Thursday, January 28, 2010


...thanks... for letting me know... O_o

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Off topic randomness

A mish-mash of random stuff I want to rant or otherwise comment on.

  • Work is ze crazies. Looking at a departmental reorganization which could mean any number of things for me and my coworkers, and there are too many ifs and maybes to be able to do anything but guess at what will come. I buried myself in my shaman this past weekend specifically to get my mind off the uncertainty. Fun times.
  • I built an elaborate cabinet thing this past week. It was one of those follow-instructions-with-labeled-parts constructions, with (mostly) pre-drilled holes, but it was fun. There's just something about building a physical creation with your own two hands that I think we sometimes miss when we spending so much time on computers. I'm now eyeing the space around my computer and plotting building storage space around it. It doesn't help that I've started following the Ikea Hacker blog. I want room to store (in a more organized fashion) all of the CDs, books, toys, and trinkets that otherwise clutter my (old dining table) desk.
  • Speaking of the Ikea Hacker blog, this amazing hamster home is making me want to get another small furry rodent of my own. I used to keep rats while in college, and hamsters/gerbils while a teenager: I enjoyed building custom cages for them, though I still owe my Mom a wool coat from when my gerbils escaped one of my early attempts. The short life-spans were devastating to me, however, especially for the rats as they are so social (I miss my little girls), and my husband has forbidden that I get any more pets with a 2-3 yr or less life expectancy. He has enthusiastically agreed that we will get a dog (Malamute or mix) when we move out of our current no-dogs-allowed rental house, though!
  • If you liked Spaceballs and play D&D, you need to see this movie: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. It is freaking hilarious. I have also played with each of those gamer stereotypes. I completely lost it when the sorceress raised their dinner from the dead... and it killed the bard. A must-watch movie.

  • Speaking of roleplay games, here be a raccoon. With tupperware. She's a pen-and-paper roleplay character of mine ;) My GM is awesome and has let me play some very unusual characters, including a drow-werewolf ranger, wolf monk, and an axe-wielding earth mage of a geology grad student (she had a Jeep, too).

  • "Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez Wednesday accused the United States of causing the destruction in Haiti by testing a 'tectonic weapon' to induce the catastrophic earthquake that hit the country last week." Wait, what? Okay, this is reminding me of a witch hunt: some group isn't either as affluent or well-off as another group/individual (or deserving of attention), and thus decides they must be either pacted with the devil (which has also been accused in the case of this earthquake) or otherwise they're involved in some horrible evil ulterior motive plot. The world is just plain weird. Nevermind thinking that an atmospheric research project dealing with the ionosphere (far upper atmosphere) would result in deliberate tectonic reactions. That's like blaming a resto druid for pulling aggro with a Berserked Mangle.
  • I plan to begin work on some large, false "stained glass" windows this weekend, using tissue paper and contact paper. Trying to decide what to do for the joints between the "panes," maybe use black paint since it'd be thicker than the ink from a sharpie. They'll ultimately be used as atmosphere for a summer camp I'm co-directing (thus they need to be easily portable and removable, hence the materials). I'll be dog-sitting for a friend at the same time; this'll be interesting!
  • I'm halfway through a 3lb. box of Russell Stover Bloopers. Thank goodness for a high metabolism.

That is all. For now. ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Edit: my Blood Queen Strat can be found here. Take that, Miss Crazy Vampire Lady!


Blood Queen has been very difficult for us. We weren't on our game on Wednesday, and put a halt to our attempts to give it a fresh go on Sunday, and our last attempt of the night was a sudden wipe with Blood Queen enraging and slaughtering us all at 0.8% health.

For us, as a ten-strict guild with limited gear upgrade access and fewer badges available (not to mention having to rotate players in a single instance limiting badges further per player), the enrage timer is our greatest foe. We can overcome and adapt to the mechanics, staying out of swarms and spreading out a bit while still staying in range of each other for aoe heals, but that enrage timer is killing us. What's further frustrating is that we (maybe) would've gotten the kill last night on that last attempt had a certain pair of players not been pacted (due to placement, melee and ranged), or they not decided to meet right on top of the resto druid (>.>) and kill her with the pact aura + damage splash, or that tree had decided to sacrifice her nourish cast (swiftmend/NS on cooldown) and moved away through the maze of other players, or the feral not decided to sacrifice that little bit of dps time to res her. And it still would've been close.

On the flip side, we get Festergut with a minute or more left on his enrage timer.

Is it the three-heals? I don't think it can be done currently with just two, especially with our lower health pools compared to those with 25-man gear. Is it the number of melee? Is it that we had no priest and had to use fortitude scrolls? Was it just poor luck on who got shadow swarm and lost dps time? Was it a hiccup in the bite rotations, or bite timers coinciding with (still unreliably timed) P2 phases? Is it bloodlust timing?

Was it all of these?

Either way, Blood Queen has earned Vortex's wrath, and to see the silver lining, it will be all the sweeter when we finally topple her (and I turn her into a stick figure).


On an unrelated note, I went on an insane leveling spree on my poor shaman alt (who is as old as the Turalyon server itself), taking her from 43 to 73 in the past weekend (Thurs - Sun, plus some time on Thursday of the previous week). The dust is blown off and poor Stardance has seen the light of day. I've slowed up her leveling to pull my husband's old pally along with her through the quests of Northrend :)

I'll also be buying the non-set badge chest tonight. Yay.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blood Council: no caster tank?

Don't have time at the moment to write up a full strat-thingy, but I did want to alert others to something that worked very well for my guild last night.

Most strats for the Blood Council suggest using a caster tank on Prince Keleseth. We tried this out with our warlock for many attempts, using three healers (one assigned to each tank), with me as the mobile resto druid chasing our noble warlock all over the room as he tanked Keleseth and attempted to round up the shadow orbs. Most of our wipes were from him dieing: it was very difficult to keep him topped off all the time even with his 29k health, and sometimes he'd just get one-shot.

