Play Like a Pro! – Discipline Priest Weak Aura / Information!

priestchallengemodeset

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Discipline Priest and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

First order of business is explaining just how this spec operates, especially compared to other healing specs in the game. If you are going to play a Discipline Priest and try to cast heals every global, you won’t be very effective, especially in small group content. The strength of this class comes in its ability to double dip, and then shield in times where the former is not feasible. This will be the most important thing to get used to as a Disp Priest, and thus the biggest adjustment, especially some one like me.

In challenge modes and small group content, its essentially playing a DPS that can also dispel and do some other healing-based things. Challenge modes especially, you will want to prefer CD usage to deal more damage (conversely, healing more) than save them like a Paladin would for times of high throughput. Then when push-comes-to-shove, you have the three of the best reductive CDs in the game. With this string of auras you are about to see, you will realize just how many tools Priests have as a class, and hopefully have a better grip on just what you need to be able to succeed in any type of content.

 

Click to Enlarge!

Click to Enlarge!

In the image above you see essentially two strings. In the first string you will find every ability relevant to Discipline Priest healing. In the second string below that one, you will find some CD and Duration timers that can also be vital for the spec. This set seems like a big departure from the norm, but realistically its just much more compact. Because everything you need to know about this spec revolves around dealing damage, the best way to approach this is just have everything the class has on the screen. The goal is have as many of them on CD as possible, while saving Barrier, Pain Suppression, and Spirit Shell for the right time. Regardless of how simple it may look, let’s break things down individually so you can understand exactly what is present.

Cooldown Tracker -

As mentioned previous, its important to be able to concentrate on doing as much DPS as possible, especially in Challenge Modes, but also to a degree in raiding. Damage is your filler, and the cooldowns are your actual abilities. Things like Prayer of Mending, Level 90 Talent (divine star shown) and Penance can help you achieve the disp priest lifestyle, so its pertinent to know exactly when they are useable. Other things like Spirit Shell and Pain Suppression will make your life even easier and once again, can allow you to fill with damage. Here is a screenshot of all the CDs being tracked. Its important to note that this same string will work for Holy Priest as well, but that’s not within the scope of this article!

WoWScrnShot_031914_135935

You can click on the image to enlarge it to full size if you are struggling to see all the different icons, but you should now appreciate the magnitude of what it entails. I will address them one by one to help you have a better understanding of each ability. Starting from the Left:

Archangel: A small throughput increase. Also being tracked on the subsequent timer. Use this as much as possible, especially when DPSing.

Spirit Shell: 1 Minute CD that turns your healing into absorbs of equal value. Is the fundamental spell of Disp atm, and if you can predict the damage properly you will be a god. If not, you will suffer. Can also be used as a Tank CD!

90 Talents: For some reason the Cascade Timer is out of place but on this list we see Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo, and then the Cascade ready alert at the end. These talents each have a good use, but in content where most people are close together, Divine Star reigns. Use it on CD or save it for a few seconds if you expect big aoe healing needed.

Penance: THE spell. Get the glyph, and enjoy being a god. Will do amazing dps, amazing healing, and can be cast while moving to another location. This makes it all possible, honestly.

Prayer of Mending: A great heal when you know pulsing aoe damage is abound. I also throw it on the tank as much as possible on boss fights to make sure the primary damage target is still received heals while I DPS (as that healing may be random.)

Power Infusion: The only option on the 75 tier for Disp priests IMO. Use it as an offensive CD to boost the amount of burst dps you can do. Especially in Challenge Modes, this can EASILY make the difference between a gold medal and otherwise.

Pain Suppression: 3 minute CD that turns the tank into a slab of stone. Strongest external CD in the game, especially for small group content. Coordinate this with your group around big damage or huge pulls in CM.

Power Word Barrier: AOE reduction cd that is kind of limited in yardage. Consider using this as a Tank CD as it still reduces all damage taken by 25 percent no matter the number of people. Especially in CM, this will be its best use.

Mindbender: Level 45 talent choice, and once again, the only one I am considering. Its a great, versatile ability, and because of its immensely short CD it can really help with DPS as well going in between pulls of CM. This tracker I intentionally made larger. I will demonstrate why below.

The other stuff to the right of Mindbender are for Holy priests ONLY and will not be discussed.

The whole aura can be found, as it appears, at this link!

Mindbender Specifics -

I intentionally enlarged Mindbender from the size the others are to make it more obvious. This is an ability that if you do not use on CD you are wasting the talent choice. Conversely, it can be easy to forget about because its such a short CD. To remedy this, and without adding too much effort, I simply enlarged the icon when its active, but not when its on CD. This makes the rest of the bar sized wrong, adding black bars encasing the horizontal portion. In my eyes, this makes all the other abilities I have my eyes on also tell me about Mindbender! It works especially well, as its the last thing on the right for Disp. Its a brutish way of accomplishing this task, but made the most sense to me at the time. You can examine the difference here:

Black Bars = Use It!!

Black Bars = Use It!!

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

Non-CD Durations -

The second part discussed in the start would be the duration based trackers. While the first tracker indicates availability, the second will show the duration, particularly of a few key abilities that can really improve your DPS. The two go hand-in-hand so be sure to use them so.

WoWScrnShot_031914_143742

The breakdown here is quite simple, yet highly effective. Let’s examine each, starting at the top:

Evangelism: the stacking buff you receive whenever you are doing damage. This will track the number of stacks. When it reaches 5, its time to use Archangel! It also tracks the length you have remaining, so if you want to save Archangel or have to stop DPSing you can still be aware.

Power Infusion Active: Once again, extremely important to know. You want to line this up with all your other damage, so knowing exactly when it is about to expire can be huge for maxing our your potential.

Archangel: Already discussed in the CD tracker, this shows the duration, once again so you can plan around the loss of healing when it dissipates.

Spirit Shell: This shows when the ability is active, not when its shields are. This is extremely important as well, because you need to know how many shields you can get off and how much time remains.

Find this string by following this link!

Rapture Tracking -

This isn’t something I originally included in the main screenshot, but will discuss options here. A lot of people use an addon known as Ingela’s Rapture. If you’d like to use an addon instead, feel free to do so. You can download it here: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/ingelasrapture

Past that, you can also use a Weak Aura to do the exact same thing. You can even include the silly noises if your eyes aren’t working well that day!
Regardless, the “rapture” concept is an important one. It basically allows you a free Power Word: Shield as long as its consumed wholly, but has an internal CD, so if you are just spamming shields you will OOM very quickly. This can be really useful in CM, as you will have essentially zero spirit, yet some shielding can be quite useful. This is a very “min-max” type concept though, and can easily be done without, unless you are doing progression raiding.

WoWScrnShot_031914_145253

Find the weak aura string here!

Either way, if the CD is on the screen, don’t use PW:S. Long story short.

