Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Ever wanted to come up with your own raid strategy instead of relying on videos and write-ups from people in the community?

Here’s your chance.

One of the recent raid tests on the 5.2 PTR was for Jin’Rokh. He’s the very first boss of the instance. He serves as the DPS and mechanics check for the  Throne of Thunder. In today’s post, I am going to show you Jin’Rokhs abilities. I won’t tell you how to beat it. You’re going to put on your raid leading tactics hat.

I want you to tell me how your team is going to beat it.

There are four statues in the corner around the room. Jin’Rok will throw a tank against the statue (Thundering Throw). The tank takes 250k+ in damage. Nearby players within 14 yards will take 200k and become stunned temporarily. The impact of Thundering Throw creates a pool of water on the ground. All players standing in this gradually growing circular-shaped pool gains Fluidity (40% increased healing, 30% increased damage done, but 80% nature damage taken). The pool increases the damage of any nature damage dealt by the boss to anyone standing within it.

jin-1.jpg

Every so often, Jinrokh spawns an orb close to him (Focused Lightning). The orb will target a player and slowly travel toward them (Note the eyes above the player). When the orb reaches a player, it detonates and creates a mini-lightning spike (called a Lightning Fissure).

jin-eyez

If a player kites an orb into an existing Lightning Fissure, it will explode for lethal, raid-wide damage on contact. If an orb contacts a player inside the water, all players will be hit for 150k+.

After the pool expands to a quarter of the chamber, Jinrokh summons a lightning storm inflicting 70k damage per second to all players for 15 seconds. In addition, this storm electrifies the existing pools rendering players unable to use them for appropriate buffs and taking massive damage.

jin-2.jpg

The question remains.

How is your raid going to defeat Jin’rokh? Where should they stand? Where does the boss get positioned?

Thunderforged: Will it Breathe Life into 25 mans?

Thunderforged: Will it Breathe Life into 25 mans?

The new Thunderforged item concept adds another two levels of items into raids. Only available to items that are non-tier. Not sure how the slight stat allocation of Thunderforged compares to the set bonuses that tier provides, but that’s not the object of discussion here.

Much of the feedback Blizzard received was around 25 man raiding and how to proportionately reward those who eagerly go through the logistical challenges of organizing them (y’know, hopeless idiots like myself). 25 mans are gradually diminishing. Top guilds Vodka and Exodus merged resulting in the loss of another prominent 25 man guild.

Coming to the PTR in the near future will be a new designation of item type in Normal and Heroic raids for non-tier pieces. Each 5.2 raid boss will have a chance of dropping this new designation of a particular item that’s 6 item levels higher than their counterparts. These higher quality versions will be called “Thunderforged”. This means that there will be five variations of some items. You’ll now see a 5.2 raid item of LFR quality at item level 502, the same item in Normal quality at item level 522, the item in Normal Thunderforged quality at item level 528, the Heroic version of the item at level 535, and the Heroic Thunderforged version of the item at level 541.

[…]

We’ve also received a lot of feedback regarding 25-player raids, and have been looking for ways to address some concerns. Ever since we changed 10-player raids to drop the same item level as 25’s, we’ve seen a steady decline in 25-player raiding. This isn’t surprising. A 25-player raid takes an extra level of logistical commitment for the officers of those groups. It’s unfortunately easy for a 25-player guild to collapse down into a 10-player guild, but very unlikely for the opposite to happen. However, we like 25-player raiding and don’t want to see it go away. Like many players, we love the epic feeling that comes with banding together more massive groups to battle powerful foes, we love that there’s opportunity for those groups to try out new players or unusual comps without causing a huge burden, and we want to support the larger raiding guilds. That said, we’re also concerned that over-rewarding the 25-player guilds-if, for example, we went back to a higher item level across the board for 25’s, as was the case for Icecrown Citadel-would feel like a slap in the face to the many 10-player raiders out there, who are the majority of our Normal and Heroic raiders.

