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WoWInsider Community Blog Topic: Would You Play on an Expansion Specific Server?

September 8, 2013 3 comments

Karathress_Down

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, mostly blaming work, where I read/edit/post blogs all day and keeping a raiding guild functioning on a regular basis. I have a lot of topics tumbling around in my head and not a lot of time to devote to writing, but this topic stood out to me while I ate dinner tonight, so I wanted to add my two cents! More content will be coming between all my travel and my workload, which hopefully won’t explode in the near future!

So WoWInsider posed their Community Blog Topic today, asking if players would play on expansion specific servers. They asked that the following questions be considered when making your decision:

  • How would you handle classes? Would you take a snapshot of how they were designed in the last patch before the next expansion prep-patch? Or would you make the classes behave as they did at the beginning of the expansion? Or would you leave the classes as they are now?
  • Would you allow transfers to these servers or would you have to level a character from scratch? Would you leave in the experience bonuses put in toward the end of each expansion, or keep the leveling speed at how each expansion began?
  • For Vanilla servers, would you leave in LFD or make everyone PUG? What about LFR? Would you implement it for the older servers or force those to be PUGged as well?

I’ll admit, I’m a member of the rose-colored glasses wearing community. I joined the WoW community at the end of Vanilla. I never got a chance to raid, but I did have some great friends who introduced me to an RP realm, where we acted like crazies on Alliance-side, to a more, subtle, Horde guild where I got to experience playing a female Troll hunter, my first Horde character (her name was Zelinda). I don’t think I ever made it past level 20, but I was having fun experiencing all that WoW had to offer then.

The Burning Crusade launched and that was probably when I threw myself into WoW, for a lot of reasons. I began leveling another hunter, playing on a PvP realm (what a huge change from an RP realm!), and hearing one of my friends talk about this “raiding” thing. Eventually I hit 70, got a bit of gear, and was recruited into a guild that a coworker raided in. Suddenly, I was checking out Gruul’s Lair, and having fun with this whole “raiding” concept.

Visiting_Vashj

My BC guild’s first visit to Lady Vashj

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Burning Crusade was when my raiding “career” really began. It could be expanded further upon that BC became my WoW career. Running a guild with a 25-man raiding team and juggling all the work that went into that (let’s just say the tech to support guilds both in AND out of WoW didn’t exist to the point that it does today) was very time consuming. But it was fun. Kael’thas,  not so much fun. Mount Hyjal and it’s endless waves of trash? Possibly less fun than Kael.

The Burning Crusade raid team disbanded and I found myself running both 10 and 25-man raids in Wrath. And burning out pretty quickly. I gave a half-hearted effort to Ulduar as a 10-man raid, skipped all of Trial of the Crusader, and PUGged my way into Icecrown. All the while I wore my rose-colored glasses about how great the Burning Crusade was.

Cataclysm followed, along with a raiding break. I started raiding again in Firelands on a 10-man raid team, before making a short-lived jump to 25-man raiding again. Dragon Soul found me back into the 10-man mold, and I continued the tradition through Mists.

Through every expansion, I have extolled the virtues of the first WoW expansion. I really did love that time. But when I step back, it wasn’t the game I really loved, but the people I played with. In some ways, I wish I could crash the people I played with for “drunk Kara” and Serpentshrine Cavern, together with my current raid team, because together, they would have a lot of fun.

If given the option, I would not play on an expansion specific server. Let me explain why:

Vanilla

  • Tiny, minuscule amounts of gold
  • Unclear questing or mobs that never contained items you needed to gather–I’m sure EVERYONE has had experience with Zhevra Hooves in the Barrens or Boar Livers in Westfall…
  • Level 40 ground mounts and level 60 to get your “faster” ground mounts
  • Tiny bag sizes
  • Running to meeting stones to summon
  • 5 minute buffs
  • Fielding 40-man raids

Burning Crusade

  • Rep grinds for everything
  • Netherwing mount grind
  • Attunements
  • Fielding 25 players for raiding
  • Alchemy/Cloth specialties–I remember standing at the Alchemy lab to make flasks before raids…
  • Flying costs–and no flying until you hit 70
  • PvPing to take graveyards close to SSC
  • The launch of daily dungeons/quests
  • Finding people who would want to run H. Shattered Halls for the Champion of the Naaru quest
  • Doing Arena for gear when items wouldn’t drop in raids
  • Epic gems only came from Mount Hyjal and Black Temple
  • Kael’thas
  • Blood lust was group specific–BRING ON THE SHAMAN

Wrath of the Lich King

  • 10 and 25-man raids that didn’t share lockouts–the burnout, let me show you it
  • All the different currencies to keep track of
  • More daily dungeons/quests and weekly raid quests
  • Vehicle fights–still iffy on these
  • GearScore! (I know, this wasn’t a Blizzard thing, but…)
  • Introduction of LFG–is this even still in game?!? As in, the window where you selected the raids/stuff you wanted to run and people checked it to fill slots

Cataclysm

  • Underwater zone
  • Introduction of LFD and LFR
  • Resurrection of the Zul’Agains
  • Heroic Al’akir

Now, not everything was bad though! Here were things I liked about, or have great memories of, the previous expansions:

Vanilla

  • New world, tons of exploring to do
  • Great people to show me the ropes
  • Seeing someone in epic gear and hoping that one day I could “be like them”

Burning Crusade

  • That epic feeling when we downed Lady Vashj and the screaming that erupted in Ventrilo when she died
  • The people I raided with and still think about regularly
  • Having the fully epic gear and being known as a great guild on the realm
  • The realm teamwork of all the guild GMs to help each other out even though we were competing against each other
  • The first ever guild Magister’s Terrace run–mostly for the humor at us getting locked out of it and realizing JUST HOW HARD MAGT WAS
  • The WoW Community

Wrath of the Lich King

  • Fun and varied raids
  • Getting my blue proto during a PUG run
  • My first Lich King kill, which was actually in a PUG
  • Finishing Tier 7 and being the best geared holy paladin on realm
  • Old friends coming back to WoW and joining me

Cataclysm

  • Meeting great people on the raid scene
  • Easy gearing of alts thanks to Dragon Soul LFR
  • Killing Heroic Madness before the expansion ended
Our BC humor made raiding fun

Our BC humor made raiding fun

When I actually compose a list, it wasn’t the game mechanics (though, let’s be honest, playing a beast mastery hunter in the Burning Crusade meant you hit one button, and it was pretty sweet–sorta like being an arcane mage in Wrath) that made me like an expansion, it was the people. My memories are based around events that I did with people that I loved spending time with, not really about the content I cleared or the quests I did.