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game. Unlike other specs like Paladin or Shaman healers, you don’t need to directly place anything on players, so all these weak auras will do everything you need them to do. If you are going for crazy times as disp priest you can also use potions offensively. Head over to the mage thread and take the code for the Int potion CD and add it to this list and have it activate as a Disp Priest as well.

As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding this blog!
Let’s all thank Derevka for putting the work in, and check out his blog and support him at How2priest!

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/discipline-weak-aura-set-up.313389/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Priest’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Youth/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

 

WoW News Roundup – 17th March 2014

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Today news comes in the form of news about future events featuring Blizzard Entertainment, with interesting speculation towards a possible Blizzcon 2014.

2014VirtualTicket

The Blizzcon Virtual Ticket page has recently seen changes to its terms of service page and in doing so changed the title to 2014, rather than 2013. This could be an error internally, however it could also be that we could see another Blizzcon this year, allowing for possible reveals for the new ip’s and post release for Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of The Storm. This comes as a suprise to me after the event finally returning after it’s hiatus, however i feel that people will be particularly excited by seeing this, and if it’s true then we are likely to have a very good year for Blizzard News. Such News does mean there would be certain reveals of information to be posponed until the event, as Blizzard does enjoy giving information exclusively on stage at their own event. Early predictions for such an event would be of a possible open beta for Heroes of the Storm or a release date, and possibly information on Diablo 3 and future patches after this months Reaper of Souls release. The event usually sells out instantly when tickets become available, so keep your eyes open and we at Stratics will try and give you the heads up as soon as anything comes from this. Whilst we wait for any noise from Blizzard themselves to either confirm or deny such an event exists for the year, one event that is sure to be taking place is Pax East, a yearly event featuring tournaments in all areas and genres of video and table top gaming, it also features some of the most prominent developers and development teams from around the world, here to showcase their latest and greatest products for early feedback and testing.

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Today’s press release unveiled the presence of Blizzard Entertainment at the convention, where they are allowing visitors from 10AM-6AM on both Friday April 11th and Sunday April 13th to get hands on playtime with the Warlords of Draenor playable demo we have seen earlier last month. Visitors will also be able to visit various Q&A sections of the Blizzard schedule, including Developer talk for Diablo 3 : Ultimate Evil Edition for the Playstation 4, a brand new demo for Heroes of The Storm, with the developers present and on hand for interviews and questions.

Expect information from these Q&A sections and events to be reported on here on Stratics when new information becomes available for discussion, I’m fairly certain the amount of time players will have to access the demo, we will be sure to see more footage and screenshots float around the internet that we will be sure to collate into readable information for you. Heroes of The Storm’s demo will feature heroes never before seen or played outside the event and will be the first stage of hands on feedback before they are included into the technical alpha which is also presently being sent out to press and streamed over on Twitch.tv channels. It could also be a time for Blizzard to send another wave of access out for the technical alpha but don’t hold your breath.

cardback-upcoming2

Not to forget that Pax East also provides certain rewards this year, in the form of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft exclusive content, presumably in the form of the exclusive card backs we saw leaked earlier in the month, or possibly Pax exclusive cards that we may of not seen, many of the card packs have been confirmed for in-game rewards and achievements, however the card featured to the right has not, and it wouldn’t be suprising if this small cosmetic addition was the reward they are talking about. With the various press events and featured demonstrations of Warlords of Draenor in full swing over the past few weeks, we can be sure for more information on the beta soon, with our previous predictions in out bi-weekly podcast coming to an end and our estimates changing every week, we have to get news on even a closed alpha for the game at some point soon. This year does however look to be a wonderful time for both Blizzard Entertainment and those who play Blizzards games! If Blizzcon 2014 is confirmed at some point it would certainly be the icing on the cake for this year.

You can find more here about Pax East and a full schedule for the event. CLICK HERE

This about wraps up today’s World of Warcraft and Blizzard news, we expect information on future beta / alpha events and unveilings further this week or next, so be sure to become a part of WoW.Stratcis today! Fantastic rewards from the Sites with Benefits feature on the side of the screen, along with monthly giveaways on our forums and a great place to talk about all of the topics we feature. We are always open for guests and your questions on our bi-weekly podcast, so if something makes you opinionated, make a post and Get your voice heard today!

25H Seigecrafter Blackfuse – Metro’s Healing Guide!

252320

Welcome to Metro’s 25 man Heroic Healing guides for the Siege of Orgrimmar! It is important to understand that these guides are
first aimed at helping healers understand their role, and then helping them maximize their play.
Each will feature a general overview of the mechanics that matter to the healers, and conclude with a class-specific discussion. Let’s begin!

A common depiction of the encounter, but very deceiving as a lot of this is avoidable.

A common depiction of the encounter, but very deceiving as a lot of this is avoidable.

Understanding the encounter –

First of all, congrats on making this far, especially at a 25 man level. From here on out, the fights becoming incredibly more difficult than the first half and it won’t always be something direct that will result in the wipe. This is important to understand as both a healer, and a raid leader. The quicker you and your raid realize that you are all part of the same team and are working together, the less you’ll hear “this guy is really killing us here.” At some point, every one of you will get targeted by the blade or the fire, and have a bomb hit you. It’s unavoidable, so all you can do is give your best effort and keep your raid’s mind focused on the task.

That goes hand in hand with why this fight is a challenge as a healer, because the only real damage that you will receive from this boss is from mistakes. If your raid were to make zero mistakes, you could EASILY 2 heal the encounter, but as you likely guessed, this is a fight where you pick your poison, choose what mechanics you want, and deal with them the best you can. You will NEVER do it flawlessly; you are just doing things the best you can each time. As healers, it’s your job to help those who make a few too many mistakes recover.

Like a few fights in SoO, your job here is pure support, not necessarily max HPS. There will be two major things that can be done as healers to make the fight ten times easier, so get in this mindset now. I will discuss class specific stuff below, but let’s speak in general about what the fight will bring to the table.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

First of all, you should really be considering not bringing as many healers as you can. A lot of guilds I’ve followed 3-4 healed it, but we chose to stick with 5, as we have a really strong core of 5 healers that all deserve the kill, and enough dps to get the job done anyway.

Once you have decided who to have step out, the healers that are in progression need to play a versatile game, and not just stand there and heal. I will walk you through each mechanic that happens and why it demands your full attention, and not just reaction to who is taking damage.

>DPS component – I would impress this as a vital part of the fight for every healer, especially if you are staying near 5-6 healers. The most important part of this would be the very start of the encounter. You will be all stacked up, have bloodlust up, and have virtually no damage going out for a good 30 seconds, so make sure you rail into the boss with everything you have. If there could be a case for prepotting intellect as a healer, this should be it. It could be the difference between a kill or not, especially if you are a priest or monk. A Resto druid with Heart of the Wild could be a good option as well, as it’s going to contribute a LOT more than another other 90 talent on this encounter.

