How Our Guild is Handling Primordial Saronite

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Primordial Saronite is the item that’s required for the next level of crafting gear out of Icecrown. There’s all sorts of methods of picking up this stuff and our leadership’s been hard at work figuring out what our approach should be. There’s a few things that are high on the priority list.

Shadowmourne, for one, requires over 20 of these. While going for another Legendary isn’t required, it makes a statement about the guild (not one but TWO Legendaries after all).

Our tanks can get an early boost to their gear and not have to rely on random drops from the different bosses. The better those guys get, the easier time we’ll have moving forward.

As we’re packing a number of sharpshooters in the raid (4 hunters), they’re also going to need some heavy artillery. The recipes for bullets and arrows will cost one Primordial Saronite to learn.

There’s lots of different ways we can go about spending Primordial Saronite to maximize raider utility.

Our approach

In a recent thread on the WoW forums, Ghostcrawler was clarifying a question regarding Shadowmourne. At the same time, he wanted to know this:

We’re also interested to see how various groups handle the Primordial Saronite issue. We designed it so there isn’t necessarily a right way to handle the material and we don’t want to over-prescribe your social dynamics anyway.

I found out over the weekend that Blizzard devs do read this blog. Wyn and Lodur kept bugging me and insisting that they did, but I remained a disbeliever until one of their guys pinged me on Twitter about it. That was too cool!

So here’s our answer:

Prioritizing Saronite to the tanks – Our tanks will get first crack at the Primordial Saronite that they need. The better their gear gets earlier on, the easier time we’ll have heading into Icecrown. I think they’re shooting for the boots first, but I can’t be sure of that yet. I’ve created a queue list on the forums where the tanks put down what they need (not necessarily what they want). I’m not sure how the legs are. If they beat the tier legs, then I’ll devote more Saronite to it. Until then, the queue list is just for the tanks and once they have all that is requied, the list will be opened up to the rest of the guild.

Ammo recipes – This is another one for us but it won’t happen until later on. Not only do you need the Saronite, the engineers need the reputation to purchase the recipe. It’s Goblin and Gnomish right? One crafts bullets and the other does arrows? Once our engineers have the requisite reputation, we’ll send one their way as well.

Shadowmourne – The Shadowmourne quest line is fairly extensive. The last step involves taking down Sindragosa which isn’t going to be anytime soon. Not only that, you have to perform a variety of tasks at different bosses (like standing in fires while surviving for a prolonged period of time). This step can wait a little longer before we invest.

On the other hand, there is some speculation that you need to be on the opening quests before you get the Shadowfrost Shards from the bosses. We don’t know how often the drops are and there is no confirmation.

Getting saronite

To that end, we’ve decided to increase the chances we have of obtaining Saronite. Sundays have been opened up for a new alt raid. We’ve been doing this for a while now, but we’ve decided to lay down some ground rules for it.

Why an alt raid?

For one, there’s many players with nothing to do on Sunday nights. We could either jump on our alts and join a pug with a 50-50 shot of succeeding, or organize our own with a higher chance of it working out. We like having multiple geared characters!

Our alts are almost as geared as our mains and it gives us a nice “break” from our normal duties that we have to do on our main characters. It’s nice for me to randomly destroy stuff on my Ret Paladin or my Elemental Shaman.

As I said earlier, extra Primordial Saronite is a plus. We can channel the results of those into the main raid. Not only that, since they’re alts, the players that are comfortable with it can spend their Emblems of Frost that they have to purchase Saronite for their mains if they need to.

Our main raids are overstaffed. We do this in order to ensure that we have enough players to raid. This inevitably means that some players are going to sit out during the week.  I don’t want them to fall too far behind us in gear. So any main raiders that don’t get to come in during the week are able to come in on Sunday in order to use up their lockout period. At the very least, they’ll get some Emblems.

We’re still working out loot systems for the time being. Last Sunday, when we walked into ToC 25, we had 23 alts in total. The other 2 were friends of the guild. The one thing that we’re lacking is another tank for our alt runs. If we can field a full crew for 25, then I can definitely apply loot council rules and prioritize main readers who need loot and balance it with the alts.

If you’re a tank out there with nothing to do on a Sunday night, come and check us out. Of course, anyone who feels that they are exceptional healers and DPS are welcome to apply regardless.

