Thursday, September 3, 2009

There is no cookie cutter spec

People aren't going to like hearing this, but

There is no Cookie-Cutter Spec.

I'm mainly a hunter so I'm writing it for hunters, but its true for every class. There is more than one way to make a Marksmanship build or a Survival build, or whatever build. You should be spending talents based on your personal environment. (Yes, some may be more fluid than others, but nothing there is no solid spec.)

Lets take Marksmanship for example:
  • Do you run out of mana often? Get Efficiency.
  • Is your gear pretty good and do you have some mana batteries in your raids? Drop Efficiency.
  • Do you raid with the same people all the time, and is another of them also a Marksmanship Hunter? Try to split talents- one of you get Improved Hunter's Mark, and the other get Trueshot Aura.
  • Do you have a Paladin's wisdom AND lots of replenishments and just don't ever see yourself needing much mana? Then why keep Rapid Recouperation?
  • Is your hit rating low? put point(s) into Focused Aim
  • Is your Armor Penetration maxxed? Drop Improved Arcane Shot and put the points into Improved Steady Shot.
  • Do your healers suck and always run out of mana? Consider going Survival and getting them more Replenishment

Yes, there are some talents (like Chimera Shot, for example,) that you just need to have to be succesful. But you really can't just blindly follow someone's spec and think its the same you need.

When building a good spec for DPS, think "what talent point that I have access to will give me the biggest DPS boost?" and go from there. For example, Improved Aspect of the Hawk will let you shoot faster, but Endurance Training won't help DPS at all.

Example. Say you are at this point in a build, and don't know where to go next. Efficiency can increase your DPS by saving you from going into Aspect of the Viper, Rapid Recuperation will help you in a similar way, Wild Quiver gives you a chance at an extra DOT, Silencing Shot does some damage, but is on a 20s cooldown, etc.

So before you ask "What should my spec be?" go through and think about each talent. If you don't want to waste time, do it on a flight from Borean Tundra to Howling Fjord or something. Peggle can wait.

Like I said above, there are some points that everyone should definitely have. For a Marksman, these are the must-haves of your build:

Then in the other trees...

That's only 55/71. The other 16 points can change based on your situation. Yes, some may be almost always chosen (like Trueshot Aura), but others change based on raid composition, stats from gear and sometimes even based on what boss you are fighting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hunters, Mana, and Cataclysm

Hunters won't have mana anymore? This better be good, because as of yet, I'm NOT ok with it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar- part Three: Mimiron and Hodir

The Keepers of Ulduar (2 of the 4
This is a 4-phase fight.

Phase 1: Leviathan MKII
Ranged/Healers: spread out using about 1/3 of the room. Make sure healers can reach everyone. Stand at least 18 yards away from the boss (because of Shock Blast.) The MKII will occasionally shoot out a Napalm Shell that does about 10k fire damage on the spot plus another 6k fire damage/sec for 8 seconds. This hits everyone within a 5-yard radius. So be at least 6 yards away from anyone else. If you get hit by one, the flame graphic is only graphical. No reason to move out of the flame if it has already hit you.
Tanks/Melee DPS: Look out for shock blast (if you have good spell detail, you'll see lightning coming out during cast. There will be a cast timer), which does 100,000 damage to everyone in 15 yards. 5 second cast, so GTFO. BUT watch out for mines, right behind you the MKII will drop a little circle of mines that explode for about 20k damage each.
Tanks, continued: Plasma Blast hits the tank for 30k damage (17k in regular) PER SECOND for 6 seconds, ever 45 seconds or so. Be ready with some healer/tank trick (shield wall, Guardian Spirit, something). If you need multiple tanks to handle this, plan for it.

Other than getting away from things that'll kill you, its effectively a tank and spank- pretty easy once you see it once or twice. Take him down until he's low and he'll disappear. You'll have some in-combat down time before phase 2 starts.

