Sunday, 31 January 2010

Blog Roll Updates

I've been a quiet this week and missed posting at all, which is bad. But I've been otherwise engaged I'm afraid. Basically I've spent about 4 hours developing my lists on Twitter and beefing up the blogroll links. You should check them out, there's a heap of helpful stuff there, I promise.

I'll be back with more Death Knightedness soon.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Deme the DK in ICC (and the loot therein)

Last week I posted on Unholy Spec for DPS since 3.3 and stated that if you have no ICC 10 man loot (or above) then you and I were in the same boat. Within hours I was made a total fraud. Thanks to Verde I was invited to a guild run of The Lower Spire and would you believe it, Lord Marrowgar dropped this beauty for me.

To say I am a lucky girl is a bit of an understatement. I was a guest at the raid, but as the only DPS plate wearer I was granted the loot. Generousity gone mad some may say? I say possibly, but I'm grateful and I didn't roll before being informed I could. So lucky me.

I figured since I'd now got some loot, and been through a bit of ICC (up to the Gunship Battle) I'd pontificate on the experience, but truth be told I was too busy hitting stuff, running out of/away from fire and concentrating on jumping/landing on the boat that I wasn't paying much attention to anything else. If you want loot tables try the usual suspects, there are people out there who've already done it far better than I can.

What I will say is, for those who haven't ventured into ICC yet, Lord Marrowgar is the first boss in The Lower Spire. The best piece of advice I heard about this chap was "He looks far more intimidating than he is". He's a big boney whirling dervish who is all flap and no function. Stay out the fire, hit down the spikes and let the tanks get aggro after each Bone Storm cycle and you should be fine.

Lady Deathwhisper was a heap of fun. Namely because our esteemed hunter pushed the wrong button and pulled her whilst the other guys were leading me through the strat. So we began and I did my best. And you know what, we one shotted her! Not bad! I'd mentioned to the guys that with the spell/physical damage make up of a DK, and being in unholy spec, I was probably going to be about as much use as a chocolate teapot but as the end result shows, it didn't seem to matter. Good Times.

We didn't have time to get to Saurfang that night, but we did do the gunship battle. I did think I was going to jump and land where the tank was, or worse jump and miss. This meant I was a little slow getting my jump going. I also was so focussed on whacking the adds on the ally ship that on the first go I didn't hear "Bring out the Battle Mage". Second time round it was great fun! Like the Flame Leviathan fight I love the different dynamic that this fight offers to the game and it makes me wonder how the horde/alliance "peace pact" will hold out. Which we know it won't. I can't ever see Garrosh and Varian sitting down to a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

"Lucky" Deme

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Unholy PvE DPS Since Patch 3.3

Right then, time to get down to something serious and deadly. In my guild, Unholy DKs are not the norm. Blood has made a big impact and it's hard to argue with it on occasion. Blood is a very powerful spec, with a rotation not dissimilar to unholy as it goes. Even looking at both cookie cutter specs since 3.3 you can see that all the talents in the top blood and unholy specs are split between these too talent trees, and blood can whack out some serious numbers. But unholy will win out.

Prior to 3.3 I had been struggling for a while with unholy, but I remained defiant. I've been unholy from the get-go and I love the playing style. I didn't think I could ever change it, even though the talent point resets and the constant tweaking can be annoying, it was too much fun to dump. 3.3 hit and I waited a couple of weeks for all those with the skills to run the numbers and work up the best rotations and gear suggestions. I admit that this patch has been the one time I have seriously considered dumping unholy altogether and bowing to peer pressure.

I'm not one to change something I love so readily though so I went off and read all the updates on 3.3. Once I started reading across the class forums, the leading guild sites and the usual suspects like Elitist Jerks, it was clear that unholy was the top spec in the end game instances. It was also clear that I need to upgrade some gear, tweak my spec, glyphs and rotations. So I did. And what do you know, it rocks to be unholy.

If you are just respeccing, or trying out unholy for the first time, here's a few points. Keep your diseases up (IT, PS). Your diseases are powerful, IT slows down your adversary and PS inflicts shadow damage over time. Even if you aren't able to hit your target, if you get feared, frozen, stunned whatever, your DoTs are there. They are doing damage. The reworked SS is the corner stone of unholy again, but you'll get the most out of it if you've got your diseases up.

Single target raid DPS

Providing you are running with this spec and DO NOT have any T10 or ICC gear, then your rotation is going to look like this:

IT – PS – BS – SS – BS – DC – HoW – SS – BS – SS – BS – DC – DC

I've used this spec as it's what I'm running with. For more options check the list below.

I still have some work to do, but I'm getting there. Few more EoT and I should have the T9 chest, which will stick with me for a very long time. Those EoF are much harder for me to grind and I'll need a small bank full to upgrade my legs.

For further reading
Good stuff here.
Elitistjerks -- seriously, probably every answer to basic DK stuff you could ever want. -- does what it says on the tin -- DK blogger with UI and add on tips and ICC advice.

Suffer Well!