To attempt to navigate this minefield, we’re going to try having Thunderforged items drop more frequently in 25-player raids. They’ll be somewhat rare in both cases compared to the standard versions that’ll drop, but they’ll be even rarer in 10’s. Overall, a 25-player group will be more likely to end up with a slightly higher item level after several weeks of raiding.

This isn’t going to have much effect on the guilds that already run 25 man raids. Conquest has survived some of the worst ordeals in it’s history. 10 man raiding has never been a long term solution in any fashion and it never will be as long as I continue to run it. The players and the leaders have no interest in it all and that resiliency has helped us.

Have to admit, reward incentive here with the Thunderforged is cool. It’s a neat compromise to the whole suggestion of adding a completely different level of gear between 25s and 10s (the Wrath style). I’ve seen cases of 25s dropping down to 10s but I have never seen a 10 man raid step up to a 25 man raid which continues to be active. If you happen to be the architect of such a move, give me a shout!

More importantly, is this going be enough to influence players to make the switch from 10 to 25? I don’t think so. My guess is no. The interactions I’ve had with the 10 man players is that they have no interest in the logistical maintenance that’s required at the 25 level. There’s a strong preference for the closer intimacy that’s offered.

This change seems to be targeting the players that like having the best stuff available. They raid a set amount of hours a week and they want to really maximize their return on their time investment.

What about the leaders? As I said, it’s a cool reward for the few that brave the logistical nightmares. But if you’re a 10 man raid leader, is it enough to consider to make that shift? I’m not sure about that. Seems to me that the players already comfortable where they are don’t want to take that leap. I gather there’s large number of players that aren’t raiding purely for the gear level (but I acknowledge that there are some who do).

During Wrath, 25s were the dominant raiding force. The challenges there offered undoubtedly better geared compared to the 10 man counterparts. With this in place, 25 man raiders have a better chance of securing better gear compared to the 10 man raiders. The 10 man players won’t be shut out. They’ll still have a chance at it but it won’t be as strong. We’ll have to wait and see what the frequency of the Thunderforge drops are going to be.

I took a quick poll on Twitter to see what other people felt.

Here’s what you said:

Yup, I figured that was going to be the case for quite a few players. What else?

Also understandable. Doesn’t matter how good the rewards and incentives are. Sometimes there is no price that’s high enough. next?

So not exactly eager to look for a 25 but won’t resist if the current leadership decides to go that route. That’s fair. It does lower the barrier slightly. And this change does seem to go after the players that are either on the fence or virtually indifferent.

Oof, I hate hearing about situations like that. Players joining a guild expecting one kind of experience only for that to be abruptly changed soon after. It’s crappy.

That’s unexpected. So in the grand scheme of things, there is an extremely slight chance that it’s enough to split a 10  man (maybe not break it).

What are your thoughts on this addition? Is it enough to give you a reason to start looking around for 25s? Are you or your raid leaders suitably incentivized to give 25s a shot or look for a guild to merge with? Or does nothing change and the status quo is maintained?

New absorb UI!

New absorb UI!

patch52-absorb

The default UI’s been updated in the latest patch 5.2 PTR build. We’ve clamored for the ability to view absorb information. That stuff was added into the combat log sometime ago. Now we can actually see how much our shields will absorb for in the various frames.

patch52-monkaoe

Monks get a new Level-60 talent called  Ring of Peace:

Ring of Peace forms a 8 yard sanctuary around the target for 8 seconds, causing all enemies in the area of effect to be silenced and disarmed.

What you don’t see in the above picture is that the ring gradually diminishes and grows smaller in size. You bet it’s a PvP talent! It’s great for any defensive or offensive work that needs to be done. If I manage to root a bunch of players, I hope a Monk drops this right on top.

patch52-insanity

Finally, here we see the reworked Shadow Word: Insanity.

