Monday, August 27, 2012


I've been going through the quests in Kalimdor with Mornara. It's amusing to tromp through zones, and it's nice to see the new stories and compare it to the old ones.

A particularly interesting story I ran across in Winterspring. People should remember that in Vanilla you'd bring the Chained Essence of Eranikus to Umbranse the Seer in Winterspring after killing corrupted Eranikus in Temple of Atal'Hakkar. It was a giant plot hook, that was never ever followed up on in Vanilla. Sadly they just let it rust away in Cata, too.

Umbranse the Spiritspeaker yells: All those dragon essences I've collected... the power... is exhilirating!
Umbranse the Spiritspeaker yells: You can't take this away from me! Not now, not ever!

Turns out we can, but we still don't know exactly what he was doing... :(

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dragon Soul: Ultraxion Dialogue

Ultraxion is the 5th boss that Darkfall killed in Dragon Soul. He is a large, and angry, twilight dragon.

Ultraxion has a single phase. He pulls you into the twilight realm at the start of the encounter and the entire fight takes place there. As the fight goes on there is steadily escalating aoe damage as Ultraxion becomes more and more unstable.

To counter that steadily escalating damage Thrall and the Dragon Aspects give you buffs. Thrall has a very lovely tank buff. Ysera, Alexstraza, and Kalecgos have healer buffs. And then near the end Nozdormu will give the raid Timeloop, a get-out-of-death-once free card.

The Aspects are super happy to see you once you get back from trouncing Hagara.

Ysera the Awakened says: Praise the Titans, they have returned!
Nozdormu the Timeless One says: Not entirely unexpected.
Kalecgos says: Excellent! We will begin the ritual at once!
Alexstraza the Life-Binder says: The ritual will take much from us, as it requires a piece of our very being. We will be weakened greatly.
Thrall says: Heroes, this burden falls to you once again.
Thrall says: You must protect us from Deathwing's forces while we imbue the Dragon Soul with the power of the Aspects.
Thrall says: Speak to me when you are ready to begin.

Thrall says: Heroes, we must place this burden on your shoulders once again. You must protect us from Deathwing's forces while we imbue the Soul with the powers of the great Aspects of Azeroth.
<Player> says: You may continue your ritual, we will defend you.

The first time you start the encounter by talking to Thrall Deathwing himself shows up and taunts Alexstraza. He sends a bunch of twisted former red drakes at the raid. Alexstraza is quite harsh about telling the raid to kill the twilight drakes that used to be part of her flight.

Deathwing yells: It is good to see you again, Alexstraza. I have been busy in my absence.
Deathwing yells: Twisting your pitiful whelps into mindless abominations, bent only to my will. It was a very... painful process.

Alexstraza the Life-Binder says: They... are my clutch no longer. Bring them down.

Deathwing yells: Mere whelps, experiments, a means to a greater end. You will see what the research of my clutch has yielded.

Once the drakes are dead, you've got a short while to buff up and stack up on the Northern edge of the top of Wyrmrest temple.

Deathwing yells: Nefarian, Onyxia, Sinestra... they were nothing. Now you face my ultimate creation.
Deathwing yells: The Hour of Twilight is nigh; the sun sets on your pitiful mortal existence.

Ysera the Awakened says: I sense a great disturbance in the balance approaching. The chaos of it burns my mind!
Ultraxion yells: I am the beginning of the end...the shadow which blots out the sun... the bell which tolls your doom...
(The raid gets pulled in to the Twilight Realm as Ultraxion says he is the shadow.)

Ultraxion yells: For this moment ALONE was I made. Look upon your death, mortals, and despair!
Ultraxion yells: Now is the hour of twilight!
Thrall yells: Strength of the Earth, hear my call! Shield them in this dark hour, the last defenders of Azeroth!

