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!

Level 50’s Take on Level 60 Raids!

50s

pasta

Cloaked in a black shroud and heirloom mail shoulders, the mighty ‘Fightpasta’; Legend amongst her own Night Elven kin, makes her way down the fiery chains of Blackrock Mountain, unprepared for the adventures that await. Following closely behind her, the mighty Tiger she had raised from a cub; ‘David B.o.E’ and the sound of many other players, their chain and plate mail clinking at every footstep, similar in appearance and style. This then was the first community event on European cross realm servers for level 50 twink characters, an ambitious idea supported by significant restrictions.

The idea was simple, get as many people to create level 50 characters and equip them with the best items they can find at that level. With that came profession choices, specialisations, talents, buff selection, pet choice, etc. To try and do as much level 60+ content as possible with characters not suited to that bracket. Continuing on our journey, my character, the mighty huntress was chosen by the team to support the raid with particular bonuses that came from pet choice, and it would soon become apparent that David B.o.E (The Tiger) would not be useful within the Molten Core, and so I waved goodbye and brought out my trusty, yet less well named Boar; ‘Rammy’.

Now you may be aware that Molten Core has some particularly painful trash between and prior to nearly every boss within the instance, so it was decided that a level 90 would clear the majority of the annoying trash and then leave the instance. A short leisurely, yet fiery trip further down the ramp brings us to the tunnel before boss number one; the formidable Lucifron.

Lucifron

Lucifron, one of the many Lieutenants of the mighty Firelord himself, is not particularly anything difficult. He has 3 abilities; One which does shadow damage to nearby enemies every 10 seconds, another aoe that does shadow damage to nearby enemies, and his curse which causes nearby enemies to have a 100% increase in all costs to all spells and abilities for five minutes. Supported by two Flamewalker Protectors, of which do nothing particularly special aside from a mind control on one player for 15 seconds, the whole tactic is as you would guess to destroy the additional enemies prior to doing damage to Lucifron himself.

Tactics aside the communication barrier is broken, as another of my kin, a fellow hunter steps too close to the boss. Suddenly the room is awake with arrows flying through the air and spell effects blocking out the darkness in the dingy tunnel we were fighting within. Surprisingly, the casualties are minimum and shortly after the initial pull the tanks have the boss and his minions under control. The raid went with 23 level 50 characters, 3 of which were now dead on the floor. Just under a minute later Lucifron and his minions are dead, adorning the floor with their serpentine appearances, 20 colourful champions stood above them rolling for loot that none of them can use.

So then, that’s a slice of the experience so far. As we continued the bosses became increasingly more relaxing, and easier. The sheer differences in class dynamics and scaling of statistics on pieces of gear has essentially made many things possible for low level characters that should not be, and to some extent made the experiment somewhat pointless. Personally I expected to have more resistance from the giant elite level 60 bosses of Molten Core; a place that I can only imagine would have been extremely irritating rather than complex.

Being stood there, with 22 others in those underground halls gave me an impression only equal to half of the scale of raids that would have been taken to the instance in its 40 man days. Yet the whole thing felt somewhat underwhelming, like the mechanics of the bosses were basic, and to many extents trivialised by simply using raid markers to direct the raid. We didn’t use a voice communication server, as such that I thought would at least increase the difficulty of the event, but it didn’t. When people regale me of times they had in ‘Vanilla’ WoW, they speak of how epic and grand 40 man raiding was, how they had these fantastic experiences that cannot compare to today’s raiding scene. Bosses fell in minutes, and granted characters could not have done this all those years ago, and in many ways this only demonstrated that twinking at this level offers very little challenge or reward, unlike the 70 and 80 Brackets.

The mechanics we saw on the bosses were simple, and I would argue that fights such as Baron Geddon; Where you must move from the raid with Living bomb and then return, all of these basic mechanical pre-requisites for completing the fight are all present in current time within 5 man heroic dungeons, and to some extent normal mode fights. Perhaps as the game has developed over time, so has the skill of the average player, or rather the requirements for that player to engage in harder content.

WoWScrnShot_030914_202950

So when I think of the amazing stories I’ve been told about how epic the raiding was back then, all I think of is how 40 people overcame communication boundaries and a poorly implemented series of game mechanics and unbalanced classes, and that in many ways the experiences they had felt good because of their accomplishments within their own community, with their friends. I have the same feelings about The Burning Crusade, many times I remember how our Karazhan runs would be filled with laughter and progression, but the fights themselves weren’t all that great. The people I raided with and the communities I engaged myself with are what made me play World of Warcraft, and continue to make me play the game to this day.

