The Complete Tank Transformation – Classic to WoD Walkthrough!

tank

Welcome everyone, I’m making this article specifically for two reasons. The first of the two is because a lot of people I speak with make comments such as “Man I can’t believe how much tanking has changed” and its inevitably returned with “Has it really changed that much?” The second person is who this article is for, as after that conversation progresses even further, its obvious a LOT of people don’t have clarity on this topic.

The second of the two reasons, is because I’m frankly getting sick of people complain about tanking changes on the WoD beta. You guys simply don’t understand the change, which is fine, and I’m sure this one article won’t change that, but at least its off my mind. So let’s begin.

Classic -

First thing to recognize about classic is that there were three specs that could even tank for any reason whatsoever. Protection Warrior, Protection Paladin, and Feral Druid. The issue however, is that only Protection Warrior had a taunt, so as a Paladin you could only ever tank something that would never need to be taunted (ie nothing.) Feral had a different issue, that being a lack of agility gear that was relevant. Pretty much all leather gear had weapon specialization on it, or things of that nature (the stat that eventually became expertise.)

Model: tank
In general, the model can be summed up by one word – Threat.

You can tell that Blizzard wanted there to be more to it then that already, by giving them an ability like Shield Block, but it was simply too infrequent and not enough in a pseudo triage healing model. Shield Wall was also a 1 hour CD originally, but became 30 minutes at some point through out classic!

For five mans, your job was to lead the group, mark for CC, and threat what you could. You CC mobs mostly because its impossible to keep threat on them, but in classic it was also very dangerous to tank many, because dodge, block, and parry (combat table coverage) are not what they are today. It was very very common to take unmitigated swings.

Burning Crusade -

In TBC, they gave Paladins and druids real taunts, and real gear options to tank from level 70 normals all the way through sunwell. Each tank had its ups and downs, but many people still considered a warrior to be the only option for a raid tank, because the others still lacked definite cds and debuffs.
Its at this point that people first start recognizing the important of Thunderclap, Demo Shout, Disarm, and Shield Block.

Model: Even more surely a threat based model, especially outside of raids. tank

In classic, there was very little to worry about in the way of 4-6 mob packs that weren’t just AOE trash, but TBC introduced this type of pull in a lot of its 5 mans. Historically, people remember these as a true challenge, but it lied at the heart of the tanking model, not the mechanical design. The tank simply could NOT get threat on them all unless they were a paladin with high spell power.

Towards the end of TBC we start seeing the new model surface, likely by accident.

Wrath of the Lich King -

Wrath saw the introduction (finally) of rotational defensive CDs. Divine Protection was the biggest one; the spell changed from a weaker hard bubble to a 2 minute 20 percent damage reduction and we never looked back.

Shield Block, shield wall, and last stand all became useable in rotation, and the birth of Combat Table Coverage caps (CTC) was born. With defensive stats readily selectable from gear options, the game had come a LONG way, maybe not even intentionally.

Model: 50 percent threat, 50 percent survival. tank

Honestly, I struggle to believe they wanted this to go this direction this quickly, but once people saw how easy Wrath five mans were, there was no turning back. But once again, you need to understand WHY this was the case. We went from 5-7 mob packs in TBC that simply COULD not be pulled without some dedicated CC. It literally was not possible to threat them all. In wrath, these 5-7 mob packs were just more heavy damage then a 3-4 mob pack. Every tank had a viable AOE, and with the introduction of DKs, we see the first real overpowered AoE to join a tank arsenal since Paladins got sorted out in Howling Blast. Frost DK tanks simply had no concerns with threat, and thus the model was shattered.

A warrior still had to battle, but Thunderclap’s threat was dramatically increased, so if you just charged in, tclapped, and then tabbed and cleaved, you would have no concerns either. The dawn of the new age has begun!

Cataclysm -

I consider this the dim hours for Tanking. They were crossed up between what happened with the abandoned threat model, and what was emerging as an overpowered reduction model, giving way to the submodel of DPS. Cataclysm five mans were considered among the toughest, but entirely because of the incoming damage being overwhelming. CC was used to prevent a tank death, but as they settled into this model tanks started to realize that if they simply just went ham AOE, they could do more dps then the actual players…

Model: 10 percent threat, 70 percent Survival, 20 percent DPS. tank

Long story short, the availability of stats like Critical strike on Plate gear since the advent of the specialization perks make warrior tanks (and others) really consider ditching conventional tanking ideas and become another DPS. If they used their rotational CDs properly, the stats on their gear became nearly irrelevant, however a full ctc capped paladin would essentially need no healing, so it was up to the raid on which direction they wanted to go. Regardless, this solidified the death of threat tanking, and would usher in the brilliance that we see in Pandaria.

Mists of Pandaria –

This is how tanking should have always been. Threat was a fun mechanic, but felt clunky. You are the tank! Keeping yourself alive should be what its all about.

tankModel: Active Mitigation Survival and Vengeance DPS.

With the advent of Challenge Modes, we see this model in its purest form. Every tank has an AOE stun, and between 3-5 rotational CDs with Active Mitigation tied in. A tank who can keep his active mitigation up simply can not be killed, and this allows the spec and class to be pushed to its most extreme limits. When you pull the entire room of Scholomance and see 1.5 million DPS as a protection paladin with 960k vengeance and 300k ticking hots from your own spell, you know you have broken the video game.

The active mitigation is amazing, and so is the defensive benefit of Vengeance, but the dps aspect is simply cheesy, and was far too abused in raid encounters where a tank would be the top dps by a mile. Lesson learned, let’s move on. RIP vengeance

Warlords of Draenor -

With 6.0 comes Resolve, the child of the deceased Vengeance. It is essentially the same thing, but it only effects your self preservation, and doesn’t last nearly as long. Its very akin to the DK blood shield concept, but now for all tanks.

Model: Active Mitigation 100 percent.

tank

At least that’s how its shaping up. It has yet to be claimed how it will transpire, but the way I see it, its all about you now. There is no super hero complex where a tank with 1.5m attack power can trump 5 dps, and there is no need for silly gear choices. All secondary stats, even critical strike, give some offensive and defensive benefit, while Bonus Armor and the tertiary stats seem to be your main difference between sets.

The point of complaint is the reduction of Shield Wall type CDs from 12 seconds to 8 and a general nerf to active mitigation, but this seems neccessary to me. 12 seconds is a long time, despite it being a 3 minute CD, and hopefully wont hinder the model too much in the long run.

Metro’s Summary and Favorites -

In brief, it has come full circle. From a pure threat model to a pure survival model. It took 10 years, but I feel both have their merits. What did NOT strike me as fun was the in between years. Especially in Cataclysm, tanking just made no sense. It was basically frowned on to do something other then try to be the top DPS, and even in the one “challenging” 5 man heroics, a fury warrior was a more capable tank then a protection warrior.

My preference is the two extremes without question. Tanking MoP Challenge Modes is the most fun I’ve had in the game, and tanking Classic five mans (and TBC five mans to some degree) is just one notch lower. The threat model was simpler but still engaging. The MoP model is far more complex, but far more rewarding when you can negate the panic.

Even with the ability pruning in WoD, there is very little lost in the way of tanking. Looking forward to a new season of CMs and the culmination of 10 years of tanking work. Can’t wait!

How2: Combat Logging on the Beta – Six Simple Steps!

loggings

Some time recently, Blizzard took the first step towards addon allowance, likely around the same time they released this blue post.

If you haven’t read my last article, I would remind you that it is mandatory, but either way the point is that I think I have even more evidence now towards my prediction.

I’m a bit late discovering this, but it hasn’t been possible for that long. Trust me, its one of the first things I tested during the Alpha! The big issue is the data being gathered by the logging sites isn’t recognizable, and even now it is barely so.

To use an example:
In MoP beta, If anyone used a Symbiosis spell to do damage it completely destroyed the log. While you could upload and read the datum from MoP quite clearly, because it didn’t recognize how a Retribution Paladin was able to use Wrath, everything went haywire. The issue was present in Recount as well when addons were eventually enabled, and made testing a real nightmare, as essentially every time anyone used Symbiosis to effect the combat table, it added a new person to the list and would reset the data

I don’t know how much this was the game’s fault or the actual people developing the combat log coding, but either way I am here to officially inform you that it is now doable. I will walk you though everything you need to know about how to set this up, and will demonstrate a bit of what I was able to acquire this week, despite the bug with DPS gear scaling being non-existent.

Step <ONE>:

Sign up and get started!

Sign up and get started!

Head over to http://www.warcraftlogs.com/

This isn’t an article to bash or promote any of the options, but it does appear that Warcraft Logs is being actively worked on and improving, where as the other options have seemingly fallen into disrepair.

If its your first time using the site, you may need to spend some time familiarizing yourself as well. This is not within the scope of this article, but should be easily figured out. Simply make an account and get comfortable.

Continue on when you are ready.

Step Two:

Get the Client installed!

Get the Client installed!

This client uses Adobe Air instead of java plugins, so you should immediately be satisfied. Its unlikely you have Adobe AIR on your computer already though, so when you click the link, make sure to install AIR first, and then move on to the Client package.

Once you get both done, it should unpack by itself and be ready to mess about with.

Step Three:

Create Shortcut, open client!

Create Shortcut, open client!

The client is pretty basic, even with its expanded features, but lets take a moment to talk about all the things you need to know here.

First of all, you will need to log in with your actual account from the website. The client will sync your data between server side and client side and things will appear as they do now. There is an optional step not included here which you can exercise to create a guild, but once again, beyond the scope of this guide. If you would like to do that, feel free, but it is entirely optional for the beta. If you contribute to a guild, its advisable you upload these as private, especially if your guild takes logs serious. No need to clutter their pages with messy beta logs that make no real sense to non-testers. (we call them no beta club)

Now the two final selectors are your most important assets. Essentially, you can choose to either upload a log that you have stored to view and dissect it, or you can upload a live report which is what most people will chose to do. Both are viable options here, but in case you have already been on the beta and wish to view previous data, you can choose to exercise this option.