Editted cos my guildie found the Ensidia link I couldn't. Thanks @woodstonewow

Raid Boss Puzzles

Last week I asked, "Why do you raid?" and I mentioned why I raid. I also asked the question of my guild mates. The answers followed a general theme, following the lore of the game, working with a group of friends, downing bosses, getting cool achievements. There was one answer which stood out to me and it was something I had not thought about before.

One of my guildies said "I like puzzles. Each raid boss is a puzzle and so my primary reason for raiding is to solve the puzzle." He went on to say that the fact that to solve the puzzle he has to work with 9 other people brings in "interesting social dynamics, that with the right combination of people, can be very rewarding." For me this is a very fresh look at why people raid and one which could provide some great insight into why my own raid group is not progressing as fast as I would like.

I'm now thinking about how I can solve these puzzles and which ones I have enjoyed most so far. Apart from the astounding geekgasm I had when we dropped the evil Emporer Twins, I think my most enjoyable win was dropping Gluth. We'd wiped twice and I was "kiting" the zombies. Except I wasn't. I was just holding aggro and standing there getting hit. When we went over the strat again, it clicked. I'd been so focussed on keeping them from Gluth I'd forgotten to move! As I wandered round the back of the room, spamming DnD, and busting all my tank spec cooldowns, I wasn't even watching Gluth fade to a big dopey dead doggie. Our raid healer who was with me and I were both caught by surprise when the shouts went out on TS. OMG! He's down! That little penny dropping in my head made all the difference on that fight. That's how puzzles work. One moment of inspiration can solve it in a flash.

Would love to know who your favourite "puzzles" have been, do leave me a comment.

Till next time,

Deme the Puzzler

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Four noobs. One world. The World of Warcraft.

In early 2009 four people were drawn to a world. A world like no other. The World of Warcraft. Four plate wearing noobs, 1 Pally, 3 Warriors. 1 short arse dwarf, 3 ‘creative choice’ humans. 1 girl and 3 boys. This is the story of how they met.

Gnolls in Redridge.

They had ventured far and wide into this new world, criss-crossing each others paths but some how always missing each other. Until one fateful day, when they found themselves in the forge, or in the inn or on the bridge at Lakeshire and in need of help. Some how those gnolls, that had been running wild on the River’s Edge in Elwynn and were trying to take over Westfall, were now up to their evil shenanigans in the Redridge Mountains.

Having been duped into thinking that Hogger was a normal adversary at an earlier age, these brave knights were more wary of this new foe. To go into battle alone would be certain death. ‘But how to find others willing and able to venture into battle?’ pondered one of the warriors as she walked towards the bridge.

“CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH GNOLLS?” bellowed the Fearless Warrior.

Nothing. No reply. But there was a strange ginger chap in the forge, would he help? Maybe one more shout before I try asking him though the warrior.

“Can anyone help me with gnolls?’ A little more polite this time.

“Sure, I will”. It was non-other than the ginger haired chap from the forge. ‘Just let me finish smelting this copper’.

‘Great thanks!’ said the Fearless Warrior, thinking ‘Smelting copper?? What the hell is he talking about? This bloke is clearly bonkers.’

‘Maybe we should get some more people’ said the Ginger Chap. ‘I can tank but we might need some more’.

‘Ok, how about that guy over there?’ Fearless Warrior pointed to the other side of the bridge where a guy was doing funny things to some green, finned fish things with a big hammer. The Ginger Chap agreed and off they went to ask Hammer Guy. Hammer Guy also had to go and investigate the gnolls and was frankly glad of the break from hitting the vicious, green, finned fish things.

A quick stop at the inn for supplies and the band of three headed up the hill away from the town.

“Wait! Wait for me!” The Fearless Warrior, Ginger Chap and Hammer Guy turned to see a funny little squat man running up the hill behind them. “I too am on the great quest for gnolls, can I join you?” He was rather muscular and looked very strong for such a small man. Something about him told the group that he would bring a certain x-factor to their expedition. So the group of three now became four. Fearless Warrior, Ginger Chap, Hammer Guy and Shortstuff.

They’d not been walking long when suddenly a bolt of lightning hit the back of Fearless Warrior.
“YEEEOOWWW!!” she squealed as the knights all pivoted to see where it had come from. 3 tall, fat, ugly ogres were advancing up the hill behind them with a mean look in their eyes.

“Stand back fair maiden!” ordered Shortstuff, “I will protect you!”

“You won’t! I will!” snapped Ginger Chap.

Fearless Warrior calmly strode in front of the arguing knights and swung her sword at the first Ogre.

“Stop arguing and come help!” She yelled over her shoulder. Which was a mistake, she turned back to see the Ogre’s shield coming hard at her head.

Hammer guy watched as Fearless Warrior got slammed to the ground with his heart in his mouth. Green, finned, fishy things flashed through his mind and he could vaguely hear the dwarf and warrior arguing with each other.

“RAWR!” He let out an almighty cry and ran towards Fearless Warrior swinging his big hammer over his head and eye-balling the ogre who had shield-smashed her.

The noise shook Shortstuff and Ginger Chap out of their argument and they finally realised what was going on.