Let’s take down Arthas and move on to Deathwing already!

Enchanting 3.3: Don’t Get Worked Up

Some enchanters are disappointed at the upcoming addition of disenchant as a loot option. I’m personally quite happy with it. I have an enchanter of my own and I sympathize with the hassles that enchanters go through in instances and the like.

The enchanting process now

Here’s the steps involved in taking an item and sharding it for the group:

  1. Need roll the item
  2. Look for it in your bags
  3. Select disenchant
  4. Find the item again because you forgot where it was
  5. Actually disenchant it
  6. Tell everyone to roll
  7. Wait an extra 15 seconds for the AFK guy to roll
  8. Open trade after closing within range
  9. Actually trade it to him

The enchanting process in 3.3

If there’s an enchanter, all the group needs to do is hit the disenchant button. The process of item sharding and trading is done for you. The sharded item goes straight to the winner of the role without the enchanter having to do anything.

Thank goodness for this feature.

Enchanters benefit because they don’t have to spend the time or effort fishing for the item, looking over the rolls and figuring out who gets the item. Is this actually a pain in the ass? No. The first few times, it’s manageable. But if you’re in a raid and you’re handing out shards at the end or if you have a lot of items to hand out, it can get annoying. Just for a streamlined process alone makes it worth it.

Everyone else benefits because there is little risk of having shards stolen or conveniently “forgotten” about. Heck, I’ve forgotten to distribute shards once or twice (or more). Right now, I just greed stuff in instances hoping to win it and keep the shard for myself. But with this in place, the group will immediately know if there’s a disenchanter present and can get a crack at the shard legitimately via the updated looting system.

The argument against

Actually, this is a stance that has gone back for a long time. The traditional argument goes something like this:

Herbers, miners and skinners get to keep their own loot that they acquire. Why can’t enchanters keep the shards?

It’s only fair right? No one rolls for herbs or for ore nodes unless they’re an herbalist or a miner. It’s assumed to be theirs with little discussion. Why then are we enchanters not allowed to be entitled to these shards? We did invest a ton of gold and time to our professions. It’s only fair that we reap more of the benefits. I know I personally experience runs where there are 4 drops and I don’t get one at all.

Why I disagree

With that in mind, an enchanter then would have every right to roll on every drop in the instance regardless of whether or not they can use it on their character. Every item is viewed as something usable that contributes to the enchanter and pays off for the time and gold they’ve invested into enchanting.

Hey, I totally understand where they’re coming from. I must’ve sunk 5000 gold into it myself just from getting from level 70 enchanting to level 80 enchanting.

But just imagine how chaotic it would be if enchanters had the right to roll on anything just so they could disenchant it.

I can’t buy into that.

All tradesmen have paid their dues in leveling up their skills and each has their own unique set of perks and benefits.

In the item’s base form, without an enchanter present, it would be greeded and vendored.

In shard form, the shards can be greeded and then sold for greater value. I just don’t quite see how the presence of an enchanter automatically means they get all the shards simply because they’re the only ones able to disenchant it and convert it into a form that can sell more.

What you can do

Remember that setting loot rules ahead of time can always be done no matter what you’re doing.

As an enchanter, I’ve politely requested asking specifically for one shard if it is determined that we’re on a shard run. Group members will usually understand. Try asking for a change.

Of course, you could always do the completely dick move and wait for everyone to hit “shard” on the loot option before hitting “greed”.

Patch 3.3 Makes PUGing Easier

Patch 3.3 Makes PUGing Easier

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Back at Blizzcon we received an announcement from the devs that they were implementing new ways to reduce the wrath of the “additional instance” boss, which was already in place on many realms at the time of the convention. As many of you may have noticed this seems to have gone off pretty well and I think at least for now the instance door boss has been put down. Lets hope his respawn timer doesn’t come back up anytime soon, but so far so good. People have been able to farm Headless Horseman to their hearts content and daily heroics don’t see us spending 45 minutes waiting to just zone in.