It’s safe to say that 40 man raiding would not work within the WoW we know and love today, because the limitations of what can be done mechanically, is completely dependant on organisation. If you could run 40 people into any of the MoP raids, do you think the various mechanics that made those fights difficult would remain the same? Honestly, the more people you have versus an enemy in a hot-key based MMO, the less likely it is you will follow mechanics and the more likely it is you would zerg it and go all out. Look at the isle of Giant with Oondasta, the great killer of pugs. That dinosaur has 2 mechanics, all of which rely on a tank facing the boss away from the raid to prevent a wipe, yet ‘Frillblast’ was the cause of endless wipes.

Ordos has mechanics on the Timeless isle, yet groups I enter fill with 40 people, with many others also taking part in the fight from without the raid group each week. The mechanics go from being structured points on the dungeon journal to what they are in reality, stand on the boss and move around with him whilst 12 healers put down healing aoe’s completely negating the damage that would otherwise kill you. There is strength in numbers, but very little skill.

This is the first week of our adventures in level 60 content, where we have cleared all bosses within the Molten Core, and the first boss of AQ 40, where soon after we called the raid due to losing members to time commitments. It’s something I will continue, simply out of curiosity mainly, as I want to find the point where the game changes, and in turn the difficulty of added mechanics make our progression near impossible without the communication and strategy that’s present in modern day raiding.

I hope you have found this article interesting, and if you wish to continue this discussion further please drop over to the WoW Stratics Forums, where you can tell me all about your favourite days in WoW and your own experiences of the changes in raiding.

Play Like a Pro! – Resto Shaman Weak Aura / Information!

Shamans

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 Restoration Shaman and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

If you have healed any raid content before you will immediately realize the versatility of the Restoration spec for Shaman. Not even looking as throughput, they bring so much utility its absurd. They have everything you could want as a healer:
– A Massive AOE CD (Healing Tide Totem.)
– A Massive Throughput Increase (Ascendance)
– A Mana Cooldown, that scales with your stats and is RAID WIDE! (Mana Tide Totem)
– And a Reduction CD, that is arguably the best in the game for anything that hits more than once in its duration (Spirit Link Totem).

With all these tools, it makes you think their other spells and heals must really suffer. It would also be logical to say that with the best mana CD in the game, surely they must run OOM very quickly… RIGHT?
Good joke.

On top of the CDs, Shaman have the best single target heal in the game(Healing Surge), the best ground/smart aoe heal (Healing Rain) and the most efficient cleave-heal (Chain Heal.)
And if it weren’t for Daybreak and Evangelism, they would have the best combo in Tidal Waves as well!

Shaman UI

Click to Enlarge!

Anyway, now that you know the basics, let’s talk about how you can maximize your play as a Restoration shaman, especially inside Challenge Modes and smaller group content. Before we continue, here is a screenshot of the set up I am currently running. We will break it down one group at a time!

Major Cooldown Group:

This will cover all your major cooldowns as a block, as its important to understand that they are defined as such, and are truly “major.” Understanding each of these abilities is paramount to your success as a healer, and is why I took the time to define each of the major Healing CDs. Also in this group, as you will see below, is Astral Shift and Ancestral Guidance. The reason they aren’t shown in my original UI screenshot is because I do not currently use those talents. Astral Shift is a very strong talent for raiding, especially on some encounters, but 40 percent for 1.5 minutes is just straight up overkill in Challenge Modes. If you need a 40 percent reduction as a healer in CM you are in trouble from the start, so I prefer the 1 minute CD of Bulwark Totem. Its lightweight, and persistent, helping you absorb consistent damage throughout the time its available.
As for Ancestral Guidance, I don’t ever see a use for this in any type of content, especially not Challenge Modes. This is meant to be a CD for DPS to use to outheal a healer, but if you are DPSing as a resto shaman and expecting this to do your work for you, you are going the wrong route. However, it is still a viable choice, and included for your benefit. I would strongly recommend Rushing Streams instead though!

This string is extremely basic though, and as per the screenshot, you will see it shows them static when available, and then ticking when on Cooldown.

WoWScrnShot_030714_142659

Find the Import string here. Open the pastebin, copy the string, then paste it in the Import section of Weak Auras in game.

