LFG: patch 3.3.3 – Frozen orbs

to need or to greed, that is the question.

in the past, when LFG first came up, orbs were need on some servers, greed on others. but since they were not very useful, the need bit slowly became greed over all realms.

however, with patch 3.3.3 looming, there are now valid and essential use of orbs as a currency. hence i see it becoming need again.

i would advise all LFGs to make mention to need on orb at the start of the run to avoid any end of run issues.

1 March 2010 update

yep. the NEED bit is starting to appear in some LFG H runs. so do check. they aren’t saying it upfront, but they are doing the Needing at the end of the run.

LFG – Pit of Saron’s 1st boss Garfrost

i have seen quite a few groups go in with no idea how to handle this boss. the mechanics are not the usual tank and spank. so the strat really needs to be communicated to the party before the PoS run is started, and reminded just before the boss.

a good strat is found here, but im sure there are other variations:

http://www.wowwiki.com/Forgemaster_Garfrost

it would also be good if there is an offheal in the party. cos sometimes, the party just takes too much dmg in H.

every day is maintenance day

*sigh*

*major huge sigh*

out of the 3 realms i play, 2 were down for the count. that left Blackwater Raiders. which was good, cos i’d been ignoring my alts there for a bit, kinda just focussing on Pyro and Kiseki to get them to nrend. they are the last 2 toons still in outlands. i got Pyro to L66, same as Kiseki. now just a couple of nagrand quests plus instances, and before long they will be off to BT.

checked out xbow, my 78 hunter. hmmm, probably need Mib to make some dps gear for him.  respecced muzzleshot, 71 hunter. still survival but change the point distribution a bit and changed a few glyphs. he had a useless one before: Arcane shot glyph. something he dont use, ever.

patch and restart = pain

with the new LFG, bliz needs to revamp their server restart procedure. last night, tried to run 2 LFG with different results.

1st LFG with Pyroblast, after 1st boss of UB, 3 party members got the server restart 15-min warning msg. i was one of them. we continued to 2nd boss and onwards, thinking when restarted we would still be in the group. WRONG. after my realm restarted, i logged in, all by myself, in the middle of the UB instance. had to re-queue LFG for another run.

2nd LFG with Pyroblast, the party managed to clear to 2nd boss of MT, when heals got the 15-min warning msg ($#%#@$%$#^  Blizzard!). so we think, let’s rush to clear to end boss. so the dps DK decided to pull the mobs, cos the tank was kinda sluggish. it was ok initially, but towards the end boss, he pulled too much. the mana leeches combined with a nexus terror and a normal mob. wipe. dps puller left in a silent puff of smoke. heals got server restart and left. the rest stayed behind and waited for a new heals and dps to join up and complete the instance.

finally, a patch bug. logging in to different toons, i was surprised to find that the action bar icons were not refreshed for my rogue. i had hunter icons instead of rogue icons! i did a /reloadui to get my proper icons back. weird.

weekly server maintenance: or how low can blizzard go?

i really wonder if the server admins and developers in blizzard are certified or just happen to keep their jobs cos they were there first.

what was supposed to be a simple 8-11 maintenance period became a 1-hr more thing, then a 2-hr more thing. and then when you can finally log in, welcome to massive lag. lag so bad, when you mine a vein, it takes a minute to load the stuff into your inventory.

i took xense to H PoS. gave up after the 2nd boss. cos after a lag-related wipe, we couldnt even release to run back. had to wait a couple of minutes. then we couldnt get back in the instance. again, lag wait a couple of minutes. finally, we just gave it up.

makeover of 2 toons: zappel and xense

been getting new gear for both my L80 toons: zappel (raiding) xense (farming and H) and things were getting messy in their inventory. so i took a closer look at their spec/gear/glyphs/gems/enchants/rotation.

i did xense first cos i had done an earlier round of consolidation for zappel. checked out the best hunter specs. and did a bit of minor re-spec. still PVE survival. cleaned out the crappy epics and gemmed and enchanted the stuff left behind. still need to buy head and shoulder enchants (mostly likely WG since not enuf rep with the required factions) and to fit in a prismatic gem on the belt but otherwise its all done for now. rotation no change, still Kill Shot>Explosive Shot (ES)>Black Arrow>Serpent Sting>Steady Shot (SS). Multi and Volley on 3 or more tgts.  finally, got a new L80 wolf from Storm Peaks, and specced for Furious Howl. the one that changes colour when u summon pet.