At the con they also announced that they were going to refine the LFG system as well as add in cross server LFG capabilities to the game. Well in patch 3.3 PTR we are seeing the beginnings of the system. I for one am incredibly excited and can’t wait to see how this feature shapes up. As it stands you can use the system to go into a completely random group, or you can party up with a couple people and random the rest. You can choose your spec or role that you can fill just like in the current LFG system, but now you have the option of assembling a completely random group from different servers, and you get an option to sign up to lead the rag-tag band of misfits you aquire. As a reward you’ll receive a number of Frost Emblems and a helping of gold for your time and trouble. That alone is a good incentive to use the system as money and badges are always a good thing.

For me the biggest draw of this is the cross server interaction. They put that together for us back in an attempt to balance out Battle Grounds (which more or less worked but that’s a topic of debate for another day). Now the idea of being able to go directly to the instance with people pulled from the other servers of my battle group excites me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a group ready to go but missing a tank, and there were none to be found. I just imagine a tank on another server unable to find a group kicking his can around wondering why no one wants to play with him. With this new system, the problem is lessened in theory. With the amount of badges we’ll likely need when Icecrown drops this will help ensure you’re able to find a group.

In a nutshell this will help eliminate those times where you’re sitting around for hours waiting for a group to do something. Just hit a button and shortly thereafter you’re off on a new adventure.

This is also important because there are also plans to use this for raids as well, at least the random group part, but not the cross realm part. Right now the interface for it is buried in the PTR (you can dig and find if you like). This is good for people like me with an army of alts. There are a ton of raids I would love to run on my hunter, like I would love to run her through naxx, but I can never find a group. This would also help struggling guilds that are having trouble filling in the last couple slots of their roster for a raid, just pop open the tool and find a few more folks to join in the fun.

I’m really excited about this feature and I think it will open up a lot more of the game for many people. It will allow greater accessibility to the content of the game for people that otherwise might not have been able to see it.

What do you think? Like it? Hate it? What do you expect from it? Will you use it?

That’s all for today, until next time Happy Healing!

Sig

Image borrowed from wow.com

3.3 PTR update

3.3 PTR update

Just a quick post today on the recent changes to the PTR.

Patch 3.3 Build 10596 is up and here are some of the changes you can look forward to right now

Reputation

* The following reputations have been sped up by roughly 30%:

  • Argent Crusade
  • Alliance Vanguard
  • Horde Expedition
  • Kirin Tor
  • Knights of the Ebon Blade
  • Sons of Hodir
  • Wyrmrest Accord

* Sons of Hodir quests now give more reputation overall.

* Top-level helm and shoulder faction-related enchants are now available as Bind-on-Account items that do not require any faction to use once purchased (they still require the appropriate faction level to purchase).

* Reputation commendations can now be purchased for 1 Emblem of Triumph each.

This is a fairly sizable upgrade for us. Not only is rep grinding reduced greatly but once you get someone exalted with sons for example they can buy the shoulder enchant and send it to another character of yours. As an alt-aholic I love this idea.

Spells and Talents

Druid

  • Rejuvenation: The base duration on all ranks of this spell is now 15 seconds.

Shaman

  • Reincarnation: The cooldown on this spell has been lowered from 60 minutes down to 30 minutes.Restoration
  • Improved Reincarnation: This talent now reduces the cooldown of Reincarnation by 7/15 minutes, down from 10/20 minutes. Reincarnation cannot be used in Arenas.

The change to rejuvenation is great for players who are leveling. It adds 3 seconds pretty much across the board. The Shaman changes to reincarnation and the improved reincarnation talent make me very, very happy. I might actually find 2 points to put in it. Being able to self resurrect every 15 minutes is a great boon for progression night raids as well as just leveling. Toss in a Glyph of Renewed Life and you’re pretty much gtg.

Glyphs
Druid

  • Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation: This glyph allows for the druid’s haste to reduce the time between the periodic healing effects of Rejuvenation.

This is interesting to me because they announced they were looking at allowing haste to affect HoTs and DoTs. Link here for forums. So I’m curious if this is some form of experimentation on a smaller scale to see the effect of adding haste to HoT’s

General / UI

Interface

  • Any party member may mark targets (this does not apply to raid groups).

I can’t thank them enough for this. I was terrified that this would apply to raid groups. I run 25 mans mainly with my guild and last thing I needed was someone freely moving markers around on a trash pull *shudder*

That’s some of the major changes this build. Hope you get a chance to play with the PTR a little bit.

What are your thought’s on the PTR so far? How do you think patch 3.3 is shaping up?

