Archive for January, 2008

Raiding as Fire

Quick Stats

Most Common Specs
10/47/3 – Clearcast raid fire
2/47/11 – Icy Veins raid fire
Gains 210% damage from critical hits.
Spell Hit Cap: 164 rating

Raiding as fire.

We’re talking 47 points of awesome into the fire tree, and the others spent wherever you deem fit.

It’s easy.

It’s unoriginal.

And it works. (more…)

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Totally Forgot

Hydross down, btw. Guild dropped him on Wednesday. Totally forgot to mention that.

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I Finally Did Karazhan

Yeah, I finally did Karazhan yesterday.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… how does this mage go from regular instances, straight to Tier 5, then do Karazhan after?

Simple… I haz uber leet skillz.

Ok, no, seriously. I had the Tailored epic set, which means I have 3 extremely solid pieces that will last me a long, long time, and also a bunch of PvP epics that, while not optimal, are still light years beyond anything else you can start 70 with. So I didn’t exactly hit 70 with crap all gear, I started with 7 epics ready to go, and quickly collected more. So there. Nyaah.

So, where was I… Oh, yes! Karazhan! We had damn fine group, so we one shotted all but two on our speedy four hour run.

Our group makeup was as follows:
Protection Paladin, an alt of the Guild master. Has the best gear possible outside of Tier 5 for Prot Pallies.
Two rogues, one of which was an alt. Both definitely on the high end gear wise, relative to Kara.
A healer Paladin, who had horrible connection issues, and as such we ended up 9-manning amost the entire run
Myself, setting things on fire and pulling aggro on everything. JOKING, never once pulled aggro.
A Resto shammy, also in overwhelmingly good gear. Except his mace, which is an embarrasment. He keeps running Kara in the hopes of getting ANY healing mace. 3 weeks of nothing. Poor guy.
Holy Priest, overgeared for Kara. Needs him some badges!
Feral Druid, off tank. Doesn’t need anything from Kara besides badges.
A brand new 70 warlock, definitely in entry Kara gear. Sporting mostly quest blues at the moment, but has a couple nice epics. Like the Frozen Shadoweave Shoulders, for instance.
A brand new 70 hunter, mostly Kara entry blues, with a couple epics. Heh, guy had a rough night. Being a newbie at all.

We eventually replaced the Holy Paladin with another hunter (you might well know him as Ghostkid, one of my loyal readers), and went on our merry way through Karazhan.

Attumen got owned in short order

Moroes down even faster. The new hunter had some fun here, seeing as how it was like “K, you need to chain trap the one marked with a Blue Square. The whole encounter. If you fail, we all die.” We didn’t die, so mega props to him.

We cleared to Maiden, downed her no problem.

On we go to Opera. The Prot pally heads out on stage to see what it is, we get Romulo and Julianne. Bubble, run out, restart.
Down they go. Had some DPS issues, meaning me and the warlock were assigned to Romulo and seriously out DPS’ing the two rogues on Julianne.
They had some troubles keeping the heals interrupted, I think they kept kicking Blinding Passion by accident.
Or maybe it was the Devotion buff I got to spellsteal. I only got to do it once, damn priest kept dispelling it. Oh well.
Down they go, badges were had, off we go to Curator.

And here’s our first wipe. Resto shammy’s mana went kersplat, and the rest of us were basically… yeah, can’t DPS Evocates when we’re dead.
I had some serious issues with pushback on fireball that encounter. Gah. Like, took over 5 seconds a few times to get the damn spell of. The Flares lurved me, and they didn’t die fast enough.
Oh, well, respawn, keep going, utterly destroyed Curator the second time.

Skipped Illhoof (we ain’t doing that crap with a new warlock) and on to Shade of Aran.
Downed with few problems.
I got caught in Blizzard once, thanks to the chains, which held me up a bit. Frost Ward, then blink. Had to Ice Block once, I went the wrong way and ran into a Blizzard rather than out of it. lawlz.
Oh! And nobody moved during Flamewreath. Zero damage from that ability.
And the elemental adds were handled nicely by aforementioned new warlock. Kept on banished, and another chain feared the whole fight. Bravo, you don’t suck!

