Friday, January 23, 2009

Poll Results: Difficulty of Normal versus Heroic Raids

So the poll closed yesterday. Nearly everyone who felt qualified to compare 10s versus 25s believes the 10 man versions are harder.

I tend to agree. The normal raids just do not provide any opportunity to recover from a mistake. They are also sufficiently difficult that if a tank or healer is under geared the encounters will be too much to handle. There is a little wiggle room for DPS, but not nearly as much as the heroic versions.

Another telling clue to the relative ease of heroic raids has been the proliferation of guilds willing to pug as many as 7 or 8 members on a regular basis.

This would be the equivalent of pugging 2 to 3 members of a 10 man raid. Outside of Vault 10, I just have not seen that happen. You would think, the success rate of heroic pugs would lead to greater 10 man pugs as well. I have to think the relative difficulty of normal raids prevents this.

To sum up my opinion, I believe the normal raid encounters are more difficult to complete due to less room for error and under geared players than heroic raids. The difficulty in organizing 25 people is less than putting together the right 10 people to clear the same content. Adjusting the hitpoints and damage output of the mobs and bosses are not balanced between the two at this time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Threat Issues?, Not so Sure

I've been hearing we are having some threat issues from various forum reports.

To the right you will see the damage done and damage taken from a Heroic CoT run last night. These are the overall numbers and individual bosses usually had my damage lower than everyone else.

Needless to say, when the tank takes 72% of all damage in the run, and I didn't try to pick up the little zombies, I think it's safe to say I did not have any issues holding threat.

However, I did feel that both my AOE and single target
were off. Had I had DPS in the 3k range I would have had more issues. But that is just a gut feel that I can't put a finger on.

It could be due to the change in runestrikes damage. I know it is supposed to have a 1.5 threat modifier.

Rune strike went from being my number 2 source of damage on heavy AOE tank runs (DnD beat it out) to number 6 with it's damage contribution cut in half.

Until I get a few more runs under my belt post patch, I think the jury is still out on Unholy threat production.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby DK

I forgot how Death Knights start off with dress. So macho. Can kill anything.

Anyway I rolled another death knight for a couple of reasons. One I wanted to enjoy the starter quests again. This time I can appreciate them more since I'm not learning the mechanics at the same time. The other reason it with just a bit of effort I can hit 60 in Hellfire and test a few things out.

I'm a cheap bastard and respeccing on Omenscourge is getting expensive. So I'm going to level this guy blood to 60 so I can learn the ins and outs of more blood talents, then I will respec to a frost tank spec and try to tank ramps a few times.

To be honest my biggest concern with the plan will be finding 3 other DK's who don't want to be Deathtards in ramps and a healer willing to pug that insanity. This will be harder since I haven't had a toon on that server in over a year and don't know many folks anymore.

To sum it up, new DK = cheap testing on other trees.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sigils, Runes, and other 3.08 Impressions

So I've had my first look at 3.08 and discovered a couple things.

If you want the new raise ally spell, you have to go train it. 36g

If you want the new runeforge stoneskin Gargoyle, you have to train it. 36g

Fad of the month Deathtards deleting their toons. Priceless.

Needless to say you have to go train these. Though if you are defense capped, and don't have a bunch of defense gems and enchants, you may want to hold off on the rune.

With the new rune I can afford to lose 127 defense rating and maintain uncritable status. I only have 46 rating between gems and chants. But I lose 3.76% avoidance after I take out enough defense to get me back to the cap. With my gear, I will be worse off with this rune. Your mileage may vary.

If you are not defense capped, get this and plan on working towards achieving the cap without it.

The tanking sigil is 15 emblems which I would presume you get while dpsing. But the sigil I'm most happy about is Haunted Dreams. I had this and it would proc 173 haste on occasion.

Look at it now!!!!

Yeah Baby!! 173 Crit for 10 seconds. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

I'm really glad I dropped the emblems on this.

Why I like DPS meters, even on trash

If you've seen some of my screen shots you will notice recount in the bottom right corner. I always have it on and running.

Unless I'm researching something specific using recount it always shows overall damage, that includes trash in a dungeon or raid, and when out questing stuff you only hit twice.

Every now and then I like to flex my epeen with the meter especially when I'm in a guild run, just to give some friends a hard time after a big AOE pull but that's actually not why I like them.

DPS meters provide feedback on personal progression.

I keep track of my dps results on bosses and overall for every dungeon/raid I do. I also note whether I'm tanking or DPS. Then I can use the comparison over time to determine if my new spec, rotation, or gear are truly improvements.

I look at bosses separate from the overall because at the end of the day, if the boss didn't die you did. DPS on bosses is what gets the phat lewtz. DPS on bosses is what gets you invited back to a raid. Even when tanking your DPS matters. I can look at recount after a run and see in tank gear I did 1785 dps on Cyanigosa heroic last night. Since frost bumps that by 1.9 that meant I averaged 3392 TPS for the fight. Next time I go back I can make a comparison whether my threat has increased or not.