If given the option, I would remain where I am–in current content, with the people I currently play with. Would I love some of my blasts from my past from my old raid teams to resurface? Yep–maybe that’s a door I can open thanks to FlexRaiding. But I would never go to an expansion specific server if it was an option.

Now, in the fairness of addressing all the questions that WoWInsider asked, let me provide answers if I WERE to have the opportunity to play on an expansion locked realm:

  • How would you handle classes? Would you take a snapshot of how they were designed in the last patch before the next expansion prep-patch? Or would you make the classes behave as they did at the beginning of the expansion? Or would you leave the classes as they are now?
    • Classes would be snapshotted at how they were designed in the last patch before the next expansion pre-patch. This includes the old talent trees, the ability to use ranked spells, and the return of the hunter trap dance! Original requirements would still be in place–books would have to be found to learn spell ranks, and hunters would need to go tame various levels/types of pets for them to train their current pets with new abilities.
  • Would you allow transfers to these servers or would you have to level a character from scratch? Would you leave in the experience bonuses put in toward the end of each expansion, or keep the leveling speed at how each expansion began?
    • I think players should have to level from scratch. Without heirlooms or experience bonuses. I remember how long it took to level–it wasn’t great, but when you reached the end, you could /cheer and realize you wouldn’t have to do it again unless you were 1/ bored, or 2/ your raid team needs a different class than the one you play.
  • For Vanilla servers, would you leave in LFD or make everyone PUG? What about LFR? Would you implement it for the older servers or force those to be PUGged as well?
    • If we’re going old school, we’re going old school. Players aren’t going to have the ability of easy grouping via LFD and LFR. If we’re going to go for the classic experience, we’re going to do it the way it originally was.

Do I think this attitude will drive people away? Maybe. But that’s how we used to play. If people stuck with it, I could see the Vanilla and Burning Crusade servers having a much more developed community than we currently possess in the MoP WoW iteration. The revival of the community could do great things for this game.

A Look Back at Cataclysm…

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

So here we are…less than 24 hours from the launch of the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

I’m still neutral on a new expansion. I discussed my thoughts at length last night with a guildie and shared that right now, for me, the biggest draw of the new content is going to be the day I step into the new raids. I’m looking forward to strategizing with my cotank, figuring out how we’re going to handle the fights, looking forward to the motivation of downing new content.

But instead of looking forward into the crystal ball at the content I haven’t run yet, let’s look back on Cataclysm in general!

Launch and Tier 11

I don’t really recall Cataclysm’s launch. I wasn’t in an active guild,4 so I wasn’t in any rush to level. I was on a high population realm, Area 52, so I think I actually didn’t bother to log in for a couple days until the initial rush died off. Not to mention that it was in the middle of the holiday season, so I was busy baking and preparing to entertain guests.

I leveled my first Paladin, Valkyrii (my Wrath main), to 85, and then followed up by leveling my hunter, Mirina (my BC main). At some point Raziel was thrown into the mix, along with my Death Knight (Azrael), my Priest (Gabriel), my Mage (Raaena), and my Warlock (Kiiera). To this day, I haven’t leveled the rest of my alts (2 shaman, a warrior, a rogue, another DK (who is now set up for Herald of the Titans), and my druid), because the Cata content got dry very quickly.

I decided that I wanted to go back to raiding (I had taken T9 and T10 off from guild raiding, and instead PuGged through ToC and ICC), so I started looking around. Not seeing many options on realm, I decided to start recruiting. We had almost gotten a solid team, but no one wanted to focus on gearing and I ended up deciding to transfer off the realm.

That’s one of the challenges with large population realms–there’s a ton of people, but there’s also more guilds than you can shake a stick at.

So as Tier 11 approached it’s end, and I still hadn’t started raiding, I began searching off realm for a new home.

I ended up transferring Raz to Drenden to raid with Rades‘ guild, Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa, otherwise known as TTGF!

Tier 12

I ended up joining TTGF to tank full-time in Firelands. Which, looking back on Firelands, was pretty damn fun. Dog tanking on Shannox, chasing adds around on Rhyolith, and eating Decimation strikes on Baleroc (ouch).

Firelands was a fun tier, but I still have heartburn over the fact that we missed the nerf bat by a week on the raid. We had been working so hard on Ragnaros, and almost had him down. But due to our inability to sync schedules for weekend raids, we missed our chance for our pre-nerf kill.

It was a sad day.

We dabbled with some Heroic bosses, but primarily stayed with normal clears through the raid. The bigger challenge for me was our raid times. I was raiding 10p-1a while having to make a weekly client meeting the following morning, requiring me to be about 3 hours after I went to bed (assuming raid wrapped at 1a). My body couldn’t keep up with  the time difference, and I had to look for another place with better aligned raid times (the challenge of raiding with a West Coast guild!).

Firelands was great because I finally got to focus on what I loved doing best, tanking. I had healed in Wrath, dabbling with tanking when my GM was willing to respec to Holy for me tank 5-mans. I was never able to tank in a raid environment (the downside of having a BiS healing set for the time), so Firelands was the first chance I got to fully climb into the tanking driver’s seat and get ready for the ride.

And it was totally worth the lack of sleep to do it!

BlizzCon

BlizzCon fell towards the end of Firelands, and I had a blast! I got the opportunity to meet a ton of the folks I get to talk to on Twitter and to spend some time with some of the great WoW personalities! I even got some time to talk to Ghostcrawler himself about tanking at the Charity Dinner (which was super cool as well)!

While at BlizzCon though, I got to meet a ton of members of my future (and current) guild, Enveloping Shadows! It was fun to be able to sit down, drink, and socialize with a large majority of the officers!

Soon after I returned home, I applied as a healer (hilarious, I know), and was accepted. I transferred over a couple weeks later and dove into Firelands with a 25-man team, trying to wrap my brain around healing. I actually healed for our H. Alysrazor kill!

But there were only a couple weeks left in Firelands, and then we headed into Tier 13…

Tier 13

Tier 13 started with some healing fun, but before Christmas I had swapped back to Prot almost full time. I’d heal as necessary (I do actually have a pretty nice healing set on Raz now…and a pretty nice Ret set…and yea…), when we managed to be short a healer.

