It Came From The P.U.G. : The Val’anyr Curse!

It Came From The P.U.G. : The Val’anyr Curse!

Every night at 3am server time I log back into game and queue up for my daily random heroic. Normally it’s amusing when people inspect me as the healer and see that I have Val’anyr equipped. They normally make comments about feeling more at ease especially when the random is heroic Halls of Reflection.

But recently two events have occurred and seem to be reoccurring since. I’m referring to it as the Val’anyr curse.

About two weeks ago I was doing a PUG heroic on a Monday in the early afternoon. A decent chunk of my guildies were on, and it was a rather enjoyable day. I queue up to do my random of the day and like any healer will tell you 20 seconds went by before there was a group ready and waiting. The random instance it selected was Halls of Lightning. Not a bad instance, all things considered it’s fairly easy. I look at the people in my group, Full i245 lock, hunter mage and paladin. We all inspect each other which seems to be the custom of the pug tool when the paladin exclaims;

“HOLY SHIT! Wet got ourselves a [Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings] !!!! That means I can do this!”

and then he takes off running. He hits the first group, tags them both, and keeps going down the ramp for the second group. Ok, that’s pretty normal, I’ve had a lot of tanks do that no big deal. After a couple seconds of Consecrate being down he moves on to the group on the right, dragging everything with him. Ok healing gets a little more difficult but still bearable, dudes got some good gear and can take the abuse. Again though after a  couple seconds he drags EVERYTHING with him to the next set of adds. Oh, and the boss was there fully lightning charged too. At this point healing is ridiculous. To the tanks credit he manages to hold aggro on it all and the mage and lock are happily AEing to their hearts content, meanwhile I’m playing Yo-Yo with the tanks health as he’s taking a ton of hits all at once. We get through it somehow and he goes

“That was awesome! Lets do that again!”

and before I can even sit to drink he’s off pulling mobs leading up to the gauntlet room and through. At this point I sit down and drink. The dps is smart enough to stay with me and when the tank does die I see in chat from the tank

“too much huh?…. sorry =( I’ll be good now”

the rest of the run was smooth but I’ve seen this behavior become more and more common in the last couple weeks. I’ve had 9 out of 14 tanks see the hammer and just go careening off. I know it’s the hammer because they ALL said something about the hammer before trying to pull half the instance. I asked in guild chat and none of the other healers had seen this behavior either.

The second event was just a few nights ago. I was in a pug Forge of Souls rolling heroic, we were going to do FoS, PoS and finish with HoR, after the first boss is down the tank gives me a compliment on heals, one of the DPS in the group, a Feral Druid, says

“He’s only good because of the hammer, Shaman can’t heal this shit otherwise”

I laughed at first but then the following statement was uttered

“I’m not kidding, I have a Resto Shaman, I know you can’t heal this shit without that mace”

obviously I’m using better grammar than he did but you get the point. So I relay this to guild, I get a tell from one of the newbies

“So… un-equip the hammer, do it without it you got another caster weapon right? Maybe just do it without a weapon I know you can do it and that will stick in his craw for sure.”

I thought it over for a second, and then off came the mace. Second boss went down, the druid made another comment about

“you must be really thankful for that mace”

I casually reply,

“Oh, that. I haven’t had it equipped since you made the first comment. Don’t plan on putting it back on either, matter of fact bet I can do all the rest of the two without a weapon at all.”

Druid tried to call bullshit, but kept inspecting me. A successful (and flawless) PoS and HoR run later the Druid apologizes and leaves the group. So I asked around to some of my friends on the server that have the mace, and sure enough they all said they had similar experiences. The mace is a fantastic healing weapon, it really is. It’s a great lore piece and a sign that a guild is willing to put in the work necessary to construct it, but the general mentality of non healers that it is a godly healing weapon seems to be rather prevalent. So my New Years resolution in wow has been born as a result of this. When using the LFG tool I will no longer equip the mace. I’ve dubbed this the Val’anyr curse, it gives some people false expectations of your abilities.