If you wish to log from here on out, ignore that feature.

Step Four:

Establish Log Destination!

Establish Log Destination!

Article inception! Anyway, next step is simply press Browse and navigate to your beta folder.

In case you can’t find it, the easiest way to determine the path is to right click any WoW icon you have on your desktop, and click “Open File Location.” Then backwards navigate from there to where the default folder when clicking Browse on the log client takes you.

If you still can’t figure it out, you may need to check if your computer is plugged in. Yes maam, I understand how important this matter is, but please calm down. I’m trying to help.

Step 1-4 were entirely setting up the logging client to receive the data, but the chances are you need to enact a few more steps before you are officially ready to collect!

Step Five:

Establish the Log File!

Establish the Log File!

If this is the first time doing so, your folder will look like it does now. The client is set to recognize any LOG file that appears in there, but currently there are none! You see, Blizzard by default does not have combat logging running. Thankfully as well, because if this were the case your computer may accidentally fill up with crap you don’t even want.

In order to establish the log file, but also keep it neat and tidy, we are going to use a simple macro in game.

Open your macros, find an icon that fits your tastes, and make the entirety of it:
/combatlog

Who said this was going to be complicated!

Now, put that macro some where and press it. When you do, you will see yellow text saying
Combat being logged to Logs/wowcombatlog.txt

Press it again and it will say
Combat logging disabled.

This macro now allows you to log specifically what you want, if you wish to eliminate all the extra crap that will likely come along. Just make sure you remember to turn it on and off at the right times!

If this is your first time and you are serious about this, I would just leave it on whenever you are inside any instance or dungeon. Its best to have the whole log there so you can break down every second of your time in there. But there is also the option to only log for bosses. Just make sure you are out of combat when you start the log, otherwise it wont appear properly, even on Live!

Now logging in enabled, you are welcome to enter an instance and go nuts! Make sure you press the START button on the log client as well.
All your actions will be recorded, including you movement through the rooms, any healing or damage you do, and how long you spend on each combat session.

Once you have completed the dungeon, the next step is viewing your work!

Step Six:

Part 1: Collection Complete?

Part 1: Collection Complete? Click View Report!

Part 2: Decipher!

Part 2: Decipher!

 

Follow the instructions on the above images, and you should now be on the page your log is stored at. Note the highlighted text on the top left of the second image, as it is very important.

So typically, this website’s output reader and storage breaks each combat instance down by “Boss kills” and otherwise. This is obviously to include everything, but negate the pile of crap you would have to wade through to see each attempt on a boss. So typically, you would select the menu you wish to operate out of, and search below it for the specific combat instance you wish to examine.

Unfortunately, currently in the beta this is not the case. However, it is savvy enough to also name each combat instance under the first mob engaged. So essentially, if you see something with a generic name, you can assume this is trash or something equivalent.

However, if you see a specific name such as “Commander Tharbek” then you know this is a boss encounter! It’s just not properly labeled yet. Its very likely that by the time many of you read this, the issue described has been fixed though. So ya, sorry for wasting your time!

Anyway, you should be all set now. Just leaf through every combat instance and find whats important to you. The issue with 5 man content is the bosses typically have a lot of strange mechanics that interact with dps uptime in different ways, so just take it all with a grain of salt.

Also, I think its best if you only examine your ability in dungeons for now. Open world Logging has always been strange, no reason to complicate it even more with Beta!

 

For those of you interested, you can check out some of UBRS done by myself as a Monk tank.

*Also, as of July 11 2014, Beta scaling is not working. Its scaling level 100 DPS specs to 90, and not effecting 90s at all. This is apparently being hotfixed shortly, but just wanted you to understand why the DPS in these logs is so low. Only look at the Tank and Healing numbers! You have been warned.

http://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/vGX8Zf1N3MxPnTkV#fight=9

Even though the scaling is broken (meaning their characters are level 90 attacking high level bosses,) it is obvious to see Destro locks are currently better then weapon warrior. I’d make a post about this on the official forums.

As always, if you have any questions about this, feel free to ask here or on our forums!

 

25 Heroic Garrosh Hellscream – Metro’s Healing Guide!

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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!

Understanding the encounter –

Congratz on making it to the final fight of the expansion. Being here IS understanding the encounter. Recognize the fact that this is the final progression target of Mists of Pandaria, and you will have a healthy respect for the ways this fight can crush your spirit and your body.

Luckily, as a healer your job is short and sweet. It may vary depending on the group you choose to venture with, so let’s first lay out the multiple ways we have attempted this encounter.

1 boss tank, 1 kite tank, 4 healers.
2 boss tanks, 1 kite tank, 4 healers.
1 boss tank, 1 kite tank, 5 healers.
2 boss tank, 5 healers.

These are all viable options, but we ultimately stick to having 1 boss tank, and 4 or 5 healers, depending on the group each week.

Regardless of which you chose, you need to understand that this is a potentially 15 minute encounter with many breaks in between, and a LOT of damage that needs to be healed in short bursts.

Once again, your utility will be your biggest benefit, so without further wasted breath, let’s begin the final guide for MoP!

*This is a very long fight, and there for a very long guide. Feel free to use CONTROL + F (Find feature) to explore the different segments you may have interest in reading.

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

For your benefit, I will break down each major demarcation of the encounter and explain the pitfalls of each from the healing position, as well as how you can maximize your raid’s ability to succeed.

Phase 1: The True Horde:

As soon as the encounter begins, the tank will already be in danger. Even with full BIS this boss is still the hardest hitting of any melee swings in the video game. Be ready for this.

The next damage to expect comes with the packs of adds. They will fixate on random players and do melee swings infused with shadow damage constantly. This will do a LOT of damage, and get even worse when he uses “Hellscream’s Warsong.” There should likely only be two sets, and the first one will die very quickly with everyone’s potion and CDs rolling.

When the second set comes in, you need specific people to chain lock downs, as if it were Challenge Mode. Our specific set is as follows:
Leg Sweep -> Shockwave -> Knockback 1 into Ring of Frost and Hunter Traps, Knock back 2, Gorefiend’s Grasp to Ox Statue -> They are killed by iron star.

If this is executed flawlessly, zero damage goes out. If it is not, 5-6 people will come VERY close to dying. Its honestly a fun mechanic to include in the last boss, so don’t expect to heal through it. Just contribute in what ways you can to their control.

The predictable damage of the phase comes in the form of the Iron Star hitting. Garrosh is still perfecting this technology, so after they go rolling through the room killing his “true horde” it will crash into the wall and do a LOT of shadow damage. This is a time for controlled CDs. Two are all there should ever be, so plan for it accordingly.

We use 1 Devo Aura, 1 Smoke Bomb, and 1 Anti Magic Zone for each. This is sufficient, but be sure to warn your wayward melee that leaving the zone+bubble is very risky.

The phase ends with little incident, and the 2nd hardest part of the encounter begins swiftly.

Transition 1: Temple of the Corrupted Serpent.

Things really escalate quickly in this phase, and it will require a portion of your cunn… no. ALL of your cunning as a guild to reliably perform the tasks you are asked in this phase.

This isn’t a general strategy guide, so it’s up to your group to organize how they want this done, but for completion’s sake understand you need 3 solid AOE interrupts or stuns.

There are a few ways healers can make a BIG impact on this, so let’s go through each option.

Holy Paladins can glyph the stun on Blinding Light. It must be glyphed, as the mobs can’t be knocked down or disoriented. If you are blood elf (which you should be,) you can rush up there, cast Blinding Light, and then AOE silence them with Arcane Torrent. From there, you can use Fist of Justice and Rebuke to interrupt two more individually, making possible for a Blood Elf Holy Paladin to handle all three adds for the entire duration. Any blood elf healer should volunteer for this. Taurens can do the same, but just be sure Warstomp is happening at the end of any stun chain, as it’s the shortest in the game. It will still work though.

Mistweaver Monks can function the same way, especially if you are Tauren or Bloodelf. Run up there, Leg sweep, and Arcane Torrent. You can even single interrupt one as well afterwards to get big value out of your slot.

Shaman should expect a glyphed cap to be needed, and if tauren offer Warstomp immediately after it. It may be difficult to get the stormlash down in time, even with the glyph so if you can’t get there quick enough make sure you can be the second in the chain. It may be possible to project the totem in time, but this is a big risk.

ANNIHILATE:

Once the adds are handled, your raid should make all 25 players getting the buff simultaneously of paramount importance. This phase does a LOT of damage even with the buff, so any player without it will be near 1 shot from the damage, even with the 800k health we have at 585~.

If there is only one or two people with the debuff, you can give them things like sac or iron bark. If there are 5+ you should consider using things like Devotion Aura or Healing Tide totem here. Anything that hits everyone will work, but make sure you can still move otherwise it will have to be cut short.

I can’t impress enough how much healing this actually requires even with 25 buffed, so don’t take it lightly. Make sure everyone is stacked near the boss and in AOE heals. Move slightly to avoid each hit, and spam your lives to full!

Phase 2: Power of Y’shaarj

Imagine if he ate the Heart...

Imagine if he ate the Heart…

Once you land back in the original room and get to your designated position, immediately consider preparing for the Whirling Corruption. This mechanic should happen three times before another transition, and each time it’s incredibly lethal if you are aiming to maximize DPS and stand through it.

If for some reason you are ranging it, then go ahead and skip this entire segment, as the phase would literally be damage-free.

Assuming you stayed, let’s talk about the best way to handle this phase as well as planning towards the next. As we learned from the previous phase, controlled burst is the name of the game. I would recommend 1-2 reduction CDs, and 1 strong aoe heal cd each time. It depends on your group of course, but this is our group’s set up:

Whirl 1: 1 Minute Priest and Paladin CDs, Anti Magic Zone. Least dangerous, with so long to prepare.

Whirl 2: Complicated by weapon CD, so be careful of the weapon team’s health.
Guardian of Ancient Kings from 2 paladins, Smoke bomb and second AMZ
Most dangerous because of weapon team.

