Does it burn when you PVP?

•August 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t done much PVP since Wrath came out.

I did go to that first vehicle battleground a couple of times, and occasionally would stand around frozen in place in WinterLAG. But basically I kept away from PVP.

That’s mainly because I don’t have time anymore to grind for honor and resilience gear on top of my raiding needs. It’s hard enough to get the gold needed to cover my repairs, gemming and enchanting.

But I do like PVP.

Back in Burning Crusade, I did pretty good on arenas. My lock was pretty active on 2v2, playing a SL/SL + Disc priest combo. We even got the Rival title on Season 3 (I think). Not THAT impressive, but not bad.

Wang saw some arena action also, on all brackets. But the fun times were in a burn team on 5v5, with me as the solo healer, an elemental shammy and 3 BM hunters. Bloodlust + Bestial Wrath = win.

I did battlegrounds often, and had some ok gear on all my lvl70 toons.

Now… I don’t have a single resilience piece on any of them (actually, I do have some gloves I got from Vault, but it’s not even enchanted/gemmed). That makes it quite hard to live through any kind of burst damage in PVP. And my skills are definitely dorment at the moment.

But this week we all had to PVP (in a way). The Faction Champions were on the Menu of the Week. And that demanded all those skills that were left behind.

A lot of people can say the encounter is way too easy on Normal mode. But for a group with very little experience in PVP, it can be quite a challenge at first. But it can also be a lot of fun.

We only got to try it on 10 man so far, so I don’t know how it works on 25.

We faced some nasty champions. Druid and priest healers. Mage and warlock (with fel puppy). Rogue and Bizarro Wang (enhance shammy). I’m sure there are worst compositions though.

I was originally tanking for this group on my warrior Grisen, and we easily got through the Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus. Then, the PVP wiping began.

I started as prot (for the stuns and interrupts), while Tigerfeet went kitty to try and add some dps. We had one other melee dps (Death Knight), 2 Locks, a Shadow Priest and Pilsner, our boomkin. Healing team was Pally and 2 priests.

We tried to set up some crowd-control rotation, especially to keep the healers under control. They do heal for a whole lot. But we did not have many options… The druids had some tricks, the locks could banish the Tree druid and fear some around. Priests could do some screaming. A couple of stuns and snares, and that’s it.

We tried to micro-manage some CC abilities for several attempts, but we could not pull enough dps to burn a healer, while keeping the other targets under control (especially the other healer), and keeping ourselves alive.

I tried going Arms for Mortal Strike, but my gear is really sub-par, so that wasn’t so helpful. Tiger and Pils asked me to bring Wang, for Bloodlust and the extra dps and interrupts. We tried like that some more, and started getting the first one killed, but diminishing returns on our CC abilities made it all go wrong after that.

We got a tip from our other 10 man group that taunt worked (though the mob would change targets shortly after), so Tiger switched to bear and started to keep the melee busy, just taunting them away from clothies and healers. That strategy seemed to work better. We focused on the priest, while keeping the tree banished/stunned. Forget about CCing the damage-dealers.

But the dps would occasionally tear someone down. The rogue can definitely be a pain, especially after blinding a healer. And that damn warlock does not stop with the hellfiring. And it hurts like hell.

We tried several little tweaks in our strat all night long. Everyone was throwing ideas, and it was pretty fun to see people engaged in trying to get that done. We got close a couple of times, but couldn’t close the deal that first night.

So we had to go in there the next night. I switched back to Grisen, as prot, so me and Tiger could protect our dps and healers with taunts and stuns. We had an ele shammy with us this time, so she was in charge of Bloodlust. We also decided to go with 2 healers, so one of our priests went shadow.

And it worked great. I did not worry about dps, just kept trying to control them. Charges, Intercepts, lots of Taunts, Mocking blows, Concussion blows, Disarms, Shockwave stuns, Shield bash on that annoying mage! It was a blast!

They went down. And I renewed my interest in PVP. I even spent some time on the battlegrounds this weekend. And with the announcement of rated BGs, and the chance to get some gear even when playing casually, maybe I’ll spend some more time in there.

Well, when I’m not leveling my Worgen…

Fast Finger Action

•August 13, 2009 • 4 Comments

“If you’re looking for some Fast Finger Action, Wang has just the thing for you!”

No, not that kind of action!

This is supposed to be about your necessary skills as an enhancement shaman, so get your filthy mind outta here.

Anyway, this past tuesday we welcomed Lord Jaraxxus into the Crusader’s Coliseum and I gotta say: it feels good to be enhancement on this fight!

We can play a key part on our raid’s strategy, as long as we can keep up with the fast finger action needed to take care of the job assigned to us.