So how about you out there? Have you noticed people being treated different in PUGs when they have the mace? Do you have the mace and noticed it as well?

well, that’s it for today, Until next time, Happy Healing

Image courtesy of MMO-Champion

Return of the Truly Legendary Items

Return of the Truly Legendary Items

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Back in the Vanilla we received not one, not two, but three items of legendary status. Crafting these items was arduous and rewarding to complete. They were very lore centric and having one was a big deal Lets look at the first three Legendary items.

Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnarossulfuras4wm

The baby legendary of the initial bunch, this was crafted by combining a Sulfuron Hammer with the Eye of Ragnaros. The part list for the initial hammer was pretty steep I mean take a look at it here.

The Ingot’s only dropped from Golemagg in molten core and 50 arcanite bars was one hell of a tall order. But when you finally got the hammer made and then finally got Ragnaros to drop his eye, you had at the time THE best two hand dps weapon in the game and an item tied to the elemental lords of Azeroth’s birth, and it looked cool too!

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseekerthundefury

The big brother to Sulfuras, Thunderfury was yet another item of the Elemental Lords that players could quest and construct. Ragnaros along with his two liuetenants had defeated Thunderaan, Prince of Air and being unable to destroy him completely, bound what was left of his essence into a talisman of elemental binding. A follower of Thunderaan unable to restore his master was instead able to craft a weapon to channel his lords fury and vengeance. To construct it you had to have both binding pieces that were drops from Molten Core bosses Baron Geddon and Garr, and had to gather the components necessary to craft the sword, not least of which required the following

10x [Elementium Bar]

In order to craft an elementium bar you needed to gather 1 [Elementium Ore] (from Blackwing Lair), 1 [Fiery Core], 10 [Arcanite Bar], and 3 [Elemental Flux].

When you finally got the pieces together you had to talk to Demitrian who summons the remaining essence of lord Thunderaan. An outdoor RAID boss fight in silithus later and you get your sword. This item was the best tanking weapon even up through The Burning Crusade. It’s proc alone making it invaluable to raids. Having one was truly amazing, difficult to get and offered a large benefit to any raid group that had one. If you had one you were pretty well set.

Atiesh, Greatstaff of the GuardianActionMedivh

If you’re looking for a lore weapon steeped in Azerothian history this staff delivers and in spades. When Naxxramas was released we got a chance to begin building the staff of the Guardian’s of Tristfall and ultimately Medivh himself. The staff was protected by the Kirin Tor after Medivh was assasinated and then was destroyed when Archimonde blew up Dalaran. The staff was shattered into Forty Two (42) pieces that were scattered to the far corners of Azeroth. Brann Bronzebeard himself held the base piece until he lost it to C’thun in AQ40. Kel’thuzad wanted the powerful focus for himself and when Naxx came to Azeroth the scourge began gathering pieces, eventually obtaining the head piece and the 40 shards of the shaft itself. Players could gather the shards for the frame from bosses in Naxx and the Head from Kel’thuzad himself. The base could be obtained by defeating C’thun in AQ. When all the pieces were assembled you could obtain one of four flavors of the staff. Priest, Druid, Lock and Mage were all able to wield a version of it with stats custom tailored for the PC. The staff also gave players the ability to teleport their entire group to Karazhan, the home of medivh himself.

Having one of these was truly epic and not many people managed to compelte it. It is a very lore centric item to the world of warcraft and if you had one, truly it was awe inspiring.

From here lets take a quick jaunt to The Burning Crusade. In BC endgame, technically three legendary items were introduced outside of the Kael’thas encounter. I wont spend too much time here because honestly while they are legendary quality, I felt truly let down by the items themselves.