Tier 13 was the first time that I can say that I tanked an entire raid, start to finish, on all difficulties. I got to down Deathwing on Heroic mode several times!

Tier 13 was interesting…I went from 25-man raiding back down to a 10s team. I watched as we were almost barely able to fill a raid towards the end of the tier. I watched people decide to “retire” from raiding, shrinking our pool to the point that we were pulling in non-raiding guild members that we hoped could hit buttons or soak an Hour to pulling in people like Rades once Dragon Soul went RealID wide.

Rades has bailed my ass out repeatedly. Thanks dude!

The Miscellaneous…

Since we got to the point that we were clearing H. Dragon Soul in 2 hours, we had a lot of time to fill. ES took some time to backtrack into Tier 11 and clean house in H. Bastion of Twilight, capturing our first guild Heroic clear and downing Sinestra, to heading to Throne of the Four Winds and cleaning up H. Al’Akir. We went back to play in Blackwing Descent, but still, to this day, H. Nefarian still isn’t playing nice…maybe at 90.

In Conclusion…

Cata, while not the most “thrilling” expansion to me (I still haven’t quested through all the low level content), brought about a lot of changes in my play style. I’m back to raiding full-time, having an integral spot on a raid team, having a raid team that I usually love signing on to hang out with (usually because some nights I’m just not in a mood for people).

As the clock ticks down, I spent time cleaning out Raz’s bank, taking some time to gear my unplayed hunter (she went from 333 ilvl to 375 last night thanks to guildies carrying me through dungeons), and playing around. I haven’t been online much in WoW lately, but the past couple days I wanted to go back and play the content. I pulled people through dungeons, both guildies and PuGs, for the shear fun of seeing how fast we could clear the content before I never set foot in them again. I’ve run ZG, ZA,  and even multiple Deadmines. I even did a full clear of H. Halls of Origination yesterday afternoon!

To me, that’s the perfect send off. Remember what you did in this expansion, and run it with the people who bring you joy in the game world, and in turn, energize yourself for what’s right around the corner.

In less than 15 hours MoP is live…I wish everyone the best with leveling! I’ll see you in Heroics soon!

Raziel, Savior of Azeroth

August 6, 2012 2 comments

When Enveloping Shadows wants bosses dead, we’ll get bosses dead. Past experience has proven that we can put our minds into this zen state and steamroll through content that we may have been dragging our feet on earlier. ES saw Heroic Zon’ozz and Hagara fall on the same night, completely unplanned, but quickly doable once we buckled down and focused.

Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, our July 31st and August 1st raids don’t surprise me at all.

The Final Countdown

The team showed up, energetic and ready to get more attempts on Heroic Spine. We had been getting to third plate with regularity, but hadn’t been able to hold it all together long enough to beat the encounter. We rolled through 6/8 Heroics, with only a mild hiccup on Skittles (something about a Blood DK out-healing a druid by 80%). The team blew through Heroic Gunship, and our raid leader gave us a quick reminder of our Heroic Spine strat before we were parachuted down onto Deathwing’s back.

We lost a healer early on, but we kept pushing through the plates. The tanks were making changes to our strat on the fly, adjusting as we found rhythm to a fight we’ve been working on sporadically for months. And then, after almost 3 months of beating our heads against Heroic Spine, the DPS popped that final plate off and achievements lit up my screen.

There was a pause for screaming in Mumble, and then we were on the platforms for Madness. And we all paused, realizing that probably no one had looked at the strat. Our raid leader called for a 10 minute break for people to go read up, relax, or see family after our Heroic Spine 1-shot, so that they could come back to their PCs and be ready to push ahead on Madness.

I remember glancing at the clock, my mind still unable to process that we 1-shot Spine, realizing we were about to attempt the final fight of this raid tier, and it wasn’t even 9p.

Heroic Spine

Descent into Madness

The raid team reconvened, people still in shock that we had 1-shot Spine, and I quickly began discussing survivability with my cotank. We decided to “wing it” and see what would happen for impales as we tossed around cooldown ideas. Our raid leader gave a quick rundown of the fight and we gave it a go (or 5). The beginning fights were discovering just how squishy I was on impales–quick trinket/glyph swapping, and we were back in business. (Quick note: Blood Death Knights are SUCH a broken class. My cotank takes an impale and drops to 95% health while I’m freaking out as the healers are recovering from me dropping to 40%. Blahblahblah nerf DKs =P) When we called our attempts for the night, we were clearing to platform 4 without issue, so we knew we had it in the bag on our next raid night.

The team showed up on Wednesday, ready to take Deathwing down once and for all. Our Holy priest had spec swapped after the previous raid to give Disc a go. Our warriors respecc’d for slows, I tweaked my glyphing even more, and we knuckled down for more attempts. We saw a .5% wipe and knew that we had the fight down. We would have had a kill on that attempt, but one of our legendary staff wielders DC’d on one of the platforms and we just couldn’t recover before the enrage hit.

No speeches by yours truly (running joke from H. Gunship–Miri would give a fail pep talk and we’d down the boss on the next attempt, so the speech became a requirement for H. Gunship kills), instead you could feel the energy of the team in Mumble–they were ready for the kill! We zoned back in, focused, and away we went!

It was one of those moments, just like on Heroic Spine, where the achievements caught me off guard! On Spine I was wrangling bloods and had no clue what the tendon was at. On Madness I was slowing bloods so that we could push more DPS to end the fight. Neither time did I know health percentages, so when my screen lit up with Heroic Madness, I screamed for the second time in two days!

With the entire team standing, not a single death, we beat the enrage by almost 40 seconds! We were ecstatic! We doled out loot (Gurth and Kiril), and in typical ES fashion handed the drake to one of our druids.

We learned Madness, start to finish, in under 4 hours. We beat the tier, the expansion, and we still had hours left of raid. The team was let go early to go celebrate, and I raised a shot glass several times in toast to the team that achieved the kill.

Heroic Madness

Meta!

Of course, finishing off Deathwing once and for all netted many of the raiders their Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider, so we had to go pose for pictures!