Ultraxion yells: You have no hope!
Ultraxion yells: Through the pain and fire my hatred burns!
Alexstraza the Life-Binder yells: Take heart, heroes, life will always blossom from the darkest soil!
Ultraxion yells: The final shred of light fades, and with it, your pitiful mortal existence!

Ysera the Awakened yells: In dreams, we may overcome any obstacle!

Kalecgos yells: Winds of the arcane be at their backs, and refresh them in this hour of darkness!

Nozdorum the Timeless One yells: The cycle of time brings an end to all things.
Ultraxion yells: Through the pain and fire my hatred burns!
Ultraxion yells: But... but.. I am... Ul... trax... ionnnnnn...

Alexstraza the Life-Binder says: It is done! Our power now resides within the Dragon Soul! Our fate lies with you, Earth-Warder!
Thrall says: Taretha... Cairne... Aggra... I will not fail you. I will not fail this world!

Then you get a short cinematic where Thrall fires the Dragon Soul at Deathwing and mostly misses but manages to shatter one of the armor plates on his back. In retaliation, Deathwing destroys the Horde airship and retreats towards the Maelstrom.

Alexstraza the Life-Binder says: The have failed us sister.
Ysera the Awakened says: I have awakened only to sleep once again.

However, if you fail to have the requisite number of people soak the Hour of Twilight then the Aspects get clobbered, and you all die. Oh, and you get bitched out by Alexstraza and Ysera...

It's odd that despite this being a completely stationary fight I think of it as quite dynamic. Especially for the tanks there is a lot of taunting and dodging in and out of the Twilight Realm for Hour of Twilight and Fading Light.

In 10man normal mode the tanks can alternate taking each Hour. A single tank can even take every single hour, as long as appropriate cool downs are available. We haven't done normal mode kills for a while but on Mornara I usually alternated Icebound Fortitude with Antimagic Shield plus Bone Shield. In 25man normal mode you need three people bearing the brunt of each Hour. We usually had a 3rd person go tanky and just have all three of us popping CDs and stay in for hour.

In 10man heroic mode two people need to be there for each Hour. Additionally taking the hit from Hour of Twilight puts a debuff on you so that you can only take every third Hour. So there needs to be a strict rotation of at least six people for who takes which Hour.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pandemonium Unholy DK PvP build

I don't actually dps with my death knight. If I'm in a raid, I'm the tank. What I do with my unholy build is go into battlegrounds and arenas. So the glyphs and talents are chosen for that rather than actual dps maximization.


Level 56 Talent:
Unholy blight! With auto diseasing! How could I say no?

Level 57 Talent:
I've put Lichborne here but I'm really not sure about that. I could see a good argument for AMZ or Purgatory.

Level 58 Talent:
Chillblains here. Having a 50% slow is handy, and even better will be the 3sec immobilize from chains of ice. Plus I already get a run speed boost from Unholy Presence.

Level 60 Talent:
Death Pact for the win. As unholy I'll always have a ghoul around, and the new pact doesn't actually kill my ghoul.

Level 75 Talent:
Runic Empowerment. Sometimes I'll get a wierd and useless rune, but the potential burst from getting a good run is totally worth it.

Level 90 Talent:
Currently Desecrated Ground, an extra trinket button is excellent. However, I could see a strong argument for Remorseless Winter. AoE slow with a potential stun is quite nice. Gorefield's Grasp might also be really nice too, having a second yank for people hitting my arena partners might be super nice.

Major Glyphs:

Unholy Frenzy is a spell that I currently never use. It increases haste, but has a pretty nasty dot affect. If I could glyph that to not kill my teammates I'd love it.

Add an offensive dispell to Icy Touch? Sign me up please! This seems tailor made to combat recalcitrant healers in the arena. I'm actually looking forward to chasing down a resto druid, between this and a couple of other talents.

The Death Coil glyph will add an absorb shield if used on allies. That seems like it will be incredibly useful in PvP.

Minor Glyphs:

I can't resist turning my perma-ghoul into a perma-geist. I'll definitely be taking the glyph of Geist.