Whirl 3: 1 minute Priest and Paladin CDs, Smoke Bomb.
Dangerous, but only use CDs you won’t need for the next phase.

This is all about preparation, so make sure you have your Healing Rains and Effloresces placed, pre shielding from priests and paladins, and spam your best AOE heal for 4-5 globals. Even with the health we have now, this is still very dangerous, but needed for the strategy to work properly.

Transition 2: Uhh where did they go!?

SKIP THIS PHASE MY FRIENDS! Why?
Here is why:

– As we saw in Transition 1, the damage from Annihilate is insane, even when all 25 people have the buff. In this phase, there is 0 percent chance of all 25 having the buff. This means you will need designated healing assignments and cd rotation. With only 4 healers, this won’t be possible.

– On top of this, the whole goal of doing these transitions is stopping him from empowering the next phase. If it were possible to skip the adds, I would be all for it, but no matter how fast you are he still makes it. Why bother, when all he does is gain some health back then?

– Final point is that this 1 minute downtime allows for a full regen of any healer mana, and gives times for 5 minute CDs to be assured for the most important phase.

Honestly, you need to 4-5 heal this. If you are in a guild that isn’t trying this strategy, tell them of these three benefits. Assure them that the DPS requirement can EASILY be met with this amount of health gained. The only other option is pushing to skip this whole thing entirely, which is very doable. If he ever enters it, you should not engage.

Phase 2 Finale: Who’s world?

This is a very crucial part of the encounter, and as a healer, it’s the first time you’ll start seeing the tank need constant attention. The whirls can no longer be CDed through, so make sure everyone is at range and avoiding the add damage as they hit. The damage her is the red herring to distract you from the tank. DO NO FALTER. If you do, and you are solo tanking the boss, it’s a wipe. He will die every time you miss globals on him to heal elsewhere. Always have at least 1-2 people dedicated to this job.

At this point, you should have your kite tank employed. If you choose to kill the adds, then use whatever your class can offer to help facilitate this. It’s much easier to kite them, provided you have a brewmaster who is a valued player. Any player with a high mechanic IQ can do it, even if they have mediocre gear. They should never take damage.

This is a short phase, but if you don’t focus on healing the tank and the raid enough at the right times it will be even shorter with a long run back and next pull. Get it right. It’s the most important part of the healing fight.

Phase 3: MY WORLD!

It’s his world, you can’t have it. The tank tries to take it from him, and he is very very unhappy about this. He will use his fists to make sure the tank does not take it. You will use your heals to make sure the tank does.

Plain and simple. If you didn’t get the message before, let me say it again. The tank WILL die if you don’t have 100 percent dedication to him at the right times. If you let the Empowered Whirl become more of a threat then it should be, it’s a wipe. Just light AOE heals, use devos, and stay focused.

Between the end of phase 2 and the entire phase three, we rotate every external we have. 4 sacs, Pain Suppression, Guardian Angel, and Iron Bark or whatever else we have if we have extra healers. If at any point, one of us missed this, its nearly a wipe. Also make sure to save Lay on Hands and Life Swap.

This entire phase is a flat out BURN. As healers, you need to know when to dps and when to heal. There is a great opportunity for this as he is transitioning. He is still in execute range, and not actually doing damage. Get 5-6 globals in of DPS to make the cushion that much easier. If you don’t meet the dps here, your entire strategy must change, so be prepared.

The other complication is a mechanic called Gripping Despair. This is what makes 1 tanking difficult, but easy at the same time. Essentially, the stack builds and builds and eventually explodes. With two tanks, it means this explosion is small, but often. With 1 tank, it means it likely happens only a few times. If you are unlucky (because of incredibly high DPS) it may never fall off until the end. Unfortunately, I doubt this is survivable. We had it happen to us once, and it killed everyone including the tank. Typically though, you should just be prepared for this AOE damage at the end of the phase while preparing for Stormwind Harbor. Have the tank call it out, and prepare with placement CDs like Smoke Bombs or Power Word Barrier.

And now, if you make it this far… Take a deep breath. This part is vital. The end is near, my friends. Just keep your heads level and get through it.

The grand finale! Phase Four: Stormwind Harbor!

Stay Calm!

Stay Calm!

I personally LOVE the added phases in Heroic modes, and this one doesn’t disappoint. There is time to take in the sights afterwards though…

So immediately, you’ll need to run to the boss’s tanking location and get stacked up in melee. I’ll assume you know how to handle the mechanics here, so just be ready for spot healing on players who get unlucky rolls on the damage from malice.

Tank damage is also very high, especially while moving the boss. Make sure you use the CDs you have left as they return, like Sac and Iron Bark, especially when moving from the Bombardment.

Speaking of, this is one of two things that can wipe you. It does a lot of damage even when not being hit, so make sure you plan around CDs. Use anything that doesn’t require people to stand in it, or the healer to channel it stood still. Should be obvious at this point.

Finally, the last true challenge. When the iron star hits Garrosh to interrupt him, you need to be very careful. This will happen as Malice is going out, so layer strong CDs on top of each other, preferably placement CDs like at the end of phase three. Smokebomb, AMZ, Spirit Link, and Power Word Barrier. Use them all, honestly. There is no reason not to. The damage this thing does is intense. Just keep an eye on the tank, who won’t be in any of these.

Expect one more Bombardment, which will be even more dangerous. Use Devo auras if you have them, and Rallying Cry or Demo Banner. Get back to the other side and quietly prepare celebration. Don’t vocalize it until after the third bombardment, but by the time this happens, the boss should be dead.

Congratulations. See my closing statement below.

TLDR Recap –

Bring as few healers as possible. NEVER forget the tank in the second half of the encounter. He will die if you do.

Stay calm when aoe healing, and rely on the preparation you have in place. Esepcially in phase three and four, use CDs to keep people alive from the AOE damage, and heal the tank over aoe spam. It’s easy to fall in that lull, and if you do you risk a wipe.

Without question, this is my favorite fight of the expansion. It’s extremely long, which is its one true downfall, making wipes absolutely heart wrenching. If you can see past that, you realize it’s truly a complete encounter. Every phase presents a different challenge, and I am a huge fan of the Challenge mode type mechanics in Phase 1 as well as the Heroic Nef mechanics in Transition 1, this time minus the lava and glitchy pillars!

Anyway, that’s if for these obviously. The next time you see a healing guide it will be on WoD Bosses. I for one cannot wait. MoP was the best expansion for raiding thus far, and anticipate WoD Being even better!

If you would like to see logs of a representative kill, you can find ours here. Currently set to the My World phase. Only phase that DPS matters. Feel free to browse though!

If you would like to see a video of our kill to better understand the strategy, you can do so here:

 

Darkmoon Faire: Not your average big top!

The serpentine eye glowing yellow-red in the impending darkness may look like it’s straight out of the Lord Of The Rings series, but for any WoW aficionado, we know differently. That eye against the purple, yellow, and green checkered flag can mean only one thing; Darkmoon Faire. For those who don’t know, the first Sunday of every month a tent and portal is put up in each of the main thoroughfares. For Alliance it’s Elwynn Forest right outside of town and for Horde, it’s Mulgore, right outside of Thunder Bluff. You can either run there or you can visit one of the Darkmoon Mystic Mages located in Stormwind and Orgimmar respectively. For a small fee they will transport you to the entrance tent.

Dmf Mystic Mage

Like any Faire, there are rides, games, and tasks you do for the equivalent of skeeball tickets. These are called Darkmoon Prize Tickets. While you can’t “taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell,” you can find your favorite boardwalk game down the street of big tops. Whether it’s the shooting gallery, whack-a-Gnoll, or my personal favorite tonks (which is a cross between RC cars and demolition derby) you’re sure to be able to find ways to let the time slip from your grasp and get lost in this mystical treasure island. Like any faire, the more games you play the more prize tickets you get. The more prize tickets you get the more items you have the power to purchase, ranging from clothing, to armor, to your very own set of stationary carousel toys. Additionally, the majority of the games are dailies so you can go back every day of the faire with the exception of the strongwoman.. and what I’m about to tell you.

DMF cannon2

All of the dailies are fun. All of them kill time. But none of them are the meat and bones of what Darkmoon Faire really is. This monthly world is a chance to get a leg up in your skills and professions. Once you are over 75 in your chosen skill set you can visit an array of characters who give you quests. Tired of running through Kalimdor for their dailies? No problem! Pack a bag of flour head, to the fair and visit with Stamp Thunderhorn. I promise you will never see frogs the same way again. You’ll also walk away with a +5 to cooking skill. Yes, you see it right. A +5. Of note, he also trains fishing. Around the corner from him you’ll find First Aid, Skinning, and Healing. Every last one of these little quests is +5. We all hate working up Enchanting. Well, make sure to hit the Faire because it clips off an enormous amount of time for you. Leatherworking, Herbalism, Alchemy, Inscription, Tailoring.. the list goes on and on. The kicker is that these are one time a month quests. They aren’t dailies.

Cooking quest DMF

I’m not sure any of us are ever finished. After all, there are alts to level and pets to collect. Something you can do at the Faire as well thanks to the new tent they put up. But even if you’re 90, there is the Darkmoon Den Mother Moonfang to kill who drops a pet, among other loot. Make sure you get your experience buff by riding the carousel!

Buff from carousel DMF

Finally, Last not but least; make sure you see Selina Dourman the Undead at the start of the main street and grab a Darkmoon Adventure Book. As long as you have it on you, while you’re out doing dungeons you have the chance for something from the Faire to drop. When it does you can return it for more tokens and tickets. Don’t forget to visit the stage near the waters’ edge so the Chieftans can rock your virtual world!

DMF information desk

From our big top to yours….

 

 

 

 

Full Ashran Preview + How to Access.

Ashran

Check out the full Ashran Preview here first!