For Shadow, this ability causes Mind Flay to gain the Insanity effect when it’s cast on a target with 3 Shadow damage-over-time spells on them. Insanity causes Mind Flay to deal double damage for the duration.

In essence, when your target has 3 DoTs active, Mind Flay does double damage. Now my question for the theorycrafters is this:

Since Mind Flay will always do double damage with 3 DoTs up, does this mean we should activate Devouring Plague with only 1 Shadow orb or continue to save and use Devouring Plague at 3? The only way to negate this question is if the Insanity effect were to somehow scale based upon the potency of Devouring Plague.

5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

5.2: Returning to Wrath level Shield spam?

Okay, that’s not actually going to happen. As much as I miss the days of 1 button Circle of Healing during Burning Crusade and non-stop shielding in Wrath, it was largely so I could keep watching my NHL games without having to compromise my performance too much.

In a recent thread about PTR class and set bonus issues, Ghostcrawler mentioned the following:

We are going to nerf Divine Aegis for Prayer of Healing, but also lower the cost of Power Word: Shield (for Disc only) and increase the healing and damage of Penance. In 25 raids, Disc is using Prayer of Healing almost exclusively and we don’t think the Spirit Shell change will be sufficient to change that. We actually want Disc to get back to using PW:Shield a little more, along with Penance. Disc’s throughput is overall too strong in PvE, not even counting the fact that absorbs are often more beneficial than heals.

The Divine Aegis aspect on Prayer of Healing gets tuned down but we get cheaper Power Word: Shields instead.

I don’t know what it’s like at the 10 man level, but at the 25 man level, Disc Priests are predominantly using Prayer of Healing. It’s just that effective! More tactical usage of Penance and PW: Shield needs to be done clearly. Right now, we have the ability to run two Priests in our composition. You’d think that 2 Disc priests would limit the amount of shields being thrown up because of the whole Weakened Soul debuff and the fact that shields cause a dent in mana.

But realistically at the 25 man level, two Disc priests sharing the burden isn’t going to shoot the raid in the foot. There’s lots of targets to go around. There’s damage coming from all over the place (in most cases). Those shields provide an extra buffer and can buy players an extra second or two. Bonus points for cheaper shields.

Remember when Discipline sucked back in the day?

I just hope it doesn’t go too far in the other direction and we find out massive quantities of shield spam are back in season. I don’t think it is because we learned how that was in Wrath and while it was strong, it wasn’t fun.

What other clarifications?

The Golden Apparition from the Healing 4pc heals the lowest % health friendly target within 40yd. Note that it has no visual yet, but will not work like Shadowy Apparitions. It is a simple missile, not a summoned unit.

Good to hear. I’m getting annoyed at my Shadow Apparitions sometime just sitting there. Glad to know my healing priests won’t have to suffer from that. Cant’ wait to see this bonus in action though. I hope the missile isn’t as slow as the Shadow Apparition. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if, you know, by the time your holy guardian activated and healed your ally they were already at full health because your healers were already doing their job?

Angelic Bulwark and Spirit Shell can no longer be dispelled.

On the one hand, this sucks because I can’t offensively get rid of these buffs on people in PvP. On the other hand, this is awesome because now I won’t lose them during PvP.

We are going to redesign Shadow Word: Insanity.

Can’t wait to see this. There’s something about this ability that strikes me as off whenever I try using it. I’ve mainly stuck with From Darkness, Comes Light. Honestly, 4 seconds isn’t that small of a window to get Insanity off on a boss.

So then why do I feel so awkward using it?

Our current though on Solace is that it will provide damage and healing for both Disc and Holy. So Holy could use it for some Atonement-like healing, as could Disc, but Disc won’t double dip and shouldn’t feel like it’s mandatory. That could change (all of this could change) as we try it out and iterate more.

Took a look at this on the PTR. Holy Fire gets changed to Power Word: Solace so it’s one less button that takes up your spell book.

