The Art of Chaining Cooldowns

The Art of Chaining Cooldowns

Want to increase your raid’s overall DPS?

How about expanding it’s survivability?

Or keeping enemy packs incapacity and stunned for longer than usual?

This is one of the basic raid tactics you can use. Chaining cooldowns refers to players using similar abilities one after the other. Stacking cooldowns means to use them simultaneously. How exactly should a raid chain their cooldowns together?

Offensive

As a DPS player, you have your own personal DPS increasing cooldowns. In most cases they’re fired off all at once to raise your damage for those brief seconds that the abilities are active. It’s kind of a no brainer isn’t it?

But when you’re dealing with many players, you may not have that luxury. What happens if two players stun the target at the same time with two Hammer of Justices? The target still gets stunned for 6 seconds (too bad the other stun doesn’t carry over and add 6 seconds on top).

(Un)Fortunate enough to have 5 shamans in raid? You can use their Stormlash totem one after the other for 50 seconds worth of extra lightning DPS. Bonus marks if you pull this off during a Heroism.

If you’re working on challenge modes, then you’ll have to chain your cooldowns together to get through various trash packs. In some cases, you may need to combine both offensive and defensive ones based on your group composition. My challenge mode group is stun heavy with a Death Knight, Monk, and a Shaman. Like clock work, the Monk opens with a Leg Sweep while the Shaman drops his Capacitor Totem at the same time (the stun detonates after 5 seconds) before the Death Knight finalizes with Remorseless Winter. If we still needed more time to finish off a pack, I dropped a Power Word: Barrier to help. Like any form of crowd control, targets will be affected by diminishing returns.

Defensive

Structuring healing cooldowns does need a little more thought. Should you use more than one at the same time or layer it one after the other? Bosses tend to have signature mass DPS abilities which affect the whole raid. Your decision on stacking or chaining all comes down to how intense the damage is and how long that boss ability lasts.

Jin’rokh’s Lightning Storm? We started chaining two cooldowns one after the other (example: Smoke Bomb followed by a Power Word:  Barrier).

Iron Qon’s Fist Smash? We stacked two cooldowns at a time as Rising Anger continued to increase.

Addons

If you don’t have it installed yet, get RSA downloaded and set up. It’ll help you and your fellow raiders as it announces when you activate your own raid cooldowns and when they end.

rsa-config

Bring up the configuration and go into the General Announcements tab. The drop down on the top right let’s you adjust which spells and abilities you want to use. The checkboxes let you choose where you want the start and end points broadcasted. In most cases, it’s going to be either a Smart Group or a Whisper. You can choose to override the output channel if you wish.

In Conquest, there’s a dedicated shaman channel where they organize their own Stormlash Totems and that’s where they set their macros and announcements to.

This simple technique is going to help you shave time off your kills and help you beat enrage timers. A little organization and communication ahead of time with your players is going to be needed, but it’s well worth the effort! To really stretch this out though, look through each boss and find out what the best time to chain cooldowns will be. Look for periods in a fight where your raid can stay still and unload their arsenal!

PSA: Don’t Put Tanks on Follow

I wanted to follow up on the previous PSA I released about Battle Rez spells.

Don’t put tanks on follow

Because if you do put tanks on follow, you’re going to have a bad time. If you actually need to go AFK, your best bet is to put a healer or a ranged DPS on follow. In most cases, they won’t be affected by cleaves or anything of that sort. I wouldn’t advise following a melee player either. Those guys tend to just do nothing but DPS and will ignore saving you if it means moving around.

Also, it’s best not to go AFK in the snail hallway in Throne of Thunder. If you put someone on follow, there’s a high probability they’re going to feed you to a snail.

Otherwise, don’t follow tanks unless you want repair bills.

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

Why do You Need a Professional Guild Site?

The Conquest Gaming website received a much needed facelift a few weeks ago. A special thanks to Altered Innovations for the design work that went into it. You’ll see many guild sites aiming for predominantly dark colours. I wanted to go with a different approach and go in a brighter direction instead.  Functionality aside, today we’ll be talking about pure aesthetics.