Rotational CD Group:

Now that you have the Major Cooldowns for big moments, the next order of business is the rotational CDs. These are the ones that the tracker really helps on, as they are short CDs that you will often forget about in the heat of battle. Realistically, even WITH this on the screen, its still common to find myself complacent and missing things. Hopefully, more than just hand-holding, this will help give you visual queues for the rhythm the spec commands. Its very much a balancing act with all this utility, so getting the “rotation” down to muscle memory will help you learn when things are on and off CD without actually needing the help.

On this tracker, starting left to right we first see Ancestral Swiftness. This is a great CD, but I like the Elemental Mastery for Challenge Modes a bit better, and Echo a bit better for 25 man raiding. Of course, its there if you like it. Next over is the most important one, being Healing Stream Totem. This will do some SERIOUS work in Challenge modes, especially with Rushing Streams. I usually see this, Riptide, Earthshield and Healing rain do near 100 percent of my healing unless the tank is REALLY getting rocked, so make sure its down as much as possible. From there, we see the timer on Riptide and Healing Rain, both of which we want down 100 percent of the time. You can make a case for not putting Rain down here and there, but IMO even if its only ticking on the tank, its still worth it, as you can use that time to Lightning Bolt back some mana! The final piece here is Unleashed Elements tracker, which is more for show than anything. You aren’t really ever going to get more than one heal off in its duration, but if you are trying to meta game it, the tracker is there. As soon as you use the ability, the window appears showing the buff duration.

WoWScrnShot_030714_144338

You can find this string by clicking here!

Tidal Waves:

Short but sweet, this tracker will help you know exactly how many tidal wave stacks you have. If there is no number, you have none! Once again, this will be a visual queue for what should eventually become muscle memory. The more you play the class, the more you will find yourself memorizing how many heals after each Riptide have been cast. Easymode!

WoWScrnShot_030714_152124

Click this link to find the import string for this lil guy!

Stormlash Totem:

This ability may be being removed in Warlords, but its still one of the best utilities we have right now without question. Since its a five minute cooldown, this tracker will also help you with Fire Elemental. In CM, you should ALWAYS place them down together, and should coordinate this with big packs or Bloodlust periods. In actual raiding, you will need to discuss who is using which totem at which time amongst the other shaman, but as long as you use it when its needed, the timer will help you remember when both are back up.

In this tracker, you will find a duration monitor, as seen in the screenshot below. Once the totem has expired, you will then see a cooldown ticking like previous examples, and once it has returned from Cooldown, it will be pulsating to help remind players that its up.

WoWScrnShot_030714_153029

Find the Import code at this link!

Wind Shear:

That concludes the Weak Aura component of this guide, but there are still some other things that are worth mentioning before we wrap up. A HUGE part of playing a shaman is the fact that you have a ranged interrupt. This ability was considered the best interrupt in the game before Cata, and should still be a major part of your play, especially in Challenge Modes. You are the only healer with a ranged interrupt, so if there is ever a situation that you are broken up into small groups, you should make sure you are using it as much as possible. Nearly 100 percent of the time, interrupting something in a raid will save more damage done than simply casting a heal instead.

Because this is the case, you want a “stopcast” macro for the interrupt. Here is the macro I use:
/stopcasting
/cast Wind Shear
#showtooltip Wind Shear

On top of this, you will also be able to use this ability in place of a functional stop cast. As long as you don’t have an enemy targeted, it won’t use the ability, so if there is a time you need to stop a Lightning Bolt, this can help you. I say this because typically, players just use movement to stop a cast, but since Lightning Bolt is now baseline on-the-move (at least for now,) the movement wouldn’t help you.
This can be a great tool.

Other Concerns

These two things fall into the category of actual healing spells, so I don’t find it pertinent to have Weak Auras for, but still important to track in some way. The first thing two things you need up 100 percent of the time are Water Shield and Earthliving Weapon.

Click to Enlarge!

Click to Enlarge!

In the Screenshot, you see just how that’s done. I am currently using Healbot, but it can be done in Vuhdoo as well. Simply set it up so it monitors whenever one falls off, and you can immediately refresh it. Luckily, Earthliving is an hour buff, and water shield no longer has durations so this should be MUCH easier than the BC days.

The other major concern is Earth Shield. I haven’t found a way to track Earth Shield with Weak Auras that is more efficient to this method, so I just stick with it. Its default on Healbot, and I’d imagine it would be default on any other clickthrough addon you can use now for healing so there shouldn’t be much to discuss. Just make sure its also showing the amount of stacks, so as soon as you see it about to expire you can refresh it. This ability will be of massive importance in challenge modes especially, as the tank spike damage can be negated a lot. Its also super useful with the current 2 set bonus in SoO!