For those that are likely wondering how to access this, it first came to my attention during the second stage of quests in Tanaan. For some reason, it is across the ocean from the back of Tanaan, but in order to actually access it you need to be aware of a few things.
First of all, in the Alpha, there is technology implemented for Tanaan that prevents you from moving any stages ahead. I am not sure why, or if this will be like that as well in Live, but it makes sense because of how heavily phased everything is.
Therefore, if you try to go across the ocean immediately, you will be stopped and ported back to whichever stage you are on.

To make it there without this issue, you need to have completed the quest where Khadgar destroys the bridge. This is what originally turned my attention, as I wanted to see what fail safe there was for if you managed to fall off the destroyed bridge. Feel free to do so, and then search your mount list for the Water Strider from the Angler’s Rep and mount up and follow the only water outlet to the sea. After a short ride, you will begin to see it take shape.

Once you are close enough, the text Ashran will pop up, and the skybox will alter.

I’m not sure its intended to be there, but its pretty obvious that neither it, or its borders are fixed as of the current build, noticeable by the untextured cliff faces and oddly shaped beaches.
Regardless, you can see a sizable portion of this zone, and can recognize most of its tiling is fully finished.

My opinions are largely encompassed by the views and layout of the area, but since this is one of my most anticipated features, I will wait until its actually meant to be tested before writing full thoughts. This was just to provide a sneak peak as well as replication help.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. I appreciate your support, and hope to see you all in the Alpha!

25H Paragons of the Klaxxi – Metro’s Healing Guide!

paragonsoftheklaxxi

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!

I wasn't joking, its really quite buggy.

I wasn’t joking, its really quite buggy.

Understanding the encounter –

Before we go anywhere, understand this fight is nuts. I’m going to explain all the mechanics, because none of them really effect healing directly, but everyone needs to be aware of them, especially the healers. If you don’t know exactly what one does, it will wipe you, so as a player who chose the healing role, it’s also your job.
Also, this guide will be extremely long, so feel free to skim through each section on the bosses and ask questions on the forums if needed. This fight is difficult because how everything pieces together, so it’s important to know it all.

To understand this fight is to realize that there are a LOT of different mechanics. I mean an absolute ton. Literally dozens and they can all kill you. Luckily, you’ll quickly realize that they all happen on very strict timers, so if you handle things properly this fight will appear a lot more basic after some progression.

The most important piece of wisdom I can lend is to make sure all 25 members of your raid are alert and aware of each combination of mechanics. They often overlap and happen 2 at a time, so if you aren’t paying attention to both you will certainly die to one. It should be stated again that with this enrage, if you have to blow 3 rezzes early, you might as well just wipe it, once you have completed the learning progression of course. There are just too many ways to die late to afford those early deaths!

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

The healer plays the innocent bystander on this encounter, much to both my dismay and enjoyment. It is a REALLY easy encounter as a healer, and I’d go so far as to say the easiest of the entire last half. I mean compared to Thok, this is snooze mode. But I suppose that’s a horrible way to preface the second most difficult encounter in the expansion, huh?

Let’s talk truths now. There are a handful of mechanics that can be survived if healed up, and there are handfuls that cannot be survived no matter what you do. In order to properly address this encounter and account for all different strategies, it will be best if we break down each mechanic, discuss how its handled by our group, discuss how its effects healers, and then conclude with ways it may interfere with other mechanics. Feel free to skip around to the difficult parts if needed!

  1. Skeer the Blood Dude:

Is our first target. Only real mechanic is Bloodletting. First set has to be forced to another boss, and second set needs to be controlled before they get to him. Paladin, Shaman, and Monk healers can all play a role in this by stunning, slowing, or rooting them. He dies first so nothing else matters. Just heal the tank.

  1. Rik’kal the whatever:

Rik’kal is the second target of our raid, and this means is mechanics will happen for two boss lives as he is down from the start. The Mutate: Amber Scorpion is the most important so let’s discuss that first. It’s going to pick three players each time to transform into a scorpion. As a healer, we are immune, luckily, but not immune to its downstream effects. When a player is turned, they deal a small pulse of damage to every around them, and often times this deals a TON of damage, especially if it picks 2-3 melee. If it picks 3, its near death every time. It’s so difficult to avoid, it’s really frustrating. Hopefully your health pools are quite high by now and it can be mitigated with random shielding, but either way, be prepared to heal the three targets up, as they will continue to be susceptible to extra damage.

Next mechanic of his is the Injection and subsequent Amber parasites. They come out three times for us, and this means that 6 people will be taking high physical damage quite often. The best way to handle this as a healer is to prevent the damage instead of heal through it – a theme that this raid has done well on capitalizing on. You can stun, interrupt, fear, root, or knock back and you will have relieved a LOT of damage. The most important thing to do is to prevent their channeled Feed cast. If you have a way to do it, you must. Otherwise, add Feed to your UI’s buff watch.
Spell ID: 143362
This will let you know when someone is taking the damage, then you can prevent the cast in some way.

Since Rik’kal is the second boss, none of his abilities actually interfere with others. Only thing you need to be aware of is the potential need to stop DPS and prevent as much damage from the scorpions and feed as possible.

  1. Korven the Lame:

This will be the third target, but comes down as soon as he is killed, so his mechanics will only happen for one boss life. He has two abilities that effect the Healers, but it’s important to make sure your group knows how to split damage to handle the Encase in Amber mechanic. If it’s the first time you are hearing this, make sure you bring it up!

The first thing you need to worry about is Shield Bash and the damage it will present. Its tied in with Vicious Assault so in terms of tank damage, let’s examine them as a whole first. The way we handle the mechanic is simply to eat the damage, and then swap tanks afterwards. Otherwise, he is cleaving in random directions and it turns quickly into a big mess. In order to facilitate this, it’s just big heals. Our tanks use their CDs and then call for external if they need.

The Vicious Assault also has a complication with it that, to my knowledge, it not intended. For some reason, this mechanic CONSTANTLY hits the melee who are behind the boss. I know what you are thinking, and trust me we have tried. Everyone is at max melee hitbox, and allll stacked up, yet every pull, 1 person gets hit while all the other melee do not. It’s obviously some type of glitch, but it’s something you should prepare for if it’s unavoidable. The way I handle it is simply to spam the melee with shields before it’s about to happen, to pad the damage. Otherwise, you can actually coordinate CDs like spirit shell or bubble if it’s an issue. These abilities will be up before you need them again

The boss is only out for one life, but his mechanics can result in a complication between Hisek, who has yet to be discussed. When Hisek chooses an Aim target, if its melee, and they are attacking Korven while he is doing his assault, they will die 100 percent of the time it lines up this way. There is no saving them, as they will take all 6 slashes, not just 1 random one. The best option to resolve this is just have them stand to one side of the boss and have him pointed the other way. It’s all very luck-driven though, so just be ready for it.

I'll think twice before helping random quest mobs!

I’ll think twice before helping random quest mobs!

  1. Hisek the Sharpshooter:

Hisek is our fourth target, but starts the encounter active, therefore his abilities will happen for the duration of 4 lifes, the most dangerous being his own. He has three abilities, one being Multi-shot which cannot be controlled, but will put pressure on the group as its very likely that everyone will be clumped up in the start. Just always be AOE healing, and it’s a non-issue.

The next mechanic is Rapid Fire, which really gave our group fits, but realistically should also be a non-issue. It’s heavily complicated by other mechanics, however, but from a healing perspective this is one that if the player gets hit they die. There is no saving. We will discuss the complications after we examine Aim.

Aim is without question the most disruptive mechanic in the first 4 boss’s lives, and will REALLY pressure your healers if not handled properly. It chooses a target, and will do an INCREDIBLE amount of damage to them, but will be split to anyone standing in the line connecting the two. Five people + the aimed person are recommended as a minimum to split, but it can’t just be any players. Even with 6, that still means 700k+ damage to each, therefore they need to be certain classes that can take that damage. Mages, Warlocks, Rogues, and Monks are the only real options, but Shadow Priests can go as well if they have dispersion available. This is extremely important as the healer to recognize, because you need to be cautious of each effected player and give them some pre-shielding to pad, or heal them to full before they go in, then heal them up again quickly after it’s over, especially if they Cauterized as Mages. Another huge issue is the likelihood that one of these people will get selected, or die. Because of this, we have around 8-9 people responsible for it, but that’s on your general strategy, just mentioning it to alert healers to the potential.
Before we finalize the discussion, also be aware that you can use any ability that takes you off the combat table to escape the aim. Spectral Guise for Priests is the only healing spec that has one, but between mages, rogues, and hunters, you should have a large portion of your raid able to avoid ever having to soak it.

Both Aim and Rapid Fire can become extremely complicated by both mechanics Ka’roz does. He is the final kill, but has some really important mechanics, so make sure whoever is calling these things out is loud and clear. If Aim happens with a Whirl, be prepared to see some ranged get in serious trouble. If Rapid Fire happens with Hurl Amber, be prepared to see some ticks of magic damage go out from the puddles! They both overlap once each with our current strategy.

  1. Xaril the Colorful:

This is our fifth kill, and he is killed as soon as he is down so his extremely dangerous abilities will only happen for one boss life. Also, you should note that this is where we use Bloodlust, Second potions, and line up Skull Banners with Hisek’s death gift known as Compound Eye. If used by a ranged DPS, it makes the boss take 15 percent more damage for 10 seconds as well as doing a lot of damage. Use all these things to your advantage, and if you are lucky, you will only see one mechanic.

The mechanic set he possess is simple, but its combination is what makes it absolutely lethal. The mechanic is known as Catalyst, and happens in two steps. Firstly, he assigns each player a color. The next step is the toxin that is distributed, but it’s COMPLETELY different than it was on Normal, so let’s take a moment to learn each now.

Purple Reaction – Least deadly, should do zero damage unless player is DCed or colorblind. Have them run in a small circle and then make a Q shape at the last second. Only healing complication is that it should be ran far away from the other mechanics, so you may be out of range of tanks. Effects players with Red or Blue selection.