>Crawler Mines- This is as much your job as it is the DPS, and if everyone makes an effort, these will be a non-factor; the less people who contribute, the more difficult the fight becomes. Let’s talk about the variety of options each class has. *NOTE – The Engineering EMP belt affix is op as hell. If you are an engineer, make sure you are using it for this fight! It will stun them on no DR and if multiple people chain it, the bombs will never move!

These guys shouldn't be a huge issue. Use the EMP belt as Eng!

These guys shouldn’t be a huge issue. Use the EMP belt as Eng!

Holy Paladin – Couple a CD with Lights Hammer, and throw it every opportunity. This will triple dip Healing, Damage, and the slow! The slow alone is enough to justify using it, but if you use wings or favor, you can do a really nice amount of DPS as well. Use Fist of Justice to pick off ones that spawn too close to ranged.
Resto Shaman – Cap totem can be projected towards the spawn point for high efficacy, but this is a really bad fight for resto shaman all around. If you can drop a healer, I would recommend it being a Shaman. Earthgrab Totem can also be projected with high efficacy.
Resto Druid – Druids have the best utility in the game for this position, and you can make a case for either Mass Entanglement or Typhoon, but in my mind the decision is already made for Typhoon. It can literally save a wipe, were as mass entanglement’s true strength can only be used immediately. Save Typhoon for those situations where 3+ mines are getting too close, and watch as the group wipes the sweat off their brow. There are plenty of snares and roots to go around, but not many knockbacks! On top of this, Ursol’s Vortex can work as well if used properly. Get in the habit of using both!
Holy/Disp Priest – Void tendrils are the way forward, without question. This, on top of the actual DPS you can dish out with your 90 talent that will double dip makes priest a great option for this encounter.
Misty Monk – We do not currently have one on our progression team for this encounter, but can imagine leg sweep and the aoe double dip they can do would be quite effective. If you have anything you’d like to add here feel free to let me know.

>Electrostatic Charge Stacks and Protective Frenzy- The most important part of this encounter will be helping the tanks do their job successfully. This is particularly of note as they literally cannot survive some of the later stacks without real aid. The options you have are Pain Suppression -> Guardian Spirit > Hand of Sacrifice -> Ironbark -> Life Cocoon -> Spirit Link, in that order. You will want some type of focus on the tank after each stack is being cast, but it’s up to you when you need to start using externals. We begin around the 5th stack, and each tank receives a maximum of 7 stacks. For the 7th, we always use either Pain Suppression or GS, Depending on your strategy, the tank may often be far out of range of the group, so be ready for this. It happens all the time during our attempts, at least once an encounter, depending on some luck factor, but if you have beacons on the Tank you should be alright.

Another factor in this encounter is the attack speed increase the boss gets whenever the shredder is killed. Because of this, I would really recommend keeping one healer permanently affixed to the tank’s health pool. Both will be taking immense damage, and since the rest of the healing is random lot, it’s not a bad idea to send most globals at a tank instead of padding your aoe.

>Helping the Belt Team - As the belt team is the most difficult job to consistently pull off, I am hoping you have your 5-10 best players handling it. Hopefully, they are smart enough to use their personals when needed, and use self-heals and healthstones as much as possible. However, even if they are doing so, there is a pretty solid need for them to receive some sort of healing. Because of this fact, we send our Resto Druid over once every two belts to give them a full round of hots as they board. This is especially useful as we have 3 players that can repeat the process without worry, being 2 hunters and a windwalker monk. Giving them a buffer allowing them to say near full health helps them focus on their dodging and DPS, and makes the job a lot less stressful. I would recommend either a Resto Druid or Priest to be in charge of this, especially if they are Holy. Lightwell can be clicked as well for times when no healer is present.

>The Remainder – Past the previous topics, that’s all there really is to do on the encounter. Depending on what strategy you employ will dictate whether or not you need to worry about each mechanic so I can’t give specific details. The only other thing I can warn you about is the Magnetic Crush phase, as it will be the most healing intensive. Its 55k physical damage every second, so Devo is all but useless on this fight, but the more intense element here is that the other mechanics will likely be picking people off throughout. It’s important to use your classes’ big through put CD here, otherwise you can sit on it until a bunch of bombs go off if you have enough healing going around. Just by wary, as towards the end of the kill, the dps will begin to panic a bit, and let a few mechanics slip through their hands. Patch up the holes, and congrats on the kill!

TLDR Recap –

Don't be intimidated! Its tough, but nothing compared to Thok for a Healer!

Don’t be intimidated! Its tough, but nothing compared to Thok for a Healer!

 

Unfortunately, one of the more disappointing fights as a healer, despite how amazing the fight is overall. Expect to 4-5 heal, and volunteer to sit if you are a Resto Shaman or are under-performing in general, especially if fights with a lot of movement screw with you. Always keep an eye on the tanks, it’s very possible to have them get 1-shot, even by the 4th or 5th stack. Refer to the ways your class can help the raid with the mines, and do as much DPS as you can at the start – normally the class section is at the end, but I included it in the body instead!

As always, this guide is from the perspective of a Holy Paladin in 25 man heroic raid leadership perspective. Experience is limited when it comes to priest and monk healers, so if you have input feel free to join the conversation! Otherwise, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Enjoy SoO!

 

Play Like a Pro! – Frost Mage Weak Aura / Information!

frost mages

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Frost Mage and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional. This one will be especially important, as from my experience, I literally have never played a DPS spec at any high level. Yet with this combination of Auras, I am able to hang with anyone!

The Weak Aura set-up we will be examining today is once again wholly different from the other ones, mostly because the spec and playstyle is quite different. As a DPS, you have one real focus, but its more about maximization than anything. In order to do this properly, you want as many tools as possible helping you with your rotation, CDs, and procs. Doing this helps you focus on the more important things, especially in small group content such as Interrupts, Dispels, and AOE stuns. A lot of people play a DPS spec (especially Mage specs) to be the ultra dps machine, but I promise you that if you focus more on your own survival and those around you, you will be helping your group more than if you stand still, eat all the mechanics, and do one point hundred kay dps. Let’s move on to how you can do that easily with this weak aura set up!

At face value, there is a lot going on in this screenshot, but by the end of this, you should understand exactly what you need, why you need it, and how it can benefit some like me who does NOT have the DPS mindset already ingrained in their skull.

Full Rotation and Tracker -

This is an ingenious set of auras that I can take zero credit for, not even for editing in some way. Its flawless, and is the most intricate cluster I have seen for any spec. Let’s start by examining exactly what we have on this part.

