Archives For 4.3

Strategy: Hagara the Stormbinder

Morynne —  December 29, 2011 — 2 Comments

We’re going back to the Eye of Eternity for this one! No giant blue dragon and shattering platforms though.

  • Name: Hagara the Stormbinder
  • Raid: Eye of Eternity Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 1
  • Trick: Raid coordination and awareness
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This is largely a 2 phase encounter, but there’s a lot to it, so I’ll break it down so it’s as easy as possible.

Hagara begins the fight in a pretty plain phase, but she has a couple of abilities that she’ll use here.

  • Ice Lance – Hagara conjures crystals of ice that launch Ice Lance missiles towards a random player standing near Hagara. Ice Lances inflict Frost damage in a 3 yard area around the first player the missile impacts.
  • Ice Tomb – Hagara traps two random players in a tomb of ice, stunning the targets until other players destroy the Ice Tombs.
  • Shattered Ice – Hagara Launches a blast of ice at a random player, inflicting Frost damage and reduces the players’s movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Focused Assault – Hagara rapidly slices at her current target, swinging for 50% normal weapon damage every 0.5 sec. for 5 sec.

The first thing we have to deal with are Ice Lances, and it’s a good idea to have your range players soak that damage, especially if they are targeting melee, which will make your healers unhappy.

Important: You won’t see Ice Tombs until Hagara phases out of either the Lightning or Ice phase once.  When you do see them, random raid members will get an arrow over their head.  Do not scatter like on every other ice block encounter.  The key here is grouping up so that the tombs can be AOE’d down.

The remainder of the abilities just need to be healed through.

The initial phase seems timed, so when she emotes to summon either lightning or frost, get out of the center of the platform.

Phase 2: Ice

Hagara moves to the center of her platform and bubbles around her, reducing all damage done to her to 0.  She summons 4 Binding Crystals around the platform (at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock).  Any player caught int he bubble will have their movement speed slowed and will take damage the longer they’re in the bubble.  She drops ice from the ceiling (think Hodir) stay out of the blue ice patches. During this phase, Hagara will summon four ice waves going out from the center of the platform that will rotate clockwise around the platform until all 4 of the Binding Crystals are down.

Long story short, stay out of the center of the platform, watch for ice walls and DPS the Binding Crystals until all 4 are down.  You’ll basically be running behind an ice wall for this phase.  When all 4 Binding Crystals are down, it will stun Hagara, she’ll take increased damage and you’ll enter a dps burn period.  After a short while she’ll return back to phase 1.

Phase 2: Lightning

When Hagara phases into lightning, she’ll again put up a barrier that prevents her from taking damage, and forcing everyone to the outer ring of the platform again.  She spawns 4 lightning rods around the platform, evenly spaced at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.  She also spawns an add that needs to be killed near one of the rods.  When the add dies, the lightning then arcs to all players around the lightning rod, grounding the beam to the boss.  All 4 rods need to be grounded before you can DPS the boss in another burn period.  To get the lightning to chain to all rods, have your raid either run together the entire way around the platform to arc it to the next rod, or have your raid spread out evenly in the quadrants to arc around the platform.  Use whatever works best for your raid.

When all 4 rods are grounded, the boss becomes vulnerable again, and you’re back to a burn phase.

The Lightning and Ice phases repeat in cycles until the boss falls.

What does a Hunter need to know?

The biggest part that a Hunter needs to know on this fight is to make sure you’re helping soak the Ice Lances during the first phase (not ice or lightning).  You can deterrence if you find the damage is too much, but it can be healed through.

During the ice phase, make sure you stay moving.  It is a perfect opportunity to switch to Aspect of the Fox while continuing to damage the binding crystals.  Your pet isn’t impacted by the ice waves that rotate around the circle, so make sure you send your pet onto the next crystal as you’re running.

During the Lightning phase, the most important thing to know is you need to stay in position.  It’s a good idea to max range the add so you’re closer to the next lightning rod so it can arc over quickly.  Once one is down, move to the next one that your raid might be having trouble with to get them down as quickly as possible.

After each lightning or ice phase, use any DPS cooldowns that are available to you, the boss takes increased damage.  After the first lightning or ice phase, the regular phase will have the ice tombs, so make sure if you get an arrow over your head, you group up with your raid when they spawn, so they can be AOE’d down.

Hunter Loot from Hagara the Stormbinder

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

As always, good luck!

Strategy: Warlord Zon’ozz

Morynne —  December 14, 2011 — 2 Comments

Tennis anyone? No? Learn to love it.