Twilight Harbingers

In Conclusion

It feels good to complete a raid tier when it’s still current content. It feels even better to complete an expansion’s final  boss. Wrapping up Dragon Soul gives me closure to move on to MoP–a chapter that I am more than willing to let become a memory. Dragon Soul meant much to ES; our raid team shrunk from 25 to 10. Our raid leaders changed, our comp was continuously evolving. And still we persevered. The team banded together and supported each other through the entire tier, proving that 10 people with goals can achieve anything–even in a video game.

A big thanks and a massive congrats to my raid team. I look forward to us tackling MoP together in the near future!

Dragon Soul Paladin BiS List

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Almost a month ago, I question was posed to me on Formsrping regarding Paladin BiS gear in Dragon Soul. The question was:

You mind showing the BiS gemmed and enchanted so we can get an idea?

It has been sitting flagged in my inbox begging me to take action, and my massive delay makes me feel pretty bad. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of craziness going on in my personal/professional life that won’t be settling out until the end of this month (but that’s another blog post). So the fact that I was able to pour a drink on a Friday night and run numbers with a friend was relaxing. And thus, this post was born!

Here is our quick and dirty findings for a Paladin BiS list in Dragon Soul. Our goals:

  • Stamina stacking for the hardest heroic fights in Dragon Soul (Gunship and Spine)
  • Maintaining a large amount of avoidance
  • CTC capping (or close to)

The end result was almost obscene. Raid buffed (Devo Aura, Horn of Winter, Mark of the Wild, Fortitude, Steelskin, Feast Buff, stacked trinket), I was looking at the following numbers:

  • 260,459 health
  • 44,358 Armor
  • 2,225 Dodge Rating (20.07%)
  • 3,456.83 Parry Rating (20.60%)
  • 56.82% Block Chance
  • 45.67% Avoidance
  • 102.49% CTC

I needed a moment after I saw those avoidance numbers…

Anyway, on to the gear list!

Note: Raz is a JC/Enchanter, so this list reflects those professions. The only difference is that a non-JC/non-Enchanter player will have a smaller health pool.

Item
(Organized by Slot)

Gems

Enchants

Reforge

Faceguard of Eternal Glory (410) Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Arcanum of the Earthen Ring

Guardspike Choker (397)
Brackenshell Shoulderplates (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz

Dodge -> Mastery

Indefatigable Greatcloak (397) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Cloak – Protection

Expertise -> Mastery

Chestguard of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina

Graveheart Bracers (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Bracer – Superior Dodge

Handguards of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery

Hit -> Mastery

Goriona’s Collar (410) Puissant Elven  Peridot
Fractured Lightstone
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Dodge -> Mastery

Legguards of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Chimera’s Eye

Drakehide Leg Armor

Dodge -> Mastery

Stillheart Warboots (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Boots – Mastery

Curled Twilight Claw (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina

Hit -> Parry

Hardheart Ring (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina

Indomitable Pride (410)
Resolve of Undying (416)
Souldrinker (416)

Windwalk

Blackhorn’s Mighty Bulwark (410) Puissant Elven Peridot
Solid Chimera’s Eye

Enchant Shield – Mastery

Dodge -> Parry

Stoutheart Talisman (397) Solid Chimera’s Eye

Mastery -> Dodge

This may get tweaked a bit more, but that’s what I’m currently targeting!

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Madness of Deathwing

March 31, 2012 3 comments

Madness of Deathwing (thanks WoWPedia for pic!)

A warped mass of molten hatred and unfathomable power, this formless, mindless horror cannot be stopped. Whatever was left of Neltharion the Earth-Warder is long gone, his mind and soul corrupted and devoured by his Old God masters. All this monstrous being desires is destruction, annihilation, and an end of all things. ~ Dungeon Journal

The first time you complete the Madness of Deathwing it is a breathless experience that will make you play on your toes. In fact, you can read my enthusiasm from when we downed him back in December here in my post entitled “Destroyer’s End.”

The only excitement in the fight for me now is when I forget to change one of my macros from a previous raid and I kill myself. But anyway…let’s talk Madness!

The Madness of Deathwing is a 2 phase fight that involves your raid team, the Dragon Aspects, and Thrall. When you arrive at the Maelstrom, you will discover the 4 platforms that the fight takes place on. Each platform belongs to a different Dragon Aspect and starting the fight with the raid on a different platform than the one Thrall is located on changes the difficulty of the fight substantially. In this guide, I will review the “standard” kill order, but you can always change it up!

Once you “kill” each of Deathwing’s limbs on the 4 platforms, the fight transitions into Phase 2, during which your raid fights Deathwing’s head for the final 20%. Succeed in your attempts and you will officially become the “Destroyer’s End.”

The Aspects

Each Dragon Aspect (and Thrall) provide your team with a buff to succeed and finally banish Deathwing from Azeroth. Their buffs are as follows (done by order of platform, far left to right):

  • Alexstraza – The red dragon buffs your raid with Alexstraza’s Presence, which increases your health by 20%. She also casts Cauterize, which damages the tentacles that sprout from Deathwing’s limbs over 5 seconds and reduced the damage taken by the Corrupted Blood.
  • Nozdormu – The bronze dragon grants Nozdormu’s Presence, which increases haste by 20%. Nozdormu also creates a yellow swirling circle on the platform, called Time Zone, which slows the Elementium Bolt that is cast at the platform and slows any mobs’ attack speed by 50% when fought within the zone.
  • Ysera – The green dragon buffs healing by 20% with the Ysera’s Presence. She also provides a spell, a la Ultraxion, called Enter the Dream, which decreases all damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds.
  • Kalecgos – The new leader of the Blues grants the Kalecgos’ Presence, which increases all damage done to Deathwing and his minions by 20%. Kalecgos also buffs the raid with Spellweaving, which causes roughly 23K Arcane damage to enemies within 6 yards, but excludes your current target.
  • Thrall – While not a dragon, Thrall’s Carrying Winds will move players between the platforms (sometimes this fails) and increase the raid’s movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.

Deathwing – Phase 1

The following are the various things that Deathwing will “toss” at the raid as you work your way across the platforms. Each platform faces the same enemies, but how they are dealt with depends on which Dragon Aspect(s) you have left. The order they are listed is the order that they appear during the fight.