 

Starting with the four smaller icons, we have the Fingers of Frost proc tracker to the left, which will update real-time as you gain or lose procs with the number indicative of such. Next to the right we have your 75 talent tracker, which will change based on which you have talented, and will show the remaining duration on your current target. On the other side of the big middle icon, we can see the Frozen Orb tracker, which shows the remaining cooldown on the ability. And then the icon furthest to the right is the Chilled tracker, showing if the slow is about to fall off. All these things are mildly important, but what REALLY makes this cluster godlike are the two things we are about to examine.

Let’s start with the Evocation timer, and explain exactly what the aura does for it. On the screenshot, you can see two bars overlapped, one a red bar with the text on it, and another a pink bar with a number. The red text bar is your indicator for when you do not have the Invocation buff. Once you successfully use Evocation and gain the buff, the bar turns pink with the 1 minute timer counting down. As the buff expires, the bar turns back into the red text to alert you that you let it fall off and need to reapply. This is extremely important, especially in CM as there are opportune times to refresh the buff that wouldn’t cause you to stop casting and lose DPS time on the current pack of mobs. Essentially, if you are taking 1 minute or longer to kill any pull you are struggling as it is. *As a note, the Invocation alert will not appear if you are using any other talent.

The final and without question most important part of this cluster is a DPS priority aura. This is so insanely useful it could be the only part you ever look at and it will turn you into as fine a player as there can be. Either way, it will cycle through in the following order:
1. 75 Talent Dot
2. Frozen Orb when available.
3. Frostfire Bolt Proc
4. Fingers of Frost proc
5. Filler (frostbolt)

With all these timers and information at your disposal, this should immediately boost your play to a considerably higher level.

You can find the string here!

Mage Cooldowns –

The next set of auras will be your bread and butter, and will even help you track defensive CDs. Its quite self-explanatory, and as you can see from the screenshot, it shows each ability with a cooldown tracker when applicable, and then a static image when its available. This is more for a heads-up benefit than anything else, but is still vital to playing a spec to its fullest! Remember, the more you have in front of you, the more you can focus on the mechanics and your utility.

You can find this string following this link!

Proc Tracker -

Another set that can really help you when maximizing your burst, and organizes everything into a neat little area. Once again, quite self-explanatory, but the goal here is simply knowledge. The more you know, the better, especially if you are trying to optimize your numbers. For your information, I will list all the tracked things, as some can be a bit confusing:
Trinket 1
Trinket 2
Jade Spirit Proc
Potion of Jade Serpent Duration
Meta Gem Proc
Blood Lust Duration
Icy Veins
Ice Barrier
Icy Floes
Ice Block
Hypothermia.

You can find the import string here!

Water Elemental / Freeze Tracker – 

This two-for-one tracker will first tell you when your elemental is not summoned and then when Freeze is off CD. This is extremely important, as both contribute to an immense portion of your dps and utility. If you can maximize using Freeze every time its available, you will see a marked increase in your AOE dps, which can easily turn the tides on a Gold medal timer.

You can find the string you need at this link!

Freeze Macro –

This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tracker, and is not actually dependent on Weak Auras. This macro will allow you to easily bind the Pet’s freeze ability, which may be tricky to people without knowledge at their side. Regardless, this wouldn’t be comprehensive if this wasn’t included, would it!

#showtooltip
/cast Freeze

DPS CD Macro -

Another basic, but useful macro that can help you streamline your ability to learn the spec and maximize your play. While this may not be the best idea, it has worked for me and helps reduce ability bloat – something being addressed in WoD anyway. This macro combines Mirror Images and Icy Veins, two damage CDs that have synergy with each other anyway.

/cast Mirror Image
/cast Icy Veins

75 Talent All-in-One Macro –

This macro will allow you to keep one ability on your bars no matter what 75 point talent you have chosen. This is important, because there may be situations where you will want to switch between some quickly. Without this macro, you would have to spell book the ability and replace the previous!

#showtooltip
/cast Nether Tempest
/cast Frost Bomb
/cast Living Bomb
/run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell(“Mage Bomb”, G”Nether Tempest” or G”Frost Bomb” or “Living Bomb”)

Jade Serpent Potion Tracker -

Back to Weak Aura trackers, we now examine the Potion tracker. This is an under-the-radar aura that will be especially useful for Challenge Modes, and probably more of a bother than a help in progression raiding. Realistically, in raiding you are pre-potting with 2 seconds left on the pull counter, and again when a key part of the fight is underway. Your raid coordinators will dictate this, so you don’t really need an aura for it.
Conversely, in challenge modes, using as many potions as you can may mean the difference from a gold time and otherwise. Especially as a mage, this should be your main focus, as you can invis instead of pot to skip, allowing you to put out a LOT more dps with this in mind. Make sure you stock up before heading in there, and ride this macro and Frozen Orb to your gold set!

The aura is two-fold, first to show its available and then the CD once its used. It will also constantly alert you to the combat CD, and then start ticking after combat.

Find the availability tracker here
and the CD tracker here.

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding Gummer’s blog.
Full credit goes to them for the initial idea behind this set-up, especially DPS tracker. If the whole blog wasn’t in Spanish I would probably explore their work more!

Either way, it’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/frost-weak-aura-set-up.313118/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Mage’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Metrorofl/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Rose Tinted Dreams & Fantastic Memories.

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When you recall the best memories you’ve ever had in World of Warcraft, what do you think about? Personally I remember The Burning Crusade expansion like it was yesterday, logging in each and every day to do heroic 5 man dungeons to get my badges of justice, saving up for the next piece of vendor gear. Each week preparing for the Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday raids and generally managing the guild I led for Karazhan and Zul’Aman raiding. My experience in raiding with my own guild was one of absolute enjoyment and a fundamentally less serious atmosphere than what I would look for in a guild in current day WoW. Our Hunter; a dear friend of mine who has since quit the game would always be the butt of jokes in our raids. Much of the time for accidentally pulling trash or bosses, the fact he would literally walk into a pack of trash mobs or accidently put his pet on aggressive and yet NOT mean it, clarified by the expression “Oh Shiit” on our Ventrilo Server, was the funniest thing I can remember. As much as many people would be aggressive in this situation, at the time we found it particularly entertaining and to be honest he wasn’t the only one to do something that would be considered griefing today. The differences between then and now are basically my own, where I feel that the game has been out for so long that I literally forget that there could even be new people playing for the first time.

Picture8-1 (1)Our guild; ‘Heavens Will’ on Frostwhisper EU was filled with the friendliest group of people you could ever meet. We all had our problems, and personally I had only just started to play the game that same year and found everything as funny as the others. Our progression was average for a guild in our situation, but it was enough for me. It was always cool to achieve downing a new boss for the first time, but we never saw that as the main objective in raiding. Raids where a time when our guild would centralise in one group and enjoy themselves 3 times a week together. Granted we achieved quite a deal for what we were, clearing Karazhan and Zul’Aman, but not much further was possible with the general skill level of our team. That was fine however, as some of us were known throughout the community with the other guilds. This is the side of the game I miss the most; doing dungeons with your own realm and not through a cross realm looking for group tool certainly had its advantages.