The Twin Blades of Azzinothillidan02

These items are the weapons of Illidan himself. Illidan obtained these weapons by slaying the doomguard commander Azzinoth nearly 10,000 years prior. They became the symbol of his office so to speak and all demon hunters since have wielded dual glaives such as these. These items were drops from Illidan himself, there was no quest to obtain them. While getting them was still an amazing task after having to defeat all of Black Temple and it’s challenges to even have a chance to obtain them, it didn’t quite have the feel of obtaining any of the previous three. I know someone who had obtained a Thunderfury after much hard work and then had received a set of blades and he said that it just didn’t feel like it had the same weight. While they are very lore centric, and they are wickedly cool. I think there should have been a bit more questing to get them. But that’s just one shaman’s opinion.

Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury thoridal

Every hunter I know wanted this item. It was THE best dps bow in the game, and until recently held that same title. It drops from Kil’jaden in Sunwell Plateau and it generates it’s own magical arrows. Before the removal of the need for quivers and ammo pouches this was HUGE. Research doesn’t show a tie to any lore specific character for this item and honestly there’s not a lot of info on it other then it’s awesome stats. It is speculated that it is a manifestation of the sunwell’s power because of it’s ability to create magical burning arrows, but blizzard has never released any official lore about the item itself.

From there we move on to the absolute return of the TRULY legendary items. In Wrath of The Lich King these items are lore centric and as we can see the reward for the time put into obtaining them is there.

First up my personal favorite (for obvious reasons)

Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings WoWScrnShot_102709_222741

This item is obtained by defeating bosses in the instance of Ulduar 25. You obtain 30 [Fragment of Val’anyr], and then fuse them together into the shattered fragments. The quest leads you to a computer console of the titans that explains the history of the mace and how to reforge it. Let me share with you the history of this item. Created by the Titans themselves, Val’anyr was given to the first Earthen king, Urel Stoneheart. With it, he was to create and give life to the rest of his brethren. Urel Stoneheart used Val’anyr during the first war between the Earthen and the Iron Dwarves. The weapon was shattered and its remnants were believed lost in the conflict.

So here you have an item gifted by the titans, the shapers of all life on Azeroth even the Dragon Flights themselves, given to the First Earthen king, and well honestly the first earthen. They GAVE him the power to create life. This item is an old item of power and is tied intricately with the creation of the Dwarves. Having one means you’ve collected the fragments, defeated Yogg on hard mode and have put the time into getting the item. It just feel awesome to hold something with such heavy lore weight and think “wow, this item created an entire race. And here I’ve only unlocked a small portion of it!” Having one truly you can feel the reward for the work put in and it feels truly legendary.

Shadowmourne

This is probably the most talked about and watched legendary to date. Everyone and their mother is talking about it and it’s uses. This item is also steeped in insane amounts of lore. well… let me just get right too it

Shadowmourne… A great two-handed axe fit for a giant, born of sacred and corrupt powers, host of a thousand dead souls and able to be wielded only by the most stalwart armsmasters of Azeroth. Its creation seems nearly impossible; and yet, the rumors do not cease.

Darion Mograine believes that only the hammer of Arthas himself will provide a worthy model – but such absurd ambition is just the beginning of Shadowmourne’s creation. To contain the energies that dance across its cold edges, Shadowmourne would be hewn from piles of impure Saronite: the hardened blood of the Old God, Yogg-Saron. To fuel its power to kill, it should be drenched in the souls of the most potent servants of the Scourge as they are slain, one by one, with the unfinished blade. To help break through the Lich King’s armor, it is to be adorned with fragments of the Frozen Throne, originally crafted by Kil’Jaeden out of ice from the Twisting Nether

Only with these mighty components, it is said, can Shadowmourne be finished. And, yet, even if the axe could be completed, questions and fears remain. Is forging the souls of the deceased into a weapon treated with blood and the essence of the Twisting Nether truly any different from the crafting of the Scourge’s runeblades? And who will be bold enough to try to wield such a weapon? Might Shadowmourne bring the same doom and misery to the living as its sister blade did?

Um… yes pls. so far in order to obtain the item of such legendary proportions there is a long quest line in place. the quests, as far as is known is as such.

