mandag den 23. februar 2009

Introducing project Dreamreaper

So here she is, the little Gnome that could... Or will, or will be.

I named her Dreamreaper, because its a great name for a lock when your main (was) a priest called Dreamweaver. -And dispite me changing main everybody still calls me DW (and i really like that, i've found that Redux looks great written, but just sounds stupid on TS).
Only thing i do *not* like about her, is that her Void is named Ver'jin (random name generator my arse!)

Anyways, after a weekend packed with raiding, she still managed to get to level 17, and im actuelly having a blast. TBH im fearing playing my hunter again, ive gotten so used to my pet holding aggro, I just know ill get her killed a lot of times on that account.

So to stick with the reason i started this alt; is the grind too enourmous for alt leveling?
Well, my first thoughts where, "Im not the only one", damned there was a lot of other people leveling alongside with me. In the starter-zone we where at least 3 people batteling over the same mobs. - One even got very very upset with me, for killing a mob that was "his" quest mob.
For those of you who have never played the dorf/gnome starter zone, there is one named mob quest you have to complete, and its the same everyone gets, and if you aren't even in the cave with me, when I kill him how the fekk am I supposed to... kids /sigh.
Anyways the reasons for the amount of people leveling along side me, might be that the time of day i played was: friday afternoon-night, and saturday afternoon-early evening, so i could fit in my raiding and personal visits to friends and family. And at that time of the week and that time of the day.... Well theres a lot of " /sigh" moments.
Like the hunter "ikillyousoon" (yes that was his name -at least there wasnt 'hunter' in it or legolas, maybe there just wasnt enough space for his real name "imlegolasandillkillyousooncuzimaimbahunterfromDK") this brilliant guy had figured out that if you group up on quests people can kill stuff for you!! and if they -like me- refuse to be abused, you can just arcaneshot the targets they go for, and STILL get the kill.

That was some fun filled 15 minutes of him
mob-tagging everything i vent for. Well, untill i manged to trick him into tagging 3 mobs he thought i was going for and then only giving them curse of weakness. You see, at this time, he had found out that he didnt even need a pet out to get all this XP from me. So boy did he get killed. AHHHHH

So besides me, and team retard (and if you dont know where this is from go watch ZP right now, no dont finish reading this, go now.. NOW) who else where in the low levels? noone, at least not anyone I met. I may tend to be a little elitist, but since i didnt meet any low leveled people with a well known guild tag on them, i tend to think that they are either new to the game, or someone wanting peace or... well... "slow".
(as you can see on the image, there wasnt many in my guild -as an example- lowleveling either)

Allright lets talk about the projekt even more. Like I said earlier, i made it to level 17 on the first weekend, fittet tightly around raiding and socialising. Personally i dont think its too bad at all. And altough i was not able to take down a level 22 elite at 16 (that took me a while before i finally gave up) Warlocks are very very easy to level and fun.
I was right in assuming that the dots and rotation was just my thing. I love it, and that will defenitly help with keeping motivation up. The only downside is that I am really starting to miss healing. It must be an addiction thing, but I am really torn between getting my hunter that final push to 77 and cold weather flying, my paladin to 80 and tanking/healing, going back to Dreamweaver and healing only, and then this new project.

Honestly a part of me wishes that Uluar is still far enough away so that I can do theese things first. And that is really dumb, because I love raiding more than enything.
So far, leveling is fun, but i do fear that if it takes too long ill choke on it, and miss dungeon-crawling and raiding too much. as it is now, I have 3-4 alts leveling, and only one toon to dungeon and raiding. And he is so very very done with dungeons as is.
I guess time will tell.
And boy will I hate it if Malphias' prediction about every level 80 will get to choose their own level 55 toon comes out once ive finally manged to level this little one to outland and beyond :)

fredag den 20. februar 2009

Has the game become so big that noone can be bothered to reroll anything but DKs?

So one of my guildies asked a great question the other day.
"Hey Redux, God of tanking, hero of dps, and the hottest man -nay- hottest Dorf that ever lived (Well its not 100% accurate qoute, but to the best of my recollection this was how he asked me.) how come everyone rerolls Death knights? Is it because the game has become too big for people to want to level anything else?"