Phase 2: VX-001 (Personal Assault Cannon)
No threat- So kill it fast.

He will occasionally cast heat wave- 10k fire damage then another 2k/s for 5 seconds to the whole raid. The other main source of normal damage is Rapid burst, shooting in a "frontal cone" that goes to the back edge of the room. If you are on the edge of this, step out. But it needs to get healed through.

Avoidable Damage (must be avoided or you'll die):
1) Rocket Strike: targets a place where a player is standing and will hit for 5 million damage (about 3 yard radius). Area has a red circle highlighted. Step out if you see the circle.
2) Spinning Up. The Cannon takes some time to aim then will begin Laser Barrage, killing everyone it hits. It starts where it is facing and then spins clockwise for just over 1/3 of the room. Either run to the right of the aim spot or be ready to continue running left. Either way, reconvene afterward so that everyone can be healed properly.

Melee, its a good idea to always stay behind the rocket.

Phase 3: Aerial Command Unit
Have loot of free for all.
I've seen warriors tank it and I've tanked it as a hunter. If a ranged tanks it, healers need to be ready to heal him more than a tank would. He's in the air though. He shoots plasma balls that do about 10k damage to whoever is tanking it.
Assign some ranged (with slowing spells) to take out bomb bots that explode if they reach a target. Explodes for about 25k (25 or 10 man). Take them out. In 25-man, they have 50k hp, and they have 20k in 10-man.
Tank assault bots and other trash. Priority is to kill assault bots. They will drop a Magnetic Core when killed, which can be picked up then dropped below the ACU to bring it down and be taken out.

Phase 4: V-07-TR-0N
3 separately-targetable parts, a combo of the first 3 phases. The tank is on bottom, the ACU on top, and the cannon in the middle. The tank and ACU need to be tanked, and they all need to be killed within 10 seconds of each other. Set up DPS in a way where that can happen (I've seen split DPS evenly and take tank and ACU out most of the way then switch all DPS to the Cannon, then switch back in a mannor such that they'll all die at the same time.
The tank still has proximity mines and shock blast, but loses plasma blast and napalm shell.
The cannon still has Rocket strike and laser barrage (spinning up), and occasionally does about 5k damage to the whole raid.
The ACU still has its Plasma Ball which hits whoever is tanking it.


This is kind of like the alextraza fight in Nexus- you need to keep moving or damage will stack up on you. So jump between each cast (or 2). Don't let this stack up.
There are 2 types of ice that fall from the sky. One drops in a circle about 5 yards wide. Avoid these always. The other is about 10-15 yards wide. When you see these (plus hear the emote "Winds of the North Consume You"), stand near them until they fall and form a pile of snow. Flash freeze will be cast and everyone not on the snow pile will be stuck in ice and will either need to be DPS'd out or will die. Don't let this happen.

Hodir also randomly casts freeze, which is like a frost nova effect. It can be dispelled, blinked, EMFH'd, whatever'd. Mass-dispel is nice.

There are 3 types of buffs that come from the friendly NPCs. You should start by breaking them all out of their flash freezes, and mark the gnomes (mages). After the first pull only break them out and they will break out the rest of the NPCs. Have some ranged constantly stand by the gnomes to get their "singed" buff from the toasty fires they lay down. If someone has a bunch of sparks coming from them that means the shaman buffed them and they should get in a group. The beams of light from the sky are also good. These are all buffs that should be used as much as possible.

Hodir sometimes casts "frozen blows" doing some AOE to the raid as well as extra damage to the tank.

Pretty much- stay out of bad stuff, in good stuff, and keep moving.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best part of being a Night Elf Hunter

A little break from this Ulduar thing...