I gained the respect of many guilds on my server, one of which; Elysium; a wonderfully skilled group of people who progressed on Black Temple and then Sunwell when it came available. Many of the times they would need to occasional DPS or a Healer to fill their groups as they would for some reason miss 1 or two people each week. I saw this as an opportunity to see more of the game, and my own guild didn’t mind since we still did our own raids together and they knew that they had neither the time in week nor the commitment to do other raids.

DDI levelled my Holy Paladin to level 70 shortly after I knew this would be a regular event, where members of that and other guilds on the server would group together to ‘PuG’ older raids such as Tempest Keep or Serpent Shrine Cavern. It wasn’t long before my paladin became much more geared than my Warlock; simply more opportunities arose for my healer than would ever for my DPS. I really started to enjoy healing, the rewards were great, the feeling of being a needed part of the raid group excelled much further than it ever did as a dps. My Warlock still remained my ‘Main’ as that’s what I raided with in my own guild, but when the time arose and a healer missed our own raid one evening I would log onto the Paladin and heal away. This flexibility helped actually progress our raid much further, and it was at this point I realised how integral it would be to keep both characters geared.

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Wrath of the Lich King came out the following year, filling my guild with both new recruits and new interest to get more acquainted with progression, and much less about the ‘fun’ aspects of casual raiding. As much as this was perhaps the most progressed I have ever been in my own Guild, clearing content as it came out and competing with others on the server, it certainly wasn’t my favourite. The border between causal raiding and progression is a fine one honestly, as much as the two have different interests they are basically the same, only more serious during attempts and still enjoyable between bosses. The changes we put onto the guild with progression as our focus actually crumbled the foundations of who would be able to both raid with us and who would stick around for a more serious atmosphere on the tougher fights.

WoWScrnShot_071810_211548-1I like to see this point of my experience in the game where I essentially ‘grew up’ and decided that the goals I needed to achieve were greater than they used to be. Sacrifices were made, but for the better of everyone’s gameplay and enjoyment of the new content that we could now for once get to see, as appose to raiding content years old whilst new raids were other guilds progression targets. I remember The Burning Crusade so fondly because of both the people I raided and met on my server, but also the start I had in this game, without which I would of never had enjoyed the progression to who I am today, both in game and in real life. I have to say that my interest in YouTube and to some extent where I am now writing on Stratics is down to the ability to learn that both sides of progression in any game rely on an open mind. It saddens me to go onto the WoW Forums and see people talking about how good the ‘Good ol’ Days’ were in World of Warcraft or hating on other MMO RPG’s out there based purely on fear for competition. The truth of the matter is that your experiences in any game are your own, and if you feel that a certain period was much better than any other, much of the enjoyment you found at time you spent during those glory days would very likely be down to WHO you raided or played with, rather than the actual content you did or the part of the game you played most.

The World of Warcraft we know and play today is NOT the same game we all played 1, 2, or even 9 years ago, and we should be happy about that. Without evolution of a product, what interest can there possibly be. It’s currently hard enough to enjoy the lull in activity between content releases as it is, with many of us that are waiting for Warlords of Draenor playing other games such as Diablo 3. I’ve had this game since its release, yet it’s only now that I’m playing it to the point of the same time I would usually spend on WoW. The new content is just around the corner and I have to say that progression feeling is coming back to me, and I think a lot of people will get the same reinvigorating feeling the closer we get to WoD Beta testing.

WoWScrnShot_031214_174319Mists of Pandaria was by far the most constructive and developed product so far in WoW; much of the content in the game now offers opportunities that simply were not physically possible 8 or 9 years ago. Phasing and individual scenario instancing has allowed for compelling solo player gameplay, new character models and designs are altering the visual aesthetics of the game to be more appealing to the eye. New PvP systems are being tested and used to enhance the accessibility to general PvP and push the bar at the top of skilled players even father up with new leaderboard technology. There isn’t a single piece of the game that has been put into MoP that isn’t an addition or a positive / necessary change to the basic principles of the games enjoyment. I challenge anybody to say the game is worse for any game breaking reason today than it ever used to be, because it simply isn’t true. The experiences we all had when we started playing the game are ours and we should keep those close, but not use them as excuses to enforce illogical points onto why the current game is bad. Opinions are great things, but if they are enforced with nothing but rose tinted dreams then whats the point in expressing them.

If you enjoyed my article discussion here, please feel free to go over to our forums to talk about your favourite time in WoW and your opinions on where WoW is going. For everything World of Warcraft, look to Stratics. HERE

Flying, Garrisons & WoD News. 13 March 2014.

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Today marks the release of more information via social media, that Warlords of Draenor will NOT be using flight throughout the world of Draenor at launch, and has not been confirmed to be used at level 100, despite the likelihood obviously that it would be. Alex Afrasiabi, lead world designer for World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment go’s on to say that perhaps players would perhaps learn to enjoy the world without flying, and that they are waiting to see how players react to this limitation.

Personally I would say that I’d have to agree with the idea that the world we play in each expansion would benefit more from players having to explore more, allowing for much of the hard work that go’s unseen in the world more noticeable. If you look at fellow writer; Samkos recent post about Easter eggs in World of Warcraft, it could be argued that many of those aspects of the game would be more seen if flying did not exist in Azeroth. That being said, I would have to then counter that by saying flying is purely a convenience tool, and allows for players who have their daily routines in game to do that content easier and less laborious than it would be without. Either way, it’s interesting to see the approach to flying they are taking with Warlords of Draenor, and I share the curiosity of Mr Afrasiabi on how people will react.

Other information today, also through social media was that the starting event leading up to Warlords of Draenor’s release will be set in and around the Dark Portal in Blasted Lands. It has been said that the initial quests and events will take 40-45 minutes and will feature the player defending the world from invading Iron Horde through the Dark Portal. The event will see players attempt to shut down the portal itself, presumably leading to the events where Garrosh steps through the portal. Alex Afrasiabi is keen to emphasise the realisation of how bad the Iron Horde are, and mentions that we will see how important it is for us to address the problem immediately, or encounter a full invasion comparable to the first war.

Yesterday saw the launch of Hearthstone, and indeed the Hearthsteed mount (which you can read the article further to learn how to get your own). Speculation on what came to the original red version of the same mount was answered by Blizzard Employee; Corey Stockton, who confirmed that the model will infact be used in the future and that they have plans for it’s implementation. This comes as players wondered if the original designs were faction specific colour variants, only now it seems that this could be a future reward for WoW from Hearthstone. The release of Hearthstone itself did not avoid the usual issues with a new launch release, and some players reported difficulty redeeming their mounts in game. Blizzard addressed this by asking players to log out of their accounts and back in, which seems to be a fix for the issue.