The looks.

The feel.

The sex appeal.

Why do you need a good looking website?

One of my raiders suggested adding more Comic Sans to help make it a little more “fun”. I shot that down without zero hesitation.

“What’s wrong with Comic Sans? Why do we need such a good looking site? Why does it have to be professional? I mean, we’re not getting paid or anything like that.”

Those are all excellent questions. You don’t actually need a polished, quality site. But attracting players is like trying to pickup women: First impressions matter! You can aim for something that’s clean. Or go for something more bold. Or have a little fun with it! No matter what, there’s something to be said for good design.  Rules and other information should be easy to find. The “apply” page should be in an obvious location.

I’m not trying to be shallow or anything. I’m not saying that the quality of your guild depends entirely on the look of your site. Your guild should have a little substance to it. Your guild is defined by the players, the culture, and the activities. At the same time though, your guild site should showcase those aspects. For progression raiders, it’s all about how many bosses that guild has taken down and when. With potential recruits visiting, a good looking site determines whether or not they’ll leave within the first second.

Just like in real life, adding a little more care to appearances goes a long way.

A few of the other raiders echoed those sentiments. If the site had an old school Geocities or Fortune City look, they wouldnt’ve given it a second glance. That brings back memories of scrolling or flashing text (depending on Netscape or Internet Explorer — My how times have changed). Don’t forget the embedded Real Player.

Or frames.

I digress.

When I’m browsing around other guild sites and I see one that catches my eye, I can’t help but be impressed. Because there’s a guild master who gets it. It’s another way for that GM to express their dedication for their guild. If a GM didn’t care, why bother investing the time or the money in creating a unique site of their own? If you’re a recruit, you can think of that as a positive indicator when you’re shopping for a new guild.

Not every guild has access to the tools or designers for sites. I suspect this is true of smaller guilds. But their activities and communications are coordinated around Facebook groups or Google+. That’s okay too, but I’ve found it harder to find information about them. Then again, most of those groups tend to be invite only.

if you actually are looking for a custom layout with spoilers and rims, I recommend looking into Altered Innovations (check out the portfolio). If you’re already on Enjin, then it’s a bigger bonus as he does specialize with Enjin sites (and that’s what allows the rates to be reasonable). Most of the coding is already built into the Enjin infrastructure which saves time on development.

Besides, these guys actually do  get paid. It’s stipulated in the contract. One drink at BlizzCon*. They just need to be there to redeem it!

* Redeemable for active raiders only or at GM’s discretion.

Curse Lei Shen!

On Monday, we had multiple attempts where we were able to push him down to 2%.

Two percent!

But we couldn’t put him away. We simply suffered too much damage and he casted us aside like dolls. The team has gotten better collectively when it comes to the intermission phases. We’re ending the second main phase on an Overcharge and this is where it gets a little tricky for us. Lei Shen will hit the second intermission at 30%. I tend to call for players to split and head to their assigned corners at around 33%. Around this time, we’re going to get either an Overcharge (the donut) or the AoE balls.

  1. If I prepare for the Overcharge but call for the stack, we phase him too early and everyone won’t be in position on the other corners resulting in deaths.
  2. If I hold DPS to eat the Overcharge and then dispatch players to the corners, we run the risk of either Overcharge catching players and stunning them or we don’t have enough punch to force him to phase before the lightning balls come out. If lightning balls do come out while we’re spread out, we’d have to contend with them during the second intermission.

Last night, I blew two calls directly leading to wipes at that time. On one of those wipes, we were short two DPS (we would’ve been on track had them been alive). I’m debating handing the steering wheel to someone else instead because it’s taking me long to get it right. Wouldn’t be so bad if it’s a 10 man. It’s only 10 people that get pissed at you. The pressure is amplified in a 25 man though. I sure as hell don’t feel the most confident waltzing into the final phase. We’re going to try to have range loosely surrounding Lei Shen (not max range) and AoEing lightning balls as they come. I feel overloaded.

We need to crush this guy!