  • Assault Aspect – Deathwing casts this as soon as the fight begins and looks for the platform with the largest number of players and a platform that still has a limb attached to it.
  • Arm/Wing Tentacle – The main attention grabber on the platform, your raid will focus on the tentacle when there is nothing else to kill. The tentacle casts Burning Blood, which causes Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. The damage gets worse as the Tentacle’s health decreases, so healers will need to be aware that healing will require more attention the lower the health of the Tentacle. Twice during the fight, at 70% and 40%, the tentacle sprouts Blistering Tentacles from it’s arm. These cannot be AoE’d and they attack with Blistering Heat, an ability that deals 2500 Fire damage every 2 seconds and increases damage by 2 every stack. When Alexstraza is active, she will be killing the Blistering Tentacles for your raid.
  • Mutated Corruption – A bonus tentacle that will spawn in the back of the platform. This tentacle is picked up by the tanks and all DPS should switch to it immediately. The tanks swap when the Mutated Corruption casts Impale, but they must use a personal cooldown as Impale hits it’s targeted tank for 400K (physical) damage. Impale is channeled over 4 seconds before the hit lands. The Mutated Corruption also attacks the raid with Crush, which causes 100K (physical) damage in a conal attack. Your raid should spread out and not stack behind each other to reduce the chance of this affecting a large amount of your team. Once the Mutated Corruption is dead, your raid team will swap back to Deathwing’s limb.
  • Elementium Bolt – The Elementium Bolt is slowed by Nozdormu’s Time Zone, but without the golden circle, it comes crashing into the platform and deals roughly 390K Fire damage to all players in range. The bolt will continue to pulse 390K Fire damage every 5 seconds until it is destroyed. It is recommended to focus the bolt as soon as it appears so it can either die before it hits the platform or soon after it lands. If your team can move quickly from the bolt’s landing location, they can reduce the damage they take when it collides with the platform.
  • Hemorrhage – Once per platform, Deathwing’s tentacle will hemorrhage, causing Regenerative Blood to spawn. Bloods gain 10 energy every second, and when their energy reaches capacity, they heal themselves back to full. These are a high priority to kill with AoE because they are also casting Degenerative Bite, a stacking debuff which causes roughly 1500 Shadow damage every second for 10 seconds.
  • Cataclysm – Deathwing will begin channeling Cataclysm as time progresses on each platform. Cataclysm is basically a hard enrage timer that is pushed back every time a limb is destroyed. If you fail to kill the limb in time, Deathwing will 1-shot your raid.

Once you destroy the limb on your platform, Deathwing becomes stunned and 20% of his health is whittled away. This is how Deathwing is at 20% health when you enter Phase 2.

Deathwing – Phase 2

Once your team lands on Ysera’s platform, the DPS race is on. Your raid will begin to attack Deathwing’s head, trying to deal as much damage as they can until the following adds spawn:

  • Elementium Fragments – Three fragments will spawn in a 10-man raid. They will spawn at various spots on the platform, sometimes grouping up, sometimes spread out. Your DPS must switch to them immediately and burn them down. The fragments will debuff random members of the raid with Shrapnel, a spell that deals roughly 200K of unresistable physical damage. When players are targeted by Shrapnel, it is best if they make use of Ysera’s buff to Enter the Dream.
  • Elementium Terror – Two Elementium Terrors spawn on the platform and must be picked up by the tanks. The melee attacks apply the Tetanus debuff onto the tanks, which inflict roughly 60K physical damage and an additional 20K physical damage every second. The Tetanus debuff stacks, and thus the adds must be killed off quickly to avoid the loss of a tank.
  • Corrupted Blood – Applies a debuff that inflicts Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. When Deathwing hemorrhages at 15%, 10%, and 5%, the damage done by Corrupted Blood is increased.

Execution

Here’s how I handle Madness:

  1. Platform Order:
    1. Ysera (where you land)
    2. Nozdormu (left)
    3. Alexstraza (more left)
    4. Kalecgos (all the way right)
  2. DPS begin work on Limb.
  3. DPS/tanks switch to Mutated Corruption when it spawns.
  4. Tanks swap when Impale goes out.
  5. DPS swap to Elementium Bolt when it spawns.
  6. Finish off Bolt, finish off Mutated Corruption if it’s not already dead.
  7. AoE Regenerative Blood when they spawn.
  8. Kill Limb.

Platform 4 is handled a bit differently and is usually dependent on your raid’s DPS:

  1. DPS land on platform and stand around until Mutated Corruption spawns.
  2. DPS kill Mutated Corruption.
  3. DPS kill Elementium Bolt.
  4. DPS stand around and /dance while they wait for the Regenerative Blood to spawn.
  5. DPS kill Regenerative Blood.
  6. DPS kill Limb.

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Spine of Deathwing

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Spine of Deathwing

Spine of Deathwing

When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul’s power against the other flights, the massive energies that were unleashed threatened to break apart his very body. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness–the sole vulnerability to Deathwing’s lethal presence. ~Dungeon Journal

I’d be lying if I said that this fight was fun. I think a good amount of  my delay in writing this guide has to do with just how boring this fight (and Madness as well) is on normal. Anyway, I’m I completionist and I have two fights left to cover, so let’s get through Spine of Deathwing. –M

Spine is exactly what it sounds like: the entire fight takes place on Deathwing’s back, during which you’re loosening (and removing) the plates that hold his body together, while killing the various things that spawn from his back.

If you  have a weak stomach, it’s best not to think about what you’re killing on his back. It may make you squeamish.

Spine of Deathwing is a single phase fight that you must execute the same strategy three times before you are able to move on to the final fight of the raid, Madness of Deathwing.

Deathwing

Deathwing himself only has one ability that you need to watch out for: Roll. If Deathwing senses that the raid team is standing on one side of his back, he will attempt to roll in order to remove the players from his back. This can be quickly corrected by having your raid team spread out across the middle of his back. When this is achieved, a message will flash on your screen that says “Deathwing levels out.”

The roll is very useful, and you will want to roll Deathwing regularly, usually once each time you release a plate (so three rolls a fight), in order to shed excess mobs from his back.

In 10-man, Deathwing is very sensitive and can roll very easily–so be aware!

Corruptions

When you first parachute down onto Deathwing’s back, there are 4 Corruptions that emerge from his body. While the Corruptions are alive, they prevent anything from exiting the 4 hole in Deathwing’s back, IE, the Hideous Amalgamations and the Corrupted Blood, the two things you  need to remove the plates from his back. Once all Corruptions have been killed on Deathwing’s back, another will spawn randomly from one of the holes. When a plate is removed, 2 new Corruptions spawn, but once they are all killed, only one will return.