Orange Reaction – Middle of the pack, worry-wise, but if handled should also do zero damage. Expands a ring of death a few yards in a 360 degree area from the target when the toxin reaches them. Need all players to run far away so the whole raid isn’t in jeopardy. Melee have it the hardest, so be ready to heal them up quickly, especially if a tank gets it. Effects Yellow and Red selected players.

Green Reaction – Most retarded idea for a mechanic ever, and if you get it on this encounter, you are really pressured for the remainder. All targets effected place a small green cloud under them, which roams randomly and deals damage over time to anyone who gets in it, even for a second. This is the only one that should be an issue, so if you see it go out, be ready to heal the life out of the melee. The clouds do as they please, especially later on, and will just wander right into the tank or melee pile and make things ridiculously harder. Soaking them really isn’t an option, despite the journal entry.

We are fortunate to have enough burst dps to only see one set of mechanics, if everyone utilizes Lust, banners, totems, and the Compound eye along with their second potion. We 6 heal as well, while many groups want to 5 heal this fight. If you are lucky, you will never see green.

Since this only happens once, it’s unlikely it will be complicated by anything else, but it is possible the Hurl Amber may do so. If this is the case, you just have to hope you are in good position to dodge both at once, especially if it was just Orange reaction. This is why this phase is so difficult though.

  1. Kaz’tik the Bug Gym Leader:

KOOCHONGS! Actually, its spelled Kunchongs, but regardless, this is our 6th kill. He does nothing. His bugs do a LOT though. Obviously, if someone is too close to the bug, they die and it’s a wipe pretty much, as not only did you lose a player, but now you have to quickly burst down a bug before you lose more. Just don’t let this happen. Call out players that aren’t paying attention.

We will mention Sonic Projection, as it says in the journal that it picks a random player to fire at, but to my experience, it certainly does NOT. It just fires in the direction he is facing. If he turns to do something else, it will fire at the group, but otherwise, it just shoots at the tank, and they can dodge it if they are active. Either way, if it hits a player it will nearly 1-shot them, so be ready to heal them up quickly.

The only real mechanic is the Mesmerize that forces you to fixate on a bug and walk towards them. Once again, Spectral Guide etc can be used to break this. However, it you should have to deal with it, be ready to pump all healing into that target asap. They will immediately be marked with a star, and could use anything you can afford to give them, even an external.
Another really useful trick is to life grip them away if they are too close. Since there are three bugs and we are all spread out, it’s pretty likely that the one you target may be one closest to you, but if you get lucky, it will always be one across the room. Either way, heal em up!

The only real complication here is blindness. When the Hurl Amber comes out, you just see people moving for no reason, and quite often, this causes them to run into a bug and get eaten. Just stay calmmmm guys. Nothing about this is the healers fault though, so hopefully you don’t have to worry.

  1. Iyyokuk the Mentally Unstable:

It’s the finallll count down! WOOO you have reached the last three bosses, as this is our 7th kill, but is out for three life spans. This seems dangerous at first, but we found we had way more issues with the Kunchongs than we did simply healing through the fire, so we just elected to make a healing rotation, and worry about him later on.

Paragons

Our Spread. Feel free to edit as your needs see fit.

I have no idea what any of his mechanics mean or how the whole selection process works, but it really doesn’t matter. Refer to the chart to see how we handle our Fiery Edge phases. We account for 9-10, but if you have strong DPS you should only see 8 using this strategy.

Also, account for Diminish. It can ruin you, but realistically, it shouldn’t be a concern. It will execute anyone low enough, so if you ever see someone sitting low, do anything in your power to heal them up immediately.

The fire complicates every other mechanic, and the Whirl, Amber, and various forms of spreading out make this even more difficult. The main reason, is people are trying to avoid the beams if they don’t have them, but forced movement forces even more movement. Just be preemptive with raid CDs and you shouldn’t have many issues. Hopefully this is where you will use your rezzes, so realistically, a few deaths aren’t that big of a deal.

  1. Kil’ruk I’m so Sick of Abilities that Force me to move:

If you are on this boss, it’s pretty much over unless you have like 7 people alive. This boss will still present some issues though, so let’s examine them.

Long story short, at this point, the tanks will be getting absolutely obliterated. Luckily, with Iyyokuk dead, there shouldn’t be any other damage going out aside from him. Keep the tanks alive at ALL costs here, because if they don’t survive, and you do hit the enrage, you probably won’t survive it.

Death from Above is tough to dodge, but shouldn’t 1-shot you. The only real option is to anticipate it and run before he jumps. Otherwise, it’s a non-factor. Just keep moving and hope players live.

Reave is the only thing that really sucks here. It does do a lot of damage, and can be a big pain if you aren’t noticing it. He will be down from the last few kills, so just be careful of the other mechanics out and don’t get dragged through them.

  1. Ka’roz the Pest:

This boss is the last kill, but is actually out since the first boss goes down, like 45 seconds into this 12 minute encounter. Because of this, his mechanics are extremely potent by the end, but luckily they are all 100 percent avoidable. They do, however, cause the most disruption with other mechanics, so its important we are aware of them and how they work.

The first one is called Flash and Whirl, depending on which you consider the actual mechanic. He will charge around at players and leave some greenish trail behind him indicating how insanely fast this man is, or something like that. That trail, if stood in it, will stun you next time he charges, which is just a second after. So all you have to do its move out of it, by strafing left or right! Easy!
Problem is, it’s extremely common for him to simply charge the same direction, just back the other way this time, meaning there are two lines right next to each other, causing you to move from one right into the other. This means you have to move again, and by that time, another mechanic has likely happened, and now you are either stunned or dead. RIP

Luckily for you, the debuff you get from being stuck, can be removed with Blessing of Protection! In order to make this easier, add the spell ID – 143701 to your frames, and then you will see when anyone is hit by them. Even if you aren’t a paladin healer, you should still be aware of this. Not knowing means them dying likely, but being aware may mean saving their life!

This mechanic is the main complicating factor in the encounter, and will happen with pretty much every other one out there. The biggest issue is after Korven dies, he does a flash and Hisek does Rapid Fire while everyone is heading to their spread locations. We almost always lose some one here, but the more you do the fight the better you’ll get at it. It’s also really handy that Rapid Fire is physical, because if someone DOES get stuck, they can be bopped and wont risk dying to either. This also complicates Fiery Edge and Aim quite severely, as already discussed.

The other mechanic he does is called Hurl Amber. It’s highly telegraphed, as he will fly up in the air, then leap down and throw the amber at a spot on the ground. This spot will also have a tell, a spurt of orange goo from the location. There will be three of these, so make sure you move as a raid when stacked up, and individually when spread. This mechanic will eventually grow so strong that 1 tick of it will be near instant death, especially if you aren’t prepared, so towards the end if you aren’t paying attention to it, you will wipe the group.

It’s complicated once again by pretty much every other mechanic, especially Rapid Fire and Reave, but also the Colored Reactions from Xaril. Having to move from two things at once is always tricky, especially when they are both in separate patterns.

TLDR Recap

Well that’s it, that’s the entire fight. I’ll try to quickly summarize everything you need to know as a healer.

parangonHDTanks will get trucked, throughout entire encounter. Use stuns, interrupts, fears and roots to help handle the parasites and the Bloods when they spawn. Every time Aim happens, focus healing on the soakers. Use pre-determined healing CD rotation to make Fiery Edge a non-factor. Focus healing on target of Mesmerize to prevent them from dying as they head towards kunchong. Don’t panic, and keep the tanks alive at all costs until the end!

Only other thing to remember is using BoP on those stuck in Whirl, Lifegrip those with mesmerize fixation, and use Spectral Guise if you are targeted with aim or mesmerize yourself. Otherwise, just heal people who need it and pray everyone dodges all the mecanics!

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!

 

 

MoP Recap & Checklist – Feature Guide for those Returning!

Re players

*Check out the playlist with video accompaniment for all of these separate patches here!

As we count the days to WoD, I see more and more faces I used to know and faces I’ve yet to see return to the World of Warcraft universe. Much to my delight, this game truly brings people from all over the world together to revel in the mysticism a fantasy experience like this delivers.

Unfortunately, while it is of great amusement to me, it can be quite overwhelming to those on the other end of this conversation. It is with this in mind that I bring you my detailed recap of everything you have missed in World of Warcraft: The Mists of Pandaria! Look at this article as a “guide” of sorts, to help understand just what has been happening while you are away, and what you can look forward to working towards while you prepare to relaunch the game for the first time in a long while.

For the individual’s benefit, I will list features per major patch, so if you quit part way through you will have some timestamp to utilize! To make the best use of this guide, examine the concepts and read my small description. Then, if you find interest in one of the topics, explore it more in game and elsewhere! This will be quite lengthy so I recommend using the “Find” feature (Control + F key) and typing in the patch you want to focus on.

5.0 – Launch of MoP

Daily Hubs and Progression – This was a major feature of the expansion when it launched, but wasn’t everyone’s favorite. As of now, these contain outstanding lore and background into what’s happening with Pandaria, as well as mounts and tabards at their finale. They can also be a tremendous source of gold income!
The hubs encompass the storyline of the Golden Lotus, Shado-pan monks, August Celestials, and Klaxxi Paragons as primary targets. There are also fishing dailies associated with Nat Pagle that is the target for those looking for the water-walking mount. The other desirable target is the Cloud Serpent dailies in Jade Forest. These are by far my favorite and conclude with an amazing scene, so if you are going to do anything, do these first. Their ultimate goal is to teach you cloud serpent flying, unlocking many of the expansion’s mounts.

Challenge Mode Dungeons – My personal favorite feature added in all of MoP. These are essentially a timed-challenge 5 man dungeon akin to the “heroics” you would run, but MUCH more difficult. They have to be flown to, will require 5 people with coordinated vocal communication, and scale all your gear down to 463 to preserve the challenge! Look more into these if you love challenging five man content and their rewards. They feature amazing mounts and sets of gear, but are being removed with the 6.0 patch so act now!