Neat! I think we’re approaching that point where we’re starting to have too much crap in our spellbook so I do like the fact that we’re condensing something. Unlike Holy Fire, Solace is instant, offers you 1% mana back, but has a 10 second cooldown.

The current version of Solace is a 1.5 second cast time which restores 0.7% maximum mana but has no cooldown.

Doesn’t the new version of Solace seem a little too low in the mana return area?

Khendra, we have no objection to using Prayer of Healing when you need to heal a bunch of people. That’s what it’s for. But when you’re using Prayer of Healing in preparation for future damage because DA and SS make your AE heal better at shielding than actual Power Word: Shield, then that even further reduces your options. (In 10s, Disc tends to use Atonement more, so they’re doing something more than just PoH spam. In 25s, we see some Atonement use, but it’s fit in when possible and healers in 25s are just always going to be able to specialize more.)

We might in the future add another AE heal for Disc (I think you can make a compelling argument that in this day and age, healers need a variety of interesting AE heals and maybe only a couple of ST heals, while healer design for years went in the opposite direction) but that’s not the sort of thing we want to drop on you in the middle of an expansion. In the meantime, if Disc uses Penance and PW:Shield some more (and Flash Heal in PvP) and doesn’t trounce all the other healers, we will be satisfied and hopefully so will priests.

Won’t be seeing that until 6.0 is my guess. We’ve got a ton of single target healing. Having Divine Star, Cascade, and Halo access were all great because we could customize our AoE healing based on the task at hand.

Another baseline AoE would be interesting though. You’d be hard pressed to find a method for AoE absorbs that isn’t already covered by what Spirit Shell can do.

Okay, I’m guessing it’s an AoE absorb. They think it’s a little excessive to chain cast Prayer of Healing in advance of a Bonestorm even though that’s the best method in countering incoming damage (even if every player’s at full health).

Can’t wait to see what they’re thinking about doing though though!

As for me, I’m still rolling around in Shadow. We’ll be challenging Blade Lord tonight. We’re getting picked apart by Wind Step and Unseen Strike combinations. Not quite sure how to counter that. It’s not like we’re losing half the raid. But each time an Unseen Strike hits, we always lose a player. I’m sure we can battle through it and add another heroic notch to our belt but if anyone has any pointers or suggestions, I’d be grateful.

Are these changes going to cause you Disc Priests to consider reverting back to Holy? Or no change at all? What do you think about the proposed Solace change?

First impression on raiding with fixed mana in MoP

First impression on raiding with fixed mana in MoP

So we’ve just had our first raid in MoP, Mogu’shan Vaults. It was pretty interesting from a healer perspective. Fixed mana has been one of those ultimately strange concepts from the time it was announced, and to be fair we weren’t quite sure how it would play out in a regular raid. I’m here to give you my first impressions on it, and a few opinions.

Again these are just my opinions, and my observations.

[Read more…]

3.5 Hours from 85 – 86

3.5 Hours from 85 – 86

That’s a disappointing time.

I finished preparing my Priest for the leveling blitz halfway through the week. I’ve got my Swiftness Potions, Healing Potions, Drums of Forgotten Kings, assorted Flasks, and other consumables.

Decided to transfer my Priest over to the beta and clock my time. There were a couple of factors affecting my levelling speed.

  • No rested XP
  • No guild experience boost
  • Watched all the cut scenes
  • No pre-completed quests/dailies to turn in

During the Cataclysm grind, I had the Argent Tournament dailies all finished and ready for turn in. Added a decent amount of XP to it and I’ll have some other dailies ready by the time Mists opens up. I can’t remember if we had rested XP available during the 80 – 81 grind when Cataclysm opened. I goofed up on a few of the quest turn ins and pickups. If I factor in all of that stuff, I should be able to knock out 1.5 hours off that time. The new Jade Forest isn’t as super cut scene heavy as Uldum was, but there’s enough to make you go “Whoa.”