  • Name: Warlord Zon’ozz
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  •  Tanks Needed: 2 (but can be done with 1)
  • Catch: Need to practice your serve.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This is a 2 phase encounter, but they cycle back and forth until the boss is dead.

Phase 1: Ping Pong

Abilities:

  • Focused Anger – Warlord Zon’ozz increasingly focuses his anger and rage, increasing his Physical damage done by 10% and his attack speed by 10% . This effect stacks.
  • Psychic Drain – Warlord Zon’ozz channels a wave of psychic force in a 30 degree cone in front of himself, inflicting $%104322s1 Shadow damage and leeching life for ten times the amount of damage dealt.
  • Disrupting Shadows – Warlord Zon’ozz covers random players with Disrupting Shadows. The effect inflicts $%103434s1 Shadow damage every 2 seconds. The shadows also deal 55592 to 64608 Shadow damage and knockback the targeted player if the effect is dispelled.
  • Disrupting Shadows – Warlord Zon’ozz covers random players with Disrupting Shadows. The effect inflicts $%103434s1 Shadow damage every 2 seconds.
  • Void Diffusion – When the Void collides with a player it diffuses, inflicting $%103527s1 Shadow damage split evenly between nearby players. The force of this diffusion causes the void to richocet in the opposite direction, and the absorbed souls increase the damage the Void inflicts by 20% per diffusion.
  • Void Diffusion – When the Void collides with a player it diffuses, inflicting 67000 Shadow damage. The force of this diffusion causes the void to richocet in the opposite direction, and the absorbed souls increase the damage the Void inflicts by 5% per diffusion.
  • Black Blood Eruption – If the Void of Unmaking reaches the outer edges of the Maw of Go’rath, it will spark a violent reaction. This eruption deals $%108794s2 Shadow damage to all targets within the maw, knocking them into the air.

So how do you handle this? Well, your ranged and melee are in 2 groups, and you’ll bounce the void ball between the two groups until there’s a 5 count of the Void Diffusion.  Then the melee get out of the way of the void and have the ball hit Zon’ozz, resetting his stacks of Focused Anger.  That will throw him into phase 2.  If you’re having difficulty imagining how this works, icy-veins has some excellent diagrams.

Phase 2: The Blackness

When the Void collides with Warlord Zon’ozz, it inflicts a distracting shock to him. The Void Diffusion increases the damage Zon’ozz takes by 5% for every time the Void of the Unmaking bounces between players. This collision enrages Warlord Zon’ozz, causing him to awaken the Maw of Go’rath and lose his Focused Anger.

You’ll want to have your raid stack up on melee in order to heal through this damage. He also summons a whole bunch of tentacles around the room. The focus during this phase is to stay alive, and put as much damage on the boss as possible.  When the phase is over, you’ll start phase 1 again.

What does a Hunter need to know?

As a ranged class, Hunters on this fight need to stick with the ranged group.  They are responsible for bouncing the void ball back to the Melee, and working with the group to prevent casualties.  When the ball hits Zon’ozz and phase 2 begins, make sure that you’re grouping up with melee.  You will be the furthest person out, so make sure you’re still in the AOE healing.  Phase 2 is a good time to blow your DPS cooldowns as it is a limited movement phase, and you’ll get the most out of it.  I haven’t tested Deterrence with avoiding some of the damage, but I’m reasonably certain it will not work.

Hunter Loot from Warlord Zon’ozz

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

Good luck!

Strategy: Hour of Twilight

Morynne —  December 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

The Hour of Twilight is the third of the three new heroic dungeons introduced in 4.3.  Just like with the other 4.3 implemented heroics, there’s plenty of story here, so if you’re in to that, pay attention when you’re running through. I’m just going to tell you how to deal with each boss.

Here’s the Details

  • Location: Caverns of Time
  • Level: 85, heroic only
  • Bosses: 3

Arcurion

This guy is actually really easy from a ranged DPS perspective.  Your job is really to stay out of bad things (frost circles on the ground), DPS the boss, and when Thrall gets ice blocked, break him out.  If you’re spec’d into Silencing Shot, you can interrupt the Hand of Frost, otherwise that will fall to the rest of your party.

Asira Dawnslayer

Asira drops down on her drake, and has a few tricks up her sleeve.  She’ll periodically silence people in your party, but it can be LOS’d.  She will also throw out choking bombs that mess up your ranged DPS.  Tanks will need to drag her out of the smoke bomb to make things easier on everyone.  Thrall does continue to help during this encounter, and his totems are a good thing to stand near.