And ill add; Is it because everyone has tried every other class too much that they now are bored with the abilities of those classes and the only new thing around is Death knights? Or is it the fact that without the option to 'recruit a friend'. Leveling from level 1 seems to be so monumental that noone can be bothered to even start that?

Well. hmm.
I think theese are some great questions, so over the comming month ill be looking into this. Starting this afternoon with myself.
Im going to delete my low level warrior and start a warlock. Why shouldnt I? I've always loved dots, i have a very high level hunter, so pets are sort of my thing too, they should be easy (aka NOT priests) to level, and she will be a gnome, and who doesnt love gnomes? (Since i cannot play lock dwarf ;) )
Plus i've never leveled a lock past 19, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why not.
So im going to see how i faire starting a new, and see if i can muster the strenght to get to northrend with her.

So after this weekend we will see how far I managed to get, and if it was fun. Ill start of getting the bind on account xp cloth shoulders, pick a name, contact a friend and have him post some tips on leveling specc and play as a lock and see how i do.

Edit; this will ofc not be a projekt that is supposed to interfere with my mains raiding. This will only be alt-leveling.

mandag den 16. februar 2009

I love tanking, just not as much on a Death knight pt. 2

Well a couple of months has gone by since i wrote the original post (not since i *posted* it, but since i wrote it), and a lot has happened since then.
I still think that there is something fundementally wrong with the rotations for frost tanks, i still think there is no such thing as blood tanks and I still really really really do not like unholy tanking.


i've gotten a lot better with compensating for this. I've succesfully m-tanked sarth 1d in 10 manned (thank you very much), ive mt'ed Naxx 10 manned and I''ved succesfully tanked the blazes in a succesfull 25 manned sarth 3D (I R haz Twilight vanquisher title /brag off) - Granted, that last one was not a glorious day for DK tanks in Azeroth. Both me and the other DK tank (on whelps) struggled... A LOT.
And at a point during the fight our MT and raidleader got seriously close to becomming very very angry with us and our tanking abilities. - Especcially mine.
Oh yea and to top that off, on our succesfull kill, at 10-12% I just happened to target Sarth (and not the blaze) and taunt him... That was fun.
- And im almost certain of two things 1) If we had wiped there, our RL would have gotten on a plane, come to my house, and would have killed me himself, and 2) my body does not need a heart to function, because mine stopped ticking for a gooooood long time there.
But all in all we got him, and I was very pleased.

So maybe DK's aren't so bad with tanking once you get to an organized raid-group. Maybe the 3 seconds we need to build up that initial aoe aggro isn't the worst thing in the world since hangovers where invented. All you need to know, is theese limitations are there, and you and your dps just needs to compensate for this.

Speaking of death knights and builds, ive given up on blood. When I in my frost tank specc managed to do as much dps as i did in my pure blood dps specc, I knew it was over. So im going to try out deep frost. Either DW or 2h, i cant decide on that.
Think that once a decent frost/blood dps specc comes into play ill be a happy happy Knight.

Oh and finally the teasing from my guildies will die down. I missed the first Sarth 3D kill because of my birthday, and later that week i missed my 10 manned grp cleared naxx without anyone getting themselves killed during bossfights. So all of a sudden there was many many raiders in my guild sporting fancy titles, and I didnt even have jenkins yet.
WELL, Redux is title-less no more!!
(damn that is a hot title.)

tirsdag den 10. februar 2009

A look at the changes for DK's in patch 3.1

Here are the official wordings on the up-comming changes for Death knights.

  • Gargoyle and Unholy Blight have swapped talent positions. Gargoyle’s damage has increased and runic power cost per time has decreased.
  • Pestilence – this spell no longer causes damage but just spreads diseases. Blood Boil is intended to be the general area attack, and has been changed to be castable on targets with no diseases on them, but does extra damage if diseases are present.
  • Unbreakable Armor now absorbs a flat amount of damage that increases as your armor increases. It no longer boosts armor.
  • The Frost tree has been shuffled. Among other things, PvP talents such as Endless Winter are closer to the top of the tree where Blood and Unholy death knights can access them.
  • Sudden Doom – this talent now procs a Death Coil rather than requiring an additional button click. It works similarly to shamans’ Lightning Overload.
  • Magic Suppression and Blood of the North have been reduced to 3 ranks for the same benefit.
  • Blood Gorged now grants armor penetration instead of expertise