I look at overall DPS because I believe DPS on trash does count. Just not as much as bosses. Higher DPS on trash means more time spent killing bosses, means more bosses killed. Again the comparison is over time not between players.

I also pay attention to DPS of individual players, especially those I run with frequently. It gives me an idea of what content we are capable of, including whether its reasonable to push to be a timer etc.

A lot of people malign the meters, but when uses properly they give great feedback to performance. Just don't post your 5k dps in general chat when one howling blast scored you the Jenkins title.

QQ Moar Patch 3.08 is here

I'm not here to QQ about the patch. In fact I believe the sky is not falling. There appear to be some other changes that weren't in the notes that I linked earlier.

That said I'm not going to talk about all the changes in the patch for our class again. I'm sure WoW Insider, MMO-Champion, and the others will go into those details. I'm going to talk about what that means for us, the DK who wants to tank/dps heroics and raids but isn't a pure min/maxer.

Do you have you're guide to the galaxy? Read what's on the front.


We will still be a kick ass class. We should be better tanks and within a few days there will be a new killer DPS spec that will pick up where 32/39 left off. Trust me.

We may lose a few DK's back to other classes, but quite honestly if this patch forces people to change classes they probably weren't playing a DK because they enjoyed it, they just wanted to be part of the crowd.

There is still some debate on the new tanking sigil and runeforge enchant and as live testing commences we will start to see a consensus on them. That said, if you want to tank heroics and need these to get defense capped by all means go get them. A dead tank sucks at holding aggro.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Main Stream, sort of

I think a lot of WoW bloggers write because they enjoy it. It's another avenue to enjoy our successes and failures in the game. It's also addictive. It is enjoyable to receive feedback on what you have written. Its great to see visits climb and fall with the quality of your posting. It's also cool to see others link back to your work.

I was doing a little research on a topic I've written about a few times. Google turned up one of my posts. Problem was, it wasn't on my site. It was on a gold sellers site. Copied word for word, graphics and all. And I wasn't listed as the author. My site wasn't even linked.

Call me an old fogey but that just pisses me off. It's not even plagiarism, it's downright theft since they are using it to try to make money off of my efforts. Then again its a gold seller, they are notorious for using other peoples efforts to make money.

I won't link or even name the site since the last thing I want to do is drive additional traffic to them. I did leave a comment suggesting readers may want to visit my blog if they enjoyed what I had to say.

Poll Results: Are you a Deathtard?

Nearly half of y'all owned up to being a Deathtard once or twice. I can only imagine the 30% who claim they have never been a deathtard are reading my blog since they like me. They obviously haven't played a Death Knight yet!!

Me, I fall into the bracket, More than I care to Admit.

Let's face it, this is a new class and all of us are still learning the nuances.

Nuances such as when is a good time for Army of the Dead. AotD doesn't taunt raid bosses but when I asked whether to drop it on Maxxena the other night I was told emphatically no by the raid leader. Rather than debate the issue then and there, I didn't summon the army even though its a great dps boost, especially at the enrage.

I've played every class to 60 and in my opinion our rotations are the most complicated, save an Affliction Warlocks. While a lock does have to manage several dots with different durations, they only have one resource to deal with, mana, OK lifetapping for health too. DK's have 4 different rune types and runic power with cooldowns on various abilities.

We are complicated. We can't just stand infront of a mob and hit the same two buttons over and over and be successful.

Because we are complicated we are prone to mistakes.

What makes a Deathtard is the complete lack of awareness of bad play and the unwillingness to improve.

Example, the first time I saw Thaddius I ran the wrong way when the my charge changed. I lived but a lot of people didn't. However, I learned my lesson and didn't do that again.

First thing I do when I zone into an instance after a wipe is make sure I'm in the correct presence. Early on there were too many times I stayed frost while DPS and grabbed aggro. There are other times I was in blood and wondered why I couldn't maintain aggro.

At the end of the day, mistakes happen. If you learn from them and move on don't worry. If you continue to make them over and over you sir are a Deathtard. Kindly Alt-F4 out of the run, and reroll another class.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A good night for the Scourge

I got into a Naxx 25 run with one of the better raiding guilds on the server. And we knocked out 3 quarters. I hope I can make it tongiht to finish the place since I believe they will clear it.

Compared to them I was undergeared so that meant I got lots of drops.

I scored the Shoulderguards of Opportunity for my DPS set.
I got the Ablative Chitin Girdle for tanking.
And I picked up the Sabatons of Endurance for Tanking.

I also collected enough Emblems of Valor to get the Signet of the Impregnable Fortress. This was such an upgrade compared to all my rings its in my Tanking and DPS set.

Between the gear upgrades and clearing two quarters I hadn't seen before I picked up four Achievements for the night as well.

DPS wise I held my own with the help of the DW spec. I hit 5164 DPS on Anub Rekahn and still came in 4th, they had three people break 6k DPS and one was a hunter. For the night I did 3500 including kiting the zombies on Gluth.

If you plan on being a kiter, make sure you have Unholy Blight, that would have made it so much easier rounding up all the zombies.

Now I'm back in my Unholy Tank/DPS spec so I can start tanking again after a week off.