Saturday, November 28, 2009

A truly terrible plan

I don't know how I thought this was a good idea. Somehow I'm on my warlock alt, waiting for Level 1 Dwarf rogues to spawn in Coldridge Valley so I can blast them and finally get my Turkey Lurkey achievement.

UPDATE: GOT IT! Thanks guildies!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

3.3 Release predictions

With the coming of Thanksgiving, I can't help but wonder when 3.3 will be released. The gating system and (almost) completion of testing on the PTR realms leads me to believe that it will be very soon. However, a WoW Dev DID hint a few days ago that:
Quote from Daath
Re: is there a mirror for 3.3.0?
We only provide mirror links for full client patches. Background downloads do not count. You have around 1+ month to download this file so we're not really worried about your speed. :) (Source)

Does this mean that 3.3 is still a month away?
If 3.3 dropped exactly 1 month after that announcement, it would make the release date December 22 (23rd on EU realms), which is the week of Christmas. I have a very hard time believing that Blizzard would release a major content patch, even if it isn't the full instance, that close to Christmas.

My best guess is a few weeks earlier; either next week (December 1) or the following (December 8). This will give us December to work through the first 4 bosses and adjust to any buffs/nerfs and also give Blizzard enough time to finish off the Arena season. I would think that wing two of Icecrown would then drop right after New Year's, with Arthas FINALLY coming near the end of January.

Although I cannot WAIT for 3.3 and to finally face Arthas, I have to say that in this case anticipation is half the fun.

I will leave you with my guesses:
Patch 3.3 launch: December 8th
2nd wing unlocked: January 5th
3rd wing unlocked: January 26th
Arthas unlocked: February 16th

Monday, November 23, 2009

Return to KZ

Back from my vacation!

5 bored guildies completed all the easy achievements for Pilgrim last night, and with nothing else pressing we decided to go clear Karazhan (3 of them had never seen it). It was pretty fun, mostly because the two of us that had done it before we're trying to remember all the fight mechanics on the fly, and because we could easily pull all of those big middle-of-the-room trash pulls that you had to strive so valiantly to avoid back at 70.

The hardest fight for 4 level 80s and a 1 level 74? CHESS. Sometimes the best old jokes are the ones with a ring of truth to them.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Icecrown Gate System Info Released

Blizzard has just announced the exact gate system they will be using for Icecrown Citadel:

Quote from Daelo
Icecrown Citadel Raid Access Progression
As we're now getting closer to the release of 3.3.0, we wanted to talk about our plans for access progression within Icecrown Citadel. Icecrown Citadel is going to be broken up into four distinct sections: The Lower Spire, Plagueworks, Crimson Hall, and Frostwing Halls. We plan on releasing these four sections of Icecrown Citadel over time and not all immediately when patch 3.3.0 goes live. At this point we can't give precise dates for these release dates as they are determined by when patch 3.3.0 goes live. Once dates are known with more certainty, I'll update the community so they can plan appropriately. (Source)
Basically, this means that we'll get the Icecrown wings at 4 different times. When Patch 3.3 first drops, we will get The Lower Spire:
Lord Marrowgar
Icecrown Gunship Battle
Deathbringer Saurfang
Lady Deathwhisper

And we'll only get a chance to kill these bosses on normal mode. This will last "several weeks" until The Plagueworks is released:
Professor Putricide

Also of note, we will only be allowed 5 attempts per week on Professor Putricide before we are locked out.
After several more weeks, The Crimson Hall will be released:
Blood Princes
Blood Queen Lana'Thel

At this time, we'll have a total of 10 attempts for Putricide and Lana'Thel, and our attempts on Blood Princes will not be limited.
Finally, after several more weeks, we'll get The Frostwing Halls:
Valithria Dreamwalker
The Lich King

And we'll get a total of 15 attempts to kill Putricide, Lana'Thal, Sindragosa, and The Lich King.
After Arthas is killed on normal mode, heroic modes will be unlocked.
The FINAL catch is that in order to get to the Lich King (heroic) on ANY given week, we will have to kill Putricide, Lana'Thel, and Sindragosa ALL on heroic. Remember that our attempts will still be limited to 15 total for the 4 bosses. Over time, the number of attempts will be increased.

This will be good for prolonging the time until The Lich King heroic is finally killed, but in what I feel is a VERY superficial way. It will be at least 6-8 weeks until the Lich King is even unlocked, and then the following week we'll finally get a chance to try hard modes. After that we will have 15 attempts a week to kill Putricide heroic and continue on to Lana'Thel, Sindragosa, and finally, Arthas.

Personally, I dislike this system, even though I don't think my guild will personally be held up too much by the gates. Whether or not I am personally affected, I feel this will kill the race for world first Arthas heroic by just making it take too long until it is released.

I will reserve my final judgment until I see how difficult each of these encounters are, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Going out of town for a wedding!

Really hope the patch doesn't drop while I'm gone, heh.

Probably won't be posting much, but Yigi will still be posting about druid and PTR stuff.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hit & Run: New Emblem Gear

Not a lot of new stuff, but I thought I'd weigh in on some of the new gear.

New Emblem gear has been announced on the PTR. I always wonder how in-touch the devers are with the actual player community, but it is very nice to see that the itemization for the mail gear, for the most part, is very much in line with Resto and Ele prioritization. Other than that mp5 on the chestpiece, it is all very well itemized for the current Shaman HEP weights that are being thrown around at EJ.

REALLY like the new healer trinket too. It's a lot more interesting than the current badge one.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shaman T10: GHOST DEER?

OK, I know shammies have been bitching about having to wait to see our tier 10, but it was TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT:

Druids may be wearing yogg-saron as a scarf, but I have DEER COMING OUT OF MY NECK. Shaman Win.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Zigi's Choice

The Pandaren Monk?

or Lil' K.T.?