Pet Battling – an often over-looked or misunderstood concept that should be regarded as a major addition to Mists of Pandaria. There are thousands of achievement points tied to pat battling alone, and really get you involved in a three-dimensional world with a Pokemon-style backdrop. Of course, the parallels are too hard to miss, but the point is that it can be done on your character, in the game we all love, with the assortment of hundreds of pets out there. There are also many rare pets that can be collected as they used to be pre-MoP that will do quite well in the battles!

Scenarios – Effectively 3 man dungeons that don’t require tanks or healers, but can be done with even just 1 person if needed. All the mechanics on mobs in these will be dodgeable, interuptable, or survivable in some other capacity. Rewards are outdated, but worth doing each of the original ones for the lore and experience alone!

“Farm” system – A daily source or renewable materials of your choosing. It starts in Halfhill and encompasses the Tiller dailies, and at the end will leave you with 16 plots to place seeds that can yield you anything from cooking materials, to enchanting dust, or even herbs. Any material you need can be found here, and can result in a great source of income!

Legendary Quest Chain – This chain persists over the entire expansion, and will be pretty useless early on now-a-days, but its true splendor comes not from its rewards, but from its amazing voice acting and character development. I have done a video on every part of the chain if you’d prefer to just watch, but I beg you… DO NOT walk out of MoP without experiencing this. It’s far too well made to let pass. (Check it out here if you prefer to watch https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLezAEu8shuO6_8rHYHpto3zO8Gw9FqoRt)

Raids and LFR – In 5.0 through 5.1, there were three raids of progression. Mogu’shan Vaults was the entry raid and dropped the lowest ilvl of the tier. Its available on LFR, Normal, and Heroic, and features lore about the mogu and the trolls involvement in restoring their King.
Heart of Fear is the next raid, containing the highest item level gear of the tier, and featuring lore related to the Klaxxi’s former queen gone mad via sha corruption. Available in LFR, Normal and Heroic.
The final raid of the first tier is Terrace of the Endless Spring, without question the most beautiful setting we have ever raided in. It’s a small four boss raid that features the penultimate Sha that has been behind the corruption of the Mantid and the protectors of the Spring. This raid is available in LFR, Normal, and Heroic.
I would suggest skipping LFR of these raids unless you really want to see them, as its gear is trivialized by catch up mechanics discussed later.

5.1 – Landfall, minor content patch  

Faction War Daily hub – The previous hubs and patch was to give us the feeling that we arrived in a place devoid of our interference. We followed the lore of the land, but it was only a matter of time before the Horde and Alliance arrived, and when they do they bring war with them. These dailies feature progression based lore than takes you many weeks to complete and ends with a scene or scenario explaining what sets the stage for the final raid of the expansion. Extremely important if you wish to understand all the lore the expansion travels upon!

Brawler’s Guild –  Continuing the trend of personal challenges, this is essentially a solo-test based on the concept of the film/book Fight Club. You fight NPCs with unique and specific challenges, but sadly this is really harshly trivialized by gear. Regardless, it’s extremely fun to sit around and watch your friends brawl, and at the end of it all there is some really great rewards including a mount. I would highly recommend this if you like to be challenged as a player and as a class.

Battle Pets Added to Classic Raids – A small feature, but an important one for collectors and pet-battlers. AQ, BWL, and MC have had rare quality pets added to certain bosses that can also be sold, for those looking for profit. To facilitate this, the “raid group” requirement has been lifted from everything pre-MoP, so you can just walk in alone and solo it. Before you ask, everything in MC and BWL is EASILY soloable at 90. AQ 40 may present some select issues depending on class.

Gear Upgrading via Valor Points – One of the biggest systems’ changes ever implemented in the game. This allows us to use Valor points to literally make our existing epics better by whole item levels! Can be of tremendous use for getting the item level you need for LFR etc. This vendor is near the transmog and reforging guys!

5.2 – Rise of the Thunder King

Isle of Thunder – New daily hub, where Horde and Alliance meet to tear down the walls of the newly awakend Thunder King. This island featured AQ gate style unlocks that your realm had to complete together, but by now it’s all finished. With these unlocks, there was a solo-scenario that explained the lore and showed you taking on each challenge, eventually opening the raid instance to everyone involved.

New Raid, Throne of Thunder – This raid features the Zandalari early and explains their involvement on the Island and with the Thunder King Lei Shen. This is a large, sprawling raid that takes us from the gates, to having to sneak in through whats beneath the palace, then finally into the main chamber of Lei Shen. The lore here is spectacular, and continues when we learn that Raden, a fallen titan and Heroic-only encounter, had been captured by Lei Shen many years ago – as an explanation for his immense power. The raid is split up into 4 wings for LFR, and drops 502 gear, so can mostly be skipped if returning and looking to get right into the final tier. Worth doing just to see the amazing scenes and witness the horrible creatures Lei Shen has at his disposal.

World Boss / Rare Mob Faction Tag – A small feature in its scope of implementation, but extremely important and worth noting for players returning. Long story short, you no longer have to be in a group to receive credit for killing any world boss or rare mob! Enjoy.

5.3 – Escalation, minor content patch

New Storyline, Battlefield: Barrens – Picking up where we left off with the 5.1 storyline, the Horde has imploded because of Garrosh’s disastrous decisions. You find Thrall, Chen, and Vol’jin gathering their strength to assault Orgrimmar and dethrone the madman. I’m honestly not sure what’s left of this story or area, as it was further morphed into 5.4 content, but either way, the Barrens should still see the effects of the war preparation. Head out there and check it out!

“Heroic” scenarios – Further 3 man content that challenges the group beyond the previous. There are actually strong ilvl rewards from doing these, and you automatically get an upgrade for whatever your worst piece is when you complete the quest to do your first one. Commonly regarded as the highest valor-per-hour farm in the game as well as tremendous source of gold. Must be queued up premade, cannot use lfd pug system.

Battle Pets Added to TBC Raids – SSC, Karazhan, and Tempest Keep will feature even more pets for collecting or selling. You can really make quite a profit if you can get a few of these a week for the AH. Don’t forget, all the raid requirements have been removed for things prior to Mists of Pandaria, so you don’t need others to sit in a group with you while you solo it. Before you ask, all three of these places are entirely soloable, but you may have some trouble with Lady in SSC, so don’t be scared to ask a friend!

5.4 – the Siege of Orgrimmar! (Biggest patch ever, without question.)

Connected Realm Feature – If you are returning to a realm that was previous low or medium population, there is a high chance that you will be seeing many other people from other realms flying around you. This is because of the Connect Realm concept, where they have essentially “merged” multiple realms together to help facilitate larger groups finding each other.
This has literally saved realms from death, and has fostered a nice relationship from competitive players across the merged realms.
In order to understand the change, realize that you are still on your original realms, but now EVERYTHING you could do previously can be done with these other players, including joining guilds, using the AH, sending mail, etc.
Without question, this change is one of two that make this final patch the most important patch in the history of the video game, and solidifies the fact that MoP has been a tremendous success, even if you don’t like some of the features.

Flex Raiding – The second part of what makes this patch the most expansive ever. This feature allows for actual raiding to be done on a dynamic level, with as many people as you want. It scales all mechanics and bosses based on the number of people, and uses individual loot systems to ensure fairness and lack of exploits. THIS should be the goal, NOT LFR. Currently only available for SoO, and still broken up into wings. Drops 540 gear, and can be done easily with 515- 525 item level.
A great feature for those looking to do actual raiding with real mechanics, but not mess around with the LFR clowns.

Siege of Orgimmar – You know it’s been a big patch when the titular raid is third on the list!
This is IMO the most epic raid we have seen. Storming Orgrimmar is just mind-blowing, and really puts things in perspective when you break in through RFC and see just what Garrosh has been building under the city we all hang out in!
It’s quite an expansive raid, and absolutely of the highest quality, so even if you are forced to do LFR, make sure you get all four wings done.

Timeless Isle – The isle itself may not be the biggest thing, but the concept will transcend the expansion and revolutionize the way people play the game in the future. For now, its an AMAZING catch up concept. You can easily get 500+ ilvl just from the gear out there, so if you are returning to the game and need some gear, head out there asap.
For the future, this concept will replace Daily quests as the end game pve content that isn’t dungeons or raids. There has already been much discussion about this free-roam type discovery reward system, and all agree it’s far better than the previous model!

Proving Grounds – Essentially solo Challenge Modes. You will face trials specific to your sub-roll (DPS, Healer, Tank) with the potential for extreme difficulty. It starts off easy, progressing from Bronze, to Silver, and then Gold. After gold, there is Endless, which allows the waves to never stop coming and fosters macro-competition. This will be a TRUE test of your ability, and the further you get, the more bragging rights you can claim! There are even achievements and titles associated with your success here.

Arena Team Changes – I would say this is far from focused on PVP, but it’s worth noting this change no matter what type of content you play. If you haven’t played in a while, you will immediately notice there are no more Arena Teams, and thus no more team rating. This is great, as it allows you to play with anyone at any time, and not worry about creating teams and that whole thing. With this change, this has also made arenas fully cross-realm. You can now do ranked arena with friends from any realm and still gain rating.

 

That’s everything. Hopefully you have seen just how much content there is in MoP, and now have a good idea where you want to start. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the forums over at http://stratics.com/community/

25H Seigecrafter Blackfuse – Metro’s Healing Guide!

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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!

 

Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent Mount Guide

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What’s up guys, Syiler here, bringing you a guide on how to get the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent. This mount will require a few things before you can get it: the first having Artisan riding, next being exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, third being exalted with Emperor Shohao and finally obtaining 100,000 Timeless coins from the Timeless Isle. The mount once learnt will be Account Bound but will require your alts to also have Exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent to be able to use the mount.  This is by no means an easy mount to obtain and will require you to put a lot of time into it but in my opinion is completely worth it as it is an awesome looking mount!

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So we are going to take a look at how to achieve each step of the process to getting this mount, the main focuses of the guide will be Emperor Shohao Reputation and gaining Timeless Coins but I will also cover Artisan Riding and The Order of the Cloud Serpent Faction.