Best part of being a Night Elf Hunter: typing /flirt, hearing "I hope you're not afraid of snakes," then dropping my snake trap.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar: Part 2: The Antechamber

The Antechamber of Ulduar

The Assembly of Iron
There are 3 bosses. Once the first goes down, the other two each get a 25% damage buff. After the second dies, the buff on the remaining one goes from 25% to 50%. I suggest kill order:
Steelbreaker -> Runemaster Molgeim -> Stormcaller Brundir.
You need 1 tank each. Try to stay at least 30 yards away from Brundir until you start fighting him (other than the tank holding him, of course). Take down one at a time, as the remaining bosses get healed to full when one of the other's die.

2 circles on ground:
Blue- "Rune of Power" gives everyone a BIG damage increase. Meaning- if you can stand on it and attack the target, do so. But be positive that the bosses are not standing on it. That is damage that cannot be healed through.
Green- "Rune of Death." Get out of this. You will die. I'm not kidding.

When on steelbreaker, tanks & healers should be ready for fusion punch. This does about 20k/35k (normal/heroic) nature damage to the tank, plus adds a debuff that does another 15k/20k per second on the tank, for 4 seconds. This debuff is MAGIC and should be removed ASAP. Keep the boss out of the Runes of Power. Does some minor raid-wide AoE (1.5k-2k nature damage/sec) Otherwise, tank and spank.

If he is not the first boss killed, he will begin to cast Static disruption on random raid members, which does damage to them and everyone within 6 yards of them (so stay at least 6 yards away from everyone else).

If he is the last one up, he kills a tank every 60 seconds in normal, or 30 seconds in heroic. Once "Overwhelming power" is cast on the tank, the boss should be taken by someone else and the tank with that debuff should run at least 15 yards away from everyone. Plus, whenever someone dies, Steelbreaker gets a 25% damage buff and heals himself for 20% of his health (reducible by healing-reducing spells like Aimed Shot).

Runemaster Molgeim
If he is not the first boss killed, he casts rune of death occasionally. It is big, green, and all members of the group should stay out of it.

If this is the last boss alive, he summons adds that explode in a 30 yard radius from spawn point. a big amount of raid damage. Try to stay spread out, and be ready to heal those that take it.

Stormcaller Brundir
Chain Lightning. When in range, stay spread out at least 10 yd away from everyone else, if possible. Can be interrupted.
Overload- 6 second channel, does a ton of nature damage to everyone within 20 yards. All players must run at least 20 yards away during the channel. Cannot be interupted.

If he is not the first boss killed, he will start a lightning whirl, which needs to be interrupted asap as it spits out bolts of lightning every second, doing damage to everyone it hits.

If he is the last one up, he cannot be stunned. He also occasionally lifts up into the air and zaps anyone (including pets!) near being under him. He changes targets randomly. Kite and stay away. A tank should get ready to pick him up as soon as he begins to come down from this. Aggro is reset, so the tank needs to start from scratch again.

Kologarn has three targetable parts- his body, his left arm, and his right arm. The body needs to be tanked, the other two do not. However, there are adds that also need to be tanked.

Watch out for: Eye beams. If you see two beams appear next to you, start running and they will follow behind. Do not run through the raid- you'll kill everyone. But run so you don't die. This is imperative.
Left Hand casts Shockwave occasionally (Kologarn yells "Oblivion!"), and does raid-wide big damage. Heal it up.
Right hand will pull up 3 players, doing big DPS to those three . They cannot cast spells so heals need to be done on them and if they are healers their assignments need to be covered. They are broken out after 450k (heroic) damage is taken to the hand (150k in normal). If they aren't broken free after 8 seconds, they die anyway.

All DPS should be on the right arm when it is up!

Kill order:
Ranged: Right arm->rubble adds->Kologarn body
Melee: Right arm-> Kologarn body

Right before the right arm dies, melee should move away and offtank(s) should get ready to hold rubble adds. They explode when they die, so try not to take them all out at the same time. Actually, make it happen, don't just "try."

Kologarn's body takes a massive hit of his damage when his arm dies. This is how you take him out. When the right arm respawns, go back to it.


