Blizzard Watch and Blackrock Foundry Impressions

What a busy week! If you hadn’t had a chance yet, here’s the latest stuff written up on the Guildmasters:

Blizzard Watch

I’m back!

No doubt you’ve heard the news of WoW Insider being shuttered. Alex and Adam, the brains behind the operation, have a Patreon all funded.

Their targets were met within the day.

Blizzard Watch is a reality now with your help and support.

I’ll be on deck providing general day to day support for any Warcraft stuff and Hearthstone stuff. Once Overwatch kicks in to high gear, you’ll be able to see my contributions for that too. In fact, I just finished my first draft on a Paladin deck list that’s been making the rounds on the ladder so you can expect to see that sometime later in the week.

In other news, I’ll be temporarily stepping in as the Priest columnist dude. It’s interim for now until another can be found.

Why interim? If you haven’t yet, take an opportunity now to read Poneria’s thoughts on her own Warlock column.

I’m not Dawn.

I’m not Fox.

No way I can fill their shoes. During Mists, I tried my hardest playing Shadow at various points and just couldn’t pull it off at the level required. I don’t have the intellectual capacity to theorycraft in Holy or Discipline, either. Oh sure, I contributed to the Priest section in the Warlords of Draenor strategy guide. However, the class columnist needs to be self sustaining through the good content heavy times and the dry spells of the expansion. It’s easy to whip out something to say after a patch, a nerf, or a new raid instance. Coming up with something during the lulls is much more difficult.

My problem is that I’ve written so much that I don’t know what to really write anymore. Ideas themselves aren’t a problem. But a class columnist has this level of expectation and pressure on it as Poneria illustrates. With the Priest being such an iconic class, it wouldn’t be possible for me to sustain the level of quality that I expect from myself over the long run.

It’s like being expected to hit a home run at least once per week.

Imagine a waste basket in front of you that’s filled to the brim of crumpled Post It notes and scribbles. In that waste basket are ideas that might be good enough for something else, but might not be up to the standard that Blizzard Watch readers expect and deserve.

Look, I absolutely love my Priest. Not once has any other class been considered as a main switch. But I lost my confidence in writing about it ages ago. You have WoWHead, Icy Veins, Noxxic, Ask Mr. Robot, and How to Priest as these wonderful resources for both new and veteran Priests to turn to. What the hell did I have to add anymore?

In the spare time I had before in the past, I’d periodically mentor new bloggers or columnists to the realm of Warcraft blogging. I’d tell them the day they start receiving comments that disagree with their content, it means they’ve officially reached the big time. As a blogger, our roles are to help educate and encourage discussion. Alternative viewpoints aren’t a bad thing. If everyone agreed with everything written in a post without a second perspective or anything else to add to the discussion, then I failed my job. But hey, this is the internet. People say things. People say really mean things. And I try to encourage the new writers not to give up, to not take it personally, and to not let it get under their skin. The moment it does, then the internet wins.

Confession: I let it get to me. I started second guessing myself. I second guessed every post I wrote and every idea that popped up. Before, the standard used for writing posts was “Would Matt read this?” and if the answer was yes, I’d start.

The blank document in front of me was like a huge giant slab of marble that was waiting desperately to be chiselled for the words, ideas, and entertainment to be unleashed upon the world.

Now, I don’t even know what my standard is. I’ve built up my own internal expectations to the point where I can never surpass them.

I forgot to add, Big Bear Butt’s recently called it a career from blogging too. He’s a veteran blogger and fellow WoW Insider colleague. There were times where I was depressed about writing and wanted to reach out to him because I felt that he could at least understand (I never did though as I just swallowed it, bit my tongue, and went back to grinding away at what I was working on). He and I started writing about Warcraft during the same time period around 2008 where we had legends like Phaelia, BRK, Ego, and so forth. I don’t think there’s anyone left that’s still active (even playing the game).

This is why I’m only filling in temporarily.

Anyway, I promise, I’ll keep the seat warm for you. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions. Can’t say I’ll be able to answer all of them but I’ll try. If you’re interested, here’s the contact form.

Blackrock Foundry Impressions

Is Blackrock Foundry fun?

Yup, I’d sure say so. We’ll find out if the instance is just as fun and engaging in two months as it is now. The reaction to it appears incredibly positive. First few week’s often energetic as players are enthusiastic about the instance and the atmosphere.

We learned the hardway early on in Highmaul not to take anything for granted so we opened our week into normal mode to help shore up any remaining gear issues while getting everyone’s feet wet for heroics. Plus, let’s not forget the benefit of tier sets and bonuses.

Gruul – I daresay this guy is the Patchwerk boss of the instance. Burning Crusade veterans should have no problems as they ace through the Petrify and Shatter mechanics. We didn’t have the benefit of radial circles on the ground that informed us who would get hit by Petrify affected players. Oh yeah, everyone in raid was hit. None of this 8 players business. Anyone else’s lawn called? Something about getting off it? 🙂

Oregorger – The trick is to stay behind this guy. When phase 2 rolled around, we stacked the raid together and rolled around the chamber to activate Blackrock crates. You might have to time defensive raid cooldowns against the Acid Torrent.

Blast Furnace – Apparently, this was bugged during the first night or so. Thankfully, it was hot fixed a little later on. One of the toughest bosses in the instance even on normal. Ended up stacking sides during the first phase. Having a Priest with Mind Control will come in handy during the second part.

Hans and Franz – These guys are hans down my favourite boss of the instance. If your guild ever needed an idiot and movement check, this one would be it. If you haven’t referred to the abilities as pop tarts and stamps yet, you should start.

Flamebender – Conquest spent a few wipes here as we attempted to shoot for the Steel Has Been Brought achievement. It largely worked with us just tanking Steelbringer to the side while he jumped around the raid. If you’re planning on obtaining this for your guild, pull him way into a corner. He does knock backs which are insanely annoying especially if you get affected by the Molten Torrent ability and can’t jump into range of melee fast enough.

Kromog – Kolagarn 2.0! Nothing can get more random than this. Stack up your range and healers. Establish defensive raid cooldowns on breaths as needed. I used at least one per breath. Paladins and Mages can easily ignore the rune and hand mechanic. If someone gets caught out, a Paladin Hand of Protection will save them.

Beastlord – This is another quick test of your raiders and how swiftly they can dodge the spears being thrown. Your healers will be pushed during Ironcrusher phase with the Stampede.

Operator Thogar – The other movement heavy fight in the instance is Thogar and his toy trains. Set defensive cooldowns against the Iron Bellow from the Man-at-Arms. The Cauterizing Bolt from the Firemender is key as it deals 20% damage to the ads then healing up to 35% of their health over 10 seconds. Time your Mass Dispel against it. Make sure you download Thogar Assist.

Iron Maidens – Can’t say I’ve participated in an encounter this long since my first go at Illidan or Kil’jaeden. You’ve got time to theoretically use Heroism twice. But you should really save it for 20% when the fight really starts.

Blackhand – This is a really satisfying end boss to an instance. It has three phases, none of this intermission junk. The changes they made to phase 2 with the bombs and the spear throwing is handy and makes things easier as long as the fixated players know how to drive the tanks around. I’d advise referring them to something else other than tanks lest your actual tanks get confused. Phase 3 is the biggest individual awareness check ever. Stand at the wrong spot or angle to the impact of the Massive Smash and you’ll go flying off the ledge — Just like your chances of beating this guy. Heroism here.

I can feel the pain of having no Resto Druids in raid. If you happen to be a Resto Druid, a Balance Druid, or a Shadow Priest, check our guild out. We could use your talents.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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