  1. Neutral [80R] The Sacred and the Corrupt
  2. Neutral [80R] Shadow’s Edge
  3. Neutral [80R] A Feast of Souls
  4. Neutral [80R] Unholy Infusion
  5. Neutral [80R] Blood Infusion
  6. Neutral [80R] Frost Infusion
  7. Neutral [80R] The Splintered Throne
  8. Neutral [80R] Shadowmourne…
  9. Neutral [80R] The Lich King’s Last Stand

This ranges from obtaining Artha’s mace, to killing specific NPC’s and bathing the blade in their blood up to defeating the Lich King himself. It is an outstanding amount of work to obtain and from what we can see, it’s well worth it. Obtaining one of these will be hard work, but in the end the return for the time invested will be amazing. And just fitting with the epicness of the weapons we received a plethora of sound files with the new voice of Arthas. Does this mean that Arthas’ soul will be the final one to occupy the blade? It is at this time unknown, but I for one look forward to finding out. In case you missed it here’s a short video of the weapon.

BC didn’t feel like obtaining the legendary items was very significant in the world, no where near as much as Vanilla WoW’s items did. In Wrath though it feels like obtaining the items has weight in the story, and truly feels awesome to hold. Now there are non legendary quality items that have this feel to them, that truly feel epic and story impacting, but that my friends is a post for another time.

What do you think of the legendary items? Do you think the way they are obtained now is good or bad? Do you like the lore of the items?

Until next time

Sig

Article main image courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. Images throughout courtesy of wowhead, mmo-champion and wow.com

Restoration Shaman – Best in Slot 3.1

Restoration Shaman – Best in Slot 3.1

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Once again we find ourselves with new content and as a result new upgrades. Our tier sets await us as well as many more foes that must be conquered. That means it’s time for another best in slot post for my fellow raiding restoration shamans. Before we get started I would like to say just a couple things.

  • First, this is my opinion. Use this as a guide or not at all, but this is based on my value of the stats we use.
  • Second, please feel free to make your own list or suggestions, after all it is your character and you should equip it as you see fit.

Head: [Steamworker’s Goggles] – Flame Leviathan 25: Good MP5 and great stats

Neck: [Charm of Meticulous Timing] – XT-002 25 (hard mode) this is a tough one to get, and so you might not get a chance at it for a while. In the meantime a good alternative is [Frozen Tear of Elune] which will run you 19x Emblem of Conquest.

Shoulders: There are two options here, first is [Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Spaulders] – Yogg Sarron 25. Haste, good mp5 and a red socket. Second runner up is [Amice of the Stoic Watch] - Auriaya 25. Crit instead of haste, decent mp5 and a red socket.

Back: [Shroud of Alteration] – Ulduar Trash 25

Chest: [Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Tunic] Hodir 25 or 58 Emblems of Conquest

Wrist: Again two options here, First is [Binding of Winter Gale] Hodir 25 (hard) or if you aren’t quite there yet, [Armbraces of the Vibrant Flame] from Ignis 10. These are BoE so you might be able to find them on the auction house as well.

Hands: [Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Handguards] Mimron 25

Waist: I’m going to give this to [Windchill Binding] This will cost you 28 Emblems and it’s a great upgrade from the Naxx 25 loot. If you want more crit you can go with [Blue Belt of Chaos] but I’m finding the price rather inflated to have it crafted right now.

Legs: [Conqueror’s Worldbreaker Legguards] Freya 25

Boots: [Boots of the Forgotten Depths] General Vezax 25 Good MP5 and haste.

Rings: There are a lot of options here, I’m going to give my top 4 choices though to [Pyrelight Circle] – Ignis 25. [Sanity’s Bond] – Yogg 25. [Ring of the Faithful Servant] – Auriaya 25 and [Signet of Manifested Pain] – KT 25

Trinket: Again a lot of options my top picks are [Scale of Fates] – Thorim 25. [Living Ice Crystals] – Malygos 25. [Energy Siphon] – Flame Leviathan 10.  [Pandora’s Plea] – Mimron 25,    [Je’Tze’s Bell] – BoE World Drop. I’m normally not a fan of on use trinkets, I prefer ones that give passive buffs most times, but Energy Siphon and Living Ice Crystal’s passive mp5 make them worth picking up alone. The on use effect of each is icing on the cake.