Archbishop Benedictus

This is a two phase fight, but they’re not that different.  The first phase he’ll deal in holy energy, and the second phase, he’ll convert his damage to Shadow.  Ultimately your job will be to DPS the boss, but just like the panther boss in ZG, you’ll want to stay away from the waves of energy the boss pushes out.  Make sure you’re paying attention to your position.

Hunter Loot from the Hour of Twilight

As always, good luck!

I was doing some thinking over the weekend, and I realized that I have no reason to run the new 5-mans beyond getting the achievements.  I don’t need the Valor points after my normal raid week, nor do I need the gear.

I’m wondering if Blizzard intentionally made their new 5-mans in 4.3 something that raiders can skip?

Here’s the deal, if you do LFR and clear all the bosses, you get 500 Valor points.  Each normal raid boss you complete gives you 100 VP.  If you’re doing the first 4 bosses in Dragon Soul and Alizabal, you’re getting maxed out before you even get to Ultraxion.

I like that Valor is normalized between 10 and 25 man raids now, and I like that if you’re in game, and doing something, you’ll get maxed out valor points. What I don’t like though is the fact that Blizzard has created these 3 amazing heroic dungeons with some great stories in them, but hasn’t given a reason to run them, assuming people are running LFR and being moderately successful in normal mode raids.

What do you think?

Strategy: Alizabal

Morynne —  December 10, 2011 — 1 Comment

Alizabal is the boss added to Baradin Hold in 4.3.  She will drop Tier 13 and Season 11 PvP gear.

  • Name: Alizabal
  • Raid: Baradin Hold
  • Tanks Needed: 2
  • Phases: 1
  • Catch: Stack and Spread

She’s not quite as much of a pushover as Occu’thar is, but she’s still really easy.

Here’s what she does:

  • Skewer – Alizabal skewers and stuns her current target for 8 sec. Skewer also inflicts 9000 to 11000 Physical damage every 2 sec. and increases the target’s damage taken by 150%.
  • Seething Hate – Alizabal incites Seething Hate in a random player, inflicting 195000 to 205000 total Fire damage to all players within 6 yards of the target. The damage is split amongst all of the nearby players.
  • Blade Dance – Alizabal enters a Blade Dance and inflicts 11875 to 13125 Physical damage every sec. to every player within 13 yards. The Blade Dance also deflects all incoming attacks.

The tanks will want to swap after each skewer because of the stun and the damage taken.  For the rest of the raid, just make sure you’re stacked up behind the boss, when she’s not doing blade dance.  When Blade Dance is happening, just spread out to keep the healers happy. Rinse, repeat.

Hunter Loot from Alizabal

PvE

PvP

Good luck!

Strategy: Well of Eternity

Morynne —  December 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

Well of Eternity is the second of the three new heroic dungeons in 4.3.  This one tells another part of the story with Illidan, pre corruption — and you get more story regarding how he came into all his power. Lore-tastic!

Here’s the Details

  • Location: Caverns of Time (Tanaris)
  • Level: 85, heroic only.
  • Bosses: 3 encounters

Again, there’s a lot of story in this instance, so I’m going to let the instance tell you that stuff, I’ll just tell you how to deal with each boss.

Peroth’arn

From a range DPS perspective, Peroth’arn is a very straight forward fight.  Stay out of bad.  Peroth’arn will call down fel-puddles that will try to eat your feet, just stay out of them.  The other key to this fight is when he summons eyes and vanishes, try to stay out of line of sight of these, as it will prevent you from taking his sneak-attack when he comes out of stealth.  Otherwise, DPS the boss, and stay out of excess damage.

Queen Ashzara

This fight doesn’t actually involve fighting Ashzara at all, but instead you’re taking on the mages that protect her.  If you’re quick on DPS, you’ll be dealing with, at most, 2 of the mages.  There are three different kinds of mages, Arcane, Fire, and Frost (shocking, I know).  Your kill order on these is most important, as is the interrupt and dispells of the remainder of your party. To handle these guys, just spread out, and focus fire them down, being very careful not to split DPS.

Now, to add some flavor, Ashzara will occasionally MC one player, and the remainder of your party has to DPS down the Hand of Ashzara to release the player.  She will also occasionally cast Total Obedience that must be interrupted — every time.  Otherwise she mind controls your entire party, and ultimately can turn into a wipe quickly, so make sure those interrupts are coordinated before pulling this fight.

Captain Varo’then and Mannoroth

The last fight starts with you taking down Captain Varo’then, who is a bit of a pushover, then the real fight starts.  Illidan and Tyrande will keep Mannoroth and his goons busy until you’re done with him, don’t worry.  Varo’then is a basic tank n’ spank fight, so just push him down.

