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Ready Check: What makes raiding fun?

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Ahh, it is a new year, and as is common during this time, we put aside a spot of our days in order to reflect upon the previous year. We do this to see where we went wrong, where we went right, what aspects we think we need to improve upon.

Video games, particularly MMOs, are not so different from people, and MMO players too must undergo this same reflection. In WoW especially, one thing stands out above all the rest: Raiding continues to be a failure.

Now, now, I am not apart of the camp which decries the dumbing down of content. In fact, I still laud the quality of WoW's raids that Blizzard is putting out, even if I think they are becoming a bit light on the size factor. I am instead speaking in terms of sheer numbers. Raiding has never been an aspect of WoW that a majority of the community participated in, despite its being where the largest amount of new content is seen throughout expansions. Even though raiding has grown more and more accessible over this past year, there are still more people who don't raid than do.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid guide to Dragon Soul, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

And we're back once more! In our last edition, we went into some of the tricks that you can use in order to boost your DPS in the first four encounters of Dragon Soul. This time around, we'll be rounding out the rest of the encounters from the instance. Overall, the second half is a bit more challenging than the first half, both in terms of DPS requirements and raid coordination. This is where you're going to have to push yourself the most, so be prepared to pull out all the stops.

Ultraxion
  • You'll need two tanks for Ultraxion, which will taunt off each other as they get Fading Light.
  • There have to be three players who stay out for every Hour of Twilight. These players will have to use heavy damage reduction cooldowns or immunities, or they will die.
  • There are three different crystals that spawn for healers, each that have their own unique buffs to help the raid survive. Let them fight over who gets what.

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Filed under: Druid, Raiding, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives: Balance druid guide to Dragon Soul, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Overall, the first four bosses of Dragon Soul are a fun lot that focus more on your ability to raid overall and less on your specific capabilities. There is a solid chunk of movement in them, so you should be prepare to deal with that. Practicing how to drop Mushrooms while on the move is a huge asset in this raiding tier. Styling this week's advice after McCurley's 5-second strats, I'll briefly detail the encounter and any tricks that you should know about heading into the game. Keep it simple, after all.

Morchok
  • Morchok should be tanked relatively where he stands. After each Blood phase, the tank can just pick him up where ever he happens to end up. No real positioning is needed unless you start to wander too far to the sides.
  • The raid team should all be grouped up within 25 yards of the boss as often as possible.
  • A dedicated group of ranged DPS should run out to every crystal that spawns. You need seven players for this in 25-man.
  • Run and head behind spikes once they've spawned, positioning yourself either between two spikes or just at the side of one so that you can continue to DPS.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Blood Pact: Dark Intent update and T13 gearing

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

Greeting again, darklings. It's that time of the week once more for us to talk about all that drives our purpose: bringing horrible pain to our enemies. There are multiple cogs in our wheel of destruction, but this week I want to focus in on two of those. To start, there's the small matter of the ever-constant debate on weaponry and trinkets, something that comes up with every new tier. Second, there's the issue of Dark Intent. While it's been relatively established on the priority of the buff, there are a few kinks to work out, as always. The prior settlements that were made were based upon data that was relevant back in tier 11. Although there isn't too much that has changed since this, Blizzard's adjustments and gearing does merit bringing up the issue once more.

There can be little doubt that shadow priests are the best recipients for Dark Intent. A significantly large portion of their damage come from DoTs; furthermore, Mind Flay has a unique interaction with the ability as well that results in an even higher return. As shadow priests gain gear, more of their damage does actually shift toward Mind Blast, plus their tier 13 increases more of their non-DoT based damage. Again, none of this changes that they are still the best target for Dark Intent, but it does slightly reduce the disparity between shadow priests and non-shadow priests when getting it.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

WoW Insider's guide to Yor'sahj the Unsleeping

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Welcome back to another exciting WoW Insider strategy guide. This guide will detail how to take down Yor'sahj, the Unsleeping in the Dragon Soul raid. Previously, we have gone over how to kill Morchok and Warlord Zon'ozz as well; marking this the third encounter within the raid.

Yor'sahj is an amazingly fun fight, in fact it's my favorite encounter in the whole zone. That's because it's never quite the same fight twice, there's always something a little different about it that makes you think on your feet and adjust to the situation. I only wish my bosses gained random ability combinations instead of always going through the same ability list on a set pattern. Oh well, dreamers can dream I guess.

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Filed under: Raiding

Blood Pact: Cataclysm-era leveling guide for warlocks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

Of all the things that I am, for all of the multitude of alts that I have, one things that I've never been all that good at is writing leveling guides. I have a hard enough time as it is following said guides; writing out my chaotic leveling process is a chore and a half. That all being said, the one thing I do have enormous amounts of experience in leveling. I've nearly reached the full limit on the amount of characters that I'm allowed to have. Allow me, then, to impart some of what I know about bringing your fledgling warlock up to speed into the endgame. After all, while the journey might be half the fun, the destination is all so glorious. We do need someone to stomp on those pesky mages.