Also notice otice the Bar is White, because I'm missing Water Shield!

Also notice the Bar is White, because I’m missing Water Shield!

 

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 this thread.

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/resto-weak-aura-set-up.312885/
See the set-up in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl1KV9iaIIA
Check out my Shaman’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Helwig/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Play Like a Pro! – Brewmaster Monk Weak Aura / Information!

Brewmaster

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 be looking at Brewmaster Monk, the latest tanking spec that has been added to World of Warcraft, and discuss how Weak Auras and UI elements can turn your play from misinformed to GODLIKE!

The first thing everyone needs to understand is just how many buffs and debuffs this spec plays around. While this isn’t a “from the ground up” guide on the spec, I will certainly take some time to help people understand that if you are seeing anything we discuss in this article for the first time, you want to read more into it. Things like Stagger and Guard, or monitoring Shuffle are supremely important to the spec’s longevity,  so be sure you understand exactly how each works beforehand.

To preface this, my first Challenge Mode 9/9 gold set was completed on my Brewmaster Monk, BEFORE I learned about the UI elements we will discuss today. I was completely in the dark, and while I had a small addon to monitor cooldowns, I basically was playing blind and just using things as they became available. Ever since learning these tricks, I have easily doubled my success as a Brewmaster tank, and will do what I can to pass this knowledge on to you.

Here is a full UI screenshot of the set up I am currently running. It may all look rather confusing, so don’t worry, we will break it down piece by piece.

Totals

Click to Enlarge!

Stagger -

The stagger indicator is EASILY the most important part of this entire set up, and will be your best friend, especially in five man content with 10-20 mobs attacking you at once. This indicator will show you exactly what level your stagger is, as well as a percentage-based indicator. As the correlated color scheme gets further progressed, the Weak Aura visual indicator will go from see-through to opaque. Having the percentage based indicator is really the key part, and without such, we would be misinformed about when to clear, as the default Blizzard aura only shows past Red stagger. Its important to also remember that with this indicator you can monitor how dramatically your stagger is increasing, allowing you to make an on-the-fly decision about spending on its clear. Here is an example of the indicator in game, isolated. StaggersTo add this element, follow this link.

Copy/paste the text into the “Import” section and it will automatically appear on your screen in the same position I have it!

Shuffle -

If the Stagger indicator is the bread, the Shuffle indicator is the butter, as the two go hand in hand. As this is your light active mitigation, its very important you know EXACTLY when your shuffle is expiring, and without it maximized properly on bigger pulls, you can easily find yourself dead within a few globals. This element will help you know firstly when you do not have it up, and then how long its duration is so you can anticipate spending for another blackout kick.

Shuffle NO

Nul Indicator

Shuffle YES

Time remaining.

Time remaining.

Import string for this indicator can be found here.

Guard -

The next most important element you could have would be a Guard indicator, which not only displays when its active, but will display when it is available, its CD, and how much it will absorb. Guard is your primary active mitigation and will essentially act as your only real means for surviving regular sources of damage. This is one of the biggest downfalls to Brewmaster tanks, the fact that they have no real on-demand reduction on a small CD, so you really need to be able to use this ability to its full potential. In Challenge Modes, use it as your first line of defense to dampen the huge incoming burst from the synced swing timers. In raids, build it up and use it exactly when a big hit is coming. Make sure its empowered with Tiger Palm as well!

Guard waiting Guard

With this indicator you see when its available on top, and the duration / amount absorbed below. Find the import string at this link.

Elusive Brew -

Another huge part of the active mitigation game for Brewmasters, Elusive Brew can be a godsend or it can be useless. The issue is in raids, a lot of big damage simply can not be dodged, rendering everything but guard and stagger useless in mitigating it. Either way, proper usage of this ability will be vital to your survival in those short-burst 20+ packs of Challenge Modes. With that many mobs attacking you, the “second” based duration really amplifies its usefulness, and if not used correctly could be the reason you win or lose. I feel around 6 stacks is when you want to use this ability, but it also depends on the situation and incoming damage expected, so with this string you can easily monitor how many stacks, and then its CD.

Elusive

Find the information you seek here.