The hammer struck the ogre’s shield and it shattered into small pieces around Hammer Guy. The ogre was not happy but Hammer Guy was in the zone now and he just kept swinging. Another swipe and the ogre took a smashing blow to the head, Hammer Guy heard the bone crack under his might and he knew the ogre was losing. One more powerful swing and his foe sunk to the ground like an over-bloated blue balloon.

Ginger Chap had moved in to the second ogre, the one who had cast the lightning bolt at Fearless Warrior. The ogre was doing something with his hands and Ginger Chap could see something black and fizzing forming in the space between them. Before the ogre could cause any more damage Ginger Chap charged and sliced up with his sword. In one stroke he took off the ogre’s left arm. The ogre had a look of disbelief and horror on his face as he watched the blood pump out of his arm. He decided not to stick around a made to make his escape.

Shortstuff appeared from nowhere and vaulted onto the back of the fleeing ogre. In one clean motion he lifted the ogre’s head and slit open it’s throat. The ogre crumpled and Shortstuff bounced off him and ran back to the group.

Ginger Chap looked round to see that Shortstuff had already killed the third ogre whilst he had been in the midst of battle. Looking back to Shortstuff he must have looked incredulous because Shortstuff said,

“Never seen a dwarf fight before laddie?!”

“I’ve never seen anyone fight like that before!” marvelled Ginger Chap.

“Stick with me, I’ll see ya right.” Shortstuff grinned as he walked past Ginger Chap to where Hammer Guy and Fearless Warrior were.

Hammer Guy began murmuring some words under his breath as he looked down at Fearless Warrior.

“What’s he doing?” Ginger Chap mumbled.

“Ssshh lad, he needs to concentrate” replied Shortstuff.

Seconds later a soft glow began to come from Hammer Guy’s hands as he moved them along and above Fearless Warrior’s body.

“Urrghhh, what happened?” Fearless Warrior came round and asked.

“You got shield slammed lassie” replied Shortstuff.

“Oh. Then what woke me up?” Fearless Warrior felt surprisingly well for being shield slammed and whacked with a lightning bolt.

“I did” said Hammer Guy.

“But how?” asked Ginger Chap, “You’re a warrior just like us and we can’t do that”

“No, I am a paladin. I can heal you.”

After the exertion of the fight, this last revelation was big news. The four had a bite to eat to recover their energy and discussed how they had all come to be in Lakeshire and on this great quest. It was getting late so they decided to move off the road slightly and make camp for the night. Who knew what adventures lay ahead for them.

This is just a little tribute to my three noob friends on our WoW Anniversary. One husband and two brothers. Love ya guys.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Why Do You Raid?

As the title suggests I want to know why you raid. There was a rather heated debate on our guild chat channel the other day about people not wanting to raid Ulduar 25 man because they didn't need the loot. This was swiftly dismissed, with most people agreeing that the achievement and the pleasure of playing with 24 other like minded people was incentive enough. As often happens to my brain when I'm reading guild chat (on this occasion over my spousal unit's shoulder) I started wondering about people's motives to raid.

What makes you want to raid? Are you a phat lewt and purps demon? Do you lust for the thrill of the fight and the "whoosh ding" of the achievement? Do you just want to play with a like minded group of players, take out some more difficult bosses and have fun? Perhaps you are driven by seeing the inside of all those amazing instances and following the lore.

This may pique your interest into why I raid so here's my reasons.

I'm a wee bit ashamed to say that Deme is still effectively in Naxx. Sapp and KT are proving to be a bit of a bugger for us. We really should be facerolling it because we're overgeared for the instance so there's something wrong somewhere. Anyway, the point is, we're there because we want to do it. We want to say we pwned that stupid undead floating dress and his bony pet lizard. There is very little loot that would be of interest to most of us. Even as a relatively casual raid group, we spend most of our time enjoying other aspects of the game and so our gear is mainly from emblems, we certainly don't need stuff from Naxx particularly.

We also wanted to do it to bond as a group of 10 people before we moved onto the harder raids. We've had people come and go and had to replace a few members here and there so that hasn't helped. However I'd say we are now settled and have a great team who all know their roles. The raiding has helped us bond and learn to trust each other to do the role required.

I must confess though, for me, I am addicted to the "whoosh ding". I've even grown to like the little one you get when you complete a random dungeon. I adore the noise, the sense of pride, the shared sense of achievement with 9 other people and most of all, the cheers that go out on TS and the over guild chat. I also get a kick from downing bosses. My biggest geekgasm to date has been from downing the Twins in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. I'd spent a long time wiping on them a few months before and for some reason we never mastered them. This time we did and boy did it feel good! Better even than downing that horrid big green bag of pus Grobbulus. Loot? What loot?! I was level 80 and this was a level 60 instance! We did have a level 60 drood with us who loved it, but for me, I wasn't bothered at all. Not even if it was pretty. I just grinned from ear to ear for dropping those bitch slapping brothers.

Do tell what makes you go back again and again to those raid instances.

Deme the Under-Achiever

btw I know I'll never see that mace, but damn is it sweet.