whether or not you get the position - whether in a raid or an invite to a guild may depend on the quality of your achievements.

Here we go again...

Having another crack at OS+3D... again.

The guilds getting better and I think I'm failing much less on void zones and lava waves. I've turned my spell detail to minimum which helps to keep lag down and makes void zones much easier to see. I can't see my consecrate though, so I just hope my targets are in range when i drop it.

About to pull. I'll check in later with how I went...

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Say no to dual specs

The more I think about dual specs, the more I hate it! Other guildies have asked me what my second spec will be, and when I said it would be PvP, I get lol'd at. Their view is that since I can spec holy or tank, I should to benefit the guild.

The guild however already benefit from me being ret, and I have been geared specifically for that role. If I was a pure dps class no one would care if my alternate spec was for pvp/arena, so why should it be any different simply because I'm a hybrid?

A second spec is a bad idea. If Blizzard is serious about arena and wanting to help alleviate the tank/healer shortage, then they need to implement tri specs or even quad specs (in the case of druids and paladins). I would be more than happy to pay extra for my third or fourth spec so that hybrids can choose if they want those extra specs or not, whereas those pure classes that have no need for those extra specs can simply choose not to pay for it.

I have a nagging feeling that Blizzard will be tempted to make an encounter that requires signicantly more tanks or healers than usual, forcing some dps hybrids to switch specs mid-raid because they can. While it would secure a dps hybrid a raid slot, it would mean that they would need to perform a role that they either do not have the gear or skill for. I know that I haven't been holy for a long time now (and well before the 3.0 patch), so I know I couldn't switch to holy mid-raid and heal. It just wouldn't work.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Conflicts of doing achievements and ret school

I admit that I've become pretty competitive with achievements, I'm sitting on 5180 achievement points, and am staring down the barrel of finding old quests to finish for the Loremaster title.

What I am noticing more and more is that I am conflicted between trying to do achievements and raiding. I only have a certain amount of time to play and when my personal goals conflict with that of the guild I'm having to knock back people with the line... 'Can't raid, doing achievements'.

This actually happened with the recent Love Fool event. I shelved all raiding as I knew I wouldn't have time to do the achievements if I raided! I found that I was already checking into Ironforge every hour hoping that a candy bag would drop. So that left me with playing around on alts while waiting for the 1 hour debuff to wear off. This same situation is sure to come up again with Hallow's End and Brewfest. I know I'll be farming like crazy during these events.

The other achievements that leave me baffled are ones like 'The Dedicated Few' where you bring 20 players or less to Naxx. Imagine being told, 'sorry you can't come, we're going for the achievment', even though there are five spots still left in the raid! Having to dump players from your line-up is a bit harsh.

Ret school

We have two other ret paladins in the guild, both of them are part-time as in one's ret/holy and the other is ret/prot. So I still have my usual ret spot locked up. I like the competition though as it makes me focus. What I am finding fascinating is the different schools of thought on gearing for ret. One side being the 'strength at all costs' versus the 'stay hit capped' side.

I'm in the 'strength at all costs' camp, and have sacrificed other stats. I mean, I only have 186 hit. My nerve will get tested even more once I replace Death's Bite with the Jawbone or Betrayer of Humanity which will drop my hit to about 124... well if I can ever get my hands on them that is.

One of the part time rets has converted to the strength at all costs camp but the other is firmly stuck in the other camp and won't budge. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to sway him with higher numbers to make him change his mind, but considering I outgear him by a fair margin as well its not exactly a fair contest. *shrug*