Again, removing the taunt from Army of the Dead is far too good to give up.

I still like taking less falling damage with the Path of Frost glyph. I could see swapping to Foul Menagerie for the awesomeness of having a rag tag army of the undead, but I've already got a geist so I'll likely keep this as Path of Frost.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dragon Soul: Hagara Stormbinder Dialogue

Hagara is the fourth boss in Dragon Soul. She is an orc shaman who was corrupted by the Twilight's Hammer and is now working for Deathwing.

When Thrall needs help using the Dragon Soul, Kalecgos suggests using the focusing iris in the Eye of Eternity to help control and direct the energies. Hagara is lying in wait for the raid in the Eye of Eternity.

She has three separate phases, a main phase, a lightning phase, and an ice phase. She alternates these phases in the pattern: main, lightning, main, ice, main, lightning, main, ice. Though she can have either the ice phase or the lightning phase first. You can tell which phase she'll start with from the buff on her weapon.

Thrall says: It is no use, the power of the Dragon Soul is too great. I cannot wield it safely; the raging forces contained within it may be the doom of us all.
Alexstraza the Life-Binder says: They truly, we are lost.
Kalecgos says: Not necessarily. I just might work.
Kalecgos says: The Focusing Iris within the Eye of Eternity may allow us to converge the magical matrix contained within the Dragon Soul.

Thrall says: Yes, I see. We can finally turn Deathwing's own power back against him.
Ysera the Awakened says: I sense is a trap...carefully laid for us at this crucial moment.
Thrall says: We have no choice. We must have faith in our allies.

And then Kalecgos opens the portal to the Eye of Eternity. Once you touch the Focusing Iris, Hagara appears and gets ready to beat up the raid. She'll send several waves of trash at you and one of her lieutenants to beat on you.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Even with the Aspect of Time on your side, you stumble foolishly into a trap?

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Don't preen just yet, little pups. We'll cleanse this world of your kind.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You'll not leave this place alive!

After all those trash mobs are dead she'll hop off of her floating stone circle and be ready to take on the raid. You do have a chance here to buff up and drop raid markers. You can also send in a sacrifice or hunter to swap her from frost to lightning phase first, though that sometimes takes a few tries.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You cross the Stormbinder! I'll slaughter you all.

In lightning phase you need to overload her lightning conductors. For heroic we have two teams of melee running the lightning chains. All the ranged and healers stand in the center to make sure they don't take any avoidable chain damage.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Suffer the storm's wrath!
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: What are you doing?
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You're toying with death.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You think you can play with my lightning?
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Impossible!

Frost phase we have everyone running away from the ice walls, also know as ice up the butt. Especially, on heroic, the important thing is for everyone to live through the phase. Any damage you can put on the ice crystals is good, but it's not worth falling behind and getting hit by the ice wall.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Die beneath the ice.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: The time I spent binding that, WASTED!
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Enough!
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You'll PAY for that.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Aughhhh!

In heroic mode, Hagara will also put the Frostflake debuff on random people. I'll put a slow patch on the ground around where it is dispelled unless you're standing in the water bubble. We just ignore it and have our hunter keep Aspect of the Pack up for the Ice section of the fight.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You can't outrun the storm.

Main phase you have to watch out for the ice tombs, and the ice lances, and her main attack on the tank Focused Assault. Break out the people in ice tombs asap, and make sure your healers and ranged know to not take too many stacks of ice lance. The tank should also run away from focused assault on normal and get ready to pop a CD on heroic. Being a DK for heroic makes it a lot easier since I can just make sure I'm prepped to get a nice big Death Strike shield.

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Stay, pup.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You face more than my axes, this close.
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Feh!
Hagara the Stormbinder yells: Cowards! You pack of weakling... dogs...

Hagara the Stormbinder yells: You should have run, dog.