Off Hand: Two solid choices here, First is [Ice Layered Barrier] – Hodir 25 (hard) or [Pulsing Spellshield] – XT-002 10. Both have good stat allocation (and it helps they look cool!)

Relic: [Steamcaller’s Totem] – Flame Leviathan 25 or [Totem of Forest Growth] – 15x badges of heroism.

Main Hand: I saved this for last. First weapon that should be on EVERY healer’s list of wants is [Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings], Amazing mace with good stats. The proc as we’ve seen from the blue posts is crazy good. This will be at the top of everyone’s list. Second to this mace I vote [Guiding Star] – Razorscale 25, for best in slot runner up.

Looking at this I’m sure you will see it’s got a decent mix of MP5, haste and crit, while maintaining good intellect for replenishment and good spellpower. Some of the choices seem predictable, such as the tier 8.5 set pieces. The four pieces I selected I feel offer the most bang for the buck and allow you to gather the four piece bonus, which is worth it’s weight in gold.

If you’re looking to place value on items and stats, and figure out what weight works for you, you can use Shaman_hep, an addon from Stassart which allows you to calculate a miryiad of information from your combat logs to help lend a hand figuring out what’s best for you.

So now you’ve seen my list, What do you think are the best in slot items for Restoration Shaman?

Until next time, Happy healing

sig

Image courtesy of UToronto.ca

Val’anyr’s Vilification?

Val’anyr’s Vilification?

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As I’m sure you’ve seen yesterday, MMO-Champion put up the stats for Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. As of the time of this writing the link is gone. Here’s the link go ahead and click it.

Val’anyr Armory

Poof! Searching for the item on armory as well has yielded no results. This comes at a time where every healer has been foaming at the mouth for stats and a chance to claim the legendary mace that had been promised to us. I’m certain when people saw that the stats were released, like me, their hearts beat a little faster with anticipation and hope.

Here’s a link over to MMO-Champion’s Val’anyr photo but I’ll go ahead and post the stats here for you guys to take a look at.

+52 Stamina

+54 Intellect

Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 47

Eguip: Improves haste rating by 46

Equip: Improves spell power by 587

Equip: Your healing spells have a chance to cause Blessing of Ancient Kings for 15 seconds allowing your heals to shield the target absorbing damage equal to 15% of the amount healed

To be honest when I saw that slathering of stats my heart sank a little bit. I was expecting something with a bit more oomf. It’s an item level 239 which is a step up from items like Guiding Star who clocks in at an item level of 232. The stat increase is about 6-8 points higher (average) then iLevel 232 gear, spell power is a bit higher, by 30 to 40 points, and the item budget seems in line for the haste and crit as well. It follows the same jump from say Torch of Holy Fire (iLevel 226) to Guiding Star.

Don’t get me wrong the shield proc alone makes this thing worth it’s weight in gold, but I was expecting something a little more awe inspiring. Something that said “yes that is an amazing weapon and worth every second of the time I put into assembling it!” Lets take a look at the games past legendary weapons.

Vanilla WoW Legendaries

Back in the days when Molten Core was endgame, two legendary items were introduced. Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros and Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. These items were are amazing. Hand of Ragnaros on an enhancement shaman was the most fearsome thing in a battle ground, if he hit you, you were going to die. Thunderfury on a tank was like a cozy fire on a snowy night, you knew you were safe and warm no matter what happened. They were awe inspiring, you knew those who had it knew what they were doing, went to great lengths to get them and they stacked up heads and shoulders above the other items in the game at the time. To be honest well into burning crusade Thunderfurry was still being used as a premier tanking weapon, it was just that good.