It was suggested that we try having someone with a higher health pool tank the prince, and see if we can handle having 3 melee tanks.

So it was that our feral druid with 55k health in bear stepped up to the plate to tank Keleseth, and within two attempts, the Council was down. Caster tank? Didn't work for us. Bear tank instead? I chased Mr. Scythe-bear up and down and all over the room, him calling out to me when he was going up on the platform or having to go really far so I could anticipate and chase after him through a maze of fellow raiders (gotta stay spread out), fireballs, sparks, and mess. And it worked. He took some big hits, but with that health pool and his survival instincts/barkskin, he was able to stay alive.

Edit: looks like the bear-strat worked out for Virile at Rejuvo, too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ICC10: Putricide

Putricide is the wing-boss for the Plagueworks in ICC. He is a combination of dps-race, environmental awareness, vehicle (for one player), and healing-intensive fight.

Video of the Hardmode at the bottom; used a slightly altered strat.

Raid Makeup:
  • 2x tanks
  • 2-3x healers (we used 3 for first kill)
  • 5-6 DPS
This is not a very melee-friendly fight. The more ranged dps you can bring, the better.

The Pull:

For the first two phases, you will only be using 1 tank. Your second tank will turn into a (friendly) abomination by drinking a potion from the table behind the boss as the raid pulls, and will spend most of the fight in this form.

DO NOT cleanse your abomination tank; this will remove their abomination shapeshift. It will appear as a debuff, but do not cleanse them!!

P1 and P2 of the fight (up until Putricide reaches 35%) will be spent with the raid swapping back and forth from one side of the room to the other, staying on the side farthest from where the next ooze add will spawn. For this reason we found it easiest to pull on the left-hand side of the room, since the first ooze add spawn will always be the green ooze on the right-hand side.

Things to avoid:

P1-P2-P3: Slime Puddles: straight-forward green puddles of pain. These are thrown out periodically (two at a time) at random players. Do not stand in them unless you're the abomination. They steadily grow larger; the abomination will be eating these puddles (yummy) to make them go away and power the abom's own attacks. Aboms: you can only eat slime that you're standing on; you will have to reposition yourself closer to the center of a large puddle as you eat it away.

P2-P3: "Flasks:" these orange gas-bombs are placed in melee range, 2 at a time, and will explode 20 seconds after they are placed down. They look like flasks on the ground radiating an orange-brown mist. The flasks themselves have a damaging, hit reduction aura before exploding; the explosions will hurt anyone caught in them. When you see these go down, kite the boss to the other side of the tables, away from the flasks, and stay away from them. The explosion does a hefty chunk of damage and reduces your +hit by 75% for 20 seconds, so these NEED to be avoided.

MELEE: Putricide's hitbox is very large; be sure to make use of this large hitbox when staying out of slime and flask-gas. You can refer to melee combat pets' attack spacing to get an idea of what the melee hitbox is.

P2-P3: Malleable Goo: a glob of green jello-like substance is hurled through the air at a random player, bouncing along until it reaches where it target had been standing, where it will then explode much like the gas-bomb-flasks. Does a hefty chunk of damage and doubles your casting times for 20 seconds, so these NEED to be avoided. If you see one flying through the air, call it out in warning so all the ranged can move away.


These are a key ingredient to phase 1 and 2. Oozes spawn one at a time, green on the right and orange-brown on the left; they must be destroyed as quickly as possible. You will want to be on the far side of the room from wherever an ooze spawns, to give maximum distance it must travel before it reaches whoever it decides to target. Oozes will not target the MT or the abomination. Once the ooze is dead, dps can return to killing Putricide.

Green ooze:
  • Spawns on the right-hand side of the room, and is the first ooze to spawn.
  • Roots and debuffs one player, dealing heavy damage via a DoT
  • Explodes on the player if they reach them, then switches to a new target.
  • Explosion damage is split among nearby players, so less dangerous if shared by more people.
Once a green ooze spawns, the abomination can use regurgitated ooze to slow it, while all ranged dps should switch to attacking it. Once it has selected a target, the melee can run in and start dps as well; avoid running over before it has selected a target, or it may choose one of the nearer melee. The rooted target can still cast spells and attacks; they just are unable to move from their spot.

When the green ooze nears its target (assuming it does not die before it reaches this point), the dps and healers should GROUP UP on that target to share the explosion, preventing anyone from dieing from the blast. The pile of players will be knocked back, and then the ooze will choose a new target: being dpsing it again immediately, and repeat should it reach that target, as well.

Avoid grouping together too soon, or your rooted player may end up stuck under a double-pool of slime along with the rest of the raid, and players will very likely die under the combined damage.

Once the green ooze is dead, the ranged all need to move to the right-hand side of the room while dpsing Putricide.

Orange-Brown Ooze:

  • Spawns on the left-hand side of the room.
  • Does not root its target.
  • Stacks a gaseous bloat debuff on its target that slowly ticks down from 10 to 0.
  • If it reaches the target, deals damage to the raid (not split) based on the number of bloat stacks.
  • Switches to a new target if the bloat stacks reach 0.
It's technically called a gas cloud, but it certainly looks like an ooze! This is one that must be kited by its targeted player around the room until it is killed. If the player's gaseous bloat is near to dropping off, call it out and have all melee dps retreat a safe distance away, since the ooze will target a new player once the debuff wears off.

Again, the abomination can cast regurgitated ooze on it to slow it down. The raid does not need to group up on the player being targeted by this one; just dps and heal away while the targeted player flees. Once the orange-brown ooze is dead, the ranged all need to move back to the left-hand side of the room while dpsing Putricide.

Resto druids: as Keeva pointed out, aboms do proc energy returns off of Revitalize. Keep a rejuv running on them as much as possible (assuming you have the talent).


At 80% and at 35%, Putricide will stun the entire raid while he goes to the table to buff himself. Phase 2 begins at 80% and introduces the Gas Bomb Flasks and Malleable Goo into the fight; Phase 3 puts a halt to the ooze spawns and starts the true "burn him quick!" phase with necessary tank swaps.