So what do they mean? well overall theese are all nice changes imo. There are some that completly sucks (especially for AoE tanking... what happened to pestilence??)
But for my favorite tree, blood, things are looking up. The change to sudden doom is very very nice, however this again supports the new diseaseless blood spam two buttons for max dps build that is growing evermore popular. And adding blood boil to help this build do even better aoe too??
Think that some of theese changes are beyond me. So the latest and hottest build is (as I assume most of you already know) that you do more damage as blood if you skip doing *any* disease and just Heart strike and obli (for the death runes). Im going to have to try this build -becuase the dps looks amazing, and I get to be blood again, but its with a heavy heart, since it indicates that Blizz has no idea what they are doing. Because why on earth would you want to have a class build around doing diseases, and then have one of their top dps builds based around *not* doing any diseases at all??

From EJ;
51/0/20 DiseaseFree!
Currently the scuttlebutt is axing diseases = profit/dps for a well geared Blood DK. Pros? Super super easy rotation. Very forgiving rotation and plenty of time for Death Coils. Cons? You need very nice gear to pull it off.
Take diseases off your bars and keep those Death Runes up!

onsdag den 4. februar 2009

I love tanking, just not as much on a Death knight

As mentioned in my introduction of my many toons, I have one Horde toon on a rp-pvp server. He is a druid, and he is feral. And boy did i love logging on to him, grabbing a couple of online friends and just tank away. Sure it wasn't endgame tanking. It was back in tbc -near the end, and all we did was heroics and Karazhan. I was usually the raidleader in Kara, because my main Alliance had done it a gazillion times, so i knew every part of it. But i had a blast.
I even have an SS of someone we picked up to OT telling me i was a God at it (talk about a confidence booster - we will get more into that later).

So I had a blast, and once Wrath hit, i rerolled Death knight. At first my goal with him was to tank. But -as it turned out- I was hardly the only one in our guild contemplating to switch around to tank. At a time on our raid-rooster-who-is-going-to-roll-what-forum-topic I believe we had 5 new raiders wanting to tank. And only one tank rolling another toon.
There was no way that would ever work out. And surely enough, once the organized Naxxramas 10 manned groups started forming, I was invited to join the almost same group of people I had first cleared Kara with -But only only only if I was okay with doing nothing but dps.

Maybe some clarification is in order here. I haven't been in that many guilds so i don't know how other guilds do, but we have 3 active 10 manned groups atm gearing up, and 3 times a week those 3 10 men groups combine into a 25 manned group killing the bigger stuff. That was how we did it in TBC, thats how we do it in Wrath. (in vanilla we had as many as 3 groups 40 manned in MC, i'm glad I was not in charge of invites or raid organization back then either.)

So i started raiding (poorly) as pure dps, and it was great!
I love Death knights, I'm smitten with their rotation and cooldown management. I was blood at first, and my very first raid our imba druid MT did more dps than me :)
But i still had a blast, and I slowly got the hang of it, and slowly I managed to build up a decent tanking set.

And now we get to the core of this post. Because once i felt like i had the set for it, I started doing heroics as a tank. And I did enjoy it, just not very much, and it got worse.
I tried on a heroic i'd never seen before as dps, as a tank. It was with guildies, people i knew well, and people who knew how to play. But everything just didnt go as planned.
All of a sudden the things I used to love about the Death knight playstyle in dps seemed to be working against me. The cooldowns where something I fought against, the mobs where all over the place and our paladin healer where having a nervous breakdown due to the amount of damage flying around. In the end we did clear it
And while we’re on the subject of Sjonnir the Ironshaper, I’d like to see a priest, shaman or druid pop a bubble after the rest of the group dies and finish the boss off themselves. I know a Paladin who did that, though. :)
...But only barely.

Since then i've gotten better, I've OT'ed and MT'ed naxx 10 (and one fight in naxx 25), ive tanked a succesfull clear of CoT speedrun for the dragon (thank you very much), and some other stuff. But I've never really found that looving feeeling of tanking that I had back in the day on my druid.
Now why is that then? Well i think there are a couple of things that hinders this. First off, the rotations are clumpy at best to get initial aggro on many mobs -ill get into that later- and secondly, show me an instance that is not based around gathering up as many mobs as possible and AoE'ing all down untill you get to a boss, and I'll show you a TBC instance.