Corruptions have 2 abilities in the raid:

  • Searing Plasma (Physical) – A debuff that is placed on one member of the raid at a time, Searing Plasma will absorb the first 200K healing done on the target, or will expire after 5 minutes, whatever comes first. When the debuff is on a target, it deals 10K damage every 10 seconds.
  • Fiery Grip (Fire) – Fiery Grip is a stun that is cast on a random member of the raid (never a tank) which stuns them until the Corruption has been damaged. In order to break the grip, 20% of it’s health must be removed. While a player is immobilized by the Corruption, they take 60K damage every 3 seconds, which makes breaking the grip of utmost importance.

I find that it is easiest to assign a DPS to own the responsibility of breaking Fiery Grip off of players, and then we assign a back-up to that DPS in case they are gripped themselves. This makes sure that the damage meted on the Corruption is controlled so you don’t worry about bursting them down too quickly and gaining an extra Amalgamation. The Corruptions do not have a large health pool, so the grip can be broken with 1 or 2 hits.

When you need to roll Deathwing, everyone dives into a hole previously occupied by a Corruption. While in the hole, Grasping Tendrils appear, which basically locks you in place for the roll. You don’t want to remain in the spot for too long, because they slow all affected players’ movement speed by 35% and cause roughly 3K damage every 5 seconds unless you  move away from them. When it comes time to perform a roll, it’s easiest to only “lock in” until you have shed the adds you need to remove and then run out.

Hideous Amalgamations

Amalgamations spawn every time a Corruption is killed. Once the Amalgamation spawns, Corrupted Bloods will soon follow.

Amalgamations have the following 3 abilities, listed in order that they will appear:

  • Absorb Blood – The ability only occurs if the Amalgamation gets too close to a Residue from a Corrupted Blood. The Amalgamation is normally kited over a stack of Corrupted Bloods and gathers several stacks at once. Absorb Blood results in the Amalgamation dealing 10% more damage and attacking 20% faster. Once the Amalgamation has absorbed 9 stacks of Residue (thus dealing 90% more damage and attacking 180% faster) it becomes superheated.
  • Superheated Nucleus (Fire) – When the Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks, it begins to pulse fire damage to everyone in the raid. Every 3 seconds the Amalgamation deals roughly 15K damage to each member of the raid. Your goal is to activate the Superheated mode when the Amalgamation is at low health to reduce the amount of time you are in this phase.
  • Nuclear Blast (Fire) – When the Amalgamation‘s health pool reaches 0, the Amalgamation becomes immobile and begins to channel Nuclear Blast. Nuclear Blast deals roughly 375K damage to anyone within 8 yards and will basically one-shot members of your raid who haven’t moved. Since there is not a lot of space to gather once your team has moved away from the Amalgamation, it is usually wise to use raidwall here to reduce the fire damage. If the Amalgamation is positioned right, (in this case it should be right up against the plate) the explosion will pry up the plate and allow you to enter the first Plate Burn phase.

Elementium Reinforced Plates

The plates that hold Deathwing together also hide the final add you must defeat (3 times) in order to move on to the final fight of the tier.

Tucked under the Elementium Reinforced Plates lie the Burning Tendons. The tendons are the last thing holding Deathwing’s armor to his body. Once destroyed, the plate attached to Deathwing’s body will fly off and give you more space to continue the battle.

When the Amalgamation explodes, a Burning Tendon is exposed to the raid. The team has 23 seconds to destroy the tendon before it snaps the plate back onto Deathwing’s back and the entire Amalgamation phase must be repeated.

If your team is unable to defeat the tendon in the first attempt, it will not heal up. Your team will need to re-expose the tendon to finish it off.

It is worth noting that each plate contains two Burning Tendons, so if your raid team is unable to kill a tendon on the first attempt, you will want to make sure the next Amalgamation explosion loosens the plate on the same side again.

Fight Execution

As I mentioned earlier, this fight is a rinse and repeat fight. The outline below is how we perform the fight each week in all it’s mind-numbing glory :)

  1. Destroy 3 Corruptions upon landing (we usually kill top Left, top Right, bottom Right.
  2. Lock in on the left side of Deathwing’s back and roll him to shake the Hideous Amalgamations loose. Make sure you have the Grasping Tendrils debuff (DBM shows this).
  3. Kill the final Corruption. Tank picks up Hideous Amalgamation and drags him to the front of Deathwing’s back.
  4. DPS begin to work on Amalgamation (usually melee). DPS assigned to break Fiery Grip (usually a hunter) performs task and assists ranged with AoEing Corrupted Bloods.
  5. Once Amalgamation reaches 40% health, Amalgamation tank takes him for a walk to the Residue left by the Corrupted Bloods. 40% is a random goal, but it can be done when the tank and healers are comfortable and done at different times to make sure no bloods are wasted. This is a big deal on the first plate because the bloods spawn so slowly.
  6. Tank repositions Amalgamation against one of the Elementium Reinforced Plates when 9 stacks are reached and DPS focus the Amalgamation down. All melee and tank run away from the exploding Amalgamation (8 yards).
  7. Once the plate lifts, all DPS attack the Burning Tendonto release plate. Our CD order for plates is as follows:
    1. Plate 1: Personal CDs
    2. Plate 2: Bloodlust/Timewarp/Ancient Hysteria/Dirty Alliance Ding Ding Clang spell
    3. Plate 3: Personal CDs
  8. Rinse and repeat. You will only want to have 1 Corruption up at any given time due to Fiery Grip.

Paladin Pointers

  • Raidwall each time your team is dealing with Nuclear Blast. Every little bit helps when people don’t move when they need to.
  • Try not to fall asleep :)

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death. This is good if you need some additional damage on the Burning Tendons.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with!

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

Random Quick Update

February 29, 2012 1 comment

Damn my Capris...

I’m still alive, just tossing that out there. Stuff has been a bit crazy IRL, in guild, and everywhere in between. Things I still owe you guys:

  • Updated Transmog ideas
  • Spine & Madness strats (damn these fights are boring)
  • H. Morchok and H. Ultrax quickie guides
  • More posts where my cotank makes fun of me
  • Miri on Guilds: Culture
  • Then & Now meme
  • Update on my Heroic 10s team

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I can think of. I’ve been writing a ton, but it hasn’t been blog related, so, sorry guys =\ Work has had me bashing people’s heads into walls and well…raids have been sorta having the same results. Something more like me bashing bosses into walls. And Heroic Ultrax sneaking in a 204K hit that I apparently couldn’t miss last night and went splat to because of an ill-timed Twilight Instability.