I think I’m also going to switch in Reflective Shield as a glyph.

Tonight I’ll clock my time from 86 – 87, enjoy the scenery, and (more importantly) get an idea of where all the Innkeepers are to set my hearthstone.

Thank goodness there’s no conch shell we have to all click on to be able to breathe and swim faster underwater, right guys?

If convenience store owners were savvy, they’d raise the prices of energy drinks for the weekend/Monday as people stock up. I should go pick up some Red Bull or Nos. I like the grape flavour.

Do you plan on racing to level 90 or are you going to take the time to enjoy the sights and scenery?

Tip: Remember this. If you ever get to a situation where you need to interact with a friendly NPC and they’re not on the map, log out and log back in. You’ll thank me for this. This happened to me a few times as I was leveling. I hope it’ll get resolved when it’s live, but just in case!

Which MoP Heroics Should you Run?

Which MoP Heroics Should you Run?

The heroics at level 90 won’t be as punishing as the initial heroics for Cataclysm or Burning Crusade. In fact, they’re designed to be the rough equivilent of normal mode instances right now in Cataclysm.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’re looking for the fastest way to ready your character for raiding. The first option is to power up your professions or buy crafted gear. Second would be to grind out as much reputations with the various factions and purchase rewards that way. The last tried and true method would be to run heroics.

For us priests, Gate of the Setting Sun has potentially 7 drops that you can use. Some of the items may not have spirit, but you can reforge into it as necessary. Siege of Niu Zao Temple has 6 items that will provide any upgrades over quest greens and blues.

Shaman healers will want to try their luck in Scholomance and Temple of the Jade Serpent. The temple has 7 items (although 1 of them has a really low drop rate as it’s an epic weapon) whereas Scholomance has 6.

Pickings for druid and monk healers are slim. Temple of the Jade Serpent has the most leather drops followed by Siege of Niuzao and Shado-Pan Monastary.

Paladin healing plate just seems to be all over the place. Avoid Scarlet Halls and Temple of the Jade Serpent if you’re looking for purely plate armor drops. Stormstout Brewery’s your best bet if you’re looking to get the most chances on gear.

Each dungeon has a notable quest or two attached to it. While they’re not the greatest rewards, it’s a good way to replace that marginal green item you’ve been using since level 87.

Below I’ve compiled and organized a list with relevant healing gear drops from heroics. It’s divided up by armor and item type. Enjoy!

T = Trinket
W = Weapon
R = Ring
O = Off-hand
C = Cloak
N = Neck

Gate of the Setting Sun

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Saboteur Kip’tilak Fallout-Filtering Hood
Striker Ga’dok Bomber’s Precision Gloves Airstream Treads
Commander Ri’mok Leggings of the Frenzy R: Viscous Ring
Raigonn 1: Frenzyswarm Bracers
2: Shoulders of Engulfing Winds
Swarmbringer Chestguard W: Carapace Breaker
O: Shield of the Protectorate

 

Quest: That’s a Big Bug!
Reward: Cloak of Collective Thought

 

Mogu’shan Palace

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Trial of the King Hurricane Belt
Gekkan Hexxer’s Lethargic Gloves Glinktrok Sollerets C: Cloak of Cleansing Flame
Xin the Weaponmaster 1: Regal Silk Shoulderpads
2: Soulbinder Treads
Mind’s Eye Breastplate W: Firescribe Dagger
N: Mindcapture Pendant

 

Quest: A New Lesson for the Master
Reward (All 430): Watchful Dreamer’s Trousers, Dreamer’s Vigil Leggings, Leggings of Clever Entrapment, Legplates of the Scattered Tribes,

Quest: Relic of the Four Kings
Reward (All 430): Cuffs of the Endless Shadow, Bindings of Impeccable Strategy, Armbands of the Reawakened, Lost Heritage Bracers, Bracers of Inner Knowledge

 

