Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun night out

Nothing exciting was going on so several of us friends decided to run the daily heroic UK last night. Ordinarily there would be nothing of note from that place. What made it more entertaining is I tanked it in a full DPS 17/0/54 spec.

With my tank gear I was uncritable of course and still had 30k health unbuffed with 26k armor nd 34% avoidance. Needless to say that was still more than enough to handle the place. Not to mention we all have raid experience.

Ingvar only got one dark smash off before we dropped him. The extra 500 DPS I brought to the table really sped the place up.

We also do this for out alts on occasion. We did a regular UK 4 man with an Enhance Shammy as the "tank" a hunter kitty as off tank, my boomkin and a holy pally. Since the shammy didn't really have any aoe aggro tools beyond pulling with a chain lightning we used lots of CC. I'd root melee toons and the hunter would range ice trap casters.

So remember raiding is srs bsnss but kick back and have some fun on occasion.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More Changes on the PTR and other things

Let's start with the other things. WoW Insider linked my feature of Mundien which lead to my second largest daily visit total. I got an e-mail from Mundien stating that his graphic card died so he can only access e-mail on a friends computer. He wanted to pass on his thanks for y'alls interest and support and added that tanking with 1000ms means you really have to anticipate where the mobs will be versus where they appear on your screen.

So lets talk PTR. MMO Champion has the latest build notes up and if you haven't heard by now master of ghouls and night of the dead are changing places.

Unholy DPS specs that rely on a perma ghoul will be just fine since you will still be able to get both talents. Blood and Frost DPS specs that used to dip into unholy to get the perma ghoul are going to go without.

Now we all know perma ghoul without night of the dead is not that permanent since they die to AOE a lot so this may not be as big of a nerf as we think on the surface. That said, I'll leave the hard core theory crafting up to our friends over at EJ. The same goes for Death Strike nerf.

Over the next few days I will replace my hybrid Tanking/DPS build linked on the right with several builds for 3.1. I honestly haven't used my hybrid build in a while. It works great for small guilds in heroics and Naxx 10 but it just doesn't perform well enough to forego the respec costs to change back and forth between dedicated tank and dps in Naxx 25.

The builds I am planning on putting up are Blood Tank, Unholy Tank, and Unholy DPS. The expectation is that you will have dual spec and pick two out of three. I have seen rumors that ebon plague stacking has been fixed but I don't yet have evidence I'd rely on 100%. As soon as I find it I'll pass the confirmation on.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Featured Death Knight - Mundien

This weeks Featured DK is Mundien of Spirestone. He's an Unholy Troll Tank still getting geared up for Heroics with his friends. His biggest problem, you can't play WoW while deployed at Sea.

Mundien is in the Navy and life shipboard isn't conducive to doing anything other than reading the webs. Therefore his play time is limited to days in port.

When Mundien is available to play I'd recommend running dungeons with a Wyrmrest tabbard on. As he gets honored and eventually revered with them they have 3 solid tanking peices that will last him well into heroics and even Naxx. Regular Halls of Lightning will be a good place to start. If Loken can be convinced to give up his trinket Mundien will be well on his way to getting the 689 defense rating needed for raids when he's back this summer.

What was your former main? I raided on my undead lock, Mundin, formerly of Team Cartel on Dunemaul Through the second half or so of BC, and back in Vanilla WoW days, I was a dwarf Healadin with positively mediocre gear in a guild called Not in the Face on Gorgonnash (also named Mundin).

How does your DK compare to your former main? The DK is pretty much exactly the class I’ve been waiting for. I love the lock, and the pally was fun, and I enjoyed my warrior for the little bit I played him, but I always wanted something that I viewed as kind of a mix of the three. The other classes never really appealed to me. The DK is almost TOO much fun.

I have to agree with this. My lock was fun and so was my bear, but the DK really combines some of their playstyles quite well.

My least favorite thing about DK's is ....... the stuff I’m seeing on the PTR reports, I don’t know how fun it’s going to be when I get another chance to play. I’m optimistic, but I’m also seriously considering going back to the lock for a while. That nerf bat can hit pretty hard.

I honestly believe we will come out of 3.1 in decent shape. The tanking nerfs won't be fun but I don't feel they are game breakers for us. Both blood and Unholy will have viable tank specs. I can't say much for frost since I still haven't done much with that tree outside of dual wielding.

What are you most proud of with your Death Knight? The fact that he was 73 when I left for deployment, and through a few port visits on really spotty internet in several different countries, he’s now 80 and not terribly far off from heroics…I know he’s got SSG, but give me a break, I don’t have much choice right now :P

Not only will I give you a break on using SSG, I'll suggest you are the prime example of when and how to use it. SSG provides the bridge required to get uncritable and makes gearing up much easier. Keep rocking the instances while in port and I have no doubt that you'll make a fine tank when you can dedicate the time to it.