When you approach the 38% mark, halt all dps and dots on Putricide, because transitioning while a slime is up will cut uncomfortably into your dps time on Putricide. Wait until you have JUST killed a slime before pushing Putricide over the 35% transition mark! It will make your phase 3 much smoother if you do not have an ooze add to worry about killing at the same time.

Phase 3:

Your abomination will need to shift out to his usual tank form for this phase, meaning that the slime puddles on the floor will eventually overtake the room. Putricide has increased his own attack speed and damage by 50% compared to previous phases, and will be stacking a debuff on the tank that causes increasing raid-wide damage as it stacks higher and higher. Unfortunately, it also heals Putricide once the stacks drop off of a tank.

We had our tanks swap at 2 stacks.

This phase is all about burning him down as fast as possible before the slime puddles leave you with nowhere to go. He will continue to toss:
  • slime puddles
  • gas bomb flasks
  • malleable goo
...which must be avoided. Try to stay somewhat near each other to aid in AoE healing, and don't get cornered! The tanks should slowly kite Putricide around the room to avoid flasks and slime puddles, moving from clear space to (semi) clear space as they can. Always be looking for your next escape route through the growing slime!

Good luck :)


Captured on hardmode by our holy priest, Kuchki.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Healer Awareness: Working with your Tank

I've healed, and I've tanked. I tank less often than I heal these days, but that's just a factor of what role my guild needed me in when entering the expansion. I love my tanks. I know a good tank when I see one in a pug. I also try my best to work with them to make their jobs easier, because there's more to healing than casting spells at health bars.

1. Stay behind the tank.
If you are unfamiliar with the instance and might aggro something, stay behind the tank rather than running ahead. I think Ram wanted to kill me after I bounced ahead up the road in my first PoS run and was suddenly in combat with mobs that I thought would've had a longer aggro range; don't run ahead of the tank unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing. If you do aggro a new pack of mobs, that's your own fault. As a note for pugs, be wary of DPS that look like your party's tank as they might run ahead, aggro a pack, and then dump aggro on you as you start healing.

2. If you have aggro on a melee mob, run to the tank.
Don't run away from the tank. They are, for the most part, melee characters with a limited range on their taunts, and they're working at the same time to maintain aggro on the dps targets. Do your best to avoid cleaves or breath attacks from other mobs when doing so.

3. If you have aggro on a caster mob, try to LoS it to the tank.
LoS (Line of Sight) is your friend; use it to hide from caster mobs that are trying to shove fire balls up your robe. Preferably have the LoS bring the caster past or near the tank, so that they can more easily pick it up as it runs.

4. If the tank is using LoS to pull, you need to LoS, too.
Stand with or slightly behind the tank. Any heals (hots) that occur while the mobs are running over will establish aggro on yourself before the tank has had a chance to hit most or all of the mobs, so you need to be proactive in helping to bring those mobs to the tank via LoS.

5. Don't stand in cleaves or fire novas or breaths or similar tank-only effects.
That's not aggro. That's standing in bad stuff. Don't do it. Reposition yourself so that you are not in the cleave/breath/whatever. If your tank is going crazy and dragging stuff all over the place having it cleave or breath on the dps, then smack them upside the head. If you are moving yourself and jumping into the cleaves, that's your own fault.

6. Remind them to hold up if you really need to drink before a pull.
Something as simple as "OoM" or "Mana" in party chat should be enough to halt a tank in their tracks. If there is lots of party-chat discussion, you may need to add emphasis to make sure it's not lost in the scroll of chatter.

7. You will have aggro on anything the tank hasn't been able to touch.
Healing aggro is not a problem on mobs that a tank is able to work on (melee range), but during an initial pull of mobs, you will very likely get aggro on something. The "initial aggro" generated by the player who initiates combat with mobs is not very much, and healing will overtake that threat quickly. This includes situations as, listed above, need to be LoS-pulled. This also includes mobs that some dps happened to get too close to, and the tank may not be aware that they've been aggroed. Run any aggro to your tank, or position yourself so that they will cross the tank as they are running to you; if your tank is at all attentive, they will rescue you.

8. (Druids:) Innervate your Prot Pally.
If they're OoM (or near to it) and your mana is fine, innervating a prot pally tank is a great way to reduce downtime during chain-pulls or, if extra stuff is pulled before they can drink, to make sure they can hold aggro against everything. An OoM pally-tank can't keep aggro against high dps, and your innervate will overflow their mana pool!

9. If you had a great tank, thank them.
Sometimes I get thanked as a healer for what I thought was a light job. I smile and say, "My job was easy... x was a good tank" (or something to that effect). Sometimes I have an insane job, and I get thanked, and I know that the tank should be thanked, too: such as when I ran a heroic HoL with a prot pally who had 25k health, and we accidentally pulled the first boss (while charged) and an entire pack of trash at the same time. The tank was very low in gear level, but he picked it all up before it could kill me and used his cooldowns to stay alive while I poured heals on him and the group. I knew it wasn't all me: that tank was a great tank in spite of his gear, and our dps was wise enough to let him build aggro. It was the best pug group I've ever been in, and we had no deaths through the whole run. I made sure that tank knew I appreciated it, too. Tanks don't get thanked enough.

10. Communicate with your Tank.
Tielyn commented with this great addition.
"Communicate with your tank. Warn them if your gear is a little light. Or tell them they can go all out. There is nothing worse than landing in a random PuG with a tank that says, "I'm a gonna chainpull, kk?" That is your one chance to speak up and tell 'em 'No, I don't think I can handle it.' If you don't, it really IS your fault.

If they insist on pulling when there's no LOS to you, however, it's probably their fault.

Conversely, when I tank, I look at my healer. And I ask him or her, 'I see you've got 22K mana and what looks like mostly T9 gear. We good to speedrun this puppy?'"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Don't Stand in Bad Stuff

For Meka. :)

Rotface Ooze Fix

I updated my Rotface guide, but wanted to alert others what the "big oozes will now merge correctly" hotfix meant:

The Big Oozes will now merge to combine stacks, not cancel each other out. This means they will merge into one big ooze that's closer to exploding--or will explode immediately.