so, took her for a LFG H run: HoL. turned in quite respectable 3k dps for GS of just past the 4k mark. for these runs, Serpent Sting and SS were hardly used, since the other ppl will make short work of the mobs. only for boss these were put to use some of the time. other shots still take precedence, esp Lock and Load (L&L) procs. for L&L i have decided to just wait and fire off the next ES after the earlier ES on the tgt is left with 1 tick. with lag etc, the shot should not clip and nicely carry on with max dps on tgt. some ppl like to tab to another target to fire off but in case of boss, a short wait is better than putting a SS between ES.

for zappel, i now have 2 piece T9 gear and enough hit rating to remove some other hit rating gear and focus on SP and Haste. so after the inventory cleanup, all my various outfits are similar, the only difference is in trinket and wpn (to vary out the hit rating requirements between arcane and frost spec)

took zappel for a H run: ToC in frost spec. someone in party comment i should be in arcane, but my dps was 2nd and above the tank so who cares? then i took him to guild 25-man Ony, still in frost spec. other guild mage told me its better in arcane but i like to do Ony as frost. my dps would have been better, but i DC as i cast my Blizzard during the first whelping and by the time i got back in the whelps were dead. so major loss of dps there. but subsequently no more DC. so the new PC helped a lot. but i think if i wanna raid, i better have a cleaner interface (remove the non-raid mods). every little bit of tuning helps. towards the end of phase 3, i died (feared into whelps). so my dps suffered there too.

LFG’s best friend: /ignore

there is only so much you can do in a LFG. there will always be some really nasty players that you will never ever want to see again.

it can be the tank that decides to skip town in the middle of the VH mob waves. or some foul-mouthed brat.

/ignore <name>-<realm> takes care of that. you will never have to group up with them again cos LFG uses your /ignore list to filter out undesirables.

now, /ignore isn’t going to prevent the mentally retarded from logging in with another toon to whisper you the top 10 vulgarities on his list. it’s just so you dont need to run with them in a LFG ever again.

incidently, 2 interesting LFG runs i had lately.

1st: AN. shortnacity (frost, tank specced, def geared, frost presence) was L72 going on 73, and went into the instance, thinking this would be a piece of cake. cos everyone was higher level. unfortunately, the dps were noobs, the healer was noob. so we wiped several times at the mob waves b4 the 1st boss. after a few more wipes, we called it. dps never break webbed tgts (esp heals), aggro skirmishers who then proceeded to flatten them. healer not effective, even though L74. in another AN run later that day, i was on Cavelion (L74 disc priest) and i healed the whole group i was with perfectly.

2nd: Nexus. shortnacity again, since i didnt complete the LFG instance for the EoTs. cleared fast and ok. then at the frozen zone, things start to break down. dps dont know when to aoe (when i have DnD, then aoe! duh…) so they draw aggro from pests. came to the point where we died at the 3rd boss. the mage and other dps killed themselves during the spell reflect periods. and the healer who should be healing me i think went and healed them too much so i died when he ran out of mana. awesome boss fight fail followed by even more awesome wipe run fail. when running back to the 3rd boss thru the frozen zone, the shammy healer decided that he can run, aggro pests (no more mobs, we cleared them already) then aoe them to death. lol. more like he get attacked by them to death. fortunately i was running with him and grab aggro with DnD.  then the last pax on our party decided to release and run. after we already cleared towards his corpse. so we have to run back to escort him. but at that point, the healer ran way in front, aggroed pests, and died. so we had to teleport out and in and everyone start at the start again. and if that wasnt enough, for the 4th boss, wiped at first try. how? i have no idea. cos the 2nd time we downed the boss with everyone alive and well.

LFG – H HoR

i used to dread running H HoR. but last night i had a great run. i had just popped out of a guild 10-man ToC raid (left after 1st wipe on Faction bosses so other guildies can have a run thru the rest of ToC) so i was looking to do my H daily.

H HoR is all about pro heals. tank GS wasnt that hot. 4.5k. but heals was 5.5k. that made all the diff in staying alive during the 10 waves. even so, the ending was a bit funny. the 3 dps died at the last hurdle. then instead of running forward to end the Lich King chase, the tank ran back towards us. and he got killed. so the healer on completion of the instance, came back and rezzed us all.

now i am saving up my EoTs to get T9 gear for Zappel. probably Leg gear, since the rest can be bought by saving up EoFs. my current focus is to get the chest piece at 95 EoFs.