What kind of action? Lightning speed, multi-fingered, completely focused gameplay!

 “From the same guy who brought you the Wind Blower!”

Here are the details: Lord Jaraxxus has a good amount of abilities. It can take some time to understand all of them, and learn how to counter each one, but once you get it, it’s not a complicated fight. Only the learning process can be a challenge, especially when all you have is one German video and a list of those abilities.

It’s a healing intensive fight for sure, and your healers will need to adjust really quickly to random sources of damage to the raid. Not only damage, some abilities are pretty unique, like Incinerate Flesh. This spell will place a magic effect on a random player which will cause him/her to absorb all healing done to them, and debuffing them with 50% less damage done.

The trick is: the effect will break after 12 seconds and deal a good deal of fire damage to the whole raid over the next 5 seconds. So, to avoid this unnecessary raid wide damage, you need to heal the affected player something like 60k, which will cancel the spell and save you the trouble.

But you won’t actually be doing any healing to the player, because he will be absorbing the heals, so you just gotta spam heal until you see the effect icon go off. Because the target is random, and you all have to stay spread out to avoid the Fel Lightning and Touch of Jaraxxus, you can’t really have healers assigned to dealing exclusively with Incinerate Flesh, because they might not be in range of everyone.

So, your healing team needs to shift focus constantly, keeping the tank and the off-tanks up, while healing the raid and dealing with that nasty spell. They got their hands full, so it’s our job to take care of some other abilities he throws our way.

“Are you looking for a way to deal with all those nasty little abilities?”

First would be the Fel Fireball, a heavy hitter with a dot component that will bring trouble to keeping your tank up. Fortunately, it is interruptable, and there’s no one better suited to deal with that than your fellow enhancement shaman, or the Interrupting Machine!

“The Interrupting Machine is brought to you by the 3.2 patch and WIND SHEAR, your new and improved interrupt. WIND SHEAR, a caster’s worst nightmare!”

No other class have an interrupt as efficient as our new Wind Shear. A spell on a short 6 seconds cooldown. Off the Global Cooldown. And now without the shared cooldown with our other shocks, especially Earth Shock in the case of Enhancement.

Therefore, every 6 seconds, our interrupt is ready to be fired. And Jaraxxus does not cast his Fireball faster than that (and apparently General Vezzax might also not do it anymore). So, a single enhancement shaman can be in charge of the interrupts and lock out that spell out of the picture. Your friendly tank and all healers will appreciate that.

“But WAIT! There’s more!”

Lord Jaraxxus has one other ability that can become a huge ordeal. He occasionally* buffs himself with Nether Power, which increases his magic damage by 20%. That would be only a slight problem, if he didn’t get 10 stacks of it. Yeah, it’s actually a 200% damage buff. And yeah, it hurts!

* I’ve seen this ability related to the summoning of the Mistress of Pain, so it would come up when he opens up a Nether Portal. I could not confirm this, because I could not pay attention to that. But the two could be linked.

Anyway, 200% damage buff is hard to deal with. But Blizzard is not that psychotic… The buff is removable, dispellable, spellstealable or…. yeah, PURGEABLE!

“Here he comes to save the day!”

That’s another job for us! Watch out for the buff icon, and fire away those purges like a mad man! You will take two stacks at a time, so you can’t do it by yourself, at least not fast enough. Other shamans, priests and especially mages should help you out. Spellstealing the buff is awesome, so make sure you let the greedy mages have their fun.

 To sum it all up, here are your assignments for this fight:

1. Interrupt all those Fel Fireballs.

2. Purge the Nether Power stacks when they come up.

3. Watch out – if you’re hit with Legion Flame, make sure to spread out the patches of fire… away from people plz.

4. Keep your totems down (your group might need Fire Resistance).

5. Oh yeah – DPS the boss.

 

So, if you think that’s easy, let’s review your spell needs:

1. Wind Shear

2. Purge

3. Call of Elements or whatever you set to be on your totem bar.

4. Stormstrike

5. Lava Lash

6. Earth Shock (yeah, interrupting doesn’t hurt your dps no more!)

7. Lightning Bolt (or Chain Lightning if there’s an add on range)

8. Chain Heal or Healing Wave (if things get ugly, be a good hybrid and help out a bit, at least with instant heals from Maelstrom Weapon)

9. Lightning Shield (keep it up, will ya?)

10. Magma Totem (don’t forget to renew it)

Is that enough for you? See why you need some Fast Finger Action? That’s a lot of button pushing and/or mouse clicking!

Wanna know what really made it complicated for me, and made me miss one or two fireballs? They put me in charge of calling out in vent when Nether Power came up, so the other dispellers could do their thing too. Yeah, the push-to-talk key was one too many for me to deal with flawlessly.