Cleared out chess, I tried out being a healer. Healing is stressful when its on a 20 second cooldown. Eep. Was the most stressful moment of the night.

So, we were about ready to call it a night at this point. Meh, went after Prince, almost all of us needed something from him. Me included, I’ve desired that tier 4 hat for a long time. Just haven’t bothered to go get it.
The mindblade would also be sexy. Oh, well, neither dropped.
Our second wipe was here. Off tank got nailed by enfeeble early, then got hit by an Infernal almost instantly upon trying to flee. Dead druid.
Next one dropped right onto the ranged.
So did the next one.
Second time, nobody dies, Infernals were almost a non issue (one did land directly on top of the melee), and the hunter picks up a Decapitator because it looks cool.

So, portal to Shatt, with plans to finish up Sunday night. I immediately take all my hard earned badges and go buy myself some new bracers.

Runed Spell-Cuffs

Snazzy? I like to think so. I’ve been coveting spell haste for a while now, and this is just the start. Scoring the Pantaloons next, and from there, grab some stuff from ZA if I ever manage to be on during ZA nights, and hopefully will get a speedy little fireball.
Or, at the very least, get Scorch to the point where it will be under the GCD enough so that it always throws my timing off when I get the whole “Can’t do that yet” errors.

Won’t that be FUN?!

On a related note, anyone have about 5 primal fires I can have? I need me some enchants.

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Confessions of a Magi

Even we, the elite of the arcane, masters of fire, have our dirty little secrets.

And where better to admit them then here?

We only drop Refreshment Tables in battlegrounds because we’re too lazy to summon our own food and water.
Then, we click them as fast as possible, to empty the table in seconds. Then, we delete all the manna biscuits, besides the ~100 we need, and then blame the hunter next to us for draining the table.
At this point, we tell everyone else that its on cooldown, sorry they missed the biscuits.

The only reason we spec frost to level is because frostbolt makes a really cool noise when you shoot it.

We cast Blizzard on the melee in the Shade of Aran fight, and see how many panic and run out.

We go an entire raid casting only Scorch, because we’re playing on a laptop and watching a Zombie movie with our friends.

We always spellsteal a Paladin’s “Wings” because, quite frankly, they look better on a mage.

We all secretly wish we had rolled gnome mages.

We all have an inexplicable loathing of retribution Paladins.

If anyone gets mind controlled in a raid, we will do our utmost to kill that person as fast as possible.

If we see a warrior pop Spell Reflect, we cast Polymorph to get a free heal.

We ninja killing blows in battlegrounds with Fireblast.

We will gladly cast Pyroblast on level 1 critters to pad our WWS damage reports.

We all secretly lust for female dranei.

We all have warlock alts.

We love to ride at about 110-120% threat to make the tanks sweat.

We secretly love to be turned into Little Red Riding Hood.

When blizzard stopped letting us summon Portals to Capital Cities in battlegrounds, we mages wept.

Dropping somebody to 1% in a battleground, then casting slow on them and melee’ing them turns us on.

Wehn we meet hunters in a battleground, we take pleasure in killing the pet then running away. Ice blocking, jumping off a cliff, whatever, so the hunter cannot kill us. Then we do it again a few minutes later.

We heal the other side in battlegrounds.

We break our own sheeps and blame someone else. After all, what kind of mage breaks their own sheep? Right?

Restoration druids make us cry.

We use Ice Block at 1% just to be a prick.

We keep polymorph right next to the Arcane Power + Trinket + Presence of Mind + Frostbolt + Icy Veins macro, so people will know how awesome I am… by accident.

We spec to get Imp. Flame Ward, and then run around FRAPSing ourselves reflecting Fire spells.