When a Feral Defender dies, a large black circle on the ground drops. Stay out of the circle

The raid should always stay very close together and always behind the tank (the tank should be between the boss and the entire party), because of Sonic screech which does a huge amount of damage in a frontal cone, but is split up by everyone in its path. Everyone needs to share this damage. After fear, interrupt the her Sentinel Blast.

The pull is the hardest part:

Pull: should be done by a DK tank's death and decay or a hunter's snake trap + shaman's totems. During this pull, everyone should be hiding behind a wall so that the sanctum sentries (4 in heroic, 2 in normal) do not pounce (this will kill the target). Kill these adds 1-by-1. Keep them fairly separated. A sentry gets a 50% damage buff from each other sentry within 20 yards of it.

Kill order:
Sanctum Sentry -> Swarming Guardians -> Feral Defender (first 2-3 times) -> Auriaya.

In other words:
Medium cats -> Small cats (AoE) -> Big cat -> Crazy cat lady.

A little AoE will kill swarming guardians. Every time the Feral defender comes up, it is less powerful than the time before it. Take it out at least twice. When it dies, it leaves a large black circle of death (Seeping Feral Essence). The boss should be kited to the next circular zone in the room. The rest of the raid needs to stay behind the tank at all times during this move. Always keep an eye on exactly where "behind the tank" is, as the boss shifts around from time to time.

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar: Part 1: The Siege of Ulduar

The Siege of Ulduar

Flame Leviathan

In Flame leviathan, we each have 1 of 5 different roles- siege engine driver, siege engine gunner, demolisher driver, demolisher gunner, and chopper driver.

Tank: There is no tank- the boss is kited by demolishers and siege engines, with the target switched every 30 seconds. If you are kiting, avoid getting hit. If you are not kiting, also avoid getting hit. Or you will be seriously hurt and will probably end up wiping.

Melee: Siege engine drivers. use melee abilities. Save speed boost for kiting. Back up before a target change.
Ranged: Demolisher drivers. Stay pretty far away in case you get kited. Your energy consists of pyrite which is forked in by your gunner- so get close enough to the pyrite on the ground so they can fill you up.

Utility: Gunners-
Siege engine gunners' main goal is to get pyrite on the ground for the demolishers. They also help with shielding the tank if needed (when kiting). If you are currently the machine kiting the boss and you see a tar patch ahead that isn't lit up, light it up with your fire so the boss takes damage.
Demolisher gunners have 2 main goals- keep the demolisher loaded with pyrite, can also get pyrite out of the air. These guys also need to be ready to load themselves into the catapult and be shot by the driver to the Boss, taking out turrets. Then get back to the demolisher with help from choppers. If you are currently the machine kiting the boss and you see a tar patch ahead that isn't lit up, light it up with your fire so the boss takes damage.

Utility: Choppers-
Role 1: Drop tar in the boss' path to slow him down. This can be lit on fire by other players to do damage to any enemies in the tar.
Role 2: transport players from FL to their Demolishers after an overload. Heal them when you can.

I suggest that the demolisher drivers to be launched get marked with some raid mark to make it easier to find them.

Hard-harder mode: up to 4 different towers. If any come with pillars of light of any color, stay out of them. They might follow you, but stay out of them anyway. Or you will die.
Tower of Storms- FL physical damage increased by 25% + some AoE damage to raid for a little bit. Stay out of pillars of light.
Tower of Flames- FL Fire damage increased by 50%. Also will have flames of fire slowly fall from the sky in a clock-wise fashion, starting where FL comes out. Stay far away, and stay out of the fire residue they leave behind.
Tower of Frost- Stay out of pillars of light. If you get frozen, someone needs to break you out with a fire attack.
Tower of Life. Decreases fire damage taken by FL by 10%. Kill adds- the small ones die quickly by making them follow you through a lit up tar patch.