Well, all I can say is that it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Got a bit of a headache… but that’s no big deal. When we got him down, on a bad attempt actually (with only 3 people left alive in the end), the guild exploded on vent and it was just incredible.

“So don’t forget! Order your Purging/Interrupting Machine today! And get rid of those annoying bosses!”

Reticent Crusader

•August 10, 2009 • 5 Comments

I don’t like the Argent Tournament.

I still don’t see its purpose in the lore of this expansion, the daily quests are just boring and jousting sucks.

I actually avoided it completely for quite some time, much more interested in Ulduar or leveling an alt. But I feel some kind of obbligation to seeing every kind of content available in the game.

So I decided to push through the daily grinding. I was also in need of some gold, so that was a plus…  it did get me to some financial stability, at least for a while, so that’s ok I guess.

I got Wang and my warrior alt Grisen through the starter quests and the first grind to champion. It took quite a while, cause I don’t have enough time to go through all the dailies every single day, but I did in a couple of weeks or so.

Good thing is that it opened the champion dailies, and I finally saw what that infamous Threat from Above was all about.  The rest of the dailies were a let down though, all replications of the valiant ones. Nothing really interesting…

But the gold was nice, so I kept doing some of them on Grisen – it gave her a purpose, since I wasn’t raiding or doing anything really with her. She went on to become a champion for two more cities, but it was still a bit far from done.

But the whole thing just wasn’t interesting enough. It got boring so fast… And there were no real rewards from pushing through it. Not besides some level 200 gear and some vanity items.

Ok, if you’re into the whole mount or pet collection mayhem, this may keep you busy and interested. But I’m not! I do like certain pets, and some mounts look cool (though I can never get the ones I’d really like), but I don’t need dozens of them, and I’m not spending a whole lot of time going after every one of them.

So, besides the gold, there was no real reason to go after the Crusader title… that is… until 3.2 hit… and now I know I’m again missing some content, through the new dailies only available to the Crusaders! And I must see them, even if only to bash them later on how unnoriginal they are.

Yeah, Blizzard keeps throwing the bait and I keep going for it.

The new dungeon and raid on this patch also appealed to me a bit. I had fun with the Beasts and I’m looking forward to the rest of the encounters. By the way, I love Anubarak and I’m glad we weren’t done with him – though I do think he deserved a spot in Icecrown Citadel, not in some filler raid.

Anyway, I picked it up again with my dailies, but I still don’t like them. And I still don’t like the Tournament. Can we stop this non-sense and go after Arthas already?

Speculation Cataclysm

•July 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Extra! Extra!!

A heavy speculation monsoon has apparently hit all Wow blogs, causing a real life cataclysm outside of Azeroth. 

Posts around the blogsphere appear to have been flooded with these ravaging waters, apparently originated from datamining and wishful thinking.

Commenters from everywhere have declared it’s madness out there!

Apparently, these waters have brought disease to bloggers all around, identified by fixation on the future, reckless attitude toward current events and extreme euphoria – especially when little green creatures or furry puppies are mentioned.

WANG NEWS will try to keep you posted!

If I don’t fall to the Maelstrom Flu myself…

ALT TAB – Abandoned Pets

•July 24, 2009 • 2 Comments

Kevass is my troll hunter alt. He dinged 80 about a week ago.

I wasn’t really planning on leveling him all the way, as his real usefulness is being my herb provider. So, he stayed at 67 for a while, just flying around on his blue wyvern and picking flowers, to be turned into flasks for Wang.

He also helped Grisen a bit, turning the massive amounts of Saronite she mined into beautiful Titanium bars. Oh yeah, Kevass is a Transmute Specialist… wait! Do those exist still??

Yeah, and he’ll be the king of epic gems once 3.2 arrives.

/jumps with joy!

Anyway, I ended up going through those few levels that were left. Mainly because it’s actually a great way to make some gold. But I didn’t foresee what would happen when I actually got rid of that experience bar.

/queue really sad song.

I had to say goodbye to Locke… the most beautiful pet ever, the one that made me spend 3 whole days in Sholazar Bazin, the one that brought me an incredible happiness when I finally located and tamed him.

I have never ever spent so much time going after a rare spawn, or achievement, or rare drop. Those are usually just for vanity items, and I really do not care about rare pets, mounts or whatever.

But that spirit beast is just something really out of the ordinary. It is the most beautiful creature in the World of Warcraft. And it was worth all the time wasted. (I did get lots of stacks of Adder’s Tongue while there though).

I was actually really lucky. I know some hunters spend a lot more days camping those few spawn points. I could have gotten him in less than an hour though. Right after I started, I found him by the gorillas and started to tame, but a stupid alliance DK dropped on top of him and killed the beautiful animal, before I could grab him. Yeah, I was pissed. But it pushed me to be persistent on my hunt.