We all break out into a cold sweat when we’re low on Teleportation Runes.

We love to sheep sheep.

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I’m Tired

I’m tired. I’m sick. I cannot take another minute of this madness.

I am talking about Subtlety rogues, obviously.

Am I sick if losing to them? No, that is not the case. As class versus class, the dynamics haven’t really changed.

What I’m sick of, what I’m tired of, is these subtlety rogues taking themselves seriously. I am sick of these rogues who run around battlegrounds pretending they have a real spec. I am sick of them using these… gimmicks.

I won’t say I’m sorry for these somewhat harsh words, because I’m not.

These…. rogues… these so called Subtlety rogues, are annoying me to death.

In all honesty, the subtlety tree doesn’t make sense. It seems to be an incoherent mishmash of stuff, that is better off as a collection of engineering trinkets.

Criticize me if you want, but it doesn’t feel like I’m playing against an actual spec… it doesn’t feel like an actual talent tree to me. Most talent trees in the game have a built in synergy to them.
Like the mages fire tree for example. Crit enhancing talents, and then talents that feed of crits.
Or, say, the arcane tree. Increases the mana cost and damage of abilities, and has an ability that does more damage the more mana you spend. It also has talents that increase intellect, and then a talent that increases spell damage based on intellect.
Y’see how this works?

And then we have the subtlety tree, which is like… people taped abilities to a dart, blindfolded themselves, spun around, then hurled the dart in a random direction. (more…)

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A History of Me

So I started off, a wee little troll mage running around, having played only one online RPG (it was a Neverwinter server, up to 20 people online at a time!), and never having played a spell casting character… properly, that is.

At Vox’s suggestion, I attempted to level as arcane. Leveled to about 16 putting points into Arcane before I realized I always used fireball as my spell of choice, almost never touched Arcane Missiles.
So I respecced over to fire, and found it much more awesome. Impact was, like, the COOLEST THING EVAR.

At level 18, I wandered into one of those Warsong peoples on the vacation weekend. I thought to myself “What’s PvP? I wonder if it’s any good”. So I tried it out. I was very sad.
My best ever attempt was dropping a rogue to 93% life before getting killed. I mostly got killed by everybody, couldn’t get a spell cast off ever, and then got killed again. Ganked in seconds.

So I thought “this is stupid. Never doing this again”, and went on my merry way, leveling up.

It was about here that I did my very first instance. Wailing Caverns, with a PuG group. We failed on the 6th pull in, wiping catastrophically. So I didn’t do that again for a very long time.

Things changed at 29. Oh, how they changed. Namely, I got Burning Soul. Pushback resistance. Things changed a lot at 29. Those rogues who used to gank me? HAH! Eat fire, bitchez! And so it went. I was doing quite well at 29. I was never the best, but I was pretty good. Usually about 5-6 on the damage meters, about there.
I spent a good couple of weeks at 29, doing nothing but Arathi Basin over and over again. Vox was harassing the hell out of me. “Level up! Level up! Fuck, LEVEL UP!”

So I did. I leveled up. And at 36, gave PvP a try again. I discovered I was even BETTER now! All these new fire abilities was turning me into a god of damage. It took one and a half months to level from 36-40, because I spent so much time doing PvP.

Again with Vox harassing the shit out of me, I leveled up into the next bracket.

I have frost a try at level 44, and Blizzard promptly nerfed the tree into oblivion the next day. Went back to fire, and it has always been my favorite tree.

Lo and behold, 49 was the best bracket yet. At this point, I was glued to the whole idea of a glass cannon. I barely had over 1k hitpoints at this point, but had enough spell damage to consistently drop 6 or 7 enemies before I was killed, assuming nobody healed me ever, and I was always in the top 3 for damage dealt, and had a ton of killing blows (and as such as always gifted with heals every now and then). Almost 3 months were spent happily killing stuff at 49. Hell, the release of the Burning Crusade came and went in this time period, and I didn’t even notice until I encountered a Dranei Shaman for the first time.