So for all of you on Spirestone, give Mundien a /Salute when you see him. He's out there doing the work that allows us to have fun back here.

/attention
/salute Mundien

As a reminder if you want to be featured fill out the form here.

No Immortal for me

After my previous night of Disconnects I get logged on for the remainder of Naxx last night. I am pleastantly surprised to learn that everything but Four Horsemen and Frostwyrm is clear. That tells me despite my DC issues the guild did well in the remaining quarters.

I was still in a DPS spec from the night before where I had been asked to respec. We only had two tanks so I was asked to tank Baron in my DPS spec. My only concern was I just traded out my tank cloaks for a shiny new Platinum Mesh Cloak. The only problem was since I didn't expect to be tanking and our guild chanter didn't have any titanium it was chanted with +16 def rating. That left me 11 def rating below the cap.

I advised the RL and my healers and they said don't worry. We use the zerg technique where all DPS starts off on Thane and kills him first. Then Baraon, then Lady, and last Zelick. My job was simply eat however many stacks it took to get Thane down while tanking Baron. As soon as Baraon was taunted off of me go relieve the holy pally tanking Zelick in the back.

Went like clockwork.

I honestly never asked whether there were any boss deaths yesterday but it didn't matter come Saph. We had a new ele shammy in the guild who didn't have a chance to get any frost gear and he went down on Saph. But that was the only death in there.

Kel took us two attempts since the RNG played mean with us on the first one. We have two off tanks pick up the scarabs when they come out. Both of them got mind controlled at the same time while tanking scarabs at around 15%. Needless to say that lead to a complete wipe.

The second attempt, everything was going smooth. The rogues, DPS warriors, and all 3 of us DKs were doing a good job interrupting the Frost Bolts. Mind Freeze FTW. Then I got mind controlled. I was sheeped twice but not long enough to keep me from death gripping a resto shammy and one shotting him. Why can't I do that when I actually want to?

Still a fun relaxed night of raiding.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Disconnects FTL

I was all excited to run Naxx 25 last night, grab some emblems, grab some screenies, and have something interesting to say on the blog.

Guess the interwebs had another idea. We were doing a slow thorough clear trying to ensure no one died on boss attempts.

On Anub, I DC'd 30 seconds in. I think I'm logged back in, I see my UI is hosed and DC again. I relog see Anub is almost dead on the other side of the room and DC again. I get back in and was able to grab my emblem. I still don't know what dropped. Not that I contributed.

On Faerlina, I DC two more times. And when I can get logged in my latency is anywhere between 500 and 1300 ms. Things are not looking good.

I whisper the RL that I am going to entirely reboot my computer and router while they clear trash to Max to see if that helps

On Maxx I DC right when she enrages.

I had been hoping to tank but I'm glad they asked me to be DPS. With the plague quarter coming up I excuse myself from the raid. There is no way I'm surviving the dance with these DC issues. Not what I wanted to do, but not fair to blow everyone's chance at an achievement because the interwebs decided to be mad at me last night.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Major Tanking Glyphs in 3.1

Tanking Glyphs are going to be tough come 3.1. There are a lot to choose from. I took a trip to the glyph vendor on the PTR and took a few screen shots for you.

I've broken them down into four categories. Non tree specific, and each tree.

Non Tree Specific


Right off the bat we have 5 major glyphs competing for three spots. All 5 are threat related.

Rune Strike is straight forward increase in TPS for all DK's. Given the changes to Blade Barrier it's not my favorite, but it's still damn good.

Death and Decay is an oldie but goody. Who doesn't want an additional 20% damage on our highest threat AOE tanking ability.

Dark Command may or may not be the biggest tanking DK glyph in the game. It is situational but when you absolutely need the taunt to hit, this glyph puts a melee hit capped tank at the hit cap for their taunt as well. If Ulduar has lots of mechanics like Gluth where two tanks have to taunt off of each other this will be required.

Glyph of Disease is the much ballyhooed glyph that allows pestilence to refresh your diseases on your current target at the same time as spreading/refreshing them on the AOE packs you are working on.

Dark Death is a straight up threat increase by pumping up death coil damage. Though as a tank this is probably lowest on my priority simply because death coils are lower priority uses of RP than other abilities.

Blood Tank Glyphs

The reality is, Death Strike can apply to all trees but I put it in blood since it is the primary strike FU for blood given the changes to lichborne. More damage equals more threat. This will be a common theme.

Vampiric Blood brings the healing benefits to this talent up to 25% uptime given the 2 minute cooldown nerf.