They acted in this manner originally on the PTR. When the wing was released last week, something bugged that caused both oozes to disappear when they merged together (something that many of the new, live-server kill-videos include), which enabled some guilds to quickly earn the achievement for having no big ooze explosions during their kill if they discovered it quickly enough and made use of the bug. They now merge the same as they did on the PTR, and though my guild did work last night to try to earn the achievement and got as low as 14% before one exploded, general consensus is that it will take much higher dps/gear before we'll manage it.

On a related note, if you want to get the Flu-Shot Shortage achievement on Festergut, I highly recommend everyone in the raid getting exactly 2 stacks of the inoculation, especially if you aren't a player with insanely high tank-level health. We had many of our raiders one-shot by the exhale when they only had one stack of inoculation. It will take a lot of coordination around spores to ensure that everyone gets exactly two of the 3 inoculations, especially if you're running two healers and they can't really move because they're sitting there spamming heals at a spiking tank, but it is definitely possible in current ten-strict gear.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to Piss Off Your Healer

A list of things that anyone can do to feel the wrath of a healer burning through their computer screen!!
  • Don't pick up aggro on mobs. Let them beat on the healer, instead! Even better when it's a large, angry melee mob. Ignore any screams for help. It may teach them a lesson about aggro management, and they'll learn to watch threat meters better.
  • Pull while your healer is out of mana (OoM). After all, managing mana is an important part of being a good healer; the rest of the group has plenty of health to keep going, so the healer should have the mana to continue, as well.
  • Blame your healer for every death. If only they would heal better, the group could survive ANYTHING. Even void zones and frogger.
  • Belittle, bash, or otherwise make snide remarks about anything the healer says or does. Do the same to every other player present. It will show them how much better you are than the rest of the party, and why they should prioritize healing you over anyone else.
  • Stand in fire, cleaves, and poison. Busy healers are happy healers.
  • Comment on how low their damage is. Make sure they understand that you're being quite serious. It will help them strive to become better players.
  • Call out immediately and dramatically for healing, resses, and cleanses on yourself, especially if you aren't the raid leader. This will help guide the blind healers towards you, or the ones that don't have any kind of health bars on their screens.
  • If you ever make a mistake, never admit to it or apologize for it. To show weakness would frighten your healers, lowering their spirit, which might hurt their mana regeneration and healing power.
  • When any wipe occurs (make sure you blame the healer for it, of course), do not release to the graveyard. It is the healer's sworn duty to run back, drink, and then resurrect you. It is repentance for their failure at keeping the group alive, while you go afk for a refreshing coke.
  • Always remember that any female gamer is only good in that role: healing. They are happy in that role, and none of them have any interest whatsoever in trying to dps or tank. If any of them try to break the mold, argue fervently with them and make comments regarding the kitchen (make sure they understand that you are being serious). Of course, this is all theoretically speaking, as female gamers don't exist.
  • When low on health, run away from the healer or use line-of-sight to prevent them from being able to reach you. It makes things much more fun for them, especially in a large combat situation when you are instants from death. If you die, blame them.
  • If your healer is well-geared, it will make up for any lack of gear, experience, and skill the rest of the group may have, and will allow the group to charge forth and aggro all of the trash in the instance at once that they can find. That healer will be perfectly capable of keeping the tank up through one-shots and/or the healer having aggro on most of it. If the group does die, clearly it is still the healer's fault, and you should point this out to them repeatedly before trying again.
  • When tanking a large group of cleaving mobs, make sure you bring them over to stand next to your healer. The cleave damage the healer takes will remind them that they need to heal extra-hard. If they die, of course, they were not healing hard enough. This also applies to conal breath attacks, damage auras, and tail whips.
  • If any healer gets mad at you, ask if they are on their period.

The creators are not responsible for users of this guide being added to ignore lists, vote-kicked, booted from raids and guilds, ignored for resses, or possibly having post-it-notes taped over their health bars on a healer's computer screen combined with a muting in Ventrilo or other chat programs.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shared Topic: Looking Back on WotLK's Beginning

Wrath has brought quite a few "changes" in my WoW-life. The release brought my interest back to WoW from its stagnation following a TBC burnout (guild schism), and the birth of what I love to do now: 10-strict raiding.


A new map, with zones that were more interesting than the wastelands that are most of Outlands. Flyable. With snow and dragons and towering peaks and deep canyons and pirates and penguins and orcas and turkeys!

I was also excited to hear there were two starting zones, to help spread out the initial leveling-spree rush; I had hit TBC on a pvp server, and have very bad memories of trying to level through that orange wasteland while at the same time fighting off the onslaught of horde as we waited for quest mobs to repop in the vague corners of the map that our logs told us to look, and growling at our fellow alliance in competition for the spawns. I spent a very long time in Dragonblight exploring every niche I could find, and the Wyrmrest tower is one of my favorite scenic screenshots. If there was competition for a quest mob outside the first couple quests at the tiny landing in Howling Fjord, I simply moved to the next quest and came back to it later!

Quests and Achievements:

My friends and I had a blast chugging away at the quests. It was addictive; I didn't want to stop exploring the world. Since my husband was re-rolling a deathknight and had a lot of TBC levels to catch up through, I grabbed my feral buddy Celeritas for most group quests, acting as his pocket-healer while we leveled. I remember watching the highest levels race towards 80 via my friends list and /who, and then that final realm-wide ding of achievement coming across my chat window as Bazz, GM of Fusion, reached it. I remember laughing as people spammed general chat to buy ore at astronomical prices as they clawed their way up for realm-first professions achievements. I didn't play 24/7 to make any realm firsts, myself, but it was quite fun to watch others strive for them and share in their excitement.