See, at 49, I had never, not even once fought against a dranei shaman. I had no idea what to do about them at first. It was like, this thing is running at me, holy crap Earth Shock, what the hell is that? Holy crap! What was that? Stormstrike? I got one-shotted! Holy crap! HOLY CRAP! They can heal themselves too? Fucking overpowered!

For about a week I got raped by shamans before I figured out how to kill them. After that, everything settled down back to normal. One of my PvP buddies turned into a blood elf, but other than that things went smoothly. I ganked, got ganked, and so on.

So, yeah, almost three months at 49 doing nothing but PvP. I had this little tight knit group of people I always PvP’d with. People like Nismofreak, Olintharg, and a bunch of others. PvP is what we did. It’s just what we did. And we were hard core.
We even reached a point where we would all spec around each other, to get to the best possible fighting unit we could get.

As such, I found myself in the dreaded PoM Pyro spec. Well, it was at 49, so I was basically a one trick pony. Well, except for the fact that I had a ton of spell damage (for my level) and as such I could easily three shot most people.

Oh, yeah, and I did Uldaman a few times around here. Oddly enough, I was quite good at it, and I don’t know why. I had done… like, Wailing Caverns once before, but for some reason I was good at instances. My sheeps were good, my DPS was good, and aggro was never pulled. Sorry, guys, I was never an instance noob.

I could go on and on here, I mean, me and these people played together for nearly three months. I kinda have a lot to say on the matter, given the chance. But this post isn’t about 49 PvP, its about me.

So. I go on a band trip for a week and a half, get back, and discover all my friends had moved on. Every one of them was between level 53-58.

Was I disappointed? Yep, yep I was. I was very sad.

PvP just wasn’t the same without them.

So, off I went, back to the whole leveling thing.

Meandered around WPL, and ended up at 51. Then I tried out the fabled Alterac Valley.

One month later… I had gained 2 levels from doing nothing but AV. So, yeah, level 53, and I thought “Ehh, better go back and do some real stuff”.

Vox had hit 70, like, 3 months ago, I think.

Anyways, so, gradually leveled from 53-58. Took bloody forever. Then hit up Outlands, and leveled from 58-59 in the same amount of time it took to get to the Outlands from STV. No, seriously. That bloody fast.

So I picked up all these Outland greens and quest rewards, leveled as close to 60 as I dared, and went back to PvP.

Oh, it was glorious. I discovered the use of stamina for the first time. I was still very much a cannon, except I had fitted myself as an iron cannon. I was still able to 2-3 shot most people, and consistently was in the top 1-3 for health in the entire battlegrounds. This included Alterac Valley.

I mean, I had 4 items that were 59 greens “of stamina”, so I was far ahead of the competition.

Ridiculously high stamina + ridiculously high damage output = WARLOCK MODE ON.

Averaged 1 death per BG versus ~50 kills. It was damn good times.

Oddly enough, I never actually did some serious PvE until halfway through my 60’s. Before running Underbog with my guild at the time, I had almost never run actual instances. Zul’Furak (?) once, Wailing Caverns, and Uldaman a few times. That was the extent of that.

And then all of a sudden, all this Outland stuff. Instances up the wazoo.

Good times, really. Wiping in Underbog, wiping in Sethekk Halls, wiping in Mechanar, wiping on Murmur for 3 hours straight, yeah. It was fun.

Needless to say, thats why I am extremely jaded towards PuGs, even though not ALL of my experiences were terribad.

Well, whatever. Played plenty of battlegrounds on my way up from 60-69, and as was usual for me, dominated them all. What can I say? I was designed for slaughtering the innocent. It’s just what I did.
At 64, I respecced for frost, fully expecting my beloved fire spec to be next to ruined by resilience, until my gear came up to par, and even then…
Needless to say, I was proven right. Fire is sad, and is largely self-defeated by resilience. A loss of ~12% (I forget what the exact cap is) ruins a lot of the damage fire depends on to be competitive. And entering 70 arenas with barely 7k hitpoints, and not even 100 resilience, its ruinous unless you max out your spec to try and cover it.

