If you’re looking for a distraction today, check out the most recent podcast episode of the Starting Zone! I sat down with the guys as we talked about Priests, the current expansion, and raiding in general.
My guild has a peculiar sense of humour. After we killed Jin’Rokh last night, we move up to the bridge of doom. There’s all these ghostly adds floating on the sides and the wind just blows people off in different directions off the bridge. It’s a complete gong show but eventually we figured out how to do it. The trick is to grab each ghostly add from each side and tank them at the beginning. A raider noticed something about the wind textures.
One of my players remarks, “ Doesn’t that wind pattern look like the sine symbol?”
An officer responds, “Or the cosine symbol.”
Another player shoots back, “It’s certainly integral to what we’re doing.”
Not to be outdone, a different player pipes up, “I don’t think it’s a major factor.”
At this point, I rolled my eyes and flatly stated, “You’re all being irrational.”
Apparently, that’s my guild on a patch night. We were able to take down Horridon and put in some shots on the Council fight before we called it a night. I don’t know about you, but I’m already getting tired of the trash.
How was your patch day and what do you think of the new raid?
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.
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).
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.
The question remains.
How is your raid going to defeat Jin’rokh? Where should they stand? Where does the boss get positioned?
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.
Yes or no: Is Thunderforged enough to make you consider joining a 25 man raid group?
— Matticus(@matticus) January 23, 2013
Here’s what you said:
@matticus simple, no. I raid 10man because I prefer the social environment of 9 friends.
— Jayden (@Omegahty) January 23, 2013
Yup, I figured that was going to be the case for quite a few players. What else?
@matticus As a raid leader: Hell no. 25 mans are an organizational nightmare. All the gear in the world isn’t enough.
— Jamie Cox (@KitsuneLeo) January 23, 2013
Also understandable. Doesn’t matter how good the rewards and incentives are. Sometimes there is no price that’s high enough. next?
— Gnoodles (@Gnoodles_WoW) January 23, 2013
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.
@matticus Yes. I joined a guild for 25s and they downsized to Alpha and Bravo 10mans 3 days later. I hope it’s enough to bring people back.
— Shane Greenwell (@sfgreenwell) January 23, 2013
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.
@matticus we will probably lose 3 of our 10 man including the Raid lead.
— Marathal(@Marathal) January 23, 2013
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
That’s a disappointing time.
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!
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
Quest: That’s a Big Bug!
Reward: Cloak of Collective Thought
|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
|Houndmaster Braun||R: Beastbinder Ring|
|Flameweaver Koegler||Vellum-Ripper Gloves||Bradbury’s Entropic Legguards||W: Melted Hypnotic Blade
R: Vithrak, Gaze of the Deadman
N: Temperature-Sensing Necklace
Siege of Niuzao Temple
|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
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).
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.
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.