He was a great pet. But I had to let him go. It had to be done. No respectable hunter can keep a BM spec for raiding, right? Nooooo… I want to see Locke facing Kelthuzad! This is so not fair. We used to be the best raiding spec! Damn you Ghostcrawler! Fix us!

But I did give in, put Locke in the stables and respecced Marksman, bringing my long time raptor Reptail as I tried to learn how Chimaera Shot works.

It doesn’t feel the same. The playstyle and rotation is ok. But popping all the BM cooldowns while running around with Locke felt so epic, so unique, so powerful. But until they fix the BM spec, I’m gonna have to get used to it, or try a Survival build once I have some more Agility.

But the fact is: abandoned pets need your attention and care. Visit your stables and help taking care of them. They’ll be happy with a few biscuits!

In real life though, go check out the charity drive promoted by Brajana from Mend Pet. Real pets NEED MORE STABLE SLOTS, so go donate to those who are taking care of them, and maybe you’ll win some awesome prizes!

Or check your local shelter and bring a pet home with you.

If only they had spirit beasts…. maybe I could convince my wife. She does love kitties…

That’s not my name

•July 22, 2009 • 2 Comments

I’m known as Wang in the World of Warcraft.

That’s what my Unemployed guild mates call me, as well as former guildies, friends, and even pug members.

I even embraced it as my identity in everything related to Wow, especially here in this blog.

But Wang is actually short for Wangari, and the origin of that name is what inspired me to finally write this post.

I have never talked about it before, because no one ever asked really.

But I bet some people think it was always my intention for it to be Wang, in the penile meaning of the word. Like in some kind of immature joke. And disguised a bit so I don’t infract any naming rules from Blizzard.

No, nothing like that. In fact I only realized my name was a phallic reference when people started making fun of it. Not in a mean way though, it was always friendly, and I often laughed about it with them.

No, it’s not a chinese name or anything like that either.

No matter what, it was unique. And it helped to establish a connection with other players. Still does.

But Wangari is in fact a tribute to a very distinguished person, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai. When I created my shaman, I was reading her autobiography, entitled Unbowed, for a job I had on the side.

I was a consultant for an established publishing company here in Brazil, and I was asked to read some books, originally in English, and recommend them (or not) to be translated and published here. I also got to review the translation of some books, but that was a bit more work, and less fun. I only did this for a while, but it was great to be payed to read these great books.

Anyway, I really loved her book, and her story.

She’s from Kenya, in Africa, and throughout her life she fought against the devastation to the environment, working mainly with women to promote tree nurseries and planting of green belts. Of course, her work made a lot of enemies in the political scene, as she did go against some corporate interests in a very non-democratic regime.

But she believed in her cause and how environment preservation could promote equal rights and a better life condition for women, through education and opportunities they wouldn’t have access to. Her work is really remarkable and I truly recommend this book.

Somehow, it was her story that inspired me when I decided to roll a Tauren, a very spiritual race, connected to nature, kind but fierce. I thought it fit the lore behind the character. So Wangari was born in Camp Narache, dedicated to the shamanistic arts, exploring the natural elements to fight oppression. Hmm ok, maybe I went a bit far with the lore nerdiness.

But I do think naming your character is a big deal, and I develop a great connection with the names I pick. It’s how you’re gonna be known in that world. I could never be Ipwnuhard, or just go with the first randomly generated name from the character creation screen. (I do use that name generator sometimes, but I often go through a lot of names, and usually change a couple of letters so it sounds better for me).

I take my time when creating a character. After all, I’m gonna be spending a lot of time with him/her.

We kept our sanity

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, we did.

Unemployed got rid of 10 man Yogg-Saron this last Thursday.

It took us a whole night of attempts (20 total) on Wednesday and 4 more on Thursday to get him, but after we started getting to phase 3, we almost had him a few times before the kill. We actually had more wipes getting used to phase 1 and the moving clouds than on anything else. Ok, phase 2 has a lot going on, but once you learn your job in there, it’s pretty easy to deal with. Ok, that’s with all 4 Keepers helping. I imagine it’s a LOT tougher without them.

My job was the simplest of all. Avoid triggering clouds on phase 1. Punch some tentacles while waiting for the portals, then go in there, kill everything, bloodlust and punch Yogg in the brain. Then punch Yogg some more on phase 3, while turning away from him when he’s got the evil eye on you. After you get used to the mess, it’s pretty simple.

It was awesome to see all those achievements popping on my screen. But it will feel a lot better when we do it on 25 man.

If only we could beat the attendance boss.

 
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