Scarlet Halls

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Houndmaster Braun R: Beastbinder Ring
Armsmaster Harlan
Flameweaver Koegler Vellum-Ripper Gloves Bradbury’s Entropic Legguards W: Melted Hypnotic Blade
R: Vithrak, Gaze of the Deadman
N: Temperature-Sensing Necklace

Scarlet Monastary

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Thalnos the Soulrender Forgotten Bloodmage Mantle
Brother Korloff
High Inquisitor Whitemane 1: Leggings of Hallowed Fire
2: Whitemane’s Embroidered Chapeau
Incarnadine Scarlet Spaulders Crown of Holy Flame W: Greatstaff of Righteousness
R: Triune Signet

Scholomance

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Instructor Chillheart Shadow Puppet Bracers
Jandice Barov O: Metanoia Shield
Rattlegore Rattling Gloves W: Necromantic Wand
Lilian Voss Leggings of Unleashed Anguish Shivbreaker Vest
Darkmaster Gandling Gloves of Explosive Pain Shoulderguards of Painful Lessons T: Price of Progress

 

Quest: An End to the Suffering
Rewards (All 440): Patchwork Flesh Armor, Coldforge Carapace, Ghoulskin Vestments, Darkmaster’s Spare Robe

Shadow-Pan Monastary

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Gu Cloudstrike Star Summoned Bracers Leggings of the Charging Soul
Master Snowdrift Quivering Heart Girdle
Sha of Violence Gloves of Enraged Slaughter N: Necklace of Disorientation
Taran Zhu Robes of Fevered Dreams Darkbinder Leggings Blastwalker Footguards Mindbender Plate Gloves R: Ring of Malice

Siege of Niuzao Temple

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Vizier Jin’bak Hood of Viridian Residue Girdle of Soothing Detonation
Commander Vo’jak Bombardment Bracers Chestwrap of Arcing Flame
General Pa’valak Breezebinder Handwraps Siegeworn Bracers T: Vial of Ichorous Blood
Wing Leader Ner’onok 1: Breezeswept Hood
2: Whisperwind Spaulders
1: Belt of Totemic Binding
2: Airbender Sandals
W: Gustwalker Staff

 

Quest: Take Down the Wing Leader
Reward: Hardened Resin Pendant (Neck) or Mantid Eye Amulet (Neck)

 

Stormstout Brewery

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Ook-Ook Bracers of Displaced Air Barreldodger Boots T: Empty Fruit Barrel
Hoptallus C: Cloak of Hidden Flasks
O: Bottle of Potent Potables
Yan-Zhu the Uncasked Fermenting Belt Uncasked Chestguard Sudsy Legplates R: Alemental Seal

Temple of the Jade Serpent

 

Cloth Leather Mail Plate Other
Wise Mari Treads of Corrupted Water Waterburst Helm
Lorewalker Stonestep Leggings of Whispered Dreams Sunheart Waistband
Liu Flameheart Flameheart Sandals C: Cape of Entanglement
Sha of Doubt Paralyzing Gloves Chestguard of Despair Neverdare Shoulders W: Je’lyu, Spirit of the Serpent
N: Mindbreaker Pendant
W: Staff of Trembling Will
Beta LFR – A Little Harder Than Expected

Beta LFR – A Little Harder Than Expected

I have returned from PAX Prime! It was a blast meeting some of my old (and new) guild mates again, especially since Blizzcon isn’t being held this year (but with Blizzcon 2013, you bet we’ll be making plans for that again).

Highlights?

Marvel Heroes is a blast. If you like the gameplay of Diablo and Torchlight, you’re going to like Marvel Heroes (Actually, I believe it’s made by the creator of the Diablo series).

Meeting my previous editor-in-chief for the World of Warcraft magazine, Dan Amrich, in person. Sat in on a panel by him on How to Review Video Games. He really does look like Mal Reynolds.

“There’s an inverse relationship between doing what you love and getting the big bucks.”