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Finally we got more information, or rather confirmation on the possible scale of Garrisons; the player housing / instanced area in Warlords of Draenor from Jeremy Feasel, an employee of Blizzard who works on Garrisons, pet battles, the Timeless Isle and more features of the game. Upon joining he shared this screenshot, which features the Alliance player buildings present in the Garrison feature. The screenshot itself supplies the realisation on both scale and progressive features unlocked through achievements and progress in the game. The fountain in the centre for example, that would be built over time and presumably from a reward, achievement, or time related unlock process. What can be said is that personally I think the whole thing looks fantastic. The implementation of this feature alone to World of Warcraft will bring more addictive and enjoyable elements for players to be involved with outside of raiding or pvp. The original scale of the buildings I saw at an early stage of last years Blizzcon were tiny in comparison to what can only be a more progressed and advanced Garrison. This is fundamentally one of the most anticipated implementation for WoW, and with many other games doing it arguably less well planned than they could of, it will be interesting to see how this affects daily WoW life.

With WoD just around the corner now, and Beta invites expected very shortly, be sure to bookmark WoW.Stratics today, the only place you need to be for everything

One Egg, Two Egg, Red Egg, Blue Egg: Cloud Serpent Riding

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When the Mists of Pandaria expansion hit, the landscape changed within World of Warcraft once again. Far from just geographical, five more levels were added along with stunning graphics and dailies we would all eventually consider selling our first born to avoid. Level 90 was “the new black.” The starting line was drawn, and off we all went to explore, to quest, and to climb to our new end game content. There was one little hitch, you couldn’t fly in the new world until you hit that new cap. Pandaria, for majestic as it is, as a land mount only, is challenging and generally resulted, at least for me, in a cliff jump on more than one occasion.

At level 87, we finally got to see our main city of the expansion; The Shrine of Two Moons or The Shrine of Seven Stars depending on your Horde/Alliance affiliation. Nestled in the courtyard behind the flight master we would spy a serpentine Dragon reminiscent of classic oriental decoration and lore. This would be the representation for the Cloud Serpent riders, those who controlled flight throughout Pandaria.  Wonderful, but it would be 3 more levels until we could interact! When that ding hits and 90 has arrived we breathed a sigh of accomplishment and relief and set out to talk to the afore mentioned Serpentine Dragon. A small cost later and we were up and away on our multicolored mounts. There was something stuck in the craw though, if we could talk to this dragon and it clearly had a place for a rider, then it must be one we can achieve ourselves at some point. I immediately set off to do just that.

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Let’s start at the beginning. There are several types of Cloud Serpents you can get. How to obtain the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent can be found here: http://wow.stratics.com/guides/heavenly-golden-cloud-serpent-mount-guide/

There is also the Thundering Cloud Serpent and the Onyx Cloud serpent, both rare and both to be discussed at another time.

For our intents and purposes we are going to discuss the Azure, The Jade, and the basic Golden Cloud Serpent. Near the edge of the rock face, and splattered with grass and foliage is what is called The Arboretum. It comes complete with its own Flight Path and can be easily found if you simply fly across the eastern coastline. There you encounter Elder Anlii, The Serpent Master. He informs you that you must go to Windward Isle which is located right off the coast. You have to rescue tiny versions of the serpents, kill Saurok and Slitherblade (lizardlike creatures), and complete the starting quest chain. Once you have done this, you get to choose the color of Dragon you want to raise. Yes, you heard me right. I said raise. Winterspring has a similar idea for their cub and Netherwing has a similar daily grind for their drake as well.

 

Once your darling little serpent has hatched, you face the task of helping it grow. For starters here are the dailies. You’ll start out with quests that range in picking up their poop, to hunting wild cats. All the while working up your reputation with the Cloud Serpent Riders. Once you hit Honored another set of quests open all based on profession skills like Fishing and first aid. This was the stage when I realized archeology would have been good to have and I doubled back to work it. At Revered you are introduced to a few buyable items at the quartermaster near the flight path as well as your now full grown serpent! Time to learn to ride it. Unlike other mounts where you get on and go, you have to train with this one. Sky race it is!

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Dip, dive, duck and roll through wisps of smoke. At first you follow the trainer and make sure to stay close. At halfway through she cuts you loose though and you are on your own to get to the end. The trick here is to follow the hanging lanterns amid the blowing ribbon. Decorations point the way and are evenly matched with hot air balloons adorned in checkered flags that you will have to tag again when you hit exalted.

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Let’s examine that word: Exalted. By the time you hit 90 you are well acquainted with this on a lot of levels. The kicker is that there are several ways to get there if, like the rest of us, the daily grinds begin to twist your knickers. As previously mentioned in our own Sylier’s guide to The Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent Mount at Revered you can purchase the Cloud Serpent Commendation. This gives you extra reputation points.

 

 

Onyx egg

 The next shortcut can be found at no matter your reputation, Onyx eggs. They are grey, small and they spawn in the following places:  Atop the high islands around the Arboretum, in the small stone egg holding crevice next to the Slitherscale Lizard-Lord off Windward Isle and in the skeleton behind the Windward Saber in the same area.

 

 

In order to assist late comers in grinding reputation two additional modes of rep gaining were introduced. In patch 5.4 came timeless isle. A number of Rare creatures came with this island for those at end game. One of those was Houlon and The Crimsonscale Firestorms. Both of these are Serpentine Dragons in nature, and both of these have to either be looted or killed in order to get to the Quivering Firestorm egg. You can’t miss it, it’s red and angry like a boil that cannot be popped. It binds on pickup and you turn it in at the Arboretum the same you do with the Onyx eggs. Last, but not least, there is now the ability to champion a group for reputation when you queue for either of the heroics: Dungeon or Scenario, as well as plain scenarios as well. You simply select the star and queue up!

No matter which Cloud Serpent you selected, once you hit exalted you can purchase the others and move on to the three extended additions!

Heathsteed Mount Now Available

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As of today, the ‘Hearthsteed’ mount is available for use in World of Warcraft; the long awaited mount is awarded to players who have successfully beaten 3 real opponents in either play or ranked modes within the Hearthstone game. If you didn’t realise sooner, Hearthstone recently went into open beta, and as of yesterday had its official release, hence the reward.