 

Artisan Riding

First up is Artisan riding. This is one of the easier steps for getting the mount but is absolutely required as without 280% speed or more flying, you won’t be able to learn the mount and it will just sit in your bags until you can learn it! Artisan riding is obtained from any Mount Riding trainer that you can interact with and will cost 5,000 gold by default but you can reduce the costs depending on your current reputation with the faction. For example if you are Exalted with Orgrimmar then you will want to talk to a NPC aligned with the Orgrimmar faction as this will reduce the cost to 4,000 gold so try to go to an NPC that you have a stronger reputation with to get a cheaper price. On top of this if you join a Guild that is Level 24 or higher you will also benefit from the Bartering Guild perk which will reduce the price even further making the lowest possible price you can pay 3,500 gold.

In terms of actually affording the gold I will leave that up to you, but a few methods of earning gold are as follows, completing any unfinished quests in Pandaria (Once you hit max level you will gain additional gold instead of experience, along with the quest greens/blues you will obtain that can be vendored for some gold) this can be a great way of earning extra gold. Another method is making use of the Auction house, selling profession materials, battle pets, transmog  BoE’s and other items you are able to get your hands on. The final method I will suggest is running things like scenarios or Looking for Raid, Scenarios will provide you will a box per run which will contain a portion of gold and a Blue/Epic item which can be vendored, inside the boxes you will have a chance of getting some spirits of harmony as well, which can be turned into profession materials and sold on the AH. You will get a decent amount of gold from just looting mobs within the scenario to complement the boxes, just make sure you loot everything even if its just vendor trash it still earns gold. These are just a few simple methods  for earning gold that you can use but WoW has a vast system for earning gold so just choose a method that suits you best and keep at it until you have enough! Between 3,500 gold and  5,000 gold shouldn’t be to hard to obtain.

 

The Order of the Cloud Serpent

The next task is getting Exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, this is another requirement to be able to learn the mount and you will need to do this for any additional Characters you want to use the mount on, unless it gets changed in the future! (Which it most likely will when Warlords of Draenor is released) There are a few options you can do to get exalted with The Order of the Cloud Serpent, the first being the daily quests located in the Jade Forest at The Arboretum you will need to unlock the dailies by first doing the basic quest chain and once it is completed you will have daily quests with The Order, to complete all the daily quests you will need to have secondary professions but don’t worry if you don’t as their is a fairly decent amount to do outside of those quests. The second method is once you complete the introduction quests and unlock the dailies you will be able to hand in Onyx Cloud Serpent eggs which can be found on the Windward Isle but if you are on a high population server you might have trouble finding them so I would suggest either getting a friend on another server to invite you so you can check for eggs or just wait until less popular times (at night or in the morning) to check for eggs. The final method is within the Timeless isle, killing Huolon and the Crimsonscale Firetorm’s and looting them will have a chance of giving you a Quivering egg which can be turned into Elder Anli at The Order to gain 1000 Reputation per handin, I would recommend this method to most as you can also get Timeless Coins from this which will be needed to purchase the Golden Heavenly Cloud Serpent.

Tips

Keep in mind once you hit Revered you will be able to purchase a Order of the Cloud Serpent Commendation that allows you to gain 100% additional rep with this faction and these can be sent to alts so they can gain additional rep from Neutral-Exalted. Also you can set The Order of the Cloud Serpent to be your stared reputation allowing you to gain Reputation once per day through a Heroic Dungeon, Scenario and Heroic Scenario so this will help build additional Rep per day.

 

Emperor of Shaohao

Now onto getting exalted with Emperor Shaohao, this is going to be one of the longer parts in getting this mount. To start with, complete the introductory quests on the Island to the point you get dailies with Emperor Shaohao you can do each day to gain some Shahao rep, once you are done with them prepare to grind! There are three key areas for grinding reputation and each area  gets significantly more difficult but is also more rewarding in terms of rep, you can farm rep in a group but if you do it in a raid group you will no longer get Timeless Coins so try to keep the farming from 1-5 people to maximise the farming. I will now talk about the mobs in each area and the difficulty rating.

Firewalker Ruins

The Firewalker Ruins contains the Ordon Candlekeeper, Ordon Oathguard and Ordon Fire-walker. These mobs are the easier to handle and would be the place I recommend lower geared players and groups farm for rep.

first

 Ordon Candlekeeper

Candlekeeper HP – 713,181

Breath of Fire – Breathe fire, dealing 74,000 to 86,000 fire damage in a cone in front of the Ordon Candlekeeper

Burning Sacrifice – At sub 20% HP the Ordon Candlekeeper will sacrifice its remaining life to Ordos, dealing 185000 to 215000 Fire damage to all enemies within 7 yards and knocking them down.

Shaohao Rep – 5

The Ordon Candlekeeper is located within the Firewalker Ruins and is one of the easier mobs to face. Anyone with an item level of around 470 onwards should be able to deal with these mobs, the auto damage isn’t to high and even if you get hit by the Breath of Fire you should only lose around 20% hp.

Tips for dealing with them – The Ordon Candlekeepers are the easier of Ordon Mobs you will come across, they are fully subseptable to CC so make use of Stuns, Fears etc if you are struggling. The Breath of Fire can be out ranged or avoided if you can react quick enough and the Burning Sacrifice can be avoided by either killing them before the cast goes off or simply moving out of the 7 yard radius. I would recommend these as a farm target for lower geared players.

 

Ordon Oathguard

Oathguard HP – 3,260,256

Craclking Blow – Deals 740 – 860% of weapon damage as Physical damage to enemies in a line in front of the caster.

Defensive Shield – Raises a shield, deflecting all ranged attack and spells and blacking all melee attacks from the front.

Oath Guardianship – Reducse the damage taken of the caster’s allies by 75% for 20 sec. Channeled.

Shaohao Rep – 10

The Ordon Oathguard is located within the Firewalker Ruins and a the second easiest mob to face on the Timeless Isle that will award reputation. Anyone with an item level of around 480 should have no issues with dealing with this mob as the majority of its damage comes from an avoidable attack. The difficult part is dodgying this ability while taking down its 3.2 million HP.

Tips for dealing with them – Make sure you either stop him during Defensive Shield with a stun or some form of CC or move behind him as you will not do any damage during this time if you attack from the front. Cracking Blow has a short cast time so just move to the side when you see it happening and you will avoid the damage. These mobs are easy to deal with but can take some time thats why the higher ilvl recommendation for dealing with them.

 

Ordon Fire-Watcher

Fire-WatcherHP – 2,445,188

Pyroblast – Deals 83250 to 96750 Fire Damage

Falling Flames – Conjures forth a rain of fire, inflicting 18500 to 215000 Fire damage to enemies in a 2.5 yard radius of the impact locations.

Shaohao Rep – 10

The Ordon Fire-Watcher is found within the Firewalker Ruins. Although it has less HP then the Oathguards located in the same area I see theses are more difficult as it is easier to die to one. But a skilled player should be able to deal with these in around 470-480 Ilvl

Tips for dealing with them – The Fire-Watcher’s only have 2 abilities which makes them easier to deal with but these abilities are dangerous and can easily kill you if you mess up or aren’t paying attention. The Pyroblast is a cast and can be stopped with an interrupt or CC. The Falling Flames summons a large amount of falling projectiles so ensure you are zoomed out enough to tell where they will land.

 

The Blazing Way

The Blazing way contains the Burning Beserker, The Eternal Kilnmaster and the Blazebound Chanter. These mobs are a lot more difficult to handle but yield more Reputation per kill so I would recommend this area for higher geared 510+ players and groups!

Second

 

Burning Berserker

Beserker HP – 3,464,022

Fiery Charge – Charge the enemy, inflicting 400% weaon damage as Fire and knocking down the target.

Blazing Cleave – Spin around in a blazing circle, inflicting 185000 to 215000 Fire damage to enemies within 6 yards.

Burning Fury – Increases the attack speed by 200% and burning the caster for 5000 Fire damage every 1 second for 6 seconds.

Shaohao Rep – 15

The Burning Beserker is found within The Blazing way and is a greater challenge compared to the previous discussed mobs. They give 15 rep so I would recommend farming these in a party or if The Firewalker Ruins are crowded and you have a high enough Ilvl that they aren’t a challenge. I would recommend around a 490 onwards ilvl for attempting to deal with these mobs.

Tips for dealing with them – The burning Berserker’s main threat is the Fiery Charge, if you leave its melee hit box it will charge you dealing a large amount of damage and stunning you for a short period, to deal with this mechanic just ensure you stay close to the Burning Berserker.

 

Eternal Kilnmaster

KilnmasterHP – 7,588,656

Fiery Charge – Charge the enemy, inflicting 400% weaon damage as Fire and knocking down the target.

Blazing Blow – Deals 462 to 538% Weapon damage as Physical damage to enemies in a line in from of the caster.

Conjure Eternal Kiln – Summons a Flarecore Golem to assist the caster.

Shaohao Rep – 20

The Eternal Kilnmaster’s are located in both The Blazing Way and the Ordon Sanctuary, they are a tough mob with a large HP pool. Similar to the Burning Beserker they will charge you if you get out of range but in addition they will follow up with a Blazing Blow which can result in a one shot. These do give more Rep but are a tough challenge for lower geared players so I would only recommend farming them in a party!

Tips for dealing with them – Stay in melee range, move through him during the Blazing Blow and kill the Eternal Kiln that they summon to reduce their damage. For these mobs you want to have around 500+ Ilvl to be able to deal with them comfortably but as I said being in a party is the best way of handling the tougher but more rep earning mobs!

 

Blazebound Chanter

ChanterHP – 5,733,658

Greater Pyroblast – Deals 185 to 215% weapon damage as Fire damage.

Cauterize – Heals the caster 25% of maximum health, but causes them to burn for 1% maximum health every 1 second for 30seconds.

Fire Storm – Summons a storm of fiery balls, dealing Fire damage at the impact locations.

Conjure Flarecore Golem – Summons a Flarecore Golem to assist the caster.