- Dan Amrich

I tracked down and met up with some of the Blizzard CMs and we had a nice discussion about the game and the upcoming expansion. After that, a CM who will remain nameless and I attempted to Gangnam Style at the booth. We were able to get the “Horseback ride” and the “Lasso” part of the routine. However, the “sideways shuffle” continued to elude us.

What’s that? Video footage of Gangnam Style attempts? I believe it may have been seized at the Canadian border. Oh well.

Heart of Fear

Over the weekend, I caught wind that the raid finder options of Heart of Fear opened up and Mogu’shan Vaults had been disabled. New instance, new bosses, right? Decided to queue in and give it a go.

The first boss that stood in front of us was Wind Lord Mel’jerak. He’s quite the royal pain actually. Your group will be squaring off against an encounter with multiple adds that absolutely must be controlled. In the raid finder, there’s about 9 of those things. If more than 4 gets crowd controlled, the Wind Lord just removes all the debuffs. There’s a finite amount of bugs that need to be active or else things can snowball to NOPE mode in a few scant seconds.

windlord

But that’s not the main issue. The big thing I’ve found is that tanks are just going through our group like a revolving door. We’d get a pull in, but then we wipe because someone broke CC due to AoE or the tank mistakenly pulls the boss near a cc’d mob. Mob breaks, we wipe, and then the tank gets a  vote kick which automatically passes because hive mentality.

Poor tanks only get one shot on LFR. Their skills and performance are based on one boss. They don’t even get to really learn stuff. Personally, I don’t think that’s fair.

Now my take on it is that there’s a big difference between queuing for LFR on beta realms against bosses meant for testing versus queuing in the raid finder against bosses where their heroic versions have been on farm for half a year (Dragon Soul, for instance).

I mean if you’re tanking raid finder for Dragon Soul and you’re wiping to basic simple stuff that’s fault months after the place is already open, I can understand the reasoning.

But a new boss that’s still being tuned where the mechanics and encounter notes aren’t widely known yet?

What the hell. Can we have a little more patience patience in there?

Ideal raid linear progression would be wiping at 90%, then 60%, then 20%, then death (or just one shotting it, but that means it’s probably too easy).

Anyway, the fact that we cycled through 7 different tanks is a good indicator that either some mechanics need to be changed or the raid finder version of this boss needs another pass. Something kept resetting the encounter. Didn’t get a good look as I was occupied at my frames, but it looks like that happens when the boss crosses a certain line.

Maybe I’ll try queueing for the second half instead.

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

Managed to queue into the second half of Mogu’shan Vaults on beta this week really late at night. I figured while these attempts were still fresh on my mine, I could at least get some pointers and notes down along with the recorded video. Apologies for the 720p. I found out that my bottleneck’s my video card (GTX 460, looking to get a 670 later on).

Didn’t actually take down Will of the Emperor. Got to within 2% left before the raid buckled. It’s fairly repetitive and you get the idea of what’s going on. I’ll keep making notes and additions with any changes or insights I get later on as we get into the expansion itself.

My favourite encounter by far is the Spirit Kings. Just so much going on with both covering the raid and making sure you don’t get screwed by specific player abilities. Elegon’s a visual beauty, too.

I’ll get the first half of Mogu’shan Vaults up in a few days. If you can’t wait, you can see them on my Youtube channel.

How about a training dummy/event for healers?

OK, so there is this awesome new set of training dummies in the Mists beta that gives someone facing, raid buffs, food buffs and flask buffs, can be killed and has about 50 million health. It’s a pretty damn cool new tool for players to try to more accurately judge their DPS in a raid environment without having to actually go in to a raid. It’s a wonderful idea, a great idea and a necessary idea.

But how about one for healers?