Anyway, usual excuses post. Lots of work travel for the remainder of the week but hopefully I’ll find a moment of clarity this weekend to post.

Enjoy the header, this was me on Ultrax last night, bitching about fashion woes, like all good Belfs do!

Also: cute Lofaz and Raz pic (I got “holy crap you REALLY are short” tonight when I shared it).

My Cotank DID transmog that awful looking belt...

Sixth

February 18, 2012 2 comments

Earlier this week I was tagged into a new blog meme called “Sixth” by Bulidar of Among the Elements and  Aralosseien of Achievements Ahoy! The meme was resurfaced by Gnomeaggedon on the 15th of February and I’m not gonna lie, I was sorta paranoid about what my “sixth” was.  But before I share my “sixth,” let me share the rules!

  1. Go to your image folder
  2. Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image
  3. Publish the image! A few words to describe the picture couldn’t hurt!
  4. Challenge six new bloggers
  5. Link to them

Like, Bulidar and Aralosseien, I don’t have sub-folders in my images folder, so I selected the sixth image in my screenshots folder.

And without further adieu, I give you my sixth:

Should I be surprised that it’s Raz? Nope. Not in the least! I’m standing on the roof of Grommash Hold, the building that Garrosh Hellscream occupies in Orgrimmar. It was New Years Eve, and it was the first time since I’ve started playing WoW that I sat and watched the fireworks go off! I was later joined by a guildie, Ursal, for chitchat while we chilled. That week I had tanked ES’s first kill of Madness, and was in a generally mellow mood while I farmed satchels for mounts and pets.

Speaking of mounts. I’d like to point out that I finally got a mount from a satchel last night. I just happened to accidentally LOOT the damn thing from the satchel. What did I get you ask? Oh nothing great–just ANOTHER Green Proto. My anguished yell will echo in the hallways of my home for the near future.

Anyway, enough about my bad luck, let’s pick the next round of 6!

I’m eagerly awaiting to see what these folks have for their “Sixth!”

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Warmaster Blackhorn

February 2, 2012 2 comments

Warmaster Blackhorn and Goriona

Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight’s Hammer army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing’s personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master. ~Dungeon Journal

Many players will refer to the Warmaster Blackhorn fight as this expansion’s Gunship. The only accurate part of this statement is that there is a gunship involved. Blackhorn is no where near as easy as ICC’s gunship battle was, and the fight requires heightened awareness by all players in the raid.

The fight has two phases that require a raid to be mobile and attentive to their surroundings.

Phase 1

Phase 1 requires your raid team to break up into teams to handle different aspects of the fight. Melee will be focusing on the Twilight Elite Dreadblades, the Twilight Elite Slayers, and the Twilight Sappers. Ranged will be working on the Twilight Assault Drakes, the Twilight Sappers, and assisting the the Elites when there are no drakes to target.

So let’s take a look at adds:

  • Twilight Assault Drakes – These drakes deliver the Dreadblades and Slayers onto the ship, but hang around shooting small purple circles on the deck called Twilight Barrage (Shadow). Twilight Barrage deals 200K damage, which is split between each person within a 5 yard radius of the circle and the ship. Your goal is to have at least 3 members of your raid soak one of these circles, which reduces the amount of damage that the gunship takes. If a player solo soaks a circle, they will probably die unless a cooldown is used. After depositing their riders, the drakes will  be snared  by NPCs using the harpoon guns mounted on the ship and should be focused down by the ranged DPS. The drakes will manage to break away from the ship and will fly off. Once the guns are reloaded, the gunners will recollect the adds for the ranged to resume DPS on.
  • Twilight Elite Dreadblade – The first mob to drop onto the deck each time. Dreadblades cast Degeneration (Shadow) in a frontal cone, so the mob must be tanked facing away from the raid. Degeneration deals roughly40K damage each hit, and deals 3K shadow damage every 2 seconds for 1 minute. The debuff stacks and this add should always die first. The Dreadblades also will perform Blade Rush, a charge that will inflict roughly 100K damage on anyone in his path. The target of Blade Rush and the path the Dreadblade will take are clearly shown on the surface of the ship. This gives players a moment to check their surroundings and completely avoid the damage inflicted by the charge if they are aware. Not avoiding this simple mechanic causes a lot of mana waste for healers and, if the target is already at low health, can kill them. This is also the easiest way to get your raid leader into a frenzied rage if players fail to avoid this visible attack.
  • Twilight Elite Slayer – Like the Dreadblade, the Slayer will also perform Blade Rush on random players in the raid. Unlike the Dreadblade, the Slayer’s attack, Brutal Strike (Physical), is not a conal attack, and this mob can be pulled around the deck for circle soaking without concern for stacked raiders. Brutal Strike deals 150% weapon damage and causes the target tank to suffer 3K damage every 2 seconds for a minute.
  • Twilight Sapper – The Sappers are tiny little Goblins who will drop down on the deck and cloak themselves with a smoke bomb before reappearing and making a mad dash (in a straight line) for the ship’s main cabin. Once inside, they will Detonate their massive load of explosives, causing roughly 250K fire damage to players within 8 yards, causing the gunship to lose 20% of it’s health instantly, and killing the Sapper. Sappers can be slowed, stunned, and Death Gripped back to the front of the ship as the DPS burns them down. When a Sapper spawns, all DPS should immediately switch to him to ensure a timely death.

While you’re fighting the 3 waves of adds that comprise Phase 1, Warmaster Blackhorn is flying around above you on Goriona, waiting to pounce. Goriona is spending this time making your raid’s life a bit more difficult, choosing to cast Twilight Onslaught (Shadow) on the deck of the Skyfire. Twilight Onslaught deals 800K damage which is split between all players within a 10 yard radius. Goriona’s Onslaught is the most deadly and your raid must all move to soak the circle. The only reason a player should remain out of the circle is if a Dreadblade is still active on the deck, and in that case the tank with the Dreadblade should be attempting to solo soak a Twilight Barrage (if one is up).