Shaohao Rep – 20

The Blazebound Chanter can be found in The Blazing Way and the Ordon Sanctuary. They aren’t to difficult to farm and give a high amount of rep so it is worth getting a party together to farm these mobs!

Tips for dealing with them – Interrupt the Cauterize as main priority as even though they lose HP over time you don’t want to be fitting it for that long. Be zoomed out for the Fire Storm so you can tell where the fiery balls will land so you can avoid them. Kite the Flarecore Golem as they do a lot of damage if they melee you and are desummoned once the Chanter dies so no need to kill them.

 

Just keep farming these mobs and completing the quests/dailies until you reach exalted, it will take some time but also gives you time to reach the 100,000 Timeless Coins required to purchase the mount.

Tips for Shaohao rep – I would recommend heading to The Blazing Way in a 5man group, remember to make use of things like Guild banners, The Darkmoon Faire etc for Reputation boosts! I missed out a few mobs that are located in the Ordon Sanctuary but in my opinion they aren’t worth mentioning as they have a crazy amount of HP and damage while only giving slightly more reputation.

Timeless Coins

The final step is getting enough Timeless Coins to purchase the mount, timeless coins come from a lot of places within the island, the first being from Rare Mobs. Depending on the Rare you kill will depend on how many coins you can expect to get, the Rarer the mob the more generally you will get for example the Emerald Bird will give a low amount as it is very common while The Ghostship will give a large amount as it is more uncommon. The next method is from killing mobs within the Timeless Isle, every mob here you kill will grant coins and luckily for us the mobs we kill to gain reputation with Shaohao will also give coins, so I recommend those being your farm targets while killing rares when they spawn. The next method is from Chests on the isle, The Moss-Covered, Smoldering, Sturdy, Skull-covered and Blazing chests all contain coins. Events on the isle will also reward timeless coins, they can normally be identified by crossing swords on your minimap. It will generally require you to do something to trigger them, such as talk to an NPC or kill a certain type of mob, there are a few secret events on the isle so make sure you keep an eye out as they won’t all be crossing swords on your map. Some of the dailies within the Timeless Isle will also reward coins and can generally be easily completed without going out of your way to do it, so I would recommend picking them up when you arrive on the Isle each day. The final method of obtaining coins is to loot containers, they will appear as boxes, eggs, sand piles and more, basically objects you can interact with and loot. The issue with these is they don’t reward many coins (Normally 1-20) but can be found in large quantities so its a slow but safe method of farming coins if you aren’t able to kill the mobs.

 

25H Spoils of Pandaria – Metro’s Healing Guide!

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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!

Understanding the encounter –

Not quite the healing masterpiece we have seen here, Heroic Boxes (as I like to refer to it) will put you to the test for other reason, almost entirely centered on the Mistweaver buff box.

I’ll assume you guys understand what this is, and know the importance of opening those boxes, but you likely didn’t realize just how over powered the buff can be! It’s known as the Staff of Resonating Waters, and buffs the player to shoot out a wave of water that heals anyone in splashes, but more important damages any mobs it comes in contact with! There is an 8 second internal cooldown on this proc, but when it hits, it delivers. The buff itself will have the healers doing well into 100k DPS ranges seen in the picture below. You’ll see an actual DPS shaman (without the DPS buff) doing barely 70k DPS less than myself and Vicario (two healers). More importantly, look at the uptime! If that hit every few seconds we would easily be doing more DPS than most actual damage specced players.

Two Healers doing more DPS combined than 1 actual DPS!

Two Healers doing more DPS combined than 1 actual DPS!

The next concern is the Spark that spawns with each box killed. This is a job for the DPS and you if you have the buff, but most importantly be aware if one is about to explode. With a CD timed well, you can easily recover and it’s not the end of the world. You can even plan on having some explode and simply healing through it, but I wouldn’t recommend that.

The only other thing to understand about the fight is the order the boxes are being open. I’ll add this information for the benefit of your raid and preface it by saying we tried the strategy accomplished by most of the first kills of it. The original strategy was to avoid the second large box and simply open everything else constantly, allowing the DPS requirement to be bent by using the buffs and AOE to a maximum. However, the current strategy we switched to is sooooo much easier to heal and deal with, so it’s simply on the DPS to get their jobs done.

Mantid-

1 Big 2 Smalls – Kill
2-3 Mediums until all dead- stress dispels
1 Big 2 Smalls

Mogu-

1 Big 1 Small- Kill
2 Medium 1 Small- Kill
2 Medium 1 Small- Kill
2 Medium 1 Small- Kill
1 Big

Total per side-

2 Large, 6 Medium, 4 Small

Understanding the Healer’s Role –

On this fight, your role is very straightforward. No matter what strategy you employ, if you have the Mistweaver Staff buff, you are a golden god, carved from the image of Zeus. You will carry this encounter if you do what I say, so listen up.

With the buff active, keep as many incidental heals rolling as possible. It will proc from hots, so to maximize the 8 second ICD you need to make sure heals are rolling without casts. With that done, next step is pivoting the direction your character is facing. It’s important to realize that the buff is a frontal projection, and if you studied Geometry you will realize that it’s going to be very possible to hit every single target that can be hit if you are stood at the right location.

Learning positioning here is vital, and will be the difference from you doing 110k dps as I do, or 60k dps as others may. The first goal here is mastery over both your camera and your facing direction. Holding the right mouse button down and swinging the mouse around is the best way to obtain this. Using keys such as “A” and “D” is typically frowned on anyway, so you hopefully have mastered this long before this encounter. Regardless, using it allows you to quickly pivot from facing the boxes to facing the sparks.

The goal is simply to give yourself a position to hit the adds from boxes, the players in the raid, and the sparks with the same blast every 8 seconds. It won’t always be easy, but the more you attempt the encounter the easier you’ll find it and the more obvious the pattern will be. I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH how important this is. It is your job to master this about anything else, and if you can execute it well, you will carve an EASY 30 seconds off the encounter.

The healing requirement is really quite paltry as well, but since we have an odd number of players, we choose to 5 heal, allowing the same amount of DPS on both sides. The Mogu box room is always in need of the extra DPS either way, so we opt to switch players in and out depending. Here is an example:

Green side marker starts on Mantid with 3 healers – Myself (Holy Paladin), Holy Priest, and Resto Druid.
Blue side marker starts on Mogu with 2 healers – Disp Priest, Holy Paladin.

When both sides complete the first half, I switch from one Mantid side to the other and one strong DPS heads over from Mogu to Mogu. This gives us good coverage on Mantid side, which has a lot of constant damage happening, yet enough DPS to complete the trial.

Let’s break down our healing strategy for each side in order to further elucidate the task.

Mantid -

The main concern is the Massive Crate add known as the Ka’thik Demolisher. It will permeate raid-wide pulsing magic damage to everyone on the side it’s on, so it’s very important to have a good rotation of CDs for the duration of its existence. This will happen twice given the strategy we explored earlier, so make sure you know when and where to use what. For the first crate, I throw my 1-min hammer CD down on the group of melee and mobs to double dip, then use Devo after that fades. Our Resto Druid uses Tranquility towards the 50 percent mark on the mob. For the second one, I pop DG and Divine Hymn comes from our Holy Priest, after a Devo from our Ret Paladin.

Another big source of damage is the Gusting Bomb and the Windstorm mechanics. Both are unavoidable to some degree, especially as melee, so it’s important that the three healers here work hard to keep them alive through spikey times. The tornado from the Windstorm will inevitably pass through the group, and it follows a circular path, so moving out isn’t feasible, whereas the Gusting Bomb will shoot our towards the ranged DPS, leaving a trail of damage for the melee to be stood in until they react.

Mogu –

The mogu side is far more rudimentary and brute-force. The only concern provided the mechanics are handled properly are the adds from the Massive Crates. There are four options, but they each do one giant pulse of AOE magic damage, that is telegraphed wildly. To deal with this, simply use a CD one each one, and provided your DPS is adequate, there should only be 2 casts per mob, meaning 4 total, 5 if unlucky. One Devo, spirit link, tranq, smoke bomb, or AMZ is more than enough, and will trivialize the one mechanic that needs healing.

The only other concern would be the Torment debuff, which does a fixed amount of initial damage, and stacking shadow damage overtime. Just monitor the stacks, and make sure you don’t dispel immediately. A few seconds is all you need, and the less dispels the better honestly, furthering the case for 2 healing this room.

Class Specific Tips –

Holy Paladin: Freedom/BoP the slow on Mogu side to avoid a dispel. Keep Eternal Flame on as many targets as possible to ensure the buff proc every 8 seconds. Use Light’s Hammer to ensure maximum DPS double dipping! Bubble around 2 seconds left on “Set to Blow” and then run around and clear whatever other bombs are left – be sure to not be near people when doing so!

Open the largest box first!

Approach Christmas as you would Spoils and you may find yourself having more fun!

Resto Shaman: Interrupt and Purge as much as humanly possible. Windwalk totem to remove all the slows on Mogu side. Spiritwalker’s Grace while running around dropping bombs to negate mechanic on Mantid side.

Resto Druid: Use Tranq preemptively on Mogu side to negate the explosion – prepare do not react!

Holy / Disp Priest: Lifegrip players returning from placing bombs. Use Divine Hymn or Barrier preemptively on Mogu side to negate mechanic – Don’t react, anticipate! Put feathers or Body/Soul on players opening boxes to make them even quicker to get between.

Misty Monk: Tough fight, as channeling snaps the character. Consider full-time fist weaving and double dip AOE cleave on to multiple adds. Massive downside to monks – either channel and cast at range and constantly snap away from where you need to face with buff, or be in melee and hit only half the targets.

TLDR Recap –

Number 1 priority is mastering the use of the Mistweaver staff buff, all else is insignificant to amount of healing and damage a healer can put out with its proper use. Consider 5 healing, and switching the extra healer between sides so there are always 3 on Mantid. Be preemptive with CDs to make the one healing mechanic trivial.

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!