So, lets lay it out there, healing is a stressful job, accompanied by a certain sense of anxiety and dread that accompanies healing a group for the first time. I hear horror stories of people getting booted out of instance all the time when they first start healing because they are new and not perfect. It’s a huge fear. One of the things I always suggest to new healers is to pop into a battle ground. As folks on twitter have pointed out, and I’ve agreed with for years, it helps you sort your UI, and it helps you learn some of the aspects of healing like triage. But it doesn’t teach you everything. Healing a PvP group isn’t quite the same as an instance, especially when you have to manage cooldowns and mana usage for boss mechanics, tanks, DPS and yourself.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t heal in PvP, by all means you should as it’s a great way to test out your UI, spells and what they do as well as key binds, but I still find fighting against another group of people is much different than fighting against a raid or boss design. I just want to make it clear I’m not discrediting PvP healing as a learning tool, but there’s no elegant solution to it. I mean, even Rift has healing dummies to help you gauge yourself.

Now here’s a thought that’s been on my mind for a couple months now. In The Secret World there’s a test you have to take for your preferred role to access nightmare content, and it’s called the gatekeeper. What the gatekeeper does is it forces you to respond to mechanics and use your toolkit. When I stumbled upon this I was immediately reminded of a very old class quest in Vanilla World of Warcraft , and I’m sure some of you will already know where I’m going with this.

Remember when you went for your Benediction priests? Do you remember the difficulty of that class quest and how it made you use everything you had to smartly complete the quest? It was an awesome class quest that worked within the confines of the character class at the time.

So here’s my proposal, lets have something, an event,  that you can go into that gives you NPC party members to heal and a faux boss fight. Through this, players could individually test their mettle, get logs and see if they were having issues without having to risk embarrassment or ridicule. Yes I know it’s an MMO and yes I know there are social requirements to be had, but DPS can go to a dummy and test out their numbers, why shouldn’t other classes get something similar? Why not a faux encounter like the Gatekeeper in TSW that lets you test out our abilities in relative safety. Think of how something like this could benefit healers.

Lets take that a step further, how much would something like this benefit tanks as well, or DPS. It would be an amazing boon. It would relieve so much pressure by eliminating at least partially the notion that you have to be perfect on your first time out. You could test to some extent and get an idea before ever having to walk into an instance. I would wager that if something like this was implemented there would be a lot more willing healers, and a lot more willing tanks. I can’t count how many times people in my own guild have said that they would want to try healing or tanking, but don’t want to do so in a manner that would waste someone’s time while they were learning. It’s nice to have friends to call on to learn this stuff, but sometimes they just aren’t around to help at the times you need them.

Yes you could make the argument that you can learn this while you level up and learn your abilities, but at the end of the day I’d be willing to be the amount of people that level through instances isn’t nearly as great as those that level through questing. Even though questing as a healer or tank has gotten better, it’s more often than not more effective to level as a DPS spec anyways. I’ve had healers message me for advice, and then when they get ridiculed in a 5-man or an LFR, or a new raid they just stop because while they were learning, not everyone understood that and made it twice as difficult.

The Gatekeeper system is one of the best things I’ve seen implemented into an MMO in years, it is something I would love to see re-purposed in other MMOs, if only tooled a bit differently. In our case a repeatable event or quest that lets you test yourself, your new gem setup, your new talent choices, your new reforging or just learning how spells work without the opportunity cost of failing publicly before you’re ready. Lets just make it more of an event and less of a test, make it something healers and tanks could use to get a feel for their respective roles.

Is it  a perfect solution, I can’t really say, but healers and tanks need some love too. Having a new tool for DPS to check their numbers with full raid buffs is really nice, but don’t leave out the healers and tanks, the two most stressful jobs you can choose to undertake in just about any game. I just think adding something like this would be amazing, useful, and combined with everything else at our finger tips would just further strengthen our healers and tanks, and their confidence in their roles.

I’ll write more on this later I’m sure, something more in-depth and detailed, but for now I’m curious to see what you think. Would this be something you’d like to see implemented for healers and tanks?