The first order of business is to know your spec going into the game. While all warlocks focus on damage (so we don't have quite the same complications as hybrid classes), which spec you choose to go with is still important. Affliction has long been touted as the prime warlock leveling spec, and that is still somewhat true. Affliction offers the best multi-target, fast-paced farming that can't be matched by any of the others. The downside to this is that mob farming has fallen the way of the dinosaurs in WoW leveling; instead, questing and running dungeons is far more efficient, and affliction doesn't have its strength there.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Shifting Perspectives: Lunar Shower update and Celestial Alignment

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or @murmursofadruid.

Balance druids everywhere are currently rejoicing. Why, might you ask? Well, you see, the Eclipse energy portion of Lunar Shower has finally been removed from the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator. That it took this long is something else entirely, but that isn't even really the point.

First, I wish to express a slight personal issue with this revelation. When the Pandaria talent calculators were originally released, it was stated directly that Lunar Shower would be "working differently in the future." While I suppose accurate on the most technical levels, reverting a broken talent to the slightly less broken state that it was already in before it was made worse is not working differently.

A bit harsh? To say that Lunar Shower is a broken talent, to suggest that it was always a broken talent? Well, I would apologize or choose better language -- however, this is the case. Lunar Shower has never truly fulfilled the function it was intended to serve, to offer balance druids a mobile DPS option. In defense that the current Lunar Shower on the live servers now is broken, I don't really think I need to put forth much evidence. After all, no one specs into it. Every single guide tells players to avoid it. And there's at least a thread a week complaining about it on the official forums. The issue speaks for itself.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

WoW Insider's guide to Warlord Zon'ozz

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Unlike the other encounters in Dragon Soul, Warlord Zon'ozz only requires a single tank. For cooldown purposes, it is possible to bring in a second tank; however, there isn't too much of a need to do so. Per usual, you will want to have around five to six healers. Switch your off tank for an additional healer if you feel that would help. Your DPS should be a solid mix of both ranged and melee; there does need to be a solid balance of both. Healers should be split among the DPS, with tank healers staying with the melee.

Abilities

Zon'ozz doesn't have all that many abilities, but he's still a hands-on encounter. Most of your time will be spent watching the Void of Unmaking and bouncing it back and forth. Healers will focus more on clearing away Disrupting Shadows. For once, tanks probably have the easiest time on this encounter, only really having to watch out for a single ability that occurs about once per phase or so.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding), Raid Guides

Blood Pact: Initial impressions of 4.3 raiding as a warlock

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology and destruction warlocks. For those who disdain the watered-down arts that other cling to like a safety blanket ... for those willing to test their wills against the nether and claim the power that is their right ... Blood Pact welcomes you. Send questions, comments, or requests to tyler@wowinsider.com or via Twitter to @murmursofadruid.

The first week of raiding after the release of patch 4.3 has more or less come and gone by this point, and while raiding isn't everything, it is the primary focus on this tier. Not only do we finally get to tackle with Deathwing himself, but Blizzard also introduced the Raid Finder tool in order to bring more players into the raiding game. Another part of this patch was an effort to bring destruction's damage up to par with that of our other two specs.

While there is still much more time needed in order to tell how exactly things are going to play out, for now it is time to lay down the initial impressions that raiding within this recent patch has left in my mouth. Some are good, some are bad, but the common denominator is that, hey -- at least we aren't mages.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Shifting Perspectives: Patch 4.3 gear list for balance druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Balance news comes at you every Friday -- learn how to master the forces of nature, and know what it means to be a giant laser turkey! Send questions, comments, or requests for something you'd like to see to tyler@wowinsider.com or on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Hail, druids, and welcome to the wondrous world of a new patch! This patch didn't hold much for us in the ways of personal meat. We got a wicked-awesome new Hurricane animation and a neat new Wrath one as well, but otherwise, things trudge along as normal with our lot. That's perfectly dandy in my book. We're still going along strong as a solid DPS choice, and things are good.

This week I'm dedicating to gearing ourselves up in all of that lovely new content that has just been released. Whether you're a dungeoneer or a hardcore raider, there's tons of new loot to look at, and that's exactly that we're going to do. As a side note, I do have to say that I am super-excited about having patch 4.3. The content so far has been gloriously fun, and though I'm sure I'll change my mind once I've done enough of these heroics to last a lifetime (as with the troll versions of last patch), I'm content to make do with what we have. Let's get to work, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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