Until next time.

Sig

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter for up to the minute updates as they filter through.

Give Me Patch Notes and I’ll Give You Totems!

Give Me Patch Notes and I’ll Give You Totems!

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As I’m sure many of you know by now, the PTR is live bringing with it a wonderous amount of changes to pretty much everyone. I’m going to focus today on a few things, Shaman changes and tier 10 set bonus for Restoration Shaman. First let’s take a look at the set bonuses for tier 10 Restoration shall we?

Shaman T10 Restoration 2P Bonus – Your Riptide spell grants 20% spell haste for your next spellcast.

Shaman T10 Restoration 4P Bonus – Your Chain Heal critical strikes cause the target to heal for 25% of the healed amount over until cancelled.

Hmmm, interesting set bonus. Two piece gives you more haste very much like how Tidal Waves reduces the cast time of your Healing Wave by 30%. Personally I love haste, and rolling Riptide should be a part of any Shaman’s normal healing arsenal so this set bonus really appeals to me. The four piece bonus is also very intriguing. The wording is a little weird and so it will have room for interpretation. Is it placing a HoT on a target for 25% of the amount healed similar to how Earthliving Weapon places a HoT on the target? Will it give an instant heal for 25% of the total? My moneys on a HoT. Personally I like these set bonuses. I think they are solid additions to our repertoire. Looking at them though we can take a guess at what type of damage we’re going to be seeing… I’m guessing lots of raid damage. Giving us haste, adding an additional heal component to our chain heal this just screams to me tons of raid wide damage (thoughts of Sun Well suddenly jump to mind). Now I’m looking forward to the aesthetics of the set. Hopefully we wont look like a mix between bugs and sand people.

So our set bonuses are shaping up nicely (which is pretty par for the course for us at this point). Lets swing our attention over to the patch notes shall we?

Not much is changing as of yet, of course as you know that may or may not change. For now though here are the bits though.

Orc and troll shamans now have their own unique totem art.

Shamans

* Fire Nova Totem: This totem has been replaced with a new spell, Fire Nova, which is available at the same ranks as the old Fire Nova Totem. Existing characters will automatically learn this new spell in place of the totem. With a Fire Totem active, shamans will be able to use Fire Nova (fire magic) to emit the same area-of-effect damage as the old Fire Nova Totem from the active Fire Totem, not consuming the totem in the process. Fire Nova will activate a 1.5-second global cooldown when used and has a 10-second spell cooldown. The caster must be within 30 yards of the totem to use this ability, but does not need to be within line of sight of the totem.

I’ll leave the totem art aside for a second, first lets talk about Fire Nova.

This one is… interesting. Basically getting rid of a totem that some of us were using to help with AE damage in fights like Thorim’s arena. It lets us not have to cast a different totem, but instead we can center an AE spell off our current fire totem. This still requires you to run into melee and drop said totem, but it’s a nice touch. I can run in set my totems and then when needed blast out some AE damage to help thing the gaggle of bad guys we’re killing. I’ll have to play with it more, but so far so good.

Now, onto totem art. Orcs and Trolls it has been long overdue that you guys get your own. Lets take a look at them real fast

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The Orc one is pretty gnarly. Not only is it a totem but it can double as an axe! It seems to fit to me.

3.3-troll-earth-totem

Trolls are pretty cool too. Troll fetish hung from the totems looks like the shadow hunter’s totems in WC3.

All in all pretty good job. Now if I may I’d like to take a second to rage about another set of totems. The Dwarf Shaman Totems. Now I know that Cataclysm (or at least 4.0) is a while away, they… bother me.

3.3-dwarf-totem

I understand the concept behind it. It’s a hammer with Gryphon feathers. I’ll be honest though, as someone who is going to race change into a Dwarf Shaman I’m a little disappointed. I mean I can see the correlation between axes and Orcs, fetish masks and Trolls and I can understand the correlation of hammers and Dwarves… kinda. When I was at blizzcon and they were talking about bringing Dwarves into the fold of Shamanism, they mentioned making sure they had unique totems. They said they wouldn’t be kegs (which made us all sad) but that they were looking at maybe rune stones. I look at the above totems and that doesn’t scream Dwarf to me. Had they been chunks of stone with glowing colored runes in them I’d have been content. I mean look at the Draenei’s totems