Hagara isn't too bad a fight once you get the different phases down. Though she does seem to have a fixation about dogs.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blood DK Mists of the Pandaman Talents and Glyphs

I still feel it is a bit early to be making hard and fast talent or glyph choices, but here is a pretty basic spec I could see Mornara running with. Honestly there aren't all that many actual choices to make compared to previous versions of the talent tree. And I could see a lot of them changing on a fight by fight basis.


Level 56: Roiling Blood just seems awesome. This will be really handy in any sort of multi-mob situation. No need to hit pestilence, pretty much ever again. I still miss the old glyph of Pestilence that would refresh diseases on your current target. But this will mimic that affect if you drop diseases and then hit blood boil. So double bonus of disease spreading and AoE damage.

Level 57: I've got Lichborne chosen at the moment. But on a per-fight basis I could see strong argument for Anti-Magic Shield. Purgatory is on a 3 minute internal CD, and seems like it'd only be good for small over kills. Otherwise the healers won't be able to get your health back up before three seconds runs out.

Level 58: Death's Advance. I'll never put runspeed on my boots again! Plus a sprint button every thirty seconds? Asphixiate with a Vader quote macro'd in would be hilarious, but this seems a lost more useful.

Level 60: I've picked Conversion here, but kind of at random. It really depends on the math for Death Siphon and how fast runic power generation ends up being with the change to Scent of Blood. I could also see an argument for Death Pact, but again it depends on how strapped I will be for runic power or GCDs.

Level 75: Runic Corruption seems like the best route to go here. Not as RNG as Runic Empowerment, and not another resource to manage like Blood Tap. This may lock you into a more fixed rotation, but I kinda like having my pairs of frost and unholy runes come up together.

Level 90: Desecrated Ground here seems like a useful thing. Gorefiends Grasp and the multi-yank could also be handy. I think this choice really depends on the specific boss mechanics you'll be going up against, because I could also an argument for a stun available every minute.

Major Glyphs:

I've currently got Vampiric Blood, Anti-Magic Shell, and Icebound Fortitude. Honestly I'm not super impressed with those glyphs. I like the Vampiric Blood glyph, but I'm a bit dubious about AMS and IBF glyphs.

Vampirc blood seems to be just the same as it is now. So I'll keep that glyph. Yes, sometimes more health is good, but I think that more healing is always good. I will be VERY sad to lose the 4pc bonus from my current gear when we get to Pandaria. (Current Blood 4pc is to give your raid 50% of the effect VB has on you. That increased healing is a nice raid cooldown.)

It seems like the AMS glyph won't increase the amount of absorption, it'll just make it get used up faster. It will be a win if there is a single boss ability that you're using AMS to guard against, but not as good if there is a pulsing AoE that applies a debuff. That seems like a reasonable trade off though.

I think I like the new glyph for IBF. Current IBF is a 12sec DR on a 3min cooldown. This glyph would change that to 3sec DR on a 1.5 min cooldown. That's a pretty small window, but being able to use it more often would be very helpful. Same as with AMS, you're often using this to guard against one specific boss ability and that usually doesn't need the full 12sc duration.

Minor Glyphs:

Path of Frost, Army of the Dead, and Foul Menagerie are what I'm rocking for Minor Glyphs at the moment.

The minor glyph Army of the Dead removes the taunt ability from your army of the dead ghouls. I can think of a few current uses where I wouldn't want this, but in the vast majority of cases it will be much better to have non-taunting army. Yes, they don't taunt raid bosses as is, but honestly I almost never want them to taunt anything. Having this glyph turns army from a potential major problem to just another handy dps cooldown. And if there is a specific need to have army taunt then you can unglyph just for that fight.

I'm foolishly excited about the Foul Menagerie glyph. It is solely a cosmetic glyph, but I think it will look super awesome to have a variety of undead creatures respond when I call for my army. I'm sure it won't have any sort of dps change, but honestly it's ok to just look cool.