I had never gotten a chance to complete the original Naxx40 raid instance due to being in a casual-raiding guild back in Vanilla. The idea of finally being able to "complete" that storyline and content was compelling: facing down Kel'Thuzad, seeing the animation of Sapphiron for myself, sweeping through each of the expansive wings to smite down the evil blight. Maybe even get that cool candelabra staff that I envied way back when at 60. I never did pick up that staff for myself since I had better weapons by the time it dropped, but it was still something that piqued my interest back when WotLK was released.

The Birth of Vortex:

We (myself, my husband, and a group of friends) weren't interested in raiding in a 25-man guild anymore. We transferred off of Arygos before the release of WotLK and formed ourselves as a small guild, Vortex, with a mind for trying our hand at ten-strict raiding. As a group of players and leaders burnt-out from trying to herd the cats that are in every 25-man guild that would rather claw at each other rather than at the bosses, we didn't want to consider leading or running in 25s anymore. We laid out the ground rules, leveled together, decided what we wanted to aim for, and shot for it, recruiting like-minded players as we went. We had to underman most of Naxxramas due to conflicts with schedules or a lack of players, easily netting us the 8-man achievement for it early on. We've had to fight against a pre-conception that all ten-man raiders are casuals who don't know how to play. We've enjoyed being the underdogs. We've been quite happy with ourselves, even as the expansion is drawing to a finale, and can confidently say that the creation of ten-strict raiding is a success.


WotLK brought me into blogging. I had old friends in old guilds contact me asking for a healing guide I had posted for them in previous expansions, and I knew my TBC one needed to be updated. I figured I'd share it publicly, along with instructions for macros and addons. I figured it'd be easier than having to repost things hidden away on guild forums that I no longer had access to, or felt awkward revisiting. I discovered the wealth of information among druid bloggers, and realized I'd have fun contributing to the chaos, too. :) Blogging has kept me on my toes, and made me question mechanics more deeply than I ever had before. It's introduced me to other bloggers, at first just druids, then other classes, which has expanded the number of tips and tricks I've been able to pick up for my own guild.

It's brought me warm fuzzies in knowing that I have helped others, while at the same time has helped me and my guild by getting tips and tricks from readers!


I am looking forward to the wrap-up of this expansion with the same excitement that lead me into it. I know I will be able to see the end of the expansion's content without having to put up with the factionistic guild drama of the 25s I was in back in TBC. I look forward to leveling a new race as an alt (worgen hunter tagged!), while taking my druid to the skies of old Azeroth and seeing the changes wrought upon the landscape.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Comic: ICC Marrowgar

Because Marrowgar ees complicated.

The entry boss to ToC was 3 separate beast spawns each with their own crazy abilities and strats. Marrowgar may have 4 heads and look cool, but he's a relative pushover. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ICC10: Rotface

Where Festergut is more about raw dps, Rotface is all about add control and survival. Everyone in the raid should focus more on handling adds and staying alive than anything else.

  • 1 Main Tank
  • 1 Kiter (preferably with taunt and ranged attacks)
  • 2-3 healers
  • 5-6 DPS; useful if one is a hunter for ranged misdirect
  • at least one person capable of dispelling disease
A lot of this fight is on the ooze kiter's shoulders. They must kite some very finicky oozes around the room through a mine-field of slime pools without being in melee range of them, and it is these oozes that will most likely cause a raid's wipes. It is recommended that the ooze-kiter be a DK or Pally, since they have a larger selection of ranged abilities; a warrior or druid tank will likely need lots of assistance from misdirects. A hunter (ranged misdirect) will be extremely useful in this fight to ensure that a tank with weaker ranged abilities--such as a warrior or bear--will maintain higher threat than the healers.

Oozes spawn when a player's Mutated Infection disease debuff wears off or is dispelled. They initially spawn as little oozes.

Little oozes:
  • Are immune to taunt.
  • Have a ton of threat against their host (pulling aggro off is pretty much unlikely). This threat is there regardless of whether the disease was dispelled or allowed to tick itself out.
  • Have a (relatively) light damage aura.
  • Occasionally throw painful, evil slime puddles at people that you want to avoid ever standing in.
  • Are supposed to want to go merge with another nearby ooze, but sometimes they just want to beat on you instead for a while.


Whether your raid chooses to dispel the disease debuff immediately or wait until the player is out of the raid before dispelling is up to your raid, but I recommend dispelling it immediately.

Before it is dispelled, the debuff has a significant DoT damage on the target while also reducing healing received by 50%, and quite often this player will be caught in slime floods, slime sprays, and other oozes' damage auras. The AoE damage each ooze causes to the raid when the debuff is dispelled is significantly easier to heal through than the debuff itself. It can also make ooze merges happen more quickly as the player is then running to the big ooze with a little ooze already in tow, rather than needing to stop and wait for it to be dispelled.

It is highly suggested that, if your raid wants to control when the infection is dispelled, your priests avoid using abolish disease due to it lasting as a cleansing buff on the target that could dispel a successive disease when you aren't ready for it.

The first player to get an infection in the fight should move to the side of the room and tank their little ooze themselves until a second person gets an infection. The second person will move over to join the first, and they'll coax their oozes to merge together into one big ooze, while at the same time trying to be move away from that big ooze before it slaughters one of the two of them and the tank tries to pick it up.

NOTE: Mages should avoid using mirror images on this fight. Recently there has been a bug where mirror images will cause little oozes to choose a different player--such as your main tank--to aggro themselves on, making it very difficult to merge them with the big ooze or just generally confusing your raid.

Anyone with a new little ooze should move it out of the raid immediately and coax it to merge with the big ooze:

Big oozes:
  • Are tauntable.
  • Have a normal threat table: they go after the healers first.
  • Do about 45-50k damage in a single hit to a non-tank.
  • Kiter should avoid ever being hit by them, too.
  • Should be kited around the outer edge of the room while the kiter avoids melee contact.
  • Are immune to concussion-shot/mind-flay's slowing effects.
  • Get bigger and angrier each time they get another small ooze added to them.
  • Explode when they contain 6 little oozes; this drops more slime puddles on random players.
  • Combine stacks when they merge with other big oozes.