The Mannoroth fight is a bit more interesting.  A couple things to keep in mind. Mannoroth is a demon and therefore Fel Fires things.  Remember Argoloth? Same deal. Keep moving when he spits fire all over the place.  Tyrande will collapse at one point in the fight, and your job will be to kill the two bigger adds (Debilitators) to stop the waves of smaller ones.  When Tyrande gets back up, DPS on Mannoroth and he’ll fall.  He will keep Fel Firestorming things, so just be aware of your positioning.  Tyrande will take care of the smaller demons.  A bit later in the fight, everyone will take on the Metamorph form that Warlocks have to bust up Mannoroth and the demons, so use that AOE ability they give you!

Hunter Loot from Well of Eternity

Good luck!

4.3 Too Easy?

Morynne —  December 1, 2011 — 16 Comments

Last night was my off night from raiding with my guild, so I took it upon myself to give Raid Finder a try.  I quickly was placed in a raid, which was fantastic, but I have a feeling the queue times will increase over time as more people no longer need Raid Finder gear.

The group I was in seemed pretty solid from a mechanics perspective.  We 1-shot Morchok, 2-shot Warlord, 3-shot Globule guy, and 2-shot Hagara.  Having already completed those bosses from the previous evening, I knew the strategies, so I was expecting it to be easier just from a familiarity perspective.  I was pretty shocked at how easy the Raid Finder bosses have been turned down in difficulty.

In my opinion, too much.

Regular 25-man bosses were easy for my guild, in fact, probably far easier than the first time we stepped into Firelands.  I walked into Raid Finder with 24 perfect strangers with no past understanding of how well they performed.  These people were standing in bad, dying to easy stuff, and sometimes even DPSing the wrong targets.

We still downed those bosses.

To put things even more in perspective, I did all the encounters in Raid Finder as Beastmastery.  I had no real practice with the spec anymore (the last time I played BM was during the 1-button macro BM during Burning Crusade). I was constantly in the top 3-4 DPS.  I’m not sure if that accurately comments on how good BM has become (but it really is good), or even how skilled I am at adapting to a new spec (I’m not, really — I practice a lot), but that’s also telling me that the group I was with likely didn’t have a lot of Firelands gear, or were very novice raiders.

Basically what I’m getting at is if that group could do it, pretty much anyone can.

After I ran through raid finder, I random grouped my way through the 3 new heroics.  They’re also easy, but some have very different mechanics. I’ll cover those in my planned strategies for those (just have a lot to do over the next few days).  I think I maybe spent a total of 3 hours between the 3 heroics and the raid finder last night.

That’s a lot of content!

I know the goal is to make the content accessible to everyone, but is this just too easy? I’ll let you know if I have a different opinion once we’re into Heroic modes.

4.3 Tomorrow!

Morynne —  November 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

Are you excited?

I am very excited for this next patch — partly because I’m starting to burn out on Firelands.  As much as I love the raid, it’s very… red.  I’m also very excited for not-troll heroic 5-mans, which from what I could tell on the PTR, are fun. If I have to look at another troll for awhile I might have to punch… a troll..? Not sure where that was going.

So tonight, what am I doing?

  • Taking inventory of my stockpiled gems.
  • Sending my green gems to my pocket-alchemist to convert to Meta gems.
  • Mourning the fact that every week since Transmog was announced I’ve run BT and not gotten the Black Bow of the Betrayer.
  • Parking myself in front of where transmog and void storage will be. (In SW it’s on the west side of the Cathedral near the canals)
  • Stalking the AH for cheap ore.

What have I already done?

  • Added drop locations to my 4.3 Hunter Gear list.
  • Farmed a bunch of gold to help fund the BoE rush at the beginning of the patch.

Oh, and shameless recruitment plug… Conquest is looking to shore up the core 25-man raid team! If you’re looking for a raiding guild, apply at nerzhulconquest.com

What are your last minute patch preparation plans?

4.3: Dragon Soul Hunter Gear List

Morynne —  November 15, 2011 — 3 Comments

Tier 13Hunters! Here’s your gear list for 4.3 and Dragon Soul!  With the patch being just around the corner, figured it was about time to do the roundup of gear you should be on the look-out for.

Disclaimers

  1. I’m going to discuss each slot’s itemization assuming a Marksmanship Hunter, and looking at the stats alone — not necessarily how the gear will work together.  That is always dependent on your gear, and should be prioritized as such.  What’s good for you, might not fit another Hunter’s play style.
  2. This is still based on PTR data.  There is no guarantee that it will remain the way it is as it is when this post is written.
  3. I am not covering loot that can be obtained in the 3 new heroics.  It’s not really an upgrade from Firelands gear.