Later on in vanilla WoW, Naxxramas came to town. It brought with it two more legendary items to the game.The Corrupted Ashbringer / Ashbringer and Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. I include the Corrupted Ashbringer and The Ashbringer because it was amazingly well done, and little things like walking into Scarlet Monestary and having all the NPC’s bow down to you was truly epic. The corrupted Ashbringer also talked to you in whispers(click HERE to listen on youtube). The item alone spawned so much speculation it became a legend in it’s own right. People guessing when they would allow the quest to cleanse it or if they would bother at all. The item has fan sites !

Atiesh  had four different flavors for healers and casters here they are for you to look over. Atiesh 1 , Atiesh 2 , Atiesh 3 , Atiesh 4 .  It’s stats were amazing in any iteration and the time to build it as well as the lore behind it was truly powerful and awe inspiring. Compared to other staves at the time like Spire of Twilight from old Naxxramas, Thadius. It also felt truly epic if you walked around with one of those.

Burning Crusade Legendaries

Burning crusade continued our story into outlands and eventually brought with it two legendary items. The Twin Blades of Azzinoth and Thori’dal the Stars’ Fury. The twin blades have been iconic since we were first introduced to illidan back in warcraft. They had a great set of stats, and the set bonus for them were really good. Star’s fury from Kil’jaden is a jaw dropping item. It may not have a ton of quest or lore behind it, but it’s rarity and the unique ability of the bow to not have to use arrows is amazing. It is still the best bow in the game,  and hunters still crave it. Most servers you will still find groups trying to go do sunwell and among those groups you’ll likely see many hunters chomping at the bit to get in for a chance at the bow.

Compare those legendary items to Val’anyr. Each of the legendary items prior to the mace has been leaps and bounds ahead of the weapons of its time in the sun. Each item truly felt epic and getting one was something to be proud of, perhaps even an apex for that particular content. With the leaked stats on Val’anyr it seems more meh. It’s proc is very very nice and depending on if it has a cool down on the proc or any other restrictions will determine whether it’s good, or really epic good.

I asked for reactions from my friends on Twitter . I asked if they thought it felt like a legendary item. general consensus was “IT NEEDS MORE SHINY!” to quote one of my Moo Cow Healy friends Kiki. It’s good, but it seems like it would be more on par with its item level and as a result could potentially be replaced when Ice Crown drops as a raid.

I think they took the link down on purpose, perhaps to tweak things before people start getting enough shards to build it.

What are your thoughts on Val’anyr? Do you feel it is legendary quality?

Till next time

lodsig11

Feel free to follow me on Twitter

Image of Mjolnir courtesy of www.Marvel.com

Quick Thoughts About Val’Anyr

There’s been a few updates about Val’nyr since the last time I wrote about it. Now we have some more information regarding the retrieval and construction of the legendary mace. Here are the Coles’ notes version:

  • 30 fragments
  • Step 1: Bring shattered fragments to the Archivum Console
  • Step 2: Throw the shattered fragments into Yogg-Saron’s maw while he is casting Deafening Roar
  • Kill Yogg-Saron and loot
  • Condition 1: Can only be completed in Ulduar Heroic mode
  • Condition 2: If at least one Ulduar Watcher is not assisting you

This leads me to conclude a few things.

First is that it appears the person who is collecting all the fragments does not have to be the same person who ends up with the constructed mace. After all, the fragments must be thrown into Yogg-Saron who must then be killed. The loot master should then find the completed mace on the loot table of the old god.

This means the fragments can be looted to any one person as a keeper until the guild collects the necessary amount of fragments.

Second is that the construction of this weapon is going to be out of the reach of many of the casual oriented raiding guilds due to the conditions needed.

Some more questions remain

What happens if the raid group fails at killing Yogg-Saron during that attempt? Or even during that week? Are the fragments lost?

Lastly, it seems that PTR build 9767 (the most recent) was pushed through mostly for bug fixes. Since the latest build was meant to fix stuff, we can assume then the patch is very close to completion. I do believe 3.1 will be here sometime this April. Two weeks.

A good indicator that the patch will be coming out soon is when PTR servers shut down.