Any two little oozes can merge to form a big ooze: be aware of this when there are multiple little oozes running around the raid, because any newly formed big ooze will have a normal threat table and gun down your highest-threat healer immediately. Avoid letting them merge near healers, and pick them up before they kill someone. I highly suggest having a hunter misdirect a newly formed big ooze onto the offtank.

The kiter should pull these big oozes around the outer wall of the room, avoiding slime sprays and slime pools as much as possible. The kiter will need to watch EVERYTHING going on involving who has a new little ooze and where the oozes are, while avoiding getting ever hit by one of the big oozes, while also making sure they don't loose threat to the healers. They will probably be one of the most vocal people in the raid as they give out instructions regarding new merges, misdirects, loss of aggro, changes in expected kite path, additional damage they may need heals for (slime floods), and when to expect an explosion!

Big oozes are destroyed one of two ways:
  • By containing 6 little oozes, the ooze will then explode, sending a deadly rain of globs rocketing through the air at the raid like a missile strike. When the ooze explodes, it does an emote, and the entire raid should relocate themselves to a spot away from where anyone else had previously stood: moving towards the far wall is a good option. Do not return until the globs have landed, as they do take time to cruise through the air.
  • By merging big oozes with each other. When it was first released on live, it resulted in the oozes simply canceling each other out, which is how many early achievements were earned. Within the first week, the oozes had been fixed to "merge correctly," instead combining their stacks as they merge into one single big ooze. These will still explode when they reach maximum capacity.

Around the oozes, you have to deal with these other things:
  • Putricide slime-flooding 1/4 of the circular room with a relatively mild poison slime (you can run through it if necessary, but avoid doing so as much as possible, especially if you are not the kiter). If you are not the kiter, avoid standing in it; if you are trying to merge a little ooze with an ooze that is currently in a flood, wait for the flood to dissipate or for the ooze to reach the edge of the flood. The flood does not reach the center of the room.
  • Every ooze has its own general damage aura hurting everyone around them.
  • VERY BAD slime puddles cast by the oozes at particular people; you want to always avoid touching them because they hurt a lot more than the room flood. They hurt more because they slow you more, and their damage/slow effect extends 6 yards out from their graphic. Avoid them, they are death traps.
  • Rotface himself will periodically spin towards someone and cast a slime spray aoe. Anyone in the line of fire should move away; the spray reaches all the way to the far wall. Sometimes it will face people who are trying to merge oozes along the wall. It's a pain. Most of the raid should cluster up on Rotface himself, and while they are damaging him, watch where he's facing and move out of the way when he casts the spray in your direction. Your raid may find it helpful to have a single dps dedicated purely to calling out that slime spray is about to be cast.

It can be two-healed, though if you're having trouble, you can try three. Assign one healer to the MT and one healer to infections/ooze tanks, as their primary heal targets. A resto druid will work best on the ooze tanks due to being able to move while casting many of their HoTs and being able to put HoTs on the players to counteract the ticking damage auras, and swiftmend for unexpected chunks. Of course, both healers will need to cross-heal and keep up the entire raid for incidental damage as much as possible, and cover for each other when one of them gets infection themselves.


Once Rotface reaches 30% health, the infections will start coming faster and faster. Bloodlust/major cooldowns should be saved for after 30%. There will then be more people with infections running around and, once dispelled, there will be many more oozes running around, which can easily form new big oozes inside the raid. Healers should be especially alert of new big oozes forming near them, and moving away from them, becoming kiters themselves until they are picked up. The raid will be taking significantly more damage from all of the oozes' auras, but it is still easier to heal a cleansed raid with no healing-reduction debuffs and a lot of oozes than one with a ton of infections. The original live release of this boss used the 25-man spawn timer on infections, something that has since been corrected. It should now be easier. Just avoid panicking, keep your heads, and survive!

This is the point in time where a raid is most likely to merge big oozes together to cancel each other out, if they aren't already trying for the achievement.

Burn through this last 30% as quickly as possible; if your raid's cleanser dies, be sure a new cleanser picks up the job.

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ICC10: Festergut

I was pleasantly surprised with Plagueworks last night. The trash pulls unleashed my inner feral (which started clawing at me as though I were her mobile scratching post), a giant undead doggie named Precious wiped my raid with a misguided fear that she'd consume the zombies like Gluth (she doesn't, just burn down the dogs as fast as possible!), and my buddies were being transformed into oozes around me.


He's on the left side of the wing, and is the "gas" boss. I'd initially expected a raid-healing-heavy fight, but found instead that most of my healing was pouring into the tank. We used two healers, and spread our ranged dps out across about 1/3 of the room (about 4 players, at least 10 yards spaced from each other) and congregated our 2 tanks, 2 healers, and 2 melee on top of Festergut himself to share AoE heals and spores.

The tanks need to swap the boss between each other at 7-9 stacks of the gastric bloat debuff; the previous tank must stop attacking altogether, as the debuff also increases their own threat via damage, and they might pull aggro back if they keep attacking. Do NOT let this stack reach 10, or you will effectively wipe the raid as your tank explodes.

As a note, due to the intense damage laid on the tank when he gets to three inhales, it has generally been found that any warrior tanks should pull first and tank through the 1st/2nd inhales, allowing a swap to a different tank before the third inhale's heavy damage comes in. Prot pallies or feral druids are a better suggestion for soaking the heavy damage that comes in with the third inhale. The timing of debuff stacks should allow you to swap tanks before the third inhale.

To quote our paladin,
"Prot Pallies are better for the third inhale simply due to Ardent Defender which allows for Damage Redux < 30% and the life save effect on death (Ala Guardian Spirit) which we have used before as a cooldown. (Big Bang on Algalon). Feral Druids are good because they have so much dang health esp with survival instincts up. Very difficult to two shot them between heals."