Tanks should be swapping their adds each time they drop. If a tank picks up the first Dreadblade, they should be getting a Slayer on the 2nd round of adds and then another Dreadblade on the 3rd.

Once all the Twilight Assault Drakes have been dispatched, your raid team has killed 3 waves of Deadblades and Slayers, and the Sappers haven’t destroyed your ship, you’re into Phase 2!

A quick pick of how we (roughly) do positioning. Many thanks to my raid team for running off the ship when I asked them to so I could snap this SS!

Phase 2

Phase 2 is fairly short in length in comparison to Phase 1. There are only 2 mobs in play for this phase and the first can be taken out relatively quickly.

  • Goriona is still around and instead of dropping Onslaughts for the raid team to soak, she is casting Twilight Flames, large circles of purple that you don’t want to stand in. The focus of the ranged (and any melee who have ranged abilities) is to get Goriona out of the picture as soon as possible. Once she reaches 25% health, she will abandon Blackhorn and your raid team can focus fire the boss.

Blackhorn has several things that the raid team should be looking out for:

  • Devastate Physical - Each stack of Devastate lowers the targeted tank’s armor by 20% in addition to damage each time it applies. The debuff lasts 30 seconds. Tanks should be swapping every 2-3 stacks, depending on comfort level.
  • Disrupting Roar Physical - Disrupting Roar causes roughly 50K damage to all raiders and silences anyone standing within 10 yards of him for 8 seconds. Casters and healers will want to position themselves closely to avoid Blackhorn’s Shockwave, but no closer than the 10 yard range.
  • Shockwave Physical - A conal attack that Blackhorn will cast on a random target. Shockwave has a graphical representation on the ground and is the reason that the casters should be fairly close to Blackhorn for their attacks. Anyone who is caught in Shockwave when it hits (the spell has a 2.5 second cast) will take about 100K damage and be stunned for 4 seconds.
  • Vengeance – For every percentage of his missing health, Blackhorn hits your tanks for 1% more damage.

Tanks should save their cooldowns for the end of the fight and rotate them in order to survive the increased damage from Vengeance.

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I typically glyph for threat over survivability, but it’s personal preference.

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Ultraxion

February 2, 2012 4 comments

Ultraxion

More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple. ~Dungeon Journal

Ultraxion is a fairly boring fight as long as you can manage to use CDs and click a button at the correct times. For me, the trash prior to the fight is pretty mind-numbing as well–all I do is run around and taunt and my co-tank picks up the adds off me and pulls them into the center circle for the DPS to kill.

Ultraxion Mechanics

Ultraxion is basically a 1 phase fight, so let’s talk mechanics.

  • Twilight Shift (Raid) – Announces the beginning of the encounter. The fight is done in the Twilight Realm, and only by clicking a button, Heroic Will, can you leave the realm of twilight.
  • Heroic Will (Raid) – Used by the raid team for avoiding death to Fading Light and Hour of Twilight. By timing the click correctly, the player is pulled out of the Twilight realm for 5 seconds, but they are unable to attack for those 5 seconds. The more comfortable you become with the fight (and your lag), you can time button usage in the last seconds of the Fading Light debuff or the Hour of Twilight cast, so you only remain outside of the Twilight Realm for a split second.
  • Unstable Monstrosity (Raid) Shadow - An arcing attack that hits the raid for 300K damage, spread across all players in the Twilight realm, every 6 seconds. This mechanic is one of the reasons you stack for the fight. Every minute that Ultraxion remains in combat results in 1 second shaved off his cast time of the spell.
  • Fading Light (Current tank and 1 DPS) – Cast on the tank currently tanking Ultraxion and one DPS (this is NEVER cast on a healer). Tanks will need to taunt swap and use their Heroic Will button to leave the Twilight Realm to survive. Failure to leave the Twilight Realm when Fading Light times out will result in instant death on the player. Failure to taunt swap results in some poor DPS getting killed due to Ultraxion resetting his threat.
  • Hour of Twilight (Raid) Shadow – A single 300K damage burst to each player remaining in the Twilight Realm when the spell is finished casting. In 10M Normal mode, only 1 player needs to eat the cast and survive it. Tanks can swap off on this duty (1 tank take evens, 1 take odds), but make sure you don’t miss your soak. If both tanks use Heroic Will and there is no one to absorb the damage of Hour of Twilight, the Aspects will die and the raid will wipe.
  • Twilight Eruption (Raid) – If 6 minutes pass without a kill, Ultraxion explodes and wipes the raid.
  • Twilight Burst (Raid) Shadow - If the raid is not within melee range, Ultraxion will cast Twilight Burst which hits each raid member with roughly 75K in shadow damage every second. In addition to the attack being unable to be resisted, it also increases magic damage taking by 50% for 6 seconds and stacks.

If you have a custom UI that may hide the Heroic Will button, you can create your own by opening your macros pane and creating a macro with /click ExtraActionButton1 as the text. Stick it on your bars are you are good to go.

Aspect Buffs

Each aspect will grant members of the raid with a certain buff. The tanks and the raid do not need to seek out their buffs (Last Defender of Azeroth and Timeloop, respectively), but the healers will need to be aware of their buff spawn timers in order to grab crystals.

  • Last Defender of Azeroth – Gifted to the tanks by Thrall, it reduces the CD on defensive cooldowns by 50% and increases their duration by 100%. Thrall casts this spell at the very beginning of the fight.
  • Gift of Life (Red) – Cast 1.5 minutes into the fight, Alexstraza will buff 1 healer with a spell that increases all healing done by 100%.
  • Essence of Dreams (Green) – Cast 2.5 minutes into the fight, Ysera will buff 1 healer with a spell that causes each heal cast by that healer to be mirrored and distributed across all members of the raid.
  • Source of Magic (Blue) – Cast 3.5 minutes into the fight, Kalecgos will buff 1 healer with a spell that reduces the mana cost of all spells by 75% and boosts spell haste by 100%.
  • Timeloop - Cast 5 minutes into the fight, Nozdormu buffs your raid with the ability to die, once. The first blow that a player receives that will kill them will instead heal them to 100% of their health, but remove the Timeloop buff.

Icy Veins recommends the healing buffs go as follows:

2/1 Ultrax WoL Spell Usage

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I typically glyph for threat over survivability, but it’s personal preference.

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

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