Basic Buff and Resource Cluster -

While less intricate than the previously discussed topics, this cluster of indicators will be just as important for basic usage of the class mechanics. Below, you will see a Chi indicator, an Energy indicator, and some basic buff trackers. Starting from the top, the buffs include Tiger Palm and Ox statue, which are vital to the spec’s play, but may not be the reason you die or live. Down the next level, we see a red bar and a green bar. The green is your current energy bar, and the red is the CD of Keg Smash – the most important ability in Monk tanking. Without question, if you can not maximize your keg smash usage you will not succeed, as it not only does the most damage, but generates the most chi per global, applies weakened blows, and Dizzying Haze which snares and mitigates. The final bar is the Chi bar, which will become your best friend in times of high spending and times of building.

Basic Cluster

While I call it a cluster, its actually three groups all stacked up. You can find the import strings as follows:
Buff Notice Bar.
Energy / Keg Indicator.
Chi Visual Updater.

Self Heals -

Reduction isn’t a Monk’s only tool, and some times self heals can be more useful than actual mitigation. Either way, its important to use Expel Harm as much as possible, and then use your Level 30 talent as needed. These two indicators are as basic as it gets, showing the availability and CD of which ever talent you have, as well as Expel Harm.

WoWScrnShot_030514_143316

Level 30 Talent.
Expel Harm.

Big CD Tracker -

If you are going to play a Tank, I feel you shouldn’t need something like this, but either way its useful as you learn. Your big CD, aka “Shield Wall” should be ingrained in your mind and you should be able to tell real-time when its available. For those still getting used to this, try this handy-dandy thing. CDsDampen Harm or Diffuse Magic will change based on selection. Find it here.

Vengeance -

Last but not least, a small string for Vengeance tracking. This may not be incredibly useful, but in Challenge modes, its important to monitor how much you have and get creative with taking damage to try and increase your output. This is high-risk/high-reward, so its best if you move this tracker to the most comfortable area for you.

Find it 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 Sunnier.
Check out Sunnier’s blog, as they deserve the credit for the foundation. I only put my touch on it and delivered it to you!

More so, this is an important matter to realize, as the goal here is to be able to play a class to a higher level just by using Addons that give you the information you need. You can literally go from never tanking before as a Monk to knowing exactly what you need to do with the right tools, so I hope this has helped.

Discuss this set up here:
Stratics Forums!
See the set-up in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBxVnfe8bEs
Check out my Monk’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/Firetree/Metromonk/advanced
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Mopping up MoP

tiny

News today comes in the shape and form of preparation to send Mists of Pandaria into the archives and make way for Warlords of Draenor. Confirmed to be around the date of 10th March, less than one week from now, Mists of Pandaria’s Digital Deluxe edition will be retired into the Blizzard Archive.

This means that you will no longer be able to purchase the Digital Deluxe edition, and thus begins the first step towards being able to pre-order the next expansion Warlords of Draenor at some undisclosed date afterwards.

pets

Mists of Pandaria’s Digital deluxe edition contains both an in-game mount and in-game pet, so if you are still undecided to get those articles of the game or not, this will likely help you make that decision much easier. Blizzard go on to mention that the Digital Deluxe version of Pandaria, whilst being retired now, may at some point in the future rear it’s head again, but they are not confirming anything. For now it’s best to presume that you won’t see them again for a while, if at all.

So what does this mean in terms of WoD?

Well if we look at this from another perspective, a date on anything at this point is a huge giveaway as to the planning process for the pre-order process and somewhat indicative towards any possible beta plans, which would come shortly after. If the 10th of March is the end of MoP DD pre-order, it could mean that we would see the pre-order for the next WoW expansion days, maybe even 1-2 weeks maximum after this point. You have to remember that the store page would need a new promotion, it’s fairly unlikely they would leave it blank for too long. Anything could happen though, but the speculation is much easier if you look at this from a business stand point. Literally mopping up MoP is the final stage needed on the store front before a new promotion could be introduced, and there is nothing more anticipated than WoD pre-order and the subsequent level 90 boost features, one of which you would get free with WoD pre-order. Thinking back to Blizzcon, they mentioned that the free 90 would be something that they would introduce with the pre-order a good deal of time prior to the games release, giving people time to get accustomed to their character and it’s abilities at 90. From that alone it makes me think they mean months and months prior, rather than a week before release.

Keeping people interested in the lull between content is something they wanted to cut out of the process

The past couple of weeks have been wonderful for a sudden burst in WoD news, weather it be class changes, PvP changes, etc. Now with this date for the end of MoP D.D, it’s all drawing to a close in preparation for the next chapter in World of Warcraft! Be sure to stay around here at Stratics, for Daily/ Weekly news, lore, discussions and more!