The spores are visible, graphically, like those from Loatheb, but they attach to their target rather than free-float, so the spored players can move to better position themselves to share the shadow-resistance inoculation the spores will grant everyone in range. Two will spawn in the ten-man version of the raid:
  • have one of these move to the melee (if not there already),
  • the ranged dps will collapse themselves on top of the other, out in the ranged field (have a spore run over if not there already).
Everyone in the raid should try to get at least one of these inoculations by grouping up on the spores before they explode (more inoculations=more shadow resist). We saw a few issues with players not getting the spore buff despite being in range; we think there may be a limit to the number of players each spore can inoculate, but are uncertain. Regardless, 2 inoculations should be sufficient to survive the shadow explosion to come (in fact, having no one get more than 2 is the achievement), though players can get 3-4 before it happens. There is a relatively minor DoT damage associated with the spore and debuff, but the act of grouping together allows for AoE heals to easily negate this.

After the spore explodes, spread back out to your places.

Periodically, Festergut will inhale gas from the room to buff his damage and attack speed against the tank (and he will be hitting HARD, particularly after 3 inhales!). Healers and tanks will need to be quick with their cooldowns to ensure the tank's survival as the boss grows in power, using cooldowns as available at 2 and 3 inhales. Resto druids, make use of your Nourish and keep full HoTs rolling.

After three inhales, he will "exhale" in a massive shadow attack against everyone in the room: the reason for the inoculations. An un-inoculated player will be one-shot; the more inoculations on a player, the less damage they will take.

After the raid-wide shadow breath, all of the gas in the room will reset, along with Festergut's damage/speed buff and the inoculations. Rinse and repeat.

Most of the healing will be directed to the tank. Each fresh addition to the tank's gastric bloat stack causes about 10k damage, and each time Festergut inhales he increases his damage and attack speed by 30%, so the tank will be your most-spammed heal target.

If you stand with the melee, you should be able to reach all of the ranged dps and avoid getting hit by the disorient-attack he throws at ranged players. A ranged player will periodically be hit by the vile gas (which splashes, which is why they spread out), and they'll take a bit of damage and become "disoriented" momentarily. It's not difficult to keep the non-tanks up, especially with HoTs.

With a 5-minute enrage timer, you will need to have high dps in the raid; burn him down as quickly as possible while making sure you swap tanks and get inoculated with shadow-resist from the spores. I am not sure if there is a minimum number of people required to be at ranged in order to avoid having the vile gas (aoe on target + disorient) be targeted into the melee, but if there is, I am guessing it will be 3 players akin to General Vexaz in Ulduar. As a note from Sunkist of Barkskinning Up the Wrong Tree, the 25-man version requires 8 people to be at ranged.

Have fun :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oculus, you Slay me...

(Contains: many, many rants, and a new carrot Blizz is tossing out to appease the masses)

...literally. Can we have a mechanic change on the giant drakes that, when some party member is wandering around while mounted and the rest of the group is forging ahead on foot killing trash, that any drakes said slow, wandering, lost mounted party member decides to aggro DON'T all rush the healer and slaughter her into a branchy mess of broken twigs?

/boots fury warrior off the side of the ledge

I have a guildie who was cursed with getting Oculus as his random every day for about 4-5 days. As a dps with the long queue times, he didn't have much choice but to forge ahead with it each time. All too often, tanks or healers with faster queue times will simply drop group, leaving the rest of the party waiting for another 10-20 minutes for a new tank or healer to join who doesn't immediately run screaming from the party, themselves.

For each PuG Oculus, there is a very high likelihood of getting players who don't know their drakes' abilities, and don't bother reading what the drakes tell them. The greens kill themselves channeling heals without keeping their poison stack running, the reds don't bother killing whelps, the ambers don't trade shocks or, worse, don't use time stop on the enrages. And then so very many of them don't run away when giant, pulsing, exploding orbs come out and annihilate them.

And all too often, they blame someone other than themselves. Usually the healer. "I could've survived that enrage if I got heals!" "I could've survived the orbs if I got heals!" "I could've survived channeling heals to that other guy if you had healed me!" "Those whelps wouldn't be a problem if you healed everyone!"

Healers are used to this. Healers tend to be blamed for others dieing while they're standing in flamestrikes, shadow zones, cleaves, or molten hot lava. It doesn't make it any less bearable when it's a PuG oculus.

There are also the occasional bugs, like hitting the instance reset timer while your healer is dead and ghosted outside of the instance, and thus s/he is unable to come back in since they didn't get the option to re-save themselves, and then when they drop to let you get a new healer, the new healer gets a fresh instance as well, despite being in your party. Oh, that was fun.

Now, you can always take the time to teach a group how to use their drakes. I have done this, it took about 4 wipes on the Ley-Guardian and some keen eyes to spot all the problems, as well as some mid-combat hastily typed alerts into party chat. It requires the group to be willing to learn, though, and someone in the party willing and with the patience to teach (without bashing the others for their inexperience). Some days I am willing; others I just want it to be over with as quickly as possible. Some groups are willing; others just want to blame everyone else but themselves.

But why do I go on about all of this, now, when there's much happier news with the Plagueworks being released in ICC?

Because Blizzard's staff has heard the angry cries, and is throwing out a carrot:

To encourage players not to shy away from the many invigorating adventures to be had in The Oculus, we have applied a change to enhance the rewards players are provided when selected for this dungeon via the Random Heroic option in the Dungeon Finder. Once Ley-Guardian Eregos is defeated, one loot bag per character will be provided in his chest in addition to the current rewards. Each loot bag will offer players rare gems, and a chance of being rewarded the Reins of the Blue Drake. These fine treasures could be yours should you honor your fellow party members by besting the challenges contained within The Oculus! Keep in mind, however, that these extra loot bags will only be awarded to each party member if Oculus is selected by the Dungeon Finder when players choose the Random Heroic option.

In light of this change, the Reins of the Azure Drake will now have a chance of dropping in both 10- and 25-player versions of The Eye of Eternity.

What's this? Blue gems, extra badges, and a mount chance?