Hearthstone_Screenshot_3.12.2014.17.37.45To get your very own ‘Hearthsteed’ simply log into Hearthstone (Which is Free to play AND to Download from Battle.net), and join either the ‘casual’ play mode or the ‘ranked’ play mode, both of which allow eligibility for the subsequent reward. When you have beaten three real opponents in either of those two modes, the game gives you the ‘Hearthsteed’ reward in Hearthstone in the form of a pop-up window. Simply log into World of Warcraft after this point to get the ‘HearthStoned’ achievement, and with it mail from mount collector Mei Francis, where you will find enclosed the ‘Hearthsteed’ mount. The mount itself functions as both a flying and ground based mount, meaning players of all levels can make use of it wherever they happen to be. Usual mount training restrictions apply, and the speed of the mount will reflect that of the level of speed skill you purchase from the mount trainer in your local factions city.

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Speculation arose during the beta process, as leaked models surfaced of two horse mounts on the internet, one of them Black and Red, one of them Blue and white. It was confirmed that these models were indeed of the ‘Hearthsteed’ mount, however the original Black and red version did not make the cut, with only the Blue version being available to players around the world. Presumably the original intent was for the mounts to be faction specific, Blue for the Alliance players, Red for the Horde. The change to one mount only is a reflection of feedback from WoW players on the WoW forums, many of which arguing against the inclusion of the Red version for various reasons, many of which seem to be based on suiting the feel of the Hearthstone game. I personally like the red version, however I feel that it was indeed perhaps not in keeping with the Hearthstone look, and the blue and white version would be more sought after based on its colour scheme.

Yesterday saw the release of the patch for United States servers, and today the remainder of the regional server groups for Europe and Asia. This release coincides with other recent additions in the Blizzard line up for March; Diablo 3 is set to get the release of its long awaited expansion ‘reaper of Souls’ on the 23rd of this month. With this, the beta being out for their new IP; Heroes of the Storm and the more recent release of digital pre orders of the normal and digital deluxe Warlords of Draenor WoW expansion, Blizzard are set to set the year alight with it’s various IP sales.

With Beta for Warlords of Draenor hopefully on the horizon soon, be sure to check out WoW.Stratics daily for more news as it becomes available, for everything World of Warcraft related, there’s a place for it here on Stratics.

 

 

Warlords of Draenor Pre-Purchase Now Available! + WoD DD Giveaway!

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To celebrate the prepurchase of Warlords of Draenor we are giving away a Digital Deluxe version of the game for one lucky Stratics viewer through the “Sites with Benefits” function on the right of the site. More information on how to enter and win can be found here – http://stratics.com/community/threads/warlords-of-draenor-digital-deluxe-giveaway.312950/

 

The upcoming World of Warcraft Expansion Warlords of Draenor is now available for purchase! Costing $50, £34.99 0r €45 for the Standard Edition and $70 or £49.99 for the Digital Deluxe Edition. Both the Standard and the Digital Deluxe will come with a Level 90 boost you can use on any character you choose! LBRJ4V6UXQY41394042326521

On the purchase page Blizzard state that the expansion will be available before the 20/12/2014 but this date is so far back for the worst case scenario. Although Blizzard CM’s have twittered to expect the expansion out for Fall of 2014.

 

The Digital Deluxe version of the expansion will come with a Dread Raven mount and a Dread Hatchling pet along with SC2 Portraits and a D3 Warsong Pennant which makes the additional cost good value!

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Durotan – Lore, Warcraft & You!

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Welcome to the continued lore instalment here on WoW Stratics, previously these articles have featured lore figures which are prominent members of the storyline of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, set to release later this year. This time we look at Durotan, a confirmed quest and NPC figurehead throughout the Horde storyline in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.

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Durotan is the Son of Garad and Geyah. Durotan’s father, the former chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, a powerful diplomatic leader killed by the Ogres and Gronn of Draenor before his voice could be heard in protest of the decision for the Orcs to go to war with the Draenei. And Geyah; the kind hearted current day Greatmother and leader of the Mag’har in Garadar, Nagrand. Both Durotan’s parents have lived through uneasy times for the Orc race, fuelled by a world ever on the brink of war and tension, comprised of organised groups of individually lead Clans, with each a leader outspoken in their rightful leadership of their own. Durotan grew up in Nagrand with his parents, prior to the First war. In his youth he spend much of his time hunting and practicing his combat skills with fellow clan members, generally learning the ways of his people.

During a festival, held bi-annually within Nagrand called the ‘Kosh’harg Celebration’, a time when Orcs from all clans would be invited to talk and share stories and Honor the diversity of their race, Durotan met a Blackrock Clan Orc by the name of Ogrim Doomhammer. They became friends and ultimately this respect is the first step in the foundation of the Horde we know in-game today.

At the time of Durotan’s father’s death at the hands of the Gronn and Ogres, Durotan immediately became the new chieftain by his birth right. His sorrow and rage weighed heavily on his mind, but the leadership of his people had to be his foremost concern. Whilst the clan still mourned the loss of their former chieftain, a message came from Ner’zhul; the chieftain of the Shadowmoon Clan, and shaman of the nearby Oshu’gun Mountain in Nagrand. It said that Ner’zhul had been visited by the ancestors, who proclaimed the right to all Draenor should be Orc alone and that the Draenei were enemies of their people. The truth of the matter is fairly different however, as at this time Ner’zhul had inadvertently made first hand contact with the Burning Legion and the Eredar lord Kil’jaeden. Kil’jaeden was in charge of tracking down and eliminating the Eredar, or now as they called themselves Draenei (Broken Ones) as they fled their own home world Argus many thousands of years previously, escaping the Burning Legion whom completely took over the planet for themselves. Many Draenei joined the legion, but Prophet Velen, a powerful Draenei leader and priest had led what remained of his people away aboard their spaceships and crashed into Azeroth and Draenor.

Ner'zhulDurotan was ordered by Ner’zhul to meet with a Draenei hunting party led by Velen himself. The prophet revealed to him that it was infact a dying Naaru named K’ure who attracted the spirits of the dead to Oshu’gun, the very same Naaru it seems that helped the Draenei escape Argus not 25,000 years previously. This denounced the Orc beliefs and was met with somewhat hostile reactions from many Orcs. Many couldn’t believe that this alien had within one simple sentence tried to convince them that their ancestor’s spirits did not appear by choice, and that this ‘Naaru’ being was their only tie to Oshu’gun. Despite this hostility, and the general Orc consensus that Velen be brought before Ner’zhul as a blasphemer, he released them stating that there is no Honor to taking a willing prisoner, regardless of his claims. This is a particularly important point within the blood line that eventually passes down to Thrall, the diplomatic attention to detail and throughput into reasoning is very unlike other Orc’s of the time, allowing Durotan to become a great leader. Nevertheless, the Orcs Went to War.

During a battle weeks later with Draenei forces the shaman of the Frostwolf suddenly realised their ability to convene and channel the gifts bestowed to them by the spirits of their ancestors no long remained within their power. They had become separated with the spirits of Oshu’gun entirely, a prospect that haunted Durotan and his mate Draka immensely. The truth of the matter was that the spirits did not support the war on the Draenei, and that they tried to convey that by refusing their powers to be used in bloodshed, even though their voices could not be heard thanks to Kil’jaeden’s lies.