Regardless, spent a good month at 69 as well, so there. I had fun. Killed stuff, and had actually gotten 4 pieces of my 70 honor gear before getting that last level.

And at 70, promptly hopped onto some arena teams, and we generally had our asses kicked all over the place. But oh well, thats kinda where this blog started off, at the tail end of arena ass kicking. After that, my teams dried up, and some major changes occurred.

For one, I joined an excellent raiding guild (Hydross went down tonight, Grats to us!), and as such, a raiding spec was needed. I have used all 3 major specs now, and am happiest with fire. Go figure, huh?
Anyways, took my arena’ing to PTRs, and here I am. Raiding and PvP.

And doing a blog, because I’m that lame.

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Why Polymorph Is So Damn Good

1) Able to be used on both Beasts and Humanoids, it is an extremely effective crowd control spell, used everywhere from Wailing Caverns to Serpentshrine Cavern to Sunken Temple to Black Temple. So many mobs are susceptible to Polymorph, it is almost a universally good crowd control device.

2) It is spammable. Some crowd control abilities, like a hunter’s freezing trap, come with cooldowns attached. Polymorph does not have a cooldown.

3) Polymorph is a crowd control spell that is brought to the mob in question. Again comparing to a hunter’s freezing trap, polymorph has a 30 yard range, and as such can be casted at a mob that is still yards away. Freezing trap requires the mob to come to the trap, which requires a lot more precision and skill to use properly. Any dumbass can use Polymorph correctly.

4) The mob barely moves once controlled. A warlock’s fear “controls” the mob, but it is still running about like an idiot. There is serious danger that other mobs will be pulled. A sheep doesn’t leave the same 4 yard zone, and most importantly, if other mobs path over it, they do not aggro. Apparently, there is nothing suspicious about a cute piggy named “Incredibly Powerful Naga”.

5) It lasts a very long time. Max ranked Polymorph lasts a hefty 50 seconds, which means in your average instance, you can sheep it, and then forget about it for almost a minute.

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Raiding as a Mage

The leap from solo WoW to group WoW can be a tough one. As you probably know by now, group play demands that you excel at what your class is good at, and completely ignore everything else.
When you, mage, go off to kill some mobs, you are providing the pulling, the tanking, the DPS, and the heals, all by yourself. Pull a second mob by mistake, and now you’re doing the crowd control as well. You have to fill all of the classic group roles with you and only you.
This all changes when you group up with other people. Grouped up, you no longer have to tank, heal, pull. That stuff is not your responsibility, and you can safely ignore them and leave those tasks to the classes who excel at them.
You will never tank an instance. There are a couple bosses where you tank, but that is far out from the norm.
You will never heal an instance. It just won’t happen. K?

For we mages are here for two things: dealing damage to the bad guys, and turning the bad guys into cute farm animals. Thats what we do.
You don’t need to kite a mob, because someone else will be tanking it for you. You don’t need to worry about people’s health bars, someone else is taking care of that.
So what do you, the grouping/instancing/raiding mage need to know? (more…)

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That was the name of my 2v2 team on the PTR.

So. Me. A 17/0/44 frost mage (by the name of Spatula), and a 41/5/15 beastmaster hunter (by the name of Inda (pet’s name was hizzouse)).

(Just mentally remove Ice Block from the talent tree, put Cold Snap there, and put Icy Veins where Cold Snap is)

We did quite well, I think, for the rather unorthodox matchup of Hunter/Mage, for a 2v2 anyways.

To be quite honest, this type of arena was practically a 3v2 effort. A beastmaster’s pet is quite a deadly force, especially when sent after a squishy. We had some rather devastating combos as a team here, and our kiting power was unmatched. (more…)

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