I like that Path of Frost reduces falling damage. However, I am tempted to replace it with the Geist minor glyph. I'm also tempted by the Corpse Explosion glyph, but I actually hate it when people explode a boss so that the actual corpse goes away.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Trailer

I saw the Mists of Pandaria Cinematic this morning. As usual it was the excellent animation that we all expect from Blizzard. I continue to wish that the game actually looked like the expansion cinematic. Or at least that the in-game animations for orcs and humans looked closer to that cinematic.

I liked the cinematic up until the very end. It really emphasized the conflict with the Horde and Alliance. The fighting scenes between Human and Orc and then Human, Orc, and Pandaren were quite well done. However I have to say that the Pandaren just looks utterly ridiculous. It was all ok until we got a full lighted view of his face while he was chewing his cud?!? It looked like some cross between a country bumpkin and, well, a panda. Not the greatest combo.

This cinematic does a good job emphasizing the plan to bring the game back to the Horde vs. Alliance fighting. And a reminder of what both sides are really fighting for. I think my favorite moment was when the Human passes a weapon to the Orc, so that they can both fight the Pandaren. It had a very excellent feel of sibling rivalry. Which makes perfect sense to me. The Horde and Alliance have been fighting for years now, but they mostly put their differences aside and smash the current Big Bad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ironbound Protodrake!

Lately the Monday Fun Raid has been going after meta achieves that will give us drakes. We're killing the heroic bosses in Bastion of Twilight and fighting our way through Ulduar. Another goal is to kill Sinestra.

A week ago in Bastion we had to pug in a few people and we brought along some new guildies. It was a bit slow to start and our group hadn't gelled all that much, but we did pretty well for half of the raid not remembering the fights at first. We got Halfus and Double Dragons down pretty speedily, but the second phase on Elemental Council/Elementium Monstrostity is just so annoying. It's way too easy for one small mistake when kiting the frost orb to wipe out half or three quarters of the raid. I'm confident we can get it if we practice a bit more, and have a more cohesive group. A few of the guildies who came along got the heroic kill achieves for the first two bosses, but most of us already had them. So my plan the next time we go to Heroic Bastion is to save the lockout and just start at the council fight.

Last night we went back into Ulduar25. Kuanchichi and Mornara were only missing ONE achieve from Ulduar25. They both need the Hodir achievement I Could Say That This Cache was Rare. When we did the rest of our Ulduar25 achieves months ago, too many people got trapped in flash freeze so we missed the deadline by a single second. I tried to set up an Ulduar25 raid a couple of weeks ago, however you do actually need at least 15 people for all the necessary vehicles if you're going to kill Flame Leviathan with all four pillars up. There are just too many sources of damage otherwise. So our attempts with 10 or 12 people were not as successful as one would hope.

But last night I stubbornly pugged until we had 15 people. Then I booted the two people who were saved... And found another person to take their place. But still we ended up with 14 people and handily smashed Flame Leviathan flat. We headed straight for Yogg, skipping Ignis, Razorscale, Iron Council, and Algalon. If it had taken less time to get a full raid we'd probably have been able to come back and kill them all. However we had a few wipes on Yogg and then had to call it at 12:30. I put another Ulduar25 raid on the calendar for 2 weeks from now. We'll come back and kill the last 5 bosses then.

I have to admit that all my logic for skipping the bosses we did was mostly to head stright for Hodir. It was selfishly motivated, because I wanted that last Hodir achievement! But even if I hadn't needed the Hodir achieve I'd still have skipped the bosses we could. It's easy to come back and get the early bosses later. But it's a lot harder to get Yogg and two keepers later. Plus I think a number of people have the early achieves already, just because it takes time to get through Ulduar and the early achieves can be really tiresome. Especially the one for Razorscale where you have to wait for her to toast dwarves.

Regardless once the raid was done Kuanchichi and Mornara checked their mail. Brann had mailed them again, the exact same letter as before and there were lovely ironbound protodrakes waiting in their mailboxes.

Don't ask me how it fit in the mail box.