Let's be honest- Lil' K.T. looks AWESOME... but 5 bucks of the Pandaren Monk purchase goes to an awesome charity- the Make a Wish foundation. Walking around with a Lil' K.T. is a big skeletal middle finger to sick kids and their dreams!

Eh, who am I kidding? I'm getting both.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Circle of Tanks

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Yigi, Druid, 0/58/13

What is your primary tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mostly 10 mans, some 25s

What is your favorite tankng spell for your class and why?
Swipe. I love it's spammability and it's high threat. I would LOVE to say Maul because it just does so much threat and dmg, but I hate the way it works.

What tanking spell do you use least for your class and why?
Druids don't have a very large arsenal of tanking spells, so I tend to use all of them in a normal 10 man setting. In 5 mans i rarely use Lacerate, since it takes 5 GCDs to really make it worth it.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
I hate to use the standard "swiss army knife" cliche that druids get, but it really is true. Our burst threat, sustained threat, and survivability are not the BEST, but they are all really good. So I would say, we are very well rounded. A huge strength we also have (while it's not necessarily tanking), is the ability to switch to a very solid healing spec.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
Snap threat is our biggest weakness that I can see. The only way we can REALLY frontload a lot of threat is through berserk, which only works if you have 1-3 targets and really gimps your sustained threat in a single mob encounter.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Bosses that hit for big numbers, whether it's a spell or physical attack. Our high health pool and good defensive cooldowns really make us perform great during a Plasma Blast, for example.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
I tank with a DW Frost DK every day, and I love it. Their AoE threat is amazing, so it really counters our lack of burst AoE threat during fights like Mimiron P3 or Jaraxxus adds.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
I haven't tanked much with paladins in Wrath, although they seem ok. I haven't met any GOOD pally tanks on this server, so I think my view of them is skewed.

What is your worst habit as a tank?
Probably hectic fights where I tend to watch how my raid is performing rather than concentrating on tanking.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
DPS who try to run the show. I love suggestions, but when DPS feel like a certain strategy is better because it involves less DPS movement, it irks me.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks?
I feel like we are pretty well balanced. DKs have gotten the shaft a lot recently, but since they started so high during 3.0 and 3.1 they are about on par, if not a SLIGHT bit behind.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
Mostly just seeing how well the fight is controlled. In most fights, the tanks control the fight. If the tanks are doing their job, there is minimal movement, minimal add rampages, and an overall cleaner encounter. I do look at Omen to see my TPS on occasion, but for the most part if I am holding aggro and know I'm using the right rotation, it's all about the same.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?
The fact that we are "mana sponges." Uneducated people feel like the druid class is just supposed to be a high health sponge that soaks up the hits, while they fail to realize that our high dodge and armor make us take a lot less damage than they may think.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
How to properly gear. Since druids don't have a "def cap" to worry about, a new druid doesn't have any stats to "aim" for. It's all about knowing the proper balance, and how to gem/enchant properly. The only thing that seperates leather feral tanking gear from feral/rogue dps gear is the gems and enchants.

Effective Health or Avoidance and why?
I raid with a Disc Priest, Resto Shaman, and Resto Druid healer, so I feel like in a lot of cases avoidance really ourperforms EH. If I raided regularly with a holy paladin, or raided 25 mans, EH would be much more important to me.

What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
DKs, although I understand the basics, the ins and outs are foreign to me.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
I don't use any tanking specific addons, but I use omen, grid, and spellreminder to keep track of my threat, raid, and cooldowns respectively.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
At this point I mostly stack Agility. To an extent I DO balance it with stamina, but mostly only in blue slots (using agi/stam gems) and in certain enchants where stam is just better than agi.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Showing WoW achievements in Blogger

The first thing I noticed when I started this blog was that all the wordpress dudes had awesome achievement feeds on their blog, and generally the blogger implementations were a little hack-y. Given that the armory is XML and the achievements are all accessible through that, I figured that it wouldn't be that hard to put together a Yahoo! Pipe that shredded the data and made it a nice little RSS feed. You're welcome to copy or use the Yahoo Pipe that I put together however you like, and here are a few suggestions on how to display it on your blogger blog.

  1. Go to Yahoo Pipes!
    You can roll your own if you're comfortable with XML and Pipes, or you can just use the one I set up here. Feel free to copy it if you want to make minor changes.

  2. Enter your data
    Server name, character name, like so:

  3. Select a display format
    You have 3 choices for displaying the format. The first and second are both Yahoo! Pipes embedded badge; which you can choose either the image format or the list format.

    For an example of a blogger blog that's using an image badge from this pipe, check out druidmain.

    If you want something without images, like what we have here in our sidebar, just pick the "RSS" output from the Yahoo Pipe, and copy that URL into the standard Google RSS badge.



Monday, November 2, 2009

The fight where HPS is DPS

Hehe... Right after I soft-whined that healing becomes less fun as the raid gets more gear, I read about this new fight that just got tested on the PTR: Valithria Dreamwalker. This fight is backwards, in that you find an NPC that is at 50%, and your raid's healers have to heal that NPC before adds can take her down. They do a lot of nasty healing mortal-strike stacking debuffs too, so the adds have to be managed carefully.

Basically, they turn the tables- in normal fights, the dpsers do the measurable work while healers support them by keeping damage off them and healing them through the unavoidable damage. In this fight it's now up to the healers to get an NPC from 50% to 100% health, while the dpsers take on a support role, and manage the adds to let you do your job.

And the achievement for killing her quickly? Healbot.

I love blizz sometimes. Cannot WAIT to see this fight on live! I think I'll make a macro "/ra cna some1 link healing meterz plz?". Yep, I'm gonna be THAT GUY.