Personally, the rare gems and triumph badges do not phase me in the slightest. I need epic gems and frost badges; the triumphs only add to my ever-growing stash of "convert these to gem-buying badges" and I can get those with a lot less hassle. The drake would be wonderful, but I think I would cry if I saw it go to some idiot who was earlier pulling drake aggro onto me and blaming me for his own "I'm standing in da orbs!" deaths.

I need a bigger carrot, I think, before I will accept Oculus pugs with anything but groans.

Monday, January 4, 2010

4-Pc Resto T10 "bug fix"

Ghostcrawler announced on Friday (Jan 1st) that the PTR's 4-pc set bonus for T10 resto kit of having the rejuvenation on the original target be consumed when jumping to a new target is a "bug" that they expect to have fixed for the live servers, and will fix if they find it's not been corrected yet. Whether this is a "bug fix" or a "bug-that-we're-calling-a-bug-because-no-one-wanted-4pc-otherwise-but-we-didn't-expect-that-to-happen," I don't know, but the result is the same.

The "jump" is intended to be a growth of sorts, the spawning of a new rejuv on a new target as a 2% proc each time a rejuv heals someone, without consuming or otherwise impacting the rejuv on the original target. That's about a 12% chance to spawn a new rejuv for every rejuv that you cast, which is close to one free rejuv for every 8-9 that you cast. Since most encounters in ICC have a portion of environmental damage, the rejuv will at least be useful (in most cases) to whoever it does spawn to when raiding in that instance. With revitalize, a bit more so, around the usual overhealing.
  • 12% chance to spawn a new rejuv for each rejuv cast, assuming no overwrites of spell ticks
  • 1 free rejuv per 8-9 rejuvs cast (again, assuming full ticks)
  • Glyphed Rapid Rejuv will spawn new rejuvs faster due to faster ticks
  • The spawned rejuv will still likely jump to pets or overwrite/refresh existing rejuvs on their new target.

In 25s
, I can see this being somewhat useful, where you are less likely to already have rejuv running on the target it spawns on (otherwise it would overwrite the old, like a refresh), and you aren't likely to be able to pop a rejuv on everyone that you'd like to. However, it still has a chance to just choose someone who already has a rejuv on them, simply refreshing the spell, which in turn reduces the chance that each rejuv you cast will proc a spawn since the previous rejuv won't tick itself out fully. Small fries, but it makes the mess of trying to model this proc!

In tens, keeping rejuvs running on most of the raid is rarely an issue, especially if you have three healers. In two-healer situations where tank-healing is more intense for the druid, especially in cutting edge progression for the group's gear level, the set bonus could be useful, but there is still a much higher chance that the rejuv will spawn on someone that already has one running.

In short, the set bonus is meh for 10s, better for 25s, overall worth getting IF YOU ALREADY HAVE CAPPED HASTE. Due to the amount of crit on the T10 set peices (3/5 pieces are crit rather than haste), I intend to make sure I get haste-capped through gear selection before I get the crit pieces of the T10 set for a 4-pc bonus (given restriction to ten-man raid gear and unreliability of 3% haste aura in my own small raids). If/when I do have to get the crit pieces, I won't be too upset, though, as crit is still very useful with Swiftmend, Nourish, NS+HT, and Regrowth.

I do find it ironic that in order to get the rejuv-chaingunning-raid-healer set bonus, you have to take crit stats that the tank-healer druids prefer. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking for Haste: 10-strict ICC Gear

...cuz they put way too much +crit on our tier set, crafted, and ToC10 items. The following is a list of haste items that can be purchased with badges or found in 10-man ICC, which is what 10-strict guilds are limited to. If you are limited to 10-mans, be aware of what raid buffs you have available on a regular basis to determine what sort of haste rating you want to aim for, as most sources assume the full raid buffs of a 25-man raid (3% haste aura and Wrath of Air totem). Also remember that some amount of crit is okay, too, especially in ten-mans, where you need it to boost your swiftmends, nourish, NS+HT, and regrowth.

Personally, I will not be getting the 4-pc T10 set bonus (EDIT: until I can get my haste rating soft-capped for the GCD). I plan to get 2-pc T10 through gloves and legs, then going offset for the remaining pieces.

- 264 versions of all boss drops will be available in heroic-mode ICC10, when it is released.
- 264 versions of all T10 items will be purchasable by turning in the 251 piece and an armor token.
- the green ones are my personal choices.

  • The only options with haste (and no hit) are in ToC25.
  • Rotface drops Ether-Soaked bracers, haste/hit cloth.
  • ((Festergut: crit/spirit ))


~~ Note: not all of these bosses have been released yet, as of January 4th, 2009 ~~

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Plagueworks Next Tues!

It's been a nice vacation. Lots of snow: something my area hasn't seen much of for many years. Lots of staying up late and sleeping til 2pm, reading books, visiting friends, watching Dr. Who with Kitarha, listening to the Glee and Avatar soundtracks, seeing Avatar itself (twice), and, of course, running heroics and raids. Keeping myself busy.

I had meant to take some time this past week to revisit the MBTI survey from August, but I never got around to it :( It's still on my to-do list.

Of course, the big WoW news on the raiding front is that the next wing of ICC is finally being released. My guild has been fumbling for ways to fill our time on raid nights (12 hours a week), because Ulduar and even ToC barely hold our interest anymore: 3 new bosses should help fill that void a bit more.

Going to hit a toc 25 pug tonight for giggles and gold, being organized by one of the top guilds on the server. Supposedly all loot must be bid for with gold, and the pot is then split among everyone who didn't get any loot at the end of the run (edit: correction, split among the whole raid regardless of loot). Sounds like fun, though need to remember to turn down my graphics before stepping in there. My Windows 7 upgrade has been put on hiatus due to a mix of landlord (router's in the basement and he won't let us run a cord up) and a sucky wireless network card that doesn't have drivers for windows 7. /rant.

I haven't updated to the new version of Grid yet, since someone had mentioned it had wiped all of their settings when they did. Did anyone else have settings troubles with the recent update to Grid?