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They pretty well scream Draenei. They have holographic rings around oddly shaped stone with the element present above it. Even the *Now* Tauren Totems fit their race

totems

So… why can’t Dwarves get something stone related? I mean think about it. They live in the mountains, they have a racial ability called Stoneform, they are known for their Gryphons, but only one clan (Wildhammer) and they aren’t playable, but we hear about is how they are awesome miners. Sure we hear about their forges and smithy’s but I think the totems could be a bit better suited to the race (read more metal/stone and less wood please).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy I can finally be a Dwarf Shaman. I’ve wanted to be a Dwarf Shaman for a long long time. I thank Blizzard for that, but that doesn’t mean I won’t weep a little bit every time I drop a set of hammers on the ground. Trolls and Orcs won out with some pretty good totem design and Tauren get to be unique snowflakes again with theirs. Overall I’m happy with it. Giving each race’s Shaman’s a unique totem is a good step. But if Goblin Shaman get cool looking gear totems, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe throw my hammer at them. Maybe cast Wrath of Carpentry.

Although maybe I can rename myself Captain Hammer and invite people back to my Hammer Cave to show them my Hammer….

So what do you guys think so far? Like the new totems, dislike the new totems? Like the set bonuses?

Until next time, Happy Healing

Sig

Images courtesy of Dr. Horrible sing along blog, WoW.com, and WoW guru

Tier 10 Healing Bonuses

The new Tier 10 bonuses are available for preview. Note that none of them are finalized yet but these are some serious bonuses. Check them out:

Druids

  • 2 piece: The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 0% less over time.
  • 4 piece: Each time your Rejuvenation spell heals a target, it has a 2% chance to jump to a new target at full duration.
  • Paladin

  • 2 piece: The cooldown on your Divine Favor talent is reduced by 60 sec.
  • 4 piece: Your Holy Shock spell causes the next Holy Light you cast within 10 sec to have 0.3 sec reduced cast time.
  • Priest

  • 2 piece: After your Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit talents expire on your target, they grant your target 10% increased healing received for 10 sec.
  • 4 piece: Your Flash Heal spell has a 15% chance to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance Spells.
  • Shaman

  • 2 piece: Your Riptide spell grants 20% spell haste for your next spellcast.
  • 4 piece: Your Chain Heal critical strikes cause the target to heal for 25% of the healed amount over until cancelled.
  • If I were to rank these bonuses, I would have to say the 2 piece for Druids is a clear winner. Wild Growth without the reduction in healing strength as a constant bonus? That’s a strong bonus. The 4 piece translates to 1 in every 50 Rejuvenations will switch to a new target with a full duration a chance for Rejuv to jump per tick application.

    For Paladins, I’m really liking the 4 piece myself. Holy Light’s going to see some even heavier use. But that 2 piece basically means a 1 minute cooldown on Divine Favor. That’s pretty darn sick.

    The Priest 2 piece seems okay at first glance. It’s going to take Pain Suppression talents and the Guardian Spirit glyph to make it truly stand out. Remember how long their cooldowns are. I have to give the edge to Guardian Spirit especially if you have the glyph. The 4 piece one looks really good to me no matter what spec you are. I don’t think we’re going back to the days of the Circle of Healing spamming Holy Priest or anything.

    And as for Shamans, they seem to consistently rank high on the tier bonuses. Riptide giving haste? Chain Heal crits doing even more healing?

    How are you liking the upcoming tier 10 bonuses?

    Pit of Saron PTR Preview

    There’s going to be a few spoilers in here folks, so click away if you don’t want to see anything.

    Remember those spinning axes from the days of Black Temple?

    Yeah?

    Well they remember you too.

    And guess what?

    They’re back!

    Anyway, I partied up with Alex and Matthew from wow.com along with Tristan, from the Elitists podcast. Had to use a pre-made for this since there’s a bug where players who have done the Argent Tournament questline aren’t able to see instance portals.

    On a side note, there are no Dwarf Priest premades. What the heck is up with that?

    Doing a writeup of my initial impressions healing the place. Will edit this post and put a link to it when it’s available. Edit: Post is up! Here’s a few teaser shots for the time being.

    WoWScrnShot_100309_165831 WoWScrnShot_100309_165939 WoWScrnShot_100309_165252