Phase 1:
Split up into teams. I'd suggest one team to north and one to south, on the greyish circle in middle of the area. You can have a couple mobile healers and maybe a mobile ranged DPS or 2 in the center as well to switch-hit.
Kill order: Sentinel->Watcher->Guardian.
Sentinels come occasionally and should be picked up quick and DPSed by everyone. Watch out for whirlwind.

Watch out for blue flames. Dont stand in flames.

Once the 3rd turret is repaired, have one of the ranged DPS in the center run back and shoot all 3 good turrets, then shoot the 4th as soon as it comes up. If there is a sentinel, wait to fire the 4th until it is dead. This pulls down Razorscale, who should be DPSed as quickly as possible. Rinse and repeat until Razor is down to 50%. Dont stand in flames.

Phase 2:
At 50%, Razor will stay down and fight you.
Tanks: face dragon away from raid so they don't get flame breath. back up in a circle around the raid to avoid standing in Devouring Flame. Stay out of flame. Have 2 tanks rotate tanking ability at a time, taunting off each other when the current tank is at 2 stacks of "Fused Armor" (which slows the tank). Clears after 20 seconds.
Raid: Take out remaining adds, then take down the boss. Stay away from flame breath.

Ignis the Furnace Master
Raid: Stand in the middle of the room, right between the pools. Designate a Main tank, a Construct tank, and a backup construct tank. Construct tank should be a DK. Also nominate 2 ranged DPS to be the construct shooters, with one backup.
Main tank: tank in a small 4-corner rotation around the rest of the raid, close enough so they never have to move but far enough so the boss doesn't drop Scorch on the raid. Face boss away from raid. Move to next point when Scorch is dropped.
Construct tank: grab constructs when they are activated and hold them in a scorch for 10 seconds, making them molten, then quickly pull them over to one of the water pools, making them brittle. Chance to crit on the construct is increased by 50%. Any shot that deals over 5000 damage will kill them.
Construct Shooters: Watch pools for constructs to go brittle in pools, then shoot them down. Then, return to the boss.
Healers Be sure to keep whoever is in the slag pot alive along with the tanks.

If a construct shooter or the construct tank is put in the boss's slag pot, their backup should take care of the responsibilities until they are out. Communication is key, here. You don't want constructs running free.
Other than tanks, Raid should stay out of fire. (or the Scorch)

XT-002 Deconstructor
Raid: Look out for gravity bomb and Light bomb- ranged, stay at least 15 yd away from each other. Split DPS up evenly between the 4 corners of the room for the "heart phases," in which adds need to be taken care of. Don't be afraid to bandage, potion, or healthstone if you get low in health during a tympanic tantrum.
Main Phase:
Main Tank: Tank boss in center of room.
Off Tanks: Hold Pummelers that come from the corners of the room.
Ranged: stay 15 yards apart and you should be fine from bombs.
Melee: if you have a bomb, immediately run out. We usually suggest keeping an open area near the stairs open for melee to run. Be far away enough from the rest of the melee so they don't get hit.
Healers: Spread out so everyone can be healed properly. Be ready to heal everyone during tympanic tantrums.

Heart phase
DPS- Before adds come out, attack the heart- extra damage to boss.
Pummelers: Off-tanks should watch for Pummelers (XM-024 Pummeler), and hold them for the fight.
DPS: Take out all scrapbots before they get to boss, or they will heal the boss. If it is timed right, kill a bomb bot on top of a group of scrapbots, thereby blowing up all scrapbots. Don't bear near an exploding bomb bot.
Bomb bots either need to be looked out for when blowing up near boss (as they will also severely hurt melee nearby), or killed before they get to the boss. Figure this out before the raid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(looking down)
(looking up)
Where the hell am I? I used my Wormhole Generator: Northrend in Ironforge, and was given the extra option to go "Underground...", and I got stuck there, as my hearth was up. No way out, but I did get some dragonling schematics from the only other thing down there, an undead Kirin Tor sitting down.