What the hell happened there? Why on earth do every single instance depend on going AoE bananza?

Is this really all we need to learn in raids? How to aoe trash and then kill bosses?
Maybe it was a bit like that in TBC too, but on my bear it just seemed easier. Demo-roar+swipe and you where pretty much solid. (Its been a while since i last played, im sure theres other things, I just can't remember them).
Now dont get me wrong, I don't mind things beeing difficult, however, with Death knights things seem impossible, as the Death knight AoE has some inherent flaws imo.

Lets look at AoE rotations. This is from a frost tank specc view since unholy tanks are...well... Maybe thats my first mistake. Unholy tanks seems so, 'bleh' to me.
Anyways rotations on AoE.

Icy touch, Plague strike, Pestilence, Howling blast, then Blood boil.
- Notice how I do not mention Death and Decay? Well thats because if you add that, you cannot get the rest of this rotation up and running. That is flaw number one. Because you *do* want d&d up and running.
Flaw number two might be a little more tricky. It might be a little more subtle but its our biggest problem in tanking.

The above rotation looks pretty much the same as the rotation I use in my frost/unholy DW dps specc, when I AoE. Why? It's brilliant for killing lots of mobs without getting aggro. Because you slowly build up aggro on all of the mobs. Having to put IT and PS up on one target before Pestilencing the group for the perfect setup for HB and BB, is plenty of time for the tank to get all the aggro she needs.
The same reason this is so great is the same reason this is horrible when you are tanking, we need time to build up aggro. Who ever heard of a mage holding back AoE'ing untill the tank has aggro? The old "wait untill 5 sunders" days are loooong gone. Now a-days its: tank in, first hit on mobs, then gunz blazing and moving onwards. And it works great. If your tank is a paladin or a warrior or a druid. Just not so much if he is a Death Knight.

There is another reason why I am not an immidiate succes as a tank. And I think that has a lot to do about what type of player I am. I think in order to tank well, and lead a group or a raid, you have to be a bit... Well a bit of an arrogant arse.
Now I say this in the most loving way. But its still true. You need to be able to order other people around to "kill skull" "stay on him" "could I get a heal please" "stay on my target" and "we kill them in this order because I said so". I'm not very good at doing that... Ooookay Im very good at doing that, just not while im tanking. I prefer to have one of the dps mark and as a dps I prefer to mark, so the tank can worry about tanking.

DPS is not hard, tanking and healing is.

So when I say that they have to be an arrogant arse, its because 90% of players expect the tank to handle tanking and marking and leading at the same time, and you need to be a certain type of person to be able to say "hell yea ill do that, who else can?".
Now on my druid, I was able to do that. Id seen and killed Illidan at the time, id healed everything and i knew Kara like the palm of my hand. I'd even raidlead a bunch of alts in guild on my rogue so i knew the instance well. The people I played with while i tanked kara was on a new RP-pvp server, and hardly any of them had ever been past Moroes.
I was (and still am) elitist enough to say that I was a better and more experienced player than all of the other 9 players combined.
So it worked. It worked great. I was the allmighty leader, whom noone dared question. At least not about the instance and the bosses.

Skip forward to Wrath and my death knight, and all of a sudden that smug self-confidence of mine is gone. I think most of it is because im an off-specced tank. Tanking in a dps build (mostly) and in offgear that none of the 'real' tanks didnt want or need in Naxx. I just do not feel prepared. Especcially not when I have to mark and lead too.

So to sum up. DK tanks have a clumpy rotation, and to be a good tank you need to be selfconfident in tanking.
And that last part really just is not me. I think with experience and time ill get there, but im used to look at a wipe and wonder "was that my fault? If i had taken that extra mana pot and spammed target Y would we have made it?" And that way of thinking does not necessarily go well with beeing a tank.

Oh and please, stop with the AoE trash, please.

As a little p.s. id just like to add that I was a little concerned about posting this with only the one pic in it of somebody telling me how awsome i was :) I do have many SS of me dead, or trash killing the healer, but they arent just as fun ! And.. well... its my blog, and I like this one :)