LFG mouth keeping

following my own advice from the previous post, i decided to let my fingers to the talking. unless someone was using way downranked skills, i didnt say anything. mostly, i just buffed and did my job silently and effectively. as tank, i seldom lost control of the mobs. even in the messy VH instance. as dps, i didnt aggro mobs b4 tank took control. i was still top or near top of dps, except in H instances on my undergeared toons. nowadays, H is filled with 5k GS ppl. so my toons cant compete. even zappel hasnt seen much ICC action of late. guild seems to be focussing more on gearing ppl thru 25-man TOC and Ony.

still i had a fun H run with a tank that was new to HoL (even though his GS is 4.5k). i guess most of the party took a look at his GS and thought he was kidding when he said it was his first time there. but i took him seriously, and explained the entire instance run (i was party lead anyway, on xense). i didnt top the dps meter, but i wasnt far off, since i had slightly over 4k GS by now. at the end of the run, he thanked me for my advice. i also learnt some new stuff about HoL from the other party members, who were in sharing mode too. nice begats nice, i think. the 3rd boss now only needs to be shot with 3 harpoons. i wonder if the skadi achievement still stands?

finally, some progress with Kiseki. she can say bye to zangar now that she managed to find a SP and UB instance to complete Lost In Action, as well as her Sporeggar rep quests. also had good party members, L66, and i advised them to go questing in Nagrand. which will pop them over to Northrend at L68 nicely.

how to do very well in LFG (non-H)

anyone who uses LFG (these days it would be extremely rare to have someone who doesnt do this on a regular basis if they are still levelling their toon) would have noticed that ppl generally fall into the 4 quadrants of expertise and decency:

1. high expertise and decency – the ppl you love to run groups in

2. high expertise but low decency – if you just want to get your EoT daily fix, you can tolerate them as long as you are not their target of abuse

3. low expertise but decent – so long as their performance does not wipe the group, you probably dont care too much

4. low expertise and decency – kick! haha. sometimes, its the tank so what do you do? if the heals can carry the tank thru, you may still run it just cos as dps you waited 30+ min for the group.

so how do you do your part in LFG (non-H). i only mention non-H because some of the rules are different in H due to greater gear requirements and discrepancies between new L80 and epic raider. of course, all the following stuff still applies to H LFG runs.

A) improve your expertise

expertise is comprised of the following:

  • knowledge of the instance. if you dont know the instance, say so at the start. ppl are more than willing to advise, esp if you are the tank. as dps you can probably follow the others. but even then, it is not preferable as some of the boss fights may need you to decurse/focus kill or be in the correct position or move in a particular pattern.
  • gear/buffs. gear for tank if you are tanking, etc. put in the appropriate gems and enchants for your gear. buff up whatever cheap buffs you can (scrolls, potions, food). bring additional food/water/bandages to heal/mana up between mob fights.
  • how to play your class and spec. study the huge amount of stuff on the internet. learn from the pros. try it out on test dummies or when soloing mobs during questing. you dont need to have it down the the split second rotation of a raider but you should at least know when a proc occurs and how to best make use of it. you should also know how to sequence your trinket and other special skills CDs.
  • how to play your role in a party. if you are the tank, you should know the instance but there is always the first few times. and even then, if you took a long break, things change in instances over patches. dont charge into the next mob when your heals is sitting down and getting his mana up. as for dps, dont pull the mobs unless the tank is asking you to (ie. hunter MD). if you are heals and u are out of mana, a /oom or party msg to that effect helps remind the tank that you need to take a mana break. if a boss need to have spell interrupted and you are a rogue or dps warrior, you should know when you need to do it and not worry so much about your position on the dps meter. party objectives come first, not your dps epeen.

B) learn the rules of decency

  • fair play. there is a ore vein. before you mine it, ask if there are any other miners. if so, do a /roll to see who wins it. and if you won the roll, tell the other miners the rest of the veins in the instance are theirs in turn. of course, a boss corpse that can be mined should be separately rolled against. the rewards of a boss corpse are usually better than ore veins (which are standard – i dont think i have seen titanium yet XD)
  • politeness. spamming recount after every mob just cos you are top dps is not nice. if someone in the party has very low dps, and he is not even bothering to put up any sort of effort and is skinning his way thru the instance, that’s not a party player. and they should get kicked. if its someone already doing their best and its just their gear is not up to standard (just qualified for the instance but gear hasnt caught up yet) then it would be less than ideal but unless the party wipes at the boss, its not a mortal sin. being rude to the tank or heals or the party, in general, gets you vote-kicked. if you are the tank and u wanna be rude, you can still get kicked. ppl only stand so much nonsense.
  • not being a ninja. if you roll need on BoE items, chances are ppl will start to /ignore you and you will have less and less opportunities to play in party. you will probably be vote-kicked out of the party too. likewise if you roll need on a boss BoP item and you are not in the spec for the item. for example, you may be dualspec pally – prot and ret. but running the instance as ret. if you need on a def. BoP item, the tank who has been tanking the instance for the drop is gonna be real pissed off.