Helm

Tier for the helm has better itemization for a hunter, but Zeherah’s crown has plenty of hit.  If you’re having difficulty reaching hit cap, Zehera’s helm is the right one for you.  Just always shoot for your Tier 4-piece bonus!

Neck

No real choices here as of yet.  If I see new items brought in, I’ll update.

Shoulders

No real choices here as of yet.  If I see new items brought in, I’ll update.

Chest

As always, you’ll want to go for your 4-piece tier bonuses, you’ll want to take the tier piece here.  I would be careful if you choose to take Zehera’s crown and using this tier piece — it might satisfy all of your hit needs. Just balance it out, but I’d recommend tier in this case.

Back

No real choices here as of yet.  If I see new items brought in, I’ll update.

Bracers

Start with the Leatherworking bracers, they’re ultimately the best itemized for a MM hunter, but the other two are perfectly viable options.

Gloves

The choice for me is either for the tier gloves, or the Sporebeard Gauntlets just because of the additional socket to be used.

Belt

The Beloved Companion and the Dragoncarver Belt are my choices here.  When faced with the choices of crit/haste, haste/mastery or crit/mastery, it’s important to weigh out the rest of your gear for the haste levels you’re comfortable with — and make your decision from there.

Legs

Either. Just remember to shoot for your 4-piece.

Boots

Treads of Dormant Dreams are better itemized for MM hunters, so just keep that in mind.  If you’re just in need of boots, there’s nothing wrong with the valor.

Rings

You have 2 ring slots.  You do the math.

Trinkets

This is a bit more complicated.  Without going through and testing these trinkets, it’s going to be a tough call.  I’m never a fan of “on-use” trinkets, just because without it being macro’d into an ability, you do tend to lose some of the benefits.  Purely speculation, but I’m going to bet that the Starcatcher and the Wrath of Unchaining end up being the BiS pairing for hunters.  And as a side note, I’ll make new Power Auras for these once I get my hands on them.

Stat Stick

Either, but I really want to be a giant worgen.

Ranged Weapon

If you’re not a dwarf, that gun isn’t the best thing you can be using.  Go for the crossbow until that smexy bow drops. Do it.
Did I miss anything from the Dragon Soul raid? Thoughts on what trinkets will be best? Leave it in the comments!

4.3: Coming Very Soon

Morynne —  November 11, 2011 — Leave a comment

Deathwing on Wyrmrest TempleA couple days ago, it was announced that Season 10 would end on 11/25 — meaning that a week, maybe 2 tops will give us 4.3 and a big angry dragon to play with.

I’ve been asked how I’m preparing … what I’m doing to get ready for the new big bad…

In short, nothing special.

I’m not taking a break from raiding, I’m not spending extra time on the PTR.  What I’ve been doing over the last few weeks is getting my transmogrification sets pulled together. (I’m looking at you Illidan. Stop being defiant and not dropping my bow.)

I’ve been making a conscious effort to do every single jewelcrafting daily I can, that way I can buy all of my “can’t live without” epic gem patterns, and a few for later.  If you weren’t aware, in 4.3, JC epic patterns are going to be available for 5 tokens each for specific patterns, and 4 tokens each for a random pattern (remember the random glyph books? yeah, like that).  It looks like the raw gems themselves will only be available as drops from the Dragon Soul raid — making the epic gems extremely expensive.

What am I looking forward to the most?

  • Finishing the stories.  I think the lore in Cataclysm has been subtle, but no less interesting.  What Thrall is going through, his journey to rediscover his identity, and ultimately bring down Deathwing has been a story line I’ve enjoyed.  There’s a reason Deepholm is one of my favorite zones to quest through.
  • Transmogrification.  I won’t lie, I played City of Heroes and enjoyed the costume creation more than the actual game.  I’m excited to be able to wear my favorite gear again.  I also like the visual interest and depth it will provide to raiding — especially against a big bad like Deathwing. That just gave me another post idea.  More on that later.
  • Darkmoon Faire updates.  I did get to play around on the PTR a bit for DMF, and I really enjoyed it!  The carnival games were fun, and I like the idea of getting old armor sets and other vanity rewards for spending time on the mysterious island.  I know people who have been chasing the Insane title will also appreciate the 1-week a month dailies to get to exalted. I’m also a sickeningly dedicated non-combat pet collector and mount collector.  I’m totally okay with 7 more pets and 2 more mounts in 4.3.
What are you looking forward to the most?