Frost Tank Glyphs


Unbreakable armor buffs the mitigation of this talent even further. Like all our mitigation cooldowns this took a nerf but for the 20 seconds its up this will go a long way to ensuring you survive what ever is thrown at you.

Howling blast, Obliterate, and Frost Strike are all threat enhancers. They all contribute to your damage output which will ensure the mobs hate you that much more.

Unholy Tanking Glyphs

Bone shield's two extra charges becomes even more valuable as our avoidance and BS's cooldown got nerfed.

Unholy Blight's 10 extra seconds frees up more RP for rune strikes and deathcoils to increase your threat.

Scourge Strike remains the same and continues to refresh your disease on your primary target.

Summary

It remains to be seen whether Dark Command will be required. Right now if you miss a taunt on Gluth or the 4 horseman you can survive until it comes off cooldown with good gear and decent healers. That may not be true in 3.1.

Assuming Dark Command is not required my immediate reaction is to take Vampiric Blood, Disease, and Rune Strike for blood tanks. I'd lose disease for Dark Command. While refreshing diseases is nice for main target and AOE, I'm not hosed if I don't maintain 100% uptime for either single target or AOE.

My Frost Glyph selection would be Howling Blast, Unbreakable Armor, and Frost Strike. Since I've never tanked as Frost I won't be offended if any Frosties suggest otherwise. If I need Dark Command I'd probably drop UA. 20% on oh shit is nice, but the likelihood that the 20% is actually the difference between a wipe and a kill is probably less than that of a missed taunt.

Unholy tanks will have to take Bone Shield. With impurity I would also grab Death and Decay to take advantage of the AOE synergy. Last I would grab Scourge Strike to keep my single target threat up. The disease glyph doesn't do anything for AOE threat and we will be spamming SS on our main targets anyway. If I have to lose one for dark command I'd drop the DnD glyph.

Ask The Scourge Time

It's Tuesday and the servers are down.

It's Tuesday and I haven't had much to blog about in the past few days.

It's Tuesday and I haven't had an Ask the Scourge post in a couple weeks.

So if you have a DK question, I will provide a DK answer.

On unrelated notes.

I have a couple great DK features coming. Some of you have some fascinating stories. Keep 'em coming. If you want to be featured you can fill out my form and e-mail it to me.

I've also had just a couple people step up on the Scourge Event. About a month ago I proposed this idea and several of you said that would be cool. Very few of you have gone out and rolled an extra DK over on Nazjatar to make the event happen. As a reminder the sign up is on the right and can be found here.

Last for some entertainment, BRK has been doing Baby Hunter movies. If you haven't seen them go check them out. My hunter is level 70 and I've learned more about strafing than I ever knew before. I was just happy I knew how to trap. So for fun I went out and rolled a hunter for kicks and giggles and using BRK as a guide I leveled to 6.


Check that out, the first 6 levels and only 5.5% of my damage came from melee. Apparently BRK can teach an old dog new tricks.

As for patch 3.1 I'm calling for it to drop in two weeks on 4/6. (I have no basis for this opinion)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Foul Trouble

I'm personally a Football fan. But my Alma Mater is in the big dance. They were also highly seeded and was carrying a 15 point lead in the second round just before the half. With 3 minutes left we are behind by one because we've given up 26 points in Free Throws.

Foul trouble is costing us the game.

OK Scourge what does this have to do with raiding?

Fair question.

Every time you make a mistake it's like a foul.

Pull aggro off the tank and at best the raid needs to reposition. At worst you just got ganked.

Miss a taunt, foul.

Violate Raid Rule 1B and die because you stood in the shit that kills you, foul.

Snipe a heal, foul.

AOE a CC target, foul.

Some fouls are more egregious than others. Anything that gets the main tank killed will generally lead to a wipe.

But enough of the little fouls will wipe you as well. They add up. Every time a DPS dies that puts more pressure on the healers and brings you that much closer to the enrage timer.

You can take action to foul less. Stack your stats properly. Make sure you have the right gear, chants, gems, consumables. Practice your techniques in heroics. Listen to your raid leader.

The point is, don't sweat one or two small mistakes. But if all 25 players are making one or two its going to be a long night of wipes. From a raid leaders perspective, sometimes you just have to bench a player that commits too many fouls.

5 seconds left and my team has a 2 point lead. But we just dropped a couple free throws and have to go back on D. We were heavy favorites in the game and just may prove that over matching your opponent, or over gearing the raid may allow sloppy play to not ruin the night.

Surviving foul trouble on Sarth + 0 when over geared happens. If its Sarth + 3 you just can't afford to commit the fouls.

Missouri pulled it out and beat Marquette 83 v 79 and moves on the the sweet 16. Now we have a few days to regroup and clean up our play.