At the time of the shaman loosing their connection to the ancestral powers, Ner’zhul and his apprentice Gul’dan delved into darker magic’s, understanding the need for power many Orcish shaman followed the same routes and became the first Warlocks of Draenor. Durotan allowed this, for once not wanting to oppose a change too openly, when their people lacked any defensive skills in a time of war and when his own father had been killed for less. Things escalated quickly over time, and through direct interference by Kil’jaeden’s will, The Orcs became united in what they called themselves the ‘First Horde’, a group led by the elected warmonger and bloodthirsty leader of the Blackrock clan; Warchief Blackhand. Under Blackhand’s orders the Frostwolf clan and Durotan were ordered to assault Telmor, a Draenei city nearby to the Frostwolf Clan grounds.

Durotan possessed the ability of Recall, a spell that allowed him to relive memories in visions, a trait that would be most useful now. As a child Durotan had seen a guard of the city use a hidden crystal in the surrounding forest, which when used unveiled the city, usually shrouded and invisible to the naked eye. Ogrim had heard this story from Durotan when they played together as children, and relayed that information to Blackhand. Ultimately this is what made Durotan the leader for the attack on Telmor, and using his ability reluctantly, he brought down the Draenei shroud. The Orcs stormed the settlement and killed everyone in sight. This was a day of absolute victory for the First Horde, but a day of overwhelming ambivalence for Durotan.

Shattrath City

Shattrath City

The Orcish Horde went on to conquer and destroy many other Draenei settlements including the grand city of Shattrath. At this time, Gul’dan, who had been the figurehead of much of the puppeteering and channelling of Kil’jaeden’s will, summoned the Clans to a mountain to the far north; which he dubbed ‘The Throne of Kil’jaden’. It was here he offered the gift of the mighty demon lord Kil’jaeden; the blood of Mannoroth. Previously to the summons, Ner’zhul who at one point was the master of the apprentice and now separated from the possessed and chosen Gul’dan, had warned Durotan about the dangers that Gul’dan would unleash if the Orcs were to partake in Kil’jaeden’s gift, and so he and his friend Ogrim declined drinking the blood of Mannoroth. This infuriated Gul’dan and shortly thereafter he was told by his dark master to be rid of those who would not share in their power, calling them traitors and a danger to the plans of the True Horde.

Gul’dan schemed ways to eliminate Durotan carefully, and so settled for turning his own people against him. He released a Draenei prisoner and slave of Warchief Blackhand, blaming Durotan for the action of defiance to his rule. Blackhand was enraged by this act of treason and openly duelled Durotan. Durotan had actually had a part in all this, as he found the freed slave in the wilderness and had given her shelter so that she may survive. The fight itself took place nearby where Durotan was sheltering the slave, it came to naught when both of the powerful Orcs locked in battle suddenly realised, the Draenei had escaped both of their attentions and fled. Their duel ended, and so did much of the energy that made the battle worthwhile. Durotan left and returned to the camp of the Frostwolf clan, and Blackhand returned to his keep, angered but aware that in his absence his people were without a leader.

Medivh3During the nights that followed, Gul’dan was visited by a vision of a far away sorcerer, calling himself Medivh the human, a possessed life form of the Dark Titan and leader of the Burning Legion; Sargeras. Medivh told unto Gul’dan the next orders for the advancement of their plans for the Horde, and so instructed him to build a demonic gateway, that they could together open between Draenor and the planet that could be seen in the sky at night; Azeroth. The following day, Gul’dan began preparations for the Dark Portal’s construction. Durotan, who was now open in his opposition to Gul’dan’s twisted ideas and that of the bloodstained leadership of the short sighted Warchief Blackhand, continued his protests against the leadership of the Horde, but all was too little and far too late. The Orcs were as possessed as their leaders, under the influence of the Burning Legion and the Corrupted Blood of Mannoroth. When the portal was completed, and Gul’dan ordered the Orc forces through the portal to conquer this new world, Durotan and his clan was exiled to Azeroth, stripping them of any connection to the Horde that now reigned as a powerful hand of Sargeras, and an extension of the mighty Burning Legion.

Durotan and the Frostwolf clan marched for many miles until they settled in the Mountainous Valleys of Alterac, a remote part of the human Kingdom, covered in snow and protected by the harsh conditions many Humans avoided. Drek’thar, a powerful shaman within the Frostwolf clan, one whom had declined the path of the Warlock regained the shamanistic powers that were lost so long ago to their people, and taught others to embrace these old powers, with which they were able to survive the harsh winters of the remote mountains.

Draka; faithful mate of Durotan eventually became pregnant with a child, one whom would one day be heir to chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan. An Azerothian born child, they named Goel. The reluctant abandonment of his resolve had caused Durotan to grow old and settle into a world that was being sieged and destroyed by his now evil, corrupted kin. This realisation empowered Durotan to take one last stand against Gul’dan and so joined with nearby, also exiled brethren, Ogrim Doomhammer. At this time, Ogrim had assassinated Blackhand and became the new Warchief of the Horde, separated from Gul’dan’s own loyal forces. In fact many of the Orcish Clans separated from one force and once again regarded the conquering of Azeroth, like Draenor and the continued war against its inhabitants their primary goal.

After the meeting between Durotan, Draka and Orgim, many of the councilmen listening to the propaganda Durotan provided against Gul’dan, turned out to be spies of Gul’dan himself. Fearing that their open opposition would get them killed, Orgim Doomhammer instructed them to go into hiding with a promise they would together present Gul’dan with his crimes and see justice. The safe heaven Orgim had given them whilst he arranged proceedings to oppose Gul’dan turned out to be far from the truth of the matter, and the spies descended upon the unsuspecting family, butchering Draka before Durotan, and then cleaving off his arms so that he could never again hold his child in his arms. He bled to death there, with the only thought in his head that he would die before he would see his son, now left abandoned by the spies  in the middle of the forest ripped apart by the wolves and creatures of the mountains.

Durotan In WoD

Durotan In WoD

And so, another chapter in the lore section is completed, and opens up many questions for Durotan’s presence in the Warlords of Draenor expansion later this year. Set within a time on Draenor before all of the corruption, it’s likely, and confirmed that Durotan will take centre stage in the Horde story, with even a meeting of his son; Thrall/ Goel, as they take on the united horde of Garrosh Hellscream and the other Warlords of Draenor. Be sure to continue this discussion with any thoughts, opinions and speculation of what we could see next in Durotan’s lengthy storyline, and weather actually meeting his father will change Thrall and make him understand his lineage further. Thank you for reading; I look forward to sharing more with you, in the next Lore, Warcraft & You!